I have visited China about 30 times, and I could notice drastic changes and the country’s vitality every time I went there.

I have experienced China’s high-speed trains twice, and noticed that they are not only fast, but also clean, beautiful and comfortable.

Starting in 1964, Japan’s Shinkansen now has a total mileage of 3,000 kilometers, while China has built over 25,000 kilometers of high speed rail in just over 10 years.  The total mileage of high speed rail in China is 8 times of that of Japan.

In 2000, China’s GDP was approximately a quarter of that of Japan, but China surpassed the latter and became the world’s second largest economy 10 years later. At present, the Chinese economy is about 2.5 times of the Japanese economy. Such a rapid development is rare even in the entire human history.

Under the strong and sound leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have found a suitable development path for China based on the country’s national conditions, and worked hard and diligently, which greatly contributes to  China’s remarkable achievements made through reform and opening up.

Under the leadership of the CPC, China has realized political stability and well-ordered society, creating a favorable environment for further economic boom.

It has been indicated by history that political instability never leads to economic development. Japan’s rapid economic development is also achieved through the long-term political stability of the country.

However, China and Japan have different national conditions. The Japanese political parties govern Japan in a suitable way for Japan itself , and the CPC is also managing state affairs in accordance with the state of China. China’s development path perfectly suits China’s conditions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised a proposal to build a community of shared future for mankind, and I agree with him very much. People from all countries live on the same planet, and as friends, we share a common destiny.

The recent visits paid by Xi to Asian and African countries were a practice of the proposal. Africa is a less developed region where many countries still suffer from poverty and people’s livelihood is not guaranteed.

The massive colonies built by many European countries on the continent also caused huge agony to the people there, which turned Africa into a continent with weak economy, insufficient technology and inadequate development experiences.

Xi’s visit to Africa aimed at common development and building a community of shared future with the African people. It is good to see that China has helped Africa build plentiful infrastructure and improve people’s livelihood.

If Japan can join China in assisting Africa’s development, it would greatly benefit the African people. It is beneficial not only to Africa’s economy, but also the world peace and development.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, a great journey that continuously marches ahead. It is hoped that China can further deepen reform and expand openness.

In addition, this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China. The two contriesare close neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water, and they are also respectively the world’s second and third largest economies. China’s development means opportunities for Japan.

I hope that the two countries can carry out close cooperation, so as to make contribution to the building of a community of shared future for mankind.

  • Yasuo Fukuda is the former Prime Minister of Japan
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