The China Model and the Chinese System

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  The China Model and the Chinese System

  Chen Jinhua

  Some people have attributed China’s peaceful rise and sustained, rapid development over recent years to what has been called the “China Model.” While some people do not approve of the “China Model,” or don’t believe that it even exists at all, the majority of people view the “China Model” as being separate from the system that China implements. While maintaining that China’s economic development has been a success, they have constantly questioned the social and political systems that China implements.In fact, no development model can be separated from its corresponding social and political systems. It is impossible for a failed system to yield a successful development model. The success of China’s model has fully demonstrated the superiority and effectiveness of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. In particular, this is demonstrated by the following: firstly, by adhering to the basic principles of Marxism and the ideological line of seeking truth from facts, China is able to scientifically analyze and correctly ascertain the country’s conditions. Secondly, China is able to fully mobilize, organize, and coordinate all kinds of resources in an all-out effort to build a modern socialist state. To do this, it relies on the role of the CPC as a leading core, the effective operation of the state machinery and leading structures and operational mechanisms that are both democratic and centralized. Particularly important are the lofty ideals, rare talents and bold vision of the CPC central collective leadership, as well as its spirit of serving the country and the people. Thirdly, China adheres to the principles of freeing the mind, seeking truth from facts, and advancing with the times, which have allowed for the constant stimulation of social vitality and the enterprising spirit of the people. Fourthly, China has steadily promoted efforts to build a democracy and legal system that are suited to conditions in China; maintained a balance between the leadership of the CPC, making the people the masters of their own country, and governing the state in accordance with the law; and committed itself to improving the system of the people’s congresses, the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of community-level self-governance. Fifthly, China has been committed to the ideas of peace, development and cooperation, on which basis it pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and adheres to the path of peaceful development.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, July 5, 2011)

  The Political Factors of the China Model

  Zheng Yongnian

  The “China Model” has been much discussed in academic circles and public policy circles over recent years. However, these discussions have generally been focused on China’s economic take-off, and have, either intentionally or unintentionally, overlooked China’s political model. In fact, from a cultural perspective, the influence of political factors on the China Model has far exceeded that of economic factors. As a product of China’s reform and opening up policy, China’s pattern of economic development has been primarily driven on by political factors. The core of China’s political model is best expounded by three related ideas: open political party system, competition among talents, and public participation. Firstly, political openness is the most important aspect, being a precondition for competition between talents and public participation. China’s political openness is manifested through the openness of the Party itself. Where there are different interest groups in society, the governing party should open its doors, integrate their demands, and seek to reflect their interests by employing different mechanisms. Secondly, competition between talents is conditional. Elites are those people who have stood out because of their extraordinary performance in international, social, and economic fields. This is a tradition that has been carried out in China for many years. However, it must be noted that Chinese style competition does not simply refer to Western style elections, but elections carried out among selected candidates. In the West, political competition is generally decided by economic factors such as campaign funding, whereas in China competition is decided by cultural factors, and financing does not constitute a decisive factor at the present. Thirdly, public participation refers to the participation of different social groups in the political process, which is what we refer to as “people’s democracy” or “social democracy.” The premise for participation is also competition, without which there is no participation. Public participation does not only appear in the process of electing candidates and electing elites, but also in the process of formulating and executing policies. The roots of openness, competition and participation can be found in ancient Chinese politics, and these concepts have also been embodied in the course of China’s reform and opening up drive. History has shown that China’s political situation has always been closely connected to the country’s level of openness. Open politics gives rise to competition, creates more opportunities for the people to participate, and in turn promotes sound governance.

