On September 6, 2016, State Councilor Yang Jiechi gave an interview in Hangzhou, briefing the media on the results achieved in the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The transcript reads as follows:
The G20 Hangzhou Summit has concluded and achieved a great success, leaving a very deep impression to the whole world. In your opinion, how important the G20 Hangzhou Summit is and what are the results of it?
This year’s G20 Hangzhou Summit is a very important meeting. In a sense, it is a meeting held in the most complex situation, facing the most diverse challenges and carrying high expectation of all parties since the international financial crisis.
First of all, the world economy is undergoing sluggish recovery and in need of new room and impetus for growth. International trade remains in the doldrums and requires new vitality. Second, global economic governance is at a significant historical stage and the G20 is at the critical moment of transforming from a crisis-response mechanism to a long-term governance mechanism, which calls for new steps. Third, climate change, refugees, terrorism and other global challenges that affect economic development are prominent and need to be solved. The international community holds high expectation towards the G20 Hangzhou Summit.
Leaders of G20 member states and 8 guest countries as well as heads of 7 international organizations attended the G20 Hangzhou Summit themed “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”. President Xi Jinping chaired the G20 Hangzhou Summit, attended 53 events including 33 bilateral talks and meetings, and contacted and exchanged views with other guests on the sidelines of the summit. The G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Hangzhou Summit and 28 specific outcome documents were issued during the summit. These outcomes are mainly reflected in the following aspects:
Firstly, the outcomes demonstrate the partnership spirit of facing challenges together. In light of growing complicated challenges, major economies in the world are eager to establish partnerships featuring mutual coordination. This year, we have actively promoted G20 member states to enhance policy coordination, focus on consensus, properly solve differences and strengthen positive interconnection between each other. The summit has reached the Hangzhou Consensus on boosting world economic growth, and the Communiqué stresses that “closer partnership and joint action by G20 members will boost confidence in global economic growth”, which shows the faith of tiding over difficulties together.
Secondly, the outcomes have charted the course for world economic growth. The G20 Hangzhou Summit has given the answer to resolve weak global economic growth, that is, innovation and reform. Under our initiative and promotion, G20 member states focused on the agenda of innovative growth and jointly formulated the blueprint on innovative growth as well as three action plans for innovation, new industrial revolution and the digital economy. All sides have also drafted the joint document on structural reform, emphasizing that we should improve mid-long term growth potential of the world economy through structural reform. These results are first in the history of the G20 and expected to restore the vigor of global economic growth.
Thirdly, the G20 has mapped out a series of practical action plans. The G20 Hangzhou Summit places particular importance on turning consensus into actions and earnestly implementing the results. In the area of development, the summit has formulated the G20 Action Plan for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, marking a new step in boosting global development and cooperation. In the area of trade and investment, the summit has drafted two documents with historic significance. One is the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth which is committed to reversing the trend of current sluggish global trade; the other is the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking, which is the first multilateral framework for investment principles in the world and fills a blank in global investment governance. What is more, the summit has also come up with several action plans in employment, finance, energy and many other areas. Just as President Xi Jinping said, G20 always attaches more importance to action than mere talking.
Fourthly, the outcomes showcase the determination of pursuing common development. Development is a banner of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. President Xi Jinping summarized the results of the summit in the area of development with three “firsts”: the first time to give priority to development in global macro policy framework, the first time to draft an action plan for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the first time to take collective actions to aid the industrialization of Africa and least developed countries, which fits with the full implementation of results achieved in the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as well. The three “firsts” send out an important signal, that is, the G20 not only belongs to its member states, but also the whole world, especially developing countries and their people. It reveals China’s unique perspective in holding the summit and the common aspiration of developing countries. Moreover, the summit also held discussions on global issues including climate change, refugees, anti-terrorism and anti-corruption, aiming at creating a favorable environment for the stable recovery of the world economy.
In brief, the results achieved in the G20 Hangzhou Summit have seen major breakthroughs in quantity, quality, depth and breadth, setting up a new “global benchmark” to the international community and living up to the world’s expectation.
