Global Trends in the Next Decade

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Global Trends in the Next Decade 

Zheng Bijian

Now that the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC has ended, what lies in store for global development in the second decade of the 21st century? First, influenced by the trends of multi-polarization and economic globalization, the various countries of the world are becoming increasingly reliant on one another. As this mutual integration continues, no country will be in the position to develop without the support of other countries. Second, major adjustments will take place in the relations between major countries, leading to closer cooperation and more intense competition. The convening of the G20 Summit has demonstrated that the major powers must pursue development through cooperation while seeking to gain the edge through competition. Third, the peaceful rise of large developing countries, including China, is becoming an increasingly prominent trend, and the next decade will be a critical period for their development and rise. Fourth, the international financial crisis has prompted major changes in the structure of productive forces on a global scale, and we are increasingly seeing the beginnings of a new technological revolution and new round of industrial transformation that will be based on artificial intelligence and advanced technologies. Fifth, the deep-rooted effects of the international financial crisis have yet to be eradicated, casting uncertainty over the world economic recovery. In the post-crisis period, non-traditional security issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, food shortages, and financial risks are set to become more severe, and the issue of global governance is in urgent need of resolution. Sixth, significant changes will take place in the growth models of major countries, which will define further changes in how they stand in relation to one another. Seventh, intense turmoil, various forms of geopolitical conflict, and even the danger of traditional forms of war will continue to exist. Eighth, regardless of how the global landscape changes, we will continue to remain in the sovereign-state stage for a significant period of time to come. Ninth, there will be three overall trends in the strategic choice of major powers: to continue subscribing to the Cold War mentality; to wage regional hot wars; or to pursue common development and mutual benefit by sharing interests with other countries. China is opposed to the first and second strategies, but it is not intimated by them. There can be no future in either of them. Instead, China will adopt the third strategy, namely, following a path of peaceful development. Tenth, for both China and the rest of the world, the underlying global trend is one in which opportunities are interwoven with challenges, with the former being greater than the latter. China is maintaining the initiative in a new round of rebalancing between the major countries, and we remain confident about the prospects for the peaceful rise and development of our country.

(Originally appeared in Outlook Weekly, No.49, 2012)

Mutual Benefit Is Crucial to the Changing Times

Wu Jianmin

The term “mutually beneficial” is a good way of describing China’s great development over the last 30 or so years. From 1978 to 2011, China’s GDP increased from 364.5 billion yuan to 47.16 trillion yuan. Such rapid development over such a short space of time is unprecedented in world history. Why are foreign companies willing to invest, set up factories, and do business in China? The reason is that China has pursued mutual benefit, and not just its own benefit. All of China’s trading partners have benefited significantly from their economic cooperation and trade with China, regardless of whether they are developed or developing countries. This has brought about genuine mutual benefit. Choosing mutual benefit is the only way that the world will achieve enduring peace and common prosperity in the 21st century. For thousands of years, war was the ultimate means of resolving international disputes. Nowadays, however, war is no longer such an effective solution. Instead, mutual benefit is being widely recognized by the international community. China proposed the idea of mutual benefit in line with changes that have taken place in the contemporary world. The country’s huge development over the past 34 years serves as an ample proof that this is a feasible approach, one that has not only benefitted China, but the rest of the world as well. This principle is certain to lead China to greater success in its diplomatic efforts, thereby making an even greater contribution to the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, December 20, 2012)

Upholding and Improving the Socialist System with Chinese Characteristics

Li Shenming

Under new circumstances, we must uphold and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and give full play to its role as a fundamental guarantee if we are to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. First, the socialist system needs to serve our efforts to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. As a concentrated expression of the features and advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the socialist system with Chinese characteristics provides a fundamental institutional guarantee for the development and progress of contemporary China. Second, our efforts to uphold and improve the socialist system need to take place in various fields. The socialist system with Chinese characteristics comprises of a complete set of interlinking systems developed across economic, political, cultural, and social fields. In order to uphold and improve this system, efforts must be made in all fields to formulate a complete, scientific, well-regulated, and effective framework of systems. Third, we need to focus our efforts to uphold and improve the socialist system on reforming specific institutional arrangements in an innovative way. As socialism with Chinese characteristics continues to advance in practice, we should constantly improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics by deepening reform and adopting a more open stance. Therefore, our efforts to uphold and improve the socialist system need to be focused on reforming specific institutional arrangements in an innovative way.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, November 27, 2012)

China’s Top Priority in the First Two Decades of the 21st Century

Hu Angang

China’s top priority in the first two decades of the 21st century is to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, an ongoing mission that will be accomplished by 1.3 billion Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the Chinese government. Completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects also implies the full implementation of our overall approach to socialism with Chinese characteristics, which requires economic, political, social, cultural, and ecological progress. This indicates that since entering the 21st century, China has been making the shift from focusing solely on economic modernization to promoting other aspects of modernization, from modernization in certain aspects to modernization in all fields, and from relatively imbalanced modernization to fully balanced modernization, thereby showing the world its original designs in this regard. In China’s framework for socialist modernization, ecological progress not only requires the focus of our attention, but also represents a difficult issue that needs to be resolved. Ecological progress needs to be deeply integrated with various aspects of economic, political, cultural, and social progress, and thoroughly incorporated into these four major areas of development. This emphasis on ecological progress signals that China has entered the era of ecological progress, and that it is advocating green development globally. Completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects also implies that we will succeed as scheduled in raising the standard of our moderately prosperous society so that it is better, fairer, more harmonious, greener, and of benefit to all Chinese people. The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC set the quantitative goal of doubling China’s 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by the year 2020. Such a target is a global rarity. Being both attainable and measureable, it has further demonstrated the Party’s principle of giving priority to making the people wealthy. By the year 2020, China’s growth model will have undergone a fundamental change, going from a reliance on factors of production to innovation-fuelled growth. China will establish itself as a world leader in human resources, talent, and science and technology. It will also become an innovator and a leader in green development, making a larger contribution than any other country, and stride towards the goal of building a moderately prosperous society of common prosperity.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily Overseas Edition, November 22, 2012)

Fairness and Justice Are Inherent Requirements of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics       

Qi Weiping

Social fairness has been an issue of strong public concern since the institution of the reform and opening up policy. Generally speaking, people are able to cope with a certain degree of social disparity. However, if social disparity exceeds a certain limit and goes past the boundaries of what people are able to cope with, the result will be a social crisis. The emergence and expansion of social disparity is attributable to both personal ability and to other factors that have nothing to do with ability, such as institutional arrangements, the orientation of policies, power, and interpersonal relationships. The value pursued by socialism with Chinese characteristics is to enable all Chinese people to enjoy the fruits of reform and opening up. In this regard, we need to emphasize the following three points: First, the fruits of reform and opening up need to be spread out amongst all of the people, and not just enjoyed by a minority of people or by certain groups of people. Second, we need to balance the levels of benefit that different groups receive. Differences in social strata, status, and profession will naturally lead to differences in the extent to which people benefit. Our efforts to balance the fruits of reform and opening up do not equate to egalitarianism. However, appropriate coordination is necessary in order to ensure that the levels of benefit enjoyed by different groups remain within reasonable limits. Third, we need to strike a balance between long-term interests and immediate interests. In addition to considering the people’s long-term interests, more emphasis needs to be placed on their immediate interests.

(Originally appeared in Beijing Daily, November 26, 2012)

Economic Transformation: How Does It Constitute the Key to Completing the Building of a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects?                   

Liu Zhibiao

Compared with our previous economic policies, the policies on economic transformation and development defined in the report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC demonstrate five new features that deserve our attention: First, the report clearly stated that the core issue in economic structural reform is balancing the role of the government with the role of the market. When we talked about the core of economic reform in the past, we tended to lay the emphasis on the reform of property rights and state-owned enterprises. But now we are giving priority to defining the role and function of the government in the market economy, under the precondition that we reject both the rigid, closed-door policy of the past as well as any attempt to take the erroneous path of abandoning socialism. Second, the report clearly set forth the goal of promoting innovation to catch up with global advances and give fresh impetus to China’s development. Therefore, we need to increase our capacity for original innovation, integrated innovation, and innovation on the basis of the assimilation and absorption of technologies introduced from overseas through the establishment of national and regional innovation systems, and lay greater emphasis on establishing a market-oriented framework for technological innovation in which enterprises play the dominant role and collaboration takes place between enterprises, universities, and research institutes. Third, the report clearly defined the four major aspects of the strategic adjustment of the economic structure, namely, improving the demand mix, optimizing the industrial structure, promoting balanced development between regions, and advancing urbanization. This constitutes the most accurate summary of our efforts to carry out structural adjustment. Fourth, the report clearly stated that integrating urban and rural development is the fundamental solution to issues related to agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents. In particular, the report introduced the idea of reforming the land expropriation system by “increasing the share of gains in land value that goes to rural residents.” Fifth, the report clearly declared that China must implement a more proactive strategy of opening up and initiate new ways of opening up in response to new developments in economic globalization. We will turn this mode of opening up into a mode of economic globalization that is founded on the basis of boosting domestic demand, so that our economic development can be driven by consumer demand, investment, and exports in a coordinated manner.

(Originally appeared in Xinhua Daily, December 4, 2012)

Beautiful China: An Inclusive Approach to Development

Li Zhiqing

The idea of a “beautiful China” has provided unprecedented scope and depth for China’s efforts to achieve ecological progress. First, it implies that China has subscribed to an environmental culture of respecting, accommodating to, and protecting nature. This comes in sharp contrast to the way that Western countries have dealt with environmental issues in the past, namely, “generating pollution first, cleaning it up later, and then transferring it to other countries.” Against a new backdrop of globalization, urbanization, and industrialization, China has neither the luxury nor the desire to “generate pollution first, clean it up later, and then transfer it to other countries.” Second, the idea of a “beautiful China” indicates that China will no longer follow the old path of extensive economic growth. High input, high emissions, and serious ecological degradation, as the inevitable results of extensive economic growth, will give rise to the inefficient use of resources, a weak capacity for environmental protection, poor public health, and a worsening state of public wellbeing. In order to promote socialist ecological progress, we must adhere to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and prioritize resource conservation and environmental protection, with emphasis on the natural restoration of the environment. The essence of these efforts is to achieve high-quality, intensive economic growth, the enhanced protection of the environment, and the more efficient use of energy and resources. Third, the idea of a “beautiful China” implies the necessity for China to change its overemphasis on high growth rates and political achievements. A higher-quality environment will certainly allow the general public to experience a stronger sense of happiness and satisfaction on a long-term basis, thereby allowing us to achieve enduring peace and stability. Instead of being a constraint on economic growth, ecological progress is actually an effective guarantee for warding off the risks of economic growth and achieving scientific development. In this sense, “beautiful China” is not an unattainable illusion, but an approach to economic growth that is more sound, comprehensive, scientific, and inclusive.

(Originally appeared in Jiefang Daily, December 1, 2012)

The International Financial Crisis Has Highlighted China’s Institutional Superiority

Ji Xiaojiang and Shang Huiyong

First, the core values of socialism and the socialist economic system dictate that the CPC and the Chinese government will never allow any interest group to manipulate China’s national economy and relevant policies. The goal of China’s socialist market economy is to achieve prosperity for all. This dictates that the Chinese government will never be compromised by any interest group. Operating under the control of the state, China’s major economic sectors, such as banks and oil companies, are required to subordinate themselves to China’s overall economic development instead of just seeking the maximization of profit. This provides an important institutional guarantee for China’s efforts to defuse crisis. Second, the socialist political system dictates that China’s development is based on long-term considerations. Formulating a development plan every five years, China boasts a highly planned and consistent development strategy. This is something that no Western government can do. Third, the CPC has an extremely strong capacity to organize and mobilize the people. As a tightly organized party that works for the overall interests of society as a whole, the CPC has a strong capacity for social and political mobilization. Based on its capacity to coordinate the efforts of the whole country in economic development, the CPC has reduced various social conflicts of interest and avoided endless internal conflict, thereby ensuring the steady development of China.

