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Sinologists hail Chinese modernization

Author  :  WEI SIYU     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2023-02-03

Sinologists and experts discussed the pioneering significance of Chinese modernization at the World Sinology Lecture in Beijing on Jan. 10, in both online and offline formats.

Global significance

In today’s world, modernization is the common pursuit of humanity, and also a trend of world development. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress pointed out that “Chinese modernization is socialist modernization pursued under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. It contains elements that are common to the modernization processes of all countries, but it is more characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context.”

Alexey N. Aleksakhin, vice chairman of the Russia-China Friendship Association and a professor at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said that instead of following the old path taken by some Western countries to achieve modernization through war, colonization, and plunder, China is a staunch supporter of world peace and development.

China not only seeks its own development, but also uses it to better maintain world peace and development, Aleksakhin said, adding that Chinese modernization has contemporary value in the world.

Michael Crook, a British sinologist and winner of the Chinese Government’s Friendship Award, said that China has achieved remarkable development since its reform and opening up, and its successful experience is valuable to the international community. In particular, the Chinese modernization story is not only an important part of the Chinese story, but also a key approach for the world to understand the CPC, China, and the Chinese nation.

The launch of the vision of modernization adopted by the Chinese leadership is to advance and promote sustainable development in all scientific, technical, economic, political, cultural, social, and other fields, by seeking common ground between peoples and nations, said Dr. Hasan Abdullah Al-Dajah, a Jordanian sinologist and professor from the Department of Media and Strategic Studies at Al-Hussein Bin Talal University in Jordan. “The Chinese model of modernization has created the pattern that humanity seeks to reach as a choice of multiple ideologies and theories in achieving modernization.”

Contemporary value

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, collectively known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), during his visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, respectively. Since the initiative was proposed, pragmatic Belt and Road cooperation has brought about fruitful results and exerted significant influence on the development of the world order.

Karim Alwadi, a fellow at the Aspen Institute in the United States, said that the BRI has received positive responses from an increasing number of countries and international organizations, with its clout expanding and positive spillover effects generated. This will play a positive role in forging a united, equal, balanced, and inclusive global development partnership, and in promoting fairer and more just global governance.

Peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are the signs of human progress, and Chinese modernization conforms to all peoples’ aspiration for a better life, said Rashad Karimov, an Azerbaijani sinologist and former research fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President.

Rooted in China and informed by the whole world, Chinese modernization strives to build a beautiful world that upholds collaboration and shared benefits, mutually beneficial cooperation, common prosperity, exchanges and mutual learning, openness and inclusiveness, and green and low-carbon development, Karimov continued. In particular, the BRI provides good opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation and development for countries along the route. By building the BRI with related parties, China has contributed Chinese input and insight to the world’s development and modernization.

Reviewing history, Carsten Boyer Th?gersen, a Danish sinologist and former Danish Consul-General in Shanghai and Guangzhou, noted that one of China’s basic policies is to keep the Chinese nation together and defend the borders. “Without a united China, there will be no China.”

As a second policy, the country aimed to ensure economic progress, people’s welfare, stability, and the continuity of the central government, Th?gersen said.

Emphasizing that China’s governance is different from European experience, Th?gersen added that yin-yang thinking emphasizes “harmony, pragmatism, and inclusiveness.”

Baatarkhuu Khorloo, a Mongolian translator and chairman of the Mongolian Association for Chinese History and Culture, mentioned the first volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China and Up and Out of Poverty, a compilation of Xi Jinping’s major works from September 1988 to May 1990 while he worked in Ningde, Fujian Province, saying the two epochal works are very popular in Mongolia. Meanwhile, China’s modernization experience provides a significant frame of reference for the development of Mongolia, laying a solid foundation for promoting friendly exchanges between the two countries.

The World Sinology Lecture was jointly organized by the Chinese Association for International Understanding and Beijing Language and Culture University.

Editor: Yu Hui

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