17:48 GMT28 February 2020
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced plans to turn his country into the world's strongest nation by 2050. David O'Brien of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China explained to Sputnik what could be behind Beijing's push for global dominance.

    Sputnik: What is your outlook regarding China's future development? How likely is it to become the biggest superpower?

    David O'Brien: It's important to remember that the audience for that speech is both domestic and international. On the domestic front, President Xi Jinping spent most of the time during his speech talking about the goal of a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation – a part of the "Chinese dream." As for the international audience, Xi's bold statement on China's becoming the world's biggest superpower can be taken with some degree of certainty.

    Sputnik: Some analysts say that China would not replace the US as a superpower. What should China do to establish itself as the world's most influential power?

    David O'Brien: There is certain view in China among politicians, academics and policymakers that America is going through a certain period of decline and that China may step in. However, we do need to remember that China is certainly a developing rather than a developed economy and that most of the country remains quite underdeveloped and quite poor. Also, there are numerous difficulties in China pertaining to border and corruption issues.

    Sputnik: Xi Jinping said that China is facing brilliant prospects for rejuvenation. What did he mean by saying so?

    David O'Brien: It's important to recall that China's history saw a long period of humiliation by Western powers and now China is poised to overcome that and become a great and strong nation.

    It is a very emotive issue for Chinese people and in this vein, the rejuvenation of China remains a key part of Xi Jinping's presidency.

    Sputnik: What could be the reason behind China's development, which is often referred to as miraculous? How can this phenomenal growth be accounted for?

    David O'Brien: Well, it has certainly been miraculous and to some decree we can say that it was unprecedented in human history. We have never seen any other country developed at such a break-neck speed as [China has been since] 1978.

    Right now, even though China is not as wealthy as American or European nations, it can be seen as a major political and economic power.

    In this regard, Xi Jinping places a particular focus on ideology, which includes Marxism-Leninism and certain elements of capitalism.  This unique combination has proved to be successful for Chinese people, who firmly believe that it is the Communist Party of China that provides the country's miraculous transformation, which they believe will continue.


    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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