Cooperation and Openness for Mutual Benefit and Win-Win Progress
Remarks by H.E. Hu Jintao
President Lula da Silva,
It gives me great pleasure to join you again in the beautiful city of Brasilia. Let me begin by expressing sincere thanks to President Lula and the Brazilian government for the thoughtful arrangements they have made for this meeting.
When we met in Yekaterinburg last June, the world economy was in the quagmire of the international financial crisis. Major economies ran into recession, and the work and life of people around the world were seriously affected. In the face of a gloomy economic picture, the four BRIC countries came together and sent a strong message that we would work for the early recovery of the world economy. Through hard efforts, we became the first to achieve an economic turnaround. And thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, the world economy has shown signs of recovery and is expected to gradually emerge from the financial crisis.
At the same time, we must realize that the world economic recovery is not yet firmly established or balanced, and there are still many uncertainties down the road. We have seen recently the rise of sovereign debt risks in some countries, fluctuations in international financial markets, surging protectionism of various forms and grave employment situation in some parts of the world. Global challenges such as climate change, food security, energy and resource security, public health security and major natural disasters are intertwined, and the deep-seated problems in world economic governance structure are yet to be addressed. In short, there is still a long way to go before the world economy can achieve sustainable growth.
Over the past year, we have broadened the scope and increased the levels of dialogue and cooperation among our four countries, and our efforts have produced fruitful results. Our four countries differ in political system, development model, religious belief and cultural tradition, but we have become good friends and partners. This shows that countries with different social systems can be inclusive toward each other and countries with different development models can engage in cooperation. It also shows that different civilizations can learn from each other and different cultures can have exchanges. Our endeavor is in keeping with the trend towards peace and development and answers the call of our time for cooperation and mutual benefit.
“BRIC” cooperation now faces both valuable opportunities and severe challenges. We should set clear objectives for cooperation among the four countries and advance the BRIC cooperation process from a strategic height. We should base our cooperation on political mutual trust, and treat each other with sincerity, mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual support. We should focus on practical cooperation and make our cooperation more dynamic through concrete actions. We should strengthen institutional building to support increased cooperation in broader areas. We should aim for mutual benefit by combining our respective strengths and sharing the fruits of cooperation to the fullest extent. We should view openness and transparency as the prerequisite of our cooperation and strengthen communication and exchanges to make our cooperation an open process.
The international situation is now very complex, and the global pattern is undergoing profound readjustment. No matter how the international situation may evolve and what changes the international system may experience, we should remain firmly committed to the goal of mutual benefit, the principle of democracy and equity, the approach of mutual respect and the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.
We should encourage all parties to firm up the foundation of the world economic recovery and strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination. The international community coordinated the “entry” strategy in response to the financial crisis, and we must also act in coordination with respect to the “exit” strategy and maintain the continuity and stability of macroeconomic policies.
We should encourage all parties to address imbalances in the global economic governance structure. It is important to achieve on schedule the quantified reform targets of international financial institutions set by the G20 Pittsburgh Summit and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries.
We should encourage all parties to continue to promote trade liberalization and facilitation, properly handle trade disputes and reject protectionism. The main parties to the Doha Round negotiations should demonstrate sincerity and flexibility to reach comprehensive and balanced outcomes at an early date and facilitate the establishment of an open and mutually-beneficial multilateral trade regime.
We should encourage all parties to improve the international financial supervisory and regulatory regime by expanding its scope, specifying responsibilities, adopting universally accepted standards and norms and strengthening mechanisms. There should be supervision over the macroeconomic policies of major reserve currency issuing economies and over sovereign credit rating agencies.
We should encourage all parties to embrace a stronger sense of responsibility and morality and work for balanced global development. It is important to scale up input in development and ensure development resources and at the same time respect each other’s development model chosen in the light of national conditions and policy space. In September, the United Nations will hold the High-level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals. We need to urge the international community, particularly developed countries, to honor commitments in increased assistance, debt relief, market access and technology transfer and help developing countries promote economic growth, improve people’s well-being and meet the Millennium Development Goals.
To maintain and advance dialogue and cooperation among BRIC countries, China would like to host the third BRIC Summit.
