Further deepening of reforms and expansion of China’s opening up bring new global opportunities and benefits
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- “Currently, there are more than 4,000 special economic zones in the world, the leader among which is Shenzhen,” is the assessment of the well-known British publication The Economist. This assessment is absolutely correct, although it sounds very atypical against the background of ongoing trade friction and the strengthening of protectionist and unilateralism trends.
On 14 October, China hosted a celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ), during which Chinese President Xi Jinping made a keynote speech. He commented on the "code" of the innovative development of Shenzhen and determined the directions for the further development of the innovative metropolis, demonstrated the determination of the PRC to further deepen comprehensive reforms and expand openness to the outside world.
40 years of development of Shenzhen is, without exaggeration, a real miracle of evolution and innovation, unparalleled in world history. The city’s gross regional product (GRP) increased from 270 million yuan in 1980 to 2.7 trillion yuan in 2019, up 20.7% year on year. The volume of foreign trade during the same period increased from 18 million US dollars to 431.5 billion US dollars. Per capita income in 2019 was 62.5 thousand yuan (about US$9,350), an increase of 31.6 times in real terms compared to 1985.
Xi Jinping summarized the experience of the reform and opening up of the Shenzhen and other FEZs in 10 key aspects. He stressed that in the construction of the FEZ it is necessary to adhere to the party leadership, maintain and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, adhere to the concept of "development is a matter of great importance"， maintain a commitment to external openness in all areas, consider innovation as the most important driving force, implement the concept of development , in which the people take the central place, to ensure the scientific validity of lawmaking, the rigor of law enforcement, justice and law-abidingness of all citizens, to implement the concept of “green mountains and emerald waters are priceless treasures”， comprehensively and accurately continue to implement the basic course of “one state - two systems ”and make full use of the indicative and stimulating role of FEZs in the development of a single development plan for the entire country, so that special economic zones could make a more significant contribution to national development.
This information allowed the international community to more clearly perceive and understand the importance of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics, providing a Chinese option for the construction of free economic zones for the implementation of similar projects in other countries and regions.
The world today is experiencing colossal shocks and changes unprecedented in the past century. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated those advances and changes that were only outlined earlier. At the same time, China is acting in accordance with a new development model, which is distinguished not by a closed “internal cycle”, but by an open and complementary “internal” and “external” cycles. The point is that domestic consumption and the development of the domestic market are closely linked and complemented by interaction with foreign markets and the global economy.
During his speech, Xi Jinping emphasized the need to promote the modernization of the system and the capacity of urban governance in the Shenzhen FEZ with an innovative approach, and also called for solving current problems in this area with the help of bold thinking and experiments, but strictly within the legal framework.
The Chinese leader called on Shenzhen to adhere to the new development concept and make efforts to implement the principle of "putting the interests of the people at the forefront", as well as deepening reforms and expanding external openness in all directions.
“Shenzhen should take active steps to further promote the construction of the Guangdong-Xianggang-Aomen Big Bay region and accelerate the alignment of economic rules and mechanisms in these three regions,” Xi Jinping said. He also demanded the speedy expansion of exchanges and deeper integration among young people in Guangdong, Xianggang and Aomene to strengthen their sense of togetherness and belonging to the same homeland.
It follows from Xi Jinping’s speech that China, as it continues to deepen reforms and continuously expand openness, is forging even closer ties with the global economy, as well as contributing to the joint construction of an open world economy and the creation of a community of common destiny for humanity. This will undoubtedly strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other countries and regions of the world.
Compared to the situation that existed 40 years ago, today China is facing even more difficult and complex problems and challenges, both traditional and new, which impede the development and promotion of reforms. However, neither various difficulties nor the complexity of solving problems can stop the country’s movement along the path of development, which will surprise the world with new great achievements and bring real benefits not only to the country and the people of China, but also new excellent opportunities for regional and global stable long-term development.