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Commentary: Xi's renewed pledges of opening-up boost confidence in economic globalization
2018/04/14
 

BEIJING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's fresh pledges to expand reform and opening-up during his trip to south China's Hainan Province have injected vitality into economic globalization as the world is troubled by grave uncertainties over growing protectionism.

Xi addressed the annual Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, inspected the development of Hainan Province, and delivered a speech at a gathering to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Hainan Province and Hainan Special Economic Zone this week.

The fresh moves Xi announced, ranging from broadening market access to developing Hainan as a free trade port, have reassured the world that China will step up its reform and opening-up, which was initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and has unleashed significant productivity in China.

China's success in the past four decades, including an average of 9.5 percent annual growth, upgraded key infrastructure and technology as well as long-term stability, has not only changed its relations with the world, but also provided a paradigm for other nations to achieve openness and prosperity.

Experience has shown that economic globalization, a natural sequence of productivity and technological progress, can boost world economic development, promote the flow of commodities and capital, and help protect the common interests of all the countries.

Take Hainan's development as an example. The reform and opening-up drive has increased Hainan's GDP from 5.7 billion yuan (about 908 million U.S. dollars) in 1987 to 446.3 billion yuan last year, with its GDP per capita growing by 14 times to 7,179 U.S. dollars.

The island, once a backwater of fishermen and poor farmers, is now a vivid example of China's commitment to the future and hard evidence that openness brings progress.

Reform and opening-up is a key strategic choice deciding China's destiny and meets the global trend toward development, cooperation and peace. China will not close its door to the world. The country will only become more and more open.

The specific and achievable measures unveiled during Xi's Hainan trip provide a tangible basis for the world to believe that China has every intention to translate all the major initiatives of opening-up into reality, sooner rather than later.

For instance, China will ease foreign equity restrictions in the automobile, ship, and aircraft industries. The country will also significantly lower the import tariffs for vehicles this year, and seek faster progress toward joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.

China also welcomes international investors to invest and develop in Hainan and participate in the development of a free trade port there. Foreign technical personnel and those with professional skills will be allowed to work and apply for permanent residence permits in Hainan.

All these measures have shown China's sincerity that the outcomes of the opening-up efforts will deliver benefits to all enterprises and people in China and around the world as soon as possible.

The progress may not be as smooth as people wish as policy changes in major economies and their spill-over effects are creating uncertainty and protectionism is mounting.

But China will not hesitate in the face of difficulties and challenges.

The country will reach out to any and all who wish to pursue a win-win economic relationship. Time will prove it is a right cause worth all-out effort, both for China and the world.

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