On 10 April 2018, H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 on the theme of ‘Openness for Greater Prosperity, Innovation for a Better Future’.
With the presence of more than 2,000 distinguished guests including heads of state and government, heads of international organizations and ministers from BFA member countries, President Xi in his speech summarized the major achievements that China has registered over the past 40 years since adoption of the Reform and Opening-up policy, reflected upon the valuable inspirations that China acquired and the positive contribution China has made to the world peace and prosperity, explicitly pointed out the development trends of the current world and the core significance of building a shared future for the mankind, and announced four major measures that China would adopt to pursue further opening in the years to follow.
On China’s major achievements, President Xi highlighted that the Chinese people have significantly unleashed and enhanced productivity in China through hard work with an unyielding spirit. The people’s focused endeavor on national development and unwavering commitment to reform and opening-up have brought enormous changes to the country. The current China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. Over the past four decades, China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5% in comparable prices and its foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5% in US dollar. According to the current UN standards, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period.
In the international arena, China has also actively contributed the Chinese share to the world. From WTO accession to the Belt and Road Initiative, China has made significant contribution to mitigating the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. By contributing over 30% of global economic growth in recent years, China has become a key anchor and driver for the world economy and a positive force in advancing global peace and development.
President Xi in his speech also elaborated on how China has made these development achievements. The first factor is that Chinese people, with a keen awareness of both national realities and a global vision, have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China attaches great importance to independence and self-reliance while embracing openness and win-win cooperation. The second factor lies in China’s strength of being a truth-seeking nation with an open mind to ensure that our minds can evolve side by side with our endeavor of reform and opening-up. The third one rests with our great strength of institutional guarantee. China has courageously engaged in self-revolution and constantly made improvements to the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and kept overcoming institutional and systematic obstacles to better development. The fourth factor is rooted in 1.3 billion population with unprecedented motivation, initiative and creativity, which constitutes the most powerful driving force of China’s national development.
Beyond the above listed factors, China’s reform and opening-up has given a most important inspiration, that is, for any country to achieve rejuvenation, they must follow the logic of history and the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and prosperity. As a Chinese saying goes, people must have the courage to ‘dispel the clouds to see the sun’ so as to have a keen grasp of the law of history and the trend of the world. At this point, President Xi highlighted in his speech that we are living at a time with an overwhelming trend towards peace and cooperation, openness and connectivity, reform and innovation and economic globalization. We need to resort to peaceful development and cooperation to bring win-win results and promote common prosperity, embrace innovation and creativity to benefit social progress and the well-being of our people. This is also the reason for China’s pursuing further opening.
One question that might follow is, how will China put its further opening-up policy into practice? President Xi announced that China would adopt four major measures, those are: First, China will significantly broaden market access on sectors of financial services and manufacturing and so on. Second, China will create a more attractive investment environment by increasingly enhancing alignment with international economic and trading rules, promoting transparency, strengthening property rights protection and so on. Third, China will strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). Fourth, China will take the initiative to expand imports. This November, China will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, which is a major policy initiative and commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market.
Actions speak louder than words. China has every intention to translate the above measures into reality, to let the outcomes of our opening-up efforts deliver benefits to all enterprises and people in China and around the world as soon as possible.
China will remain as determined as ever to build world peace, contribute to global prosperity and uphold the international order.
President Xi in his speech finally said, ‘A mountain is formed by accumulation of earth and an ocean is formed by accumulation of water’, and success only favors those with courage and perseverance. He called for all the countries dedicating themselves to openness and win-win outcomes and embracing innovation, keeping striving for a community with a shared future for mankind and a better tomorrow for the world.
China and Eritrea have always been good friends.In the process of respective nation building, China remains ready to keep exchanging development experience and learning from each other with Eritrea on an equal basis, so as to achieve better mutual understanding, solidifying friendship between the two peoples, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. I am convinced that as China seeks further opening and implements the major measures announced by President Xi, it will heralds new opportunities for China- Eritrea pragmatic cooperation, and create broader prospects for China- Eritrea common development. This November, China sincerely expects and welcomes friends from different countries including Eritrea to participate in the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai; to share and enjoy more benefits of China’s opening-up efforts.
Ambassador Yang Zigang, Chinese ambassador to the State of Eritrea