How China's new development philosophy drives global green, coordinated and sustainable growth

(Xinhua) 15:09, March 16, 2022

Photo taken on Jan. 8, 2022 shows a test bullet train running over Anning River in Dechang County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)

BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The late autumn of 2015 beheld a memorable occasion in Chinese history: At the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward a new development philosophy featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared growth, setting in motion a profound reform of China's economic development.

In the following years, this philosophy, key component of "Xiconomics," or the economic wisdom of Xi, has been continuously developed and enriched, producing a growing resonance across the world and an increasingly far-reaching impact.

With a strong awareness to balance human and nature, the economy and the society, the economic foundation and the superstructure, efficiency and equity, as well as the present and the future, the philosophy not only offers a guide to high-quality development in China, but also enlightens the global community in addressing development challenges.

Photo taken on Jan. 8, 2022 shows a test bullet train running over Anning River in Dechang County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)


In desert-capped northeastern Kenyan county of Garissa, neat and dense solar panels line up to form an "energy oasis" to benefit thousands of local families and businesses. This Chinese-built plant, also the largest solar power station in East Africa, has set Kenya on the path of achieving green energy sufficiency.

The Garissa solar plant is a miniature of China's years of overseas implementation of the concept of green development, a vision Xi has kept advocating against the backdrop of pressing environmental degradation and fragmented global environmental governance.

"Clean waters and green mountains are just as valuable as gold and silver." This aphorism of harmony between environmental protection and economic development, also dubbed the "two mountains" concept that Xi has repeatedly brought up on various occasions at home, made its international debut in September 2013 when the Chinese president visited Kazakhstan, and has been reiterated by him on global occasions ever since.

"To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to improve the environment is to boost productivity," Xi said in a speech at the Leaders Summit on Climate via video link in late April of 2021.

"We need to speed up efforts to foster a green way of development and secure a win-win economic growth and environmental protection, so as to build a homeland of coordinated advancement of economy and the environment," he said several months later at the leaders' summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Xi's thought on coexistence between the humankind and nature has not only set the course for the green transition of the Chinese economy, but also resonated with the rest of the world.

In 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme's 27th council meeting adopted a decision on promoting China's ecological civilization. Besides, the "two mountains" concept has become the work philosophy of Laos' Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

"Xi's overarching thesis," The Diplomat wrote in December 2021, "allows mankind to go beyond the mode of production and consumption triggered by the Industrial Revolution, and enter into a more advanced stage of development, marked as a harmonious co-existence with nature."

Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows wind turbines of the De Aar wind power project invested by China's Longyuan Power and its South African partners in De Aar, South Africa. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)


"Today, the world is very unequal indeed ... half of all assets around the world are now controlled by the richest 1 percent of the global population," founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab wrote in "The Fourth Industrial Revolution."

The global development imbalance Schwab noted in his book in 2016 has even worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and new technology applications. In this context, the new development philosophy proposed by Xi, with a focus on promoting equal development opportunities, has not only set a guideline for China's own development, but also offered a recipe for narrowing the global development gap.

"The international community should keep its eyes on the long run, honor its commitment, and provide necessary support to developing countries and safeguard their legitimate development interests. Equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules should be strengthened, so that all countries will benefit from the opportunities and fruits of development," Xi said in January 2021 at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda via video link.

"We need to work together to steer global development towards a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth. To this end, I would like to propose a Global Development Initiative," Xi said via video at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021.

Guided by Xiconomics, China has been trying to promote common prosperity with a series of measures, such as adjusting overly high incomes through channels like taxes, offering more help to low-income groups through the provision of stronger public benefits, and expanding the size of the middle class.

To realize common prosperity, the nation should first "make a bigger and better cake" through joint efforts of the people, and then divide and distribute the cake properly through rational institutional arrangements, read a statement released after China's annual Central Economic Work Conference held in December 2021.

Moreover, China has been walking the talk to help developing countries enhance their self-reliance and sustainability through a variety of projects, such as promoting the Belt and Road cooperation, establishing the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, and building agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa.

Xi's economic thought, which focuses on improving people's well-being in a long-term and effective way, is worth learning as it reflects a comprehensive and profound philosophy on governance and development, said Naeem Bukhari, chief executive of Pakistan's Human Capital Management Institute.

Noting Xiconomics' emphasis on balance, Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, said keeping balance in many aspects is very important for avoiding tensions and conflicts.

Wind turbine blades wait for shipment at Lianyungang Port, east China's Jiangsu province, April 16, 2021. (Photo by Wang Chun/Xinhua)


"We need to focus on current priorities, and balance COVID response and economic development. Macroeconomic policy support should be stepped up to bring the world economy out of the woods as early as possible. More importantly, we need to look beyond the horizon and strengthen our will and resolve for change. We need to shift the driving forces and growth models of the global economy and improve its structure, so as to set the course for long-term, sound and steady development of the world economy," Xi said in January 2021.

One year later, Xi said at the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session that "countries around the world should uphold true multilateralism. We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy."

The remarks by Xi, with a thorough analysis of the constraints facing world economic recovery and a good grasp of the global development trends and economic rules, came in time for a worldwide sustainable development agenda challenged by COVID-19, a weak world economy, poverty and turmoils.

Guided by Xi's wisdom, China has adopted strong measures to coordinate pandemic control and economic growth, expanded high-level opening-up, actively built a "dual circulation" development paradigm, and upheld multilateralism and win-win cooperation to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world.

While China's solutions have facilitated consensus in the international community, its actions have injected a fresh momentum into global sustainable development.

Xi's economic thought emphasizes that the right to development should be shared by countries around the world, said Natee Taweesrifuengfung, president of the Thailand-based Siam Think Tank, adding that the thought, which calls for jointly building an open world economy, is devoted to pushing forward global sustainable development. 

(Web editor: Peng yukai, Liang Jun)


Related Stories