- by Long Dingbin – Chinese General Consul to Perth
- The Guardian
- Issue #2048
Photo: Nathan Hughes Hamilton – flickr.com (CC BY 2.0)
Last month, China’s annual Two Sessions, the National People’s Congress (NPC, China’s top legislature) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (China’s top political advisory body) were successfully concluded in Beijing. Nearly 3000 NPC deputies and over 2000 members of the CPPCC National Committee converged in Beijing to discuss national affairs, a major event in China’s political life and a vivid demonstration of China’s whole-process people’s democracy.
The NPC deputies are from all walks of life and places across the country. Many are front line workers, farmers and professional personnel. Sectors of the National Committee of CPPCC basically cover all areas of society. Through the consensus building platform of the Two Sessions, the “trivial issues” of people’s livelihoods are closely linked to the “significant matters of the nation,” public opinions are heard by the top decision making body, and people’s requests resonate with the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese government’s strategies and policies.
This year’s NPC session unanimously elected Xi Jinping as President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission, reflecting the common will and unity of the whole country and also reinforcing China’s key advantage of political certainty and consistency.
The Two Sessions are reckoned as China’s political weather vane and economic barometer. This year’s Sessions carry special significance as they witness the specific implementation of the calls made during the 20th National Congress of the CPC hosted last year, outline a new growth blueprint after the country overcame COVID-19 shock waves, and expound to the world China’s propositions on major international issues.
Chinese-style modernisation contributes to and inspires the development of the world. Achieving modernisation for a country of more than 1.4 billion people is an unprecedented feat in human history, one of profound global significance in itself. Making extraordinary headway and busting the myth that modernisation is westernisation, Chinese-style modernisation has brought new enlightenment to the world with its characteristics of independence, people’s supremacy, common prosperity for all, material and cultural-ethical advancement, harmony between humanity and nature and peaceful development. In his report to the 20th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, underscored the central task of the Party, calling for efforts to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese-style modernisation, which presents a correct path to realizing the Chinese dream and offers humanity a new choice for achieving modernization.
As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang pointed out at the press conference of this year’s NPC, Chinese-style modernisation is not pursued through war, colonisation or plundering, but dedicated to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit. The process of Chinese modernisation is a boost to the force for peace, justice and progress in the world. As more and more countries begin their own journey of modernisation, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind will become true.
China’s commitment to high quality development and high level opening up provides valuable new opportunities to the world. China has long been the biggest contributor to the world’s economic development. In the period 2013-2021, China’s contribution to global economic growth averaged 38.6 per cent, higher than that of G7 countries combined (25.7 per cent). The IMF said that the Chinese economy is now expected to contribute a third of global growth in 2023.
In 2022, China’s GDP increased to nearly USD18 trillion, registering an annual growth rate of 5.2 per cent over the past five years and an annual growth of 6.2 per cent over the past decade. China’s projected growth target in 2023 is around five percent, far higher than other major economies.
Xi Jinping stressed in his report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC that China’s new journey toward modernisation features high quality development. And this year’s Two Sessions have reemphasised the importance of high quality development.
High quality development means China will upgrade its economy from the lower and middle end to the middle and upper end in the industrial chain, and will prioritise low-carbon emission industries, energy-efficient infrastructure, smart transportation and high quality consumption, which will enable the country to expand practical cooperation with Australia and other countries in such areas as digital economy, renewable energy and creative industries etc.
High quality development also means a high level opening up. China will continue to optimise its business environment, expand market access, actively promote accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and other high-standard economic and trade agreements.
China’s high quality development is underpinned by its profound domestic market. It is forecast that in the coming decade China will import over US$22 trillion of goods, which means huge opportunities for Australia and other countries around the world.
China is committed to safeguarding world peace and security. In his speech at the NPC, after being elected as Chinese President about one month ago, President Xi Jinping reaffirmed that China must hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and add more stability and positive energy to world peace and development.
China will stick to the path of peaceful development, build on extensive partnerships to promote greater democracy in international relations. China will dedicate itself to building a community with a shared future for mankind, and making global governance more just and equitable. China will offer more and better insights and solutions to help tackle humanity’s common challenges.
President Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Security Initiative, exploring solutions to both the symptoms and the root causes of international security challenges. His recent state visit to Russia as well as China’s mediation in Saudi-Iran deal to restore diplomatic ties clearly show China’s international image as a peace builder and demonstrate China’s role and responsibility as a responsible major country.
With leaders successfully meeting last year and high level exchanges getting intensified recently, the development of China Australia relations is gaining steam. As front runner and pacemaker in our bilateral relations, Western Australia has always been playing a leading role in pressing forward our friendship and pragmatic cooperation.
Last month, two Chinese national sport teams, namely, the Men’s Water Polo and the Women’s Hockey teams visited and played friendship games with a WA local club team and Australian national team respectively, which are the first China WA sport exchanges since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and mark the gradual recovery of our people to people and cultural exchanges.
More excitingly, this 22nd July in Perth, Chinese national Women’s football team will play against Denmark in their first group match in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the result of which will determine if the Chinese team could qualify for the knockout stage.
I am sure the significant match in Perth will catch the eyes and hearts of 1.4 billion Chinese, and the City of Light will become a familiarised place to the hundreds of millions of Chinese football fans.
The most exciting event in China WA relations this year is no doubt Premier Mark McGowan’s imminent visit to China from 17th-22nd April, during which he will meet senior Chinese officials and business leaders. I sincerely wish the visit a complete success, which will ensure high quality, substantive and steady development and usher in a brighter future of China WA relations.
I myself and my colleagues will spare no efforts to work closely with people from different walks of life in WA to promote more exchanges, dialogues and cooperation between the two sides.