On 10 February Ambassador Fu Ying spoke at the Thirty Club to introduce the results of Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to UK and China's approach to the world financial crisis. Over 100 guests including members of the Thirty Club attended.
Fu Ying said that the world economic and financial crisis was still evolving. In face with the crisis confidence was most important. As Premier Wen Jiabao rightly put it, confidence was more important than gold before economic difficulty. The Chinese Government did not shy away or back down when faced with crisis; instead it looked up to the crisis and move quickly and made active efforts to promote sound and relatively fast economic growth and safeguard world financial and economic stability.
The macro-economic priority of the Chinese Government was to expand employment and maintain growth. It issued a 4-trillion-RMB stimulus package, most of which was channeled to railway and infrastructure, social undertaking, ecology and environmental protection, scientific innovation and health care. The measures had gained initial results with economic index improving, sales increasing and
stocks inventory going down last December. Recently China's stock market went up considerably. But this did not mean that the economy had recovered and it was no easy job to achieve 8% growth rate. Many economists estimated that there would be much difficulty in the first half of this year and they were prudently optimistic with the second half of this year.
Fu Ying said that interest and coverage of China increased since the financial crisis. But evaluation of China went up and down, from hoping China to save the world to worrying about China's collapse, which reveals that there is still a long way to go in promoting the mutual understanding between China and the world. China was deeply aware of the importance of joining hands with the international community to overcome difficulty. Premier Wen Jiabao's confidence visit to UK and other European countries not long ago was aimed at enhancing the confidence of the world to cooperatively coping with the crisis and towards China's economic prospect.
During his visit in UK, Premier Wen met widely with all sides of the British society to discuss how to overcome the current economic difficulty. Much consensus had been reached. Both sides agreed to reform the world financial institutions, adopt effective and coordinated macro-economic policy, unequivocally oppose trade and investment protectionism and support the increase of representation of developing countries in world financial institutions. The Chinese side was ready to work closely with the UK side to prepare for the London Summit, expand trade and investment between China and UK. China's stimulus package would encourage more imports, which was good for British enterprises. The Chinese side would send purchase group to the UK soon.
Fu Ying said that the commitment toward developing the partnership had become the mainstream of the relationship between the two countries. However, China-UK relations are still faced with problems. The most important thing was that the two sides should understand each other, respect each other and learn from each other. The relations between China and the world were also at a critical moment. Some people in the West were afraid of the impact that might be brought on the world by a stronger China. To the Chinese people, however, most of us didn't think that China was a world power, and some were also skeptical about the true intention of the West. In general, it was our opinion that China should realize peaceful development through cooperation and play a greater role in tackling the common challenges faced by the international community and building a harmonious world. Fu Ying finally said that the media were playing an important role in facilitating China and the world to understand each other, and objective and balanced reports would be helpful to build a bridge of understanding between China and the world.
Fu Ying also answered questions on how China would maintain growth, safeguard unification, national unity and social stability, how to increase education cooperation between China and UK, China's health care system reform and China's role in the world affairs.
The audience responded enthusiastically, laughing and clapping from time to time. Many people said Fu Ying's speech was impressive and enhanced their understanding of how China copes with the current financial crisis.
＊ ＊ ＊
The Thirty Club was established in 1905. Its initial aim was to promote advertising. It promoted and organized the World Advertising Conference in 1934. Its influence gradually enhanced afterwards and expanded to other fields. There are currently 30 members and 60 affiliates, most of whom are chairmen and CEOs of media, manufacturing, advertising and service companies. The club regularly invites political figures and celebrities to speak on important economic and political issues.