by Xinhua writer Chen Shilei
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- As the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) kicked off Wednesday, it has drawn great attention and expectations from across the world.
The over 2,200 delegates attending the five-yearly national congress on behalf of more than 89 million CPC members will elect a new central committee and anti-graft body and draw a new blueprint for development of the world's largest developing country for the next five years and beyond.
The meeting has great significance not only for the CPC and China, but also for the world, as China is enjoying increasing global influence.
"The significance for us outside China are the decisions that will be made by the conference as they may have a global impact," Ken Ogembo, an economics lecturer at Kenya's Kenyatta University, told Xinhua. "The role of China in global affairs has grown much more that the world will be watching."
Amid a slow recovery of the global economy, a rise of protectionism and isolationism as well as other challenges such as terrorism, China serves as a stabilizer of the world economy and a responsible player that embraces win-win cooperation in global affairs.
"China's stability is very important for the world; after all China has become the driving force of global economic development," Ronnie Lins, director of the China-Brazil Center for Research and Business, told Xinhua.
In its latest report, the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for the global economy. One important reason is the stronger-than-expected performance of the Chinese economy in the first half of 2017 and the Chinese government's continuous policy support.
Khairy Tourk, a professor with the Stuart School of Business of Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, spoke highly of China's achievements in the past five years.
Tourk noted that China has maintained a spectacular pace of economic growth, kept the yuan stable amid many difficulties, reduced its debt, and adopted innovative strategies.
In the eyes of Mahmoud Raya, director of "China in Arab eyes" news website in Lebanon, China's presence on the international arena is not limited to the economy "as China is present at the political, security, military, cultural and social levels as well."
Tourk said the CPC has played a very important role in China's achievements, saying that the party "provides the country with a vision and turns this vision into reality."
In fact, the CPC also has a vision for the world. In his address at the UN Office at Geneva in January, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, further expounded his vision of building a community of shared future for humankind.
To turn this notion into reality, Xi urged members of the international community to jointly promote dialogue and consultation, cooperation and cross-cultural exchanges, as well as environmental protection.
"I'm confident that people are beginning to get what Xi Jinping talked about in Davos," said Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, an independent business network committed to promoting positive links with China.
"It's about letting all develop together in a sustainable way and find out our solutions through peaceful ways rather than conflict," he added.
As the 19th CPC National Congress will determine the direction of China's development for the next five years and beyond, expectations are running high across the globe.
Tourk, the professor from Illinois Institute of Technology who is also a China expert, said: "My expectation is that the country is going to be more open in the future. And this would allow more foreign direct investment by China overseas and foreign investment by multi-nationals in China itself."
Paul Sheard, executive vice president and chief economist of S&P Global, an American publicly traded corporation headquartered in New York City, expected that China will accelerate reforms that are needed to sustain longer-term growth even at the expense of lower short-term growth.
"China should continue deepening its reforms and legal system construction," said Lins, the Brazilian expert, adding that along with social progress, the process of implementing reforms will meet more difficulties and a firmer determination is needed.
"I believe the CPC has such determination," Lins said.
Others hope that China will play a more active role in addressing global challenges such as climate change and trade protectionism.
History proves that economic globalization and free, open economic policies will bring countries more benefits instead of damage, said Gerishon Ikiara, an international economics lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
The fact that China's active participation in global economic cooperation and support for open and free global trade have benefited itself and all other countries across the world is a very good example, he added.
Ikiara expected China to continue to play a leading role in shaping the global system of trade integration, pointing out that this will help spur global growth.
For Yukio Hatoyama, former Japanese prime minister, the current most pressing issues facing the world are climate change and environmental protection.
"I hope the new Chinese leadership will play an important role in solving global environment issues," he said.
(Jin Zheng in Nairobi, Zhao Yan and Chen Weihua in Rio de Janeiro, Xu Jing in Chicago, Li Liangyong in Beirut, Gui Tao in London, Sun Oumeng in New York, Yang Ting and Deng Min in Tokyo contributed to the report.)