Following the Path of Peaceful Development

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  Following the Path of Peaceful Development 

  Dai Bingguo

 The path of peaceful development is an entirely new type of development path developed by the CPC collective leadership based on careful consideration of the character of the times and the country’s conditions, analysis of the overall domestic and international situations, and aspects borrowed from lessons learned by other countries in their development. This represents a major decision in China’s development strategy. The world today is going through extensive and profound changes. Because of globalization, the arrival of the information age and the rapid advance of science and technology, the world is becoming smaller and smaller and becoming more like a “global village.” In a sense, the world has already become a place with universal interests. All countries of the globe must share the same boat rather than jostling for space or fighting each other in the same boat in order to address global issues. The character of this path can be summed up in five aspects: One, it emphasizes the peaceful nature of development. Two, it emphasizes self-reliance in development. Three, it emphasizes the scientific nature of development. Four, it emphasizes the cooperative nature of development. Five, it emphasizes the universal nature of development. The orientation and strategic intent of Chinese development can be summarized as peaceful development that seeks internal harmony and development and pursues external peace and cooperation. Specifically, it means realizing the above goals through peaceful means, through constant reform and improvement of our own system, through the hard struggle and inventive creativity of the Chinese people and through sustained friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation among all countries of the world.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, December 13, 2010)

  Actively and Carefully Pursuing Political Reform While Maintaining a Correct Political Orientation

  Zheng Qingyuan

 The political system practiced by a country and its path of political development is ultimately determined by the will of the great majority of the people of that country and by the specific situation and historical and cultural conditions of that country. New China was established over 60 years ago, and we long ago clearly answered the question of what political path we were going to follow. This path was developed through several generations of trial and error, is the accumulation of the lessons learned in the past century or so of Chinese contemporary history and is in line with the tide of the times and the desires of the people. We must continue to follow a political path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, continue to uphold the close integration of the leadership of the Party, the people as masters of the country and the rule of law, actively and carefully carry out reform of the political system and constantly promote self-improvement and development of the country’s socialist political system. At the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee held during this crucial period of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, the major significance of this political path was once again stressed. Looking back at the 30-plus years of reform and opening up, it is not hard to see that political reform in pursuit of socialist democracy and development of a socialist legal system has been a constant process in China that follows a political development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As China’s political reforms have continued to progress, socialism with Chinese characteristics has become the overriding trend of the times. This has led a socialist China to a succession of developmental achievements that have captivated the world.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, October 27, 2010)

  China’s Achievements Demonstrate the Power of Marxist Theory                        

  Yi Junqing

 Through the record of achievements made in the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we can clearly see the thriving theoretical creativity and strong influence of actual practice of Marxism that takes into careful consideration specific social conditions. It has taken a century for China to go from an extremely poor, weak and chaotic country where people lived in misery to a thriving New China, which has made achievements in reform and opening up and successfully responded to a global financial crisis. There is one important factor behind these successes and miracles that we cannot overlook under any circumstances and that is the fact that the Communist Party of China in its nearly 90 years of tumultuous history has always placed great importance on applying advanced theories to arm and direct the causes of the Party. In particular, it should be noted that the success of the CPC in developing ideological theories is due to the fact that the Party did not simply rely on the general outlooks and conclusions of Marxism, but was extremely effective instead in tailoring Marxism to conditions in China. This has resulted in the formation of Marxism that adapts to actual conditions in China and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Therefore, the theoretical significance of China’s successes has shown that there is more than one development path and development model in the world and demonstrated that it is possible to pursue a development model that is different from that of developed Western countries and goes beyond the “logic of capital.”

(Originally appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today, January 6, 2011)

