2 Sep 2013

Chinese President Xi Jinping: We believe G20 summit in St. Petersburg will bring positive results under Russia’s stewardship

Chinese President Xi Jinping has given an interview to Interfax and a number of CIS media ahead of the G20 and SCO summits in which he speaks about the tasks that the G20 faces, Chinese-Russian bilateral relations, the SCO Regional Counter Terrorism Structure, and the slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Question: The eighth G20 leaders’ summit will soon be held in St Petersburg, Russia. What does China expect from the summit?

Answer: The G20 Leaders’ Summit will soon take place in St Petersburg. At a time when world economic growth lacks momentum and the deep-seated impact of the international financial crisis goes on unabated, it will be an important meeting among leaders of the world’s major economies. China supports the St Petersburg summit to focus on growth and employment to promote even closer partnerships among G20 members, strengthen their macro-economic policy coordination and jointly usher in a brighter future for the world economy.
First, G20 members should adopt responsible macro-economic policies. It is important that each country should, first and foremost, manage its own affairs well, keep its own economic house in order, and enhance economic competitiveness through vigorous structural reforms. On the basis of this, parties should step up policy coordination, make sure that the spillover effect of their policies are positive, not otherwise, and work together to meet the major risks and challenges in the international economic and financial fields.
Second, the G20 should uphold and promote greater openness in the world economy. Countries should categorically oppose protectionism of all forms, promote an early harvest of the Doha Round negotiations, and safeguard a free, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading regime. Efforts should be made to deepen economic integration among countries, build a global value chain, and avoid fragmentation of markets and trading systems. This will contribute to win-win development of all countries.
Third, the G20 should work to improve global economic governance. It should continue to increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. In particular, it should speedily implement the quota and governance reform plans for the IMF, complete on time IMF’s quota formula adjustment and the next round of general quotas review by January 2014, and review the basket of currencies for special drawing rights as scheduled for 2015.
Fourth, the G20 should strive to be a development partner for developing countries. It should fully harness its own advantage and demonstrate greater political commitment to pushing for solutions to global development issues. It should forge more effective global partnerships on development, and mobilize more economic resources to tackle a greater number of development challenges.

Q.: How do you see the work Russia has done in hosting the summit of G20?

A.: As the holder of this year’s G20 presidency, Russia has made robust efforts to coordinate among members, strengthen the role of the G20 and promote world economic recovery. It has done a great deal of effective work in preparation for the G20 summit, fully demonstrating the role and impact of a major global player. China highly commends Russia’s effort.
China pledges its full support to Russia’s efforts to host a successful summit. We believe that under Russia’s stewardship and with the efforts of all parties, the forthcoming St Petersburg summit will deliver positive results. By building consensus for G20 cooperation, putting forward ideas for global economic governance, and stimulating growth momentum for the world economy, the summit will serve as an important link in the course of G20’s development.

Q.: You will have a bilateral meeting with President Putin on the sidelines of the G20 St Petersburg Summit. What expectations do you have for this summit?

A.: I am very much looking forward to meeting my old friend President Putin in St Petersburg. As I said during my visit to Russia last March, I hope the two sides will seize the opportune time of early spring to plough and hoe and reap a bumper harvest not only for our bilateral relations but also for peace and development in the world.
It is heartening to note that both sides are working hard to implement the cooperation consensus and agreements President Putin and I reached in Moscow, and bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas, from economy, trade, investment, energy and law enforcement, to strategic and security matters, military-to-military relations, defense technology, local exchanges, culture and international affairs, has yielded important results or made positive progress.
This time, my meeting with President Putin will take place in autumn – the golden season of harvest. What has been sowed in spring will be turned into rich fruits this autumn. Together, we will review the progress in bilateral ties since our March meeting, set the direction and targets for cooperation in various areas in the next stage, and witness the signing of many new cooperation documents between relevant departments and companies.
I am sure that both sides will use the upcoming summit meeting as an opportunity to further capitalize on the high-level political relationship between our two countries, deepen practical cooperation across the board, intensify coordination and collaboration in international affairs, and take China-Russia relations to the next level to facilitate development efforts in both countries.

Q.: Cooperation in security and economy represents the principal direction of SCO cooperation. In your view, how should the SCO better perform its security and economic functions?

