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Xi Jinping Delivers a Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Third China International Import Expo

2020-11-04

On the evening of November 4, 2020, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech via videolink at the Opening Ceremony of the Third China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai. Xi Jinping pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the instability and uncertainty facing the world economy, but the pace of opening up in China has continued to quicken and the overwhelming trend for countries to move toward openness and cooperation remains unchanged. All countries need to come together and commit to mutual opening up that features shared benefits, shared responsibilities and shared governance. China will stay committed to openness, cooperation and unity for win-win results. We will steadfastly expand all-round opening up, turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all, contributing to the global economic recovery and bringing more positive energy to the global community.

Xi Jinping stated this year's CIIE is convened at a special time. COVID-19, which caught us all by surprise, has hit countries hard and dealt a heavy blow to the world economy. As scheduled and confident in the containment protocols that have been put in place, China is hosting this global trade event which demonstrates China's sincere desire to share its market opportunities with the world and contribute to global economic recovery.

Xi Jinping highlighted notwithstanding COVID-19, the pace of opening up in China has continued to quicken this year. The measures I announced at last year's CIIE have been implemented to the full. China has taken steady steps to expand imports. The Master Plan for the Development of Hainan Free Trade Port and the Implementation Plan for Further Reform and Opening-up in Shenzhen have both been released and taken effect. Good progress has been registered in concluding high-standard free trade agreements, developing demonstration zones for creative promotion of import trade, protecting intellectual property rights, and advancing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Xi Jinping indicated the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the instability and uncertainty facing the world economy. However, looking back at history, humanity has always been able to forge ahead despite risks, disasters and headwinds, and humanity shall and will continue to stride forward. The overwhelming trend for countries to move toward openness and cooperation remains unchanged. We need to come together to jointly tackle risks and challenges, strengthen cooperation and communication, and embrace greater openness. We need to commit to mutual opening up that features shared benefits. We need to build trust rather than second-guess each other, join hands rather than throw punches at each other, and consult rather than slander each other. We need to commit to mutual opening up that features shared responsibilities. Big countries need to lead by example, major economies need to act on sound principles, and developing countries need to play an active part. We need to commit to mutual opening up that features shared governance. We must not allow unilateralism or protectionism to undermine the international order and international rules. Rather, we need to reform the global economic governance system in a constructive way, and build an open world economy.

Xi Jinping said the just concluded Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee adopted an overall plan for China's development in the coming 14th Five-year Plan period. Very soon, China will achieve the goal of finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eradicating poverty. From next year on, China will begin a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. It will mark a new stage for China's development. We have set out to foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. What we envision is not a development loop behind closed doors, but more open domestic and international circulations. We will do so not only to meet China's own development needs but also for the greater benefit of people in all countries. The vastly huge China market is the most promising in the world. Chinese manufacturing now makes an important and positive part of the global industrial and supply chains. Demand on the massive domestic market in China will continue to unleash endless potential for innovation. China will steadfastly expand all-round opening up and turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all, bringing more positive energy to the global community.

First, China will nurture new pacesetters of opening up. China will continue to leverage the pioneering role of pilot free trade zones and free trade ports in steering opening up. We will introduce a negative list for cross-border services trade and open still wider in areas like the digital economy and the Internet. We will deepen reform and innovation in trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make institutional innovations to support an open economy of higher standards.

Second, China will pursue creative ways to grow foreign trade. Through the CIIE and other platforms of opening up, we will continue to support companies from around the world in exploring business opportunities in China. China will tap into the growth potential of foreign trade with a view to boosting growth in international trade and the world economy. China will encourage cross-border e-commerce and other new business forms and models to grow even quicker to foster new drivers of foreign trade. China will shorten its catalog of technologies prohibited or restricted from import to create a favorable environment for the free flow of technologies across borders.

Third, China will keep improving its business environment. In the wake of COVID-19, China has adopted a range of pro-business relief policies that apply equally to all companies registered in China. Earlier this year, the Foreign Investment Law and its supporting rules and regulations came into effect, and the negative list on foreign investment was cut still shorter. China will continue to make its foreign-related legal framework more open and transparent, strengthen intellectual property protection, better protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors and provide them with more high-quality services to further improve the business environment.

Fourth, China will pursue deeper bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation. China stands ready to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries in the world. We will work for the early signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty and a China-Japan-ROK free trade agreement. China looks forward to more exchanges and mutual learning with high-standard free trade zones in other parts of the world. China will take an active part in WTO reform and in cooperation at the United Nations, the G20, APEC, BRICS and other fora. China will work with partner countries to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

At last, Xi Jinping concluded as we often say in China, "Those who do not make their way to the Great Wall are not true heroes." Now, at a time of formidable challenges facing the world economy, it is imperative that we bolster confidence and courage to tide over this difficult period together. China will join hands with all other countries to create opportunities in opening up, tackle difficult problems through cooperation, and foster a brighter future for humanity!

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