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Important for the future
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will influence the world's future, and the CPC has the ability to face challenges and lead China to a bright future, says an article on Russian news portal New Continent. Excerpts:
Chinese people firmly believe that China's comprehensive national power will be No 2 in the world before 2021. By 2049, the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, the country will be a strong power in science and technology, and its military will occupy a dominating position in the world.
The Chinese government phased out the agricultural tax for farmers, which had been levied in China for centuries. China is building the largest social security network in the world and trying its best to let more people enjoy the fruits of development.
China also undertakes its international responsibilities in various fields seriously. China's economic growth has been regarded as the most important power to pull the world economy out of the quagmire of global recessions. And it has increasingly become an indispensable part of the current international order.
Certainly, China is also confronted with a series of serious problems. The US' containment policies make China uncomfortable. Chinese people clearly see the US threat to their country as they pursue a peaceful rise. As a result, the islands and sea disputes have become the main topics of domestic debate among Chinese people before the 18th CPC National Congress.
These issues are likely to cause some changes in the Party's strategy to defend national interests and maintain stability at home.
The CPC will review its experience of running the country and make plans and targets for its development. To realize the targets, China needs a peaceful international environment and a stable domestic situation.
Therefore, it is easier to understand why China is trying its best to maintain regional peace, with considerable restraint, and domestic stability by continually improving people's life and promoting sustainable development.
For innovation and reform
We have enough reasons to believe that the 18th National Congress of the CPC will be one of the most important political events in the world this year, says an article by Italian writer Diego Angelo Bertozzi on Marx21.it. Excerpts:
We should not forget the CPC, with its 80 million members, has developed China into the second largest economy from a country in poverty, torn by civil wars and foreign invaders in 70 years' time.
We cannot look at the CPC with the typical angle of the West or according to Western standards. It cannot be divided between liberal and conservative. The CPC has successfully transformed from a revolutionary party to a ruling party that closely stands with the Chinese people.
The Party is building its learning curve very fast thanks to the 30 years of development in the country. It knows how to develop the country according to China's real conditions.
The experience of China indicates that it will continue its scientific development with Chinese characteristics to consolidate its foundation. On the other hand, China will seek a greater presence and exercise more influence in foreign affairs.
The congress will tell the Chinese people and the world how the CPC will accomplish the tasks at home and abroad.
US must work with China
China and the United States need to work together to maintain peace and stability in the world, says an article in the Washington Times. Excerpts:
The reality is that China holds an important place in the US' economic future. If it stumbles, the United States stumbles too.
China has an impressive manufacturing sector. It is focused on increasing innovation, and it is forming partnerships to gain access to cutting-edge technology.
It's not just geopolitics that binds our two nations. Today, China is the largest trading partner of the US after Canada and is on its way to becoming our largest.
American exports to China have grown fivefold in the past decade. Not only is the US trading physical goods, but the US' relationship with China extends to exchanging students as well. In 2011, the US embassy in China issued more than 160,000 student visas for Chinese students to study at American schools. Because of this, more Americans and Chinese are doing business together and engaging in study and tourism programs.
The Communist Party of China will hold its 18th National Congress for its once-a-decade change in leadership. Those leaders, first of a new generation, may have very different views than their predecessors on China's appropriate place in the world.
China's economy ranks second only to that of the US, and incomes are increasing for many of its people. While these are great statistics, China's growth has slowed this year as competition has increased. Other problems for the new leaders will be growing inequalities.
Both the US and China are trying to find their way around the new world order. While Chinese diplomats have less experience than Americans in dealing with rapidly changing situations, they are gaining influence through their huge investments in countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
China's next leadership may have plans to help the middle class population grow from 300 million to 800 million by 2025, but the Chinese middle class should avoid living the American dream (a big car, a big house and a Big Mac for all), or else we would need another planet for humankind, says an article in International Herald Tribune. Excerpts:
"Success in the 'American Dream'," notes Peggy Liu, the founder of the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, or Juccce, "used to just mean a house, a family of four and two cars, but now it's escalated to conspicuous consumption as epitomized by Kim Kardashian.
China simply cannot follow that path or the planet will be stripped bare of natural resources to make all that the Chinese consumers want to consume.
Liu, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and former McKinsey consultant, argues that Chinese today are yearning to create a new national identity, one that merges traditional Chinese values, like balance, respect and flow, with its modern urban reality.
She believes that the creation of a sustainable "Chinese Dream" that breaks the historic link between income growth and rising resource consumption could be a part of that new identity, one that could resonate around the world.
