Without the Communist Party of China there would be no new China

This slogan appears at key locations and moments: Without the Communist Party of China there would be no new China.

For me, this is obvious. But let me copy an article from the People’s Daily that explains to some extent why this is the case:

Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, recently published an article in Chinese on what the system of Party leadership means to China. He began his article by saying that last year the United States turned on China, launching a trade war. “In the face of such a blow, almost any country would panic,” he said.

In fact, many Chinese people did panic at first, but the panic quickly subsided, because it became quickly apparent that the United States could not so easily crush China in a trade war. According to Hu, the reason for this is because the Chinese system is just too powerful and, as a result, the US side was forced to seriously negotiate with China.

“China’s political system is the key asset to China’s rise,” he wrote.

The Communist Party of China is an essential part of China’s growth story. When you talk about the success of China, you must also talk about the role of the Party. China has risen high under the guidance of the CPC and Hu believes that as long as the CPC continues to mature and its leadership role is strengthened, China has a good shot of achieving national rejuvenation.

The Chinese political system has also led to a fairer society. “Without the leadership of the Party, one thing is certain. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen would be surrounded by large slums like Rio, Mexico City, and Mumbai,” Hu said.

Many people may not accept this assertion, but there is truth to it. If you look at what China is doing in terms of poverty alleviation, it is pretty astonishing. China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty since initiating the reform and opening-up policy in 1978 and the country is on track to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020. In 2018 alone, official figures show that China lifted close to 14 million people in rural areas out of poverty.

And the Party’s organs at various level have been the fighting force in this battle against poverty.

China’s political system is the key to China’s rise, which is closely related to the well-being of more than 1.3 billion Chinese people. To continue rising, Hu pointed out, the country must continue to mature politically, firmly support the national system, and take its own path.

“If it was not for the strength of the Chinese system, when the United States launched a trade war against China last year, at the very least the renminbi would have been smashed,” Hu said. This is not an exaggeration. The fate of a country is often very fragile.

Hu pointed out that China is a huge country, therefore, even the migrant workers enjoy more space for living and more opportunities to grow than many of the people in other developing countries, and even the ordinary people in some developed countries. They are able to seek opportunities and earn a better living in the large market.

To see China in action look no further than the hard-working delivery people who run around the cities all day. China’s rise is being driven by the efforts and diligence of each Chinese person and their hard work has brought the country huge rewards.

“Living in China as a common citizen has the greatest average opportunity to improve one’s life,” Hu said. This is also true, because only in China can you find a large country with relatively balanced development and rapidly rising standards of living.

China is strong, both economically and politically. For this reason, the country is on very solid footing. China has encountered some difficulties, but nothing has put the brakes on its development. We need to better understand why that is the case.

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Xi Jinping at work: Two photographs, 30 years apart

This photograph was taken in 1989 when Xi Jinping was working as local CPC party head in Ningde, Fujian Province.

And this one is from 8 April, 2019, 30 years later. Here, Xi Jinping is heading out to celebrate China’s tree-planting day.

As an aside, it is worth noting that China leads the world in re-afforestation. It has been a decades-long national project greening cities and the countryside, so much so that desertification is retreatng in many of the more arid regions.

Down to the countryside: 21st century version

Some years ago now, there was a slogan in China, ‘Up the mountains and down to the countryside [shangshan xiaxiang]‘, which came to be known as the ‘down to the countryside movement’. Back then, socialism meant that everyone was equal because everyone was poor, and the trauma of that period’s disruption still runs deep in China’s cultural memory.

Now, China is a distinct beneficiary of the massive project of ‘socialist modernisation [shehuizhuyi xiandaihua]’. First launched by Deng Xiaoping, who knew very well that people would not see any benefit in socialism is they remained desperately poor, the project of socialist modernisation includes the thoroughly Marxist reform and opening up, the development of a socialist market economy, seeking truth from facts, liberating thought, and liberating the forces of production.

These days they speak of three ‘great leaps’: standing up, prosperity and strength. China is currently in the process of moving from the great leap of prosperity for all to the great leap of strength.

In this context, we find a whole new movement of ‘down to the countryside’ as this report from the Global Times makes clear:

10m Chinese young people to volunteer in the countryside within three years

China is planning to mobilize more than 10 million young volunteers to help promote cultural, technological and medical development in rural areas by 2020, a move local officials said would help revitalize rural areas that are suffering from an outflow of talented and young workers.

These young volunteers will be sent to rural areas, especially old revolutionary base areas, regions of extreme poverty and areas where ethnic minority groups live to promote local development and improve personal skills, read a recent document released by the Communist Youth League of China (CYL).

The move was hailed by many local officials, who said that it would help revitalize rural areas in the country that have been suffering from talent and labor outflows.

“We need young people to use science and technology to help the countryside innovate its traditional development models,” Zhang Linbin, deputy head of a township in Central China’s Hunan Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Zhang noted that young people are passionate and active, which is what rural areas need.

Taking his daily work as an example, Zhang noted that they were in urgent need of people who know computers because they were pushing forward a more standardized and digitized job in the town.

The rising level of urbanization in China has made more young people migrate from rural areas or less-developed regions to developed areas that have better resources and better income. This drains rural areas of their labor force.

To try to reverse the drain, the country has implemented a raft of policies in recent years to help rural areas attract skilled labor.

The document vowed to mobilize 10,000 student members of the Communist Party of China and the CYL to serve in rural areas as part-time local level officials, in order to train them in rural governance.

It vowed to build a number of training bases for young people in rural areas to start their own businesses or find jobs and to train more than 200,000 young people by 2020.