CPC reviews achievements at historic juncture
Editor’s Note: The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee is a historic meeting. According to the communique released on Thursday, the Central Committee considered and adopted the “Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century”. What do these achievements and experiences in the past century mean for the country? Eight experts share their views on the issue with China Daily. Excerpts follow:
Great endeavors and historical experiences
The Communist Party of China has changed the course of the country’s history, and transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation. The CPC is indispensable to China’s development, modernization and future and, as the communique issued by the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee on Thursday said, “has proved to be a great, glorious, and correct party”.
As a Marxist party, the CPC, unlike previous political forces, has no special interests of its own to pursue. That’s why it became the architect and greatest strength of China’s governance system.
The CPC is dedicated to the people and has always put the people’s interests first. It promotes social development and accepts the people’s principal role in history. It pursues the goal of working for the wellbeing of the Chinese people, and does everything in their interest.
Acknowledging these facts, the sixth plenary session said the Party has led the people in great endeavors and accumulated valuable historical experiences over the past century, which include 10 vital aspects: upholding the Party’s leadership, putting the people first, advancing theoretical innovation, staying independent, following the Chinese path, maintaining a global vision, breaking new ground, standing up for ourselves, promoting the united front, and remaining committed to self-reform. All Chinese people must cherish these experiences, uphold them, and continue to enrich and develop them in practice in the new era.
The Party has always believed in reality, continues to adapt Marxism to China’s real conditions, and remains committed to solving the country’s problems and advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The CPC has developed and kept pace with the times, and adjusted its strategies and policies accordingly. At every historic juncture, the CPC has analyzed the situation from an objective and forward-looking perspective, and set forth practical goals, policies and road maps. And its sound guidelines have enabled it to fulfill its responsibilities in an organized and systematic manner.
The Party has built an organizational system of communication and policy implementation at all levels. It has also united tens of millions of Party members and organized hundreds of millions of Chinese people, which has facilitated the implementation of its decisions and plans in a timely and resolute manner.
Song Xiongwei, a professor of politics and law at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee
Marxism of 21st century
Good theory and successful practice are closely related. Practice without theory is a reckless adventure, and a doctrine that does not take reality into consideration is more likely to fail when put into practice. Case after case has shown that the success of the CPC can be attributed to its ability to adapt Marxism to China’s real conditions. The same attribute helped the Party to emerge victorious in the revolution as well as national construction.
As former leader Deng Xiaoping said, the greatest contribution of Chairman Mao Zedong to the country is to apply Marxism-Leninism principles to the Chinese revolution. In fact, one essence of Marxism is to apply the general theory to national conditions and the times to come up with detailed resolutions.
In the same context, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a scientific theory. Just as the communique said, Xi’s thought is “Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century. It embodies the best of the Chinese culture and ethos in our times and represents a new breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context”.
We live in a fast-changing world with many unknown risks. In this age, strategic guidance plays an important role. So the Chinese people need to follow Xi’s thought, because only under the right guiding theory, can China stay on the right path of development.
Hu Yinglian, a professor on governance at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee
Economic growth benefits people
At the beginning of reform and opening-up in 1978, China’s economic development level was low. According to the World Bank, China’s per capita GDP in 1978 was about $156, that is, the Chinese people’s average income was less than half a US dollar a day, ranking among the world’s poorest. Not to mention that the severe shortage of food, clothing, housing and transportation.
Yet in the 40-odd years since the launch of reform and opening-up, China has performed an economic miracle. Thanks to the country’s rapid economic development, China’s per capita GDP crossed $10,500 last year, according to the World Bank. Apart from becoming the world’s largest manufacturer and trading country, China is also a global leader in many other fields today.
As the communique released by the sixth plenary session on Thursday said, China’s “economic development has become much more balanced, coordinated, and sustainable. China’s economic strength, scientific and technological clout, and composite national strength have reached new heights”, and the economy “is now on a path of higher-quality development that is more efficient, equitable, sustainable, and secure”.
In fact, economic growth has been so transformative that it has helped China to eradicate absolute poverty and improve people’s livelihoods, and make the country a global power within just four decades, which is unprecedented in world history.
Yuan Gangming, a researcher at the Center for China in the World Economy, Peking University
National reunification and rejuvenation
The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday, released a communique on Thursday. The significant meeting focused on reviewing the major achievements made by China and the experiences the Party has accumulated throughout its 100-year history.
The communique mentions the Taiwan question, and reiterates the Party’s firm stance on reunifying the country, making the path to national reunification clearer. “We uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus. We firmly oppose separatist activities seeking ‘Taiwan independence.’ We firmly oppose foreign interference. We have maintained the initiative and ability to steer cross-Straits relations,” the communique said.
To address the Taiwan question and achieve national unification are the common desire of all Chinese people. The CPC, a resolute defender of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, is confident and capable of crushing any attempt at “Taiwan independence” and dealing with any foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country. China must and will remain the master of its own fate.
Indeed, by adhering to the Party’s leadership, China can realize the dual goals of national reunification and national rejuvenation.
Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University
Upholding integrity and combating corruption
The CPC is committed to serving the people. It has always put the Chinese people’s interests first. Adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward its members’ misconduct, the CPC has enforced inner-Party discipline, deepened inner-Party reform and strengthened supervision to fight corruption and improve governance.
