Editor’s note: TFF wants to let you hear how the official China looks upon itself and its achievements, particularly since the country celebrates its 79th Anniversary on October 1, 2019.
The reason is that you can rest assured there will be no genuine, diverse coverage of this – Chinese and world – event in the mainstream Western press. If not entirely ignored, the focus will be on the military parade and China as a growing threat and on China as a “dictatorship.” 1)
You do not have to endorse everything Chinese. The Transnational doesn’t. But China’s socio-economic and cultural development over these 70 years – and in particular the last 40 years of opening up – is unique and so remarkable that it deserves our sincere, sustained interest and curiosity.
To know more is also enabling us to look through the fake and omission. In our globalizing world, those who close their mind and watch only themselves as if the rest of the world did not exist will lose, sooner or later.
On Sept. 29, People’s Daily published a commentary on its front page, expounding on China’s achievements over the past 70 years and the reasons behind them.
It also contains some concepts and bits of theory that may help you understand how the Chinese society operates.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China has achieved the dream of the millennium, marched toward national rejuvenation, and led one-fifth of the world’s population to approach the center of the global stage, said the article titled “Striving to create a miracle in human history.”
The article pointed out that China made a massive success in the economic field and became the most stable and prosperous economy in the world. In just several decades, the country has finished what took developed countries several hundred years to complete.
It has fully proved that the Communist of China (CPC) plays a crucial role in leading the country and the people to make new advances unseen in the century and supporting the nation to manage its own affairs well. It also shows the world that the CPC and the Chinese people are fully confident to provide a Chinese solution for the exploration of a better social system for all humankind.
The main points of the article are summarized as follows:
Seventy years is merely a fleeting instant in the history of human development. However, the Chinese people have created a magnificent miracle with 70 years of hard work. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the CPC has led the people to create a miracle of rapid economic development and a miracle of long-term stability and guided the country to stand up and become vibrant and influential.
The past 70 years is a historical process in which the ancient civilization pursued the dream of the millennium and marched toward national rejuvenation. It is also a process for China to lead one-fifth of the world’s population toward the center of the global stage.
Chairman Mao Zedong described China’s national industry as incapable of producing a plane, a tank, a car or a tractor. Besides, there were doubts that the CPC did an excellent job in making military strategies and political strategies, but performed poorly in the aspect of developing the economy. Some even asserted that the victory of the CPC would not last long.
Reform and opening-up was a game-changing move in making China what it is today. It enables the country to liberate the mind and break institutional barriers that hinder its development, replace the highly centralized planned economic system with a socialist market economy full of vigor, become an open economy from a closed and semi-closed one, and put its economy on a fast track of development.
From 1952 to 2018, China’s GDP jumped from 67.9 billion yuan to 90 trillion yuan, an increase of 174 times. The GDP per capita increased from 119 yuan to 64,600 yuan, an increase of 70 times.
China has risen to the second-largest economy in the world, the number one trader of goods, holder of the world’s most substantial foreign exchange reserve and home to the longest high-speed mileage and largest banking system in the world.
In one day, China’s GDP increases by 246 billion yuan, trade of goods by $12.6 billion. In one day, 140 million parcels are delivered and sent, and 76,000 vehicles are manufactured in China.
These achievements were beyond imagination in the past.
Today, China is one of the world’s 20 top players in terms of innovation and is home to more than 100 million market entities. With a strong determination to pursue high-quality development with unceasing efforts, the country has become full of innovation momentum, and everyone aspires to become better.
US economist Jeffrey Sachs said that China is a very successful story in the world of economy.
From stressing that youth is the hope of the nation, to yearning for rebirth and reconstruction of the nation and calling for national rejuvenation, generations of our predecessors have fought for the country.
Those who could not stand on their own feet cherish most the joy of being able to stand up; those who were impoverished aspire to become wealthy; those who are marching toward rejuvenation are most confident to become strong and healthy.
China, which contributed 30 percent to global economic growth for years in a row, has become the primary stabilizer and source of power for world economic growth. The country, which has managed to lift 700 million impoverished rural people out of poverty, or 70 percent of the total world impoverished population, has created a miracle in global poverty reduction.
