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Int' conference on China's economic reform held in Britain
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A two-day international conference on China's three decades of economic reform concluded in Cambridge, Britain on Wednesday with leading world scholars speaking highly of achievements China made in the past 30 years, and pointing out lessons from China's reform and new challenges of China's economic development in the future.

Invited as a distinguished guest of the conference, Li Zhaoxing, honorary president of Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, delivered a keynote speech on the first day of the conference.

Li told the audience that in 30 years, China has experienced great change in economic and social development with its GDP registering an annual growth rate of 9.8 percent, its total import and export volume increasing over 100 times and its population living below the poverty line reducing from 250 million to about 20 million.

Sharing his view on how China has managed to achieve the "unprecedented changes" in just 30 years, Li said: "First, China has found a path of development that is suited to its national conditions. Second, China adheres to the principle of freeing our minds. Third, China adheres to the policy of reform and opening up. Forth, China is committed to economic development as its central task."

"Economic development and improved living standards in China have not only brought about prosperity and progress for China itself, but also given impetus to world economic growth," Li, China's former foreign minister, said.

The two-day conference covered a wide range of topics such as China's economic growth, rural and urban economy, monetary policy, productivity, innovation, foreign investment (inward and outward),corporate governance and firm performance, trade, innovation as well as comparative studies.

Some 200 experts, researchers, scholars and students with their academic focuses on China from all over the world attended the conference.

Most speakers explored the reasons behind the successful story of China, acknowledging the strategy of Chinese gradualism in its economic reform and held the view that China's dynamic transition and integration into the global economy has been among the most dramatic economic developments of recent history.

They meanwhile pointed out the bottlenecks of China's economic growth and new challenges facing China at the next stage of its sustainable economic development.

The conference was an annual event organized by Britain's Chinese Economic Association, which was launched in 1988 and has since become one of the leading organizations in promoting research on China in the world.

(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2008)

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