Two sessions will contribute to global stability

At China’s ongoing two sessions — the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) — the country’s renewed focus is on post-pandemic economic revitalization and the expected unveiling of a new political team. These moves are timely because the world needs China as a dynamic catalyst for economic growth and stability. This is the important news the world needs now. 

The two sessions, the biggest annual event on China’s political calendar, are very important not only for China but also for Asia and the world. That is why on Sunday morning I was moderator at the Pandesal Forum on the two sessions with geopolitics experts Dr Aaron Jed Rabena and Professor Anna Malindog-Uy presenting their views before media and intellectuals at Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City, the Philippines. I and the two experts unanimously agreed that China’s wise leaders and its hardworking, entrepreneurial people can sustain a strong revival of the world’s second-biggest economy, which will benefit neighbors in Asia and all other regions. In his work report delivered at the opening meeting of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress on Sunday morning, China’s premier, Li Keqiang, proposed setting the country’s GDP growth target at 5 percent for this year, but I believe China’s economic expansion could result in 6 percent growth or even higher this year. 

Rabena and Malindog-Uy said countries like the Philippines can maximize the immense economic, trade, infrastructure, technological and other benefits from China’s economic dynamism and its huge consumer market, if their political leaders can ensure good and stable diplomacy with China such as by amicably handling disagreements through friendly dialogue. 

The world is now confronting many uncertainties such as US-led NATO’s conflict with Russia, exacerbated by the tragic Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as economic difficulties in the United States and some major European countries. So the ongoing two sessions, which are expected to facilitate political consolidation and economic revitalization in China, are significant to the world.

What is also fascinating is that the nearly 3,000 deputies meeting at the National People’s Congress now epitomizes China’s “whole-process people’s democracy”, or what I would call “democracy with Chinese characteristics”. Unlike the political systems espoused by some Western countries, China’s consensus-style and grassroots-based consultative democracy is inspired by its Confucian moral values and unique traditions; it has worked efficiently over past decades to uplift the lives of the people. In the two sessions, all socioeconomic sectors are represented in this important political process, including every ethnic minority group, the island province of Taiwan and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

Although the two sessions are political in nature, the focus of the discussions is on economic issues and livelihood priorities. 

In recent years, I have been most impressed with China’s consistent socioeconomic achievements, despite the fact the country has faced numerous global uncertainties and unfortunate trade war policies adopted by some countries. The Chinese government and people have been resolute and persevering in sustaining economic development and social stability. 

For me, what has been most impressive is China’s epic feat in liberating nearly 100 million rural residents from poverty over eight years. All peoples of the Global South should gain inspiration and learn lessons from this awesome triumph over poverty and in favor of social justice. 

Other admirable accomplishments of the Chinese government include the political will to protect the environment by following strategic, science-guided and proactive green or ecological policies. Let us learn from China’s commitment to the environment and help save our earth.

Other notable achievements include China’s GDP, which increased to 121 trillion yuan ($17.4 trillion), with an average annual growth rate of 5.2 percent over 5 years; grain output stabilization for food security; and the over 12.7 million new urban jobs created per year. All these and more were accomplished by the government and the people of China, despite the daunting obstacles and difficulties caused by the recent global pandemic, geopolitical uncertainties and the fierce trade war waged by the US.

I have high hopes the two sessions will adopt policies to continue upholding China’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth, social progress, bold pragmatic economic reforms and science-guided development. I expect China will continue with nonstop technological innovations, making its economy globally competitive; invest in education and research and development; expand the reach and scope of Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure cooperation with foreign countries; strengthen ecological and environmental policies in areas like alternative energies and reforestation; and adopt more cultural initiatives to revitalize and promote Chinese civilization and traditional Confucian moral values on harmony.

The author is moderator of the Pandesal Forum, a multiaward-winning writer, columnist of the Philippine Star newspaper, an economics and politics analyst, and chairman of Anvil Business Club.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.