What Experience Has the Communist Party of China Gained From Its Centenary Endeavors?

The historical achievements of the CPC over the past century cannot be separated from the support of the international community including Sri Lanka. In the coming year of 2022, China and Sri Lanka will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the “Rubber-Rice Pact”.

by Qi Zhenhong

The sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held from November 8th to 11th, has attracted great attention of the whole world. The most important achievement of the meeting was the adoption of the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century. The CPC’s endeavors over the past century have produced a profound influence on the course of world history. The Party has led the people in pioneering a uniquely Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human advancement, and expanding the channels for developing countries to achieve modernization. Facing changes and pandemic unseen in a century, I believe these valuable historical experiences may provide some enlightenment and reference for countries and political parties around the world including Sri Lanka.

Firstly, upholding the Party’s leadership. The strong leadership of the CPC is the fundamental reason why the Chinese people and Chinese nation have been able to transform their fate in modern times and achieved the great success we see today. Both the facts of history and the reality of today prove that without the CPC, there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation.

Secondly, putting the people first. No political consideration is more important than the people; no force is more powerful than justice. The CPC represents the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. It has no special interests of its own, nor has it ever represented the interests of any individual interest group, any power group, or any privileged stratum. This is the fundamental reason why the CPC has maintained its inviolable strength.

Thirdly, advancing theoretical innovation. Marxist theory is not a dogma, but a guide to action; it must develop with the evolution of practice, and only by adapting to the Chinese context can it take root in our country and gain a firm place in Chinese people’s hearts. The fundamental reason why the Party has been able to lead the people to accomplish enormous tasks in the past century, was adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and China’s fine traditional culture; abiding by the principle that practice is the sole criterion for testing truth; and kept adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times.

Fourthly, staying independent. We must follow our own path

— this is the historical conclusion the CPC has drawn from its endeavors over the past century. The CPC has always followed an independent path as it has pressed forward, stressing reliance on our own efforts to drive the nation’s development, and maintaining that China’s affairs must be decided and run by the Chinese people themselves. Throughout human history, no nation or country has ever become strong and prosperous by relying on external forces, indiscriminately copying the models of other countries, or blindly following in others’ footsteps. Those who have attempted to do so have either suffered inevitable defeat or been reduced to vassals of others.

Fifthly, following the Chinese path. The direction determines the path, and the path determines the future. Throughout its endeavors over the past century, the CPC has always stayed grounded in China’s conditions and felt out a right path consistent with China’s realities — the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is a sure path toward the realization of the socialist modernization, a better life for the people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Sixthly, maintaining a global vision. When the path is just, the common good will reign over all under Heaven. The CPC has been cogitating on the future of humanity with a global vision, and has correctly understood and handled China’s relations with the rest of the world in the context of the general trend of human development, the grand scheme of things amid global changes, and the entire course of Chinese history. It champions opening up over isolation, pursues mutual benefit instead of zero-sum games, and stands up for fairness and justice. This has enabled the Party to stand on the right side of history and the side of human progress.

Seventhly, breaking new ground. Innovation is an inexhaustible source of momentum for the development of a country and a nation. The greater the cause, and the more fraught it is with difficulties and obstacles, the more important it is to work hard and break new ground. The Party has led the people in surmounting all difficulties, searching high and low for a way forward, and pressing ahead with determination. As we have made constant innovations in theory, practice, institutions, culture, and other areas, we have demonstrated the courage to be pioneers and pursue a path hitherto uncharted. No difficulty or obstacle has been able to hold back the advance of the Party and the people.

Eighthly, standing up for ourselves. Having the courage to fight and the mettle to win provides the CPC and the people with inviolable strength. All the achievements we have made did not come from nothing, nor were they given to us by others; they were earned through persistent struggle. The CPC was born amid domestic turmoil and foreign aggression, was tempered through numerous tribulations, and has grown strong by surmounting difficulties. No matter how powerful the enemy, how difficult the journey, or how grave the challenges, the CPC has never lost heart or backed down, and never hesitated to make necessary sacrifices.

Ninthly, promoting the united front. Solidarity is strength. Developing the broadest possible united front provides important assurance for the CPC to defeat the enemy and to govern and rejuvenate the country. The CPC has remained committed to great unity and solidarity, united all forces that can be united, and mobilized all positive factors available in order to promote harmony between different political parties, ethnic groups, religions, social strata, and compatriots at home and abroad. This has allowed us to pool strength to the greatest extent possible for our common goals.

Tenthly, remaining committed to self-reform. Having the courage to reform itself is a hallmark that distinguishes the CPC from other political parties. The spirit of self-reform underpins the CPC’s ability to maintain its youthful vigor. The advanced nature of a Marxist party is not a given, but rather cultivated through constant self-reform. The CPC has emerged from one hundred years of vicissitudes with even greater vitality. The secret to this lies in the CPC’s commitment to upholding truth and righting errors. The CPC is great not because it never makes mistakes, but because it always owns up to its errors, actively engages in criticism and self-criticism, and has the courage to confront problems and reform itself.

The historical achievements of the CPC over the past century cannot be separated from the support of the international community including Sri Lanka. In the coming year of 2022, China and Sri Lanka will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of the “Rubber-Rice Pact”. At a new historical starting point, we are willing to share experience in governance and administration with friends from all walks of life in Sri Lanka, deepen practical cooperation, and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka

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