The Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) will open in Shanghai on Tuesday. French President Emmanuel Macron will join the opening ceremony with top Chinese leaders. Macron is the first leader of Western developed countries to attend the CIIE. Although the US has no plans for “high-level government participation” in the expo, American companies have shown great interest in participating in the fair. They occupy the largest exhibition area in the hall, with Japan in that position at last year’s CIIE.
The holding of the CIIE is an important declaration of China’s policy to further open up. It is China’s true will and determination to actively participate in the wave of globalization and closely integrate its economy with the outside. And this has even become a belief in Chinese society. China’s expanding consumer demand has laid the foundation for the country to continue increasing imports.
China is the only country to hold import expos on a national level, which is beneficial to foreign enterprises. Some Western public opinions do not take CIIE seriously and regard it as China’s “political show.” This reveals little understanding of China.
The sense of ceremony often has a special significance in China, which helps promote the formation of forces to break through. In addition, the expo is not only a ceremony, but also a hypermarket that the Chinese government has built and endorsed for foreign enterprises. Needless to say, foreign enterprises need to increase the comprehensive competitiveness of their products in the Chinese market. With the development of China’s industry, the country has established the most complete production system in the world, and the quality of its products has been constantly improving.
It has become increasingly difficult for foreign products to stay attractive to Chinese consumers, which all countries need to realize.
Such a phenomenon has emerged: While enterprises of a country are striving to expand exports to China by actively participating in the CIIE, the country’s public opinion continues to criticize China. This has exposed the egoist nature of Western public opinion. The Chinese people don’t have to take this seriously. It’s more important for us to do our own things well than care about Western public opinion.
Expanding opening-up is China’s own demand as well as an important way to promote mutual benefits and win-win results with the outside world. The world welcomes China to actively help foreign enterprises share the dividends of the ever-expanding Chinese market through the CIIE. Americans also welcome China to do so, although their government didn’t send a high-level delegation.
Macron’s attendance and the growing number of American enterprises participating in the expo show the CIIE’s vitality. The expo will become more reputable, enjoy unprecedented success and create a huge spillover diplomatic effect.
What’s most important for China is to further improve its economy and continue to increase the contribution of consumption to economic growth. Expanding consumption will fundamentally change China’s position in world trade and make the outside world lose their leverage and impetus to fight a trade war with China. Aside from an economic issue, it also has profound international political significance.
We should keep holding the CIIE. By doing so, we will see subtle changes in international public opinion and the attitudes of some countries toward China. These changes will be positive and constructive, which we must have confidence in.