Ten foreigners received China Reform Friendship Medals on Tuesday for their outstanding contributions to the country’s reform and opening-up over the past 40 years.
Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab was given a medal by President Xi Jinping, together with other recipients at a grand gathering in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up.
President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s commitment to opening up wider to the world during the gathering.
“The practice of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years has shown that openness brings progress, while seclusion leads to backwardness,” Xi said.
The president pledged to support the building of an open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, facilitate trade and investment, and promote more openness amid ongoing economic globalization.
The high-profile conference was attended by Xi and the six other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee as well as Vice-President Wang Qishan. Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting.
Over the past 40 years, China has recorded an average annual GDP growth rate of around 9.5 percent, contributed over 30 percent to global economic growth and lifted more than 740 million people out of poverty, Xi said, calling the four decades “a glorious process”.
The country will focus on jointly building the Belt and Road with other countries and establish a new platform for international cooperation, Xi said, and will continue measures to boost opening-up.
China will never seek self-development at the cost of other countries’ interests, nor will it give up its justified interests, Xi said, adding that China’s development will pose no threat to any other nation, and it will never seek hegemony no matter how developed it becomes.
China’s development provides successful experience and offers bright prospects for other developing countries as they strive for modernization, and it represents China’s great contribution to the progress of human civilization, Xi said.
Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, lauded the medal recipients as “old friends of the Chinese people” while reading a statement from the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.