Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech during a gala dinner held in his honor by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Singapore, Nov. 19, 2007.
Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expounded on China's opening up policy in Singapore on Monday, stating that China will unswervingly follow a set policy.
Delivering a speech entitled "Only an Open and Inclusive Nation Can Be Strong" at the National University of Singapore, Wen said that the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which convened in October highlighted China's resolve to pursue reform and opening up and to build socialism with distinctive Chinese characteristics. The Congress reiterated national confidence in accomplishing this endeavor.
China's opening up policy is comprehensive in nature and based on mutual benefit, the Chinese premier stated.
"China's opening up policy is a long-term one," Wen said, noting that the policy has brought great benefits to more than 1 billion Chinese.
China will not change the policy since this precise strategy benefits the country and enjoys the support of the people, Wen said.
"Deviating from this policy will only impede China's development and then we would lose popular support," he said, "This is the fundamental reason why China will stay on the track of opening up."
"Opening up is crucial to China's reform and modernization efforts. It is a fundamental state policy, not a convenience," he said, "Though the specific measures and means to implement this policy may differ during dissimilar stages, the basic policy will not change."
"China's opening up is comprehensive in nature," Wen said, "We are open not only to the developed countries, but also to the developing countries. We are open not only in economy, but also in fields such as science, technology, education and culture."
The Chinese premier said only by opening up could the country bring about advanced and useful practices.
"We should boldly absorb and draw upon all the achievements of the human society, including those of the capitalist countries, build on them and make innovations," Wen said.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (3rd, R) attends a gala dinner held in his honor by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Singapore, Nov. 19, 2007.
"China's opening up policy is based on mutual benefit," he said in the speech during which Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was present.
"We are developing a socialist market economy under economic globalization conditions, and this naturally means we should open ourselves to the world, build inter-dependent economic ties with other countries, gain close access to the international market and integrate ourselves into the world economy," he said.
The premier stated that China is committed to carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation on an equal basis with other countries in accordance with market laws.
Opening up not only benefits China's development, but also contributes to world development, he said.
Only on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win progress can opening up endure and be conducive to the fundamental interests of all peoples and peace and prosperity of the world, he added.
The premier said that the world today is an open one and no country can achieve development in isolation.
"We are working to build socialism with distinctive Chinese characteristics, and our fundamental objective is to boost productive forces and meet the increasing material and cultural needs of the people," Wen said.
"To meet this goal, we must remain committed to opening up while addressing issues arising in the course of domestic development and reform."
Wen said China would participate in economic globalization at a higher level and focus on addressing new issues in opening up.
"We favor free trade and oppose protectionism," he said, "We will speed up changing the mode of trade growth, improve the trade mix and strive to reduce trade imbalances.
The Chinese premier said China is committed to the basic policy of introducing foreign capital and will develop innovative ways, optimize the structure and raise the efficiency of introducing foreign capital.
"We will continue to follow an independent, gradual and controllable approach in improving the Chinese yuan exchange rate mechanism, increasing its flexibility, gradually making the Chinese yuan convertible under the capital account," he said.
Regarding climate change, Wen said that China is ready to join world efforts in tackling climate change within the framework of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
"We have put in place the legal framework governing opening up and will continue to improve it to place foreign investment activities in China under the rule of law and protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors," the premier said.
Wen highlighted the role of opening up and inclusiveness in development of a country, saying they have both created Singapore's success and contributed to China's development.
"Mutual opening up and inclusiveness between China and Singapore have led to rapid growth in our cooperation," Wen said.
Trade between China and Singapore totaled 40.85 billion U.S. dollars last year, 15 times the figure of 1990 when the two countries first established diplomatic ties.
Last year also saw 1.8 million mutual visits between China and Singapore, an eighteen-fold increase over 1990.
Citing the Suzhou Industrial Park as a success story in China-Singapore cooperation, Wen said that the two countries' joint efforts in building ecologically friendly cities would be a positive initiative for China and Singapore to promote sustainable development in keeping with the trends of the times.
To draw upon Singapore's experience in public order and management, China has sent over 9,000 officials for training in Singapore in the past decade.
"By drawing on their respective strengths and maintaining close cooperation, China and Singapore have both become winners," he said.
Responding to a proposal by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry has recently set up an organization known as "Business China," which offers a new platform for conducting cultural and business exchanges between the two countries.
"We hope 'Business China' will create more opportunities for the growth of China-Singapore relations," the Chinese premier said.
"Reviewing the past and looking ahead to the future, we have undisputed confidence in the future of China-Singapore relations," he said.
China and Singapore can expect new opportunities for cooperation in development as China, guided by its scientific outlook on development, strives to build a moderately prosperous society and Singapore is pursuing a strategy to remake the country.
"We will continue to increase exchanges and cooperation with Singapore," he said, "Our cooperation will have an even brighter future," he added.
Wen arrived at Singapore on Sunday for an official visit. During his stay there, he will also attend the 11th ASEAN plus Three Summit, the 11th China-ASEAN Summit, the third East Asia Summit and the eighth meeting of leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2007)