PHNOM PENH, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Cambodia continued to pursue an independent foreign policy that upholds its core interests, guarantees sovereignty and peace, and boosts economic ties, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said Wednesday.
Sokhonn, who is also a deputy prime minister, made the remarks while briefing the National Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media on “Cambodia’s Foreign Policy in the New Context of World Order.”
“Over the last five years, the world has continued to evolve to an international system with a global, multipolar and complicated nature,” he said. “This evolution has led to profound, rapid, uncertain and precarious transformations.”
On international and regional contexts, he highlighted the rivalry of superpowers with a myriad of security, economic and development alliance and initiatives across the regions, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On domestic front, he cited Cambodia’s successful control of COVID-19, great accomplishments of its ASEAN chairmanship in 2022, active and sincere endeavors in the capacity of ASEAN Chair and Special Envoy to address the Myanmar issue.
Sokhonn also underlined a set of foreign policies to which the kingdom will continue to adhere, in light of the fierce competition and uncertainties in the international relations.
Among them are the upholding of Cambodia’s core interests in compliance with the constitution; a proactive diplomacy to guarantee sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, peace and socio-economic development; the implementation of an independent foreign policy in line with the objectives and principles of the charters of the United Nations and ASEAN; and the strengthening of economic ties with both existing and new partners.
Iran, EU call for swift cessation of Gaza conflict
TEHRAN, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have highlighted the necessity to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible.
In a phone call on Saturday, the two sides discussed the latest developments in Gaza as well as cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to a statement published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website on Sunday.
The Iranian foreign minister stressed the need to stop the Israeli “crimes” against Palestinians, noting that it was necessary to immediately end Israel’s military attacks against people in Gaza and prepare the ground for the delivery of more humanitarian aid to the coastal enclave.
He warned of Israel’s “plot” and move to forcefully displace the Palestinian people from their land, and an expansion of the conflict in the region if the Israeli attacks were not stopped.
Amir-Abdollahian blamed the “U.S. support as the main factor encouraging Israel to continue its military aggression against and killing of civilians in Gaza,” stressing that Washington’s policies in support of Israel also played an important role in prolonging and expanding the conflict.
He pointed to Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, saying it would continue within technical and legal frameworks.
The EU foreign policy chief, for his part, emphasized the need to reduce tensions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as soon as possible, stressing that the EU was making efforts to make Israel committed to respecting international law.
He underlined Iran’s role in helping ease tensions in the region, saying “we also believe that the solution to Palestine’s issue is focusing on the diplomatic path and the continuation of the military attacks will only exacerbate the tensions.”
Borrell expressed hope that the constructive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA would continue.
On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating Israeli territory, while Israel responded with airstrikes, ground operations and punitive measures that included a siege on the Gaza Strip.
More than 15,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict, with 75 percent of them being children, women and the elderly, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry. Israeli authorities said about 1,200 people were killed on the Israeli side, mostly during the Hamas surprise attack.
China calls for accelerating clean energy development at COP28
Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang has called on the world to actively increase the proportion of renewable energy and accelerate green transformation in the global fight against climate change.
Ding, also Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, made the remarks Friday while addressing the World Climate Action Summit at the ongoing 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP28 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
More than 70,000 delegates from around the world have gathered in Dubai for the annual climate meeting scheduled from November 30 to December 12, where for the first time the world assesses how far off track it is to curb global warming.
A UN report released in late November shows that countries’ current pledges would put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius – 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, leaving the central goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement – 1.5 degrees Celsius – out of reach.
Ding stressed that mankind shares a common destiny in the face of the challenges from climate change, and all parties should strengthen their determination and capacity to jointly address it.
He put forward a three-point proposal. The first is to practice multilateralism, adhere to the goals and principles set out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, enhance solidarity and cooperation, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
The second is to accelerate green transformation, actively increase the proportion of renewable energy, promote the clean, low-carbon and efficient use of traditional energy, and accelerate the formation of green and low-carbon production methods and lifestyles.
The third is to strengthen action implementation and fully honor the existing commitments. In particular, developed countries should effectively increase financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries to turn vision into reality.
As a major responsible developing country, China stands ready to work with all parties to build a clean and beautiful world, he said.
China’s efforts in combating climate change
China has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, incorporating carbon emission reduction goals into the overall planning of economic and social development.
The 2023 annual report on China’s policies and actions to address climate change shows that the country’s carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by more than 51 percent in 2022 from its 2005 level.
While carbon intensity in the economy drops fast, efforts on afforestation have also put the national forest coverage rate in China at 24.02 percent in 2022, increasing the ability to capture and store carbon.
In addition, with total installed generation capacity of renewable energy reaching 1,213 gigawatts in 2022, China has become a global leader in utilizing green and low-carbon energy sources.
The country has ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years in production and sales of new energy vehicles. By the end of June this year, the number of new energy vehicles nationwide reached 16.2 million.
China, as a global leader in renewable energy expansion, is a powerhouse that has the ability to triple renewable power generation globally, COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber told China’s Xinhua News Agency recently.
“China is key in the decarbonization of the energy we use today,” he said, noting that more than three-quarters of the world’s solar panels, around 60 percent of the world’s wind turbines, and three-quarters of the lithium-ion batteries on this planet come from China.
At the same time, China is actively promoting international cooperation on addressing climate challenges and has been deeply engaged in South-South cooperation.
As of June 2023, the country has signed 46 memorandums of understanding on climate change with 39 developing countries, launched over 70 climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, and helped train more than 2,300 officials and technicians from over 120 developing countries, according to a report by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
In November, China and the United States released the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis, reaffirming their commitment to work together and with other countries to address the climate crisis.
Over the years, China has also been promoting cooperation on climate change under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework, providing support for other developing countries to improve their abilities in dealing with climate change.
Foreign Ministry: China expected to contribute one third of global growth
China is widely expected to be the largest engine of the global economic growth by contributing one third of all growth this year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the ministry, told a regular press briefing in Beijing that the world’s second largest economy has continued to grow in a steady way, leading other major economies of the world.
“Deeply exploring the Chinese market has become a general consensus of the international community,” said Wang.
The spokesperson made the comments after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects China’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 5.2 percent in 2023 in its economic outlook released on Wednesday.
OECD’s confidence in China’s growth prospects follows the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s November projection of the country’s real GDP to grow by 5.4 percent in 2023 and 4.6 percent in 2024, both up by 0.4 percentage point relative to the World Economic Outlook released in October.
Financial institutions including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, ANZ have also raised their forecasts for China’s economic growth this year to between 5 and 5.5 percent, according to Wang.
China said in March, in a government work report, that it aims to expand its economy by around 5 percent in 2023.
Speaking at a high-level conference co-hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank for International Settlements in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday, People’s Bank of China governor Pan Gongsheng said China’s economy is expected to achieve the 5 percent growth target for the whole year.
Official data shows the sixth China International Import Expo in November saw $78.41 billion’s worth of tentative deals reached for one-year purchases of goods and services, an increase of 6.7 percent from that of last year.
At the just-concluded second Global Digital Trade Expo, deals on 32 projects with a total value of over 155.8 billion yuan (about $21.89 billion), were reached by leading enterprises in the sector, surging by 316.7 percent compared with the first expo, according to the department of commerce of Zhejiang Province.
“We welcome friends of the business community from all over the world to continue to invest in China, deepen their presence in China, and share the new opportunities brought by China’s high-quality development and high-level opening up,” said the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Iran, EU call for swift cessation of Gaza conflict
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