Conversely, many countries might, by 2015, have made great strides in combating HIV/AIDS, or adopting sustainable models of development. But if China had failed to do those things, there would still be terrible consequences for humanity.
However, that need not be the path taken, either in this country or in the rest of the world. Both for your national interests and in the interest of the world as a whole, you have a great responsibility to look after your people, and your natural environment.
But your responsibility does not end there.
The eighth and last Millennium Development Goal is a global partnership for development. This means that developing countries must not be left to develop on their own. They need the help of the richer and more powerful countries through the removal of unfair trade barriers and subsidised competition; through the elimination of the debts which oblige so many poor countries to spend more on repaying and servicing their creditors than they can on the social needs of their own people; and through more generous official development aid which the rich countries have repeatedly promised to provide.