By Chao Xiaoliang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos
In a world troubled by grave uncertainties over intensifying protectionism, new vitality is highly expected to be injected into free trade and globalization. From April 8th to 11th, the annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) once again drew widespread attention. Themed “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity”, the forum brought together more than 2,000 participants including leaders from several countries and regions and principles of international organizations, 260 speakers and over 1,000 journalists from all around the world.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony themed with “Openness for Greater Prosperity, Innovation for a Better Future”, inspiring people around the world to work together to a community with a shared future for humanity and make Asia and the whole world peaceful and prosperous.
Economic globalization is an irreversible trend of today’s world, China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open even wider. Opening up is the strategic decision based on China’s own need, it is also China’s concrete action to move global economic globalization forward in a way that benefits people across the world.
To pursue further opening, President Xi announced in his speech following major measures that China will soon adopt: China will significantly broaden market access, more moves towards opening in financial services and manufacturing sector will be made; China will create a more attractive investment environment; China will strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, State Intellectual Property Office will be re-instituted; China will also take the initiative to expand imports, import tariff of automobiles and other products will be reduced.
These measures aim at delivering benefits to all enterprises and people in China and around the world.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. With united and determined efforts over the past four decades, the Chinese people have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics ,added a glorious chapter to the development epic to the country and the nation. The focused endeavor of Chinese people in reform and opening up has brought enormous changes to China. Over the past four decades, China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of 9.5%, its foreign trade volume has registered an annual growth rate of 14.5%, over 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty which accounts for 70% of the global total.
China is now the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods and the holder of the largest foreign reserves. This great process has not only profoundly changed the country but also greatly influenced the whole world. From “bringing in” to “going global”, from WTO accession to the Belt and Road Initiative, China has made significant contribution to mitigating the global financial crisis, lived up to its responsibility as a major country. Contributing over 30% of global growth in recent years, China has become a key anchor and driver for the world economy and a positive force in advancing the noble cause of global peace and development.
The world is undergoing a new round of major development, great change and profound readjustment. The new round of technological and industrial revolution brings fresh opportunities and presents unprecedented challenges. Humanity has a major choice to make between openness and isolation, between progress and retrogression. Nowadays, peace and cooperation is the overwhelming trend.
In a world aspiring for peace and development, the cold-war and zero-sum mentality is out of place, isolationism and protectionism will get nowhere. Only peaceful development and cooperation can truly bring win-win or all-win results. Pursuing greater connectivity and integrated development is the best choice to promote common prosperity and development. Thus, President Xi’s proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind has been welcomed and endorsed by growing number of country and has been written into important UN documents.
With the future in mind, we need to treat each other with respect and as equals, promote dialogues and share responsibilities, engage in cooperation for win-win results, uphold inclusiveness and seek harmony without uniformity, treat nature with respect and treasure our planet.
As a builder of world peace, contributor of global development and keeper of international order, China will stick to the path of peaceful development, actively pursue global partnership, continue to work together with the rest of the world and promote a community with a shared future for mankind.