China still has a long way to go to reach modernization and needs to pursue development through deepening reform, further opening-up and safeguarding a peaceful environment, Premier Li Keqiang said on Sept 21 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Li said China has become the first nation to submit a report to the UN on how it is implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint endorsed by the UN last year for ending poverty and hunger, promoting equality and protecting the environment in the years leading up to 2030.
While addressing the general debate of the 71st UN General Assembly, whose theme is The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform Our World, the premier vowed that China would carry out a new round of opening-up and work to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.
Li said that for the sustainable goals to be attained, current norms regarding the international order and relations must be maintained. These norms, formed in the wake of World War II, have ensured peace in the world for more than 70 years, he said.
“They have been proved effective and must be safeguarded with resolve,” he said.
The premier also said that the world economy’s sluggish growth must be reversed, or sustainable development will have no foundation.
Meanwhile, Bank of China has become the first yuan clearing operator in the United States, following the announcement by Li that China had decided to designate a domestic bank for the clearing business in New York.
Li made the announcement on the evening of Sept 20 while speaking to the Economic Club of New York.
He did not name the bank, but also said foreign banks in the city that met the eligibility requirements are welcome to become clearing banks for the currency.
Shortly afterward, the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, said that Bank of China (BOC) had been designated as the yuan clearing bank in the US, according to a BOC news release.
In September last year, China and the US agreed to further boost cooperation on yuan business.
At the conclusion of the eighth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June in Beijing, both countries announced they would further develop yuan trading and clearing capabilities in the US.
According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, Hong Kong is the biggest offshore yuan clearing center, followed by London and Singapore.
China has promoted a “going global” campaign for the yuan for years, said Guo Tianyong, director of the Chinese banking industry research center at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.
The US is a key market for the currency’s transactions because many enterprises and individuals need to exchange for yuan, Guo added.
The “going global” campaign needs the participation of eligible foreign banks, which have larger numbers of clients and bigger market shares in the US than domestic banks, and their participation will help expand the use of the currency internationally, Guo added.
Meanwhile, Li said he had heard some complaints from foreign companies about continuing to face restricted access to the Chinese market.
“Some sectors in the Chinese economy have not become mature ones. But the process of them becoming more mature is also a process for them to further open up,” he said.
Hong Xiao contributed to this story.
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