Staying True to APEC Founding Mission And Enhancing Unity and Cooperation To Jointly Promote High-Quality Growth in the Asia-Pacific
2023-11-18 11:23

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

San Francisco, November 17, 2023

The Honorable President Joe Biden,
Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to meet you all in beautiful San Francisco. This APEC economic leaders’ meeting, the 30th of its kind, holds special significance. I wish to thank President Biden and the U.S. government for the thoughtful arrangements for this meeting.

Since the establishment of the economic leaders’ regular meeting mechanism, APEC has always stood at the global forefront of openness and development. It has played a robust role in promoting Asia-Pacific trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, economic growth and technological progress, and the flow of goods and people. It has helped create the “Asia-Pacific miracle” that has staggered the world.

In the world today, changes on a scale unseen in a century are unfolding at an accelerating pace. The world economy faces multiple risks and challenges. The Asia-Pacific region, which is an engine of global growth, thus has greater responsibility in these times. We, the leaders of Asia-Pacific economies, must think very hard as to what kind of Asia-Pacific region we should have by the middle of this century, what we should do to usher in another “golden 30 years” for the region, and how we can bring out the best of APEC in this process.

An ancient Chinese sage said, “For a righteous cause, I shall press forward, undaunted by thousands standing in my way.” In the same spirit, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to APEC’s founding mission. We must respond to the calls of our times responsibly and meet global challenges together. We must fully deliver on the Putrajaya Vision of building an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community for the prosperity of all our people and future generations. To this end, I wish to propose the following.

First, staying committed to innovation-driven development. Innovation is a strong driver of development. We should follow the trends of scientific and technological advancement, more proactively promote exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, and work together for an open, fair, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological progress. We should accelerate digital transformation, narrow the digital divide, redouble our efforts to implement the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap, support the application of big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other new technologies, and create new momentum and new drivers of growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

China remains committed to its strategy for driving growth and development through innovation. China is advancing both its digital industry and the digital transformation of traditional industries. China has put forward a number of initiatives for promoting growth and development in the region through digital empowerment, such as digital technology-driven rural development, corporate digital identity, and transition to a green and low-carbon economy through the application of digital technologies.

Second, staying committed to openness in development. As manifested by the Asia-Pacific experience, an economy thrives in openness and withers in seclusion. We must promote free and open trade and investment, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, and keep global industrial and supply chains open and stable. We must say no to any attempt to politicize, weaponize, or impose security implications on economic and trade issues. We must remain unwavering to promote regional economic integration, accelerate the building of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, fully implement the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, and share in the opportunities of open regional development.

The recent third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China hosted was a success, injecting fresh impetus into global connectivity and the building of an open world economy. China applies the highest standards in implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and has taken proactive steps to align its economic and trade rules with the high standards of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA), to accelerate the process of its accession to the CPTPP and DEPA. China will work with all relevant parties to write a new chapter in open development.

Third, staying committed to green development. Given the increasingly grave challenges such as climate change and natural disasters, we must continue to promote harmony between man and nature, accelerate the transition to green and low-carbon development, and see to it that reducing carbon emissions and mitigating pollution operate in parallel with expanding green transition and promoting economic growth. We must deliver on the Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy, making “green” a defining feature of Asia-Pacific growth.

China remains as determined as ever to pursue green development that prioritizes eco-environmental conservation and protection. China is making active yet prudent moves toward its goal of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, and is accelerating its transition to green development. China has put forward initiatives for cooperation between APEC member economies in green agriculture, sustainable city development, green and low-carbon energy transition, and marine pollution control and prevention. All such initiatives aim to build a clean and beautiful Asia-Pacific region.

Fourth, staying committed to inclusive development that delivers benefits to all. Global development now faces severe challenges and the development divide is getting wider. I have said on many occasions that true development is development for all. We must fully implement the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and put development back on the international agenda as a central priority. We need to develop greater synergy in our development strategies and work together to resolve the global development deficit. China welcomes participation by all parties in the Global Development Initiative (GDI) to deepen cooperation in poverty reduction, food security, industrialization and development financing and build a global community of development so that the fruits of modernization are shared by people across the world. China will continue to support APEC in its economic and technical cooperation and work together with other member economies to make the “cake” of Asia-Pacific development bigger.

Colleagues,

China is advancing the noble cause of building a great country and national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development. The ultimate goal of China’s development is to better our people’s lives, not to unseat anyone. As we celebrate 45 years of our reform and opening up this year, we will continue to pursue high-quality development and high-standard opening up. Chinese modernization will bring the world more and greater opportunities for the modernization of all countries. I am ready to work with you for new success in Asia-Pacific cooperation and for another “golden 30 years” of the region.

Thank you.

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