The fruitful achievements of the G20 Hangzhou Summit would not have been possible without the thoughtful arrangements and preparations made by China as the host. The outside world has put many labels such as “Chinese wisdom” and “China’s ambition” on the Hangzhou Summit. What aspects of the G20 Hangzhou Summit reflect Chinese characteristics?
Hosting a successful and fruitful G20 Hangzhou Summit meets both the hopes and expectations of all parties towards China, and is also China’s commitment and responsibility to the world. The central leadership attaches great importance to the preparations for the summit; related central governmental departments together with Zhejiang Province and Hangzhou city have worked with full commitment; comrades from various fronts have devoted great efforts to this summit, and people in Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou city and the whole country have made their own contributions, ensuring the full success of the Hangzhou Summit and making the summit rich in distinctive Chinese characteristics.
First, the agenda setting reflects strategic vision. China has set the theme for this year’s Hangzhou Summit as “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, and set up four key agenda items including “breaking a new path for growth”, “more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance”, “robust international trade and investment” and “inclusive and interconnected development”. Such design is to focus on the deep-seated problems restricting the growth of the world economy, which is both present-oriented and future-oriented, addresses both the symptoms and root causes with the right prescription, and lets the world economy embark on a new journey from Hangzhou. Widely supported and fully recognized by G20 member states and the international community, China’s agenda setting has vigorously pooled consensus of all sides, advanced practical action, and laid a foundation for the success of the summit.
Second, the advancement of results demonstrates leadership. China, as the host, has advocated and put forward concepts as well as initiatives of international economic cooperation, taken the lead in actions and facilitated many results from the summit. Under the guidance of further advancing domestic supply-side structural reform, we promoted the adoption of relevant documents on structural reform at the Hangzhou Summit, fully demonstrating China’s guiding and leading role at the summit. We issued China’s Position Paper on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and organically aligned the implementation of the development agenda with the “13th Five-Year” plan, which plays a positive role in leading all countries to jointly formulate action plans under the G20 framework.
Third, the summit style embodies openness and inclusiveness. We always adhered to the concept of openness, transparency and inclusiveness when hosting the summit, and carried out comprehensive G20 Outreach Dialogues by going out to the UN, the headquarters of the African Union, least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island countries as well as listening to the interest appeal of all parties. The dialogues have covered almost all UN member states. Through the Boao Forum for Asia, the World Economic Forum, the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting, the OECD Ministerial Conference and other platforms, we have introduced the preparation for the Hangzhou summit and listened to views and suggestions from all sides. We also held a series of support activities such as the Business 20, the Labor 20, the Think 20, the Youth 20, the Women 20 and the Civil 20, listened to the voices of various social sectors, forged the broadest consensus, and won the recognition and support of all parties. It is safe to say that the Hangzhou Summit is the result of joint efforts in all aspects.
Fourth, the activity arrangement demonstrates the Chinese mark. We have not only carried forward traditional arrangements of the G20, but also have made bold innovations, including the largest back-to-back Business 20 Summit in history, which is a good warm-up event and basis for the G20. The main venue, the banquet hall, the theatrical performances and various arrangements for the Hangzhou Summit were meticulously designed by professional teams, organically combining the “scenery of West Lake, flavor of south of the Yangtze River, style of China and great harmony of the world”, and fully showcasing the broad and profound Chinese culture. The imaginative and magnificent performance “Hangzhou, Living Poetry” has left a rather deep impression on guests from different countries. The logo of the summit takes the Yudai Bridge in the West Lake of Hangzhou as the prototype, symbolizing a bridge that connects China and the world, the past and the future, and developed countries and developing countries, as well as a bridge for win-win cooperation.
In the series of activities of the G20 Hangzhou Summit, what important ideas has China, as the presidency, put forward?
If we systematically review the ideas put forward by China in this summit, they are mostly reflected in the important speeches delivered by President Xi Jinping during the summit, especially the keynote speech delivered at the Business 20 Summit entitled “A New Starting Point for China’s Development, A New Blueprint for Global Growth”. The speech has addressed global concerns over China’s economy with authority, and offered China’s solutions to issues plaguing the world economy.
