The Historic Theoretical Contributions of the Report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC

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The Historic Theoretical Contributions of the Report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC

Li Jingtian 

The major historic contributions to theory made by the report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC can be summed up in the following five points. First, theoretical innovation will continue to be promoted under the theme of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The report to the congress began by establishing the clear theme of holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This demonstrates the CPC’s firm position and strong will in rallying and leading the people of all ethnic groups in propelling the country forward along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation under new historical conditions. Furthermore, this also represents the clear-cut attitude that Chinese Communists have towards promoting theoretical innovation under the theme of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Second, the Scientific Outlook on Development has been upgraded from a major strategy to a major guiding principle of the Party. Based on the success of the past decade, the report identified the Scientific Outlook on Development as an important guiding principle that the Party must adhere to on a long-term basis, alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the important thought of Three Represents. In addition, the report further expounded on the connotations of development in a scientific way, and presented new requirements for the implementation of the Scientific Outlook on Development. This represents the highlight of the report and its most prominent contribution with regard to theoretical innovation. Third, a greater understanding of socialism with Chinese characteristics has been attained. The socialist system with Chinese characteristics was written into the report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC for the very first time. In addition, the report scientifically interpreted the connotations of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, as well as the relationships between them. The report also integrated the building of an ecological civilization into the overall plan for socialism with Chinese characteristics. These statements indicate that the Party’s understanding of socialism with Chinese characteristics has reached a new level. Fourth, a greater understanding of what constitutes a moderately prosperous society and how a moderately prosperous society should be built has been attained. The report set forth new requirements for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the goal of deepening reform and opening up in an all-round way in accordance with the overall plan for promoting economic, political, cultural, and social progress, and building an ecological civilization. In particular, it proposed the goals of doubling China’s GDP and the level of income per capita for both urban and rural residents. This makes the goal of building a moderately prosperous society more tangible and more reachable. It also means higher standards and stricter requirements for the building of a moderately prosperous society. Fifth, a more scientific understanding of Party building has been attained. The report gave a new summary of the major task, overall plan, and goals of Party building, defining the correct course and basic requirements for improving Party building under new circumstances. This demonstrates that the CPC has gained a more profound understanding of the laws that govern Party building under new historical conditions. This understanding has allowed the theories on Party building to be enriched and developed, thereby providing a scientific plan for Party building under the social conditions of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

(Originally appeared in Guangming Daily, November 21, 2012)

Prominent Features and Major Contributions of the Report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC

Qu Qingshan 

The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC has displayed prominent features and made major contributions in at least six respects. First, the report further expounded the background, the scientific connotations, and the essence of the Scientific Outlook on Development, establishing it as a guideline for the initiatives of the Party and government. This demonstrates that the guiding principles of the CPC have once again succeeded in keeping pace with the times. Second, the report further expounded the basic connotations of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, as well as the dialectical relationships between them. Third, the report elaborated on the goals of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and deepening reform and opening up in an all-around way, and depicted a magnificent blueprint for China’s future development. This provided an initial yet concrete target for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and allowed people to see more clearly the fine prospects for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society of a higher level for the benefit of over one billion people. This will undoubtedly unleash the enthusiasm of people across the entire country. Fourth, the report made clear the necessity of strengthening core socialist values, and appealed for core socialist values to be cultivated and observed on three levels, namely the state, society and individuals, for the first time. It required that “we should promote prosperity, democracy, civility, and harmony, uphold freedom, equality, justice and the rule of law, and advocate patriotism, dedication, integrity, and amicability.” Fifth, the report expanded on the overall plan for socialism with Chinese characteristics to include the building of an ecological civilization in addition to the pursuit of economic, political, cultural, and social progress, which represents the further development and materialization of the content that this path embodies. The report expounded the great efforts that need to be made to build an ecological civilization, and called for the building of beautiful China as well as the realization of the lasting and sustainable development of the Chinese nation. Sixth, the report gave a detailed explanation with regard to making Party building more scientific in all respects, placing emphasis on establishing the Party as an innovative, service-oriented, and learning Marxist governing party. This demonstrates that the CPC’s understanding of the laws of developing a governing party has become more comprehensive and profound. 

