Hainan free trade zone shows China means busi­ness when it comes to open­ing up

Global Times US Edition - - FORUM - By Li Laifang The au­thor is a writer with the Xin­hua News Agency. opin­ion@ glob­al­times.com.cn

A slew of sub­stan­tial openingup mea­sures an­nounced by China in fi­nance, trade and in­vest­ment all say one thing: China in­tends to be more open, and means it.

China an­nounced a de­ci­sion to make Hainan is­land a pilot free trade zone and grad­u­ally a free trade port with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics on Fri­day. A free trade port rep­re­sents the high­est level of open­ing-up.

The land­mark de­ci­sion was im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by a string of mea­sures back­ing Hainan's ef­forts to deepen re­form and open­ing-up, re­leased by the cen­tral au­thor­i­ties Satur­day.

China de­liv­ers on its prom­ises and has vowed to sig­nif­i­cantly broaden mar­ket ac­cess. The mea­sures in­clude eas­ing for­eign eq­uity re­stric­tions in the au­to­mo­bile, ship and air­craft in­dus­tries, sig­nif­i­cantly low­er­ing im­port tar­iffs for au­to­mo­biles and re­duc­ing im­port tar­iffs for other prod­ucts. A timetable for fur­ther open­ing of the fi­nan­cial sec­tor was also dis­closed by cen­tral bank gover­nor Yi Gang dur­ing the Boao Fo­rum for Asia an­nual con­fer­ence in Hainan Prov­ince from April 8 to 11.

Such moves to fa­cil­i­tate trade and lib­er­al­ize in­vest­ment have been widely ap­pre­ci­ated, and will add cer­tainty and mo­men­tum to the global econ­omy, which is be­set by the head­winds of ris­ing pro­tec­tion­ism.

They un­der­line the fact that China is com­mit­ted to fur­ther open­ing up the coun­try to the world through its ac­tions. The new ac­tions in open­ing-up should put an end to doubts about the coun­try's re­solve to main­tain mar­ket re­forms.

Ob­vi­ously, such planned moves have sent a strong mes­sage that China is firmly ad­vanc­ing re­form and openingup at its own pace. They are also part of ef­forts to turn the spirit of the 19th Com­mu­nist Party of China Na­tional Congress into ac­tion. With open­ing-up a fun­da­men­tal na­tional pol­icy, China has made sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment achieve­ments over the past 40 years, be­com­ing the world's sec­ond largest econ­omy and cur­rently con­tribut­ing about one-third of world growth.

On course to achiev­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety by 2020 and a great mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try by the mid­dle of the cen­tury, China is deter­mined to make new ground in pur­su­ing open­ing-up on all fronts as the na­tion pur­sues high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment and de­vel­ops a mod­ern econ­omy.

As this year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and open­ing-up, China will launch a num­ber of land­mark open­ing-up mea­sures.

In to­day's glob­al­iz­ing mul­ti­po­lar world, it is right and wise for coun­tries to seek openingup and mu­tu­ally win­ning co­op­er­a­tion for com­mon de­vel­op­ment. Af­ter all, re­duc­ing the deficit of peace, de­vel­op­ment and gov­er­nance re­quires de­vel­op­ment, co­op­er­a­tion and di­a­logue.

A Cold War men­tal­ity, uni­lat­er­al­ism and pro­tec­tion­ism, all stand against the tide of his­tory, and bring noth­ing good to world peace, de­vel­op­ment or im­prov­ing global gov­er­nance.

Since its ac­ces­sion to the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, (WTO), China has ac­tively ful­filled its obli­ga­tions, hav­ing cut its over­all tar­iff level from 15.3 per­cent to 9.8 per­cent. Yet some WTO mem­bers still refuse to meet their own obli­ga­tion in or­der to pur­sue pro­tec­tion­ism against Chi­nese ex­ports.

A ben­e­fi­ciary, ac­tive par­tic­i­pant and con­trib­u­tor to glob­al­iza­tion, China has no rea­son to back­track. The coun­try will ad­here to open­ing-up to cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties for it­self and the world to build a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture for hu­man­ity.

Sin­cerely and se­ri­ously, China does what it says in terms of its wider open­ing. China will never lock it­self in a dark room and the door of its open­ing-up will only open even wider.

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