By He Yin
Chinese President Xi Jinping called on members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to work for a bright future of prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific while delivering a speech titled “Fighting COVID-19 and Leading Economic Recovery Through Solidarity and Cooperation” at the APEC Informal Economic Leaders’ Retreat via video link on July 16.
Xi’s speech conforms to the development trend of the Asia-Pacific region, shows the noble ideals of the Chinese leader who cares about people all over the world, demonstrates China’s sincere desire to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic together with countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world, manifests China’s sense of responsibility as a constructor of and contributor to cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and is of great significance for promoting the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.
The current situation under the COVID-19 pandemic is undergoing many twists and turns, including the constant mutations of the virus. Controlling the pandemic still poses a difficult challenge, while global economic recovery is still on shaky ground. Against this backdrop, the international community is in urgent need of more confidence, hope, and cooperation.
At the crucial moment, Xi proposed strengthening international cooperation on COVID-19 response, deepening regional economic integration, pursuing inclusive and sustainable development, and seizing opportunities from scientific and technological innovation at the APEC Informal Economic Leaders’ Retreat.
He encouraged countries to reach a consensus about pushing ahead cooperation, offered a new formula for global response to the pandemic and a new approach to world economic recovery, and injected new impetus to deepening cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.
For member economies of the Asia-Pacific, defeating COVID-19 and restoring growth at an early date are the top priority for the time being, Xi said in his speech.
“We must stick to solidarity and cooperation as we go through this difficult time and jointly work for a healthier and brighter future for humanity,” said Xi, noting that vaccines are a powerful weapon to prevail over the pandemic and revive the economy.
China was the first country in the world that promised to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, and has been calling for closer international cooperation on vaccines to ensure that they are accessible and affordable in developing countries.
Keeping its promise, China has provided more than 500 million doses of vaccines for other developing countries, and will provide another $3 billion in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries.
Besides, the country has financed the founding of a Sub-Fund on APEC Cooperation on Combating COVID-19 and Economic Recovery, one again proving itself to be a reliable and major contributor to global fight against the virus.
How to promote economic transformation and upgrading and achieve lasting economic recovery remains a major issue for the Asia-Pacific, a major engine for global economic growth. Grasping the crux of economic problems in the Asia-Pacific and even the world, Xi put forward a solution to stimulating economic recovery.
“We must remove barriers, not erect walls. We must open up, not close off. We must seek integration, not decoupling,” said Xi, who believes win-win cooperation is the only right way forward, while a closed-door policy, exclusion, confrontation and division would only lead to a dead end.
“We must follow a people-centered approach, foster a sound environment to buttress sustainable economic and social development worldwide, and achieve green growth,” he continued.
China’s proposals for promoting open, sustainable and innovative development have fully shown the country’s sincere .hope to work with countries in the Asia-Pacific and beyond to achieve higher-standard mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
The country will host a workshop on digital capacity building and take forward such initiatives as bolstering the recovery of the tourism sector with digital tools, which is expected to give a fresh impetus to the economic recovery in the Asia-Pacific.
With its root struck deep in the Asia-Pacific, China will continue to serve the region’s development and prosperity, and promote the building of an Asia-Pacific Community with a shared future.
During the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 20, 2020, Xi proposed building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future featuring openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity, and mutually beneficial cooperation, and comprehensively expounded on the rich connotations of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, charting the route to the region’s development.
The meeting adopted the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which specified the goal of building an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community.
The APEC Economic Leaders’ Statement issued following the APEC Informal Economic Leaders’ Retreat on July 16 reaffirmed the goal, which has fully proven that APEC members are confident that building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future meets the expectations of all parties and will facilitate regional prosperity and development, and improve the well-being of people in the region.
China has embarked upon a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, which will bring about greater development opportunities to the Asia-Pacific and infuse more positive energy into world peace and prosperity.
The country will continue upholding the idea of a community with a shared future for mankind, and join hands with other APEC members to promote anti-epidemic cooperation and economic recovery and work for a bright future of prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific.