CPC charts course for Chinese modernization at key congress opening

The Chinese Communist Party (CPC) on Sunday unveiled its plan for building a modern socialist China in all respects for the next five years and beyond at the opening of the 20th CPC National Congress.

The five-year meeting is the CPC’s first national congress after its centenary in 2021, when the Party led the Chinese people to complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

“From this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to achieve the second centenary goal of making China a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization,” Xi Jinping said in a statement at the opening session of the congress.

He urged all CPC members never to forget the original aspiration and founding mission and have the courage and ability to carry on the fight.

Landmark decade

Xi hailed the great transformation of the first decade of the new era as “an important milestone in the history of the Party, the People’s Republic of China, reform and opening up, the development of socialism and the development of Chinese economy”. nation.”

The CPC has embraced its centenary, ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the goal of the first centenary, he said, calling the three major events of “historical exploits”. .”

China’s GDP now accounts for 18.5% of the global economy, up 7.2 percentage points over the past 10 years. The world’s second largest economy has become a major trading partner for more than 140 countries and regions, leading the world in total volume of trade in goods.

China has also joined the ranks of global innovators with breakthroughs in some core technologies in key areas. With its people-centered development philosophy, the country has built the largest education, social security and healthcare systems in the world.

As a collaborative effort, the Belt and Road Initiative has been welcomed by the international community as both a public good and a platform for cooperation.

Other major achievements highlighted by Xi range from deepening comprehensive reform to advancing critical pollution control.

While fully affirming the Party’s remarkable achievements, Xi also urged all CPC members not to lose sight of shortcomings, difficulties and problems, such as bottlenecks impeding high-quality development and the significant gaps in development and income distribution between urban and rural areas and between regions. .

Chinese path to modernization

The most populous country in the world is walking on a pattern of modernization that has never been seen before.

In his report, Xi reiterated that Chinese modernization is socialist modernization pursued under the leadership of the CCP.

Chinese modernization is the modernization of a huge population, common prosperity for all, material and cultural and ethical progress, harmony between mankind and nature, and peaceful development, he stressed. adding that it offers humanity “a new choice” to achieve modernization.

In its two-stage strategic plan, the CPC aims to fundamentally realize socialist modernization from 2020 to 2035 and to make China a modern, prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful great socialist country from 2035 to the middle of this century.

Xi outlined China’s overall development goals for the year 2035, which include a substantial increase in GDP per capita to match that of a mid-level developed country, a significant improvement of domestic soft power, a steady reduction in carbon emissions after peaking as well. as the overall strengthening of the national security system and capabilities.

He also pointed out the tasks and goals of China’s ambitious modernization drive, such as building a high-level socialist market economy, promoting people’s democracy as a whole, implementing the strategy of employment first as well as the exercise of governance based on the law on all fronts.

“The next five years will be crucial for our efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects to get off to a good start,” Xi said.

Sean Slattery, one of the foreign experts invited to translate the weighty report, said achieving modernization for the 1.4 billion people is a huge step forward for humanity.

“China stresses the importance for each country to pursue its modernization in a way that suits its own conditions and that its people would accept and support,” he said.

Backbone of the nation, anchor of stability

China has entered a period of development in which strategic opportunities, risks and challenges are simultaneous and uncertainties and unforeseen factors are increasing, Xi told 2,340 delegates and special delegates representing more than 96 million members. of the CCP.

Warning of various “black swan” and “gray rhino” events that may occur at any time, Xi, in the report, urged the CCP to be ready to “withstand high winds, choppy waters and even dangerous storms. “.

He called on the Party, which he said has always remained the “backbone” of the nation, to always remain vigilant and keep in mind that self-reform is “an endless journey”.

Describing corruption as “a cancer of the Party’s vitality and capacity,” Xi called for winning the difficult and protracted battle against it.

Xi stressed that Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology on which the CPC and China are founded and thrive.

“Our experience has taught us that at a fundamental level, we owe the success of our Party and of socialism with Chinese characteristics to the fact that Marxism works, especially when adapted to the Chinese context and the needs of our times,” he added. said.

In a world that “has again reached a historical crossroads,” Xi reiterated China’s commitment to promoting common development and a human community with a shared destiny.

“Only when all countries pursue the cause of the common good, live in harmony and engage in cooperation for mutual benefit will there be lasting prosperity and assured security,” the report said.

China adheres to the right course of economic globalization and opposes any form of unilateralism, he added.

China firmly opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics, Cold War mentality, interference in other countries’ internal affairs and double standards, Xi said.

“No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism,” he said.

Denise W. Whigham