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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Dinner hosted by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum: China Remains Committed to Peaceful Development and Win-Win Cooperation
London, 5 February 2020
2020/02/06

Chairman David Marsh,

My Lords,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening!

It is a real delight to join you at this dinner. Let me begin by extending my warm congratulations to the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) on your tenth anniversary!

In the Chinese culture, the twelfth day of the new year, which is exactly today, is called the “day of the rat”. Rat symbolises cleverness, agility and perseverance. So the day of the rat in the Year of the Rat must be doubly auspicious. On this auspicious day, I would like to extend my Chinese New Year greetings and best wishes to all of you present tonight!

OMFIF has won increasing recognition and influence in recent years. In particular, it has been committed to enhancing financial exchanges and cooperation with China, and promoting better understanding of China in the international community. Over the years, our two sides have achieved fruitful outcomes in our cooperation. Please accept my appreciation and thanks for this.

The year 2020 is a milestone for China’s development. In this year, China will achieve its first centenary goal, that is, to eliminate absolute poverty and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.

This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the China-UK “Golden Era”. There will be new situation and new opportunities for China-UK cooperation across the board.

For the world, the year 2020 also bears great significance. In this year, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. It will also be the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we are standing at a new starting point.

Chairman Marsh asked me to talk about the future of China’s development. I will summarise it as four “commitments”.

First, China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development.

The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the trend of our times. But at the same time, the world is faced with risks and challenges from power politics, unilateralism and acts of bullying.

Under such circumstances, China follows an independent foreign policy of peace, and keeps to the path of peaceful development. China needs a peaceful and tranquil international environment for its development. And in turn, China’s development contributes to world peace.

China is now

  • the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget,
  • the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget,
  • and the largest contributor among the P5 of peacekeeping personnel.

Going forward, China will continue to

  • deepen friendship and cooperation with other countries under the five principles of peaceful co-existence,
  • advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,
  • and support dialogue and consultation in addressing regional hotspot issues.

With regard to the existing international system, China has been a participant, a builder and a contributor. We will continue to uphold multilateralism. This means we uphold,

  • the international system with the UN as its core,
  • the international order based on international law,
  • and the multilateral trade system with WTO as its cornerstone.

China stands ready to join hands with all other countries in the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Second, China will remain committed to open and win-win cooperation.

Protectionism is putting a downward pressure on the world economy. Yet countries have become so interdependent economically that it is impossible to divide the vast ocean of global economy into ponds and puddles.

Opening up has become China’s distinctive signature since it adopted this policy more than 40 years ago. China believes that opening up brings win-win results. It is pursuing a new round of opening up at a higher level. In this process, China will share with the world the opportunities of its development.

China is now the major trading partner of more than 120 countries and regions. Going forward, China will open its market wider to the world.

After two successful events of the China International Import Expo over the past two years, China will host the third one later this year.

Last month, China and the United States reached the phase-one economic and trade agreement. This agreement is in line with market and business rules as well as WTO rules. It is beneficial to China, to the US, and to the whole world.

China has an enormous market of nearly 1.4 billion people. Domestic consumer demand for quality goods and services is growing at a fast speed.

China’s Foreign Investment Law and its implementing regulations took effect on January 1st this year. This law further broadens market access for foreign investment, increases imports of goods and services, enhances protection of IPR and opens the financial sector further. In particular, it brings forward the deadline for lifting the foreign ownership caps in joint venture firms from 2021 to 2020. This will benefit firms in such sectors as securities, futures, fund and life insurance.

I am sure all these will provide a broader market and more business opportunities for investment in and cooperation with China.

Third, China will remain committed to fighting climate change and promoting green development. This is because we believe that “green mountains and clear waters are mountains of gold and silver”.

Proceeding from this belief, China has taken active efforts to address climate change and implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. It has been committed to the path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development and pursued high-quality growth of its economy.

Global green leaf area has increased by 5 percent since the early 2000s. At least 25 percent of that gain came from China.

In 2019, clean energy accounted for 24% of total energy consumption in China, and carbon emissions per unit GDP dropped by 45.8% compared with 2005. China has also been the world’s largest investor in renewable energy for the past ten years.

China and the UK share broad common interests. There is enormous potential for our two countries to cooperate in green development and environmental protection.

During the tenth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue last June, China and the UK reached important consensus on green finance.

Later this year, China will host COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UK will host COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These two conferences create invaluable opportunities for closer China-UK cooperation on addressing climate change and enhancing environmental and wildlife protection.

OMFIF has unique economic and financial expertise. It is my hope that you will leverage your strength to facilitate China-UK cooperation on green finance.

Fourth, China will remain committed to advancing high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

After six years since it was launched, BRI has become the largest platform for international cooperation and most popular public goods in the world.

Last year, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in China. It was a huge success: 283 cooperation outcomes were reached; the idea of establishing a global partnership of connectivity was proposed.

A number of economic and trade cooperation zones have been set up in countries along the BRI routes. They have attracted $35 billion of investment from Chinese companies, paid more than $3 billion in tax to host countries and created 320,000 jobs for the local communities.

Going forward, China will continue to implement the concepts of open, green and clean development, and pursue high standards, benefits to the people and sustainable growth, so as to promote high-quality BRI development.

China and the UK are “natural partners” in building BRI. This Initiative could bring Britain’s expertise, knowledge, creative ideas and services together with China’s business models, capital and capabilities in infrastructure building and commercialisation. We could pool our comparative strengths to form synergy and work for both countries. We could enhance cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, creative industry, innovation, FinTech, banking and insurance and in third markets.

You are OMFIF members and clients and leaders in the economic and financial sector. You have extensive links with the political, business, academic and research sectors. It is my hope that you will leverage these advantages and take an active part in BRI cooperation. This will achieve win-win results for all.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As we speak, the eyes of the whole world are set on the Chinese people who are fighting the new coronavirus.

The Chinese Government has gone all out to fight the disease since its outbreak. A series of prevention and control measures have been taken. President Xi Jinping has made a series of important instructions, emphasizing that the safety of life and health of the people should be regarded as the top priority. He also called twice the meetings of the top leadership to map out plans of epidemic prevention. Now the whole country has been mobilised to fight the virus.

In fighting the epidemic, we are safeguarding the safety of life and health of not only the Chinese people, but also people of the whole world. We are contributing to the safety of global public health. The World Health Organisation has spoken highly of the prevention and control measures of the Chinese Government. It has expressed full confidence in China’s capability to beat the virus.

At the same time, the WHO has reiterated that it disapproves of and is even against overreaction to the epidemic, including travel and trade restrictions on China. We appreciate the sympathy and support from people from all walks of life here in the UK for China’s counter-virus efforts. It is our hope that the relevant departments of the UK will respect the professional advice of the WHO and ensure that the normal cooperation and exchanges between China and the UK would not be disrupted.

I am confident that, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, with the united efforts of all the Chinese people, and with the broad support of the international community, we will beat the virus!

Ladies and Gentlemen:

A China pursuing peaceful development will make greater contribution to world peace and development. A more open China will engage in sound interactions with the rest of the world and create more opportunities for win-win cooperation.

It is my sincere hope that OMFIF will continue to leverage your effective platform and plentiful resources to keep abreast with the trend of our times and seize the opportunities to promote financial exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK, and to enhance exchanges and mutual learning between the Eastern and Western civilizations.

I hope you will continue to contribute and share your wisdom and insights. I look forward to a more splendid chapter for OMFIF in the next ten years.

Thank you!

Now I am ready to take your questions.

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