Former Japanese speaker applauds China's post-epidemic recovery

By Xu Xiaoxuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 23, 2020
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Yohei Kono speaks during a panel discussion at the Understanding China Conference 2020 via video message, Nov. 21, 2020. [Photo courtesy of China Institute for Innovation & Development Strategy]

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Yohei Kono said that he appreciated China's post-epidemic recovery and commitment to further expanding its domestic demand during an online panel discussion at the Understanding China Conference 2020 last Sunday.

Yohei Kono stated that facing the threat of COVID-19 and the global change not seen in a hundred years, it was critical that the international community work together and coordinate their efforts to fight against the pandemic.

He applauded China for "dealing with these issues very properly" with regards to the pandemic, citing China's ability to turn around its negative growth rate of 6.8% in the first quarter to year-on-year positive growth of 3.2% and 4.9% in the second and third quarter respectively. This makes China the only major economy to see positive growth in 2020 according to economic forecasts from the International Monetary Fund.

Kono then expressed his appreciation of China's endeavors to expand its domestic demand and advance innovation in science and technology, adding that this could help China "address problems of unbalanced domestic development and secure jobs that are not subject to international uncertainties for its people." 

"In terms of scientific innovation, China has emerged as a leading country," Kono continued, explaining that China's digital technologies had significantly contributed to containing the spread of the pandemic.

Kono concluded by saying that he had concerns about the trade tensions between China and the U.S., noting that the spat between the world's two largest economies would "bring no benefits to either country or to the world at large."

"If the United States decides to ban certain industrial products from China, then Japanese companies that supply parts and components to China will lose customers," Kono said.

The restrictions imposed on Chinese students undertaking research in the United States would not only harm China but also cost the U.S. supply of talents and scientific and technological progress, Kono added.

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