CHINA’S GRAND STRATEGY EVOLVING WITH CONCEPT OF SCEINTIFIC DEVELOPMENT
By Francis C. W. Fung, PH.D.
Under the impact of Western science and civilization, China for more than two hundred years was searching for a development direction of her own, which would not entail giving up her tradition and identity. The period of search began at the end of Qing dynasty, when China suffered humiliations one after the other under the reigning colonial powers of the time. This continuing process of development struggle lasted through foreign domination, invasions and domestic upheavals until the end of the twentieth century. China’s history of trial and tribulations during this time period is well documented in literature. From it, the Chinese nation collectively paid dearly and learned the hard lessons necessary to move forward like all great national revivals of the past. Human civilization as a whole cannot afford to neglect the over 5000 years of valuable Chinese culture and tradition. That will be most regrettable.
China is moving into the 21st Century with impressive economic development unprecedented in human history for such a large nation which began with the reform and open up policy initiated by the late Deng Xiaoping. It occurred during the last 30 years of relative peace and stability after the end of the cold war era. It is understandable that the nation of China as a whole looked back at the involuntary isolation of the cold war era with a great deal of misgiving. For all nations to progress with the world it must be given the level field to interact with the outside. For great powers to exercise its naval power to contain other nation’s development is inhumane.
Having achieved relative economic successes, China is now looking to sustainable development. Great debates are occurring in China especially during the last five years on its continuing path of development and modernization. From the debates, the Chinese Central government has launched two ground breaking concepts that can open the flood gate of innovative sustainable thinking. The 2004 Concept of Scientific development led eventually to the 2006 “Decisions for the building of a harmony society”. Can China develop according to this approach? What other factors must occur in China? What are the other necessary conditions for China to stay the course? Is this the direction for socialism building with Chinese characteristics of which we so often hear? Has China finally found its unique direction of development? It is important for both the developed and the developing countries to find out. It will affect the destiny of almost one quarter of world’s population and perhaps other developing countries’ development. Will this lead to the so called Beijing Consensus? More important, will it finally take hold in China and last?
The essence of ancient Chinese culture is reverence of the “Great Way” (Dao) as taught by Laotze, and pursuit of Harmony with humility as a belief system handed down by Confucius and her other sages. Simply put, Chinese culture reveres the Great Way and has strong affinity for harmony. This affinity is reflected with prominence in the Chinese ceremonial way of life, landscaping, building design, Fengshui practices and moral codes and values. Dao is the highest order of belief and is the origin of the universe. It is nature’s order and is the unification of the scientific spirit and human spirit. It is the soul and roots of Chinese culture. A culture can never deny its own heritage. A culture which looses its own roots is devoid of its own soul.
The ultimate goal of practicing Dao is to reach inner peace and live in harmony with the universe (Tien Ren He Yi). This includes harmony with nature, harmony within the family, the society, the country and harmony among nations. To reach broad harmony, Dao must lead us to harmony through trust, justice, equity, forgiveness, tolerance and humility. Human development so far has been dominated by “Survival Aggression” with the strong overwhelming the weak, the worst examples were military conquests, colonialism and forcing one’s development model on others by force. China as a traditional agriculture, as opposed to a predominantly nomadic society, has been an exceptionally peaceful major nation that did not have a history of foreign conquest. Because of the last two hundred years of domination and humiliation by foreign imperialistic nations China today has a strong distaste to the practice of “Survival Aggression”. That is why China today is advocating harmony society and world harmony through harmony renaissance (see “China’s Harmony Renaissance- What the World Must Know” by the author).
Today the inevitable tide of harmony with nature is also beginning to catch on. The world consensus of harmony with nature will lead to the recognition of the need for harmony among nations also. Mutual development, win-win development will gradually replace the past blind zero sum mentality of world development. World harmony renaissance will release humans from the bondage of destructive- survival confrontations. It will release our collective creative energy for constructive mutual development. Human history has gone through two major phases of development. Approximately two thousand years ago, the world saw a burst of philosophical ideas spreading through the world for universal love and order. Five hundred years or so ago, the age of enlightenment and European Renaissance gave us democracy and today’s modern science. Harmony Renaissance is the third phase of development that will yield a level playing field for all nations to enjoy the fruits of common human innovation. Our collective accomplishments will far surpass the achievements of European Renaissance (see “World harmony Renaissance- Promise for a Better World” by the author).
