Zhang Yuyan: Ac­cel­er­at­ing Re­form for a New Round of Open­ing Up

China will not close its door to the world, but only be­come more and more open.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Text by Gao Lian­dan

In the re­port that he de­liv­ered to the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) on Oc­to­ber 18, 2017, Xi Jin­ping, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, stressed that China would pro­mote the for­ma­tion of a new pat­tern of all-around open­ing up.

On March 5, 2018, Chinese Premier Li Ke­qiang also pro­posed in the gov­ern­ment work re­port de­liv­ered at the open­ing meet­ing of the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress that China’s gen­eral man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor will be com­pletely opened up and ac­cess to sec­tors like telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, med­i­cal ser­vices, ed­u­ca­tion, el­derly care and new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles will be ex­panded.

Zhang Yuyan, a mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence and di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of World Eco­nomics and Pol­i­tics un­der the Chinese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, ex­plains that the afore­said poli­cies pro­posed in the gov­ern­ment work re­port fully demon­strate the gen­eral mis­sion of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee to fur­ther ex­pand the scope and lev­els of open­ing up and pro­mote high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment with high-level open­ing up.

All-around open­ing up is an im­por­tant driv­ing force to pro­mote China’s eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment and the only method to

achieve pros­per­ity and de­vel­op­ment. In Zhang’s opin­ion, all-around open­ing up in­cludes not only open­ing in­dus­trial sec­tors, but also ex­pand­ing and balanc­ing the open­ing scope to var­i­ous re­gions and coun­tries.

“We should be open to de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries alike,” Zhang opines. “For quite a long time, de­vel­oped coun­tries were China’s ma­jor eco­nomic and trade part­ners. In the new era, we should pay more at­ten­tion to strength­en­ing eco­nomic and trade ties with de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and ex­pand­ing our com­mon in­ter­ests with them. We could even con­sider ex­empt­ing some neigh­bor­ing low-in­come de­vel­op­ing coun­tries from tar­iffs and quo­tas.”

“As for open­ing var­i­ous re­gions in China, we should ex­pand from coastal ar­eas to serve both coastal and in­land ar­eas,” he con­tin­ues. “As the Belt and Road Initiative con­tin­ues ac­cel­er­at­ing its progress at home and abroad, it will def­i­nitely lead to wider open­ing up of the cen­tral and western parts of China.”

Zhang Yuyan be­lieves that fur­ther deep­en­ing re­form and open­ing up will pro­mote the for­ma­tion of a new pat­tern of all-around open­ing up that will help Chinese en­ter­prises, or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the in­ter­na­tional divi­sion of la­bor as well as in global co­op­er­a­tion and com­pe­ti­tion, so as to en­hance China’s in­flu­ence on global eco­nomic gov­er­nance and ac­cel­er­ate the long-term and sta­ble growth of China’s econ­omy.

“As the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, the out­comes of China’s open­ing up must go two ways and pro­mote our own de­vel­op­ment while at the same time stim­u­lat­ing open­ness and growth in other coun­tries,” Zhang re­marks. “Ul­ti­mately, it will pro­duce mu­tual ben­e­fits and win-win re­sults as well as an in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment sit­u­a­tion that will push the in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic or­der in a fairer and more rea­son­able di­rec­tion as it pro­motes the con­struc­tion of a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture for mankind.”

On how to push for­ward a new pat­tern of all-around open­ing up, Zhang of­fers five sug­ges­tions:

First, we need to con­tinue to up­hold the con­cept of free trade. On the ba­sis of equal con­sul­ta­tion, we should con­sider re­duc­ing tar­iffs and non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers in ac­cor­dance with China’s spe­cific con­di­tions and rhythm to help de­vel­op­ing coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Initiative catch and even hitch­hike onto the “ex­press train” of China’s de­vel­op­ment.

Sec­ond, we must con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions on bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral free trade zones (FTZS) in which China has al­ready par­tic­i­pated. And at an op­por­tune time, we should pro­pose ne­go­ti­a­tions to es­tab­lish FTZS and mul­ti­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ments fo­cused on coun­tries along the Belt and Road routes.

Third, China should work to de­velop trade and in­vest­ment laws that meet the re­quire­ments of mul­ti­lat­eral mech­a­nisms and suit China’s na­tional con­di­tions to in­crease the trans­parency of China’s trade and in­vest­ment poli­cies and sys­tems.

Fourth, based on the gov­ern­ment’s pru­dent and wise reg­u­la­tion, we should con­tinue to pro­mote the mar­ke­ti­za­tion of the mech­a­nism cov­er­ing the ren­minbi (RMB) ex­change rate, ad­vance the con­vert­ibil­ity of the RMB and ac­cel­er­ate wider open­ing of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try.

Fifth, we should ac­cel­er­ate the es­tab­lish­ment of a trade ad­just­ment and aid mech­a­nism con­sis­tent with WTO rules and China’s na­tional con­di­tions to pro­vide as­sis­tance to in­dus­tries and en­ter­prises that have been hurt by ex­ter­nal com­pe­ti­tion.

“China will not close its door to the world; it will only be­come more and more open,” Zhang de­clares. “The for­ma­tion of a new pat­tern of all-round open­ing up will not only ben­e­fit the Chinese peo­ple, but also peo­ple around the world.”

All-around open­ing up in­cludes not only open­ing in­dus­trial sec­tors, but also ex­pand­ing and balanc­ing the open­ing scope to var­i­ous re­gions and coun­tries.

Zhang Yuyan, mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chinese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence and di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of World Eco­nomics and Pol­i­tics un­der the Chinese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, has deep in­sight on how China can...

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