China will give $100m in refugee aid

China Daily (USA) - - LI’S VISIT - By ZHAO HUANXIN and AMY HE at the United Nations Hu Yongqi in Bei­jing con­trib­uted to this story.

China pledged $100 mil­lion in hu­man­i­tar­ian aid on Mon­day to help coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions re­solve refugee and mi­grant crises and will con­sider ad­di­tional sup­port mea­sures.

The vow was made by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang when he ad­dressed a meet­ing at the 71st United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York on refugees and mi­grants.

He said that the refugee and mi­grant prob­lem con­cerns global peace and de­vel­op­ment and af­fects re­gional sta­bil­ity, adding that global so­ci­ety needs to cope with the is­sue proac­tively.

“The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should work to­gether to ex­pand le­gal chan­nels for mi­gra­tion and com­bat il­le­gal mi­gra­tion, hu­man traf­fick­ing and ter­ror­ism,” Li said.

Li said China would also con­sider us­ing part of the China-UN peace and de­vel­op­ment fund to sup­port refugee and mi­grant work in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, and to ex­plore ways to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in­volv­ing third par­ties, and with in­ter­na­tional agen­cies.

The refugee meet­ing was the UN’s first high-level meet­ing ad­dress­ing large-scale move­ments of refugees and mi­grants since the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s found­ing, as the prob­lems were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ur­gent and the meet­ing was an op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus the at­ten­tion of the world com­mu­nity on the is­sue, the pre­mier said.

World lead­ers adopted the New York Dec­la­ra­tion for Refugees and Mi­grants, which ex­presses the po­lit­i­cal will of world lead­ers to pro­tect the rights of refugees and mi­grants, to save lives and share re­spon­si­bil­ity for large move­ments on a global scale.

Co­op­er­a­tion from refugee-ori­gin coun­tries is also im­por­tant, Li noted. He urged stake­hold­ers to re­solve dis­putes through dia­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion and called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to lead peace talks and pro­mote more bal­anced global de­vel­op­ment.

The pre­mier also said that China, as a large de­vel­op­ing coun­try, is al­ways will­ing to join in the global ef­fort to solve the refugee and mi­grant prob­lem and shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity that is suit­able to its ca­pac­ity.

He stressed that China will take a se­ries of hu­man­i­tar­ian mea­sures and seek three-party co­op­er­a­tion with in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries on refugee and mi­grant prob­lems.

The num­ber of dis­placed peo­ple reached a record 65.3 mil­lion at the end of last year, an in­crease of more than 5 mil­lion from 2014, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees. That in­cludes 21.3 mil­lion refugees, 3.2 mil­lion asy­lum seek­ers and 40.8 mil­lion mi­grants.

Open­ing the day­long ses­sion, UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon urged world lead­ers to com­mit to “up­hold­ing the rights and dig­nity of ev­ery­one forced by cir­cum­stance to flee their homes in search of a bet­ter life”.

Ex­perts said that the chal­lenge in the cri­sis is al­ter­ing in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions be­tween Turkey and the EU, amid con­tro­versy over refugee poli­cies, said Zhu Feng, pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at Nan­jing Uni­ver­sity.

How to tackle the new fac­tor of un­cer­tainty still re­mains unsolved for the UN and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, Zhu said.

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