By CUI Jianchun
The year 2021 bears a lot of significance to China. It marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), marks the first year of the implementation of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, and marks the start of China’s new journey of building up a modern socialist country in an all-round way. Over the past 100 years, the CPC, whose membership grew up from 57 in 1921 to more than 92 million nowadays, has developed into the largest Marxist ruling party and brought tremendous changes to China, the most populous country in the world.
Since its 18th National Congress in 2012, the CPC, by holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, has united and led the people of all ethnic groups in China, adhered to the people-centred development concept, fully implemented the five-sphere integrated plan for promoting economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, and coordinated progress of the four-pronged comprehensive strategy to build a moderately prosperous society, deepen reform, advance the law-based governance and strengthen Party self-discipline. Based on these endeavors, the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has been formed up, and thus ushering the socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new era.
Under the leadership of CPC, China has already built a moderately prosperous society in all respects, achieved the first centenary goal, and embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country. China is advancing to the second centenary goal on the basis of the new stage of development, by applying the new development philosophy, and creating a new development pattern. According to CPC’s two-step strategy in the new era, China will basically realize socialist modernization in 2035, and turn to be a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful in the middle of this century.
Why could such brilliant achievements be made by CPC? The key lies in the lofty ideals and missions born by it, which could be summarized as everything the CPC does is for the well-being of the Chinese people, for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as well as for the peace and development of mankind.
Firstly, the CPC comes from the people and serves the people. Its original aspiration and mission has always been to seek the happiness of the Chinese people.
Serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental purpose of the CPC. In 1945, Chairman Mao Zedong pointed out that the typical symbol, which distinguishes the CPC from other political parties in China, is that “it has established the closest contact with the broadest masses of the people; serving the people wholeheartedly and never for a single moment cut itself off from the masses; everything done by it lies in the interests of the people, not in the interests of individuals or small groups”. Afterwards, “serving the people wholeheartedly” has been kept in a prominent chapter in the CPC Constitution. General Secretary Xi Jinping, in his report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC in 2017, once again stressed that, the aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of Party members’ efforts.
Serving the people wholeheartedly is not a political rhetoric, but can be seen in practical actions. Over the past 100 years, the CPC united and led the people to build their homeland by self-reliance and hard-work, and then to fight the battle against poverty with strong determination, concerted effort, and unwavering faith. By the end of 2020, through eight years’ hard-work since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, China has achieved the goal of eliminating extreme poverty, a key goal of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty standards all shook off poverty; all the 128,000 impoverished villages and 832 designated poor counties got rid of poverty. China has won the battle against poverty and achieved the poverty reduction goals set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.
The CPC has always relied on the people, served the people, and been deeply rooted in the people. The CPC and the Chinese people are inseparable. Without the CPC, there would be no new China, and without the CPC, there would be no strong China. In recent years, surveys by pollsters in western countries have shown that the support of the Chinese people for the CPC and the Chinese government has been as high as over 90%.
Secondly, the CPC shoulders the great mission of national rejuvenation, unites and mobilizes various social forces and leads China to a path of peaceful rise.
Upon its founding, the CPC shouldered the historic mission of national rejuvenation, united the people and led them to overthrow the “three big mountains” of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and established the New China in 1949. The CPC united the people and led them to complete the socialist revolution, establish socialism as China’s basic system, and reverse the fate of the Chinese nation from the continuous decline to steady progress toward prosperity and strength. The CPC launched the great new revolution of reform and opening up in 1979, removed all ideological and institutional barriers to the country’s development, and embarked on the path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Thus was China able to stride ahead to catch up with the times.
Based on the long-time practice of the Chinese revolution, construction and reform, the CPC explored the socialist political party system with Chinese characteristics, featuring in “multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the CPC, with the CPC holding power and the other eight parties participating fully in state affairs”. Based on the principle of “long-term coexistence, mutual supervision, treating each other with sincerity and sharing each other’s weal and woe”, the CPC and the other eight parties work hand in hand in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. This practice has already proved that the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC suits China’s actual conditions and shows the great vitality and advantages.
China led by the CPC, has always been committed to a path of peaceful development, and to peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation with countries around the world, instead of seeking hegemony. The wisdom from China’s thousands of years’ history reveals that hegemony will lead to a country’s failure, not that a strong country should seek hegemony. China is blazing a path of peaceful rise distinct from the trajectory of traditional powers.
Thirdly, with the aspiration of benefiting the world, the CPC actively promotes the building a community with a shared future for mankind and firmly seeks peace and development for humanity.
The Chinese people are open and inclusive. Since ancient times, they have always held these beliefs dear, such as “all people under the heaven are of one family”, “all the people are my brothers and sisters”, and “all nations should live in harmony”. Meanwhile, they have always wanted to create a better world in which “a just cause is pursued for the common good”.
To make new and greater contributions for mankind is the CPC’s lofty mission. Where it would benefit the humanity, China has always step forward, take action, and get the job done. General Secretary Xi Jinping of the CPC has made the proposal of “building a community with a shared future for mankind”. As he said, while people across the world live under the same sky, share one and the same home planet and belong to one and the same family, they should be guided by the vision that all people in the world are of one family, and should endeavor to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
In 2013, China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aiming at promoting peace and development of mankind. To date, China has signed more than 200 cooperation documents with 140 countries and 31 international organizations. The BRI is serving as a solution for China to participate in global opening-up and cooperation, improve global economic governance, promote common development and prosperity, and build a community with a shared future for humanity.
Against the background of major changes and COVID-19 pandemic unseen in a century, the right attitude for all countries is to bond together and tide over difficulties with solidarity. China is among the first counties to initiate and act on the pledge to make vaccines a global public good. After the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are listed for emergency use by the WHO, China is working actively to advance providing vaccines to the COVAX.
The past 100 years of the CPC is a period of fulfilling its original aspiration and mission, a period of enduring the great hardship and laying the foundation, and a period of creating brilliant achievements and opening up the future. At the new historic starting point, the CPC will stay true to its original aspiration and founding mission, and continue to pursue happiness for the Chinese people, rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and the common good for the world.
•Mr. Cui Jianchun is Ambassador of China to Nigeria