by Raul Menchaca
HAVANA, July 1 (Xinhua) — Seventy years after its founding, the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China has proven that its socialist road opens a path for social, technological and economic prosperity and development, a senior Cuban sinologist has said.
Jose Luis Robaina, a 72-year-old researcher at the Havana International Policy Research Center (CIPI), made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua on the progress of the Chinese society he has witnessed since 1963.
Robaina can speak perfect Mandarin and still retains the fondness for dumplings and the memories of the Spring Festival shared with a family in Beijing.
In September 1963, Robaina arrived in China on his 16th birthday to learn history at Peking University and since then his life has been anchored indissolubly to China, where he visited later in different circumstances.
Robaina went to the Chinese capital in 1980 as a correspondent for the Prensa Latina News Agency, an assignment that allowed him to observe, from a privileged perspective, the beginning of the reform process.
“The China that I find in the 80s is the one that begins the path of the accelerated development, based on a group of economic reforms that gave weight to the market, but based on a regime of the state control over the main means of production,” he said, taking a long puff on his worn pipe.
The policy “allows for tremendous leaps and by 1984, that is, four years after my arrival, the basic food problem had been solved and the reform effort had been put on the economic structure and planning, the price system and the wages”, he said.
In 1999, Robaina went to China as the Second Chief of the Embassy of Cuba in Beijing, a position from which he could appreciate the progress of the country, which was turning into a world power with economic, industrial and technological development.
At that time China follows its traditional foreign policy based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and began to move with more dynamism in the international arena, he said.
Now as a CIPI researcher, Robaina does not stop learning about China.
On the Belt and Road Initiative, Robaina said that the project respects the international standards, the characteristics of every country, and their governments because when there are contradictions that are inevitable, they are resolved through dialogue and negotiation.
“The overall assessment is an absolute success in terms of economic and social and technological development and in terms of a new alternative or platform for the global, political and economic governance,” he said.