Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as Summer Davos Forum, in north China's Tianjin Municipality on Tuesday.
This year's forum, held from Tuesday to Thursday, is themed "Entrepreneurship: The Driving Force of the Global Economy." About 1,500 participants from the business sector, government, civil society, international organizations and the academia are attending the in-person event after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The core objective of this year's forum is to re-energize innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia and around the world. It aims to explore paths to economic recovery, finalize new industry models and partnerships, and drive the world economy toward a more equitable, sustainable and resilient future, according to the WEF website.
Noting the changes taking place in the world and the transformative phase of the global economy, Li stressed the importance of communication, cooperation, openness and peaceful development.
Here are the highlights of his speech.
Communication and exchange
Li said that after going through COVID-19, people should cherish communication and exchange even more as the pandemic had made face-to-face communication hard.
Though the pandemic has passed, artificial barriers to communication still exist, which are pushing the world toward division and confrontation, Li said. Diversity and differences among civilizations exist, but instead of becoming a reason for estrangement, these differences should become a driving force for exchange and communication, he added.
He urged the countries to strengthen dialogue, bridge differences and enhance consensus to avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations.
Solidarity and cooperation
Li also stressed solidarity and cooperation, saying the pandemic has told human beings that in the face of a global crisis in an interconnected world, no country can be spared or solve all problems alone. "Unity is the only way to go."
He said the pandemic will not be the last global crisis as the world still faces climate change, debt risks, slowing economic growth and widening wealth gap among others.
The premier called for cooperation to solve global problems, saying the international society needs to work together to meet global challenges.
Openness and globalization
Having experienced twists and turns in the global economy, openness and cooperation should be cherished, Li said.
He added that economic globalization is a historical trend, and the accelerated development of digital technology, artificial intelligence and other new technologies has created more favorable conditions for economic globalization. "The world should not and cannot retreat into isolation and seclusion."
He also mentioned his recent trip to Germany and France, saying there is a consensus that countries need to abandon the zero-sum game mentality and return to the track of win-win cooperation.
He denounced the "de-risking" strategy to reduce dependence, saying it's a pseudo-proposition as globalization has made countries interdependent and brought benefits to all.
If there are some risks in a certain industrial chain, it cannot be decided by the government, but by enterprises, Li said, adding China firmly opposes politicizing economic and trade issues and calls for the world to work together to ensure more smooth global supply and industrial chains.
He also expressed his hope that the world will find more common interests, develop their own economies, and increase the size of the economic pie so that everyone can be better off.
Peace and stability
Peace and stability should be cherished more in the wake of experiencing anxiety caused by conflicts and instability, Li said at the forum.
He said peace and stability are the fundamental prerequisites for development and everything else, adding some countries are inciting ideological confrontation, hatred and prejudices over the years, which has resulted in containment, suppression and even regional conflicts. These have brought tremendous disasters for the local people as well as global development, Li said.
He stressed that what the world needs is communication rather than estrangement, cooperation rather than confrontation, openness rather than isolation, and peace rather than conflict.
China confident on 5 percent growth target
Approaching the end of his speech, Li said China is confident about achieving this year's economic growth target of around 5 percent, with the growth in the second quarter to surpass that in the first quarter, which stood at 4.5 percent.
In the longer term, China will continue to provide strong dynamism to the world's economic recovery and growth as China is still the world's largest developing country, with a population of over 1.4 billion.
"Our development remains unbalanced and inadequate. Yet such a situation is also where China's development potential and space lie," Li said, adding that China is fostering a new development paradigm at a faster pace and working hard to achieve high-quality development.
He stressed that China has full confidence and the capability to achieve steady and sustained high-quality development of its economy in a long time to come, and the country also stands ready to unswervingly uphold the market economy and support free trade to steer the world economy toward a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future.