The Three Major Historic Breakthroughs in Reform and Opening Up

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The Three Major Historic Breakthroughs in Reform and Opening Up

Li Jie 

 Three major historic breakthroughs have been achieved in China’s development during the 30-plus years of reform and opening up. The first major breakthrough is that we solved the issue of “development free from shackles” from the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee in 1978 to the Fourteenth National Party Congress in 1992. “Free from shackles” means to free ourselves from the shackles of socialist traditional ideas and dogmatism. Adhering to the basic principles of scientific socialism, the CPC made great progress in understanding the fundamental question of what socialism is and how to build it, thus attaining a new realm in understanding scientific socialism. The second major breakthrough is that we solved the issue of “development by taking advantage of external forces” from the Fourteenth National Party Congress to the eve of the Seventeenth National Party Congress. “Taking advantage of external forces” means to promote our development with forces of the economic globalization which began to flourish in the 1990s. The CPC made two important policy decisions during this period: One is to establish and improve the socialist market economy, which created a mechanism and system platform for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and for our active participation in the process of economic globalization. The other is to energetically promote the negotiation on China’s entry into the WTO and get fully prepared for the new situation of international competition which China would inevitably face after its accession to the WTO. The third major breakthrough is that we have been making major efforts to solve the issue of “transitional development” since the transition of the development pattern was proposed at the Seventeenth National Party Congress. “Transition” means to change from the traditional development pattern featuring high input and aiming at multiplying the economic aggregate at the cost of serious pollution and high energy consumption to a development path which suits the needs of the Scientific Outlook on Development, in order to achieve sound and rapid development of the national economy. In order to achieve this shift, we must free ourselves from the bondage of the conventional development pattern of modernization and establish the Scientific Outlook on Development which always puts people first.

(From Beijing Daily, May 10, 2010)


What Is the Core of Chinese Culture?

Ouyang Zhongshi

 The core content and basic features of Chinese culture can be boiled down to six words: Ren(benevolence), De(morality), Li(etiquette), Fa(law), Hua(adaptation) and He(harmony), which are the common pursuit of all nations and all the people in the world. The Chinese sages were aware of this issue a long time ago, and they put forward some requirements and standards which can be analyzed through several Chinese characters. Firstly, “Ren,” which occupies an unshakable core position in traditional Chinese culture. People should love each other and that is exactly what “Ren” refers to. Secondly, “De,” which refers to the state of being upright in both thinking and action. “Ren” and “De” can be regarded as the core of Chinese culture. In order to guarantee the normal development of “Ren” and “De,” we have to behave in a regulated way and institutionalize that kind of behavior, which becomes “Li” and “Fa.” How can people attain the realm of “Ren” and “De,” and establish a standard system? There is one way – “Hua.” How can Chinese culture, with such a long history, still maintain continued flourishing growth and even become more and more extensive and profound? One, it is the pursuit of all humankind and represents the common ideal of all humankind for happiness; Two, Chinese culture has a strong capacity for acceptance of diversity, integration and reconciliation. It is impossible to eliminate conflicts in the course of cultural development. Instead of being afraid of conflicts, we should think of ways to harmonize and solve them. To sum up, there are only two solutions: either by yielding or by wresting. Wresting would come to no good, for the winner today might be the loser tomorrow, and vice versa. Fighting and wresting are no good solution, and they are not as good as “Hua.” By “Hua,” we can resolve conflicts, become reconciled, and make conversions, thus moving forward in a harmonious manner. China has learnt much from the outside world and adapted them to Chinese use. It was based on “Hua” that China becomes a large family of different ethnic groups. In the final analysis, all these are for one word – “He,” which is the ultimate pursuit of humankind. “He” means the harmonious and coordinated integration of two or many different things, but it does not mean the two different things lose their respective identity. It means that two different things are mixed together without losing their own characteristics and still peacefully coexist. There are many different things and different people in the world, so the concept of “He” should be encouraged. Only by adhering to the principle of “He” can we maintain everlasting peace and stability.

