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Building strong synergy, China advances new modernization drive with confidence

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With a spring in his step after an uptick in tourists to his region, Wu Guoping, a deputy to the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) from Jiangsu Province, attended the opening meeting of the annual session of China’s top legislature in Beijing on Sunday.

According to Wu, the number of visitors at Wuxi City’s Nianhua Bay in Jiangsu exceeded 210,000 in the first two months of this year, the highest for the same period since 2019.

Similar rebounds are happening everywhere in China as the country begins the first year of its march toward modernization, echoing Xi Jinping’s remarks that “the start is crucial to the overall situation and decisive to the future.”

Xi attended the opening meeting of the first session of the 14th NPC on Sunday morning in Beijing. A government work report submitted to the session for deliberation reviewed the country’s progress in 2022 and revealed China’s main targets for development in 2023.

Building consensus with democracy

The work report noted that the people have expressed views and suggestions which deserve full attention and urged efforts to live up to the people’s trust.

During the Two Sessions, nearly 3,000 national legislators and around 2,000 political advisors bring with them people’s expectations for a better life as well as issues of public concern, so that the will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people is incorporated into the top-level design of national development.

This is a vivid practice of the whole-process people’s democracy in China, which has been underscored as an essential requirement of Chinese modernization by Xi Jinping.

In the past decade, Xi has participated in deliberation with lawmakers or political advisors 53 times at the annual Two Sessions, having listened to opinions and suggestions of over 400 NPC deputies and CPPCC members.

Consolidating confidence

The government work report stressed that “the past five years for China have been truly momentous and remarkable,” saying the country has met numerous tests, including accelerated changes on the international landscape, the COVID-19 pandemic and a domestic economic slowdown, and made major achievements in economic and social development, including winning the critical battle against poverty and finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Calling for the stage to be set for building a modern socialist country in all respects, the report listed the main targets for development in 2023, including a GDP growth of around five percent, an increase of the consumer price index of around three percent and a deficit-to-GDP ratio of three percent.

The Two Sessions forges a synergy among the Chinese people and firms up their confidence in overcoming difficulties in achieving development goals in 2023 and advancing Chinese modernization, according to experts.

“China is striving to secure stable economic growth this year, so the Two Sessions are of special significance in boosting confidence and gathering strength,” said Yang Hui, a national political advisor.

Opportunities for the world

As the Chinese modernization blueprint is fleshed out with specific targets to strive for at this year’s Two Sessions, how China will create new opportunities for the world through its own development has captured global attention.

The government work report told the world that “China’s economy is staging a steady recovery and demonstrating vast potential and momentum for further growth,” as the country’s consumer demand, market distribution, industrial production and business expectations have all markedly improved.

It announced that China will intensify efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment. “With a vast and open market, China is sure to provide even greater business opportunities for foreign companies in China.”

According to a recent report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, more than 90 percent of the participating companies selected China as one of the most important investment destinations.

The International Monetary Fund raised the estimate for China’s growth to 5.2 percent in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

Recently, many world leaders have visited China to explore cooperation opportunities. On Wednesday, Xi told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that China’s high-quality development and modernization process will bring new opportunities to other countries.

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Pre-COP Conference reinforces Nigeria’s role as global climate leader – Tinubu’s aide

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Joel Ajayi Comrade Yussuf Kelani, the recently appointed Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters, attended the UNFCCC SB60 Pre-COP conference.

As a former President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and a dedicated environmental activist, Kelani’s presence at the conference marks a significant step in Nigeria’s climate action journey.

The Pre-COP conference brought together representatives from various nations and stakeholders in climate action and environmental sustainability from around the globe.

This pivotal event was held in preparation for the UNFCCC COP29, scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024. The primary focus of the conference was to develop and refine the implementation framework for the global climate finance roadmap.

The year 2024 is set to be a landmark year for climate finance, with countries agreeing on a new global climate finance goal known as the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). This goal is expected to be a crucial marker for a successful outcome at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The NCQG aims to mobilize significant financial resources to support the climate needs and priorities of developing countries, including mitigation, adaptation, addressing loss and damage, and facilitating just transitions.

A key objective of the NCQG is to provide clarity on the public funding available for developing countries to implement their next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and adaptation plans, which are due by February 2025. At COP28, countries agreed to submit their NDCs 9-12 months ahead of COP30, highlighting the urgency and importance of these commitments.

Our participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference underscored Nigeria’s proactive stance in global climate negotiations. Our involvement facilitated Nigeria’s engagement with global leaders, policymakers, and climate experts, enhancing collaborative efforts and reinforcing Nigeria’s commitment to climate action.

President Tinubu’s SA on Climate Change Matters highlighted that Nigeria’s active participation in the conference has yielded several benefits, including increased access to climate finance.

The discussions at the conference focused on securing substantial financial resources for developing nations through the NCQG. For Nigeria, this translates into enhanced funding for projects aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building. These funds are crucial for Nigeria to achieve its climate targets and transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Another significant aspect of Nigeria’s participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference was the emphasis on technological innovation and capacity building. Engaging with international experts and stakeholders allowed Nigeria to gain insights into the latest advancements in clean energy technologies, climate-smart agriculture, and sustainable urban development. These insights are vital for driving domestic climate initiatives and ensuring that Nigeria leverages cutting-edge technologies to address its unique challenges.

The outcomes of the SB60 Pre-COP conference align closely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda for climate change and Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate action is intricately linked to multiple SDGs, including those related to poverty eradication, food security, clean water, and sustainable cities. By advancing its climate agenda, Nigeria is simultaneously driving progress towards achieving these interconnected goals.

Investments in renewable energy, for instance, not only mitigate greenhouse gas emissions but also provide access to affordable and clean energy, fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. Similarly, sustainable agricultural practices enhance food security and promote responsible land use, contributing to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). These integrated approaches ensure that climate action efforts also deliver socio-economic benefits, thereby promoting holistic development.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to leveraging these gains to implement effective and inclusive climate policies that benefit all Nigerians. Nigeria’s active engagement in global climate forums underscores its dedication to being a leader in climate action and a champion of sustainable development.

As posted on the Facebook page of Comrade Kelani Yussuf,
Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters

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