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Chinese modernization benefits world

Alpha Mohamed Jalloh | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-21



China's rapid economic growth, which has paved the way for Chinese modernization, has a unique approach to development, combining elements of planning and market-oriented reforms. China has not only been modernizing its economy, but also has become a significant partner of many developing countries, including African countries, in their development efforts. The relationship between China and Africa in the context of modernization is worth exploring, as it has the potential to reshape the global economic landscape.

China's multifaceted approach to development combines elements of socialism with rules of market economy. This model has been instrumental in propelling China from a largely agrarian economy to the world's second-largest economy in a relatively short period. The main factors driving Chinese modernization include the Chinese government's important role as well as the market's decisive role in developing the economy, encouraging private enterprises to play a bigger role in economic growth, and keeping key sectors such as finance, energy and telecommunications vibrant and strong.

The launch of reform and opening-up, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s, opened up the Chinese economy to foreign investment, fostered entrepreneurship and promoted trade. The result has been the unprecedented growth and expansion of the middle-income group. China's modernization is anchored on the principles of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which are quite distinct from the West's philosophy of development.

China has invested heavily in infrastructure, both at home and abroad — more so as part of the Belt and Road Initiative — especially to build vital transport and energy networks. These infrastructure initiatives have had a huge impact on China's development and laid the foundation for China's global engagement, including with African countries. What is particularly important for African leaders is to take advantage of the infrastructure that China has helped develop in countries like Ethiopia and Kenya.

Africa, a continent with abundant natural resources and a growing population, has been a focal point of China's international engagement. Sino-African relations are often characterized as "win-win" in which both parties benefit from collaboration.

China is Africa's largest trading partner, with substantial investments in sectors such as infrastructure, mining, agriculture and manufacturing. African countries get part of the funding for their development projects from China, while China secures valuable resources for its industries from African countries and has found a big market for its goods in Africa.

Also, China has assisted African countries in various technology transfer programs, boosting industrialization and local capacity-building. Initiatives such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation have facilitated knowledge exchange and training. And China has shared its agricultural expertise with African countries to boost food security and promote sustainable farming practices. These efforts have helped reduce poverty and hunger in Africa.

Besides, China has been involved in building healthcare facilities and supporting educational programs in Africa, which enhance the overall well-being and human capital of African countries. This fact can never be overemphasized, because the presence of international students at the seminar shows how ready is China to cooperate with Africa to build on its human resources.

Chinese modernization and the China-Africa joint development partnership represent a unique approach to development that has the potential to reshape the global economic landscape. As China continues its modernization drive and Africa seeks to accelerate its development, cooperation between the two sides becomes essential.

With responsible and sustainable practices, the Sino-African partnership can foster economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for millions of people in Africa. By embracing a win-win policy and thoughtfully addressing concerns, both sides can benefit from this mutually advantageous relationship. With the world watching, China and Africa can strengthen their collaboration and turn it into a model for international cooperation in the 21st century.

At their recent graduation seminar at the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Institute for Advanced Study, under the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a group of African scholars deliberated on Chinese modernization and China-Africa common development, focusing on China's development model, which has helped the country to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2020. The African scholars are also keen to learn from the specific approaches China has adopted to achieve unprecedented economic growth and social development.

Chinese modernization really helps build a community with a shared future for mankind to boost the economic development of their respective countries.

The author is director of the China-Africa Institute, University of Makeni, Sierra Leone.

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