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Sunday, December 02, 2007

By drawing on the strengths of others, the people in China have freed their minds and broadened their visions and become more open and creative

What the Prime Minister wants everyone to read Vikas Dhoot Indian Express: Sunday, December 02, 2007 Releasing Commerce Minister Kamal Nath’s book this week, Singh referred to a speech by Wen Jiabao in Singapore 10 days ago and said he would get copies circulated to all those present. Here’s why
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 1: “Only an open and inclusive nation can become strong and prosperous, while a nation that shuts its door to the world is bound to fall behind...A small country becomes big when it embraces the world...The world today is an open one.
“China’s opening up policy is a long-term one. Opening up has brought great benefits to more than one billion Chinese. To deviate from this policy will only impede China’s development and we will lose popular support.
“When the European countries embarked on the path of capitalist (and) Industrial Revolution, the Chinese rulers at the time dismissed Western science and technology as “clever but useless.” In the 100 years after, ...China was left far behind in development and its international standing plummeted and it became a semi-colonial country subjected to humiliation by foreign powers."
This is part of a speech made by China’s Premier Wen Jiabao at the National University of Singapore ten days ago. And Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who witnessed it while in Singapore for the ASEAN summit, wants it to be made essential reading for everyone in India. Stressing the moral of Jiabao’s speech titled ‘Only an Open and Inclusive Nation can be Strong’ to those attending the release function of Commerce Minister Kamal Nath’s book on Thursday, the PM asked his aides to circulate copies to everyone. “I think my purpose in quoting all that is to say that all of us have an obligation... politicians, businessmen, trade unions and all other important agents of social change."
Here are some key extracts from Jiabao’s talk:
“Opening up has worked not only for Singapore. A review of China’s history leads to the same conclusion...As early as 2,000 years ago in the Han Dynasty, China opened the famous Silk Road and started exchanges with West Asia. In the 1960s and 1970s when waves of dynamic economic growth and scientific technological revolution were sweeping across much of the world, China was in the grip of the decade-long ‘Cultural Revolution.’
“Fortunately, we changed course in the late 1970s and embarked on the track of reform and opening up, that is, to carry out reform domestically and open up externally. As a result, China’s overall national strength has been greatly enhanced, the living standards of its people have significantly improved and the country’s international standing has steadily risen.
“Foreign trade has become a key pillar underpinning China’s economic development. By introducing foreign capital, technologies and managerial expertise and using them as a basis for making innovation, we have greatly boosted productivity and narrowed the gap between China and developed countries. By drawing on the strengths of others, the people in China have freed their minds and broadened their visions and become more open and creative.
“Openness and inclusiveness are two sides of the same coin. Only by opening China can we bring in advanced and successful practices. And only by being inclusive, which calls for respect for different cultures and mutual learning, can we enrich and strengthen ourselves. We should boldly absorb and draw upon all the achievements of the human society, including those of the capitalist countries, build on them and make innovations.”
“We in China are working to build socialism with distinctive Chinese features, and our fundamental objective is to boost productive forces and meet the increasing material and cultural needs of the people. The Communist Party of China at its 17th National Congress highlighted China’s resolve to pursue reform and opening up. We will unswervingly follow the opening up policy, move up the value chain as we participate in economic globalisation, and focus on new issues in opening up that have arisen under the current circumstances. We stand for free trade and oppose protectionism.”

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