CPC”s adaptability, meritocracy and legitimacy have enabled it to validate its leadership by ensuring better lives for the Chinese people
The Communist Party of China began as an informal study group, with just about a dozen people attending the first Party Congress in Shanghai in July 1921. Now, China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of this Party that has over 91 million members.
Motivated by its revolutionary past, the CPC has fashioned a participatory form of governance in which people-centered policies arise from carefully designed and piloted development concepts. China has developed from one of the poorest agrarian countries in the world to be the second-largest global economy and a leader in many technology fields. It has also lifted about 800 million people out of abject poverty, becoming the first developing country to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on poverty eradication.
In terms of milestone achievements, the CPC has preserved the unity and harmony of China’s massive and multi-ethnic population. China’s infrastructure development is world class and its technological advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence, medical research, space, underwater exploration and e-commerce are remarkable.
China has become the world’s largest goods trading nation, second-largest spender in research and development, largest source of outbound students and tourists and largest internet data user, and it accounts for 45 percent of the global investment in renewable energy.
While the world is fighting against the novel coronavirus, China has, to a large extent, controlled it effectively. Independent approval ratings of the Chinese people toward the CPC are above 90 percent.
By placing equal emphasis on theoretical and practical development, the CPC’s strongest ability is to adjust itself. This consistent striving to ensure theoretical innovation paired with independent exploration of development paths is validated by the CPC’s adaptability, meritocracy and legitimacy.
The people-centered development philosophy makes people the creators of history, the fundamental force that determines the country’s future. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era insists on public ownership as the foundation of socialism, while attaching importance to private and individual sectors. It builds a socialist market economy, adhering to a socialist economic and political system and ideology. The tenet also creates a system of distribution according to work, but allowing diversified distribution methods to coexist. It works to create a society in which all people are well-positioned, do their best and live in harmony. The role of the Party as leader integrates with the role of the people as masters of the country. This requires fending off incorrect and decadent ideas, and developing a national, scientific and popular socialist ethos geared to the needs of innovation. Combined, the people-centered philosophy and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era ensure the ultimate goal is to provide people the means so they may enjoy a contented life and that the Party’s most important manifestation is serving the people unstintingly.
Holding these principles high, China has invested in infrastructure, education and health. The government has pursued sound macroeconomic management, adopted open investment and trade systems, good governance and the strong delivery of public services. They have also endowed social inclusiveness and a clear vision for the future while delivering security, political stability and friendship with other countries.
The transformative changes and true progress taking place in China have been attracting ever-increasing attention from the rest of the world. However, China is increasingly viewed in the West as, at worst as a strategic rival, and at best, a multi-factor challenger, a competitor to Western values, economies and security.
But by firmly upholding its policy of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other countries and focusing solely on mutuality and equality, China has won much admiration by prioritizing the ideas of peaceful development, multilateralism and shared prosperity for humanity. Many governments view China’s outstanding rise as an opportunity and inspiration for their own country’s socioeconomic transformation. China’s active participation in South-South cooperation, based on relations of cooperation and mutual benefits, is just one example.
The same spirit extends to the Belt and Road Initiative, in which all countries are welcome to participate. The initiative’s five major priorities will substantially improve policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people connection. China proposes to rethink international cooperation so that peace and development overcome confrontation and isolationism.
China celebrates the CPC’s centenary in July, demonstrating that it is possible to create one’s own path to success, and at the same time, offering the world governance innovations that could easily unlock the potential of different regions.
The author is president of the Pacific-China Friendship Association. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.