Open econ­omy ‘ben­e­fits all’, Xi says

Joint ef­forts needed for a bright fu­ture, he tells APEC busi­ness lead­ers meet­ing

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Da Nang, Viet­nam an­bai­jie@chi­

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping sent a strong mes­sage of pur­su­ing open global economies, sup­port­ing free trade and build­ing a mul­ti­lat­eral trade sys­tem in a highly an­tic­i­pated speech de­liv­ered at the APEC CEO Sum­mit in Viet­nam on Fri­day.

He called eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion an ir­re­versible his­tor­i­cal trend, telling the busi­ness lead­ers from the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion who had gath­ered in coastal Da Nang, “In pur­su­ing eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion, we should make it more open, more in­clu­sive, more bal­anced, more eq­ui­table and more ben­e­fi­cial to all.”

Xi made the speech im­me­di­ately af­ter ar­riv­ing in Da Nang from Bei­jing on Fri­day af­ter­noon. The Chi­nese pres­i­dent won long ap­plause and cheers at the start and fin­ish of his speech.

Not­ing that eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion has contributed sig­nif­i­cantly to global growth, Xi said he is look­ing for­ward to ad­vance­ment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific, an agree­ment among the 21 APEC economies.

He said the an­swer is clear to the ques­tion of whether to work to­gether for regional co­op­er­a­tion or to be self-iso­lated, and he called for joint ef­forts to make a bright fu­ture for the Asia-Pa­cific econ­omy.

“We should con­tinue to fos­ter an open econ­omy that ben­e­fits all. Open­ness brings progress, while self-seclu­sion leaves one be­hind,” he said.

In his speech, Xi high­lighted the im­por­tance of im­prov­ing a mul­ti­lat­eral trade sys­tem and pur­su­ing shared growth through win-win co­op­er­a­tion.

Men­tion­ing that China will com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and openingup next year, Xi pledged to make con­tin­u­ous ef­forts to boost both.

“China will not slow its steps in open­ing it­self up. We will work to­gether with other coun­tries to cre­ate new driv­ers of com­mon de­vel­op­ment through the launch­ing of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” he said.

The ini­tia­tive, pro­posed by Xi in 2013, aims to boost in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity and free trade be­tween China and the rest of the world, with a fo­cus on build­ing a vast lo­gis­tics and trans­porta­tion net­work.

“This ini­tia­tive is from China, but it be­longs to the world. It is rooted in his­tory, but it is ori­ented to­ward the fu­ture,” Xi said, adding that the ini­tia­tive will cre­ate a broader and more dy­namic plat­form for Asia-Pa­cific co­op­er­a­tion.

China is now a main driver of global growth, Xi said, not­ing that over the past four years, China’s econ­omy has grown by 7.2 per­cent on av­er­age an­nu­ally, con­tribut­ing more than 30 per­cent of global growth.

The pres­i­dent’s speech came af­ter China’s an­nounce­ment on Fri­day that it will ease mar­ket access in fi­nance sec­tors in­clud­ing banks, se­cu­rity funds and in­sur­ance, and grad­u­ally re­duce tar­iffs on im­ported au­to­mo­biles.

Xi told the busi­ness lead­ers that in the next 15 years, it is es­ti­mated China will im­port $24 tril­lion worth of goods, at­tract $2 tril­lion of in­bound di­rect in­vest­ment and make out­bound in­vest­ment worth $2 tril­lion.

In his speech, Xi also ex­pressed his con­fi­dence and de­ter­mi­na­tion to achieve the goal of lift­ing all of the coun­try’s poor peo­ple out of poverty by 2020.

It was the most im­por­tant speech Xi has de­liv­ered at an in­ter­na­tional event since the con­clu­sion of the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s 19th Na­tional Congress, held last month, dur­ing which the CPC elected its new Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

The congress for­mu­lated a guide to ac­tion and a de­vel­op­ment blue­print for China in the new era, Xi said, adding that un­der the leadership of the CPC, the Chi­nese peo­ple will

This ini­tia­tive (Belt and Road) is from China, but it be­longs to the world.” Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping

em­bark on a new jour­ney.

