Author: Shristi Kafle ,freelance journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened this month, attracting the world’s attention and deep interest and grabbing the headlines on what China will offer to itself and the rest of the world in the next five years.
The country’s much awaited and most important political event, which is held every five years, sets a clear direction on where China will move amid the rising global challenges and huge pressure and competition.
The report delivered by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of CPC Central Committee, reviewed the work in the past five years, and presented a roadmap not just for the next five years, but for the next 13 years, i.e. 2035. It shows that China is determined to work on its long-term vision based on a solid foundation.
Xi announced that China’s central goal is to build the country into a great modern socialist one, which is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful, from 2035 through the middle of this century. The selection of each feature is significant as the country aims for a great modern socialist country in all respects.
At a time when the West preaches about democracy as solely their own, Xi stressed on whole-process people's democracy with rule of law, along with harmony and beauty, the whole idea presents a picture how the leader envisions a prosperous China as similar as any other advanced country with a major role to play in the world order.
"From this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization,” Xi said in the report signaling the beginning of a new journey.
Looking back, the past five years have been truly momentous and extraordinary in his words, which can be shown in China’s developments and overall activities.
In July 2021, China declared that it had achieved its first centennial milestone development goal of building a moderately prosperous society and eliminating extreme poverty. This was a huge achievement for China, given the challenge of such a huge population of 1.4 billion and crippling global economies.
Despite these, China eradicated absolute poverty, which is truly a miracle and sets an example for many developing countries to follow by adopting a similar approach.
The next important achievement is the handling of COVID-19 epidemic, which crippled the whole world with millions of deaths. China was able to quickly respond to the epidemic, and prevent and control the virus effectively, which lead to fewer deaths. Most importantly, it put the people and their lives above all else to better protect their health and safety.
China’s adherence to the dynamic zero COVID policy has been leading the country towards a right direction with significant positive results for economic and social development. Though there were some criticisms, China hasn’t shaken its feet and has been following the policy strictly so that it can control the widespread of virus effectively and economically.
Not limited to this, it was also China that extended the necessary medical equipment and supplies to many countries in dire need and saved many lives. It also produced and supplied vaccines that has become boon for some countries including its South Asian neighbors like Nepal.
Besides, China’s per capita GDP jumped to $12,500, nearly the level of a higher-income country, last year, while the GDP is likely to surpass that of the U.S. before 2035. Despite shrinking economies in many countries, China has been able to maintain a stable economy, boosting others’ confidence. Due to this, it has become a major destination for global investment today.
In the coming years, China aims to foster a new pattern of development and develop a socialist market economy and promote high-standard opening up, which can lead towards a modernized economy. It is certain that the country will contribute more in trade and investments under different initiatives.
On the political front, Xi said in the report that China is committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development. Since many countries are currently engaged in wars, standing against hegemonism and power politics is crucial, with no engagement in expansionism.
Amid the growing US intervention in the Taiwan question, the Chinese message is clear, “we will not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, and we expect the same”. Xi expressed strong and loud opposition to any foreign involvements in the Taiwan question, “Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese.” This statement has dealt a heavy blow to external forces who have been provoking Taiwan.
It is impressive that under the leadership of the CPC, China thrives not just for its own prosperity, but also continues to create new opportunities for the rest of the world despite uncertainties and increasing unpredictable factors. In Xi’s remarks, there are all types of “black swan” and “gray rhino” events, but China is determined to navigate through high winds and even the dangerous storms.
With greatest wonders in science and technology and by keeping innovation at the center of China's modernization drive, one thing is clear, China is on its way to pursue a dominant place in globalization, more than that of today. And it doesn’t want to walk alone, but along with other developing, least developed and poor countries.
The 20th CPC National Congress has already taken its course and shaped its direction, where China, under the strong leadership of Xi, will surely contribute to an even brighter future for humanity.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)