Socialism with Chinese characteristics, China’s path for development, has brought benefits to not only China but also the whole world, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday.
While delivering a speech entitled “Solidarity, Cooperation, Openness and Inclusiveness, Jointly Safeguarding the Progressive Trend of Peace and Development of Mankind” at the French Institute of International Relations, Wang noted that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have blazed the trail for their country’s development and rejuvenation amid arduous exploration through thick and thin.
Over the past more than 70 years since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded, especially the past 40 years since the country’s reform and opening up, the Chinese people have made remarkable achievements along the path.
China has accomplished leapfrog development with its comprehensive national strength growing continuously, and the Chinese people have become the true masters of their country with their livelihoods improving incessantly, Wang said.
This year, the Chinese people, under the leadership by the CPC, have achieved the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and securing a decisive victory in poverty alleviation, which marks the first time that China eliminated absolute poverty in its history, and accomplished, 10 years in advance, the goal of eradicating poverty listed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UN), Wang added.
He stressed that China’s development is the result of the Chinese people’s hard work, wisdom and courage, and has benefited from a peaceful and friendly global environment, as well as mutually beneficial and win-win international cooperation. Meanwhile, China’s development has not only benefited the Chinese people, but also the whole world.
China is always a constructor of world peace and constantly “injects positive energy” into the evolution of the international situation. When the PRC was first founded, it established an independent foreign policy of peace and the principle of safeguarding world peace was enshrined in its first constitution, becoming the first country in the world to make such a solemn commitment, Wang said.
He added that over the past over 70 years, China has never provoked a war or conflict, nor encroached upon the territory of other countries. Since its reform and opening up, China took the initiative to reduce its military personnel by over 4 million, and actively participated in the processes of international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Now, China has become the second-largest contributor to the UN regular and peacekeeping budget, and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, having taken part in the handling of almost all major international and regional hotspot issues, he noted.
China has always been a defender of the international order, constantly adding stability to the global governance system, Wang noted, adding that to date, China has acceded to almost all universal intergovernmental international organizations and more than 500 international conventions, and has actively fulfilled its responsibilities and obligations and paid its membership dues in full every year.
Over the years, China has taken an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system, resolutely upheld the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order based on international law and the multilateral trading system represented by the World Trade Organization, and firmly defended international fairness and justice, he said.
China has always been a promoter of globalization and has made important contributions to the effort to build an open world, Wang said, adding that at present, China has become one of the countries with the highest degree of openness in the world.
By 2019, China’s overall tariff level had dropped below 7.5 percent, which is lower than that of most countries in the world and close to the European level, and will continue to fall in the future.
China’s market access has also been expanding and has become one of the economies with the greatest improvement in the business environment for two consecutive years, Wang said. China is the largest trading partner of more than 130 countries and regions in the world and one of the most important markets for major international multinational enterprises. About 490 of the world’s top 500 enterprises have investment projects in China, he added.
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt & Road Initiative seven years ago, China has signed cooperation documents with 138 countries to jointly build the Belt and Road, Wang said. China’s total trade in goods with partner countries has exceeded 7.8 trillion U.S. dollars and the direct investment has exceeded 110 billion dollars, which has greatly promoted the employment and socio-economic development of all countries, he added.
Wang also noted that in the first half of this year, China’s investment in the countries jointly building the Belt & Road increased by 19.4 percent year-on-year, while China-Europe freight train services operated 5,122 trains, up 36 percent year-on-year, which has become a hope-carrying “team of iron and steel camels” and played an important role in ensuring smooth logistics and stable goods supply for China, EU and the Belt & Road countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
China has always been a contributor to world development and has continuously provided strong impetus for global economic growth, Wang said, adding that since its reform and opening up, China has been one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, contributing more than 30 percent to world economic growth for more than 10 consecutive years. In addition, China has contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction.
During the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the international financial crisis in 2008, China’s prudent policies and solid economic foundation played an important role in driving regional and world economic recovery and development, he said.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has launched, over the past six months, the largest global emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the PRC, Wang said, noting that China has so far provided emergency medical supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations to meet their pressing needs, and has held video conferences of health experts with more than 180 countries, sharing without reservation mature diagnosis and treatment experience and prevention and control schemes.
China has also dispatched 33 medical expert teams to 31 countries with urgent needs to carry out face-to-face exchanges and instructions.
Wang pointed out that all these figures and examples prove that the development path chosen by 1.4 billion Chinese people meets their aspirations and the trend of peaceful development, which is beneficial not only to China but also to the world. Since it is a correct path, “we will stick to it unswervingly,” he added.