|Q&A on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China|
1. What are the main outcomes of the 19th CPC National Congress? What is the significance of this Congress to China’s development?
The 19th CPC National Congress is greatly important for China as we enter an important stage of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and our socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era. The outcomes and significance of this Congress can be summarized in four respects.
First, the Congress has made two major political judgments that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and that the principal contradiction of the Chinese society has evolved into the one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. These two new judgments have raised new historical mission for the CPC.
Second, the Congress has established new goals for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China. The Congress has made a new blueprint and comprehensive arrangement for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Party building.
Third, the Congress has established the historical position of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and set forth the basic policy for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. The Xi Jinping Thought has been written into the CPC Constitution and becomes a guiding thought to unite the Party and the Chinese people to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fully building a modern socialist China.
Fourth, the Congress has elected a new generation of the CPC central leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, thus putting in place the strong leadership for the promotion of socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era.
The 19th CPC National Congress has declared to the Chinese people and the people of the world the future direction of China. It has given answers to questions regarding what banner China will hold? What path China will follow? And how will China realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation? For these reasons, the 19th CPC National Congress marks a milestone in China’s pursuit of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and of a modern socialist China.
2. What is the main substance and significance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era? What written the Xi Jinping Thought in the CPC Constitution?
The Xi Jinping Thought is the major theoretical innovation by the CPC from the successful Chinese development practice. It is also the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. It summarizes and encapsulates the successful practice of the new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies of Comrade Xi Jinping in governance, military, and diplomacy since the 18th CPC National Congress. It is has been proved by past five years of Chinese practice of being effective, correct, and supported by the people. The main substance of the Xi Jinping Thought includes 8 “makes clear” and 14 basic principles.
The 8 “makes clear” are: It makes clear that the overarching goal of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernization and national rejuvenation. It makes clear that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era is the one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. It makes clear that the overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the five-sphere integrated plan, and the overall strategy is the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. It makes clear that the overall goal of deepening reform in every field is to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernize China's system and capacity for governance. It makes clear that the overall goal of comprehensively advancing law-based governance is to establish a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and build a country of socialist rule of law. It makes clear that the Party's goal of building a strong military in the new era is to build the people's forces into world-class forces that obey the Party's command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct. It makes clear that major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind. It makes clear that the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
The 14 basic principles of the Xi Jinping Thought are: ensure Party leadership over all work; commit to a people-centered approach; continue to comprehensively deepen reform; adopt a new vision for development; see that the people run the country; ensure every dimension of governance is law-based; uphold core socialist values; ensure and improve living standards through development; ensure harmony between human and nature; pursue a holistic approach to national security; uphold absolute Party leadership over the people's forces; uphold the principle of "one country, two systems" and promote national reunification; promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind; and exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party.
The 8 “makes clear” and the 14 points form the basic policy underpinning endeavors of the CPC to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
It is a common practice of the international communist movement to name theory or guiding thought after the name of a leader. This practice is also common in western theoretical science and social studies. The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the practical experience and collective wisdom of our Party and the people, but its founder is Comrade Xi Jinping, therefore the naming of it the Xi Jinping Thought.
The purpose of writing the Xi Jinping Thought into the CPC Constitution is to use it to guide the thinking and actions of the whole Party. It will help the Party better unite the whole Chinese population towards the common goals established by the 19th CPC National Congress, namely to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and fully build a modern socialist China by the middle of this century.
3. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. Why? What is the New Era?
The 19th CPC National Congress declares that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. This is a major political judgment of the CPC based on the development achievements from the past nearly four decades of reform and opening up and especially based on the historic achievements and changes in China over the past five years.
Through several decades of development, China has already maintained for a number of years the world’s second largest economy, the world’s largest manufacturer, the largest trading power, and the country with the biggest foreign exchange reserve. China ranks among the top of the world in economic, science and technology, military, and overall national strength. Accordingly, the principal contradiction of the Chinese society has evolved. In the past, the contradiction was between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production. Now, the principal contradiction is between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. The Chinese people not only seek for their material and cultural needs, but also concern about their increasing demands for fairness and justice, rule of law, security, eco-environment, balanced urban and rural development, and equitable income distribution. These changes in the principal contradiction means higher requirements for China’s domestic and foreign policies. It also means new historical mission for the CPC.
What is the meaning of the new era? It means that, the Chinese nation, which since modern times had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation—it has stood up, grown rich, and is getting strong, and China has now enter a new era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a new era of realizing common prosperity for all the Chinese, and a new era of fully building a modern socialist China. This new era means that, we will focus more on addressing unbalanced and inadequate development, on improving the quality and effect of development, so as to better meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. This new era means that, socialism with Chinese characteristics has achieved huge success, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. This new era means that China is moving closer to the world center stage and making greater contributions to mankind.
4. What new blueprint, new goals, and new tasks has the 19th CPC National Congress set forth? What is your comment on China’s realization of these goals?
The Congress has put forward a new blueprint for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a modern socialist China. It has made comprehensive planning and arrangements for the CPC and China’s development from now on till the mid-21st century through phased goals. From now on to 2020, we will focus on securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We will fight resolutely against poverty and make sure to achieve the first centenary goal, completely ending poverty across China with 1.4 billion Chinese population, leaving no one behind. The Congress has drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century. In the first stage, by 2035, we will basically realize socialist modernization. The newly proposed time frame is 15 years ahead of our previous plan stated in the “Two Centenary Goals” by the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. (The “Two Centenary Goals” refers to the targets of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, the centenary of the CPC, and basically building a modern socialist country by the centenary of the People’s Republic of China in the middle of this century.) From there, we will work hard for a further 15 years to develop China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. This new blueprint is based on our evaluation of China’s new development. We have not only moved up our time frame by 15 years, but also added the new description of “beautiful China” and “strong China” to our vision for the modern socialist country. All of these set new requirements for the CPC.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has remained steadfast to the people-centered approach and has launched a host of new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies. These efforts have enabled the CPC to solve many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplish many things that were wanted but never got done. These achievements have prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. Because of the strong and wise leadership of the Party, General Secretary Xi Jinping has become not only the core of the CPC Central Committee, but also the core for 89 million members of the CPC and the 1.3 billion Chinese population. He is profoundly beloved and supported by the people.
The 19th CPC National Congress has elected a new generation of the CPC central leadership with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, and has further strengthened the core status of General Secretary Xi Jinping. The Congress has made the Xi Jinping Thought a guiding thought to unite the thinking and action of the Party and the country, forming a robust political guarantee for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. Under the Xi Jinping Thought, China will continue to ensure coordinated progress in economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological development, and work unceasingly to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively implement the rule of law, and comprehensively strengthen the Party discipline. With the strong leadership of the CPC and with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, I am full of confidence that China will surely realize its new development goals.
5. Why are the next five years particularly important for China? What are your expectations?
The next five years are of great importance to China, as it is the period in which the time frames of the Two Centenary Goals converge. In this period, not only must we finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the first centenary goal by 2020; we must also build on this achievement to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. Yearly speaking, 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. We will remain firmly committed to deepening reform and opening up, so as to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. In 2019, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. We will fully implement the 13th Five-Year Plan and make new plans for future development. By 2020, we will accomplish a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We will resolutely win the battle against poverty and promote common prosperity for all the Chinese people. We will make sure that development is enjoyed by each and every one of the Chinese people, and that no one is left behind on the march toward common prosperity. In 2021, we will celebrate the centenary anniversary of the CPC and will embark on another great new historical journey.
General Secretary Xi Jinping points out, for a party which fights for the eternal well-being of the Chinese nation, the centenary only ushers in the prime of life. As the world's largest political party, the CPC must behave in a way commensurate with this status. For all the members of the CPC, these words are both encouragement and demand for greater efforts. Moving forward, under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought, we will remain true to our original aspiration, keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and work relentlessly for the new accomplishments of the Party and the country, and make new and greater contribution to the progress of humanity.
6. How to understand the shifts in the principal contradiction in the Chinese society? Why does the CPC say the principal contradiction in the Chinese society has shifted? What new influence will it have on China?
The 19th CPC National Congress has made a major political judgment that the principal contradiction of the Chinese society has evolved. In the past, the principal contradiction was between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production. Now, the contradiction is between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The reason for this shift is that after nearly 40 years of reform and opening up, China now ranks among the top of the world in its economic, science and technology, military and overall strength. China’s per capita GDP has increased from less than 200 US dollars in 1978 to over 8,000 US dollars in 2016. As a result, the needs of the people have evolved from seeking basic subsistence to seeking a better life, and their demands for fairness and justice, rule of law, security, environment, balanced urban and rural development, and equitable income distribution are increasing.
The evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. While making efforts to maintain moderate growth, the Party and the government should devote great energy to addressing development imbalances and inadequacies, improve the quality and effect of development, so as to better meet the ever-growing needs of our people to achieve well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. Therefore, China will do the following: apply a new vision of development, deepen supply-side structural reform; implement a coordinated development strategy among regions, revitalize rural areas, and further narrow down the development gaps among regions and between rural and urban areas; develop socialist democratic politics, build a socialist country under the rule of law, fully guarantee people’s democratic rights, and promote social fairness and justice; promote socialist culture to flourish; follow an advanced development path of productivity development, well-off livelihood, and sound ecological environment, and work to provide more quality ecological products; continue to strengthen points of weakness in people’s livelihood, fight hard the battle against poverty, promote new progress in ensuring people's access to childcare, elderly care, housing and social education, employment, medical services, and social assistance; improve public service system, work constantly to meet the people’s needs for a better life, advance social fairness and justice; put in place effective social management system and establish sound social order, so as to ensure the sense of fulfillment, happiness and security of the people will be richer, more secure, and more sustainable.
It needs to be pointed out that the Congress stressed that the evolution of the principal contradiction in the Chinese society does not change China’s basic national condition that it is in and will remain so for a long time at the primary stage of socialism. China also remains the world’s largest developing country. We will firmly base ourselves upon this paramount reality, and remain firmly committed to economic development as our central task, and at the same time, promote comprehensive development across all metrics.
7. The 19th CPC National Congress has elected a new generation of CPC central leadership. What is your comments on China’s election system? How is it different from a multi-party democratic election system?
The election of representatives to the 19th CPC National Congress began as early as November last year, and it took almost a year until this mid October to be completed, upon the thorough review of the eligibility of all elected representatives by the CPC Credentials Committee. The recommendation process for the representatives to the 19th CPC National Congress started with nomination at the grass-root. According to statistics, this process has realized full coverage of all grass-root Party structures, and participation rate of Party members has reached 99.2%. During the process, a combination of top-down and bottom-up approach has been used. There have been multiple rounds of voting at the grass-root level. We have firmly upheld the system of marginal election and marginal examination of candidates, ensuring that the number of candidates is always bigger than the number of positions, so that the process is genuinely competitive. In addition, we have set out quota requirements for female representatives and representatives of ethnic minorities, making sure that structure of the whole representatives body is more reasonable in terms of their gender, age, work positions, and the sector of the society which they represent. After several rounds of voting and the strict review by the Credentials Committee, out of 89 million CPC members from over 4.4 million Party structures, we have elected 2,280 representatives to the CPC National Congress. These representatives, through a secret ballot, elected the 19th CPC Central Committee, which is comprised of 204 members and 172 alternate members. These 204 members of the CPC Central Committee then proceeded to elect the 25-member Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, as well the 7-member Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. In the new generation of the Political Bureau leadership, 15 out of the 25 members are newly elected. And of the 7-member Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, 5 are newly elected. This process fully demonstrates that the CPC has a very orderly running internal democratic system which is full of dynamism and vigor, and is quite capable in ensuring the best and most representatives Party members at the grass-root level can have the power to elect the CPC Central Committee.
There is fundamental difference between the CPC’s internal democratic election system and the multi-party democratic election system of the West. First, to become a leader in China, one must spend a long time working at the grass-root level, and must excel oneself from thousands of highly capable officials of the same generation and ranking. One must grow up step by step through extremely strict examination of the Party structure and be well accepted by the people around as having both talents, governance accomplishments, and moral integrity. Corruption and violations against the law and Party discipline is a veto for any promotion. In comparison, under the multi-party democratic election system, what matters more importantly is the candidate’s performance on the election trail. What matters is religious beliefs, gender, race, the look of the candidate, one’s ability to deliver campaign speeches. Money also matters immensely. No money, no election. In short, for the multi-party democratic election, it rests largely on the background of the candidate and his or her performance on the campaign trail.
Second, the CPC is strongly committed to its own democratic system in cultivating its cadres. We have put in place a very strict elimination system and make every effort to ensure we select the best among the best to the leadership positions at all levels. Under the multi-party democratic electoral systems, candidates become leaders based on their showing ability and financial power to win elections.
Third, China practices a political consultation system. The CPC as the ruling party maintains political consultation with 8 democratic parties. The CPC listens extensively to the opinions of democratic parties and accepts their oversight. Over the years, the CPC and democratic parties have always shared mutual understanding and support. To take the drafting process of the report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping to the 19th CPC National Congress as an example, from very early on, the CPC Central Committee has set up a Drafting Committee for this report. The Committee comprised members from both central and local departments as well as scholars and experts. In preparation for the report, the Committee has sent out 9 field investigation teams to 16 provinces and municipalities to collect information. The CPC Central Committee has coordinated with 59 departments to write 80 reports on 21 major issues to offer reference to the Drafting Committee. When the draft was ready in August, it went into circulation to solicit inputs from over 4,700 people within the CPC. The draft has also been circulated among the central leadership of democratic parties, leaders of the National Association of Industry and Commerce, non-party personages. General Secretary Xi Jinping personally chaired 6 meetings in this regard to hear their opinions, many of which have been duly accepted. From this process we can see that internal democracy of the CPC happens before the event within its system. We listen extensively to the views expressed by all parties and make efforts to take in different views and form consensus. This process is essentially different from the multi-party democratic election system, which are sometimes just street politics. Under a multi-party democratic election system, the winner takes all, and there is clear line between the governing party and the opposing party, which are constantly involved in political attacks and filibuster.
8. Some people say the sound governance of China today offers a stark contrast to the rather chaotic situation in the West. They say the reason for this is the strength of China’s socialism with Chinese characteristics. What is your comment on that? And what do you think is the most fundamental reason?
The fundamental difference between socialism and capitalism is in the distribution of the development achievement—whether it benefits everyone or just small invested group. The CPC stresses that the Party is built for the public and it exercises power for the people. The CPC upholds a people-centered approach and is committed to serving the people wholeheartedly. It is our vision to realize a moderately prosperous society for the whole of 1.3 billion Chinese people, leaving no one behind. Naturally, the CPC can win and enjoy the maximum support across the society and can unite the wisdom and strengths of all the Chinese people in pursuit of national development. Through development, the Chinese people have developed a strong sense of achievement, happiness and security, which makes them even more supportive of the CPC leadership and the resulting harmonious and prosperous society. What has happened in the West over the past months and years has indeed worried the people in the world. It is our sincere hope that we will all see the world from an objective perspective and respect the diversity of human civilization.
In my view, the fundamental reason for the fast development of China’s socialist undertaking is that we have upheld a number of important principles: we have upheld the leadership of the CPC; we have upheld the socialism with Chinese characteristics; we have upheld reform and opening up and have kept economic development as our central task; we have upheld a people-centered development approach; and we have comprehensively promoted the rule of law. As China quickly rises in a way that is different from the West, we are offering a new choice for countries around the world that wish to accelerate their development while preserving their own independence.
9. Why has the 19th CPC National Congress attracted the attention of the world? What is its significance for world peace and development? What are the expectations and comments of the international community?
After nearly a hundred years of relentless efforts and development, China has for many years remained the world’s second largest economy and continues to grow rapidly. Since the turn of the century, China has contributed to over 30% to the world economic growth. The world is more confident in China’s future and looks forward to China’s greater contribution after the 19th CPC National Congress, thus the huge attention of the international community on this meeting. Over 1,800 journalists from 134 foreign countries and regions gathered in Beijing and covered the Congress. During the Congress and in the days after its conclusion, we have received about 900 letters and messages of congratulations from 164 countries. Almost 500 of them were from heads of states, parties, and international organizations, including President Jacob Zuma, the ANC, the SACP, and many other African leaders and parties. US President Trump took a telephone with President Xi Jinping immediately after the closing of the Congress to say congratulations to him. President Putin of Russia and leaders of other major countries have called or sent congratulatory messages.
As growing prosperous and stronger, China will contribute more public goods to the world to promote its interconnected and sustainable development. Today, China has become a major force in the promotion of world peace, globalization, and common development. As China continues to maintain its stability and sustainable development, China will inject further dynamism into world peace and development.
The 19th CPC National Congress has made an impressive blueprint for China’s development for the next 30 plus years. The Congress has put forward a series of domestic and foreign policy and measures, demonstrating to the world a sustainable, stable, and dynamic China, giving the world new hope and opportunities. The international community praised that China’s success is attributable to a development path that suits its national conditions, and that China’s experience has offered a new choice to the world, especially to developing countries.
10. What new goals, new tasks, and new requirements has the 19th CPC National Congress set out for China’s foreign affairs? What new changes and new actions will there be in China’s foreign affairs?
The 19th CPC National Congress set out the guiding principles for China’s major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics at the top level. The Congress puts forward that we will pursue a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation and a community with shared future for mankind. This goal not only encapsulates the overall objective of China’s foreign affairs in the new era, but also declares to the world the general direction of our joint efforts with countries around the world.
The new type of international relations that China pursues bears three elements, namely mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.
The first element, mutual respect, includes mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns, mutual respect for the diversity of human civilization, and mutual respect for each other’s independent choice on social systems and development path. Mutual respect also means to abandon Cold War mentality and power politics. China strongly upholds that all countries are equals, regardless of their size, strength and wealth. We should take a new approach to resolve problems or settle disputes, through consultation and dialogue instead of confrontation. We should seek for partnership instead of alliance. By so doing, China aims to promote a new path of state-to-state relations. China is committed to a socialist path with Chinese characteristics. This is the choice of the Chinese history and the Chinese people. As we offer our respect to the independent choice by the people of other countries, China naturally looks forward to the same respect from other countries. As General Secretary Xi Jinping rightly pointed out, no two political systems are entirely the same, and a political system cannot be judged in abstraction without regard for its social and political context, its history, and its cultural traditions. No one political system should be regarded as the only choice; and we should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries.
The second element, fairness and justice, means that China will uphold the global governance concept featuring planning together, building together and sharing together. China calls for a more democratic international relations, and is committed to building a fair and just global governance regime. China supports the United Nations to play an active role, and supports the efforts of other developing countries to increase their representation and strengthening their voice in international affairs. In the new era, China will take a more active part in global governance, and make greater contribution in international development assistance and international security. We are willing to join efforts with developing countries to make the international governance regime more fair, just and reasonable.
The third element, win-win cooperation, means that we will firmly uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, and closely combine China’s development with the development of the world. Our vision is to achieve mutual benefit, win-win cooperation for common development. China wants to benefit from world development and prosperity. At the same time, we also want to bring more benefits to the world. Opening up will remain China’s basic policy. We will keep our doors open for development. We will continue to promote Belt and Road international cooperation based on the principle of planning together, building together and sharing together. More efforts will be made to promote policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond. By doing so, we will build new platform for international cooperation, and create new driving force for common development. We will facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries, and make new contribution to common development and prosperity. To narrow the gap between the North and the South, China will increase its assistance for developing countries, particularly the least developed countries. We will work to promote a new pattern of fully opening up. We will promote trade facilitation and investment liberalization, build an open world economy, and make globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win.
The Congress puts forward building a community of shared future for mankind, raising new requirements for us to build a better world. The CPC has a clear vision for the better world, featuring an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that China can’t achieve peace and development without the peace and development of the world. That is why China advocates for a new security concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. China is committed to jointly building a world of lasting peace and universal security. To achieve this goal, it would require all countries to abandon the traditional international politics of zero-sum game and the law of the jungle, and resolutely reject any country to pursue “absolute security”. This approach is in stark contrast to certain country that only seeks for absolute security of its own and for that purpose, even conducts color revolution and tries to topple the regime of other country. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that, China will not only focus on building a beautiful China, but will also contribute to a beautiful world. China is willing to work with the international community to promote the cause of the environment, address climate change, and protect the earth as our shared homeland. To build a clean and beautiful world is the solemn promise of the CPC. It is also the stated mission of China’s diplomacy. China will always promote world peace, contribute to world development, and uphold the international order. All of these commitments shows that when China pursues its own development, it is equally committed to world peace and development. The full willingness of the Chinese diplomacy to contribute to the human progress of the world is also a best display of the global perspective and international spirit of the CPC.
Looking forward, under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual-benefit, and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and answer the call of the new era with a broader vision of the world, a stronger sense of international responsibility and more progressive diplomatic actions.
We are strongly convinced that the all-round advancement of the Belt and Road initiative will create new opportunities for common development and prosperity. China’s opening up on all fronts will provide the international community with new important opportunities to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China. The green, low-carbon and circular economic development in China will lead the international efforts in promoting harmonious coexistence between man and nature. The continuous development of socialism with Chinese characteristics will provide a new path for developing countries to strive for their modernization, and will offer Chinese solutions to the problems facing mankind as well as Chinese wisdom in search for a better social system.
11. What new opportunities will the 19th CPC National Congress bring to South Africa and other developing countries? What’s your expectations for China-SA friendship and cooperation?