  China’s Unique Advantages in Responding to Social Issues                              

  Wu Zhongmin

 It is hard to avoid some people having worries of one kind or another concerning the social issues that have emerged in contemporary China and repeatedly sounding warnings. But the actual situation is that China is continuing to develop and society has remained stable. In addition to the obvious basic advantage of sustained development, in contrast to other countries and regions in the same development stage China has a number of unique advantages in addressing social issues. One is that most people in China do not want trouble. Based on the lessons of history, the various sectors of modern Chinese society have come to a common consensus: there would hardly be any sector of society that would benefit from any type of unrest. Social stability is a prerequisite for economic development, improvement in living standards and long-term peace and stability of the country. Two is a powerful ability to mobilize the country. Some public crises resulting from natural disasters can spark social tensions and even evolve into a fuse for large-scale social disturbances. But China has the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system. China’s powerful system and ability to mobilize the whole country is perfectly capable of effectively resolving this type of public crisis and preventing it from evolving into a large-scale social disturbance. Three is the country’s tradition of pragmatism, peace and tolerance. The Chinese nation is a mixture of various ethnic groups that has a spirit of peace and tolerance and a prominent spirit of pragmatism. The fundamental orientation of the spirit tends to ease rather than exacerbate social tensions and issues. Four is the important buffering effect of the family. In comparison with other countries, Chinese people attach more importance to the family due to the effect of the nation’s culture and traditions. Objectively speaking, this helps to greatly reduce potential social conflict. Five is the role of the Internet in reducing pressure. Chinese Internet use already exceeds the world average, and the hundreds of millions of computers in the country serve as a giant platform allowing Chinese people to freely express their opinions and form a giant network in which the Chinese public can freely exchange ideas, which also has a positive effect in easing social tensions. 

(Originally appeared in Journal of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, Volume 14, No. 6, December 2010)

  China Has Extensive Human Rights and Freedoms

  Li Yunlong

 The history of China’s reform and opening up is not only the history of economic reform and economic development, but also the history of comprehensive political progress and constant development of democracy and freedoms. The CPC and the central government have been working to gradually improve democracy in society and making constant progress. Democracy was first developed at the local level. Direct election of village committees was instituted in the mainland and most provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have changed village committees five or six times through local elections. Democratic elections, democratic administration, democratic decision-making and democratic oversight have become the basic model for village administration. At the same time, the development of democratic politics has expanded the development of human rights. Democracy requires giving the same rights and basic freedoms to all members of society. The development of political democracy must be in line with the development of personal and social freedoms. The degree of freedom in society has greatly increased and the number of various freedoms has greatly expanded in line with the development of political democracy since the introduction of the reform and opening up policy. Many social barriers restricting personal freedom have been eliminated. Individuals can now freely select where they want to live, freely select their employment, freely choose their faith and freely express their opinions. The space for Chinese people to freely express themselves is growing larger and larger and the areas where they are not allowed such freedom are shrinking. People are now free to express their opinions provided such expression does not violate provisions of the Constitution or laws. People can express their opinions with no restrictions in the fields of academia, society, culture and the arts, entertainment and sports. Every day one can see all types of differing opinions expressed in all the different media.

(Originally appeared in Guangming Daily, October 21, 2010)

  “Chinese-Style Democracy” Is an Important Key for Deciphering the Secrecy of “Chinese Model”         

  Yang Yufeng

 The whole world recognizes the achievements China has made in the field of economics since the implementation of the reform and opening up policy, but there are people who say this is only due to China instituting a market economic system and opening up to the outside world. On the other hand, many developing countries have adopted a market economy and opened up their economies, adopting the political systems of capitalist countries as well, but have not done well in economic and social development. Some have even fallen into a “development trap.” Therefore, we cannot only look at the economic sphere for the key to decipher the secrecy of “Chinese model.” We must also look at the political sphere. Thanks to the more than 60 years of constant trial and error since the founding of New China, particularly the more than 30 years since the institution of the reform and opening up policy, China has basically found a path of “Chinese-style democracy” that conforms to China’s history, practical conditions in the country and the requirements for modernization. The advantages of this approach can be seen in the characteristics of “Chinese-style democracy.” First, regarding the concept of democracy, it incorporates the best of traditional Chinese political ideology and Western political ideology guided by Marxism to realize a combination of the principle of putting people first with democracy in one entity. Two, regarding the structure of democracy, it integrates leadership of the Party, the people as masters of the country and the rule of law to build the structure of a system with Chinese characteristics. Third, regarding the pace of the development of democracy, the actual level of economic and social development is carefully balanced with the people’s demand for democracy to realize the integration of “effective governance” on the part of the CPC with “effective participation” of the general public. 

