Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke virtually at the APEC CEO Summit on November 11, calling for “sustainable development in a concerted effort to build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.” During the speech, Xi mentioned joint efforts to “forge an Asia-Pacific partnership” and fight against COVID-19 and climate change.
As part of upholding openness and cooperation, Xi stated that China will continue its domestic reform and opening-up as well as deepening its relations with the Asia-Pacific nations:
China will remain firm in advancing reform and opening-up so as to add impetus to economic development in the Asia-Pacific. China is committed to building a high-standard market system and will work to make new progress in reforming important areas and key links. China will pursue high-standard institutional opening-up, continue to improve its business environment, and promote innovation-driven development of pilot free trade zones. China has ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and it has applied for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In the course of RCEP implementation and CPTPP negotiation, China will continue to shorten the negative list on foreign investment, promote all-around opening-up of its agricultural and manufacturing sectors, expand the opening of the service sector, and treat domestic and foreign businesses as equals in accordance with law.
"The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era," Xi warned.
In addition to opening-up, Xi emphasized China’s efforts to ensure a fair market:
... Recently, the competent Chinese government departments are improving and better enforcing anti-monopoly laws and regulations, and strengthening regulation over some sectors. This is called for to promote the sound development of the market economy in China. As a matter of fact, it is also a common practice in other countries. We will unswervingly consolidate and develop the public sector, and unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector. We treat all types of market entities on an equal basis, and we are working to develop a unified, open, competitive and orderly market system. …
Xi also pledged more economic cooperation within the region:
China will continue to practice true multilateralism, uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, take an active part in global economic governance and promote the building of an open world economy. China will steadfastly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, facilitate connectivity in the Asia-Pacific, ensure stable and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains in the region, and deepen cooperation with all stakeholders in such areas as e-commerce and digital logistics. With these efforts, we can inject impetus into economic recovery and sustainable development in our region.
As China’s relations with the U.S., EU, Australia, and Canada have declined in recent years, China has turned to its Asia-Pacific neighbors for closer bonds. Last month, China's Premier called for more integration with ASEAN at the 24th ASEAN Summit. China has recently submitted its applications to join the CPTPP and DEPA. Another regional trade agreement, RCEP, is set to take effect on January 1, 2022.