Commentary: China will never close its open door to the outside world

Chinese president Xi Jinping addressed several important issues during his state visit to the US. He affirmed that China’s economy would stay on a steady course with fairly fast growth, that China is a staunch defender of cyber security, and that the new relationship model that is developing between China and the US should be maintained. Both sides of the Pacific welcomed these remarks.

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China has been a participant, builder and contributor to the current international system, and is now the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer. Its foreign direct investment tops the world, and its overseas investment ranks third. China’s foreign exchange reserve leads all countries, ranking first in the world.

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The world sees every single advancement China makes. When China’s economy steps into a new normal in a volatile world, will China stay opened up? How will China advance its reform and opening-up program during such a transitioning period?

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“China will never close its open door to the outside world,” answered Xi. “Opening-up is a basic state policy of China.” The reassuring answers from Xi tell the world where China stands, while making clear the inherent logic of China’s development. The remarkable achievements China has made in the past 36 years are the fruit of this opening-up, which will be continued and broadened as China enters its new economic normal. The need to construct an open and balanced new economic system is embedded in China’s development.

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The reform China is undergoing is currently being comprehensively deepened. “Without reform, there will be no driving force; without opening up, there will be no progress,” Xi said in his speech on China-US relations in Seattle. To bring China’s economy up, the division of labor in the global market should be emphasized, and to achieve the goals set in the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the focus on opening-up will still need to be strengthened.

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Opening up helps to deepen reform, and deepened reform in turn propels opening up: this is how China injects new incentives into, and explores new space for, its economic development. The guidelines for promoting opening-up released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council lists 50 detailed moves to ensure a secure financial system and better international law services.

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“Attracting foreign investment is our long-term policy. Such policies will not change. Nor will our protection of the lawful rights and interests of foreign companies in China, and our commitment to better services in favor of foreign companies in China,” said President Xi in his interview with the Wall Street Journal. China’s pursuit of its own goals and missions backs up such commitments, such as expanding the Free Trade Zone, attracting more foreign investment through innovative policies, promoting the “The Belt and Road Initiative” for win-win achievements and improving global cooperation with regard to production capacity.

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Modern China has created a comprehensively updated version of opening-up. On one hand, China makes efforts to construct an environment that is legally transparent and efficiently administrated, and in which competition is fair. China treats all entities of the market fairly, including foreign enterprises, and it welcomes all forms of cooperation between international and Chinese companies. On the other hand, we hope that the international market can improve its openness to investments from China. We oppose any kind of protectionism or discriminative policy. China is willing to resolve all disputes appropriately through negotiation with reference to economy and trade, and is willing to take the initiative to build a balanced and win-win multilateral economic and trade system.

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“Just like when Ali Baba says ‘Open Sesame’, China will not close the door once it has been opened,” said Xi during the US-China CEO roundtable in Seattle.

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In 2014, China became the biggest recipient of foreign investment in the world, taking home $128.5 billion, and has topped the chart of developing countries for a consecutive 23 years. In the first eight months of this year, although the global economy has seen less investment, China maintained a nine percent year-on-year increase of foreign investment. This is evidence that China’s opening-up is a long-term task, rather than expedient measure, and that it is multilaterally beneficial, rather than solely empowering itself.

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“The state policy of opening-up will not change; China will take the initiative to participate in the world economy. The determination to level up the open economy will not change. The policy of attracting foreign investment will not change. The resoluteness to perfect the mechanisms of opening-up will not change,” said President Xi. China will continue developing its opening-up at a rapid pace, to the advantage of the entire world. (Source:People’s Daily)