Seeking China's Driving Force

By Wen Zhao
Published: 2009-10-13

Issue 439, October 12
Original article:[Chinese]

New China has come full circle and after six decades has now reached the starting point of another next sixty-year cycle.

After the celebrations are over, all that has been achieved over the past six decades will enter the history books.

The question that no Chinese person can avoid is: What force can help China to achieve success during the coming cycle?

Looking back over the past sixty years, we see that reform and opening up has been the driving force that has lifted China's economy and society up and we believe that this force will continue to remain effective over the coming 60 years.

At the start of this new 60-year cycle, the situation that we face is not simple. The era of rapid economic growth is drawing to an end and this will inevitably put even more pressure on employment.

We should ask ourselves what kind of economic growth does China need.

Is it one that attempts to construct an industrial civilization on the ruins of environmental concerns, one that's content to refer to itself as an economic miracle while being unable to avoid the suspicions of ordinary people that the statistics revealing an increase in average incomes have been "artificially inflated"?

When shall we be able to farewell a blood-stained GDP, and take the initiative to occupy a leading role in a low-carbon competitive global economy?

As the global economy attempts to restructure in the wake of destabilizing imbalances, how can China rely on domestic demand to achieve a more stable growth?

How can China maintain balanced growth in its western, middle and eastern regions?

How shall China divide national wealth between the people and the government?

Throughout the past sixty years, more wealth has tended to flow to the government, how can China ensure that citizens really do enjoy the benefits achieved by economic growth?

Furthermore, when a crisis comes, how can China protect its citizens from harm?

Due to the fact that our financial sector is not completely open to the outside world, China was able to escape the worst effects of both the Asian and Global Financial Crises.

Shall we choose conservatism or realise the necessity of further loosening financial controls?

What kind of financial industry does China require to support continued economic growth?

What kind of stance shall we adopt in order to ensure that when the next crisis hits, we still remain a pillar of strength in Asia?

On any future world stage, what kind of traits will the most successful Chinese companies and business leaders possess?

Will the COEs - relying on their strength not their large scales - occupy more positions in the world's top 500 firms?

Will firms like Lenovo be able to grow in the long term, with control being passed from generation to generation, so that they emerge as multinational giants?

When shall we first think of Ping An rather than Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank as we talk of wealthy financial giants?

Will Zhao Danyang, Liu Mingda and other well-known domestic investors grow in stature to become world-class investors?

Will China follow the Japanese development track? Japan had a stunning economic record but later plunged into a ten-year downturn period.

When the whole world is talking about China's rise, how does Chinese think of itself and view the world around it?

How to prevent our confidence from evolving into conceit and make sure our sense of self-respect remains free of narrow-minded nationalism?

The ideal nation, can only be understood by questioning history and facts.

Do we possess enough of the strength of spirit required to objectively understand ourselves?

By seizing the opportunity provided by the tide in world economics, we can decide on the future direction and pace of China's progress over the next sixty years.

We now stand at the start of a new cycle, let's seek the way together.