The 20th CPC National Congress: A Milestone of Historic Significance
Children holding stuffed panda toys at Al Khor Zoo and Park in Doha, Qatar, on October 19, 2022. The park is the new home of Soraya and Suhail, the first giant pandas that have been given as gifts to a Middle East nation. Visual.people.cn
The Communist Party of China convened its 20th National Congress from October 16 to 22. As the world faces growing uncertainties and challenges brought about by changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and a once-in-a-century pandemic, the CPC and the Chinese nation must answer the following questions: Which banner should it hold? What kind of path should it take? What goals should it achieve?
China’s answers to these questions are highly anticipated at home and abroad.
A Decade of Tremendous Changes
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has led the people in implementing several strategic measures, and advancing a range of reforms. A series of breakthroughs and landmark achievements have also been made.
Over the past decade, China’s GDP has grown from RMB 54 trillion to RMB 114 trillion, and its per capita GDP has risen from RMB 39,800 to RMB 81,000. China boasts the world’s largest manufacturing sector and foreign exchange reserves. After lifting nearly 100 million rural residents out of poverty, it has — once and for all — resolved the problem of absolute poverty. China has also built the largest systems of education, social security, and healthcare in the world.
The past decade recorded three major events of great immediate importance and profound historical significance to the cause of the Party and the Chinese people. They are the centenary of the CPC, the beginning of a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the achievement of the First Centenary Goal, which is to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The fundamental reason why China has made the above achievements is the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the entire Party, and the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
Iraqi Ambassador to China Shorsh Khalid Said was impressed by the CPC’s people-centered approach highlighted in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress. “The enormous progress China has made in its development shows that the CPC has the capabilities to set sound long-term strategic objectives, develop the country, and well serve the people,” he said.
“We must keep to our path and not sway in our commitment. We must not return to the isolation and rigidity of the past, or veer off course by changing our nature or abandoning our system. We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of China’s development and progress,” the report stated.
China’s development and progress is first and foremost for the people. “People” was one of the most frequently mentioned words in the report.
“Unity is strength, and only in unity can we succeed. To build China into a modern socialist country in all respects, we must unleash the tremendous creativity of the Chinese people in their hundreds of millions.”
“We must breathe the same air as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them.”
“We must do everything within our capacity to resolve the most practical problems that are of the greatest and most direct concern to the people.”
Common prosperity, high-quality and full employment, unified national management system for basic old-age insurance funds. The CPC made a concrete commitment to the people and specified measures to achieve them.
The booth of United Arab Emirates at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing on September 3, 2022. Visual.people.cn
A New Phase in Chinese Socialism
The CPC declared in the report, “From this day forward, the central task of the Communist Party of China will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.”
It then laid out the main objectives and tasks for the next five years. These include “making breakthroughs in promoting high-quality economic development,” “making new strides in reform and opening-up,” “further enhancing the institutions, standards, and procedures of whole-process people’s democracy,” “ensuring personal income grows basically in step with economic growth,” and “substantially improving urban and rural living environments.”
By setting the major goals and policies for the cause of the Party and the country in the next five years and beyond, the 20th CPC National Congress charts the overall planning for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
To build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects, the CPC has adopted a two-step strategic plan: basically realize socialist modernization from 2020 through 2035, and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful from 2035 through the middle of this century.
Overall development objectives for the year 2035 are also specified in the report. They include significantly increasing economic strength, scientific and technological capabilities, and composite national strength, joining the ranks of the world’s most innovative countries with great self-reliance and strength in science and technology, building a modernized economy, forming a new pattern of development, improving the system for whole-process people’s democracy, and making more notable and substantive progress in promoting the people’s well-rounded development and prosperity for all.
The seventh Belt and Road Summit, jointly organized by the Hong Kong SAR government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, opens on August 31, 2022.
Opportunities for the World
The phrase “Chinese modernization” in the report has drawn broad attention globally. “Chinese modernization is socialist modernization pursued under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. It contains elements that are common to the modernization processes of all countries, but it is more characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context,” the report said.
It went on to list the hallmarks of Chinese modernization: modernization of a huge population, modernization of common prosperity for all, modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and modernization of peaceful development.
The report detailed the essential requirements of Chinese modernization, which are upholding the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics, pursuing high-quality development, developing whole-process people’s democracy, enriching the people’s cultural lives, achieving common prosperity for all, promoting harmony between humanity and nature, building a human community with a shared future, and creating a new form of human advancement.
China has attained a level of modernization in the space of a few decades that took Western countries more than 200 years to accomplish.
Moroccan Ambassador to China Aziz Mekouar watched the opening of the 20th CPC National Congress, and listened to the report delivered by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on behalf of the 19th CPC Central Committee. He said that the congress offers the rest of the world an opportunity to learn of China’s development path in the years to come. He believed that the outstanding achievements the country has made prove that the Chinese people have found the development path suitable to their national conditions.
Many countries hope to learn from China as they search for a development model based on their own realities. Busting the myth that the Western path is the only path to modernization, Chinese modernization represents a new path for developing countries. Taking roots in China’s realities, it is a development model that fits China. Its success in China shows that it can be an option for world countries in seeking progress and development. China’s unique path also contributes Chinese wisdom and solution for the global modernization drive.
Today, our world, our times, and history are changing in ways like never before. The deficit in peace, development, security, and governance is growing. All of this is posing unprecedented challenges for human society. The world has once again reached a crossroads in history. What shall we do? This is the question for all of humanity.
The CPC gave its answer by elaborating on Chinese modernization in the report to its 20th National Congress. “Chinese modernization is the modernization of peaceful development. In pursuing modernization, China will not tread the old path of war, colonization, and plunder taken by some countries.”
“China has always been committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future.”
“It strives to create new opportunities for the world with its own development and to contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all peoples.”
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