Reality of China re-emergence as global leader
The recent 10-day virtual seminar which brought together experts from eight participating countries in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was a showcase of the transformative, if not disruptive nature of the full emergence of the second largest economy on the global scene.
Organised by the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the project introduced the contents, principles and values of Chinese development as espoused by President Xi Jinping in the three volumes of his works, “The Governance of China”, as a way of enhancing a cross-section of exchanges within the BRI fraternity, mainly consisting of the South.
The seminar which ran from March 24 to April 2,was part of China’s attempt to change the narrative that herds the world into groupthink mode.
Such attempts are critical in dispelling myths and misinformation that have been spread about China for a long time by the Western media, keeping nations and regions in a rut due to the futile zero-sum game.
The BRI is not just another infrastructure marvel but a real vehicle for change across the global social, economic and technological spectrum.
Moreover, although still far from completion due to the hiatus caused by Covid-19, BRI has come in handy in managing the development challenges wrought by the pandemic in the last one year.
The initiative will also be crucial in recovery efforts in many regions by leaving no one behind in fully reopening the supply chains.
Over the past 40 years, China’s export-oriented economic growth model has achieved unsurpassed success.
The “world factory” is now the largest trading nation and exporter, with its contribution to global economic growth reaching 30 per cent.
Indeed, the BRI is an all-encompassing platform enabling policy coordination, inter-connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds across the world.
How such universality in the market economy turns out to be a Chinese tool for hegemony, as its opponents would have us believe, beats logic.
Presenters at the seminar debunked all the false accusations of ill motive levelled against China with hard, cold data that shows the systematic establishment not just of the country, but the restoration of the people’s national pride and cultural identity from near destruction by foreign forces. It was a showcase of patriotism at its best.
Indeed, the BRI is an inspiration to developing countries. It’s overarching objective is to create a human community with a shared destiny through consultation that meets the interests of all players.
The fellowship of nations through the BRI is also being enhanced by integration of their development strategies as a way of leveraging on the effectiveness and global reach of the infrastructural network.
In the next five years, China will offer young foreign scientists short-term research visits to China and train 5,000 foreign scientists, engineers and managers.
It will also help to build 50 joint laboratories with BRI participating countries in order to enhance cooperation on innovation.
Further, China will offer assistance worth $8.7 billion in the next three years to developing countries and international organisations to improve people’s well-being of BRI partners.
China will also provide emergency food aid worth $305 billion to developing countries along the BRI route and $1 billion to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation.
The country will launch 100 “happy home” projects, 100 poverty alleviation projects and 100 health care and rehabilitation projects in countries along the Belt and Road.
The take home narrative here is that China’s unassailable position in the world today is based on very clear fundamentals, principles and philosophies.
By any stretch of the imagination, the country is not a fly by night entity that can be wished away. In football parlance, we can say that China has been promoted from the premier to the champions league. — The writer comments on international affairs