‘Russia alone can already confront the entire West…’


The Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin made an extraordinary gesture as President Xi Jinping left the Kremlin following the state dinner last week on Tuesday evening by escorting him to the limousine and seeing him off. 

And Xi during the goodbye handshake reportedly responded, “Together, we should push forward these changes that have not happened for 100 years. Take care.” 

Xi was alluding to the past 100 years of modern history that witnessed the United States transforming from a country to the north of Mexico  in the Western Hemisphere to a superpower and global hegemon. 

With his profound sense of history and dialectical mind, Xi was recalling the intense talks with Putin that dwelt on the contemporary realities burying the US’ unipolar moment in the dustbin and on the imperatives of China and Russia joining hands to consolidate the transition of the world order toward democratisation and multipolarity. 

It was an appropriate finale to a state visit that began the previous evening with Xi expressing confidence that Russians will support Putin at the presidential elections next year. At one stroke, Xi “cancelled” the West’s demonising of Putin, mindful of the absurdity of even arranging an arrest warrant against the Kremlin leader to detract from his talks in Moscow. 

China has a scrupulous policy of refraining from commenting on the internal politics of other countries. However, in the case of the situation surrounding Russia, Xi has made a notable exception by signalling his keenness for Putin’s proactive leadership in such tumultuous times. The majority of world opinion, especially in the Global South, will agree. 

Won’t the erudite Russian public opinion take cognisance too — with a roar of approval? Yes, Putin’s consistent 80 percent rating is a signpost. Xi may have poured cold water on the last desperate western ploys of instigating a bunch of Russian oligarchs to spearhead a regime change in the Kremlin.  

To be sure, the timing of Xi’s state visit in the middle of the war in Ukraine messaged the highest importance that China attaches to the relations with Russia. There is great deliberation in doing so, as both China and Russia are locked in spiralling tensions vis-a-vis the United States. 

There has been a dramatic change of mood in Beijing. The nadir was reached with the boorish behaviour by President Biden in his State of the Union address on February 7 when he went off-script and hysterically shouted, “Name me a world leader who’d change places with Xi Jinping.” 

In the Eastern culture, such boorishness is taken as unforgivably scandalous behaviour. In the weeks since the US shot down the Chinese weather balloon and maligned China internationally, Beijing has rebuffed several attempts by the White House seeking telephone conversation for Biden with President Xi. 

Beijing has had enough of Biden’s hollow promises to mend ties while on the sly strengthening alliances across the Asia-Pacific region, inserting the NATO into the Asia-Pacific power dynamic and sending additional forces and firepower to places like Guam and the Philippines, apart from single-mindedly striving to weakening China’s economy. 

Xi’s Moscow visit became a great occasion for Russia and China to reaffirm their “no limit” partnership and scatter the western attempts since the war broke out in Ukraine to create rift in the Sino-Russian relationship. 

To quote Professor Graham Allison at Harvard University, “Along every dimension—personal, economic, military and diplomatic—the undeclared alliance that Xi has built with Russian President Vladimir Putin has become much more consequential than most of the United States’ official alliances today.” 

However, alliance or not, the fact remains that this “new model of major-country relations featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation” — to quote Xi Jinping — is anything but a hierarchical order. 

America’s pundits have a problem comprehending equal relationships between two sovereign and independent nations. And in this case, neither Russia nor China is inclined to declare a formal alliance because, simply put, an alliance inevitably requires assuming obligations and limiting the optimal pursuit of interests in deference to a collective agenda.

What emerges, therefore, is that Putin’s strategic calculus in Ukraine will be shaped much more heavily by events on the battlefield than on any  Chinese input. Russia’s reaction to the Chinese “peace plan” regarding Ukraine testifies to that reality.

No sooner than Xi departed from Moscow, Putin in an interview with with Russia 1 TV, set the record straight that Russia is outproducing the West’s ammunition supplies to Kiev. He said, “Russia’s output level and its military-industrial complex are developing at a very fast pace, which was unexpected by many.”

While multiple Western countries will provide Ukraine with munitions, “the Russian production sector on its own will produce three times more ammunition for the same period of time,” Putin added. 

He repeated that the West’s arms shipments to Ukraine are of concern to Russia only because they constitute “an attempt to prolong the conflict” and will “only lead to a bigger tragedy and nothing more.” 

However, this is not to belittle the great significance of the partnership for both countries in the political, diplomatic and economic spheres. The salience lies in the two countries’ growing interdependency in multiple directions that cannot be quantified yet and keeps “evolving” (Xi) and appears seamless.

The Ukraine war, paradoxically, is turning out to be a wake-up call — a war that can prevent another world war rather than engender one. China understands that Russia has single-handedly taken on the “collective West” and shown it is more than a match. 

This assessment in Beijing cannot escape the West’s attention and will impact the western thinking too for the medium and long term — not only for Eurasia but also the Asia-Pacific. 

recent article in the Global Times some weeks ago by Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee daily highlighted the ‘big picture.’ 

Hu wrote that the war in Ukraine “has evolved into a war of attrition between Russia and the West… While NATO is supposed to be much stronger than Russia, the situation on the ground doesn’t appear so, which is causing anxiety in the West.” 

Hu drew some stunning conclusions: “The US and the West have found it much more difficult than expected to defeat Russia. They know that China has not provided military aid to Russia, and the question that haunts them is: if Russia alone is already so difficult to deal with, what if China really starts to provide military aid to Russia, using its massive industrial capabilities for the Russian military? Would the situation on the Ukrainian battlefield fundamentally change? Furthermore, Russia alone can already confront the entire West in Ukraine. If they really force China and Russia to join hands, what changes will there be in the world’s military situation?” 

Isn’t the notion prevalent in the US and Europe that the Russia-China alliance is an alliance of unequals is itself a self-serving western fallacy? Hu is spot on: Although China’s comprehensive strength is still short of that of the US, in combination with Russia, there is a paradigm shift in the balance and the US is no longer entitled to act as it pleases. 

It is the common concern of Russia and China that the world order must return to an international system with the UN at its core and a world order based on international law. There is no question that the two countries’ strategy is to overturn the “rules-based order” dominated by the US and return to an international order centred on the UN. 

