The next century will vindicate China and other nations that believe in a world of cooperation and peaceful prosperity.
China’s lavish celebrations this week on the centennial of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were not only a great national event but also a reminder to the rest of the world of huge historic achievement. That achievement will undoubtedly change the course of world history over the next century.
Founded on July 1, 1921, the CPC was the driving force that led to the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Since its earliest founding father Mao Zedong (1893-1976), there have been at least five generations of leaders.
Current President Xi Jinping, who turned 68 last month, is the first leader who was born after the founding of the PRC. Xi delivered an hour-long rousing speech in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square this week to hail the centennial of the ruling CPC. Throngs of people cheered and applauded ecstatically while an impressive military display showcased China’s most advanced defense capabilities, including a flyover by J-20 stealth fighter jets.
Xi noted in his address that the CPC had delivered on its first centennial goal which was the building of “a moderately prosperous society in all respects”. He then went on to declare: “This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching confidently toward the second centennial goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.”
China’s leaders proudly proclaim to have adapted Marxism to “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
There is no doubting the success over the past century. China has advanced from a largely peasant society racked by poverty and hunger to become the world’s second-biggest economy after the United States. It is now the top trading partner with the European Union, the world’s biggest economic bloc of nations.
In a few years, it is reckoned that China will surpass the US. China’s cities can boast of tremendous feats in engineering and infrastructure. While many Western nations are crumbling from chronic underinvestment, the PRC is vigorously developing apace.
Today, China speaks with confidence on the world stage as an economic and military superpower. A century ago, it was bullied and harassed by America and various European colonial powers. The transformation is almost mind-boggling.
President Xi said China would not tolerate “sanctimonious preaching” by Western states and he warned that any attempt at aggression would be smashed against “the great wall of China’s 1.4 billion people”.
Some western scholars might dispute the authenticity of China’s socialism, but it seems clear nevertheless that its planned economy which is people-centered has outperformed Western corporate capitalism whose contemporary hallmark is massive indebtedness, inequality and social decay.
The past year of global pandemic is proof of China’s efficient governance. Its death toll from the Covid-19 virus is a tiny fraction of that incurred by the United States and other Western nations. Indeed, China has virtually eradicated the disease and has returned to strong economic growth while Western countries are still languishing with lockdowns and rampant infections. Beijing’s success in managing the pandemic speaks of efficient governance and egalitarian public health resources.
Another remarkable historic achievement is that China’s development has not involved conflict with and subjugation of other nations. By contrast, how many wars and conflicts has the United States and its Western allies engaged in during the same period? How many millions of lives have been destroyed by these imperial powers whose warmongering is a concomitant of capitalist economics?
Since President Xi took office in 2013, China has embarked on a world-changing Belt and Road Initiative. The vision is to build a world for common humanity through mutual partnership and development. Over 100 nations have so far joined and benefited from China’s BRI, from Asia to Africa to the Americas. Russia has emerged as a key partner with China in implementing the vision of a multipolar and mutual world order.
The “old powers” of the United States and Europe cannot abide such a global direction because their capitalist paradigm is predicated on domination and exploitation.
This is why Washington and its European lackeys have become frenetic in their efforts to demonize China (and Russia) with all sorts of spurious allegations. This is inflaming international tensions and is dangerously stoking the risk of war. It is to their eternal shame that Western states are jeopardizing global security in order to cling to their anachronistic ambitions of hegemony.
China can claim a 5,000-year-old civilization of which the past 100 years have seen astounding progress for its people. Western powers have inflicted perhaps 500 years of predatory ruination on the rest of the world and have little to show for it that can be recommended. The next century will vindicate China and other nations that believe in a world of cooperation and peaceful prosperity.