DESPITE concerns over China’s rising economic prowess and influence, President Xi Jinping insists his country his not seeking global domination.
During the speech to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of late leader Deng Xiaoping’s campaign of “reform and opening up”, Xi assured the rest of the world that China would not develop “at the expense of other countries’ interests”.
“China’s development does not pose a threat to any country,” he said, as quoted by the Independent.
“No matter how far China develops, it will never seek hegemony.”
Through its Belt and Road Initiative, China has expanded its economic reach worldwide through a myriad of investment ventures stretching from the Asia-Pacific to Africa and beyond, raising concerns among critics of countries falling within Beijing’s so-called debt trap.
The critics have also pointed out risks of China’s influence over local politics and legislation of sovereign nations which struck deals involving billions of dollars in infrastructure projects with Beijing.
But as China makes rapid economic expansion across the globe and as it cools from a trade tussle with the United States, Xi said called for the unswerving implementation of reforms on Beijing’s terms and not by those set by other countries.
According to the AFP, Xi, who spoke for nearly an hour-and-a-half at China’s Great Hall of the People, called for support for the state economy and development of the private sector. He also said China would expand efforts at opening up and ensure the implementation of major reforms.
Amid the backdrop of the trade war with the US and mounting pressure to accelerate reforms and improve market access for foreign companies, Xi said China had to make its own decisions.
“There is no text book that can provide a golden rule, and there is no instructor who can boss around the Chinese people,” Xi said.
Deng Xiaoping’s “reform and opening up” measures led to explosive industrial growth that made China’s economy the world’s second-largest.
“We must, unswervingly, reinforce the development of the state economy while, unswervingly, encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-state economy,” he said.