China Focus: China's commitment to "community with shared future for mankind" to boost Asia-Pacific economic governance

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-10 19:35:07|Editor: Liangyu
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BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping left Beijing Friday for the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam, drawing attention to possible new concepts and measures the world's second largest economy may bring to the Asia-Pacific.

China has successfully held two APEC summits -- one in Shanghai in 2001 and the other in Beijing in 2014. This year's summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, marks the first international multilateral conference Xi attends since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October.

During the congress, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era drew extensive attention, and "building a community with a shared future for mankind" was listed as one of 14 fundamental principles.

Calls from the international community for joint efforts to cope with challenges and enhance economic governance have been increasing as the world still suffers an economic quagmire and rising risks of protectionism and unilateralism.

Analysts believe China's commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind is not restricted to diplomacy and security. Instead, it is first embodied in regional economic governance, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Founded in 1989, APEC, one of the most influential mechanisms for boosting economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, represents the most economically dynamic region in the world.

Its 21 member economies account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, 60 percent of world GDP and 48 percent of world trade.

"The APEC economies are in dire need of a boost in common development by 'fostering new dynamism, creating a shared future,' which is the theme of this year's summit," said Zhao Gancheng with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

"Cutting trade and investment barriers and promoting efficacy of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements have been the missions of APEC since its founding," Zhao noted.

Earlier this month, China's Foreign Ministry said China hopes the Da Nang APEC meeting will follow the general trend of opening up and development in the Asia-Pacific region, discover new driving forces in the region, strengthen connectivity and map out a new vision of future cooperation.

The expectations accord with the roadmap set at the Beijing APEC summit, during which APEC leaders adopted a blueprint to promote regional connectivity by 2025, and APEC members agreed to start a joint strategic study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), marking the official launch of the FTAAP process.

According to Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the roadmap is being gradually implemented with increasing bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements signed afterwards.

Take China, for example, the number of its free trade test zones has grown from only one at the beginning of 2014 to 11 at present. These zones, which span from China's eastern and central regions to its west, have facilitated connectivity with the Asia-Pacific, according to Bai.

For Zhao, however, the Belt and Road Initiative, an inclusive cooperation platform to improve links among involved countries and regions across the globe, is very important and attractive for APEC member economies.

China has played a positive role in creating shared interests for regional economies along with its own development through proposals such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund.

The overseas investment from the Silk Road Fund has exceeded 6 billion U.S. dollars.

China has been promoting its global economic governance concept in recent years, calling for efforts to increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries, and to ensure that all countries have equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal rules to follow in international economic cooperation.

Analysts believe the Da Nang APEC meeting will witness that China continues to put its concept into action, which will further benefit the Asia-Pacific and the world.

"China will grow into a leader in economic globalization in the future, helping to develop the global economic governance system toward an all-win and equitable mechanism," Bai said.