Opening a New Chapter Together
For Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the 28th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting
12 November 2021
The Right Honorable Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,
It is a great pleasure to meet you online. First of all, let me thank Prime Minister Ardern and the New Zealand government for their hard work in putting this meeting together. This session has chosen its theme to be “Recovering from COVID-19 to Build Prosperity for All Our People and Future Generations”, which is of great significance.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s joining of APEC. It has been three decades of deepening reform and opening-up for China, and of broadening economic cooperation across the Asia-Pacific. Indeed, the Asia-Pacific region has become the most dynamic and promising economic powerhouse globally, staying at the forefront of world economic development, and making its positive contribution to global growth and to the well-being of people in the region.
Last year, building on the progress toward the Bogor Goals, we adopted the Putrajaya Vision 2040, reaffirming our original aspiration of bettering the lives of our people and envisioning an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community. This year, we have jointly formulated its implementation plan. We shall keep up our good work to put the Vision into action, and endeavor to build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future featuring openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity, and mutually beneficial cooperation. To that end, I propose we focus our efforts on the following directions.
First, advance anti-COVID cooperation and promote economic recovery. As we meet, the pandemic continues to pose a grave challenge and global economic recovery remains fragile and difficult. To defeat the pandemic and restore growth at an early date is a first-order priority for APEC economies at the moment. We need to follow a science-based approach in pandemic response, deepen international cooperation, promote the research, development, production and fair distribution of vaccines, ensure their accessibility and affordability in developing countries, and close the immunization gap. China has announced that it would provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world in the course of this year, and has so far provided over 1.7 billion doses, including donations to more than 110 countries. At the recent 16th G20 Summit, I proposed, on China’s behalf, a Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative. China has undertaken to offer three billion US dollars over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in fellow developing countries. China welcomes APEC initiatives to facilitate the movement of essential goods and people in a safe manner, and will continue to provide support to the Sub-Fund for APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery with a view to helping member economies recover and grow the economy.
Second, foster an open Asia-Pacific economy. Openness is the lifeline of Asia-Pacific cooperation. We need to uphold open regionalism, follow the guidance of the APEC Vision 2040 in advancing regional economic integration, and work for the early realization of a high-standard Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We need to practice true multilateralism, stick to dialogue rather than confrontation, inclusiveness rather than exclusion, and integration rather than decoupling, and be resolute in safeguarding the multilateral trading regime with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. China supports the implementation of the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform and the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap. We look forward to the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on schedule next year, and we have applied for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Third, promote innovation-driven development and the digital economy. Innovation is an important driving force that propels world development. We need to commit ourselves to innovation-driven development, harness the power of the digital economy as a new growth engine, and spread the fruits of digital technologies to more people in our region. We need to implement the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap in a full and balanced manner, and foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for innovation and the growth of productivity. We need to further develop the digital infrastructure, speed up digital transformation, strive to bridge the digital divide, and promote development of the digital economy in an all-round way. China has put forward the initiative of Enhancing Implementation of APEC Connectivity Blueprint (2015-2025) in the Digital Era. We support stronger international cooperation on the digital economy, and have applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).
Fourth, pursue inclusive and sustainable development. We need to seek the harmonious coexistence between man and nature, actively respond to climate change, promote green and low-carbon transition, and foster a community of all life on Earth. China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, and supports developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energies. And China will work with partner countries to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We need to fully implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and let the gains of development benefit more people across the world in a more equitable way. At this year’s UN General Assembly in September, I put forward a Global Development Initiative that aims at steering global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth. The Initiative also holds great significance for sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region. Economic and technical cooperation is an important area of APEC cooperation. We need to step up input, make sure that developing members get real benefit from such cooperation, and keep injecting new dynamism into the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is the CPC’s unchanging goal to deliver a better life for the over 1.4 billion Chinese people and to promote peace and development for humanity. Now, China has started a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country. China will unswervingly expand opening-up, and share its development opportunities with APEC members and the wider world.
There is a Maori proverb in New Zealand that says, “Success is not ever that of an individual, but always that of a collective.” China will work with all APEC members in building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and jointly opening a new chapter for Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.
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