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Highlights of Xi's keynote speech at Boao Forum
Highlights of Xi's keynote speech at Boao Forum
President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 on Tuesday.
The conference runs from April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in South China's island province of Hainan, and is themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
Here are the highlights of the speech.
Tariffs and imports
Xi said China will significantly lower the import tariffs for vehicles and reduce import tariffs for some other products this year.
We will take the initiative to expand imports, Xi said.
The country will work hard to import more products that are competitive and needed by the Chinese people, he said.
China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account, he said.
Speaking of the first China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai this November, Xi said friends from around the world are welcome to participate in the Expo.
It is not just another expo in an ordinary sense, but a major policy initiative and commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market, he said.
Meanwhile, China hopes developed countries will stop imposing restrictions on normal and reasonable trade of high-tech products and relax export controls on such trade with China, according to the president.
Free trade ports with Chinese characteristics
China will adopt policies to promote high-standard liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, and explore the opening of free trade ports with Chinese characteristics,Xi said.
We will pay equal attention to ’bringing in’ and ’going global’, and break new ground in opening China further through links running eastward and westward, across land and over sea, he said in a keynote speech at the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia annual conference.
Xi said China will strengthen protection of intellectual property rights.
IPR protection is the centerpiece of the system for improving property rights protection, and it will provide the biggest boost to enhancing the competitiveness of the Chinese economy, the president said.
Stronger IPR protection is the requirement of foreign enterprises, and even more so of Chinese enterprises, he said.
China is re-instituting the State Intellectual Property Office this year to step up law enforcement, significantly raise the cost for offenders and fully unlock the deterrent effect of relevant laws, according to the president.
We encourage normal technological exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, and protect the lawful IPR owned by foreign enterprises in China, he said.
Meanwhile, China hopes foreign governments will also improve protection of Chinese IPR, the president said.
Attractive investment environment
China will improve the investment environment for foreign investors, Xi said.
Likening investment environment to air, Xi said that only fresh air can attract more investment from the outside.
China relied mainly on providing favorable policies for foreign investors in the past, but now we will have to rely more on improving the investment environment, he said.
Xi said that China will complete the revision of the negative list on foreign investment in the first half of the year and implement across the board the management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list.
We will enhance alignment with international economic and trading rules, increase transparency, strengthen property right protection, uphold the rule of law, encourage competition and oppose monopoly, he said.
In March, China established a host of new agencies such as the State Administration for Market Regulation as part of a major readjustment of government institutions.
The purpose of this readjustment, Xi said, was to remove the systematic and institutional obstacles that prevent the market from playing a decisive role in resources allocation, and enable the government to better play its role.
China will launch a number of landmark measures this year to significantly broaden its market access, Xi said.
Late last year, China announced that measures would be taken to raise foreign equity caps in the banking, securities and insurance industries.
We will ensure that these measures are materialized, Xi said.
China will accelerate the opening-up of the insurance industry, ease restrictions on the establishment of foreign financial institutions in China and expand their business scope, and open up more areas of cooperation between Chinese and foreign financial markets, he said.
On manufacturing, he said China has basically opened up this sector with a small number of exceptions on automobiles, ships and aircraft.
Reform and opening-up
China began its historic journey of reform and opening-up in 1978, and the Chinese people have added a glorious chapter to the development epic of the country and the nation over the past four decades, Xi said.
Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have significantly unleashed and enhanced productivity in China through hard work with an unyielding spirit, Xi said.
Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics through determined exploration with a pioneering spirit, according to Xi.
Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have kept forging ahead and demonstrated the strength of the nation through keeping pace with the progress of the times, he noted.
Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have embraced the world with open arms and actively contributed our share to the world, Xi said.
Today, the Chinese people can say with great pride that reform and opening-up, China's second revolution if you like, has not only profoundly changed the country but also greatly influenced the whole world, the president said.
Four decades of reform and opening-up has provided many valuable inspirations, Xi said.
The most important one is that for any country or nation to achieve rejuvenation, they must follow the logic of history and the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and development, Xi said.
China’s reform and opening-up meets its people’s aspiration for development, innovation and a better life. It also meets the global trend toward development, cooperation and peace, Xi said.
Reform and opening up will definitely succeed
Xi said China’s reform and opening up will definitely succeed and that a Cold War mentality, zero-sum thinking, and isolationism would hit walls.
Xi said that opening brings progress, while closure would lead to backwardness.
Xi said that in a world aspiring for peace and development, the cold-war and zero-sum mentality look even more out of place.
Putting oneself on a pedestal or trying to immune oneself from adverse developments will get nowhere, said Xi.
Xi said humanity has a major choice to make between openness and isolation, and between progress and retrogression.
We must dispel the clouds to see the sun, as we say in Chinese, so as to have a keen grasp of the law of history and the trend of the world, said Xi.
Xi said we live at a time with an overwhelming trend toward peace and cooperation as well as openness and connectivity.
Xi said we also live at a time with an overwhelming trend toward reform and innovation, adding that those who reject them will be left behind and assigned to the dustbin of history.
Belt and Road Initiative
Xi said that the Belt and Road Initiative may be China's idea, but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world.
China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others, the president said.
It must be pointed out that as the BRI is a new initiative, it is perfectly natural for there to be different views in cooperation. As long as the parties embrace the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we can surely enhance cooperation and resolve differences, he said.
This way, we can make the BRI the broadest platform for international cooperation in keeping with the trend of economic globalization and to the greater benefit of all our peoples, Xi said.
Chinese nation's missions in new era
Xi outlined missions the Chinese people need to undertake in the new era.
Each age and generation have their own challenges and missions. China has come a long way, but it has to overcome new challenges on its way ahead, Xi said.
According to Xi, the nation's missions in the new era are as follows:
Continue to improve itself through reform;
Take bold steps in innovation to boost development;
Continue to increase openness and expand cooperation;
Work together with the rest of the world and make greater contribution to humanity.
A shared future for mankind
Xi called for people around the world to work together toward a community with a shared future for mankind and make Asia and the world peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, open and beautiful.
With the future in mind, we need to treat each other with respect and as equals, said Xi.
With the future in mind, Xi said, we also need to promote dialogue and share responsibility, engage in cooperation for win-win results, uphold inclusiveness and seek harmony without uniformity, as well as treat nature with respect and treasure our planet.
Over the past 40 years, China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5 percent in comparable prices, Xi said.
The country’s foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5 percent in US dollar, Xi said.
The Chinese people have emerged from a life of shortages and poverty and are now enjoying abundant supply and a moderately prosperous life, Xi noted.
According to current UN standards, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global total over the same period, he said.
Valuable "Boao proposals"
With a focus on Asia and a global perspective, the Boao Forum for Asia has hosted active discussions and produced many valuable "Boao proposals" since its inception, Xi said.
The "Boao proposals" have helped build consensus in Asia, encourage cooperation, promote economic globalization and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, said Xi.
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