CHINA: Rising World Stature & Role [Archives:1997/45/Viewpoint]

November 10 1997

Last week, I concluded an extended visit to China. Although it was not my first trek to that part of the world, what I saw is awesome. I would like to share some impressive facts with the readers of the Yemen Times.
1. A Sense of Destiny: Whoever you talk to in China, will immediately give you the feel of the sense of destiny that pervades all levels of thinking. A proud nation with thousands of years of history, the Chinese people interact with the conviction that they are second to none. National dignity and pride are important values, and they make up part of the Chinese identity.
2. Double Digit Growth: At one stage, the annual economic growth rate of China exceeded 13%. The economy over-heated leading to inflation. Thus the government has decided to target a lower growth rate. It is now holding it down to 9% per annum. Such a high growth rate, the highest in the world, is envisaged to continue well into the 21st century.
3. Contribution to World Peace & Harmony: By adequately providing for the needs of a quarter of the world’s population, China is already contributing immensely to world peace and harmony. Over and above that, China has behaved in a very responsible way to strengthen international stability and tranquility. China, itself a developing country, has given generously to help world peace and stability.
4. Gradual Change: The Chinese system is gradually adapting to the needs of the people and the world. Learning from the disruptive change that has taken place in the Russian Federation, the Chinese government has opted for phased-in reforms – political, economic, social, etc. Thus, the ‘two system, one nation’ economic structure was created by that genius, the late Deng Xiaoping. Political evolution is less advanced, but there is visible change. Rushing it would be dangerous.
5. Caring for the Poor: China’s system has a strong sense of ethics and moral values, especially regarding the rights of the down-trodden and vulnerable segments of society. The fruits of development can be unevenly shared, but the needs of the poor and underclass in society have to be taken care of. That is why, proportionately speaking, there are far less deprived people in China than there are in the USA, Europe or Japan. The Chinese take this concept of caring for the less fortunate from their internal affairs to the world as a whole. They see that the rich countries have a duty to support and assist the poorer nations of the globe.
China is a nation that deserves the attention and respect of the world. For that matter, all nations deserve that but those that are contributing to human prosperity and dignity deserve it more. China is a case in point. If the Chinese engine continues, the uni-polar world will quickly give way to a bi-polar or even multi-polar one. That would be a positive development for world peace.
By: Pro. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf Editor-in-Chief and Publisher