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Speech by Chargé d'Affaires and Minister Yang Xiaoguang at the Tenth London Business School China Business Forum: Seize the Opportunities and Join Hands to Create a Better Future of Win-Win Results
12 May 2021
2021/05/17

Professor Ortalo-Magné,

Chairman Perry,

Chairman Weir,

Friends from the Business Community,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

It gives me great pleasure to join you at the tenth London Business School China Business Forum.

The theme of the Forum, “The Future is Everywhere - Adapt and Achieve”, is highly relevant to our times. It highlights the most urgent need to “adapt” to the changes facing us today.

At the moment, the combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of disorder and transformation. Instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise.

On one hand, we are facing growing governance deficit, trust deficit, development deficit, and peace deficit. These pose grave challenges to the progress of the civilisation of mankind.

On the other hand, peace and development remain the theme of our times; there is no fundamental change in the trend toward a multi-polar world; economic globalisation is showing renewed resilience; the call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination has grown stronger; and people of the world aspire more keenly to win-win cooperation.

While we live in an age with many challenges, it is also an age of hope. In this age of profound changes unseen in a century, China will continue to play its part in safeguarding world peace, promoting global development, defending international order, and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

China will remain committed to implementing the strategy of openness and win-win cooperation.

We will fully implement the new development concept and build a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.

Domestically, we will continue fostering a market-based, law-based and open business environment. Internationally, we will promote joint and high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to further deepen the mutually-beneficial cooperation with all countries.

In the first quarter of this year, China’s economy increased by 18.3% year-on-year. The value-added output of high-tech manufacturing industries expanded by 31.2%; the output of new energy vehicles rose by 3.1 times; export and import of goods were up by 38.7% and 19.3% respectively.

Last month, the IMF raised its 2021 growth forecast for China to 8.4%. China will remain the major powerhouse for world economic growth.

China will strongly encourage innovation in science and technology.

China plans to increase annual spending on R&D by at least 7% in the next five years. This will allow us to support key efforts in areas of cutting-edge technologies, such as new-generation artificial intelligence, quantum information, genetic and biological technology, clinical medicine and health care.

China will advance international exchanges and cooperation on science and technology with a more open mind and more inclusive measures. Together with other countries, we aim to foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological progress.

China will vigorously advance sustainable development.

Last year, President Xi Jinping announced that China will strive to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This is China’s solemn pledge and important contribution to the world. At the moment, we are making an action plan and taking extensive measures to make sure that these targets will be met.

China will resolutely promote the building of a new type of international relations.

China’s pursuit of development is for the purpose of bringing better life to the Chinese people, not replacing or surpassing anyone in the world. No matter how much progress China has made in development, China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence. Nor will China ever engage in an arms race.

What China champions are the common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, the exchanges and mutual learning between different civilisations, and the progress of the civilisation of all mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Both the UK and the EU are comprehensive strategic partners of China. China values its relations with the UK and the EU, and stands ready to advance these relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Recently, China-UK and China-EU relations have encountered some difficulties. It is our hope that the UK and the EU will view China’s development from an objective perspective, discard ideological bias, and refrain from interfering in China’s domestic affairs. These principles will help bring China-UK and China-EU relations back to the right track.

China never stirs up trouble, but we are not afraid of trouble. We will firmly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests. It is my belief that visionary people from the UK and the EU will join us in finding an appropriate approach to relations with China.

Going forward, China’s sustained and steady development and its continued openness to cooperation with the world will provide more confidence in and greater driving forces for global growth. This will also create enormous opportunities for China-UK and China-EU cooperation:

First, the opportunity for cooperation on world economic recovery.

The world is still battling the pandemic. Here in Europe, the situation remains grave in some countries. It is important that international cooperation on health care and vaccines be further enhanced so as to form a strong line of defence that protects people’s health and supports world economic recovery.

The new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation will provide enormous opportunities. We should encourage the development of digital economy and enhance exchanges and cooperation in areas of artificial intelligence, bio medicine and modern energy. This will enable us to shift to new economic drivers, create new growth models, restructure our economies, and promote stability and growth in the world economy.

Second, the opportunity for cooperation on open and integrated development.

Openness and integration is an unstoppable historical trend. Attempts to “build walls” or “decouple” run counter to economic and market rules. They are damaging to others and self-destructive. What the world needs at the moment are trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deeper regional economic integration and openness in global economy. The Belt and Road Initiative is aimed at addressing these issues.

BRI is a public road that is open to all. It is not a private path owned by one single party. Europe is an important partner for BRI cooperation. European countries are welcome to take part in promoting high-quality development of BRI and share in the benefits.

Third, the opportunity for cooperation on green development.

It is important that countries of the world uphold green development, work together to address climate change, and step up efforts to implement the Paris Agreement.

Later in October, China will host the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, known as COP15. We hope to work with all parties to take global governance on biological diversity to a new level.

We also support the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties to be held in Glasgow later this year, known as COP26, in achieving positive outcomes.

Fourth, the opportunity for cooperation on reform in the global governance system.

China, the UK and the EU are important supporters for and advocates of multilateralism. We should uphold the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We should safeguard true multilateralism, and build a just and reasonable global governance system.

This means we should work together to safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the multilateral trade system with the WTO as the cornerstone.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Over the years, the business communities from the UK and the EU have given strong support to the development of China-UK and China-EU relations. I hope you will continue to have confidence in the development of China, and in the prospects of China-UK and China-EU mutually-beneficial cooperation.

I hope you will seize the opportunities and work with your Chinese partners to achieve greater business success, to contribute to the development of China-UK and China-EU mutually-beneficial cooperation, and to create a better future of win-win results for mankind.

In conclusion, I wish this Forum success!

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