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Taking a cue from Xi

In his New Year message, China President Xi Jinping vowed to finally end poverty in in his country.
“It is our solemn promise. Only three years are left to 2020. Every one of us must be called to action, do our best. This is a great cause, important to both the Chinese nation and humanity. Let’s do it together and make it happen,” Xi was quoted saying as he addressed the 90 million Communist Party of China cadres and his nation.
To achieve his objective, Xi bared he intends to raise 40 million Chinese people, mainly from the rural areas in extreme economic privation, out of poverty by year 2020. Though a tall order with just three years to go, experience dictates to us that which Chinese leaders say they will do, they accomplish.
And yet, despite China and the Party’s great achievement, Xi does not seem to rest on the laurels.
In a humble self-criticism, Xi averred:
“Our great development has been achieved by the people, and its fruits should be shared by the people. I am aware of the people’s biggest concerns, such as education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, old-age security, housing and the environment. We have had a lot of gains and also quite a few pains and troubles. Our efforts at improving people’s well-being have not always been satisfactory.
“This requires us to enhance our sense of mission and responsibility, to achieve solid and effective results in improving the people’s welfare.”
Interestingly, our very own leader, President Rodrigo Duterte’s New Year message to Filipinos called on the people to “Hold on to hope” this 2018, seemed to take a cue from Xi.
However, hope is not enough, a plan to carry out the works to realize the dream is the all-important factor. Of course President Duterte has his TRAIN revenue raising plan to which his “build, build, build” to pave the road to development and prosperity, is heavily anchored.
The Philippines is still beset by widespread poverty and 50 percent of the 105-Million population still say they are poor. That a whopping figure of over 52-million Filipinos who feel themselves impoverished and lacking in the basic necessities to consider themselves comfortable with their economic existence.
President Duterte may succeed this time when so many post-Edsa Uno president have made the same goal of lifting this society out of poverty and failed.
It’s clearly time to learn from the successful models of poverty alleviation, and probably none other that is more successful than China the past decades which is universally admired and respected for lifting 700-million of its people out of poverty in three decades since the late Chinese Premier Deng Xiao Ping started his modernization of China’s economy. Sixty million of that 700 million were lifted out of poverty since 2013 when President Xi Jinping took over the reins of government of China.
How will Duterte’s crusade to left more Filipinos out of poverty fare after 365 days of 2018?
There are many challenges which lie ahead for Duterte, and if we are to learn from China and Xi’s approach to his task, one of the first things Duterte has to do is to shape up the political party (or parties) that he is relying on to carry out the political will of his administration.
Duterte must put priority in indoctrinating his PDP-Laban and the allied parties, and breathe life into the seemingly now hibernating Kilusang Pagbabago that was touted to be his political vehicle in the years ahead to carry on in purist fashion his political ideals.
The 1.5-million strong officials and work force of government of the Republic of the Philippines must also be primed, and in many ways this vehicle is more organized and disciplined with the new and effective effort of Duterte to curtail corruption and incompetence there.
As far as the economic and financial program of government Duterte clearly is abiding by the proven template of China, build the infrastructure and the development will follow.
But there is also a vacuum in the industrial and the micro-development sphere which hopefully will further be developed as the first year of “build, build, build” takes off. All these are dependent on an all important factor which some Filipinos still insist on disregarding, and that is the peaceful, stable and conducive geopolitical environment necessary for development – which is the realm of foreign policy.
Duterte has already created a stable and peaceful environment, and in so doing, elicited the cooperation of all global powers, for the Philippines’ economic development. Equally superior in achievement, Xi in China has provided a vision for Global Peace and Development, and put it into a $ 5-Trillion global development program of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Maritime Silk Road.
Xi said in his New Year’s speech, “Regarding the prospects of humanity’s peace and development, there is both expectation and concern; all sides are awaiting a clear Chinese stance. All under heaven are one family. As a responsible major country, China must speak out. China will act as a builder of world peace and a contributor to global development and an upholder of the international order. The Chinese people are willing to join all peoples of the world in creating a beautiful future of greater prosperity and greater peace for mankind”
Both Duterte and Xi are graduating from their present terms in 2022, and from the way things are going, both are expected to exit with flying colors.

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