China’s Re­form is Good for Canada As res­o­lu­tions from the Third Plenum are im­ple­mented, the two na­tions can look for­ward to a deeper ‘win-win’ re­la­tion­ship

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

China caught the world’s at­ten­tion in Novem­ber. The Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) held its Third Plenum of the 18th Cen­tral Com­mit­tee from Nov 9 to 12, 2013. Upon its con­clu­sion, the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee ap­proved a de­ci­sion on “ma­jor is­sues con­cern­ing com­pre­hen­sively deep­en­ing re­forms”. This de­ci­sion is re­garded as pro­vid­ing the “roadmap” for China’s re­forms for the next decade, and will have a pro­found im­pact on China’s fu­ture. It also has pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions for China-Canada re­la­tions.

So what are the plans and mea­sures of the re­forms?

The plenum sent out a clear mes­sage. China is de­ter­mined to free up fixed mind­sets, over­come in­sti­tu­tional draw­backs, dis­card out­dated ideas and shat­ter the grip of vested in­ter­ests. The aim is to pro­mote so­cial fair­ness and im­prove peo­ple’s wel­fare. China wants each and ev­ery Chi­nese cit­i­zen to get sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits from fur­ther de­vel­op­ment.

In the early days of China’s re­form, Deng Xiaop­ing de­scribed China’s re­form en­deavor as: “cross­ing the river by feel­ing the stones”. Now, China’s re­form has en­tered “deep wa­ter”. Any mea­sure that threat­ens vested in­ter­ests will meet re­sis­tance. This makes in­no­va­tion with top-down de­sign from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment nec­es­sary. As a re­sult, the plenum made a state­ment on com­bin­ing “top-down de­sign” and “cross­ing the river by feel­ing the stones”. The meet­ing em­pha­sized im­proved de­ci­sion­mak­ing and con­sen­sus-build­ing. The newly founded Cen­tral Task­force on Deep­en­ing Re­form is, in ef­fect, the “head­quar­ters of re­form”.

The plenum iden­ti­fied pri­or­ity ar­eas for deep­en­ing re­form. An in-depth ef­fort will build a mod­ern and open mar­ket econ­omy, trans­form gov­ern­ment func­tions, deepen the re­form of the fis­cal and tax­a­tion sys­tem, and achieve bal­anced de­vel­op­ment in ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas. Ar­range­ments were also made to ad­vance so­cial­ist democ­racy, strengthen so­cial­ist po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion-build­ing, en­force the rule of law, and ap­ply stricter con­trol and over­see the ex­er­cise of power. The plenum also cov­ered re­forms for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

The plenum spec­i­fied 300 mea­sures for 55 re­form tasks in 15 sec­tors. For ex­am­ple, the abo­li­tion of re-ed­u­ca­tion through la­bor has al­ready taken ef­fect. China also be­gan to ad­just its fam­ily-plan­ning pol­icy. Mean­while, the meet­ing pro­vided a sched­ule to ac­com­plish all the re­form tasks and achieve con­clu­sive re­sults in key ar­eas by 2020. This means the re­form process will be mea­sured, im­ple­mented and eval­u­ated.

It is fair to say that this Third Plenum has sounded the clar­ion call for a new wave of re­form in China. As the ti­tle of an ar­ti­cle in The Econ­o­mist puts it: “China paves the way for re­form”. The re­forms of the past 35 years have lifted China out of poverty and brought it closer to the rest of the world. Now, the sec­ond round of re­forms from this plenum will re­vi­tal­ize the Chi­nese na­tion and make the “Chi­nese Dream” a re­al­ity for its 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple. China’s new- round re­form ben­e­fits Canada.

Deep­en­ing re­forms will also cre­ate new and greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for China’s re­la­tions with the ex­ter­nal world. It is es­ti­mated that in the next five years, China will in­vest an ad­di­tional $500 bil­lion in other coun­tries, im­port over $10 tril­lion worth of prod­ucts and send 400 mil­lion tourists abroad. Of th­ese ini­tia­tives, Canada should re­ceive a good share. We must seize the op­por­tu­nity and work to­gether to achieve a win-win out­come for our two coun­tries and our two peo­ples.

With Canada hav­ing been China’s strate­gic part­ner since 2005, China con­sid­ers Canada a very im­por­tant part­ner in its ef­forts to achieve the afore­men­tioned goals. Trade and in­vest­ment flows be­tween the two coun­tries are al­ready very strong. China is also Canada’s largest source of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents and its fastest­grow­ing tourist mar­ket. With China’s deep­en­ing re­forms, more co­op­er­a­tion in the en­ergy and re­source sec­tors can be en­vi­sioned. In­dus­tries such as clean en­ergy, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, air­craft and agri­cul­ture — where Canada’s strengths lie — will find enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties in China’s eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing.

Canada’s com­pet­i­tive fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are well po­si­tioned to claim their fair share of the ex­panded Chi­nese cap­i­tal mar­ket. In 2010, China set a goal of dou­bling its per capita in­come by 2020, which would al­low the Chi­nese peo­ple to seek bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, to travel over­seas more and to pur­chase qual­ity agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, all of which mean more op­por­tu­ni­ties for Canada. The au­thor is Con­sul Gen­eral of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China in Toronto.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.