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Global experts praise plenum's outcomes

By KELLY YANG in Hong Kong and KARL WILSON in Sydney | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2019-11-05 07:35

Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng attend the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Beijing. The session was held from Oct 28 to 31, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The plenary session convened by the Communist Party of China last week showed the country's willingness to discuss long-term planning for the benefit of the Chinese people, the promotion of global peace and prosperity and the establishment of an ecological civilization, international experts said.

The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which concluded on Thursday after a four-day gathering, set the tone for China's future development path and touched on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of the nation's system and governance capacity.

" (The meeting) illustrated Chinese political will and commitment to advance socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, especially with regard to the comprehensive reform agenda ranging from governance to social, economic and environmental issues," said Chheang Vannarith, co-founder and vice-chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies.

Chheang said that the meeting's communique reaffirmed the significance of upholding and improving China's independent foreign policy of peace as well as the promotion of the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, which is in line with "the global trend of peace and cooperation".

He pointed out the importance of building an ecological civilization and social governance based on collaboration, participation and common interests.

"Ecological and social issues are the key determinants of sustainable and inclusive development," he said, noting that striking a balance between economy, society and ecology defines the future of China.

Vasily Kashin, a senior research fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Far Eastern Studies, said the meeting was held amid rising anti-globalization, trade protectionism and global economic growth uncertainty.

Kashin appreciates that China is facing these challenges with moves including improving the governance system and enhancing governance ability.

Rajiv Biswas, executive director and Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, a global information provider, said that the meeting highlighted the strong commitment by the Chinese government to creating a modern economic system, including making further supply-side economic reforms, improving technological innovation and creating a more open economy.

He was also impressed by China's strong commitment to resource conservation and environmental protection.

"Environmental pollution and climate change are among the greatest challenges facing developing countries, and China has taken a leadership role among developing countries in transforming the nation toward sustainable environmental and energy policies," Biswas said.

Tim Harcourt, an economist and J.W. Nevile Fellow at the University of New South Wales, said the communique "is a clear statement" on the environment and shows that China values "green mountains as much as gold and silver".

Michael O'Keefe, director of the Master of International Relations, La Trobe University in Melbourne, said that the development path of China "will not be halted by environmental concerns, but they will be taken into account to ensure greater sustainability".

Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club, said the meeting is significant because the Party is restating its core principles concerning the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and describes the continued development path of China.

He said the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics has at its core a belief in the people being the beneficiaries of the nation's wealth.

"China's adaptations to its welfare system have been researched across the world for over 40 years, its plans have been tested and developed and now its implementation is constantly assessed and alterations are made," Perry said. "China will have the best systems of development and government because its testing is constant and open-minded."

Emanuel Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute, a pan-Asian think tank, said the meeting's emphasis on upholding the principle of "one country, two systems" and promoting the peaceful reunification of China showed China's aim of maintaining long-term commitment to a transition in governance.

"China has a vision for the future and its political culture is not about stunts and distracting spectacles," said Pastreich.

Wang Mingjie in London and Ren Qi in Moscow contributed to this story.

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