Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa's Article Themed "Openness will Lead to a Brighter Future" Published on the Daily Nation newspaper

The following article written by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, was published on the Daily Nation newspaper of Kenya on 19th April, 2018.



Openness will Lead to a Brighter Future

Last week, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 was successfully held in Hainan province of China. More than 2000 participants from 63 countries and regions were engaged in discussions themed An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity. On the opening ceremony of the conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech, comprehensively reviewed the course of China’s reform and opening-up, and announced China’s measures to further expand opening-up. President Xi’s speech was widely applauded around the world.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Thanks to Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC (the Communist Party of China) Central Committee in 1978 ushered China’s historic journey of reform and opening-up. This endeavor started from rural areas to cities, from pilot programs to nationwide projects and from economic restructuring to comprehensive reform. Over the last four decades, the focused endeavor on national development has brought enormous changes. China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. For 40 years, China’s GDP has achieved an annual average growth rate of 9.5% and its foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5%. More than 1.3 billion Chinese people are now enjoying a moderately prosperous life. According to the UN standards, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of the global total. China has made opening-up a fundamental national policy and embraced the world with open arms. In this process, China has shouldered its responsibilities as a major country. From “bringing in” to “going global”, from WTO accession to the Belt and Road Initiative, China has made significant contribution to the world economy, contributing over 30% of global growth in recent years. The reform and opening-up of China has not only profoundly changed the country but also greatly influenced the whole world. The successful practice of the Chinese people is a proof that there is more than one path leading to modernization.


Forty years of reform and opening-up has given the world many valuable inspirations. The most important one is that any country must follow the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and development. China’s reform and opening-up meets its people’s aspiration for development and a better life. It also meets the global trend toward cooperation and peace. Today’s world has become a global village where our interests are interconnected. To promote common prosperity, we have no choice but to pursue greater connectivity and integrated development. We need to engage ourselves in cooperation for win-win results and stay committed to openness and mutual benefits. We should promote trade and investment liberalization, and advocate reform and innovation. In this way, we will make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. President Xi has proposed the initiative to build a community with a shared future for mankind. This proposal has been welcomed and endorsed by a growing number of countries and peoples, and has been cited into important UN documents. We hope that people around the world will work together toward this goal and make our world more peaceful, prosperous, harmonious and beautiful.


The 19th CPC National Congress held last October ushered socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new era. President Xi emphasized in his report to the Congress that China will continue to adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up and pursue development with its door open even wider. Opening-up is a strategic decision as well as a concrete action taken by China to move economic globalization forward in a way that benefits people across the world. In the new era, China has entered a new phase of opening-up. China will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment and expand imports. A number of important measures are to be launched this year. China does not seek trade surplus. It is our desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international trade. China will further lower the import tariffs and import more products that are competitive and needed by Chinese people. This November, China will hold the first International Import Expo in Shanghai. It is not just another expo in an ordinary sense, but a major policy initiative and commitment to open up the Chinese market. Friends from all over the world are welcome to the Expo. Kenya, as a major exporting country of the African continent, has been invited and thus Kenyan coffee, tea, flowers and tourism attractions will be showcased and promoted in the Chinese market.


Kenyan people are also on the way of pursuing further openness. Recently, Kenya along with other 43 African countries signed the historic agreement of establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area. This important step will greatly facilitate the free movement of goods, services and people on the continent. China warmly welcomes this notable progress on African collaboration. Also the cooperation between China and Africa will be highlighted on the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation which will be held in Beijing this September. During the Summit, Chinese and African leaders will get together to review our cooperation since the Johannesburg Summit and set a new roadmap of common development and broader cooperation towards our shared future.


A brighter future will not arrive automatically. China will continue to uphold its mutually beneficial strategy, work even closer with our Kenyan brothers and sisters, and provide full support to the fulfillment of the Big Four Plan and Vision 2030. We believe that Kenya will make greater progress in its national development, and that China and Kenya will push forward their Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership to a new height.

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