|Statement by Counselor Chen Ming of Chinese Mission to the UN at the 64th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda item 55(b) "Preventing and combating corruption practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption" and 55(c) "Science and Technology for Development"|
New York, 21 October 2009
The Chinese delegation endorses the statement made by Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I thank the Secretary-General for his report A/64/122 and A/64/168.
Corruption has become a common hazard of mankind, threatening economic development and social stability. Transnational transfer of assets of illicit origin provides an avenue for corrupt officials to evade the punishment of the law. The crime of corruption is getting increasingly organized and transnational, which makes it more complicated and difficult to prevent and fight corruption. In this sense, it is of great significance for the international community to join hands in forging effective mechanisms and methods to prevent and combat corruption and seize the illicit assets.
The Chinese government puts great emphasis on the anti-corruption endeavor. We have set up a national anti-corruption coordination mechanism and formed synergy in combating corruption. China has worked vigorously to promote the mechanism for sharing corruption prevention information and push for dynamic transparency of the administrative power in the whole process of searching for evidence, making decisions, implementing and achieving results. A national anti-corruption website was launched in December 2007, serving as a platform for learning about and reflecting people's will. Over the past two years, we have carried out a corruption prevention pilot project in 13 provinces and municipalities to explore effective measures and take stock of experience in terms of combating corruption. China has taken an active part in the conferences of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the negotiations and consultations of the intergovernmental working groups on the review of the implementation of the Convention, assets recovery and technical assistance. We are also deeply involved in the effort to elaborate the rules of the Convention. In addition, China is engaged in international exchanges and technical assistance and has drawn on the useful experience of other countries in this regard.
Mr. President, the Chinese government supports the efforts made by the State Parties under the principles of the United Nations Convention against Corruption to review the implementation of the Convention, develop useful tools that contribute to assets recovery, especially a practical procedural guidelines and best-practices, and work more aggressively to seize the stolen assets and return them to the countries of origin. China will be more actively engaged in international cooperation against corruption, including information sharing, judicial assistance, capacity building and other technical assistance activities, and work together with other parties to suppress corruption and block transnational transfer of illicit assets. China hopes to see substantive progress in the third conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to be held in Doha on November 9 this year.
The idea of promoting development through science and technology is gaining more and more popular support. It has become the consensus of the international community to eliminate poverty, reduce diseases, improve public health and quality of live and achieve the MDGs through science and technology. Over the years, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and other agencies, by providing policy guidance to the General Assembly through the ECOSOC, have worked to help developing countries integrate science and technology and innovation policies into their national development plans and strategies. They have worked consistently to promote implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on Information Society. The Chinese delegation appreciates their efforts.
To promote development through science and technology is a basic development policy that China has always advocated. In the mid-19th century, some revolutionary forerunners who turned to the West for recipe to save China advocated the idea of saving the country through science and education, and drawing on the advanced science and technology from Western countries. In January 1956, China put forward the slogan of "March toward Scientific Advancement". In 1978, the Chinese leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping pointed out that science and technology is the primary productive force. In 1995, China unveiled the strategy of "rejuvenation through science and education", once again emphasizing the importance of promoting the sustained economic growth and social development through science and education.
In February 2006, China issued the Guidelines on National Medium- and Long-term Program on Science and Technology Development (2006-2020). In the light of China's national conditions and the development in the world, and centering on strengthening China's independent innovation capability, the Guidelines lays out a strategic plan for China's scientific and technological development in the next 15 years and sets the goal of building an innovation-oriented country. It is a guiding document for China's scientific and technological development in the new era. The Guideline identifies the goal of turning China into an innovation-oriented country in 2020 and making scientific and technological development an important underpinning of economic and social development.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially since the inception of the reform and opening up policy, China has scored a host of major scientific achievements in the area of science and technology for development, as represented by the development of atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, man-made satellite, manned spaceship, hybrid rice, the continental theory of petroleum origin and its application, high-performance computing, synthetic bovine insulin and genome research. China now enjoys independent intellectual property right in a number of products that play an important role in the country's agricultural and industrial development. We have promoted the rapid emergence of new and high-tech industrial groups, and developed a number of outstanding companies with famous brands. The science and technology level of the whole society has been elevated remarkably.
With the strong support of science and technology, China's economic aggregate now ranks third in the world. However, the per capita GDP in China is still behind those in more than 100 countries. China's development is also uneven, with a big gap between coastal and interior areas, and between urban and rural areas. If calculated by the World Bank poverty standard of 1.25 US dollars per person per day, the number of poverty population in China stands at 254 million, ranking second in the world. China needs to invest an additional 154.6 billion RMB yuan, or more than 22 billion US dollars in poverty relief. Nevertheless, China has, and will always provide assistance to other developing countries to the best of its ability, and fulfill its commitment made in the UN Millennium Declaration.
Mr. President, we only have six more years to go for the achievement of the MDGs. We should give full play to the leading role of science and technology in promoting development and addressing climate change, food security, energy security and other major global issues that bear on people's livelihood.
First, we should increase input in science and technology. Due to the constraint of economic conditions, developing countries invest less in R&D than developed countries. The top 500 companies in China only invest 1.32% of their revenues in R&D, as compared with an average of 3.2% in OECD countries. Developing countries need to do everything possible to greatly increase their input in science and technology, so as to narrow their gap with developed countries and avoid new technological divide.
Second, we should formulate and improve the strategy for scientific innovation. The UNCTAD has recently completed its science, technology and innovation review of some developing countries. We are confident that the developing countries under review will make use of the opportunity provided by the review to better analyze their strengths and weaknesses and the challenges they are facing, and formulate and improve a comprehensive science innovation strategy through their own efforts, so as to ensure that the benefits of scientific and technological advancement will be enjoyed by all as soon as possible.
Third, we should strengthen technical assistance to developing countries. The international community has always called on increasing assistance to developing countries, but it has failed to fulfill its commitments. The reason behind this is the lack of a complete set of mechanism for expanding assistance to developing countries. We propose that the UNCTAD continue to take necessary measures to support and assist developing countries at the technical and policy dimensions for timely achievement of the MDGs.
Fourth, we should expand cooperation and strive for common development. The deepening of the globalization process has also generated some problems, and countries are getting increasingly interdependent. The rise and decline of individual countries have direct implications for the whole world. To some extent, the decline of a country has greater impact on the world, especially in the fields of finance, food, energy and public health. In this sense, the human society has no choice but to expand cooperation for common development. Only when there is prosperity and harmony in the whole world can there truly be human progress and development of civilization.Thank you, Mr. President.
 World Bank report on 8 April 2009.