|Interview with Consul General Lin Jing on Centenary of CPC (Part 2)|
The Commumist Party of China (CPC) marks its 100th anniversary on July 1. Independent Media foreign editor Shannon Ebrahim spoke with Lin Jing, the Consul-General of China in Cape Town, about the party's journey to reaching this milestone.
1. The CPC has presided over a notably successful foreign policy that has seen the emergence of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. What have been the greatest benefits of these initiatives for your country?
A: The "Belt and Road" initiative is a major strategic decision made by China to actively respond to the complex and severe international economic situation and the profound adjustment of the global economic structure on the basis of overall consideration of domestic and international situations. It is committed to realizing cross-border connectivity all over the world, which is consistent with the focus of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), namely practical cooperation, advancing trade and investment liberalization and facilitation based on connectivity, and narrowing the economic development gap between countries as well.
These two policy measures are both important parts of China's new round of opening-up strategy. They are new ideas and measures for scientifically planning China's all-round opening-up, strengthening diplomatic and security cooperation with neighboring countries, and promoting the regional economic specialization and cooperation system. They are also major practices and action guidance for realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, which is of epoch-making significance to create a new pattern of China's all-round opening-up, to promote economic prosperity for all countries, to facilitate regional economic cooperation, to enhance world peace and development, and to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hitherto had unprecedented impact on global economic and social development, highlighting the importance and necessity of international cooperation such as the BRI. In the face of such grave crisis, no country could stay immune to the virus alone. We must work hand in hand to overcome the difficulties jointly, addressing the challenge that could obstruct and even suffocate the overall and sustainable development of the world. Through the BRI, China expects to promote high-quality development in a sustainable way, foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, and to work together with the international community including South Africa to build a community of shared future for mankind.
2. A major challenge for the CPC and the Government of the PRC has been the trade tensions with the US. How does the CPC plan to address this challenge?
A: We all can see that for a period of time, especially since the last administration of the United States, the U.S. has tried to target China by means of military threat, political isolation, economic sanctions and technology blockade, coerced and induced other countries to build up an anti-China clique by interfering in China's internal affairs such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang related issues. The essence of its actions is to contain China's development in an all-round way. These practices are against international laws, immoral, doomed to failure, and will ultimately undermine the interests of the United States and its own people.
China's strategic blueprint has always been open and transparent to the world, and China has never set "surpassing the United States" as its goal. What China is pursuing is to constantly improve itself, to surpass itself, to provide a better life for the Chinese people, and to make more and more contribution to the world peace and development through its own development.
A healthy cooperative and competitive relationship between China and the United States, the two largest economies in today's world, is conducive to global economic development. China advocates mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, which should take into account each other's concerns and achieve two-way benefits. Unilaterally putting forward harsh conditions or implementing sanctions should not be allowed. If competition is not avoidable, China will not shun away from it, but the competition itself should be fair and follow the market rules. However, tripping others by setting up obstacles in their way or depriving other countries of their legitimate development rights with hegemonic power should not be the solution.
China is committed to developing a relationship with the US featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. It reflects our responsibility to the world and also the interests of the peoples in both countries. Insisting on Cold War mentality is not in line with the world trend. In the long run, the final outcome is that people or policies that do not conform or keep up with the world trend should become obsolete, rather than the world trend changes its direction to pander to them.
3.Can you tell us about the historical relations between the CPC and African liberation movements?
A: Since the 1950s, Africa has become the main battlefield of the anti-colonialism struggle, and also the major recipient of the Chinese government's assistance and support for the world's national liberation movement. Both China and African countries have a history of suffering from colonial rule and have always supported and been sympathized with each other. The Chinese government and its people have not only enthusiastically given political support, spiritual encouragement and moral sympathy to the just struggle of the African people, but also provided a lot of human resources, material and financial assistance. China was still a poor country in the last century, but it is universally acknowledged that China rendered the most generous support to Africa.
Over the past half century, the relations between China and Africa have made great progress. More and more countries on the African continent have established diplomatic relations with China, from only one country in 1956 to almost all except Swaziland today. Based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China-Africa relations have maintained a good momentum of sound, steady, in-depth and all-round development for a long time. The two sides have become sincere friends and equal partners who care for each other in politics, cooperate closely in economy, exchange deeply in culture and sympathize and support each other in the international arena. The relationship between China and African countries is a new type of international relationship in line with the trend of the times and a fine example of modern state-to-state relations.
4.The creation of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been an important development in boosting development on the African continent. What have been some of FOCAC's most notable achievements?
