Speech by President Jiang at the Eighth APEC Informal Leadership Meeting
Speech by President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China at the Eighth APEC Informal Leadership Meeting(Seri Begawan, 16 November 2000)
It is my great pleasure to meet with our colleagues again on the picturesque Seri Begawan. I would like to thank Your Majesty for your kind invitation and the Government of Brunei Darussalam for its thoughtful arrangement. I am convinced that our meeting and exchange here will help further promote the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.
When mankind is at the threshold of a new century, the international situation, on the whole, continues to move towards relaxation. Peace and development remain the themes of the times. The global economic growth is picking up speed. There have occurred some positive developments in the Asian economy. Some countries, having overcome the effect of the financial crisis, are now on the road to recovery. Asia has once again become prominent in global economic growth. If this trend continues, both the global and regional economy can be expected to enter a new round of growth at the beginning of the new century.
Meanwhile, we should not lose sight of the hidden worries facing the global economic development. The unstable capital and foreign exchange markets and international oil price hike have added to the adverse factors against economic growth. The United States, Japan and the euro zone hold the balance on the global economic development. Hence their future moves are worth attention. We in the Asian region have to be vigilant in peace time in developing the economy, continue to utilize global and regional favorable factors, and press ahead with readjustment so as to optimize and upgrade the economic structure and create better conditions for sustained and stable economic growth.
The ever-growing economic globalization is an important factor directly bearing on the prospects of the Asia-Pacific economic development. Economic globalization is an objective requirement and inevitable outcome of the development of the social productive forces and science and technology, and it is a general trend as well. The increasing economic and trade activities among countries and regions and rapid dissemination of expertise and technology help gradually realize the optimized allocation of economic factors on a global scale, with higher economic returns. The ever closer economic and technical interflow between countries and regions not only has brought fresh opportunities for the development of countries but also is a positive factor for the promotion of world peace and stability.
However, the negative effects of economic globalization should not be neglected either. This globalization brings greater risks to the economic functioning of countries. Above all, disadvantaged developing countries face new challenges to their economic sovereignty and economic security. The gap of wealth between North and South widens further. Even in developed countries, readjustment of and changes in the economic structure as a result of the use of hi-tech have done harm to the interests of a considerable number of workers and people. Trade protectionism of all forms is on the rise. There are a few countries that have tried to force their own values, economic regime and social system on other countries by taking advantage of economic globalization. If these issues remain unresolved, economic globalization cannot develop soundly, nor will it be in the interest of the common cause of peace and development for mankind.
We are of the view that effective international rules should be worked out with the concerted efforts of the international community on the basis of full participation of all countries and democratic consultation so that the process of economic globalization can be correctly guided and managed and move in a direction of helping reduce the gap of wealth between North and South, achieve common development and prosperity for all countries, benefit all the members of the international community, developing countries in particular, and facilitate a balanced, stable and sustainable economic growth around the world. Countries should be allowed to choose the road to development and determine the model and pace of opening-up in light of their own national conditions. They should be encouraged to step up the interchange between different cultures on the basis of mutual respect so as to breathe new life into the human society. They should work together to meet challenges and risks in order to achieve universal development and security for all countries in the world. The international community should go in for greater international cooperation under the principle of equality and mutual benefit, and render stronger support and assistance to developing countries in particular. In the final analysis, a fair and rational new international economic order must be established before the various issues facing the present global economic development can be completely solved.
In the present-day world, the phenomenal advancement of high and new technologies spearheaded by the IT and bio-technology is giving birth to a new industrial revolution. It is increasingly clear that science and technology are playing a decisive role in the economic and social development, profoundly changing the way people live and work in the world of today. The so-called "New Economy", as people generally believe, refers to the kind of economy initiated and sustained mainly by new technologies and hi-tech industry, which is now emerging and growing rapidly.
