History Bears Witness to the Chinese Dream
In this autumn season, as the vast land of China turned red and gold with the changing leaves, the whole nation was filled with jubilation as we celebrated a great milestone—the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the new era, the PRC is becoming better off and playing a growing role on the international stage, with its people enjoying better lives. History has borne witness to the past 70 years of the PRC, the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the glory and dream of our heroic people.
The magnificent progress in development, remarkable achievements, and precious experience attained by the PRC have shown the following: only the CPC can lead China, only socialism can save China, only reform and opening up can develop China, socialism, and Marxism, and only the path of Chinese socialism can lead China toward strength and prosperity. These are also the fundamental secrets behind the China miracle.
I. Only the CPC can lead China.
Over the seven decades since the founding of the PRC, the CPC has led the Chinese people in making constant achievements and marching from victory to victory.
The CPC is the leading core of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics only the CPC can lead China. The leadership of the CPC is the defining feature and greatest strength of the Chinese socialist system.
What is the Communist Party of China and what does it do? The most incisive answer to these questions is that the CPC exists to "seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation."
On August 10, 1945, Huang Yanpei, a renowned democratic figure, published a book named Return from Yan'an in Chongqing, causing a great sensation. In it he wrote, "I think the most impressive quality of my friends in the CPC is that they constantly seek improvement and progress. If they bring this strength fully to bear, their future potential will be limitless." There were some that tried to dissuade him from writing the book, because they believed publicizing the CPC would put him in danger. Unperturbed, he responded, "I am simply writing down the things I have seen, heard, and discussed in an objective and truthful manner without any embellishment, yet whoever reads the book can immediately feel that the CPC truly serves the people." Several years later, the hopes of the Chinese nation were placed with the CPC after it defeated the Kuomintang, and thus history proved Huang's predictions correct. Since then, the legitimacy of the CPC's governance has been clear for all to see. Most of its legitimacy comes from the fact that it represents the people's interests. History has shown that the CPC is the only political party that truly represents the fundamental interests of the Chinese people, and that it has no interests beyond those of the people. This fact was not only noticed by democratic figures such as Huang Yanpei, but also felt deeply by the general public, and that is why they devoted their loyalty and sincere support to the CPC.
A parade float with the words "Long Live China." Celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC were held at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on the morning of October 1, 2019. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER YANG ZONGYOU
By June 1949, the CPC had successfully led the people in liberating the country, and with the founding of the PRC fast approaching, it devoted greater thought to the question of how to lead the people in governing the country. In his book On the People's Democratic Dictatorship, Mao Zedong pointed out a daunting challenge to the Party: "The serious task of economic development lies before us. We shall soon put aside some of the things we know well and be compelled to do things we don't know well. This means difficulties. The imperialists reckon that we will not be able to manage our economy; they are standing by and looking on, awaiting our failure."
Contrary to the expectations of the imperialists, we have not failed, but rather achieved tremendous success in building a socialist people's republic that is prosperous and strong. In the seven decades following the founding of the PRC, the CPC has led the Chinese people in determined and arduous efforts, building the country up from the foundation of utter destitution left by the old China to gradually establish an independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economy, tackling the global problem of integrating socialism with market economics through explorations conducted in the process of reform and opening up, and maintaining long-term political and social stability while achieving rapid economic growth. It has thus brought about a miracle of development the likes of which the world has never seen before. During a visit to the revolutionary memorial site in Beijing's Fragrance Hills where the CPC planned the founding of the PRC in 1949, General Secretary Xi Jinping looked back on the PRC's history, and enthusiastically stated that history has fully demonstrated that the CPC and the Chinese people are not only capable of dismantling the old world, but also building a new one. This was a proud and touching moment, as the great prophecy made at the time of the country's founding was affirmed in the new era. For generation after generation, Chinese Communists and the Chinese people have never let down the hopes passed on through history.
The ability of Chinese Communists to win on the battlefield was proven by the founding of the PRC, and our ability to promote national development was proven through reform and opening up. Proving our ability to safeguard the Party's leadership and uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics under increasingly complex conditions both at home and abroad will require continued efforts by future generations of Chinese Communists. Xi Jinping has set new and higher requirements for the Party as a whole, which represent new hopes for the future.
Our ability to fulfill these hopes and ensure China's success hinges on the CPC. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, in the face of profound changes on the global stage and the historic challenge of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core has remained true to its original aspiration and founding mission, stuck to the principle of putting the people first, and ensured coordinated implementation of the "five-pronged" overall plan and the "Four Comprehensives" strategy by adopting an overall perspective and taking targeted measures. Moreover, focusing on key areas and crucial minorities, the CPC Central Committee has driven great social transformation through reform of the Party, solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, accomplished many tasks that were pursued but never completed, and propelled the undertakings of the Party and the country toward historic achievements and changes. The Chinese nation is thus prepared to set sail toward rejuvenation in the new era.