(Originally appeared in Beijing Daily, November 19, 2012) 

Following China’s Own Unique Path

Yin Yungong 

If we were to say that the report to the Fifteenth National Congress of the CPC emphasized our banner, then it would be fair to say that the report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC emphasized our path. “The issue of what path we take is of vital importance for the survival of the Party, the future of China, and the wellbeing of the people,” reads the report. Whereas our banner tells us what direction we will advance in, our path tells us the road that we will take. China had experienced extraordinary hardships before it was able to choose the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. However, choosing the correct way onto a path does not mean that the rest of the journey will be easy going. Even after making the wise decision to carry out reform and opening up, we still need the courage and determination to fight our way ahead against all difficulties. China’s large population, weak foundations, and economic and cultural backwardness mean that it will be enormously difficult to achieve the great aspirations of the Chinese nation. Nevertheless, the CPC, a mature, wise, and rational political party, has always adhered to the underlying principle of applying the universal truths of Marxism on the basis of actual conditions in China. It has engaged in continuous efforts to examine and resolve the major challenges confronting China’s development, gradually established a framework of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and carved out a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics on a progressive basis. The rationality of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics comes from the fact that it is ongoing, while the legality of this path comes from the fact that it is rooted in China’s actual conditions. To fully understand the distinguishing features and connotations of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we first need a clear understanding of “Chinese characteristics.” These characteristics clearly indicate that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is not only different from the models employed by the former Soviet Union and former socialist countries in Eastern Europe, but also different from the models employed by developed countries in North America and Western Europe. It is a completely new path that the Chinese people have created through their arduous endeavors, one that is different from that of any other country and which will be difficult to recreate. This is the fundamental reason why we can neither go back to the rigid, closed-door policy of the past, nor take an erroneous path of abandoning socialism. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a unique path for national development that has been successfully created by the Chinese nation. It is an achievement that will go down in the history of human civilization, providing a new “sample approach” for the development of human society.

(Originally appeared in Learning Times, November 19, 2012) 

The Chinese Path Hinges on Scientific Development

Sun Li 

The establishment of the Scientific Outlook on Development has provided a huge boost for China’s social development and change, ushering in a new chapter in China’s socialist modernization drive. Firstly, with regard to the socialist movement, the Scientific Outlook on Development has extended China’s reform and opening up drive for another decade, firmly establishing socialism with Chinese characteristics as our banner and path. With regard to its theoretical contributions, the Scientific Outlook on Development has promoted the gradual formation and constant improvement of the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Through institutional innovation, the Scientific Outlook on Development has allowed China to develop an entire set of interlinked systems for socialism with Chinese characteristics in economic, political, cultural, and social spheres. On this basis, the Chinese path has been placed firmly on the foundation of theoretical innovation and institutional enhancement. Secondly, with regard to the process of modernization, the Scientific Outlook on Development is guiding China through what is considered to be the most difficult stage of modernization. The development of contemporary society has demonstrated that modernization is a volatile process ridden with risks and traps. The Scientific Outlook on Development is specifically targeted towards this particular phase of modernization. In its modernization drive, China has been confronted with almost all of the major difficulties that other developing countries have been confronted with, but has not fallen into the traps they often failed to avoid. China has drawn from the valuable achievements of all contemporary forms of civilization, including capitalism, but has not followed the development path of Western countries. It has made profound changes to the traditional socialist model, but in no way has it abandoned the pursuit or values of socialism. The Chinese path cannot be explained using any Western or foreign theory. Only the Scientific Outlook on Development, which is the latest achievement in the adaptation of Marxism to suit China’s conditions, can lead today’s China on the path ahead. This is why we say the Chinese path hinges on the Scientific Outlook on Development.