(Originally appeared in Contemporary World, No.7, 2011)

  The Chinese System Has Created a Chinese Legend

  Chen Jiaxing

  Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and particularly in more than 30 years of reform and opening up, China has succeeded in maintaining rapid development, and has created “China Speed” in its drive for modernization. This is because the “Chinese System,” being geared to the development of productive forces, is able to release a huge amount of energy; because of its unique superiorities, such as focusing resources behind major initiatives, high efficiency in policy making and execution, and a strong capacity for mobilization; and because of its fine qualities, such as consistently pursuing reform and innovation on the basis of learning, and correcting mistakes and seeking truth on the basis of practice. The development of socialism in China is a completely unprecedented undertaking with no parallel in history. All of our systems, including our fundamental political system, basic political system, and basic economic system, as well as the economic structure, political structure, cultural structure, and social structure built on these systems, bear distinct Chinese characteristics, are suited to China’s conditions, and conform to the trends of the times. The emergence of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics transcended the institutional design and values held to by the West; it created a new era in Chinese history entirely different from anything seen in the 5,000 years that had preceded it, and took the freedom and happiness of the Chinese people to an unprecedented height. But some people have regarded the “Chinese System” as being somewhat “bizarre,” because it does not conform to their predetermined values. This has led to the emergence of all manner of assumptions, such as the idea that China will collapse or that China is a threat. In fact, the success of any country must be underpinned by a corresponding system. This is an extremely simple truth. Without an implicit approval of the “Chinese System,” China would have been unable to become a major country in the absorption of foreign capital, steadily introduce foreign direct investment, and attract the world’s top 500 enterprises to invest and set up factories in China. Through the great process of reform and opening up, China has not only improved its system, but has also actively integrated the finest elements of human civilization into its system, thereby conforming to the trends of the times. The “Chinese Legend” has demonstrated the unique capacity of the “Chinese System” for tolerance and integration. It has also demonstrated profound cultural confidence.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily, July 15, 2011)

  The Characteristics and Superiorities of China’s Political Party System                         

  Mei Ninghua

  Since the turn of the century, the CPC has not only attached importance to strengthening its leadership and continuously strengthening its capacity for governance, but has also actively sought to innovate China’s political party system and enable the political party system with Chinese characteristics to continuously develop in the direction of a modern political party system. The characteristics and superiorities of China’s political party system can be understood as follows. First, this system involves a unique political pattern, whose fundamental features are leadership by the CPC, multi-party cooperation, governance by the CPC, and participation by multiple parties. Second, as the governing party, the CPC demonstrates the essential features of a modern political party. Since its birth, the highest objective of the CPC has been the realization of communism, that is, the liberation of mankind and the free and all-round development of human beings. On this basis, it has represented the interests of the broadest section of society. This program has enabled the CPC to assume the essential features of a modern political party in terms of its purpose. Moreover, this feature has also been an important factor in the continuous development and growth of the CPC. Third, China’s political party system is rationally designed. Fourth, China’s political party system is able to move forward with the times. Fifth, China’s political party system is highly effective, allowing for resources to be focused behind major initiatives. Sixth, China’s political party system allows for the promotion of people’s democracy through democracy within the Party.

(Originally appeared in Beijing Daily, June 20, 2011)

