Confident China on development path


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By Global Times (20 December 2019) – China has been able to prove it can achieve an economic miracle in lifting 700 million people out of agrarian poverty after 40 years of reform and opening-up. 

China’s success in economic development has come about because of the stable government and its long-term plan. At a gathering celebrating the 40th anniversary of the policy on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that “the reform and opening-up is a great awakening of our party,” and China will carry it through to the end. 

Xi’s vision of creating a shared future will become a reality as long as the Chinese government continues on its path of peaceful coexistence.

China preserved its independence from foreign invaders and built a stable government in one of the largest countries of the world. It has implemented economic, social and intellectual reforms that no one could imagine before. 

Therefore, other developing countries can study the progress of China, which is both a developing country and the world’s second largest economy, an inspiring example of how to modernize their economies but not a threat to them. 

The West has always been prejudiced and misunderstood China’s development path. Even though China has made such achievements, some Western countries still treat it unfairly, because they take it for granted that China will treat other countries unfairly.

Nations with hegemonic designs won’t believe an economically powerful country like China is not going to seek hegemony and threaten theirs, although for Beijing reform and opening-up is all about development. 

China’s success helps the world succeed. If China were to be contained or its success thwarted, it would hurt the world. Several foreign leaders and think tanks spend a lot of time telling China how to run the country, but perhaps they should focus on making their own countries economically, politically and socially stable. 

Besides, what China has done by moving on its peaceful path is good for the entire world, including the US. 

The US has been a witness of China’s reform and opening-up that developed simultaneously with China-US ties in the last 40 years. The rapid rise in China’s GDP after it entered the World Trade Organization has shocked the US, which at the same time went through an economic crisis and several wars which cost it dear.

Washington feels vulnerable and doesn’t know how to cope with Beijing’s success. And eventually, because of China’s population, stable government and its still relatively early stage of economic development, the country’s economy in future is going to become much larger than that of the US.

The US’ hostile policies in recent years reflect its concern that China has been more successful than it expected. But Washington will be unable to sustain the hostility as its stock market will falter and the trade war will fizzle out. 

Some people, including Professor Graham Allison of Harvard, believe the economic conflict between China and the US is going to worsen. “Relations between the US and China are destined to get worse before they get worse,” Allison said. 

But that’s not true as the economic hostility by Washington against Beijing simply will be too damaging for the US and for the next administration. 

Washington believes that China’s success would not and could not continue unless it replicates the economic and political system of the Western world. But the truth is that Beijing wouldn’t and shouldn’t become a copy of any other country. 

The American model produced the financial crisis of 2008 and US President Donald Trump hurt the reputation of the country before close to 200 nations of the world. China should just continue the path it is on, and the rest of world will watch and learn from it.

The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Xu Hailin based on an interview with John Milligan-Whyte, the Executive Chairman of the America-China Partnership Foundation. [email protected]

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