(ECNS) -- China is the world’s largest developing country, a fact that is recognized by the world, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a news briefing on Friday.
The U.S. wants to put a label on China that says "developed country”. "I’m afraid this simply will not stick on China," he added.
He noted that China’s status as a developing country is supported by concrete facts: China’s per capita GDP in 2022 was $12,741, or one-fifth of that of advanced economies and only one-sixth of that of the U.S.; China’s GNI ranked 68th and HDI 79th in the world in 2021, which is similar to other major developing countries.
China's status as a developing country also has a solid basis in international law, Wang said, adding that this status is recognized by WTO mechanisms and international agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and has been accepted by the vast majority of the members of the international community. This status should not be taken away from China.
He pointed out that China has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in the struggle for national liberation and supported each other in national development over the years.
"We have together vividly demonstrated what 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' means and have long been a community with a shared future. Instead of joining the Western 'rich countries' club', China will always stand with fellow developing countries to work for our common rights and defend our common interests. As President Xi Jinping has pointed out, China will always be a member of the big family of developing countries,” he said.
He stressed that it is China’s legitimate and lawful right to defend our developing country status. “China does not use the status as a shield to avoid international obligations or a stepping stone to special privileges. Instead, we have been contributing to world peace and development. From 2013 to 2021, China has contributed about 38.6% of world economic growth annually on average, higher than that of G7 countries combined. China was the first to realize the Millennium Development Goals and accounted for more than 70% of world poverty reduction. We have become the second largest contributor to the UN’s regular budget and peacekeeping assessments. In the WTO, the special and differential treatment provisions for China provide far less favorable support than the average level of support enjoyed by developing countries.”
The U.S. does not get to decide whether China is a developing country, Wang said. "The U.S. has come up with various false narratives to deny China’s developing country status with the single objective to suppress and contain China’s development, to shift responsibility on China, to sow discord between China and fellow developing countries, and to disrupt and stall the momentum of the collective rise of developing countries. But China and other developing countries will not fall into that trap. China will firmly defend its developing country status, deepen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries, work for greater representation and say of developing countries in the international governance system and defend the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of developing countries."