Editor’s Note: The Communist Party of China is holding its 19th National Congress in Beijing. China Daily asked David Moser, an American linguist, for his views on developments in China and the country’s global leadership.
What do you feel has been China’s biggest achievement over the past five years? What’s the most notable change you’ve observed?
Deng Xiaoping told the country that during its period of reform and opening-up, China must learn from the West, and “hide one’s light and bide one’s time”. It was unclear how long it would take for China to transcend its status as a developing country and take its place on the geopolitical stage. In the past five years, China has finally taken that step, transforming into a global powerhouse. It has become more actively engaged in the world, with ambitious and visionary projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China has also begun to take a more active role in international disaster relief and other humanitarian projects.
How do you view China’s role in today’s world?
China has created a different kind of development and governance model, one which challenges standard orthodoxies about the role of a nation state. If China can take this model and continue to create wealth and prosperity domestically and among its new global alliances, this model will be validated and can contribute to the betterment of the world economic situation.
Do you believe that some of China’s experiences or practices could be used to solve pressing global problems? If so, what are they?
China’s model has been a work in progress. It was not always successful at every stage, but now it has succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. In the past two decades, China has brought hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty and into the middle class. At the current time, economic inequality is one of the world’s biggest problems, and it will be the cause of future social and political tensions throughout the world. If China can successfully address this problem and significantly decrease poverty and economic disparity in the next few decades, its model could be exported to other countries to encourage similar improvements.