The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18 (XINHUA)
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held on October 18-24, enshrining Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the Party Constitution.
In his report delivered at the opening session of the congress, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, painted a promising outlook for the future of the world’s second largest economy. He spelled out a two-stage development plan for the country in front of more than 2,300 delegates.
China will basically realize socialist modernization in the first stage from 2020 to 2035 before developing China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful in the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century.
Xi Jinping Thought
A main function of CPC’s national congresses is to summarize and advance the Party’s theory on development. At this year’s congress, the Party’s new theories combined are defined as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
What deeply impressed Shi Taifeng, a delegate to the 19th CPC National Congress, was Xi’s remark that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. “This is a new historic juncture in China’s development,” Xi said.
“The judgment is a historic contribution made by the 19th CPC National Congress, as it is about the direction and path of China’s future development,” said Shi, who is also secretary of the CPC Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regional Committee.
“Based on this, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era delivers new theories, new thoughts and new strategies for China’s development in all aspects. During the process, the strong leadership of the CPC is especially important,” Shi said.
Xian Hui, a delegate to the 19th CPC National Congress and Chairwoman of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, sees the thought as a summary of the governance concepts, thoughts and strategies put forward by Xi in the past five years, as well as a development of the CPC’s guiding ideologies of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development.
Xi said in his report that this new era will be an era of building on past successes to further advance the cause of the CPC and the country, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
“It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. It will be an era for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work together and work hard to create a better life for themselves and ultimately achieve common prosperity for everyone,” said Xi.
His remarks indicated that China will adhere to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the CPC; it will realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; and China’s peaceful development, prosperity and revival are beneficial to humanity.
But the new era also brings challenges. The CPC has clearly realized that, as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved to that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, while previously it was the gap between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and underdeveloped social production.
The main reason for the CPC to redefine the principal social contradiction is that science and technology progress is transforming China from a big manufacturing country to a manufacturing power, whose productivity is no longer “backward,” said Zhou Tianyong, Deputy Director of the Institute for International Strategy at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
In his report, Xi explained the change. He said China has seen the basic needs of more than a billion people met, has basically made it possible for people to live decent lives, and will soon bring the building of a moderately prosperous society to successful completion. The needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; their demands for democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice, security and a better environment are increasing.
Xi said while China’s overall productive capacity has significantly improved and in many areas leads the world, the problem is that the country’s development is unbalanced and inadequate. This has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people’s increasing needs for a better life.
As the principal social contradiction has changed, so will the CPC’s historical mission. The report noted that realizing the great dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the CPC’s historical mission in the new era. The mission, according to the report, demands a great struggle with many new historical features, a new great project in Party building, and a great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
“The great struggle, great project, great cause and great dream are closely connected and are mutually reinforcing. We must see that as history progresses and the world undergoes profound changes, the Party remains always ahead of the times; that as history progresses and we respond to risks and tests at home and abroad, the Party remains always the backbone of the nation; and that as history progresses and we continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party remains always a powerful leadership core,” said Wang Yongkang, Secretary of the CPC Xi’an Municipal Committee in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
China has two Centenary Goals, which are to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by the time the CPC celebrates its centenary in 2021, and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the time the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary in 2049.
In his report, Xi gave a more detailed roadmap for accomplishing the second goal.
“Unleashing and developing the productive force is a fundamental task of socialism. These measures will undoubtedly inspire creativity and vitality throughout society, and bring about more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development of higher quality,” Shi said.
The report stressed the very purpose of developing socialist democracy is to give full expression to the will of the people, protect their rights and interests, spark their creativity, and strengthen institutional guarantees to ensure the people run the country.
Xi said, “The political system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a great creation of the CPC and the Chinese people. We have every confidence that we can give full play to the strengths and distinctive features of China’s socialist democracy, and make China’s contribution to the political advancement of mankind.”
The path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization, Xi said in the report. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.
Over the past few years, Xi has proposed to build a community of shared future for mankind on various international occasions, and it has also been incorporated in a UN resolution.
The world is undergoing profound development, transformation and adjustment, but peace and development remain the call of our day. Meanwhile, the trends of global multi-polarity, economic globalization, IT application and cultural diversity are advancing; changes in the global governance system and the international order are speeding up; and international forces are becoming more balanced.
And yet, global economic growth lacks energy, the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, conflicts arise often in some regions, and unconventional security threats like terrorism, lack of cybersecurity and climate change continue to spread.
“We call on the people of all countries to work together to build a community of shared future for mankind, to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity,” Xi said in the report.
He also pointed out that to make new and greater contributions to humanity is the CPC’s abiding mission.
The report said that China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, take an active role in reforming and developing the global governance system, and keep contributing Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to global governance.
“China’s development does not pose a threat to any other country. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion,” Xi said.