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At Boao forum, China reiterates commitment to opening up, shared development

This photo taken on March 28, 2024 shows the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

At the high-profile Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2024, China has made a clarion call for solidarity and cooperation to address the common challenges facing the world today as it reiterated commitments to opening up and shared development.

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This photo taken on March 28, 2024 shows the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts with high-quality development, which will inject strong impetus into the world economy and provide more opportunities for the development of all countries, especially neighbors in Asia, China’s top legislator Zhao Leji said Thursday in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the annual event.


At present, the world is facing severe challenges including fragile economic recovery and regional conflicts, which underscores the urgent need for solidarity and cooperation among nations to tackle these issues and achieve win-win results.

In his speech, Zhao, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, called on Asian nations to stay independent, seek strength through unity, jointly oppose unilateralism and extreme self-serving practices, oppose picking sides and bloc confrontation, and prevent this region and the world from becoming an arena for geopolitical contests.

China advocates an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, Zhao said, calling on all countries to rise above the outdated mentality of bloc confrontation and zero-sum game, practice true multilateralism, and jointly foster an open world economy.

China is committed to shared development, Zhao said, adding that the country is already a main trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions, a primary source of investment for an increasing number of countries, and one of the most important investment destinations for most countries in the world.

China has proposed building a community with a shared future for humanity, offering countries around the world the Chinese solution for a better future.

Over the years, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative have contributed immensely to global prosperity and stability.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, told Xinhua that he was impressed with the Chinese government’s clear plan to grow the economy, bring technology innovations forward, and open up and benefit the entire world with win-win strategies.


China is committed to open development, further widening its door to the world, Zhao said in his speech. The country will proactively adhere to high-standard international economic and trade regulations and cultivate a business-friendly environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and world-class.

China will also further shorten its negative list for foreign investment and remove all restrictions on access in the manufacturing sector, according to Zhao.

Over the years, China has steadfastly pushed forward opening up, with the launch of free trade zones and the expansion of sectors open to foreign investment. It has always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism.

In his speech, Zhao called on Asian countries to oppose trade protectionism and all forms of barriers and decoupling practices.

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This photo taken on March 25, 2024 shows a view of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Yang Guanyu)

During a panel discussion on China’s economic outlook, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, member of the BFA Council of Advisors and former French prime minister, said that a closed-door policy leads nowhere in growing an economy, while an open Chinese economy that grew more than 5 percent last year was good news for the world.

« You have a lot of young people, good universities, beautiful research centers, and a lot of people working, » Raffarin said, calling China’s innovation drive an important contribution to the world.

In recent years, globalization and trade multilateralism have faced some headwinds due to slowing economies and domestic politics in some countries, thereby, giving rise to trade protectionism.

« If all the people stop making the pie together by staying in small yards and behind high walls, we will lose out in terms of prosperity and development, » said Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization.


Over the past decades, China’s robust growth and huge market have provided significant opportunities for the rest of the world, making it the largest contributor to global economic growth.

Investing in China is investing in the future as the potential of its super-sized market with over 1.4 billion people will be further unlocked, Zhao said in his speech, adding that China’s green development is poised to create investment and consumption markets worth 10 trillion yuan annually.

« All countries are sincerely welcome to board the ‘express train’ of China’s development and join hands to work for a global modernization featuring peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and prosperity for all, » Zhao said.

« The Chinese market is important for us, » said Charles Dallara, Partners Group USA Advisory Partner. « We’re very pleased with the success of our investments. »

He added that China has advanced technology and green energy, and contributes to easing the environmental problems both domestically and around the world. « I think China is well poised to be a global leader in bringing us into a more environmentally safe world. »

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A logo is seen at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province, March 28, 2024. (Xinhua/Yang Guanyu)

« We have confidence in our group’s future in China, and the rest of Asia. It’s a dynamic region. China has not just a large-scale labor force, but also skilled labor. You find very good leadership of engineers and scientists to be at the forefront of technological development, and we are quite encouraged about the prospects of continuing to invest in China, » he said.

Dino Otranto, chief executive officer of Fortescue Metals Group headquartered in Australia, told Xinhua that Fortescue has maintained a long-standing partnership with Boao (Forum) for nearly 18 years, while in the last 20 years, the company has developed an iron ore business, with 90 percent of its products going into the Chinese market.

The global mining firm sees a vast opportunity in collaborating with China for the green energy transition, with the CEO unveiling plans to launch a manufacturing center in east China’s Hefei.

« We will be manufacturing electrolyzer together. We have some great technology that we’ve invented in Australia that we’re gonna bring here and work together on how they manufacture those electrolyzers to meet the global demand, which is huge at the moment, » Otranto said.

(Video reporters: Zheng Xin, Li Duojiang, Deng Lanyu, Guo Liangchuan, Zhao Yuhe, Mei Yuanlong, Jiang Sai; video editors: Zhu Cong, Hui Peipei, Zheng Qingbin, Wang Houyuan, Luo Ruoshi)

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