That means, among other things, better public transportation, better public spaces and better housing that encourages dense vertical buildings, which are more energy efficient and make shared services easier to deliver, and more e-learning and e-commerce opportunities that reduce commuting.
Emphasizing access versus ownership isn't just more sustainable, it helps ease friction from the differences between rich and poor. Indeed, Juccce translates Chinese Dream as "Harmonious and Happy Dream" in Mandarin. ("Green" doesn't sell in China.)
China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) has set impressive sustainability goals for cutting energy and water intensity per unit of GDP. All of these goals are critical to the greening of China, but they are not sufficient, argues Liu.
With retail sales growing 17 percent a year since 2005 and urban incomes up 150 percent in the last decade, "the government must also have a plan to steer consumer behavior toward a sustainable path," adds Liu.
ROK expects better ties
The relationship between China and the Republic of Korea will face new tests after the 18th National Congress of the CPC. Nevertheless, relations with China will remain crucial for the ROK, says an article in The Korea Herald. Excerpts:
Despite ever-growing economic interdependence, the ROK and China remain discordant over history, territory, fishing and regional security issues.
With China about to usher in a new leadership, the two governments are expected to continue to try containing the volatile issues from flaring up.
On Nov 8, the CPC begins its biggest event in a decade: the selection of a new leadership. For the ROK, the rising global power is already one of its biggest trade, tourism and investment partners. For China, firmer ties with the ROK are vital for stabilizing the region, keeping the US and Japan in check and securing industrial technologies.
Resolve people's concern
The new Chinese leadership should resolve people's concerns, says an article in Kuala Lumpur-based The Star. Excerpts:
As the significant 18th National Congress of the CPC starts, the media and public ponder what path its new leadership will take.
Among the changes the people want to see are the bridging of the yawning gap between the rich and the poor, eradication of corruption, judicial and political reforms and transformation to an innovation and technology-driven economic development model.
Focus on income gap
The new Chinese leaders are expected to put bridging the income gap on top of their economic agenda, says an article from the Republic of Korea's Yonhap News Agency. Excerpts:
China's incoming leaders are likely to put narrowing the country's income gap on top of their economic agenda to boost domestic consumption and make it the key driver of economic growth, experts have said.
China watchers are closely following the country's once-in-a-decade leadership transition, and are keen to know what kind of economic reforms the next leaders will adopt.
Chinese state above others
China and the United States are about to choose new leaders, albeit through very different methods. But the Chinese state enjoys greater legitimacy than any Western state, says an article in BBC News Magazine. Excerpts:
You probably think that the legitimacy and authority of the state, or government, is overwhelmingly a function of democracy, Western-style. But democracy is only one factor. Nor does democracy in itself guarantee legitimacy. The Chinese state enjoys greater legitimacy than any Western state.
In China's case the source of the state's legitimacy lies entirely outside the history or experience of Western societies. China is not primarily a nation-state but a civilization-state. For the Chinese, what matters is civilization. For Westerners it is nation.
The most important political value in China is the integrity and unity of the civilization-state. There have been many examples in history. The legitimacy of the Chinese state lies, above all, in its relationship with Chinese civilization.
But does the Chinese state really enjoy legitimacy in the eyes of its people?
Take the findings of Tony Saich at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. In a series of surveys, he found that between 80 percent and 95 percent of Chinese people were either relatively or extremely satisfied with the central government.
Or take the highly respected Pew Global Attitudes surveys which found in 2010, for example, that 91 percent of Chinese respondents thought that the government's handling of the economy was good.
Take the economy. China's economic rise - an annual growth rate of 10 percent for more than 30 years - has been masterminded by the Chinese state. It is the most remarkable economic transformation the world has seen since the modern era began with Britain's Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century.
Even though China is still a developing country, its state is the most competent in the world.
Take infrastructure - the importance of which is belatedly now being recognized in the West. Here, China has no peers. Its high-speed rail network is the world's largest and will soon be greater than the rest of the world's put together.
And the State's ubiquity - a large majority of China's most competitive companies, to this day, are State-owned.
In about six years hence, the Chinese economy will overtake the US economy in size. By 2030, it will be very much larger. The world is increasingly being shaped by China, and if it has looked West for the last two centuries, in future it will look East.
Welcome, then, to the new Chinese paradigm - one that combines a highly competitive, indeed often ferocious market, with a ubiquitous and competent state.
CPC better manager
A recent survey conducted by the Conference Board for the Business Council, an industrial body, shows that American CEOs apparently think that the Communist Party of China's leadership has been more effective than Western politicians, says an article in The Financial Times. Excerpts:
Some 70 CEOs were asked to evaluate the current economic and political climate - and the results were striking.
