China Leads the World to Open­ness

Open­ing up has been key to China’s eco­nomic growth over the past 40 years and sim­i­larly, fu­ture high-qual­ity eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment can only be achieved through greater open­ness.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Chen Jianqi

This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing up. Over the last four decades, China has con­stantly con­sol­i­dated its con­nec­tion with coun­tries around the world. The pe­riod also brought rapid so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment to China. Now, as a ma­jor eco­nomic power, China’s global in­flu­ence is in­creas­ing with each pass­ing day.

The world is now un­der­go­ing tremen­dous de­vel­op­ment and ad­just­ment. China faces grave chal­lenges as it en­deav­ors to trans­form its de­vel­op­ment pat­terns, op­ti­mize its eco­nomic struc­ture and ad­just its growth en­gines. Con­sid­er­ing the pro­found changes in the in­ter­na­tional land­scape, meth­ods to deepen re­form and open­ing up have be­come a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of China’s ad­just­ment of de­vel­op­ment strate­gies.

On April 10, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping de­liv­ered a keynote speech themed “Open­ness for Greater Pros­per­ity, In­no­va­tion for a Bet­ter Fu­ture” at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Boao Fo­rum for Asia (BFA) An­nual Con­fer­ence 2018, in which he of­fered his ob­jec­tive as­sess­ment of the global sit­u­a­tions faced by China’s re­form and open­ing up and an­swered im­por­tant ques­tions in­clud­ing how to con­tinue deep­en­ing the re­form and open­ing up. China is lead­ing the world into a new era of open­ness. Open­ness Key to Win-win Re­sults

Since the be­gin­ning of 2018, the in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion fac­ing China’s re­form and open­ing up has be­come in­creas­ingly com­pli­cated. Trade fric­tion be­tween China and the United States, in par­tic­u­lar, tends to es­ca­late. On March 8, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump signed an or­der that raises tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ports. On March 20, Trump signed a mem­o­ran­dum to im­pose tar­iffs on nearly US 50 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese im­ports, un­der the pre­text that China has force­fully ac­quired U.S. tech­nolo­gies.

China warned it would take coun­ter­mea­sures. On March 23, China’s Min­istry of Com­merce an­nounced a pro­posal to levy re­tal­ia­tory tar­iffs on some U.S. ex­ports to China in re­sponse to the U.S. 232 Trade Ac­tion on steel and alu­minum.

On April 5, Pres­i­dent Trump in­structed U.S. trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive to con­sider US 100 bil­lion in ad­di­tional tar­iffs against China based on the re­sults of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der Sec­tion 301.

Trade fric­tion be­tween China and the United States has, to some ex­tent, dis­turbed China’s re­form and open­ing up, stir­ring world­wide con­cern about whether the is­sue will weaken China’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to open up and how the coun­try will con­tinue re­forms in the fu­ture. In this con­text, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping as­sured the world that China’s door of

open­ing up will not close—it will only open even wider.

Hu­man his­tory has shown open­ness leads to progress and seclu­sion leaves one be­hind. The world has be­come a global vil­lage of in­ter­twined in­ter­ests and in­ter­con­nected eco­nomic and so­cial progress. To pro­mote com­mon pros­per­ity and de­vel­op­ment in to­day’s world, all coun­tries have no choice but to pur­sue greater con­nec­tiv­ity and in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment.

China will con­tinue to in­crease open­ness and ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion as it stays com­mit­ted to the strat­egy of open­ing up for win-win re­sults. The na­tion will con­tinue to work along­side the rest of the world and make greater con­tri­bu­tion to mankind by hold­ing firm to the path of peace­ful de­vel­op­ment and staunchly sup­port­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism.

Re­cent his­tory has shown that open­ing up was key to China’s eco­nomic growth over the past 40 years and sim­i­larly, fu­ture high­qual­ity eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment can only be achieved through greater open­ness. This was a strate­gic de­ci­sion made by China based on its de­vel­op­ment needs that turned into ac­tion

to nudge eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion in a di­rec­tion that ben­e­fits more peo­ple around the world.

