The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has attracted worldwide attention thanks to its openness, according to journalists and observers.
“China’s role in international affairs is becoming more important in all directions, especially in economic and political fields,” said Andrey Kirillov, Beijing bureau chief of Russia’s Tass news agency. “China is the second-biggest economy, and for this reason, the situation inside China influences the whole world.” The congress is a “global event”, and it has attracted plenty of attention from foreign journalists because of its content, the issues raised and the problems being solved, Kirillov said.
All these issues are of great importance, including changes in China’s economic approach, formation of a new economic development model, changes in society, poverty relief and political issues such as a new leadership, he said.
“Journalists are also interested in China’s foreign policy,” he added.
The Russian news agency published 15 to 20 reports and a major summary on the first day of the congress on Oct 18, according to Tass journalist Nikolay Selishchev.
More than 3,000 journalists are in Beijing to cover the congress. Among them, 1,818 are from overseas, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, 6.7 percent more than at the 18th CPC National Congress. Foreign reporters come from 134 countries, 19.6 percent more than at the previous congress, according to the congressional press center.
“Now China has a strong voice in foreign affairs, including politics and economics. This is connected with the policies the country takes. So it is interesting to know what decisions about foreign policy and approaches to the world’s market development will be made at the congress”, Kirillov said.
The Chinese currency has joined the elite reserve currency basket of the International Monetary Fund, or the Special Drawing Rights basket. It is an important shift for the yuan to become a currency unit used not only in trade inside China, but also in international financial operations, he said.
For all these reasons, according to Kirillov, decisions made at the congress will be very important not only for China but for the whole world.
Ana Goguadze, a Georgian Sinologist and founder and president of Georgian-Chinese media platform Sinomedia, said that China has opened its door to the world and “showed its power and humanity” at the same time.
“The world is curious right now. I think we all want to see how far China can go. Everyone agrees that the country with the great past is becoming stronger and stronger every year,” said Goguadze.
Yuksel Mansur Kilinc of Turkey’s Yon Radyo 96.6 radio station said that the Communist Party’s openness to foreign journalists is a display of confidence.
Watanabe Yasuhito, of Japan’s Kyodo News, agreed.
“We usually hear the official words from officials of the Foreign Ministry, but here at the congress, we get to hear the voices of grassroots CPC members,” Watanabe said.
Zhang Xixian, professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC, said that one of the reasons the congress has drawn so much global attention is that China’s “comprehensive national strength” is rising.
“China’s contribution to world economic growth and its power in leading world development are on the rise, and the world is beginning to shift its focus to China,” he said.
“The advantages of the CPC political system are gradually showing, which brings attention to the Communist Party,” he said.
Zhang said that for almost 70 years, the CPC has helped developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Belt and Road Initiative have also attracted the attention of many countries.
Abdulwaheed Odusile, president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said China and Nigeria are increasingly close and China has helped a lot with construction work in Nigeria. That is partly the reason their journalists came to cover “such an important event”, Odusile said.
“The 19th CPC congress is one that is open and transparent to the entire world, and it accepts acclaim as well as criticism,” Zhang said. “Such openness has a big impact on the world.”