Hu calls for joint efforts to promote economic recovery

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Chinese President Hu Jintao laid out on Sunday a three-point proposal for promoting a strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth, calling for joint efforts of the international community for global economic recovery.

Chinese President Hu Jintao attends a plenary session of the fourth summit of the Group of 20 (G20), in Toronto, Canada, June 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)

Chinese President Hu Jintao attends a plenary session of the fourth summit of the Group of 20 (G20), in Toronto, Canada, June 27, 2010. [Fan Rujun/Xinhua]

While addressing the fourth G20 summit in Toronto, Hu said in his speech titled "Work in Unity for the Future" that the world economy is gradually recovering with the help of the concerted efforts of G20 members and the entire international community.

However, he warned that the recovery was unfirmly established, unbalanced, and still facing "quite many uncertainties," such as the expanding sovereign debt crisis, drastic exchange rates fluctuations of major currencies and persistent volatility in the international financial markets.

Seeking to address these problems and materialize a strong and balanced growth worldwide, Hu laid out a three-point proposal.

"First, we need to turn the G20 from an effective mechanism to counter the international financial crisis to a premier platform for advancing international economic cooperation," said the Chinese president.

"The complex world economic situation makes it necessary for the G20 to play a guiding role. We need to take a longer-term perspective and shift the focus of the G20 from coordinating stimulus measures to coordinating growth, from addressing short-term contingencies to promoting long-term governance and from passive response to proactive planning," he said.

The Chinese leader said G20 nations should strengthen coordination of macroeconomic policies among them, support countries hit by the sovereign debt crisis in overcoming the current difficulties.

He also called for well managing the G20's relationship with other international organizations and multilateral mechanisms and ensuring that the G20 "plays a core role in promoting international economic cooperation and global economic governance."

Secondly, Hu said "we need to accelerate the establishment of a new international financial order that is fair, equitable, inclusive and well-managed," calling for the establishment of an international financial system "that is good for the growth of the real economy."

Hu said the G20 members need to bring the shadow banking system under supervision and regulation and formulate globally consistent accounting rules.

He also said the G20 nations need to enhance the IMF's capacity building and surveillance reform, and strengthen supervision over macroeconomic policies of various parties, particularly major reserve currency issuing economies.

Thirdly, the Chinese leader urges advancing "the building of an open and free global trading regime."

"We must take concrete actions to reject all forms of protectionism, and unequivocally advocate and support free trade," he said.

Calling for renewing commitment not to impose new restrictions on goods, investment and services, he said developed countries should promote international trade "with greater openness."

"It is important to address trade frictions appropriately through dialogue and consultation and under the principle of mutual benefit and common development," he stressed.

During the speech, Hu emphasized the significance of strong and sustainable growth for the world economic development.

"To ensure strong growth is the top priority in today's world economic development," Hu said, "to enable sustainable growth is our long-term objective."

The Chinese leader called upon other heads of state and government attending the G20 Summit to take proactive steps to ensure strong growth, make great efforts to develop the real economy, create jobs for the people and step up international cooperation in emerging industries.

"We should overcome difficulties in the course of progress and tackle challenges through growth," the Chinese president said, adding "We should strive for balanced growth, including balanced growth both among different parts and industries of a country and among different countries and regions."

But the Chinese leader warned that it would take a long and complex process to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.

"It cannot be done overnight. We must make persistent efforts to push forward this process. And in doing so, we must also take into account specific circumstances of industrial countries and respect their diverse development paths and models."

President Hu offered examples and experience to back up the Chinese insight in coping with the ongoing global financial and economic slowdown.

"Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has comprehensively implemented and continuously enriched and improved its package plan and other policy measures in response," He told G20 summiteers.

"As a result, the Chinese economy grew by 8.7 percent in 2009 and contributed its part to regional and global economic recovery. Since the start of 2010, the Chinese economy has maintained steady and relatively fast growth. In the first quarter, the economy grew by 11.9 percent."

