China @ 70

Xi Jinping on Socialism


On March 17, 2018, China's national legislature adopted constitutional amendments, enshrining Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the Constitution.

The Xi Jinping Thought represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and encapsulates the practical experience and collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the people.

The CPC announced the formation of the thought for the first time at its 19th National Congress in October 2017 and wrote the thought into the Party's Constitution as a new guide to action upon conclusion of the congress.

The thought makes eight fundamental issues clear at the theoretical level, and presents the 14 fundamental principles to guide the endeavors:
l    It makes clear that the overarching goal of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realise socialist modernisation and national rejuvenation. On the basis of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a two-step approach should be taken to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century.
l    It makes clear that the overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the five-sphere integrated plan, and the overall strategy is the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. It highlights the importance of fostering stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
l    It makes clear that the overall goal of comprehensively advancing law-based governance is to establish a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and build a country of socialist rule of law.
l    It makes clear that major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
l    It makes clear that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. It stresses the people-centered philosophy of development, and well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone.
l    It makes clear that the overall goal of deepening reform in every field is to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernise China's system and capacity for governance.
l    It makes clear that the Party's goal of building a strong military in the new era is to build the people's forces into world-class forces that obey the Party's command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct.
l    It makes clear that the CPC leadership is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics; the Party is the highest force for political leadership.

In his 2019 New Year speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping set the tone for China's dynamic and energetic diplomacy and outlined key priorities of his foreign policy. In a world that is undergoing changes unseen in a century, China will remain confident and resolute in safeguarding its sovereignty and security, and maintain its sincerity and goodwill for safeguarding world peace and promoting common prosperity, President Xi Jinping said.

The declaration President Xi made on the last day of 2018 is a footnote to his commitment to building a better world for all with his insightful and pragmatic diplomatic endeavors, widely known as Xiplomacy.

Since the start of the year, President Xi has made five overseas visits and attended four multilateral gatherings in eight countries to forge broader consensus and closer partnerships for jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind.

On June 29, on the sidelines of the Group of summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, President Xi's meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump spurred optimism and lifted global markets. In their face-to-face meeting, the two leaders agreed to jointly advance a China-US relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability, and to restart economic and trade consultations, with the US agreeing at the meeting not to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports. China and the US have highly integrated interests and extensive cooperation areas, and they should not fall into the so-called traps of conflict and confrontation, President Xi said.

"They signaled the will to cooperate. This is very important and constructive. The situation has indeed improved," said Jeffrey Sachs, a senior UN advisor and renowned economics professor at Columbia University, on the significance of the meeting.

President Xi's state visit to Russia in early June came as the two countries are embracing the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. The Chinese leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin upgraded bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era.

President Xi noted that the China-Russia ties have become a major-country relationship featuring the highest degree of mutual trust, the highest level of coordination and the highest strategic value, thus making key contributions to world peace, stability and development.

Two weeks later, the Chinese president arrived in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a state visit, the first of its kind in 14 years. In his talks with DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Un, President Xi noted that the China-DPRK relationship has entered a new historical era President Xi also reaffirmed China's support for efforts to advance the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue and create conditions for it.

President Xi's visit contributed to lasting peace and stability on the peninsula as well as in the region, said Lee Hee-ok, director of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies at Sungky-unkwan University in Seoul.

While protectionism and fierce global competition for resources have diverted the attention of some economies from making a bigger cake to wrestling for a larger slice, Xiplomacy staunchly advocates common efforts to create more shared interests. "We should forge a global connectivity partnership to achieve common development and prosperity", President Xi said at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. "As long as we work together to help each other, even if thousands of miles apart, we will be able to find a mutually beneficial and win-win road."

His remarks resonated with many attendees at the event, which was held in Beijing in April and gathered participants from more than 150 countries and 90 international organisations. President Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 and frequently promoted it on multiple international occasions. The endeavors have borne fruitful results—some 126 countries and 29 international organisations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. From 2013 to 2018, trade between China and other BRI countries surpassed $6 trillion, and China's investment in BRI countries exceeded $90 billion. "The BRI transcended the challanges of geography and unequal development," and China "has proven itself as a reliable, responsible partner in the international arena", said Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan.

The blueprint also ignited Italy's enthusiasm, as it clinched a deal with China to jointly advance the construction of the Belt and Road during President Xi's state visit to the nation in March. Italian President Sergio Mattarella said that with the continuous deepening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and the implementation of the deal, the Italy-China relationship is becoming increasingly active, close and inclusive. Italy is the first Group of Seven country that has signed such an agreement with China, while France and Germany also showed interest in boosting BRT-related cooperation through third-party markets to improve infrastructure in Africa.

The fact that more and more potential partners have shown interest in the joint construction of the Belt and Road corroborates Xi's words that "the BRI will not become an exclusive club".

Making multilateral efforts to address pressing global issues is another core message of Xiplomacy, as effective global governance is threatened by rising unilateralism and trade protectionism. At the G20 Osaka summit, President Xi noted that the world economy is at a crossroads, and the G20 bears the responsibility to chart the course for the world economy and global governance at the crucial time.

To tackle global challenges, President Xi put forward a four-point proposal: sticking to reform and innovation and exploring driving force for growth; keeping pace with the times and improving global governance; actively tackling challenges and removing development bottlenecks; upholding the spirit of partnership and properly addressing differences.

Xi's "much anticipated speech provides a direction for improving global trading system" to avoid "being myopic and guided by short-term interests," said Swaran Singh, a professor at the School of International Studies at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University. The Chinese leader also appealed for multilateralism on occasions such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. In March, at the global governance forum co-hosted by China and France in Paris, President Xi noted "four deficits" in global affairs, namely governance deficit, trust deficit, peace deficit and development deficit, and proposed a four-pronged approached addressing these deficits.

Dialogue facilitates understanding among countries, as was demonstrated in the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations (CDAC) held in Beijing in May. The CDAC aimed to create a new platform for advancing equal dialogue, mutual learning, and mutual inspiring among civilisations in Asia and the rest of the world, President Xi said. The intensifying global challenges humanity is facing now require concerted efforts by countries across the world, he said.

[source : News From China]

Back to Home Page

Vol. 52, No. 24, Dec 15 - 21, 2019