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Consul General Jin Zhijian Delivers Speech at the Canterbury Club

(From Chinese Consulate General in Christchurch)


At the invitation of the Canterbury Club, Consul General Jin Zhijian delivered a speech entitled China Will Contribute to New Globalization at the club on February16. This was the third time that Consul General Jin delivered a speech at this club. More than 50 club members and some officials from Christchurch City Council attended the event.

Consul General Jin mainly briefed on the direction of China's economic development and its contribution to the world as well as China's perspectives on economic globalization. He also made some suggestions on deepening China-New Zealand bilateral cooperation to face the challenges of globalization. After the speech, Consul General Jin answered questions on bilateral trade, tourism, Chinese enterprises' participation in the Christchurch reconstruction and new industrial revolution. His speech was warmly welcomed.

Below is the full text of his speech:

China Will Contribute to New Globalization

---Speech of Consul General Jin Zhijian at Canterbury Club

Distinguished Chairman Robyn Bisset,
Dear club members and friends,

Good afternoon,

I am pleased to come to the Canterbury Club and meet all the friends again. Chinese people have just celebrated the Spring Festival. I would like to wish you all a happy and auspicious Year of the Rooster. Today, my speech would mainly cover three aspects: first, the direction of China's economic development and its contribution to the world; second, China's perspectives on economic globalization; and third, suggestions on deepening our bilateral cooperation to face the challenges of globalization.

2016 has witnessed accelerated adjustment and transformation of the international structure from a new starting point with some changes even more dramatic than expected. The world economy remains sluggish. Brexit has caught everyone by surprise, the Middle East is mired in aggravating tension, and there is growing backlash against globalization, bringing about greater uncertainty and instability that the international community finds deeply unsettling.

In a world with a plethora of uncertainties, China offers an anchor of stability and growth with its consistent message of support for reform, openness, and free trade. As the developing country with the largest population, the stable and healthy economic development of China has boosted growth worldwide, which is manifested in the following aspects:

Firstly, the stable growth of Chinese economy is the major driver of world economic recovery. The overall economic performance of China has remained stable in 2016 with an annual growth rate of 6.7%. The contribution of China's economic development to world economy has reached 33.2% in 2016 as calculated in constant 2010 USD and about 40% if calculated in 2015 USD. Though its growth rate has been slowed down a bit, Chinese economy still remains the top one engine for the growth of world economy.

Secondly, China's increasing domestic demands have contributed significantly to world trade and economic growth. The demands in Chinese markets have remained vibrant amid the world economic downturn in 2016. The sharp increase of import of international bulk commodities and major industrial products by China has significantly optimized international supply-demand dynamics, not only boosting economic growth of the countries exporting resources and energy, but also playing an indispensible role in promoting the gradual recovery of the developed countries. Meanwhile, China has kept supplying the world with manufactured goods of high quality and low price, contributing to the reduction of production cost worldwide, the promotion of technological progress, and the improvement of livelihood of people in other countries.

Thirdly, the increase of China's outbound investment has added impetus to global economic restructuring. With the increase of China's economic and technological capabilities and especially the steady advancement of the One Belt and One Road Initiative, Chinese enterprises have remarkably fastened their steps of "going out" during recent years, leading to the vibrant growth of investment and economic cooperation overseas. The outbound Chinese investment has kept increasing and reached 170.11 billion USD in total in 2016. And Chinese investment has not only been deeply involved in improving infrastructure and accelerating industrialization of developing countries, but has also played an important role in the market expansion, employment increase and debt pressure buffering in developed countries.

China has entered a decisive stage for building a society of initial prosperity in all respects. Guided by the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, we will strive to achieve medium-high rate of growth and upgrade the economy to higher end of the value chain.

--China will strive to enhance the performance of economic growth. We will pursue supply-side structural reform as the general goal, shift the growth model and upgrade the economic structure. We will foster new drivers of growth, develop an advanced manufacturing sector and upgrade the real economy. We will implement the Internet Plus action plan to boost effective demand. Meanwhile, we are pursuing an innovation-driven development strategy to increase contribution of technological progress to economic growth.

--China will promote high-standard, two-way opening-up. China will never close its door of opening up. China will foster a relaxed and orderly environment for foreign investment. We will expand market access for foreign investors and build high-standard pilot free trade zones, while encouraging more Chinese enterprises to "go out" and increase investment overseas. In the coming five years, China is expected to import $8 trillion of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment and make $750 billion of outbound investment. Chinese tourists will make 700 million overseas visits. All this will create a bigger market, more capital, more products and more business opportunities for other countries.

--China will promote shared and green development. We will improve the mechanism of income redistribution, enlarge the middle-income group, and expand the safety net for the vulnerable members of the society. The economy has added more than 13 million jobs every year since 2013, and unemployment stands at a multiyear low. We will strengthen energy conservation, environmental protection and ecological construction so as to promote green and low-carbon development.

