China will fight for rights as developing nation, doesn’t use status for privileges: FM

May 12, 2023 —

China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed recent moves by the US to challenge China’s developing country status, stressing that it will defend its legitimate rights as a developing nation, while making clear that China does not use such a status to evade international responsibilities or gain privileges.

The US House of Representatives recently passed a bill to “revoke” China’s developing country status in international organizations that give it access to preferential loans and other economic benefits.

“Whether China belongs to the category of developing countries is not determined by the US,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a regular press conference held in Beijing on Friday.

The US has been spreading various false claims to deny China’s developing country status, which is nothing more than an attempt to suppress China’s development and hinder its progress. The US’ true intention is to burden China with responsibilities, sow discord between China and other developing countries, and impede the collective rise of developing countries, Wang said.

The spokesperson stressed that China and other developing countries will not be deceived by the US’ propaganda. China will firmly defend its own developing country status, deepen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries, and remain committed to enhancing their representation and voice in the international governance system.

“China will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” said Wang, while also pointing out that China does not regard its status as a “shield” to evade international responsibilities or a “key” to gain special privileges, but actively contributes to world peace and development.

From 2013 to 2021, China’s average contribution to global economic growth was 38.6 percent, higher than the combined contribution rates of G7 countries. China was the first to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals and has contributed to over 70 percent of global poverty reduction, and it is the second-largest contributor to UN membership fees and peacekeeping assessments. In the WTO, China’s actual special and differential treatment is much lower than the average level of developing countries.

China’s status as a developing nation, meanwhile, is well-founded and widely recognized, the spokesperson said.

In 2022, China’s per capita GDP was $12,741, which is only one-fifth of that of developed economies and equivalent to only one-sixth of that of the US. In 2021, China’s per capita national income ranked 68th in the world, while its human development index ranked 79th, on par with that of other major developing countries.

China is a developing country with a solid basis in international law and has been accepted by the international community at large, and cannot be deprived of its developing country status, Wang stressed.

For a long time, China has fought side by side with developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America for national liberation movements and supported each other in promoting national development, vividly demonstrating the meaning of “true friendship is shown in times of adversity.” China will always work with developing countries to strive for common rights and interests and safeguard shared benefits, Wang said.

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