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China needs "4 Rs" to avoid falling growth, says former vice-premier

China needs to implement the "4 Rs", which refer to remodeling, rebalancing, reforming and reengaging, if it wants to avoid experiencing stagnating or declining growth, said former Chinese vice-premier Zeng Peiyan on Thursday (July 17).

SINGAPORE: China needs to implement the "4 Rs", which refer to remodeling, rebalancing, reforming and reengaging, if it wants to avoid experiencing stagnating or declining growth, said former Chinese vice-premier Zeng Peiyan made at the opening plenary session of the FutureChina Global Forum 2014 on Thursday (July 17).

China has seen spectacular growth over the past three decades, but the recent deceleration in China's economic growth has raised concerns that it could fall into the middle-income trap. This refers to countries that experience stagnating or declining growth after reaching middle-income.

To avoid this, Mr Zeng said China needs to remodel its economic development and increase productivity and innovation. It also needs to rebalance economic structures towards emerging industries and less-developed parts of China.

Mr Zeng also said China needs to deepen structural reform and reengage or reintegrate China into the global economy.

"The few years from now till 2020 will be crucial to China's economic transformation. I believe that implementing the 4Rs will spur a new round of economic growth, and enable China's development to become more productive and its organisations more efficient," said Mr Zeng.

Speaking at the same event, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong cautioned that even as China grows, it will have to play its role in a way that makes it welcomed by all.

"This means working with the international community to make the existing world order better for all, including China, in a peaceful and non-disruptive way. I believe China sees it in its own interests to work within and help to preserve existing international norms and structures which have underpinned growth and prosperity," said Mr Goh.

Mr Goh said that although there are differences between some ASEAN countries and China over overlapping territorial claims, all parties concerned are seeking to manage these differences through dialogue. He added that the impetus for ASEAN and China to enhance cooperation remains strong, and this can be deepened through a range of win-win partnerships.

"China and ASEAN should also strengthen people-to-people linkages by boosting tourism. We can enhance air, sea, land and telecommunications connectivity. In an increasingly digitised world, both sides also could promote virtual connectivity through web-based platforms," said Mr Goh.

The FutureChina Global Forum will bring together more than 60 leading international experts on China issues to discuss matters related to China's development. Such issues include the prospects and challenges of China's economic growth, and how Singapore can ride the China wave. 

Earlier, Mr Zeng called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana. Mr Lee also spoke at the FutureChina Global Forum later in the day, where he noted that China became Singapore's top trading partner for the first time last year.

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