President Hu defends developing economies

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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday defended the role of newly emerging markets in world economic recovery, emphasizing that the international responsibilities such markets undertake should be commensurate with their development stage.

He also gave assurance that China seeks to expand domestic demand growth and remains committed to reforming its exchange rate.

"The Asia-Pacific emerging markets are still at the primary stage of development, and both their capabilities and resources are limited," Hu told the CEO summit during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings at Yokohama city.

"To ask them to take on responsibilities and obligations beyond their capabilities and stage of development will do no good to international cooperation and world economic development, and it only damages the development of Asia-Pacific emerging markets," Hu said.

Instead, emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region should assume international responsibilities based on their capabilities, national circumstances and level of development.

Some developed countries have been urging the developing world's nations to shoulder more responsibilities for global challenges, including climate change, and the global trade imbalance. The Asia-Pacific region harbors a cluster of emerging economies, which makes APEC's ongoing CEO summit a natural place for Hu to address the issue.

Hu also said that China "will make vigorous efforts to establish lastingly effective means for expanding domestic demand, especially consumer demand."

As the US struggles with its slow economic recovery, some politicians have blamed export countries, including China, for trade deficit and job losses.

In the just-concluded G20 meetings, a proposal made by the US and some of its allies to set quantitative guidelines on trade balance that would rein in major exporting countries, has been put off by other G20 member countries.

Hu urged further improvement in the existing international financial system through appropriate reform and adjustment measures.

It is important to advance reform of international financial supervision and regulation, international financial institutions and the international monetary system with a view to establishing a fair, just, inclusive and well-managed new international financial order, said Hu.

Hu assured forum participants that China believes balance in international payments is an important step in ensuring macro-economic stability. "China will continue going forward with reform of the RMB exchange rate formation mechanism on the basis of retaining initiative, controllability and gradualness," Hu said.

"China will adhere to open development, to a fundamental national policy of opening up," Hu said.

The nation will continue to build an open and transparent legal environment, an enabling market environment for competition and a stable and orderly business environment so as to foster good conditions for investment by various parties, said Hu.

Hu's speech was warmly received by observers.

"The speech is impressive and the message is very clear - that China is playing an important role both in the region and in the world," James W. Moeller, managing director with Global Public Affairs Practice, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, told Xinhua News Agency.

"The remarks were very heartfelt. Hu's emphasis on common development was very positive," said Thomas M. Clark, co-chair of Banking and Finance Committee, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

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