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China and Spain: A brighter future through win-win cooperation

01-04-2011 08:38 BJT

"China and Spain: A brighter future through win-win cooperation", published by the Spain's newspaper "ElPaís", was written by Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

Following is the full text:

I am about to head a Chinese delegation to Europe in this thick New Year atmosphere. I will start my trip from Spain, a country I admire for its long history and modern development, a country I feel close at heart though it is far away from China. I will use this opportunity to bring to the Spanish people the friendship of the Chinese people and China's sincere desire to increase cooperation with Spain.

China has 1.3 billion people. It is the biggest developing country on earth. After over 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has achieved remarkable success in economic and social development. China's GDP has grown by an annual average of 9.9%, and the Chinese economy is one of the largest in the world. China has steadily expanded the opening-up program. It is now the second largest trading nation in the world. China has remained the top recipient of foreign investment among developing countries for years and its outbound investment ranks the fifth in the world. Having made the historic leap from mere subsistence to overall moderate prosperity, the Chinese people are enjoying much higher living standards. Per capita income has risen eight times and more than 200 million people have been lifted out of poverty. A minimum living allowance system covering both urban and rural areas is by and large in place. And the Chinese people are leading an increasingly fulfilling cultural life.

Proud as we are of these accomplishments, the Chinese people are keenly aware of the problems we face in development. China has to deal with the most complex national conditions in the world. Any big achievement in development, when divided among the 1.3 billion people, will become small. Today, 700 million Chinese are still living in the countryside, and China ranks somewhere around 100th in the world in terms of per capita GDP. Cities along China's coast have boomed. But in central and western China, some people still have no access to safe drinking water and some still live under thatched roofs. Infrastructure, medical services, cultural programs and education there remain underdeveloped. 150 million Chinese people are still living on less than one dollar a day. In China one can find both the advanced and the backward, both new problems and old ones. China still has to confront many challenges and risks on the way ahead.

We have learnt one thing important as we look back at the past 30 years of development. We must keep to the path of development that fits China's reality, and we must at the same time be open and inclusive. We need to engage in exchanges and cooperation with other countries and draw on the fine achievements of human civilizations. Our world is one where no country can develop with its door closed. China cannot achieve development in isolation from the world and the world needs China for its development.

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