China’s Rise Creates More Space for World Development

By:From:English Edition of Qiushi Journal July-September 2017|Vol.9,No.3,Issue No.32 | Updated: 2017-Sep-1 15:45
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China’s rise is both an objective fact and an unstoppable trend. More than thirty years after reform and opening up, China has performed a miracle unprecedented in world development history, each day moving closer to the center of the world stage. China’s rise not only changes the fate of its people and the face of its society; it also presents an enormous opportunity and opens up space for global development, and will bring great benefit for creating a community of shared future.

I. China’s rise is the anchor stabilizing the world economy and the engine driving it forward.

Economic development is the foundation of China’s rise. Since the early days of reform and opening up, China’s GDP has increased from 364.5 million yuan to 74.41 trillion yuan, turning China into the world’s second largest economy, the largest manufacturer, and the largest trader of goods. About 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of global poverty reduction. As a large country whose population accounts for one-fifth of the world total, China’s enormous economic achievements are not only of global significance but also bring multiple benefits to the world economy.

1. China is a major driving force for world economic growth.

From 1978 to 2015, the proportion of China’s real GDP in the world total increased from 1.8% to 15.5%. Against the backdrop of a sluggish global economic recovery from the global financial crisis, China has committed to the task of making progress amidst stability. In doing so, China has maintained a medium-high rate of economic growth, growing by 6.7% in 2016. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, China’s contribution to global economic growth reached 33.2% in 2016, becoming the major driving force of the global economic recovery.

2. China’s development provides enormous opportunities for other countries.

Today, China is the largest trading partner of 124 countries. On one hand, China’s export provides a great number of necessities to the world market. “Made in China” has benefited people of all nations with goods attractive both in quality and price. On the other, as a global leader in manufacturing, China promotes the division of labor and cooperation across global value chains. By importing great quantities of components, accessories, energy, and resources, it also helps develop industries abroad. As its economic strength bolsters and consumer demand expands, China will increase imports not only of primary products from developing countries, but also high-end consumer goods and technical goods from developed countries. An equal emphasis on the “Bring In” and “Go Global” strategies has seen China’s overseas investment increase quickly in recent years. In 2015, China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) stock exceeded US$1 trillion. On this basis, China’s non-financial ODI increased 44.1% in 2016, surpassing US$1 trillion for the first time. The country has made investment in 7,961 enterprises in 164 countries and regions, directly promoting economic development and employment in these countries and regions. China actively promotes the Belt and Road Initiative and invests in developing countries. By deepening cooperation with countries involved, China remains committed to the principle of mutual benefit. Infrastructure construction in these countries bolsters the foundation of their long-term development, revitalizes their economies, fosters their future development, and creates more employment opportunities.

Some international voices claim that China infringes on developed countries’ development space and steals their jobs. This view does not pass muster. During the course of reform and opening up, China effectively brought in developed countries’ industries while this was to China’s comparative advantage to do so; this also tallied with developed countries’ pattern of economic restructuring. China’s economic growth and foreign trade expansion have boosted the development and employment of all its trading partners, including developed countries. Statistics show that, during 2001 to 2011, 10 years after China’s accession to the WTO, it imported US$750 billion of goods annually, equal to creating 14 million jobs for these countries. In recent years, world trade has been sluggish, greatly affecting China’s foreign trade. Nevertheless, China’s annual import volume still exceeds 10 trillion yuan, creating more jobs for its trading partners. As China’s economic might increases, so does its direct investment in Europe and the United States. In January this year, the US-China Business Council issued a report titled Understanding the US-China Trade Relationship. According to this report, US exports to China directly and indirectly supported 1.8 million new jobs and created US$165 billion of GDP in 2015. When the economic benefits from US investment in China and vice-versa are combined, the total amounts to 2.6 million US jobs and about US$216 billion of GDP.

Facts show that China’s development produces an enormous positive spillover effect. In the future, China’s rise will bring greater opportunities for world economic development.

News that the China-backed Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya began service is met with excitement across the country.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER CHEN CHENG

II. China’s rise guarantees improved international order and global governance.

In recent years, China’s performance in the realm of global governance has garnered increasing attention. Initiating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, jointly establishing the BRICS Bank, and hosting APEC and the G20 Summit all embody China’s greater say in international discourse due to its rise. It has been proven that China does not subvert or destroy the international order and its rules, but instead develops and improves them. While pursuing its own rise, China also commits to developing a community of shared future, promoting the adjustment and transformation of the global governance system, and providing China’s ideas and a “Chinese solution” for addressing global issues.

