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Liu Zhiqin: New Era will bring a New China in 2018


by Liu Zhiqin    Source: CGTN    Published: 2017-12-20

US President Donald Trump issued his new national security strategy on Monday, in which he reiterated that China will become the major "competitor" of the US in the years to come.

This statement affirmed to the rest of the world that China`s performance, especially in the economic and technological fields, is showing the ever-growing strength achieved in the past three decades.

This year is special for both China and the US. It is the beginning of China`s New Era and also the first year of Trump in the White House. The whole world is looking curiously and carefully at developments in both nations and in their relationship.

Isn’t it rather strange that the world’s largest market economy has recently signed the world’s largest-ever deal (worth 253.5 billion US dollars) with the world’s largest "non-market economy" (as labeled by US and other developed nations)? Who can explain this?

It showed the truth: a business deal is a business deal, whether it is a "market economy or non-market economy."

And China, whichever way you look at it, has really made the greatest economic and other progress by means of market mechanism anywhere, bringing profound prosperity to the whole world.

Why does the US see China as its major competitor? The following achievements could tell you more about China.

1. China will fulfill its GDP target of 6.7 percent which is still the highest in the world. This contributes 33 percent to the total global economy, the largest single contribution.

2. China will remove at least 14 million more people from poverty by the year 2020, and will be the only country that can help the UN reach its global development targets for 2030. China is the greatest player in this stage.

3. China`s restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has achieved a milestone this year. About 80 percent of central government SOEs will finish their mixed ownership in 2017. This achievement will become very important in the history of modern China, because the government promised the world that Chinese enterprises will be subject to fair and transparent business conditions. It will also have a significant impact on the global economic structure.

4. China has successfully shifted from old-style growth to a new and green development era. The country has become the most important engine for the Paris Agreement on climate change. Green development will be a top priority for the Chinese government for the next 15 years.

General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping has announced that China will have three major tasks in 2018: risk control, poverty alleviation and pollution control. The whole nation will strive to jointly achieve these tasks.

We are facing many new and unexpected challenges from which various risks could emerge.  

The most important is to build defenses against systematic risks in the financial sector. Security in banking and finance will be very crucial for the safety of development.

The second area of importance is to pay high attention to the development of new technology, especially the so-called "dark technology" which will have serious impact on human behavior and people’s everyday lives. We have to invest more in developing new and smart techniques to help people enjoy their lives. China is big enough to develop all kinds of new technologies to meet the demands of its market and people.

China and the US should learn from each other and must do their best to understand each other. As a businessman, "understanding" is the most important factor for a successful deal, because "mutual understanding" brings "mutual trust" which is the cornerstone of deep cooperation.

We can confidently say that 2018 looks bright for those who are really "open- minded" and "inclusive." Both China and the US have equal conditions. The only risk for China is to avoid taking a wrong policy that would dampen the smooth development of our economy. China must stick closely to its own target and its dream; and avoid forces or factors, such as protectionism and isolationism, which could lead the country in a wrong direction.

But we have to prepare for a sudden incident on the Korean Peninsula. As a Swiss friend of mine said, "Maintaining peace can only be achieved by being well-prepared for a war." Of course, we must not give up efforts to avoid a war in a neighboring country that would only have a negative impact on our economic growth.

Trump assumes that the US has entered a "new era of competition", which means he will take all measures possible to "compete" with China. We will see what happens as Trump upholds "America First."

Both China and the US are embarking on their "new eras". The US will have its new era with American characteristics – America First, while China`s new era has its Chinese characteristics: "The world first" with a "shared future for mankind."

Whose "new era" will be welcomed and accepted by the world? The answer is very clear.

We are approaching the finishing line in our marathon for modernization so we must stay on the right track to reach our target. A few forces in the world will try to derail China, but they will fail spectacularly.

The author is a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University.  

Key Words: New Era   China   RDCY   Liu Zhiqin  

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