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Promoting a Higher Level of Opening-up

Submit Time:30-07-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Li Qingsi | Source:Guangming Daily (June 26, 2018)


General Secretary Xi Jinping reiterated the importance of continuing to open China wider to the outside world. By proposing "a higher level of opening-up" in particular, he pointed out the direction for the country's opening-up practice in the next phase, which is bound to lift its opening-up initiative to a new height.  

China has accumulated an abundance of successful experience in opening itself to the rest of the world. In the four decades of ups and downs since the introduction of the reform and opening-up, China has overall achieved the splendid accomplishments that cannot be matched in the current world and are rarely seen through the entire human history. The past 40 years witnessed China's growth from a limited-sized economy to the world's second largest economy. In the process, it drew upon the sophisticated management practices and technologies of foreign countries, hence getting itself prepared for the upcoming industry upgrade.  

Opening-up comes as a strategy that attaches equal importance to "bringing in" and "going global." Through the exchanges, China is expected to draw upon other countries' strengths and bolster its shortcomings in terms of development strategies. The foremost thing for the country to do in its opening-up drive is to learn advanced management experience and scientific & technological knowledge from foreign countries, with a view to lifting the economic development standards, shaking off backwardness at a faster pace, and narrowing down its economic gap with the Western countries. Constantly opening itself wider to the rest of the world, aiming higher in the opening-up level, and promoting reform and development through opening-up is an important weapon for China to continuously make new achievements in its development course. Persistently exploring for a correct path amid the reform and opening-up stands as an important approach for China to continuing catching up with its advanced counterparts all over the world. What China has achieved keeps attesting that there would be another or some other routes towards modernization, apart from that already taken by the Western countries.  

The trend of development through opening-up is irreversible. The assertion that "openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind" has been proven by the developing practice of China and even the entire world. In the current international context, China harbors no irresolution about upholding opening-up as one of its fundamental national policies, and is keenly aware of and keeps up with the new trends revealed by economic globalization and the new requirements raised by the Chinese opening-up drive. Besides, it thinks about worst-case scenarios, focuses on forestalling risks, gets risks assessed properly, and eliminates all risk factors. Allowing leading figures to explore new paths with scientific demonstration, it gathers pace in establishing a well-functioning integrated regulation mechanism, so as to enhance regulatory capacity and knit a strong safety net.  

After the countless explorations in the past four decades, China has been in a good position to open itself up further. Firstly, preparedness can be felt ideologically. A close look at the modern history at home and abroad reveals that only being open to learn from others' useful experiences and applying them to guide through their development course, can a country or nation keep making progress. As illuminated by the theory of economics on resource allocation advantages, no country, regardless of its size, can bear the cost incurred by engaging in technological R&D of all sectors alone. Therefore, mutually beneficial cooperation becomes a rational choice for most countries, about which a consensus has already been reached in the Chinese society.  

Secondly, the readiness is embodied in the material point of view. China has not only generated a staggering economic aggregate which provides a strong guarantee for its investment activities overseas, but also mastered some advanced sciences and technologies that make it objectively possible to team up with foreign partners. Over the past 10-plus years, China has contributed more than 30% to the world's economic growth. Such a proportion serves as an epitome of what the country has achieved in such aspects as import/export trade, investment and infrastructure. At the same time, it also indicates that China is not the foreign aid recipient as it was in the past, and instead it has become a top performer despite its late coming.  

What specific measures will be taken to realize a higher level of opening-up? To put it simply, there are two aspects, namely home and abroad, which should be coordinated as a game of chess rather than be separated from each other. Now that economic globalization accords with the fundamental interests of all countries in the world, opening up to each other among major economies represents a direction of development in the future, and an irresistible trend for all countries. So, when it comes to diplomatic policies, China is committed to promoting economic globalization, maintaining the role of multilateral trade regime as the primary channel, actively taking part in multilateral trade negotiations, and contributing its successful experience. It loses no time to strengthen its cooperation with open economies in favor of free trade. For those against free trade, proper principles and strategies should be proposed to reduce their damage to free trade. As to the economies that haven't joined the free global trade or leave their potential to be further tapped, China will proceed from its own conditions and assist them in getting involved in the open economy as soon as possible.  

Domestically, the foremost thing to be done is to further unlock the Chinese market. In the past four decades, China saw its economic growth primarily driven by overseas market demand. In particular, the processing trade which featured the large import and export volume made enormous contributions to the economic development and employment increase. To further unlock the domestic demand requires sound supporting measures, such as well-established social welfare policies, guaranteed medical care, and mature school admission. If all these concerns for future are eliminated, the Chinese people will be naturally bold to spend more money than they used to.  

China will do a bigger part to the mankind. In the increasingly interconnected world, China vigorously advocates the core value of inclusiveness, cooperation, equality and win-win outcome; it calls for a sensible mechanism where shared growth is achieved through discussion and collaboration, and depicts the bright prospects of a community with a shared future for mankind. At the same time, it promotes the building of the "Belt and Road," takes the creation of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind as the compass of its great-power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and offers the Chinese options to global governance through its practices such as the incorporation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the building of the "Belt and Road."  

The good wishes China entertains for the world are unlikely to be realized as right as rain. Instead, they face severe challenges. Even so, the democratization of international relations has become an irresistible tide of the times. Free global trade is what the people across the world truly want; win-win cooperation stands as an inevitable trend; and exchanges and mutual learning among different cultures represent the common wish of the people all over the world. With the higher level of opening-up, China hopes to demonstrate its "confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics" to the rest of the world, and shed some light on a new road or another ray of hope.  

(Author's affiliation: School of International Studies, Renmin University of China)

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