In fact, Article 5 is the very soul of the joint statement issued in Moscow: “The two sides reaffirm their commitment to firmly upholding the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order based on international law and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and oppose all forms of hegemonism, unilateralism and power politics, the Cold War mentality, confrontation between camps and the establishment of cliques targeting specific countries.” 

Make no mistake that this is not about removing the US as the boss and replacing it with China, but about effectively checking the US from bullying smaller, weaker states, and thereby ushering in a new international order with primacy on peaceful development and political correctness that overrides all ideological differences. 

Accountability and Performance: China’s Commitment to Africa in the New Era

(Xinhua) — China put forward the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and pursuing the greater good and shared interests in 2013 to guide its cooperation with Africa.

Over the past decade, China’s efforts have greatly improved African people’s life quality and well-being and strengthened African countries’ development capacity. The two sides have also cooperated to build a robust China-Africa community with a shared future in multiple fields.


Being unable to access quality disease-resistant seeds that can withstand harsh climates has hindered African countries from becoming food-secure. Millions of people have been starvation-plagued for years, and malnutrition has been common on the continent.

China has helped African countries boost food security and alleviate poverty by introducing hybrid rice.

Charles Ngendakumana, a farmer in Bubanza province, northwestern Burundi, is a beneficiary of this initiative. Five years ago, with the guidance of Chinese agricultural experts, Ngendakumana started growing hybrid rice known for withstanding climatic stresses, pests and diseases.

After that, his farmland in Ninga, a village in the Commune of Gihanga, increased from half a hectare to five hectares, and the yield per hectare also tripled.

“I want to buy more land, more cows and several new water pumps when the dry season comes,” said Ngendakumana. This was unthinkable before the Chinese experts arrived when it was arduous work to secure enough food.

China has supported addressing food shortages on the African continent through various means, such as dispatching experts and constructing demonstration villages.


China has simplified import procedures to boost trade in African agricultural products. This March, the first batch of fresh Kenyan avocados arrived at a port in Shanghai and quickly made their way to Chinese homes.

Agribusiness Kakuzi Limited is one of the local firms that have secured regulatory approval to export avocados to China after Kenya signed bilateral trade protocols with China in January 2022, which paved the way for the shipments of highly nutritious tropical fruit and aquatic products.

The shipments to China have provided much-needed growth leverage for Kenyan producers seeking to diversify their markets, said Kakuzi’s managing director Christopher Flowers.

Benjamin Tito, head of the Horticultural Crops Directorate in Kenya, announced last October that Kenya had exported 1.7 million kilograms of avocados three months after exports began in August 2022. “China offers a huge opportunity for our farmers,” he said.

African specialties, such as coffee from Ethiopia, cashew nuts from Tanzania and cocoa from Cote d’Ivoire, all added to the number of “Made in Africa” products appearing on store shelves across China.

The flow of African agricultural products into China has helped reduce poverty and contributes to Africa’s sustainable growth.


With many African countries struggling with poor infrastructure in the past, China saw the untapped potential. In recent years, Africa has seen rapid transformation and development, from landmark infrastructure projects like the Africa CDC headquarters and the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway to capacity-building initiatives such as the Luban Workshops.

The water supply project completed in 2022 by a Chinese company in Cabinda Province, Angola, involves 74 centralized water points covering 24,000 households. Water became available 24 hours a day, easing supply shortages in local industries, schools and port transport, benefiting 92 percent of the province’s residents.

According to Mario Augusto Caetano Joao, Angola’s minister of economy and planning, Angola never lacked water, but resources were not effectively used. “Thanks to the technology and experience brought by Chinese companies, the situation is improving,” the minister said.

China and Africa, which together account for about one-third of the world’s population, are working closely to build a high-level community with a shared future crucial to the well-being of all humankind, according to Kenyan international relations expert Cavince Adhere.

The cooperation between China and Africa has been instrumental to green development in African countries. In the desert-capped Kenyan county of Garissa, a China-funded solar power plant, the largest of its kind in East and Central Africa, has helped the region achieve green energy sufficiency since 2019.

According to Ajay Mathur, director general of the International Solar Alliance, many solar panels and cells used in Africa are manufactured in China. Mathur highlighted China’s involvement in realizing Africa’s quest for solar energy development, addressing the close link between Chinese solar energy technology manufacturers and African technology users.

The Dragon Rises in the Middle East: China Emerges as a Major Powerbroker


by Jude

“If we want to make peace with the other, we must first make peace with ourselves.” – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

With failing economic policies, a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and impediments to peace in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s America is losing pieces on the great chessboard of global politics. A rising star of the East, Xi’s China rather seems to be gaining influential global momentum through classic political interventionism in global affairs. The latest being China’s role in the brokering of a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran where the two long-standing enemies-of-sorts have agreed to open diplomatic relations.

This recent deal could have far-reaching implications for the Middle East, particularly in the context of ongoing conflicts and tensions in the region. The divide between Saudi Arabia and Iran is largely driven by sectarian differences, with Saudi Arabia being predominantly Sunni and Iran being predominantly Shia. This divide has fueled conflicts in various parts of the region, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, with the latter often being characterised as a proxy war between the two countries. Despite this history of tension, the fact that both countries have agreed to reduce tensions and refrain from interfering in each other’s affairs suggests a willingness to move beyond the sectarian divide and focus on shared interests.

The Middle East has been wracked by conflict and instability for decades, with terrorism being a major driver of violence and instability in the region. Groups like the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and others have carried out attacks throughout the region, targeting civilians and government installations alike. The rise of Islamic State in particular was fueled by a number of factors, including the US intervention in Iraq and the subsequent destabilisation of the region. The US’s role in funding and arming various rebel groups against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime further facilitated the creation of a chaotic and volatile environment in which groups like the Islamic State were able to thrive.

Proxy warfare has been a significant factor in fueling conflicts and instability in the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran have often relied on proxy groups to pursue their influence and interests in the region, with these groups carrying out various influence operations and militancy on behalf of their sponsors. The ongoing conflict in Yemen is a particularly stark example of this, with Saudi Arabia and its Western allies backing the Yemeni government, while Iran supports the Houthi rebels, reeling the gulf nation into a spiral of instability and violence.