(Originally appeared in Studies on Marxism, No.10, 2012)

The World Is Anticipating China’s Development

Yu Jiandong

First, the world has expectations that China will continue to act as an important engine for the growth of the world economy. Many countries and regions are eager to develop their ties with China, the second largest economy and the second largest importer in the world. This is because China’s open and inclusive development will allow them to boost their exports and create new jobs, which in turn will help them to mitigate social conflicts and enhance their ability to ward off risks. It is an international consensus that China’s development will benefit other countries. Moreover, the “spillover effect” produced by China’s development will continue to be released. Second, the world hopes that China will continue to exert itself as a responsible, major country and join hands with other countries in addressing common challenges. Working together with other countries and regions, China has made active efforts to respond to the international financial crisis, to promote the reform of international economic governance and the global financial system, to tackle climate change, and to maintain not just regional stability, but economic and social stability on a global basis. By participating actively in efforts to improve the system of international economic governance, China has helped emerging markets and developing countries to earn more say in international affairs, and promoted an international economic order that is more just and rational. At the same time, China is establishing more stable and active relationships with other major countries by deepening mutual political trust and strengthening economic and trade ties. As a result, China’s image as a responsible, major country has been fully recognized by the international community. Third, other countries are hoping to learn from China’s development path and draw from its experiences in development. China’s miracle is the result of the country having chosen a correct path. This translates to increased emphasis on enhancing the quality, efficiency, sustainability, and balance of development; on safeguarding and improving people’s wellbeing; on advancing science and technology and driving development through innovation; on developing cultural soft power as a means of enhancing overall national strength; and on pursuing harmony between nature and people. The China path and China experience have demonstrated, and will continue to demonstrate, their enormous superiority and vitality.

(Originally appeared in Economic Daily, November 14, 2012)

China’s Development Is Bringing More Opportunities to the World               

Zheng Xiwen

China’s continued development has brought the world tangible benefits. As the country grows in strength, its development will create new impetus for global development in the future. First, without China’s resolute response to the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s, and to the more recent international financial crisis, the world economy we see today would likely be a very different sight. According to a study by the IMF, China is now the largest or second largest trading partner of 78 countries. In the decade that has passed since China joined the WTO in 2001, China’s imports have averaged at US$750 billion per year. This has contributed to more than 14 million new jobs in the relevant countries and regions. In addition, a total of US$261.7 billion dollars in profits have been repatriated by foreign investors in China over the last decade, with the rate of annual increase being 30%. China’s import volume is forecast to exceed US$8 trillion during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period from 2011 to 2015, which will bring about huge business opportunities for other countries. According to a report released by the NIC, China will be the source of a third of all global economic growth by the year 2025, significantly more than any other major economy in the world. China’s development in the future is certain to benefit countries in the surrounding region and throughout the entire world. Furthermore, China’s development will be conducive to safeguarding world peace. China is a major country with a peace-loving tradition. Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State of the US, once said that the Chinese people are one of the most peaceful peoples in history, having never invaded another people by force, and that China will continue to be a force for peace in the future. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt also said, “If you look at Chinese history, it has never colonized other countries, and there is no tradition in China’s foreign policy of taking other people’s territory...China is the most peaceful large country in the history of the world,” while addressing the Hamburg Summit, a business conference between China and Europe. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China more than 60 years ago, China has always advocated the solution of international disputes through peaceful means, called for non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and opposed the abuse of military force or threatening to use military force, thus becoming an internationally recognized force for peace.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, December 26, 2012)

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