China will continue to open up its economy and protect the rights of foreign investors over the next five years, said a spokesman for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

“China’s opening-up is at a new starting point,” said Tuo Zhen, who is also deputy head of the party’s Propaganda Department.

“We will continue to stick to the basic policy of opening up our economy to the outside world, speed up the establishment of a new economic system, further expand market access and promote a new round of high-quality opening-up.”

Tuo said China’s goal was to achieve common development with all foreign investors that was beneficial to them and to the country.

19th party congress Tuo Zhen
Tuo Zhen, spokesman for the 19th Party Congress. Photo: cpc.people.com.cn

In January, the State Council issued a notice on several measures for expanding its opening-up and utilizing foreign investments. In August, it issued a notice on several measures for promoting the growth of foreign investments.

Belt and Road Initiative

Tuo also said China aimed to achieve mutual benefits with Belt and Road countries in the coming years.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is underpinned by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit,” he said.

China fully respects the independent choices of all countries, regardless of their strength and wealth, Tuo said. “There are no political strings attached.”

Between 2013 and 2016, Chinese companies invested US$560 billion, paid more than $100 billion in taxes and created millions of jobs overseas, he said.

On Wednesday, a total of 2,280 CPC representatives will attend the opening of the 19th Party Congress, representing 450 sub-units of the party and 89 million party members.

The congress, in which General Party Secretary Xi Jinping will give an opening speech, is expected to last a week. Members of the party’s Central Politburo and its Standing Committee will then be unveiled.

Several hundred local and foreign journalists attended a two-hour-long press briefing in the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday. Tuo answered 12 questions from media.

Apart from economic developments, the Communist Party has also put a lot of effort into internal political reforms and anti-corruption measures over the past five years, he said. The party will continue to improve its governance and people’s livelihoods, he added.