  The CPC Is the Authority on Democracy

  Ye Xiaowen

  The 90-year history of the CPC has been characterized by a constant effort to explore and promote the development of democracy. During the revolutionary period, countless Communists shed their blood, lay down their lives, and surged forward with courage so that the people could become the masters of their own country. After gaining state power, the first thing that the CPC stressed was democracy. During the push for socialist modernization, the CPC has continued to lay stress on democracy. Our democracy is comparatively more advanced. This is because we have maintained an organic unity between adhering to the leadership of the Party, making the people the masters of their own country, and running the country in accordance with the law, which has allowed us to develop the system of people’s congresses, the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of community-level self-governance. This constitutes an institutional guarantee for democracy. We have not only attached importance to electoral democracy, building and improving systems regarding voting and elections, and expanding citizens’ rights to vote and to be elected, but have also created consultative democracy. China is home to the world’s largest fixed platform for consultative democracy: the various people’s political consultation organizations that operate at different levels. Under this system, representatives from all parties, strata, circles, ethnic groups, and religions, as well as overseas Chinese representatives, participate in political consultations via political consultation organizations. These consultations are carried out in line with the principles of political consultation, democratic supervision, and political participation. China has created an innovative form of democracy by combining electoral democracy with consultative democracy. Our democracy is comparatively more practical. This is because most developing countries not only face the problem of being democratic or not, but more importantly, how democracy should be achieved. Russia and Eastern European countries once embraced Western style democracy, hoping to imitate the West through radical reforms. However, after many twists and turns, political figures and the public in these countries have realized that while democratic politics is worth pursuing, if democracy is unable to promote economic and social development, the result will be public dissatisfaction and unrest, and the legitimacy of the government will be low. The kind of “democracy” that leads to social unrest will eventually harm the ordinary people. The CPC is committed to tying an active, prudent, and orderly democracy building effort into its initiatives to promote sustained economic development, improve living standards, ensure a harmonious and stable social order, and develop a sound legal system. This way it will provide a solid legal backing and social foundation to underpin the people’s democracy. 

(Originally appeared in Beijing Daily, July 4, 2011)

  An Increasingly Mature System of Collective Leadership

  Yang Lin

  The CPC has adhered to collective leadership as a fundamental value and the highest principle in Party organizations since its founding. Throughout the course of its history, the CPC has not only gained experiences, but has also learned lessons. Since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth CPC Central Committee, the Party has placed an increasing emphasis on the strengthening of collective leadership. According to the revisions made to the Party Constitution at the Sixteenth National Party Congress, all major issues shall be decided upon by Party committees after discussion, in accordance with the principles of collective leadership, democratic centralism, individual consultations, and decision by meetings. At the Third Plenary Session of the Sixteenth CPC Central Committee in October 2003, Hu Jintao delivered a report to the Central Committee on behalf of the Political Bureau, setting an example for the further development of the Party committee system. The Seventeenth National Congress of the CPC went further by introducing a system of voting for use by local Party committees in discussing and deciding on major issues and appointing cadres to important positions and implementing a system under which the standing committees of the CPC Central Committee and Party committees at different levels are required to be accountable to, report to, and accept the supervision of their respective plenary committees. In the current period, and especially as we stand at a new historical starting point following the 90th anniversary of the CPC, the improvement and perfection of the collective leadership system of the Central Committee will be even more crucial to the prosperity of the causes pursued by the CPC and the state, and to the improvement of the wellbeing of the people.

(Originally appeared in Outlook Weekly, No.26, 2011)

  Why Has the CPC Been Successful?

  Qin Xuan

  The first reason for the success of the CPC is that it has maintained a commitment to adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to the realities of China. The history of the CPC over the past 90 years has shown us that without Marxism, there would be no CPC; the Chinese Revolution would never have occurred; and China would never have been able to achieve success in development and reform. The second reason is that the CPC has closely relied on the overwhelming majority of the people. An extremely important reason why the CPC was able to seize political power, and why it has been able to hold onto political power for a long time, is that it has always represented the fundamental interests of the people, maintained its close ties with the overwhelming majority of the people, and consistently sought to safeguard, realize, and develop the interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. The third reason is the dedicated struggle waged by generation after generation of Chinese Communists. Over the past 90 years, the CPC has moved the world with the glorious epic of human development that it has composed. Clearly, this would have been impossible without the struggles of generation after generation of Chinese Communists, and the correct leadership of the CPC. The fourth reason is that the CPC has continuously sought to improve itself and maintain its advanced nature. How has the Communist Party of China, which started out with just 50 odd members, been able to grow into a great party with more than 80 million members? How has it been able to lead the Chinese people in making the most glorious achievements in the history of the Chinese nation? These achievements would have been unattainable without the constant efforts of the CPC to improve itself.

