Reforms, stability go together in development

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/30 20:58:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Beijing's momentum for comprehensively deepening reform remains strong, according to the report delivered by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee to the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress. The report emphasized that the purpose of deepening the nation's all-round reform is to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, to advance modernization in governance and scale up the capacity to govern.

The statement, a key to figure out the stunning development of China, views the relationship between reform and stability.

The connection between reform and stability once again threw the field open to public opinion during the 19th CPC National Congress. Some observers are interested only in reform, some attach exclusive importance to stability, while others even separate the two and set them against each other. In fact, the third perspective points at how quite a few Western observers and media see China. For instance, the Voice of America recently speculated that Beijing is more likely to put social stability before reforms, especially economic reforms.

Intentional or not, such analyses have always skirted the fact that the most essential experience of Chinese development in recent years has been the handling of the relationship between reform and stability well. A stable society has created indispensable environment for reforms and opening up. All the reforms and development miracles the nation has undergone could never happen without stability. There is no contradiction between the two.

Over the past five years, over 60 million people have been lifted out of poverty. With such speed, nations would eradicate poverty by 2020.

Five years ago, it was generally believed that corruption is the biggest threat to the CPC, and no one predicted the anti-corruption crackdown.

According to UN statistics, China's per capita GDP increased from $227 in 1978 to $8,109 in 2015. Today China has an economy five times the size of India's and its current GDP is also around nine times that of Russia's. Such pace of growth is unparalleled.

China has not achieved all this through geopolitical games, but by continuous reforms and improvements based on the country's situation. It is also important to note that the West has been quite optimistic about India's development given its democratic status. Yet so far, New Delhi failed to maintain balance between reforms and stability.

China's development mode is still being practiced and tested. There are of course challenges on the way, including environmental disruption, unbalanced growth between rural and urban areas, and export-oriented growth. All that needs to be resolved through continuous reforms. Like always, Western media is used to predicting China's imminent fall into disorder. Before Hong Kong's return to China, it forecast that the city's prosperity will be gone with the wind. Before China joined the World Trade Organization, they said the Middle Kingdom, after nearly 100 years of self-isolation, could never afford the new game in the global arena.

They still do not believe that reform and stability can be pursued at the same time and think Chinese leaders may avoid launching major reforms in pursuit of stability. Such predictions are common almost every time before the CPC National Congress.

The truth is, however, China has never missed a chance to promote reforms. As Xi suggested in his latest report, which described the breakthroughs over the past five years thanks to more than 1,500 reform measures, Beijing will be committed to comprehensively deepening reforms. Undertaking reforms does not mean neglecting stability, and emphasizing stability does not mean overlooking development.

If there is a universal mode of successful governance, it would involve stimulating development based on national conditions. Media and experts in the Western world need more logic and less prejudice to understand the relationship between stability and reforms.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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