NPC Deputy: Isolating oneself through decoupling benefits no one
Updated 22:21, 26-May-2020
By Su Yuting

Many people wonder what impact COVID-19 will have on China's manufacturing industry, and what efforts China's manufacturing companies will make to boost economic globalization.

To learn how deputies to the National People's Congress view these issues, CGTN spoke to Li Dongsheng, National People's Congress (NPC) deputy and board chairman of electronics company TCL Group for his insight. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the restructuring of the global industrial chain and supply chain. Recently, there have been increasing voices and fears of post-pandemic decoupling from China. Li said isolating oneself through decoupling benefits no one. 

"The fears of so-called 'decoupling' have been aggravated by the serious situation of the pandemic. In economic globalization, some politicians and economists think that China is the beneficiary or even the only winner in economic globalization. This statement is not fair and not objective in itself. The construction of the WTO system has galvanized the development of economic globalization. The rules of economic globalization are the same for all countries. Chinese enterprises have better established their comparative advantages in competitiveness. Therefore, in the whole economic development, we have more opportunities. But it's not the way of what some western politicians say that it seems that they have given China the opportunity. The exchange of trade services is good for each other," Li said.

"In the past, China was the world's largest producer of goods, and in the future, China will become the world's largest consumer of goods, which means that we will not only sell products to the world, but also purchase products. China has held the Import Expo, which is very unique. We are willing to open our market, and economic globalization will bring benefits to all participants," he added.

In the face of the difficulties and challenges brought by the COIVD-19 pandemic, Li also talked about the measures that China's manufacturing industry should take to reform and seek opportunities in crises. 

"Some problems exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic will force enterprises to speed up their competitiveness and adaptability. For the manufacturing industry, improving efficiency is the main direction, and the capacity-building of industrial Internet and big data in the intelligent manufacturing industry must be accelerated," Li said. 

Li also stressed China should speed up the digitization and intellectualization of the manufacturing industry, saying "the digital management ability of enterprises has been implemented for a long time across the entire manufacturing industry of China. The COVID-19 pandemic also urged some applications of the manufacturing industry to be carried out online to reduce the contact between people, so we will speed up this kind of networking, and the progress of digitalization will also let people see more demands and find more opportunities in these technology applications."

TCL is an enterprise that has made outstanding achievements in the early days of going global. Li shared his view on the future prospects of the development of globalization for China's enterprises after the pandemic. 

"After the outbreak, we should remain firm in our strategy of globalization. For example, TCL was the pioneer in adjusting the global business strategy a few years ago. In the past, Chinese enterprises mostly sold their products to the world. Now we need to establish local supply chains, to produce, sell and serve our customers locally, to contribute to the local economic and social development," Li said.

"In the past, China was the world's factory, and in the future, Chinese enterprises will open our factories across the world. This transformation is in line with the future developmental direction of the global economy. If Chinese enterprises make adjustments according to this development strategy, we should be able to make greater contributions to promoting global economic development in the context of economic globalization. At the same time, we will also strive for better development opportunities for ourselves," he added.