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. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for advancing global transport cooperation and promoting common development amid world changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century.
Addressing via video link the opening ceremony of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference in Beijing, Xi called for "writing a new chapter featuring connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flows of trade and investment, and interactions between civilizations."
The conference, scheduled from Thursday to Saturday, will underscore the importance of sustainable transport to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Representatives from 171 countries gathered online and offline for the three-day meeting.
Stressing that transport is the artery of the economy and a bond between civilizations, Xi said transport has facilitated economic integration and people-to-people exchanges, and turned the world into a close-knit global village.
"Only with openness, inclusiveness and connectivity can countries reinforce each other's efforts and achieve win-win results," Xi said.
He urged efforts from all countries to strengthen both hard connectivity of infrastructure and soft connectivity of institutions and rules, and develop four-dimensional connectivity of land, sea, air and the Internet.
He highlighted the importance of common development. To achieve common prosperity, efforts should be made to enhance North-South and South-South cooperation and scale up support for developing transport infrastructure in the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries, Xi noted.
He called for deep integration of new technologies like big data, the Internet, artificial intelligence and blockchain with the transport sector, as well as more efforts to foster a green and low-carbon way of transport.
Transport is responsible for around a quarter of direct CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, according to statistics from a United Nations (UN) report on sustainable transport.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on countries across the world to join forces to build more sustainable transport systems and accelerate the decarbonization process of the entire transport industry.
"All stakeholders have a role to play," the UN chief said at the opening ceremony.
Liu Zhenmin, under-secretary-general for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, viewed the ongoing transport conference as an opportunity for knowledge-sharing, collaboration and dialogue necessary to advance progress in sustainable transport.
China has constantly expanded global cooperation in the transportation field and supported developing countries including African and Latin American countries in capacity building and technical training, according to a report on China's sustainable transport development released on the official website of the UN conference Thursday.
Xi announced that China will set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport, as a contribution to global transport development.
"China will continue to hold high the banner of true multilateralism, and stay connected with the world and abreast with the times. This way, we will contribute more to global development while pursuing our own development," Xi said. Enditem