Process of accession
In July 1990, the Second APEC Ministerial Meeting, held in Singapore, adopted a Joint Statement, welcoming the three parties-China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong-to simultaneously join APEC at an early date. In October the following year, China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on this issue with APEC, specifying that, on the premise of one China and the strict differentiation between sovereign states and regional economies, China agreed that the three parties-the People's Republic of China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong (changed to Hong Kong, China as of July 1, 1997)-to simultaneously join APEC as full-fledged members. On November 12-14 the same year, a Chinese delegation attended the Third APEC Ministerial Meeting in Seoul for the first time.
The entry of China and the regions of Taiwan and Hong Kong led to APEC's membership increasing from the original 12 to 15, and facilitated the formation of a framework of APEC as a forum for inter-governmental economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
China's stance on APEC affairs
China has consistently maintained that APEC is essentially an economic forum focusing on developing regional economic cooperation. China has persisted in taking the "APEC approach" as the principle of cooperation in APEC. This approach acknowledges diversity and stresses the principles of volunteerism, operation on consensus reached through consultations, flexibility and gradual progress.
China supports the active but steady promotion of the process of trade and investment liberalization and the sound development of a multilateral trading system, on the basis of the principles of openness and non-discrimination. It favors, within the scope of APEC, the formulation of a long-term goal of realizing regional trade and investment liberalization, and the promotion of this process through practical action. China urges that APEC should make its due contribution to safeguarding the interests of all members and perfecting the multilateral trade system.
China attaches importance to economic and technical cooperation, in the belief that they are closely integrated with trade and investment liberalization, and should promote each other so that the two strands of APEC cooperation run together. It is China's view that, to guarantee the steady and sustained development of the Asia-Pacific economy, it is particularly necessary to strengthen cooperation in sci-tech exchanges, human resources development and infrastructure construction, and improve investment and trade environment. Since its admission into APEC, China has played an important role in pushing forward economic and technical cooperation.
China advocates that APEC concerns itself with financial issues. It maintains that APEC should strengthen financial supervision, determine financial policies in light of actual conditions, maintain normal financial order and guard against financial risks.
China's economic and trade relations with other APEC members
With 21 members. APEC represents 45 percent of the world's population, 55 percent of the global GDP and 46 percent of global trade. Hence, it occupies an important position in global economic activities.
The Asia-Pacific region provides important support for China's foreign trade and economic cooperation. In 1999, the volume of China's trade with all other APEC members reached US$270.97 billion, representing 75.1 percent of its total trade volume that year.
Except for the European Union, the rest of China's top 10 trading partners are APEC member economies, namely Japan, the United States, China's Hong Kong, ASEAN, ROK, Chinese Taipei, Australia, Russia and Canada. Also in 1999, the new contractual value of foreign capital China attracted approached US$41.24 billion, with US$40.4 billion actually used, of which investment from APEC members respectively amounted to US$30.92 billion and US$31.21 billion, accounting for 75 and 77.3 percent of their respective totals.
Given this situation, participating in economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and establishing a more open trade and investment environment in this region facilitate the steady development of China's economic and trade relations with other APEC members and the sustained advancement of China's national economy.
Participation in APEC activities
In the spirit of active involvement, seeking common ground while setting aside differences and promoting cooperation, China has participated in various APEC activities since its accession to APEC, thus playing a positive role in promoting the process of APEC cooperation in past years.
Since the initiation of the Informal APEC Leaders' Meeting in 1993, Chinese President Jiang Zemin has attended the annual meeting nine successive times. He made important speeches each time, expounding the important principles guiding China's participation in Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, and demonstrating China's determination to carry through its reform and opening up, and its active participation in Asia-Pacific economic cooperation. He also expressed China's views on the prospects of APEC.
The Chinese Foreign Minister and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation have attended 11 APEC Joint Ministerial Meetings, during which they put forward China's views and policies concerning APEC's principles, scope of activity and organizational principles, which has produced forceful effects. Other Chinese ministers have attended APEC Sectoral Ministerial Meetings, formulating concrete principles and policies for implementing the proposals put forward by APEC leaders for cooperation in various sectors.
In addition, by actively participating in various activities, China's domestic APEC coordination units have made unique contributions to the cooperation and development of APEC.
APEC China 2001
The theme of APEC China 2001 was "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity Through Participation and Cooperation."
APEC is one of the highest and most influential regional bodies for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Hosting the 2001 APEC annual meeting is a major diplomatic activity that China has undertaken at the beginning of the new century. It has provided China with a valuable opportunity to enhance and develop its relations with other APEC members, and further its economic and trade exchanges and cooperation with them. It gives a powerful impetus to the advancement of China's reform and opening up and economic development. Also, it serves as a venue for China to display its tremendous achievements in reform, opening-up and economic development to the whole world.
Centering on the theme, agenda items of the meeting included: strengthening capacity building and opening up new opportunities for future development, so that all members will benefit from globalization and the new economy; promoting trade and investment and, facilitating the establishment of a more reasonable multilateral trading system; and creating a favorable macro environment for the sustainable economic development of the Asia-Pacific region.