Most notably, when this group was asked which global institutions they considered most competent and credible, the body they put in first place was themselves (about 90 percent of these CEOs apparently think that "multinational corporations" have been "moderately", "very" or "most" effective in handling the challenges created by the economic crisis and financial shocks).
After this, the CEOs apparently admire central banks: almost 80 percent deemed these "moderately", "very" or "most" effective.
But the group that grabbed third place was the leadership of the CPC: it garnered a 64 percent approval - or "effective" - vote for how it has handled political and economic challenges in recent years.
This was way ahead of the US president's ranking (33 percent), let alone US Congress (with a dismal 5 percent vote). Even though many of these same CEOs have presumably elected those unloved American leaders themselves.
This finding partly reflects the extraordinary rise of China, which has done an impressive job of keeping its giant economy growing since 2007. What impresses some global CEOs is how the Chinese government takes a long-term policy view.
A milestone congress
German newspaper Neues Deutschland has published an article, "A long journey to a well-off China". Excerpts:
The core topics for the 18th National Congress of the CPC are whether the country can carry on its economic reform, how it will push the political reform ahead and how it will resolve the social conflicts and tackle the serious environmental pollution.
The congress concerns not only the interests of all Chinese people, but also China's future foreign policies. So it has drawn worldwide attention.
China has walked well on its track of reform over the past three decades. The nationwide high-speed rail network, and the national coverage of the Internet and mobile phone signals testify the CPC's success as the ruling party of the country.
Yet Beijing knows where the problem lies. The slowing down of the country's economic growth is a reminder to the CPC of the daunting task ahead.
A turning point
The CPC starts its 18th National Congress on Nov 8 and is expected to unveil a new line-up of leaders at its conclusion. The once-in-a-decade leadership transition will influence the world, says an article on a US website cnbc.com. Excerpts:
China is poised to usher in a new generation of leaders that will rule the world's second largest economy for the next 10 years. The once-in-a-decade political transition is significant.
China's emergence as an economic powerhouse means that what happens in its domestic politics has the potential to shape economic policy, which in turn has global implications.
"The political transition is important not only because of China's growing presence in the world economy, but also because of the power the Chinese government has to shape its economy," said Justin Harper, Market Strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.
Say in the US or the UK, you get a change of leaders, broadly speaking that does not tend to have a big impact on the economy. That's not the case in China, where the government wields so much power that a change in leadership really can have a big impact on the direction of the economy.
The focus of the markets is on what action the new leadership will take on the economy, which is expected to grow this year at around 7.5 percent - a level that would mark the slowest annual pace in 13 years and a sharp slowdown from the double-digit growth rates China has enjoyed in recent years.
Hopes are high, however, that once the political transition is over, Beijing will take more measures to ensure economic growth.
Challenges for new leaders
China's rapid economic development has lifted millions of people out of poverty and made it the world's second largest economy. But China needs a new path for a new century. It will be interesting to see whether China can surprise the world again in the next years, says an article in Pakistan's Daily Times. Excerpts:
China is set to have a new leadership for the next 10 years, which will formally be announced at the end of the 18th National Congress of the CPC.
China has made rapid economic progress, kick-started by Deng Xiaoping in 1979. Indeed, in terms of economic growth, China has sprinted over the last three decades at an average rate of 10 percent.
China, too, faced economic sluggishness in the wake of the global financial crisis, with millions of jobs lost because of recession in the United States and Europe. China's economic growth had been fueled by exports to the US, Europe and other countries and regions, making it the factory of the world. So when the global economy nose-dived, China suffered.
But with a large stimulus package of $584 billion in 2008 and investing in construction across the board (infrastructure, housing and local-level projects), China was able to keep up the economic momentum. (Besides, banks were asked to lend generously to local and regional governments.)
But this also caused problems, like inflationary pressures, mounting internal debt, and excess housing and production stocks, causing bubbles in some sectors. This, in turn, led the government to curb unwarranted spending to control the situation.
China's economic growth has slowed down to about 7.5 percent, still quite healthy but not like the 10 to 12 percent in the years before. The government is now initiating a less ambitious stimulus program to maintain economic momentum. In other words, the authorities are trying to engineer a soft landing for the economy to avoid any major eruption of social unrest.
China's new leadership has a hard task ahead to create new pathways. The government will need to address corruption in the country, and bridge the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and between the urban and rural areas.
(China Daily 11/08/2012 page10)