A: It has been 21 years since the FOCAC was established in 2000. Over the past 21 years, China-African cooperation has made remarkable achievements. The Forum has become the forerunner to implement the principles of "extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits" advocated by China, and has had a positive, extensive and far-reaching impact in the world. It has become a pacesetter leading the international cooperation with Africa and enhancing South-South cooperation.
After many years efforts, the achievements of FOCAC have spread throughout the African continent. In terms of infrastructure, China has helped Africa build over 6,000 kilometers of railways and the same mileage of roads, nearly 20 ports and over 80 large-scale power plants, which have advanced the process of industrialization and capacity for self-driven development in Africa. In terms of people's livelihood, China has so far helped Africa build more than 130 medical facilities, 45 stadiums and round 170 schools. In the past five years, China has trained more than 200,000 African talents of all kinds from all walks of life in Africa. Chinese enterprises have created more than 4.5 million jobs, making an important contribution to enhancing the vital interests and well-being of the African people. In terms of trade and investment, the trade volume between China and Africa stood at $187 billion in 2020. China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. The stock of China's direct investment in Africa reached US $110 billion. More than 3700 Chinese enterprises have investment in Africa. These cooperation have lent strong impetus to Africa's sustained economic growth.
The FOCAC has effectively promoted the rapid development of China-Africa overall cooperation, further deepened the traditional friendship and political mutual trust between China and Africa and set the pace for the all-round development of China-Africa relations, which have attracted global attention. The FOCAC successfully blazed the path of China's multilateral cooperation mechanism, aiming at building a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. Through the FOCAC mechanism, Chinese and African leaders have laid out the principles guiding China-Africa cooperation and jointly safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries in international and regional affairs, and the two sides are working together with an increasingly important role in international affairs. The Forum has significantly enhanced Africa's international status and become a leading mechanism for international cooperation with Africa, reshaped the paradigm and rules of international cooperation with Africa, provided a new type of partnership for Africa, thus promoting the democratization of international relations and the global governance.
5. The CPC has adopted a series of anti-corruption measures, and what important lessons can South Africa learn from them?
A: Corruption is a common problem faced by human society, and corruption prevention and control is a global issue. The special aspects of China's anti-corruption efforts are, China is the world's most populous country with 1.4 billion population, and as the governing party, the Communist Party of China has been in power and assumed overall leadership responsibility with its more than 91 million party members, which is even bigger than the total population of many countries in the world, and more than 4.6 million grassroots party organizations. It is undoubtedly a world-class challenge for the largest political party in the world to prevent and curb corruption in the most populous country. It is not only about whether the CPC can achieve significant governance effectiveness in practice, but also about whether it can theoretically answer the difficult question of how to ensure the long-term ruling position as the biggest party of the largest developing country in the world.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has carried out an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign, and endeavored to build a long-term mechanism that makes sure officials don't dare to, are unable to and have no desire to commit corruption. The anti-corruption efforts have achieved remarkable results, which have won both the trust of the domestic public and the praise of the international community.
valuable experience of China's the fight against corruption could be summarized as the following: Firstly, we must firmly adhere to and strengthen the leadership of the Party, and resolutely uphold the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership, safeguard General Secretary Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and ensure a high degree of ideological and political unity and act in unison, so as to gather the powerful force for both party governance and the fight against corruption. Secondly, we must strengthen political supervision to ensure the implementation of the rules and regulations, adhere to democratic centralism, and build a power operation mechanism that features scientific decision-making, powerful execution and effective supervision. Thirdly, we must uphold the people-centered philosophy, and unleash the officials' enthusiasm and initiative from the shackles of formalism and bureaucracy through the specific institutional orientation. Fourthly, we must continue to catch both "tigers" (referring to high-ranking offenders) as well as "flies" (petty ones) in combating corruption, fully understand the difficulty and complexity of anti-corruption campaign, effectively enhance the awareness of risk prevention, and work to improve the effectiveness of corruption prevention and control. Fifthly, We must have a deep grasp of the rules governing the improvement of the Party's working style and building clean government, strengthen the rigidity of the system with strict discipline and law enforcement, and promote the formation of an ever-improving institutional system and a strict and effective supervision system. Sixthly, the party and state supervision system must be improved, so that the supervision system fits the party leadership system and is integrated into the national governance system. Seventhly, to maintain the system with strict discipline and strengthening the discipline binding force and system enforcement, and integrate the implementation of the system into the assessment content, in order to effectively supervise and strengthen the implementation of the system.