By Liu Zhiqin Source: Global Times Published: 2015-11-5
Nation set to boost international cooperation, poverty relief
The recently concluded fifth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee sent a clear message to the whole world: China will continue its efforts to boost its economic growth, pursuing a more appropriate speed and pattern.
This message eased the nerves of the global community, as the nation promised to maintain medium to high-speed economic growth.
China`s growth has been achieved not by the nation`s efforts alone in the past 35 years of opening-up. It was helped by the whole world. China`s development was not a do-it-yourself effort. It was the result of much assistance from the international community. That means the world should have the same right to enjoy and benefit from China`s development.
There are three areas in which the world can eventually share the dividends of China`s successful reforms.
First is poverty relief. The plenum reiterated the goal of lifting the fortunes of the "poorest counties" in the next five years. This goal involves the economic development of the nation`s worst-off counties, which number about 500. Their total population is about 100 million, most of whom remain below the poverty line. This effort would generate strong motivation to boost reforms in these areas. The countryside is the nation`s soul and character. To own the rural area is to own all of China. Only when China`s hinterlands are well-developed can the whole country be a modern developed nation. The goal is still far away, but already within sight. We have to fight poverty with non-stop efforts to fulfill the targets.
Second is closer international cooperation. Some people may think that China doesn`t need any cooperation with other countries. Or they may think that the recent deals with the UK and Germany mean that Western countries need China more than China needs Western nations.
That`s not a rational assessment, and thinking of that kind will damage the image of China.
We have to admit that without cooperation from the outside, China would have made little progress. From technological and management expertise, and even capital, China got a fundamental boost from foreign support. There is no reason for China to forget the valuable assistance it received from outside. So China shouldn`t feast on the fruits of its development alone but should share them. In this way we can achieve the goals of "doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020."
Third is stimulating innovation in rural areas. There`s a very strong need for that. There are still more than 6oo million people living in these areas, and we need innovation to build new rural industries, expand education and establish rural culture centers. Another important goal is to establish a healthcare system covering all rural counties.
The countryside should become a paradise for people, as has been the dream for more than 1,000 years. Eco-civilization is more than a dream, and it must be realized soon. Sustainable development will decide the fate of China`s rural economic revolution over the next five to 10 years.
The nation`s average GDP growth in the past five years reached 7.8 percent, which was beyond the reach of most developed nations.
We face a battle to achieve our goals, and rural development is the main field in which we can ensure the final victory of our 13th Five-Year Plan.
The author is a senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China.