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Shenzhen's success boosts Chinese, int'l confidence in reform, opening up, say experts

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2020-10-19

BEIJING -- The successful development story of China's Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ) boosts the confidence of Chinese people and the international community in reform and opening up, overseas experts have said.

Hailing Shenzhen's development over the past 40 years as "a miracle in the world development history," Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday encouraged China's SEZs to advance reform and opening up at a higher starting point and make greater contributions to building China into a great modern socialist country.

"The success of Shenzhen has strengthened the confidence of the Chinese people and even people in other countries in the world towards China's reform and opening up," said Xiong Yu, a professor with Surrey Business School at the University of Surrey. "The strong track record has made more people ... expect to see China's coming high-level opening up."

He added that Shenzhen's development is not an exclusive development, but a high-level global development under the premise of win-win cooperation, which represents the development concept that China will always adopt in the future.

Noting Shenzhen was an incubator for China's opening-up policy and international trade and market reforms, Tom Watkins, an advisor to the Michigan-China Innovation Center, said the city is poised to be a "jumping-off point" for China's broader strategy to create a regional growth engine.

After four decades of rapid growth, Shenzhen now ranks fifth among Asian cities in terms of gross domestic product, which expanded at an annual rate of 20.7 percent to about 400.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

"It (Shenzhen) has always been a trailblazer for China's new policies. President Xi is providing a new fuel source with a higher octane to continue to light the fire of China's development," said Watkins.

German writer Wolfgang Hirn said that "this strategy of first testing reforms in a limited regional area before applying them nationwide is for me a good example of the pragmatic approach of the Chinese leadership."

"The Special Economic Zones -- especially the model in Shenzhen -- have been an important catalyst for China's reform policy over the past 40 years," said Hirn. "Since the Special Economic Zones model has been so successful in China, it can also serve as a model for other countries at similar stages of development."

Pascal Ordonneau, a French economist and secretary general of the Iconomie Institute, said China's development is "the proper characteristic of scientific thinking, a thinking that has firmly inscribed for the long term, as demonstrated by 40 years of experience in Shenzhen."

He added that President Xi's message of the absolute need for balanced development and the respect for the environment contributes to "the success of social projects" and "the will to build a world of peace."

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.