While the fact that China was able to play a role in brokering the Saudi-Iran deal is significant in itself, it further suggests that other countries are increasingly willing to look to China as a major power broker in the Middle East. China’s growing influence in the region is driven largely by its economic interests, with the country heavily dependent on oil imports from the region and working to expand its economic ties with countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. By demonstrating its ability to play a constructive role in resolving conflicts and promoting stability in the region, China further enhances its reputation as a major power and a reliable partner in the eyes of countries in the Middle East.

However, China’s growing influence in the region is certainly not without its risks. As the Chinese Communist Party becomes more deeply involved in the politics of the Middle East, it could find itself drawn into conflicts or disputes that could prove difficult to resolve – as with the plethora of conflicts in modern time. It could also face backlash from other major powers, particularly the United States, which may see China’s involvement as a threat to its own interests in the region.

The Saudi-Iran deal brokered by China is a significant development that underscores the shifting balance of power in the Middle East. It suggests that countries in the region are increasingly willing to look beyond traditional power brokers like the United States and turn to other players like China to help resolve conflicts and promote stability. While there are risks associated with China’s growing influence in the region, the fact that the country was able to broker this deal suggests that there are opportunities for constructive engagement and diplomacy that could help address some of the most pressing challenges facing the Middle East today.

In addition to the sectarian divide, terrorism, and proxy warfare, there are several other factors contributing to instability and conflict in the Middle East. One of the most pressing is the ongoing refugee crisis, with millions of people displaced by conflict and violence throughout the region. The refugee crisis has placed enormous strain on countries throughout the region, and has also created significant political and social challenges for countries in Europe and other parts of the world.

Another significant factor contributing to instability in the Middle East is the ongoing struggle for political and economic power. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran have long sought to expand their influence and assert their dominance in the region, often at the expense of other countries and groups. This struggle for power has fueled conflicts and tensions, with countries like Qatar and Turkey seeking to challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia and Iran in the region.

The involvement of external powers, particularly the United States, has also been a major factor in shaping the politics and dynamics of the Middle East. The US has historically played a significant role in the region, with its interventions and policies often exacerbating tensions and fueling conflict. This was particularly evident in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which destabilised the country through the elimination of its political leadership and disbanding of the Iraqi military, which created a power vacuum that was quickly filled by various armed groups.

US support for various rebel groups in Syria also contributed to the chaos and violence in the country, with groups like the Islamic State emerging as a major force in the region as a result. The fact that the US has been unable to resolve the conflicts and tensions in the region has led to a growing sense of frustration and disillusionment among countries in the region, many of whom are now turning to other players like China to help broker deals and promote stability.

Overall, the Saudi-Iran deal brokered by China represents a significant shift in the balance of power in the Middle East – and perhaps the world at large. While there are risks associated with China’s growing involvement in the region, the fact that the country was able to play a constructive role in brokering this deal suggests that there are opportunities for other countries to engage in constructive diplomacy and help address some of the most pressing challenges facing the Middle East in the 2020s. This includes the ongoing threat of terrorism, the proliferation of proxy wars, and the need to address the root causes of conflict and instability ranging from racial, religious and political tensions.

It is clear that the traditional powers in the region, such as the United States, are no longer the dominant players. On the global stage, the bipolarity world of the Cold War shifted to a unipolar one in the 1990s with a preponderance of power and influence being held by the United States. The unipolar world is shifting into that of a multipolar dimension with strong players such as China and India rising to become heavily influential players on the global stage. The US’ previous policies of intervention and support for various rebel groups seem to have only served to exacerbate tensions and fuel conflict across the world. The emergence of China as a major player in the region may provide an opportunity for countries to engage in constructive diplomacy and work towards a more peaceful and stable future for the Middle East. Of course, this is not to say that China and the Chinese Communist Party are saviors of the region, but to simply offer a glimpse into the rise of a new player in Middle Eastern geopolitics.

It is now up to countries in the region to build on this momentum and work towards a more stable and peaceful future for the region.This will require a commitment to dialogue, compromise, and cooperation, as well as a willingness to address the root causes of conflict and instability in the region. With the fall of the Islamic State and mass withdrawal of foreign troops in recent years, there is reason to hope that nations in the Middle East will be able to overcome their differences and work towards a more peaceful and prosperous future for their people.

Jude is a political and security affairs analyst

The Rise of Russia and China: A Joint Effort to Reshape Global Politics


I am glad to seize this opportunity to address the friendly Chinese people in one of the largest and most authoritative world media in advance of the state visit of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia. This landmark event reaffirms the special nature of the Russia-China partnership, which has always been built on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.

We have high expectations for the upcoming talks. We have no doubt that they will give a new powerful impetus to our bilateral cooperation in its entirety. This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with my good old friend with whom we enjoy the warmest relationship.

I made acquaintance with Comrade Xi Jinping in March 2010 when he visited Moscow as head of a high-level Chinese delegation. Our first meeting was held in a very business-like and at the same time sincere and friendly atmosphere. I really like this style of communication. I know that people in China attach great importance to friendship and personal relationships. It is no coincidence that Confucius the Sage said: ”Is it not a joy to have friends coming from afar!“ In Russia we share this value and hold real friends for brothers. Our two peoples have very much in common here.

Three years later, about the same days in March, we met again in the capital of Russia. It was Xi Jinping’s first state visit to our country after his election as President of the People’s Republic of China. The summit set the tone and dynamics of Russia-China relations for many years to come, became clear evidence of the special nature of relations between Russia and China, and outlined the trajectory for their accelerated and sustainable development.

Since then, a decade has passed, which is but a fleeting moment in the history of our countries sharing a centuries-old tradition of good neighbourliness and cooperation. During this time, the world has seen many changes, often not for the better. Yet the main thing has remained unchanged: I am talking of the firm friendship between Russia and China, which is consistently growing stronger for the benefit and in the interest of our countries and peoples. The progress made in the development of bilateral ties is impressive. The Russia-China relations have reached the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength; they surpass Cold War-time military-political alliances in their quality, with no one to constantly order and no one to constantly obey, without limitations or taboos. We have reached an unprecedented level of trust in our political dialogue, our strategic cooperation has become truly comprehensive in nature and is standing on the brink of a new era. President Xi Jinping and I have met about 40 times and have always found time and opportunity to talk in a variety of official formats as well as at no‑tie events.

