By Wang Peng Source: CGTN Published: 2018-11-17
Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of cooperation and openness at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Saturday.
"Shall we uphold cooperation or confrontation, openness or closing doors, win-win cooperation or zero-sum game? The answers matter to the interests of every nation and the future of mankind as a whole," President Xi stressed.
While acknowledging global economic achievements, Xi warned about the perils of rising protectionism. "The world economy is in great transformation. Economic globalization is trending on, yet protectionism and unilateralism are also showing their faces, blanketing the world economy," he said in his keynote speech.
It has to be admitted that this year's APEC summit is in the shadow of a continually widening divergence between intensifying trade protectionism and the international society's demand for an open, free and fair market of world trade.
Many APEC members, especially some South Pacific island countries, are small and fragile among international economies. Their development relies on a prosperous and stable external environment, which is determined by healthy, stable and sustainable China-US strategic and economic relations.
Many of them are China's major international trade partners and are getting huge benefits from their economic ties with China. In the meantime, they, to a large extent, rely on the US for defense and have been deeply influenced by Trump's Pacific policies.
However, the ongoing China-US trade tensions have inflicted losses on them. From this analytical angle, to ease the China-US tensions in every way possible is no longer a bilateral affair, but a regional and even a global issue.
"If we set up barriers and cut close economic ties between different nations, it is contrary to economic rules and historic trends, and inconsistent with people's common aspirations. It is a short-sighted choice that will lead nowhere," President Xi said in the speech.
As responsible great powers, both China and the US have obligations to control and manage their conflicts and keep the stability of APEC economic order. This year's APEC provides a timely and appropriate platform to ease the escalating China-US trade crisis for both sides and all APEC member economies.
China has strong determination and sincerity to co-work with the US and all APEC members to create an Asia-Pacific community of shared future in this region, which serves the national interests of both sides and all other APEC member economies.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized in his speech, all APEC members should continue to enhance connectivity and achieve interconnected development.
China's developing experience during the past four decades indicates that interconnected development is the best way to achieve mutual benefits. In geography, the Asia-Pacific economies are closely connected, and hence, their national interests are interlocked. Advanced infrastructure and strong financial support are pivotal for the region to achieve common development.
China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013 and has been cooperating with all its APEC neighbors to boost the real economy through enhancing connectivity and breaking bottlenecks to development.
With these efforts, Asia-Pacific has achieved coordinated and interconnected growth in every aspect, from international trade to cross-border investment, from green energy cooperation to infrastructure building, agriculture, and fishery. Increased people-to-people exchanges have boosted the heart-to-heart connectivity among the people in the region as well.
This result is undoubtedly mutually beneficial. Creating Asia-Pacific community of shared future serves the national interests of both China and the US. There are multiple reasons to enhance the China-US cooperation and make the Asia-Pacific region a paradise of friendship and prosperity, rather than a battlefield and suffer at the hands of increasing hatred and conflicts.
Wang Peng is an associate research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.