So much to learn from the ris­ing su­per­power

New Straits Times - - Letters -

CHINA has a rich his­tory. It was uni­fied by its first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, 2,200 years ago. Af­ter more than two mil­len­nia of im­pe­rial dy­nas­ties’ rule, the Chi­nese monar­chy ended with the birth of Re­pub­lic of China and, sub­se­quently, Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China. It is now one of five re­main­ing com­mu­nist states in the world.

Who would imag­ine that China, one of the poor­est coun­tries in the 1980s, could be­come the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy in less than four decades?

China’s eco­nomic growth is truly an eco­nomic mir­a­cle. This out­stand­ing suc­cess be­gan when the coun­try started to open up its mar­ket and lib­er­alise the econ­omy, a bold move by Deng Xiaop­ing. It, in fact, con­tra­dicted com­mu­nism prac­tice and eco­nomic phi­los­o­phy. It was the only coun­try in the world to achieve an av­er­age of al­most 10 per cent of eco­nomic growth from 1980 to last year.

Po­lit­i­cally, China has been ruled by au­to­cratic com­mu­nist regimes since 1949. This, to a cer­tain ex­tent, brings po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity.

The suc­cess sto­ries of China are so vis­i­ble that peo­ple around the world could see and feel the im­pact. In 2010, the coun­try over­took the United States to be­come the world’s largest con­sumer of en­ergy. En­ergy con­sump­tion and eco­nomic growth are in­ter­re­lated, and this is re­flected by the rapid eco­nomic growth that is tak­ing place across China.

The 2017 For­tune 500 lists 115 Chi­nese com­pa­nies and this is amaz­ing con­sid­er­ing that in 2000, only 10 Chi­nese com­pa­nies were listed. More and more pri­vately owned Chi­nese com­pa­nies are en­ter­ing the list. Pre­vi­ously, most of the com­pa­nies were gov­ern­ment-owned en­ti­ties.

Many of these newly listed Chi­nese For­tune 500 com­pa­nies are ex­pand­ing glob­ally. Among them are Huawei, the net­work­ing and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions multi­na­tional com­pany that has joined the ranks of the world’s largest smart­phone mak­ers, and Ali Baba, the gi­ant e-com­merce com­pany that is among the world’s largest re­tail­ers.

The in­creas­ing num­ber of Chi­nese multi­na­tional com­pa­nies is in line with the grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese prod­ucts ex­ported over­seas. Made in China prod­ucts can be bought al­most any­where.

More and more Chi­nese com­pa­nies are also ac­tively in­volved in tak­ing over or pur­chas­ing stakes in ma­jor com­pa­nies around the world. For in­stance, Len­ovo, which bought IBM PC 12 years ago, ac­quired an­other large en­tity, Mo­torola Mo­bil­ity, in 2014.

China’s dom­i­nance will be strength­ened with its One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive. It is a mega in­fra­struc­ture project that in­volves build­ing high-speed rails in east Africa, con­struct­ing gas pipelines in cen­tral Asia, and build­ing hun­dreds of tun­nels and bridges to ex­pand China’s soft power and cre­ate new mar­kets for its con­struc­tion com­pa­nies.

Many lessons can be learned from China. China is a ris­ing su­per­power and its hege­mony is af­fect­ing all of us in many forms. The coun­try can be a threat for some and of­fer vast op­por­tu­ni­ties to oth­ers. The time is here — wel­come to the new era of China’s hege­mony.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.