NEW YORK, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has "a very substantial significance within China and globally," says a senior U.S. expert.
The landmark event, set to open on Oct. 18 in Beijing, will "determine in many ways the direction of China for the next five years," Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, a New York-based international consulting firm, said to Xinhua in a recent interview.
"Not enough attention has been paid here, but I think we should be aware of its significance," added Hormats, a former under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.
The CPC congress is one of the most important events this fall from a global point of view, stressed the 73-year-old veteran diplomat and economist, who was actively involved in the thawing and normalization of China-U.S. relations in the 1970s under the Richard Nixon administration.
He noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC, "has made remarkable progress in governing over the past five years."
"China's economy is now moving in the right direction on many levels," he said, adding that a lot of the uncertainties about the Chinese currency and financial system that occurred years ago have been addressed.
"The RMB is now a global currency; it is part of the SDR basket. The capital markets in China are working a lot better than they were a couple of years ago," he said.
Referring to the Belt and Road Initiative, which was put forward by Xi in 2013, Hormats said Xi has developed "a very comprehensive and historic" vision for regional development.
ALWAYS "NEW CHINA"
Hormats, who visited Beijing just six months ago, said he is very much impressed by the rapid development of the world's second largest economy.
"I keep saying Xin Hua (New China in Chinese). I keep saying every time I come to China. It's Xin Hua. It's a new China. New things are happening; fresh things are happening in China," he said.
"So I love going. You cannot understand China unless you go there. You can read, but you gotta go there and talk to people, because you really get a sense of China by meeting with younger people who are sort of the future of China," he said. "The dynamism of young Chinese is very powerful."
The level of innovation in China has grown very rapidly, said Hormats, adding that China's educational system is turning out vast numbers of engineers, scientists and mathematicians.
"I say that China is doing well because it's very innovative and very hard working, and very competitive," he said. "If you really want to know China, you have to look at China's internal strength."
"Don't make the mistake of thinking China is not a dynamic internal economy, because it is," he stressed.
As regards U.S.-China relations, he said that on the basis of a better understanding of each other, the two countries should further enhance cooperation on such global issues as open trade, climate change and counterterrorism.
"We Americans and Chinese need to figure out how we can develop a better sense of strategic thinking on how we can work together," he said.