China’s sustainable development path has once again attracted global attention and plaudits after President Xi Jinping reiterated the strategic choice in a landmark report.
Scholars and observers worldwide agree that the commitment and achievements of the world’s largest developing country and second largest economy provide the struggling global economy with both a promising direction and a robust booster for future growth.
HIGHER QUALITY GROWTH
China’s economy has been transiting from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development, Xi said in his report at the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The CPC national congress, held every five years, elects the party’s leadership and draws a blueprint for national development for the next five years and beyond.
It is imperative that China push forward supply-side structural reform and develop a modernized economy that features better quality, higher efficiency and more robust drivers of growth, Xi stressed.
Nele Noesselt, a German professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, spoke highly of China’s reform measures, which channel more resources towards a more sustainable model of economic growth.
“All these efforts will lead to greener and sustainable development and growth. That is really fascinating and really impressive,” said Noesselt.
Xi’s report also stressed once again the importance of satisfying the people’s desire for a better life.
In the eyes of Sergio Ley Lopez, a former Mexican ambassador to China, China’s commitment to important economic reforms for sustainable growth has led to “extraordinary development for all Chinese people.”
Taking note of the rapidly growing income levels of the Chinese people, Lopez said China has delivered an attainment “never seen in human history, taking millions of people out of extreme poverty.”
“I feel the world should see this with great attention and interest, in order to follow China’s example,” Lopez added.
B. R. Deepak, an Indian professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, stressed the driving force of technological innovation behind sustainable growth.
The “four new inventions,” namely, the high-speed rail, Alipay, bike sharing, and online shopping, have unleashed the forces of domestic consumption and revolutionized the socio-economic landscape of China, noted the Indian scholar.
“China can count on a society looking to the future … a society with sustainable development sharing a green economy, new technologies and promoting the environment,” commented Ignacio Martinez, coordinator of the Laboratory of Analysis of Trade, Economics and Business in Mexico.
“Openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind,” Xi said in Wednesday’s report, calling for efforts to make economic globalization “more open, inclusive and balanced so that its benefits are shared by all.”
Hailing China as a major propeller of the global economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes the ongoing structural reform in China will lead to sustainable growth.
Yet around the globe, isolationist tendencies and nationalist policies have brought about rising trade protectionism and fanned up headwinds against globalization.
Against this backdrop, China remains committed to promoting global sustainable development, coming up with benefit-sharing initiatives like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative to offer more public goods to the world.
The Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi in 2013, is “one of the most important initiatives that we have today in the contemporary world,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, it aims to promote trade, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity and people-to-people exchanges along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The initiative is not only good for China and its people, but also good for many countries, added Vucic. “People and the world will be much richer with such good initiatives than without them.”
In their congratulatory messages to the CPC on its 19th national congress, many foreign leaders spoke highly of Beijing’s commitment to sustainable development and pointed out what that means to the world.
“In these turbulent times, the 19th National Congress of the CPC gives a strong message of unity, cohesion and determination to fight for peace, sustainable development and the creation of harmonious world societies,” said former Greek Prime Minister George A. Papandreou.
Panos Rigas and Yiannis Bournous, two senior members of Greece’s ruling SYRIZA party, believe that if a world of shared and sustainable prosperity, fair growth and balanced power is to ever exist, China will have a leading and indispensable role in it.