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Embassy spokesperson's remarks on China's determination to deepen opening-up | Updated: 2021-10-08 05:10
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Question: Following the recent tightening of supervision over large-scale tech companies in China, including internet platforms, and education and training companies, the British business community has showed intense interest and concerns about China's intention as well. What's your comment on that?

Embassy spokesperson: Stepping up supervision is first and foremost aimed at leveling the playing field. As a general practice in market economies, anti-monopoly is also regarded in China as an important and regular government responsibility.

This year has seen major economies, including the UK, tightening anti-monopoly measures that target large-scale tech companies. In China, stricter supervision is enforced in accordance with the Anti-monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China to rein in the lawlessness in certain sectors and to improve the market- and law-based, open business environment. This will give all market entities, especially small and medium–sized business owners, more room for growth and consumers better protection of their rights and interests.

Stricter supervision also aligns with China's strategy of sustained and high-quality growth in the current new development stage where the new development concept is being implemented fully, accurately and in a comprehensive way, and the building of a new development paradigm is being accelerated to promote common prosperity. The market regulatory measures are necessitated by the need to safeguard the country's sovereignty, security and development interests. They are taken to ensure that reform and opening up will continue and achieve new success.

These measures will promote the rules-based and sound development in the relevant sectors, safeguard cyber and digital security, uphold fairness in education and improve public services. They will create a growth-enabling environment for companies that value both economic and social returns, and this will in turn promote sound and sustainable economic and social development.

Question: By taking these measures, is China reversing its policy of opening-up?

Embassy spokesperson: China remains committed to opening its market wider and at a higher level. Opening up is a basic national policy. At the opening ceremony of the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services on September 2nd, President Xi Jinping announced four new measures, namely, open up at a higher level, scale up support for the service sector in partner economies under the Belt and Road Initiative, further improve the service sector rules and support the innovation-driven development of SMEs.

At virtual dialogue in July with the heads of more than 30 UK-based multinational corporations and leading institutions, Premier Li Keqiang reiterated that China will defend the multilateral trade system, safeguard free and fair trade, and remain committed to its basic policy of reform and opening up.

Concrete steps have been taken to further open up the Chinese market. The Foreign Investment Law and its implementing regulations have come into force. A comprehensive system of "pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list" has been established, with the manufacturing sector fully open and access to the service sector increasing in an orderly manner. The number of items in the nationwide negative list has been reduced from 93 to 33.

In opening up the financial sector, the progress is especially significant: The limitations on the ratio of foreign shareholding in banks, securities firms and fund management firms are completely removed. In the first seven months of this year, China's actual use of FDI and trade in goods increased by 28.7% and 27.1% respectively year-on-year. These speak volumes about China's commitment to further opening up.

From November 5th to 10th, China will host the fourth China International Import Expo. Businesses from all countries, including the UK, are welcome to take part in CIIE and sell their products in China.

Question: Could you shed light on China's consideration behind the policy of promoting common prosperity?

Embassy spokesperson: China has entered a historical period featuring solid measures of promoting common prosperity. Here it must be emphasized that common prosperity is not egalitarianism, nor is it attainable overnight. It is more than mere material wealth, but rather, it is about both material and spiritual enrichment that can be achieved only through down-to-earth, step-by-step and sustained efforts.

In this process, China is expected to become the world's largest and most vibrant market, and will hopefully import over $22 trillion worth of goods in the coming ten years. This will not only boost growth in China, but also provide broad space for foreign businesses, including those from the UK, to deepen the cooperation with their Chinese partners.

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