Through expert eyes: why and how the CPC works in China
By Ma Miaomiao  ·  2021-07-26  ·   Source: NO.30 JULY 29, 2021

Visitors at the Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai on July 19 (COURTESY PHOTO)

The city of Shanghai is where the Communist Party of China (CPC) first embarked on its 100-year-long voyage.

The Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the CPC in Shanghai, and the replica of the red boat, where the meeting announcing the founding of the CPC was concluded on Nanhu Lake of Zhejiang Province, serve as a reminder of the leadership, vision and persistence demonstrated by the Party in leading the Chinese people to achieve national rejuvenation over the past 100 years, Leandro Compagnucci, deputy head of the Argentina Embassy mission in China, told Beijing Review after a visit to the two sites on July 19.

The celebrations of the CPC centenary, a major event in the political life of the Party and the nation by large, have provided an opportunity for the world to deepen its understanding of the CPC, Jin Xin, Director of the China Center for Contemporary World Studies under the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, said at an international academic conference on CPC governance, which took place at Fudan University in Shanghai on July 20.

Some in the international community try to analyze and interpret the CPC from the perspectives of theoretical innovation and practical exploration. Furthermore, according to Jin, the world has also shifted its attention from doubting whether the CPC and the socialist system are sustainable to exploring why and how the CPC actually works in China.

A sense of accomplishment

Born at a critical time when the Chinese people were fighting for national independence and individual liberation, and trying to establish a new society with a new culture, the Party has shown great resilience in extremely difficult times and succeeded in profoundly changing Chinese society, Saikhansanaa Khurelbaatar, Advisor to the Secretary General of the Mongolian People's Party, said in her video address to the conference.

The CPC has transformed a forgotten, subordinated and absolutely peripheral country into one of the world's main economic powers, one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet and a country that puts all its economic power at the service of the prosperity of its people, Compagnucci added at the opening ceremony of the conference.

The Center for Economics and Business Research, a British think tank, predicted that China will surpass the U.S. to becoming the world's largest economy in 2028 in a report released at the end of last year. Actually, according to a report by the World Bank in May 2020, China's GDP in terms of purchasing power parity surpassed that of the U.S. in 2017 to become the leading one in the world.

Yang Fengcheng, a professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, said that one of the successful experiences of the CPC's national governance is to scientifically study and assess historical trends and in timely manner introduce medium- and long-term strategies to promote economic and social progress.

His views were echoed by Compagnucci, saying that the Party is able to achieve a continuous growth of the economy, the stability of a society that can live in harmony, and a peaceful rise on the international stage that gives hope to all those that believe in multilateralism and dialogue more than in international coercion.

These achievements were accomplished by a party that has remained faithful to three fundamental principles. The CPC has kept the people's interests at the core of its strategy and has fully exercised this representation. It has recognized the importance of the dialogue between theory and praxis, thus creating a political structure that could improve its theoretical bases continuously. Additionally, the CPC has not only been able to transform society, but has also been capable of self-adaptation and self-purification, instilling hope and loyalty in its people, Compagnucci said.

In the eyes of David Ferguson, a senior editor with China International Publishing Group, China has a strong government that provides its people with stable order. The governance system is primarily one concerned with human rights, the right to earn a living, have sufficient food on the table and a roof over your head, rather than the similar concepts promoted by the West. This system is designed to inspire cooperation and participation, rather than confrontation.

A sense of enlightenment

Jin said that some Western countries used to believe that China would be influenced and changed by the global status quo. However, the international community today is looking forward to seeing how China will move forward on the international stage and provide the world with more public goods.

China wants to work together with a range of partners worldwide to achieve better global governance, Huang Renwei, Executive Deputy Director of the Institute of Belt and Road and Global Governance at Fudan University, said. The world cannot be governed by the West alone; it must be governed by all countries through consultation and cooperation so as to properly address the thorny issues. According to Huang, the CPC is trying to strike a balance between developing China and contributing continuously to global governance.

China's system of governance has a proven track record of success, unmatched by any other model adopted by any other developing country. At the same time, it is a pair of "shoes that fits China's feet," and the country has no intention to force others into wearing its "shoes," Ferguson said.

A survey conducted by the China Data Lab of the University of California showed support for the government among the Chinese public has grown, with the average level of trust increasing from 8.23 in June 2019 to 8.87 in May last year, measured on a scale of one to 10.

A long-term Harvard University survey released in 2020 also found that Chinese citizens' satisfaction with the CPC and the government had increased across the board, with the government receiving the solid level of approval of 93 percent in 2016, the end of the survey period (2003-16).

As to whether the ruling party is governing the country effectively is a judgment call that should be made by its people, the only ones with the right to do so, Compagnucci told Beijing Review.

According to him, the process of reconstructing the Chinese nation under CPC guidance has culminated in new volumes of knowledge for all mankind. "Especially, it has created more insights for developing countries in terms of the huge variety of ways and paths that exist for achieving higher stages of development."

For example, "the technological advances mean a lot for developing countries like mine, because the more technology we can introduce into our economic and social systems, the better quality of life we can obtain for our people," he said.

(Print Edition Title: Tunnel Vision Begone)

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon 

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