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February 4, 2010

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International profile elevated

MANY people are now talking about the rise of China. Is not the World Expo to be held in Shanghai in 2010 a true exemplification of China's position in the world, they would argue?

In no comment on China's world position have I ever used the word "rise." China has accumulated its strength bit by bit through the hard work of its people. But precisely where has it reached now? To answer this question, we must first of all get a correct understanding of the international situation and know the opinion of others before we make an objective conclusion of our own without the prejudice of external flattery or belittlement.

In fact, World Expo 2010 Shanghai will provide us an excellent opportunity to understand others and ourselves because, as was the case with its predecessor, the coming exposition will bring together the latest modern achievements in science, technology, culture and human civilization. Under the theme "Better City, Better Life," the event will allow us to gauge our potential as well as the gaps that exist with our neighbors Japan and India.

In October 2009, Japan saw the first positive growth in its economy in 13 months. Yet when commenting on it, Japan's new Prime Minister Hatoyama said "the growth rate is too small and not yet steady," which revealed his sense of crisis. In fact, however, Japan is merely 1/26th of China in terms of territory and 1/10th in terms of population. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund in 2008, Japan's GDP stood at US$4.8 trillion, while that of China was US$4.6 trillion, which meant that China barely lagged behind Japan. What should be especially noted here is that we are now advocating the outlook for scientific development.

US President Obama has heightened the call for the development of a green economy, and Japan is already ahead of the United States in that field. It has designed automobiles, for instance, that run 20 percent longer per liter of fuel than those made in other countries, and its per-ton consumption of fresh water comes to only one-third that of the United States.

In 2008, Japan topped the World Health Organization list of countries in terms of longevity, with an average life expectancy of 82.5 years and that of its women reaching over 85 years. Although the life expectancy in our country has been growing constantly, it stood at only 73 years at that time, far behind Japan. In all these fields, both the United States and Japan have provided our country with examples to learn from.

Low carbon

What World Expo 2010 Shanghai advocates is high-tech and green development. In China, Shanghai has moved considerably ahead of other provinces and municipalities in energy saving and emission reduction. It has raised the requirement, for instance, that the buildings newly completed in 2010 must consume 50 percent less of energy and emit 50 percent less of emissions than those completed before that year. Otherwise, they cannot be constructed.

Indeed, greenness and low carbon are dominant features of the coming exposition. All traffic systems inside the Expo site will produce zero emissions. A solar photovoltaic system with an installed capacity of 4.5 megawatts, the biggest of its kind in Asia, has been installed, and the 1-kilometer Expo Axis, the main artery through the site, will operate as a low-carbon and environmentally friendly corridor. With all other countries in the world making progress in low-carbon, environmentally friendly development, Shanghai and China as a whole stand to benefit from their achievements.

Now let's get a look at India. We should take special care when trying to view and understand the development of the country. India is a developing country of extremely big potential. Long before China, India achieved a college entrance rate of 17 percent. As a developing country, its efforts in education development have been really tremendous. Moreover, it has vigorously promoted scientific and technological innovation and creation.

India has also installed a complete legal system for intellectual property right protection. Even some big Chinese enterprises have registered their intellectual property rights or patents in India, a development calling for our attention. To be displayed at the coming World Expo 2010 Shanghai will be more than 250 latest achievements in science, technology and energy. Shall they also involve the issue of intellectual property rights protection? As far as this field is concerned, China and India should borrow and learn from each other.

Many people have expressed the opinion that we should be a little bit more hawkish in diplomatic affairs. However, a country that is truly powerful deals in facts, resorts to reasoning and holds the scales even. It will not do to think about powerfulness in an emotional way. Every one of us working on the diplomatic front serves as a business card of our country.

With a people-oriented vision, we should try more to appreciate the strong points of developing countries, especially in Africa, when we deal with the rest of the world. To facilitate their participation in the coming exposition, for instance, we set aside a special fund of US$100 million for developing countries. As many as 120 developing countries will benefit from this fund. This is one way to show our powerfulness.

Another example was our nationwide mobilization and relief work in response to the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Through this campaign, our Party and army won even greater trust from our people and lent a powerful tool to our diplomatic work.

Our success in winning the bid to host the World Expo is also an example signifying our powerfulness. It is a practical step forward in enhancing the influence of our country by bringing the rest of the world to China and presenting China to the rest of the world.


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