|China's Development Path Serves the Interests of Not Only China but Also the Entire World|
On August 30, 2020 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech entitled "Upholding the Trend of Peace and Development of Our World with Unity, Cooperation, Openness and Inclusiveness" at the French Institute of International Relations.
Wang Yi said, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have forged ahead against all odds, and embarked on a successful path of development leading toward national rejuvenation. It is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Over the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially since the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people have achieved world-renowned achievements following this path. China has achieved leapfrog development and seen continued rise of its comprehensive national strength. We the Chinese people have mastered our own fate and enjoyed a better life. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people are on course to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win a decisive victory against poverty this year. This means that China will eliminate absolute poverty for the first time in its history and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on poverty ten years ahead of schedule. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the CPC. The original aspiration the CPC is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. The practice of the original aspiration is to help 1.4 billion people get rid of poverty and to achieve prosperity.
Wang Yi stressed, China owes its development achievements, first and foremost, to the hard work, wisdom and courage of the Chinese people. It has also benefited from a peaceful and amicable international environment and win-win cooperation with the rest of the world. At the same time, China's development has not only benefited its own people, but also the whole world.
China has all along been a promoter of world peace, injecting positive energy into the evolving international architecture. Soon after the founding of the People's Republic of China adopted an independent foreign policy of peace. We incorporated "to safeguard world peace" into our first constitution, making China the first country in the world to make such a weighty commitment. Over the past seven decades, China has never provoked a war or conflict, and has never occupied an inch of others' land. Since the reform and opening-up, China has cut its armed forces by over 4 million and actively participated in the processes of the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation affairs including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Today, China is the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and the peacekeeping budget, and has sent more peacekeepers to UN missions than any other permanent member of the Security Council. We are involved in the settlement of all the major international and regional hotspot issues.
China has all along been a defender of the international order, bringing stability to the global governance system. As of now, China has joined almost all the universal inter-governmental organizations and acceded to more than 500 international conventions, and actively fulfilled its responsibilities and paid its membership dues in full every year. For a long time, China has taken an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system. We have resolutely upheld the international system centered around the UN, the international order based on international law, and the multilateral trading regime represented by the WTO. We have firmly upheld international fairness and justice.
China has all along been a facilitator of globalization, making major contributions to building an open world. Today, China is one of the most open economies in the world. As of 2019, overall tariffs were brought down to less than 7.5 percent, lower than most countries in the world, and was close to Europe. Overall tariffs will continue to drop in the future. We have kept expanding market access. For two years running, China has been among the major economies that have made the biggest improvement in their business environment. We are the number one trading partner of 130-plus countries and regions and one of the most important markets for multinational companies. About 490 of the world's top 500 companies have invested in China. Since President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for international cooperation seven years ago. China has signed cooperation documents with 138 countries. Trade in goods with partner countries has exceeded US$7.8 trillion, and direct investment surpassed US$110 billion, providing a strong boost to local employment and social and economic development. In the first half of this year, China's investment in BRI countries increased by 19.4 percent. China-Europe railway express, dubbed as "steel camel fleets", ran 5,122 cargo trips, up by 36 percent year on year. Bringing hope wherever it goes, the railway express has played an important role in maintaining smooth logistics and stable supplies between China, Europe and other BRI partners under the COVID-19 situation.
China has all along been a contributor to world development, providing sustained driving force for global growth. In the past four decades since reform and opening-up, China has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world, contributing over 30 percent to global growth for the past ten-plus years and over 70 percent to global poverty reduction. In both the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis, China weathered the storms with its well-calibrated policies and solid economic fundamentals and served as a major engine driving regional and global economic recovery. Over the past six months, in the face of the pandemic, China launched a global campaign of emergency humanitarian assistance at a scale unseen in the history of the People's Republic of China. By now China has provided timely medical supplies assistance to over 150 countries and international organizations in response to their needs to meet their immediate needs. We have organized thematic video conferences between Chinese health experts and their counterparts in more than 180 countries to share our proven protocols of diagnosis, treatment and control without any reservation. We have sent 33 medical teams to 31 countries badly in need to provide face-to-face exchanges and guidance.
Wang Yi pointed out, these telling facts and figures all serve to show that the development path chosen by the Chinese people meets the aspirations of the 1.4 billion Chinese people and conforms with the trend of peace and development of our times. It is a path that serves the interests of not only China but also the entire world. Since it has been proven right, we have every reason to keep following this path.