What amazes me in the history and culture of China is how Europe announces it the third civilizational center of humanity after the Egyptian and Greco Roman civilizations.
It impresses me very much the unity of Chinese religion, science, economy and openness to various other cultures.
The concept of the Chinese wise man about the five elements of the world is very well known in Europe- water, fire, metal, wood and earth. The idea of the two driving forces of nature to mankind – Yin and Yang (light and darkness, sky and earth, man and woman) is known by all the nations on the planet.
In Europe, the USA and Russia these ideas of ancient China are associated today with the great physicist of the 21st century – Stephen Hawking who uses these ideas in his theory of the creation of the universe. I am deeply impressed by the collaboration between European and Chinese scientists in the field of physics, mechanics and nanotechnology. When the Chinese wise man invent the proper papermaking process with that not only the Chinese culture but the world culture entered in ages of revolutionary development of science and art. Can we imagine the Renaissance and the Enlightenment ages in Europe without this great invention?
China’s economy is now the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity according to the IMF and is considered the second largest by nominal GDP. China is a global hub for manufacturing, and is the largest manufacturing economy in the world as well as the largest exporter of goods in the world. The Chinese agriculture not only helps feeding developing countries but also other leading world powers. The global economic crisis is not over, it continues and China helps many European, South American, northern African countries to deal with it. The international economic relations between China and the European Union unfold like the Silk Road unfolded centuries ago. Today both our cultures are exchanging valuable digital technologies, bank and credit instruments and automated technologies.
China has grown rapidly over the past decade and it is now the largest economies outside of the group of advanced countries. China, in particular, is in the news every day. It is increasingly seen as one of the major economic powers in the world. China’s economy is twice large as those as Brazil, India and Russia taken combined (and its population is enormous, more than four times of the USA. China has been growing very fast for more than two decades, and its growth rate is almost twice that of the other mentioned above.
Over the past two decades (and also in the 1980s) Chinese output grown on average at more than 10% a year, and the forecast are for more of the same. This is truly astonishing number: compare it to the numbers achieved by Europe or the US economy over the same period. At that rate, output doubles every seven years…
Where does growth come from? It is clearly comes from two sources.
The first is very high accumulation of capital. According to IMF the investment rate (the ration of investment to output) in China is between 40% and 45% of output, a very high number. For comparison, the investment rate in the USA is only 17%. More capital means higher productivity, and higher output.
The second is very fast technological progress. The strategy followed by the Chinese government has been to encourage foreign firms to come and produce in China. As foreign firms are typically much more productive than Chinese firms, this has increased productivity and output. Another aspect of the strategy has been to encourage joint ventures between foreign and Chinese firms; making Chinese firms work with and learn from foreign firm has made them much more productive. When described in this, achieving high productivity and high output growth appears easy, with easy recipes that every poor country could follow. In fact things are less obvious.
China is one of many countries which made the transition from central planning to a market economy. Most of other countries, from central Europe to Russia and the other former Soviet republics have experienced a large decrease in output at the time of transition. Most still have growth rates far below that of China.
In many countries, widespread corruption and poor property rights make firms unwilling to invest. So why has China fated so much better? Economists are not sure. Some believe that this is the result of a slower, better managed, transition: the first Chinese reforms took place in agriculture in 1980 and, even today, many firms remain owned by the state. Others argue that the fact that the communist party has remained in control has actually helped the economic transition; tight political control has allowed for a better protection of property rights, at least for firms, giving them incentives to invest.
What explains above stated differences, and is the superior performance of the Chinese economy sustainable? Getting the answers to these questions, and thus learning what other poor countries can take from Chinese experience, can clearly make huge difference, not only for China but for the rest of the word.
In international relations, China admires the principles of political unity which is enshrined in EU principles. China believes that these principles are close to many political principles close to the Chinese State- treating all people as equals, unity, seeking political negotiation when the nation is in crisis and harmony of the people. I support the position of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker from 29 June 2015, during the EU-China summit that through international cooperation China and the EU can do great things together. Working side by side both communities can reach new heights in the fields of science, economy and social development.
The cooperation between the European Union and China greatly contributes the development of the whole world in the begging of the 21st century.