Open Sichuan

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By MOJINGXI mojingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Sichuan prov­ince is ex­pected to be­come the leader of China’s fu­ture over­all open­ing-up, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said on a tour with for­eign diplo­mats.

Sichuan prov­ince is ex­pected to be­come the leader of China’s fu­ture over­all open­ing-up, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said dur­ing an event on Wednes­day to in­tro­duce the re­gion to for­eign diplo­mats.

“Sichuan prov­ince was the pi­o­neer of China’s open­ing-up, and it has now be­come a new driv­ing force of China’s new round of open­ing-up,” Wang said while host­ing the event, whose name trans­lates as “An Open China: See Sichuan, See the World”.

The event, the fourth in a se­ries to present Chi­nese prov­inces, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and au­tonomous re­gions to the world, drew diplo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 140 coun­tries.

Sichuan, in south­west­ern China, is con­sid­ered the strate­gic bridge of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the heart­land of the Yangtze River eco­nomic belt.

By es­tab­lish­ing eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions with 216 coun­tries and re­gions, the prov­ince has been trans­formed in re­cent years from an in­land hin­ter­land to the fron­tier of open­ing-up.

In Au­gust, the State Coun­cil de­cided to set up a new free trade pi­lot­zonein the prov­ince.

Sichuan was the home of Deng Xiaop­ing, the leader who ini­ti­ated China’s re­form and open­ing-up in 1978.

Wang Dong­ming, Party chief of Sichuan, said the prov­ince is fur­ther open­ing up to the world by im­prov­ing fair com­pe­ti­tion and cre­at­ing a good busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

“Sichuan prov­ince is now the first choice if peo­ple de­cide to in­vest in the west,” said Sichuan Gov­er­nor Yin Li.

To de­scribe the re­mote­ness of a place, there is a Chi­nese proverb that says, “The mountain is high and the em­peror is far away.”

“But the mountain is no longer high,” said Nancy Gor­don, con­sul gen­eral of the Aus­tralian Con­sulate Gen­eral in Chengdu, who added that her coun­try ex­pects to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with Sichuan.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi re­ceives a toy panda as a gift from Sichuan provin­cial of­fi­cials at an event held by the min­istry in Bei­jing on Tues­day to pro­mote the prov­ince to the world.

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