China: Rise of an Asian giant | Insight | Full Episode

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China: Rise of an Asian giant | Insight | Full Episode

october 1st 2019 china celebrates its 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s republic of china it’s a day of immense significance as the people paid homage to the communist party’s leadership after a century of humiliation china is now marching forward with its new found confidence and vigor as a new global power from a war-battered and poverty-stricken nation on the verge of collapse to a leading industrial powerhouse and the world’s second largest economy in the span of just 70 years i think they can still celebrate the fact that they’ve had extraordinary success with their economic growth over the last 40 years and today under the leadership of xi jinping china pushes the envelope to achieve what he called the china dream we now have another very capable a very courageous leader a leader with great vision what really accounts for china’s meteoric rise as a major global power within seven decades can this dramatic success be sustained in today’s challenging global economic environment with this transformation what has been gained along the way what has been lost along the way now as china celebrates its 70th anniversary has china arrived is it still a work in progress a picturesque farming village alluring mountain ranges breathtaking views of the valleys and the lush green fields greet visitors in this old town of shirdu some 300 kilometers away from beijing china’s capital city this was how the whole of china looked like 70 years ago a predominantly agricultural country with the majority of its population living in the countryside that was also what chinese communist leader mao zedong inherited when he proclaimed the founding of the people’s republic of china on october 1st 1949 despite his remarkable success in defeating the nationalists bombing down forces and unifying the whole country under the leadership of the communist party china remained a very poor and backward country more than 80 percent of the chinese people lived in absolute poverty i would say he inherited the mess what made the difference was he created something he created something that china had not seen for nearly 100 years a united country it had been divided after the opium war civil war inside even under the qing dynasty and then the revolution warlords civil war invasion by the japanese it was one long tale of disasters wars poverty increasingly dismal future for china china was at its weakest in fact during those years of the japanese invasion and the civil war that followed i mean in 1945 to 49 when the nationalists and communists fought the nationals were obviously so weak and so corrupt they had no real chance of defeating or winning

although nobody quite anticipated the speed at which they fell but they the fact that the communist won this monster’s creation he made that possible in the ten years that followed the founding of the people’s republic of china chairman mao set the country on the tremendous growth trajectory industrial output was growing double-digit every year but the great leap forward the industrialization of china soon began to falter within the party when we had disagreements among the leaders and the mistakes that mao zedong made with the great leap forward and then when his comrades challenged him about that he didn’t like it he was got more and more deeply embroiled in a kind of internal party struggle which led to the cultural revolution the cultural revolution however failed to repair the damage caused by his economic policy of the great leap forward the great leap forward was mao’s vision of the rapid industrialization of china but at the expense of agriculture the failure of the economic experiment brought with it the great chinese famine of 1959 which lasted until 1961 the cultural revolution that followed only made the situation worse the 10-year social experiment crippled the chinese economy which led to a prolonged period of turmoil bloodshed and starvation sixty-five-year-old retiree har chun lu was only in his teens when the cultural revolution was first introduced but he could see how his family suffered as a result of the policy which failed to bring about tangible economic benefits to poor people like himself also remembers clearly what it was like to grow up hungry those were the days when food was scarce and had to be rationed the mass of famine had caused a drastic decline in the food supply causing acute starvation among the people of his [Applause] during that 10 years there were zero growth in terms of gdp per capita and for central and western china infrastructure had no improvement it was basically a period of economic stagnation and also it destroyed education of the whole generation according to estimates the cultural revolution killed between five hundred thousand and two million people it was a massive policy failure and one of the darkest chapters in chinese history former government leaders intellectuals elite professors were persecuted many actually were persecuted to death many were very much locked up you know in confinements etc many committed suicide and i think the more we think back the more we become horrified as to how low can these people go in the great cultural revolution it was only in december of 1968 that mao realized that the cultural revolution was spiraling

