Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged that his country will contribute $2 billion to a global assistance fund to help poor countries' development.
In his address Saturday to the Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations, Xi said China hopes the global assistance fund can grow to $12 billion over the next 15 years.
The Chinese president promised to continue investments in the world's least-developed countries, and pledged his government would write off interest-free loans payable to Beijing this year by governments of the least-developed countries and small island nations.
Xi announced China's pledges in his first address to the United Nations. China has been criticized in the past by the United States and other developed countries for failing to live up to international responsibilities and actions that are equal to its aspirations for a more influential global role.
Xi also is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly's annual debate, which begins Monday.