Voyage to success: CPC’s role in leading China’s way
Published: Jun 30, 2022 10:19 PM

People celebrate the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on July 1, 2021. Photo: VCG

People celebrate the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on July 1, 2021. Photo: VCG

Editor's Note:

For Chinese people, the past decade has been epic and inspirational. The country, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Xi Jinping at its core, has made great endeavors in boosting its economy, deepening reforms, improving the rights of its people and acting as a responsible power globally. July 1 marks the 101st anniversary of the founding of the ruling CPC. What role has the Party played in China's development? Why has it been able to lead China to such great success? And what are the advantages of China's governance model? The Global Times collected views from five foreign leading experts, scholars and former diplomats. 

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University

No countries should completely follow any other country's models because the circumstances, the culture, the history are different in the different places. And China, as a huge civilization, an enormous economy, an enormous population, is of course following a system with Chinese characteristics. And this is a mixed economy with a significant state sector, a significant private sector, and a significant effort at industrial policy for innovation and continuing technological development. It's a very distinctive model. It is China's own. But I think it gives lots of indications for how other countries, especially those that are poor and trying to catch up rapidly, can make advances.

I've seen that China has changed since my first visit in 1981. This has been more than 40 years, and China's continuing progress is absolutely remarkable. China went from a country that was filled with poverty to a remarkably prosperous country. And I always so much have benefited from seeing this remarkable progress and also learning from how China succeeded because the lessons from China are very relevant for other regions of the world, such as Africa today which is still with great poverty, but also with tremendous potential based on the kinds of strategies that China used.

Ali el-Hefny, Egypt's former ambassador to China and former deputy foreign minister

If it wasn't for the CPC, China would have never achieved the remarkable economic development that you are witnessing. China is one of the oldest civilizations in the history of mankind, and it's very sophisticated. The society is a very rich society. So the idea of good government has been always there and the Chinese leaders and the CPC all work always in such a way that they improve good governance.

I always think that as long as you have your people at the center of your attention as the ruling party, as long as you have the citizens at the center of all those efforts, you are destined to succeed. You are destined to achieve your dream and to turn it into a reality.

The CPC was instrumental. It played an instrumental role in leading all this change: China has become the first power worldwide as far as trade is concerned. China has become the second most important economic power in modern times. China is by far more advanced in the field of scientific research compared to all the other developed nations. So it's a country that has laid successfully the foundation for a brighter future for the nation and for its people.

Ong Tee Keat, chairman of the Centre for New Inclusive Asia and former transport minister of Malaysian 

From my personal observation, China's leaps and bounds in the past four decades are wedded to its people-centric governance. The ruling party, CPC, has been staying true to its founding role as the custodian of the people's wellbeing. It has the gumption to innovate its own formula of governance premised on the people's aspirations and the nation's priorities at different times. The CPC's bold decision to usher in the era of reform and opening-up is a case in point. Its pragmatic corrective nature keeps the party abreast with the changing times and challenges.

In the Chinese perspective, essence of democracy lies in the people's involvement in the policy formulation at various tiers of government, and not the multi-party election per se. In the Chinese political DNA, accommodative consultation precedes the Western norm of "majority rule" - where majority takes all. 

Its mode of governance is more result-oriented. Over the years, the high approval ratings of the Chinese ruling party are the best answer debunking the label of the so-called authoritarianism imposed on its polity by the West.

Patrick Mackerras, Australian sinologist and Emeritus Professor at Griffith University

It is the CPC that has given leadership to the country and held it together, giving it stability that many other countries lack. I think that has been a major contributor to China's successes, in the economic, diplomatic, technological and other fields. Without that leadership, I very much doubt that China could have made such great achievements in the past century.

It is true that the CPC has always adhered to putting people first. For example, its record in eliminating absolute poverty is most certainly the best in the world. It has now eliminated absolute poverty. It is true that it depends to some extent on how one defines absolute poverty, but the government has made perfectly clear where the boundary for absolute poverty lies. 

If one compares with African countries or a big and rising country like India, then it is clear that China's record is outstanding. And it's not only absolute poverty. There are many other benchmarks that define the human condition. These include literacy, food intakes, standards of health, maternity mortality and infant mortality rates and gender equity. 

Peter Walker, speaker on China-US relations and author of the book Powerful, Different, Equal: Overcoming the Misconceptions and Differences between China and the US

In China, the party is made up especially at the most senior levels of very highly educated and experienced people, they make long-term decisions in terms of investment. So if you look at 2025, the investment in cutting-edge technologies, in terms of energy and microchips and renewables - all of those things - China has made 10-year, 20-year commitments, and you can't do that in a governance model where you have different parties coming in and changing direction. 

And then China is also very good at executing policy. I spent a lot of time in my book with people who were involved in the 5-year planning process. And it's very thorough when that planning process is done, which is top down and bottoms up, syndicated at every industry and syndicated in every province, you have agreed to direction and goals and key performance indicators that everybody follows.

So, when China sets out to deliver strong economic growth or to make advances in science, it's because they set out to do it. They put the resources behind it to do it, and they delivered. I think China's progress over the last 10 years has been nothing short of amazing. I think it's likely to continue.