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'We don't like protectionism,' says one of China's top economic researchers

China had been on the receiving end of trade protectionism since 2008, so it knows enough to oppose such measures, one of China's top economic researchers told CNBC.

"After the global financial crisis, we found that many countries had adopted some kind of trade protection measure, and China, as the biggest trading country, saw most of the protectionism against China. So we don't like protectionism," Long Guoqiang, vice president of the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), said Saturday from the China Development Forum in Beijing.

Long claimed that the world's second largest economy took a different approach, and "liberalized the markets for trade and foreign investments" and discussed ways to promote international cooperation.

Some, Long said, have wrongly attributed economic and social problems to globalization, which is why anti-free trade sentiment in advanced countries has been growing.

Long Guoqiang, vice president at the Development Research Center of China's State Council.
Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Long Guoqiang, vice president at the Development Research Center of China's State Council.

"Traditionally, such kind of (protectionist) voices are popular in countries with weak competitiveness," he said. "But you know, because of the internet, the communication has changed a lot."

China has to explore the potential of globalization, but also consider how to avoid the pitfalls that come with it, the policy researcher added.

But the controlled-economy state has faced criticisms that its liberalization and reforms have not been moving at a fast-enough pace.

Long explained that China is a big country, and the local governments are also needed to implement the measures, so there will likely be some problems in specific projects and in specific regions.

"If you compared China with other countries, I think we are very ambitious to further promote trade and investments liberalization."

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