Speech by H.E. Hu Jintao President of the People's Republic of China At the APEC CEO Summit
An Open Mind for Win-Win Cooperation
Speech by H.E. Hu Jintao
Busan, Republic of Korea
17 November 2005
It is a great pleasure for me today to join you, leaders from the business community, in discussing the subject of win-win cooperation.
At present, China's development has attracted extensive attention from the international community. As the world is looking at China from a new perspective, China, for its part, is also contemplating an important question – how to make further contributions to the common prosperity of this region and the whole world through our own development? Today, I would like to offer some of my observations on this issue.
Since the late 1970s, China has enjoyed sustained and rapid economic development, leading to greater national strength and a better life of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. In 2004, our economy grew by 9.4%, against the backdrop of the fastest growth in the world economy in nearly three decades and a record-high economic expansion in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000. Last year, China's foreign trade amounted to US$ 1.1548 trillion, twice as much as that of three years ago. And our import totaled US$ 561.4 billion, nearly a 100% increase over three years ago. In more detailed description, China's trade with Asia-Pacific economies was US$ 760 billion, accounting for 72.7% of China's entire import and export. By the end of 2004, the paid-in volume of overseas investment in China had totaled US$ 745.3 billion, and more than half a million foreign-funded businesses had been approved for operation in China. From 1990 to 2004, profit repatriation by those businesses reached US$ 250.6 billion. Facts have proved that China's economic development not only benefits the Chinese people, but also provides the whole world with more investment opportunities and a bigger market. China is becoming an important driving force behind the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Opportunities and challenges exist side by side in today's world. On the one hand, the trend of economic globalization continues to develop, science and technology have been advancing at an amazing pace, and worldwide industrial relocation and the flow of essential factors of production are gaining speed, presenting many favorable conditions for world economic development. On the other hand, world economic development is also beset with many difficulties and problems. Imbalance in global economic development, the widening gap between the North and the South, the growing constraint of energy, resources and environment on economic development, and new manifestations of protectionism – all these are issues that we must pay close attention to and address properly.
Energy is always a global issue, indispensably linked with world economic development. In the evolution of history, each and every breakthrough in human civilization is always coupled with improvement and replacement of energy resources. To achieve balanced and orderly growth in the world economy, the international community must handle well the energy issue. Since 2004, the surge of oil prices in the international market has affected the economic growth of the whole world, developing countries in particular. However, we should not fail to see that supply and demand on the international energy market are balanced on the whole, and that there is no crisis on the supply side. At this point, the most critical thing is for all countries to work together for stability of the world energy market, and to fuel the sustained growth of the world economy with sufficient, safe, economical and clean energy resources. At the same time, it is also important to take a long-term perspective, intensify energy development, deepen energy cooperation, increase energy efficiency, and facilitate the development and use of new energy resources. China is ready to strengthen energy dialogue and cooperation with all countries, to jointly maintain energy security and stability of the world.
While it is true that China's demand for energy has somewhat increased due to its steady economic growth, its consumption volume in per capita terms is not high. In 2004, China's per capita primary energy consumption was only 1.08 tons of oil equivalent, or 66% of the world average of 1.63 tons. In the same year, China's net import of crude oil was 117 million tons, accounting for 6.31% of crude oil traded worldwide. From 1990 through 2004, China, on average, sustained an annual economic growth rate of 9.3% with about 5% increase in annual energy consumption.
Indeed, China is a major energy consumer. More importantly however, China is also a major energy producer. Since the 1990s, China has always met over 90% of its overall energy needs on its own. As a country with coal dominating its energy structure, China still has a huge potential for domestic energy supply. We have rich coal reserves, and two-thirds of our hydropower resources remain untapped. The development of nuclear, wind and bio-power in China has just started, and there is great potential for future development. The core of China's energy strategy has been clearly defined – we will strengthen policy guidance for energy conservation and high efficiency, give priority to energy conservation and rely on domestic resources. While focusing on developing coal resources, we will develop diverse energy resources and put in place a system that supplies stable, economical and clean energy.
China attaches great importance to energy conservation. We always work to combine energy development with conservation, and give top priority to conservation. We have made remarkable achievements in saving energy. In 2004, our energy consumption per 10,000 yuan GDP dropped by 45% compared with 1990. We have introduced a mid- and long-term energy conservation program, with the objective of saving 3% of energy every year by 2020, or 1.4 billion tons of standard coal in total savings. We will rely on scientific and technological advancement, encourage the role of market mechanism and economic leverage, and build up our capability in energy saving, so as to improve energy conservation and efficiency across all fronts.
