by Mian Saifur Rehman
Every time I visit China, I am left wondering over the massive development and growth that this country has achieved as compared with every passing day, driven by the philosophy of President Xi Jinping that has demolished many theories of statecraft in practice in the capitals known to be the de facto rulers of the world.
There are many interpretations in the field about this philosophy or vision and as many differences of opinion, both in terms of ideology and methodology. I am using the word vision to draw a comparison with many ‘visions’ in play in the countries/systems that claim to be outside the ‘iron curtain’. What iron curtain? If discipline, organised lifestyle and hard work constitute iron curtain, it should be a number one priority of leaders entrusted the task of governance, all over the globe. What use the governance that leads to nothing but dependency and despondency? At least, China is rapidly coming out of this dark abyss, as I came to know directly from the “horse’s mouth” (as we interacted with a number of Chinese officials including Mr Li of China Economic Net (CEN), Mr Xu Honghai of China International Culture Exchange Center and the seniors of China Railway, State Council Information Office, Norinco International and deputy general manager of Lahore MRTS Orange Line Project).
What are the yardsticks applied to judge or counter check this information or claims of eradication of poverty? The answers were more inspiring than the development visible on roads, in subways, in markets and other areas of human activity.
That the ‘below-the-poverty’ graph has been reversed more than 70 percent. It is unprecedented. All the economic models that have been tried in other countries are still lagging behind. Perhaps this is what is meant by the ‘Chinese characteristics theory’ as the Chinese functionaries often give credit to their own, unique socio-economic model that is in place with Chinese characteristics’.
I am grateful to China Economic Net, the colossal hub of growth, information and prosperity for giving me an opportunity to come on the stage and speak out my mind and impressions about this driving force behind China’s immense development.
It is somewhat like realpolitik that delivers, not lingers. A broad cross section of the Chinese society says it all owes to the intrepid leadership of President Xi Jinping, who is among those very few leaders after Mao Xedong who galvanized the Chinese society into action by instilling ideas and motivational concepts.
Take for example one such concept which is popular worldwide as President Xi’s theory of two mountains. According to this theory, a lush green mountain and clean water are worth more than a mountain of gold. My conclusion is that the Chinese leadership has tried its utmost to transform the entire citizenry into an optimally functioning engine of economic growth and thus of prosperity otherwise feeding and organising a population of 1.4 billion people would have remained a remote possibility.
One must thank the Chinese Consulate-General at Lahore and its collaborators who undertook this mission titled ‘Understanding China’, by inviting Pakistani journalists and intellectuals to have an objective view of these wondrous happenings, that should be emulated in other parts of the world, instead of being viewed with jealousy and protectionism (I mean protectionist policies, tariff barriers instead of fair competition). What, however, inspired me the most during the recent China tour that culminated on July 1 was the declaration of shared prosperity that China appears to be adhering to, moved by the ideals of peaceful co-existence and non-intervention with no desire for hegemony.