Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Xi's remarks on building Asia-Pacific community with shared future

Xinhua/Li Xueren


Beijing, 11 November (2021) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday urged the Asia-Pacific region to face up to the responsibility of the times, be in the driver's seat, and strive hard to meet the goal of building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.

"Working together, let us all be promoters of and contributors to unity and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific family," Xi said.

Xi made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit via video.

On multiple occasions, the Chinese president has called for strengthened cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, charting a course for the region to build a community with a shared future.

"Let us stand with each other in solidarity, promote anti-COVID cooperation and economic recovery, and work for a bright future of prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific," Xi said on July 16 while addressing the APEC Informal Economic Leaders' Retreat via a video link.

With concrete actions, China has walked the talk in promoting anti-COVID cooperation and economic recovery. Its efforts to enhance international vaccine cooperation have earned praise among APEC members, with heads of state, senior officials, health workers and ordinary people voting for Chinese vaccines.

In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo took the lead in receiving the shot of the Chinese-made vaccine. In Chile, President Sebastian Pinera said that the arrival of a flight carrying Chinese vaccines marked "a day of joy, excitement and hope."

So far, China has provided over 1.6 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organizations, and will provide over 2 billion doses to the world in the whole year.

Today, the world is undergoing profound changes in a century that are compounded by the pandemic, with unilateralism and protectionism on the rise, and economic globalization facing headwinds.

At this critical moment, how can the Asia-Pacific region, an important engine of world economic growth, continue to contribute to global development? Xi's remarks made about six years ago are still inspiring.

"Facing the dangerous rapids and shoals in the world economy, we must steer the giant ship of the Asia-Pacific in the right direction. All economies in the region must act in a responsible manner and work in unison to promote global growth," the Chinese leader said at the APEC CEO Summit in 2015.

In this regard, China has played a pioneering role, especially in providing platforms to promote common growth, such as the China International Import Expo (CIIE).

The fourth CIIE held on Nov. 5-10 has attracted nearly 3,000 businesses from 127 countries and regions.

"The fourth China International Import Expo is held under the global pandemic background. It gives me strong confidence that China is still keeping an opening-up policy and efficiently controls COVID-19," said Roy van den Hurk, general manager of Theland Global R&D at Milk New Zealand Dairy.

"Its huge consumer market helps foreign trade enterprises like us to find opportunities in the green food industry and promote global economic recovery," he said.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth CIIE, Xi said: "China has overcome the impact of COVID-19 to achieve innovative growth in foreign trade. As the only major economy to register positive growth of trade in goods last year, China has made important contributions to keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and boosting world economic recovery."

Future development concerns the interests of everyone, and the members of the Asia-Pacific region must move forward together.

"Like a vast ocean, the Asia-Pacific offers enough sailing space for us to make progress together. Each and every APEC member has a stake in the future development of the Asia-Pacific," Xi said at the APEC CEO Summit in 2013.

China supports the Asia-Pacific region in continuing to enhance the inclusiveness of its economic development, so that people can share the fruits.

Besides sustainable development cooperation and work to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Xi has also emphasized the importance of innovation in the Asia-Pacific region.

"In a boat race, those who row the hardest will win. If we do not move proactively to adapt to the surging tide of new scientific revolution and industrial transformation, we risk missing valuable opportunities or even falling behind the times," he said at the APEC CEO Summit in 2018.

From developing digital economy to taking smart anti-epidemic measures and building smart cities, China and Asia-Pacific partners continue to deepen innovation cooperation, which will add fresh impetus to economic growth and create new points where their interests converge.

In a phone conversation with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Friday, Xi stressed that China supports New Zealand's role as the host of the 2021 APEC meetings, and is willing to work with all other parties to push for positive results in the APEC informal economic leaders' meeting.

In doing so, he said, they can inject new impetus into the Asia-Pacific region's efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, advance economic recovery, promote regional development and prosperity, and build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.