By LIU XIANFA
At the beginning of this year, specifically on January 17, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech under the title of “Jointly Shoulder Responsibility of Our Times, Promote Global Growth”. This was at the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which marked the first appearance of any Chinese Head of State in the Swiss town of Davos.
President Xi’s speech demonstrated Chinese wisdom and confidence whilst charting recovery plans in face of sluggish global economy and anti-globalization sentiments. His address elicited worldwide applause.
In his speech President Xi, observed that “honey melons hang on bitter vines; sweet dates grow on thistles and thorns”. Economic globalization has not only powered global growth, but has also become a double-edged sword. When facing opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges that there may be and then chart the right cause of profitable economic globalization. However, pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While protectionism would keep wind and rain outside, that dark room will no doubt block light and air. In such a situation, no one will emerge as a winner in any trade war. It is certain that many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization.
In Davos, President Xi noted three critical issues in the economic sphere that have not been effectively addressed. These are lack of robust driving forces for global growth, inadequate global economic governance and uneven global development. He therefore urged the world to develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model, pursue a well-coordinated and interconnected approach towards evolving a model of open and win-win cooperation. He further urged his peers to develop a model anchored on fair and equitable governance in keeping with the trends of the time while at the same time forging a balanced, equitable and inclusive development approach. “As long as we keep to the goal of building a community of shared future for mankind and work hand in hand to fulfil our responsibilities as we work towards overcoming our common difficulties, we will be able to create a better world and deliver better lives for our peoples”, President Xi advised.
As world’s second-largest economy and the largest developing country, China adopted a commensurate development path that suits her actual circumstances all geared towards a brighter future for all.
The years that followed the outbreak of the international financial crisis, found China contributing over 30 per cent of global growth per annum on average. China will open her arms to the people of other countries and welcome them aboard the express train of its development. In this regard, President Xi’s speech provided a comprehensive view of Chinese model and philosophy of development besides boosting confidence on China’s path of progress, a move that raises the hope of closing the gap between China and other nations.
Joint shouldering of responsibility and promotion of growth is in line with the cooperation trends and the direction between China and other developing countries, especially in Africa. The growth of the African economy in general is dependent on the growth of the rest of the world, and with good economic performance in Africa, the world is assured of becoming a better place.
China-Africa cooperation further promotes the growth of the continent into one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world. It is important to note that the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans listed by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015 include change from overreliance on resources trade pattern into one that is more investment and industrial cooperation oriented. This approach is intended to help Africa speed up her industrialization process and to effectively cope with the current international economic situation in view of the change taking place on the global economic front that pose new challenges to Africa at every turn. This way, Africa will ultimately enjoy brighter prospects socioeconomically.
And as China today marks the first day of its new year, I hereby now wish all brothers and sisters in Kenya a happy new year!
Dr Liu Xianfa is the Chinese ambassador to Kenya.
This article was originally published in the Daily Nation