Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

How to look at China's latest achievements

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

China is the second-largest economy in the world, holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, and is one of the two largest trading nations in the world. Never before in the history of mankind, has so much been achieved for so many people in such a short period of time.

Many wonder how China's miracle has come about. Some of the reasons are external. The unprecedented expansion of global trade and the heightened use of science and technology to improve productivity globally have benefited China to a great extent. Indeed, China has been able to seize upon these unique opportunities very effectively.

But more important are the internal reasons. The Chinese leadership is able to formulate sound long-term macroeconomic and geopolitical policies, and to effectively implement very complex policy initiatives.

The hard work of the Chinese people and their determination to succeed is also a major factor of China's ascendance. Additionally, the expansion of freedom in the country has unleashed the innate entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Chinese people. Today, private sector enterprises account for more than 60 percent of the GDP of the country, and that figure is continuing to rise.

Throughout this period since reform and opening-up, China's singular focus was on speeding growth and lifting people out of poverty. After 2008, the focus was also on combating the financial crisis at home and globally. They were the right priorities, but unfortunately, insufficient attention was paid to other important issues, such as environmental protection and governance, the lack of which exacerbated corruption. Fortunately, China's political system can respond quickly and effectively to correct these errors.

The country is still faced with enormous challenges, particularly in the areas of industrial overcapacity, an aging society, the need for healthcare improvements, and the eradication of poverty. All these challenges will be tackled. Indeed, the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) vows that the remaining 70 million people who still live in poverty in China shall be lifted out of poverty by 2020.

Realizing China's vision, road map and blueprint is not easy. The road is fraught with challenges, predictable and unpredictable, domestic and international. However, there is reason to be optimistic:

China will benefit from the enormous size of its economy, a huge population, a large and maturing middle-class market, together with progress in science and technology.

Chinese leaders clearly understand that only with persistent reform, the implementation of the rule of law, the building of a just society, the sharing of prosperity, and leadership by a clean, conscientious party, will China be able to achieve its economic and social development goals.

Internationally, China will do its best to embrace peace and shared prosperity, growing together with its neighbors and beyond to achieve better standards of living, will also continue its effort to deepen and to broaden its opening up to the outside world.

The author is chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation and Our Hong Kong Foundation, and former chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Courtesy: China & US Focus

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News