China Center for International Economic Exchanges

Chen Wenling: China’s Regional Development: The New Era and New Historical Opportunities
Date:Apr 29,2018    Source:CCIEE

On April 1, 2018, the Annual Conference of the Chinese Regional Economist 50 Forum was held in Beijing, under the theme of “National and Regional Development in the New Era”. The following speech was made by the forum member Chen Wenling.

Thank you very much! I would like to make three points.

First of all, I would like to thank all the people here for taking me as a new member, especially Director Du Ying and the Deputy Secretary-General Fan Hengshan, who were in charge of the research on the national strategy for regional economy. They led us traveling all over the country and made important long-term plans for regional development, which have played a major role in making coordinated arrangement for regional development. Experts from the China Center for International Economic Exchanges(CCIEE) have made great contributions in this regard, such as the Executive Vice Chairman Wei Liqun, Vice Chairman Zheng Xinli, and Zhang Dawei, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of CCIEE. Many of you here are my friends and colleagues, I would like to learn from everyone and exchange my thoughts with you. Thank you all very much!

Secondly, I totally agree with what Yuan Zheng proposed just now, China’s regional development is in a new era and we are facing new historical opportunities. In my opinion, the greatest historical opportunities at present have been brought by the adjustment of the U.S.-China relations. What Trump promotes is closeness, protectionism and absolute mercantilism. He is cutting off the industrial chain, supply chain, value chain, and the ties with its neighboring countries, especially Mexico. Recently, he has approved a plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is expected to be 500 kilometers long with a height of 8 to 9 meters. Furthermore, he proposed to consolidate more than 600 kilometers of the existing wall. The entire US-Mexican borderline is 3,218 kilometers and his proposal may close one-third of the Mexican-American border, preventing Mexicans from entering the United States looking for jobs. Apart from that, he also withdrew from the Paris Agreement, UNESCO, and even claimed to withdraw from the UN human rights organization, withdraw from the WTO organization if necessary. He withdrew from the TPP, frozen the TTIP, and resumed the negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. Therefore, I think he has given us a golden opportunity. China is open to the future, embraces the world and it will build a common community of shared future for all mankind, which is in line with the common interests and needs of mankind, the law of human development, economic and social development. The choice we are making today will determine the outcome of tomorrow. Generally speaking, China’s development is on the rise while the United States is declining and Trump’s current practice will inevitably accelerate the downward development of the United States.

China’s regional development has ushered in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Firstly, the central government has a new strategic arrangement for regional development. Programs like the Belt and Road initiative, the “rural rejuvenation” proposed by the report of 19th national congress will speed up the integration of urban and rural areas in China, resulting in fundamental changes in regional development. Moreover, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China’s political, economic, diplomatic and military arrangements are moving towards integration. China’s regional layout will help its neighboring countries with their economic development and new industries. In the future, China will play a more important role in the global community, put forward China’s plan, proposition and theory to accelerate the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The new regional layout will be an important part of our strategic goals for 2035 and 2050, and the adjustment of regional layout will speed up China’s modernization. Apart from that, it will create more room for China’s development and manufacturing prosperity.

Last but not least, I will actively participate in the activities of the Chinese Regional Economist 50 Forum and study new regional strategic issues.


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