Just as the communique said, “we will continue to advance the great new project of Party building in the new era, exercise full and rigorous self-governance, and remain committed to improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption”.
The Party realizes the risk corruption poses to the country, and knows that cracking down on corruption is essential to strengthen self-supervision and self-governance, and expelling corrupt officials is necessary to eliminate hidden dangers from the Party.
In the early years of the People’s Republic, which was founded in 1949, the Party launched a campaign against corruption, waste and bureaucratism. In particular, the death sentence awarded to Liu Qingshan and Zhang Zishan, both of whom had made great contributions to the revolutionary war but later, out of greed, and embezzled State funds, sent shockwaves through the rank and file of the Party.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has been working ceaselessly to improve the conduct of the Party members, fight corruption and punish corrupt officials irrespective of whether they are “tigers” (high-ranking officials) or “flies” (lower-ranking officials).
As the communique issued on Thursday said, “the Party’s ability to improve and reform itself and maintain its integrity has been significantly strengthened, and the problem of lax and weak governance over Party organizations has been addressed at the fundamental level. An overwhelming victory has been achieved in the fight against corruption, and this has been consolidated across the board.”
In the new era, the Party has stepped up efforts to improve Party members’ conduct and combat corruption, has zero tolerance toward corruption and corrupt officials, and established effective mechanisms to ensure officials do not dare, are not able to or have no desire to indulge in corruption, so as to boost the Party’s integrity and vitality.
Wu Ge , vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Discipline Inspection and Supervision
Self-reform, righting wrongs Party’s biggest strength
The communique has listed “remaining committed to self-reform” as one of the 10 points represent valuable practical experience gained over long term.
In fact, to have the courage to self-reform is one of most distinctive aspects of the CPC, and also its greatest advantage. The greatness of the Party lies in its courage to face problems squarely, and its ability to reform and heal itself.
By doing so, the Party has become stronger, made remarkable achievements, and has now entered a new era.
The Party overcame the left-leaning and right-leaning mistakes during the course of the revolution, found the right direction of using rural areas to encircle the cities and seize state power with military force. After the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, the CPC overcame many difficulties and righted many wrongs.
Since the 18th Party National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has comprehensively deepened reform, and is committed to developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing China’s governance system.
During its 100-year history, the Party has won many battles mainly because of its courage to right wrongs and reform itself. In order to develop China into a great modern socialist country, the CPC will stay true to its founding mission of serving the people, and “purify” itself, in order to remain ahead of the times and act as the backbone of the nation and the people.
Qi Yiming, a researcher at the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee
Strengthening military to defend the country
History tells us that survival and development are core issues of a nation-state, and only the military can effectively safeguard a country’s core interests. Therefore, a strong country should also have a strong military, although it must not use it to threaten other countries or expand its territory.
Some countries use their militaries to attack other countries or expand their territory, power or influence, while others use them for self-defense. The countries that belong to the latter category strengthen their armed forces to boost their development and better protect their core interests. China falls in the latter category — its defense policy is defensive in nature.
The painful experience of being invaded and encountering poverty, hunger and the chaos of war has taught China that a weak country is vulnerable to attacks.
Under the CPC’s leadership, the People’s Liberation Army rose from nothing to become one of the strongest armed forces in the world. Throughout its history, the PLA has protected the People’s Republic and facilitated national development. It has also become an important part of the UN peacekeeping force. And all this have been made possible because of China’s rapid economic growth.
But due to the complex changes in the international environment, external threats to China have grown. In fact, many countries have been hyping up the “China threat” theory to contain China’s rise. China is a peace-loving country. But it is not afraid to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and protect its core interests. And that is precisely why it has been modernizing its military.
Only by building a strong military can China secure its sovereignty and territorial integrity, sustain development and continue to make contributions to global growth and governance.
Liu Qiang, a professor at the College of International Studies, National University of Defense Technology
Safeguarding global peace
China has been reiterating that it is committed to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. It is also committed to developing itself into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful through stable economic development.
From this standpoint, China supports highly efficient growth, technology and digital transformation, and openness and multilateralism, and is ready to share its expertise and experiences with developing countries and emerging markets.
It has also been making efforts to improve global governance and the world order, and maintain the supremacy of international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
The world is undergoing rapid changes, giving rise to many challenges, the most important being unilateralism and protectionism, along with the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid all this, China has been following a non-offensive policy with the focus on sharing constructive ideas and suggestions to solve global problems and strengthen international organizations. It has made huge contributions to world peacekeeping operations under the UN framework and worked with the UN Security Council to maintain global peace.
China also advocates international cooperation and openness, with the Belt and Road Initiative and China International Import Expo pushing forward its global cooperation agenda. Besides, through the Belt and Road Initiative, China has built many important infrastructure facilities in African and Asian countries.
China was able to overcome the epidemic in record time and extend support to the world by providing medical supplies including vaccines, and medical devices for the rest of the world, especially developing countries.
China has maintained its growth during the global COVID-19 crisis, which contributed to the stability of markets, the availability of goods, thus preventing a bigger global economic crisis.
China’s effective measures and rapid resumption of production of Chinese factories have boosted global trade and supply chains, and helped the world economy to recover.
China is a leading player when it comes to building a safer world and boosting global development based on the principles of equality and justice.
Hisham Abu Bakr Metwally Mohamed, an economist and a researcher at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry
The views don’t necessarily reflect those of China Daily.