Common vision, shared aspirations
To reinvigorate the two growth engines of trade and investment so as to provide stronger driving force for world economic growth is another main objective of the G20 this year. But for some time now, international trade growth has been slowing down, falling behind the average growth of the world economy for several years in a row. Protectionism is on the rise, and the multilateral trading system has encountered difficulties and setbacks. China decides to push for regular meetings of trade ministers and the creation of a trade and investment working group in charge of relevant work. The reason is that we want to highlight trade and investment on this year’s agenda so as to reverse the current situation.
China hopes that with the Hangzhou Summit, the G20 members will reiterate their opposition to protectionism and reach consensus on promoting coordinated development of the multilateral trading system and regional trade arrangements, propelling global trade growth, supporting global value chain development and enhancing international investment policy cooperation.
Development is another focus of the Hangzhou Summit. As the biggest developing country in the world, China attaches great importance to development and believes that development is the common aspiration of people of all countries, developing countries in particular. We also believe that development is a fundamental way to address the lack of growth drivers for the world economy. The year 2016 marks the first year of implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the G20 members are well positioned to lead the way in the implementation process through individual and collective actions. We should together ensure that the implementation process gets off to a good start. The G20 will also discuss and work for positive outcomes in such areas as encouraging more infrastructure investment from multilateral development banks, supporting the industrialization in Africa and the LDCs, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, improving energy accessibility and efficiency, increasing the use of clean and renewable energy, and agricultural technology and innovation.
The logo of the Hangzhou Summit released by China at the Antalya Summit has attracted extensive interest. Could you share with us what this logo stands for?
The city of Hangzhou in China’s Zhejiang province is known both for its beautiful scenery and for being a dynamic city with an innovative spirit. The logo of the G20 Hangzhou Summit features the image of a bridge, drawn in 20 lines. On top of it are the English for “G20 2016 China”, supplemented with the imprint of a traditional Chinese seal bearing the two Chinese characters for “China”. Bridge bears a special meaning for the G20. The G20 is in fact the first global mechanism that allows developed and developing countries alike to take equal part in global economic governance, something that used to be the monopoly of developed countries. This represents a progress in the evolution of global governance and renders the G20 a bridge that connects history with the future, and developed countries with developing countries. Given the current world economic situation, the bridge bears some new implication for the Hangzhou Summit. It implies a keen hope for the G20 to become a bridge in the global economy, a bridge that brings parties together in win-win global cooperation oriented toward the future. The symmetrically curved lines in the bridge are meant to be reminiscent of fiber-optic cables, referring to an interconnected world in an information age. It is our hope that the Hangzhou Summit will serve as a bridge through which countries will build stronger links with each other and together open up broader prospects for the world economy.
I’m sure people will have high expectations for the Hangzhou Summit when they read this interview. Now that there is only less than seven months to go before the summit, what are your plans for the next stage of preparations?
Indeed, the time for preparation is short compared with the weighty task at hand. Fortunately, a solid foundation has been laid. At the just concluded first Sherpa Meeting and Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting, the parties expressed appreciation for China’s proposals on agenda and deliverable and our organization efforts. For the next step, China will continue to follow the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness in the preparatory work, and keep close communication and coordination with all parties to make solid efforts for a successful Hangzhou Summit.
We will continue to work toward the objectives we have identified and build up consensus through mechanisms such as the sherpa track, the finance track, and various ministers’ and working group meetings to finalize the outcomes of the summit. In the months to come, China will host sherpa meetings in Guangzhou, Xiamen, Hangzhou and Wuhan, finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ meetings in Shanghai and Chengdu, and meetings of ministers covering trade, employment, energy and agriculture and the relevant working group meetings in Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an. Through parallel efforts in a whole range of areas and via multiple channels, we hope to lay solid foundations for productive outcomes of the summit.
