New journey to the next glorious century
Published: Oct 16, 2022 08:50 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Editor's Note:

In the current world increasingly perplexed by uncertainty, division and confrontation, the great striving of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is of significance not only for China, but also for the entire world more than ever. 

In the past 10 years, China, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, has realized numerous historic achievements including eradication of absolute poverty, and completion of building China into a moderately prosperous society in all respects. In contrast, the US and many parts of the Western world are stuck in a plight of governance, to the extent that they have become source of instability for the world. 

How should we view China's development in the past decade? How will the CPC's governance present inspiration to other countries? The following is an abstract of views of 10 global leading thinkers, based on the interviews the Global Times conducted with them.

Decoding China's success in the past decade

Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Prime Minister 

China's stellar rise is a modern miracle. This could not have been achieved without the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). By rallying the Chinese nation, the CPC lifted the yoke of colonialism and founded the People's Republic of China in 1949. Last year, the CPC celebrated its centenary and is leading China on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way. The CPC is indeed holding high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

China has modeled itself as an economic powerhouse, and under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, has emerged as a great power. Today, China is the largest economy in the world on purchasing power parity basis. The people-centered policies of the CPC have raised the standards of living of the Chinese people, with per capita income doubling in the last decade. China's dual-circulation strategy and emphasis on high-quality development are geared to deal with the economic realities.

I have full confidence that the Chinese nation will attain its dream of national rejuvenation under the leadership and guidance of the CPC.

John Key, former prime minister of New Zealand 

The incredible thing with China is that the scale and size of the country makes policy development very difficult, but the bureaucracy in China has done a very good job of largely navigating some difficult challenges. Overall, in the last 10 to 20 years, China has  done a good job of lifting a huge part of its population out of poverty.

I think the very strong focus of the Communist Party of China has been about lifting people out of poverty, about economic growth and development. The CPC focused on how to improve the financial well-being and therefore opportunities of the least well-off in China. One of the things that China has concerns about when it looks at the West is the growing inequality and the social unrest borne with it. 

China has also been very focused on what is required for growth to take place. And it's very difficult. To do that you should have the infrastructure to support it. The Belt and Road Initiative has been quite an important initiative, not only because it links China with Europe, but also because their infrastructure is critically important to allow non-inflationary, highly productive growth to take place.

Mikhail Delyagin, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Economic Policy

The CPC has been able to maintain its role as a source of development and stability because it constantly learns and maintains high internal competition while maintaining solidarity in the face of external forces. It was able to creatively adapt the Marxism of the 19th century and its experience of the 20th century to new requirements and implement eternal values with new methods. This is a very important and useful lesson for us.

Despite all the difficulties and problems, the CPC serves the people, not businesses, and therefore serves its country, and not global capitals which are indifferent to the fate of peoples and cultures. 

The intense information war waged by Western businesses against their peoples has deprived the residents of Western countries of the desire and ability to think. Therefore, they will reject communism until their way of life collapses. 

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of The Kuhn Foundation

China's poverty alleviation program is the best story to undermine biases and disrupt stereotypes about China. One of the main reasons is that foreigners had very limited knowledge of China's poverty alleviation commitment and campaign, and how it really worked.

Consider three powerful parallel factors: CPC leadership, General Secretary Xi's commitment, CPC mobilization. 

First, the operational leadership of the CPC; not just giving directives and pronouncements but actually implementing programs and projects through the CPC's organizational structure - central government and five levels of local governments (provincial, municipal, county, township, village). 

Second, the commitment of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, who by voicing his personal leadership repeatedly, and by allocating his personal time overtly, set an example that leaders and officials had to follow. 

Third, the mobilization capacity of the CPC, able to command the country's resources in personnel and materials. For example, during the epidemic, assigning "sister" relationships between strong provinces and specific cities in Hubei, a strategy long employed in poverty alleviation between China's eastern and western provinces and cities.

George Yeo, former Singaporean minister of foreign affairs

The notion of a community with a shared future for mankind is an important proposal for the world. The world needs a meta-system which respects diversity and at the same time brings us all together in a cooperative effort. This does not mean the end of international competition. There will always be competition. Suppression of competition is unhealthy.