In his speech, President Xi Jinping, from a historical perspective and with a broad vision, looked back on the grand journey of China’s reform and opening up. Based on the new historical starting point China has reached today and prospects of China’s future development direction, he made five significant proposals that should be adhered to, echoing the five concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development proposed in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan. It has demonstrated the grand blueprint of China’s future development, effectively responded to concerns of the international community over China’s development direction and economic prospects, and greatly boosted the confidence of all parties, releasing an important signal that China will bring more opportunities to the world while realizing its own development.
In light of prominent problems in current world economy, President Xi Jinping came up with the initiative of jointly building an innovative, open, interconnected and inclusive world economy. Its core and essence is to take innovation as the driving force, follow the path of opening up, uphold the spirit of interconnection and pursue the goal of inclusiveness, so as to let growth and development benefit all countries and peoples.
These important proposals, in line with China’s five development concepts, are China’s comprehensive solutions to major salient issues confronting the world economy that treat both the symptoms and root causes. Reflecting that China’s development is consistent with and leading the global economic trend, it also indicates China is gradually moving towards the forefront of the world economic development.
In his speech, President Xi Jinping also comprehensively expounded for the first time China’s view on global economic governance. President Xi Jinping pointed out that global economic governance should be based on equality, embrace openness, driven by cooperation and be about participation by all and benefits for all. All parties should jointly ensure equitable and efficient global financial governance; jointly foster open and transparent global trade and investment governance; jointly establish green and low-carbon global energy governance; and jointly facilitate an inclusive and interconnected global development governance.
Effective global economic governance is the guarantee of healthy operation of the world economy. President Xi Jinping put forward China’s view on global economic governance at this historic moment when China hosts the G20 summit, indicating that China, as a responsible major power and with its wider, deeper and higher levels of participation in the global economic governance, is actively committed to contributing its concepts and wisdom to the global economic governance. The proposal of this important view is not only a systematic summary of China’s ideas and propositions in the field of global economic governance but also a further enrichment and development of China’s diplomacy. Under the background of globalization encountering headwinds and dark cloud enshrouding the world economy, China sticks to the global economic governance view of equality, openness, cooperation and sharing, demonstrating China’s commitment and courage as the presidency and also charting the course for the future development of the G20 as the core platform for global economic governance.
Some people comment that the G20 Hangzhou Summit has achieved many results and exerted great influence, which is of milestone significance in the history of the G20. What influence do you think the G20 Hangzhou Summit will have on the world?
The Hangzhou Summit has made the world realize that we must stick to the road of innovation and reform. Bottlenecks in economic growth must be broken through reform, and momentum for recovery must be activated through innovation. The Hangzhou Summit emphasizes that innovation and reform should be carried through to the end, which will help the world economy find its way forward in face of difficulties, and shape an entirely new international context for global growth.
The Hangzhou Summit has made the world realize that we must stick to the road of improving governance. The Hangzhou Summit has effectively expanded the G20’s focus from short-term policy response to medium- and long-term policy making and effectively promoted it to transform from a crisis-responding mechanism to a long-term governance mechanism.. It has also achieved new progress in improving global trade, investment and financial structure, as well as made due contributions to the consolidation and development of the G20 mechanism. Judging from the development trajectory of the G20, the future global economic governance system is sure to continue down this right path, and become more equal, more just, more reasonable and more effective, which meets the expectation of many developing countries and the need of the whole world.
The Hangzhou Summit has made the world realize that we must stick to the road of win-win cooperation. The Hangzhou Summit has sent out a clear signal to the outside world to establish an open world economy and oppose protectionism, which has released a large amount of positive energy.
The Hangzhou Summit has made the world realize that we must stick to the road of common development. The Hangzhou Summit is participated by the largest number of developing countries in the G20 history and development has become a banner of the Hangzhou Summit. The concept of common development and shared prosperity should be carried forward throughout the future development of the G20.
