Premier Wen Jiabao said in The Hague yesterday that he thought China’s recognition as a market economy was the next logical step in its relationship with the EU, and that restrictions on exports of high-tech products should be removed.
He made the remarks in an address to the China-EU Business Summit where more than 500 influential political and business leaders gathered to discuss key issues.
"It can only serve trade and economic exchange and bring benefit to cooperation between our businesses communities," Wen said.
He added that China and the EU are important forces for world peace and stability and both are committed to multilateralism and actively promoting democracy and the rule of law in international relations.
Wen told the participants there is no need to fear the development of the ‘Chinese giant’ since it poses no threat to other countries. The sheer size of the challenges confronting it, a developing country with a population of over a billion people, trying to modernize and achieve prosperity, is not too difficult to imagine, he said.
"It will take the hard work of generation after generation to make it a reality. It is no easy job for us to run our own affairs well," Wen said.
China, he added, will continue to honor its WTO commitments by further liberalizing trade in services, vigorously strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and creating a fair, stable and transparent legal environment.
Wen said that, like many other countries, China is facing some resources and environmental problems. "But unlike some major resource-consuming countries, China is both a major consumer and a major producer of resources."
"China does not pursue its development at the expense of other's interests. Instead, we rely primarily on our own efforts, taking advantage of our vast domestic market, abundant labor, huge pool of private savings and the enthusiasm of the people unleashed by reform."
Wen also said restrictions on lending in industries are an important means to ease transport bottlenecks and prevent inflation.
As China saw its slowest growth of industrial production in the 18 months to November, Wen told reporters that over investment in high energy-consuming industries is an unstable element in its economic development.
Wen started his official visit to the Netherlands yesterday and met with Queen Beatrix at the royal palace in The Hague.
(China Daily December 10, 2004)