Speech to high-level meeting stresses need to advance economic integration
President Xi Jinping has called for building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future featuring openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Xi made the statement while addressing the 28th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting via video link in Beijing on Friday. This year's meeting was hosted by New Zealand with the theme "Recovering from COVID-19 to Build Prosperity for All Our People and Future Generations".
In his speech, Xi underlined the need to advance regional economic integration, and called for the early realization of a high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
"We need to practice true multilateralism, stick to dialogue rather than confrontation, inclusiveness rather than exclusion, and integration rather than decoupling, and be resolute in safeguarding the multilateral trading regime with the World Trade Organization at its core," he said.
China supports the implementation of the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform and the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, he added.
As a champion of an open world economy, China has applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement among 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a freetrade agreement among 15 Asia-Pacific nations that will create the world's largest trading bloc and will enter into force on schedule next year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging globally, Xi called for joint efforts to advance antivirus cooperation and promote economic recovery in the region.
"We need to follow a science-based approach in pandemic response, deepen international cooperation, promote the research, development, production and fair distribution of vaccines, ensure their accessibility and affordability in developing countries, and close the immunization gap," he said.
China has announced that it will provide a total of 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world this year, and has so far provided over 1.7 billion doses, including donations to more than 110 countries, according to the Chinese president. It has also undertaken to offer $3 billion over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries.
China welcomes APEC initiatives to facilitate the movement of essential goods and people in a safe manner, and will continue to provide support to the Sub-Fund for APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery with a view to helping member economies recover and grow their economy, Xi said.
In terms of developing the digital economy in the region, he called for implementing the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap in a full and balanced manner, and fostering an open, fair, just and nondiscriminatory environment for innovation and the growth of productivity.
"We need to further develop the digital infrastructure, speed up digital transformation, strive to bridge the digital divide, and promote development of the digital economy in an all-round way," he added.
While stressing the need to pursue inclusive and sustainable development, Xi reiterated China's commitment to peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, as well as its support for developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energies.
"We need to seek the harmonious coexistence between man and nature, actively respond to climate change, promote green and low-carbon transition, and foster a community of all life on Earth," he said.
Noting that China has started a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, Xi said the country will unswervingly expand opening-up and share its development opportunities with APEC members and the wider world.
"China will work with all APEC members in building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and jointly opening a new chapter for Asia-Pacific economic cooperation," he said.
(Source: China Daily)