By Veronika S. Saraswati
Congratulations on the re-election of Chairman Xi Jinping as President of the PRC in March 2023. Entering the third period of President Xi Jinping’s term of office, China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping will continue development which will bring great success in its development achievements. President Xi Jinping leads China’s development in all sectors based on the ‘Innovation Theory 创新理论’. The Innovation Theory is a continuation of the ‘Scientific Development Theory 科学发展观’ which forms the basis of the vision and mission of President Hu Jintao’s leadership.
Major achievements in various development sectors are important results that show the success of China’s development theory since the period of national development until now. China’s national development is continuous from one period of leadership to the next. Starting from the period of national development under the chairmanship of Chairman Mao Zedong in the year of 1949, China was then in the process of establishing the basis and direction for nation-building. Currently, China is entering a period of achieving great results from the entire development process since its independence in 1949. The revival of China’s economic development has not only brought prosperity to all Chinese people but has also brought great benefits to world development.
Persistence and an attitude of not giving up in facing every development challenges from the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong to the leadership of President Xi Jinping is an important historical record and valuable lessons to pass on to Chinese younger generation. Heavy rainstorms have never hindered China’s bold and consistent steps to realize independence and to move forward until China finally succeeded in becoming the world’s leading country today because the love of peace and justice remains at the heart of society life and the pace of its development.
China’s Economic Achievement
At the beginning of the new year 2023, PRC President Xi Jinping announced that China’s Gross Domestic Product for 2022 will be 120 trillion Yuan. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping who is also the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese people have succeeded in achieving achievements in the economic field by maintaining the PRC’s position as the country with the second-largest GDP in the world. This great achievement will be continued and scaled up under President Xi Jinping who is re-elected in March 2023.
Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has further strengthened the economy such as several pilot free trade zones and Hainan Free Trade Port which have developed more and more rapidly, innovative programs in coastal areas, accelerated development in the central and western regions, revitalization programs in the northeast, and major construction -mass at the border to create community prosperity.
President Xi Jinping has always strengthened and encouraged the Chinese people by saying that as long as the Chinese people remain confident and strive to move forward, all national development goals will be achieved. In recovering the Hong Kong issue, President Xi Jinping demonstrated a peaceful populist policy. Hong Kong has restored order and continued to develop. With the adoption and implementation of the ‘One Country Two Systems Principle’, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau surely enjoy long-term prosperity and stability. Under guidance of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government was able to solve every issue of sovereignty peacefully and harmoniously.
In agriculture sector, even though there is a global food crisis, China is still able to carry out major harvests for 20 consecutive years so that the availability of food for the people is guaranteed. The Chinese government has consolidated its achievements in poverty alleviation, overall rural revitalization, and issued a policy of cutting taxes and other fees to ease the burden on businesses, and made many efforts to overcome the difficulties of its people.
Since the Covid-19 outbreaks hit, President Xi’s administration has chosen policies prioritizing the safety of people. Recently China is entering a new phase of its Covid-19 response and formidable challenges remain. Every people have been enduring patiently. President Xi Jinping is always encouraging the Country by saying that the light of hope is right in front of the whole country of China. President Xi Jinping reminds the Chinese people to continue working hard to get through the difficult times of the pandemic because persistence and solidarity will result in victory.
China’s High-tech Achievements
Under President Xi Jinping, China achieves a world leader in essential technologies, beating the US in the race for scientific and research breakthroughs. There are 37 out of 44 important technologies that China has mastered. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an Australian think tank, China leads in the world’s important technology sectors such as defense, space, robotics, energy, environment, biotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced materials, and key quantum technology.
Several other fields that China has mastered are drones, machine learning, electric batteries, nuclear energy, photovoltaics, quantum sensors, and the extraction of critical minerals. According to ASPI, China’s dominance in these areas is so entrenched that 10 of the world’s leading research institutes for certain technologies are located in China. By comparison, the US has mastered only seven of 44 key technologies, such as space launch systems and quantum computing, according to ASPI.
