OSLO -- Facing the impact of COVID-19 and the global economic downturn, China will not shut its door but will instead open it wider to the outside world, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Thursday.
This is a clear message from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who delivered a very important speech recently on China's economic development and opening up, he added.
Wang made the remarks during a joint press conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide later on Thursday.
Responding to the question as to whether China's opening up policy will be affected by the current situation, where the pandemic has caused deep recession of the world economy and rising unilateralism and protectionism, Wang said that it has been proved by China's reform and opening up for more than 40 years that openness brings progress, while isolation leads to backwardness.
"Over the past 40 years, through opening up, China has developed together with the world, and at the same time has been repaying the world," he said.
China has over fulfilled its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and reduced the average tariff rate to 7.5 percent, which exceeds that of all the other major developing countries and approaches the level of developed countries, he added.
He also pointed out that China, for two consecutive years, has been one of the world's economies making the biggest improvement in business environment.
Over the past 40 years, China's opening up has brought enormous business opportunities and development dividends to countries including Norway, and made an important and irreplaceable contribution to the global economic growth, he added.
"Today, with the impact of the pandemic, China and the world are facing a new situation and entering a new stage of development," he said.
Xi, when delivering the speech on China's economic development and opening up, said that China will promote a dual-cycle development pattern, Wang said, adding that this means the country's growth will rely on both domestic and international economic cycles, with the domestic cycle being the mainstay.
Xi also said that China will raise the level of opening up in an all-round way and build higher-level new institutions of the open economy, Wang noted.
Through deeper reforms, lower tariffs, shorter negative lists, more convenient market access, more transparent market rules and a more attractive business environment, China will link its domestic market, the world's largest one, with the global market more closely, promote a virtuous cycle of mutual development which will be larger, more efficient and more dynamic, and create wider development space and more opportunities for China itself and other countries around the world, he said.
In the new round of China's opening up, China welcomes the active participation of European countries including Norway, he added.
He called on both parties to provide a strong and lasting impetus for their respective development and the global economic recovery by enhancing opening up and cooperation in such fields as trade, investment and industry.