Mr Omie Singh: PRC Growth Has Lifted Billions Out of Poverty

On 23 September 2020, Mr Omie Singh, former Member of the Parliament of South Africa, published an article entitled " PRC growth has lifted billions out of poverty" on The Mercury. The full text is as below:


On this historic and momentous occasion of the 71st anniversary of the People's Republic of China I congratulate the Chinese government and people on their exciting developmental trajectory towards superpower status. In a unipolar world the hegemonic role of a sole superpower economically, politically and militarily leads to unbridled violence and notions of exceptionalism. Only when there are countervailing tendencies of different paths to development backed by hard and soft power can peace and stability be ensured.


The PRC's growth has been phenomenal serving to lift half a billion people out of poverty in just two decades. Its global efforts to foster development, in Africa in particular, has seen the injection of new money and the creation of new jobs coupled with advanced technologies being made available on the continent. This is apart from the affordable Chinese products that serve global markets. In addition, China's responsible, leadership role in dealing with the pandemic by sharing information, implementing successful containment policies and searching for solutions is to be admired. Such an approach is a basis for universal cooperation and prosperity.


Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China on 1 January 1998, and the creation of the high level SA - China Bi-National Commission in 2000, China - South Africa relations have resulted in China becoming South Africa's largest trading partner. This may be seen as a consolidation of the historic friendship between the Chinese people and the disenfranchised people of South Africa culminating in the acceptance of the One – China policy by President Nelson Mandela. This against the backdrop of Taiwan's support for Apartheid South Africa. This is a history of the PRC being on the right side in the struggles against colonial and neo-colonial oppression, a history of taking the moral high ground which is appreciated by post-colonial governments.


SA and China maintain close coordination on international and regional affairs, jointly contributing to safeguarding world peace, promoting international governance reform and upholding the interests of developing countries and emerging economies. These are the characteristics of the much needed impetus for global stability in an era where the destabilisation of the middle east, parts of central and south America and Asia tend to reveal the disorder of the day.


China and South Africa are both committed to safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries through unity and cooperation and in promoting the establishment of a just and rational new international political and economic order. It is this kind of commitment that serves as the basis for world peace and in 71 years the PRC has proven its legitimate intentions.