out of control the policy that paralyzed china politically and economically finally ended in 1976 following the death of mao zedong and the fall of the gang of four a group of chinese communist party members closely associated with mao although the end of the cultural revolution came at the cost of so many lives until today mao remains a revered figure in china despite the errors and the miscalculations of the cultural revolution and so on they didn’t actually destroy that base of a sense of unity a sense of oneness of china a sense of tremendous potential even though he got it wrong the sense was somehow still there after his success in reuniting china mao zedong had envisioned that his revolutionary movement would turn the country into a beacon of communism a prosperous country committed to the communist ideology he failed but his failure to realize his vision had paved the way for the rise of a new leader whose radical reform policies led to the emergence of china as a new economic superpower the man responsible for china’s meteoric rise was 74 year old deng xiaoping formerly the secretary general of the communist party but who was stung xiaoping how would his decision to open up china to the world changed the country’s destiny forever china’s phenomenal transformation into a modern industrialized economy did not happen by accident it was made possible by the work and ideas of one man the late chinese paramount leader deng xiaoping standing at just 1.52 metres tall his diminutive figure belied the strength vision and fortitude of the man who helped transform china into one of the fastest growing economies in the world deng xiaoping was indeed a giant among equals towering above the achievements of many other leaders in modern times with his courage vision and ideas he helped lay the foundation for the rise of china into an economic superpower that it is today in a way they learned from the mistakes of mao zedong to follow them shopping think shopping actually thought for 10 years they sat down and thought about what went wrong with what had been so successful don’t forget ben sharpening was the secretary general of the party juan matadon was the chairman for 10 years so he could see from inside something that was tremendously hopeful tremendous potential virtually destroyed by in a way the madness of this one man the man who created it also was about to destroy it and he sat back those 10 years quietly thinking of how do i remedy this how do i save china save the communist party from this near ruin that this great man who had created it in the first place had almost destroyed victor gao is a vice president of the center for china and globalization a think tank in beijing but he was previously an english translator to the late paramount leader deng xiaoping during the 1980s victor observed firsthand that despite mr tung’s demeanor as a calm and gentle old man he commanded tremendous respect on his peers with his unwavering determination to achieve his vision he was a man of great wisdom and he was a man worth with great vision for china i’ve described the ting xiaoping as the prophet for the chinese nation mainly because he saw where most of us could not see and he pointed out a way of development which eventually was proven not only to be the correct one deng xiaoping took up the mantle of the leadership of the communist party at the age of 74 at that age victor felt that dung was a man in a hurry to achieve something for the country

his main priority was to lift china out of its economic rut and pull millions of his people out of poverty and he knew time was not long left for him so he need to act very fast he had no time to waste and he also believed that china or the chinese nation would have no time to waste anymore everyone need to wake up everyone needs to have that sense of crisis a sense of urgency everyone needs to move forward as quickly as he or she can tony shaping appreciated that he was not building from something from scratch he was building from something that was there but went wrong and he’s remedying that and so he did in 1978 tungsten abandoned many communist doctrine and embrace free market principles instead from state ownership and a centrally planned economy to one based on market-oriented reforms in other words dung went against the grains of communist ideology by legalizing private ownership he allowed a market competition and opened china to the world through foreign investments and trade he famously remarked it does not matter whether they are black cats or white cats so long as they catch mice they’re good cats there were the four dragon in asia singapore hong kong taiwan so they developed very fast and quickly became the manufacturing center of the world so don saw that and he wants to follow similar path so he adopted very similar industrial policies by building domestic manufacturing base and using agriculture to subsidize industry so by doing that he lowered the cost of economic input for industrial development and also he opened a border he opened uh the coastal provinces especially through shenzhen and by doing that he captured this export this rising export economy and that was a breaking point for china it ended up setting up special economic zones getting china started on a trajectory of manufacturing success of exporting to the rest of the world it lifted over 600 million chinese out of extreme poverty it’s a kind of economic development that gave the nation control over its own destiny he had recognized that that was one of the mistakes of monster dome to have closed up the economy if you don’t have the capitalism or the methodologies and technologies of capitalism to create the wealth what is there to redistribute we must get to the stage we must create wealth and what he did was it basically opened the doors to say let everybody who can create wealth create wealth only then we have a chance to build a social society and chinese people being what they are with all their entrepreneurial instincts having been suppressed for a while now is being told to say told that this is okay now go ahead i’ve got new ideas i can be entrepreneurial go ahead and my goodness they did 33 year old alex ma works in his family’s printing and packaging business in shenzhen his father and uncle who hailed from chaoto province first started up their business in hong kong in the 1970s but they took a gamble by moving their production to shenzhen on the new promise of the special economic zones designed by deng xiaoping back in the 1980s shenzhen was a fishing village dwarfed by the mature and liberal economy of its neighbor hong kong nobody knew if it was going to work out but today alex has seen how the place and the business has grown from strength to strength thanks to mr dung’s foresight

