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Remark on the Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018

                                                                                By Ambassador Yu Hong 2018.3.23 9:00 p.m. Hotel Himalaya

Mr. Laurence Brahm, Founder and Chair of Himalayan Consensus Institute,

Mr. Sujeev Shakya, Chairperson of Nepal Economic Forum,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies, gentlemen, friends

Good morning! Thank you for inviting me to attend the Himalayan Consensus Summit 2018 and discuss the development issues in the Himalayan region with you.

The Himalayan region has vast territory, large population and abundant resources. At the same time, the geological conditions in the Himalayan region are complex and natural disasters occur from time to time. All countries are faced with the task of developing the economy, improving people’s livelihood, and protecting the environment. How people in the region share the peace, development and prosperity is the question we need to answer together.

Development is the key to solving all the problems. As a country in the Himalayan region, China has made a lot of efforts in promoting inclusive and sustainable development in this region through its own green development and international cooperation.

China attaches high importance to the protection of ecological civilization in its development. Resources conservation and environment protection are China’s basic national policies. The Chinese government believes lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. ‘Ecological civilization’ has been included into the constitution amendment. With unprecedented determination and efforts, China strengthens ecological and environmental protection, and this will contribute to the global ecological security. In recent years, China has been vigorously carrying out afforestation, gradually improving the livable environment, making full use of the development of solar energy resources, and developing green and clean energy. In 2009, the Chinese government began to implement the Plan for Ecological Safety Barrier Protection and Improvement in Xizang Autonomous Region. Through tremendous efforts, the entire plateau ecosystem is now in a stable status, and ecological benefits have already emerged. The Chinese government continues to explore ways to help people develop green economy and improve their living standards through financial and technological support in the process of ecological protection and ecological improvement. The policy of poverty alleviation through ecological employment has been well implemented at the grass-root level. More and more people are getting their incomes increased and making their living through ecological protection. And these have helped them to live a better life. Plateau high-quality fruit production base, fruit seedlings breeding and acclimatization bases and pollution-free livestock and poultry breeding bases have promoted the development of modern, efficient and ecological agriculture and animal husbandry. While stepping up ecological construction, promoting eco-industry and eco-employment for poverty alleviation, the Chinese government keeps improving the management system of ecological civilization construction, drawing red lines for protecting the ecosystem, and providing legal guarantee for ecological protection.

China strives to promote green development and connectivity in the region. The impediments for connectivity is an important reason for restricting the development of the Himalayan region. China and Nepal are neighbors joined by the Himalayas. China attaches great importance to the connectivity between the two countries. During the 1960s to 1970s, even with difficult situation of China’s own domestic economy, China helped Nepal in building the 114 kilometers long Arniko Highway between Kodari and Kathmandu, and 174 kilometers long Prithivi Highway from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The two highways have brought benefits for China-Nepal economic and people to people exchanges as well as the local economic development. In 2015, a Chinese company built a solar power station in Lomanthang, bringing light to 221 local households. In 2017, the project of 1000 streetlight aided by the Chinese government was delivered in Pokhara. Earlier this year, China donated more than 32000 sets of solar power generation system to Nepal. China is helping Nepal develop its hydropower. In other countries in South Asia, the Chinese government is also providing assistance actively. In 2015, Cuddalore Coal-fired Power Station designed and constructed by China for India received the Environmental Protection Gold Award and the Social Responsibility Platinum Award of India. These measures are aimed at supporting the concerned countries in dealing with climate change and promoting sustainable economic and social development.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a transparent initiative focusing on development and international cooperation. It follows market principles. Extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits are the golden rules. Belt and Road cooperation aims to be equal-footed, inclusive and beneficial to all. To date, more than 80 countries and international organizations have signed Belt and Road Initiative agreements with China. A large number of Belt and Road Initiative projects are well underway and adding needed momentum to the economic and social development of our partner countries. China is building over a dozen power stations for Pakistan. When all of them are completed, power shedding and shortages will be no longer there in Pakistan. The Belt and Road Initiative also brings new opportunities for the development of the Himalayan region. In 2017, China has made relevant policies and plans, established the Belt and Road Initiative Environmental Technology Exchange and Transfer Center, implemented the plan of Green Silk Road Envoys Program. China helped partner countries, especially those developing countries along the route, improve their ecological environmental protection and regulatory capabilities. The Belt and Road Initiative cooperation will coordinate the relations of economic, social, fiscal and environmental sustainability of projects, benefiting the whole world.

The Himalayan region includes a number of neighboring countries, and China attaches importance to the conservation and research work in collaboration with other regional partners. China is one of the member countries of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and has conducted a large number of joint research and personnel training activities with neighboring countries through this platform. The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has financed the domestic research institutions to work with other institutions of neighboring countries to carry out cross-border cooperation research in the Himalaya region, which covers geological disasters prevention, ecological environment, climate change, biodiversity, cross-border river water quality monitoring and other fields. Many Chinese research institutes have conducted technical training for greenhouse gas detection, tea planting, kiwifruit planting, and biodiversity detection for South Asia countries. Relevant institutions in China actively participated in the ‘The Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative’ and ‘Landscape Initiative for Far Eastern Himalayas Conservation and Development’. They have conducted effective cross-border cooperation with relevant countries. The National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) Project of ‘Evolution and conservation of biodiversity in Sino-Himalayas region’ also achieved a number of important fruits.

The countries in the Himalayan region are closely linked in their development and are of the same community of shared future. The development and protection of the region is the common responsibility and mission of region countries. Promoting cooperation in the Himalayan region and realizing development are in line with the interests and aspirations of the concerned countries. To promote the development of the Himalayan region, we should give full play to the complementary advantages of the countries, strengthen mutual trust, increase exchanges, carry out cooperation, translate ideas into actions, and turn the vision into reality. Through development, we will improve the capacity to respond to changes, alleviate poverty, and promote peace. China will continue working hand in hand with all countries to make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Thank you.

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