President Xi Jinping conducted a written interview with Reuters on
Sunday, in advance of his state visit to Britain. Following is the full
1. You will soon pay a state visit to the UK. It is learned that both
the royal family and the government of the UK attach great importance to
your visit and are making meticulous preparations for it. You visited
the UK in the 1990s and what was your impression then? What do you
expect from your coming visit to the UK after more than 20 years? What
will be its impact on China-UK relations and China-EU relations? Some
Britons fear China's intentions and believe that the British government
is too eager to please China. How do you ensure that China-UK
relationship is mutually beneficial?
A: I visited London, Oxford, Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1994. I was deeply
impressed by the visit, particularly Britain's long history, unique
culture, friendly people and its beautiful environment.
During my upcoming state visit to the UK at the invitation of Her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I look forward to having discussions with
British leaders and engaging the British public on our bilateral ties. I
hope this will chart the course for the future growth of China-UK
relations, inject new impetus in practical cooperation between our two
countries in all fields and enable us to jointly usher in a "golden
time" for China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership.
Public opinion surveys conducted in Britain show that views of China are
largely favorable among the British people. Our two peoples appreciate
each other's time-honored and unique cultures. This is an important
foundation and favorable condition for growing bilateral ties. It is
true that some people have some misgivings about China-UK cooperation.
What I want to stress is that in today's world, no country can afford to
pursue development with its door closed. One should open the door,
warmly welcome friends and be hospitable to them. This is recognized
international practice. The UK has stated that it will be the Western
country that is most open to China. This is a visionary and strategic
choice that fully meets Britain's own long-term interest. China looks
forward to engaging with the UK in a wider range, at a higher level and
in greater depth.
In recent years, while global growth has slowed down, China-UK
investment and business cooperation has kept growing. The UK has become
the EU's second largest investor in China as well as China's second
largest trading partner and investment destination in the EU. China has
been the UK's second largest non-EU trading partner. In 2014, China-UK
trade volume for the first time exceeded 80 billion U.S. dollars, and
China's import from the UK has doubled in five years. Two-way investment
between China and the UK has grown rapidly. China's investment in the UK
has risen at an annual rate of 71.7 percent over the past three years.
Last year, the UK investment in China increased by 87.6 percent
year-on-year, the fastest among major EU countries.
The British government has introduced ambitious plans on upgrading
infrastructure, building the Northern Powerhouse in the north of England
and implementing the strategy of UK Industry 2050. These plans and the
"Road and Belt Initiative" and the initiatives of "Made in China 2025"
and "Internet Plus" undertaken by China complement each other in many
ways. China is ready to partner with the UK in the spirit of
inclusiveness, opening up and seeking win-win progress through
cooperation to upgrade and expand cooperation to deliver more benefits
to our two peoples.
This year marks the beginning of the second decade of the China-UK
comprehensive strategic partnership and the 40th anniversary of China-EU
diplomatic ties. Both China-UK relationship and China-EU relationship
face important opportunities to build on past success for new progress.
Since the UK is an important member of the EU, China-UK relationship and
China-EU relationship reinforce each other. During my visit to the EU
Headquarters last year, EU leaders and I agreed to build China-EU
partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization. I believe new
progress in China-UK relationship will inject new momentum into the
growth of China-EU relationship across the board and make new
contribution to the building of China-EU partnership as a whole.
2. London is one of the world's financial centers, and is keen to play
an important role in China's financial development, whether by serving
as an offshore trading hub for the renminbi or by possibly one day
having a trading link between London and Shanghai stock exchanges. What
role do you envision London playing in the modernization and
globalization of the Chinese currency and stock markets?
A: The reform and opening up of China's financial sector has made
remarkable progress since China embarked on the path of reform and
opening up 37 years ago. This has been especially obvious in the past
several years. China will continue to adopt multiple measures to advance
the reform and opening up of its financial sector so that its financial
market can better adapt to financial modernization and globalization.
As one of the global financial centers, London is an important pump
station in the world economic lifeline, so to speak. Strengthened
financial cooperation with London is definitely a win-win choice for
both countries. China-UK financial cooperation started early. It has
enjoyed rapid growth, has tremendous potential and leads China-UK
cooperation in various areas. We have accomplished much in recent years.
Our two countries signed the bilateral currency swap agreement. China
set up an RMB clearing bank in London. The UK became the first country
outside Asia to obtain the RQFII initial investment quota, the first
Western country to issue RMB-denominated sovereign bond and the first
major developed country to include RMB into its foreign exchange
reserves. This is a highlight in our bilateral cooperation.
