Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

How to look at China's latest achievements

By Tung Chee-Hwa (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-28 09:10

How to look at China's latest achievements

A stevedore works at Qingdao port in Shandong province, July 1, 2015. [Photo/IC]

The success of modern-day China is not accidental. It is based on adherence to its many fundamental beliefs. One of these beliefs is the need for interdependence and collaboration with the outside world.

China's desire to put this principle into practice could not be better demonstrated than by the diplomacy championed by President Xi Jinping in the past two and a half months.

Xi's message to the international audiences was loud and clear - that China desires to pursue peace and shared prosperity under the principles of mutual respect, non-interference, while leveraging each other's strengths to create win-win situations. President Xi stressed China's recognition that we live in an interdependent world, a world that faces many challenges as well as changes; and it is only through collaboration that we can overcome the many difficulties the world faces, such as economic growth, fighting terrorism, or overcoming climate change.

I would now like to elaborate on some of China's contributions internationally in recent years.

First, China played a significant role in helping the world to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008, contributing over 50 percent of the total global economic growth from 2009 to 2011. More recently, even though the economy has entered into a "new normal", growing at about 7 percent, the Chinese contribution to world growth still stands at about 30 percent.

Second, China has been playing a significant role in helping resolve or mitigate crises in global hot spots. It also leads all other UN Security Council permanent member nations in providing UN peacekeeping forces around the world.

Third, China is looking for ways to bolster economic growth globally, but particularly in the developing world. Its Belt and Road Initiative will not only help China, but also many countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia. Countries in the Middle East and Europe may also benefit. The support for the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank suggests enormous interest of many countries to turn this initiative into reality. In Africa, at the recent China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, the two partners sought ways to leverage China's "new normal" economy, and Africa's effort to move away from over-reliance on natural resources, to another win-win situation.

Fourth, we should all rejoice that the Paris climate change conference has come to a successful conclusion. Since Copenhagen's unsuccessful conference, China's national policy has been to work toward a successful conclusion in Paris. Some two years ago, China and the United States, as the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, agreed they would together take a strong lead to ensure the Paris conference comes to a successful conclusion. This has now come to fruition.

Today, a market economy is thriving. Essential physical infrastructure has been built. Education, healthcare and other social services have been made widely available.

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