Sharing growth for better future

Sharing growth for better future

Recently, the second session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) and the second session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were held in Beijing. Through the sessions, the world saw a more vivid image of China, with its steady progress, trailblazing innovation, openness, confidence and solidarity. Now, it expects more opportunities, which are brought about by China's high-quality development.

China's economic development is a significant impetus for the global economy. In 2023, China's economy enjoyed an overall upward momentum, with its gross domestic product (GDP) surpassing 126 trillion yuan (603.3 trillion baht), an increase of 5.2% from the year before. The country remains the world's largest driver of development, contributing to over 30% of the world's economic growth.

Although it is facing a range of both domestic and external challenges, China continues to enjoy several distinct advantages -- it has a structured, socialist market economy, a super-sized market that guarantees demand, a fully-fledged industrial supply chain, a high-calibre, labour force and an abundance of entrepreneurs.

As such, the ongoing trend of economic recovery and long-term growth will not change. In 2024, China's economy will maintain the momentum of development and continue to provide new opportunities that will contribute to the recovery and further development of the global economy.

Recent years have seen China's strategic emerging industries rapidly grow. In 2023, exports of the "new trio" of modern tech products, namely electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic products, achieved a 30% increase. The digital economy witnessed a rapid development, with the 5G penetration rate topping 50%. Achievements in cutting-edge fields of scientific and technological innovation, such as artificial intelligence and quantum technology kept emerging. A new, high-quality productive forces have taken shape, which is strongly boosting further high-quality development.

The strategy of opening up for mutual benefit provides valuable opportunities for countries around the world. Despite the rise of de-globalisation internationally, China stays committed to further opening up and firmly upholds globalisation and multilateralism.

China has established 22 high-standard pilot free trade zones and further eased requirements for foreign investments. It is aiming to achieve solid progress in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation in an effort to deepen multilateral and bilateral economic cooperation. These include negotiations on building a "Version 3.0" of the China-Asean Free Trade Area. All these measures prove that China is continuing to open up.

Comprehensive, democratic consultations inform China's solution to the problems of humanity. During the two sessions, more than 5,000 deputies to the NPC and members of the National Committee of the CPPCC gathered in Beijing to discuss state affairs. In the past year, as a response to the suggestions brought up in the previous two sessions, over 2,000 policies and measures were issued by the State Council, and a number of urgent problems relating to economic and social development have been resolved. It shows how China's system is the broadest, most genuine and most effective democratic model for the Chinese people.

Democracy is a common value of humanity and a part of civilisation. Countries can communicate and learn from each other on the basis of mutual respect, but there is no fixed, one-size-fits-all model for democracy. Imposing one's own democratic model on others is akin to trampling on the principles espoused by democracy.

Building a community with a shared future will contribute to world peace and stability. As a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, pointed out on the margins of the two sessions, CPC is dedicated not only to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, but also to promoting human progress and world harmony.

In this changing and turbulent international environment, China is committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and will remain a staunch defender of peace, stability and progress. China will focus on building a human community with a shared future, and integrate the development of China with that of the world. Faced with the major issues of the world, China will pool broader international consensus and promote the joint efforts of countries to tackle challenges and achieve common prosperity.

In November 2022, President Xi Jinping visited Thailand and the two countries announced the start of a new era of Sino-Thailand relationship with a shared future.

In October last year, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin attended the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, mutual trust between China and Thailand has continued to grow, practical cooperation has been upgraded, and public support for "China and Thailand as one family" has further strengthened.

This year will see the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 72nd birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Thailand, when bilateral ties will be standing at a historically new starting point.

Together with Thailand, China is committed to implementing the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, enhancing the Sino-Thai comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and accelerate the building of a China-Thailand community with a shared future to enhance stability, prosperity and sustainability.

China will stick to the principle of building a human community with a shared future and share development opportunities with Thailand and other countries in world to jointly build a better future for all!

Han Zhiqiang is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Thailand.

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