Our priorities include trade and economic partnership. In 2022, our bilateral trade, which had already been considerable by the time, doubled to reach USD 185 billion. This is a new record. What is more, we have every reason to believe that the USD 200 billion target, which was set by President Xi Jinping and myself, will be exceeded as early as this year instead of 2024. It is noteworthy that the share of settlements in national currencies in our mutual trade is growing, further strengthening the sovereignty of our relations.

Long-term joint plans and programs are being successfully implemented. It will be no exaggeration to say that the Power of Siberia Russian-Chinese gas pipeline has become the ”deal of the century“ for its scale. The supplies of Russian oil and coal have increased significantly. Our specialists are involved in building new nuclear power units in China, while Chinese companies actively engage in LNG projects; our industrial and agricultural cooperation is growing stronger. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies.

Russia and China are powers with ancient and unique traditions and an enormous cultural heritage. Now that all pandemic-related restrictions on mutual contacts have been lifted, it is important that we increase humanitarian and tourist exchanges as soon as possible, thereby strengthening the social basis of the Russian-Chinese partnership. Interstate thematic years have a special role to play in this context. For example, the 2022/2023 biennium is dedicated to cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports, which is very popular among our citizens.

Unlike some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges. Last year our border regions were connected by two new bridge crossings over the Amur river, which has been a ”river of friendship“ since time immemorial. Amidst the ”waves and winds“ that sweep the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, counter common threats, and respond to current challenges, standing shoulder to shoulder as a ”rock amid a fast flowing stream.“ We actively promote democratic multilateral structures such as the SCO and BRICS, which become more and more authoritative and influential and attract new partners and friends. The work aimed at coordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the One Belt, One Road Initiative also goes in this vein.

Our countries, together with like-minded actors, have consistently advocated the shaping of a more just multipolar world order based on international law rather than certain ”rules“ serving the needs of the ”golden billion.“ Russia and China have consistently worked to create an equitable, open and inclusive regional and global security system that is not directed against third countries. In this regard, we note the constructive role of China’s Global Security Initiative, which is in line with the Russian approaches in this area.

We can feel the geopolitical landscape in the outside world change dramatically. Sticking more stubbornly than ever to its obsolete dogmata and vanishing dominance, the ”Collective West“ is gambling on the fates of entire states and peoples. The US’s policy of simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive. The international security and cooperation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ”immediate threat“ and China a ”strategic competitor.“

We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC, as well as its understanding of their historical background and root causes. We welcome China’s readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis. Like our friends in China, we advocate for the strict compliance with the UN Charter, respect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of the indivisibility of security, which is being grossly violated by the NATO bloc. We are deeply concerned over the irresponsible and outright dangerous actions that jeopardize nuclear security. We reject illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted.

Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis. It was not Russia who broke off the peace talks back in April 2022. The future of the peace process depends solely on the will to engage in a meaningful discussion taking into account current geopolitical realities. Unfortunately, the ultimatum nature of requirements placed on Russia shows that their authors are detached from these realities and lack interest in finding a solution to the situation.

The crisis in Ukraine, which was provoked and is being diligently fuelled by the West, is the most striking, yet not the only, manifestation of its desire to retain its international dominance and preserve the unipolar world order. It is crystal clear that NATO is striving for a global reach of activities and seeking to penetrate the Asia-Pacific. It obvious that there are forces persistently working to split the common Eurasian space into a network of ”exclusive clubs“ and military blocs that would serve to contain our countries’ development and harm their interests. This won’t work.

In fact, today, the Russia-China relations serve as the cornerstone of regional and global stability, driving the economic growth and securing the positive agenda in international affairs. They provide an example of harmonious and constructive cooperation between major powers.

I am convinced that our friendship and partnership based on the strategic choice of the peoples of the two countries will further grow and gain strength for the well-being and prosperity of Russia and China. This visit of the President of the PRC to Russia will undoubtedly contribute to that.

Reviving “lab-leak” theory of COVID-19 irresponsible, senseless


Some U.S. politicians have hyped up the “lab leak” theory of COVID-19 again to shift responsibility for its own failure in handling the pandemic.

A group of U.S. Republican senators are pressing the Department of Justice to pursue legal action against Chinese officials after the COVID-19 leak theory was revived recently in the United States, according to a Fox News report.

This is another utterly irresponsible and senseless attempt by some U.S. politicians who try by all means to smear China, cover up the fatal incompetence of U.S. authorities in tackling the pandemic, and seek political gains for themselves.

Tracing the origins of the virus is a matter of science. To date, all the evidence that has stood up to scientific examination does not support the theory that the virus came from a laboratory.

In early 2021, experts of the World Health Organization (WHO)-China joint mission, after field trips to a lab in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province and in-depth communication with researchers, reached the conclusion that “a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely.”

Fabian Leendertz, a zoonoses expert who had participated in the WHO search for the origins of the coronavirus, said that a laboratory leak as the possible origin of the COVID-19 pandemic was “purely politically motivated,” and that political power games were behind this theory.

The expert told German Press Agency recently that “there is no new data that would strengthen the laboratory hypothesis that I am aware of. It remains the most unlikely hypothesis of all.”

More and more clues from the international scientific community are linking the origins of COVID-19 to sources around the world. This study should be, and can only be, conducted jointly by scientists around the world.

China has supported and participated in global science-based origins-tracing. In contrast, the United States has never invited WHO experts to its land for joint study, or shared any early data on COVID-19 origins.

Rather, the U.S. has been politicizing and instrumentalizing the issue, and mongering its lab leak theory without any supporting evidence. By doing so, U.S. politicians just want to shift the blame for its own COVID-19 response failure and accumulate political capital as “blaming China for bad things” has become a potential consensus between the two major U.S. political parties.

Yet baselessly blaming and slandering others for one’s own failures might deflect people’s attention for a while, but it is never conducive to solving problems.

