China a benchmark in social and economic growth

Geeta Kochhar
In a few decades, China's economy has grown in leaps and bounds. Its growth has become a case to study or examine for many developing as well as developed countries.
Geeta Kochhar

In a few decades, China’s economy has grown in leaps and bounds. Its growth has become a case to study or examine for many developing as well as developed countries.

Since the opening of its markets to the outside world way back in 1978, China has “let many flowers blossom” with creative and innovative ideas. The result is flourishing businesses, from foreign brands like Apple to indigenous brands like Alibaba. Social networking has also changed lifestyles and Chinese society has increasingly been integrated with the outside world. In a way, we now see a wave of “Chinese-ness” ever more intertwined with “global-ness.”

A free market economy is created only when supply and demand are not regulated by the state. In this strictest sense, many debates exist over the essence of China’s economy. Many believe that China has shunned this free market “fundamentalism” and adopted a benign balance between market forces and government regulation.

Although the debates go on, China has blossomed as a decisive force in the region and worldwide that manages the market with due regulation

For some time, China was a closed economy, but now it’s going global, enhancing global investment, promoting new brands of products, and establishing new kinds of relationships.

The “China threat” theory is now dead, as China unfolds the idea of building a community of shared destiny with prosperity for all. The vision of regional economic development based on larger Chinese investments for connectivity projects and better infrastructure facilities has lured many countries in the region to engage with China.

Perhaps it helps if one learns a bit about the Chinese way of communication and networking. The world of China is heavily dependent on their own style of social networking apps like WeChat, Alipay, Didi etc.

It would do good to an outsider who can adapt quickly to this vast network of communication, payment and travel. This network has greatly enhanced the ability of most Chinese when it comes to socializing and consumption.

In this sense, China has become a global giant of online business with its own unique characteristics. So the real concern for China’s neighboring countries should not be whether China will make their economies dependent or not, but whether they will be able to reap benefits by joining China’s global trade.

Some scholars in the region may look at China’s leading role in regional and global business with a bit of concern, but truth is, Asia, unlike Europe, is a multi-cultural region to which peaceful coexistence has long been known. Despite historical disputes over borders between certain countries, co-development and common prosperity are the main themes and key hopes for all involved. That’s why China’s vision of building a future of shared development is appealing.

China’s plan to root out poverty and build a well-off society has resonated in the hearts of many developing countries of the region. The great achievements of China in the past few decades have raised the benchmark for many countries which look at China for clues that may lead to sustained social and economic growth in the long run.

Geeta Kochhar is a visiting scholar at FDDI, Fudan University, and Assistant Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Shanghai Daily condensed her article for space. Her email: geeta@mail.jnu.ac.in

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