The unique strengths with which the CPC is equipped make certain that it will not let down the hopes passed on through history. As it has been proven by history that while the CPC has gone through extraordinarily difficult struggle and contended with all manner of political forces, it has always held fast to its original aspiration and founding mission, put the people's interests above all else, upheld its convictions, remained highly organized and disciplined, and demonstrated the courage to reform itself. The CPC has thus won the wholehearted support of the people and remained their undisputed champion through all of its great exploits. Those who win the support of the people are destined to succeed. Therefore, there is no doubt that the CPC will be able to unite and lead the people in creating a better future.
Fireworks fill the sky as an enormous national flag is raised at the gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on the evening of October 1, 2019. PHOTO BY LI GE
Ensuring Party self-governance is exercised fully and strictly is a journey to which there is no end. General Secretary Xi has repeatedly warned the whole Party that, "When China's revolution succeeded, our Party introduced three requirements for all leading officials. First, they must willingly subject themselves to public scrutiny and never become divorced from the people; second, they must always work hard, and never become arrogant and conceited; third, they must preserve their political character, and never allow themselves to be seduced onto the wrong path. Our Party would not have made it this far if it weren't for these three requirements which remain crucial if we are to continue governing over the long term."
II. Only socialism with Chinese characteristics can lead China toward strength and prosperity.
Over the seven decades since the founding of the PRC, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people as they have conducted arduous explorations to build a new China on the path of socialism, while also pioneering and broadening the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Socialism is the right path for humankind. No matter how many twists and turns or obstacles we face on this path, human society will eventually move toward socialism and communism; this is an objective law of history that is beyond man's will. The ultimate reason why the development of socialist China over the past 70 years has outshined that of other countries is that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the CPC, have constantly broadened the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Chinese people understand deep in their hearts that only the path of Chinese socialism can develop their country and lead it toward prosperity. Other paths do not work for China.
Back in the early days of the PRC, the majority of the Western world predicted the demise of the new China, revealing that their arrogant, condescending, and domineering mentality as colonizers was still as strong as ever. Nevertheless, there were some with deeper insight who sympathized with socialist China and offered it their support. They were optimistic about the future of the new China, and the last 70 years have proven that they were right. In September 1955, the renowned French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre paid a visit to China. He travelled in China for a total of 45 days, attending the National Day reception in Beijing on September 29, and watching the parade celebrating the sixth anniversary of the founding of the PRC from the Tian'anmen gate tower on October 1. In an article entitled "My Impressions of the New China" published in People's Daily, November 2, 1955, he described to Western audiences how the country was experiencing a new dawn. He wrote, "In China, the transition to socialism is not just an effort made by a great nation to establish a more just and humane social system, rather, it is a matter of survival…. For the China of today and the China of the future, this is an issue that will determine its survival." He also told readers, "China must transition to socialism, or it will perish. If it does not perish, it will inevitably become an extraordinarily strong country. Just by looking at China's joyous children and youth, it is clear that this country will certainly not perish."
How could the new China perish? The PRC is advancing firmly on the socialist path, socialism is flourishing in China with limitless vitality, and socialist China now stands tall in the East. The huge success achieved by socialism with Chinese characteristics has enabled scientific socialism to shine in 21st century China, offering the alternative of a Chinese solution and Chinese wisdom to developing countries that wish to realize modernization while preserving their independence. As Deng Xiaoping once said, "Our system will keep improving with the passage of time. By absorbing the progressive elements of other countries, it will become the best in the world."
History has proven that socialism has made China prosperous and strong. As the Chinese socialist system has constantly become more refined and well-established, it has fully demonstrated the superiority of socialism.
III. Only Marxism can chart the course for China's development.
Over the seven decades since the founding of the PRC, Chinese Communists have devoted themselves to integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China's realities, and made constant progress in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context.
In the early 20th century, Chinese society was flooded with all kinds of ideas, with each struggling to take the limelight. Despite this competitive political environment, Marxism was successfully disseminated in China, accepted by the Chinese people, and ultimately became a powerful ideological weapon for both Chinese Communists and the Chinese people. The fundamental reason for Marxism's success is that it pointed the way toward happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation.
For the proletariat and the people to liberate themselves from under the capitalist mode of production, they must have their own scientific theories to guide their actions. Marxism was the first theory to reveal the general trend of development in human society that capitalism is bound to fail and socialism will inevitably triumph. It provided the proletariat and the rest of the general public with rational concepts for understanding and changing the world, and pointed out the path for them to liberate themselves and all humanity. It has already been more than 170 years since the Communist Manifesto was published, but the truth of Marxism's basic tenets is still being proven and becoming more evident.
Over the course of China's revolution, development, and reform, generations of Chinese Communists have dedicated themselves to integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China's realities by bringing together practical experience. In doing so, we have addressed major issues that have emerged in China's revolution, development, and reform, thus triggering massive transformations in Chinese society and enabling the Chinese people to march confidently toward national rejuvenation. Just as Chairman Mao Zedong pointed out, "Since they learned Marxism-Leninism, the Chinese people have ceased to be passive in spirit and gained the initiative. The period of modern world history in which the Chinese people and Chinese culture were looked down upon should have ended from that moment."
