Interview: China’s “new normal” to help create basis for sustainability, social justice: British expert

In Club News by Stephen Perry

LONDON, March 9 (Xinhua) — China has carried out a set of interlinked reforms to upgrade its economic model to the “new normal,” which values sustainability and social justice, a British expert has said.

China’s major accomplishment in the past two years “has been to identify the main policies to carry the economy from low cost exports to domestic consumption and prepare the way for China to change its economic model to the new normal,” Stephen Perry, a seasoned British entrepreneur and China watcher, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Perry, who has been to China over 200 times, is also chairman of the British 48 Group Club, an independent business network committed to promoting links between Britain and China.

“There is a big set of interlinked policy initiatives which have been implemented and are working to create the basis for a new China which values sustainability, reasonable growth, care of the environment and a reasonable shared living standard and welfare state to assure the vulnerable,” he said.

Last week, China lowered its economic growth target for 2015 to “around 7 percent”.

The Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, has entered a stage known as the “new normal” characterized by slower growth with higher quality.

“I think ‘new normal’ is a sound analysis of the move from low cost exports to a managed market economy with global dimensions,” Perry told Xinhua.

He stressed that China’s new model of development would not depend on unregulated expansion but on social justice.

“China’s development must be fast but gradual and be based on a realistic understanding of the right balance between growth and social justice, and the right balance between the forces of the market and the need for clear leadership,” he elaborated.

Noting that China’s development is “clearly identified” and “realistic,” the veteran China watcher also listed a number of “hard nuts” facing the Chinese leadership.

“The major domestic challenge is to hold on to a planned change in the economy and not allow the forces of capital to take excessive control,” he said.

“In the international field, the hard nut is to handle the bigger nations while allowing common prosperity to happen,” he continued.

Perry suggested that China’s leaders “build a new philosophy of public service, accountability and the rule of law to enable the right balance and values of leadership to emerge.”

“The people need to be sure they can rely on the rule of law…the rooting out of corruption will help give people confidence that the intention is real,” he explained.

Talking about China’s recent anti-corruption campaign, Perry said: “President Xi has clearly initiated an anti-corruption movement which has begun to build confidence that the soul of China is returning to traditional good values.”

Commenting on China’s international involvement, he said China would “sit within a global role based primarily on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, based on common prosperity, which calls for building a better world for all and not domination.”

“Handled well, China will prosper,” he told Xinhua.