Chairman, China Study Center, Nepal
Over the past 60 years, China has been transformed. It has moved itself to the brighter side so swiftly that it is almost a miracle ever attained by any country in such a short span of time. This short period has been glorious and full of achievements. “China, once an impoverished, semi-colonial, semi-feudal society has been transformed from a fragmented nation to a united one, from being bullied to being widely respected. From being poor and backward to being thriving and prosperous” China is in the trajectory of changing further and move forward to achieve and accomplish more and more for itself and for the entire world,
China has moved away from the days of poverty and backwardness to an era of modernization imbued with high tech. Though still a developing nation, these 60 years have upgraded China to a great power, and it is effectively addressing the urgent challenges at home and beyond. China today is one of the major catalytic powers to stimulate and bring about changes, from global economy to climate change and clean energy by reducing green house gas emissions to a harmonious and peace bracing world in order to build a new international order. Sixty years ago, prior to the successful revolution in 1949 under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, this great nation of ancient civilization, culture and heritage had to live for centuries with unbound suffering compounded by the internal exploitation of a regime based on feudalism and the occupation of its vast territories by several imperialist powers.
With the onset of the last 60 glorious years, China and its people liberated themselves from both internal exploitation and external occupation. ‘Thus they have “stood up” as its helmsman the great revolutionary leader and CPC Chairman Mao Zedong made a historic declaration from Tiananmen Square on October 1st, 1949. Mao was a leader of vision and with great analytical capability. He defined “the fundamental problems as “feudalism and imperialism”, China’s main internal and external obstacles. Moreover, he developed the magic formula for overcoming backwardness by rallying a vast impoverished populace to create military and economic miracles. At hand was a selfless Chinese Communist Party dedicated to serving the people, who were treated with ‘the utmost respect and admiration on a democratic basis’. It is but beyond question that the success attained by the Chinese revolution astonished the world and Mao’s contribution as the leader of the revolution is paramount. But while dealing on China’s achievement of these sixty years one cannot avoid noting that China was in crisis from 1966 to 1976 which marred the noble objective of marshalling the people on continued path of progress at prosperity.
China’s success of the last 60 years marks a glorious chapter in the human history. It is, no doubt, the victory of the Chinese people, their power and their objective that became a permanent force to pave way for a strong, determined, harmonious, innovative China that has established itself as a nation of achievements and glory. A new paradigm based on Asian values and humanity has been set in motion. China in 60 years stands tall, conspicuous, cooperative and cohesive which cannot be ruffled, ruined and ruptured. It looms large, well built and composite on the entire horizon of this planet. The People’s Republic of China, which was almost fractured 60 years ago before the great revolution, is now close to making its peaceful reunification complete. The nation is united and Chinese nationalism is robust, its way of life smooth and its peaceful rise is equally emulative. China is opposed to hegemony and unilateralism. China’s foreign policy is independent and non- aligned.
China, a nation of 1.3 billion population, is peace loving and friendly. Nevertheless, irked by the peaceful rise of China, the anti-China international forces do not miss any chance to create disturbances by promoting even terrorism and communal riots in Tibet and Xinjiang region of China and by backing the separatists living in self exile within their ambit directly or indirectly. These are however, mere small ripples. These disgusting perpetrations can have some temporary propaganda value to smear China’s image, it cannot pose any formidable threat to the stability and security of China. The living standard of the Chinese people is improving day by day. With a crisis economy well faced, the Chinese people enjoy fundamental rights to meet their needs and they are the master of their own destiny and their country. Today they are proud citizens of a great power managed by able leaders dedicated in the path paved by their predecessors. During the last 60 years, China is a rising power moving towards prosperity and for a harmonious and peaceful world order. To quote China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi, “China will adhere to its path of peaceful development, pursue a win- win strategy of opening up and make unremitting efforts for the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.”
It will be worthwhile remembering that in the last 60 years under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the power of its people has consolidated itself and is dedicated for national construction. The process of modernization, reform and opening to the outside world under the paramount leadership Deng Xiaoping with his vision and meticulous planning has ushered in an era of prosperity in China. Deng’s leadership and vision helped China improve and rise in an innovative way. China has achieved success in every sphere of its life, especially during the last 30 years it has achieved economic growth at an unprecedented rate. China could attain great change, progress and achievement because China embraced the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As the China Daily writes, “Over the past thirty years of reforms and opening up, the Chinese people, on the basis of China’s national conditions, opened up a road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, by emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts keeping pace with times and continuously creating new condition in the socialist modernization. The look of the Chinese people, Socialist China and the CPC underwent historic changes.
