China's on the Horizon with Trade and Education

Plingloh Emmanuel Munyeneh
Assistant Minister for International Cooperation
Plingloh Emmanuel Munyeneh Assistant Minister for International Cooperation
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

By: Plingloh Emmanuel Munyeneh,

Assistant Minister for International Cooperation

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

As the world turns, more and more attention is being focused on the East, specifically the People's Republic of China with its "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" system of governance. No doubt, China was in the throes of economic degradation a few decades ago; struggling to implement experimented national development plans that could uplift its people from the dragnet of poverty and inequality. Many died in the process of reforms. But since 1978, the Asian leader has achieved enormous economic growth averaging 9.85% annually, thus making it the second largest economy on earth.

 

As an emerging economy situated between the developed and developing worlds, China has shifted its focus not only on the manufacturing industry but importantly, on the service industry as an engine for increased growth. With a sufficiency economy in terms of more supply of, than demand for goods and services, the Country produces almost everything and sells almost entirely to its citizenry.

 

Adopting the policy of openness to trade and commerce, the Country also exports most of its commodities to other developing and developed nations at varying prices. This gives even the underprivileged the opportunity of utilizing their purchasing power. There is a price for everyone including the poor and the rich, the "haves and have not" in China's mixed market operations.

 

The key attraction of this sporadic growth rate can be singularly attributed to the level of investment in education, especially science and technology. The Country investment in Research and Development constitute almost 2.07% of its GDP. The result of investment in R&D is practically and visibly seen through the level of infrastructure development, the construction of super highways, modern industries as well as the production of technologically energy efficient vehicles. The Country's "New Normal" for economic growth is to increase production through technological advancement, especially in the service sector.

 

As a means of expanding its developmental trajectory to other parts of the world, the PRC adopted the "One Belt One Road" policy. Simply put, it's a trade initiative that helps expand its economic growth corridors while at the same time bringing shared prosperity to other nations along the route. From Jakarta to Russia and from Ethiopia to Tanzania, this network of roads connectivity has stretched out its access to trade and improve diplomatic relations with various countries.

 

The principal value of this undertaking is not only embedded in the desire for materialism and wealth creation through increased economic growth and transformation. It affirms the principle that inner peace through harmonious means can easily be achieved by adopting friendly relationship with your neighbors. More to this is that this sort of economic initiative also validates the maxim which states "countries that trade together, are less likely to go to war".

 

Unlike the European Union common approach to continental peace, economic and trade, China approach is more global, cutting across continents. It is like a bottom to top approach to alleviating global poverty and income inequality across countries, space and time.

 

Aside from broadening its economic achievements as the second largest economy the world over, the Country has now elevated its openness policy to include educational opportunities for other developing countries. That on the margins of the 70th session of the UNGA in New York in 2015, President Xi Jinping will launch the Institute of South- South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD).

 

Situated at the nation's historic and premier Peking University, in Beijing in the National School of Development (NSD), the program brings emerging leaders from across the developing world. From Afghanistan to Albania, from Liberia to Nepal, the Master and Ph.D. programs are intended to harness the skills of students by exposing them to real-world developmental processes.

 

With full sponsorship from the Ministries of Commerce of China, the idea principle underlining the formation of ISSCAD is engraved in the concept that crafting real-world solutions to complex problems would require multi-disciplinary and actionable approach. Further, the existential basis for the National School of Development maintains that "national development calls for public leaders who care about the world, countries, and communities, and are prepared to engage and be engaged in shaping a better future with vision, passion, courage, and wisdom to turn ideas into action".

 

Adding to its impeccable character as one of the leading centers of excellence in the world, the School of National Development at Peking University also prides itself with professors with diverse educational credentials. From Harvard to Oxford, from Columbia University to New York University, and from Princeton University to George Mason University.

 

 From the University of London to the University of Wisconsin and from the University of Chicago, to the University of Leeds, the school brings together some of the learned gentry in international development, economics, management, comparative governments, political economy, political science and public policy. The convergence of these indisputable former officials of Government blended with refreshing faculty and scholars can only serve as a solution hub to some of the many developmental challenges faced by developing nations.

 

China's decision to invest in trade through its "One Belt One Road" policy and education through South-South Cooperation and Development has a binary effect on the rest of the developing world; meaning that as China progresses along the lines as an emerging economy, its backwash effects will help pull other countries from the dungeon of poverty and inequality. As there can be no way to prosperity other than through education and economic freedom; and that is just what China has initiated: Trade and Education- the best way to go for South-South Cooperation and Development.