By Joaquin M. Sendolo and Ishmael Menkor
Although the People’s Republic of China is yet to enter world record as a developed country, its pace of development continues to peak despite huge population challenges to its economy.
China currently has 1.4 billion people with many facing poverty resulting from joblessness, economic constraints among others.
Amid these challenges, Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yue has disclosed that their fast growth is primarily due to strategic planning, fairness and justice, rule of law, security, eco-environment, balanced urban and rural development, and equitable income distribution.
In his recent interaction with some Liberian journalists at a seminar on “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” Ambassador Zhang said as a developing nation, the Chinese Communist Government strategically plans so that it will reflect where China was 10 years back, where it is now and where it wants to be in 10 years henceforth.
In order to implement the plan, the Ambassador said every Chinese is made to understand it and work in his/her capacity in fostering the goal of the government. Additionally, he underscored that the Chinese Government has a strong law enforcement arm in line with rule of law to achieve the desired goals they want.
China is one major partner that has contributed to the postwar development agenda of Liberia in education, infrastructure, health, and culture.
According to Ambassador Zhang, China and Liberia are similar in culture and history except for race, and while China was desperately lagging behind economically in the 1960s, Liberia was far ahead on par with Japan.
In culture and history, Liberia and China have similar traditional cultural backgrounds depicted by ceremonies and rites associated with marriage, honoring the elderly, and other forms of festivals.
What is different between the two is that China has achieved enormous success in science and technology, and can feed its huge population.
Ambassador Zhang said regardless of the population challenge, they are determined to work diligently to ensure that all Chinese are lifted from poverty by 2020. China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 11.2 million in 2016, and the GDP per capita has increased from less than US$200 in 1978 to US$8,000 in 2016.
Regarding external relations, Ambassador Zhang noted that China has two ways of relating to other countries: the “Win-win” relation meant for developed countries wherein there is equal give and take, and the “Unequal distribution” that allows China to give more to developing countries and take less.
“It is the unequal distribution policy we use for Liberia because we give more to this country and get little,” he said.
The Chinese Ambassador, who is to complete his ambassadorial mission shortly in Liberia, challenged Liberians to learn from China’s approach to development to mix democracy with Liberian cultural characteristics in order to foster their development agenda.
He said though China adopted communism and a socialist economy from Russia, the Chinese Government blends this form of government with their culture to suit their socioeconomic livelihood.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Zhang said the Communist Party of China (CPC) in its 19th National Congress held last year outlined three elements to boost international relations.
He named three elements as, mutual respect, fairness, justice and cooperation to use in relating to other countries.
He explained that the first element, which is ‘mutual respect’ includes mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns, mutual respect for the diversity of human civilization, and mutual respect for each other’s independent choice on social systems and development path.
“Mutual respect also means to abandon the Cold War mentality and power politics,” he said. “China strongly upholds that all countries are equals, regardless of their size, strength and wealth.”
He said there is a need to take a radical approach to resolve problems or settle disputes, through consultation and dialogue instead of confrontation and at the same time seek for partnership other than alliances.
“By doing so,” Amb Zhang said, “China aims to promote a new path of state to state relations and committed to a socialist path with Chinese characteristics.”
According to the ambassador, China calls for more democratic international relations and is committed to building a fair and just global governance regime while at the same time calling on the United Nations to play an active role and support the efforts of other developing countries to increase their representation and strengthen their voice in international affairs.
“In the new era,” he added, “China will take a larger part in global governance, and make greater contributions in international development assistance and international security.”
“We are willing to join efforts with developing countries to make the international governance regime more fair, just and reasonable,” he said.