China held grand military and civilian parades to showcase its epoch-making achievements to the world in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

China’s recent history has been a process of building a modern nation. During the first 30 years of the establishment of the People’s Republic, ideology took the lead, hindering the country’s economic development. Thanks to subsequently introduced reforms, an unprecedented modernization took place in a comprehensive manner resulting in dramatic decline in poverty, which was itself a major accomplishment.

China has adopted a completely different path from the West, a development path dubbed as the “Chinese model” by which the Communist Party of China has transformed the country from a backward and isolated state into the world’s second largest economy. Its economy sustained double-digit growth for many years.

China’s modernization has two important implications to the world. Firstly, poverty eradication is one of the biggest challenges faced by mankind. The Chinese society has been lifted out of poverty, contributing significantly to the phenomenal expansion of the world’s middle class. Secondly, China’s return to the global platform is a powerful balancing factor for international cooperation.

In diplomacy, China has displayed its ideology of Chinese model. Through the “One Belt One Road” initiative and the country’s fervent defence of multilateralism, China is committed to promoting international cooperation. “One Belt One Road” drives investments and developments which have benefited the participating countries. China also leads various countries to maintain and revive multilateralism, making positive contribution towards world peace.

China’s economic growth has been driven by remarkable changes in policy. Now it has achieved the middle-income status and is touted as the most successful developing country in the world. It is embarking on the path of growing stronger. However, when developments reach this stage, various challenges will begin to surface. China is currently facing the challenge of a slowing economy, trade dispute with Washington and social chaos in Hong Kong.

As economic growth continues to moderate, the trend is unfavorable to further development. As US-China trade war is getting intensified, this means after achieving great success in economic reform, China will need to reconsider its economic strategy by opening up further to achieve high quality development model and enhance innovation in science and technology as well as financial development.

The Chinese government must let the people in Hong Kong appreciate the positive aspects of the “one country, two systems” model. Hong Kongers must seize the opportunities in mainland China and think about the way out for the territory apart from the development momentum from China. Chinese president Xi Jinping said the “one country, two systems” policy will continue whereby Hong Kong will be governed by Hong Kong people. China will work with Hong Kong to develop together.

Facing constraints imposed by the United States, China will have to establish multilateral dialogues and platform for collaboration, participate in international and regional affairs proactively and initiate foreign assistance. It is not taking up the path to seek hegemony as a superpower but to ensure China’s economic development is not perceived by the international community as a “threat” or “challenge”.

As China is gaining in confidence, it is a great opportunity for the country to shape peace and prosperity in the Asian region. By harnessing its strength, China holds huge development potentials and economic opportunities. Malaysia, in particular, should strive to create a win-win situation with Beijing by complementing each other for the benefit of all.

– Mysinchew