"The broad masses of workers are a driving force behind sustainable development, and Chinese trade unions have played an irreplaceable role in stabilizing the economy and employment."
Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping made these remarks in his address to the opening ceremony of the 2010 International Forum on Economic Globalization and Trade Unions, held on 25 and 26 February in Beijing.
He added that the Chinese Government supports trade unions in expanding exchanges, strengthening cooperation and promoting friendship with national and international trade union organizations, contributing their share to an early recovery for the world economy and the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Xi declared that the Chinese Government attaches equal importance to people's livelihoods and economic growth. Since the crisis erupted, the Government has introduced a more proactive employment policy and tried to create employment by linking the promotion of steady and rapid economic development with that of job growth. He spoke highly of the role of trade unions in harmonizing labour relations and safeguarding workers' rights.
Xi noted that China's success in stabilizing the economy and employment can be attributed to the country's commitment to a people-oriented approach and scientific development, efforts to turn crisis into opportunity and transform the growth mode, adherence to the road to industrialization with Chinese characteristics, and its respect for labour, knowledge, talent and innovation.
Xi said that for a large developing country with a population of 1.3 billion like China to achieve industrialization, consideration must be given to full employment. In case machines displace labour and capital squeezes it out, the Chinese Government has proposed developing labour-intensive industries, encouraging entrepreneurship, intensifying skills training, and raising residents' share in the initial distribution of national income. All this aims to promote full employment and let workers enjoy the benefits of social development.
Xi promised that in the post-crisis era, China will combine economic transformation with its determination to stick to the road to industrialization with Chinese characteristics. Only in this way can the country achieve sustainable economic, social and human development and decent work for all. The Chinese Government advocates that in the post-crisis era, governments of all countries should do everything possible to keep globalization on track towards equilibrium, benefits for all and win-win development. All countries are duty bound to boost economic growth, push forward the reform of the international financial system, promote the balanced development of the world economy, and solve the problems related to unfair distribution of the world's wealth, imbalances in resource ownership and consumption, and unbalanced development.
Trade unions of all countries should promote the healthy development of economic globalization, make sure that the benefits of economic growth reach all people, oppose and resist protectionism in all its manifestations, and maintain a fair, free and open global trade and investment system. This is not just a prerequisite for all countries to achieve sustainable development and decent work for their workers but also an important mission for trade unions under globalization.
Xi concluded by underlining that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to the status and role of trade unions in the country's economic and political life and supports them in fulfilling their sacred obligations to safeguard workers' rights.
The ceremony was presided over by ACFTU Chair Wang Zhaoguo.