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China to continue reform and opening up
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China will continue to reform and open up and proceed along the path of scientific development, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said in Washington on Wednesday.

China had lagged behind in economic growth after shutting its doors to the outside world in the past, but has made remarkable achievements since opening up and beginning its reform process 30 years ago, with its gross domestic product (GDP) now ranking fourth in the world, said Wang.

He was speaking at a banquet hosted by the National Council for US-China Trade, the US-China Relations Committee and other groups, attended by some 500 US officials, including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, and a host of entrepreneurs.

"Our history has taught us that China has no future if we do not carry out reform and opening up," Wang said.

One must understand that China and the United States are quite different, despite both being big nations, he pointed out.


China's per capita GDP amounts to only 6 percent of that of the US, ranking behind 100 countries.

The Asian nation's rapid development has brought about many problems including an urban-rural gap, regional imbalance and increasing pressure on the environment, he added.

It is impossible for China, a country of 1.3 billion people, to follow the old model of the developed countries by consuming large quantities of energy at the expense of the environment, Wang said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has put forward a scientific outlook on development, which is the only correct road for the Chinese people to take, he emphasized.

China and the US, as the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country respectively, should take the lead in solving their problems with patience, flexibility and consultations, through the platform of the strategic economic dialogue, the Chinese vice premier said.

China expects to continue its dialogue with the US in order to carry the constructive cooperation between the two countries forward, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2008)

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