VIENNA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- China's return to a position of global leadership brings with it lessons Europe could learn from, former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
China's development strategy is wrought with long-term, multi-generational goals in mind, said Schuessel, who served as chancellor for the conservative People's Party from 2000 to 2007.
The system in which Chinese officials serve terms for set periods of time provides a certain stability, he said, as opposed to that of the Western approach where political themes and perspectives often have a much shorter life-span.
He spoke of meritocracy, which guarantees rise of officials through the political ranks based on personal achievement. This has advantages over greater emphasis on competition, such as that between parties, and the higher propensity for frequent changes seen in Western countries.
China's foreign policy is another example of its long-term thinking, said Schuessel. Its relations with Europe, the United States and Russia, as well as its efforts to deliver the "One China" policy are all well-defined and systemic in nature, he said.
In following its unique path, China has found its own prosperity, said the former chancellor, adding that it was "spectacular" for China to have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Schuessel, who also served as Austrian minister of economic affairs in the early 1990s, spoke highly of China's advancements in the high-technology sector.
He said the tremendous development in this sector led by Ali Baba,Tencent and Baidu represents a great strength of the economy.
These companies cater to a market of hundreds of millions of people, he noted, adding that their rises have been flanked by huge numbers of highly-educated work forces.
Schuessel hailed the Belt and Road initiative as a "fascinating idea", which draws together dozens of countries and serves a huge population.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. It has won support from over 100 countries and international organizations.
While China itself is investing heavily in the project, with participation from other parties as well as private capital, Schuessel said he believed its value could eventually amount in the trillions.
Schuessel called for more European participation in the project, revealing that many European countries, including Austria, are interested in the project.
"We are very open for this, we regard this as a very exciting project," he said.