CHINA marked its National Day on Tuesday with a massive parade through the centre of Beijing featuring missiles, tanks and thousands of marching troops, along with tributes to the country’s Communist Party leaders and the striking economic and social developments achieved since the People’s Republic was founded 70 years ago. Following the show of military might, the parade continued with floats representing the vast nation’s far-flung regions and key events such as the opening of the economy in the 1980s, the return of Hong Kong and Macao to China in the late 1990s and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The ceremonies held in China as well as the country’s Missions world-wide also highlighted the phenomenal development that the great nation made in different spheres of life. But the most important aspect of all these celebrations was the solemn pledge reiterated by the untiring leader of the country — President Xi Jinping — who vowed to continue to pursue the policy of peaceful development and at the same time delivering a firm message that the armed forces were ready to defend China’s sovereignty. These were not mere slogans as China has taken practical measures like ‘One Belt, One Road’ and ‘Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’ to share the fruits of its development and prosperity with neighbours and beyond. Pakistan is lucky to become partner of China in the flagship programme of OBOR — China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that has already started contributing to the growth and development of Pakistan especially in the realm of energy and infrastructure. China is also offering scholarships to students from Pakistan and other developing countries in technologies and disciplines that are no-go areas for them in the Western world, which is yet another indication of sincerity of Beijing in extending meaningful assistance to these countries in accelerating their pace of development. China has also experienced an impressive growth in agriculture, a green revolution, followed by rapid industrial growth and reduction in poverty and in this backdrop it is satisfying that it is extending fullest possible cooperation to Pakistan in tapping its agricultural potential and harnessing industrial growth through special economic zones under the umbrella of CPEC. It is rightly said that China has transformed from an economy with basic agriculture and technology to a global manufacturing powerhouse, and it is now transitioning to an economy driven more by consumption and services. Chinese government has not only lifted 740 million people out of poverty since China adopted an opening-up policy about 40 years ago but that the country has also contributed around 30% of the growth of the world economy in recent years. It has become a front-runner in areas such as e-commerce and shared economies and new technology and entrepreneurs are fostering the emergence of innovative industrial clusters. China has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with real annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 9.5% through 2018, a pace described by the World Bank as “the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history.” Such growth has enabled China, on average, to double its GDP every eight years and helped lift an estimated 800 million people out of poverty. China has become the world’s largest economy (on a purchasing power parity basis), manufacturer, merchandise trader and holder of foreign exchange reserves. It is because of this inbuilt strength and hard work of the leadership and people of China that the country is successfully withstanding the pressure of the trade war initiated by the United States. China is on a firm path of rise and that is why President Xi declared “No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.” China reached this miraculous level of progress and development due to innovation, stability and continuity of policies and the third world countries have much to learn from this experience. China has now embarked on what is called “high quality economic development” in which it is poised to become a world leader in science and technology, research and innovation. There are deliberate efforts to steer the country to a higher value chain production where ‘made in China’ will dominate the quality domain on the international market. We are sure that countries of the world especially third world would enter into cooperative arrangements with China to help them lift to the path of sustainable development.