When Chinese new President Xi Jinping took the helm last November with a fresh catchphrase – the Chinese Dream, it soon became a buzzword. Within 13 months, the Chinese Dream has resonated not only with the ordinary Chinese people, but also global elites from the four corners of the world.
Yves Leterme is one of those elite figures. He is the former Prime Minister of Belgium and current Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He has visited China on multiple occasions and maintained a good relationship with the Chinese leadership.
He joined the Elite Talk to talk about his interpretation of the Chinese Dream, and also his impression about the father of the Chinese Dream – Chinese President Xi Jinping. Here's our talk.
Zhenyu Li: As a political leader and an OECD senior official, you must have noticed that Chinese President Xi Jinping has put forth a new doctrine — the Chinese Dream, which can be viewed as China's new guiding principle. So, what's your interpretation of the Chinese Dream?
Yves Leterme: Well, I think it's a very intelligent and well-chosen way to put the Chinese economy in a new face of its development. So, to take up its potential at the global level, it's very clear that the Chinese economy has already played an important role as an engine of the world economy. So the new strategy that Chinese new president put forward is most probably meant to help take up China's potential and strengthen China's role at the global level.
Of course, the situation is changing: I mean, if you want to have a balanced development of the Chinese economy, you have to take into account the growing role of the domestic market, and take measures to enhance its capacity in terms of domestic demand and fair distribution of income. But I think globally speaking, the strategy is so well-crafted, and is quite logical and appropriate as the next step in the development of China.
Zhenyu Li: Still on the Chinese Dream, President Xi also stressed that the Chinese Dream is a dream for peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit for all. So, how do you see China's "peaceful rise", like China's economic expansion? Do you think it's a threat or a boon?
Yves Leterme: It's of course not a threat, but a big opportunity. I think the world economy really needs a good developed Chinese economy. The fact that China is experiencing such a positive economic development is at the benefit of the whole world.
It's not at all any threat. It has to be approached in a very constructive and positive way. For the global economy, it's one of the major opportunities to develop further and to bring more welfare and wealth to people all over the world.
Zhenyu Li: You mentioned previously that you've met Chinese new President Mr. Xi Jinping before. So, what's your impression about him?
Yves Leterme: In my first contact with him, I felt that he is a very kind person, very friendly, and very sympathetic person, dedicated to the very important friendship with some of the most powerful people in the world, a position he is holding now. He also has a very clear view on integrating China further with the world and taking up a leading role in the world as a country.
In brief, I felt he is very intelligent, friendly, and very keen on being a good leader for China and the Chinese people.
(This is a reprint from the People's Daily Online of the December 25, 2013 edition.)