Rapid growth in China has been a sustained, powerful engine for global economic stability and expansion. We welcome people of other countries aboard the express train of China's development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Currently, the world is still reeling from the fallout of the global financial crisis. The world economy still finds itself in profound adjustment, as evidenced by sluggish international trade and investment and rising protectionism. This has given rise to the backlash of globalization. It seemed just overnight that economic globalization has turned from the treasure cave found by Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights to the Pandora's box, origin of all evils. Voices against globalization have laid bare pitfalls in the process of economic globalization that we need to take seriously. When the global economy is under downward pressure, it is hard to make the cake of global economy bigger. It may even shrink, which will strain the relations between growth and distribution, between capital and labor, and between efficiency and equity. Both developed and developing countries have felt the punch. In some countries, the economic globalization has not benefited all strata of society with the Matthew Effect of wealth gap more prominent, and economic globalization may become the "scapegoat".

We should recognize that economic globalization resulted from growing social productivity, and is a natural outcome of scientific and technological progress. Economic globalization as an irresistible trend has powered global growth and facilitated movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology and civilization, and interactions among peoples. We should not simply blame it all on economic globalization for the problems baffling the world like international financial crisis and refugee waves.

Several decades ago, even the boldest prophet can hardly foresee that China may one day get so closely linked with globalization. There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organization. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be a right strategic choice.

China has not only benefited from economic globalization but also contributed to it. President Xi Jinping has attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 recently and delivered China's full confidence to integrate into economic globalization in his speech. China will work with all parties to pursue strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of world economy, and make efforts to promote economic globalization in the following aspects:

First, promoting an open and integrated economy. We must remain committed to developing global free trade and investment and say no to protectionism. China stands resolute with the WTO and multilateral free-trade agreements designed to be inclusive. We will speed up signing FTA and investment agreements with relevant countries, and deepen regional economic integration. In 2016, China successfully hosted G20 Summit in Hangzhou, and led the making of the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, laying out the first global framework of multilateral rules governing international investment. We will consolidate the multilateral trading regime and help revitalize trade and investment, the two major engines of growth. We especially have high expectations for the free trade process in Asia Pacific, and will promote the establishment of Asia Pacific Free Trade Zone and the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Second, enhancing connectivity to achieve interconnected development. We put forward the One Belt and One Road Initiative. It aims to strengthen connectivity to facilitate free flow of factors of production and create a platform of win-win cooperation and shared benefits for all. Since then, over 100 countries and international organizations have given warm responses and support to the initiative. Chinese companies have made over $50 billion of investment and launched a number of major projects in the countries along the routes, producing huge economic and social benefits. In May this year, China will host in Beijing the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and it will lay more solid basis for promoting world economic growth and regional cooperation.

Third, boosting reform and innovation to create more internal driving force. Innovation holds the key to fundamentally unleashing the growth potential. We will work with other countries to develop new growth models and seize opportunities presented by the new round of industrial revolution and digital economy. When cultivating new industries and new forms of business models, we should create new jobs and restore confidence and hope to our peoples. We will enhance coordination with relevant parties to adopt new policy instruments and advance structural reform to create more space for growth.

Fourth, we should develop a balanced, equitable and inclusive development model. Today, mankind has become a close-knit community of shared future. History has proven that closed and exclusive arrangements have no future, while welcoming cooperation with open doors and ensuring benefits for all is the only way forward. This still rings true today. As President Xi Jinping said earlier at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, "Any attempt to ... channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend."

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Sino-New Zealand cooperation has entered fast track. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties, an important year for building on the past and preparing for the future. Taking the same boat, both sides should grasp the opportunities presented by globalization, face the challenges together, promote the bilateral relationship to keep moving forward, and make greater contributions to world stability and prosperity. I have several suggestions to share with you.

First, safeguarding an open trade and investment environment. Both China and New Zealand are advocates and practitioner of free trade, and should work together to maintain international trade regime, build open economies and promote the world economic recovery. Upholding the spirit of mutual benefit, pragmatism and mutual accommodation, both sides may grasp the opportunity of formally initiating the negation on upgrading bilateral FTA to achieve expansion and upgrade of economic and trade cooperation. Officials and entrepreneurs of both countries should continue making efforts to promote the two-way trade and investment while eliminating disturbance and "noises".

Second, achieving synergy between development strategies. China stands ready to maintain close contacts with New Zealand to promote the integration between the "Belt and Road" initiative and the "Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan", and push forward the implementation of more cooperation projects at an early date. New Zealand, as an important stop in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, can embrace important business opportunities from participating in the Belt and Road initiative. Led by this initiative, the interconnectivity between China and New Zealand will also be further enhanced.

Third, forging new points of cooperation. With the speeding up of the undergoing economic transition of both countries, the areas of bilateral economic and trade cooperation have extended from dominance of traditional primary industries to high-tech industries like environmental protection, telecommunication and service industries like e-commerce and finance. Both sides may give further play to respective comparative advantages to push bilateral economic cooperation to higher end and add more momentum of growth.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Faced with difficulty in world economy and setbacks of globalization, we should not run away from responsibilities, and nor shall we backpedal history. There is a Chinese saying that "unless you reach the Great Wall, you are not a true man". The road of human civilization has never been a smooth one. If we boost confidence, take actions and march arm-in-arm toward a bright future, we will surely overcome the difficulties at the moment and build a better tomorrow for human society.

Thank you!

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