China’s new opening-up measures to lead a high-quality world economy

China Plus Published: 2019-06-29 06:41:04
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs".

The 14th summit of the G20 leaders opened on Friday in Osaka, Japan. During a major speech delivered at the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on all parties to work together to build a high-quality world economy and announced five major measures that China will take to further open its market in the near future. This sets the direction for world economic and global governance cooperation.

Venue of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. [Photo: China Plus/TU Yun]

Venue of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. [Photo: China Plus/TU Yun]

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the international financial crisis, with the world economy once again at a crossroads. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde recently pointed out that two years ago, 75 percent of the global economy experienced accelerated growth, and this year, 70 percent of the world economies are expected to experience slower growth. Lack of growth is akin to an infectious disease, causing the global economy that has been steadily recovering to lose vitality and the prospects are worrisome. The choices made by the major economies at this time are of crucial and far-reaching significance.

The five major opening-up measures announced by Xi Jinping include the forthcoming release of the 2019 version of the negative list for foreign investment access, further opening up of China’s agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and service industries, and the establishment of six new free trade pilot zones; actively expanding imports and further reducing tariff levels. The country will also continue to improve the business environment, implement a new foreign investment legal system from January 1 next year, and fully practice equal treatment and completely eliminate the restrictions on investors outside the negative list for foreign investment access. China will vigorously put forward economic and trade negotiations, and promote the early realization of a regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement to accelerate the negotiation of the China-EU Investment Agreement and the China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement.

At present, protectionism and unilateralism continue to spread, the global industrial structure and financial stability are being impacted, and the risks and uncertainties of the world economy are rising significantly. But China is the first to hold high the banner of opening-up and cooperation within the G20 mechanism, which has sent the world economy a positive signal, helped enhance the confidence of the global market and brought hope to the peoples of all countries.

Over the past year or so, in the face of trade frictions initiated by the United States, China has launched a series of important measures to expand its opening up process, so that China's economy will continue to advance. In the first five months of this year, China's economic operation was generally stable. The total value of import and export of goods and trade was 12.1 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 4.1 percent. The actual use of foreign capital was 369.06 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.8 percent, and the growth rate was more than five times that of the same period last year. Despite the fact that a certain country has brandished the cudgel of tariffs and erected trade barriers, the situation has not shaken China’s determination and actions to open its door wider. On the contrary, China has used deepening reforms and opening up to promote its own economy towards high-quality development. The above figures prove once again that opening-up is the only way towards healthy economic development.

As an active advocate, practitioner and promoter of an open world economy, President Xi Jinping called on all countries to jointly build and maintain an open world economy so that it may maintain its health and vitality. People should be able to understand the universal value of China's wisdom and its development programs from the practice and achievements of China's opening-up.

Currently, the rapid development of science and technology has brought great opportunities for the economic transformation and upgrading of various countries, and the world economy is facing a crucial period of transition to high-quality development. If that certain country wants now to be engaged in protectionism and unilateralism and provokes global trade frictions, the loss may not only be the curtailing of development opportunities for that country, but also may create obstacles to the growth of the global economy. The IMF has issued a warning that if all countries can jointly accelerate the modernization of the international trading system and establish a more open, stable and transparent trading system, the GDP of G20 members is expected to increase by 4 percent in the long run. Otherwise the world will inevitably face the next bout of economic recession.

The world expects the leaders of various countries to make wise choices to comply with the laws of economic development and join hands in taking concerted action. As always, President Xi Jinping has proposed an initiative at the current G20 summit to emphasize that the G20 must persist in reform and innovation, tap the growth momentum, advance with the times, improve global governance, persist in addressing difficulties, and break the bottleneck of development. Efforts will also be made to adhere to the spirit of partnership and properly handle differences. To achieve this goal, leaders of the world's major economies need to respect the law of development, grasp the general trend of economic globalization, and share a common future. Among them, the most important thing is to promote the spirit of partnership, mutual trust and cooperation, ease tensions, and clear obstacles to development. It is essential to seek the greatest common denominator among the differences and project the world economy towards a high-quality development track of inclusive and sustainable growth.

Appreciate the culture and values of others as one does one’s own, and the world will become a harmonious whole. This is the way that Chinese culture has got along with others for thousands of years. Opening-up development and mutual benefit are the common goals of China and the world. China has been sharing development experiences and opportunities with the world through its down-to-earth opening-up initiatives. All the parties concerned hope that the Osaka Summit will send a clear signal to the world to adhere to multilateralism, maintain the existing international and the free trade systems, and jointly enter a new stage of high-quality development for the world economy.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.