VIENNA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- China has changed incredibly over the last four decades and will do well to continue the reform and opening-up policy launched by late leader Deng Xiaoping, former Austrian President Heinz Fischer has said.
China in 1974 was on the same footing with countries in Latin America or North Africa where technical equipments were insufficient, medical care at low level, and peasants lived a poor life, Fischer told Xinhua in a recent written interview, recalling his first visit to China as a young Austrian member of parliament.
In Beijing and Shanghai, houses of one or two stories were predominant, while the Beijing Hotel was one of the tallest buildings in the Chinese capital, Fischer said.
Over the last 40 years, China has been growing at a fast pace, and is now in competition with the world's leading industrialized countries, said Fischer, who visited China 10 times between 1974 and 2017.
As a jurist, Fischer attached great importance to the progress that China has made on the rule of law.
After leaving office in July 2016, Fischer started to serve as president of the Austria-China Friendship Association (ACFA).
The ACFA held a symposium with a delegation of the China Society for Human Rights Studies in Vienna in June. The two sides will meet again next year.
A well-dosed re-evaluation of Confucius also seems to be important, Fischer said.
In a turbulent world, the love for peace upheld by Confucius and his idea of a large, harmonious -- and for the time being added -- equal international community is of great importance, he said.
Fischer believes that people should not limit themselves to a single cultural theory and Chinese and Western knowledge should complement each other.
A further opening of China on the basis of reciprocity is to the advantage of all participants in the international arena, he added.