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What is President Xi’s Dream for China?

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작성자 선우학원 작성일14-07-27 17:03 댓글0건

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What is President Xi’s Dream for China?

 

 

By Harold W. Sunoo

 

President Xi Jinping said in his inauguration speech that everyone is talking about China’s dream. “I believe that realizing the great revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest dream of the Chinese people in modern times.”

 

President Xi’s dream is China’s dream- the revival of the Chinese nation. Since the humiliation of the 19th century, China’s goal has been wealth and strength. From Mao to Teng Xiao Ping, China’s leaders have followed the same road and proclaimed this “China Revival” line. In order for China to revive itself, the leadership of China- the Chinese Communist Party- first has to reform itself.  President Xi said “The Chinese dream requires that ideal communists should have higher ideals.”

 

This Chinese dream was the main subject of Mr. Xi’s presidential acceptance speech to the national People’s Congress in March of 2013.

 

Mr. Xi began a campaign to restore the party’s reputation through pushing a very public fundamental ideological reform. The campaign began in April 2013 as a campaign against corruption.

 

Mr. Xi is promoting rectification of work styles by calling for “self-purification, self-perfection, self-revival and self-progression.” He said, “Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the Communist Party’s survival or extinction.”

 

President Xi Jinping bans lavish banquets and building of palaces for offices. He opposes the flaunting of ill-gotten official wealth. Mr. Xi and others like to say that the high ranking leaders as well as the humble people are in the new leader’s sights. He is promoting not structural political reform, but the party being closer to the people. He is consolidating his power. How he intends to use it is not clear.

 

In 1830, the British East India Company began the flow of opium into China. The opium trade was illegal, but they engaged in this illegal, immoral but highly profitable trade anyway. This trade led to the Opium War. The war produced the Treaty of Nanking, the first of the “Unequal Treaties.”

 

The western impact brought deep humiliation and physical suffering to the Chinese people. The stage was set for a profound political revolution. The goals of revolution were the elimination of China’s humiliation and the achievement of national power. An early indication of China’s reaction to this oppression was the Taiping Rebellion.

 

China is unique because its social order was based on a secular ideology. The government set humane and decent standards and acted according to ethical principles based on learning, rather than on divine revelation.

 

Even in its early stages, the Chinese abandoned the tradition of an aristocracy. The government ruled on individual attainment in competitive examinations. The result was an early and powerfully enduring sense of cultural identity and a profound sense of unity and greatness of the Chinese people as well as an enduring Confucian based civil service system. The Chinese regarded the government as a moral force and expected it to rule by setting an example for the people.

 

According to Confucian teachings, if each individual were perfect in his behavior, society as a whole would likewise be perfect. The Taoist called for just the opposite course of action. They believed that the fundamental problem was that society had become too artificial under Confucianism and promoted the Taoist ideal of teaching harmony with nature.  However, the Confucian system dominated Chinese society over the last two thousand years China until 1949 when the communist leadership took over.

 

In 1949, the Communist Party began to control China. Maoism dominated the party. Maoism is different from Soviet Union communism in that Maoism asserted the supremacy of ideas. This idea of Mao was consistent with the historical propensity of the Chinese to attach prime importance to intellectual and ethical considerations rather than to rigid dogma.

 

Maoism further emphasized that human spirit is a stronger force than machines. Human efforts, will power and self-reliance were promoted. Other basic values and principles brought by Communism included the importance of rural over urban and collectivity over individualism. Traditional Marxism treats technology as a decisive factor shaping society. But Mao stressed human efforts and will power in shaping society.

 

After Mao’s death in 1979, Teng Xiao Ping took over the party leadership. Deng started significant economic reforms that have led to the entire reshaping of China’s economy. The results have been astonishing.

 

China has grown over 9%-10% a year for the last 30 years. It achieved a record not only in China, but in world history. The average Chinese personal income has increased 7-fold and 400 million people have risen out of poverty.

 

China alone reduced ¼ of the world’s poverty population in 10 years. The size of the economy has doubled every 8 years in China. China is now the world’s largest producer of coal, steel and cement. China’s reserve in the U.S. is over one trillion dollars.

 

China exports to the U.S. have grown by 1,600% over the past 15 years, and imports from the U.S. have expanded 7 times in the same period. In another 20 years, China is expected to surpass the U.S. and become the No. 1 economic power in the world.

 

In 2008, the economic crisis hit the world. Millions of workers in the U.S., Europe, Japan and the world were plunged into unemployment. But in China, income went up, consumption went up and unemployment was overcome.

 

Even during the global economic crisis, China’s economy kept growing due to the direct result of national planning, and the policy decisions of the Chinese Communist Party. The socialist component of the economic foundation is dominant in present China.

 

In speech after speech, President Xi and Prime Minister Lee have put their political capital on the line by promoting economic reform.

 

An active anti-corruption campaign began by Mr. Xi demonstrates a willingness to take on even the most politically sensitive pillars of the state economy.

