Not long ago, the Fifth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee's proposal on the 11th Five-Year Development Plan was published. Through careful reading and study of this "Proposal", the writer has come to realize this viewpoint: Viewed from a deeper and longer-ranging perspective, he finds that the peaceful rise of China in the first half of the 21st century necessarily has three major trends.
The first inevitable major trend is that the Chinese will continue to concentrate all strengths on seeking their development. Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China's reform and opening-up program, once said: The key to solving all problems of modern China depends on our own development, adding that we should immerse ourselves in hard work, and get one work, China's own work, well done. The 16th CPC National Congress summed it up as: Concentrate our energies on construction and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to seeking development. This is a matter of paramount importance that bears on the 1.3 billion people's rights to subsistence and development! In the 30s-40s of the 21st century, China's population will reach a peak of 1.5 billion. In a sense, a successful solution of the problem concerning the subsistence and development of one-fourth of the world's total population, and doing a good job of this important matter will signify bigger contribution made by China to humankind. At the same time, getting this matter well done will suffice to keep several generations of Chinese people very, very busy, China has no time and energy at all and absolutely does not need to threaten any countries and any persons. It should be said that no big, late-burgeoning country after its rise has ever done so since the beginning of modern world history.
The second inevitable major trend is that the Chinese, on the basis of independence (including basing themselves fundamentally on China in terms of energy resources), will continue to unswervingly take an active part in economic globalization and more consciously follow a road of relying on both domestic and international markets and resources and deepen interdependence, cooperation and thus getting win-win results together with all related countries. Because China has a huge population but limited energy and natural resources, therefore, the Chinese will try hard to blaze a new industrialization trail, a road to building a resources-saving society with Chinese characteristics.
The Fifth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee's "Proposal" stresses that by 2010 China's per-capita GDP will have doubled that of 2000, while consumption of energy resources for per-unit GDP will drop by about 20 percent from the year 2005, and the deteriorating tendency of China's eco-environment will be basically curbed, the situation of inordinate reduction in cultivated land will be kept under effective control, a basic equilibrium will be achieved in the balance of international payments and an open economy will reach a new level. To this end, China will continue to devote its efforts to expanding domestic demand and relying mainly on its own strength to solve problems arising in the course of development, and will not add burden or trouble to any other country. This has never been done either by any big late-emerging country after its rise since the dawn of modern world history.
The final inevitable major trend is that China's peaceful rise will, in the process of intersection with world civilizations, bring about the great rejuvenation of Chinese civilization on the basis of socialism. China's peaceful rise has been defined as the coordinated development of material civilization, political civilization, spiritual civilization and harmonious society, and as a structure for improving nationals' qualities and multi-faceted internal and external harmonious relationships. This will mean a great change of the Chinese society in the first half of the 21st century and a great transformation of the Chinese nation. Such a defining has been formed into a fundamental principle and a peaceful, civilized and opening road. Just as Mao Zedong, founder of New China, said in the 1950s: "China will become a powerful country, but it is amiable." At the same time, it is also as what Deng Xiaoping said with certainty during his south China tour in 1992: "Socialist China should demonstrate to the world with its own practice that China opposes hegemonism and power politics and will never seek hegemony. China is a steadfast force defending world peace." This, of course, is a major event of world historic significance, China is conscientiously doing so and will continue to do so in the long years ahead. It should also be said that all big, late-emerging countries have never done so since the dawn of modern world history.
Written by Zheng Bijian, director-general of the Forum on China's Reform and Opening-up, this article is carried on the front page of People's Daily Overseas Edition November 11 and translated by People's Daily Online