Saturday March 9, 2013
All out to rejuvenate a nation
Made in China
By CHOW HOW BAN
Party leaders set the tone by looking to the past to rejuvenate the future.
WHEN Xi Jinping and his new Chinese Communist Party (CCP) top brass line-up were introduced to the media last November, the party general-secretary set the tone for a majestic dream that the whole nation will pursue in the next decade.
The dream is to unify China and Taiwan. The grand mission is bring China back to its glorious past during the ancient times.
Its goal is to become a moderately prosperous society by 2020. All in all, this is what the Chinese call the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
“Our nation is a great nation. In the course of development and 5,000 years of its civilisation, the Chinese nation has made an indelible contribution to human civilisation and progress,” Xi said.
“Since then, in order to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, numerous people with lofty ideals had launched protests but once again they failed to do so. After the founding of the CCP, we got the people united and transformed a poor and backward China into a prosperous new China. We can now see the unprecedented bright prospect of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
Xi then promised to work hard and lead the people to their revival.
In his final address at Tuesday’s meeting of the National People’s Congress as Chinese Premier after 10 years of service, the outgoing Wen Jiabao again stressed the party’s resolve in seeing the reunification of China one day.
“We should adhere to the central government’s major policies on Taiwan, fully implement the important ideas of peaceful development and deepen the cross-strait relations through politics, economy and culture.
“We should make concerted effort to complete the reunification process of our motherland,” he said.
According to Zhang Ping, who is the chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, which approves major projects and strategies policies to maintain the country’s economic vitality, a strong and sound economy will continue to be one of the main forces to rejuvenate the nation.
He said in the past five years, China experienced a fast yet stable economic growth of 9.3% on average and its GDP grew from over 30 trillion yuan (RM14.98tril) in 2008 to 50 trillion yuan (RM24.98tril) last year.
The rural residents’ income increased by 9.9% while that of urbanites rose 8.8%. Compared with other developed or developing nations, such a growth rate was considered one of the fastest, he added.
“I would not want to say that ‘only the landscape over here is good’ but we have indeed achieved great results. While maintaining a stable yet progressive growth, our economic structure especially domestic demand has further improved.
“Boosting domestic demand is the most effective measure that we had taken to win the war against the global financial crisis and respond to external crisis,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Zhang said, in a way, the measure had offset the negative growth of external demand for Chinese goods amid the crisis and encouraged a wave of innovativeness among companies.
Moving forward, he said China would need to continue with its social and economic reform especially in the financial sector, fiscal and taxation mechanism, income distribution system and revamp of state-owned enterprises.
He attributed the meteoric rise of China becoming a productive, relatively prosperous and internationally competitive nation throughout the last 30 years to its unwavering path on reforms.
“The main driving force for China’s future development will still depend on reform. By 2020, our goal is not only to build a moderately prosperous society but also deepen economic reform.
“We will also have to further improve our economic structure based on socialist capital market and ensure all our economic and social systems become more mature,” he said.
He said China was facing problems of overcapacity especially in the iron and steel, aluminium, cement, glass, coke, photovoltaic and wind energy equipment industries, in the course of its transformation into one of the world’s biggest manufacturing-based nations.
He said the government would have to strike a balance and maintain only companies which were energy efficient and high technology centric.
“We will make sure the people earn enough money and have money to spend and this will boost domestic consumption which is key to our economic development.
“At last year’s 18th CCP National Congress, the leadership and party delegates further triggered the enthusiasm of the Chinese people to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and this provides us with great strength to leap forward.”