China, which has been through ups and downs in the past 70 years, is still full of energy to swim against the tide in the new era. The country, having a long history, embraced modern civilization along its development course. The country, which has undergone many vicissitudes, carries the dream of rejuvenation with it while making strides toward a better future.
With a burning passion to strive for what it pursues China has experienced the joy of handling crises successfully. With the spirit of never retreating in the face of setbacks, the country has made epic accomplishments.
The grand rejuvenation of the nation, which carries the exploration of people with high ideals in the past more than a century and gathers together aspirations of millions upon millions of people, is like a sun shining in all its splendor.
For many people, what is amazing about the dramatic changes in China is that they are enormous in terms of scale. China has a population of nearly 1.4 billion, which is much bigger than the total population of all other major countries in the world before its rise. Besides, China made these achievements in a very short time. In just several decades, China has finished what took developed countries several hundred years to complete.
While making considerable achievements in a short time, China has also maintained long-term social stability, and let vitality of economic and social development come out in an orderly manner. In this way, it has struck a balance between vigor and order, and between development and stability.
The principles of historical development have indicated that a country experiences social contradictions and risks while it is in the process of modernization.
China was compared to a “compressed capsule” on the way of modernization, as it had been through many changes in a short time while meeting and solving all kinds of contradictions and problems. A tiny issue will be maximized in China, given its huge size.
From this perspective, China’s capacity to maintain stability is as important as its capability to create a development miracle. It should be valued that the country, even after undergoing complicated and drastic economic and social changes, remains a stable society in the long run. After thorough research on China’s development, a foreign scholar pointed out that the correct economic strategies and the stable political system of China are the secrets of China’s continuous economic growth.
With effective social governance and good social order, today’s China can deliver a better sense of gain, happiness, and security to its people. The country is hailed by foreign guests as one of the safest countries in the world and the most stable and prosperous economy in the world by foreign media.
Looking back on Chinese history, stability seemed intertwined with chaos, and unity was usually followed by separation. For thousands of years, China had witnessed more turbulent days than peaceful ones, not to mention prosperous times. The long-term turmoil and frequent wars had caused people to suffer.
As a result, whether the country can maintain lasting peace and order has become the essential criterion for people to decide whether the regime and system are good enough.
From such a historical perspective, it is a miracle that China has maintained long-term stability for the past 70 years.
Amazed at the miracle, some western scholars said that whoever could explain China’s success deserved a Noble Prize. Some even claimed that China is an exception of all the rules.
What are rules at any rate? Rules are the intrinsic connections between things and the constant and deep-seated truths of the changing and empirical world. They determine the inevitable trend of the world’s development.
As Friedrich Engels said, the course of history is governed by the general rules of history, and the problem is to discover these rules.
Development is like a long river composed of tributaries and reaches. Only by understanding and grasping the laws of the development of human society, which is the “long river”, the rules of the development of our own country, which is the “tributary”, and the principles of the historical stage, which is “the reach”, can we swim with the historical trend and rush forward.
In the past 70 years, the CPC has continuously deepened its understanding of the law of its governance, the building of socialism and the development of human society, which is how the Chinese miracle has been made.
It is generally acknowledged by international observers on China affairs that the CPC has made continuously incredible achievements with a magical power to overcome the difficulties.
Over the past 70 years, China has encountered blockades and containment from the outside as well as impetuous and rash decisions from within. The country has been challenged by significant disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and epidemics and by international turmoil like financial crises and trade frictions.
It is under the strong leadership of the CPC that China has been able to survive a series of risks and challenges, overcome difficulties and obstacles, and steer a steady course in the right direction.
The leadership of the CPC enables China to concentrate resources to accomplish large undertakings and organize and carry out various tasks effectively. The CPC has led the Chinese people into a new stage of development, proving that its leadership is the key to doing well China’s own affairs.
The CPC is a party of Marxism and the people and has always exercised its power in the interests of the people. It believes that the Party and the people are interdependent like fish and water, considers public opinions the most important thing in politics and people’s support the greatest strength in its governance.