To­day, China con­tin­ues deep­en­ing its open­ing up. Not only does this mark a new phase of open­ness at a new start­ing point based on the coun­try’s four decades of re­form and open­ing up, but it also meets the de­mands of global eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the new era. China’s out­ward-ori­ented de­vel­op­ment strat­egy is vi­tal to the steady growth of the global econ­omy.

In the two decades from 1980 to 1999, China con­trib­uted 3.7 per­cent of nom­i­nal global growth, and the United States 31.5 per­cent. From 2000 to 2007, be­fore the out­break of the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, China’s con­tri­bu­tion rate to global eco­nomic growth rose to 9.7 per­cent, while that of the United States dropped to 17.3 per­cent. If the im­pact of the world­wide fi­nan­cial cri­sis is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, China con­trib­uted 46.9 per­cent of global growth from 2008 to 2017, and the United States 29.7 per­cent. In 2017, China still con­trib­uted 30 per­cent of global growth. China has over­taken the United States to be­come the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to global eco­nomic growth, so its deeper open­ing up will play a lead role in the world.

Up­graded Ver­sion of Re­form and Open­ing Up

At this year’s BFA An­nual Con­fer­ence, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pre­sented four ma­jor mea­sures to pur­sue fur­ther open­ing: First, China will sig­nif­i­cantly broaden mar­ket ac­cess. The coun­try will ac­cel­er­ate the open­ing of its ser­vice sec­tor, es­pe­cially the fi­nance in­dus­try, and fully open the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor with fo­cus on au­to­mo­biles, ships and air­craft. Sec­ond, China will cre­ate a more at­trac­tive in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment by en­hanc­ing align­ment with in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and trade rules, re­mov­ing the sys­tem­atic and in­sti­tu­tional ob­sta­cles that pre­vent the mar­ket from play­ing a more de­ci­sive role in re­source al­lo­ca­tion while en­hanc­ing the govern­ment’s role and im­ple­ment­ing an across-the-board man­age­ment sys­tem based on pre-es­tab­lished na­tional treat­ment and a neg­a­tive list. Third, China will strengthen pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights (IPR). It is tak­ing mea­sures to re-in­sti­tute the State In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice and pro­tect law­ful IPR owned by for­eign en­ter­prises in China. At the same time, it hopes for­eign gov­ern­ments will ac­cord­ingly im­prove pro­tec­tion of Chi­nese IPR. Fourth, China will make pos­i­tive steps to ex­pand im­ports. The coun­try does not seek a trade sur­plus, but main­tains a gen­uine de­sire to in­crease im­ports and achieve greater bal­ance of in­ter­na­tional pay­ments un­der the cur­rent ac­count. China will sig­nif­i­cantly lower the im­port tar­iffs on au­to­mo­biles and re­duce tar­iffs on some other prod­ucts. It will seek faster progress to­ward join­ing the WTO Govern­ment Pro­cure­ment Agree­ment.

De­spite ris­ing anti-glob­al­iza­tion sen­ti­ment and es­ca­lat­ing China-u.s. trade fric­tion, China steadily con­tin­ues open­ing up fur­ther. This move demon­strates China’s the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal in­no­va­tion in open­ing up and fur­ther so­lid­i­fies its new vi­sion of seek­ing open de­vel­op­ment in the new era.

In re­cent years, China has worked with other coun­tries to jointly pro­mote the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, which has ac­cel­er­ated the for­ma­tion of an open eco­nomic pat­tern, called for con­struc­tion of an open global econ­omy and ac­tively guided global eco­nomic gov­er­nance. These mea­sures will move glob­al­iza­tion for­ward and in­spire coun­tries around the world to carry out closer and more open co­op­er­a­tion.

With the ad­just­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of its open­ing-up strat­egy in the new era, China will fur­ther en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with other coun­tries and stride to­wards its goal of build­ing a com­mu­nity with a shared fu­ture for all mankind.

The au­thor is a pro­fes­sor and vice di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of World Eco­nom­ics at the In­ter­na­tional Strat­egy Academy, Party School of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC).

From April 8 to 11, the 2018 an­nual con­fer­ence of the Boao Fo­rum for Asia, themed “An Open and In­no­va­tive Asia for a World of Greater Pros­per­ity,” was held in Boao, a coastal town in Hainan Prov­ince. by Chen Jian

A logo of the Boao Fo­rum for Asia. by Xu Xun

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