Having achieved relative economic success during the last 30 years of reform and opening up the new China of today is faced with the dilemmas of uneven development, reconciliation of the old and new caused by breakneck speed of change. The new China of 58 years is going through unprecedented upheavals relative to its entire recorded history of over 5000 years. As a matter of fact the tumult caused by unprecedented rapid change experienced by China today, also has no parallel in human history of any major nation. At times, China overwhelmed by the impact of Western culture, appeared to be lost.
As meritorious as the philosophies of DAO and harmony as universal common values, they will not become the grand strategy of development for China. There also needs to be no fear for the so called “Beijing Consensus” that will be exported to the developing world. The future world is fast becoming a multilateral world. Just as we witness how the world conflicts brought on by attempts to claim religious superiority led to cultural clashes, the disastrous aftermath of America’s enforcing of its own democratic system on Iraq is for all to see. Religion, democracy, Dao and harmony philosophies are essential to teach us common values for our hearts to reach peace within ourselves. They are beliefs for each person to strive for according to his cultural heritage. On the other hand the grand strategy of development for any nation must develop from within and not to be forced from the outside. In a multilateral world no nation wishes to be preached at either.
So for China, its grand strategy for development must be “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as wisely announced by the consensus conclusion reached by the 17 CPC National Congress that just ended October 21st, 2007. According to the headlines, China’s grand strategy will evolve from the concept of scientific development with the objective of building a relatively prosperous, just, and harmonious society for all. And the grand strategy incorporating the objective of harmony will be the result of a comprehensive master plan of executable engineering system analysis, comprising the following critical pieces. The order of importance of each element in the following outline is not fixed, but will sure be subject to the dynamic evolvement of a complex and fluid society in its development. But the harmony spirit of the great Dao of discovering the new and old must remain intact as put forth by the author in the following summary:
ALL NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS MUST BE CONTINULY EVOLVING AND IN TOUCH WITH WORLD DEVELOPMENT. ONCE DISTURBED FORCIBLY BY OUTSIDE FORCE INSTABILITY WILL SET IN.
CHINESE GRAND STRATEGY IS EVOLVING FROM THE 2004 CONCEPT OF SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT. IT IS, ACCORDING TO THE CPC, A SYSTEM OF CHINESE SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS
CHINESE CURRENT DEVELOPMENT SHALL CONSISTS OF ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SCIENTIFIC AND SOCIETAL ELEMENTS
CONTINUE THE CURRENT MOMENTUM OF REFORM AND OPENING UP,
FINE TUNE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
EXPAND CONCEPT OF SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT INTO SYSTEM ENGINEERING GUIDE LINES
GRADUALLY INTRODUCE POLITICAL REFORM TO INTRODUCE MORE PARTICIPATION TO SUIT MODERN DEVELOPMENT
PROMULGATE LAWS TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REFORMS. DEVELOPMENT MUST BE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
SOCIALISM IN THE INITIAL STAGE MUST BUILD A STRONG ECONOMIC FOUNDATION. CHINA IS STILL AT THE EARLY STAGE OF SOCIALIST DEVELOPMENT
MARXISM MUST BE EVOLUTIONARY AND IN TOUCH WITH WORLD DEVELOPMENT
CHINA WILL BE FOREVER AGAINST HEGEMONY AND WILL PROMOTE MUTUAL AND WIN-WIN DEVELOPMENT
ADVOCATE DAO AND HARMONY RENAISSANCE AS NATIONAL REVIVAL
ADVOCATE HARMONY DIPLOMACY AS THE GOLDEN RULE OF WORLD GOVERNANCE
SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS IS SOCIALISM WITH HARMONY
BUILD HARMONY SOCIETY WITH HARMONY BETWEEN TRADITIONAL VALUE, MODERN HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIALISTIC DEVELOPMENT
MAINTAIN HARMONY BETWEEN STATE AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRIVATE AND MARKET ECONOMY
PROMOTE WORLD HARMONY THROUGH ECOLOGY CONSENSUS AND UNITY OF MAN WITH NATURE. IN CHINA THE SAYING IS TIEN REN HE YI.
IN ENGLISH, LACKING A TRADITIONAL TERM PERHAPS THE APT DESCRIPITION IS COLLECTIVELY BUILDING A GREEN WORLD.
Francis C. W. Fung, PH.D.
World Harmony Organization