The Daily News takes this opportunity to warmly welcome the President of the People’s Republic of China His Excellency Xi Jinping who arrives today in the country for what can be called a momentous, epoch making visit.
In our front page today we carry a message sent by the Chinese President, and the Daily News is proud and privileged to carry this letter under Mr. Xi Jinping’s hand. Its substance makes it clear that the visiting head of state feels strongly about the common bond that both nations have historically shared for thousands of years.
He harks back to the past -- as far back as Fa Hien and then fast forwards to the future, and the brave new world that is shared by our two nations.
It is now generally accepted that the Chinese economy would outgrow that of the United States in terms of purchasing power in the next few years -- at the most it would take three, most experts believe -- which means that it would be the strongest on planet earth.
The import of this development is lost on nobody; the Chinese investment here in Sri Lanka for instance would in effect be underwritten by the leadership that’s effectively at the helm of the world’s engines of commerce.
The Chinese economy grew at an average of 10 per cent in the last fifteen years and over 500 million people were lifted out of poverty during that period.
This is considered nothing short of a miracle, and the architect of this story of galloping prosperity is the late Deng Xioping who famously once said ‘does of matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice?’.
Mr. Xi Jinping follows in that sanguine tradition that triggered this story of momentous growth that is beginning to change the way people live, not just in China but also in the rest of the world.
The Chinese President is seen to be a pragmatist and in this and many other respects he is in the same leadership mould in which President Rajapaksa is cast.
Both have an uncanny way of being practical about the future, particularly in terms of building the economy, and Mr. Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream, runs a close parallel to the Mahinda Chinthana vision of the miracle of Asia.
However, as is indicated by the Chinese President’s exclusive contribution to this newspaper today, it is obvious that the two countries share a common destiny as Asia is now well on the way to determining its own unimpeded destiny.
China has supported this country’s causes unstintingly and is the most involved partner in Sri Lanka’s economic forward march.
In turn Sri Lanka has bolstered China’s causes in world forums and despite some unfair criticism in some quarters on the domestic front, built on the partnership to strategic and economic advantage.
In the context of all of this it can be said that there is an assertiveness in our China policy that is as bold and as productive as the friendship between our two nations.
When big and small they seem to all look to China these days for direction and inspiration, there is no reason we should not.
But it is obvious from what the Chinese President has written on the front page of this edition of our newspaper, that China looks towards a mutually productive relationship.
The leadership in Beijing today does not believe in the imperial paradigm. Modern China was never that way inclined.
It is not a mere cliche that in the People’s Republic of China, they believe in people. What is conspicuous in the Chinese President’s contribution to this newspaper today is the accent on people to people relations and the empowerment of the citizenry as the core policy from which all other policy flows. For this the people of Sri Lanka would salute his Excellency Xi Jinping. Sri Lanka wishes your country well Sir, and you and the First Lady, all good health and happiness.