by Tichaona Chifamba, Zhang Yuliang
HARARE, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- China deserves credit for transforming its poor economy into the world's second largest over the past 70 years, a former Zimbabwean minister told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"I think that is the big achievement ... the economic growth is just enormous," said Fay Chung, who used to serve as education minister in the African country.
Chung, who has visited China many times over the past several decades, attributed China's economic transformation and industrialization to its steadfast adherence to ideology and a gradual and systematic modernization of its technology.
She credits China's transformation to a solid adherence to its own brand of socialism.
"I know from history that China had suffered many decades when people did not have enough food," she said.
"They had to do what they were capable of doing," said Chung. "I saw them do shoe factories, clothing factories, and all these were very good attempts and the technology was very, very simple."
China used primitive technology for about 10 years with a philosophy that people needed to produce everything they needed, she said.
The lesson that Africa should take from China is that instead of looking at a short term, governments should have long-term plans to produce tangible results, she said.
"So I think this is a lesson that we have from China instead of looking at just five years. Most of Africa looks for five years because we have elections every five years. But we see China looking at 40 to 60 years, looking at 100 years," she said.