The spread of SARS, Ebola and COVID-19 demonstrated painfully that unknown, lethal viruses do exist and are able to wreak extensive havoc, making humanity’s destiny closely linked. How humanity can better cope with the next pandemic is a question demanding a good answer, and one consensus is to apply a science-based approach.

The United States should do better to respect science and facts, stop its political manipulation, and refrain from undermining global cooperation on science-based origins-tracing.

Disinformation and smear can go nowhere, but put humanity in greater jeopardy.  

Russia-China Meeting Sparks Anxiety in Washington


The arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Vladimir Putin can only be seen as a publicity stunt by the Anglo-Saxon clique, with the US leading from the rear. Ironically, though, the ICC acted on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Iraq in 2003, which led to horrific war crimes but the “judges” at Hague slept over it. Both Washington and London admit today that the 2003 invasion was illegal — based on trumped up allegations against Saddam Hussein.  

There’s no chance, of course, that the ICC warrant will ever be taken seriously. ICC has no jurisdiction in Russia, which, like the US, is not a signatory to the Rome Statute. But the intention here is something else.

The mud-throwing at Putin is yet another display of President Biden’s visceral hatred towards the Russian leader that goes back to a joust in Moscow well over a decade ago when Putin told him off brusquely, and is timed to distract attention from the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow on Monday, an event that not only has spectacular optics but is sure to intensify the “no limit” partnership between the two superpowers. 

The Anglo-Saxon clique is watching with dismay the talks in Moscow tomorrow. To be sure, Moscow and Beijing have decided to stand together to bury the US hegemony.

Today, China exceeds the combined manufacturing capacity of the US and its European allies, and, equally, Russia has emerged as the world’s largest nuclear weapon state superior to the US both in the quantity and quality of weaponry. 

It has dawned on the American mind that Russia cannot be defeated in Ukraine. There is a chicken-and-egg situation facing NATO, according to a report in Politico. Massive investments are needed to catch up with Russia’s defence industry but Europe’s ailing economies have other critical priorities of survival and battling mounting social unrest.

The notions of defeating Russia in a proxy war in conditions of “sanctions from hell” have turned out to be delusional. It is the US banks that are collapsing, it is European economies that are threatened by stagnation. 

The US’ exasperation is evident in the top secret mission by MQ-9 Reaper drone near the Crimean peninsula on March 14. US Global Hawk drones have been spotted regularly over the Black Sea in recent years but this case is different. 

The Reaper’s transponder was switched off as it approached Russia’s temporary regime for the airspace established for the purposes of the special military operation near the Crimean peninsula (which Moscow had duly notified to all users of international airspace in accordance with international norms.)

In the event, Russia’s Su-27 fighter jets outmanoeuvred the Reaper, which lost control and drowned in the Black Sea. Moscow conferred state awards to the two pilots who drove Reaper to the seabed.

Russian ambassador in Washington since warned that while Moscow is not seeking any escalation, any deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace will be construed as “an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power.” 

If the US had planned the drone incident to test Russia’s reaction, well, the latter has given an unambiguous response. And all this took place in the immediate run-up to President Xi’s visit. 

Biden since hit back by welcoming the ICC warrant on Putin saying “it’s justified… (and) makes a very strong point.” But Biden’s ageing memory is failing him again. For, the stated American position on ICC is that Washington not only doesn’t recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC but if any US national is arrested or brought before the ICC, Washington reserves the right to use military force to rescue the detainee! 

Furthermore, Washington has threatened reprisal against any country that cooperates with an ICC warrant against a US citizen. The George W Bush administration stated this categorically as US policy on ICC against the backdrop of the Anglo-American clique’s horrific war crimes in Iraq, and the US never resiled from it. 

By the way, there has been no referral by the UN Security Council or General Assembly to the ICC. So, who organised this arrest warrant? Britain — who else? The Brits bullied the ICC judges who are highly vulnerable to blackmail, as they draw fat salaries and would sup with the devil if it helped secure extended terms for them at the Hague. This becomes yet another case study of the piecemeal destruction of the UN system by the Anglo-Saxon clique in the recent years.

Suffice to say, the drone incident and the ICC warrant vitiate the climate for any dialogue between Moscow and Kiev. Evidently, the Anglo-Saxon clique is worried like hell that China might spring another surprise as it did by mediating the recent Saudi-Iranian deal. 

In a meaningful remark, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Xi’s visit is partially to promote “peace.” Beijing has already released a “peace plan” for Ukraine, a 12-point agenda for “a political resolution of the Ukraine crisis,” which is  on Zelensky’s desk in Kiev although the West studiously chose to ignore it. 

In a phone call on Thursday, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing hopes “all parties will remain calm, rational and restrained, and resume peace talks as soon as possible.” 

The Chinese readout said Kuleba discussed “the prospect of peace talks … and noted that China’s position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis shows its sincerity in promoting a ceasefire and an end to the conflict. He expressed the hope to maintain communication with China.”

Unsurprisingly, Biden is paranoid about China’s push to mediate between Moscow and Kiev. The point is, he and Zelensky are locked in a deathly embrace — the corruption scam involving the activities of Hunter Biden in Kiev is hanging over the father’s political career like the Damocles’ sword, while on the other hand, Zelensky is also fighting for political survival and is increasingly daring to act on his own accord. 

Disregarding western doubts about the wisdom of holding the shattered frontline city of Bakhmut in Donbass, Zelensky is digging in and keeping up an attritional defence that may drag on. (Politico

Evidently, Biden is acting like a cat on the hot tin roof. He can neither let go Zelensky nor can he afford to be locked into a forever war in Ukraine while Taiwan Straits is beckoning him to a greater destiny.

Beijing’s stance has visibly hardened lately and the scorn that the US poured on China’s national pride by shooting down its weather balloon has only exacerbated the distrust. Similarly, the nadir has been reached for Russia with the Reaper drone provocation and the Anglo-Saxon clique’s ICC scam. 

Xi has chosen Russia for his first visit abroad in his third term also, the war in Ukraine notwithstanding. While announcing Xi’s visit to Russia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “As the world enters a new period of turbulence and change, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and an important power, the significance and influence of China-Russia relations go far beyond the bilateral scope.”

