"We will substantially relax market access", "strengthen intellectual property rights protection" and "reduce tariffs on automobile imports"……, Xi Jinping announced a series of new measures to expand China's opening up at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 and made it clear once again that the door of China's opening up will not be closed, it will be only opened wider and wider.
The solid and truthful measures and commitments have gained applause from the scene and praise from the public opinion. However, under the background of the fierce trade friction between China and the United States, there are also doubts that China's new measures to expand its opening up are compelled to do so.
Is that true? Of course not!
For today's world, China has always insisted on its own judgment: the economic globalization is an irreversible trend of the era.
Based on this judgment, China has been more and more opening up these years and specific measures have been continuously introduced, and all of these are launched on the basis of our consistent policy proposition and are implemented based on our own development and at our own pace.
An obvious fact is that, during the past 40 years, the opening up to the outside world has been a long-term basic national policy of China. In line with its own situation, China has been always proceeding step by step according to its own schedule and roadmap for opening up. Since the 18th National Congress of the Party, new measures for the expansion of China's opening up to the outside world have been continuously introduced and the pace of opening up has been faster and faster. The report to the 19th National Congress of the Party also stressed that we should persist in “opening up the door of the country for construction".
As specifically for the further expansion of the opening up this year, it also has “rules to follow”. The central economic work conference held at the end of last year pointed out that the scope and level of opening up should be further expanded. At the two annual national sessions (NPC and CPPCC) this year, the government work report proposed to expand the opening up in the fields of telecommunications, medical care, education and old-age care and reduce import tariffs on automobiles and a part of daily consumer goods. Even the issue of intellectual property rights that Trump has recently revealed frequently, this Report has already mentioned: "strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and implementing the system of punitive damages for tort."
"I want to tell you clearly that the door of China's opening up will not be closed, but it will be only opened wider and wider." Xi Jinping made a clear statement at the Forum, which once again declared the determination of expansion of China's opening up. He also pointed out at the same time that China does not aim at seeking a favorable balance of trade, but sincerely hopes to expand imports and promote balance of payments in current account.
At present, China has signed 16 free trade agreements with 24 countries and regions and 15 of them have become effective and been implemented, covering more than 8,000 kinds of zero tariff import products. Besides the free trade zone agreements, China has lowered the import tariffs of 187 goods since December 1, 2017, with the average tax rate decreasing from 17.3% to 7.7%. According to WTO statistics, China's import growth rate is significantly higher than the global average level and the countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan. Moreover, in the next 5 years, China will expect to import more than USD10 trillion of goods and services.
However, for further opening up, China also has its own expectation: we hope that foreign governments will strengthen the protection of China's intellectual property rights and hope that the developed countries will no longer impose restrictions on the normal and reasonable trade in high-tech products.
To further expand the opening up, China even more has its own persevering. That is, China's pace of opening up to the outside world has its own propositions, appeals and rhythms and the expansion of opening up to the outside world will never be at the expense of the national interests of China. Nobody could count on today's China in opening up its door widely without restraint or principle under the external pressure.