(Originally appeared in Frontline, July 21, 2011)

  Social Justice Is an Important Value of the CPC in Governance        

  Wu Zhongmin

  In a certain sense, the history of the CPC has been defined by an ongoing quest for social justice and an unremitting struggle to realize this objective. The role that social justice plays in the secure operation and sound development of China’s society and economy is irreplaceable. First, social justice is the basis for the design and arrangement of the country’s fundamental institutions. Second, social justice is essential for social unity and social vitality. Third, social justice is a prerequisite for the healthy and sustained development of the economy. Fourth, social justice is an effective means of resolving social problems. By upholding the principle of social justice during the course of China’s modernization, reform and opening up, we will be able to ensure that the capacity of the CPC in governance advances with the times; that the Party’s close ties with the Chinese people are strengthened; and that the Party’s fundamental purpose of putting people first and governing for the people will be realized. In the meantime, the foundations of the Party’s governance will be consolidated as a result.

(Originally appeared in Learning Times, August 15, 2011)

  A “Manifesto of the CPC” to Meet the Challenges of the Times            

  Ouyang Kang

  The important speech made by General Secretary Hu Jintao on July 1, 2011 is a “Manifesto of the Communist Party of China” set forth to address the new challenges that China will face in the new era. Firstly, the CPC has become more historically aware. Hu Jintao’s speech accurately summarized the themes, missions and achievements of each period of the CPC’s history. It highlighted the great contributions that the CPC has made to the Chinese nation; identified the course of China’s social development over the past 90 years; and demonstrated why it was inevitable that the Chinese people chose the Communist Party of China, Marxism, socialism, and reform and opening up. Secondly, the CPC has become more theoretically conscious. The speech detailed the two major theoretical achievements made by the CPC in its efforts to adapt Marxism to China’s conditions over the past 90 years. It gave a penetrating analysis of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and called on the Party to maintain the balance between theory and practice, so as to ensure that the Party is empowered by each step forward in theoretical innovation. Thirdly, the CPC has become more aware of its mission. According to the speech, coming from the people, taking root among the people, and serving the people are the foundations on which the CPC will stand strong and never falter. The speech identified putting people first, running the Party for the public good, exercising state power for the benefit of the people, and serving the people wholeheartedly as the fundamental purposes of the Party, and the highest criteria for all activities in governance. This represented a heightened illustration of Marxist ideas on the relationship between the people, the political party, the nation, and the state, laying down an unmovable foundation for the governance of the CPC. Fourthly, the CPC has become more aware of the times. The speech called on the whole Party to have the courage to confront unprecedented new situations, new problems, and new challenges in contemporary China; to be adept at meeting the four major tests; and to face up to the four dangers currently confronting China. It elaborated on the advanced nature of the CPC and how this advanced nature must be achieved, and demanded that such efforts be brought under specifically defined institutions, regulations, and procedures. This demonstrated the sober-mindedness and dignity of a great political party with a history of over 90 years. Fifthly, the CPC has become more aware of its objectives. The speech clearly stated the two great objectives towards which the Party must lead the Chinese people. In order to realize these great objectives, we must always adhere to the basic line of the CPC, and push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

(Originally appeared in Guangming Daily, July 22, 2011)

  The Future Trend of the “China Miracle”

