Opinion: A fresh look at China’s road to revival

Great Wall of ChinaOn 14 Nov 2012, Xi Jinping was elected as the new Communist Party of China (CPC) General Secretary in the 18th CPC National Congress of the People’s Republic of China.

In his first speech to the press on 15 Nov, Xi Jinping, together with the 6 new elected members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, put his focus on continuous open reform and strong CPC governance responsive to the Chinese people’s needs. Also, he mentioned that China’s revival (China’s rejuvenation) will be a continuous important national goal in his new government.

Every Chinese person knows that the Chinese Empire Tang Dynasty (618AD-907 AD) was a great Empire with a golden civilisation. Now what will be the final destiny of China’s 21st Century revival?

New direction forward

How can China’s road to revival achieve success in the future? My views, derived from continuous observation of China’s development since 1990, are these.

First, I strongly believe China’s revival must be a peaceful one. China must continue to adopt her ” peaceful rise policy”; China can’t afford any wars or conflicts with any global powers. I believe China will not have any military aggression intentions towards her neighbours.

Second, I think it is the right time for China to develop a modern democratic legal system based upon the rule of law, and to move towards the gradual development of a proper Chinese style democracy in line with our unique Chinese society. A modern democratic political system, affirming people’s democracy, rule of law and individual human rights, remains an urgent need for the Chinese people.

Third, we Chinese must use the good side of our Chinese civilisation to reinvent a new positive image of the Chinese. Besides, apart from following most academic research models from the USA, I think it is the right time for Chinese intellectuals to instill some of our own Chinese intellectual ideas and creative thinking into academic research.

Fourth, China needs a fair society. China now should put more effort into improving the well-being of people living in the rural villages. Today about 50% of the Chinese population (about 0.68 billions) live in rural villages. Chinese people living in the poor rural villages often lack jobs and education opportunities.

Fifth, China’s road to revival must send out a positive peaceful signal to our strategic neighbours: USA, Japan, Russia, European Union, ASEAN, India, Central Asia and Africa. China should actively use her soft power to promote win-win peaceful foreign relations with our strategic neighbours.

Finally, I truly believe today is a suitable time for China to promote a liberal open-minded education for its young people, which will help them in their future life.

Conclusions

I went to Northwest China to undertake development field studies from 1990 to 1993. At that time, China was less developed than it is today. Now I think the new Chinese government should continue to focus on getting the right direction in its road to revival, for the well-being of all 1.33 billion Chinese people.

On 1 October 2009 National Day, Chinese President Hu Jintao said, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, “History reveals that China’s development has never been plain sailing. But the people who have their destiny and determination in their hearts and are united will overcome all difficulties.”  I believe the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping will continue Hu’s political vision, pushing China to further open reform and economic growth, in order to improve well-being and to  make China’s revival a success.

The future will not be easy for China. There will be thousand new challenges ahead. My vision: this 21st century Chinese national revival, building on the  1978 open reforms, will achieve a democratic developed modern China with joyful success in around 2030 or some years later in 2050. Thousand best wishes to our motherland China!

* Andy Yau is a political observer and researcher on China's peaceful rise since 1990. Andy is a life member of the Chinese Liberal Democrats.

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