HONG KONG, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) — China’s reform and opening-up is the most inspiring story of the country with profound global significance, and China’s Hong Kong has made historic contribution in the process, according to global experts who convened at a conference held here on Monday.
The conference, China’s 40 Years of Reform and Opening-up: Implications for the World and Role of Hong Kong, was jointly hosted by the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and the Better Hong Kong Foundation.
At the opening, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Hong Kong is a contributor as well as a beneficiary in the country’s reform and opening-up.
“As a contributor, we shared our experience with the mainland and contributed to the rapid modernization of the country in different aspects,” she said.
“Having served as our country’s window to the world in the past 40 years, Hong Kong is a beneficiary of the country’s reform and opening-up. The city has successfully transformed herself into an important bridge linking the mainland and the global market,” she noted, adding that Hong Kong has established and reinforced its present position as an international commercial, logistics, shipping, financial and professional service center.
Hong Kong has made historic contribution to the country’s reform and opening-up and it also has seized valuable opportunities from the process to create even greater splendor, said Xie Feng, Commissioner of China’s Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR.
“Reform and opening-up in the new era needs Hong Kong’s participation, and will also enable Hong Kong to make further accomplishment. Today, Hong Kong continues to be the most open and competitive city in the world and a major global financial, trading and shipping center,” he said.
Li Zhaoxing, Honorary President of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and former foreign minister of China, said Hong Kong is truly essential and unique in the historic process of the country’s reform and opening-up and the Hong Kong compatriots have made an enormous contribution in this regard.
Participants also believe China has been taking growing responsibility on the global stage.
In the last decade China successfully entered some main economic institutions as a major pillar of global prosperity, while it took rising responsibility in building a more peaceful and stable globalization, said former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a symbol for China’s ambition to internationalize its economy and take responsibility in the global balance of powers, and the project could have a massive impact on the future of cross-border stability, he noted.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said that China’s reform and opening-up has benefited neighbors, including Japan, and Japan’s cooperation with China, for example in the Belt and Road Initiative, will be meaningful not only to China, but also to Japan.
Charlene Barshefsky, former United States Trade Representative, believed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) was a milestone in the reforms and opening-up.
“China’s reforms, coupled with its entry into the WTO, has let one in every ten people on this planet out of poverty. Could there be any question that this is one of the greatest achievements?” she asked.
“We see major changes during the 40 years of the reform and opening-up of China, crossing from milestone to milestone. At the beginning, from the household responsibility system to the consolidation of the state-owned-enterprises, accession of China into the WTO, now we are talking more and more about the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Tran Thanh Huan, Vietnamese consul-general in the HKSAR.
“As the neighbor of China, Vietnam has been benefiting from the reform and opening-up of China. In Vietnam, we also have been implementing renovation, equivalent to the reform and opening-up of China. We are learning from the Chinese experiences to apply renovation according to Vietnam characteristics,” he said.