by Raimundo Urrechaga
HAVANA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's reform and opening-up provides inspiration for the world in how to improve lives of hundreds of millions, according to a renowned Cuban political observer.
China's reform and opening-up, launched in 1978, represents the "most significant and far-reaching process" any country has ever undertaken, Jose Luis Robaina, a researcher at Cuba's Center for International Policy (CIPI), told Xinhua.
Impressed with the significant changes in China in the four decades, Robaina, who lived in Beijing when the process kicked off, referred to the reform and opening-up as "something that has no equal in any nation in history."
"Today it is the world's second-largest economy and the leading trade partner for many countries in Latin America, Africa and Europe," he said.
Spearheaded by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the policy represented a "significant step" in improving people's quality of life through "ambitious economic development."
The reforms that opened up opportunities for foreign investment have been a tremendous success and have yielded significant results, said Robaina.
As China's economic influence grew around the world so did its political influence, the observer said, adding that China has become one of the principal political players in the world.
According to Robaina, China's continuing efforts to expand its reform and opening-up promise to help it achieve more.
The goal of eradicating absolute poverty by 2020 is an important part of this process, which would lead to a "true milestone" in the country's development, said Robaina.
Noting that "getting (people) out of poverty is a very important, praiseworthy, meritorious first step," he said that "it is necessary to keep evolving so the Chinese people could attain what they call a modestly prosperous society."
Further opening up China's economy on the basis of reciprocity benefits all participants in the international arena, Robaina said. "I look to China's future with great optimism."