China's Economic Development and China-Poland Cooperation Prospects
Address at the forum China-Europe-Poland: Economy and Globalization by Xie Fuzhan, President of CASS
2019/04/13

Respected guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I am very glad to come to the University of Warsaw to attend this joint International Conference on Economic Globalization and China-EU and China-Poland Relations. On behalf of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, I would like to express my sincere respect and thanks to the University of Warsaw, and the Poland Asia Research Center. I would like to extend my sincere welcome to the scholars who attended the conference.

Poland, located at the crossroads of Eurasia, is a country with the largest population, greatest land area and biggest economy in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as an important Member State of the European Union. At the beginning of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Poland was one of the first countries who recognized and established diplomatic relations with China, and the friendship between the peoples of both countries has been established ever since.

The year of 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Poland. Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Poland in June 2016 and the leaders from both countries unanimously agreed to upgrade the China Poland Relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which opened the new chapter to bilateral relationship. Recently, the Polish ambassador to China visited to my Academy, and we both agreed that China and Poland have maintained good bilateral relations for a long time. The bilateral cooperation in various fields is increasingly deepened which has brought concrete benefits to the peoples from both countries.

Today I would like to take this opportunity to make some comments on China's economic development and new opportunities for China-Poland cooperation.

I. China's economic development is not only beneficial to China but also to the world.

In the 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially in the 40 years since the Reform and Opening up, China's economic development has achieved remarkable achievements, and China's social outlook has undergone fundamental and great changes. The following are some of the most important things from such a great achievement.

(1) Insisting on the economic development as the priority and unswervingly opening up more widely towards outside.

China's economic development, especially Reform and Opening up, has greatly improved the living standard and enhanced sense of happiness of the Chinese people, and nearly 1.4 billion people have achieved a great leap from lack of food and clothing to well-off prosperity. After the founding of New China, on the basis of "economically poor and culturally blank", we built up a relatively complete national economic system and a comprehensive modern industrial system on our own, laying out a solid foundation for future development. In the past 70 years, especially in the past 40 years of Reform and Opening up, China has achieved rapid growth in GDP and a significant increase in per capita national income. GDP increased from 367.9 billion Yuan in 1978 to 90 trillion Yuan at the end of last year, an increase of nearly 244 times. The per capital GDP was about 9500 US dollar. China has successfully moved from a low-income country to upper-middle-income country. Achieve maximum scale poverty alleviation and poverty reduction in such a short period of time, about 750 million Chinese people get rid of poverty, and this is China's significant contribution to the world's poverty reduction. China has achieved a relatively short time to transform from traditional agricultural society to modern industrial society. Industrialization, urbanization, informatization and agricultural modernization have developed simultaneously. The urbanization rate has increased from 17.92% in 1978 to 59.58% in 2018. Railways, highways, airports, urban utilities, communications infrastructure have been improved significantly, and the production of a number of industrial products ranked first in the world. In a country with such a large population and a small per capita resource, these economic and social development achievements have been achieved at the same time, and have been able to contribute more than 30% to world economic growth for many years in a row. This can be said to be a feat and miracle in the history of humankind, and it is China's great contribution to the world as the largest developing country.

China's reform is in pace with the opening-up and mutual promotion. To promote reform and development through the opening-up is an important strategic tool for China's continuous achievements in its modernization drive. China adheres to the basic national policy of opening up towards the outside world and forms an all-round, multi-level and wide-ranging new pattern of opening to the outside world, creating an encouraging international environment for economic development and exploring a great opportunity for development. In the past 40 years, especially since China's accession into WTO, China has deeply promoted trade liberalization. The proportion of total import and export of goods in the world has increased from 0.8% in 1978 to 11.7% in 2018, and the total import and export of service trade has increased from 34th in the world to 2nd in the world. China has also actively established a new platform for international cooperation, proposed the Belt and Road Initiative and initiated the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Banks and the New Development Bank of the BRICS countries, adding new impetus to the development of global cooperation. Practice has proved that China cannot develop without the world, nor can a prosper world without China.

(2) Making the market play a decisive role in the allocation of resources, while better playing the role of government

The essential purpose of China's economic reform is to liberate economy and improve productivity. It is to enlarge the cake and distribute the cake in an appropriate way. The core issue is to deal with the relationship between the market and the government. The market for allocation of resources is the most effective form of economic development. It is also the internal requirement and the very general law of market economy. The market economy in China is no exception. The difference is that we are transforming from a highly centralized planning economy to a socialist market economy, and there was no previous successful experiences to draw on. China firmly grasps its national conditions and adheres to Chinese characteristics, constantly exploring and correctly handling the relationship between the high-level strategy with "touching upon the stones while crossing the river", the relationship between the overall advancement and the key breakthroughs. China combines the essential requirements of adhering to socialism with the key role of the market economy, and reform the highly centralized planning economic system. China gives full play to the regulatory role of economic leverage such as price, interest rate, exchange rate, and tax rate, and gradually establishes a unified, open and competitive market system of products, capital, land, labor, and technology. We also greatly reduce unnecessary administrative procedure and decentralize management, reduce taxes, etc., for profit making by business, and fully mobilize the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of various market players, small or big. At the same time, we focus on better playing the role of the government and correctly handle the relationship between economic reform, sustainable development in areas where the market alone can not manage. In the process of comprehensively deepening reform, we promote long-term, sustainable and healthier economic development, social stability and cohesion.

