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China Supports WB Long-term Strategy

China supports the basic framework laid out in the World Bank's long-term strategy, a senior Chinese official said in Washington Sunday.

"This represents positive steps undertaken by the World Bank in response to the new global development trends through strategic restructuring," Li Yong, China's vice finance minister, said at a meeting of the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The bank should always adhere to the following principles in the course of formulating the new strategy, said the vice minister.

First, the bank should maintain and strengthen its global nature.

"As a global development institution," Li said, "the bank should always promote global common development as its mission and provide requisite capital and knowledge for developing members at different development stages."

It should be particularly emphasized that providing global public goods for development is an inevitable choice for the bank to play a global role in the new era, he stressed.

Secondly, the bank should respect country-specifics and country ownership of development.

"We appreciate the bank for renewing its development thinking by respecting country ownership of development, appreciating development issues from reality and practices rather than from textbooks and recognizing the diversity of development paths according to country-specifics," said Li.

In the course of advocating institution building and governance, the bank needs to avoid falling into neo-dogmatism, he said.

Meanwhile, the bank should pay attention to the external environment for development.

Li said that China supports in principle the bank's "twin pillar" strategy and proposes to add "creating a favorable external environment for development" as the bank's third pillar to more comprehensively reflect the new situation and the new needs of global development.

"We hold that, while promoting trade liberalization in a balanced manner, capital flows and increase of official development assistance, the bank should also facilitate rational labor mobility and technology transfer," he said.

In addition, the bank should promote innovation, Li said.

Under the new situation, innovation is crucial for ensuring the Bank's long-term viability and prosperity, according to the vice minister.

"We support the bank in achieving broad-based innovation in development thinking, operational scope, products and instruments as well as business modalities," he said.

He said that the bank should establish a new and equal development partnership with developing countries and explore demand-driven new areas of business such as studying and disseminating development experience, providing knowledge service, supporting South-South cooperation and promoting regional integration.

On the basis of the above-mentioned principles, Li said, China supports the bank's priority areas, including Sub-Saharan Africa, fragile states, middle-income countries, global public goods, and the learning and knowledge agenda.

"We hope the bank's new long-term strategy will play a leading role in reforming and building a new global-aid architecture based on the development need of developing countries," Li said.

The Development Committee was established in October 1974 to advise the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries.

The committee usually meets twice a year.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2007)

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