After the founding of the PRC, under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, which represented the first historic leap in the process of combining Marxism with China's realities, the CPC led the people in carrying out vigorous socialist revolution and development, completely reversing the downward spiral in which the Chinese nation had been caught since the beginning of modern times.
As the launch of reform and opening up ushered in a new period of socialist modernization, Chinese Communists adapted the basic tenets of Marxism to the underlying trends of the times, and constantly pursued theoretical innovation based on practice. This resulted in the formulation of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, thus ensuring that the CPC's guiding ideology developed in step with the times and enabling China to catch up with great strides.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. Following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, the CPC has developed convincing answers to the questions of our times, which are what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics should be upheld and developed in the new era and how we should go about doing this. As a result, the Chinese nation has begun the leap from growing prosperous to becoming strong. History serves as a solemn reminder to the whole Party and all Chinese people that as China ventures into the new era, we must continue to uphold the guiding role of Marxism and equip ourselves with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This is the only way to ensure that Chinese Communists and the Chinese people are able to accurately grasp the essence of the times, conform to the tide of history, recognize global trends, and resolve China's problems as we face profound global changes and complex new challenges in reform and development, and the only way to ensure that we can maintain the initiative and keep forging ahead as we deal with brewing uncertainty in a calm and collected manner. This is the best strategy for upholding and applying Marxism in the new era.
IV. The people are the real heroes.
Over the seven decades since the founding of the PRC, hundreds of millions of Chinese people have stood up and taken control of their own destiny under the leadership of the CPC.
As the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun once said, "Since ancient times, there have always been people who are hard working with their heads down, who stick to their way even at the cost of their lives, who dare to challenge authority for the benefit of the people, and who sacrifice their lives to pursue justice and truth.... They are the backbone of China." The Chinese people's struggle to escape from the poverty, weakness, and untold suffering that plagued the Chinese nation since the beginning of modern times and realize the great leap from standing up and becoming better-off to growing in strength is a chapter of extraordinary heroism. General Secretary Xi has summarized the national spirit carried forward by the Chinese people into four parts, namely the spirit of creation, the spirit of struggle, the spirit of unity, and the spirit of the Chinese dream.
China's success over the past seven decades is owed to the leadership of the CPC, the superiority of the socialist system, and the great strength of the people.
Fireworks spell the words "Long Live the People" at the celebrating gala on October 1, 2019. PHOTO BY LI GE
The founding of the PRC and the establishment of the socialist system toppled the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism that oppressed the Chinese people, liberating them from subjugation and exploitation and giving them control over the means of production. Ownership of the means of production plays the fundamental and dominant role in the relations of production, and constitutes the primary economic base underpinning all superstructures, especially a country's state structure and political system. It is because the Chinese people took control of the means of production that they were successful in founding the PRC, and thus truly became masters of the country, society, and their own destiny. As masters of the country, the Chinese people zealously pursued socialist development, and made tireless efforts to build beautiful communities and happy lives for themselves. Their pioneering spirit as creators of history has thus shined forth.
Since the Chinese people became masters of the country, they have brought about one seemingly impossible miracle after another. Over our long course of history since the beginning of modern times, the Chinese people have gone through untold suffering and made great sacrifices. Their strength, which was once severely repressed, finally burst forth, turning into formidable material strength for building socialism. Today, as China ventures into the new era 70 years after the founding of the PRC, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation are equipped with even more powerful stores of energy accumulated over the course of history, which have been turned into an unstoppable force driving the Chinese nation toward rejuvenation.
All great achievements are the result of continuous struggle, and all great
undertakings are built on past success. Speaking at a ceremony in which national medals and honorary titles were awarded, Xi Jinping said, "Today's awardees represent the tens of thousands of outstanding individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the great undertakings of the Party and the people. They are vivid examples of China's national ethos and core socialist values." These heroes and role models are further evidence that, "with abiding faith, hard work, and the determination to perform their job to the best of their ability, even an ordinary person can have an extraordinary life, and even ordinary work can produce extraordinary results." The Chinese nation is a nation that reveres heroes, with vast numbers of them emerging over China's long history and particularly since the advent of modern times. On the long march toward national rejuvenation, countless new heroes will emerge, and the great and historic tide of national rejuvenation will propel the Chinese people forward.
What's past is prologue. At the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee, Mao Zedong said, "To win countrywide victory is only the first step in a long march of ten thousand li. Even if this step is worthy of pride, it is comparatively tiny; what will be more worthy of pride is yet to come. After several decades, the victory of the Chinese people's democratic revolution, viewed in retrospect, will seem like only a brief prologue to a long drama. A drama begins with a prologue, but the prologue is not the climax."
Today, the Chinese people are rallied around the CPC, proud of their country, and determined to forge ahead as never before. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, the Chinese people will undoubtedly seize great historic opportunities, overcome all difficulties and obstacles, and make solid progress on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, thus carrying the historic epic of the Chinese nation's great rejuvenation into exciting new chapters.
History will bear witness to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation!
(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 20, 2019)