We have reasons to believe that with concerted efforts and cooperation of all countries, the G20 will, taking Hangzhou as a fresh starting point and Hamburg as the next destination, steadily move forward step by step.
During the G20 Hangzhou Summit, leaders of the BRICS countries had an informal meeting. What results did the meeting achieve? In recent years the economic growth of the BRICS countries has slowed down and there have been pessimistic forecasts about the BRICS. How do you view the future development of the BRICS?
The BRICS Leaders’ Informal Meeting held during the G20 Hangzhou Summit achieved a great success. Leaders of the five countries exchanged in-depth views on such topics as international political and economic situation, key agendas of the G20 Hangzhou Summit and BRICS cooperation and reached important consensus. All leaders spoke highly of China’s work as the rotating presidency of the G20, promised to jointly promote the implementation of the consensus reached in the Hangzhou Summit, decided unanimously to build a closer partnership among BRICS members, and agreed to facilitate fruitful results of the Goa BRICS Summit to be held this year.
In the 10-year-long course of the BRICS cooperation, we have achieved productive outcomes. First, areas of cooperation among the five countries have been expanding; second, cooperation mechanisms were continuously improved; third, cooperation achievements have been emerging. The establishment of the BRICS Development Bank and the BRICS Contingency Reserve Arrangements, in particular, illustrates the intensity of efforts and efficiency of the BRICS cooperation.
The BRICS cooperation, which is now standing in a key juncture of linking the past and future, enjoys great potential and bright prospects. China has actively participated in and promoted the BRICS cooperation. Initiatives put forward by China, including the “Four Major Targets” of market inter-linkages, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity as well as people-to-people contacts, cultural and educational exchanges among BRICS countries, have been agreed by all parties. Next year China will assume the rotating presidency of the BRICS and host the ninth BRICS Summit. Relevant preparation work is underway. We hope to take next year’s Summit as an opportunity to contribute more Chinese solutions and Chinese wisdom to the BRICS cooperation, consolidate the momentum and foundation of the BRICS cooperation together with other members and start a brighter next decade for the BRICS countries.
In recent years, China has been promoting the improvement of global governance, in which process the hosting of the G20 Hangzhou Summit is an important measure. Meanwhile, the “Belt and Road”, as an important initiative put forward by China to push forward international cooperation and global governance, has achieved great progress and attracted much attention from all parties since its debut three years ago. Would you please introduce the achievements in building the “Belt and Road” scored by China and all parties involved and China’s overall idea of the work in the next phase?
In the autumn of 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the important initiative of co-building the “Belt and Road” during his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia. The international community responded enthusiastically and all parties have actively participated. This initiative is of great significance as it benefits not only China’s expansion of opening up, but also the world’s common prosperity and development. It sets up a banner of seeking cooperation and win-win situation for the international community.
During the past three years, upholding the principles of co-consultation, co-contribution and sharing, we have closely combined China’s development with development of countries along the routes and yielded good results. The progress and achievements of the “Belt and Road” construction have exceeded our expectations. As for now, over 100 countries and international organizations have participated in the initiative, among which we signed cooperation agreements with over 30 countries and conducted international production capacity cooperation with over 20 countries. International organizations such as the United Nations have shown positive attitude towards it. The construction of China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Pakistan Economic Corridors has been making swift progress; investment and trade volumes grew substantially; people-to-people and cultural exchanges in education, science and technology and tourism became closer; financial cooperation represented by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund has been constantly deepened; construction of overseas economic cooperation zones has made steady progress and a series of landmark projects like the China-Laos railway, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and the Budapest-Belgrade railway have been launched, producing sound demonstration effects.
We will continue to push forward the construction of the “Belt and Road” with all efforts, emphasize the establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation network, new cooperation patterns and diversified cooperation platforms, focus on building a green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful Silk Road with concerted efforts, accelerate the connection of the “Belt and Road” with development strategies, development advantages and regional advantages of countries along the routes in a coordinated manner and devote adequate efforts to the implementation of key projects, so as to vigorously, orderly and effectively push forward the construction of the “Belt and Road”.