November, 9, 2020
The Beijing Swift - By Prof. Samitha Hettige ©
The Communist Part of China (CPC) was planning the future pathway of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in the last few weeks during the plenary session of the CPC Central Committee proposing ambitious socioeconomic targets for their 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). The PRC hopes to make new moves in economic development aiming at healthy economic development on based on increased quality and efficiency. We as a small economy should use the cascading effects of that growth for our benefit. Some of the world’s largest domestic markets are in China. During the next five years CPC expect to make their domestic markets stronger with the planned improvements of the economic structure encouraging its innovation capacity. One of the strongest pillars of the Chinese civilization is agriculture. Being the world’s leading economy and a super power their willingness to strengthen the agricultural sector and the long term plan to reduce the gap between urban and rural sectors through such sustainable methods is good lessons for Sri Lanka who tends to forget agriculture in most of their policy documents.
There is much criticism about China on not being open. These actually come from people/ countries that are either competing with China or are worried about China’s military strength. The 14th five year plans has good news to those who are worried about China’s rise as a super power. New steps will be taken towards reforms and opening up whilst adhering to its core socialist values. At the same time PRC expects to introduce institutions of a higher-level open economy. It is not a difficult task for PRC as they already manage Hong Kong SAR and Macau etc. Still those who wait to see China falling should remember that the PRC is also planning to strengthen their defense and risk mitigation capacities internally and externally using modern technology developed in house with no or little dependency on external sources.
According to Chinese sources China will enhance its social etiquette and civility while embracing socialist values. The rich Chinese culture has many similarities to our cultural practices. This is a good opportunity for Sri Lanka to increase people to people bonds and attract more Chinese tourists to visit Sri Lanka. When rural Chinese markets expand and developed more Chinese who are interested in similar cultures with similar roots will be interested in seeing other cultures with similar roots. Sri Lankans have experienced the American, British, French, Russian and Indian cultures being promoted here through respective cultural learning centers and with the Chinese planning to popularize the Chinese culture we will get more opportunities to learn more and understand the common base of human kind and join the global family.
Living a life with the environment is not new to Sri Lankans. China was criticized for not focusing on environmental safety by its competitors. Now we see those who blame China leaving global forums on environmental protection such as the Paris Agreement and China doing more to save the earth. With its plans to building an ecological civilization and achieving notable results in green transformation of production and lifestyle, China will be a frontrunner in global environmental protection. Their plans to continue reducing emissions and make ecological security much stronger will help achieve such earth friendly goals. Although an economic superpower, China has not forgotten its lowest levels in the society. The next five years will also be dedicated to continue the fight against poverty with the expectation of achieving rural vitalization. We will also have to do more to help all those who fell from the COVID-19 blow. Working with the Chinese economy will be a golden opportunity. When the Spanish flu was attacking North America and Europe in 1917 – 20 the Russian revolution raised the Russians and most in Asia. The COVID-19 is doing similar a century later but affecting more. The Chinese civilization is rising. Opportunities should not be missed (Ref. Chinese sources).
The writer is an Academic and a Broadcaster. Views expressed are personal and may not necessarily be the views of his affiliations.