Chinese Modernization As Inspiration for African renaissance
It has been more than 1and half years since I worked in Nigeria, and every day I feel the vigor and vitality of the nation, infected by the endless energy and passionate eyes of its people in their pursuit of a better life. The pursuit of goodness and excellence is an inexhaustible drive for human progress.
Nigeria is the largest economy and the most populous country in Africa, and shares similar conditions with China. As a sincere friend of the Nigerian people, I feel it is obliged to introduce to my Nigerian friends China’s higher-level development vision and the path to its realization. I hope to build a bridge between the Chinese and Nigerian people, for mutual learning and making progress.
To better implement Chinese modernization, The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC) which was held last year, has drawn up a grand blueprint to comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese-style modernization.
In early spring, March, the Two Sessions, also known as the annual meetings of China’s National People’s Congress (CNPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), were held in Beijing, capital of China, to make arrangements for building China into a modern socialist country in all respects.
For any country, its modernization must not only follow the general rules of modernization, but also be in line with its own reality and conditions, and accordingly have its own characteristics.
The report to the 20th NCCPC clearly outlines the five characteristics of Chinese modernization: it is the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.
Chinese modernization is not only about economic development but also about people’s living environment and social values. In promoting modernization, the Chinese government formulates long-term plans, listens to the voice of its people and focuses on harmonious development. In the midst of this process, the CPC is playing a strong and firm leading role and has introduced a series of policy initiatives which are very important for China to meet its challenges and achieve long-term development.
China, with a population of more than 1.4 billion, must move towards modernization as a whole. This is unprecedented in the history of mankind, and will have a huge worldwide impact and make a greater contribution to the cause of human progress.
In the past decade, China has achieved success in the fight against poverty, lifting nearly 100 million people out of poverty according to the current poverty standard, creating a miracle in the history of human poverty reduction. 2022 China’s per capita GDP, which grew by 3% in real terms over the previous year, reached $12,741, remaining above $12,000 for the second consecutive year. China’s institutional advantages and material foundation for achieving Chinese-style modernization have been further consolidated.
China’s remarkable achievements in reducing poverty, and remarkably improving the living standards of people in less developed regions, demonstrate the success of the Chinese-style modernization path.
We need not only to make the “cake” bigger, but also to share it well. China consciously and proactively solves the problems of regional, urban-rural and income disparities, promotes common prosperity and prevents polarization, so that all people can share the fruits of modernization.
Ranging from the Chinese New Year, dragon and lion dance, to Beijing opera, Chinese calligraphy, etc, China is inheriting and promoting those excellent traditional cultures, and adhering to core socialist values, promoting the spirit of patriotism, collectivism and heroism. China is striving to achieve people’s comprehensive development, achieving prosperity both materially and spiritually.
China focuses on promoting economic development and ecological civilization simultaneously, seeking a new development path through which the development will be resource-efficient, environment-friendly, green and low-carbon. China will actively respond to global climate change, strive to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and make a positive contribution to all of humanity.
China has always taken mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence as the basic principles in handling international relations. It has sustained a tradition of adhering to multilateralism, opposed hegemonism and unilateralism, and actively promoted the building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.
China brings many opportunities to the world. In Africa, many countries have benefited from the infrastructure projects built by China.
During China’s Two Sessions, an engineer from Africa observed that, “China insists on peaceful development and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. China is helping us build factories, hotels and supermarkets. This is a true reflection of China’s promotion of global development in the course of its modernization.”
The Lagos Blue Line Rail, the Lekki Deep Sea Port and the booming Free Trade Zone, as well as countless industrial parks of various kinds built by Chinese enterprises, have played great roles in upgrading Nigeria’s infrastructure and logistics, increasing local employment and improving people’s livelihood. These efforts have further created a mutually beneficial and win-win situation for China and Nigeria, with far-reaching significance and impact.
A Nigerian observer wrote that China’s unique political process is never to mechanically copy the modernization model of any other countries, but insists that any country can interrogate its own unique history and reality to extract a unique path to development and modernization. African countries’ historic trajectory to a good life for its people has encountered difficulties and challenges, not because of a lack of bold vision.
That is right. African countries, Nigeria included, need to find a path of modernization that meets their own reality and the interests of their own people, rather than copying the systems of any other countries.
China, as a true friend of developing countries, is willing to share its modernization achievements and experiences on a platform of exchange, and is also willing to provide help and support to other countries, but it will never be a high-handed “preacher”. China will only tell its own story on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Mingyu is the China’s Acting Consul General in Lagos