January 26, 2023

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Exemplary leadership: The Governance of China

A visitor takes a photo during an exhibition on China's achievements in Beijing on October 11. (XINHUA)

The success of China’s governance increases its influence in the world. 

Leading a party with more than 96 million members is a remarkable task for Xi Jinping, who was re-elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the 20th CPC National Congress in October. The number of CCP members alone exceeds the population of many countries. 

This congress came shortly after the centenary of the CCP, which was established in 1921 with the aim of achieving a fair distribution of wealth and creating an egalitarian society. In the first article of the first chapter of Volume IV of his book, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China , the Chinese President refers to the Opium War in 1840, explaining that “China gradually fell into the state of a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, and the Chinese nation has suffered unprecedented suffering and disasters. This situation gave rise to a series of insurgencies, revolutions and reforms. As Xi pointed out, since then, national rejuvenation has been the biggest dream of the Chinese people and nation. Marxism- _ _
Ninjaism was introduced to China during the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 and became the guiding philosophy of the CCP when it was established in 1921. 

“From its founding, the Communist Party of China has made it its commitment and mission to work for the happiness of the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xi said. “All the people’s sacrifices and initiatives under the leadership of the Party can be summed up in a single theme: realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. History shows that the CCP honored its commitments. 

Two farmers pack dried rice grains into a sack in Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, Guizhou province, on September 17. (XINHUA) 

A phenomenal success 

Being responsible for the challenges facing the Chinese nation and people has led to the extraordinary progress the country has made. President Xi has delivered on his pledges to eradicate absolute poverty in the world’s most populous country and set it firmly on the path to common prosperity with the characteristics of a modern socialist society. The phenomenal economic growth the country has experienced suggests that there is a clear understanding of how the socialist market economy works and the value of fair and competitive trade, as well as an awareness of the dangers of market manipulation. , collusion and corrupt business practices, and the negative and destructive impacts these can have on China’s progress. 

Since the XVIII National Congress of the CPC in 2012, when Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, the average life expectancy in China has reached 78.2 years and per capita disposable income has more than doubled, from $2,500 to about $5,500, with 13 million urban jobs created each year on average. China’s health services have improved significantly and the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been deemed exemplary. China has also provided humanitarian aid to many countries in need. 

Energy and food security is assured as the nation of 1.4 billion people embraces new technological advancements through high-quality development in infrastructure and logistical innovation. China has built the world’s largest network of high-speed railways and highways, as well as world-class ports and shipping industry. 

The country has become the world’s number one in total merchandise trade and the top trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions since Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening-up policy was implemented in the late 1970s. With an annual growth rate of 6.6% over the past decade, China contributed 38.6% to global economic growth, which is higher than that of the G7, including countries most industrialized in the world. China’s GDP has grown from $8.5 trillion in 2012 to $17.7 trillion in 2021, and its foreign exchange reserves, at $3 trillion, are the largest of any nation. 

The philosophy of people-centered governance, the basic tenet of Marxism, is the core of the CPC and the primary function of people’s congresses at different levels. “Under this system, all the power of the state belongs to the people, the people’s position as the ruler of the country is maximally protected,” President Xi said in his address to the Central Committee Work Conference on National People’s Congress in October 2021. People’s democracy in any process implies that the people and the CCP are synonymous. Building autonomy and having the confidence to innovate is achieved by relying on the creativity of people, who are an inexhaustible source of ideas, thoughts and inventions. 

A world stature 

The 20th CPC National Congress, held in October this year, drew everyone’s attention to Beijing because of its importance to policymakers around the world. New words like “Xiconomics” and “Xiplomacy” have been coined in recognition of the Chinese President’s leadership. Narratives are rapidly changing to recognize China’s importance on the international stage. The concept “the world needs China and China needs the world” reflects feelings towards China and its contribution to the world. 

President Xi’s firm but sober advice is being recognized as nations and regions make clear their intentions about the direction of their foreign policy and seek to join and become members of forums where China is present. The Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect the world through infrastructure, is gaining momentum. Multilateral groupings like the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are all receiving requests for expansion. Its members seek dynamic, versatile, stable and lasting relationships and cooperation, while questioning the relevance of the outdated Western hegemonic system. 

A fifth volume of President Xi’s speeches, writings and thought is eagerly awaited as humanity embarks on a new journey of discovery and exploration in all its aspects. 

The author is director of the Diplomatic Association of South Africa. 

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