Xi urges G-20 to build new global partnership framework

China's President Xi Jinping (far right) delivers opening remarks before a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama ahead of the G20 Summit, at West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China on Sept 3, 2016.
China's President Xi Jinping (far right) delivers opening remarks before a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama ahead of the G20 Summit, at West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China on Sept 3, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

HANGZHOU • Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a new global partnership framework and a new mechanism to coordinate economic policies among countries, even as he sought to allay concerns that China's multilateral proposals and initiatives are aimed at serving its own interests.

Speaking yesterday at a gathering of global business leaders, Mr Xi said China's recent moves - such as setting up the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and implementing the "One Belt, One Road" initiative - are not aimed at setting up a new Chinese-led world order nor targeted at third parties.

Instead, these efforts are aimed at supplementing and enhancing the existing international order and realising mutually beneficial cooperation and development, he added. "China, in opening up to the world, is not trying to be a one-man show but is keen for all parties to be involved," said Mr Xi.

"It's not to expand our sphere of influence, but to support the development of all countries. It's not to construct our own backyard but to build a garden that all countries can enjoy."

Mr Xi was speaking to some 800 business leaders at the Business 20 summit on the eve of the Group of 20 (G-20) leaders' summit opening today in Hangzhou, which China is hosting for the first time.

MUTUAL COOPERATION

China, in opening up to the world, is not trying to be a one-man show but is keen for all parties to be involved.

PRESIDENT XI JINPING

In his 45-minute speech, Mr Xi sketched out his vision on how the world's second-largest economy would play its part in driving global growth and shaping global economic governance.

He listed steps that China had been taking to make the Chinese economy more innovative, environmentally friendly and more inclusive.

He also called for a global economy that is innovation-led, open, interconnected and inclusive in nature, saying that these would help put it on "a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth path".

Mr Xi said China had done things differently as the G-20 host this year by taking steps to draft an action plan on the implementation of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and also giving more attention to industrialisation among African states and least-developed countries. He also called on the G-20, which comprises the world's 20 major economies, to play a bigger role in three areas.

First, he spoke of the need to maintain international peace and stability - crucial to global growth and development - by shedding Cold War mindsets and adopting a new security perspective based on cooperation, among other traits.

"We should settle differences and disputes through talks and negotiations, seek and not damage consensus, resolve and not create dilemmas, and help advance the international order in a more just and reasonable direction," he said.

Second, Mr Xi said the G-20 should help build a new global partnership framework based on a sense of shared destiny and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Finally, he said G-20 members should help enhance global economic governance by using the principle of equality as its foundation so that it can better reflect the new dynamics in the global economy.

"The goal of global economic governance should be mutual sharing, and it should advocate universal participation and benefits, instead of a winner-takes-all outcome," said Mr Xi.

Kor Kian Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 04, 2016, with the headline 'Xi urges G-20 to build new global partnership framework'. Print Edition | Subscribe