'China model' 30 years on: from home to abroad

15:47, April 21, 2011      

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With China' rapid rise, anything connected with the "China model" could spark heated argument in the global academic circle. Think tanks around the world tend to comment on China's development path, especially over the past 30 years since China adopted the policy of reform and opening up, but their views vary.

The arguments mainly focus on three aspects: Is there a kind of "China model?" If yes, what are the striking features of it? And what development path should China follow in the years to come?

To answer all these questions, Tsinghua International Centre for Communication Studies (TICC) held the forum of "One Hundred Years of Tsinghua, A Century of the China Model in the Making" on April 20, 2011 for the centennial celebration of the founding of the prestigious Tsinghua University.

The forum brought together 18 distinguished scholars and experts from home and aboard, graduate students and faculty members in Tsinghua University to meet, exchange ideas, share their latest studies and coordinate actions so as to strengthen the understanding of the "China model."

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Zhao Qizheng, the spokesman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) noted that China's success over the past 30 years demonstrated that the country, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), had built a better political system, established a market-oriented national economy and fostered an efficient and responsible government.

As China grows stronger, it shoulders more and more international responsibility, particularly in terms of global peacekeeping. "We are now the largest provider of peacekeeping troops among five permanent members of United Nations' Security Council (UNSC), and we have contributed greatly to the global campaigns combating global warming, environmental pollution, terrorism, drug abuse, natural disasters and so on," Zhao said.

According to Zhao, China, despite its achievements, needs to find solutions to all the difficulties and problems that may arise amid rapid economic development. The China model is a dynamic concept, so it may vary. It may become stable or fluctuate according to China's growth in different periods of time, therefore China needs to be prepared.

Growing from a country that was in poverty to the world's second largest economy, China has amazed the world with miraculous economic development. China made great contributions to employment, social equality and the global war on poverty. But we also need to notice the unbalanced development between China's costal cities and inland areas. The disparity also exists in income, wealth distribution, education, and so on. The development in some large cities cannot represent China, said Zhang Weiwei, professor of international relations at the Geneva School of Diplomacy.

The forum provided an open space to facilitate discussions and offer information and reasons on China's peaceful rise. China has the right to bring its experience of success and lessons to the world, is on a path of sustainable development with its own characteristics and will stick to it.

Time-honored history and culture are the best treasure China has contributed to the world. It is more than democracy, autocracy, human rights, GDP, market economy and the need for general elections that the Western world is preaching every day. The Chinese people, with the China model, have established their own political discourse and index system. With a brilliant civilization as the foundation, the China model, either political, economic or social, will be more glorious in the years to come.

Although participants are often divided in the terms used to describe the China model, such as "China's experience," "Chinese characteristics" and the "Chinese path," they are passionate and confident on reviewing China's development over the past decades and optimistic about China's future growth.

Other speakers at the forum include Li Xiguang, director of TICC and executive dean of Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication; Pan Wei, professor of political science at the School of International Studies, Peking University, Murat Salim Esenli, Turkish ambassador to China; Daniel A. Bell, professor of philosophy at Tsinghua University; Cui Zhiyuan, professor at Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management; Wang Shaoguang, chair professor and chairperson in the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kang.

By Zhang Xinyi, People's Daily Online

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