However, like competitive sports, there must be rules and there must be limits on competition so that human civilization as a whole is not harmed. We are all in the same boat called Planet Earth. Mankind can only share a common future if we believe that we are all brothers. Confucius reminded us that within the four seas, all men are brothers. 

Koh King Kee, president of Center for New Inclusive Asia, a nongovernment Malaysian think tank

Underpinning China's success is CPC's people-oriented philosophy of governance and remaining true to its founding spirit of seeking happiness for the masses. People are the masters and always take the center stage in China's polity - socially, politically and economically.

Common prosperity is an essential requirement of socialism. Economic growth must benefit all. Over the past 10 years, the CPC has adopted a slew of development policies and administrative measures to reduce income inequality, narrowing the wealth gap, and building a just and fair moderately prosperous society.

Poverty reduction, revitalization of rural economy, acceleration of urbanization, and making available internet technology and e-commerce to even remote villages are some of the important steps that China has taken during the last decade to reduce the rural-urban divide. 

Furthermore, anti-monopoly policies and efforts to build a unified national market will improve market efficiency and promote healthy competition. Infrastructure development in the Northwest and Southwest provinces will no doubt ensure a more balanced regional development. China is also committed to building a beautiful country through green development.
China's people-oriented philosophy of governance, its efforts to build a fair and just society, its measures to promote an efficient market and green development are lessons and experiences worthy of learning by other countries. 

An anchor for global stability, development

Giancarlo Elia Valori, an Italian economist

The success of China's path is an inspiration to developing countries and shows them a bright future. 

From my perspective, the Chinese path is worth learning from the following points: putting improvement of people's lives at the top of governmental affairs; formulating a medium-term and long-term development strategy that suits the country's conditions; striving to maintain economic growth and solve the poverty problem; improving the country's political and economic system; and insisting on opening-up to the outside world and connecting with the world while maintaining independence.

The general principles and goals of China's policies toward developing countries are firstly based on strategic partnership, political equality, and economic cooperation. They're based on respect for each other's interests and allow all parties to benefit from cooperation.

Erik Solheim, former undersecretary-general of the United Nations and former executive director of the UN Environment Programme

The progress on air pollution in China, compared internationally, is absolutely incredible. China has reduced air pollution in seven years as much as we have done in Europe and North America in 30 years. This is absolutely remarkable and positive. 

I believe it happened because this was a major demand of the Chinese people. The message was accepted by the country's political leadership. They decided to act and they acted very determinedly. That's why we're seeing pollution coming down that fast.  

The "ecological civilization" coined by Chinese leadership is a great concept. It is a new way of thinking about the environment.

The old way was to avoid the negatives. Environment was about protection against the negatives. Ecological civilization, however, is about the positive, enormous progress for humans where they can live in a society which is much more environmentally friendly. 

It's integrating the human aspect, the natural aspects, and technological aspects into one ̶ creating an ecological civilization, which could unify humanity in the 21st century. 

Dave Bromwich, former president of the New Zealand China Friendship Society

The 20th National Congress of the CPC is a very important meeting. It's an opportunity to review the achievements and to consider and examine challenges. So they are doing it collectively, not in an adversarial way. There's a real advantage in that they can actually build on what they've got to improve. The advantage also lies in the stability that the system can provide and the consistency in the planning process. Because of the governance system where we see consistency and progress, a long vision, a five-year plan, it does provide the world with the opportunity to predict what China will do and what China has to offer. 

The stability that is an outcome from China's long-term governance structure provides confidence in what China can provide to the world. This is of significant value to the majority of the nations in the world who are on the path to development, and can see China's achievements, and the assistance offered to them by China. 

Danilo Türk, former president of Slovenia

Each of the two initiatives - the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative - provides an important conceptual framework for the future. Now, they have to be followed up by more detailed projects. They can be many and quite diverse. 

China is a major player in global finance. Institutions like the IMF and the World Bank will have to be given new mandates, and groupings like the Paris Club of creditors have to be reformed. This kind of tasks should be part of the implementation of the Global Development Initiative. The Global Security Initiative, on the other hand, will have to contribute to the revival of the global security system with the UN at its center. Right now the world is moving toward a dangerous fragmentation of the global security landscape. Exclusive security arrangements such as NATO can be helpful to global security but only when they function within a globally established balance of power and within international law.