China meeting growth challenges
Updated: 2011-09-23 09:05
SHENYANG - Renata Lok-Dessallien, the United Nations' resident coordinator in China and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in China, on Wednesday praised China's role in promoting sustainable development.
Dessallien succeeded Khalid Malik as the UN's resident coordinator in China in April 2010, after serving in the same capacity at the UN's country office in Bangladesh.
Agreeing with China's strategic emphasis on development, in an exclusive interview with China Daily, Dessallien said that many other countries forget that China is a developing country.
"They come to Beijing, Shanghai, and they see the flashy lights and the modern buildings - the flashy side of China," said Dessallien.
"When you look at the indicators, China may be the second-largest economy in the world, but it's ranked No 82 in per capita income," said Dessallien, adding that there is still a long way to go for China to become a developed country.
Dessallien said she was impressed by the White Paper on China's Peaceful Development released on Sept 6 by the State Council Information Office.
The white paper outlines China's peaceful development strategy and elaborates what it means for the rest of the world.
Dessallien said the white paper and the UN Charter share the same vision, principles and values, noting that, after reading the white paper, a recent "high-level visitor" to China said: "Wow, this is like the United Nations' charter."
Stressing the importance of development for peace, Dessallien said that countries worldwide should enhance development to boost peace.
"You can't have peace if you're hungry, if you're not educated and not informed of everyone's basic human needs, and everyone's human dignity needs to be respected in order to achieve peace," said Dessallien.
Amid its economic boom, China is facing the challenges posed by development, particularly environmental issues, and China's efforts on environmental protection and campaigns for sustainable growth show the insight and strategic vision of the nation's policymakers, according to Dessallien.
Economic growth in the last 30 years has been strong and is good for China. It comes at a cost, but China is meeting the challenge, she said.
China now has energy efficiency goals, and Dessallien pointed out that China is handling this issue in a responsible and harmonious way.
"Developed countries, when they were at China's current level, were not worried about the environment and all these things," said Dessallien.
Dessallien arrived in Beijing with 24 years of UN experience in Africa and Asia, including assignments in Myanmar, Mali and Laos.
She has served as resident coordinator for the last eight years, first in Bhutan and most recently in Bangladesh.
Reiterating the UN's respect for individual countries' development paths, Dessallien said the key is to help nations solve problems their own way rather than sticking to a certain country's growth model.
"We don't bring some blueprints from other countries ... because it has to be embedded in their own culture, history and their own problems."