China’s road to prosperity: Opportunities for Israel

A prosperous China is good for Israel, and a thriving Israel is good for China.

Israel and China’s new joint stamp issue 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Israel Postal Company)
Israel and China’s new joint stamp issue 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Postal Company)
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has just concluded with the new generation of Chinese leadership coming to fore, making headlines in the world media. As China’s Ambassador to Israel, I have an obligation to update the Israeli public on developments in China and explain what they mean for Israel.
A Party Congress of historic significance The importance of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China cannot be overemphasized. This is a historic moment, because China now stands at a critical juncture.
Since the Reform and Open policy was launched more than 30 years ago, China has achieved the extraordinary.
No country in human history has industrialized so fast and on such a scale. Over the past decade, China has grown from the world’s sixth largest economy to the second largest and is currently at the stage of its most prosperous period since 1840.
That being said, China remains a developing country. China’s GDP per capita was only $5,432 last year, ranking 89th in the world, only one sixth of Israel’s. 128 million people in China still live in poverty, or in other words, on one dollar per day. China’s capacity for innovation is weak, especially compared with Israel.
In a globalized world, China’s development does have ramifications.
Because of its size and influence, China’s decisions do carry weight. Where is China heading? What path is China going to take? How will a fast developing China use its growing power and influence? These questions are asked not only by the Chinese people at home but by people abroad, and then the Party Congress comes along, and gives the answers.
Roadmap to China’s future The Party Congress steers a clear course for China’s further development.
The Party has vowed to usher in a more prosperous society in China by 2021 when the Party turns 100 years old. In addition, it has vowed to turn China into a modernized socialist nation being rich, democratic, civic and harmonious by 2049, the year the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 100th anniversary.
These are China’s two strategic goals in the medium and long term.
Domestically, in order to promote economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress toward these strategic goals, the priorities identified by the Party for the upcoming years are as follows: • The economy should maintain sustained and sound development.
On the basis of making China’s development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable, China will double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2020. The creation of a new growth model will be sped up. This will make economic development driven more by domestic demand, especially consumer demand, by a modern service industry and strategic emerging industries, by scientific and technological progress, etc.
• People’s democracy should be expanded. The rule of law will be fully implemented. Judicial credibility steadily enhanced. Human rights fully respected and protected. Active and prudent efforts made to carry out the reform of the political structure to ensure the people conduct democratic elections, decision-making, administration and oversight in accordance with the law.
• The country’s cultural soft power should be improved significantly.
The cultural industry will become one of the pillars of the national economy, laying a solid basis to build China into a cultural power.
• Living standards should be fully raised. Equal access to basic public services will be generally achieved.
The educational level of the entire population will be significantly raised, and training of innovative professionals markedly improved.
• Major progress should be made in building a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society.
China is committed to green, circular and low-carbon development.
To make the above-mentioned goals achieved, China will keep on the path it has taken for the past several years. This path focuses on economic development. It puts people first. It promotes comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.
It upholds social equity and justice, and protects people’s democratic rights.
On foreign policy, for the sake of world peace and development, China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace. China will unwaveringly follow a win-win strategy of opening up and promote robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy through increased cooperation.
China opposes hegemonism and power politics in all their forms and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China also opposes terrorism in all its manifestations.
Unique opportunities for Israel The year 2012 is not only a historic year for China, but for Sino-Israeli relations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic ties.
The Sino-Israeli relationship is in its best-ever shape, with ever more frequent exchanges at various levels and ever-expanding and deepening pragmatic cooperation in all fields.
China is now Israel’s third largest trading partner globally, and the biggest trading partner in Asia. With the hope of establishing a Free Trade Area in the future, the two-way trade will bring more benefits to our peoples in the years to come.
The priorities set by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China offer Israel unprecedented opportunities. China is now undergoing a process of historic transformation and development.
Israel, as a pioneer in innovation, a paragon of start-up nations, and an important trading partner of China in this region, does have a role to play in the process.
Take the scientific and technological field where Israel enjoys special advantages as an example. China is now developing new strategic industries energetically. In the energy conservation and environmental protection industry, the focus is on the development of key technological equipment for efficient energy conservation, advanced environmental protection and resource recycling, products and services.
In the new-generation IT industry, the focus is on the development of new-generation mobile communication, new-generation Internet, threenetwork convergence, Internet of things, cloud computing, IC, new displays, high-end software, highend servers and information services.
In the biological industry, the focus is on the development of biopharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering products, bio-agriculture and biomanufacturing.
In the new-energy automobile industry, the focus is on the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, pure electric vehicles and fuel cell automobile technologies.
I can’t find a field in which Israel is not competitive! Israeli hi-tech products and technology enjoy broad prospects in China. Once Israeli enterprises in the high added-value business find their niche in China’s economic restructuring, they will gain more orders, profits and market share in China.
I believe our complementary advantages can, should and will be translated into our mutually beneficial cooperation and common development. A prosperous China is good for Israel, and a thriving Israel is good for China too. I am convinced that so long as we commit ourselves to the win-win cooperation, the future of Sino-Israeli relations will be much brighter.
The author is ambassador of China to Israel.