Customs officials holding back the visitor’s hand to clap, smiles beaming in a factory at Beijing’s Pudong Second Convention Center. All symbolise what is considered a new China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.
Whether it is cheering crowds filling stadiums, reunions of families separated during the Great Famine, those working hard to refurbish the iconic gardens and historical buildings, the “Year of the Pig” is the hallmark of Beijing’s upcoming hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
China’s speed and audacity in building its “national power” look set to get even faster under the country’s latest political blueprint, “the Four Modernisations” – the most ambitious undertaking in the country’s modern history.
With a focus on “China’s People, China’s Country, China’s People’s Country, China’s Peoples Country,” the document shows a country that’s catapulted to the top in new technologies, science and society, but still struggling with the old hot spots – land, housing, pollution and climate change.
It’s not just a China initiative – the proposed policies are “shared humanity” and aimed at promoting “a new global order” to deal with issues like climate change and “human capital” – quality of life, wellbeing, and enhanced international competitiveness.
The policy, revealed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March, made the theme “common prosperity” for all countries in a bid to encourage continued global growth amid the United States-China trade war.
The document has laid down 17 goals or indicators that will be incorporated into the country’s three annual economic report reports.
They include the two goals outlined in the New Economic Design Initiative – expanding the country’s space for private enterprises and diversifying the economy away from debt- and state-owned enterprise-based growth.
NPC President Xi Jinping has long asserted China’s position as an emerging superpower, and officials have committed to pushing for bigger gains in key areas like agriculture, energy, construction, clean technology, the internet and communication, transport, air, water and sanitation.
Though economists describe it as a modest turnaround from years of deceleration and economic slowing, a new pact signed in 2015 between Beijing and its main trading partners in an effort to create “fair, open and mutually beneficial trade and investment” showed the distance remaining between the two countries.