Chinese President Xi Jinping once pointed out that reform and opening-up is a great process that has seen China and other countries together achieve development and progress.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, and also the 17th anniversary of the country’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Over the past 17 years, China has deepened ties with the world, setting a great example regarding opening up.
Standing at a new start and under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the country will accelerate its process of reform and opening up, improve multilateral trade mechanisms and enhance global trade liberalization and investment facilitation, to forge new international relations around win-win cooperation and create a community considering the shared future of mankind.
China’s entry to the WTO is a milestone on its journey of in-depth participation in economic globalization. It marks a new historical turning point of the country’s reform and opening-up.
Since 2001, China has created momentum for reform and development through opening up to the world. The country has participated in global economic cooperation and competition on a higher level and in a wider range to exploit the market. In addition, the country proactively improved the socialist market economy, conducted large-scale campaigns on law and regulation amendment, strengthened the market system and straightened its relationship between the government and market.
China comprehensively fulfilled its commitments to the WTO, further lowered market access for foreign investment, and enhanced efforts on intellectual right protection, comprehensively broadening its pattern on opening-up. Since China’s entry to the WTO, the country has achieved its own progress while contributing to global development.
When assessing China’s development, one should not only see what benefits the Chinese people have gained, but also the contribution China has made to the world, Xi said in his keynote at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos.
Between 2001 to 2017, China’s import of goods totaled $20 trillion and its import of services totaled $3.7 trillion. The country has created abundant opportunities regarding trade, investment and employment around the world, with an outward foreign direct investment amounting to $1.1 trillion and an inbound foreign direct investment of $1.6 trillion.
China has always adhered to equal consultation and win-win cooperation. It advocates for the building of an open world economy, supporting the greater influence of multinational organizations and speaking for a increased role of developing countries in international economic and trade affairs.
By proposing Chinese initiatives and schemes, China has contributed both wisdom and power to the global economic governance.The world is currently in a phase of both great development and change. The sluggish recovery of global economy, twists and turns of economic globalization, as well as rising unilateralism and protectionism all bring challenges to individual countries.
China will stick to its basic state policy of opening up, promote Belt and Road construction, and seek open, innovative, inclusive and mutually-beneficial development.
Globalization is an irreversible trend, and the multilateral trade mechanism built around the WTO is a foundation for global trade. China will continue to be a contributor, participator and protector of the mechanism, promoting development by further opening.
It is a strategic choice made by China based on its demand for development and also a practical action to benefit people around the world.
The author is head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and secretary of the MOFCOM Party Leadership Group