For the first time in the 100-plus-year history of the world’s largest Marxist governing party, Chinese modernization, a key term defining China’s journey to rejuvenation, has been written into a report to the National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
In his report to the 20th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, expounded on the Party’s missions on the new journey of the new era.
“From this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization,” said Xi.
China has made great achievements in building a modern socialist country under the leadership of the CPC, and Chinese modernization has offered humanity a new choice for achieving modernization.
In its unprecedented stride toward modernization, China has worked out the twin miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability.
The country has eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal. For instance, the average Chinese life expectancy has gone up to 78.2 years from 74.8 years from a decade ago. The country has put in place the world’s largest social security and health care systems, with 1.04 billion people under the coverage of basic old-age insurance and 95 percent of the population covered by basic medical insurance.
In addition, China’s modernization process has not come at the expense of the environment. Instead, China is striving to make its development greener and more sustainable. In pursuit of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, it has cut carbon emission intensity by 34.4 percent over the past 10 years, and pledges to achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and realize carbon neutrality before 2060.
Over the past decade, China’s gross domestic product accounted for 18.5 percent of the world economy. As the second largest economy in the world, China has become a major trading partner for over 140 countries and regions, leading the world in total volume of trade in goods.
Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has penned the importance of sticking to the Chinese context in the country’s successful exploration of modernization.
“The successful practice of Chinese modernization has shown the world that as long as it anchors itself to its own modernization goals and independently explores a path to modernization that suits its own national conditions, a latecomer can achieve development in leaps and bounds even if it does not have the same development conditions as the early movers,” said Huang.
Charting the future
The next five years, as was illustrated in Xi’s report, will be crucial for getting the efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects off to a good start.
In a two-step strategic plan, the CPC aims to basically realize socialist modernization from 2020 through 2035 and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful from 2035 through the middle of this century.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a renowned China expert who has closely followed the country’s development over the past 30 years, wrote in his opinion column with CGTN that the timeline was among the highlights of the report that struck him as “novel and worthy of attention.”
“The 20th CPC National Congress not only is looking ahead five years,” said Kuhn. It is also “providing a road map for the next 13 years to 2035 and for the next 25 plus years to the mid-century.”
He also said China should proactively engage the world, contributing Chinese culture, offering Chinese ideas and showing the real China.
“Internationally, China is offering overtly to all humanity, especially to developing countries, a new form of human advancement, a new way to modernization, infused with Chinese experiential insight and supported by Chinese economic strength,” said Kuhn.