Back in 2012, London officially launched the plan of Center of RMB
Business. London has since then become one of the most dynamic and most
important RMB trading centers and offshore RMB markets. In 2014, RMB
trading in London grew by 143 percent year-on-year and its RMB deposits
reached 20 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 37 percent.
When conditions are in place, China is ready to consider strengthening
the connectivity of the financial markets of the two countries. London
can leverage its unique strengths in the financial field to get actively
involved in the modernization and globalization of China' s financial
3. Chinese companies are expected to take a stake in the nuclear power
plant in southwest England. This is in line with plans announced by your
government earlier this year to help Chinese firms in areas such as
high-speed rail and nuclear power to expand overseas. What role do you
hope to see Chinese companies playing in the global markets over the
next decade? Do you think that opposition could derail China's
participation in such projects overseas? Will such opposition lead to
fresh trade frictions? Is such state-subsidized, state-directed
expansion of Chinese industry abroad fair to other market players and in
line with China's professed desire for a more market-driven economy?
A: China is intensifying its reform and opening-up drive, which means
both opening up its economy further to attract foreign investment and
encourage Chinese firms to make overseas investment. This is natural
when a country reaches a particular stage of development and when a
company grows bigger, and this is what all big companies in the world
Having benefited from the world economy, Chinese companies should
contribute their share to world economic development. China has grown
into a global manufacturing power, with particular strengths at the
middle rung of the global industrial chain. Many Chinese industrial
sectors and equipment making capacity, including the building of
high-speed railway and nuclear power stations as well as automobiles
making, are advanced and competitive internationally, and meet the
demand and absorbing capacity of many countries. China is ready to
pursue cooperation of various forms with the UK and other countries in
international production capacity and equipment manufacturing to
synergize our respective strengths and promote each other's development.
The Hinkley Point is the product of tripartite cooperation among China,
the UK and France. I hope that the companies of the three countries will
fully leverage their respective strengths to ensure the successful
launch of this project and deliver benefits to the British people.
It is normal for a company to encounter various problems when making
investment, whether domestically or overseas. When doing business, one
should focus on business. Problems that occur in business operations
should not be politicized, and Chinese companies should not be viewed
with bias. Competition is necessary for a business to grow, and no one
will give away a market to its rivals. We hope that such competition is
benign and market-based. There should be no swing doors or glass doors
which are placed as non-economic or non-market-based barriers. Unlike
established multinational companies, Chinese companies still lack
experience in making investment overseas. They need to better adapt to
local laws and regulations, technological standards, marketing, human
resources management rules, local cultures, etc. Chinese companies will
learn a lot and emerge successful in fierce international competition.
The Chinese government supports Chinese companies in going global. But
we believe that this process should be market-oriented with companies
being the main driver. The role of the Chinese government is to secure
and create a favorable political environment and a fair legal framework
for Chinese companies. This is what all governments are doing, and I
think the Western countries are doing better than us. Even under market
conditions, countries support the growth of their companies in various
ways, and such measures should not be all labelled as government
subsidy. China's system is different from that of Western countries. Due
to historical reasons, Chinese companies perform many social functions,
which are hard to measure with a simple arithmetic formula.
In the coming decade, China's overseas investment will continue to grow
and is forecast to reach 1.25 trillion U.S. dollars. This will provide
more opportunities for China-UK cooperation. The Chinese and British
companies may also engage in tripartite cooperation in developing
countries to integrate the upper stream, middle stream and lower stream
of the global value chain and share development opportunities.
4. Britain was the first European country to sign up for membership of
the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China has promised
that the new bank will be transparent and have high governance
standards. How will China ensure that the AIIB really will be
transparent and have world-class governance?
A: China's initiative to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank aims to promote infrastructure development and connectivity in Asia
and boost regional cooperation.
The AIIB is an international financial institution whose rules of
operation are decided by its members through consultation, not by China
alone. We agree that the AIIB should fully draw on the experience and
practices of other multilateral development banks, observe high
international standards in terms of governance structure, operation
guidelines, and human resources management, and ensure its professional
and efficient operation as well as transparency and integrity. During
the negotiation over the AIIB agreement, 57 prospective founding members
acted on the principle of openness, inclusion, professionalism and
transparency, and concluded a high-quality agreement text. A total of 53
prospective founding members have signed the agreement.
I know that this agreement has drawn on the practices of existing
multilateral development banks in many ways. It has also made some
breakthroughs and explored new ways of operation. For example, in terms
of governance structure, AIIB has, with reference to the common practice
of multilateral development banks, set up a three-tiered structure,
consisting of a board of governors, a board of directors and a
management team. It has also put in place an oversight mechanism in line
with the principle of transparency, openness, independence and
accountability. It is specified in the agreement that the management
team will be selected through an open, transparent and merit-based
process. This is a new principle not included in the constitution of
existing major multilateral development banks. Another example is that
the AIIB places no restriction on the procurement of goods and services
from any country, and again this is not the case in the other regional
multilateral development banks.
