China’s progress can be benchmark for West

By Song Luzheng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/2 18:13:39

The achievements of China over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up make the outside world including the West no longer doubt the success of the Chinese model. More and more countries hope to take China as an example, while suspicions have been running high in the West over whether China is trying to export its development model.

The fact is that China does not wish to export its model. In his address at the opening ceremony of CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting in Beijing in December last year, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said that the CPC would neither import foreign models of development nor export the Chinese model. "We will not ask other countries to copy the Chinese practice," he added.

China has been emphasizing development based on one's actual conditions. The West exporting its model to other countries such as Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq has brought about tragic consequences. In view of what these countries went through, China holds the firm belief that there isn't a model suitable for the whole world and all countries have their own particularities and exceptions.

Chinese model has its uniqueness that other countries cannot replicate. The history of the West's rise has also proven that the Western model is only suitable for that part of the world. Unfortunately, either because the West hasn't realized this, or they have ulterior motives, such as removing what they considered potential threats by disrupting other's development, they forced different countries to evolve along Western lines.

So, what's the significance of China's exploration and success to the world? For developing countries, first of all, it encourages them to get rid of Western influence and have more independence. The West used to monopolize the manufacture of industrial products, the availability of capital and the pricing of raw materials, and the developing countries were de facto vassals of the West. It would become hard for them to survive if they did not accept conditions that the West imposed upon them. However, China's rise lets them realize that they can defend their genuine independence. 

Second, other developing nations can board the express train of China's development. Sharing the outcomes of China's development can help them improve living standards of their people. Take African countries,for example. China has provided them with high quality and affordable industrial products, such as mobile phones, assisted in massive infrastructure construction and helped them regain the pricing power of raw materials. China has also offered training for locals.

Since the end of the Cold War, Africa has been long neglected by the West. China's rise and expanding footprints on the continent have made the West reassess the importance of Africa. In order to compete with China, the West has re-strengthened their political, economic and diplomatic efforts on the continent. It's fair to say that China's rise helps African countries garner more attention and assistance from Western countries.

Third, on the international stage, China is standing with other developing countries striving for bigger discourse power of third world countries in international politics.

For Western countries, China's success doesn't only mean competition. China has been a recipient of Western capital and technology over the past four decades and it has also offered cheaper and quality products to the West. China now is the second largest consumer market of the world. Just imagine, without the Chinese market, would Apple be able to sustain its growth?

The significance of the success of Chinese model lies not only in that it can offer incentives to other developing countries, helping them with economic development, but it can also drive the West to take the Chinese experience as a benchmark, introspect and reform. No country should view its own development path as the only viable one, much less impose it on others.

The author is a scholar living in France and a research fellow from the Institute of China, Fudan University.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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