The developed and developing countries are in very different positions amidst the rapid advancement of science and technology. For the vast number of developing countries, they have before them the double, arduous tasks of transforming their traditional industries and developing new industries. Otherwise, it would be difficult for them to sustain their own virtuous economic growth or meet the severe challenges brought to them by global economic development. Nowadays, the emergence and continued expansion of the "digital divide" has widened the gap between North and South, which may well trigger new imbalance in the world economy.
Against the background of accelerated economic globalization and dynamic progress of science and technology, it is a must to facilitate and step up cooperation between developed and developing countries in human resources, technology and infrastructure, and increase the self-development capabilities of the developing countries in order to reduce the North-South gap. Today the development, application and impact of science and technology far transcend national boundaries. The major breakthrough made in the human genome project is a crystallization of the cooperation and joint work of scientists from a number of countries. Only when applied most widely in a global context can the achievements of science and technology play their role to the maximum and benefit the people in a better way.
I believe that it is essential to open new dimensions for international economic and technical cooperation by making full use of the latest developments of science and technology and strengthen cooperation among countries in the development, application and dissemination of science and technology under the principle of benefiting all from joint development. Economic globalization should not be confined to trade and investment liberalization, but more importantly, should stress the popularization of scientific and technological knowledge. There should be proper readjustment of the international rules for the protection of the intellectual property rights in light of the new situation. While the said protection is ensured, the protection of the intellectual property rights in terms of its scope, duration and mode should be guided by market rules in such a way that it will be conducive to the spread and dissemination of scientific knowledge and technical know-how and to the sharing of benefits by all countries from scientific and technological advancement.
(On APEC's role and human resources development)
APEC should encourage its members to conduct more effective cooperation in light of the economic globalization and the rapid development of science and technology. Thanks to more than one decade's efforts, APEC has already laid a fairly good foundation for itself in terms of the principles and specifics of cooperation. It should go on with its approach of cooperation which basically features respect for diversity, independence and voluntarism as well as consensus so as to ensure a right direction for development. The Ecotech among APEC members should be further strengthened, particularly the cooperation in science and technology and human resources development.
Human beings are the most invaluable of all on earth. The human resources are the first and foremost resources. People are the key to scientific and technological advance and economic and social progress. New opportunities, new challenges, latest science and technology and other fresh developments have made new requests for human resources development. The Asia-Pacific region is endowed with abundant human resources, which should be properly developed and exploited. In order to translate the potential in human resources into an advantage in real development, effective measures have to be taken to create an environment that encourages people of talent to come forward in large numbers and that brings out the best in them, and above all, to give priority to human resource development and quicken human capacity building. This is crucial to all APEC members for sustainable development. APEC can have a big role to play in this regard. I support Brunei's proposal of formulating a long and mid-term strategy of human capacity building in APEC. China and Brunei will jointly hold in China the APEC High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building next year with the participation of government representatives, business people and academic personages from APEC members. The participants will discuss the human capacity building in APEC oriented towards the new century. I hope that the meeting will become a major action of ours in pressing ahead with the Asia-Pacific human capacity building in the new century.
At present, the Chinese economy continues to maintain a favorable momentum of development. China is now drawing up a plan for the economic and social development in the first five years of the next century. It proposes that we will adhere to the guideline of development, focus on structural readjustment, take reform, opening-up and scientific and technological progress as a driving force, with a view to attaining better lives for the people, and boost economic development and social progress in an all-round manner. We in China are implementing the great strategy of developing China's west to speed up the growth of the mid-west and facilitate the coordinated economic development in all parts of the country. China's accession to the WTO will be an important step to broaden its all-directional opening-up. After joining the WTO, we will honor our commitments in good faith. We will continue to take an active part in the regional economic cooperation, including that in APEC.
China will play host to APEC next year. We are ready to work together with all the other parties to promote cooperation and exchanges among APEC members. I hope that all of you will go to the 9th APEC Informal Leadership Meeting to be held in Shanghai next October for joint discussion on matters of vital importance regarding the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.