(Originally appeared in Contemporary World and Socialism, No.6, 2010)

  Doing a Good Job of Legislation to Develop and Improve the Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics

  Xin Chunying

 The National People’s Congress and its standing committee have been working for many years to build the country’s legal system, taking into consideration the overall work situation of the country and the objective requirements of economic and social development. The legal system is developed based on the Constitution and now consists of seven major branches at three levels, i.e. laws, administrative laws and regulations, and local laws and regulations, and basically covers all activities of society. China is now in the initial stage of socialism and simultaneously carrying out industrialization, IT application, urbanization, market development and internationalization. All types of interconnected problems and issues have arisen, presenting extremely complex problems for legislative work. It has only taken just over 30 years to form a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. This is the great creation of the CPC leading the people in the process of implementing the reform and opening up policy and carrying out modernization, and is an unprecedented accomplishment in the history of legislation in the world. Time has shown that one of the successes of Chinese legislation is providing legal support for reform and opening up by addressing the difficult issues arising in the process, unifying understanding through the legislative process and seeking consensus in society. Legislation solidifies the successes of reform and opening up in the form of law, and putting into force and implementing the law in turn promotes reform and opening up by creating a new political, economic and social order. The development of the legal system responds to and meets the general requirements of the country’s reform and opening policy and modernization. The formation of this legal system is an indicator of the degree of maturity of China’s state system as well as presents new and higher requirements for legislative work.

(Originally appeared in The People’s Congress of China, No. 10, 2010)

  The Importance of Taking the Country’s Situation into Consideration in Developing the Legal System

  Xu Xianming

 China has gained valuable experience during the process of developing the legal system. Specifically, there are four aspects to this. First of all, the country’s situation was taken as the start and endpoint in developing China’s legal system. China’s laws are designed to address problems in the country, therefore the situation in the country must be taken as the starting point. There are two fundamental aspects to China’s situation. One is the leadership of the CPC, which is the basic guarantee for success in all the country’s undertakings. Two is that China will remain in the initial stage of socialism for some time to come. These two mean that China’s legal system is necessarily different from those of Western countries in terms of content and nature and in terms of role and function. We cannot simply copy a Western model for China’s legal system. Some laws in the Western model are not compatible with China’s situation, so we cannot simply copy the Western model. Some laws that are not part of the Western model are necessary for China’s political, economic and social development, so we formulate legislation such as the Law on the State Assets of Enterprises. Second, China’s legal system must always meet the requirements of economic development under socialism with Chinese characteristics. The legal system is a reflection of the economic base and serves to promote the development, consolidation and optimization of China’s socialist market economy. Third, China’s legal system has been developed one step at a time in a systematic and planned manner. Fourth, during the process of developing China’s legal system under socialism with Chinese characteristics, we paid close attention to the delineation and connection between the function of regulation through legal means and regulation through other means in society. Using different means for regulating different relationships in society is an advantage of China’s traditional culture. The advantages presented by regulation through political, economic and social means under socialism with Chinese characteristics cannot be replaced by the legal system.

(Originally appeared in Beijing Daily, March 21, 2011)

  The Major Objectives for Economic and Social Development during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan Period

  Zhang Ping

 Taking into consideration the five issues of economic development, structural adjustment, living standards, social development and reform and opening up, and in line with the need for scientific development and acceleration of transformation of the pattern of economic development, China has identified the major objectives and requirements for economic and social development during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period. China’s development is being presented with important strategic opportunities during this period. The objective for economic development is steady and rapid economic development, basically stable price levels, improved employment situation, gradual shift towards overall balance of international payments and marked improvement in the quality and performance of economic growth. The objective of strategic economic restructuring is to increase the ratio of consumer spending, increase the proportion of service industry, improve the balance between urban and rural development, increase the contribution of science and technology to economic growth, greatly reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP and CO2 emissions, significantly reduce overall level of major pollutant emissions and substantially improve the quality of the ecological environment. The objective with respect to living standards is to constantly increase personal incomes in line with economic growth so that the people share in the fruits of reform and development, which is the fundamental objective for economic development as well as the basic driving force behind expansion of domestic demand and promotion of sustained economic development. We are working to keep the pace of personal income growth in line with economic development and keep the growth in labor remuneration in line with the increase in labor productivity. We are also working to substantially raise the income level of low incomers, continue to increase the size of the middle-income population, make a substantial reduction in the number of people living in poverty and constantly raise the people’s quality of life and living standards. The objective for social development is a gradual improvement in the combined urban and rural system of public services. We will gradually raise the overall education level of the people and constantly improve the ideological and moral standards, the scientific and general knowledge and the overall level of health of the general public. We are working to make the socialist democracy and legal system sounder and optimize guarantees for the rights and interests of the people. We are also working to accelerate the development of cultural programs and culture industry. We will improve the administration of society and make society more harmonious and stable. The objective of reform and opening up is to make substantial progress in the reform in important fields and links such as public and non-public finance, factor prices and monopoly industries, accelerate transformation of government functions and improve public trust in the government and government performance. We plan to constantly expand the breadth and depth of openness to the benefit of China and the rest of the world.

