Sunday, March 31, 2019
In 2018, China faced a complicated and challenging domestic and international environment of a kind rarely seen in many years.
Under the firm leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, guided by Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, accomplished the year's main targets for economic and social development.
Remarkable Achievements of
China's GDP grew by 6.6 per cent, exceeding 90 trillion yuan (almost US$14 trillion). Economic structure was further improved. Consumption continued to play an increasing role in driving economic growth. Emerging industries thrived and traditional industries saw faster transformation and upgrading. Business start-ups and innovation continued to surge nationwide, with an average of over 18,000 new businesses opening daily and the total number of market entities passing the 100 million mark.
New breakthroughs were made in reform and opening up. China's total volume of trade in goods exceeded 30 trillion yuan (around US$4.62 trillion), and its utilised foreign investment totalled US$138.3 billion, ranking China first among developing countries.
Poverty alleviation made significant progress, with the rural poor population reduced by 13.86 million. A further 13.61 million new urban jobs were added. Unemployment rate remained stable at a comparatively low level of around five per cent. Living standards continued to improve. Per capita disposable personal income grew by 6.5 per cent in real terms.
Over the past year, China also attained new achievements in pursuing diplomacy with its own characteristics as a major country.
China is a strong advocate for openness. Despite the rise of protectionism and headwinds against globalisation, China stood firmly on the right side of history. With concrete actions, we demonstrated our sincerity and resolve to share development opportunities with the world and build an open global economy, playing its due role in safeguarding open and inclusive development of the world economy.
China is an important driver of cooperation. Building on the outcomes so far, China sought higher-quality development of Belt and Road projects. Another 60-plus countries and international organisations signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China in 2018, bringing the total number of such documents to nearly 170.
A number of major Belt and Road projects saw solid progress. At the same time, historic achievements were made in China's cooperation with other developing countries. China's cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries was also brought to new levels.
China is an important force for stability, a strong promoter of peace and a steadfast upholder of the international order. China's relations with the rest of the world made steady progress, helping to make the world a more stable place. China also played an active and constructive role in addressing hot-spot issues, meeting its due responsibility for promoting regional peace. Calling for joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind, China sought to promote a more equitable and fair system of global governance. In a turbulent world, China emerged as a pillar of stability.
Shape a Brighter Shared Future through the Belt and Road Initiative
The Chinese culture values that one should help others to succeed while seeking one's own success, create a world for all, treat others with respect and pursue win-win cooperation. While developing itself, China also wishes to work with all countries for common development and a community with a shared future for mankind.
China sets its GDP growth target for 2019 at 6 - 6.5 per cent, and vows to promote high-quality and sustainable growth. China's economy has become the power engine and will remain an anchor of stability for the global economy.
The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China has become the largest platform for international cooperation and the most welcomed global public good.
There is a lot of proof that the Belt and Road Initiative is an “economic pie” that benefits the local population, and a great opportunity for shared development. Signing up for the Belt and Road Initiative has enabled countries to grow at a faster pace, improve people's lives and reap win-win outcomes.
In April this year, China will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to promote the joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative. With the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, the forum aims to bring about high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
China and the participating countries will seek greater complementarity between the Belt and Road Initiative and their development strategies, agree on a line-up of key cooperation projects, promote the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and pay more attention to improving the lives of the ordinary people.
Promising Prospects of China-Jamaica Partnership and Friendship
China and Jamaica have a long-standing friendship. China-Jamaica cooperation, which is part of South-South cooperation, is grounded in equality and mutual benefit. Recent years have seen significant advancement of China-Jamaica relations in various areas. Investment from China has offered more access to financing, promoted technology transfer and infrastructure building, created jobs, and improved people's lives.
China's support has played an important role in Jamaica's economic and social development. According to data from the China customs, China's import from Jamaica in 2018 grew by over 100 per cent from the previous year. In terms of total trade volume, Jamaica is China's largest trade partner in the Caribbean.
China will promote stable and higher quality growth of foreign trade. This year China will host the second China International Import Expo, which will be another good opportunity to bring more Brand Jamaica products into China's market. China will also seek greater relations with Jamaica through the Belt and Road Initiative to strengthen the internal drivers of our practical cooperation. Both sides will advance infrastructural connectivity and strengthen international cooperation on production capacity, as well as work to ensure the healthy and orderly growth of outbound investment.
China looks forward to joining hands with Jamaica to embrace a bright shared future for the friendly partnership for common development between our two countries. Let us get more closely together and make it alright and better and better!
— Tian Qi is China's ambassador to Jamaica