• Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015. (Photo : Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged world leaders on Sunday to step up efforts to improve women’s rights and gender equality.

Xi made his remarks after making a $10-million pledge for U.N. Women and saying China would build 100 health centers and school startups for girls in developing countries within the next five years.

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"China will do more to enhance gender equality as its basic state policy," Xi said, citing a Chinese maxim that women hold up "half the sky."

Xi's comments come at the heels of his four-point proposal earlier that day that pushed for women's rights worldwide.

"It is of great significance for us to convene this Global Leaders' Meeting to reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and women's development and make plans for a better future," Xi said during the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment at the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters, noting that the pursuit of gender equality is a great cause.

"A review of history shows that without women's liberation and progress, the liberation and progress of mankind would not be attainable," he said.

According to Xi's four-point proposal, women's development should improve in tandem with social and economic progress, and that women's rights and interests should be protected with laws and regulations integrated into national and social rules and norms.

"We must build up women's capacity of playing their part in the society and economy, involve women in higher levels of decision making and support them in becoming leaders in political, business and academic fields," Xi said, adding that countries must also ensure women should have access to basic medical services and affordable education.

The president also pointed out the need for fostering "a global environment favorable for women's development."

"We must stand firmly for peace, development and win-win cooperation, cherish peace dearly and uphold it so that every woman and child will enjoy the sunshine of happiness and tranquility," Xi said.

Xi also expressed his appreciation for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's "He for She" Initiative and called for developed nations to increase their financial and technological assistance to narrow the development gap among women.

In turn, Ban thanked the Chinese government for initiating the meeting and called on governments to take measures to ensure gender quality while implementing the post-2015 development agenda.