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Foreign Minister Qin Gang says success in China’s modernization not handed down from heaven

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By Talibeh Hydara

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, has said the unprecedented developments in the country were not inherited or dropped from the heaven but achieved through hard work and dedication in the past century.

Addressing the Lanting Forum in Shanghai as keynote speaker, Mr Gang said the consistency of the CPC leadership over the years has also been a defining factor in China’s path to modernization.   

“A towering tree grows from its roots, and a long river flows from its source. Likewise, our success in Chinese modernization was not handed down from the heaven or just emerged by itself. It has been attained step by step through determined, painstaking efforts of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC always staying true to its founding mission. Chinese modernization is deeply rooted in Chinese history, practices and philosophies.”

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China has become an economic super power with remarkable holistic development. The foreign minister said the secret was following a formula unique to China and not carbon copy from the west which made others fail in their quest for modernization.  

He stated: “Chinese modernization is the natural choice of China’s 100-year-long quest for development. Modernization for China has been a journey of hardship and perseverance, anguish and glory, honor and dreams. During modern times, countless patriots looked to the West for a formula of modernization to save the nation, but they all failed. It was not until the birth of the CPC in 1921 that China found the pillar and guidance for its modernization. It is under the CPC’s strong leadership that we have embarked on the great journey of independently building a modern country. We have turned China from an impoverished and backward land into the world’s second largest economy, top trader in goods, biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and biggest manufacturer. We have put in place the world’s largest compulsory education system, social security system, and medical and health system. China has realized, in a short span of several decades, industrialization that had taken developed countries several centuries. We have caught up with the times in great strides.”

State Councilor Gang said every country deserves to taste modernization and not few enjoying while others suffer, vowing that China will push for common development of humanity.

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“The modernization of China with common prosperity for all will open up a broader path to the common development of all countries. Modernization should not make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Nor should it serve the interests of only a few countries or individuals. Common prosperity for the whole world requires the development of all countries. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Global Development Initiative (GDI) are public goods that China offers to the international community. They are also open platforms for pursuing common development and prosperity. Ten years on since the start of the BRI, over 3,000 cooperation projects have been launched, involving close to US$1 trillion of investment and creating 420,000 jobs for participating countries. Many nations have thus realized their dreams of railways, big bridges, and poverty alleviation.

The GDI is also widely welcomed by the international community. With the support of over 100 countries and many international organizations, and with some 70 countries in the Group of Friends of the GDI, the Initiative is giving a strong boost to the early attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. China takes seriously the debt issue of developing countries. We are actively and fully implementing the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative, and have contributed as much as 63 percent of the total debt payments suspended. It is fair to say that Chinese modernization has helped inspire confidence in many countries in their pursuit of modernization. As an African leader put it, the Chinese path inspires all developing countries to believe that every country is able to achieve development even from scratch,” he said.


Many developing countries have enjoyed support and protection from China and the foreign minister maintained that Beijing will continue to defend such rights to self-actualization.

He said: “China will defend the right to development of all countries with greater determination. Modernization is an inalienable right of every country, not a privilege reserved for a few. Those who have realized modernization should not tear down the bridge or block other countries’ path to modernization. And they should not suppress, contain or stop other countries that choose a different path to modernization. China has no intention to engage in major-power competition. What we are firmly defending is our own development interests and the Chinese people’s right to pursue a better life. China respects the modernization path chosen by the people of other countries, and opposes attempts to create ideological confrontation and a new Cold War, interference in others’ internal affairs and imposition of one’s will on others. China stands committed to the right direction of globalization, opposes attempts to build walls and barriers and push for decoupling and severing supply chains, and opposes unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure. China is doing its utmost to ensure stable and smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains, so that economic globalization and the modernization of all countries could move forward in tandem and complement each other.”

Foreign Minister Qin Gang has also reiterated the one-China principle, emphasizing that Taiwan is absolutely part of China and will never surrender any inalienable part of the country.

“Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times, and both sides of the Strait belong to one and the same China. This is Taiwan’s history, and it is also the status quo of Taiwan. Taiwan’s return to China is a component of the post-war international order, written in black and white in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation. It is not the Chinese mainland, but the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and a handful of countries attempting to take advantage of ‘Taiwan independence’, that are disrupting international rules, unilaterally changing the status quo, and undermining stability across the Strait. Their definition of rules, status quo and stability is in fact aimed to hollow out the one-China principle, achieve ‘peaceful division’ of China, and ultimately tamper with the history of WWII, subvert the post-war order, and trample on China’s sovereignty. This is unacceptable to the 1.4 billion Chinese people. China will not lose any part of its territory that has been restored. And the established post-war international order will not be upended.

It is right and proper for China to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We would like to make it clear to those who seek to sabotage international justice in the name of international order: The Taiwan question is the core of the core interests of China, and there will be no vagueness at all in our response to any one who attempts to distort the one-China principle; we will never back down in face of any act that undermines China’s sovereignty and security. Those who play with fire on Taiwan will eventually get themselves burned.”

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