Chinese Modernization Inspires Developing Countries to Seek Their Own Paths to Prosperity

Modernization is a systematic and continuous process that has a visible impact not only on economic and infrastructure...

Good Prospects for Trilateral Cooperation Between Nepal, China and India

Despite a delay in selecting development projects to be executed under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Nepal, there are good prospects for trilateral cooperation between Nepal, China, and India, especially with the improved relations between the latter two. These relations have long been marked by cooperation and competition; however, of late, the two countries have developed better mutual understanding and friendship, leaving the nastiness of the past behind them. On January 5, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China-India pragmatic cooperation had entered the fast lane of development, stressing a “healthy and stable” relationship between them was crucial for world peace and development. In mid-June 2017, India and China were on the verge of another military skirmish over a border standoff at Donglang (Doklam) near the Bhutan-China border. However, late last month, these giant neighbors were able to conduct a joint military drill “Hand-in-Hand 2018” in Chengdu in western China. Echoing the improved ties, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V K Singh noted these were “a factor of stability” at a time of global uncertainty. In a similar manner, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Chinese “dragon” and Indian “elephant” should dance in a “duet” and avoid a “duel,” while his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj underlined the need for collaboration to lead the […]

Beyond the First Thrill of Chang’E 4 Moon Landing

On Jan. 3, 2019, China firmed its place in the history of spaceflight. At 10:26 a.m. Beijing time, a collective sigh of relief was heard in the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, as the Chang’e 4 space probe touched down successfully on the far side of the moon. The far side is not dark, as is sometimes suggested in popular writing or famous song lyrics. The moon’s orbit around the Earth exposes its far side to sunlight just the same as it does the near side. It is therefore logical that one of the Chang’e 4 instruments will analyze the solar wind — the highly energetic particles continuously flowing from the sun — and its impact on the moon. Although last week’s soft landing is hailed as a milestone in humanity’s exploration of the solar system, the mission itself was just the next step in China’s carefully planned space exploration roadmap. Nevertheless, the achievement was indeed momentous, and a first for humankind. Many have questioned the mission’s significance and wondered whether this would spawn a new space race. I believe that China will most likely simply stick to its technology benchmarking. But other space-faring nations may well consider China’s increasing technological prowess as a reason to rekindle their own interests in developing the moon for scientific, commercial, and strategic purposes. In […]

Where Does China’s Fiscal Posture Point?

Every year the Chinese government organizes a preeminent meeting of officials to review the economic performance of the past year and set direction for the next. Officially known as the Central Economic Work Conference, at the end of 2018 this meeting has lent significant insight into the country’s fiscal posture and where it points for the future. As 2020 nears, Chinese leaders are aiming to achieve moderate prosperity of the society in all respects. The upcoming year will be crucial to meeting the stated milestones in time, especially given the mounting uncertainties of global market. The ongoing 5-year plan is moving ahead with positive cues, even as the international community is keeping a close eye on China in light of the U.S.-initiated tariff spree. But with some relief for the imbroglio in sight, it is expected that sense will prevail and unilateralist lobbies in the U.S. will make way for fair competition. A point being raised by critics is the apparent slowdown of the Chinese economy. The fact they are ignoring, however, is that rapid growth must be followed by high-value growth. The sustainability of fast-paced development is questionable if it fails to keep pace with contemporary standards. The same is the case in China, where the focus is now shifting towards quality. The reform and opening up policy in […]

Shanghai FTZ: A Symbol of China’s Opening-up

Forty years ago, it was inconceivable that China could completely transform itself from agrarian-based to the world’s second largest economy in such a short period of time. However, it has drastically transformed through its commitment to continuous reforms and gradual opening up policies. In the last 40 years, China has witnessed the fastest economic growth in human history. Its average annual GDP growth was close to an impressive 10 percent year-on-year until 2014. Per-capita income increased from US$155 in 1978 to a whopping US$7,590 in 2014: a 40-fold increase, that helped lift 700 million people above the poverty line.   This economic transformation begun in 1978, when China’s former Leader, Deng Xiaoping realized that the economic progress of the country could be accelerated by opening up the economy and following the export-led model. In order to realize this dream, he had set up several special economic zones across China. These zones not just attracted overseas investments but also facilitated the adoption of new technologies and management ideas, thus transforming them into export hubs. This watershed policy of inclusive growth and opening-up proved to be a game-changer for the nation. In order to further deepen Deng’s original reforms, Shanghai’s first pilot free trade zone was set up in September 2013 to bring new opportunities to the country. The Shanghai FTZ, since […]