BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s Vice President Han Zheng said the country is committed to opening itself wider to the world and will always be a member of the big family of developing countries, Chinese state media reported.
Speaking at the general debate of the 78th session of United Nations General Assembly, Han also said China is committed to an independent foreign policy and safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a report late on Thursday from Xinhua.
“The legitimate security concerns of all countries should be addressed, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, and differences and disputes should be resolved in a peaceful way through dialogue and consultation,” Han said.
On the Ukraine conflict, Han said: “China supports all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis and stands ready to continue playing a constructive role for the early attainment of peace.”
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that China would uphold an independent and impartial position on Ukraine as it strives to find a political settlement to the issue.
Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine it launched in February 2022, and has come under international pressure to do more to convince Moscow to end the war. It has offered its own peace plan, which received a lukewarm response in both Russia and Ukraine.
Han also met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the sidelines of the UN gathering, calling both countries “hardcore friends” who share hardships, and pledged to continue to push bilateral relations to a new level.
Vucic is expected to attend China’s third Belt and Road forum next month, which would bring together representatives from more than 110 countries to discuss China’s ambitious trans-continental trade and infrastructure initiative.
In his remarks at the UN, Han said development “should be placed at the centre of the international agenda, and development benefits should reach every country and individual in a fairer way”.
(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates)