|Interview with Consul General Lin Jing on Centenary of CPC (Part 1)|
The Chinese Commumist Party (CCP) marks its 100th anniversary on July 1. Independent Media foreign editor Shannon Ebrahim spoke to Lin Jing, the Consul-General of China in Cape Town, about the milestone.
1. In July this year, the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) celebrates its 100th anniversary, which is an auspicious occasion for your country. Can you tell us about the founders of the CCP, and what motivated them to create the Party?
A: The first National Congress of the CPC was held in Shanghai, China from July 23 1921 to early August of 1921, marking the formal establishment of the Communist Party of China. At that time, China was in a critical period: the feudal monarchy of China which had lasted for thousands of years just collapsed, and the emerging national bourgeois regime in China was relatively weak, with internal conservative forces seeking to usurp authority and restore power. In the meantime, due to overseas colonial powers greedily snatching interests in China, there were no guarantee of China's national sovereignty and security, and Chinese people's life were in dire straits.
Facing the critical situation, some Chinese advanced intellectuals with great ambition of saving China from subjugation and oppression, represented by Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, Cai Hesen and Mao Zedong, reflected on the setbacks of the anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism revolution led by the Chinese bourgeoisie and strove for a new way to save the country.
In 1917, the October Revolution in Russia opened up a new era of human history. In May 1919, the May 4th Movement broke out in China which sped up the spreading of Marxism all over China. Marxism soon drew attention of China's activists with its advanced, scientific and revolutionary nature. After careful consideration and repeated comparison, they finally chose Scientific Socialism and built up their faith in Marxism.
The political and social reality of domestic trouble and foreign invasion intertwined, extensive ideological preparation, surging anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism movements, and successive people with grand expectations jointly gave birth to the Communist Party of China, and injected decisive and vigorous impetus into the future and destiny of the Chinese revolution.
2. What was the central mission of the CCP at its formation?
The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communist Party is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and to pursue the common good of the world as well. But in different historical periods, it has different connotations.
In the early days of the founding of the Communist Party of China, China was a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, the national strength was weak and its people lived in poverty and despair. The overseas imperialist forces, the internal feudal conservative forces, and the bureaucratic capital forces in collusion with the conservative reactionary forces endangered the future and destiny of China, poisoned the safety and well-being of the Chinese people, and destroyed the achievements of China's national liberation and democratic revolution. The historical task of the Communist Party of China at that time was to topple the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism that were oppressing the Chinese people and to realize China's independence and people's liberation.
To pursue the common good of the world is the overarching pursuit of the Communist Part of China for a hundred years, and is also the manifestation of the spirit of internationalism of Marxist parties. From fighting in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in the 20th century, which is the forefront of the World Anti-Fascist War, to supporting the national liberation movement and economic and social development of the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America after the founding of the new China, and to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind in the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Communist Party of China has always made ever greater contributions to humanity as its abiding mission.
3. In the first three decades of the CPC, what sectors of society formed the basis of the party?
The first 30 years after the founding of the CPC was the history of its establishment, development and growth, leading the Chinese people to win the new democratic revolution and the founding of new China, which shone with the glory of the broad masses of workers and peasants.
At the beginning of the establishment of the CPC, the nature of the proletarian party was defined. The party concentrated on the workers movement and the working class became the main support of the party. China had long been a traditional agricultural country. The majority of the Chinese people were peasants and they certainly form the basis of the Chinese revolution. The strategy of "encircling the cities from the rural areas" was the key to the success of the red regime. Relying on the masses with peasants as its majority has become an important magic weapon of the CPC.
The Constitution of new China has established China's state system, making it clear that China is a socialist country with people's democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the working class based on worker-peasant-alliance. The working class and peasantry are the foundation of the CPC and China under the leadership of the CPC.
4. What are the main policy differences between the two generations of leadership collectives of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping?
With Comrade Mao Zedong at its core, the first generation of the CPC leadership led the Chinese people to complete the historical task of anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism, and to establish a new China and a basic socialist system. The policies of the CPC in this historical period were policies on the exploration of the Chinese revolution and the construction of Chinese socialism, answering the questions of choosing the road of the Chinese revolution, the initial construction of the Chinese socialist system and diplomatic practices. The main policies were to wine the victory of the Chinese revolution through the united front and armed struggle led by the proletariat, to establish the socialist system of people's democratic dictatorship through socialist industrialization and socialist transformation at the same time, and to establish an independent foreign policy.
The second generation of the CPC leadership, with Comrade Deng Xiaoping at its core, established socialism with Chinese characteristics on the basis of the basic socialist system already set up in New China and more than 20 years of construction. For the first time the CPC answered in a more systematic manner a series of basic questions on how to build socialism and how to consolidate and develop socialism in a country as economically and culturally backward as China. The main policies were to shift the focus of China's socialist construction from class struggle to economic construction, implementing reform and opening up, proposing the establishment and improvement of a socialist market economic system, and practicing an independent foreign policy of peace.
The policies of Comrade Mao Zedong and Comrade Deng Xiaoping represented the theoretical achievements of socialist construction in the two historical periods before and after China's reform and opening up, which are both interrelated and significantly different. In essence, both policies are practical exploration of the CPC on how to lead the Chinese people to carry out socialist construction.
5. China's economic and political reforms have brought about unprecedented economic growth, please describe the achievements of China's development.
Under the leadership of the CPC, over the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, especially since the reform and opening up, China has made world-renowned achievements and has become the world's second largest economy, number one manufacturing country with the largest goods trading volumn. Firstly, the national economy has continued to grow rapidly and the total economic volume has reached a new level in succession. In 1952, China's GDP was only 67.9 billion RMB, with a per capita GDP of 119 RMB (less than $100), and in 2020 it exceeded 100 trillion RMB for the first time, with a per capita GDP of 72,447 RMB (more than $10,000) breaking the benchmark of middle-income countries; Secondly, the basic industries and infrastructure have achieved a frog-leap development, science and technology innovation capacity has enhanced continuously. Since the 18th CPC Party Congress in 2012, China has made significant achievements in many fields such as manned spaceflight, lunar exploration project, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, super computing, satellite navigation, etc., and the effectiveness of the innovation-driven development strategy has continued to unfold; Thirdly, the international status has been significantly enhanced and its influence has become increasingly evident. China has been adhering to its independent foreign policy of peace, actively developing friendship and cooperation with other countries in the world, especially since the reform and opening up. China has seized the opportunity of globalization, from "bringing in" on a large scale to "going out" by a big step, and then to jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative. The breadth and depth of its opening-up has expanded significantly. China has proposed building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, through actively participating in the formulation of international economic and trade rules represented by WTO reform, contributing Chinese wisdom to the improvement of the global governance system, and demonstrating its responsibility as a major country.