Delegate’s Name: Clever student
Nation Represented: People’s Republic of China
Forum: Economic and Financial Committee
The issues brought before the Economic and Financial Committee are the following:
- The Role of Debt Relief in highly indebted LEDCs to promote development
- General access to renewable and sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to stimulate economic development
- Mitigating the effect of natural disasters using technological advances
The People’s Republic of China desires to participate actively in these matters and have a prosper debate in order to resolve the issues. Stimulating the economy and sustainability of LEDCs is of great importance to the People’s Republic of China, in order to further trade opportunities between countries and to create new jobs.
I. The Role of Debt Relief in highly indebted LEDCs to promote development
The People’s Republic of China is actively engaged in providing loans and aid programs to LEDCs around the world, especially in Africa, where 33 of the 37 listed LEDCs are. Since 1956, a little less than 900 different aid programmes to LEDCs in Africa have taken place financed by the Chinese government, such as assistance in the construction and maintenance of schools and hospitals, hydropower stations and textile factories1. By 2025 the People’s Republic of China will have aided the African countries, with financing, commercial and self-loans, with USD 1 trillion2.
The People’s Republic of China respects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and development in Africa. The People’s Republic of China has helped these countries, offering interest free loans and support the economic development of LEDCs in Africa with aid programmes.
We have encouraged our agencies and commercial entities to engage in direct investment, labour cooperation and foreign trade, and export with these countries. The goal is to maximise the effectivity of the Chinese projects, so that they meet local realities in the recipient country. One of these projects has been the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, which was build between 1970 and 1975, with a zero interest loan of RMB 980 million, translating to roughly USD 150 million3. By the decade of 1980s, China’s assistance on contributing to a foundation for long-term economic development, through infrastructure projects, had already created the opportunity to engage in diplomatic and commercial trade with 44 African countries. The People’s Republic of China furthermore leads international initiatives, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) or the New Development Bank (NDB), both of which provide funding and financing for developing countries.
Infrastructure is crucial to market trade and development, and to increase the environmental and social conditions. The People’s Republic of China is very interested to create new opportunities for relations with its neighbour countries. The AIIB can also ensure standards such as environmental sustainability and wise use of financial resource’s with the help and expertise of countries such as the UK, France, Germany or Italy.
The People’s Republic of China encourages other countries from all around the World to take part in the AIIB, so their help can translate into developing LEDCs in South Asia. It is important for the People’s Republic of China to emphasize the importance of giving voice and voting power to developing countries at existing international financial institutions (IFIs). The five important recently developed countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have together the sum of the 43% of the world’s total population, and their economies combined represent 21% of the global economy, but their representation and voting power isn’t reflected in the IFIs.4
II. General access to renewable and sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to stimulate economic development
The People’s Republic of China has achieved great success over the last years in providing renewable energy to its population, and is one of the main investors and producers of low carbon technology.
The People’s Republic of China’s efforts to help to African countries in their quest to produce more, cleaner, sustainable and efficient energy have been intensified radically. The need for energy is one of the main issues for the development for the African continent, since more than 50% of the sub-Saharan population does not have access to electricity (95% of all the people without electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia)5 . Additionally, six out of the ten fastest growing economies are African countries6. Therefore, the necessity of finding a way to create more, environmentally sustainable energy is imperative.
The narrow availability of electric power is a significant disadvantage in economic growth and poverty eradication in sub-Saharan Africa. Excluding South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa only has 30GW of the 124 of the whole continents energy production7, which roughly equals the production capacity of Norway, a country with less than 6 million people, while the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is over 700 million.
While Africa has a high potential in terms of renewable energy, the lack of infrastructure limits their progress. The continent is rich in renewable source, in particular solar and wind power, but it also has certain areas with geothermal resources. Hydropower is already viable in Africa with the help of foreign investors, but other renewable energies such as solar and wind energy need more investment to be possible.
Hydropower is currently the primary source of electricity in many of the African countries, even though it has not yet reached its full potential. More than 50% of the energy in 22 countries is generated from hydropower, and 8 of them have 90% of the energy coming from hydropower. Nevertheless, only 8 % of Africa’s hydropower potential has been developed.8
The People’s Republic of China is engaged in helping sub-Saharan countries to develop their full economic potential, and 14% of our countries abroad investment is directed there. We have participated in a large number of hydropower development projects in Africa, and have committed to aiding and financing a hundred other renewable energy projects in wind, solar and geothermal energy. For example, a USD 15 billion programme aiming to build wind farms with a capacity of 6GW in the Maloti Mounts was backed by the Chinese government9. The extensive experience of Chinese companies in projects related to wind energy makes us ideal leaders of operations to finance, develop and install new renewable energies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Until now, the People’s Republic of China’s involvement and focus on the African energetic problem has had a variety of positive outcomes: The help from our country has increased the investment and the trade with African countries, which has brought a considerable economic growth. The People’s Republic of China also helped in the construction and improvement of the infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The People’s Republic of China is committed to help the sub-Saharan countries in order to reach economic growth as well as constructing infrastructure to build a more sustainable future, and is actively seeking help from the Western countries, in order to have obtain sustainable development for the region.
The PRC encourages other countries to join forces in our crusade, both with financial aid, but also with the creation or improvement of current organizations dedicated to making Sustainable Developing Goals (SDG) possible. The current organizations do not reach their full potential, leading to less efficient progress. The People’s Republic has been the first country to half our poverty rate, which happened in 2010, but it was achieved thanks to national government policy, rather than the Millennium Development Goals framework. This is why the People’s Republic of China encourages international support to the concept of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). This principle is based on two fundamental elements: the first is the common responsibility of all the States to protect the environment. The second is that the handling of the problem should be resolved by each state, so that the ability to prevent, reduce and control the contamination of the environment are handled the best way possible considering the different factors of each nation.
iii. Mitigating the effect of natural disasters using technological advances
The People’s Republic of China is affected by natural disasters frequently. Natural disasters in China have affected the lives of 300 million people in the last 20 years, and cause yearly economic losses of up to USD 69 billion10.
The People’s Republic of China is aware of the high risks of earthquakes and other natural disasters in its territories, and is continuously investing resources to achieve a better preparation in case such disasters happen. In the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, a well organized initiative mobilised 100,000 soldiers to Beichuan within hours, in order to help as many civilians in rescue and recovery operations as possible. A great part of the infrastructure damage is inevitable, but the People’s Republic of China has not given up on finding new ways to avoid such terrible losses. In the last decade, the People’s Republic of China has increased its protection against earthquakes, and right now, a great percentage of the population lives in earthquake proof buildings.
The People’s Republic of China is working on new ways to provide immediate emergency aid to zones affected by natural disasters, and the goal for the upcoming years is to improve early warnings for events, systematizing preparation and reducing the risk for loss of life and property.
The People’s Republic of China has always put the security of people’s lives and property first in dealing with natural disasters, and has invested great amounts of money in the economic and social development plan to achieve a better disaster prevention. In the last years, the people’s Republic of China has strengthened legislation on the requisites for buildings so that they are earthquake proof, as well as committing to finding new ways on mitigating or preventing further natural disasters, by improving the disaster education and also improving facilities used to detect new natural disasters, especially meteorological ones. The People’s Republic of China has encouraged public, and has actively cooperated in international organizations to address this issue, by investing more money into research, so that predictable disasters can be foreseen and the affected areas therefore evacuated, but also to find new ways to mitigate the harm of these disasters, when they can’t be predicted.11
3 China in Africa: lending, policy space and governance, by Martine Dahle Huse and Stephen L Muyakwa. p. 53