1. China’s rise will make the global governance system more just and inclusive.

As the world political and economic landscape changes, developmental imbalances and inequality caused by the existing order in global economic governance have become more evident. As an unswerving promoter of global governance system reform, China has a clear aim, which is to establish a new model of international relations based on mutually beneficial cooperation and to build a community of shared future. Upholding sound values of justice and benefit, China holds that all countries are equal members of the international community, irrespective of size, strength, and wealth. China pushes the global governance system in a more just, equitable and balanced direction and advocates increased representation and a louder voice for emerging markets and developing countries, acclimatizing them to the new requirements of the new international economic and political landscape, to ensure that, when engaging in international cooperation, all countries have equality of rights, opportunities, and rules. These proposals and actions all follow global trends in development and thus receive a positive response and widespread recognition from most countries around the world.

2. China’s rise will provide a stronger motive force for economic globalization.

On the emergence of deglobalization and increasing manifestation of protectionism, Xi Jinping stated that simply attributing troubles around the world to economic globalization does not correlate with the facts and does nothing to solve problems. The emergence of deglobalization embodies division and antagonism between classes in some countries. However, its root cause originates from economic issues, which are then reflected in society and politics. In fact, economic globalization is an objective requirement for developing social productivity and an inevitable outcome of advancing science and technology. By riding the wave of economic globalization, we need to continue opening up and increase cooperation, and grow the global economic “pie” and divide it more fairly. Only this way will all nations share more opportunities and benefits. Upholding the principle of economic globalization, China proposes to develop a model for cooperation based on openness and mutual benefit. China is committed to keeping its door open, urging all nations to abide by their promise to abnegate protectionist measures. China actively promotes liberalization and facilitates trade and investment, consolidates the multilateral trading system, and drives the development of countries via infrastructure connectivity, thus helping all countries – especially developing countries – participate in global value chains. As it rises, China devotes itself to economic globalization, presenting itself as a responsible major country.

3. China’s rise will drive peaceful development and mutual beneficial cooperation globally.

Some Western countries have doubts over China’s rise, as they mostly worry whether China will follow the path well-trod whereby rising powers seek to dominate. This logic, however, does not apply to China. Following reform and opening up, China has maintained its positions for peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, committed to peaceful independent foreign policy and proposed a mutually beneficial strategy of openness. From rejecting a bid for global supremacy to proposing a harmonious world and a community of shared future for humankind, China has resolutely safeguarded the peace and stability of the international environment. China’s commitment to peaceful development is not an expedient, nor is it simply a diplomatic catchphrase; rather, it is a conclusion that China has reached through its comprehensive judgments of the past, present, and future; and a commitment and action that has been demonstrated in praxis.

III. China’s rise is supported by its path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China’s rise is built on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This path is essentially different from the “Western model” of the British, the United States, and other countries. It is a major creation of Chinese Communists on the basis of contemporary China’s actual circumstances, and a profound theoretical and practical innovation in humankind’s long history. For instance, by following this path, China shook off the shackles of economic “market fundamentalism,” integrating socialism with the market economy. Distinguished from Neoliberalism which is characterized by absolute liberalism, total privatization, and overall marketization, China’s socialist market economy takes common prosperity as its goal. In pursuit of this goal, it implements a basic economic system which upholds the predominance of public ownership while also allowing various forms of ownership to develop side by side, and a basic distribution system which stresses distribution according to work as the main form while allowing multiple forms of distribution to coexist; meanwhile it allows the government to better exert its role while giving the market ample leeway to exert its decisive role in the allocation of resources. In the history of human development, this is the first instance of the successful integration of socialism and the market economy, and is an exemplar of applying the fundamental principles of Marxism to China’s reform and opening up. Regarding political structure, China cast off the shackles of “democratic fundamentalism,” and announced the end of “the end of history.” Differing from the Western multiparty parliamentary political model with its systems of checks and balances, China’s approach to institutional development is based on an organic balance between the CPC’s leadership, the people as masters of the country, and legal governance. This approach both ensures that all state power belongs to the people and also reflects the institutional advantage from being able to pool national resources behind major undertakings, by integrating democratic forms with content and democratic substance with results. It is this approach to institutional development that ensures China’s reform and opening up will continue in the right direction, that its economy will thrive and its society will remain harmonious and stable.

Research Center for the Theories of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Fujian Province.This article was written by Chen Qing.

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.6, 2017)