By Chukwudi Enekwechi
The emergence of China as the world’s fastest growing economy has remained an intriguing phenomenon among researchers and historians, but the reality is that the country has over the last 40 years, sustained an irreversible trajectory of developmental activities. Presently, the country has become famous for a steady economic growth that is knowledge-based and driven principally by a focused leadership; a vibrant and hard-working population propelled by patriotism.
In a situation where the population of about 1.6 billion people would have posed a developmental albatross, the successive visionary leaderships in China have translated it into an advantage hence productivity has become a norm.
This has been made possible through an economic diversification programme that focuses on agriculture, technological innovation, trade, commerce and industrialisation. Despite operating a communist system, the founding fathers and leaders of the country were able to realise and impress it on their citizens that communism was not synonymous with poverty.
Therefore, to be able to integrate their country into the global economic system, the leaders embarked on a conscious and deliberate policy of opening up the business environment for new ideas and innovations, and the result is the quantum economic leap which the country has witnessed in the last 40 years.
Whereas the visionary leadership of Mr. Xi Jinping had projected to build a “moderately prosperous society,” his government’s proactive actions have enabled China to surpass the country’s expectations with the various enabling socio-economic policies being put in place. China is projected to become the world’s largest economy in the next 10 years, surpassing the United States in all economic aspects.
Perhaps, it can be said that the vision of the Chinese leader, Mr. Xi Jinping to lift his country to a higher economic pedestal globally is encapsulated in what he described thus: “The original aspiration and mission of Chinese Communism is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation.” His leadership thrives in the belief that there is an umbilical cord binding the people and the leadership. Simply put, they are intertwined by fate and inseparable.
It can be said that what distinguishes China from other countries is that the people have remained the focal point of government programmes and policies, and the Xi Jinping administration seems to have adopted it as the driving philosophy.
This is summed up in his address to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party where he said: “We must regard as our goal the people’s aspirations to live a better life, and rely on the people to move history forward.” So we see a leadership that is people- oriented, and driven by the vision to lay a solid foundation for the country.
Going by the historical accounts of how China embarked on sweeping economic and political reforms using the Communist Party of China as a platform, it is obvious that their policy of home-grown solutions to complex domestic and global problems has worked and is still working.
While China has remained receptive to globalisation in terms of emerging challenges, they never imposed their will on other countries, rather, the phenomenal growth of the country has become a source of inspiration to many countries around the world.
In the aviation industry, education, trade, commerce, infrastructure and housing, China has already stamped its footprints on the sands of time. Indeed, they have left many contemporaries including Nigeria and the rest of Africa behind, hence their new rapprochment with Nigeria and other developing countries seems like a soothing balm.
Going by official statistics, China has lifted over 60 million of her citizens out of poverty while the poverty head count ratio has been reduced from 10.2 per cent to less than 4 per cent. There is also a significant growth in empowerment, as the country has recorded the creation of over 13 million urban jobs yearly.
There is a clear indication that China is the world’s largest developing country with a resolve to continue on the part of reforms and opening up. Truly, China has opened up to the world, as they have used various mass communication tools like television, internet, newspapers, radio and the social media to integrate the country into the global system. Suffice it to say that the name of China resonates positively in all the corners of the world in the area of industrial and economic development and growth.
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that the revival of Sino-Nigeria relations is timely and has the potential to be mutually beneficial. China’s disposition to avail Nigeria of huge development loans with long repayment plan is a sign of good faith. Indeed, it is a proof of their desire to spread prosperity to other parts of the world and reduce poverty.
This is a paradigm shift in international relations where a world power like China is focussed on helping to lift developing countries out of poverty rather than adopt the shrewd business model that we have been used to with other western partners.