Again, Biden would have thought he was putting Putin on the mat with the Reaper stunt and the ICC scam. But Putin is nonchalant, choosing today to make his first-ever visit to Donbass.

Putin toured Mariupol, the port city that was bitterly contested by the NATO operatives in league with the Ukrainian Neo-Nazi brigade, drove a vehicle along the city streets, making stops at several locations and surveying reconstruction works. It is a defiant signal to Biden that NATO has lost the war.

Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship


A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping titled “Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development” was published Monday on Russia’s newspaper Russian Gazette and the website of RIA Novosti news agency ahead of his state visit to Russia.

Following is an English version of the full text of the article:

Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development

Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China

At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, I will soon pay a state visit to the Russian Federation. Russia was the first country I visited after I was elected President 10 years ago. Over the past decade, I have made eight visits to Russia. I came each time with high expectations and returned with fruitful results, opening a new chapter for China-Russia relations together with President Putin.

China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. We are both major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both countries uphold an independent foreign policy and see our relationship as a high priority in our diplomacy.

There is a clear historical logic and strong internal driving force for the growth of China-Russia relations. Over the past 10 years, we have come a long way in our wide-ranging cooperation and made significant strides into the new era.

— High-level interactions have played a key strategic role in leading China-Russia relations. We have established a whole set of mechanisms for high-level interactions and multi-faceted cooperation which provide important systemic and institutional safeguards for the growth of the bilateral ties. Over the years, I have maintained a close working relationship with President Putin. We have met 40 times on bilateral and international occasions. Together we have drawn the blueprint for the bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, and have had timely communication on major international and regional issues of mutual interest, providing firm stewardship for the sustained, sound and stable growth of China-Russia relations.

— Our two sides have cemented political mutual trust and fostered a new model of major-country relations. Guided by a vision of lasting friendship and win-win cooperation, China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party in developing our ties. We firmly support each other in following a development path suited to our respective national realities and support each other’s development and rejuvenation. The bilateral relationship has grown more mature and resilient. It is brimming with new dynamism and vitality, setting a fine example for developing a new model of major-country relations featuring mutual trust, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.

— Our two sides have put in place an all-round and multi-tiered cooperation framework. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-Russia trade exceeded 190 billion U.S. dollars last year, up by 116 percent from ten years ago. China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 years running. We have seen steady increase in our two-way investment. Our cooperation on major projects in such fields as energy, aviation, space and connectivity is moving forward steadily. Our collaboration in scientific and technological innovation, cross-border e-commerce and other emerging areas is showing a strong momentum. Our cooperation at the sub-national level is also booming. All this has brought tangible benefits to both the Chinese and the Russian peoples and provided unceasing driving force for our respective development and rejuvenation.

— Our two sides have acted on the vision of lasting friendship and steadily strengthened our traditional friendship. On the occasion of commemorating the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, President Putin and I announced the extension of the Treaty and added new dimensions to it. Our two sides have held eight “theme years” at the national level and continued to write new chapters for China-Russia friendship and cooperation. Our two peoples have stood by and rooted for each other in the fight against COVID, which once again proves that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

— Our two sides have had close coordination on the international stage and fulfilled our responsibilities as major countries. China and Russia are firmly committed to safeguarding the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We have stayed in close communication and coordination in the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, and worked together for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. We have been active in practicing true multilateralism, promoting the common values of humanity, and championing the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

Looking back on the extraordinary journey of China-Russia relations over the past 70 years and more, we feel strongly that our relationship has not reached easily where it is today, and that our friendship is growing steadily and must be cherished by us all. China and Russia have found a right path of state-to-state interactions. This is essential for the relationship to stand the test of changing international circumstances, a lesson borne out by both history and reality.

My upcoming visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the years to come.

To this end, our two sides need to enhance coordination and planning. As we focus on our respective cause of development and rejuvenation, we should get creative in our thinking, create new opportunities and inject new impetus. It is important that we increase mutual trust and bring out the potential of bilateral cooperation to keep China-Russia relations at a high level.

Our two sides need to raise both the quality and quantity of investment and economic cooperation and step up policy coordination to create favorable conditions for the high-quality development of our investment cooperation. We need to boost two-way trade, foster more convergence of interests and areas of cooperation, and promote the complementary and synchronized development of traditional trade and emerging areas of cooperation. We need to make sustained efforts to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, so as to provide more institutional support for bilateral and regional cooperation.

Our two sides need to step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges and ensure the success of China-Russia Years of Sports Exchange. We should make good use of the sub-national cooperation mechanisms to facilitate more interactions between sister provinces/states and cities. We should encourage personnel exchanges and push for the resumption of tourism cooperation. We should make available better summer camps, jointly-run schools and other programs to steadily enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples, especially between the youth.

The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century. The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multi-polarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible. On the other hand, our world is confronted with complex and intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges, damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying, and long and tortuous global economic recovery. Countries around the world are deeply concerned and eager to find a cooperative way out of the crisis.

In March 2013, when speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, I observed that countries are linked with and dependent on one another at a level never seen before, and that mankind, living in the same global village, have increasingly emerged as a community with a shared future in which everyone’s interests are closely entwined. Since then, I have proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative on different occasions. All these have enriched our vision for a community with a shared future for mankind and provided practical pathways toward it. They are part of China’s response to the changes of the world, of our times, and of the historic trajectory.

Through these ten years, the common values of humanity — peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom — have taken deeper roots in the heart of the people. An open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity has become the shared aspiration of more and more countries. The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.

Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China’s fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis.

Not long ago, we released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis. It has been constructive in mitigating the spillovers of the crisis and facilitating its political settlement. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security.

To run the world’s affairs well, one must first and foremost run its own affairs well. The Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are striving in unity to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization. Chinese modernization is characterized by the following features: it is the modernization of a huge population, the modernization of common prosperity for all, the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development. These distinctive Chinese features are the crystallization of our practices and explorations over the years, and reflect our profound understanding of international experience. Going forward, we will steadfastly advance the cause of Chinese modernization, strive to realize high-quality development, and expand high-standard opening up. I believe that this will bring new development opportunities to Russia and all countries in the world.

Just as every new year starts with spring, every success starts with actions. We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.