in converting a planned economy into a market economy paid off from a per capita income of just 40 us dollars in 1978 it has now risen to more than 10 000 us dollars the country’s economy has also expanded at an average rate of 9.5 percent over the last 40 years the changes that dun had initiated have transformed china from one of the world’s poorest countries into the world’s second biggest economy as a testimony to the success of things reform efforts shenzhen has surpassed hong kong in gdp numbers for the first time in history and shenzhen’s success formula has been implemented in second and third tier cities across china shenzhen turned out to be the most successful special economic zone in the chinese experience and by today a small fishing village in shenzhen had already blossomed into a mega city shenzhen is larger than hong kong in terms of the size in terms of the size of the population but also very importantly starting in 2018 shenzhen’s gdp is already larger than hong kong so this is truly a revolutionary development for shenzhen however in the spring of 1989 pro-democracy protests broke out on tiananmen square casting a paw over china’s nasan market economy and liberal reforms chinese students have begun to demand for political reforms amid the ambitious economic reforms spearheaded by dung the central government however viewed the demonstrations as an existential challenge and went on to crush the movement because the the 10-hundred error was that they were so afraid that they opened up too fast and people getting the wrong idea and the wrong direction so they had to crush it but then then people began to be fearful about moving forward left no room for doubt on china’s way forward the red line was cast in stone and could not be crossed while he was prepared to allow for market reforms there can be no challenge to the party’s rule but that has not stopped china’s economic ascent as the next generation of chinese leaders continue to ride on this expansionist wave taking communist china to the halls of the world trade organization integrating china deeper into the global economy when deng xiaoping retired from politics in 1992 he had fulfilled a mission no other leader of the 20th century could have ever done his groundbreaking reforms and his decision to open up china to the world have left a lasting impact on the country it’s not surprising then that his death in february 1997 did not lead to the abandonment of his economic policies in fact it further inspired the government to continue the material progress for the nation under new leader chiang tamin together with economic tsar jurong ji they both took china to new heights and he sold the idea to whole general a new generation of people who now are the leaders he says successes the generation from janja min to xi jinping are all in a way products of that new way of thinking to build on the revolution that has succeeded but constantly tweak it make it better improve it on it to ensure that it takes full advantages of all the opportunities available by opening up i think that ero is also strengthened in terms of its signal opening up by premier juranji because he’s probably the bravest reformer at the time he conducted the state of enterprise reform which caused the millions of unemployment but he somehow put pull it through and with a lot of political support domestically he’s very charismatic 46 year old zhong fu chan is very much a self-made businessman

who’s very successful in his own right he’s tried his hand at different industries from trading cultural arts and crafts to agriculture and eggs production who grew up in gansu one of the poorest landlocked provinces in northwest china is the owner of a few businesses and sits on advisory boards of national trade organizations jones success mirrored the country’s phenomenal growth over the last decades he attributes his success to the environment and circumstances in those years where china was rapidly opening up to the world while taking the best of what other more a major breakthrough came in december 2001 when china formally joined the world trade organization or wto its ascension into the wto clearly signified china’s deeper integration into the global economy and cemented its position as the world’s factory attracting numerous manufacturing companies from advanced economies into china joining the world trade organization they suddenly took advantage of the whole opening of the world’s markets to chinese entrepreneurship and access to all the world’s resources following the rules all the countries open up their markets to china particularly the developed world of united states and western europe and those markets was really what made it possible for the chinese economy to take off in such a rapid pace from then onwards for the next 15 years or so it just just shot up and you can see the figures show it they show that after joining wto how how how things move very very far faster than anybody expected however china’s blistering growth averaging 9.8 per annum as well as its economic expansion that went on at such a brick neck speed had begun to raise red flags as it got richer there were growing concerns over corruption and income inequality so one could say that that whole generation attempted to keep the economic engine growing and that the real opportunity for genuine reform only came towards the end of that era with hujin tao and wen chapao looking for ways to repair a system that had clearly grown unbalanced was investment too much an engine of growth there was the government bloat in state-owned enterprises already too large was the environment too degraded had income inequality risen too high this wealth this new wealth that was created was corrupting the party itself now this is really dangerous it was against this backdrop that the leadership baton was passed onto the fifth generation in november 2012 59 year old princeling xingping the son of a communist revolutionary veteran became china’s new paramount leader shortly upon assuming power preston xi xingping embarked on an all-out anti-corruption drive aimed at rooting out corruption within the party in five years more than two hundred thousand high and low ranking officials known as tigers and flies were prosecuted former chongqing boss and member of the public bureau bore c line a former member of the politburo standing committee joe yong kang