  Mao Shoulong

  More than 30 years of reform and opening up have given rise to the “China Miracle.” China’s economy will continue to grow at a steady rate for the next 20 to 30 years. Internationally, peace and development under the backdrop of economic globalization will continue to be the main theme in global interactions. This is beneficial to the development of China. China’s domestic situation is also conducive to the country’s development. Regarding human factors, improvements in public services such as education and medical care mean that the Chinese people will receive an increasingly high standard of education and enjoy increasingly high levels of health. Therefore, we can predict that this supply of high-quality labor will fuel the continued upgrading of China’s economy over the next 20 to 30 years. From a social perspective, China’s society will become increasingly mature over the next 20 to 30 years, thereby laying down an important social foundation for economic development. Politically speaking, the basic aspects of China’s political system will remain stable and continue to demonstrate their vitality. With the development of grassroots democracy and public participation, and as China continues to make advances in its efforts to exercise rule of law, China’s economic development will continue to be underpinned by a steady and vigorous political foundation. In particular, major changes will take place with regard to the scientific and democratic policy-making of the Chinese government and the provision of public access to government information. The roles of the government will continue to change and government operations will become increasingly efficient with the progression of a series of reforms, such as the reform of government institutions, the reform of the social management system, the reform of the personnel system, and the reform of the public finance system. With the continued reform of the government management system, we can expect to see constant improvements in the way that the government interacts with enterprises, society, and the market, thereby leading to the establishment of sound interactive relationships. It is true that China will continue to face great challenges in the future. However, with the guidance of the Scientific Outlook on Development, the solid foundations that we have laid down in the past, and the painful lessons that we gained prior to the reform and opening up drive, it is obviously possible that China will continue to maintain steady development over the next 20 to 30 years.

(Originally appeared in People’s Forum, May 2011)

  China’s New Concept of Development

  Chang Xiuze

  At present, China’s concept of development has entered a new phase, having gone from excessive expansion in “quantity” to a strategic rise in “quality.” In the past, when China’s development was a matter of survival, it was reasonable to emphasize the GDP. But in our current stage of development, in which we are seeking the development of people themselves, it would be much more innovative to lay stress on the “happiness index,” which is related to the multi-faceted development of people. This represents a new judgment and a new aspiration pertaining to the core values of China’s development. In order to put people first, we must be able to understand the concept of people at three different levels. Horizontally speaking, we should recognize the “whole people,” namely, efforts should be made to benefit all citizens; vertically speaking, we should recognize “multiple generations,” namely, equal importance should be given to the fair treatment of this generation and the fair treatment of all generations; and at the inner core, we should recognize the “many needs of the people,” namely, people have various material and non-material needs, such as human dignity. If we are to remain committed to putting people first, the starting point and goal of our efforts must be to put the livelihood of the people first. First, the priority of our initiatives in economic and social development should be to promote employment. Second, we must keep the growth of resident incomes up with the growth of the economy, and increases in labor remuneration up with increases in productivity. At the same time, we must enhance our regulation over the distribution of income in order to reverse the trend of widening income gap. Third, we must promote universal standards in the provision of basic public services, so as to enable the fruits of development to benefit all people.

(Originally appeared in Guangming Daily, March 23, 2011)

  New Features of China’s Economic Growth During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan                    

  Cai Fang

  China will exhibit characteristics inherent to its current stage of economic and social development during the period of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. China’s most immediate challenge will be the question of how to avoid the “middle-income trap.” At the same time, China will also be challenged by the Lewis Turning Point, that is, the rising cost of labor. By 2015, the long-term surplus in the supply of labor will come to an end, and the wages of the average laborer will see a rising trend. Judging from trends in the manufacturing industry, China will still be able to maintain the competitiveness of its economy. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan represents a key period in which China will make strides in its transition from a medium-high income country to a high-income country. It is also a key period in which China will lay down the foundations for achieving its goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the year 2020. For this reason, China must take warning from those countries which have lingered in the “middle-income trap” by speeding up the transformation of its pattern of economic development. First, through the development of the labor market system, we must work towards achieving universal standards in public services; significantly improve the distribution of income for residents; promote the formation of a social structure in which the middle income group represents the main constituent; and shift towards a mode of economic development that is driven by consumer demand. Second, by coordinating the development of China’s eastern, central, and western regions, we must promote the transfer, upgrading and overall optimization of the county’s industrial structure; commit larger efforts to the cultivation of human capital; significantly raise total factor productivity; and shift towards a mode of economic development that is driven by technological progress. Third, we must promote urbanization, which should be achieved primarily through the integration of rural migrant workers into cities as permanent residents; increase the coverage of rural migrant workers under social security systems; and realize balanced development between the service trade and industry.

