Malaysian scholar impressed by China's progress after watching Discovery Channel

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-18 15:35:02|Editor: An
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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- A three-episode documentary by Discovery Channel on the changes China has undergone under President Xi Jinping and aired ahead of the 19th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has impressed viewers abroad with the technological progress it depicts.

The documentary, titled China: Time of Xi, was broadcasted on Oct. 14-16 on Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, reaching over 200 million viewers in 37 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Oh Ei Sun, special adviser for Malaysia's Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute's international affairs, said he was especially impressed by China's high-speed railways.

The Malaysian scholar said in just five years, China has developed the world's largest network of high-speed rail, which has not only raised the quality of Chinese people's lives but also serves as an important example of China switching its focus from quantitative development to qualitative development.

Oh, who is also adjunct senior fellow of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said he was equally impressed by China's technological innovation as well as environmental initiatives, as presented in the documentary.

Besides, China was also making very good use of the electronic platform. "People ... (can) shop easily online and many parts of China are essentially a cashless society with currency transactions carried out online instead of using real ... cash," he said.

He also found China's environmental management impressive. "Who would have imagined five years ago that China would be taking the lead in implementing the Paris Climate Change Accord?" he said, also noting China's development of a sophisticated sharing economy and green technology to generate new and renewable energy.

The documentary also covers China's foreign policy under Xi. "(In)this part of the world, we are mostly concerned with the Belt and Road Initiative, especially the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road," Oh said.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Oh hoped China would continue to engage with Southeast Asia in deepening and broadening trade interaction, financial connectivity and news infrastructure build-up.

"We are in favor of eventually reaching a community of common destiny with China," he said. "Of course, to reach that stage we do need a lot of integration and China is in a very good position to assist us."