Party keeps coping with challenges toward national rejuvenation
No one can argue against China's success in achieving long-term economic growth and social stability. Behind what is often called the "Chinese miracle" is the tenacious struggle of the Communist Party of China in leading the country toward national rejuvenation since its birth a century ago, according to experts. Maintaining a fighting spirit is the CPC's most distinctive characteristic and is also a major contributor to the Party's triumph over the difficulties, risks and challenges seen during the Chinese revolution, through construction and reform, and has enabled the country to become the world's second-largest economy and an influential player on the international stage, they said.
The CPC was born during a time of fierce struggle in which the Chinese people overthrew feudal rule and foreign oppression, and developed through decades of painful struggle to pursue national independence and liberation.
Under the leadership of the CPC, the nation reversed its fate of continuous decline following the Opium Wars in the 1840s and 1850s via steady progress toward prosperity and strength.
The century-long history of the CPC is a process of great struggle that has spanned the decades from the founding of the People's Republic of China to the reform and opening-up policy, as well as advancing socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, said Li Jie, president of the Association of Chinese Historians.
"By struggle, we mean not only fighting against those who are hostile or confront us, but also prevailing over natural hazards, overcoming difficulties arising from the modernization drive and dealing with problems, risks and challenges that pose threat to the development of the Party and the nation," Li said.
President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has warned on many occasions of the growing complexity of the risks and tests China has to face in realizing its dream of national rejuvenation. He has stressed the long-term nature of various struggles and called for the courage to fight and the mettle to win.
In March 2019, while addressing the opening ceremony of a study session dedicated to young and middle-aged officials at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, Xi called for the continuation of the Party's fighting spirit and urged officials to strengthen the ability to struggle.
Xi said achieving national rejuvenation is no easy job and that realizing the great dream demands great struggle. Resolute efforts must be made to fight against the risks and challenges that endanger the CPC's leadership and the socialist system, harm China's sovereignty, security and developmental interests and jeopardize the core and fundamental interests of the nation, he added. Saying that fighting is an art which demands strategies and skills, Xi urged efforts to mobilize all resources available to strive for unity, cooperation and win-win results.
Huang Xianghuai, director of the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said "great struggle" has been a key phrase in the governance philosophy of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core.
"Taking into account the great practice of the CPC's governance of the country, particularly the Party's efforts in anti-corruption, poverty alleviation, responding to trade frictions with the United States and combating the COVID-19 outbreak, we will have a better understanding of why the CPC highlights the significance of the great struggle in the new era," Huang said.
China's successful efforts to eradicate absolute poverty in rural areas across the country have demonstrated how the CPC's fighting spirit functions in a nationwide campaign to improve people's well-being.
Over the past eight years, 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living below the poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty. Meanwhile, all 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 impoverished villages have been removed from the poverty list.
Since the unveiling of the reform and opening-up policy more than 40 years ago, the country has lifted 770 million rural residents out of poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global impoverished population, according to the World Bank's international poverty line. It has also met the poverty eradication target set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the success of China's anti-poverty drive in recent years, calling it "the most important contribution" to the cause of global poverty reduction.
When addressing a grand gathering held in Beijing to mark accomplishments in poverty alleviation and honor models in fighting against poverty, Xi said, "No country has been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in such a short time."
The anti-poverty campaign has operated under the unified and centralized leadership of the CPC Central Committee. A total of 255,000 teams were dispatched to offer on-the-ground support and more than 3 million officials were sent from cities and towns to the countryside as special commissioners for poverty relief.
Over recent decades, China has made miraculous achievements in various fields including poverty alleviation, which would not have been possible without the leadership of the CPC, said Saifullah Khan Nyazee, chief organizer of Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf, Pakistan's ruling party.
The world has witnessed China's poverty eradication campaign, he said, adding that as per the commitment of the CPC, the achievement in poverty relief is nothing less than a miracle and an example of true hard work and commitment.
In addition to poverty alleviation efforts, one of the greatest achievements the world can see from the CPC's governance is the effective handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
When the novel coronavirus outbreak occurred in 2019, the CPC led the Chinese people in making painstaking efforts to contain the virus in a short time and restart economic activities. It has also worked with political parties of other countries to uphold public health security, providing medical supplies and expertise to affected countries to help them fight the virus.
During the fight, the CPC has upheld the belief of "putting people first" and mobilized all resources available to protect lives. Xi acted as commander-in-chief in the fight against the contagion, urging officials to give top priority to health and lives.
Stephen Ndegwa, a communication expert in Nairobi, Kenya, said, "While many countries were still dilly-dallying even after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic of global concern, the world was treated to images of the CPC-led government rising to the occasion in a resolute manner and implementing strict measures to contain its spread."
The curbing of the outbreak in its tracks in China was enabled by the strong and disciplined management of public affairs. That ensures everyone plays their role for the greater good and not to fulfill selfish ends at the expense of others, he added.
While striving for high-quality growth in the new development stage, the CPC is also tasked with various jobs including forestalling and defusing major financial risks, combating pollution and promoting green development, and frustrating attempts to split China or undermine its ethnic unity and social harmony and stability. Externally, unilateralism, protectionism and trade bullying have posed a great threat to China's developmental interests as well as the global economy and international order.
With strong awareness of risk prevention and control in mind, Xi has urged Party officials to be clear-headed about the long-term and complex nature of both domestic and international unfavorable factors, and to be well-prepared for any difficult circumstances. In the meantime, he has also underlined the need for the Party to strengthen strict self-governance to ensure its members refrain from incompetence, disengagement from the people, inaction and corruption.
Gu Hailiang, a professor of Marxist theory at Peking University, said that as part of the CPC's great struggle, self-reform within the Party aims to strengthen Party building to make it more powerful and improve its governance capacity.
Raphael Tuju, secretary-general of Kenya's ruling Jubilee Party, said, "You have to give credit to the Communist Party of China for having managed to steer the country in a disciplined and focused manner, which has enabled them to achieve what one can generally call the 'Chinese miracle'."
He added: "We have a lot to learn from the CPC. I think one of the things one can talk about is the way they keep focusing on fighting corruption."