Han Zheng, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China, reaffirmed China’s commitment to continued global economic integration and multilateral institutions even amid growing international tension.
“Despite the protectionist and unilateral moves by some countries, China will not stop opening up,” he said. “We will not follow in the footsteps of those moving in the opposite direction.”
Han’s comments came during his special address to a plenary session during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020. He noted that globalism is both an underlying trend and a driver of economic growth in today’s world. Economic uncertainty engenders greater friction in terms of trade and investment, but protectionism is not a good remedy.
“All countries feel pressure, but to simply blame economic globalization does not reflect the facts – nor does it help solve the problem,” he said.
Instead, he advocated building “an inclusive and open world economy” that will “make the pie bigger” for everyone.
The vice-premier also stressed the need to work with multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the G20, the World Trade Organization and others on issues of economic development, poverty alleviation, the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change. He also ran through a litany of recent and future policy changes designed to facilitate both imports and foreign investment. “Openness is a trademark of today’s China,” he said.
Han called the World Economic Forum’s 1 Trillion Trees Initiative “highly valuable” and pledged to share China’s expertise in reforestation.