China’s high-quality development benefits all
Published: Feb 20, 2023 10:50 PM
Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded last October vowed to continue reforms to develop the socialist market economy, promote a high-standard of opening up, and amplify the interplay between domestic and international economic flows in China's pursuit of high-quality development.

"That is a grand and practical plan, but what's in it for me?" One might ask.

Actually, a lot. The past few decades have witnessed China increasingly integrated with the rest of the world. Embracing the advancement of globalization and opening its door wider and wider, China is now connected with each and every corner of the global village in the form of its quality products and services, enormous market and extensive trade and investment partnership.

Let's say you are a soccer fan from Saudi Arabia who have just arrived in Doha, ready to cheer for your home team at the Qatar World Cup. There is a good chance that you will be sitting in China-built Lusail Stadium, waving your made-in-China national flag, and watching players passing the ball on the grass that is maintained by Chinese technology. After the game, you can take a China-made electric bus to your China-made shipping container-style cabin for a good sleep, and bring La'eeb, the official mascot, yes, still China-made, back home.

Or you are a resident in Jakarta, Indonesia. Then you may have heard the successful trial operation of Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to your beautiful archipelagic country earlier this month. With Chinese technology, standards and equipment, this railway will cut the travel time between the two destinations from over three hours to around 40 minutes at a design speed of 350 km/h. Imagine that! Daily commuting or travel will be much more convenient and comfortable. Your family and friends in Bandung are just a train ticket away.

If you are a coffee farmer in Rwanda, your business may have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in the recent years as international shipping becomes more expensive and orders from the US and Europe have decreased dramatically. However, you are not that worried thanks to the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, where you can join thousands of enterprises from around the world, many of them SMEs, in exploring the immense potential of the Chinese market. You can also enjoy the power of e-commerce through the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) partnership that your government and China's Alibaba Group have established since 2018, which brings tens of millions of Chinese customers to you. It's so easy to do business online that Rwanda's ambassador to China sold hundreds of bags of coffee in the blink of an eye at a livestreaming promotional event.

Maybe you are a house owner in France. As Europe is undergoing the biggest energy crisis in decades, frequent electricity and gas price hikes have made this winter a tough time for many. To reduce energy consumption, your government has taken a series of measures, including limits on heating and hot water. Following a neighbor's advice, you are pleasantly surprised to find these popular Chinese-made winter products such as thermal underwear, hot water bags, electric blankets and turtleneck sweaters, which keep you warm and cozy at a reasonable price. And the China-Europe freight train is always there to bring them to your doorstep in no time.

How is China able to get all these things done? The answer lies in continuous reform and opening-up year after year. With unremitting efforts, China has kept modernizing its economic system and infrastructure, built the world's most complete industrial chain and a suitable production supporting network, taken the lead in innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, steadily improved business environment for foreign enterprises with attractive policies and simplified administration, become more engaged in global trade and investment, promoted cross-border connectivity under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)…the list goes on and on.

But at the end of the day, it is China's development philosophy that made all these feats happen. This philosophy is never about China First or China Only, it is about development and prosperity for all, not just for the Chinese people but for mankind, as China believes that development is real only when all countries develop together. Unlike certain country busy with erecting fences and barriers, disrupting industrial and supply chains and imposing unilateral sanctions, China is committed to an open global economy and strives to create new opportunities for the world with its high-quality development. That's why China has put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) to foster international consensus on promoting development, cultivate new drivers for global development, and facilitate common development and progress of all countries. What's more important, China is joining hands with like-minded countries to put it into concrete action. This is where China stands in this era of change and turbulence.

Oh wait…so you are a parent in the Unites States waiting anxiously for some Christmas gifts shipping from China for your kids while your congressman is touting his plan of decoupling from China in D.C.?

I wish he knew what it means to you.

The author is a scholar based in Beijing. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn