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China sees 'historic changes' in ties with outside world after reform, opening-up
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said Saturday the three decades of reform and opening-up has brought about "historic changes" in China's relations with the rest of the world.

Hu made the remarks in his key-note speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference, entitled "Continuing Reform and Opening-up and Advancing Win-Win Cooperation".

Regarding China an "integral part" of the global economy, Hu recalled that in 1978, China's GDP accounted for only 1 percent of the world economy, whereas its share rose to above 5 percent in 2007.

"In 1978, China's share of global trade was less than 1 percent, whereas in 2007, its share jumped to about 8 percent," he said.

Addressing more than 1700 participants of the meeting, Hu said China's development has opened a huge market for international capital, attracting over 780 billion US dollars of net foreign investment over the last 30 years. Direct overseas investment by Chinese companies had also grown substantially, he said.

"China's development has boosted the growth of global economy and trade," he said. With import growing at an average annual rate of 16.7 percent since 1978, China has become the world's third largest import market and Asia's top import market.

China now contributes to over 10 percent of global economic growth and over 12 percent of global trade expansion. China's average annual import volume is close to 560 billion US dollars, generating some 10 million jobs for its trade partners, President Hu said.

Calling China as a "key participant" in the international system, a member of more than 100 inter-governmental international organizations and a party to over 300 international conventions, he said China is actively involved in international and regional affairs, and has earnestly fulfilled its international responsibilities.

Over the past years, China has sent over 10,000 peacekeepers to 22 UN peacekeeping operations. Over 1,900 Chinese peacekeepers are on active duty, making China the largest troop-contributing country among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, according to Hu.

"The past 30 years of reform and opening-up have told us that China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world. And it is equally true that the world cannot enjoy prosperity or stability without China," he said.

In a world where the trend toward multipolarity is irreversible, economic globalization is deepening and the scientific and technological revolution is accelerating, China's future is more closely linked with the future of the world than ever before, Hu added.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2008)

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