Full text: Keynote speech by China’s top legislator Zhao Leji at opening plenary of Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024

 

China’s top legislator Zhao Leji on Thursday delivered a keynote speech at the opening plenary of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024.

Please see the attachment for the translation of the full text of the speech. Enditem

 


 

Working Together to Meet Challenges and Create a Better Future for Asia and the World

 

Keynote Speech by H.E. Zhao Leji,  Chairman of the Standing Committee Of the National People’s Congress Of the People’s Republic of China At the Opening Plenary Of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024

Boao, March 28, 2024

 

 

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Your Excellencies Heads of International Organizations,

Your Excellencies Members of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum          for Asia,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

 

Hainan in March is greeting us with gentle breeze, silvery beach and blue ocean. In this beautiful season of spring, it gives me great pleasure to join you, friends old and new, for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024. Let me begin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government, warm congratulations on the opening of the Annual Conference, a hearty welcome to all participating guests, and sincere appreciation to you all for your longstanding care and support for China’s development.

 

Our world today is going through accelerated transformation unseen in a century. The world economic recovery is lackluster; problems and conflicts keep emerging; hegemonic and bullying acts are deeply harmful; peace and development face grave challenges. Against such a backdrop, do we work in solidarity to tackle the risks and challenges? Or do we cling to the zero-sum mentality and push the world toward division and confrontation? The choice we make and the path we choose bear on the future of humanity and the entire world. In this connection, the theme of this year’s Annual Conference, “Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities,” is a highly relevant one.

 

Where should humanity be headed? China’s answer to this question of our times is to join hands and build a community with a shared future for mankind. President Xi Jinping stated at multiple international occasions that building a community with a shared future for mankind means that the future of each and every nation and country is interlocked, so we should stick together through thick and thin and endeavor to build this planet of ours into a big harmonious family. This vision is based on the general consensus and expectations of the international community. It also derives from China’s sense of responsibility as a major country. It represents China’s contribution to humanity’s joint endeavor of protecting the homeland and creating a better future.

 

Over the past ten-plus years, building a community with a shared future for mankind has developed from a Chinese initiative to a global endeavor, from a promising vision to substantive actions, and from a conceptual proposition into a scientific system. We advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. China believes that all countries are equal regardless of their size, and calls on all countries to rise above the outdated mentality of bloc confrontation and zero-sum game, practice true multilateralism, and jointly build an open world economy. China has proposed and pursued high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), contributing a lot to global prosperity and stability and delivering concrete benefits to the people.

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Seventy years ago, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were proposed in Asia. Today, these principles have gained renewed vigor and are more relevant than ever. Having been through hot and cold wars, hardships and tribulations, people in Asia cherish deeply the value of peace and understand that development gains do not come easily. It is important that we hold high the banner of a community with a shared future for mankind, jointly build an Asian community with a shared future, and work together for a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful, amicable and harmonious Asian home.

 

We should jointly maintain security in Asia and contribute positive energy to world peace and stability. History and reality both show that peace and stability are the common aspirations of Asian people, the biggest consensus of Asian countries, and the prerequisite for Asia’s development. In the face of intertwined and complex global security threats, we should implement the GSI, follow the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, oppose power politics and hegemonic acts, and maintain the regional order that accommodates the needs and interests of all parties. We must always keep in our own hands the future of lasting peace and security in Asia and pass on the torch of peace from generation to generation.

 

We should jointly promote the development of Asia and provide enormous opportunities for global economic recovery. Today, Asia is the most dynamic and promising region in the world, accounting for 40 percent of global GDP and contributing to more than 70 percent of global growth. In the face of a global economy that has been in the doldrums for some time, we should jointly implement the GDI, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, seize the opportunities in the new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, foster and enhance new growth drivers, and promote green, low-carbon and sustainable development to inject strong impetus from Asia into global economic recovery.

 

We should jointly champion cooperation in Asia and build broad consensus for international solidarity and coordination. Asian countries have the fine tradition of helping each other out in trying times. Together, we have overcome one difficulty after another on our path to development. Now, in the face of clamors for division and confrontation, it is essential that we stay independent, seek strength through unity, and carry on side by side. We should jointly oppose unilateralism and extreme self-serving practices, oppose picking sides and bloc confrontation, and prevent this region and the world from becoming an arena of geopolitical contests.