and former vice chairman of the central military commission general xi tai ho in spite of growing criticisms that his anti-corruption drive was aimed at getting rid of his rivals and those who are resistant to his policies the campaign has won praises from the people i conducted several surveys in rural china and everywhere you go people they just love shi on they think it’s easier now to get their things done in the government and they think anti-corruption is a good thing having struck the right note at the very start of his leadership xinping launched several signature policies in quick succession these included made in china 2025 a strategic blueprint to upgrade the country’s manufacturing capabilities this would include the goal of rising dominance in the fields of technology i.t and robotics the belt and road initiative an ambitious global development strategy to build infrastructure and connectivity in 152 countries these are all part of his desire to achieve the china dream and the great rejuvenation of the chinese nation foreign china dream is not one person dream not his own only his own idea but just represent all the people of china so the china dream for the macro at the macro level when we say when we are talking about it i think it should be understand as the rejuvenization the renaissance of chinese civilization is long history that china may come as young in xi jinping’s own world that we are come closer to the center of the world stage two years into seating things term unexpected headwinds appeared on the horizon in 2014 the chinese economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years although it’s still clocked in a respectable 7.4 percent growth and in 2016 the united states voted in a president who accused china of stealing jobs from america and cheating on trade deals for all his tough anti-china rhetoric on the election campaign trail nobody really believed that donald trump will make good on his threats on china but he did in july 2018 president trump slapped taxes on billions of dollars worth of chinese imports and the two countries have been engaged in round after round of tit-for-tat retaliation measures since and with no foreseeable end in sight to the trade war chinese manufacturers like alex ma are getting increasingly worried about the chinese economy has undoubtedly been hit gdp for the second quarter of 2019 grew at 6.2 percent the lowest rate since quarterly reports began in 1992 oh the impact will be profound in fact you feel the impact right now probably when you are in china most people want to talk to you about u.s china trade war because affecting people’s daily life is affecting sentient and that’s affecting stock market and as china celebrates its 70th anniversary of the founding of the nation what do these troubling times mean for

the chinese people and president xi jinping’s lofty china dream when president xi jinping started his term with his vision of the china dream jungkook it galvanized and inspired an entire nation it conjured hope and self-confidence but as the world’s most populous country some 1.4 billion people china has different age groups different dialects and different religions can it be one china dream for everybody how was xi jinping’s vision propelled the nation forward power wealth and respect that’s what chinese leader xingping has envisioned for his country and his 1.4 billion population when he took over the mantle of leadership in 2012 just weeks after he was installed as the secretary general of the communist party c came up with a slogan the china dream and the great rejuvenation of the chinese nation his key objective to achieve prosperity at home and respect on the world stage a vision of an economically prosperous and militarily strong nation great means in the eyes of the chinese is to be respected to be looked up to as a civilization or as a power as a wealthy country for all sorts of reasons but people look up to china with respect admiration or something like that i think that’s why the chinese believe that china has been treated that way for a long time most of the time they have their downs but when they’re doing well people respect it and admire china and for 100 years they were really down so now they want to go back to the position when people will respect china i think most chinese leaders and intellectuals and so on want to restore that position evidence has shown that china has already gained international respect and global admiration for all its achievements over the last 40 years from one of the poorest countries in the world it’s now on the verge of joining the ranks of a high-income country from an economy that was based on agriculture it has now established itself as a global technology and manufacturing powerhouse contributing to nearly 30 percent of the world’s economic growth it has also successfully lifted 850 million people out of poverty and is on target to eradicate absolute poverty by the year 2020 china today is also the world’s largest trading nation and an economy that’s only second biggest in the world after the us for sri sath who had gone through the cultural revolution he’s happy to witness the country’s rapid transformation and he attributes that to the drive and resilience of its people to be among the best in the world many people like me could never envision today right we have been consistently underestimating china’s economic potentials and probably until today i’m still underestimating china’s economic resilience that’s number one number two in many ways i think society has become a lot more open so that’s the second achievement third achievement is really this continued drive i think that’s very different from many other countries and there’s still a very strong catch-up mentality i think china coming from a very underdeveloped country with a poverty rate is so high now we really improved the wealth of the whole generation we really you know put the china into middle income country level so in that sense that’s the single biggest achievement of china thirty-one year old fanue and his wife xiangn who run a skating and snowboarding school for children are not particularly aware of the china dream slogan