President Hu said his country always values sustainable growth which is demonstrated by the country's effort to keep budget deficit under 3 percent of the GDP.

China has been boosting domestic demands so as to better balance off the country's economic development and cope with the global economic slowdown.

"In 2009, while China's total exports in goods dropped by 16 percent, its retail sales (at home) were up by nearly 17 percent in real terms, fixed assets investment increased by about 30 percent, and current account surplus relative to the GDP fell to 6.1 percent," Hu cited telling figures.

Both the big drops in the country's trade surplus and the swift trend toward current account balance have been major signs of China's more balanced economic development, Hu pointed out.

However, Hu said the government and people of his country are "soberly aware" of the difficulties and challenges ahead, due to the large population, weak economic foundation, lack of balance in the development between urban and rural areas and serious environmental and resource constraints of the country.

The Chinese president promised to accelerate the transformation of his country's economic development pattern to implement the scientific outlook.

Meanwhile, Hu said it is "imperative and incumbent" for the G20 to help developing countries achieve full development and narrow the development gap between the North and South.

Developing countries have been hit hard by the financial crisis and they find it a daunting task to overcome the difficulties caused by the crisis, Hu said in his speech.

"We should not neglect the development aspirations of other developing countries, which take up over 85 percent of countries in the world," he said.

It was incumbent upon the G20 to provide stronger political drive, greater economic resources and better institutional guarantee for development, he added.

Hu urged developed countries to honor in good faith their commitments to official development assistance, market opening, and debt reduction and cancellation.

He also called on the countries and international organizations to scale up financial and technological support for developing countries and help them build stronger capacity for self development.

"The World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions should use their resources to help, on a priority basis, developing countries, the least developed countries in particular," he stressed.

Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has provided assistance to developing countries through multiple means and channels, Hu said.

"China will continue to offer assistance to other developing countries as its ability permits within the framework of South-South cooperation, and do its utmost to help other developing countries achieve development," said the president.

On the sidelines of the G20 summit, President Hu on Sunday met new Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on further advancing bilateral ties.

It was the first meeting between Hu and Kan since Kan became Japanese prime minister early this month.

Hu said leaders of the two countries should maintain close contact and help promote extensive dialogue and exchanges between the governments, political parties, parliaments and defense authorities of both countries.

Hu said the two countries should expand trade and deepen economic cooperation so as to realize mutual benefits and win-win results for both sides.

He said the two countries should fully utilize the mechanism of the high-level economic dialogue to advance the growth of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in a stable way.

The Chinese leader said the two countries should strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs, and expand common interests.

Hu said the two sides should join hands in maintaining peace and stability in the Northeast Asia region and pushing forward regional cooperation and development of the East Asia region. They should also carry out dialogues, coordination and cooperation on the global challenges of international financial crisis and climate change.

Hu said the two countries should properly handle the sensitive issues between them, calling on both sides to proceed from the overall situation to handle these issues in a cautious, proper way and prevent them from affecting the stable growth of the bilateral relations.

Kan said the Japanese government attached great importance to the development of the Japan-China relations, adding that this is not only very important for both countries, but also of great significance to peace and development of Asia.

President Hu added China is ready to work with Japan to seize the current opportunity to push for the extensive growth of the mutually beneficial relationship of strategic importance on the basis of the four political documents signed by both sides.

For his part, Kan said his government will advance the Japan-China relations according to the principles and spirit of the four political documents.

Kan said the Japanese government is ready to work with China to push forward regional cooperation in East Asia and properly handle the problems arising in the development of the bilateral links.

The China-Japan relations have witnessed major progress in various fields and benefited the two sides significantly since the normalization of diplomatic ties 38 years ago.

China is Japan's largest trading partner, its biggest export market and the primary choice of outbound investment, while Japan is China's third largest trading partner and second biggest source of foreign investment.

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