Aerial photo taken on June 28, 2021 shows the Yunwu Bridge of the Duyun-Anshun expressway in southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Tao Liang)

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Far too many China "experts" have put focus on changing the country instead of understanding how it works and why it succeeds, said David Dodwell, executive director of the Hong Kong-APEC Trade Policy Study Group.

HONG KONG, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The reason why China has been deeply misunderstood by some observers is that they have tried to change the country rather than to truly know it, espe

cially its lower-level and inland policies, the South China Morning Post recently reported.

In an opinion published Monday on the newspaper, David Dodwell, executive director of the Hong Kong-APEC Trade Policy Study Group, a think tank, said focusing too much on China's megacities can blind observers to the policy experimentation done at lower levels and in the country's interior.

Describing China as a "fiercely diverse" country, Dodwell said that "the Beijing-centricity of most analysis" is the first major reason behind misconception.

The second reason is that far too many China "experts," he said, have put focus on changing the country instead of understanding how it works and why it succeeds.

Most foreigners in China lived along what he called "the thin red line" -- traveling between Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou -- largely ignorant of the size and diversity of life in China's provinces.

Aerial photo taken on June 14, 2020 shows a relocated area by the Gaqu River in Chido Township of Dengqen County in Qamdo, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Tian Jinwen)

They talked of China as if it could be compared with Canada or Germany, which had economies more comparable in size to Chinese provinces, Dodwell said.

Dodwell noted that those who want to understand China need to acknowledge that Chinese culture and traditions are different and will remain so, and that the thinking of a single homogenized model applying worldwide is unhelpful.

China has developed a distinct model in an effort to lift their people out of poverty and push for a broader prosperity, he said, adding that it is for their own good of Western governments to learn from the strengths of such a model.

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