On 23 April 2018, the Daily Telegraph published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “A More Open China Helps the Whole World”. The newspaper’s website also published the article with the title “China Rejects Egoism and Protectionism”. We choose instead to embrace the world. The full text is as follows:
A More Open China Helps the Whole World
Recently, President Xi delivered a speech in Boao, China. The UK media spent many words trying to interpret its meaning. So what was its message, and what are its implications for China and the world?
My short answer is that the President was expounding the wisdom and example our country can offer to a world still searching for sustainable growth. He fortified China’s commitment to globalisation, peace and development – and explained how its economic transformation has contributed to that goal.
It has been years since the end of the international financial crisis. Yet the world is still ridden by sluggish growth, poor economic governance and unbalanced development. By reviewing 40 years of China’s economic transformation, and its quest to give its people a better life, President Xi shared his insights on how to overcome these structural difficulties.
In those decades, China has learned to never give in to hardship, always blaze new trails, always keep pace with progress and embrace the world with open arms. These are the stepping stones for China’s ascension to the world’s second largest economy and its largest industrial producer. They have enabled it to contribute over 30 per cent of global growth in recent years and become an anchor for the whole world economy.
The President also outlined a new round of practical and effective measures aimed at further opening up China’s markets. Against the anti-trade headwind, these measures are a vote in favour of globalisation and a call for the international community to unite in upholding free trade. Opening-up has been key to our economic growth, and it will continue to be in future.
We will, for example, significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights and expand imports. These major initiatives, in the President’s own words, are best implemented “sooner rather than later”, and “China will only open its door wider to the world”. This is China’s independent decision, necessitated by its own development, and we have every intention of making it real.
This commitment to globalisation is all the more valuable today. In some parts of the world we are seeing the rise of protectionist and egoist policies, where a belief in the “zero-sum game” is fanning chaos and danger in the international community. Still plagued by wars and conflicts, by hunger and poverty, the world has a major choice to make. Should we stay open and move forward or shut ourselves in and turn back? This is the question of our times, and our choice will have a bearing on the direction of history.
President Xi proposed “China’s solution” for peace and development. This means seizing the trend of cooperation, openness, connectivity, reform and innovation to achieve happiness of the people, rejuvenation of the nation and common development of the world – to build, in short, a community with a shared future for all mankind.
It is important that countries in the world respect each other, treat each other as equals, and choose consultation over confrontation and partnership over alliance. We need to promote dialogue, share responsibility and uphold the international order underpinned by the UN Charter. We must make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We must draw strength from each other, seek harmony without uniformity, promote mutual learning between different civilisations. And we must follow a low-carbon path to save our blue sky, green mountains and clear water for future generations.
Success comes to those who answer the call of their people and follow the trend of their times. China has sounded the trumpet of greater openness, and drawn a map of how to get there. The next stop is in November with China’s first ever International Import Expo in Shanghai. We are also hoping to launch the Shanghai-London Stock Connect, allowing traders in both countries to buy on each other’s markets across time zones. This eagerly anticipated scheme will surely be of great mutual benefit.
With these positive steps, China is reaffirming its intention to join hands with the UK and the world to share growth opportunities, achieve common development, and build a better future.