The president of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, visited the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on the 9th of August and met with Li Yang, the vice-president of CASS. The two figures discussed various issues related to the construction of the think-tanks, and meanwhile exchanged views on China’s macro-economic situation.
Li welcomed Jeremic, and then briefly introduced the current situation regarding the state think-tank created by CASS. He explained that the Chinese government has been increasingly relying on think-tanks for its decision-making when faced with complex situations both at home and abroad, but at the same time, as the government’s decision making process becomes more democratic and transparent, it increasingly needs to attract public involvement and understanding. Li stressed that CASS should therefore speed up the construction of the think-tank not only in order to support the government’s decision-making, but also to strengthen communication between the government and the public.
Li affirmed that in the process of constructing the think-tank, CASS also hopes to strengthen its ties with other famous think-tanks around the world. For this purpose, CASS has organized an international think tank symposium, launched some related projects, and sent some of its staff to work for famous think-tanks in other countries. Li commented that Mr. Jeremic had claimed that the Far East will be regarded as one of the key research areas for future think-tanks, something which is consistent with CASS’s vision, and CASS appreciates this very much.
Jeremic, who worked for financial institutes before entering politics, is also very interested in Chinese economic issues. In the course of the meeting, he asked Li about the current state of the Chinese economy and its future development.
Li pointed out that the Chinese economy is still in a healthy state, although its current growth rate has slowed down to around 7.5%. This decline in the growth rate can be attributed to various factors, including the adjustment of the industrial structure being carried out by the Chinese government, an economic growth no longer relying on exports and investment, and the shift in the methods of macro-economic control adopted by the government. Taking all estimations into account, it can be concluded that the Chinese economy will maintain a steady growth rate of around 7.5%. Naturally, this decrease in the rate of growth has already led to some problems, but the Chinese government has been taking measures to weaken any kind of adverse effects.
When asked whether or not the Chinese economy will maintain its current important global position in the future, Li gave a positive reply. He emphasized that first of all, China will go on providing a steady market for the rest of the world even though the growth rate of its economy has already slowed down; secondly, China is a strong defender of the principle of free trade, which means it opposes any form of protectionism, and consistently insists in promoting global free trade; thirdly, besides its steady market and products, China can also provide large amounts of capital for other countries, something which many countries are in need of; and fourthly, China has always supported the construction of a new international political and economic order, and appeals for every country to strengthen the restrictions on its own monetary policies, and for major reserve currency issuing countries to assume the corresponding responsibilities, so as to jointly maintain the stability of the international financial market.
At the end of the meeting Jeremic claimed that it represented a good start for mutual cooperation in the future, and that both sides would further strengthen their communication and connections in areas of common interest.
Some other experts and scholars from both sides also attended the meeting, including Zhou Yunfan (the deputy director of the Bureau of International Cooperation of CASS), Song Hong (the assistant director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of CASS), Zdravko Ponos (the Chief de Cabinet to the president of the UN General Assembly), and Damjan Krnjevic Miskovic (the senior advisor to the president of the UN General Assembly).
Vuk Jeremic was elected as president of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in 2012. Before that, he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and visited China numerous times.
Translated by Chen Meina