Xi Jinping Attends Opening Ceremony of BFA Annual Conference 2018 and Delivers Keynote Speech Stressing to Conform to the Trend of the Times and Dedicate to Openness and Win-win Outcomes and Announcing China's New Major Measures to Pursue Further Opening

On the morning of April 10, 2018, the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 was opened in Boao, Hainan Province. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech themed with "Openness for Greater Prosperity, Innovation for a Better Future", stressing that all countries should conform to the trend of the times, dedicate to openness and win-win outcomes, brave to change and break new ground and keep striving for a community with a shared future for mankind; China will remain unchanged its adherence to the reform and opening up, continue to launch new major measures to pursue further opening, and work with countries in Asia and the rest of the world to jointly create a better tomorrow for Asia and the world.

Boao in April greets all people with gentle breeze, warm sunshine, blue ocean and green mountains. Distinguished guests from various countries gathered here in the main venue of the BFA International Conference Center. At about 9:30 a.m., Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan walked into the venue together with couples of foreign leaders including President Alexander Van der Bellen of Austria; President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines; Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh of Mongolia; Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands; Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan; Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore; Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, receiving a standing ovation and warm welcome from the whole audience.

Xi Jinping walked onto the podium and delivered a keynote speech amid warm applause. He pointed out that the BFA has made positive contributions to building consensus in Asia, encouraging cooperation, promoting economic globalization and advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind since its inception. The theme of this year's conference is “An Open and Innovative Asia for A World of Greater Prosperity”, which is in line with the trend of the times and reflects the expectations of all parties.

Xi Jinping stressed that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Over the past four decades, with united and determined efforts, the Chinese people have added a glorious chapter to the development epic of the country and the nation. Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have significantly unleashed and enhanced productivity in China through hard work with an unyielding spirit, bringing enormous changes to the country. Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have moved forward through determined exploration with a pioneering spirit. The Chinese people have both a keen awareness of national realities and global vision. We champion independence and self-reliance while embracing openness and win-win cooperation. We uphold the socialist system while sticking to the direction of reform to develop the socialist market economy. As we “cross the river by feeling the stones”, we have also strengthened top-level planning, successfully blazing a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have kept forging ahead through keeping pace with the progress of the times. Ours is a truth-seeking nation with an open mind, and a nation that has courageously engaged in self-revolution and self-reform. Ours is an enterprising and pioneering nation. Such are the great strengths of the guiding vision, institutional guarantee and 1.3 billion Chinese people driving history forward. Over the last four decades, the Chinese people have always embraced the world with open arms, made opening up a fundamental national policy, pursued development with an open door and accomplished a great transition from seclusion and semi-seclusion to all-around openness. China has become a key anchor and driver for the world economy and a positive force in advancing the noble cause of global peace and development.

Xi Jinping pointed out that for any country or nation to achieve rejuvenation, they must follow the logic of the history and the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and development. We live at a time with an overwhelming trend toward peace and cooperation, openness and connectivity, as well as reform and innovation. People around the world should work together toward a community with a shared future for mankind and make Asia and the world peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, open and beautiful.

Xi Jinping stressed that with the future in mind, we need to treat each other with respect and as equals, follow a new approach to state-to-state relations featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, and partnership instead of alliance to work together for enduring peace; We need to promote dialogue and share responsibility to lead us to universal and common security; We need to engage in cooperation for win-win results, build an open global economy, uphold the multilateral trading system to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all; We need to uphold inclusiveness and seek harmony without uniformity, promote mutual learning among civilizations as it will help us build bridges of friendship, drive social progress, and safeguard peace for the region and beyond; We need to treat nature with respect and treasure our planet, pursue progress along the path of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards and healthy ecosystems so that our future generations can enjoy blue skies, clear water and lush mountains.

