2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up. Over the past four decades, more than 700 million Chinese residents have thrown off the yoke of poverty, a feat respected by Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations.
Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations. (File photo)
"China has made tremendous and remarkable changes during the last 40 years," Ban said in an interview with Chinese media at the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum. "China's Reform and Opening-up has not only helped the Chinese people, but a lot of people around the world."
According to Ban, China's Reform and Opening-up lifting hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty helped the U.N to achieve their Millennium Development Goals in 2010.
"If we look at the statistics (the Millennium Development Goals), a lot of it is down to China." Ban stated.
Ban Ki-moon in a panel discussion of the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum. (Photo: Steven Yuen)
According to the statistics published by Chinese Bureau of Statistics, Chinese GDP is now 33 times what it was in 1978, amounting to 80 trillion yuan in 2017, an increase of 9.5% yearly. Furthermore, total grain output has stabilized at 6 billion kilograms in 2017, twice as much as that in 1978.
"Now that you are at the beginning of another 40 or 50 years of Chinese Reform and Opening-up," said Ban. "I am quite confident that China will help greatly in implementing Sustainable Development Goals."
Ban explained that the primary goal of Sustainable Development is to eradicate abject poverty worldwide by 2035.
"China is contributing a lot to these development goals," he added.
Since the theme of 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum is "Advancing Reform and Opening-up, Promoting Win-Win Cooperation", multilateralism was one of the buzz words during the forum’s six panel discussions.
One of the six sub-forum of the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum. (Photo: Steven Yuen)
In Ban's opinion, China is playing important role in maintaining international multilateralism.
"China's leaders have shown commitment to multilateralism," Ban said before adding. "One good example is that China has actively supported the 2015 Paris Agreement."
"That really accelerated the process of the Paris Agreement coming into effect before the end of 2016, and was a great step in terms of China's great contribution to international multilateralism."
2018 also marked the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past 5 years, more than 100 countries and international organization have signed agreements with China to co-operate on the implementation of the initiative.
With both the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a community aimed at a Shared Future for Mankind is being formed around the world.
More than 200 former world leaders, representatives from business circles, experts and scholars attended the forum and shared their ideas on "Advancing Reform and Opening-up, Promoting win-win cooperation". (Photo: Steven Yuen)
Ban said: "It is very important that the countries along the Belt and Road cooperate with each other, to build infrastructure and experience economic and social development benefits."
"This will help not only those countries, but also China." Ban added.
However, Ban expressed his worry about the unilateralism and protectionism which has been on the rise in recent years.
"Some countries are not respecting the multilateralism, which has long been the backbone of the international community," said Ban. "This is really worrisome."
Ban hopes that the dispute between China and the U.S. can be settled as soon as possible.
"It is important that the two largest economies and world leading countries work together toward solving global challenges, such as climate change, sustainable energy goals." Ban indicated.
"We have to work together," he went on to stress, "Global development needs global solutions."
Author: Steven Yuen, Zhu Xiaofeng, Wu Ke, Song Hainan (intern)
Editor: Wing Zhang, Simon Haywood