President Xi Jinping’s speech on Sept 23 at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly was thoughtful, conciliatory, constructive and dignified. It looked forward to a peaceful world in which any competition would be positive, healthy, and comply with international norms.

Due to COVID-19, he had to give the speech virtually, but both in content and presentation style it was an effective piece of oratory and the most significant of the occasion’s various speeches.

COVID-19 has been disastrous for the world economy and society and has affected international relationships. No surprise then that it dominated the speeches, including President Xi’s.

For this writer, there were three main takeaway messages from Xi’s speech. 

The first was the need for international cooperation in fighting COVID-19. Just as he had done at the World Health Assembly on May 18, he committed China to US$2 billion of international aid over two years to help other countries restore their economic and social development. He also committed several Chinese-developed vaccines, already in phase three clinical trials, as a “global public good”. China will not horde the vaccines it develops, a good model in a world where “vaccine nationalism” seems the order of the day and each country is caring only about itself.

Please click here to read the full “Xi’s thoughtful, constructive approach emphasizes common future” article published at China Daily, written by Griffith Asia Institute adjunct researcher, Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras.