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The International Development of China

(Repost of my comment about the preface of The International Development of China by Yat-sen Sun as part of the course world of Creating Modern China on edX.)

Reading Sun's aspirational development plan for the China has aroused me. For an ancient empire in long and deep decay, Sun looked beyond the victimhood from the Qing era. To develop China and improved the livinghood of Chinese people is of utmost importance. But Sun's vision is even beyond that. In his words, "China (is to) be developed internationally under a socialistic scheme, for the good of the world in general and the Chinese people in particular".

In line with all the humanistic thinkers before him, the development should be socialistic one for the benefit of the people. The development of China is not in exclusion of foreigners. Instead, there is an ocean of prospects that has room for both Chinese and international interest. In fact, the need for development is so vast that it necessitates international participation.

The specific development idea may or may not still be the best when viewing with 100 year of hindsight. While I think it is putting too much emphasis on centralized economic plan, using state led infrastructure projects to stimulate development is still a good strategy today. Peculiarly, Sun's vision is becoming realized by the Chinese communist government today. The infrastructure is developed in a breakneck pace. For the first time in the modern era, there is a remarkable and broad based improvement in Chinese people's livinghood. Chinese is even pushing this development model aboard to Africa and parts of Asia. One might hope that this will bring development and prosperity beyond China to other parts of the world.

Perversely, the populist's movement in today's Western world is pushing for an opposite model. In their view, the individual nation states are each for itself. Perhaps not unlike China in the past century, during stress, some people adopt an xenophobic view in reaction. For more than a century, they were resisting change, hoping for a return to the glorious past in futility. Sun's vision is an aspiration for China to build itself. Let's hope it will also be a vision for all to a better future.

2019.09.28 comments

 

 

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