(3) Improving and promoting the rule of law comprehensively

The market economy system and the rule of law system complement each other. China's reform and opening up has also been a continuous process of promoting the rule of law, building a state under the rule of law. Since the reform and opening-up, China's socialist rule of law has made historic achievements. The socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics has been formed. The governance under the rule of law has been steadily progressing, the judicial system has been constantly improving, the concept of the rule of law in the whole society has been obviously strengthened, the system guarantees of people's position and of the legal system has become more powerful. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party in 2012, China has raised the comprehensive rule of law to the same level as important as the comprehensive deepening of reform and opening up. The latest development in this regard is the Foreign Investment Law, just adopted by the National People's Congress in March of this year, under which China will implement the pre-admission national treatment and negative list system for all foreign investment in China, as for the protection of intellectual property rights, technology transfer and enterprise compensation which are of international concerns, there are definite legal provisions. This is a fundamental legal guarantee for all enterprises, including those from Poland, that come to or will invest in China, to make the entire investment environment more equitable, transparent and predictable, and to make China's market more open, inclusive, fair, and more balanced.

(4) Adhering to the path of peace and development for the world

Economic globalization provides the favorable environment for China's reform and opening-up. China is both a participant and an actor in economic globalization, as well as a promoter and a contributor. Since 2006, China's contribution to world economic growth has ranked the first in the world. In 2018, China's contribution to world economic growth reached about 30%, remaining the number-one contributor to world economy.

China's rapid economic development has brought about opportunities for the world, which is also a chance for Poland. One example is the China-Europe Railway Express.

China's economic development in the past 40 years has been achieved under policy opening towards outside, and the global environment for an opening development. Nest, in order to realize high-quality and more sustainable development in the future, not just high growth, we must go ahead under a more open environment. The opening of the Chinese market to the world is an opportunity for China to integrate into the world economy and also to contribute to the world economy. Not only is there no reason for China to shut it down, but it will be open deeper and wider.

II. Future Cooperation for China-Poland Relations

Ladies and gentlemen.

The world is undergoing a new round of globalization with great changes as well as great adjustment, the economic and social development of all countries is becoming closely connected, the global governance and the reform of the international order are accelerating, the international community is increasingly becoming a community of "one for all and all for one", this is also the logic of the development for the global society. At the same time, the world economy has been adjusted thoroughly, with protectionism and unilateralism rising, and the economic globalization has been inflected, while multilateralism and free trade system are being challenged, and the overall development environment of the world economy is faced with many risks and uncertainties. However, economic globalization is an irreversible trend, and globalization is bound to move forward and provide strong impetus for the development of the world economy. Facing the new situation and new challenges, the right choice for us is to cooperate hand in hand to deal with the common challenges.

In recent years, under bilateral relations, 16+1 cooperation in the subregion and Belt and Road initiative, China and Poland has carried out various cooperation. At the first China Import Fair held in Shanghai in November 2018, the Polish government has set up the largest pavilion in the member countries of the European Union. A special government delegation was sent to look for opportunities for cooperation.

Looking forward to the future, China and Poland can find more opportunities to deepen cooperation between the co-construction under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Responsible Development Plan of the Polish government, so as to promote a more steady promotion of bilateral relations.

(1) To deepen cooperation in the field of infrastructure.

China has accumulated rich experiences in the field of infrastructure. Poland is a transport hub for Eurasia, and China can share experiences and strengthen cooperation with Poland, whether it is building a Central Communication Port or a major infrastructure project such as the National Railway Plan (KPK) and the Gdansk Port.

(2) To deepen cooperation in the field of development finance.

China has made gratifying attempts in the field of development finance and accumulated valuable experiences. In Poland's Responsible Development Plan, China and Poland can explore specific ways of working together in development finance. At present, China is continuing to promote cooperation with international financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and actively serve the connectivity construction in Central and Eastern Europe. The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Silk Road Fund is also open to Poland.

(3) To deepen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.

Poland has a large number of high-quality talents, solid basic research and business environment conducive to innovation, in line with the increasing demand for innovation by Chinese enterprises. For practical cooperation, China and Poland can explore the complementary advantages of R&D and application in science and technology, and actively serve Asia, Europe and even the world.

(4) To deepen exchange and cooperation in the field of think tanks.

The world today is facing many global challenges, either to deal with unilateralism and the impact of trade protectionism, or to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, to handle immigrants and refugees properly, jointly to work on climate change, etc.; whether to promote regional economic integration or to deepen the reform of the multilateral system, all requires countries to strengthen cooperation, including cooperation among think tanks. In this respect, China-Poland and China-EU cooperation have great potential.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Poland, the bilateral relation has been stable and far-reaching, and has been continuously benefiting the peoples of the two countries, and has had a positive impacts in the region and in the world. We can take full advantage of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and conduct joint comparative studies on China's economic reform and Poland's economic transition, learning experiences from each other. I hereby extend my invitation to all of you, and through you, welcome more Polish scholars to China, either pay more visits to CASS or exchange more with Chinese scholars, working together to promote academic exchange and co-operation among think tanks.

Finally, I wish this conference a great success!

Thank you very much!