20th cpc national congress raises global hopes
people take pictures in front of the "welcome the 20th national congress" flower bed. (photo:xinhua)
by ershad shikar
the much anticipated 20th national congress of the communist party of china (cpc) recently ended on a high note. the congress elected xi jinping as general secretary of the cpc central committee while also bringing fresh blood to the party leadership.
this congress is important for not only electing new leaders, but also for raising the hopes of the chinese people and the world alike, after the leadership reiterated that china will continue promoting broader and deeper reform and opening up across the board.
under the leadership of president xi jinping, china is now more connected to the world than ever before. the country has deeper bilateral ties with more than 180 countries and is the largest trading partner of over 140 nations. the ruling cpc also has good ties with more than 600 political parties and organizations globally.
with china's gdp of around 17.7 trillion usd in 2021, accounting for 18.5 percent of the global economy, it has remained the second-largest economy in the world for a decade. it also ranks first in the world in terms of grain output, while its manufacturing sector is the largest on earth.
given such a background, the chinese leadership has reaffirmed their pledge to forge ahead with the implementation of the belt and road initiative (bri). the trillion-dollar initiative has already walked a long way to making positive contributions to many countries since it was proposed in 2013.
the bri has so far gained ground across southeast asia, south asia, central asia, west asia, north africa, and central and eastern europe. the combined land territories of those regions account for more than one-third of the world's total, as well as a population of around 60 percent, and a gdp of 32 percent, which speaks volumes of its importance.
the bri also boosts international cooperation on education. china had signed agreements with many other bri countries on mutual recognition of academic certificates and degrees in higher education, and over 60 chinese universities have launched academic programs in partnership with local institutions in bri countries.
therefore, if china continues its implementation of the bri, the world will gain more as the large projects under the bri will continue boosting connectivity, eradicating poverty, and improving local people's livelihoods in many countries.
the bri projects will also contribute to the overall economic growth of many nations, paving the way for the establishment of their basic human rights.
additionally, if china deepens its reform and opening up, as reaffirmed at the congress, the country will increase and intensify its foreign trade and investments, further open its domestic market to the world, and benefit many countries.
the benefits can be explained by using bangladesh, a strategic partner of china, as an example. if bangladesh can achieve a one percent share of the chinese market, its export earnings from china alone could be in the range of 20 to 25 billion usd. the trade balance would therefore tilt toward bangladesh, which is now heavily in favor of china. bangladesh could also attract more chinese investments as an important member of bri.
just like bangladesh, many other countries can boost their infrastructure development with more chinese investments and further increase bilateral and multilateral trade. the countries can also benefit from cultivating their students in china.
finally, i think various countries in the world have prospects on all fronts to explore and forge ahead with all-out cooperation with china. as the congress has decided to stick to the existing policies of deepening its reform and opening up, the world can benefit massively from this decision.
ershad shikar is a bangladeshi journalist now based in beijing.