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Globalization: "Do not give up eating for fear of choking"

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Stick to globalization, achieve shared and win-win development

By H.E. Huang Huaguang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Tonga

At present, the international political and economic situation is intricate and complicated. Global challenges like terrorism, refugees and climate change emerged one after another. Britain has voted to leave the European Union. There have been voices questioning or even opposing economic globalization in the developed economies in Europe and America. Isolationism and trade protectionism are obviously increasing all over the world. The trend of globalization and mankind’s future have become the universal concern of the international community.

Against this background, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 was held in Davos of Switzerland on January 17 under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the meeting upon invitation and made a keynote speech “Jointly Shoulder Responsibilities of Our Times, Promote Global Growth”. This is the first time that China’s top leader attended the annual meeting. President Xi also attended the high-level meeting of “Jointly Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind Through Consultation” held in Geneva on January 18 and gave an important speech: “Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”. In his speeches, President Xi expounded China’s vision and proposals on the economic globalization, international governance and mankind’s future.

— How to view economic globalization? President Xi pointed out that economic globalization resulted from growing social productivity and is a natural outcome of scientific and technological progress. It has powered global growth and facilitated movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology and civilization, and interactions among peoples. Meanwhile, we should recognize that economic globalization is a double-edged sword. While propelling the global economic growth, it also brought some negative outcomes and new challenges like poverty, unemployment and widening income gap and strained the relations between growth and distribution, between capital and labour, and between efficiency and equity. However, economic globalization is the general trend of history and its general direction is right. It should be viewed comprehensively. We should pay attention to its deficiency but not give up eating for fear of choking or simply attribute the problems like the financial crisis and refugees to globalization, let alone protectionism.

— How to move forward economic globalization? President Xi gave out China’s solution. He emphasized that in the face of opportunities and challenges brought by economic globalization, the international community should enhance coordination and cooperation, improve governance to make economic globalization open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all and ensure justice and equity. We should adapt to and guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and nations. China maintains that we should act pro-actively and manage economic globalization as appropriate to re-balance the process of economic globalization; we should follow the general trend, proceed from our respective national conditions and embark on the right pathway of integrating into economic globalization with the right pace; we should strike a balance between efficiency and equity to ensure that different countries, different social strata and different groups of people all share the benefits of economic globalization.

— How to view the relations between China and economic globalization? There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, but China finally made the right strategic decision to integrate into the global economy. Over nearly 40 years since reform and opening up, having seized the opportunities brought by economic globalization, China has been actively cooperating with other countries and made great achievements in economy. China has not only benefited from economic globalization but also contributed to it. In the process of globalization, the rapid growth of China’s economy has played an important role for the global economic stability and expansion. Since reform and opening up, China has attracted over $1.7 trillion of foreign investment and made over $1.2 trillion of direct outbound investment. In the years following the outbreak of the global financial crisis, China contributed over 30 percent of global growth every year on average and is the main engine of global economic recovery.

— How to open up a beautiful future for mankind? At present, the trend toward multi-polarization and economic globalization is surging. Interconnection and interdependence between countries are crucial for human survival. No country can realize development isolatedly. In the face of major global challenges, all countries should follow the trend toward peace, development and win-win cooperation of times, respect each others’ sovereignty, and stay committed to dialogue and consultation, joint efforts, win-win cooperation, exchanges and mutual learning and low-carbon development to build a world of lasting peace, common security and prosperity, which is also open, inclusive, clean and beautiful and jointly build a community of shared future for mankind.

At present, the most pressing task before all the countries is to steer the global economy out of difficulty and solve three critical issues in the global economic sphere: lack of robust driving forces for global growth, inadequate global economic governance and uneven global development. We should develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model, an open and win-win cooperation model, a fair and equitable governance model and a balanced, equitable and inclusive development model. We should pursue new development philosophy, policy instruments and growth models. We must firmly oppose protectionism, develop global free trade and inter-connectivity, give emerging markets and developing countries greater representation and voice, and promote social equity and justice.

— What role will China play? As the second largest economy in the world, guided by the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, China will adapt to and steer the new normal of the economy, achieve medium-high rate of growth and vigorously create an enabling and orderly environment for investment and foster an external environment of opening-up for common development.

In the coming five years, China is expected to import $8 trillion of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment and make $750 billion of outbound investment. Chinese tourists will make 700 million overseas visits. All this will provide a bigger market, more capital, more products and more business opportunities for other countries. China welcomes people of other countries aboard the express train of China’s development. China will advance the building of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, support the successful operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other new multilateral financial institutions, actively implement the “Belt and Road” initiative. In May this year, China will host the “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in Beijing to discuss ways to boost cooperation, build cooperation platforms and share cooperation outcomes.

China will resolutely uphold world peace, pursue common development, foster partnerships and support multi-lateralism. China stands ready to work with the international community in jointly pushing forward the great process of building a community of shared future for mankind.

Tonga is a small developing island country in the South Pacific. Globalization unavoidably has had certain impacts on Tonga’s economy, but has also created more opportunities for Tonga to interact with the world. Tonga is an important member of the Asia-Pacific family. In recent years, China has been vigorously advancing the Belt and Road initiative and carried out friendly cooperation in various fields with Tonga and other countries in South Pacific, which has boosted the social and economic development of these countries. China is ready to make joint efforts with Tonga to strengthen cooperation and constantly move forward the Strategic Partnership of Mutual Respect and Common Development between China and Tonga.