|New Development in China, New Opportunities for the World|
Speech by Foreign Minister Wang Yi
24 January 2014, Davos, Switzerland
Dr. Joseph Nye,
Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to discuss with you what China’s development means to the world.
China has always been the focus of attention at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and more so this year with China unveiling a new round of comprehensive reform 35 years after the launch of its reform program. This will not only herald a new era for China’s development but also have extensive and positive impacts on the world.
The day before yesterday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a special message to this year’s WEF annual meeting which you can find on the WEF website. It gives a comprehensive and authoritative explanation of the current state, reform and prospect of the Chinese economy. In his message, Premier Li pointed out that the sustained and sound development of the Chinese economy would offer new opportunities and inject new impetus to development of the world.
China’s new round of reform will take place in political, economic, cultural, social and ecological dimensions. More than 300 major reform measures have been announced, covering over 60 fields under 15 categories. The reform is unprecedented in terms of its scope, depth and difficulty. I guess the questions you want to ask the most are: Will this round of reform be a great success just like the previous one? What will the reform bring to the world?
Here, I want to tell you in clear terms that China has every confidence in the success of its reform.
Our confidence comes from the fine tradition of constant self-improvement and the splendid civilization of the Chinese nation over 5,000 years. The Chinese nation has gone through many hardships and sufferings, but it has always emerged stronger. An important reason is that our nation has the fortitude to reform and improve itself. The Chinese people, at all times, have the courage, will and ability to carry out reform.
Our confidence comes from the right path China has chosen. In the past 65 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, we have explored tirelessly and eventually found a development path that is suited to China’s conditions and supported by the entire Chinese nation. It is a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Our practice has proven and will continue to prove that as long as we remain steadfastly committed to this path, China will remain dynamic and acquire the driving force for development.
Our confidence comes from the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The fact that the CPC is a ruling party with 86 million members represents our unique strength and most important resource. As long as the 86 million party members work in unison, they will generate an unrivalled force of positive energy that will enable us to surmount whatever difficulties and challenges in the reform process.
Our confidence comes from the solid foundation China has laid and the rich experience it has gained. Since the start of reform and opening-up, China has progressed from poverty to prosperity. We used to “cross the river by feeling our way from one stone to another”. Today, we have the support of a comprehensive system of theories and policies. We know very well where our problems exist, and more importantly, we know how to have them resolved.
Our confidence comes from China’s huge development space and potential. China is a big country with 1.3 billion people and an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. It thus has broad space for development whose great potential is yet to be tapped.
At present, the gaps between urban and rural areas and between the central and western and the eastern regions in China remain wide. This is a major challenge China faces, but more importantly, it also spells hope for China’s future development. As reform deepens in China, waves of enormous demand will be unleashed, propelling China’s strong momentum of economic growth.
Our confidence comes from China’s win-win strategy of opening-up. The most successful experience of China’s reform is that it is always carried out in parallel with China’s opening-up. Through reform, we have increased China’s openness, which, in turn, has promoted China’s reform. Our reform will bring more benefits to the world, as China continues to draw impetus to its reform from the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China, a major country with a population of 1.3 billion, is moving fast toward modernization. This is an extraordinary historic process unfolding before our eyes and the greatest contribution of the Chinese nation to human progress. We are not just responsible for our own country and people, but also ready to honor our due obligations to the world. The new round of reform in China serves both the interests of the Chinese people and the need of countries of the world. We will speed up the shift of the growth model, intensify efforts to upgrade and improve the quality and efficiency of growth, get beyond the “middle income trap” and achieve sustainable development. An increasingly prosperous China that is committed to deepening reform means the following to the world:
— China will provide the world’s development with more “Chinese opportunities”.
First, market opportunities. Despite the lack of effective global demand, the potential of the Chinese market is still growing. Last year, the Chinese people bought 21 million cars, more than a quarter of global car sales. China’s annual imports are approaching US$2 trillion. And China is expected to import over US$10 trillion of goods in the next five years.
Second, investment opportunities. Despite financial constraints facing the real economy in the world, Chinese businesses are becoming a major source of international investment and financing. Last year, China’s non-financial outbound direct investment topped US$90 billion. In its new round of reform, China will encourage businesses and individuals to invest abroad and enter a new stage of overseas investment.
Third, growth opportunities. Despite the sluggish world economy, the Chinese economy, with a size of over US$9 trillion, remained one of the fastest-growing economies among the G20 last year with a growth rate of 7.7%. Moreover, the growth was achieved in the course of accelerated structural adjustment and therefore it was growth in real terms. Estimates show that as long as China continues to grow at 7%, it will contribute to the growth of the world economy by one percentage point more each year. This is certainly great news to the world economy, given that the new round of reform will maintain China’s mid-to-high growth rate for a fairly long time to come.
Fourth, cooperation opportunities. Against the backdrop of tortuous global governance reform, the new round of reform in China will serve to safeguard the open world economy and the free trade regime. It will facilitate the healthy development of economic globalization and economic policy coordination among different countries.
—China will contribute more of the “Chinese power” to world peace.
First, China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, and will encourage other countries to jointly uphold peaceful development. Peaceful development is the only choice we can make in an era of globalization, and it represents the direction of development and progress of mankind.
Second, China will undertake more international obligations. China will seek and uphold justice and equality in international and regional affairs, and play an even more active and productive role in resolving hotspot issues. China will develop itself through upholding world peace and will promote world peace through its own development.
Third, China will continue to handle disagreements and differences through equal-footed consultations. Under the prerequisite that the nation's fundamental interests are safeguarded, we are ready to show our utmost sincerity and patience and remain committed to resolving differences through dialogue.
Fourth, China will work with other countries to safeguard human conscience and international justice. Past aggressors must never be allowed to reverse the history of aggression; past powers must never be allowed to once again embark on the evil path of expansion; and fascist or militarist ideas must never be allowed to revive, not in whatever form.
Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined the vision of the Chinese dream, which is to achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The new round of reform launched in China serves just as the right path that will lead us to this goal. The steady process of attaining the Chinese dream will not only benefit China; it will benefit the world at large. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, the Chinese dream of national renewal is about the pursuit of happiness by every Chinese, and it has much in common with the dream of the people in other countries. China is an important member of the international community. While striving to realize its own dream, China will work with other countries in the world and make its due contribution to the development and progress of mankind.