China's permanent representative to the United Nations said China is ready to work together with all parties to bring more openness and win-win outcomes, strengthen multilateralism and multilateral trading system, and keep striving for a community with a shared future for mankind.
Ma Zhaoxu said this at a high-level symposium themed "Strengthening Multilateralism and Multilateral Trading System in the Age of Globalization" on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The symposium was jointly hosted by the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Ma said that although the world economy continues to maintain the momentum of recovery, its foundation was not solid. "Meanwhile, unilateralism, isolationism and trade protectionism are on the rise, dealing a heavy blow to multilateralism and multilateral trading system, while adding to the instabilities and uncertainties of global economy," Ma said.
He emphasized that as a crucial engine of world economic growth, trade has a vital role to play in economic globalization and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
"To safeguard a rules-based, universal, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non- discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization is an earnest practice to support multilateralism and an important guarantee for global economic growth," he said.
He called for the international community to jointly support multilateralism, uphold the multilateral trading system and its rules, and actively build an open world economy.
Ma said "China has always been actively promoting multilateralism and firmly upholding the multilateral trading system and its rules."
Ma said since accession to the WTO in 2001, China has honored its commitments across the board, made all its WTO concessions and opened its door wider.
"In terms of trade in goods, China has fulfilled all its tariff reduction commitments, lowering its overall tariff level from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent," Ma said.
In recent years, China has taken the initiative to further cut the import duty on some commodities.
"As regards trade to services, China has opened up nearly 120 service sectors categorized by the WTO, exceeding the 100 sectors promised at its accession and approaching the average levels of developed countries," Ma said.
As an active response to the WTO's Aid for Trade initiative, China has helped to the best of its abilities other developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs).
"Since the international financial crisis in 2008, China has contributed over 30 percent of global growth every year on average. In 2017, China contributed around 34 percent of global growth and accounted for 15 percent of the world economic aggregate," he said.
And in the coming five years, "China is expected to import eight trillion US dollars of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment and make $750 billion of outbound investment," Ma added.
Five years ago, China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with more than 80 countries and international organizations having signed cooperation agreements with China, "which is a concrete result of multilateralism," said Ma.
Ma said China is ready to work with all countries in the world to make the BRI the broadest platform for international cooperation, "in keeping with the trend of economic globalization and to the greater benefit of all our peoples."
Liu Zhenmin, undersecretary general for economic and social affairs, said at the meeting that globalization brings with it many positive forces for global growth and sustainable development, but also comes with challenges and risks.
Liu said that individual countries cannot on their own effectively address the challenges presented by the interconnected nature of the global economy.
He said "Global challenges require multilateral solutions," which address a wide range of areas, including trade, investment, technology, jobs, international tax cooperation, migration, climate change."