The AIIB prospective founding members are working on the specific
operation guidelines in accordance with the agreement. The relationship
between the AIIB and existing multilateral development banks is a
cooperative and complementary one. The AIIB will engage in cooperation
with them in terms of sharing expertise, capacity building and joint
China commends and welcomes the UK joining into the AIIB. We are ready
to work with the UK and all other prospective founding members to build
the AIIB into a professional and efficient infrastructure financing
platform to contribute to the development of Asia and beyond.
5. China is playing an increasingly active role as a member of the
international community, whether by helping bring peace to South Sudan
or evacuating foreigners, including Britons, from the civil war in
Yemen. As China's economic strength and world influence continue to
grow, it needs to make more efforts to protect its rights and interests
across the world. How do you see China's role in global affairs changing
in the coming decade? Will it play a greater role in mediating
conflicts? Will China one day replace the United Statesas the world's
policeman and protect its interests by establishing military bases
around the world?
A: China was, is and will continue to be a force for world peace, common
development and international cooperation. With the increase of its
overall strength, China will be able to play a more active role in
international and regional affairs.
At the summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN this
September, I announced on behalf the Chinese government a series of
initiatives, which include: the establishment of an assistance fund for
South-South cooperation with an initial pledge of 2 billion U.S.
dollars; a ten-year, 1-billion-U.S. dollar China-UN peace and
development fund; China joining the newly-established UN Peacekeeping
Capability Readiness System and setting up a permanent peacekeeping
police squad and a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops; the
provision of 100 million U.S. dollars in military aid to the African
Union in the coming five years to support the building of African
Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.
China has been stepping up efforts for world peace and development not
because it wants to become a "world cop", even less to take anyone' s
place. We are always of the view that a country's affairs should be
decided by its own people and the world's affairs should be managed
through consultation among the peoples of all countries. China upholds
the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It pursues common,
comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. China follows the
principle of non-interference in other country's internal affairs and
believes that international and regional hot spots should be resolved by
peaceful means. China has declared many times that it pursues adefence
policy defensive in nature and will never seek hegemony, engage in
expansion or impose its own will on others.
6. China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has pledged to
bring its emissions to a peak by "around 2030" and has also said it
would cut carbon intensity - the amount emitted per unit of economic
output - by 60 to 65 percent below the 2005 level. As a developing
country, China has stuck firmly to the principle that industrialized
nations should bear most of the burden when it comes to cutting carbon
emissions. Is China prepared to change any of its negotiating positions
or offer further compromises in order to make sure that a new global
climate change deal is secured in Paris later this year?
A: Climate change is a global challenge at which no country can stand on
their own. Developed and developing countries have different historical
responsibilities for climate change, and different development needs and
capabilities. Just like in a car race: it would be neither reasonable
nor fair to apply the same speed requirements to cars which have run far
ahead and those which have only just left the starting point. Developed
countries should do more and lead the way in addressing climate change.
This is in keeping with the important principles laid down in the
UNFCCC, such as "common but differentiated responsibilities", equity and
respective capabilities. This is also the hope of all developing
Having said that, the principle of "common but differentiated
responsibilities" does not exempt developing countries from contributing
their share to global response to climate change. It is only that such
contribution should be in line with their capabilities and needs. China
is now the world's biggest country in energy conservation and
utilization of new and renewable energy. In 2014, China's per unit GDP
energy consumption and CO2 emission were cut by 29.9 percent and 33.8
percent respectively from the 2005 level. China's submission to the UN
of its nationally intended contributions is aimed at facilitating global
climate governance, and also for the sake of China's own development. It
represents China's very best effort to help achieve the goals set in the
UNFCCC. China has announced the setting up of an 20-billion-RMB yuan
South-South cooperation fund on climate change to help other developing
The Paris Conference coming up at the end of this year is a significant
milestone in the multilateral process on climate change, as it will set
up post-2020 international regimes to tackle this challenge. Progress in
negotiations requires flexibility of all parties, yet the basic
principles of the UNFCCC need to be observed. Parties should demonstrate
sincerity as much as they can, build up consensus and work toward the
same goal. China is ready to play a constructive role and work for the
timely conclusion of a comprehensive, balanced and strong agreement at
the Paris conference.
7. China is being increasingly assertive in pushing its territorial
claims in the South China Sea, which has worried many of its neighbors.
