China’s new development philosophy and new opportunities for international cooperation

ABOVE: Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province, is a hi-tech hub of innovation and home to subsidiaries of 133 multinational corporations. (PHOTO: iStock)

by Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

A major issue in China’s development is what kind of development to pursue and how to achieve it. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Communist Party of China has made a scientific judgment on China’s economic situation, and put forward many major theories and philosophies, among which the most important is the new development philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. Innovative development is to address the issue of growth drivers. Coordinated development aims to address the issue of unbalanced development. Green development aims to address the issue of the harmony between human and nature. Open development aims to address the issue of internal and external coordination in development. And shared development aims to address the issue of social equity and justice. Adhering to the new development philosophy is a profound reform in China’s overall development.

Under the guidance of the new development philosophy, China’s economic development has made historic achievements and undergone historic changes. In 2020, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded 100 trillion yuan (approximately 14.7 trillion U.S. dollars), with the per capita GDP exceeding 10,000 U.S. dollars for two consecutive years. Good harvests were recorded for years running. The ecological environment has improved remarkably. China's opening-up has continued to expand. Chinese people’s living standards have improved significantly.

The year 2021 marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan period, during which China will enter a new stage of development, apply the new development philosophy, create a new development pattern, and promote high-quality development.

Adhere to innovative development. China will take innovation as the core of its efforts to pursue modernization, and develop science and technology through self-reliance to provide strategic underpinning for China’s development. China will also accelerate digital development, focus on the real economy, and shape new development advantages in an all-round way.

Adhere to coordinated development. China will work to reach a new stage in the development of the western region, make new breakthroughs in the revitalization of the northeast region, accelerate the rise of the central region, encourage the eastern region to speed up modernization, and solidly promote the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

Adhere to green development. China will adhere to the principle that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, continuously improve the quality of the environment, accelerate the green transformation of development model, and promote the harmonious coexistence between human and nature. China has set the goal of hitting emission peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

Adhere to open development. China will open to the world at a high level, promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative, give full play to the role of important exhibition platforms such as the China International Import Expo, build a globally-oriented network of high-standard Free Trade Areas (FTAs), and open a new chapter of win-win cooperation.

Adhere to shared development. China remains committed to the principle that development should serve the people, depend on the people, with its benefits shared by the people. China will also continuously improve people’s livelihood and well-being, solidly promote common prosperity, safeguard and improve people’s livelihood in the course of development, promote social fairness and justice, and make development achievements benefit all the people more fairly.

China adheres to the path of peaceful, open, cooperative and common development. China is the only major economy in the world to achieve positive economic growth in 2020, and is expected to account for 17% of the world economy and contribute more than 30% to the world economic growth. China is home to more than 400 million middle-income earners, and its vastly huge market is the most promising in the world. China’s own development, which is achieved by implementing the new development philosophy, is gradually becoming a sustained driving force for the world economy. It is conducive to the recovery of the post-pandemic world economy, to the continuous release of China’s dividends to the outside world, and to the incessant injection of positive energy into the world economy.

What does China’s development mean to Canada? In 2020, Canada’s foreign direct investment decreased by 37.7%, while its direct investment in China increased by 95.9% year-on-year. Its total goods export decreased by 11.8%, while its goods export to China increased by 8.1% year-on-year. This fully demonstrates that the economies of China and Canada are highly complementary. China’s high-quality development will create new opportunities for economic and trade cooperation between China and Canada, and bring many benefits to the fields where Canada has comparative advantages, such as financial and insurance, artificial intelligence, aerospace, information and communications, clean technology, and health, etc. China is willing to coexist peacefully and develop together with all other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The Canadian business community is welcome to actively participate in China's development, in order to deepen our bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.