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World
Presidential Thoughts
 NO. 40 OCTOBER 1, 2015

Ahead of his state visit to the United States from September 22-25, Chinese President Xi Jinping provided written answers to questions from The Wall Street Journal . Highlighted excerpts of some of his answers follow:

Global governance  

China is involved in building the current international system and has always done its part to uphold the international order and system with the UN as its core and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as its foundation. As the global landscape evolves and major transnational and global challenges facing mankind increase, it is necessary to adjust and reform the global governance system and mechanism. Such reform is not about dismantling the existing system and creating a new one to replace it. Rather, it aims to improve the global governance system in an innovative way.

China and the United States should work together to improve the global governance system, as they share broad interests in this respect. This will not only leverage their respective strengths to enhance cooperation but also enable the two countries to jointly respond to major challenges facing mankind.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is established mainly as a response to the need of Asian countries for infrastructure development and their aspirations for further cooperation. As the funding shortage is huge, it is clear that the AIIB alone cannot possibly meet such demand. As an open and inclusive multilateral development agency, the AIIB will complement other multilateral development banks. China welcomes the United States to join the AIIB.

China stands ready to work with all the other UN member states to build a new type of international relationship featuring win-win cooperation, improve the architecture of global governance and build a community of shared future for mankind.

Regional and global issues 

China and the United States have been engaged in close coordination and cooperation in addressing various regional and international issues as well as global challenges, ranging from the Korean nuclear issue and the Iranian nuclear issue to Palestine-Israel peace talks, South Sudan, climate change and major epidemic diseases.

Despite differences in the two countries' thinking on and approach to some issues, differences are the reason why they should complement each other and find best solutions to problems.

China adheres to the principles of equality, fairness and justice in addressing regional and international issues, opposes arbitrary interference in other countries' internal affairs and stands for resolving issues through consultation.

In addressing regional and international issues, China bases its position and policy on the merit of each particular case and endeavors to uphold justice.

China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and is committed to world peace and common development. In today's world, it is impossible for China to develop on its own; only when the world thrives can China prosper.

China has never been absent in efforts to promote world economic recovery, seek political settlement of international and regional hotspots and respond to various global problems and challenges. This is both the international community's expectation and China's responsibility.

The Chinese dream  

The Chinese dream is fundamentally about making life better for the Chinese people.

For a century after the Opium War in 1840, despite social turbulence, foreign aggression and the sufferings of war, the Chinese people have stood on their feet, struggled tenaciously for a better future and never gave up longing for their cherished dream.

The Chinese dream is as much the dream of every Chinese as it is the dream of the whole nation. It is not an illusion, nor is it an empty slogan. The Chinese dream is deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people.

The Americans and people in all other countries share the same dream about the future: world peace, social security and stability, and a decent life.

While different countries may not have the exact same dream or the exact same path to realize it, due to differences in history, culture and stage of development, all roads lead to Rome.

However different in meaning, these dreams are sources of inspiration for all peoples and create important opportunities for China and the United States, as well as other countries, to engage in cooperation.

Dispute management 

China and the United States should understand and respect each other, expand common ground, properly handle differences, and respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns.

Joint efforts should be made to seek a solution to issues that can be resolved and manage issues that cannot be resolved for the time being in a constructive way to make sure that they are not exacerbated or escalated.

China and the United States account for one third of the world economy, one fourth of the global population and one fifth of global trade.

Both history and reality show that China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation.

Facts have shown that the interests of China and the United States have grown increasingly intertwined. The growth of the China-U.S. relationship has not only benefited the two peoples but also enhanced peace, stability, and development in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

The Nansha Islands have been China's territory since ancient times, and China's development and maintenance of facilities there exist to improve the working and living conditions of the Chinese personnel stationed there and do not impact or target any other country.

Those facilities have also been built to provide international public goods and services, and better uphold navigation freedom and safety in the South China Sea.

China and the United States share common concerns on cybersecurity. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with the United States on this issue.

Military mutual trust 

In strengthening defense and military building, China is not going after a military adventure. As a big country that has vast territorial land, sea and airspace and very long borders, China needs to maintain proper investment in defense and keep troop size at an appropriate level.

China has no military base in Asia, stations no troops outside its borders and has long pledged never to practice expansionism and seek hegemony. I announced not long ago a troop cut by 300,000.

China has also contributed more UN peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the Security Council.

The Chinese military has played an important role in anti-piracy escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and in the shipping of chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction. It also has helped many countries to deal with natural disasters.

China will do more within its capacity to provide public security goods to the international community.

China and the United States should enhance cooperation and coordination in the Asia-Pacific, implementing the principles of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

China hopes to identify more converging ground in the region for the two countries, continuously build up strategic trust and work with other countries in making the region more peaceful, stable and prosperous.

RMB reform 

China will continue its reform of the RMB exchange rate formation regime in the direction of market operation. China has been working to improve its market-based RMB exchange rate regime. Recent measures to improve the quotation of the RMB central parity was a case in point, as it gives greater say to the market in deciding the exchange rate.

Given the complexities in the current international economic scene and financial market as well as the apparent divergence in market makers' expectations of the future trend of the RMB exchange rate, there has been a long-standing gap between the central parity and market exchange rate of the RMB.

With improvements to the quotation of the RMB central parity, the RMB central parity will better respond to supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and systemically avert the sustained large gap between the RMB central parity and market exchange rate.

Since the quotation of the RMB central parity was improved on August 11, initial progress has been made in correcting the deviation.

Given the current economic and financial conditions at home and abroad, there is no basis for sustained depreciation of the RMB.

China put forward the goal of convertibility of the RMB under the capital account back in the early 1990s. Over the past 20 years and more, China has been working toward this goal. Currently, there are only very few transactions that are still banned under the RMB capital account, and China is advancing the convertibility of the RMB under the capital account in a steady and orderly manner.

Fight against corruption  

The fight against corruption never ends and our zero tolerance toward corruption will never change.

Cracking down on corruption is what all countries must do and what their people wish to see. The ultimate purpose of the Communist Party of China is to serve the people wholeheartedly.

As China continues its anti-corruption campaign, it will focus more on institutional building so that officials will not dare and cannot afford to be corrupt and, more importantly, will have no desire to take that course.

Right now, China is formulating and updating relevant laws and regulations to truly instill power inside a more closely knit cage of effective checks.

With respect to asset disclosure by officials, China adopted relevant regulations back in 2010 to require such reporting which was subject to random checks and verification every year.

The proportion of verified reporting has increased steadily, and no one can take exception. Should anyone be found to be dishonest, they will be punished accordingly.

Anti-corruption efforts will not hurt the economy. On the contrary, fighting corruption, including such malpractices as rent-seeking, will help build a clean government, remove hurdles that impede market operations, promote fair rules, and bring about a better investment and business environment.

China-U.S. friendship  

Over 230 years ago, the U.S. merchant vessel Empress of China  sailed to China. Over 70 years ago, the American people resolutely defied "sea and gravity" to help the Chinese people in their heroic fight against the aggression of Japanese militarists.

Thirty-six years ago, China and the United States established diplomatic ties, turning a new chapter in the annals of friendly exchange between the two peoples.

What has happened proves that the China-U.S. friendship transcends time and space.

As the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius said, "It's only natural for things to be different." Lack of understanding between countries is indeed an issue, but this is part of life.

With such differences in ethnicity, history, culture, religion, social system, development level and lifestyle, there are things about others that one may find hard to understand. This is for sure, but that said, it is also true that anything that is seemingly incomprehensible can be understood provided that one is ready to learn and make an effort to understand it instead of dismissing it altogether.

Comments to liuyunyun@bjreview.com

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