Xi's speech at CIIE showcases China's commitment to multilateralism, economic globalization

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) has demonstrated China's resolve to share market opportunities with the world, advance high-level opening-up and inject strong impetus into promoting global economic recovery, foreign experts and scholars have said.

In his speech on Thursday, Xi made fresh pledges to open the Chinese market wider as the country has fully delivered on its accession commitments to the World Trade Organization.

Noting that globalization is facing headwinds, Xi expressed concern over the decline of an index on world openness in the past decade.

"We must stay on top of the prevailing trend of economic globalization, and support countries around the world in opening up wider while rejecting unilateralism and protectionism. This is significantly important if we are to take humanity to a better future," Xi said.

As part of the country's efforts to safeguard true multilateralism, Xi said China will uphold the position of the multilateral trading regime as the main channel for international rules-setting, and safeguard the stability of global industrial and supply chains.

China will also take an active and open attitude in negotiations on issues such as the digital economy, trade and the environment, industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, he said.

Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar, said President Xi once again put forward a strong pitch for multilateralism and economic globalization.

As COVID-19 is ravaging developing countries, Chinese enterprises in countries like Kenya continue their operations, safeguarding thousands of jobs while ensuring that critical infrastructure projects are completed on schedule, he said.

"China is also expanding its multilateral base to further share the proceeds of its development through avenues like the Belt and Road Initiative," Adhere said.

As countries race towards post-pandemic reconstruction and recovery, China is expected to play a major role as a source of investment, especially toward developing countries, he added.

Bogomir Kovac, professor of economics at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, said China is one of the central bearers of multilateralism and globalization.

China is committed to upholding globalization, multilateralism and global openness, and is seeking new ways of connecting, Kovac said in a phone interview with Xinhua.

Greek scholar Pelagia Karpathiotaki, a Beijing-based researcher at China's University of International Business and Economics, said Xi's speech brought relief to and sent an optimistic message to the world.

"The Chinese president in every way has shown that China wants, is able and ready to take over more responsibilities in the global community," said Karpathiotaki.

Sande Ngalande, executive director of the University of Zambia Belt and Road Joint Research Center, said President Xi reaffirmed China's willingness and readiness to further share the positive fruits of its opening-up policy.

The speech has reassured the world that the positive gains China has made over the years with great sacrifice are not just for China to enjoy but the whole world, he said. 

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