 

Although China’s economic output expanded nearly six fold between 2002 and 2012, from $1.5 trillion to $8.3 trillion, China is not without its challenges. New growth is beginning to slow, economic inequality has widened alarmingly and provincial and local government debts have climbed. Additionally, China’s export-oriented sectors face harsh head winds from sluggish consumer demand in advanced markets and rising labor costs at home.

 

China’s Overseas Investments

 

China’s foreign reserves are $3 trillion. China is the largest saver and fastest growing major economy in the world. By the end of 2011, China’s cumulative ODI had reached $425 billion. 13,000 Chinese companies had set up 8,000 offices in 177 nations by 2011. 90% of them are state owned companies. But private companies will play a more important role in the future. Among the private companies, the 3 largest groups are: Lenora Group, Huawei Tech and Geely group. 500 private companies reported combined revenue of more than 9 trillion yuan in 2011.

 

China encourages buying foreign companies, exploiting natural resources, building infrastructure and giving loans all over the world. China is pursuing a soft and unstoppable form of economic domination. China controls oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to China and South Sudan to the Red Sea. China is currently involved in building of more than 200 projects across the planet.

 

China’s foreign investments in the coming year will reach as much as $2 trillion by 2020. China’s ambitions are largely pragmatic. It seeks regional and global access to markets and minerals.

 

China is spreading its influence across much of the developing countries by offering no-strings attached loans to countries that would expect endless conditions for reform and internal interference in exchange for loans from such sources as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

 

There is a major difference on the basic concept on foreign policy between China and the West. Western foreign policy is based on religious or western values, but China’s is not. China’s policy remains non-judgmental and commercially focused. Take China’s relationship with Africa for example. China invited all 48 African countries, president and prime ministers to China. China trained 15,000 African professionals and built new schools, hospitals in Africa. Ethiopia’s prime minister said, “China is an inspiration for all of us.”

 

In 2007, the Nigerian government asked the West for a $5 million loan for training systems but the West rejected it. China, on the other hand, gave Nigeria a $9 billion loan without conditions. China invested $3 billion in oil fields in Sudan, and buys 65% of Sudanese oil.

 

China is welcomed in Greenland, Canada and Australia. They all need China’s investments and China has become the world’s largest lender providing the world with $110 billion more loans than the World Bank and without lectures on human rights!

Chinese problems

 

For all its progress, China still has many problems. Some of these problems are a consequence of its success. Unprecedented economic growth has produced unprecedented social change. Every day, tens of thousands of people are moving from village to cities, from farms to factories and there is pollution, environmental problems and all the social adjustments related to sudden shifts of the population from villages to urban factories.

 

The Beijing government takes time to solve its problems gradually. The government maintains a strong element of basic pragmatism and confidence. Meanwhile, people have more choice and freedom than before. They can work, move, own property, start business and enjoy freedom of worship. But political control remains right.

 

China also emphasizes the rights and interests of elderly people. A new law states, “Family members living apart from the elderly should frequently visit or send greetings to elderly persons.” This law reflects the traditional filial piety which became law. Many people lament bitterly the collapse of moral standards in China, saying this new preoccupation with material advantage is the downside of rapid economic growth during the last 30 years.

 

The Communist Party spends an enormous time and energy worrying about social stability and popular unrest. The leaders have a common desire. They want to keep moving ahead while maintaining stability and prosperity.

 

Because of that philosophy, China wants a good relationship with the U.S. and the world. They see good relations with America and neighbors as key to its development. So the policy of no interference and no confrontation persists. Beijing’s focus remains on growth while avoiding fights with other governments.

 

China is simply not like the West. China wants modernization, but modernization is not just shaped by markets, competition and technology. The West needs to understand history and culture, and Chinese history and culture are very different from that of any western nation. The West’s failure to understand the Chinese has repeatedly undermined its ability to anticipate their behavior. The West expected the Chinese Communist regime to collapse after 1989 and perhaps split up like the Soviet Union. There was speculation that China’s economic growth could not be sustained. But China is not the Soviet Union.

 

China is a civilization state. Its civilization has a long history, and huge geographic, demographic scale and diversity. Unity is its first priority, plurality the condition of its existence. Chinese see the state as the guardian, custodian of the civilization. The duty of the state is to protect its unity. The legitimacy of the state lies deep in Chinese history. This is different from how the state is seen in Western society. The emergence of China as a global power marks the end of 200 years of a Western dominated world. For two centuries the West was always bullying other nations into submission. But now, China demands equal terms. That is China’s dream.

 

There are many ways in which the world benefits from the Chinese dream. As the living standard of the Chinese people rises, the demand for more goods and services including imports also rises.  And because China’s population is huge, jobs are created and prosperity is increased globally.

 

How will China’s dream be realized? It will take years, but they are on the road.

[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2014-07-27 17:05:12 새 소식에서 복사 됨]

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