To make the summit more representative, we have invited countries including Egypt, Khazakstan, Spain, Singapore, Laos and Senegal to take part in the full program of the summit as guest countries. We will host supporting events such as the B20 Summit, the L20 Meeting, the Y20 Meeting, the W20 Meeting and the T20 Meeting to listen to the voices of sectors across the society, make the Hangzhou Summit more inclusive and garner broad popular support for G20 cooperation.
As the host of the G20, China will stay open-minded and engage with relevant regions, countries and international organizations in the lead-up to the summit to communicate its vision and approaches in hosting the summit and take in their suggestions so as to secure more outcomes for the summit for the benefit of more people.
Meanwhile, we will continue to make all-out efforts in political preparations, and conference logistics, security, transportation and publicity fields, to create a favorable environment and good conditions for the success of the summit.
The Chinese economy has entered a new normal. In this context, how should we view the relationship between enhancing external economic cooperation and deepening domestic reform, and that between hosting the G20 Hangzhou Summit and implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan, deepening reform in all respects and striving for the two centenary goals?
You’ve asked a good question. As the host country of the G20 Summit, China must provide a good answer to the question of how to combine its own development needs with the need for cooperation in the world so that the Hangzhou Summit can be an international event with distinct Chinese features. China and its economy have become an integral part of the world and the world economy in a community of shared destiny with deeply intertwined interests.
The Chinese economy has entered a new normal and a period of transformation and upgrading. The world economy has also come to a new stage of profound adjustment and change. The Chinese economy growing at a medium-high speed is an important source of growth for the world economy. Steady growth of the world economy in turn will provide a favorable external environment for China’s development.
A close look shows that China’s overall approach as the host of the Hangzhou Summit is consistent with the guiding principles of the proposal for the 13th Five-Year Plan. The 13th Five-Year Plan outlines a vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development and identifies innovation as the primary driving force for development that is placed at the center of national development. The theme and key agenda items of the G20 Hangzhou Summit are highly aligned with these ideas, and reflect not only China’s own development needs, but also the common needs of international economic cooperation and the institutional transition of the G20. Hosting the G20 Hangzhou Summit will be an important platform for putting China’s vision and propositions into practice. It will also add further impetus to the great historical process of implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan and deepening reform in all respects at home.
Greater international economic cooperation features prominently in the proposal for the 13th Five-Year Plan. It envisions a China that works for improvement of the international economic governance system and promotes a more equitable and fair international economic order leading to greater win-win cooperation. The proposal also calls for efforts to enhance international coordination on macro-economic policies and promote global economic balance, financial safety and stable economic growth. These are not just China’s propositions. They are also consistent with the needs of world economic growth and the shared aspiration of the G20 members and the international community at large.
Last year, the Chinese economy maintained a growth rate of 6.9 percent despite sluggish world economic recovery, divergence in major economies’ monetary policies and greater volatilities in the international financial market. Seen in the global context, this counts as an impressive achievement. This has also made China the biggest contributor to the global economy among major economies, generating over 25 percent of world economic growth. Such an achievement is largely attributable to our efforts to shift the growth model and push forward restructuring by paying greater attention to innovation- and consumption-driven growth.
In the face of downward pressure from the world economy and challenges from economic transformation and upgrading at home, we will adopt a holistic approach and fully leverage the huge potential, resilience and policy flexibility of the Chinese economy and strike a proper balance among pursuing steady growth, promoting reform and restructuring, improving people’s livelihood and guarding against risks. While expanding aggregate demand moderately, we will work hard to advance structural reform, especially supply-side structural reform, pursue innovation-driven growth and identify new drivers with new approaches. In a word, we have the confidence and ability to make sure the economy will grow at a medium-high speed and move toward the medium-high level, to achieve the two centenary goals and realize the Chinese dream of great national renewal while continuing to contribute significantly to world economic growth.
We can say that the G20 Hangzhou Summit will be an important opportunity for China and the world to understand, adjust to and shape the new normal. It will enable China to better combine external economic cooperation with its domestic reform and development and invite the world to join China in opening up new vistas of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development and striving for a new era of global growth. We are full of expectations and confidence in this endeavor.