A.: In the face of complex regional and international situation, maintaining regional security and stability and promoting common development of member states has been, is and will continue to be SCO’s top priority and objective for quite a long time to come.
On security, member states need to continue to firmly support each other’s endeavor to safeguard national security and social stability and intensify efforts to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism and drug-related crimes. What merits caution is that there is a growing tendency of terrorists and drug criminals colluding with each other in the region. Therefore, counter-terrorism and anti-narcotic efforts should be integrated with a two-pronged approach. China believes that there is a need to give the SCO Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure the function of anti-narcotics to enhance its overall ability to fight both terrorism and drug trafficking.
On economy, member states need to vigorously promote pragmatic cooperation. The ultimate purpose of maintaining regional security and stability is to achieve common development and prosperity. Parties need to accelerate the implementation of cooperation projects in such advantageous areas as transport, energy, communications and agriculture, and expedite studies on setting up an SCO development bank to resolve project financing difficulties and address international financial risks. Moreover, the SCO needs to step up pragmatic cooperation with other multilateral mechanisms in the region to draw on each other’s strengths.
China has all along supported SCO’s development. For a long time, China has actively exchanged experience on law-enforcement and security cooperation with other member states, provided concessional loans for economic cooperation among member states, helped them train professionals for national development, and worked with them to respond to the international financial crisis in a spirit of solidarity. China will continue to join hands with other member states to create a brighter future for the SCO.

Q.: The 13th meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO will soon be held in Bishkek. What are your expectations and assessments of the upcoming summit? What initiatives will you put forth at the summit?

A.: Since its inception, the SCO has taken solid steps in cooperation in political, security, economic, people-to-people and cultural fields and on the international stage. It has played an important role in maintaining regional security and stability and promoting common development, and is now brimming with vigor and vitality. It has become the consensus of member states to facilitate faster and better development of the organization and to promote the attainment of common targets.
The SCO Bishkek Summit will take place against two important backgrounds. First, there have been new changes in the region and the world. In-depth adjustments in global economy, persistent turmoil in west Asia and north Africa, and new complexities in the Afghanistan issue have all posed new challenges to regional security and stability and to SCO cooperation and development. At the same time, emerging economies have demonstrated greater development potential and broader prospects for cooperation. This has brought new opportunities for SCO’s development. Second, the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between the SCO Member States, which has officially come into effect, has injected fresh impetus to member states’ efforts to elevate cooperation to a higher level, improve their capacity in meeting various threats and challenges, and speed up the building of a region of lasting peace and common prosperity. In this context, the upcoming summit will make plans and arrangements for SCO’s work at the next stage in line with the above-mentioned developments and changes.
I believe that to advance the development of the SCO, it is necessary to continue to carry forward the “Shanghai Spirit” that features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and the pursuit of common development. It is important to ensure success in two areas: first, enhance self-development, improve capacity-building, and increase efficiency and level of cooperation; second, strengthen partnership network building, promote cooperation with observers and dialogue partners through concrete steps, and jointly work out regional development plans. Three tasks need to be fulfilled in real earnest, namely, maintaining security, developing the economy and improving people’s wellbeing as identified in the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the SCO, to the benefit of people of member states.
At the summit, I will put forth China’s views and initiatives on the afore-mentioned matters and I look forward to hearing valuable opinions from colleagues. I am confident that with concerted efforts of all member states, the summit will produce expected results and open a new chapter in the development of the organization.

Q.: How does China view its current economic slowdown? What are the future prospects of China’s economy? Will China adopt any new measures to stabilize economic growth?

A.: The fundamentals of the Chinese economy are sound. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP grew by 7.6%, which was relatively high compared with other countries. In fact, the growth rate could have been higher had we continued with the past development model. However, we have chosen to implement a macro economic policy under which we will press ahead with the adjustment of economic structure in order to transform and upgrade the economy. We would rather bring down the growth rate to a certain extent in order to solve the fundamental problems hindering our economic development in the long run. In this sense, such a growth rate is the result of sound adjustment.
In specific terms, domestic demand accounted for 7.5 percentage points in the 7.6% growth rate, and our current account surplus is now within the internationally recognized reasonable range. We have focused on improving our social security policy and stabilized and expanded employment, providing 7.25 million new jobs in the first half of this year. We are indeed confronted with difficulties such as local government debt and overcapacity in some industries, but the problems are well within control and could be handled properly.
China’s economy, the second largest in the world, is highly integrated with the world economy. China’s economic development has contributed significantly to world economic recovery. A China that enjoys more stable economic performance, higher quality of growth and better prospect of sustainable growth undoubtedly bodes well for the world economy. We have the conditions to realize sustained and sound economic development, which will expand market and development space for other countries and generate more positive spillover effect for the global economy.