China signed the Paris Agreement on climate change here on Friday, giving a strong push to the international efforts against global warming.
At the ceremony, China also announced that it will finalize domestic legal procedures to ratify the landmark Paris pact before the G20 Hangzhou summit in September this year.
"The Chinese people honor their commitments. We will work hard to earnestly implement the Paris Agreement," said Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the signing ceremony.
Addressing world leaders and representatives at the UN General Assembly Hall, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "As you show by the very act of signing today, the power to build a better world is in your hands."
"Thank you for leading the way," the UN chief added.
Friday, also the Earth Day, is the first day when the landmark pact is open for government signatures. And it is the largest one-day signing of any international agreement, according to the UN.
Climate negotiators of 196 parties adopted the accord at climate change talks in Paris, France, on Dec. 12, 2015.
The pact, which UN diplomats have been working toward for nine years, is widely seen as a major breakthrough in negotiations that have been bogged down with disputes over how to divide responsibilities between the rich and poor countries for years.
Friday's signing ceremony marks the first step for the pact to enter into force that commits countries to the promises made in Paris to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.