China Premier Touts Recovery, Pledges Opening-up: Boao Update

The Boao Forum wraps up with Chinese officials reassuring the global business community of a greater post-pandemic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy, and seeking to dispel fears of further escalation of geopolitical tensions.

(Bloomberg) — The Boao Forum wraps up with Chinese officials reassuring the global business community of a greater post-pandemic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy, and seeking to dispel fears of further escalation of geopolitical tensions.

China will “firmly safeguard the hard-won peaceful environment,” Premier Li Qiang, in his first major public speech since taking the role, told the forum on Thursday. “In this uncertain world, the certainty China offers is an anchor for world peace and development,” he said.

Also at the four-day event, participants highlighted challenges in the global economy such as inflationary pressure and rising debt burdens in poor countries, and called for further collaboration in policies and green goals amid risks of de-globalization. PBOC Deputy Governor Xuan Changneng said Friday that nations should step up digital finance regulations to ensure stability.

Billed as an Asian version of the World Economic Forum, the conference was hosted on the tropical island of Hainan from Tuesday to Friday.

Latest developments: (Time-stamps are local time in Boao, Hainan)

IMF’s Li Calls for Digitizing Reserve Assets (12:37 p.m.)

Central banks globally should consider digitizing their reserves as a part of measures to improve the efficiency of cross-border payment, International Monetary Fund’s Deputy Managing Director Li Bo said at the Boao Forum.

To make cross-border payment more efficient, safer and quicker, international organizations like the IMF and BIS can work together to establish a platform to support private sector cross-border payment.

Mega Wind Turbines Getting Even Bigger (11:00 a.m.)

Giant wind turbines are poised to get even bigger, according to Ming Yang Smart Energy Group Ltd., a manufacturer that already offers equipment fitted with vast 140-meter-long blades. 

“The trend is to get larger, no matter for onshore or offshore turbines,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Zhang Chuanwei said in an interview. Equipment designs are also likely to allow for more customization for specific locations, he said.

Larger turbines are well suited for China’s desert projects and transporting giant blades is relatively easy through the mostly unpopulated areas, according to Zhang. Installations in mountainous rural areas tend to need smaller and more bespoke turbines, he said in an interview Wednesday in Hainan, on the sidelines of the Boao Forum. 

Digital Finance Oversight Needs to Toughen: PBOC (10:57 a.m.)

PBOC Deputy Governor Xuan Changneng says nations should step up digital finance regulations to ensure financial stability, when addressing the Boao Forum.

Xuan praised China for taking the lead in banning crypto transactions at financial institutions in 2017 and protecting investors.

From Thursday:

China’s Wind and Solar Power to Surge (2:16 p.m.)

China’s wind and solar capacity could rise to over 1,000 gigawatts this year, and reach as much as 2,000 GW in 2030, Li Junfeng, managing director of China Energy Research, said in an interview. President Xi had pledged in 2020 that China would have over 1,200 GW of wind and solar in 2030.

Forrest Calls for China Net Zero in 2030s (2:16 p.m.)

China should strive to eliminate emissions by the 2030s, more than two decades ahead of schedule, Australian metals billionaire-turned-green hydrogen disciple Andrew Forrest said in a speech.

If China quadruples its build-out of renewable energy to 500 gigawatts a year, it could “essentially eliminate national emissions in the 2030s,” the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. said. China has committed to peak its emissions before 2030 and reach net zero by 2060.

Anwar Urges Reenergized Belt & Road (2:16 p.m.)

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made a pitch for China to reinvigorate its Belt and Road Initiative, as he urged for collaboration among countries.

“Translating lofty ideals into practical reality, solidarity and cooperation is best exemplified in the realization of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Anwar said in a speech. “With the pandemic behind us, we should try to regain its momentum.”

IMF Chief Urges Faster Debt Restructure (11:00 a.m.)

The world urgently needs faster and more efficient processes for restructuring debts of vulnerable countries, the International Monetary Fund’s chief said on a visit to China, a nation that many fellow fund members including the US accuse of blocking advances.

Speaking at the Boao Forum on Thursday, Kristalina Georgieva underlined the importance of “countries in a relatively stronger position helping the vulnerable members of our global community.”

The IMF forecasts China’s GDP growth will accelerate to 5.2% this year, one of the fastest expansion rates in the world. At the same time, 60% of low-income countries are at or near a debt crisis, many owing billions of dollars to Beijing, as faster inflation, higher US interest rates and a stronger dollar increase their borrowing costs.

Spain Says Globalization Changing, Not Reversing (11:00 a.m.)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he doesn’t see the world de-globalizing, but instead sees changes to it that could benefit the world in the long run.

Globalization no longer means that businesses just search for the lowest production cost to determine where to locate production facilities, Sanchez said in a keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday. Safety, environmental impacts and reliability have gained relevance instead, he said.

“What is happening is a change in the way globalization is conceived and articulated,” he said. “It is a positive sign. In fact it will contribute to more resilient, efficient and sustainable supply chains.”

Key Takeaways from Li Qiang’s Boao Forum Speech (10:57 a.m.)

The premier said China’s economy improved in March compared with January and February, and described consumer prices as stable. China will continue to prevent major risks and avoid systemic financial risk. That comment comes after bank failures in the US and the forced merger of Credit Suisse and UBS, but also amid concerns about China’s developers.

Li called China a responsible player in geopolitics and an advocate of peace, in an allusion to the country’s efforts to push for an end to the war in Ukraine. He repeatedly warned of global uncertainties and risks, and argued China will be a source of certainty to the world. He spoke in support of the Belt and Road funding initiative.

Singapore Urges US and China to Stabilize Ties (10:40 a.m.)

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged the US and China to stabilize ties between one another and warned that any clash between the super powers would have “grievous consequences for themselves and the world.”

“We hope that China and the United States will succeed in stabilizing their relationship and establishing mutual trust and respect to cooperate in areas where their interests are aligned,” he said during the Boao forum in Hainan on Thursday. “The world feels the impact of these tensions keenly.”

Like most Southeast Asian nations, Singapore has tried to navigate the middle path between the US and China; a role that has become increasingly difficult as the two powers tussle on everything from semiconductors to Taiwan. While those countries rely on Beijing as a major economic partner, they also depend on the US as a security partner at a time China continued to grow its military prowess.

“Economic imperatives are being overshadowed by national security concerns,” Lee said. “Countries are pursuing self reliance and resilience by onshoring, or friend-shoring, their supply chains. The bifurcation in technological and economic systems is deepening and this will impose a huge economic cost on countries as well as further exacerbate rivalries.”

The speech comes during Lee’s first trip to China since the pandemic with the scheduled itinerary including a meeting with President Xi Jinping in Beijing, while he’s also scheduled to meet other high-profile figures of Communist Party. Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim also spoke at the forum.

Li Calls China ‘Anchor for World Peace’ (10:49 a.m.)

Premier Li Qiang called China an “anchor for world peace” while expressing optimism about the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy in a keynote speech at a forum that included business and government leaders from around the globe.

“Chaos and conflicts must not happen in Asia, otherwise the future of Asia would be lost,” Li said Thursday at the Boao Forum for Asia amid tensions between China and the US over issues including trade, technology and Taiwan. He also urged nations to “firmly safeguard the hard won peaceful environment.”

“In this uncertain world, the certainty China offers is an anchor for world peace and development,” he said. “This is the case in the past and will remain so in the future.”



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