ATHENS, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Four decades after it launched the reform and opening-up drive, China is on the right path to sustained economic development as its growth is now increasingly driven by domestic demand, a Greek expert has said.
Harry Papasotiriou, a professor of international relations at Panteion University in Athens and director of the Institute of International Relations, a prestigious think tank, praised the efforts by the Chinese leadership to refocus the model of growth over the past five years.
"It is good that China seeks a model which is less heavily dependent on exports and more on domestic demand," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua in Athens.
Papasotiriou has visited China many times since 2005 to give lectures at universities. He studied China's political system and followed closely the economic and social developments in recent years.
The scholar was impressed by China's "spectacularly successful" economy and how the special economic zones have transformed Shenzhen from a fishing village in southern China into a massive modern metropolis.
Nevertheless, he said the Chinese economy can no longer rely on its two main engines of exports and public investments, but should find a way to increase domestic consumption to move forward.
Papasotiriou said the Chinese leadership and officials understand the problem.
"If you understand the problem, then that's already half, you are half way towards success," he said.
"Now the next challenge is to move more to the service oriented economy, but that will take time," he added.
He said China's efforts to fight corruption, pollution and promote innovation are welcome.
"Now you see China producing original technology of its own. So, that is a big step, a big difference that I noticed," he said.
The scholar hailed China's "enormous contribution" to the world economy as it is the leading exporter of manufactured products and a leading source of foreign direct investment.
"Globalization really made all sorts of products very cheap and China was a big part of that," he said.