Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the Closing Dinner of the Horasis China Meeting
2019/10/30
                                        

        

 

Photo Courtesy: Liu Jie

                                                       

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It is my great pleasure to attend the Horasis China Meeting. Horasis is known for convening the global visions community, people who look unwaveringly to the future. In the last couple of days, the Horasis China Meeting had in-depth exchanges on almost all aspects of China's development and China-U.S. economic relations. The timing could not be better. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. China has gone through historic transformation in these 70 years and made unprecedented achievements. At the same time, as China enters a new era, it also faces a more complex domestic and international environment, which has not been made easier by the strained relations between China and the United States.

As we look forward to China's developing contexts for the coming decades, it is helpful for us to put things in a perspective that combines economics and politics, so as to have a better understanding of the issues and policies, as well as challenges and opportunities. For that purpose, we have to keep in mind the following:

 

First, China pursues a development model that places the people at the center, which has proved to be an unfailing driving force for China's development.

People play the decisive role in any country's development. In the case of China, it is the people's aspiration for a better life that guides our policies. It also represents unlimited business opportunities. We will do what needs to be done to further promote the all-round development of our people, enhancing their sense of fulfillment, happiness and security.

For example, our web of medical insurance now covers more than 1.3 billion people, which means that practically everyone is medically insured in China. We have brought over 900 million people under the umbrella of basic old-age insurance. A year from now China will have eliminated absolute poverty and will become a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

China's expanding middle-income population now comprises 400 million people, and this number is set to double over the next 15 years. The purchasing power and economic potential of the 1.4 billion Chinese people has seen unprecedented growth as China continues to develop. The confidence, proactiveness and creativity of the Chinese people promise a bright future for our country and its economic development. As a result of the ingenuity and zeal of its people, China's GDP expanded by 6.2% in the first three quarters of 2019, in spite of the trade war and other external complexities. Major economic indicators have also remained positive and sound, which speaks of the resilience, vitality and potential of the Chinese economy.

 

Second, China remains committed to deepening reform and opening the country even wider because we believe that this is the key for us to overcoming development challenges and ensuring the long-term vibrancy of the economy.

China has fully opened its manufacturing sector, and the services sector is also catching up. The Foreign Investment Law will go into force next year, providing a legal safeguard for foreign investment. The application of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list is extending to the whole spectrum of the Chinese economy. In particular, the negative list, which provides for the areas not open to foreign investment, is getting shorter every year. This year, the number of China's pilot free trade zones rose to 18, making our opening-up sectorally more inclusive and geographically more balanced.

China knows the importance of engaging with and learning from the rest of the world. We understand that cooperating with others is not a sign of weakness, but the discovery of infinite possibilities to improve people's lives. That explains why China has pursued the opportunity to trade with countries all over the world. For instance, on November 5, which is next Tuesday, the second China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai. In the next five years, China will import over 10 trillion dollars' worth of goods and services.

China will continue to take necessary steps to make our business environment more attractive, allowing us to compete with the best in the world. China will treat foreign and domestic investors alike, and provide strict and rigorous protection of intellectual property rights. This is a serious commitment by the Chinese government that will stand the test of time.

According to the Doing Business 2020 report by the World Bank, China's ranking of ease of doing business rose 15 positions from last year. For two years in a row, China has been among the ten countries that have improved the most by this measure. AmCham China's member companies have registered record high confidence in an open Chinese market, with nearly 80% of them recognizing its improvement. These are all votes of confidence in China's reform and opening-up.

 

Third, China will continue to do its part to improve international economic governance and work for a community with a shared future for mankind. We believe that a more open, inclusive and win-win international environment is in the interest of China and the whole world.

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, China has become an important engine of the world economy, contributing over 30% to global growth. Today the world economy has once again come to a crossroads, where protectionism and unilateralism entail high risks and uncertainties.

In this context, China will work with other countries to achieve more effective coordination of macroeconomic policies and a robust, balanced, sustained and inclusive global growth.

China will work with other countries to safeguard the multilateral trading system, reform the World Trade Organization as needed, and uphold its values and basic principles of openness, inclusiveness and non-discrimination.

China will work with other countries to deliver a high-quality Belt and Road Initiative. Our efforts to promote connectivity, unleash economic growth and connect markets will help more countries and regions survive and thrive in the tide of globalization.

 

Dear Friends,

The China-US relationship is the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world. It is not only about the wellbeing of the 1.7 billion Chinese and American people, but also bears on the future of our planet. However, this relationship is now being challenged to an extent rarely seen since its establishment 40 years ago. Demonizing China and inciting confrontation with it have become "the politically correct" in some circles. Some even believe that only by "decoupling" from China can America be made "great again". This is neither rational nor realistic, because to decouple from China is to decouple from opportunities; it is to decouple from a hopeful and developing world. It would not serve the best interests of either the American or the Chinese people. As for the attempt to demonize China, it only reveals the darkness of the perpetrators themselves.

Over two weeks ago, the 13th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations made substantial progress. I believe that we will be able to make a mutually beneficial deal as long as we both show sincerity and reach out to each other on the basis of equality and mutual respect. This is the only way that our economic and trade cooperation and the overall relations can be restored to the right track.

In the Greek language, "Horasis" means gazing at a vision. As we have seen here, the Horasis Meeting has gathered a galaxy of business leaders and experts with great vision and insights on China. I hope that at this critical time, the Meeting will conclude on a strategic vision and a strong sense of responsibility and that will bring all of us together for a sound and steady development of China-US relations in the years to come.

Thank you very much.

 

Photo Courtesy: Liu Jie

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