Global trade imbalance, like energy, should also be viewed from a dialectical perspective and in the context of world economic development. It should be noted that international trade expansion has helped optimize the allocation of global resources, and promoted world economic development as well as the well-being of the people of all counties. Despite some instances of imbalance, mutual benefit and win-win interaction still represent the main trend of international trade. It is important that we further expand international trade on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit, and endeavor to create a situation of complementarity – a situation in which all countries will come out as winners.
The current pattern of international trade, in the final analysis, results from worldwide industrial relocation and changes in division of labor. In recent years, China has enjoyed a rapid expansion in its foreign trade. At the same time, other countries, especially developed ones, have also reaped huge profits from their investment in and services trade with China. In 2004, the export of foreign-invested companies in China amounted to US$ 338.6 billion, or 57% of China's total export of the year. China's services import reached US$ 72.1 billion. Among others, China paid as much as US$ 4.5 billion for patent alone. Although China has a trade surplus with some regions, it has a deficit with the Asia-Pacific region. Among China's top ten sources of trade deficit of 2004, six are in the Asia-Pacific region, and the deficit totaled US$ 127 billion. It is not true that China is seeking a big surplus in foreign trade. As a matter of fact, the enormous domestic demand and the broad internal market are the perpetual driving force behind China's economic development. We stand ready to make further contributions to a sustained expansion of global trade by means of changing the mode of foreign trade growth, increasing import, and enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite great progress in its economic development, China remains the biggest developing country in the world with a large population, weak economic foundation and uneven development. There is a long way to go before we realize modernization and common prosperity, and we need to make long-term and arduous efforts to this end. We will continue to take economic development as our central task and top priority, concentrate on development, and work hard to achieve our goals and, at the same time, make our own contributions to regional and global economic development.
The Chinese nation always loves peace. The Chinese people are keenly aware that development can only be sustained, reliable and conducive to both Chinese and other peoples when it is achieved through peaceful means. China will firmly adhere to the road of peaceful development, seeking self development by working for a peaceful international environment and, at the same time, promoting world peace through its own development. China will continue to pursue the basic state policy of opening-up, conduct extensive international cooperation, steadily improve its investment environment, open its market, and endeavor to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results with the whole world. Facts have proved that China's development will not stand in the way of anyone, nor will it pose any threat to anyone. Instead, it will only do good to peace, stability and prosperity of the world.
China always advocates balanced and orderly development of the world economy. We have taken effective measures to promote North-South cooperation and bridge the gap in development, and have worked to the best of our capability to help other developing countries expedite their development. We will lose no time in delivering our promises made at the UN International Conference on Financing for Development, and step up our support to developing countries through debt relief and aids.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace, development and cooperation are the common aspiration of people throughout the world. Hereby, I wish to share with you the following views on win-win cooperation.
First, building a harmonious world with an open mind. This is a basic prerequisite to win-win cooperation. We should respect the right of all countries to independently choose their own development paths, promote greater dialogue and exchanges among civilizations in the spirit of democracy and equality, draw from each other's strong points, tolerate differences, and work together for a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity. In international relations, we should proceed from the common interests of all peoples, and work to expand their converging interests. We should endeavor to increase mutual understanding through communications, strengthen cooperation while seeking greater mutual understanding, and bring about a win-win situation through cooperation.
Second, deepening mutual trust and expanding trade and economic exchanges. This is a solid foundation for win-win cooperation. We should vigorously promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation on the basis of mutual trust, further reduce restrictions on export of technologies, and remove trade barriers, so as to create a fair, just, reasonable and open environment for trade. We should support businesses of all economies in exploring more actively overseas markets and increasing their investment abroad. China encourages well-established Chinese businesses to go global and, within the framework of market rules and laws and in the principle of reciprocity, mutual benefit and complementarity, participate in international economic and technological cooperation and competition on a broader basis, with wider dimensions, and at higher levels.
Third, setting store by dialogue and consultation, and seeking a proper settlement of disputes. This is an important avenue to win-win cooperation. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, we should, in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation, and with a sincere and pragmatic attitude, enhance communications and consultation to dissolve difficulties and disputes, and do our best to promote the continuous development of international trade and economic cooperation to the benefit of the whole world.
Fourth, strengthening solidarity and coordination, and maintaining security and stability. This is an effective guarantee for win-win cooperation. Non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism, financial risks and natural disasters, are posing a threat to the very existence and development of mankind. It is important that people of all countries work together in good faith to meet all challenges and risks, and bring about a stable security environment for common development and prosperity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The business community is an important carrier of the flow of the essential production factors of the world. It is also an important factor for a sound and steady development of international business relations. We sincerely welcome the businesses from all over the world to China. We also hope that you, business leaders present here today, will continue to expand your cooperation with Chinese businesses, and make contributions to common development of the region and the world at large.Thank you.