China's openness weighs significantly
Updated 10:01, 09-Nov-2022
Gao Lei , Xia Lu
The fifth CIIE opens at the Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center, November 5, 2022. /CFP
The fifth CIIE opens at the Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center, November 5, 2022. /CFP

The fifth CIIE opens at the Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center, November 5, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Gao Lei is associate professor Center for Xi Jinping Thoughts on Opening-up, Research Institute of Globalization and China's Modernization, University of International Business & Economics. Xia Lu is associate professor and research fellow at National Academy for Development & Strategy, The Academy of Xin Jinping Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Renmin University of China.The article reflects the authors' opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also the general secretary of the newly-elected 20th central committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), delivered a keynote address at the opening session of the Fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) on November 4, calling on all countries to work together toward a bright future of openness and prosperity.

Since it was launched in 2018, the CIIE has carried out the hopes of people, both in China and other countries, to advance shared prosperity and progress through international trade and business cooperation. And as an international trading and business gala held immediately after the 20th National Congress of the CPC and running parallel with a series of diplomatic events, the CIIE has more messages to deliver.

Though facing the uncertain situation, which is unseen for a century, the Chinese leadership has made continuous efforts to ensure a certainty to the global community. Xi designated the CIIE with three key functions – a showcase of China's new development paradigm, a platform for high-standard opening-up, and a public good for the whole world. As a mechanism that is gradually taking shape, the CIIE matters much to both China and the world.

In his report to the 20th CPC National Congress, Xi highlighted, "opening-up to the outside world" in many places, emphasizing that "China adheres to the basic state policy of opening-up, firmly pursues the strategy of opening-up for mutual benefit and win-win, and constantly provides new opportunities to the world with China's further development." While reaffirming the status of opening up as China's basic state policy to the outside world, this crucial statement also delivers strong signal to the world that no matter what changes occur, China's confidence and will to open up to the outside world are as firm as a rock.

On the one hand, as a component of the new development paradigm, opening up has benefited China with a series of miracles since the country has embarked on its reform cause over 40 years ago. Especially in the extraordinary past decade, the Chinese leadership with Xi Jinping as the core has unswervingly promoted high-level opening up, opened the door of the country to engage in economic construction, and propelled reform, development and innovation through opening up, injecting strong impetus into China's economic and social development and stimulating the vitality, potential and driving force of the country's economy.

As a result, China has become the world's second-largest importer for 13 consecutive years, and in the first half of this year, China's imports have accounted for 10.6 percent of the world's total. Additionally, China is the export market for 210 countries and regions, as well as the main export market of 60 countries and regions, ranking first in the world in total trade in goods, attracting more foreign investment and doing even more foreign investment with other parts of the world, forming an opening up pattern to the outside world with a wider scope, wider scale, and deeper level.

Meanwhile, opening up has also provided numerous opportunities for the world. China has taken the initiative to open its door to the world, integrate into global development, push forward an open world economy, share development opportunities with other countries in the process of openness and integration, and to become an essential "stabilizing factor" and "primary driving force" for international economic growth.

A view of the automobile exhibition area at the 5th CIIE in Shanghai, November 7, 2022. /CFP
A view of the automobile exhibition area at the 5th CIIE in Shanghai, November 7, 2022. /CFP

A view of the automobile exhibition area at the 5th CIIE in Shanghai, November 7, 2022. /CFP

The achievement could be listed as follows: from high-quality joint building of the "Belt and Road Initiative" to putting forward the Global Development Initiatives, from promoting the official entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP) to formally applying to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA); the list goes on and on.

The high quality and high level of opening-up to the outside world demonstrates China's sincerity to embrace the world and deliver development dividends to the rest of the world.

In fact, at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee held almost two years ago, the CPC has already set a clear goal to establish a new system for a higher-level open economy in the next five to 15 years. According to the outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, China will promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, and carry out the opening-up of financial sectors including banking, securities, insurance, and futures.

Moreover, in terms of institutional opening-up, the country will continue its cause with regard to regulations, management and standards, put into full effect with the new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment, and develop the national integrated demonstration zone for greater openness in the services sector.

As shown in the past, China cannot be separated from the world in achieving its development, and the world also needs China for greater prosperity. Now, China is fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. New mechanisms have been put in place to build an open economy of a higher standard.

China remains committed to a win-win strategy of opening-up, and it will seek development impetus from the world and contribute more to the world with its own development.

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