Currently, China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership maintains robust momentum. China-South Africa relations are in its best historical moment and is faced with new historical opportunities. The Chinese President Xi Jinping and the South African President Jacob Zuma have met on a regular basis in recent years, fully demonstrating the height and warmth of our strategic and political mutual trust. Both China and South Africa regard each other as priority and strategic partner in its foreign affairs. The two countries have always given each other mutual understanding and mutual support on our respective core interests and major concerns, and have together firmly upheld our shared interests. As two major emerging powers, China and South Africa are co-chairs of FOCAC and are both important members of the BRICS, G20, UN and other multilateral institutions. Through close strategic communication and coordination, China and South Africa have been playing increasingly important roles in promoting world peace and development, in the establishment of a more fair and reasonable international order, and in protecting the shared interests of China, South Africa and other developing countries.
Thanks to the strong economic complementarity and the huge potential, China and South Africa are now faced with historical opportunities to synergize strengths in economic cooperation. Situated in a prime location, and boasting rich resources, sound infrastructure, well-regulated market, and sound legal system, South Africa is the African country that is the most deeply and substantively involved in linking with the Belt and Road initiative. It is also the African country that is most ready for deeper China-Africa mutually beneficial cooperation. China has the capital, technology, market, enterprises, talents, and development experience. Both China and South Africa complement respective strengths, and we need each other for cooperation and development.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of China-South Africa diplomatic ties. China and South Africa will take this important opportunity, fully leverage our strengths of political mutual trust, economic complementarity, and the friendship between our two peoples, and work together to promote cooperation in ten priority areas including infrastructure, human resources, manufacturing and processing, agriculture, tourism, marine economy, finance, security, people-to-people exchange and international cooperation. China is ready to work closely with our South African friends to make our relations more productive and more beneficial to our two peoples, so as to make our relations a locomotive in China-Africa relations.
12. You have been invited to attend the 19th CPC National Congress. What is your deepest impression of this meeting?
The 19th CPC National Congress has indeed been extremely successful. It has shown the future of China to the Chinese people and the people of the world. There are many highlights for this Congress, and I can also recall many moments when I was deeply inspired and moved by what we have achieved and what we are to achieve. My deepest impression of this Congress is our pursuit of people-centered development. I was at the opening plenary session of the Congress when General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered the report on behalf of the 18th CPC Central Committee. During his three and a half hours of speech, General Secretary had to pause over 70 times because of the applause of the audience. I think this is the best evidence that his words have echoed strongly the hearts and minds of the people.
He said, the original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. This is what inspires Chinese Communists to advance. Since its foundation, the CPC has made serving people wholeheartedly its fundamental purpose. The CPC is always committed to a people-centered approach. The CPC is a party for the people and by the people, and always puts the interest of the people at first. The CPC always strives to ensure the results of reform and development benefit the entire population more effectively and more equally, and has made strong efforts towards common prosperity for all.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC under the leadership of Secretary General Xi Jinping, has remained steadfast to the people-centered approach and has launched a host of new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies, which has enabled the CPC to solve many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplish many things that were wanted but never got done. These achievements have prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country, and have won the Party strong support among the Chinese people.
The people-centered approach forms an integral part of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. In politics, the CPC is committed to a socialist path of Chinese characteristics, and strives to achieve a unity among three elements, namely ensuring the Party leadership over all work, ensuring the people are the masters of the country, and ensuring law-based governance.
In economic development, the CPC is committed to development driven by reform and opening up. We have made unremitting efforts in liberating and developing productive force and have given full play to the strength of our system in ensuring social fairness and justice, making sure that all of the Chinese people would benefit from economic development. As General Secretary Xi Jinping points out that, China will make sure that development is enjoyed by each and every one on the path to a moderately prosperous society, and that no one is left behind on the march toward common prosperity. This solemn commitment was met by roaring applause.
In social management, the CPC upholds the idea of planning together, building together, and sharing together, and has formed a social management model featuring Party leadership, community coordination, and public participation. This model has effectively resolved conflicts among different interest groups and social groups, and has been extremely successful in maintaining the stability of China, which is a vast country with over 1.3 billion population, and is still confronted by unbalanced development.
During his report to the 19th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that: the CPC comes from the people. Its roots are based among the people. Its purpose is to serve the people. Without the people, the Party will lose its lifeline. We must always remember that the people are makers of history, and that the Party is built for the public and must exercise power for the people. We must continue to serve the people wholeheartedly, and focus our efforts on the aspiration of the people to live a better life. These are the new requirements and new goals of the CPC in its people-centered pursuit in the new era.