By Xinhua writers Zheng Xin BEIJING
China (Xinhua) -- How best to describe
2018 in China? A nationwide survey showed most respondents chose
“Fen” and “Gai Ge Kai Fang 40 Nian” as the Chinese Character and
Word of the Year 2018 in China.
“Striving” and “the
40th anniversary of reform and opening-up,” as the
keywords mean, were chosen from among several thousand
recommendations and based on hundreds of thousands of votes by
netizens in an annual poll organized by the Chinese National
Language Monitoring and Research Center.
Held for the 13
consecutive years, the survey also chose “exit” and “trade
friction” as the international character and word of the year,
A review of China’s
achievements against headwinds in 2018 would justify the
selected words: it has been a year of milestones and profound
endeavors for the world’s second-largest economy in opening up
This year, China
commemorates the 40th anniversary of its reform and
opening-up with concrete actions and pledges to further open up,
providing more chances for the world to share its growth
The country has
unveiled measures to broaden market access, improve the
investment environment, increase imports, and build new ground
in opening up.
revved up in the finance sector: China launched the trading of
crude oil futures contracts in Shanghai, the first futures
contracts listed on China’s mainland to overseas investors;
foreign firms have been offered the green light to have
51-percent ownership of their brokerage ventures; foreign
investment access was also eased in the insurance industry, just
to name a few.
UBS AG became the
first global financial institution to take advantage of the
country’s new rules to gain a majority stake in its mainland
securities joint venture, raising its stake in UBS Securities
Co. to 51 percent from the current 24.99 percent.
opening-up of China’s financial sector represents great
opportunities for our wealth management, investment bank and
asset management businesses,” said UBS Group CEO Sergio P.
To boost imports,
the country has cut tariffs for an array of products including
automobiles, consumer products and medicine this year, lowering
the overall tariff rate on imported goods from 9.8 percent last
year to 7.5 percent.
A total of 172
countries, regions and international organizations, and more
than 3,600 enterprises participated in the first China
International Import Expo, which was held from Nov. 5 to 10 in
Shanghai. It was the world’s first import-themed national-level
Also in 2018, the
landscape of China’s pilot free trade zones (FTZs) has been
further broadened with the southern island province of Hainan
being designated as the latest and largest pilot FTZ, a move to
further open the country’s market and to attract foreign
imports will likely exceed 2 trillion U.S. dollars this year to
set a new record, according to an official with the Ministry of
China’s reform and
opening-up has gained momentum in the 40th
anniversary of a great revolution that has changed the destiny
of the Chinese nation and influenced the world. But some critics
still see the speedup as a compromise to external pressure.
“It is unfair to say
that,” World Bank country director for China Bert Hofman said,
adding that China’s decision to further reform and open-up is in
line with its economic fundamentals and national interests.
“It’s only natural
to respond to people’s call for better lives,” he noted.
The great spirit of
reform and opening-up has become the most prominent hallmark of
the Chinese people in the modern day, and the country has
clarified that its door of opening-up will not be closed and
will only open even wider.
China will continue
to widen market access for foreign investors next year while the
negative list for foreign investment is expected to be further
shortened in 2019, said Tang Wenhong, head of foreign investment
management department under the Ministry of Commerce.
The ministry will
also push for the lifting of market access restrictions on
foreign investment in sectors that are not on the negative list
to level the playing field for Chinese companies and foreign
It is estimated that
China’s imported goods and services will exceed 30 trillion
dollars and 10 trillion dollars respectively in the next 15