By: Salim I. Hassan
CHINA! Rich People Strong Nation. Perhaps it is the only country that has no official National Motto or Slogan.
“China, one of the poorest countries in the world three decades ago, with a GDP per capita of only US$165 (381 RMB or Chinese Yuan) in 1978, is now the world’s second largest economy, with annual growth rates averaging 9% over the past 30 years, and GDP per capita of US$6,807 (41,908 RMB) in 2013. Rapid economic growth is projected to continue, though at a lower rate, but disparities among regions and population groups are large and widening”.
China, the “World’s Factory, is the only nation that has lifted more than 500 million people out of poverty since 1978, creating one of the largest economic miracles in the later 20th century. A nation where people with 25% personal saving rate, rarely suffer from personal bankruptcies or foreclosures. The huge saving by Chinese people have created financial security for many Chinese families.
Imagine how successful they are within 3 decades only considering the fact they are the poorest in the world before these decades. That is not magic, though beyond the capacity of all nations. This is China and this is how the analysts described it. I am not exaggerating please. Am I alone in extolling this nation? No! Experts have already done it and are still doing it. Think of Dr. Dambisa Moyo, a global economist and author, who analyzes the macroeconomy and international affairs, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, regards China as “new idol for emerging economies.” Thomas Friedman, an American journalist, author, and three time Pulitzer Prize winner who has written extensively on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, and globalization and currently a weekly columnist for The New York Times had once stated in intoxicant admiration of China for its ability to get things done quickly by saying “what if we could just be China for one day?”, just to mention few. Let me also play this tune how I wish Nigeria can just be a China for 4yrs alone? There will be a great success and achievement indeed!
This nation has managed a difficult transition from a lonely communist nation, to a largely open, economic driven nation, all without a bit falling into crisis and turmoil. Manzur Alam writes that “Within a few years China embarked on a path of economic growth that resulted in raising the standard of living of the average Chinese by more than 20 times within three decades. This exceptionally high and sustained economic growth catapulted the size of China’s economy to the second position after it overtook Japan in 2010. If the current trend continues, China will overtake the US as the largest economy in the year 2028”.
So what are the secrets or drivers behind CHINA’s extraordinary success? Trust me if I say Knowledge! Knowledge is the primary driver while other factors are secondary.
“SEEK KNOWLEDGE EVEN IF IT TAKES YOU CHINA”. This is a well-known Hadith of the Rasul (s.a.w) in which emphasis was exerted in seeking knowledge by the Muslims no matter far away the place is. A great civilization like China, an ancient repository of knowledge had been and remains a great one with a rich economy and superior technology. When I read its history of civilization, its useful cultures, and its modern development policies from introduction of market mechanism to modern technology and management from the west I really became captivated by its beautiful strategy of developmental goals and management. Modern civilization cannot be realized or even be imagined without books written on paper, which is a Chinese invention.
It is beyond any doubt that China is a land of not only knowledge but knowledge and act. It has been consecutively ranked the 1st in 2009 and 2012 PISA international student assessment. It educates 7 million university graduates annually, 40% with engineering and science degrees. And it is suggested that Chinese scientists and engineers are behind the rapid move in China’s technological advancements and economic growth as written in a article titled: “Next made-in-China boom: college graduates.” It is also recorded that in America itself Chinese educated immigrants are the major driving forces in high technological and engineering industries. Thanks to Chinese people who proved wrong the Western only formula for development as dictated to world nations.
Next to education, Chinese people are also major drivers of China’s success. Chinese people, argues Yukong Zhao (the author of the book ".), are the true creator of China’s economic success and the great culture that shapes their characteristics: ambitious, hardworking, thrifty, caring for their families and relentlessly pursuing good education and success, emphasizing that there are more than 40 Chinese slogans or phrases, to encourage children and adults to have big dream for their future. These motivate Chinese people to study diligently and work hard.
African, Asian and Middle East (Muslim) nation must appreciate the fact that national development and progress is by no means only possible with the imitation of the Western Capitalist policy. Manzur Alam Tipu also postulates that “The spectacular success of such a large country like China surprised the pundits, because the Chinese experience of economic development ran counter to conventional wisdom. Development experts used to believe that economic development could only occur through a process summarized by the so-called “Washington Consensus.” The IMF, the World Bank, and the US Treasury Department used to prescribe a single formula to crisis-wrecked countries. They used to demand of countries needing assistance that if they wished to come out of poverty and crisis they would have to deregulate, privatize, and limit the government’s role in the economy. The Chinese experience shows that a strong, efficient and dedicated government may be more effective than the free market alone for achieving economic development with more equitable distribution”. We should know that It is not by means of ideas imported or imposed that a nation can develop; self-preservation and safeguarding national interest shall be the final yardstick for measuring your society’s destiny.
China, after throwing communism to the dustbin of history, it adopt the three Ps policy to attain absolute independence and development, namely preservation, prosperity, and power. By Preservation they mean protecting of their territorial integrity and maintaining internal stability. By ‘Prosperity’ they mean getting to a level of Rich People and Strong Nation. Finally, Power means the capacity to achieve the first two goals i.e Preservation and Prosperity. All with this philosophy China aims to have a strong military or soft power to create or maintain a world that is suitable for a stable and prosperous China. And now before we can know it this is a reality of today’s China, Rich People and Strong Nation. A nation where people with 25% personal saving rate, rarely suffer from personal bankruptcies or foreclosures. The huge saving by Chinese people have created financial security for many Chinese families.
Yukong Zhao wrote in his article that: “In 1979, Herman Kahn, the world-famous futurist, predicted, ‘the Confucian ethic—the creation of dedicated, motivated, responsible, and educated individuals and the enhanced sense of commitment, organizational identity, and loyalty to various institutions—will result in all the neo-Confucian societies having at least potentially higher growth rates than other cultures.’ In 1980, Roderick MacFarquhar, the world-renowned China expert and Harvard Professor declared: ‘That ideology [Confucianism] is as important to the rise of the east Asian hyper-growth economies as the conjunction of Protestantism and the rise of capitalism in the West.’
In conclusion, China has no replica in its type of development and do not copy any of Western system of administration, and yet it is ranked 2nd among best world economy which is able to attain within 30yrs of struggle. It sprang up from poorest to richest nation. In his book, writes Alam Tipu, The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington suggested that the US should continue to prop up the military industrial complex to prepare for a violent “civilizational” clash against a Confucian-Islamic alliance. How did he come to such an astonishing conclusion about a belligerent anti-west alliance taking shape when there is no ideological, religious, or cultural affinity between communist-cum-free market China and Muslim countries? He argued that both China and Muslim countries share grievances against the West’s colonial past and Western dominance of the present world order. Further, Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Iran have engaged in extensive cooperation with China.
We should all learn from China experience of development so that we can be lifted up………