The Choice of the Chinese Path
Ambassador Yu Hong
1 July 2021
The choice of the development path of every country is determined by its own history and culture.
Following the Opium War in 1840, China was reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal state. In order to salvage the nation from its existential threat and realize the national rejuvenation, countless people of insight searched tirelessly for a development path that best suited the national conditions in China. The Taiping Rebellion, the Self-Strengthening Movement, the Hundred Days’ Reform in 1898, the Boxer Movement, and the 1911 Revolution all failed to achieve this goal. China also tried various forms of governance such as constitutional monarchy, parliamentary system and presidential system to no avail. After repeated failures, the Marxism was chosen in the Chinese pursuit of own development path. In 1921, the Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded. Since then, the CPC ascended onto the historical stage, ushering in a new era of social development and progress in Chinese history that is characterized by “seeking happiness for the people and rejuvenation of the nation”. This is the choice of history.
This year marks the centennial anniversary of the founding of the CPC. Over the course of a century, the CPC has, uniting and leading the Chinese people, made the three major unprecedented achievements. Firstly, by completing the New Democratic Revolution (1919-1949) and founding the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the CPC put an end to the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society of old China and realized national independence and the people’s liberation. Secondly, by completing the socialist revolution and establishing socialism in China, the CPC brought the most extensive and profound social transformation to the Chinese nation in the history, laying down a fundamental political prerequisite and institutional foundation for the development and progress of contemporary China. Thirdly, by introducing and constantly advancing the policy of reform and opening up since 1978, the CPC has pioneered and has been perfecting socialism with Chinese characteristics. It has led the Chinese people in achieving a well-off society in all respects, establishing the world’s most comprehensive modern industrial system, and becoming the world’s second largest economy as well as the largest trading nation in goods. The Chinese people are proud of the brilliant achievements that the country has made.
The CPC has grown from a small party with only 58 members to a large party with about 95.14 million members and has been exercising state power for 72 consecutive years. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people’s living standards have continued to improve, and China has entered the ranks of middle-and high-income countries. China is changing for the better with each passing day.
The Chinese people cherish the path they themselves have chosen. The CPC led the people in founding the PRC, having completely abolished the unequal treaties imposed by the imperialist powers and the privileges of imperialism in China, realizing national independence. China has chosen the path of socialism and established a socialist system under the leadership of the CPC. The socialist democracy practiced by China is a whole-process democracy and the most representative democracy. It embodies the will of the people, fits the country’s realities and is thus endorsed by the people. What China advocates is that each country can choose a development path in light of its own circumstances and its people’s need, and all countries should respect and learn from each other.
To seek happiness for our people is the unswerving goal of the CPC. In 2020, China has achieved the poverty reduction goal of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, winning the complete victory of the decisive battle against poverty that is unprecedented in scale and intensity in human history. Since the launch of the reform and opening up, 770 million impoverished rural residents have been lifted out of poverty according to the current poverty standards, making great contributions to the global cause of poverty reduction. China’s GDP exceeds RMB 100 trillion, and its per capita GDP exceeds USD 10,000. The compulsory education enrollment rate is close to 100%. The basic medical insurance covers more than 1.35 billion people, while basic endowment insurance covers nearly 1 billion people. The average life expectancy has risen to 77.3 years, and the infant and maternal mortality rates have dropped to 5.6‰ and 16.9 per 100,000 respectively. In the face of the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, the Chinese government decisively adopted the most comprehensive and rigorous measures, and first brought the epidemic under control, effectively safeguarding the safety and health of our people. According to polls conducted by authoritative international polling agencies, the Chinese public satisfaction with the Chinese government has exceeded 90% year after year.
China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, develops friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and actively promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. China is a staunch supporter of the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. Over the past seven decades and more since the founding of the PRC, China has provided aid to 166 countries and international organizations, and established partnerships with 112 countries and regional organizations. China is also the second-largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping missions and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. China is committed to mutual beneficial and win-win cooperation, and rigorously promotes the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s annual average contribution to global economic growth has stayed above 30% and is the largest trading partner of more than 130 countries and regions. In the face of COVID-19 epidemic, China has provided anti-epidemic material assistance to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations, and provided more than 450 million doses of vaccines to nearly 100 countries including Brunei.
Last month, the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations was successfully held in Chongqing, China. Over the past 30 years, China and ASEAN member countries including Brunei have pursued win-win cooperation, having jointly built important pillars for regional peace and stability, jointly forged powerful engines for development and prosperity, jointly established the most successful paradigm for Asia-Pacific regional cooperation, and jointly brought enormous benefits to over 2 billion people across 11 countries.
In recent years, with the care of the two heads of state, cooperation between China and Brunei has developed rapidly. China actively supports Brunei’s efforts in economic diversification. Bilateral cooperation in the fields of downstream oil and gas, transportation, digital technology and healthcare has continued to expand. In the first five months of this year, bilateral trade volume reached USD 1.08 billion, a year-on-year increase of 47.7%. China and Brunei supported each other in the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, and the friendship has been further enhanced in the joint fight against the epidemic.
History and practices have shown that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics has not only lifted 1.4 billion Chinese people out of poverty and backwardness, set China on a course heading towards a country more prosperous and people happier, but also enabled the Chinese nation to once again make significant contributions to the cause of human progress. China stands ready to strengthen the synergy between China’s Long-Range Objectives through the year 2035 and Wawasan Brunei 2035, working together with Brunei to achieve the development of our countries and the wellbeing of our peoples.