China & APEC

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Ⅰ.The Significance of China's Involvement in APEC

It is an important economic diplomacy measure in 1990s for China to actively participate in the APEC economic cooperation. The international situation has undergone profound changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, such as the collapse of Eastern Europe, the Unifying of Germany, the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia one after another, declaring the end of the bi-polar world structure lasted for more than 40 years and the world moving in the direction towards multi-polarization. The significant changes in the international situation have provided a good external environment for China to deepen the reform and opening up as well as accelerate the socialist modernization. China's accession to APEC will offer opportunities for China to take part in regional economic cooperation, learn experience from other APEC member economies and push forward the domestic system reform.

Retrospect to the process of China's accession to APEC, we can see the great significance for China's participation in APEC as follows:

1. As the highest-level of economic cooperation forum in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC has provided an important place for Chinese leaders to carry out diplomacy of heads and outreach publicity. The APEC member economies are throughout the major regions of the world except Western Europe and Africa. The annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is a significant way for China to deal with relationships with APEC member economies at the high level. So far, former President Jiang Zeminand President Hu Jintao had attended the previous APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and delivered a series of ideas for the development of the international and Asia-Pacific region as well as the development of China, which played a pivotal role in the consolidation and development of China's relationship with the major powers and neighboring countries.

2. APEC is an impotant channel for China's participation in the process of world economic globalization and regional economic intergation, and promoting the reform and opening up as well as the economic development. APEC includes the major trading partner of China such as the United States and Japan. Although APEC is a forum that differentiate from WTO and other mechanism based and binding trade groups, the cooperation among APEC member economies has presented a substantial progress to meet the common needs of member economies, therefore, it has played an important role in promoting the regional economic cooperation and the development of world economy. In the last 10 years, China has made full use of the APEC informationa and technology in the fields of telecommunications, transportation, energy, human resources development, environmental protection, technology, marine resources protection and so on. At present, China has become one of the major markets for APEC member economies.

Ⅱ. Brief History of China's Accession to APEC

The APEC Second Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore passed the Joint Statement in July 1990 to welcome China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to join APEC at the same time as soon as possible. On October 2, 1991, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong signed a meorandum of understanding to identify China as a sovereign state, Taiwan and Hong Kong as the regional economy to join APEC with the name of "Chinese Taipei" and Hong Kong China (the name changed since July 1, 1997) repsectively. On November 12, the APEC Third Ministerial Meeting was held in Seoul and the meeting unanimously agreed to accept China, Chinese Tanpei and Hong Kong.

Ⅲ. China's APEC Policies

China insists that APEC is an economic forum and focusing on promoting regional economic cooperation. China adheres to the "APEC approach" as the mode and principle of cooperation. This approach recognizes diversity and stresses on the principle of voluntarism, consensus-building, flexibility, gradualism and so on.

China supports an active and steady manner to promote the liberalization of trade and investment and healthy development of multilateral trading system on the basis of complying with the principle of opening up and non-discrimination. China advocates to set up a long-term goal of realizing liberalization of trade and investment in the region in the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and takes practical action to actively promote the liberalization process of trade and investment. China urges APEC to make due contributions to safeguard the interests of member economies and improve the multilateral trading system.

China attaches great importance to economic and technological cooperation, and thinks that the economic and technological cooperation and trade and investment liberalization are closely integrated and should be mutually reinforced, so that two wheels of APEC cooperation could run together. China believes that it should ensure steady and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific Region and strengthen cooperation in scientific and technological exchanges, human resouces development, infrastructure construction to further improve trade and investment environment. Since China's accession to APEC, it has played an important role in promoting economic and technological cooperation.

China insists that APEC needs to concern about the financial issues, and thinks that APEC should strengthen financial supervision, set up financial policies in accordance with the actual situations, safeguard the normal financial order as well as guard against financial risks.

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