LONDON – Several renowned experts from China and foreign countries gathered on Monday todiscuss China’s development model during the London Book Fair, exchanging views on itsfuture.

At the beginning of the forum, Liu Binjie, Director of the General Administration of Press andPublication, reviewed China’s path of development over the past century.

“China has considered about the way of western style, and also once followed the formerSoviet Union’s planned economy,” he said. “But during the course, it found out that only a waywhich complies to its culture and fits its real condition could lead the country to success.”

Along the journey, however, some challenges crop out. “The reform and opening up improvedsocial efficiency, but justice became another important issue.”

Meanwhile, over-exploitation of resources and deterioration of environment were two otherchallenges confronting China.

“To address these problems, the Chinese government slowed down the pace of economicgrowth to give room for reform,” he said.

He stressed that China’s development would not affect others, on the contrary, it will bring moreopportunities for the rest of the world.

Javier Solana, former Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),agreed that China is developing fast and played an indispensable role in the world arena.

He pointed out that to become a global leader meant that China will have more responsibilitiesand risks. He hoped China and other countries could resolve issues together based on mutualtrust and good relations.

On economy, Feng Shaolei from East China Normal University noted that private sector is aweak point for China’s development, while 2006 Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps argued thatChina needed to adjust its economic structure and encourage innovation.

As for the governing model, Zhang Weiwei, author of the book “The China Wave: rise of acivilizational state”, pointed out that unlike many western countries, China, with a big size andlong history, is a civilization state with different cultures.

“Good governance can take the form of western political system and non-western politicalsystem, just as bad governance can take the form of western political system and non-westernpolitical system as well,” he said, adding that the China model could inspire more alternative forpolitical system in the world.

His view was shared by Martin Jacques, author of the best-selling “When China Rules theWorld: the end of the western world and birth of a new global order”.

A columnist for mainstream newspapers like the Guardian, he noted that China and westerncountries had different views on many things, which may result in misunderstanding.

With the development of China, Jacques believed that it will reshape the global order. As aresult, western countries should shelf prejudice and learn from each other with China.

“In fact, China learned from the west more than the west learned from China,” he said,reminding some western people that “it’s time to wake up”.