Inclusive Development: A Better World for All
—Speech to British Think Tanks
H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China
London, 18 June 2014
The Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chatham House, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies are well-known around the world. Today, you are hosting this event together. This shows the great importance you attach to China and is a reflection of inclusiveness.
Inclusiveness is the mark of human civilization and progress. Chinese thinkers before the Qin Dynasty valued the notion of harmony without uniformity and believed in peace as being the most precious. This coincides with the belief of ancient European philosophers that harmony generates justice and kindness. The history of human development shows that the Eastern and Western civilizations, though of different origins, both appreciated the importance of harmonious coexistence, inclusiveness and mutual learning. Inclusiveness and common development are needed all the more in the 21st century. We need not only to increase employment and promote balanced, coordinated, fair and equitable development within a country. We also need to achieve development that features peaceful coexistence and common growth among countries and regions. Inclusive development should indeed be a common goal pursued by all countries in the world.
The world is paying great attention to China. There are all kinds of views about China’s economic growth. A line from a Chinese poem reads, “A mountain, when viewed in face, may look like a range; when viewed from the side, it may look like a peak.” That means a mountain, seen from different angles, will leave people with different impressions. What it implies is that different conclusions may be drawn when people see things from different perspectives. The UK is the first to complete industrialization while China is the biggest developing country in the world. I believe your interest in China is actually about whether the world can achieve inclusive development. China’s pursuit of a new type of industrialization, informationization, urbanization and agricultural modernization is a pursuit of inclusive development on the biggest scale in the world.
After more than 30 years of reform and opening-up and through hard work of our people, China has steadily improved the lives of its 1.3 billion people, lifted over 600 million people out of poverty and ensured the people’s right to survival and development. China’s development has been achieved in an open environment. The firm goal of our 1.3 billion people is to achieve modernization, which will be a long journey. China is the second biggest economy in the world, but it ranks after 80th in the world with a per capita GDP of US$6,800. In China’s vast central and western as well as northeastern regions, per capita GDP is slightly over US$5,000 and it is a mere US$3,000 in some western provinces. Some 200 million Chinese still live below the poverty line by World Bank standards. At the same time, fast economic growth has been accompanied by a growing pressure on resources and the environment. These will remain our difficulties and challenges in the long run. To achieve modernization, it is important to complete industrialization and urbanization. This is exactly what the Chinese people are working for at present and for some time to come.
First, on China’s urbanization.
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