China’s 1949 rev­o­lu­tion

The Korea Times - - OPINION -

China’s Com­mu­nist Party has marked the 70th an­niver­sary of its 1949 rev­o­lu­tion, and the fire­works and mil­i­tary pa­rades will cel­e­brate the coun­try’s rise to be­come the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy. Yet there is no deny­ing that this an­niver­sary comes with a para­dox­i­cal un­ease about China’s place in the world. China is more pow­er­ful but less free than it was a decade ago and the world views its ex­ter­nal ag­gres­sion with grow­ing con­cern.

China’s rise since Deng Xiaop­ing set the party on the path of mar­ket re­form 40 years ago has few his­tor­i­cal par­al­lels.

China has taken ad­van­tage of open mar­kets in the West, and the lure of its do­mes­tic mar­ket of 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple to for­eign in­vestors, to lift hun­dreds of mil­lions out of poverty and be­come an ex­port and in­creas­ingly a tech­nol­ogy behemoth.

The U.S. and the world have for the most part ben­e­fited from this de­vel­op­ment. Imag­ine the al­ter­na­tive if China had re­mained stag­nant and its peo­ple sought to em­i­grate in the mil­lions. Since the years of Hu Jin­tao and es­pe­cially in the as­cen­dancy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, eco­nomic re­forms have stalled at home as the party main­tains po­lit­i­cal con­trol over fi­nance and re­fuses to re­form state-owned in­dus­tries.

Then there is an at­tempt to dom­i­nate the Asia-Pa­cific. (AP)

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