By Li Zhongfa, Li Jingchen
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Syed Mushahid Hussain, chairman of Pakistan's Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday spoke highly of China's reform and opening-up launched three decades ago, saying the policy has benefited the Chinese people and the world at large.
"The transformation of China, which took place in a peaceful manner, has benefited the Chinese people and affected the peace and stability in Asia and world," said Mushahid in an interview with Xinhua.
The year of 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up drive, commonly regarded as a watershed in China's development.
The decision to open up the once sealed off country and reform its struggling economy was made at the 3rd plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which started on Dec. 18, 1978.
The policy, pioneered by late leader Deng Xiaoping, has turned the once poverty-stricken country into one of the world's largest economies.
"Though the reform and opening-up, China has lifted about 400 million people out of poverty, who now have new quality of life. That's a remarkable achievement," Mushahid said.
Mushahid, also secretary general of the opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Qauid (PML-Q), first visited China in the 1970s and has paid many visits since then.
Mushahid was impressed by the tremendous changes in the past three decades, especially in the aspects of people's life, infrastructure, high technology, and even language.
"At that time in 1972, very few people spoke English. But now it's very common language," said Mushahid.
Mushahid attributed China's achievements to the CPC's leadership, saying the party has played a "unique" role in bring "the world's most populous country" to the world's fourth largest economy.
"The ideology of the Communist Party of China is based on humanity, not based on control or dominance," said Mushahid, adding that China has not used "imperialistic power" but pursued peaceful development.
"The Chinese society is very pluralistic. China gives rights to the minorities and different communities, who all have opportunity to participate in the process of China," he said.
Mushahid also termed the "one country, two systems" policy as "unique contribution to modern history," saying Hong Kong and Macao returned to China in 1997 and 1999 respectively not by force, but "by diplomacy, negotiations and agreements."
With regard to China's stimulus package plan to revive economy in the face of current global economy, Mushahid expressed admiration for China's contribution to the world's development.
"The stability of China's economy sends a message of stability to the Asian and world economy," he said.
"We share the success of China as a neighbor. We want to learn from China's example, and we also want to benefit from what China had done in the past years," Mushahid said