|Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Jianmin at a Webninar|
Glorious History and Bright Future
Keynote speech by H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Jianmin at the Webinar
"The CPC's 100-Year Endeavor: Achievements and Experience"
June 23, 2021
Greetings to you all!
It is a great pleasure to attend the webinar "The CPC's 100-Year Endeavor: Achievements and Experience". Let me begin by thanking Vice Chairman Grospič and you all for taking the time to attend the webinar! I wish to thank Mr. Jan Campbell and the Institute of the Czech Left for co-organizing the webinar with the Chinese Embassy.
In a few days, the Communist Party of China (CPC) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. This adds significance to the webinar, whereby we will exchange views on the glorious achievements and valuable experience of the CPC over the past century. You all have in-depth knowledge about world socialism and have a good understanding of the CPC. I look forward to hearing your insights. Before that, please allow me to share with you some of my perspectives.
First, on the glorious achievements of the CPC's 100-year endeavor.
History is the best textbook. In the CPC's 100-year history, one consistent theme is to strive for national independence and liberation, build a strong, prosperous country and enhance the well-being of the people. And the CPC has continuously written magnificent and impressive chapters with its efforts in advancing China's revolution, construction, reform and rejuvenation causes, and in achieving the goals of saving, building, invigorating and strengthening the nation.
The CPC saved China with great sacrifices. After the Opium War in 1840, China was reduced to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The Chinese nation was confronted with internal unrest and foreign aggression, facing a crisis of national subjugation and extinction. Thus the CPC was born in times of crisis. Once founded, the CPC took the realization of communism in China as its highest ideal and ultimate goal, and established its original aspiration and founding mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. From 1921 to 1949, the CPC united and led the Chinese people through 28 years of fierce battles, overthrew the "three mountains" of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, completed the new democratic revolution, and established the People's Republic of China.
The CPC built China through hardships. New China, which stood up from the flames of war, was faced with an extremely difficult and complicated international and domestic environment. Its economy was in dire situation, and all sectors needed to be revived. The CPC united and led the Chinese people to consolidate the new-born People's Republic, completed the socialist transformation and established socialism as China's basic system, thereby completing the most extensive and profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation. China carried out socialist construction on a large-scale, and established an independent and relatively comprehensive industrial and economic system. China produced its first airplane, first automobile, and developed on its own its first atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, etc.. During this period, in its efforts to fulfill the new task of building socialism and advancing China's modernization, the CPC also experienced serious setbacks. But on the whole, this period of history provided valuable experience, theoretical preparation, and material foundation for creating socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new historical period.
The CPC has invigorated China through reform. In 1978, the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC made a historic decision to shift the focus of the Party and the country to economic development and introduced reform and opening up. The reform and opening up program has played a decisive role in shaping the future of contemporary China. It is a great revolution in the history of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, and has led to great progress in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. For more than 40 years, the CPC has been committed to economic development as the central task, and has been liberating and developing social productive forces, improving and developing the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As a result, we have achieved great success in development that attracts worldwide attention. In just a few decades, we have managed to complete the industrialization process that took developed countries centuries, and created the "two miracles" of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability. The Chinese economy has been deeply integrated into the world economy, and China has become the "world factory". Since 2010, China has been the world's second largest economy. As an important engine for global growth, China has made effective contribution to the sustainable development of the world economy.
The CPC is strengthening China comprehensively. With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation-it has stood up, become better off, and grown in strength. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core has demonstrated tremendous political courage and a strong sense of mission, and promoted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country with historic achievements. China's overall productive forces have significantly improved, and its economic and technological strength, defense capabilities, overall national strength, and international influence have remarkably increased. China's per capita GDP has topped 10,000 U.S. dollars, and its middle-income population exceeds 400 million, making it the world's most promising huge market. China has for years contributed to more than 30% of global growth. China has completed the arduous task of eliminating absolute poverty, and is about to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the First Centenary Goal. China has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way, and is advancing courageously toward the Second Centenary Goal, namely to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the 21st century.
The 100-year history of the Communist Party of China is a history of fulfilling its original aspiration and founding mission. Throughout its history, the CPC has been of one mind with the people, and shared weal and woe with them. The great achievements of the CPC have brought profound benefits to the people, and this is a fact that no one can distort. The CPC has gained the trust and approval of the Chinese people, as well as the appreciation and support of the peace-loving people around the world.
Second, on the valuable experience of the CPC's 100-year endeavor.
After 100 years of unremitting efforts, the Communist Party of China has become the world's largest Marxist governing party, which has been in power in the largest socialist country for more than 70 years and has more than 91 million members. In the century-long arduous exploration with successes and setbacks, the CPC has accumulated extensive and valuable experience, which provides scientific guidance for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. I will highlight five aspects of the experience.