It is a proven fact that the CPC is a political party in the interests of the country and the people, instead of in the interests of itself.
The miracle in China is a mirror of the 70-year-long tireless practice and investigation of the ruling political party in China.
The CPC firmly believes that only by finding a way that actually suits the country can China’s problems be addressed.
While introducing the market economy system, it did not undergo the radical “shock therapy” following the so-called Washington Consensus. Instead, it has taken a road of gradual reform, which not only let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources but also let the government play its functions in effectively curbing the cyclical ups and downs of the market economy. In this way, China has maintained stable growth on the whole.
In rural land reform, the CPC did not simply privatize the land. It introduced the household responsibility system and encouraged the separation of farmland ownership rights, contract rights, and management rights.
China promoted human-centered urbanization, creating conditions for peasants to settle in the cities and avoiding slums in the urban areas.
For the past 70 years, the miracle has witnessed the ceaseless experiment and innovation of a Chinese Marxist party.
To understand the Chinese miracle, it is necessary to understand socialism and the practice of the CPC on building socialism.
A former foreign ambassador to China once said that China had an urban population of more than 300 million, basically equaling the total population of Europe, and the country’s rural population which stood at over 800 million was also equivalent to that of Africa. So China was Europe and Africa combined, the former ambassador said.
Based on such national conditions, the CPC creatively put forward the theory of the primary stage of socialism. It has been completely clear about this fundamental dimension of the national context and based its work on this most important reality—the primary stage of socialism.
It also has been fully committed to the Party’s primary line as the source that keeps the Party and the country going and that brings happiness to the people.
From 1949 to 2018, the average per capita disposable income of Chinese residents increased 59.2 times factoring in inflation, and the average life expectancy also rose to 77 from 35. These drastic changes happening to the life of the Chinese people have well defined the people-oriented philosophy that China has always been upholding.
If China’s development is considered a unique “Chinese path,” then its development goals and continuously improved livelihood over the past 70 years are demonstrating to the world the “Chinese value” – also the value of socialism.
Since 70 years ago, socialism with Chinese characteristics has showcased strong vitality and enormous advantages by adhering to Party leadership, the people running the country, law-based governance and democratic centralism. During this period, China’s development reflected the essence of socialism and enriched the connotation of socialism.
The development miracle created by socialism with Chinese characteristics is telling the world that socialism can also be a leading player in human development practices, and the CPC and Chinese people will make unremitted efforts to achieve this goal.
A piece of information about the building of the pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics in Shenzhen attracted colossal attention in August this year. From a special economic zone to today’s pilot demonstration area, Shenzhen’s development is an epitome of the Chinese miracle.
There is no precedent for a massive country like China to achieve modernization, and a new path which suits itself must be made. To understand the Chinese miracle, one must understand the Chinese path and how the country perceives the development laws of human society.
China was considered a weak country a century ago, and such weakness was at materialistic, systematic as well as spiritual levels. However, the country has evolved from a world factory to a world market, and then a world platform as it is releasing stronger and stronger spillover effect. Also, the Chinese philosophy that propels China’s development is also now expected to drive the development of the entire world.
Entering the new era, the glorious Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has attracted attention from the globe for its broad vision, marvelous political wisdom, and remarkable strategic foresight.
Today, the CPC has stepped into a new realm thanks to its understanding, mastering and applying of the three laws of dialectical materialism, namely the unity and conflict of opposites, the passage of quantitative changes into qualitative changes, and the negation of the negation.
American scholar Ross Terrill said in his book “Xi Jinping’s China Renaissance” that Xi is completing the three leading ideals of Chinese governance — the governance of the ruling party, nation, and the global community.
Even those who hyped the so-called “end of history” theory started “correct” their views given the new miracles that are springing up in China.
Chinese voices are now widely heard on multiple international conferences, and Chinese development mode is becoming central topics.
A Mozambican consultant from the country’s finance ministry who studied at the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development three years ago noted that he wanted to find a development path that suited his own country by learning from China’s development model.
