President calls for boosting transportation cooperation

By MO JINGXI and LUO WANGSHU | China Daily/ | Updated: 2021-10-15 07:00
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Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech via video link at the opening ceremony of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, Oct 14, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping called on countries on Thursday to advance global transportation cooperation for humanity's common development and write a new chapter featuring connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flow of trade and investment, and improved interactions between civilizations.

Xi made the remark while addressing via video link the opening ceremony of the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference. He also announced that China will set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport, as a contribution to global transportation development.

Noting that transportation has facilitated economic integration and people-to-people exchanges and turned the world into a close-knit global village, Xi said it is important to pursue an open world economy, reject discriminatory or exclusive rules and systems, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the wealth gap and widened the North-South divide, Xi called for efforts to leverage the enabling role of transportation and scale up support for developing transportation infrastructure in the least-developed countries and landlocked developing countries to achieve common prosperity.

To ensure the easier movement of people and smoother flow of goods, Xi said that more should be done to develop smart transportation and smart logistics and to promote deep integration of new technologies, such as big data, the internet, artificial intelligence and blockchain, with the transportation sector.

He also called for stepping up green infrastructure development, promoting new energy and smart, digital and lightweight transportation equipment, and encouraging and advocating green travel, for more environmentally friendly and low-carbon transportation and travel.

Noting that people live in a world where the future and destiny of countries are closely linked and their interests entwined like never before, Xi said that the wisdom and strength of all should be pooled and resources from across the globe should be mobilized in order to meet global challenges and promote global development.

Xi reiterated that China will not change course in its pursuit of a new system of an open economy of higher standards, and China's door of opening-up will only open wider and will never be closed.

World leaders including Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, also delivered speeches via video link at the opening ceremony.

The conference, which runs through Saturday, is expected to show the way forward for sustainable transportation to help achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Representatives from 171 countries attended the opening ceremony.

"Efforts to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the transport sector are essential to reduce climate-harming emissions and improve the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere," said Liu Zhenmin, undersecretary-general of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Liu Daizong, the director for China of the World Resources Institute's Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, said that China's transportation solutions, compared with those of developed countries, are more attractive to developing countries.

"Much of China's transportation development experience is useful for most developing countries," he said.

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