still they feel very inspired by the government’s commitment to achieve the best for the country and are willing to partake in this common vision the china’s newfound wealth and confidence had also been matched by its growing assertiveness overseas it has been flexing its muscle in every sphere including its maritime claims in the south china sea and east china sea beijing has also been moving rapidly to upgrade its military hardware and expand its powers overseas sea’s government has also invested heavily in the belt and road initiative to expand its economic reach and soft power abroad domestically xi jinping has emerged as the most powerful leader since the era of mao zedong apart from his position as president and secretary general of the party he has also taken full control of the military assuming the title of supreme commander and in the marked departure from party tradition xingping successfully removed the term limits for president something which former leader deng xiaoping tried to prevent the constitutional amendment would now allow him to stay in office as president indefinitely if you’re doing the job and job is not finished you continue why not i do not believe that he just he’s took off the limit so that he can be president for life i think that’s just people’s you know way of making fun of him because i don’t think that’s on his mind what is on his mind is that these limits are artificial they borrow from somewhere but it really depends on the job you have to do and i think he sees himself rightly or wrongly that he faced a party that was almost about to self-destruct and he has said almost a sacred task of saving that party in order to save china that maybe five years ten years not good enough given the vast changes and the rapid changes and also the way that xi jinping has led the party in fighting against the corruption the greater continuity and stability we may have actually will help china the more rather than for example the uncertainty of the unpredictability especially at the very top level of the chinese leadership but 2019 has proven to be a challenging year for presidency china today has to battle challenges on many fronts ethnic tensions in xinjiang continue to simmer as international human rights group keep up the pressure on the chinese authority’s handling of the uyga muslims sea is also facing a challenge to his authority from china’s special administrative region hong kong months of anti-government protests by pro-democratic forces have threatened to undermine political stability in the former british colony the festering trade war with the united states has also hit its economy hard raising the specter of another global recession as trade volumes plunge and major companies pause their investments but many in china are not worried about

this trade war also has some positive impact on china because trade war is a stress test financial institutions they need to undertake stress tests when asset values coming down whether your institution can withheld such external pressure same for china this trade war i think allows policymakers to look at reform agenda the scale and grandeur of the 70th anniversary military parade in tiananmen was truly a sight to behold but even as president xi jinping and his team looked on his countrymen with confidence and pride the challenges facing the country ahead are real and deep rooted but it’s something that it is always ready and willing to face head-on we are preparing for the next 70 years and many many more years to come beyond that i think you know china is after all having the longest continuous civilization with 5000 years of recorded history and china is the only never interrupted civilization in the world i would say that the dream is still the same dream how do you make china great again and in the last 70 years after all the ups and downs of the different periods this part of it i think has really achieved really succeeded in sinking roots in the minds and hearts of most chinese people and there is and as long as that is there there’s always hope as i talked different generations of chinese nationals those who lived through the hardships the cultural revolution and those who were born in the 80s the 90s who were beneficiaries of deng xiaoping’s economic reforms one thing that struck me was their self-confidence confidence in their own ability that is very much aligned with their belief in the country’s ability they’re all cleanly aware of how far china has come since 1949 many of them did not believe they would see this transformation in their lifetime in talking about current challenges the u.s china trade war intentions for example their responses are consistently measured china according to them has been facing obstacles and hardships at every turn in their 5 000 years of civilization and not just on this occasion of their 70th anniversary this is but a small hiccup on the spectrum of time m you