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  Deng's reform and opening a pioneering idea: Chilean senator
Updated: 2004-08-16 17:05

The idea of reform and opening up, initiated by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was pioneering and its application in China represented another invention by the Chinese, Chilean Senator Andres Zaldivar said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Zaldivar recalled his first visit to China as a member of a delegation of the Christian Democratic Party in 1986, when he met with Deng Xiaoping. Deng talked about China's reform and opening up while maintaining its political system with traditional characteristics and its long-term prospects, Zaldivar said in the interview on the eve of the 100th birthday anniversary of Deng which falls on Aug. 22.

Zaldivar described Deng as a great leader whose talent and farsightedness impressed many. He was a thinker, a philosopher and the architect of China's reform and opening up, Zaldivar said of Deng.

Zaldivar has visited China three times, in 1986 as president of the Christian Democratic Party, in 1990 as a senator and in 2001 as senate president.

"At that time, I did not know much about China's reform and opening up. In the Western viewpoint, carrying out economic reform without introducing political reform seemed a bit contradictory," Zaldivar said.

"In order to clear up my misgivings about the separation of economic and political reforms, Deng said at the end of the talks, 'Mr. President, don't forget that it is the Chinese people who invented powder,'" Zaldivar recalled.

"Actually, I raised the question only for discussion. From the bottom of my heart, I wished China's reform and opening up could succeed," he added.

Zaldivar said he saw great changes in China when he visited the country for the second time in 1990.

In early April 2001, the then President Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Chile and Zaldivar met him as president of the Senate.

"During the talks, I recalled the meeting with Deng and Jiang invited me to visit China again to see if Deng's remarks were fact-based," Zaldivar recalled.

A few weeks after Jiang's visit to Chile, Zaldivar went to China and visited Beijing, Shanghai and other places. "I said to the Chinese leaders I met that I saw a greatly changed China more than 10 years after my second visit," Zaldivar said.

The changes proved that Deng's ideas about reform and opening up were conceived with reason. His words have turned into reality now, he said, adding that he is a witness to the great changes that have taken place in China.

Deng's achievements should be acknowledged by all in the world because he worked miracles in China, which others could not do, Zaldivar said.



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