Xi Jinping stressed that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, marking a new chapter in China's rejuvenation and its effort for shared prosperity with the rest of the world. In this new era, the Chinese nation will continue to improve itself through reform, stay committed to advancing reform in all respects; The Chinese people will continue to take bold steps in innovation to boost development, and follow the people-centered development philosophy to continuously promote to give our people a greater sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security; The Chinese people will continue to increase openness and expand cooperation, stay committed to the strategy of opening up for win-win results; The Chinese people will continue to work together with the rest of the world and make greater contribution to humanity. China will stick to the path of peaceful development and firmly support multilateralism.

Xi Jinping pointed out that what has happened proves that opening up was key to China's economic growth over the past 40 years and in the same vein, high-quality development of China's economy in the future can only be achieved with greater openness. China's door of opening up will not be closed and will only open even wider. It is a strategic decision made by China based on its need for development as well as a concrete action taken by China to move economic globalization forward in a way that benefits people across the world.

Xi Jinping announced that China will adopt a series of new major measures to pursue further opening.

First, we will significantly broaden market access. We will ensure the implementation of measures to raise foreign equity caps in the banking, securities and insurance industries. At the same time, we will make more moves toward further opening, including accelerating the opening up of the insurance industry, easing restrictions on the establishment of foreign financial institutions in China and expanding their business scope, and opening up more areas of cooperation between Chinese and foreign financial markets. We will ease as soon as possible foreign equity restrictions in automobiles.

Second, we will create a more attractive investment environment. We will enhance alignment with international economic and trading rules, increase transparency, strengthen property rights protection, uphold the rule of law, encourage competition and oppose monopoly. In the first six months of this year, we will finish the revision of the negative list on foreign investment and implement across the board the management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list.

Third, we will strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). We are re-instituting the State Intellectual Property Office to strengthen the ranks of its officers, step up law enforcement, and significantly raise the cost for offenders. Protect the lawful IPR owned by foreign enterprises in China. We hope foreign governments will also improve protection of Chinese IPR.

Fourth, we will take the initiative to expand imports. China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account. This year, we will significantly lower the import tariffs for automobiles and reduce import tariffs for some other products. We will seek faster progress toward joining the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement. We hope developed countries will stop imposing restrictions on normal and reasonable trade of high-tech products and relax export controls on such trade with China. This November, we will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Friends from around the world are welcome to participate in the Expo.

Xi Jinping pointed out that with regard to all those major initiatives of opening up that I have just announced, we have every intention to translate them into reality, sooner rather than later. We want the outcomes of our opening up efforts to deliver benefits as soon as possible to all enterprises and people in China and around the world. I am confident that with these efforts, China will enter a new phase of opening up.

Xi Jinping stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may be China's idea, but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world. As long as the parties embrace the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we can surely make the BRI the broadest platform for international cooperation in keeping with the trend of economic globalization. Let us dedicate ourselves to openness and win-win outcomes, be brave to change and break new ground, and keep striving for a community with a shared future for mankind and a better tomorrow for Asia and the world.

During the speech, the attendees burst into warm applause many times.

At the opening ceremony, Director-General of BFA Yasuo Fukuda delivered a welcoming speech, and attending foreign political heavyweights and entrepreneur representatives also respectively delivered speeches. They said that China’s reform and opening up has scored remarkable and great achievements, which not only promotes the rapid development of China's own economy and society, but also brings great opportunities for the development of various countries in the world. A series of policies and measures to pursue further opening launched by China exhilarate the world, demonstrating that China will continue to firmly push forward reform and opening up in the future. This is a boon to the people of China and the rest of the world and will vigorously promote the common development and prosperity of the world.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Xi Jinping respectively posed for group photos with representatives from Media Leaders Summit for Asia, representatives of Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs, representatives from Hong Kong, Macao, overseas Chinese communities as well as representatives of Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation. Afterwards, Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan went to the welcome hall to greet couples of foreign leaders and posed for group photos.

After the opening ceremony, Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for attending distinguished guests.

Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Ding Xuexiang; Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier Liu He; Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi; Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee Huang Kunming; State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi; Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference He Lifeng as well as others attended the above activities.

The BFA Annual Conference 2018 was held from April 8 to 11, with the theme of "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity". More than 2,000 people including leaders from several countries and regions, principals of international organizations, people from political and business circles, experts and scholars attended the BFA.

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