(Originally appeared in Party Development Studies, November 2010)

  Considerations on Allowing the Market to Set Interest Rates                            

  Zhou Xiaochuan

 Why would China want to make interest rates subject to market forces? One, this is an important aspect of the market’s role in allocating resources. Two, the importance of interest rates responding to market forces is that it gives financial institutions the power to set interest rates in a competitive market. Three, it also gives clients of these institutions the power to choose. Four, it reflects the supply and demand structure of different and diverse financial products and services and the assessment and valuation of risks on the part of financial enterprises. Five, it is a requirement for macroeconomic regulation. Making interest rates subject to market forces is a process, and each step in that process builds on the last. Following the Asian financial crisis there were several aspects to this process. First was the interest rate on savings and loans in foreign currency. The interest rates on savings and loans in foreign currency were deregulated in several steps, which mainly took place before 2004. Second was to expand the power of banks to set interest rates on loans and savings. Third was to let the market set rates for all corporation bond, finance bond, commercial paper as well as for money market transactions and not place any more restrictions on rates. Fourth was to broaden the range in which the interest rates float for commercial loans to individuals for housing. The further reform of interest rates is connected with reform in all other areas. How will China further reform interest rates during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period? One is to select financial institutions with hard restraints and allow them to set rates in a competitive market environment and exclude to a certain extent institutions with soft restraints in financial dealings. Two is to set the conditions for hard restraints that financial enterprises must have to qualify, with unqualified enterprises having inadequate restraints. Three is to ensure fair competition among competitors in the market, including banks as well as customers. Four is to consider gradually deregulating prices for replaceable financial products. Five is to avoid as much as possible excessive cross-subsidization of bank products. Six is to greatly increase efforts to educate and inform customers. Seven is to develop a sound competitive environment of self-restraint. Eight is to further strengthen the role of the market in setting prices in order to enhance the ability of financial institutions to assess risk.

(Originally appeared in Financial News, January 15, 2011)

  Urbanization Is Key to Transformation of the Pattern of Economic Development              

  Wang Guogang

  China has called for transforming the pattern of economic development three times in the past fifteen years. Transformation of the pattern of economic growth was first called for in 1996 during the Ninth Five-Year Plan period, mainly referring to shifting from extensive operation to intensive operation in order to conserve resources and improve efficiency. The strategic task of transforming the pattern of economic development was introduced around 2002 while strategic objectives were identified for the second 20-year development plan. It mainly refers to addressing the problem of high energy and resource consumption and serious pollution in the drive to optimize industrial and economic structures by reducing energy and resource consumption to make economic development more environmentally friendly. So in what ways is the “transformation of the pattern of economic development” called for on the third occasion different from that on the last two occasions and what is the core concept? Urbanization is key to transformation of the pattern of economic development. Urbanization involves addressing shortages of housing, transportation and educational access and addressing these issues drives urbanization and is a major factor promoting the upgrading of industry. Industrialization has its own economic structure and urbanization also has a unique economic structure. It could be said that Chinese economic development mainly relied on industrialization before 2002. As of 2003, however, the contribution of urbanization has been growing (fixed asset investment related to urbanization has accounted for about 50% of total investment in fixed assets in recent years). This means that adjustment of China’s economic structure cannot simply take requirements for industrialization as the standard; it must also address requirements for urbanization. Only through the mechanism of urbanization bringing about industrialization and industrialization promoting urbanization can we effectively ensure continued steady and rapid development and bring about rapid upgrading in the structure of consumer spending and progress toward building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

(Originally appeared in Economic Research Journal, No. 12, 2010)

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