|Staying Committed to and Jointly Promoting Development to Bring Asia-Pacific Cooperation to New Heights|
Written Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
Bangkok, 17 November 2022
Representatives of the Business Community,
It gives me great pleasure to come to the beautiful city of Bangkok for the APEC CEO Summit.
Our world has once again reached a crossroads. Where is it headed? What should we do here in the Asia-Pacific? These questions demand urgent answers.
The 21st century is the Asia-Pacific century. Our region, which accounts for one-third of the world’s population, over 60 percent of the global economy and close to half of global trade, is the most dynamic growth belt in the world. We, members of this region, have come a long way in pursuing economic development, and we will surely write an even more brilliant chapter in the years ahead.
Currently, the Asia-Pacific enjoys overall stability. Cooperation in our region has been steadily advanced, and peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the underlying trend in this region. On the other hand, the world has entered a new period of fluidity and change. Both geopolitical tensions and the evolving economic dynamics have exerted negative impact on the development environment and cooperation structure of the Asia-Pacific. The COVID-19 pandemic keeps resurging. The global economy faces mounting downward pressure and growing risk of recession. Food, energy and debt crises are emerging together. Many countries are encountering considerable difficulties in economic and social development. Various factors of uncertainty and instability are growing. The Cold War mentality, hegemonism, unilateralism and protectionism are mounting. Acts that distort international norms, disrupt economic linkages, inflate conflicts in regions, and impede development cooperation are all too common. All these pose a serious challenge to peace and development in the Asia-Pacific.
A review of the past may offer a clue to what will happen in the future. Over the past decades, Asia-Pacific economic cooperation has injected powerful impetus into the development of our region and greatly improved the wellbeing of our peoples. We should draw on the valuable past practices and remain firm in pursuing our development goals.
— We should follow a path of peaceful development. The Asia-Pacific, once a ground of big power rivalry and a place fraught with international disputes, suffered so much from conflicts and wars. History tells us that bloc confrontation cannot solve any problem and that bias will only lead to disaster. It is precisely because the Asia-Pacific was freed from the shadow of the Cold War that this region, and particularly its small- and medium-sized economies, have been able to embark on a fast track toward modernization and create the Asia-Pacific miracle.
The Asia-Pacific is no one’s backyard and should not become an arena for big power contest. No attempt to wage a new cold war will ever be allowed by the people or by our times!
— We should follow a path of openness and inclusiveness. Openness and inclusiveness are vital for human prosperity and advancement. Over the past decades, we economies in the Asia-Pacific have overcome market fragmentation, built closer economic linkages and embraced the world, thus opening up vast space for economic development. APEC, guided by open regionalism and the principles of diversity and non-discrimination, has become an architecture for inclusive and win-win regional cooperation. It is by acting on such a far-sighted vision that we in the Asia-Pacific have been able to seize the opportunities of economic globalization and become a forerunner of the times in pursuing regional economic integration.
Openness brings progress while closing the door can only leave one behind. Any attempt to disrupt or even dismantle the industrial and supply chains formed in the Asia-Pacific over many years will only lead Asia-Pacific economic cooperation to a dead end.
— We should follow a path of solidarity. The Asia-Pacific miracle has been created by all of us working hand in hand and overcoming difficulties and obstacles. Over the years, we in the Asia-Pacific have stayed together as one big family. We have met challenges head-on in solidarity, defused various risks and navigated the surging tides of the global economy. Through cooperation, we have forged a sense of community, which has laid a solid foundation for steady progress.
The Asia-Pacific has entered a crucial stage of post-COVID recovery. The economies in our region are confronted with disrupted supply chains, strained food and energy supply, growing inflationary pressure and other difficulties. We should strengthen cooperation, support and help each other, and enable the Asia-Pacific to be a leader in boosting global economic recovery.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Facing these new developments, we need to draw on past experiences and lessons, respond to the challenges of the times and steadfastly advance Asia-Pacific regional economic integration, so as to jointly break new ground in development and build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.
First, we should bolster the foundation for peaceful development. We should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, pursue the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and jointly reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. We need to build an Asia-Pacific security architecture to create conditions for ensuring economic development and durable peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.
Second, we should take a people-centered development approach. We need to ensure people’s wellbeing through economic development, meet the needs of vulnerable groups, narrow the income gap and foster an inclusive environment for development. The developed economies in the Asia-Pacific should play a positive role and actively support the developing economies. Together, we can forge a new partnership of unity and equality, a partnership that is balanced and inclusive.
Third, we should pursue higher-level opening-up. We need to deepen cooperation within the APEC framework, advance the building of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and implement the Putrajaya Vision. We need to engage fully and deeply in the reform of the World Trade Organization, achieve better alignment among the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, and build an open Asia-Pacific economy.
Fourth, we should strive for higher-standard connectivity. We should, guided by the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, boost hard and soft connectivity and exchange of personnel in a well-ordered way. China will actively enhance the complementarity between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of other parties to jointly build a high-quality Asia-Pacific connectivity network.
