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Xi says more help on way for Syria refugees

By AN BAIJIE,,MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-20 03:11

President Xi Jinping announced on Wednesday that China will provide an additional 200 million yuan ($29.1 million) in humanitarian assistance to help refugees and the homeless in the Syrian crisis.

In his keynote speech at the United Nations' Geneva headquarters on "Working Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind", Xi said the world is facing many uncertainties and people are expecting a brighter future despite frustration with the current situation.

"When our neighbors have difficulties, we should offer a hand rather than just tighten our fences," he said, adding that China's determination to safeguard world peace will not change.

Through various channels, China provided nine packages of humanitarian aid worth 685 million yuan to Syria and neighboring countries by January last year, according to Liu Jieyi, China's ambassador to the UN.

In November, Xie Xiaoyan, China's special envoy on the Syrian issue, said the Chinese government was implementing a plan to provide 230 million yuan in humanitarian aid and 10,000 tons of food assistance to Syria and the region.

All countries should be treated equally, no matter how big or small, Xi said, and no country should wage war willfully. Cultural differences should not become the root for conflicts, but rather the engine for mankind's progress, he said.

Nuclear weapons should be banned and destroyed to establish a nuclear-free world, he said.

During his speech, the Chinese president called on big powers to manage disputes and respect each other's core interests. The deep sea and aerospace should be new fields for cooperation rather than arenas for competition, he said.

Trade protectionism will harm both sides involved and should be opposed, Xi said while calling for open and inclusive trade under the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Hua Liming, a former Chinese ambassador to Iran and now a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said, "While some big countries have been directly involved in the Syrian issue, the Chinese government has been consistently engaged in diplomatic efforts to push forward the political resolution of the Syria issue through peaceful negotiations."

Such efforts as well as humanitarian aid have been effective, Hua added.

Xi returned to Beijing on Thursday afternoon.

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