Foreign experts applaud China's new goals

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-10-30

Foreign experts applaud China's new goals

Dennis Wilder,

senior fellow with the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University, Washington. He served as the US National Security Council's director for China from 2004-2005 and as the CIA's deputy assistant director for East Asia and the Pacific from 2015 to 2016.

1. I think Xi Jinping is indicating that China is going to become more of a global player. We've already seen it in the Belt and Road Initiative by moving into new areas of the world. China has a military that sails away from home via a logistics base in Djibouti. There are lots of elements of China coming in its own as a world power. I don't think any of these is terribly surprising. The rise of China has been understood, but we are entering a new era where China is no longer keeping a low profile. I think China will have a bigger place on the world stage.

2. What always impresses me is that the Chinese government and the Chinese people are self-critical. In other words, they look at what they are doing and they study what they are doing, and they look for new areas to improve. You may have different views on the anti-corruption campaign, but clearly people in China realize that they had a problem. And with rapid economic growth, comes very poor practices by some government officials, and by some members of industry. So China looks at that and says we have got to fix this problem. We've seen the efforts to fix the problem. So this is what always impresses me with China. The Chinese are very upfront about their concerns about the debt situation and talking about deleveraging. I think these are very healthy things. I always think it has been one of China's strengths. I think countries getting themselves in trouble are the self-delusional ones.

3. China is in a new territory where very few countries have been, with this mix of State and free enterprise. I think some very interesting problems will arise and I am interested in seeing how the Chinese will figure them out. I think the Chinese government wants innovation, but sometimes when it comes from the top down it's very hard to get. Innovation usually takes place from the ground up. So I think there are questions about that.

I think there are questions about China's educational system and how it can teach children to think more creatively. There is still a lot of rote memorization in Chinese education and if they want innovation and creativity, they are going to have to change that.

4. As an American, I have a problem with the Chinese model because there are parts of it I am very impressed with, but there are obviously other parts that aren't in my value system. As I look at it, if China wants to put itself up as a model for other countries, fine. Then we have the competition of ideas, and maybe some countries who will copy the Chinese model. Maybe there are others who will copy the American model. I think competition is always good in whatever sector.

8.03K