(Originally appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today, November 19, 2012)

The Secrets Behind the CPC’s Miraculous Achievements

Xie Chuntao 

There are three secrets behind the miraculous success of the CPC. The first is theoretical innovation. Over the space of more than three decades, the CPC has made constant breakthroughs in the innovation of theory. Its most important achievement has been creating the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Chinese Communists have a much different understanding of socialism now than they did in the past, and especially compared to before the institution of the reform and opening up policy. Why is this so? This understanding is based on China’s realities, namely, the basic reality that China is still in the primary stage of socialism. We cannot stick to those doctrines that we stuck to rigidly in the past, such as doctrines we inherited from the former Soviet Union, and even some of the specific statements made by Marx and Engels. We have constantly emancipated our minds on the basis of China’s realities, and as a result our understanding of socialism is much different now than it was in the past. For example, in the past public ownership was the sole form of ownership, but now we have multiple forms of ownership all at once. In the past we practiced a planned economy, but now we implement a market economy. Moreover, in the past we only had an urban-rural model of income distribution, but now we also have distribution according to factors of production. Second, the CPC is adept at learning. We have not only learned from our own experiences, including our mistakes, but have also learned from the experiences of others, such as developed capitalist countries in the West. On the basis of learning, we have made our own improvements and innovations, and in some cases even exceeded the countries that we have learned from. For instance, China has managed to avoid many of the problems that other countries have experienced in their market economy, and China’s financial situation is better than that of any Western country. Third, the CPC has always put people’s interests first. During the revolutionary period, it was the support of the people that allowed us to go from a small and weak party to a large and strong one. Since coming to power, and especially since the implementation of the reform and opening up drive, the CPC has brought increasing benefits to the people.

(This is the text of an interview for a special column entitled “Focusing on the 18th National Congress of the CPC” which was published on the website News of the Communist Party of China on November 9, 2012.) 

The Political Significance of the System of Consultative Democracy

Lin Shangli 

The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC defined “improving the system of socialist consultative democracy” as a major task of China’s political reforms and development in the future. This political assertion demonstrates that the Party’s understanding of people’s democracy in theory and practice has become more mature, and will therefore have an important strategic bearing on China’s future political development. The system of consultative democracy takes into consideration the overall implementation of people’s democracy in China. It will therefore drive forward fundamental progress in the practice and development of people’s democracy in all respects during a new period. First, the system of consultative democracy will provide broader political space and a wider platform for the people to exercise their role as the masters of the country, which is derived from people’s democracy. The constant improvement of the systems of consultative democracy and the increasing development of internet technologies will provide an effective guarantee, thereby creating actual conditions for the realization of people’s democracy. Second, consultative democracy will not only help to create and sustain diversified vitality in China’s society, but will also be conducive to maintaining solidarity, social harmony, and national unity. This will allow both diversified vitality and unified cohesion to become active engines behind the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the development of the country. Third, consultative democracy will allow China to develop a system for the practice of democracy that features the integration of electoral democracy and consultative democracy. This will provide an effective institutional foundation and operational mechanism for practicing democracy in China, which is characterized by the unity of the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law. Fourth, the system of consultative democracy will boost the development of democracy in China in terms of public participation, institutions, and work mechanisms. This will ensure the continued, stable, balanced, and sustainable development of China’s politics, economy, and society, which are characterized by increasingly complex structures and relations, growing demands for public participation, and increasing calls for clearly defined regulations and procedures. 

(Originally appeared in Jiefang Daily, November 20, 2012) 

Three Major Changes in China’s Approach to Economic Growth After the Eighteenth National Party Congress

Zhang Monan 

The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC has sketched out a roadmap for China’s development for the next decade and beyond. On this basis, China’s approach to economic growth and the structure of its economic growth will undergo profound changes, and the way in which the country generates economic gains will witness a new change of direction. China is set to enter a new period in which constant changes will occur to the way that it grows. Firstly, our extensive model of economic growth will be transformed into an intensive model of economic growth. In the future, China must derive higher efficiency from factors of production, and stimulate economic growth through the upgrading of the industrial structure, the rapid development of human capital, technological progress, and institutional reforms, thereby achieving the transformation from extensive Smithian growth to intensive Schumpeterian growth. Secondly, our export-oriented growth model will be replaced by a growth model that is more oriented towards domestic demand. This presents an extremely rare opportunity for the rebalancing of the global economy. Around 64 trillion yuan in purchasing power will be released if we attain the goal of doubling incomes by the year 2020. This huge domestic demand will become a new driving force behind the continued growth of China and even the whole world. Thirdly, our economic growth will go from a model that relies primarily on international capital to a model that fosters and boosts domestic capital. Today, China is holding an increasingly large stake in the global financial system, with 90 trillion yuan in bank assets and US$3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. China has traversed six eventful decades in its efforts to establish itself as a stronger and more prosperous country since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Now, it has come to a new historical turning point in which the future of the country rests on whether or not the way economic gains are generated can be transformed.

