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China Is a Plus, Against All Odds
   2016-03-18 14:26:47    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Liu Ranran

By Lin Shaowen

Illustration by Robert Wiggin
 
Curtain down on China¡¯s annual political session, with a series of platforms of action adopted by the top legislature, the National People¡¯s Congress (NPC). These documents outline principles of steady development, appropriate regulation, and better governance, all decisive for a healthy economy and improved people¡¯s livelihood in 2016 and in the next five years
 
Addressing a press conference after the NPC session, Premier Li Keqiang promised efforts to ensure stable growth against domestic and global challenges and reassured greater opening up in conducting global business cooperation. Domestically, it¡¯s a resolve for better life, better welfare and a better society; globally, more development chances to be shared at a time of difficulties.
 
Against all odds, China is a plus, at a time of needs, for it displayed a vision of common development, along with initiatives of all-inclusive partnership.

The outlook is displayed, among others, as follows:

  • Moderate and steady growth of the economy that are more people-friendly and environmental-friendly;
  • All least 10 million urban jobs a year to be created in the next five-year period, with per capita disposal income increasing at least at the same pace of GDP growth.
  • Poverty alleviation for the remaining 60 million by 2020.
  • Affordable housing for 100-million people in shanty downs; Urban IDs for 100-million rural migrants already in cities; and jobs for another 100-million rural laborers in central and western regions through ¡°new types of urbanization¡±.
  • Better public service for urban and rural residents, including education, healthcare, elderly care and social security.

For China, these tasks are critical as the next five-years will decide whether China can really achieve a centennial goal ¨C to build a moderately wealthier society by 2020.

So - against the backdrop of global downturn pressure, plus ever louder negative ¡°forecasts¡±, Li Keqiang pointed to positive signs in the ongoing economic restructuring -- an economy now relying more on the service sector and domestic consumption, less on exports and energy resources, and more on innovation, entrepreneurship and new-and-clean energy, less on labor-intensive and resource-driven industries. 

China does have reason to escape a hard landing and walk out of muddy roads through deepened reforms and innovation. Certainly a tough battle, but not mission impossible, due to the development schemes just adopted, including measures listed above.

That¡¯s also a plus for the world as China is now the largest trading partner and a major investment source for most countries and has initiated many cooperative projects or mechanisms. 

  • The newly-established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - with 57 member countries ¨C is designed for providing jobs, funds, technology and expertise to cater for development needs by breaking infrastructure bottlenecks. 
  • For similar purposes but on a larger scale, China¡¯s ¡°Belt and Road Initiative¡± -- to build land and maritime economic corridors, or modern day Silk Roads linking Asia with Europe and Africa ¨C aims to combine development strategies of different countries, as in a style of ¡°coalition of the willing¡±. Among others, capacity building through interconnectivity will provide better chances for poverty alleviation and common development.
  • China has signed free trade deals with more than a dozen countries, and is planning to quicken the pace of FTA and investment treaty talks with other economies and on a broader base.
  • And there are many other multilateral development forums engaging China with various regional or sub-regional organizations to facilitate trade, investment and cultural exchanges.

Faced with severe risks, the world is desperately looking for trouble-shooting opportunities.  China is no exception. But to make that happen, renewed confidence and determination are the bottom line, leading to visions and plans to jointly create chances and then to programmes, projects and stake-holding mechanisms. People naturally will challenge major countries to take responsible leading roles and to be more open and more inclusive in trade and investment activities.

Zero-sum games are only suicidal eventually. For a world of shared destiny, the answer is win-win.

That makes China a big plus against all odds.

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