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Decoding the DNA of the CPC
By Wang Jianhua, Tan Yixiao & Zhang Bowen | NO. 43 OCTOBER 26, 2017

CPC Party officials train local villagers from Hutou, Fujian Province on how to develop modern agriculture and village tourism. The picture was taken on October 12 (XINHUA)

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convened in Beijing on October 18. It is expected to set a blueprint for the country to march toward modernization and achieve national revitalization in the 21st century. A recent series of reports by Xinhua News Agency elaborate on China's development path and the CPC's governance theories, practices and efforts. The following are edited versions of the last two reports of the series:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 19th National Congress on October 18-24, during which new guidelines were issued to further develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Since its founding in 1921, the CPC has overcome great hardships. However, by remembering its roots and progressing in terms of innovation, the Party has established China firmly on the world stage.

Faith in Marxism

Political parties all over the world have recognized the need for faithfulness to their spiritual foundations. The CPC is no different.

Ever since the Party's founding, Marxism has been its creed, and communism its supreme ideal. Marxism, in particular, is the foundation of theories developed by Chinese communists to guide the cause of the CPC and the nation.

At the rally marking the 95th anniversary of the CPC in 2016, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, warned against "deviating from or abandoning Marxism," as without such a fundamental guiding theory, the Party would "lose its soul and direction."

It is no surprise then, that a first edition of the Chinese translation of The Communist Manifesto, which is now exhibited at the First CPC National Congress Memorial, has been carefully preserved through times of war and revolution.

"The reason why the CPC could lead the nation and the people to historic achievements is that the Party has always been true to its founding mission," said Zhang Liming, head of the memorial.

"The CPC and socialism are becoming more dynamic, which is a result of Marxism's successful practice in China," said Huang Renwei, a researcher with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS).

People-oriented development

At the China Executive Leadership Academy of Jinggangshan, students get a chance to live in some of the villages that have been lifted out of poverty to experience the firsthand effects of poverty relief efforts.

"The course aims to bring CPC officials closer to the people," said Mei Liming, Executive Vice President of SASS.

As the heartland of the early revolutionary activities of the CPC in east China's Jiangxi Province, it is symbolically important that Jinggangshan has been officially taken off the list of impoverished areas.

The CPC was born from the people, therefore the people are seen as a source of strength and wisdom.

"Meeting the people's desire for a happy life is our mission," said Xi after being elected as general secretary of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2012.

Xi has repeatedly stressed that the success of the Party hinges on the support of the people.

The CPC and the Chinese Government have been taking heed of the needs of the people and have formulated policies accordingly. This in turn helps promote social stability.

More than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty since China's reform and opening-up policy was adopted in 1978. Currently, the goal is to eradicate poverty in the country by 2020.

Foreign analysts have pointed out that social problems can sprout from the diverse demands and discontent of a country's population. Therefore China is pushing innovation and entrepreneurship in order to boost employment, invigorate the economy and ensure social stability.

"The CPC and socialism have maintained their vitality mainly because seeking benefit for the people is at the center of the Party's values and motivations," said Professor Dai Yanjun with the CPC Central Committee Party School.

Continued reform and innovation

The reform and opening-up policy has ushered in an era of innovation in ideas, systems and policies in the country.

"The socialist path, theory, system and culture with Chinese characteristics are evidence of the CPC's creativity," said Professor Huang Xianghuai with the CPC Central Committee Party School.

Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has championed the new concepts of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up and sharing, as well as supply-side structural reform to cope with the economic "new normal."

Led by Xi, the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform has held 38 meetings since its establishment. As a result, more than 1,000 reform measures are being carried out and supervised nationwide.

"The CPC will never lose its vitality as long as it continues to reform and innovate," said Huang Xianghuai.

Strict party governance

"One must be strong in order to forge iron." This is the lesson the CPC has taken from the drastic changes which took place in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The Party proposed the policy of self-discipline in 1962, and "strict governance" in 1985. In 2014, Xi put forward that comprehensively and strictly governing the Party is a necessity.

The CPC Constitution is the basis for intra-Party supervision, and several amendments have been made to ensure that self-discipline and strict governance continue.

In the meantime, regulations and rules were also improved.

For example, the CPC introduced the norms of political life within the Party under the current conditions in November 2016 and amended a regulation on intra-Party supervision.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has set an example in the Party by implementing the eight-point frugality code. (It requires officials at all levels to take the lead in overcoming formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, and states that efforts should be made to address both symptoms and root causes of unwanted work styles.)

The strict governance and intra-Party democracy have helped the CPC maintain vitality.

Selecting the capable

The CPC has always regarded selecting and employing the right and capable people as an integral part of its mission.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has deepened reforms on how officials are appointed, making sure that the selection is based on wider criteria than just an official's votes, scores, age or GDP achievements in his or her region.

Xi said that it is important to recruit Party members from diverse backgrounds in order to better fulfill the Party's tasks.

Xi knows the importance of such diversity, as he has been promoted through the Party from an official in a village of a poverty-stricken area to the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

International development

In January, Xi proposed building "a community of shared future for mankind" in Geneva. One month later, the concept, together with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, was incorporated into a UN resolution.

With China's involvement, international governance mechanisms like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS Summit, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the G20 Summit have become increasingly effective. China's contributions to international governance have won recognition worldwide.

In the 21st century, especially since the 2008 financial crisis, some Western countries have seen the rise of populism and isolationism.

The CPC, however, has sought to engage with rather than withdraw from economic globalization and interconnectivity. It has been able to simultaneously practice good governance domestically and work toward solution to international issues.

The CPC, adopting socialism with Chinese characteristics, has broadened the space for the modernization of developing countries and brought Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions to worldwide problems.

Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan

Comments to zanjifang@bjreview.com

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