Fifth, we should build stable and unimpeded industrial and supply chains. We need to follow the laws governing economic activities and market principles, facilitate the free flow of production factors, protect the production and supply systems of goods and services, and build convenient, efficient and secure industrial and supply chains in the Asia-Pacific. Unilateralism and protectionism should be rejected by all; any attempt to politicize and weaponize economic and trade relations should also be rejected by all.
Sixth, we should promote economic upgrading. We need to embrace the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, accelerate scientific, technological and institutional innovation, foster new economy, new types of business and new business models, and achieve digital transformation of the Asia-Pacific economy. It is important for us to pursue green and low-carbon development, foster green economic sectors, promote green finance, and speed up the establishment of an Asia-Pacific green cooperation framework. With these efforts, we can make the Asia-Pacific a global pace-setter in pursuing economic development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China, as a member of the Asia-Pacific, has benefited much from the region. In return, it has shared its development gains with others in the region. The Chinese economy and the Asia-Pacific economy are interdependent and deeply integrated with each other. In fact, China is now a major trading partner of many Asia-Pacific economies and an important part of the industrial and supply chains in the region. China is committed to promoting the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, and will do more to enhance the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific.
Not long ago, the Communist Party of China successfully convened its 20th National Congress, during which it laid out the overarching goal for China’s development both at the current stage and in the years to come, and decided on the steps to be taken to this end. In particular, a call was made at the Congress to pursue Chinese modernization on all fronts.
— To date, no more than 30 countries, with a total population of less than one billion, have achieved industrialization. Against this backdrop, the modernization of China, a country with over 1.4 billion people, will be of epoch-making importance in human history. To ensure greater success in China’s economic and social development, it is critical to unleash the strength of its over 1.4 billion people. We will continue to take the people-centered approach and raise living standards. Our goal is to increase the middle-income population to more than 800 million in the next 15 years, and promote the sustained growth of our super-sized market.
— As an ancient Chinese historian observed, “Governance is all about enriching the people.” China has won the critical battle against poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and it is now continuing its efforts to achieve common prosperity for all. The common prosperity we have in mind aims to better meet people’s needs for a better life. It aims to achieve, over time, overall prosperity and prosperity for all. We will leverage the role of both the market and the government and ensure both performance and fairness. We will make the pie bigger and share it fairly, and build an olive-shaped structure of income distribution. I have put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) for the very purpose of addressing imbalance in development. China is working with over 100 countries and international organizations to advance the GDI and see that the deliverables promised at this year’s High-level Dialogue on Global Development will reach those in need. China stands ready to provide more resources for global development cooperation and work with all other parties to build a global community of development.
— I have often said that we should not only have towering buildings across China. More importantly, we should build a huge mansion, one of powerful inspiration, for the Chinese nation. We will keep raising people’s living standards and enriching their lives, so that every family will enjoy a decent life and everyone will be imbued with a strong sense of moral integrity. We believe in equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between different civilizations. We call upon all countries to hold dear humanity’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. And we should overcome estrangement between civilizations with exchanges, prevent their clash with mutual learning, and overcome a false sense of superiority with coexistence. In short, we should promote human advancement along a balanced, positive and upward trajectory.
— In pursuing Chinese modernization, we will follow a new path of maintaining harmony between humanity and nature. This is our responsibility not only for ourselves, but for the world as well. In recent years, we have, acting on the belief that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, pursued all-round green transition in economic and social development; and we have endeavored to build a Beautiful China with blue skies, green lands and clear waters.
China has set the goal of striving to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This is our solemn commitment to the international community. Over the past decade, China has been among the countries with the fastest energy intensity reduction in the world. We have overfulfilled the 2020 target of cutting carbon emission intensity by 40 to 45 percent. As a result, a total of 5.8 billion tons less of CO2 is emitted. China now has both the largest carbon market and the largest clean electric power generation system in the world. We will enhance cooperation with all other stakeholders, and advance steadily along the path of green and low-carbon transition in a concerted effort to build a community of life for humanity and nature.
— More than anything else, we Chinese hope to see peace and stability. To follow the path of peaceful development is a strategic choice made by us in the fundamental interests of the Chinese people. We will stand firmly on the right side of history. We will stay committed to peace, development, cooperation, and delivering mutual benefit. We will strive to safeguard world peace and development as we pursue our own development, and we will make greater contribution to world peace and development through our own development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the years, the Asia-Pacific business community has been an important driver fueling growth in our region. Some say that entrepreneurs are pessimists in the short term, but optimists in the long term. If one cannot foresee risk in time of prosperity, he cannot run a business well. But neither can he grow his business if he fails to see the long-term positive trend. I hope that all of you, as business leaders, will give full rein to entrepreneurship, actively involve yourselves in economic cooperation and China’s reform, opening-up and modernization endeavors, and contribute to boosting development and prosperity of both the Asia-Pacific and the world.