Key lessons based on China's fast development
As the People's Republic of China celebrates another National Day, it's important to remember that it has been a long and winding road that took China from an underdeveloped country decades ago to a great power in the world today. Within a few generations, Chinese people have moved from widespread poverty, illiteracy and subsistence farming to becoming the world's second-largest economy, eliminating absolute poverty and setting up a nationwide social network that provides health care and affordable education for all.
The first lesson the world can learn from China is the value of making a long-range plan and sticking to it. The most notable example of this is its Five-Year Plans started in 1953, which have laid the blueprint for everything from eliminating poverty to reforming the economic system.
The second lesson is the government's willingness to invest in the country. Decades of planning and investment have left China with a magnificent infrastructure – roads, high-speed railways, airports and waterways. Infrastructure is the very foundation of trade and prosperity. Similarly, the country is pouring massive amounts of money into research and development, somewhat similar to the U.S. investment during the Space Race. According to the white paper titled "China's Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity" issued on September 28, China spent 2.4 trillion yuan ($370 billion) on research and development in 2020, ranking second in the world.
By the end of 2020, China had established 533 key national labs, 350 national engineering research centers, 1,636 national enterprise technology centers, 212 mass entrepreneurship and innovation bases, 1,287 national technology enterprise incubators, and 2,251 makerspaces approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The third lesson is that the Chinese government puts people first — not lobbyists or powerful business interests. This explains why China was able to protect its public from COVID-19 epidemic and some other countries were not. It also explains why Chinese people show very strong support for their government. Before making any decisions, the government widely consults stakeholders, including holding public hearings and calling for public submissions on any policy changes. China does not have paid lobbyists who corrupt the political process by funding elected representatives' campaigns in exchange for favors.
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