By Lincoln G. Peters
The People’s Republic of China through its Embassy accredited near Monrovia on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 conducted a one-day intensive and interactive lecture series on the secret and enlightenment of the “China reform and opening-up policy’’ with several ministers, directors of various government ministries and agencies in Liberia.
The intensive and interactive dialogue lecture series was implemented under the auspices of the “Ambassadorial” lecture series of the Chinese Embassy in Liberia.
The initiative aimed at narrating the challenges, success, strategy and progress that China underwent during its reform process, and how Liberia can learn and implement the strategy.
The program brought together Tanneh Brunson, Deputy Minister for Budget and Economic Management, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Vaifee Tulay, Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Finance, Madam Yaba Thompson, Assistant Minister for International Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several other government Ministers and agencies.
Making a PowerPoint presentation on the successful experience and enlightenment of China’s reform and opening-up policy, Chinese Amb. to Liberia Ren Yisheng said if Liberia will experience reform, the government should first adhere to the centralized and unified leadership of the Party over reform.
He said the fundamental reason for the success of reform and opening-up lies in the leadership of the Party.
Firstly, he explained, party leaders have been determined to reform. From Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, party leaders have all talked about reforms with a clear-cut
“The China reform was in four stages. The first stage was from 1978 to 1992, clarifying the reform goal of establishing a socialist market economic system,” he narrated.
“The second stage was from the 14th National Congress of the CPC in 1992 to the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, initially establishing the socialist market economic system framework,” the Chinese Envoy noted.
He said the third stage was from the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002 to the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, deepening the reform of the economic system and continuously improving the socialist market economic system.
He continued that since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, China’s reform has entered a new stage, and the overall goal of comprehensively deepening the reform has been proposed, but the focus is still on the reform of the economic system.
He said it is precisely because they firmly seized the key points of reform that they have played a driving role in the overall development and enabled China to develop steadily and make progress.
Amb. Ren Yisheng said the last reform stage was to emancipate the mind and encourage exploration, adding that a history of reform and opening-up is a history of constant emancipation of the mind and innovation.
He indicated that whether a policy is good or not, effective or not, it should be tested first in a certain area, and then implemented and promoted nationwide if it is effective, so as to take into account the specific conditions of each region and adapt measures to local conditions and avoid reform resistance or excessive error correction costs.
He explained that “Crossing the river by feeling the stones” means that it will be piloted in a few areas in an experimental way, and then it will be promoted after successful practice.
“It has become China’s unique economic reform model,” said Amb. Ren.
However, Amb. Ren recommends to the Government of Liberia strategic reform methodology that it should adhere to in order to make the country great.
He urged that the government should adhere to the people-centered philosophy, adding that the great course of 40 years of reform and opening-up has always revolved around seeking happiness for the people, which is mainly reflected in strategic arrangements.
After the PowerPoint presentation, Assistant Minister for International Organization, Foreign Affairs, Daniel N. Thomas, Todd Joseph, Deputy Minister for Administration, Public Works and several others expressed excitement and appreciation over the knowledge-sharing lecture series on China’s reform policy.
They added that this should be taken to the Minister proper to achieve the implementation faster.
“We are grateful for the knowledge shared and commitment to providing more scholarships for our people in order to strengthen our capacity for national reform and enlightenment,” the Liberian officials said.
“We hope and pray that this will not just be us but also extended to the other officials and policymakers of the national government,’’ they noted.