China also says it will not pursue hegemony and will unswervingly stick
to the path of peaceful development. Do you understand why so many of
China's neighbors doubt these claims? How do you respond to accusations
that China's activities in the South China Sea could be worsening the
security situation in the region? What is China's ultimate aim with its
current activities in the South China Sea?
A: To follow the path of peaceful development serves China's fundamental
interests, and is also what regional countries and peoples expect from
us. It is a strategic choice made by China that has not changed and will
not change. For many years, China's active efforts for win-win
cooperation with its neighbors have brought real benefits to countries
and peoples in the region. Under the new circumstances, China will
strive to deliver more benefits of its development to neighboring
countries and peoples. China will continue to pursue friendship and
partnership with its neighbors, build a harmonious, secure and
prosperous neighborhood and follow through on its policy of amity,
sincerity, mutual-benefit and inclusiveness towards its neighbors.
The islands and reefs in the South China Sea are Chinese territory since
ancient times. They are left to us by our ancestors. The Chinese people
will not allow anyone to infringe on China's sovereignty and related
rights and interests in the South China Sea. The actions China has taken
in the South China Sea are legitimate reactions to safeguard its
territorial sovereignty. Expansionism refers to laying claims to land
outside one's own territory. China has never done anything like that, so
such doubts or accusations are unwarranted.
With the joint efforts of all parties, the situation in the South China
Sea has on the whole been stable. The South China Sea provides important
waterways for China's international commercial exchanges. China needs
peace, security and stability in the South China Sea more than any other
country. China would not want any turbulence there, still less would it
be the party to stir up chaos. It is working hard to take forward
consultations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea within the
framework of fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the
Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. China will continue to work
with its neighbors in the South China Sea to manage disputes through
institutionalized dialogue, peacefully resolve disputes through
negotiation and consultation, actively explore win-win results through
cooperation and joint development, and safeguard the freedom of
navigation and overflight enjoyed by countries in accordance with
international law. We will together endeavor to make the South China Sea
a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. And the efforts of countries
in the region to maintain peace and stability there deserve more
8. China has asked for international help from countries including
Britain to return corruption suspects who have fled overseas. Some of
these countries have complained that China is reluctant to hand over the
evidence needed for them to be able to process deportation orders in
court. How will China improve its cooperation with foreign countries to
get these suspects back?
A: China's judicial departments would readily provide solid evidence on
specific cases in international anti-corruption cooperation. China is a
country with rule of law. It acts according to law and on the basis of
facts both in fighting corruption within the country and carrying out
international anti-corruption cooperation.
In any country, corruption is most detested by the people. International
cooperation in this area is aimed at bringing criminal suspects who have
committed acts of corruption and absconded overseas back to China to
face justice. China and the UK have maintained sound cooperation in
jointly fighting corruption and concluded the treaty for mutual legal
assistance in criminal matters, which has laid the legal foundation for
jointly fighting corruption.
In today's world, no country or place should provide shelter or even
safe haven for corrupt elements and their proceeds of crime. What
baffles the Chinese people the most is that some corrupt elements for
whose crimes there are solid evidence should be able to stay at large in
some countries and escape the punishment of the law by citing all kinds
of excuses. Due to differences in legal systems between countries, some
technical legal matters need to be worked through in international
cooperation against corruption. This requires various parties to explore
solutions together. In particular, anti-corruption and law enforcement
agencies need to strengthen cooperation in investigation and information
sharing on individual cases. I am convinced that as long as we have the
political will to fight corruption, international cooperation in this
field will surely yield more results.
9. China's economy and its global impact are growing bigger and bigger.
Policy-makers around the world all need to know about China's economic
situation more than ever before. Your government has set a target of
growing the economy by around 7 percent this year. However, the economic
situation appears to have deteriorated in the last several months, and
many investors and economists now see this target as highly unlikely to
be reached, creating great concern in global financial and commodity
markets. Do you expect to meet this target? What further measures do you
stand ready to take in order to keep growth from slowing too much? How
to maintain stability of China's financial market?
A: The Chinese economy grew by 7 percent in the first half of this year,
which is consistent with the growth target of the whole year and is the
fastest growth rate among major economies around the world. It is normal
that an economy may grow at different speeds in different periods. It
would be against the law of economics to aim for ever higher growth
without any slowing down. The 7 percent growth in the first half of this
year was achieved on the basis of an economy of over 10 trillion U.S.
dollars. The increment is already equivalent to the annual GDP of a
medium-sized country and still exceeds what was generated by
double-digit growth several years ago.