China has now gained the great power status and strength. It has become an economic powerhouse of the world, the third largest economy (this article was penned in 2009) and the number two trading nation in the world. In this period of ongoing recession, China’s economy is still the fastest. Many economists believe that China can help even the developed country of the world to come out of recession. It is true that China is the creditor to the number one economy of the world and scored some definite leverage. It is already trading with some major countries in its own currency. It has even suggested that another reserve currency should be gradually created. It means China’s capacity for taking independent decision is widening. As a renowned scholar writes, “China has such a consistent record pursuing its projects with great patience that it should be taken seriously. To avoid a gradual drift into adversarial policies, Chinese influence in global economic decision-making needs to be enhanced.”
Over the last 60 years, China has established itself as a major advocate for a harmonious world and a nation whose role is pivotal to save the destiny of this biosphere. China’s strength and influence along with its peaceful rise are of so much of importance that even the “sole superpower” the United States has to underscore that “Washington’s relation with Beijing would “shape the 21st century.” Nevertheless China and the US have many differences in different areas. The US protectionist policy has already precipitated in trade row triggering tit for tat bout which though is not likely to remain unresolved.
China has built strategic relation with Russia, Japan and EU are its major trading partner. So is its relation with all the nations of the Asia-Pacific rim along with the ASEAN. China’s economic relation thus, is pervasive and its importance is universally admitted. China’s partners in economic progress on the win-win basis are almost all the countries on the African continent, the Caribbean, countries of South America, Latin America, South Asia and other remote areas of the world. Thus, in the last 60 years, China has not only achieved for itself but has also helped others to achieve. China today is considered a nation that promotes peace and prosperity in the world on the basis of the Panchasheel, which is the kernel of Chinese foreign policy. On this edifice, China has built relation based on trust and understanding with almost all its neighbors.
When we deal with Chinese foreign policy, one is reminded of China’s great statesman Zhou Enlai who had vast knowledge of foreign relations and is credited to have broken the ice with the United States, was able to gain China’s legitimate right in the United Nations and influence the world with his intelligence and far-sightedness outside. During the period of 60 years, China has produced many great and noble leaders who contributed with their vision and wisdom to establish China as a great power.
We Nepalese being a close neighbor of China offer accolade to its leaders of past and present and the great Chinese people whose limitless sacrifice could bring glory, honor and achievements to China in every sphere of life. China, in brief, has achieved many a miracles. It organized in 2008 the unprecedented Beijing Olympics. It stood first in the Olympic gold medal tally. It created history by making space walk. It braved heroically the natural calamity of 2008 with utmost perseverance. The dedication of its leaders who visited the earthquake struck areas and personally supervised the rescue and other essential operations, right on the spot by risking even their life, together with the hard working and brave PLA men and women is worthy of emulation and inspiring.
China is friendly to each and every country. This is the reason why has no border problem with almost all its neighbors except one or two. China has exploited no nation in the world; rather it has directly helped the needy nation or entered into partnership on a win-win basis. This China is Nepal’s closest neighbor-its partner, best and a benevolent friend while its most backward region of Tibet that adjoins Nepal is fast developing. Now both China and Nepal are waiting for the historic opportunity to attain the bilateral relation to a strategic height. Nepal and China linked by rivers and mountain, common virtues, beliefs and culture are moving closer. The needs and the time is calling for it. The opportunity is ripe. The railway network that links the most difficult and hazardous plateau with rest of China is a wonder which demonstrates the scientific and technical ability of China and its people. This modern railway even passes through the height of 17,000 feet is a miracle in itself. Nepal highly values this enhancing of railway connectivity in the southern plank of China for its own interest as well as for the benefit of the major portion of South Asia which is rated being at par with Sub -Sharan of Africa in term of poverty. Considering China’s achievements of the past 60 years, its pace of development, determination, its achievement in land and space, in technology and innovation, in its overall growth, a columnist writes, “As the rest of the world falters, that is truer than ever. China is not yet the leader of the global economy but it is getting there.” Today when we the Nepalese are rejoicing the special occasion of the 60th Anniversary (2009) of the Founding of our great neighbor People’s Republic of China, we are observing that the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China have been able to create a glorious history of achievements for themselves and also for the entire world. Text courtesy: Journal of Nepal-China Friendship published in 2009. Posted in the larger interest of those who wish to understand Nepal-China relations in its true perspective: Ed.