China's fast development is due to CPC leadership

Updated: 2012-11-20 16:24

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad attributes China's fast development to the good leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"You've never seen a country that has grown so fast," Mahathir told Xinhua in a recent interview, "Most countries developed, but not as fast as China."

"A lot of Chinese have benefited obviously from the economic growth, they have more jobs, they have better pay," Mahathir said.

He said he had great interest in the 18th National Congress of the CPC and lauded the smooth transition of the Chinese leadership.

He supports the congress report's call for further reforms and opening up. "The country's economy will be more integrated with the rest of the world... It should be a much more open economy," he said.

As Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister holding the post from 1981 to 2003, Mahathir has had many contacts with Chinese leaders such as Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

As for his view on China's future, Mahathir said China is facing challenges, partly caused by the recession in the world, but the new Chinese leadership headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping is prepared to address them.

The Chinese government needs to create more jobs for its large population and strengthen development in the western and central parts of China, he said.

Regarding political reforms, Mahathir said they should be progressive and done in stages.

Mahathir also said there has been much more openness in China's foreign policy, noting that although there have been some differences and disputes between China and its neighbors, China will settle them peacefully and properly and jointly promote prosperity.