China’s economy to continue rapid expansion

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/10 20:03:26

Skyline of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province Photo: IC

Editor's Note:

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the past seven decades, China's GDP per capita has risen from less than $70 in 1952 to more than $9,700 in 2018. Why has China achieved such a rapid growth? What is China's role in today's world? Stephen Perry (Perry), chairman of the 48 Group Club, a business network committed to promoting links with China, shared his viewpoints with Global Times (GT) London correspondent Sun Wei on the sidelines of the second China-UK Economic and Trade Forum held in London in June.


GT: What drives China's rapid growth? The leadership of the Communist Party of China, the ways of development it chooses, or the reform and opening-up?

Perry: One way or another that has contributed to the growth of China. China has learnt from mistakes. The scientific method has created great opportunities for China to benefit from outside examples and even from negative examples inside. Most of all, it's been the ability of the Communist Party of China to adapt to circumstances of China and the outside world and to find ways to create economic development.

It has not been easy. People think [top Chinese leader] Deng Xiaoping suddenly turned up and they had reform and opening-up. I don't think anybody back then had an idea of what China would look like today. Certainly, my father didn't go through that whole period with China. So, it's a combination at the end of the day; one has to put it down to the Party and the people.


GT: With China's rise in the world, there are different voices. Some treat it as an opportunity, some consider China a threat, and some say China will collapse. How do you evaluate them?

Perry: When you've been the biggest company in the world and other companies are not coming up with new ideas, new ways, new products, they can see you as a threat. Sometimes if you are the powerful company and you get new people coming in, you could see it as an opportunity to do more research and development, invest more, to become even better.

In fact, the history of the world shows that competition produces advancement. And if China is the new country and it is creating tensions through its competition, that competition can produce benefits for all. If China was doing all of this and taking from the world, then it would be a problem.

China is opening, its economy is creating more and more exports, more and more opportunities for the world. Thirty percent of the world's growth comes from China. We should be very pleased that China is giving us this opportunity. We have to adapt to change, that's something constant in the world.


GT: In terms of reform, some people believe real reform can only be done in a Westernized democratic way. What's your opinion on this?

Perry: I don't think the West would like to have the Chinese single party state, so I don't think we can say to China you should have our system. Systems within countries develop over hundreds of years, and they are also in response to different times we've had in our history.

China's system of government is very much in keeping with hundreds of years of Chinese history. And anyway, it's not a matter for foreigners to say you should do this and we should do that. We get very upset when the US starts telling us how to deal with Ireland. When the Germans or French tell us what we should do about Europe, we get very upset. So, it's up to us to develop our country, and it's up to you to develop yours. We just shouldn't fight with each other.


GT: In terms of development in the next decade, what do you think China can do to maintain the vitality of its economy?

Perry: Different things scream at us and we can talk about pollution. You can talk about the range of agricultural goods available. You can talk about the different types of cars. People would have never thought 12 years ago that China would be full of high-speed trains. Back then nobody had even seen one and now 70 percent of the world's network is in China. So, China has a massive array of issues to deal with between now and 2049 [which will mark 100 years of the founding of the People's Re­public of China].


GT: What's your comment on China's contribution to the international community?

Perry: I think people look at China today and think China will stay the way it is. There's one thing that has never stayed the same in China for the last 40 years: That's everything. The rate of change in China is phenomenal. And so, I think it's all going to change. President Xi Jinping doesn't say things against change. He says we're going to reform; we're going to open up; and we're going to deepen it all. So, I think the scale of change of China is going to increase, not decrease, and therefore opportunities for farmers will increase.


GT: When the next British prime minister gets on board, what will be the relationship between China and the UK? Will it be similar to that under the current government?

Perry: We're in turbulent times, and the US president came here to try and tell us what we should do. And you know, you didn't hear much reply from British people, but I can tell you the British people had an opinion about what happened. So, we have to wait and see who the prime minister will be and what his outlook will be.

There are two interesting candidates. They both fundamentally talk about a policy that I don't agree with, but it doesn't matter. We have to move on one way or another post Brexit. It's now taking up too much of our time. I think when the prime minister sits down and looks at the economic figures of the UK, he will ask where is investment going to come from? New trade and investment opportunities are overseas, and if he ignores that, it will be a big problem for our country. I'm confident. We'll get it right, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Newspaper headline: While opening up, China has created more opportunities for the world

Posted in: DIALOGUE

blog comments powered by Disqus