During its holding, the Boao Asian Forum has become not only an authoritative international discussion platform, but has actually become a symbol of China’s new role and its business card. Recently, the next Boao Asian Forum, which is announced in the calendar as one of the largest important events in the life of China in 2018, ended on the island of Hainan.

“Open and innovative Asia for a more prosperous world” is the motto of the forum this year and it well reflects the current trends in the Asian region. The main issues on the agenda of international discussions were “Globalization and” One Belt and One Road”, “Open Asia”, “Innovations” and “A new start of reforms”.

Growing Asia

Such an agenda proposed by China for Asia now contrasts favorably with the increasingly popular ideas of nationalism, protectionism and isolationism in the West. All these topics appeal to the growing Asian countries and embody the growing and modernizing China-a symbol of a new, diverse and diverse Asia that is strengthening its international economic positions.

Today, dynamically developing Asia accounts for more than 35 percent of world GDP (while the European Union accounts for a little more than 23.5 percent). The reports of the forum on the development of the region say that its overall competitiveness has strengthened in 2017.

This year, with Asian GDP growing by 6 percent (according to the forecasts of the Asian Development Bank), most of the economies of developing Asian countries are gradually recovering due to growing export demand and rapidly growing domestic consumption.

Experts also note that the growing regional trade ties and growing financial reserves consistently strengthen Asia’s position in the face of possible external shocks. It seems that the Chinese initiative “One Belt and one Road” is also one of the drivers of increasing trade.

But for a new leap of Asian states in the development of the region, well-thought-out reforms, reasonable openness and attracting investment are needed. Chinese President Xi Jinping also spoke about this in his speech, noting that his country has been following a policy of reform and openness for 40 years. And in general, if we draw a conclusion about the development of China, these reforms have given their result.

International statistics clearly confirm this: for example, if in 1990 the share of the PRC in the world economy was only 2%, today in 28 years it is about 15%. Such a powerful economic growth is the result of a well-thought-out state strategy, and it is also an inspiring example and a symbol of the possibility of reaching a new level of development for many Asian countries.

A new level of development

At the same time, China does not stop there – having achieved considerable heights in development, the country sets itself new, more ambitious tasks, many of which were voiced by the Chinese leader in his speech. So, what conclusions can be drawn from the results of the next Boao Asian Forum?

First, China has reaffirmed its commitment to adhere to reforms and openness, as well as to expand openness, which has become a significant support for the development of globalization and free trade. In his speech, the Chinese leader noted that economic globalization cannot be reversed. Indeed, China, as the second economy in the world, has become one of the pillars of the global world. China’s proposal to further promote liberal trade and broad cooperation consistently forms the “Eastern version” of globalization (it is already called easternization, as opposed to the concept of Westernization that is fading into the background).

Secondly, this year coincided with the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the policy of reform and openness in China, and the country does not think to stop there-it will continue to improve domestic conditions. The Boao Forum is a good opportunity for Beijing to present new efforts and directions of its reforms. Thus, according to the statements, the PRC will continue to provide an even more favorable environment for domestic and foreign business and investment. According to the Chinese president, the country will significantly expand access to its market for foreign investors. So, according to media reports, earlier China’s trading partners, including the United States, complained about insufficient access to markets.

Third, the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping contained a clear international context and more reflected the tasks of the development of the world community. At the same time, attention is drawn to China’s readiness to share its achievements with other countries of the world, in particular with its neighbors in the Asian region. And here an important postulate of the modern foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China stands out – cooperation should be implemented on the basis of constructive interaction, mutual benefit and joint success. It is easier for China to do this, since the country itself has recently emerged from the category of developing countries and, in general, understands well many of the problems of its neighbors, who are only striving to reach a new level of socio-economic development.

Fourth, in the Boao, China once again called for combining the efforts of interested states to further create a common infrastructure that allows for effective interaction (where the Chinese initiative “One Belt and One Road” will be a consolidating element). Thus, the “One Belt and One Road” initiative has created a new powerful gravitational field in the world economy and politics. It launched a regrouping of forces in the international arena, identified trillions of dollars of potential investments and competition in a new format.

“Reliance on Asia, orientation to the world” – this is how we can briefly describe the meaning of the forum in 2018. In general, the Boao Asian Forum is of great importance for understanding the ongoing changes in China’s positioning in modern international economic and political processes. In particular, all of the above is evidence that China has begun the process of consolidating a new growth strategy for the coming years – as President Xi Jinping said in his speech in March this year at the 1st session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

From Asia to Europe

The growing economic power of China and its desire to play a more significant role in the world, as well as the strengthening of its position in Asia, are now quite obvious. Although most of the above theses are not new in Chinese foreign policy rhetoric, clearly identifying them among the key priorities in relations with neighboring countries is important and indicates China’s desire to bring relations with neighboring countries and regions to a qualitatively new level.

The theses voiced in the Boao are also relevant for our region. Thus, being a part of Asia, the Central Asian region gets an opportunity for an economic renaissance: it once again becomes a participant in international processes that influence its development. For example, Kazakhstan has a great opportunity to get significant benefits from participating in the construction of the” belt and road ” if it is approached pragmatically and puts its own long-term strategy for the transition from a raw material economy to a post-industrial one at the forefront.

“One Belt and One Road” opens up a huge growing market for Kazakhstan in the entire Asia-Pacific region (and completely eliminates the factor of continental isolation from large markets). In this case, large-scale joint investments in infrastructure, logistics, extraction and processing of natural resources in the next 10-15 years will form the foundation for the development of human capital and the creation of new sectors of the economy in Kazakhstan until the middle of the XXI century.

And this is precisely the direct similarity of the strategic approaches of the leaders of Kazakhstan, N. A. Nazarbayev, and China, Xi Jinping – they both look to the future (to the horizons of the 2050s) and strive to bring their states to more favorable positions than they are now. And both countries have the opportunity to complement each other’s potentials: geographically, China’s access to the European Union through Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan’s access to the Asia-Pacific region through China; economically, Chinese high technologies plus Kazakh resources invested in unified production chains extending closer to sales markets.

Thus, history repeats itself again, just as a thousand years ago the peoples on our territories created and developed the ancient Silk Road, Kazakhstan and China today have a great opportunity to launch continental cooperation and reconfigure the entire Eurasian geo-economy from Asia to Europe.


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