Chinese model will be part of mankind's legacy: German sociologist
Published: Aug 16, 2022 07:51 PM
Flower decorations along Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, June, 2021. Photo:  VCG

Flower decorations along Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, June, 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) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, has made great endeavors in boosting its economy, deepening reforms, improving the rights of its people and acting as a responsible global power.

Speaking about the vitality of China's governance model over the past decade and what lessons it can provide to other countries, Heinz Dieterich (Dieterich), a world-renowned sociologist and political analyst from Germany who first proposed the concept of "21st century socialism," told Global Times reporters Yu Jincui and Bai Yunyi that China's model will be part of mankind's legacy and China is a mirror in which people can see China is a living example that a state can serve the public interests, while the US is a living example that acts only on behalf of the ruling power elites. 

This is the 18th article of the Global Times series about this special decade.

GT: In terms of China's development over the past 10 years, which aspect of China has attracted most of your attention and why?  

Dieterich: There are many positive developments like the overcoming of the COVID-19 and the public health response from China, which has become a model for any responsible state on the global scale. Other important developments include overcoming poverty, which is also a new paradigm for the worldwide battle against poverty, the crackdown on corruption, and so on. 

But I think the most outstanding one is undoubtedly China's understanding, that the supposed "value-driven foreign policy" and "rules-based international order" were nothing more than propaganda memes for a passing historical phase of the relationship with Western imperialist powers. President Xi Jinping is an outstanding scientist, visionary and responsible statesman and a consequent revolutionary. Since he became secretary general of the CPC Central Committee, he has attached great importance on the modernization of the armed forces, society, technology, and so on.

GT: You once said that "the CPC is a vanguard that has been genuinely responding to the needs of the people." Under the leadership of President Xi in the past 10 years, how has this role of CPC been reflected in China's governance?

Dieterich: All empirical evidence shows that my statement was absolutely correct. To mention only a few parameters. Very clearly in China you have the internal unity of the Party under the leadership of Xi. You have satisfaction of most social classes and social sectors, which is represented in the opinion polls on government popularity. You have the demonstration of the effect of the vanguard leadership in that there is a strong unity and an acceptance of the moral authority of the Party in these social classes, which have stood shoulder to shoulder with the government and Party through all recent crises, since the 2008 global capitalist-induced financial crisis, through COVID-19, the economic recovery, Ukraine crisis, Taiwan question, and so on. I don't think there's any way to refute what I said last year (in an interview with the Global Times) - and I'm glad as a scientist - that my prognosis was sound and has been proven now.

GT: In your opinion, what's the biggest difference between the CPC governance and the US elite politics? Why have the US media and politicians kept smearing China's political system and attacking the Chinese government as an "authoritarian government" that lacks "democracy"?

Dieterich: It's really laughable to call the Chinese government an "authoritarian government" and pretend that there's any kind of sound democracy in the US and in any of these capitalist democracies.

China is a mirror, in which the people of the world can see China is a living example that a state can serve the public interests, while the US is a living example of what you should not do in a democracy - neglecting the people's needs and only acting on behalf of the ruling elites. The main difference is that the US elites and the chrematistic market economic system they administer are driven by the pursuit of personal and corporate money and power interests, not the public or national goods.

Since China demonstrably shows that governments can act in the public interests, not for corporate and private profit interests, it is a constant reminder that there is a strategic alternative for people to determine their own destiny. Thus, the whole ideological basis of the West's supposed "liberal democratic world order" implodes before facts and is revealed as fake news through a mega manipulation level of the masses.

That's why EU foreign secretary Joseph Borrell says that the West is losing the "global battle of narratives" against China and Russia. The "liberal world order" is nothing more than a liberal perception management-code in order to manipulate the masses and occult the antidemocratic vertical structure of the US oligarchic system driven by a few power elites and a brutal dominant imperialist class.

GT: Under the leadership of CPC, China is marching toward realizing its second centennial goal. What expectations do you have for China in the next 10 or more years?

Dieterich: As long as China maintains the above-mentioned governance and leadership capabilities and requisites which have allowed it to overcome all crises in the last century, it will keep progressing like it has in the last 100 years. It will continue the successful drive of national rejuvenation and peaceful coexistence in a global system polycentric with centers including China, the US, Russia, European Union and India. The only way that this development can become a problem is that if the US imperialist-led forces unleash nuclear war, either over Taiwan question or over Ukraine crisis. If we can avoid nuclear war, then China's development will follow the trajectory and orbit we have seen in the last over 70 years.

Heinz Dieterich Photo: Courtesy of Heinz Dieterich

Heinz Dieterich Photo: Courtesy of Heinz Dieterich

GT: The noise of the "China collapse" theory can sometimes be heard across the world. Do you think China's political and economic model has vitality? Are you optimistic about China's future?

Dieterich: In general, I am confident that the Chinese model will be part of mankind´s legacy. The essential lesson that we must learn from China's model is that a transformational responsible vanguard in power must maintain an active, open, honest dialectical interaction among the Party, the state and the social classes, in order to avoid harmful elitist interests to prevail in governance.

As long as the CPC maintains its anti-corruption tendency, understands that the West has many subversive ways to abort the successful socialist experiment in China, and is capable of combating and controlling such attempts, then China will go ahead with its great vision to realize socialist modernization by 2035 and build a great modern socialist China in all respects by 2050. 

GT: The West also fabricated the "China threat" theory, attempting to isolate China on the global scale. Can it achieve its intent?  

Dieterich: No, I think the West is losing its attempt to smear China and to dominate the public minds of the people through its lines. You can see this very easily. They are in despair. Data show China will grow much stronger than the US. Economic development is an indicator of efficacy, future prosperity and so on. The development tendency has deranged those propaganda smears. You can also see that the US has failed to isolate Russia over the Ukraine war. The US has not managed to make African countries and Latin American countries join the attack on Russia. It has lost the political control of two major continents. This is a clear indicator that nobody believes Western lies about China and Russia anymore. That's what makes them even more aggressive and dangerous, because they will become more hysterical. 

GT: What do you think of the relationship between China and Latin America in the past 10 years? American politicians often portray China's normal economic and trade activities in Latin America as expanding its sphere of influence. How much impact does this kind of smear have on China-Latin America relations?

Dieterich: Very little. The Latin America political class essentially knows that it is a lie and ideological aggression. Thus, they don´t take it seriously. The continuously growing Chinese investments and cultural interaction activities between Latin American countries and China are a clear indicator. 

All Latin American governments need investment. They need good financial terms for development. The US has no money to help the Latin American states. China and the New Development Bank (previously known as the BRICS Development Bank) and so on have strategic global economic development plans. But Western powers have no strategic ideas for the world. That is what the Latin American leaders have noticed. There is no money for them. There is only fake propaganda. 

The US cannot turn the clock back. The domination of the US century is over. Latin America's resistance to joining the US-EU imperialist aggression and sanctions against Russia is a very clear indication of this. And the same holds true for Africa and the Middle East, among other areas. 

Bai Qinling contributed to this article.