Overseas training boosts China's development

Updated: 2016-07-06 07:29

By Fu Jing(China Daily)

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Overseas training boosts China's development

The CPC has a long history of sending officials abroad to learn from foreign expertise, and the latest move is designed to boost the economies of the country's two poorest provinces. Fu Jing reports from Brussels.

Editor's note: This is the last in a series of articles in which China Daily has marked the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China by examining its structure, history and influence.

In terms of poverty levels, Guizhou province is little different to many African countries, but Chen Min'er, the provincial Party chief, set the ball rolling to improve living standards when he visited Switzerland in November 2014.

During his trip, Chen, who was governor of the southwestern province at the time, set the goal of catching up with Switzerland, one of the world's wealthiest and most dynamic countries, which has parallels with Guizhou as both are landlocked and boast unspoiled picturesque scenery.

The plan is now being put into action after leading politicians, including President Xi Jinping and Ueli Maurer, former president of the Swiss Confederation, greeted Chen's idea with enthusiasm.

As a result, the Communist Party of China's Central Committee's Organization Department, which is responsible for the allocation of the Party's human resources, is now working with officials from the province and its Swiss partners to ensure the success of the project.

Overseas training boosts China's development

"We are now implementing an exciting 'action-learning' program to bridge the gap between Guizhou province and Switzerland," said Guido Palazzo, professor of business ethics at the University of Lausanne, who is in charge of operations for the program.

Pragmatic models

Palazzo said the one-year program targets China's two poorest provinces - Gansu, in the northwest, and Guizhou - with the aim of introducing pragmatic Swiss development models. In Guizhou, the tourism industry will be the main focus, while Gansu's main growth engine will center on the construction of industrial parks.

"The two provinces present their main ideas and send the officials in charge to Switzerland to learn (how to implement them)," Palazzo said, in a phone interview with China Daily. "And then we send our experts to the sites (in China) to help deliver the knowledge and put the ideas into action."

He praised the officials, saying they are "highly motivated" and "eager to learn and change".

Palazzo's program is a typical demonstration of how China's leadership has followed the examples set by other countries.

Switzerland provides an excellent role model for China, which is at a crucial stage in the process of transforming its economic development model from export-driven to one led by domestic demand and has pledged to improve the environment.

This is particularly vital after Xi, who became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in 2012, upheld the governance concepts of ecological civilization, sustainable development and a "beautiful China".

Training overseas is not a new development, though. Since the early years of the CPC in the 1920s, the Party has established branches overseas and sent members to study in Western countries. The policy echoes the early education of leaders such as Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, who both studied in France as young men.

Overseas education played an important role when the CPC was implementing market-oriented reform and opening-up policies. It allowed officials to learn the foreign techniques and management expertise that helped the country along the path of development and economic growth.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, the CPC sent high-level delegations to countries in Central, Eastern and Western Europe to conduct onsite research. Xi's father, Xi Zhongxun, led one of the task forces.

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