China launches new remote sensing satellite

China successfully sent a new remote sensing satellite into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, located in the country’s northwest region, on Monday.

The remote sensing satellite was launched at 12:02 p.m. (Beijing Time) by a Long March-2C carrier rocket and entered its planned orbit successfully.

The launch was the 466th flight mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.

Chinese-style democracy at the 2023 “two sessions”

 by Robert Lawrence Kuhn

The 2023 National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s highest body of state power, looks back to review and report, while looking ahead to formulate and implement. Although this is an annual event, it has special significance this year, setting in motion policies and programs of the 20th CPC National Congress, which provides the blueprint for the next few decades. The grand vision, as President Xi Jinping states, is “building China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.”

Essential is China’s commitment to enhance its form of democracy, which it calls the “Whole-Process People’s Democracy.” China’s democracy is no verbal mirage: it is one of the six aspirational adjectives that President Xi Jinping proposes to describe China’s goal of great rejuvenation. Democracy in the Party-led system involves various feedback and interactive mechanisms, especially people’s congresses at various levels, and it also entails ensuring adequate standards of living for all Chinese citizens.

A primary view of Chinese-style democracy is through the formal processes of the people’s congresses, culminating with the NPC. Empowered to enact laws, the NPC as a whole meets every March, but its various committees, especially its Standing Committee, meet throughout the year to plan and prepare various pieces of legislation that set the political agenda for the year.

Deputies of people’s congresses are elected according to the Chinese system, which is always under the leadership of the Party, of course. As of 2022, there were more than 2.6 million deputies to China’s five levels of people’s congress: state, provincial, municipal, county and township, with all deputies of congresses at the level of county and township elected directly by voters.

The election of NPC deputies is called the basic premise for the people to be the masters of the country, to exercise state power and manage state affairs. It is the first link in the whole chain of people’s democracy throughout the whole process.

Candidates for deputies recommended jointly by more than ten voters have the same legal status as candidates recommended by various parties and people’s organizations, according to the Electoral Law of the National People’s Congress and local people’s congresses. It may surprise some that the Party promotes competitive elections so that voters and representatives have more choices; Party-led committees are responsible to vet or verify qualifications of candidates and deputies before and after elections.

To facilitate fair voting, election funds for people’s congresses at all levels are provided by the state treasury; secret ballots ensure free choice of voters; and behaviors that undermine elections are punished severely.

Supervision by voters over deputies can take various forms, such as listening to deputies’ reports, making criticisms, offering opinions and suggestions, and even by recalling deputies.

The election of NPC deputies must adapt to the times. The ratio of rural and urban representatives has shifted from 8:1 in 1953 to 1:1 today, ensuring equality between urban and rural areas. Adjustments are made to ensure an appropriate number of representatives from all regions, ethnic groups, social strata, industrial sectors, and government and military services.

For almost a decade, I have been focusing on understanding China’s concern for its poorest citizens, and how, especially under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, the CPC has prioritized its overarching commitment to enhancing the standards of living — to improve the livelihood — of all sectors of the country’s vast and diverse population, especially through the CPC’s “targeted poverty alleviation campaign.”

As an example of the absence of understanding, when a rather sophisticated American watched a documentary I presented and wrote on China’s poverty alleviation campaign, he remarked, “I didn’t realize China’s leadership cared at all for its poor.”

That documentary, “Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty,” showed how the CPC’s five levels of local organization (provincial, municipal, county, township, village) carried out directives of the leadership. The documentary opens with my stating, “To President Xi Jinping, ending poverty is his most important task,” and the documentary concludes by quoting President Xi making the remarkable statement, “I have spent more energy on poverty alleviation than on anything else.” To my knowledge, no other national leader has made such a commitment, and such a declaration, to alleviate poverty.

When historians of the future write the chronicles of our times, a feature story may well be China’s targeted poverty alleviation.

To President Xi, China could not have achieved its goal of becoming a moderately prosperous society in 2020 if any of its citizens had remained in extreme poverty.

Although China declared the eradication of all extreme poverty at the end of 2020, relative poverty remained a major problem, with large disparities between urban and rural, coastal and inland areas. Thus, as 2021 began, President Xi without hesitation or much time to celebrate or rest transitioned from poverty alleviation to rural revitalization. Moreover, later in the year, Xi prioritized “common prosperity” as an overarching policy guideline for China to achieve a fully modernized socialist country by mid-century, 2049, the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

While common prosperity covers diverse policies, its unalloyed purpose is to improve the lives of rural citizens, farmers and workers, including migrant workers.

China rightly celebrated the success of its poverty alleviation campaign, which had brought about 100 million of the intractably poor out of extreme poverty. For China to achieve The Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, eliminating extreme poverty was necessary — but it was not sufficient. China must continue to fight poverty by reducing the still-substantial relative poverty and close the still-excessive wealth gap, primarily between rural and urban areas.

Enhancing rural standards of living exemplifies China’s long-range vision to the years 2035 and 2050 to become a fully modernized, socialist nation, which is defined by those six aspirational adjectives: prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. Actualizing these adjectives depends on the success of rural revitalization. Without the revitalization of the countryside, there can be no social stability, no national prosperity, no national rejuvenation.

While grand visions are formulated by central leadership, they must be implemented by local, grassroots officials who implement the programs — officials whose challenges include being constantly on the road, little rest, low welfare, minimum opportunities for promotion — plus to-be-expected complaints from villagers below and not-infrequent pressures from officials above. That’s why new policies promote the care of grassroots officials: easing their burdens by fighting pointless formalities, reducing the number of meetings, providing incentives for serving the people including salary guarantees and opportunities for career advancement.

Grassroots problems impeding the building of a prosperous countryside also include the quality of rural industries, infrastructure, public services, civilized culture, ecology and governance. Moreover, senior officials warn against promoting benefit-induced indolence, requiring officials to promote low-income people’s “will” and “intellect” to improve their own lives.

It has become a meaningful tradition in China that the first document issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council each year, dubbed the “No. 1 Central Document” (indicating policy priority), concerns modernizing agriculture, building rural areas, and improving the lives of farmers. Document No. 1 exemplifies China’s concern for its poorest citizens.

