Commentary: China's opportunity belongs to the world

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-06 18:14:44|Editor: Mengjie
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BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- In facing a historic juncture, there are often two choices: either grasp opportunity and rise, or miss the opportunity and fall.

As a nation that has paid a high price for falling, China now understands what "opportunity" means to its fate. The failure to grasp the tide of modernization in the 19th century resulted in a bitter lesson: China was plunged into the darkness of war, poverty and despair that lasted a century.

It is since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and especially the reform and opening-up four decades ago, that the nation has stood up and caught up with the times.

China is seizing the opportunity of the new industrial revolution to shift its sources of growth from the old days of an export and investment-led economy to more consumption and innovation-driven growth. China is transforming from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. The country is confronting the toughest issues in deepening reform in every key area.

In a word, China must grasp the historic opportunity now and can never afford the price of missing it.

Seizing the opportunity of development does not mean a zero-sum game, but making the pie bigger.

The world economy is still unstable, although recovery is expected. The spillover effects of policy changes in major economies create uncertainty. Protectionism is mounting. Geopolitical risks are on the ascent. Tens of millions of people are displaced and many more are living in hunger.

China is willing to share its opportunities with a world fraught with challenges, such as a lack of peace, development and governance.

A middle-income population of 400 million has emerged in China, the biggest in the world, giving rise to a vast market, domestically and overseas. Just think about how much salmon from northern Europe or avocadoes from Latin America Chinese consumers need. Not to mention the amount of imported mechanical equipment and electronics -- foreign waste is excluded.

As China pursues development created by smart manufacturing, the "Internet Plus" model, and the digital economy and sharing economy, there are tremendous opportunities for the world. In many ways, the experience in China has made lots of multinationals better global companies.

The good news for foreign businesses continues to come. Premier Li Keqiang said in his government work report on Monday that China's general manufacturing sector will be completely opened up, and access to sectors such as telecommunications, medical services, education, elder care, and new-energy vehicles will be expanded.

As a responsible major country, China has played a constructive role in addressing international and regional hotspot issues, making significant contributions to global peace.

Like many other countries, China also faces lots of growing pains. It remains the largest developing country in the world, with its per capita GDP still standing in the middle of the world rankings. Acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development so far have remained unsolved. About 30 million people are living below the national poverty line. The country is also tasked with defusing major risks and controlling pollution.

These are challenges. But if resolved well, they can be transformed into opportunities. The game-changing move is further reform and opening-up, which will expand significant influence on foreign investment.

For instance, to improve the performance of its open economy, China is replacing its administrative approval system with a negative list model. Foreign investment in high-tech industries doubled over the past five years thanks to innovation-driven development. The number of foreign experts working in China has grown by 40 percent as the country intensifies efforts to attract talent to promote development.

China is offering more vision and public goods to make global governance rules more fair and balanced. Participants are benefiting from the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. All these will promote new drivers of growth and more inclusive development of both China and the world.

Engagement does not always goes smoothly. China has called for resolving trade frictions through dialogues as equals. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.

The world has reached an age of great transformation and profound changes. There are always new chapters and new things to think about. There is no time to stand still.

China has taken proactive and constructive actions to build a community with a shared future for humanity. The aim is clear: Work together to make the most of this period of opportunity -- a period for making things.

Opportunity favors only the prepared mind. China's story over the past 40 years has given enough time and reason for the world to prepare the mind: Share China's opportunity, and the future is there.