Michael W. Micha­lak, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of the US-ASEAN Busi­ness Coun­cil, said China is try­ing to make the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth more equal, in­clu­sive and de­vel­op­ment-ori­ented for the whole world.

“China has talked about re­form and open­ing-up ever since I first started go­ing there in the early 1990s, and they have done a very good job, so now let’s keep it up,” he said.

China’s ef­forts to rapidly re­duce poverty in re­cent years is “very re­spectable”, he said, adding that there is a lot of work for China to do, be­cause there are still many pover­tys­tricken peo­ple who must be lifted out of poverty by 2020 un­der the Chi­nese govern­ment’s plan.

Micha­lak said that what im­pressed him most about Xi’s speech was “when he said that ‘if we make a com­mit­ment, we have to live up to it’”.

The Lao lan­guage ver­sion of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s book on gov­er­nance was pre­sented on Thurs­day in the Lao­tian cap­i­tal, Vi­en­tiane.

Speak­ing at the pre­sen­ta­tion, Guo Weimin, deputy di­rec­tor of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice, said the pub­li­ca­tion of the book’s Lao ver­sion is of great sig­nif­i­cance on the oc­ca­sion of the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China and the up­com­ing visit to Laos by Xi, who is also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

The Lao ver­sion of the book Xi Jin­ping: The Gov­er­nance of China will help Lao­tians learn more about China’s de­vel­op­ment con­cepts, de­vel­op­ment path and do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies, he said, adding that this also helps pro­mote the ex­change of ex­pe­ri­ences in gov­er­nance be­tween the two par­ties and two coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to Guo, the book, to­gether with its newly pub­lished sec­ond vol­ume, fea­tures the rich con­tent of Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chi­nese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era and of­fers an im­por­tant win­dow for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to fully, ob­jec­tively and ra­tio­nally un­der­stand con­tem­po­rary China.

At the cer­e­mony, Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Laos Wang Wen­tian said the pub­li­ca­tion of a Lao lan­guage ver­sion of the book will strengthen mu­tual trust and re­spect be­tween the two par­ties and the two coun­tries, en­hance un­der­stand­ing of Lao­tians about China, pro­mote peo­ple-to-peo­ple con­nec­tiv­ity, deepen mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion, con­stantly con­sol­i­date the tra­di­tional friend­ship and fur­ther build a solid foun­da­tion for the com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship be­tween China and Laos.

Kikeo Khaikham­phithoune, a member of the Sec­re­tariat of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Lao Peo­ple’s Revo­lu­tion­ary Party and head of the party’s Com­mis­sion for Pro­pa­ganda and Train­ing, said the pub­li­ca­tion of the book is a valu­able gift for the Lao party and the na­tion’s peo­ple on the oc­ca­sion of the up­com­ing visit of Xi to Laos.

The Lao lan­guage ver­sions of Xi’s re­port at the 19th CPC Na­tional Congress and his book on gov­er­nance are of prac­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance for Lao­tians to study and learn from China’s the­ory and ex­pe­ri­ence, Kikeo said.

The book Xi Jin­ping: The Gov­er­nance of China in­cludes 79 speeches, talks, in­ter­views, notes and let­ters of the Chi­nese leader be­tween Novem­ber 2012 and June 2014.

Since it was pub­lished in Septem­ber 2014, the book has been trans­lated into 24 lan­guages, 27 ver­sions and more than 6.6 mil­lion books have been pub­lished world­wide.


Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping speaks dur­ing the APEC CEO Sum­mit on Fri­day ahead of the APEC Eco­nomic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Da Nang, Viet­nam.


Xi Jin­ping: The Gov­er­nance of China is launched in the Lao lan­guage on Thurs­day in the Lao­tian cap­i­tal of Vi­en­tiane.

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