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China will remain faithful to multilateralism

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China neither walks away from agreements or pulls out of organizations, nor does it ask other countries to pick sides, and it has always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here Tuesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024.

The theme of this year’s meeting, “Rebuilding Trust,” echoes well with people’s concerns, said Li as he delivered a special address to the event hosted by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

Trust comes from our shared aspiration for a better future for mankind and from our common will to work together for it, Li said.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping noted, the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation, yet the overall direction of human development and progress will not change, the overall dynamics of world history moving forward amid twists and turns will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change, Li said.

All parties should discard prejudice, bridge divides, treat each other with sincerity, move in the same direction, and work together to address the trust deficit, said the Chinese premier.

Li made a five-point proposal on rebuilding trust, strengthening cooperation and promoting global economic recovery, the first of which is to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, firmly safeguard the multilateral trading system, and build greater synergy for world economic growth.

The second, said Li, is to strengthen the international industrial division of labor and coordination, unswervingly promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and effectively maintain the stability and smooth flow of global industrial and supply chains.

Li also called for strengthening global exchanges and cooperation on science and technology, working together to create an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological development, and breaking down barriers that restrict the flow of innovation factors.

Cooperation on green development should be strengthened, said Li, adding that countries worldwide should remove various barriers in this field, jointly work for green transformation, uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and actively address global climate change.

The fifth is to strengthen North-South cooperation and South-South cooperation, fully implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, bridge the development gaps, and strive to build a universally beneficial and inclusive world economy, said the Chinese premier.

Li stressed that China is a country that attaches great importance to commitments, honoring its words with concrete actions all along. With greatest sincerity, utmost efforts and concrete results, China has proven consistently to the world that it is a country worthy of trust.

Over recent years, China has been an important engine of global development, and is now advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, Li said.

China has established sound and solid fundamentals in terms of the industrial base, production factors and innovation capacity, he said, adding its overall trend of long-term growth will not change and will provide continuous and strong impetus to the development of the world.

Li said China has a supersize market with rapidly unlocked demand, and it is also cultivating large-scale new growth drivers in areas such as a new type of urbanization and green transition. It will provide a broader space for boosting global trade and investment, he added.

No matter how the world changes, China will stay committed to the fundamental national policy of opening up and open its door still wider to the world, the premier said.

Choosing the Chinese market is not a risk, but an opportunity, Li said. China embraces investments from businesses of all countries with open arms, and will steadily expand institutional opening up, continue to shorten the negative list for foreign investment, provide national treatment for foreign businesses, and keep fostering a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment, he added.

After the address, Li answered questions from Schwab on topics including Artificial Intelligence (AI) governance and the multilateral system. He stressed that we must be people-centered, inclusive and bring benefit for all, work for good AI with good governance, and guide AI in a direction that is conducive to the progress of human civilization.

He said true multilateralism should be built on basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China neither walks away from agreements or pulls out of organizations, nor asks other countries to pick sides, and it has always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism, he added.

President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd, President of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam, King of Belgium Philippe, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Daren Tang and about 1,500 political figures and representatives from the business community, academia and media organizations of various countries attended the event.

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