Path of political, economic development of socialism with Chinese characteristics key to transformation
Published: Nov 22, 2022 04:05 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Editor's Note: 

For Chinese people, the past decade has been epic and inspirational. The country, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, has made great endeavors in boosting its economy, deepening reforms, improving the rights of its people and acting as a responsible global power.

Marcelo Munoz (Munoz) is the first Spanish entrepreneur to come to China following the beginning of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s. Over the past 40 years, he has visited China more than 100 times. He has also published monographs such as The Mystery of China and China 2050. In a recent interview with the Global Times (GT), Munoz said that China has contributed to a "more just globalization" and that the EU, which lacks strategic autonomy, should abandon its doubts and prejudices against China.

This is the 30th article of the Global Times series about this special decade.

GT: Can you talk about your indissoluble bond with China?

Munoz: In 1978, I followed the CPC's historic decision to reform and open up. Based on my research, I firmly believe that this decision ushered in a new era for China. Therefore, we opened the first Spanish business consulting firm in Beijing that year, which was also one of the first foreign companies to set up in China. Looking back to all these days, I could not help feeling emotional. When we first started investing in China, China was barely in the international market, but today, China is the world's top trading nation. I have had the honor of witnessing China's tremendous transformation up close. 

That's what I'll be talking about in my next book - China is back to stay. This will be my fourth book on China, and I look forward to it coming out in Chinese. I had studied China as a teacher and political scientist before my first visit. Over the past 40 years and more, I have gained a better understanding of China. However, the Western world still knows too little about China and has many wrong perceptions. This also made me devote myself to telling and explaining the great reality and transformation of China to the Western world. Therefore, I established a "lecture about knowing China" in 2012. 

GT: What activities do you organize in the lecture? What do you think of China's development achievements in the past decade?

Munoz: Over the past decade, the activities of the lecture have focused on making all sectors of Spanish society, especially political, business and academic leaders, better understand the changes that have taken place in China, as well as the history, politics and philosophy of China, through seminars and forums, books and articles. We introduced China's achievements in poverty eradication, ecological conservation and anti-corruption in recent years. We also highlighted China's tremendous progress in education and cutting-edge technology. In my opinion, the most important thing is that the path of political and economic development of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the key to the tremendous transformation in China.

GT: What do you think of the CPC's ability to govern and rejuvenate the country?

Munoz: In my opinion, the CPC is the political party that has made the greatest achievements in the world in recent decades. As I'm a citizen of a European country, my dream and wish is that EU leaders can dispel their doubts about China and have in-depth discussions with the CPC in order to find a common basis for cooperation. I believe that the basis for EU-China cooperation is very broad.

GT: As a senior man who understands both Eastern and Western cultures and political systems, how do you assess China's contribution to the world in recent years?

Munoz: I do not agree with the anti-globalization efforts of some countries. I hope that the remnants of neoliberalism that have hampered globalization can be eliminated so that countries can move forward along the path of multilateralism in all fields and promote common development through the building of a human community with a shared future. I believe that China's contribution to a "more just globalization" is essential. The [China-proposed] Belt and Road Initiative defines the goal of common development. Regrettably, the EU as a whole has not yet decided to join the Belt and Road Initiative.

Marcelo Munoz 
Photo: Courtesy of Munoz

Marcelo Munoz Photo: Courtesy of Munoz

GT: Outgoing US house speaker Nancy Pelosi visited China's Taiwan region in August. What do you think of this egregious move by the US?

Munoz: Pelosi's assertion that "China will not be allowed to isolate Taiwan" is a summary of US policy, which is itself a political provocation to China, a sovereign state. I want to question Pelosi: "Taiwan is part of China, and the international community is committed to the one-China principle. How can China isolate a part of itself? Besides, who gives you and your country the authority to decide what China can or cannot do? How arrogant you are!" Perhaps this arrogance is in line with what the US has done in the past, invading other countries and promoting coups in sovereign countries for a century and a half. I believe that China will firmly oppose such US interference in China's sovereignty.

GT: At the NATO Summit held in Madrid at the end of June, NATO declared China a "security threat" for the first time. Does this cause alarm to you?

Munoz: The US strategy of containing China was on display at the NATO Summit. What the Western leaders have not yet recognized, and are unwilling to accept, is that China is one of the three major forces capable of improving global governance - the US, China and the EU must find ways to work together to achieve this. I hope the Spanish government will work with China to solve the dilemma of global governance. The EU lacks strategic autonomy in its relations with China. Spain should have more influence in the EU so that we can get closer to China without misgivings and prejudices.