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Understanding China's Success

China Today,January 19, 2020 Adjust font size:

SINCE its founding, the Communist Party of  China (CPC) has been working for the well-being of the people, and performed  well in this regard. Building on existing achievements, it continues the effort  to meet people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. That’s according to  Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC)  Song Tao, speaking at a conference on November 21, 2019, in Nanchang, capital  city of Jiangxi Province. One of the IDCPC’s serial conferences on stories of  the CPC, this meeting discussed the mission of political parties through  focusing on Jiangxi’s achievements in implementing Xi Jinping Thought on  Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. More than 300 leaders and  representatives of political parties from over 60 countries were in attendance.

CGTN anchor Tian Wei hosts a dialogue with leaders of political  parties from Serbia, Egypt, Cyprus, and Cambodia at a thematic conference  organized by the International Department of the Communist Party of China  Central Committee on November 21, 2019. 

One month before the conference, the fourth plenary session of  the 19th CPC Central Committee was convened and adopted a decision on some major  issues on how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese  characteristics and advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for  governance. The main purpose was to provide a better institutional guarantee for  improving people’s lives.

The People-Centered Development Philosophy

The decision summarized the strengths of China’s state and  governance systems in 13 aspects. One of those is the country’s people-centered  development philosophy in its path toward common prosperity, which has ensured  the continuous improvement of people’s livelihoods.

“This province (Jiangxi) shows very strong growth. Behind it you  can see the role played by policy and you can see the decision-making  procedures. That means there is a philosophy, which focused on the happiness of  the people, and it has led to results,” vice chairman of the Hungarian  Parliamentary Legislative Council Bajkai Istvan told China Today on  the sidelines of the IDCPC conference. He indicated that it also means the CPC  is a successful ruling party.

“What’s our mission? This is always a question for any political  party in the world,” Istvan said. In his view, the people-centered development  philosophy has been embodied in all aspects of China’s governance. People have  the central position in China’s political way of thinking, which is the most  important lesson he learned in China.

In fact, wholeheartedly serving the people is a basic  requirement for Party members prescribed by the CPC Constitution. The report  delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the 19th CPC National Congress also  stated, “The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to  seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese  nation.”

“For political parties from Europe, I think it’s very important  for them to learn how the CPC approaches the people. They try to do the best  they can, and they try to find out what the people’s needs are. I think this is  the future of human society, not just in China, but everywhere in the world,”  said Istvan.

China’s people-oriented approach has also inspired Matevz  Frangez, a representative of the Slovenian Social Democrats, former member of  National Parliament of Slovenia. “We live in a time where politics is often  regarded as something nasty, something dirty. Maybe this is another image  American culture projects onto the world. People are dissatisfied with how  things are done in politics,” Frangez told China Today. What he saw  in China has refreshed his outlook and made him think about why political  parties exist. “I believe every big social change in human history happened  because people organized and cooperated to achieve a certain goal. So it is very  refreshing to remind ourselves that this goal should be the happiness of  everyone, and the possibilities of an individual and the community to arrange  the conditions for progress, for people’s well-being. I really believe in that.  This is not a utopia, [but] I believe that this can be achieved. And we see  China has proven that.”

Representatives of foreign political parties, who attend a  thematic conference on the CPC’s stories in Nanchang, watch traditional Chinese  tea making and serving art on November 21, 2019.

Learning from China

China has become the world’s second largest economy. In  particular, over the past several years, owing to its political stability and  effective measures, the country has seen a better ecological environment and  people’s increasing sense of fulfillment, as well as decisive progress in the  poverty alleviation drive. It is expected that all poor people in China will be  lifted out of poverty by the end of 2020. All this has definitely captured the  world’s attention. More and more delegations of foreign political parties have  come to China in recent years, in their eagerness to know how China made these  achievements, what they can learn from China in terms of policy making and  governance, and how China’s traditional culture and values play their role in  the country’s development.

Vice Chairman of the Progressive Party of Serbia Marko  Djuric indicated at the conference that being inspired by the CPC’s practices in  maintaining close ties with the people, “We decided to introduce mandatory  quotas for our party officials to speak to a certain number of people (in a  certain period). Every senior official has a duty to receive and speak to  ordinary citizens in order to make the party closer to the people.” Also the  ruling party, the Progressive Party of Serbia, learning from China’s experience,  has fought against corruption and organized crime. “In fact, it has brought us  greater investments as a result of better governance. We have managed to attract 56 percent increased foreign direct investments in the Balkan region last year  (2018) because people want to come where you have a stable and peaceful  environment and where everything is secure,” said Djuric.

