In our previous episode we invited Professor Michael Powers to share his understanding of a community with a shared future for mankind, the challenges on the way to building such a community and what attitude we should adopt to better counter the difficulties. Today we are joined again by Professor Powers. Let’s hear his opinion on how the success of Chinese modernization so far can contribute to building a community of shared future for mankind.
Q1: So Professor Powers, how do you think of the significance that Chinese modernization can hold to the world?
Michael R. Powers: I think the most important thing is that China has created an alternative economic model. It's hard to say exactly what would you contrast that model with. There is something called the Washington Consensus, which is a set of a bullet points about how developing nations should go about improving their economies. China has created a distinctly different model. And so this offers a different path for countries that are developing around the world. And I think that's a very positive thing. China has done well without following this western model. So it is, again, the importance is that China has created a new alternative model. It's not the model of the Soviet Union, it's not the model of the western industrialized powers. It's China's unique model, which now can be showcased to other countries in the world.
Q2: So you think it’s the unique developmental model that China has created and successfully implemented that can be inspiring to other countries in figuring out their own patterns of development. May I ask, from your perspective, what are the characteristics of this alternative model that have made it so different to pre-existing models in the world?
Michael R. Powers: What is it about that model that's different? Market forces allowing people to pursue a profit motive, which will encourage and enhance the allocated efficiency of goods and services. But at the same time, a primary role for government in avoiding the excesses of a more traditional, less affair, economic system, this additional prong of regulation in the market has been extremely successful.
Q3: Following its own developmental path, China has made many achievements and reached many of its long-term goals over the past decade. Among them, is there anything you find particularly impressive?
Michael R. Powers: Certainly, I think that this targeted poverty alleviation effort demonstrates a commitment to the least advantaged in society.
Q4: Targeted poverty alleviation. In your view, how can this approach be contributive to poverty alleviation causes in other parts of the world?
Michael R. Powers: My sense is that today, in many western countries, people just don't know what to do with the least advantage. They don't know how to help them. Often, the focus is on providing sub-direct subsidies. The money is not given with priorities in certain areas, such as toward promoting education or promoting job retraining or something like that. But I think the fundamental issue is that it is the subsidy. The support is coming at the wrong end. The subsidy should have come beforehand. In fact, as I said, they're talking about forgiving the loan. That I think it is very indicative of the difference in the approach. I think that is very important to cheat to strive for economic equity, but it has to be done in a way that is targeted. And that's why I've actually been interested in the poverty alleviation program. Because of this targeted aspect of it, that it's not just throwing money and paying people off to make it so they're no longer poor, but rather identifying who really is poor, and what can we do to bring them into the economy. Ending: Targeted poverty alleviation has surely explored a new path of poverty alleviation. We hope that it can offer enlightenment to the international community in its battle to reduce poverty, and we also hope that suitable patterns can be developed for each country noting different national conditions and different stages of development, as we join hand to build a global community of shared future that is free from poverty and pursues common prosperity. Thank you Professor Power. Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your insights with us. Michael R. Powers: It’s my pleasure.
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