By Wu Xiaoqiu Source: China Daily Published: 2019-5-26
In an era of major development, major changes and major adjustments, China faces unprecedented and extremely complex new situations and tasks, and both challenges and opportunities. Just as President Xi Jinping pointed out at the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up: to make continuous progress, China has to keep improving its decision-making mechanism so it is more scientific. Efforts need to be made to strengthen our strategic thinking, dialectical thinking, innovative thinking, macro thinking and top-down design thinking. At the same time, we should adhere to the problem-oriented principle and focus on the outstanding contradictions and problems in China's development. President Xi's speech has also put definite demands on think tanks.
Economic development is the basic condition for the rise of a country or the rejuvenation of a nation. No one talked about rejuvenation or confidence when the economy was weak and people were still hungry. But after 40 years of reform and opening-up, China's economy has made remarkable achievements. Over these 40 years, it has been transformed from a poor, backward and closed country into one that is becoming increasingly modernized, prosperous, open and confident.
The reform and opening-up policies launched in 1978 completely removed the Chinese people's century-old spiritual shackles and set the right direction for China's future development. The great cause of reform and opening-up was embarked on at the third plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which set the right ideological guidelines of emancipating people's minds, seeking truth from facts and taking economic construction as the primary focus. Standing at the height of history and human destiny, with great sense of responsibility and fearless courage, former leader Deng Xiaoping freed the minds of the Chinese people and set the right direction for China's future development.
Second, the Party has constantly reflected and reviewed its practices, and thereof has embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics which always gives top priority to the interests of the people and economic development. The political framework in China is the choice of all Chinese people and in line with China's national conditions. And with consideration of our own history and social conditions when learning from advanced countries' successful experience in terms of economic construction, social governance and national governance, we have successfully worked out our own path of development. China has no ambition to expand. We only strive to accomplish our mission and finish our own tasks
Third, we will always follow the path of a socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics. Some Western countries don't agree with China's market economy status. But I think this judgment is unilateral. There's no fixed pattern for a market economy. In a market economy, the role of government is limited, not omitted. Government needs to provide appropriate macro guidance according to different targets. It is more important for us to notice that the essence of market economy is competitive neutrality, policy neutrality and equality among all economic entities. We have always been looking for the functional boundary of market and government, and the laws of the market economy we learned in the progress of China's development is that the role of government should not be overstated, and the function of the market needs to be valued.
Fourth, Chinese people are diligent and eager to learn. The continuous improvement of the quality of Chinese labor and the social creativity has pushed the country to overcome the "middle-income trap". Many other countries could not escape this trap due to the lack of creativity and labor quality. For example, Argentina and Brazil in South America. Argentina was the world's seventh largest economy at the beginning of the last century. And the Brazilian economy developed vigorously in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet both countries are now stagnant. China's higher education has played an especially important role in improving Chinese labor quality and creativity, and will provide more talents for the future development. China's universities have cultivated generations of engineers, technicians and managers to facilitate the progress of modernization. China's aerospace industry has attained its achievements through the efforts of Chinese engineers.
At present, China is at a crucial stage in its historical development. We should fully study and evaluate the external environment at this stage. China should learn from the past 40 years' successful experience, unswervingly follow the path of market-oriented economic development, further expand its opening-up and firmly follow the path of law-based governance.
Opening-up is an important key for China's economic development. And law-based governance is the foundation for a stable society, and the precondition for being a modernized and influential country in the world.
As for the contradictions and problems in China's development, think tanks and media should consider them objectively and rationally. We should actively put into practice President Xi's proposal to build new think tanks with Chinese characteristics for a new era, boost the innovation capabilities and communication capabilities of China's think tanks so as to make them a core power for the country's rise, and provide Chinese wisdom and solutions to human development.
Wu Xiaoqiu is vice president of Renmin University of China.