CIPG President Du Zhanyuan talks about the keys to the success of the Communist Party of China at an academic conference in Shanghai on July 20 (WAN QUAN)
An international academic conference on The Communist Party of China (CPC) Governing the Country: Experience and Enlightenment was held in Shanghai, birthplace of the CPC, on July 20. The event was jointly organized by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, China International Publishing Group and Fudan University. More than 200 academics and experts from home and abroad gathered for exchange and research discussions. Edited excerpts of the experts' views follow:
Du Zhanyuan, President of China International Publishing Group
Facing the impact of COVID-19, compounded with major changes unseen in a century, hegemony and power politics, as well as insufficient economic growth, more and more countries and political parties want to learn about the practices of the CPC in governing the country. Four points can summarize the CPC's success.
The CPC always adheres to its People First commitment. In the 1930s, Edgar Snow, a well-known American journalist who first publicized the CPC in his book Red Star Over China, pointed out that the CPC draws its strength from the Chinese people. For the CPC, People First is more than a concept, it's a practice. It is not only the most valuable source of power in the Party's century-long struggle, but also the essence of governance ideology deeply rooted in Chinese culture.
The great changes over the past 100 years in China have proved that only socialism with Chinese characteristics can solve the development problems of contemporary China. China's successful practice sends a valuable message to the world: All countries should take the modernization path that suits their national conditions.
While governing the country, the CPC has never stopped innovating and advancing with the times. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has continued to innovate theoretically, developed in response to the risks and tests it has faced in various historical periods. Especially since the 18th CPC National Congress held in 2012, the CPC has undertaken a series of initiatives to promote a stronger organization and stricter Party discipline.
Over the past 100 years, the CPC has persisted in closely associating the future of the Chinese people with that of the other countries of the world.
China is ever closer to the world's center stage. As the world's largest ruling party, the CPC is making even greater contributions in advancing the development of humanity. Since last year, the CPC has been actively promoting international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, providing more than 100 countries and international organizations with more than 500 million doses of vaccines and concentrates, equivalent to one sixth of overall global production. This is the fourth guiding principle: building a community with a shared future for humanity.
Xie Chuntao, Vice President of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC
It has been 100 years since the founding of the CPC, and more than 70 years of the CPC in power. Its great success in governing the country is a worldwide recognized fact. The CPC has eight advantages in governing the country: the unique political party system; the unitary state structure; a strong organizational system; the dominant position of public ownership; Party control of cadre management; the concept of People First; inheriting and exploring Chinese traditional culture; and theoretical innovation and development.
China practices a multi-party cooperation and political consultation system led by the CPC. There are nine political parties in China of which the CPC is the ruling one. They consult with each other over the development of the country and the wellbeing of the people. Therefore, major decisions in China are made quickly and executed swiftly. The unitary state structure makes China's Central Government concentrate all resources to accomplish large undertakings on the one hand and support the less developed regions through financial transfers and assistance on the other.
The medical teams from across China that went to support Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak are a good example. The CPC is a strong organizational system. There are more than 4 million local Party organizations in China, and they play a great role in effectively organizing and mobilizing the community and society at large. China has the best infrastructure development in the world; China's public ownership of land is one of the reasons making this possible. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) also play an important role in people's livelihood. One fact is that all administrative villages in China are connected to the state grid system and the Internet. Some of this investment might never generate returns so no private company would undertake such a project, but it is the social responsibility of SOEs in China.
The CPC took Marxism-Leninism as its guiding ideology from its founding, while creating its own new theories in different periods. Practice has proven that these theories helped solve the problems of governing during different periods of time.
Kerry Brown, Director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London and Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Program at Chatham House
With the great achievements made by the CPC in leading China and its important influence in the world, it is particularly important to conduct in-depth research on the CPC. There are two key elements of the CPC to focus on. One is to make clear that the CPC has risen from a specific historical narrative. Since its founding, the CPC has made great progress in abashing absolute poverty, increasing literacy and life expectancy.
Underpinning this is a strong sense of moral teleology, that China's current rise and the positive end of its modern history at this moment is something morally justified, and owed to the country due to the suffering that it had endured before. This element of moral justification is poorly appreciated, and at times simply not recognized, by many outside the country.
The other is that the CPC is as much a cultural organization as a political one. Much of its authority and governance comes through culture. This is an important source of its power. It is also important to make clear that history and culture are of course intertwined and therefore impossible to separate. Through studying the CPC and its operations and history over the last few decades, a number of things that flow out from this have slowly become clear. These relate more to cultural and linguistic issues than political ones. Its leaders in recent years have often used the term "learning Party." They have also referred to the organization having an historic mission. These discourses are of great significance to understanding the CPC. The idealistic discourse of the CPC demonstrates its mission and aspirations, and provides explanatory discourses on the growth and development of the CPC.
Peter Nolan, Chong Hua Chair in Chinese Development at the University of Cambridge
The CPC's self-confidence stems from the clarity with which it perceives its tasks and goals in relation to China's long history. The pre-revolutionary system of the CPC is a Chinese bureaucratic system based on a rich written cultural tradition and an imperial examination system and application of profound ethical principles. This system has formed a unique government bureaucracy with a responsibility of "serving the people," for the common interests of the public while stimulating and regulating the political, economic and cultural systems.
The CPC has taken the "realization of communism" as its ultimate vision from the very beginning of its establishment. With the passage of time, the CPC has become more and more aware that communism is not "communal-propertyism," but, under Party leadership, it combines state supervision with market competition and ensures that the market serves all. It is this philosophical thinking that allows the CPC to continue to survive and prosper, and make a fundamental contribution to better realize the intelligent, pragmatic and non-ideological development of the entire world now and in the next decades to come.
(Print Edition Title: Insights From Experience)
Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon & Ryan Perkins
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