Forty years ago, China’s per capita income was less than even 1/3 of those in the sub-Saharan countries, while today, many African countries are learning from China in an attempt to find a development path of their own.
This is a representative story from the time, and it is not about only Chinese, but also the entire human being. This is how foreign media has described Chinese development.
Such voices resonate with Xi’s remarks that the CPC and Chinese people have every confidence in their ability to provide a Chinese solution to aid the exploration of a better social system for humanity.
The national rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is not only the manifestation of improved comprehensive national strength but also the rise of a civilization that carries rich connotation.
Facing the rising tides of anti-globalization, trade protectionism and populism, China firmly believes that to channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. With confidence, it welcomes each country aboard the express train of China’s development, proposes to joint construct the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), shares its development experiences with the world and shoulders the responsibility to protect free trade, multilateralism and economic globalization.
Chinese miracles prove that economic globalization is an irreversible trend of history, and peace and development remain an aspiration held dear by all of mankind. Only by jointly building a community with a shared future for humanity can the world embrace a bright future. Such a perception of the development law would only help to make a massive contribution to the development of human society.
The CPC is the most opening and inclusive political party in history. The Marxism it believes in is the essence of the human spirit, and socialism it commits to is a common aspiration of human society.
Since the reform and opening up, the CPC has been actively learning from the remarkable civilizations created by global people and has been applying what they learn by its own national conditions.
Looking into the future, the CPC, which is determined to strive for human progress, will keep promoting China’s development and creating more opportunities for the world, explore the laws of human progress and share the experiences with the world, and take more responsibilities to make more contribution to humanity.
Xi had an inspection tour in Guangdong province last October and visited an exhibition that was opened to celebrate accomplishments pertaining to Guangdong’s development during the past 40 years since the reform and opening up.
During the visit, the Chinese president remarked that coming to Shenzhen, his first destination for inspection after the 18th CPC National Congress, he wanted to declare to the world that China will never drag its feet on reform and opening-up, and the country is sure to show the world impressive new achievement in the future.
What he said once again indicated the firm belief, faith, and confidence of the CPC, as well as China’s ambition for development.
A note of Western mainstream media’s coverage of the Chinese state’s 70th anniversary
- Right after this article was published here, BBC posted this which illustrates the point.
The only article at AlJazeera dealing with China the day before the 70th Anniversary is exclusively negative/critical with a focus on gender equality. On October 1, there is one with the focus only on China’s military.
CNN’s coverage on September 30 is a long and interesting article in which three men who were all born in 1949 tell how their lives have been and the huge change – for bad and good – they have experienced. But not a word about the overall development and achievement, about the Belt and Road or other relevant aspects of the Chinese Anniversary.
On RT, Russia Today’s front-page there is no story about the Anniversary.
Deutsche Welle has let an American professor write a thoroughly negative article about China, the country that – according to him – has a “grim outlook”, with an economy ‘in slow decline’ and in which the guiding principle of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ means nothing but ‘shut up and obey the Party’. Now you know that!
The Japan Times top front-page story is that a record 85% of the Japanese people view China unfavourably while there is also one about a US aircraft carrier in the South China sea ahead of the Anniversary and the latter contains links to a number of articles about China with reasonably balances themes.
The Danish Broadcasting System has one article, exclusively with photos from the military parade. The message is clear and there is nothing else interesting to tell about China. There is another one – about a Danish female artist who allegedly has been the victim of censorship because her sculpture attempts to force Chinese women to sit with their legs wide apart on it.
The leading Swedish liberal newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, carries an editorial headlined “Xi Jinping celebrates 70 years of Communist dictatorship.” A couple of news articles focus on the military parade and on surveillance of the Chinese people.
Norwegian leftwing Klassekampen doesn’t mention the Chinese Anniversary on its front-page. In contrast, leftwing Danish Arbejderen devotes its editorial to a positive analysis of China’s overall development.
- Here you can see the attitudes of people in many countries to China. People around the globe are quite divided in their opinions of China. It’s highly interesting and you wonder: How do people shape their opinions about China? Most have only the media to rely on and have never been to China themselves.