(Originally appeared in Economic Information Daily, November 16, 2012) 

The Doubling of Incomes Is Feasible and Foreseeable

Li Ying 

The proposing of the target to double incomes is evidence that China’s growth model is in the process of being transformed from a model that has long relied on investment and exports for growth to a model that will see greater balance between consumption, investment, and exports. The proposing of this goal also signals that China’s previous overemphasis on the size of its economy is being replaced by combined emphasis on both the size of the economy and the state of public wellbeing. The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC states that, “Major progress should be made in changing the growth model. On the basis of making China’s development much more balanced, coordinated, and sustainable, we should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents.” Aside from doubling the GDP, this is the first time that the grand plan of doubling incomes has been proposed. This inspiring and appealing goal is a major highlight of the report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC. But what does the doubling of incomes entail? Firstly, the goal lays emphasis on increasing the incomes of everyday people. In this sense, it embodies the government’s principle of putting people first and governing for the people, as well as the requirements for implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development. Secondly, the goal lays emphasis on increasing per capita income. Being oriented towards a population of over 1.3 billion people, the proposing of this goal demonstrates the greater determination of the government. In addition, increasing per capita income does not mean that the income of every single resident will increase by the same margin, but it does mean that the incomes of lower-income earners will see more significant increases. Thirdly, doubling incomes will benefit more people, enlarging the size of the middle-income group and turning China’s pyramid-shaped model of income distribution into an olive-shaped one. In addition, the incomes of the middle-income group are also set to witness new increases as the trends of industrialization, IT application, urbanization, and agricultural modernization progress in a coordinated fashion. China’s GDP in 2010 was twice the size of its GDP in the year 2000, making China the second largest economy in the world. Meanwhile, after adjusting for inflation, per capita income for urban and rural residents in the year 2010 was more than twice that of the year 2000, with urban incomes increasing by 9% per year and rural incomes increasing by 8% on average. This past experience tells us that doubling China’s GDP and the level of income per capita again by the year 2020 is a totally attainable goal.

(Originally appeared in Economic Daily, November 17, 2012) 

A Path of Poverty Alleviation Through Development with Chinese Characteristics            

Wang Yaling 

Following more than 30 years of efforts in reform and opening up, China has become the first developing country to achieve the target of halving the number of people living in poverty ahead of schedule, which is one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations. The achievements that China has made in poverty alleviation through development demonstrate that China has succeeded in developing its own unique approach to poverty alleviation through development. Firstly, comprehensive development and overall governance feature prominently in China’s model of rural poverty alleviation through development. The concept of comprehensive development and overall governance is about finding a meeting point between satisfying the basic living needs of impoverished households and developing regional economies; between efforts to increase income and land management initiatives, such as the improvement and protection of ecological environments; between poverty alleviation and family planning; between economic development and efforts to resolve social problems; between poverty alleviation and the development of a new countryside; and between poverty alleviation and the improvement of public wellbeing. Remarkable progress has been achieved through our efforts to integrate poverty alleviation with the building of a harmonious society and scientific development. Secondly, the government has involved itself in poverty alleviation through development and played a leading role. Large scale poverty alleviation initiatives in a market economy dictate that the government must play a major participating role. This is not only a consensus in the international community, but also a necessary approach for China in addressing the issue of poverty. The special role that the government plays in poverty alleviation has been fully demonstrated by the numerous working conferences on poverty alleviation that the Central Committee of the CPC has convened and by the various poverty alleviation programs that the State Council has formulated at different stages. Thirdly, efforts have been made to call for and organize the participation of all sectors of society in poverty alleviation through development. We have organized for developed regions in eastern China to provide dedicated support to impoverished regions in western China on a point-to-point basis. Party and government organizations as well as large enterprises and public institutions have established ties with poor regions and provided them with dedicated support. Various sectors of society have supported development in impoverished regions in a number of ways. In addition, we have actively engaged in international exchanges and cooperation in the field of poverty alleviation. On the basis of these explorations, we have developed a fully-fledged, three-dimensional model for poverty alleviation that consists of dedicated government projects, industry support, and public participation. This has allowed us to raise the efficiency of our poverty alleviation efforts.