The CPC embraces the people-centered approach. The CPC always upholds its fundamental political stance of siding with the people, and remains committed to the principle of serving the people wholeheartedly. General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that the Party's century-long endeavor is about seeking happiness for the people, emphasizing that the country is the people and the people are the country. Be it in securing a complete victory in the fight against poverty or in responding to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the CPC always "put people first" and firmly relied on the people. The people are the CPC's greatest strength in governance. According to opinion surveys conducted by many well-known foreign institutes on a global scale, the approval rate of the Chinese people for the CPC and the Chinese government exceeds 90%. The CPC will maintain flesh-and-blood ties with the people, work more consciously to see that the gains of reform and development benefit all people in a fair way, and make steady progress toward the goal of achieving shared prosperity for everyone.
The CPC upholds the guiding position of Marxism. Marxism is the ideological and spiritual banner of the CPC. Since its founding, the CPC takes the scientific theory of Marxism as its guide for action, and has never wavered its belief in Marxism. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that should we deviate from or abandon Marxism, the Party would lose its soul and direction. The CPC insists on combining the basic principles of Marxism with the reality of China and the characteristics of the times, continuously adapts Marxism to the Chinese context, keeps it up-to-date, and enhances its popular appeal. A series of major theoretical innovations have been achieved by the CPC and the latest one is Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which represents the Marxism of contemporary China and a new development of Marxism in the 21st century. The CPC will persist in observing, interpreting and leading the times from the perspective of Marxism, promote the development of Marxism with fresh and rich practices of contemporary China, and continue to deepen its understanding of the laws that underline the governance by a communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society.
The CPC promotes the spirit of reform and innovation. Reform and innovation is the time-honored spiritual wealth of the Chinese nation and an inexhaustible driving force for the development and progress of the CPC and China. General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that only the reformers and innovators will emerge stronger and win. He also emphasized that no matter how powerful and wealthy a country is, once it abandons reform and innovation, it will enter a dead end. Over more than 40 years of reform and opening up, we have continued to free our minds, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times, and apply a realistic and pragmatic approach. We have proactively promoted innovations in theory, practice, institutional building and other fields, so that our system can be more mature and better defined, economic development can be of higher quality, governance can be more advanced, and our people can have a greater sense of fulfillment. We will uphold the spirit of the times featuring reform and innovation, take innovation as the primary driving force for development, further release and develop social productive forces, and continue to strengthen the impetus for and vitality of development.
The CPC strengthens party building. The key to running China's affairs well lies in the CPC, and it is imperative that the CPC exercise effective self-supervision and practise full and strict self-governance. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that "it takes a good blacksmith to forge good tools". He also pointed out that the greatness of the CPC lies not in never making mistakes, but rather the CPC never conceals its fault, has the courage to face problems squarely and advance self-reform, possess a strong ability for self-healing. The fundamental reason why the CPC is always at the forefront of the times and remains the backbone of the Chinese nation, is that it maintains the spirit of self-reform and constantly purify, improve, reform and excel itself so that the Party becomes still stronger and keeps its advanced nature and integrity. The CPC will continue to advance the great new project of strengthening the Party, and will make unremitting efforts to improve Party conduct, build a clean government, fight against corruption, so as to ensure that the Party's great vitality and strong ability are maintained.
The CPC strives for the cause of human progress. The CPC aims for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress. To make new and greater contributions for humanity is the Party's abiding mission. Under the leadership of the CPC, China is firmly committed to pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China insists on equality among all countries, irrespective of their size, strength and wealth. China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order, and has greatly contributed to world peace and common development. China sticks to the system and development path it has chosen and, at the same time, fully respects the independent choices of other countries. China will never export its system or engage in system competition. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China will follow a path of peaceful development, continue to play its part as a major responsible country, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and join hands with the Czech Republic and other countries to create a better future.
The Communist Party of China is committed to the eternal great cause of the Chinese nation. It is showing even stronger vigor and vitality at its 100th anniversary. With scientific socialism full of vitality in 21st-century China, history has not and will not come to an end. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is our right and feasible choice, and it will surely lead China to a better tomorrow!
Today, the CPC is standing at a new historical starting point with an extremely bright future ahead. Regardless of any risks or challenges ahead, the CPC will stay true to its original aspiration and founding mission, continue to work hard and forge ahead, unite and lead the Chinese people to advance the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and make new and greater contributions to human civilization and progress!
Last but not least, I wish the webinar a complete success! Wish you all health, peace and happiness!