As an economy closely linked to international markets, China cannot stay
immune to the lackluster performance of the global economy. We do have
concerns about the Chinese economy, and we are working hard to address
them. We also worry about the sluggish world economy, which affects all
countries, especially developing ones.
Historian Dr. Arnold Toynbee believes that "challenge and response" is
an important factor underpinning the development of human civilization.
China's economic development is adjusting to the new normal and
experiencing growing pains of shifting from old drivers of growth to new
ones. Yet the fundamentals of a steadily growing economy have remained
unchanged. The new type of industrialization, IT application,
urbanization and agricultural modernization that is in full swing has
generated strong domestic demand and great potential for future growth.
It has also made the economy more resilient and adaptable. All this,
coupled with deepening structural reforms, means that China will have
very promising economic prospects.
We are making coordinated efforts to promote steady growth, continued
reform, structural adjustments, and higher living standards, and
forestall economic risks. We will enhance macro regulation in creative
ways to improve the quality and efficiency of economic development and
address the lack of balance, coordination and sustainability in the
economy. We will put more emphasis on innovation and consumption-driven
growth. The policy on utilizing foreign investment remains unchanged. We
will improve the rule of law in the commercial field, protect
intellectual property rights, and promote fair competition. We will
continue to promote the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and
the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and carry out international
cooperation on production capacity. Both the Chinese economy and the
world economy stand to benefit in this process.
In the face of changes in the domestic and international financial
markets, we have taken a number of steps including lowering the required
reserve ratio and interest rates and improving the RMB exchange rate
regime. These measures have helped to largely defuse risks and restore
stability in the markets. Going forward, we will deepen market-oriented
financial reforms according to law to cultivate an open and transparent
capital market that enjoys long-term, stable and sound development. We
will improve risk management, stabilize market expectations and make it
easier for private capital to operate in the financial sector to better
support the real economy.
10. You have said that you hope one day China will be able to host the
World Cup, and that one day China could win it. You care about the sport
enough that you announced big reform plans for Chinese football earlier
this year. Britain is the birthplace of modern football. Is there
anything China can learn from Britain in raising the level of Chinese
football, and making the Chinese football industry as successful as
Britain's? What is your biggest hope for Chinese football?
A: Football is the most popular sport in the world and there are over
100 million football fans in China alone. My greatest expectation on
Chinese football is for the Chinese team to be one of the best in the
world and for football to play an important role in making people
stronger in body and mind. We will find a new way forward for the sport
to flourish in China that is both consistent with the general pattern of
football development and fits well with Chinese conditions. We will
pursue the goals of strengthening football training for the youth,
reforming the professional football system, enhancing international
cooperation and boosting the football industry.
The UK has a long and proud history of football and a wealth of
experience in this sport. The Premier League is one of the most
influential and successful professional football leagues in the world.
China and the UK have had good cooperation on football in recent years.
In 2012, a cooperation program was launched to promote football in
schools and the UK started to train Chinese football coaches at the
grassroots level. In 2013, the Premier League and the Chinese Super
League signed a letter of intent on cooperation, and David Beckham was
named "ambassador for the youth football program in China and the
Chinese Super League" . Last month, the two countries signed an MOU to
produce future stars in football. In the next five years, football
training will be introduced to 20,000 Chinese schools, which means huge
potential of cooperation between China and the UK in the training of
players, coaches and referees.
I am confident that Chinese football will do better and make its own
contribution to world football.
usher in a "golden time" for China-UK comprehensive strategic
no country can afford to pursue development with its door closed
in the spirit of inclusiveness, opening up and seeking win-win progress
important opportunities to build on past success for new progress
build China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization
the bilateral currency swap agreement
RMB-denominated sovereign bond
offshore RMB market
the connectivity of the financial markets
opening up its economy further to attract foreign investment
Chinese firms to make overseas investment
synergize our respective strengths and promote each other's development
When doing business, one should focus on business.
There should be no swing doors or glass doors which are placed as
non-economic or non-market-based barriers.
upper stream, middle stream and lower stream of the global value chain
multilateral development bank
a three-tiered structure, consisting of a board of governors, a board of
directors and a management team
common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security
defence policy defensive in nature
common but differentiated responsibilities
build up consensus and work toward the same goal
pursue friendship and partnership with its neighbors
build a harmonious, secure and prosperous neighborhood
policy of amity, sincerity, mutual-benefit and inclusiveness towards its
manage disputes through institutionalized dialogue
act according to law and on the basis of facts
growing pains of shifting from old drivers of growth to new ones
promote steady growth, continued reform, structural adjustments, and
higher living standards, and forestall economic risks
lowering the required reserve ratio and interest rates