China has scored notable achievements over the past 30-odd years since reform and opening-up. Now many people are interested to know what kind of a country China is likely to be in the future. What will it say and what will it do? How is it going to treat old friends and how is it going to treat new friends? Let me share with you, in this connection, the following observations.
First, China’s development is a long and arduous task. China is the world’s biggest developing country. A large population, a weak foundation and uneven development: these are the basic realities confronting us. China has 1.3 billion people. Our per capita GDP has just exceeded US$3,000, trailing behind more than 100 countries. According to UN standard, we still have over 100 million people living below the poverty line. It is truly a heavy task to grow the economy and improve people’s livelihood in China. The scale and complexity of the challenges that we face in the course of development are unmatched anywhere else in the world and have been rarely seen in human history. To achieve modernization and ensure a prosperous life for all our people, we must make persistent efforts for a long time to come.
Second, peaceful development is China’s only and logical choice. The Chinese people love peace. It is our long-cherished tradition to foster harmony and build amicable ties with neighbors. China’s development will not bring harm or pose a threat to anyone. We advocate and follow the principle of “do not do onto others what you do not want others to do onto you”. The Chinese people suffered so much in modern history, and we therefore value peace, stability, harmony and freedom more than anything else. China is committed to the path of peaceful development. A prosperous and growing China dedicated to peace and cooperation is willing and able to make new and even greater contribution to mankind’s pursuit of peace and development.
Third, China’s development is an inclusive, win-win process. China pursues a win-win strategy of opening-up and seeks to promote common development of all countries through mutually-beneficial cooperation. Guided by the basic state policy of opening-up, we have been endeavoring to develop an open economy, increase import, actively use foreign investment, implement the FTA strategy at a faster pace, push forward regional economic integration, and share with other countries the benefits of expanding markets and deepening division of labor. China has taken an active part in the international cooperation to counter the global financial crisis ever since it broke out. We have sent many trade and investment promotion missions and large procurement missions abroad. China has made great efforts to support and help developing countries. We have cancelled the debts owed by 49 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries and offered zero-tariff treatment to commodities from more than 40 least developed countries. Last November, we announced eight new measures in support of Africa’s sustainable development. These measures will help expand China’s trade with and investment in Africa, intensify practical cooperation between the two sides, build up Africa’s capacity to achieve self-development, and strengthen our joint endeavor to counter the global financial crisis.
Fourth, China follows a responsible approach in pursuing development. The year 2009 was the most difficult year for the Chinese economy since the beginning of the new century. The global financial crisis led to a sharp decline in China’s export, a big increase in unemployment and a slowdown in economic growth. Confronted with such a situation, we gave top priority to maintaining steady and relatively fast economic growth, and fully implemented and steadily improved our package plan and policy measures in response to the financial crisis. Thanks to these efforts, we achieved an 8.7 percent GDP growth and made important contribution to the world economic recovery. To ensure steady and relatively fast growth, we have taken it as an important task to speed up the transformation of growth pattern and economic restructuring. We have worked hard to promote coordinated growth of consumption, export and investment, with a special emphasis on boosting domestic demand and increasing household consumption. We have no intention to seek trade surplus. Quite the contrary, we have always placed high importance on achieving equilibrium in the balance of international payments in an effort to maintain macroeconomic stability. Last year, China’s trade surplus dropped by US$102 billion over the previous year, yet our import in goods reached US$1.0056 trillion, making China the world’s second largest importing country and presenting great opportunities for foreign goods and services. We have been following a managed floating exchange rate regime in accordance with the principle of independent initiative, controllability and gradualism. Despite the tremendous difficulties caused by the global financial crisis, we have kept the RMB exchange rate basically stable and have thus made contribution to the stability of the international economic and financial systems.
The Shanghai World Expo will open in two weeks. The World Expo is a great event for countries to increase economic and cultural exchanges and promote progress of human civilization. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I warmly welcome friends from Brazil, India, Russia and all countries of the world to go to the beautiful city of Shanghai and join us in this great event. Together, we will contribute to and witness a successful, splendid and memorable World Expo.