China: 70 years of strong leadership
Though China has been on the global map for more than 5,000 years, the foundation of modern China occurred under the Chairmanship of Mao Zedong on Oct 1, 1949. Mao was a legendary character who has changed the history of China. After the death of Mao, Deng Xiaoping took over. He was leader with a gift of high intellect. Deng was not only an accomplished political leader but he possessed the economic acumen to go with his brilliant idea of the opening-up policy.
Since the launch of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fastest growing economies.Deng Xiaoping was the mastermind behind the economic reforms. He started economic reforms, created special economic zones (SEZs), free trade zones (FTZs).
China’s experience with SEZs and FTZs has largely been successful. That is why today there are more than 300 such zones in China. Following the footsteps of China, many nations have established similar economic zones in their countries.
Along with Deng Xiaoping, there was another leader who played an important role in the early development of China: Zhou Enlai. Zhou was the first Premier of PRC. By profession, he was a diplomat and also served as Chinese foreign minister. Thanks to his diplomacy and wisdom, he resolved the border issue with Pakistan amicably, setting an example that all types of issues can be resolved through dialogue. Premier Zhou has played vital role in connecting China with rest of the world.
The development of modern China is chiefly attributed to its sincere leadership. To the end, China is very fortunate to have great leaders. Among those leaders, current Chinese President Xi Jinping is one the visionary leaders. Xi not only understands the real dynamics of a changing world, but he is also fully aware about the political and economic challenges that world today is confronted with.
To address these issues, Xi has come up with his ingenious plans: the Belt and Road Initiate (BRI) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As some experts assert, the BRI is one of the biggest projects of 21st century. It was initiated in 2013 and its main objectives are to promote the global economy, create new trading routes, establish infrastructure, and connect China with over 100 countries by road, rail, air and sea. According to some analysts, BRI is not only beneficial to China but also instrumental for the development of infrastructure in developing countries and promotion of the global economy.
At the age of 70, China is at its critical stage, looking to achieve the status of a high-income country, eradicate poverty and hunger, create enough jobs for its youth and achieve sustainable growth. To this endeavor China needs to formulate prudent policies that help to achieve its targets.
In global affairs, China has already played its due role and is further willing to contribute for the development of the world economy and promotion of peace in the comity of nations. But that is only possible when other countries also coordinate with China in tackling the pressing issues, ranging from terrorism, global warming, poverty alleviation, trade disputes, cybercrime and frequent economic shocks. Together with China, we can make this world more safe, prosperous, beautiful and worth living in.
The writer is a professor of economics and director of Belt and Road Research Centre at the School of Economics and Management, Yancheng Institute of Technology, China.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.