Ancient traditions underpin Chinese success

By Zhang Jiadong Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/22 20:03:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

China's rapid development over the past few decades has not only changed the country fundamentally, but also reshaped the world economic and political landscape. There must be a successful political pattern that bolsters sound economic growth. China's considerable achievement in building its economy is buttressed by a solid political basis. China's political strength lies in four aspects: political stability, policy consistency, high administrative efficiency, and openness and inclusiveness.

Political stability concerns the stability of a political culture and system. In terms of political culture, Chinese civilization may not enjoy the longest history of all ancient civilizations, but it has survived vicissitudes for thousands of years and still prospers - the epitome of Chinese people's vitality and creation - as well as a reflection of the political culture in Chinese civilization. A stable political culture benefits the Chinese people with relative stability of territory. A stable political culture benefits people's ways of life and thought, and lays the groundwork for a stable political system. China developed the advanced political system from the feudal age starting with the establishment of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and ending with the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China has established the people's congress and political consultation systems under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, which differs remarkably from the Soviet Union system and the electoral system in the West. The two political systems mentioned before are part of a socialist political system with Chinese characteristics, built on traditional Chinese culture and guided by Marxist theory. This guarantees China's political system represents the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of China and accords with the primary stage of socialism in China.

More importantly, China's political system ensures the Party has advanced in both ideology and action and has led the Chinese people to build the country. China enjoys sound and rapid economic growth and transcends outmoded mind-sets and outdated productive forces to achieve a giant leap forward. In this regard, China's political system holds more advantages over the so-called electoral system with its rotating leadership within political parties yet saddled with populism and old-fashioned ideas.

Policy consistency is an important engine to push forward China's reform and opening-up. Since reform and opening-up in 1978, China has stuck to a correct development direction. China adhered to reform and opening-up as the basic State policy even after major events at home and abroad, especially the collapse of the socialist camp led by the Soviet Union that dealt a heavy blow to China. The Party has taken political risks to prop up this consistency of policy. This exhibits a sense of mission and political responsibility.

However, policy consistency in China doesn't mean following a stereotypical routine and old conventions. Every generation of central collective leadership, while enhancing reform and opening-up, has also provided its own solutions to new problems and challenges during its term in office. This guarantees the overall landscape of reform and opening-up remains unchanged and helps build a strong and prosperous China.

High administrative efficiency is a hallmark that distinguishes China from other countries, and an important factor enabling China's economy to grow strong. High administrative efficiency is attributed to Party organizations at all levels and thousands of years of administrative traditions. A key to China's robust socio-economic growth lies in the Party's capability of directing the overall situation.

The Party coordinates central and local authorities on the one hand and different departments on the other, both in politics and administration. In addition, as a unified country with one of the longest histories in the world, China has accumulated rich governing experience that has been passed on to this very day. Every generation of central collective leadership attaches great importance to ancient governing experience and brings forth its own governing philosophies and practices.

The Chinese nation has always been open and inclusive of the world. The Party embraces all thoughts and knowledge beneficial to the development of the Party and the country. Since reform and opening-up, the Party has upheld the four cardinal principles: adhering to the socialist path, the people's democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the Communist Party of China and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Through these principles the Party has worked hard to seek solutions from over the world to problems and challenges besetting the country's socio-economic, political and cultural reforms. It is this openness and inclusiveness that enables the Party to pool human, material and financial resources worldwide and realize the Chinese dream.

The author is director of the Center of South Asian Studies, Fudan University.

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