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China's achievements hailed by world

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington and HAN BAOYI in London | China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-02 04:44
A night view of the Beijing CBD on Sept 9, 2018. [Photo/IC]

China's significant achievements last year and its pledge to unswervingly uphold world peace and promote common development have been highly appreciated by global experts.

President Xi Jinping delivered a New Year's speech in Beijing on Tuesday in which he highlighted the steady progress of China's high-quality development in 2019.

Xi said that 2020 will be "a year of milestone significance", pledging that the country will complete its task this year of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Noting that China continued to be an active participant in the global community last year, Xi reiterated China's commitment to peaceful development.

Jon R. Taylor, a professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said Xi's speech sends an optimistic message to the world, with its particular emphasis on issues such as poverty eradication and common development.

"What most impressed me about China in 2019 was its ability to handle a series of adverse economic, trade and social stability issues — 'winds and rains', in the words of President Xi," he said, adding that he was impressed when Xi mentioned ordinary citizens whose work has had a positive impact on China during the past year.

Andrei Ostrovsky, deputy director of the Institute of the Far East at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said China has made tremendous achievements in improving its economy and people's living conditions in the past decade. He has witnessed the huge differences between China's current economic situation and that of 1978 when the country had just embarked on reform and opening-up.

"At that time, I was not able to imagine that China could make such breakthroughs in its economy," Ostrovsky said.

Yan An, president of the Association of Chinese Education in Japan, said that Xi's words reflect "the dazzling and extraordinary achievements the motherland has made".

"I am very proud of that," Yan said. "We sincerely wish China to be more prosperous in the future."

Christopher Bovis, a professor of international business law at the University of Hull, hailed China's quest to balance its economic progress with social development.

He said that China's structural reforms and the continued opening up of its economy have coincided with the need to adopt a governance model with responsive and responsible political and economic leadership, and the need to promote people-centered sustainable development to eradicate poverty and promote stability, peace and harmonious relations.

Rana Mitter, director of the University of Oxford China Center, said Xi's speech stressed economic development in particular, and that it's vital for global economic development to become increasingly cooperative rather than competitive in the 2020s. He was impressed with Xi's pledges on consistent strategies for international growth and cooperation through this year.

"China will have to play a major role in shaping that new economy," he said. "This is an area where the United Kingdom, the European Union and China can all cooperate, helping to shape a new economic model."

What impressed Alan Barrell, director of studies at Cambridge Innovation Academy, was when Xi said that China is willing to join hands with people of all countries to build the Belt and Road Initiative and push ahead to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Barrell said it will be "very important" for his country, the United Kingdom, to continue to forge close links with China and expand cross-border cooperation and investment in the post-Brexit era.

"Perhaps it is more important than the eventual outcome of the deals done now between the UK and the EU," he said.

Ren Qi in Moscow, Wang Xu in Tokyo, Wang Mingjie in London and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.

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