Achievements in 2018: China will only open its door wider
Updated 15:47, 29-Jan-2019

Editor's note: The following is an edited translation of an article that first appeared on the Xinhua news website on January 21, 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a New Year speech via state broadcasters in Beijing on December 31, 2018. He pointed out in his speech that “China's reforms will never stop, and its door will only open even wider.” Previously, he has repeatedly stressed that “China's door will never be closed; it will only open still wider” and “looking ahead, China will always be here to stay.”

“China's economic growth over the past 40 years has been achieved thanks to its commitment to opening-up. In the same vein, high-quality development of China's economy in the future can only be guaranteed with greater openness.” 

Looking back over the development of China and the world in the past 40 years, everyone, irrespective of their worldview, has recognized that “China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world and the world also needs China for its development.” 

China has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong largely thanks to the reform and opening-up policy. The process of China's reform and opening-up has also provided the world with tremendous opportunities, markets, and vitality. 

Over the past 40 years since the adoption of the policy, China has become a recognized builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. China's growth miracle is created by the Chinese people, and its influence on the world is profound and will become more far-reaching.

China International Import Expo, November 9, 2018. /VCG Photo

China International Import Expo, November 9, 2018. /VCG Photo

In 2018, the value of China's total imports and exports exceeded 30 trillion yuan for the first time, and its utilized FDI amounted to 885.61 billion yuan, both of which have reached a record high. 

In the same year, China successfully hosted the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). As many as 172 countries, regions and international organizations participated, including the 3,600-strong overseas companies setting up booths and the over 400,000 buyers from home and abroad. 

In just a few days' time, various deals worth nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars were sealed. Over 170 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). All these figures show that China remains committed to the reform and opening-up policy, and China's continuous progress in reform and opening-up has lent much momentum to an open world economy. 

Facts prove that China has always championed multilateralism, expanded common interests in opening-up and shared opportunities in cooperation – China can be trusted.

Having said that, China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development; the prospects are bright but the challenges are severe. The year 2018 marked the centenary of the end of World War I and the 10th anniversary of the Great Recession. 

In this year, the word “uncertainty” has been frequently mentioned. At this critical moment, President Xi met and exchanged views on issues of common concern with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Chinese and foreign press alike spoke of the 150-minute meeting as “a positive step” toward the settlement of China-U.S. economic and trade frictions. Both sides agreed to jointly promote China-U.S. relations based on coordination, cooperation, and stability.

A night view of Shenzhen. /VCG Photo

A night view of Shenzhen. /VCG Photo

Facts also prove that when facing options of cooperation or confrontation, openness or seclusion, and win-win or zero-sum game, China has always stood on the positive side, steadfastly advocated multilateralism, safeguarded the multilateral trading system, and stayed committed to win-win cooperation. 

In 2018, opening-up has resonated as China's main theme throughout a series of important events, including the Boao Forum for Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao, the BRICS Summit, the China International Import Expo, the APEC CEO Summit, and the G20 Summit. 

China's circle of friends is getting bigger and stronger, and China is getting more and more applause while making more contributions to the world.

Going forward, high-quality development of China's economy would be impossible without greater openness. The conclusion that China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development stems from the country's determination and confidence to stick to the path of reform and opening-up. 

In his New Year speech, President Xi stressed, “No matter what these changes bring, China will remain resolute and confident in the defense of its national sovereignty and security. And China's sincerity and goodwill to safeguard world peace and promote common development will remain unchanged.” 

This is what China has been saying and doing, and it will continue to do so.

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