Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

What is the Chinese Path? (Part 2)

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What is the Chinese Path? (Part 2)

Afghan friends often express their admiration after visiting Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities. They believed that China has already been a developed country and a world leading power. But I told them very frankly that this perception is not accurate. If they visited the western part and countryside of China, they will surely have a more comprehensive understanding about my country. The report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC pointed out, China is still and will long remain in its primary stage of socialism. China is still the largest developing country in the world. At present, China’s per capita GDP only ranks 70th in the world, even if reaching 12,000$ per capita, it is still only around one quarter of the U.S and ranks 60th in the world. It is an arduous task for China to win the battle against poverty. China still have 30 million people, which is about the entire Afghan population, waiting to be lifted out of poverty in the next three years. Our development quality and efficiency are still not high enough. Our innovation ability is also not strong enough. Our people are still facing many difficulties in employment, education, health-care, housing,  elderly care and etc. Social contradictions and problems are intertwined, and there is a long way to go in protecting the environment. We also have new developments in national security, and many uncertainties in external environment. Some people are still unfriendly or prejudicial to China, and even want to break down, mess up and split China.
For all these reasons, the Chinese Path has the fourth characteristic that it will not be a road running smoothly, but a road facing huge difficulties and challenges. China needs to forge ahead to overcome difficulties, stay focused and keep a clear mind, be itself in front of praise and blame. It’s not realistic to assume China to take up the foreign aiding responsibility like those developed countries or do something beyond its national strength. As a big power, China has big responsibility; as a big country, China has its own challenge. There are so many things that China needs to do both at home and abroad. It is not easy for this developing country to offer limited resources to help other countries. This should be fully understood by friends in developing countries including Afghanistan.
China can not develop without a peaceful international environment and a stable international order. To this end, China has been actively exploring its global partnerships, promoting coordination and cooperation with other major countries and hoping to develop a healthy and stable Sino-US Relations, deepening relations with its neighbors including Afghanistan in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness. China welcomes all parties to take the express train or free ride of China’s development. In the next five years, China will import 10 trillion U.S. dollars goods and services, absorb 600 billion U.S. dollars foreign investments, and have a total foreign investment of 750 billion U.S. Dollars. Chinese tourists going abroad will also reach 700 million. All these will bring tremendous benefits to the world.
China is pursuing major-country diplomacy with its own features, actively struggling to be a world peace keeper, global development contributor, and international order defender. Instead of merely focusing on its own stability and development, China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, keep contributing Chinese wisdom, solution and strength to global governance, take an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system, and actively participate in diplomatic mediation and political settlement of international hot spot issues such as Afghan affairs.
China emphasizes pursuing an self-independent foreign policy of peace, upholding an open and win-win strategy, pursuing a defensive national defense policy and following the path of peaceful development. China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, or impose its own will to others, and will never interfere in another countries’ internal affairs, or pursue development at the expense of others’ interests. These are effective principles, stemming from Chinese cultural traditions and internalized in Chinese blood, will only be consolidated and carried forward with the rising of China.
Thus, the fifth characteristic of the Chinese Path is that it is a road to forge a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for all mankind. It carries forward the spirit of mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation. It features the principles of communication instead of confrontation, partnership instead of alliance. It is a strong note of the cause of international peace and development and a gospel for all developing countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been written into the Constitution of the CPC. China is making every effort to promote the construction of the Initiative and strive to realize policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, in the aim of building a new platform for international cooperation. The reason for the Initiative has become a most popular public good in the world today lies in its successful grasping of the principle international  contradictions, such as deficit in development, governance and peace. It upholds development as the largest common denominator of the world, and activate relevant countries’ dream to rejuvenate the Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative will expand effective supply and demand, promote the re-balance of the world economy, create access, business opportunities and employment for the least developed countries, especially those landlocked countries such as Afghanistan. It will benefit Afghanistan by improving its position in the global value chain.
Today, China has signed cooperation agreements on the Belt and Road Initiative with 80 countries and regions including Afghanistan, started institutionalized capacity cooperation with over 30 countries and promoted the building of 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 34 countries along the route. Chinese enterprises have invested over 50 billion U.S. dollars in countries along the route and increased tax revenues by more than 10 billion U.S. dollars and created nearly 200,000 employments for relevant countries, including nearly 1,000 jobs in Afghanistan. China supports Afghan efforts of promoting regional economic cooperation and connectivity. Chinese enterprises have already  participated in some projects.
Practice has proved that the Chinese Path and the Belt and Road Initiative support each other. Chinese Path is not only a path for the Chinese people to embark on prosperous life, but also a broad road of shared future and common prosperity for China and its neighboring countries. This is the sixth characteristic of the Chinese Path in the new era.
I have repeatedly told my Afghan friends that China will not import foreign models nor export Chinese model. “Only the foot knows whether the shoe fits or not”. We can never find a model that can be applied to all countries. Each country should find its development model that suitable to their national conditions based on its own strength. I just want to emphasize that the Chinese Path is not just the pride of China, because it not only expands the path for other developing countries to modernization, but also offers more new options for those nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence. We welcome more Afghan friends to go and look around in China, study and make comparison of the Chinese Path, and then provide pertinent suggestions for China and Afghan’s development.

Liu Jinsong is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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