China’s prowess in this sector has caused Western countries to experience insecurity so they think China is a dangerous force that can shift the status quo position of the USA. In the long term, China’s leading and highly advanced research position shows that China is already setting itself up to excel not only in current technological developments in almost all sectors but also in future technologies that do not yet exist.
Words have power. Chinese President Xi Jinping has always pumped up the spirit of the Chinese people through his speeches. President Xi reminded the Chinese people that China needs to become a technologically independent country. Therefore, China needs to solve all development problems including technology sector problems. President Xi called for China to strengthen basic research in science and technology to achieve independence and become a global technological power. Besides, to overcome international science and technology competition, and to achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency and self-improvement, President Xi underlines that China urgently needs to continuously strengthen basic research in leading technology fields and solve key technology problems from the source. The Chinese education system also greatly facilitates leading fields of technology research to cultivate Chinese people’s talents in this field.
President Xi also echoed his speech in 2021 where he said, in 2035 China should be ranked among the leading countries in the world concerning strategy and technological strength and a high-quality talent army. The call comes as China faces a growing challenge to catch up with the US and its allies in advanced semiconductor technology.
In January, Japan and the Netherlands agreed to comply with export restrictions on China’s chip sector announced by the US government in October 2022. However, the sanction that was intended to prevent China from purchasing advanced artificial intelligence (AI) computing chips, as well as equipment from Western and Japanese companies, become turning point for China to be able to manufacture the products domestically. The US’s sanctions cannot subvert and bring down the Chinese economy.
The sanctions and embargoes imposed by the USA and its allies strengthened China’s capabilities in research and development for the advanced technology sector. Peace-loving, intelligent, and persistent are inherent principles in Chinese traditional values embraced by the Chinese as a main driving force to reverse the punishment and sanctions to change the great leap forward.
China Will Be Tougher and More Advanced
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang, the Chinese government will continue to carry out development based on a human-centered development philosophy and focus efforts on promoting high-quality development. Putting the people first will be realized by the Chinese government with a development policy oriented toward people’s welfare as the ultimate goal.
The rapid of China’s economic development provides many benefits to the international world. Amid the tough challenges faced by China today, especially due to the siege by the USA and its allies, President Xi Jinping remains consistent in carrying out a foreign policy that provides great benefits to support the development of developing countries and less developed countries. China’s experience in the success of eradicating absolute poverty can be used as an effective development model. The development of China’s economic sector and all other important sectors takes place rapidly and has the full support of the people. It is true to say that currently, China has entered the level of developed countries. China is transforming from a developing country to a developed country peacefully and harmoniously.
China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping retains the courage to face new obstacles that could potentially weigh on China’s economy. China remains undaunted by major and complex changes in both the domestic and international landscape. The strategy of siege and sanctions imposed by the US and its allies is a serious challenge to China’s development, but it will not prevent China from continuing to expand in all sectors of economic and high-technological development.
Indonesia and China need to optimize bilateral cooperation that is reciprocal and mutually beneficial for each other. China’s technological advantages and innovation can be utilized as a source of new economic growth in Indonesia. Particularly, in the post-pandemic era, digitalization will be one of the important backbones of Indonesia’s economic development. High technology including digitalization is an urgent need that must be met by Indonesia in the context of development in all sectors. China is not only the most important economic and trade partner for Indonesia, but China is also a development partner for the high-technology development sector.
Strengthening cooperation in economy and trade; politics and security; and the socio-cultural sector are becoming increasingly important in the development of China-Indonesia relations. In the post-pandemic period, deepening humanities and people to people exchange between Indonesia and China is also an important agenda to be carried out systematically.
Entering the 10th year of Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) implementation, the two countries increasingly should enhance the realization of the commitments that have been agreed upon and think of more strategic steps in the implementation of BRI projects to provide maximum benefits for the welfare of the people of both countries.
Indonesia is going to execute presidential elections in 2024. Whoever the Indonesian president is elected as a result of the presidential election in 2024, the elected president needs to maintain and enhance harmonious relations with China.
Author: China Study Unit Convenor CSIS Indonesia