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President Hu Jintao Answers Questions from Honored Guests of the Boao Forum for Asia on the Spot

2004/04/24

On the morning of April 24, 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao answered questions from the honored guests on the spot after delivering his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Question: Good morning. I'm Nicholas Platt, President of the Asia Society. Some people in the international arena are concerned about whether China's economy is overheated and they are also concerned about its possible adverse impact on the global economy if there is a "hard landing" on the part of China's economy. Can I have your views on this issue, President Hu?

Hu: Thank you for your interest in China's economic situation. In recent years, China's economy has maintained the momentum for sustained and rapid development. On the basis of the 9.1% GDP increase last year, the first quarter of this year has witnessed a rise of 9.7% in China's GDP, better development in agricultural production, continuous improvement of the profits of industrial enterprises, strong momentum of increase in foreign trade volume and a sustained high level in using foreign investment.

Financial revenue has increased by a large margin and rural and urban residents' income has become higher and higher. All these facts indicate that China's economic development has good momentum in general. However, with a sober mind, we have also seen some new problems in China's economy, among which the most outstanding ones are the serious problems in excessively rapid increase of investment in fixed assets, blind investment and low-quality, redundant construction. As a result, there occurred a lack of supply in coal, electricity, petroleum and transportation and excessive increase in currency credit. Although these problems are inevitable in the development process, if not properly handled in time, they will bring about adverse impact on the healthy development of China's economy.

The key to solving these problems is to deepen the reform, improve the mechanism, pursue unified planning with due consideration for all concerned and develop in a coordinated manner. We will mainly take economic and legal measures as well as some necessary administrative means to strengthen financial control and credit management and constrain the excessive investment in some sectors. We believe that through strengthened and enhanced macro-control and full play of the role of the market forces, China's economy will surely maintain its good momentum for development and continue to contribute to the development of regional and global economy. Thank you.

Question: I'm from Bangladesh and I have a question for H. E. President Hu. In recent years, ASEAN countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have seen rapid development. However, compared with other regions of the world, Asia is relatively lagging behind in the process of promoting economic integration. How do you think should the process of Asian economic integration be promoted as a whole? What role does China expect the BFA to play?


Hu: I would like to thank the Bangladeshi friend for the question. I agree to your opinion. It is a fact that Asian regional economic cooperation started only in recent years. However, we should also see the other side of the coin: the cooperation is rapidly developing indeed.

This also reflects the widespread willingness of Asian countries to strengthen regional economic cooperation and seek common development. Asia enjoys relatively stable regional situation, increasingly opened market, more and more mature cooperative mechanisms and in particular, diligent and wise peoples. I think the process of Asian economic integration will definitely make continuous headway so long as our Asian countries deepen bilateral cooperation, enhance regional cooperation, gradually press ahead with the overall cooperation within Asia and strengthen communication and coordination with other regions of the world as well as with some organizations of countries.

As for the question concerning the role played by the BFA, this Forum is currently the only non-official pan-Asia cooperative organization, whose purpose is to promote understanding and cooperation between Asia and other regions.

I hope the BFA will fully mobilize the enthusiasm of government officials, entrepreneurs, specialists and scholars of Asian countries so that they will contribute their ideas for promoting Asian regional economic cooperation and promoting the process of Asian economic integration. I would like to reiterate here that the Chinese government will support as always the development of the BFA. Thank you.

Question:I'm Chi Fulin, Director of the China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD). My question is how you look at the positions and roles of the big powers of this region in the regional cooperation. Is there any competition between China and these countries in the regional cooperation? Thank you.

Hu: there are both big powers and many small countries in the Asian region. We always hold that every country, big or small and medium-sized, is the participator, supporter and beneficiary on an equal footing in Asian regional cooperation. Of course, big powers in the region should take more responsibility for peace and development of the region. We welcome the big powers of the region to play more active and constructive roles in the regional cooperation. There is a saying in China that peace and harmony will bring about a win-win situation. We hope that the big powers of the region will strengthen communication and coordination, expand the mutual benefits of our common interests through the regional cooperation and jointly promote Asian stability and prosperity.Thanks!

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