CIIE: a vivid reality of the world sharing Chinese opportunities: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 05, 2023 11:50 PM
This photo taken on Nov. 3, 2023 shows the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. Photo: Xinhua

This photo taken on Nov. 3, 2023 shows the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter to the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), which opened in Shanghai on Sunday. As the world's first national-level exposition dedicated to imports, the CIIE has fulfilled its commitment to "be held on an annual basis" with "continued success" in the years to come. Representatives from 154 countries, regions, and international organizations, including government, business, and academia, participated in the CIIE this year, a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels. This year's expo has set a new record in the exhibition area of enterprises, the number of Global Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in attendance. This reflects the global expectations and confidence in the Chinese market.

The CIIE has evolved into a global business festival. Among more than 3,400 exhibitors, a certain number have attended in the past, some even annually -- colloquially known as "repeat customers." The ability to attract these "repeat customers" stands as irrefutable proof of the CIIE's strongest and most evident value, indicating that they have found opportunities through the CIIE and hold optimistic expectations for the future Chinese market. Each year also witnesses new foreign companies participating in. Over the past 45 years of China's reform and opening-up, foreign companies that have remained optimistic and embraced the Chinese market have achieved tremendous success. The underlying logic and force behind this won't change and will continue to play a role. The CIIE's attribute as international public goods shared globally is further emphasized.

Objectively speaking, some countries exhibit a complex attitude toward China's rapid development, holding both expectations and doubts regarding China's reform and opening-up. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in trade protectionism and anti-globalization actions in the US and Western countries, particularly targeting China. These headwinds not only push economic globalization to a crossroads but also worsen the global political and security environment. They must be countered and restrained by positive forces.

In this context, China creatively hosted the world's first national-level exhibition with import as its theme, and it has continued to do so despite some cold remarks from Western public opinion. Each exhibition has been more successful than the previous one, becoming a unique and irreplaceable landscape in the process of economic globalization. The lively scenes at the CIIE are a vivid reality of the world sharing the dividends of China's development. China has always been an important opportunity for global development, which is not only China's intention and policy declaration, but also demonstrated through practical actions. China's consistent words and deeds have firmly established its national credibility. China welcomes guests from all over the world with open arms and will never become a country that rejects others or dictate its will on them.

The CIIE is open to the world and inclusive, and it does not form small circles based on proximity or ideology, while also providing opportunities for the least developed countries. Since the first session, the organizers of the CIIE have extensively invited the least developed countries to participate and provided two standard booths free of charge to each of them.  In this year's Country Exhibition, 16 of the 69 countries are the world's least developed countries and there are 29 least developed countries in the Enterprise Exhibition. The common phenomenon of "favoring the rich and neglecting the poor" in the international trade market has disappeared at the CIIE, and special care and arrangements have been made for the least developed countries. The CIIE is also making efforts to promote international fairness and resolve development imbalances.

There are some new changes in this year's CIIE. The US has sent the "strongest-ever delegation" to participate officially for the first time. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led a delegation to participate and visit Australian companies' booths. The number of Japanese companies participating in the exhibition is more than three times that of last year. The governments of these countries have once advocated and some still promote "decoupling" from China, but the choice of businesses and society honestly indicate that cooperation with China is not a risk, but "decoupling" is. Recognizing and conforming to this fact is by no means a liability for Western governments.

In today's tumultuous world, where should we look to find the mainstream and future direction of the world? If we confine our search to certain small circles, we can only find conflicts from conflicts, falling into a paradoxical cycle of proving contradictions with contradictions. However, if we go to the CIIE, take a look at the cutting-edge technology and products of top international companies, as well as witness the most vibrant purchasing power and abundant productive power coming together in cooperation, we will find the real world, the true world.