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Reforms could have global impact, vice-minister says

Jack Freifelder
Updated: May 6,2015 9:16 AM     China Daily

As China adjusts to a more sustainable long-term economic growth model, countries around the world should be aware of the impact that the reforms could have on the global economy, Cui Yuying, vice-minister of the State Council Information Office of China, said on May 4.

“China is the second-biggest economy in the world, so implementing a profound and broad reform agenda against the backdrop of current economic trends has not been an easy task,” Cui said through a translator. “The world has paid attention to the development of China’s reform because it affects not only China, but also the world.”

Cui spoke on May 4 at the Asia Society headquarters in New York during an event titled “China, the US and the Way Forward”. The event is part of the sixth World Forum on China Studies, the first such forum to be held outside China since it started in 2004.

Cui said the world economy is still in the stage of sluggish recovery, which puts downward pressure on China, but China still has many policy tools and measures it can adopt for adjustment. “Economic transformation will upgrade the US-China economic relationship,” she said.

Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, said China’s transforming economic model means higher consumption and more reliance on services, so the transformation is not easy.

Rudd said he is “still relatively optimistic” on China’s growth pattern, and expects China’s growth rate to remain above 6 percent over the next decade.

The former Australian prime minister said that China’s economic reform agenda would benefit from the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who has shown a willingness to work with the US and other countries.

Rudd also pinpointed the Road and Belt Initiative as crucial for China’s economic health in the future, adding that in order to reap the full benefits of the plan, China would need to open up the western part of the country to businesses in other global economies.

Cui said China has developed and underdeveloped areas, so the country’s reform initiatives “will be of value to those countries that face a similar situation”.

“China’s economic goals are to let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources and promoting sound interactions between the market and the government,” she said. “At the same time, we are keenly aware that there are still problems to be addressed, some of which are rather pressing, including protecting the environment, narrowing growing income inequality and cracking down on corruption.

“Unless these problems are properly solved, we cannot proceed smoothly with the structural transformation and upgrading of our economy,” she said.

Rudd said that one of the goals for the US-China relationship should be to harness positive parts of the relationship rather than focus on differences.

The planned September visit by Xi to the US provides such an opportunity, Rudd said.