Jinping, and President Rajapaksa!
elevation to the role of the Secretary General of the Communist
Party of China at the 18th National Congress makes him
effectively the leader of one-fifth of the world's humanity.
This is a one-fifth that has fond, longstanding and fraternal
relations with this country -- which have been cemented with
such great exuberance during the seven year tenure of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose ascension to office after his election
victory in 2005 took place exactly seven years ago on this day.
China is at the cusp of world leadership, and if the country
is not the number one world power, she is definitely the nation
that ranks near number one if not number one in fact -- in being
great friends with Sri Lanka.
China has wholeheartedly supported this country in
international forums, and this has been at variance with the
regressive polices of some other powerful countries which have
not fully understood the difficulties of coming out of a
long-running period of armed conflict. China on the other hand
stood by us through thick and thin, and that's due to the
Chinese sense of pragmatism which is imbued in the Chinese
Communist Party's current day ruling credo.
Xi Jinping the new Chinese leader, a 'princeling' who is the
son of a Chinese revolutionary who fought shoulder to shoulder
with the late chairman Mao, showed the world a glimpse of this
hard-headed Chinese sense of 'can-do', when in a short but
power-packed speech on assuming office, he talked about
improving the quality of lives of the Chinese people. Not for
him, the theatrical flourishes that were in the past almost a
trademark quantity for any perorations by Chinese statesmen ...
Instead, he spoke of cleansing the Chinese Communist party of
bribery and corruption, and therefore instantly established his
credentials as a man with his feet firmly rooted in the
realities of his time.
Sri Lankans will to a man and a woman, no doubt wish the
Chinese citizens greater prosperity and even better lives than
now, under the guidance of the new Communist party chief and his
seven member politburo. China is the next global superpower,
definitely, if she is not already one ...
The Chinese governance ethos is closer to our hearts, and
close to the imagination of President Rajapaksa whose seven year
tenure was infused with the same pragmatic vision envisioned by
the Chinese leader in crisp and friendly tones at the Communist
Party National Congress just the other day.
Therefore China is extremely kindred to us -- and this bond
of fraternal kingship between the people and leaders of these
two countries is preceded by excellent bi-lateral relations that
go back for what seems to be millennia ...
But the Chinese today are a powerhouse. The economy is the
second strongest in the world, having overtaken that of Japan
not so very long ago, and China is on a world-changing
trajectory, a journey triumphed by the fact that this country's
citizens comprise one fifth of the globe's people.
These sheer numbers enhance China's potential economic clout
almost exponentially. But what's heartening is that with this
gathering economic heft, China has not lost her way.
The Chinese have by and large not tried to police the globe,
and have on the contrary identified with the practical
difficulties that a country such as ours faces. There were no
grand flourishes that alluded to global dominance, when Xi
Jinping spoke on his ascension to office, though the new Chinese
leadership can well afford to speak with a swagger.
This tendency of humility also points to China's instinctive
sense of pragmatism as the country assumes a position of near
unprecedented global responsibility. In all, the new politburo
and the new leader's words about getting down to the job, are a
happy augur to the Chinese people -- all 7 billion of them - and
by extension to the people of China-friendly Sri Lanka, and the
people of the world. We wish the Chinese people a prosperous
future on this occasion of the inauguration of a brand new
leadership, as we also warmly wish China's dear friend President
Rajapaksa on the seventh anniversary of his own ascension to
office. Subha Anagathayak!