China unveils path toward financial powerhouse

China has displayed both its ambition and down-to-earth approach in mapping out plans this week.

China has displayed both its ambition and down-to-earth approach in mapping out plans this week to explore a path of financial development with Chinese characteristics and to speed up the work of building itself into a financial powerhouse.

The arrangements made by Chinese leadership at the central financial work conference are primarily based on a financial governance idea that demands a thorough examination of China's realities and avoiding a rehash of Western experiences.

When examining the world's leading financial powers, one can see common traits among them. These traits not only include an open market, diverse financial products and sound financial infrastructure, but also entail a strong influence in international finance rule-making and even a currency hegemony, which allows for the exercise of long-arm jurisdiction through the international settlement system.

China's pursuit of financial strength has nothing to do with becoming a global superpower, "borrowing" or "pillaging" wealth from the rest of the world through a predominant market position. Rather, it emphasizes an inward-looking approach toward invigorating the domestic financial sector and serving the goal of achieving Chinese modernization.

Chinese leaders have put forth a series of principles, including a people-centered value orientation, serving the real economy as its fundamental mission and adhering to the prevention and control of risks as the eternal theme of financial work.

These principles function as the guidelines for China's financial industry to pursue high-quality development and reflect the down-to-earth approach of policymakers in addressing immediate challenges.

Despite boasting the world's largest banking system and the second-largest insurance, stock and bond markets, China's financial sector has long been seen as insufficiently developed and not measuring up to the country's overall economic strength and its scientific and technological prowess.

At the meeting, policymakers called for tackling challenges head-on, be they risks in small and medium-sized financial institutions, local government debt risks, oversight of real estate enterprises and fund management or financial opening-up.

Down the road, China has been seeking to nurture a financial sector that is not only big but also strong and resilient.

The solutions were clearly stated at the just-concluded tone-setting conference, one of which is to accelerate "the building of a modern financial system with Chinese characteristics."

Under such a system, more financial resources will continue to be provided to smaller businesses and emerging sectors key to the country's long-term development and sustainability, while strict law enforcement will continue to be high on the agenda.

Priorities will also be given to creating a good monetary and financial environment, establishing modern financial institutions and market systems, and promoting a high level of financial opening-up, according to the meeting.

With goals set and a roadmap at hand, China has hit the road but there is still a long way to fully materialize the vision of building a financial powerhouse.

Whatever the future holds, China is eager to draw upon the experience of foreign countries, but reviewing its own realities and coming up with solutions accordingly will be a more essential part of its efforts.

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