This once-in-a-century financial crisis is truly thought-provoking. It reminds us of the need to have serious reflections on the existing economic systems and theories.
For many years in the past, China practiced a highly centralized planned economy and regarded planning as being absolute. This hampered the development of productivity. The ongoing financial crisis has made it clear to us, however, that the market is not a cure-all, either. A totally laissez-faire approach will inevitably lead to economic disorder and unfair social distribution, and will eventually take its toll. A credible market-oriented reform should never set the market against government macro-regulation. The invisible hand of the market and the visible hand of government and social supervision should both act, and act vigorously. Only in this way can resources be distributed according to market rules and distributed in a reasonable, coordinated, balanced and sustainable manner.
The international financial crisis once again shows how dangerous a market economy without regulation can be. Since the 1990s, some profit-driven financial institutions in economies lacking effective regulation have raised massive capital with a leverage of dozens of times. While they reaped huge profits, the world was exposed to enormous risks. This fully demonstrates that a totally unregulated market economy cannot work. We must strike a balance between financial innovation and regulation, between the financial sector and real economy, and between savings and consumption.
To effectively meet the crisis, we must fully recognize the role of morality. Nothing is greater than morality. It shines even more brightly than the sun. True economic theories will never come into conflict with the highest moral and ethical standards. Instead, they should stand for justice and integrity, and contribute in an equal way to the well-being of all people, including the most vulnerable ones. Adam Smith, known as the father of modern economics, held the view in The Theory of Moral Sentiments that if the fruits of a society's economic development cannot be shared by all, it is morally unsound and risky, as it is bound to jeopardize social stability. The loss of morality is an underlying cause for the current crisis. Some people have sacrificed principle and sought profits at the expense of public interests. They have crossed the moral baseline. We should call on all enterprises to take up their social responsibilities. Within the body of every businessman should flow the blood of morality.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Britain is the last leg of my European trip. I have gained a deeper understanding of Europe through this visit. China-EU cooperation is now standing at a new historical starting point and I am all the more confident about the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. There are no outstanding issues left over from history or conflict of fundamental interests between the two sides. What we have is a solid foundation and a bright future for cooperation. As the first industrialized country, Britain has accumulated rich experience in economic development and environmental protection. We hope to learn from your experience and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with you.
The future belongs to the younger generation. It is incumbent upon you to build an even more splendid future of China-Britain relations. Here and now, I cannot but mention Dr. Joseph Needham, a Cambridge alumnus who made important contribution to cultural exchanges between China and Britain. With his monumental masterpiece, Science and Civilization in China, he built a bridge between the two great civilizations of East and West. To honor tradition and innovation is the outstanding character of Cambridge. I hope more of you will turn your eyes to China, see my country in the light of her development, and act as ambassadors of China-Britain friendship. I believe that as long as you, the young people of China and Britain learn from each other and strive for progress hand in hand, you will add a brand-new chapter to the history of our relations.