By Tian Qi, Ambassador of China to Jamaica
This outgoing year of 2020 is extraordinary. We have experienced the most serious global pandemic in a century, which is still wreaking havoc across the world. Some countries are facing the threat of a second wave of infections. To contain the virus, stabilize the economy and protect livelihood remains a long and arduous journey for all countries.
China offers solutions to global challenges
It is against this background, the 12th BRICS Summit, the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit were held between November 17 and 22, 2020.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended these multilateral events via video and put forth 23 important initiatives, proposals and measures for coordinating COVID-19 control with economic and social development, cooperating to shape the post-pandemic international order, and strengthening global economic governance.
Countries cannot fight the pandemic alone, the only way the world is going to get through the pandemic is through partnerships.
President Xi reiterated that China will remain committed to openness and cooperation, and adhere to multilateralism and the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and put forward a package of solutions to facilitate the global economic recovery, featuring openness, innovation, inclusiveness and green development.
President Xi reaffirmed that China will continue to actively support and participate in international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, materialize the COVAX facility backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), share China’s vaccines with other countries, particularly developing countries, and work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world.
At present, five Chinese vaccine candidates are under clinical trials, and phase one and phase two clinical trials of some other vaccines are accelerated. The Chinese government has been actively supporting cooperation between Chinese companies and other countries, in vaccine research and development.
Following the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and pitching in to tackle climate and other environmental challenges, President Xi also called on the international community to strengthen collective response to climate change and deepen the transition toward clean energy.
Earlier this year, President Xi has announced China’s initiative to scale up its nationally determined contributions and strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
China will honour its commitment and see the implementation through. China has put in place the world’s biggest clean energy system and has led the world in the output and sales of new energy vehicles for five years running.
New development paradigm benefits the world
Building on its major strategic gains in fighting COVID-19, China has made steady strides in economic development. In the first three quarters of this year, China’s economic growth turned positive. The fourth quarter is set to witness much faster growth. International institutions generally forecast that China would become the only major economy maintaining positive growth this year.
On October 29, the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China adopted the party leadership’s proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, the contents of which are expected to be approved by the National People’s Congress next March.
China will foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.
The new development paradigm will enable China to open up wider and share more opportunities for common development with other countries. Opening-up is China’s fundamental policy that will not change at any time. China will stay committed to openness, cooperation and unity for win-win results. We will steadfastly expand all-round opening up and explore more efficient ways to connect domestic and foreign markets and share factors of production and resources.
At the same time, China, together with Jamaica and other countries, will continue to firmly support the multilateral trading system, get more actively involved in reforming the system of global economic governance.
The new development paradigm will also enable China to fully unlock its market potential and create greater opportunities for other countries. China has a population of 1.4 billion, and its middle-income population has exceeded 400 million.
Chinese people’s aspiration for a better life will create more demand for a greater variety of quality products, technologies and services from across the world. The vastly huge China market is the most promising in the world.
Total import into China is estimated to top 22 trillion US dollars in the coming decade. Our aim is to turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all.
In the years to come, China will see a steady rise in its foreign trade volume, as well as its outbound investment. Through high-level opening-up, China will provide a larger market with more opportunities to the world, which will not only improve the development of China but also create a fairer and more equitable global economic governance system to push forward the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Mutual benefit and win-win cooperation
China and Jamaica are strategic partners. Jamaica is the first country in the region to sign the cooperation plan with China on jointly building the Belt and Road. China will work with Jamaica to pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, seek greater complementarity between our development strategies, and deepen effective cooperation on infrastructure, trade, agriculture, scientific and technological innovation, public health and people-to-people exchange, with more specific cooperation projects in Jamaica and more tangible benefits to Jamaican people.
Looking forward, Chinese and Jamaican business communities can seize the opportunities of the new development paradigm of China for shared benefits. We welcome and encourage Jamaican businesses to make full use of the platforms of the China International Import Expo, the China International Trade Fair for Services, among others, to expand trade and economic cooperation.
Besides the traditional high-quality Jamaican products like Blue Mountain Coffee and rum, we would like to see more products and services, such as seafood, pork, seasoning, tourism, entertainment, music, exporting to China. Working together, business communities could contribute to the recovery and growth of both our economies and bring more benefits to our peoples.
I am heartened by the recent good news that Jamaica is one of the four countries recognized by the Pan-American Health Organisation for their respective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through contract tracing mechanisms.
I am convinced that, by intensifying our efforts on global cooperation against COVID-19 and keeping global economy open, we will get through this tough time together to defeat the virus at an early date and achieve robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth for all.