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  • A visitor takes a selfie at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of reforms at the National Museum in Beijing, China on Nov. 14, 2018.

    A visitor takes a selfie at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of reforms at the National Museum in Beijing, China on Nov. 14, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 November 2018

Xi announced that China will broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen intellectual property rights and expand imports. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping noted China's valuable experience from 'reform and opening-up,' in the past 40 years, as he presided over the 5th meeting of the Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform, on Wednesday.

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China's economic reform process was initiated by Deng Xiaoping, in 1978. At that time, Deng launched the "Four Modernizations Program" and declared that "it doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice," a motto used to emphasize that the Asian nation's economic growth required breaking with preconceived ideas.

The reforms have, significantly, unleashed productivity in China and demonstrated the strength of the nation, according to Xi.

Over the past 40 years, China has recorded an averaged annual GDP growth rate of around 9.5 percent, fostered a middle-income population of 400 million and elevated more than 700 million people out of poverty.

At the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, which is a high-level forum for Asian economic and political leaders, Xi stressed that a new wave of reforms will meet with “people's aspiration for development, innovation, and a better life. It also meets the global trend toward development, cooperation, and peace."

Xi announced that China will broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen intellectual property rights and expand imports. Among other things, new initiatives include easing foreign equity restrictions in the automobiles, ships and aircraft industries.

China will also seek faster progress toward joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, a plurilateral accord whose aim is to mutually open government procurement markets among its member countries.

The country's renewed commitment to economic reform and trade openness comes at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump Administration embraces economic nationalism and anti-multilateralism.

"Humanity has a major choice to make between openness and isolation, and between progress and retrogression," Xi said, adding that "in a world aspiring for peace and development, the cold-war and zero-sum mentality looks even more out of place."


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