President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 revealed China's determination to take action to safeguard globalization at a time of severe challenges.
The BFA Annual Conference 2018 was held against the backdrop of the United States' triggering of trade friction with China, with the whole world being eager to see how China would respond.
President Xi expressed his hope that people around the world would work together toward a community with a shared future for mankind, making Asia and the entire world peaceful, prosperous, open and beautiful. He also put forward his expectations for the future: to treat each other with respect and as equals; to promote dialogue and share responsibility; to engage in cooperation for win-win results; to uphold inclusiveness and harmony without uniformity; and to treat nature with respect.
These are China's aspirations and its guidelines for international cooperation. Differences in history, traditional concepts and cultural backgrounds will inevitably lead to divergence. Thus the international community must respect the social systems and developmental paths chosen by each country; respect each other's core interests and major concerns; and adopt a new approach to state-to-state relations that features dialogue rather than confrontation and partnership instead of alignment.
President Xi also announced at the forum that China would significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and expand imports. These measures showcase China's resolve to promote reform and opening up while at the same time safeguarding economic globalization.
In line with its commitments to the World Trade Organization, China has opened its markets and lowered tariffs. In 2018, a year that marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy, the country is taking the initiative in opening up its markets wider to the outside world.
In the financial sector, for example, China has pledged further moves to facilitate foreign investment following an announcement made at the end of last year that it would raise foreign equity caps in the banking, securities and insurance sectors. China's manufacturing industry is largely open to foreign investors, albeit with a few exceptions, including automobiles, ships and aircraft. In his speech, President Xi said these industries are now in a position to open up. He also announced that China would cut tariffs on imported cars this year.
China's further opening up of its markets conforms to historical trends. As for the counter-tide of anti-globalization, it has also made clear its stance and put forward detailed measures. The hope now is that the entire international community will join hands to fight back against these anti-globalization forces.