(From The People’s Political Consultative Daily, April 19, 2010)


The Proposition of the Goal of Building a Moderately Prosperous Society and the Formation of the Theory of Building a Moderately Prosperous Society

Moderately Prosperous Society Research Group, Party Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee

 On December 6, 1979, Deng Xiaoping for the first time set forth the goal of achieving moderate prosperity for China’s modernization drive in the 20th century. The Twelfth National Party Congress formally established this strategic goal in 1982. In early 1983, Deng Xiaoping inspected Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and some other provinces, summarized and refined their original experience in building a moderately prosperous society, and tentatively set forth the basic framework of the theory of building a moderately prosperous society. After that, the theory has been constantly enriched in the great praxis of China’s comprehensive reform and opening drive. In 1987, Deng Xiaoping proposed the three-step development strategy for China’s modernization drive, and mapped out a comprehensive grand blueprint of the 100-year unyielding efforts of the Chinese nation from the founding of New China to the middle of the 21st century. In the spring of 1992, Deng Xiaoping put forward a number of original ideas and viewpoints in his talks delivered on his tour of southern China which promoted the theoretical and practical development of building a moderately prosperous society. The concept of “moderate prosperity” depicts the yearning of the impoverished common people in traditional Chinese society for an adequately fed and clad life. To define the strategic goal for a certain period of China’s modernization drive with the concept of “moderate prosperity” is a wise and farsighted creation which combines modern values with ideals of traditional society. It sets up concrete standards for an originally abstract concept of social development goal by adopting the per capita GNP (gross national product) which is universally used to assess the production capacity and living standards in a country or region. This not only makes it easy for China’s general public to comprehend its modernization goal, but also makes it convenient for us to compare our goal with those of foreign countries. Furthermore, we can make timely new adjustments in accordance with various situations, thus making it a dynamic and open development goal. This goal has several implications as follows: One, “moderate prosperity” is China’s “minimum target of the four modernizations,” which means “being not affluent but fairly well-off” with “social problems getting solved fairly satisfactorily.” Two, the modernization of a “moderately prosperous” nature is a Chinese modernization instead of a Western one. Three, the Chinese modernization with “moderate prosperity,” although is not as advanced as the Western modernization, can still improve people’s lives to a large extent by taking advantage of the superiority of socialism.

(From Party Literature, No. 1, 2010)


Why China Has a Bright Future

Shi Yinhong

 The magic weapon that China has had only since the 1930s is the fundamental way of thinking of the Communist Party of China. It is the most distinctive feature of the CPC’s most senior leaders as well as the most important contribution of the CPC to the Chinese ideologies. This unique way of thinking emphasizes the adaptation to China’s conditions, which is different from or even contrary to both those of the westerners represented by Americans and Russians and that of the traditional Chinese holding the world outlook of universalism of Confucianism. Generally speaking, the people’s future in a country mainly depends on their independent praxes based on the concrete conditions of the country. No one else can replace or direct them in identifying the major issues of the country and the ways to solve them, and declare that what benefits himself will undoubtedly benefit the people in another country and the whole world. China takes its own road, and the other countries should also follow their own roads. This could be considered a great ideological revolution in China. Therefore, “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is the most succinct self-summary of contemporary China’s ideology, which represents the fundamental experience of the modern revolution and contemporary reform of China through the expressions of the CPC. This experience is that China’s affairs must be decided by the Chinese people themselves in accordance with China’s actual conditions and their careful practices and independent thought. Thus, the prime strategic qualities they need are the courage in exploration and experiment and the alertness in examination and adjustment based on spiritual independence and physical and total dedication to their work.

(From China Economic Times, July 9, 2010)