(Originally appeared in Guangming Daily, December 2, 2012)

Establishing China as a Leading Maritime Nation: An Opportunity, Not a Threat

Meng Yan and Zhou Yong 

During the process of its modernization, China will be required to make frequent adjustments to its maritime strategy and step up its efforts to establish itself as a leading maritime nation. Unlike other major countries, which have used their maritime activities to plunder and invade, China has always maintained a sense of awe during its maritime drive. Six centuries ago, it was prosperity, friendship and peace that Zheng He’s naval fleet brought to the lands it visited. Today, with the aim of safeguarding peace, China’s navy is escorting merchant ships from all countries through dangerous waters, and China’s “Peace Ark” hospital ship is providing medical services to the countries it visits. The 21st century will be a maritime century in which maritime affairs will have a major bearing on national security and long-term development. Therefore, the major maritime countries of the world regard maritime rights and interests as their core interests, and are making active efforts to promote a new round of adjustments to their maritime economic policies and strategies. China is a large country with over three million square kilometers of territorial waters and 18,000 kilometers of coastline. Establishing China as a leading maritime nation and safeguarding its maritime rights and interests are a necessary part of promoting national development and improving standards of living, and are also essential for the expansion of China’s maritime rights and interests. The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC solemnly declares that “China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Our endeavors to strengthen national defense aim to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and ensure its peaceful development.” China’s armed forces have always been a staunch force upholding world peace. What needs to be emphasized is the fact that China has always adhered to the concept of maritime harmony as it has pursued a strategy of establishing itself as a leading maritime nation. Most countries and people have high hopes for China’s economic development, and are earnestly hoping that China will involve itself actively in international affairs and play a bigger role. Those who cherish peace will no doubt realize that China’s development as a leading maritime nation does not represent a threat, but an opportunity, and a historic commitment to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

(Originally appeared in People’s Daily Overseas Edition, November 13, 2012) 

Building Beautiful China Is a Major Historic Mission

Lai Jie 

The report to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC added the building of an ecological civilization into the overall plan for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

This demonstrates that the Party’s understanding of the laws governing the sustainable development of economy and society, the laws behind the lasting usage of natural resources, and the laws of ecological and environmental protection has reached a new high. The report depicts a blueprint for an ecological civilization with poetic statements such as “a beautiful homeland with green fields, clean water, and a blue sky,” “build beautiful China and achieve the lasting and sustainable development of the Chinese nation,” and “a new era of socialist ecological civilization.” Building beautiful China is a major historic mission, and the key to accomplishing this mission is to establish the correct ideas. We must bear in mind the need to respect, accommodate to, and protect nature, and raise public awareness of the need to conserve resources, protect the environment, and promote ecological progress. The measures that must be taken to build beautiful China include the following. First, we must prioritize resource conservation and environmental protection and give emphasis to the natural restoration of the environment. Second, we must strive for green, circular, and low-carbon development. Third, we should ensure intensive and efficient production spaces, agreeable and adequate living spaces, and unspoiled and beautiful ecological spaces. The building of beautiful China calls for a solid institutional guarantee. The first and foremost task is to integrate the appraisal of resource consumption, environmental damage, and ecological benefits into our systems for the evaluation of economic and social development. Secondly, we need to establish and improve a system for the paid use of resources, an ecological compensation system, an accountability system for ecological conservation and environmental protection, and a system for the compensation of environmental damage. Thirdly, we should improve our systems for the strictest possible protection of farmland, the strictest possible management of water resources, and the strictest possible protection of the environment. 

(Originally appeared in Economic Daily, December 2, 2012)

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