This year, 2023, Document No. 1 again emphasizes how to advance the modernization of three rural work categories: agriculture, rural areas, farmers. The Document stabilizes production and ensures the supply of grain and other critical agricultural products; enhances the construction of agricultural infrastructure; increases support for agricultural science, technology and equipment; consolidates the achievements of poverty alleviation goals and expands the process; and promotes high-quality development of rural industries.

Looking back and looking forward is always the framework for annual NPC sessions, but this year, it is a milestone on China’s intended march to great rejuvenation. In doing so, it heralds a new slate of government leaders — premier, vice premiers, ministers — charged with the Herculean task of making it real.

Their challenges, domestic and international, are no state secret.

It is a grand vision. But a tall order.

Editor’s note: Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a public intellectual and international corporate strategist, won the China Reform Friendship Medal (2018). He is also chairman of the Kuhn Foundation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Sri Lanka Guardian or our news syndicator Xinhua News Agency.

China’s economic momentum injects vitality across the globe

by Sergio Gomez

China’s 2023 economic growth target of around 5 percent unveiled at the ongoing “two sessions” certainly gave a fillip to the world.

As the announcement was made, I couldn’t help but recall the scenes I witnessed in the port city of Tianjin some time ago.

At Tianjin airport, planes would intermittently roar and accelerate, taking off into the vast sky. China’s economic engine appears to be doing the same, powering ahead after vanquishing COVID-19.

As the world’s second-largest economy, China’s annual growth target exerts a significant global impact, with the target coinciding with the recent projection from Moody’s Investors Service.

Since the end of last year, many international organizations have continuously raised their growth projections for China’s economy. From the concrete data for the first two months, the signal of a strong rebound is even more significant. Foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.5 percent year on year in January, while the purchasing managers’ index for China’s manufacturing sector came in at 52.6 in February, maintaining expansion for two straight months.

Airports and railway stations serve as important vantage points for witnessing local economic and social progress, no matter where you are. Just two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Tianjin Binhai International Airport, over 100 km away from Beijing. My goal was to get a glimpse of how the transportation industry is performing after China’s adjustment and optimization of its COVID prevention and control policies.

Tianjin is an important port city and foreign trade port in north China. The city is home to over 13 million residents, more than the entire population of Cuba. In addition to expressways, there is also an intercity railway linking the two megacities of Beijing and Tianjin, with a maximum speed of 350 kph.

It takes about 30 minutes to reach downtown Tianjin from the Beijing South Railway Station. I departed during the evening rush hour on a workday. Once I boarded the Beijing subway toward the railway station, I instantly regretted my decision as there were an overwhelming amount of people.

After this year’s Spring Festival, the usual hustle and bustle returned to Beijing. For the public, the allure of big cities never seems to fade, and with the economy making a rapid recovery, there are now more job opportunities available.

My visit to Tianjin airport the following day only served to reinforce my initial impression. The waiting hall was teeming with people and there were long queues at the check-in counters. I espied a lovely couple holding their adorable granddaughter excitedly waiting to embark on their first-ever flight for a vacation.

As I waited in the baggage claim area, I had the pleasure of encountering a friendly local named Wang Yan. He shared with me how convenient the direct flight to Thailand was, as he had just returned from a delightful holiday with his mother.

The vitality of the transport sector stands as a prime example of China’s robust economic recovery. During the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, the flow of people traveling around the country resulted in a staggering 4.7 billion trips.

To achieve this year’s growth target, China needs to give greater play to consumption. Priority will be given to the recovery and expansion of consumption, according to a government work report submitted Sunday to the national legislature for deliberation.

The report also called for fostering rural industries with local features to create more channels for increasing rural incomes.

The content of the report has great relevance for ordinary Chinese. I can vividly recall my visit to Jinping Village in the city of Longnan in Gansu Province. The remote mountainous village in western China was once plagued by poverty and a lack of progress. However, under the guidance of the local government, the villagers have turned their fortunes around by planting olive trees.

One villager, in particular, named Jia Yongxiang, stands out in my memory. In the past, he struggled to make ends meet despite his tireless efforts throughout the year. Now, he has built a three-story villa in the village and owns two apartments in the city, exemplifying the transformation the village has undergone.

Such stories are a common occurrence in the vast expanse of China. Over the past decade, the country has created the world’s largest and most dynamic middle-income group, with over 400 million people. Thanks to the implementation of effective policies for poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, the per capita disposable income of rural residents has continued to grow at a faster pace than that of urban residents. In the next 15 years, China’s middle-income group is expected to exceed 800 million, further driving the development of an enormous market.

The resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy are fortified by the comprehensive industrial system, the stable and secure supply chain, and the efficient and interconnected infrastructure network. At the same time, China continues to promote high-standard opening up and the effective integration of domestic and international markets and resources.

The balmy breeze of China’s economic revival has already traversed the Pacific. Chilean cherries remain a popular gift for Chinese people visiting friends and relatives during the Spring Festival holiday. I shared this discovery on my social media account. Hearteningly, numerous netizens informed me that all members of the industry have reaped the benefits of this surge in demand.

In Chile, located nearly 20,000 km away from China, the cherry planting area has increased by about four times since 2011, and around 90 percent of the output is exported to China. Industry data from Chile shows that, despite the impact of the epidemic, the export value of Chilean cherries to China grew by 8 percent in 2022.

From fruit farmers in Chile to beaches in Thailand, and from luxury stores in Paris to multinational companies, the entire world is experiencing the positive ripple effects of China’s economic recovery.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, China’s economy has kicked off the Year of the Rabbit with a bounce worthy of its sprightly zodiac avatar, raising the probability of stronger global growth this year.

Over the past five years, China’s GDP registered an annual average growth rate of more than 5 percent, beating the global average. In the past decade, the country’s GDP doubled, cementing its position as the biggest contributor to global growth.

China has set a growth target of around 5 percent for the current year, thus confirming the predictions of many economists who had foreseen a general improvement in the Chinese economy in 2023.

The “two sessions” have emitted signals of a robust economic rebound, which is a welcome sight for a world grappling with inflation and recession. In such a climate, the vitality of China is needed now more than ever. 

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