 

 

We should jointly advance openness in Asia and build synergy for a world of win-win cooperation. A review of the course of human development tells us that openness brings progress while isolation leaves one behind. In today’s world, the trend of economic globalization is irreversible, and no country is able to develop itself behind doors. It is imperative that we work together for win-win outcomes, jointly implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and advance negotiations on the new round of China-ASEAN FTA upgrade, in an effort to build a common regional market that is more close-knit and more open. We must oppose trade protectionism and all forms of barriers and decoupling practice. We must share opportunities by opening up and seek win-win outcomes through cooperation.

 

We should jointly carry forward Asian civilizations and provide a constant driver for exchanges and mutual learning of world civilizations. President Xi Jinping has said, “To meet our common challenges and create a better future for all, we look to culture and civilization to play their role, which is as important as the role of economy, science and technology.” We need to implement the GCI, respect the diversity of civilizations, promote common values of humanity, and encourage different civilizations to live in harmony, learn from each other and help each other succeed. We should promote mutual understanding and affinity among peoples in Asia and the world and share the benefits of the progress of civilizations.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

 

Here in China, we recently concluded the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which set the targets, tasks and policy measures for economic and social development this year, and demonstrated the  confidence in China’s economic rebound and long-term growth. China’s GDP grew by 5.2 percent last year and is expected to grow by around five percent this year, one of the highest among major economies. China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts with high-quality development, which will inject strong impetus into the world economy and provide more opportunities for the development of all countries, especially our neighbors in Asia.

 

 

China is committed to innovative development. Innovation is a powerful driver of development. China follows an innovation-driven development strategy, one that spurs industrial innovation through innovations in science and technology, and expedites the development of new quality productive forces. Investment in China’s high-tech sector has been increasing at double-digit rates for several years, and the number of high-tech enterprises stands at around 400,000. Exports of the “new trio,” namely, new energy vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic products, are growing rapidly. The digital economy has seen acceleration, and the 5G coverage tops 50 percent. China stands ready to intensify cooperation with all countries on scientific and technological innovation, to fully unleash the dynamism of innovation, and foster new sources of growth. We will also work with all parties to jointly implement the Global Initiative for AI Governance to promote the sound, secure and orderly development of AI.

 

China is committed to open development. Openness is the hallmark of contemporary China. China’s door to the world will never close, but will only open wider. We will proactively align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, and foster a pro-business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and world-class. We will further shorten the negative list for foreign investment, remove all restrictions on access in the manufacturing sector, deliver national treatment for foreign businesses, and make it easier for foreign nationals to work, study, and travel in China. Hainan is developing itself into a free trade port with Chinese characteristics and global influence, and a new pacesetter for high-level institutional opening up in China. We encourage you to make investment and start up businesses in Hainan.

 

 

China is committed to green development. Green is a salient feature of China’s high-quality development. Today, close to half of the world’s installed photovoltaic capacity is found in China, over half of the world’s new energy vehicles run on roads in China, and one-fourth of the world’s increased area of afforestation is in China. We are accelerating China’s transition to green and low-carbon economic and social development, and are making every effort to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. We are also working to cultivate large-scale new growth drivers in green infrastructure, green energy, green transportation and green lifestyle, which is expected to generate investment and consumption markets with a size of RMB10 trillion yuan every year.

 

China is committed to shared development. Apart from being a main trading partner of more than 140 countries and territories, China is a primary source of investment for more and more countries, and one of the most important investment destinations for most countries in the world. In the next five years, China’s trade in goods is expected to exceed US$32 trillion, and the potential of its super-sized market with over 1.4 billion people will be further unlocked. Investing in China is investing in the future. All countries are sincerely welcome to board the “express train” of China’s development and join hands to work for a global modernization featuring peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and prosperity for all.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, “Pool the wisdom of everyone and there is nothing you cannot accomplish; gather the strength of everyone and there is no victory you cannot win.” We live in a global village. All countries sail in the same boat and share the same future. In the face of serious and complicated global risks and challenges, we must reinforce confidence and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind and create a better future for Asia and the world at large.

 

To conclude, I wish this year’s Boao Forum for Asia a full success.

 

Thank you.”

 

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