Mission of China’s Special Economic Zones

Su Dongbin

 The establishment of China’s special economic zones (SEZs) could be regarded as a sign of “China’s road.” First, the Soviet model of planned economy does not work any more. Second, it is impossible to practice egalitarianism to ensure a balanced development for all regions. Third, we take the establishment of SEZs as a breakthrough point for changing compulsorily and gradually the current rigid system of China. Ever since then China has taken a special road to modernization that differs from both the Soviet model and the Western model of laisser-faire capitalism. To sum up, China’s special economic zones typified by Shenzhen made four historical contributions to the combination of theory and practice. One was the establishment of a new system. The contribution of SEZs to China’s reform was forming a model of transformation from the planned economy to market economy, which serves as a fundamental guarantee for the transformation of system in social and economic development. Two was a new road. The contribution of SEZs to China’s development was finding a development road from an ordinary small town to a modern key city of a region. It could be more rapid to attain the ultimate goal of transferring from common poverty to common prosperity by allowing some people and some regions to prosper before others. Three was a fresh spirit. The contribution of SEZs to China’s spirit of the times was forming a character of being bold in and good at innovating in state of mind. This was reflected prominently in the emancipation of the mind and the scientific and technological innovation. Four was the verification of a major theory. The establishment of China’s SEZs, a great theoretical invention of Deng Xiaoping, is the key to the overall transformation of Chinese society, and a great creative praxis with Chinese characteristics.

(From Shenzhen Special Zone Daily, March 22, 2010)


Balanced Development Is the Strategic Choice of China’s Compulsory Education

Zhai Bo

 China is a developing country with the largest scale of compulsory education in the world. China’s compulsory education in its primary stage was characterized by a large scale, shortage of education funds and poor conditions for school operation. The difficult and tortuous course to make compulsory education universal in China can be divided into three phases: the improvement of basic conditions for school operation in the 1980s, the basic attainment of the two goals of making nine-year compulsory education basically available and basically eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults in the 1990s and the complete achievement of these two goals in the early 21st century. By the calculation of the World Bank, the per capita years of education of China reached 7.11 years in 1999, exceeding the world average of 6.66 years for the first time. This represents a major breakthrough in the development of human resources. The number of people in the areas where the nine-year compulsory education had basically become universal and where illiteracy among the young and middle-aged had been basically eliminated accounted for 85% of the Chinese population, and the proportion of illiteracy among the young and middle-aged was under 5% by the end of 2000. The government launched the plan to make nine-year compulsory education generally available and basically eliminate illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults in the western region in 2003, which marked the transformation of China’s compulsory education from basic availability to complete availability. The proportion of the population attaining these two goals in China reached 99% and the proportion of illiteracy among the young and middle-aged fell to 3.58% by the year 2007. The average years of education of the population over 15 years old are now more than 8.5 years, exceeding the world average of 7.5 years, and the average years of education of the labor newly entering the workforce reach 11 years. Over 70 million people have the background of higher education in China, ranking second in the world. The number of workforce receiving over nine years’ education is far ahead in the world. The modern thought of balanced development in education has been put into practice in many regions of China in recent years. They actively work to create various models for coordinating urban and rural education in promoting balanced development of compulsory education. 

(From Educational Research, No. 1, 2010)


Scientific and Technological Innovations in the Shanghai World Expo

Wan Gang

 Scientific and technological innovations in the Shanghai World Expo are manifested in 6 areas. One is the planning and construction of the Shanghai World Expo. It highlights the ideas of greenness, environmental protection, energy and ecological conservation, and harmonious and livable cities, and closely integrates modern architecture and modern urban landscape system. Two is the use of new energy sources. The Shanghai Expo highlights the ideas of green Expo and low-carbon Expo and concentrates efforts on tackling technological problems in the use of clean energy sources and demonstrating a large-scale use of them, meeting the requirements of energy conservation and emissions reduction. Three is the ecological environment of the Shanghai World Expo. It highlights the ideas of ecological harmony and recycling, focuses on applying the new integrated technology of ecological conservation, environmental protection and the recycling of resources, and embodies the harmonious integration of cities and the ecological environment. Four is the security of the Shanghai Expo. It highlights the ideas of putting people first and putting people’s safety and health first, and provides technological measures for food safety, preventing and combating terrorism and responding to emergencies. Five is the operation and management of the Shanghai Expo. It will highlight the ideas of highly efficient and convenient management, and focus on the use of new technology in the traffic management within and outside Expo Park, in safely collecting, distributing and directing a large flow of guests with great intensity, and in releasing information with various languages. Six are innovations in science and technology. The Shanghai Expo highlights the ideas of lively interaction, applies new media technology, and carries out new and innovative design, providing technological guarantee for fully displaying and developing the theme “Better City, Better Life.”   

(From Wenhui Daily, March 13, 2010)

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