“Fruits of innovation should benefit the entire world instead of becoming a treasure buried in a cave,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday during his meeting with Foreign delegates attending the New Economy Forum (NEF) in Beijing.

“The more difficulties and obstructions we face, the more resolved we will be to tackle them”

The remarks, part of the President’s words during meetings with Foreign Guests, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, sent a resounding message to the world that China will unwaveringly speed up its development despite obstacles.

The NEF was co-hosted by Bloomberg and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

 2019 New Economy Forum
Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Liu He, Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Members of Delegation of 2019 New Economy Forum, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing – China.

When meeting with Foreign Delegations, President Xi said China has gained confidence in 40 years of reform and opening-up, and will continue on this path.

The Belt & Road Initiative has been fruitful through joint construction efforts. It is mutually beneficial and will not slow down, but will progress further on the right path, he said.

The right path chosen by the Chinese people in line with China’s national conditions has led to historical achievements. “We participated in, experienced and contributed to such change. The Chinese people have never been as confident as they are today.” In the meantime, the Chinese people have always been holding a gentle, respectful, kind, humble and thrifty manner, President Xi said.

The Chinese Dream is by no means a “hegemonic dream,” he said. Saying he has full confidence in China’s future, President Xi noted China does not intend to replace any power; rather, its aim is to “restore the dignity and status it deserves.”

President Xi also talked about innovation. He said that the fruits of innovation should benefit the entire world, instead of becoming a treasure buried in a cave.

Although China and the US have different opinions regarding cooperation on innovation, the differences should be addressed through dialogue and cooperation, not suspicion and prevention, he said.

In his meeting with Georgieva, President Xi said global economic growth is slowing down with increasing downside risks. Protectionism is on the rise, and multilateralism and free trade are facing challenges. Therefore, the international community has higher expectations for the role of the IMF, President Xi said.

Stressing that China’s economic development has great resilience, potential and room to manoeuvre, President Xi said the long-term positive trend of China’s economic growth will not change.

“I am fully confident in China’s development,” said President Xi, noting that China will stick to the new vision for development, forge ahead with high-quality economic development, continuously promote a higher level of opening up, and bring more opportunities to world economic growth.

Committed to Cooperation

Through talking to more than 600 influential political officials, business tycoons & academic elites worldwide, who are there to hear the “Chinese experience,” President Xi’s remarks sent a resounding message to the world that China is willing to share its wisdom on development and join hands with other countries to overcome problems the world is facing under the current gloomy international political and economic outlook, experts said.

In his meeting with Kissinger, President Xi said that “at present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges,” calling on the two countries to enhance communication on strategic issues, avoid misunderstanding and misjudgement.

“The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction,” said President Xi.

President Xi appreciated the sincere feelings and positive efforts Kissinger devoted to promoting the development of Sino-US relations over the decades, saying that Kissinger will be remembered for his important contributions in history.

President Xi also talked about trade negotiation with representatives of NEF that “We want to work for a ‘phase one’ agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” Reuters reported.

“When necessary, we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want,” Xi said.

Xi’s meeting with the US guests came amid global expectations on whether a phase one trade deal between the two countries could be reached, which showed China’s consistent stance that it does not want a trade war, but is not afraid of it, said Wei Jianguo, former Vice Minister of Commerce. He said that the meeting showed “China’s willingness to cooperate and that China is inclined to share its development opportunities with the US.”

“We hope that the US could know the stabilised progress China has made in its reform and opening-up and the country’s strengthened efforts to keep its promise to further carry out opening-up,” he said.

Despite external pressure from the trade war, China will insist on its pace of development and is committed to innovative reform, experts said, noting that President Xi’s speeches reflect the spirit of the Chinese people to rise to the challenges and never to give in, said experts.