What has inspired Amirah Kaca Sumarto, a member of the Party of  Functional Groups in Indonesia and also the vice chair of Young Women’s  Organization, is the CPC’s zero tolerance on corruption. “I think that is  something that all countries should also do because a great government can only  exist with integrity and honesty. With integrity and honesty we can build an  efficient and high-performing government,” she said.

During her stay in China, Sumarto also got to learn how China  has been able to formulate an economic system and model that is suited to its  history, culture, and people. She confessed that she is keen on learning how the  socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics runs. “Hopefully that  gives me an inspiration about how every country should be able to dig deeper  into their characteristics to build a model that works for them,” she said.  Sumarto is also impressed by China’s practices in ensuring equality of welfare  and opportunities to everyone, as well as China’s policies of encouraging  technical innovation.

What has intrigued the director general of the Chad Press  Agency, Nartamadji Assingar, is the CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political  consultation system. “Under the system, the government and people become a  closely-bound integral whole, instead of a superior and subordinates. I think  consultation enables wise decisions, and it is also good for the ruling party to  perform its duty and mission,” Assingar told China Today.

What’s inspirational for Matevz Frangez from Slovenia is the  Chinese way of thinking. “I like this Confucian style of thinking that  everything should be in harmony. It can be seen in the way things are done, for  example, the stories of Jiangxi we heard today, about orange planting, the river  preservation, or keeping biodiversity in the Poyang Lake,” said Frangez. He  thinks China’s traditional cultural concepts have also been embodied in its  foreign policy and international relations. “China is setting its own  development and social model, but at the same time, not exporting its model  because of the belief that every country, every nation, should develop its own  way of doing things in order to meet the requirements, the culture, the natural  and other conditions of each country.”

China’s governance reflects the Chinese value and logic in  Frangez’s view. “There is a philosophical aspect of doing things in the Chinese  way. It has its foundation in the belief that democracy is not just about having  the right to vote, but also about how to enable people to participate in  governance. I can see that the decision-making process and the implementation of  those decisions are remarkable and very efficient,” he said.

The Magic Code behind China’s Success

“Whenever visiting China, members of African delegations always  ask the same question ‘why has China developed so fast?’ African countries are  also trying to improve people’s lives, but we feel it’s really hard,” a member  of the Central Committee and director of the Political Training Center of the  MPLA (The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) Domingos Paulino  Dembele told China Today.

Dembele ascribed China’s success in development to its systems  and institutional strengths, strict discipline of the CPC, rule of law, the  country’s unceasing exploration of a development path suitable to its own  conditions, and its adherence to the socialist system. “I think the strong point  of the CPC lies in its ability to explore a unique development path suitable for  China and make theoretical breakthroughs in socialism,” said Dembele. He  indicated that the development momentum in the places he has visited in China  all proves the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. “China has  devised a successful new model for the socialist system, and made important  contributions to the world through its development,” he said.

Bajkai Istvan from Hungary is also keen to find the magic code  behind China’s success. “China is a fantastic success in this world, which  somehow is puzzling for politicians in many Western countries,” Istvan told  China Today. He thinks China has succeeded in balancing the private  and the public interests, which he ascribes to the CPC’s people-centered way of  thinking. “The CPC can represent all interest groups and find harmony between  them. So I think socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era has found  the right way.”

At the conference, Rithy Kim, a member of the Central  Committee of Cambodian People’s Party and vice governor of Kandal Province,  emphasized the importance of peace and stability for China’s development. He  indicated that the story shared with delegates by the farmer Deng Daqing from  Ruijin about how he rose out of poverty assisted by local government touched him  deeply “All this prosperity can only happen with political stability and peace.  We need to realize that political stability and peace is the foundation of  prosperity,” said Kim.

For Matevz Frangez, China’s long-term planning has also played  an important role in its success. “In Jiangxi, huge social, economic, and  environmental progress has been made within just a few years, but probably with  a long-term approach. Only a long-term strategic way of thinking can do things  like this.” He said this way of thinking is something that is perhaps missing in  the European political culture, especially his country, Slovenia, where it seems  that demand is for instant solutions, instant successes, and instant results.  

“But because we do not plan strategically for the long term, we  actually do not achieve any substantial progress,” he said. 

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