China, a pacesetter for international cooperation
First Voice
China, a pacesetter for international cooperation

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Chinese Premier Li Qiang stressed his confidence in the Chinese economy and reassured the world about the country's determination in opening-up in his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) on Thursday.

The world today is facing an unprecedented array of uncertainties. But China and other BFA participants have demonstrated resilience and strength. According to Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress released by the forum, the weighted real GDP growth rate of Asia is estimated to be 4.5 percent this year – an increase from 4.2 percent in 2022.

As a pacesetter for international cooperation, Asia is playing an active role in accelerating the overall economic recovery in 2023. Ahmed M. Saeed, vice president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said at the forum that Asia will be a major driver for growth. ADB predicts the growth rate for Asia to be 4.6 percent in 2023.

Against the backdrop of uncertainties, China, as the host of BFA, is well-positioned to pursue sustained growth. Its economy has seen a broad-based rebound between January and February, and is believed to have performed better in March. The country has set its GDP growth target of around 5 percent this year, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its projection for China's economic growth to 5.2 percent in 2023.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said at the BFA that China will contribute more than one-third of global economic growth this year and the IMF appreciates China's adherence to multilateralism and its important contribution to preventing debt crises in developing countries.

This aerial photo taken on March 24, 2023 shows a view of Nanqiang Village in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. /Xinhua
This aerial photo taken on March 24, 2023 shows a view of Nanqiang Village in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. /Xinhua

This aerial photo taken on March 24, 2023 shows a view of Nanqiang Village in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. /Xinhua

In the past two decades since the BFA was officially established, China has been encouraging solidarity for common development and has been actively turning its proposals into actions for global prosperity. The Belt and Road Initiative, for instance, is open to all, with its benefits shared by the world. The Belt and Road projects could help lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty by 2030, according to a World Bank report.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has played a key role in reducing transaction costs and thus boosting economic integration in the region. In 2022, China's trade with other RCEP members reached 12.95 trillion yuan ($1.92 trillion), up 7.5 percent on a yearly basis, statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce showed.

China has been committed to reform and opening-up. The country has been taking solid steps to develop pilot free trade zones and rolling out favorable policies for this end. In 2020, the Chinese government released a plan to build Hainan Island into a globally influential free-trade port by the middle of the century. These endeavors have demonstrated China's determination to improve the business climate.

Despite tensions and rising populist sentiments in certain countries, China will not cease its efforts in opening up its economy. "No matter how the international situation changes, China will unswervingly expand its opening-up to the outside world," Premier Li stressed at the forum, pledging to introduce new measures to boost market access and improve the investment environment. With the Asian Games to be held in China's Hangzhou, Premier Li, in his speech on Thursday, also welcomed the world to China.

Despite differences, China is willing to seize every possible opportunity to intensify cooperation and deepen regional integration. The world today is facing uncertainties, and cooperation is the only way forward.

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