China Is an Opportunity for Win-Win Cooperation
– Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Annual Lunch of the Board of Directors of RIT Capital Partners
Waddesdon Manor, 5 July 2018
Lord Rothschild, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real delight to join you at the lunch of your annual Away Day.
Lord Rothschild is an old friend. I appreciate his continued support for China-UK cooperation, not least through his many visits to China. Lord Rothschild asked me to talk about China's economy and China-UK business cooperation. So let me share with you some of my views on this important issue by starting from the latest developments in China.
As Socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, China's economy has also reached a new stage. This is reflected in the following three aspects:
First, China's growth outlook is bright.
From high-speed growth to high-quality growth, China's economy has found new driving forces. To achieve steady progress, China is deepening supply-side structural reform to build a modern economic system. We are fighting three battles now, namely, fending off major risks, achieving targeted poverty alleviation, and preventing and controlling pollution. Emerging industries born out of the latest round of technological revolution and industrial transformation are expanding, replacing traditional driving forces and playing a leading role in economic growth.
The achievements have been remarkable. In recent years, China has maintained an annual growth rate of 7.1%, and contributed over 30% to world economic growth every year. China has become a major power house and stabilizer for world economic growth. At the beginning of this year, the IMF once again upgraded China's growth forecast to 6.6%. This is a demonstration of confidence in the prospects of China's economy. In the first quarter of this year, China's GDP grew at 6.8%. The total volume of foreign trade in goods stood at 11.63 trillion RMB yuan, up by 8.8% over last year. These figures show that China's economy has solid foundation, necessary conditions and strong driving forces to remain on an upward trajectory.
Second, China will unequivocally continue to reform and open-up.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up in China. China has taken giant strides in the past four decades thanks to this policy. China will achieve high-quality development in the future by adhering to this policy. Reform and opening-up is China's strategic choice based on our need for development. It is also an important part of our concrete action to promote economic globalisation and bring benefits to the world. Going forward, China will continue to deepen all-around reform. At the same time, China will continue to uphold a win-win strategy of open-up by opening wider and on all fronts.
At the Annual Conference 2018 of the Boao Forum for Asia last April, President Xi Jinping announced four major open-up measures. They are: significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, and take the initiative to expand imports. This reaffirms China's commitment to the reform and opening-up policy. It also points to the direction of China's economic development in the future.
Third, China is firmly committed to building an open world economy.
The trade disputes between China and the US have led many people to think about the future of the world economy: Do we want free trade or protectionism? Should we support globalisation or "de-globalisation"? Will it work if everyone puts his own country first or should we engage in win-win cooperation?
I have published several articles on British newspapers this year to elaborate on China's position. Trade disputes between China and the US come and go. But deep down, this is much more than just a problem of trade. It reveals a conflict of views on the world, on development and on cooperation. Here, I want to emphasize that both history and our current experience have proven three points. First, openness, connectivity and win-win cooperation are the overarching trend of the times; Second, economic globalization is irreversible; Third, there is no winner in a trade war.
Some in this world still believe in "zero-sum game". They keep backpedaling by resorting to unilateralism and protectionism. And their inability to honour commitments will end up hurting all parties involved, including themselves, as well as undermining the multi-lateral trade regime and increasing the risks and uncertainties of world economy. China has benefited from the international trading system. We have made contribution to and firmly supported this system. The UK has been a champion of free trade and international rules, and is working to build a "global Britain". China stands ready to work with the UK to uphold the multi-lateral trade regime, build an open world economy and make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win for all.