(Originally appeared in Qinghai Social Sciences, No.1, 2011)

  Changing Patterns and Readjusting Structures to Avoid the “Middle-Income Trap”           

  Zhang Zhuoyuan

  According to the proposal of the CPC Central Committee on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the theme of China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan should be scientific development, while accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development should be the main thread. How will we accelerate the transformation of our pattern of economic development? The proposal puts forward five basic demands in this regard: to uphold strategic economic restructuring as the main thrust for accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development; to uphold scientific and technological progress and innovation as an important support for transforming the pattern of economic development; to uphold safeguarding and improving people’s wellbeing as the fundamental starting point and goal of accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development; to uphold the development of a resource-conserving, environmentally friendly society as a principal focus while accelerating the transformation of our pattern of economic development; and to persevere with making reform and opening up a powerful driving force for accelerating the transformation of the pattern of economic development. By laying particular stress on scientific development, accelerating the transformation of our pattern of economic development, and readjusting the economic structure, the proposal of the CPC Central Committee not only points out the correct direction for China’s economic and social development during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, but also represents an extremely important guideline for China’s development over the long term, and especially for the period ahead in which China will stride forward in its transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. This therefore represents the only correct choice if China is to avoid the “middle-income trap.” Transforming patterns of development and readjusting structures is a common problem faced by many middle-income countries. The reason that China has repeatedly emphasized the need to transform the pattern of development and restructure the economy since the turn of the century is that it aims to avoid the “middle-income trap” by maintaining the rapid growth of its economy over the long term. Moreover, in order to do this, it is essential that China allows for an appropriate decline in the speed of its economic growth. In particular, efforts should be focused on the deepening of reforms and the adjustment of policies to promote the transformation of the pattern of development and the readjustment of the economic structure.

(Originally appeared in New Field of Vision, No.2, 2011)

  A More Active Strategy of Opening Up 

  Chen Deming

  Over the past decade, China has gradually gone from a new member of the WTO to a participant and active proponent in the formulation of the rules of the organization through a constant process of studying, familiarizing itself with, and observing the rules of the organization. The Chinese government has made arduous efforts during this process. It has straightened out more than 3,000 laws, regulations and departmental rules and regulations; cut the average tariff rate from 15.3% to 9.8%; and opened up more than 100 service trade sectors. Chinese enterprises have experienced a difficult and even painful process of adjustment, enduring the pressure brought about by the continuous opening of the market and the significant lowering of tariffs. Despite this, however, they have managed to secure constant growth amidst acute international competition. Thirty years ago, China’s contribution to global economic growth was just 3%; but by 2009 and 2010, this figure had exceeded 50%. The WTO’s third trade policy review of China stated that China played a constructive role in stimulating global demand during the international financial crisis, thereby making an important contribution to stabilizing the world economy. Exports have accounted for 20% of China’s economic growth over the past 30 years. At present, the foreign trade sector employs more than 80 million people in China, 60% of whom are from rural areas. In recent years, China has placed an increasing emphasis on the active role of imports in the balancing of the macroeconomy and the restructuring of the economy. In fact, China’s foreign trade is in the process of becoming more balanced. According to customs figures, China’s trade surplus was cut by US$100 billion in 2009; and again by a further US$12.6 billion in 2010. China experienced a trade deficit during January, February, and the first ten days of March of this year, with the trade deficit in February reaching US$7.3 billion. We predict that the ratio of the trade surplus to the GDP will drop further from the 3.1% recorded last year. We shall pay more attention to going global in an effort to promote the balanced development of bringing in and going global. In 2003, China’s foreign direct investment was only US$2.8 billion; but by 2010, this figure had increased to US$59 billion, or approximately 60% of the foreign investment that China introduced in that year. It is predicted that China will gradually realize a basic balance between capital input and output over the next five to ten years.

(Originally appeared in China Development Observation, No.4, 2011)

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