China’s development after 70 years is a miracle – Amb, Hu Zhanglaing

    Amb. Hu.

    By Austin Thomas

    In a special interview with Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at his Wilberforce Loop office on Monday 30th September 2019, on his country’s 70 National Day celebration told Awoko that it’s a miracle for China to have achieved all what they have in just 70 years, whilst many Western Countries too centuries to reach where they are.

    Below is the full interview done by Austin Thomas with Ambassador Hu Zhangliang.

    Question: Your Excellency sir, thank you for accepting the interview. October 1st, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past 70 years, China has made remarkable achievements and it can be called a miracle in the history of human development. Your Excellency, could you brief us on some of China’s major achievements?

    Answer: China’s achievements over the past 70 years belong to the world and mankind. Over the past 70 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have worked hard to make an unprecedented development miracle happen in human history. China has always been working together with the rest of the world and shouldering its global responsibility. China’s achievements are not only its own; they also belong to the world and mankind.

    There are stories of ‘Made-in-China,’ poverty alleviation, national unity, ecological civilization, peaceful development, win-win cooperation, and a community with a shared future for mankind. China will continue to seek happiness for its people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and strengthen its cooperation with countries worldwide, no matter how the international situation changes.

    China will be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order.

    Over the past seven decades, the Communist Party of China has united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups (58) to forge ahead and work tenaciously, promoting the economic progress of the country by leaps and bounds.

    Question:  You have introduced some of the greatest achievements China has scored. We know that China’s great achievements in the past 70 years cannot be enumerated in just a few minutes. Your Excellency, could you elaborate on the secrets behind China’s great achievements?

    Answer: Many people at home and abroad have marveled at China’s industrialization, which took place in the space of just a few decades. They attributed this success to the hard work of China’s people above all else. At the 40th anniversary of the start of China’s reform and opening up policy in December, President Xi said that the achievements made by China over the past four decades “comes from the hard work, wisdom, and courage of all members of the Party and people from all of China’s ethnic groups.”

    And in his 2019 New Year message, he summed up China’s progress in developing its economy, protecting its natural environment, improving the people’s livelihood, advancing innovation, and advancing reform and opening up, and stressed once again that China’s successes were due to the hard work of people from all China’s ethnic groups.

    We approached our development with steadfast determination, and the world has seen China’s accelerating reform and opening up, and its determination to carry it forward. The struggle of China’s people is aimed at realizing their aspirations for a better life.

    In 2018, another 10 million rural residents were raised out of poverty. China reduced the prices of 17 cancer-fighting drugs, and included them on the country’s medical insurance list. Thirteen million people found jobs. Construction began on 5.8 million new homes for people living in dilapidated houses. Many people from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan have resident permits for the mainland, and Hong Kong has been integrated into China’s high-speed railway network.

    All of these achievements that President Xi mentioned in his New Year message are vivid examples of the simple truth that “Happiness comes from hard work”, and all are good reasons for China’s people to be proud. China’s achievements over the past four decades are the result of the diligence, wisdom, and courage of innumerable people.

    Over the past 70 years, the policy of reform and opening up has combined with the spirit of self-reliance and hard work to achieve something extraordinary. China is ready to run for another 70 years towards its dream of national rejuvenation, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

    Question: I know that while pursuing its own development, China has also actively supported the development of African countries and other developing countries, including Sierra Leone. Could you brief us on China’s cooperation with Africa and Sierra Leone? How can African countries like Sierra Leone share China’s success better?

    Answer: China has a reputation among African countries for being an actor that respects other cultures and states. This view is widely held by many African heads of state.

    China’s unconditional cooperation has allowed African governments to enjoy access to finance, expertise and development aid. In 2016, the trade between China and Africa reached $128bn, a drastic surge from $1bn in 1980. At FOCAC in Beijing last year, China offered $60bn for development financing until 2021. While the financial crises in the US and EU limited their investments in Africa, China committed to investing more in the continent.

    China has aided African governments to meet their people’s rapidly growing demands for services and infrastructure more quickly. Many people in Africa are now used to quick delivery of services – such as transportation, education, health and telecommunication – by Chinese companies. This has created, and will continue to create, more appetite for Chinese business in Africa.

    China is now also engaged in peace and security projects in Africa. Chinese troops participated in eight UN peacekeeping missions of which five are in Africa. Moreover, China is the second largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping missions and it also contributed funding to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the IGAD South Sudan mediation.

    China’s history of fast and successful economic growth is a model from which many lessons could be learned in Africa. China’s capacity to ensure policy sovereignty remains relevant, and highly attractive to African leaders and scholars. According to the World Bank, in about 40 years, China has lifted about 800 million people out of poverty through its untraditional path of development. Notably, in 2015, it achieved all the Millennium Development Goals.

    Austin Thomas and AmbassadorHu Zhangliang

    Question: Over the 70 years of success of China, definitely there must have been challenges, could you explained how you overcame these challenges to make China what it is today?

    Answer: China has succeeded in building a peaceful and stable country. But it did not come on a platter of gold but it came with challenges that we had to overcome.

    China indeed overcame three significant challenges. It moved from rapid growth to high-quality growth. That will require dealing with the bad loans that helped fuel double-digit growth. The country also found a way to double the size of its middle income population from 400m to 800m to generate domestic demand.

    China’s second challenge was to complete its reforms and make state assets, amounting to 200 per cent of gross domestic product, compatible with a market economy. The return on state assets rose by as little as 0.5 per cent, the country was be able to eliminate all personal income tax. The third challenge is most imminent. Beijing learns to lead at a time when the US is confused and paranoid.

    The CPC has much to celebrate. In the past few centuries the country has never looked as strong as it does today, a consequence of the four-decade economic boom ushered in by the late leader Deng Xiaoping’s free market reforms and opening-up policy.

    In those 40 years, China has witnessed something of an economic miracle Growing annually at an average of 9.5 per cent, its GDP went from 367.9 billion yuan in 1978 to 90 trillion yuan (US$13.18 trillion) last year. Meanwhile, per capita GDP rose from just US$200 in 1979 – when 80 per cent of Chinese lived in absolute poverty in rural areas – to around US$10,000 last year, firmly in middle-income territory.

    I would like to express warm congratulations on behalf of the Sierra Leonean media and television audience.

    China’s government has stressed that reform and opening up will never stop, and that it will always adhere to a people-oriented approach to development that provides a better life for China’s people.

    China is at the crux of reforming, professionalizing, and internationalizing its cultural and creative industries. These industries are at the forefront of China’s move towards the status of a developed country.

    China development is still incomplete with risk in the finance sector. Protectionism is a challenge for China. 22 years ago China took over Hong Kong and still certain Western countries are behind the protest as a way of causing problem for China.

    Also weather conditions have been a challenge for us, SARS also was a challenge that we had to overcome.

    China’s successes have been achieved through hard work, a large country with a nearly 1.4 billion population, China cannot achieve prosperity by asking for assistance and waiting. The only option is hard work.

    China relied on the solid and unremitting efforts of generations of Chinese people, and on fulfilling its own responsibility in good times and in adversity, without exporting or shifting problems elsewhere, and without seeking development by trading under coercion or exploiting other countries.

    The Awoko family and the media landscape want to extend their felicitation to the Ambassador and peoples of China for celebrating its 70 years celebration.



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