China’s Political System Contributes to China’s Effective Governance
Remarks by Ambassador Ouyang Yujing at the Seminar on Governance of China
23 June 2021
Distinguished Dr. Ngeow Chow Bing, Director of the Institute of China Studies of the University of Malaya,
Professor Datuk Dr. Danny Wong Tze Ken,
Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Malaya,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my great honour and pleasure to join you at today’s seminar upon the kind invitation from the Malaya University’s Institute of China Studies. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to the organizers, experts and friends from the media.
The topic of today’s seminar is about “Governance of China”, one with broad dimension and historical depth. So we must look into the topic at a historical horizon. In a few days, we will celebrate the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which will be a moment of historical importance for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping once said, “There are certain historic occasions that empower us with the wisdom and strength to move forward”. Over the past century, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people to march, to explore, and to continuously forge ahead. We have surmounted unimaginable difficulties and challenges, and brought about dramatic changes to not only China but also the world.
For the past one hundred years, the CPC rallied the Chinese people in a historical struggle that has made the impossible possible and made the dreams reality. In the past year, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have worked diligently and achieved remarkable achievements on governance across all fronts. In the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, China was one of the first countries to contain the virus. Guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China provided huge amount of medical supplies and vaccines to the international community, contributing to the global fight against the pandemic. In the face of the poverty that has haunted the Chinese nation for thousands of years, China has lifted the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line out of poverty, and has completed the arduous task of eliminating absolute poverty. In the face of the daunting challenges posed by both the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and a weak global economy, China was the only nation among major economies to achieve positive growth against the odds, with its GDP stepping up to a new level of 100 trillion yuan Renminbi.
Our world has yet to achieve full peace. The devastating virus, economic recession and governance difficulties are clear challenges facing all countries around the world. Under such circumstance, there has been a growing passion and interest among the international community to learn more about China’s effective governance. Ever since I assumed office as ambassador, many Malaysian friends have expressed to me their desire to understand and learn from the governance experience of China. In my opinion, the secret of China’s effective governance is not enigmatic, instead it lies in China’s political system, that is, the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Firstly, China’s political system follows the development path that is suited to its own conditions. As the Chinese saying goes, “People with petty shrewdness attend to trivial matters, while those with greater wisdom attend to governance of institutions.” Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only right solution that the CPC and the Chinese people have found at the cost of countless hardships and enormous sacrifices. The leadership of the CPC and the running of the country by the people are the prominent characteristics of China’s political system. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese nation has achieved a great transformation from standing up to growing rich, and to becoming stronger. Fundamentally, it all comes down to the fact that China has found and adhered to a right path in line with Chinese characteristics, and gave full play to the efficiency and effectiveness of its system of governance. For instance, you may all know China’s Five-Year Plans. In fact, many countries once made such development plans, but most of them quit this practice. For China, we have not only stuck to it for a long period of time, but also combined these phased plans with medium-to-long term visions, thus drew up the grand blueprint for China’s development.
Secondly, the fundamental philosophy behind China’s political system is people-oriented. The CPC comes from the people, has its roots among the people, and is dedicated to serve the people. President Xi Jinping said, “people are the roots of our country, and our country is ruled by the people.” The CPC’s adherence to the people-oriented principle not only puts the Party’s original aspiration into action, but also demonstrates China’s traditional wisdom of governance. As the old sayings goes, “The foundation of a country is its people. Once the people are properly treated, the country will be at peace”, another is “Those who win the people’s hearts win the country, and those who lose the people’s hearts lose the country”. In July 2020, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University released a policy brief titled Understanding CPC Resilience: Surveying Chinese Public Opinion Through Time. The research brief finds that from 2003 to 2016, the Chinese government enjoys a continuously rising rate of satisfaction. In 2016, the Chinese people’s overall satisfaction towards the central government was as high as 93.1%. Going through the tremendous economic growth and the joint fight against the pandemic in recent years, the Chinese people’s satisfaction towards the Chinese government will certainly rise even higher.
Thirdly, the outstanding advantage of China’s political system is the practice of pooling all necessary resources together to accomplish great tasks. For China, the great tasks are to address the major challenges in the process of social and economic development. To do with these tasks well, we should not only take all factors into consideration, but also concentrate our strengths on key issues, so as to combine the whole and the part to bring changes to the entire landscape. During the past years of development, China has continually coordinated the efforts and mobilized the resources across the whole country, fully taking the advantages of the China’s political systems. Last year, during the battle against the COVID-19, more than 340 medical teams consisting of over 42,000 healthcare workers from all over China rushed to Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan to aid the anti-pandemic work there. Two specialized hospitals, Huoshenshan Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital, equipped with 2,500 beds were built within around 10 days. All these efforts contributed to containing the virus in such a short time. Last week, China successfully launched the Shenzhou-12 to bring three Chinese astronauts into China’s space station for the first time. It is the tremendous power coordinated and pooled by the governance system with Chinese characteristics that has enabled the historical breakthroughs of China’s manned space programme in a relatively short period.
After recent time of hardship, we can understand more than ever the significance of a community with a shared future for mankind. Facing the difficulties and challenges in global governance, China’s effective governance has contributed its wisdom, methods and strengths to the world. China stands ready to enhance communication and cooperation with all countries including Malaysia, share governance experience, promote civilized exchanges and dialogues, and work together with peoples from all over the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind, which will be a better world for all.
China and Malaysia are good partners that support and help each other through thick and thin. Over the past year, China and Malaysia have jointly fought against the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperated actively on vaccine, promoted high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and advanced the major projects including “Two Countries, Twin Parks” and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL). The bilateral trade and investment between both countries have risen against the odds. China-Malaysia cooperation has shown strong prospects and endless potential. Standing at a new historic starting point, China is committed to working together with Malaysia and other countries to break the waves and sail out towards a brighter future!
To conclude, I would like to wish today’s seminar a great success. Thank you!