China’s commitment to its people behind remarkable development
The Communist Party of China (CPC) will celebrate its 100th anniversary next month. Having gone through many vicissitudes and now being full of vigor and vitality, China has made a series of historic achievements in its development. And socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. At this special historical juncture, reviewing and summarizing China’s social development has positive implications for the country and the world at large.
China has witnessed great changes over the past century, taking on a new look. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have transformed China from a poverty-stricken, isolated and backward country to a nation of prosperity and strength. China, which once barely met people’s basic needs, has grown into the world’s second-largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader of goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Its gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 367.87 billion yuan in 1978 to more than 100 trillion yuan in 2020; increasing from 1.8 percent of the world’s total economic output to 17 percent. And its per capita GDP has increased from $156 in 1978 to more than $10,000 today — an increase of more than 60 times.
Tremendous changes have taken place in Chinese people’s lives. By the end of 2020, a total of 850 million Chinese people had been lifted out of poverty, marking the country’s complete victory in the fight against poverty and contributing more than 70 percent to global poverty reduction. Instead of worrying about not having enough food to eat, Chinese people can focus on how to eat better and healthier. They are also starting to go abroad to see the world, with more than 100 million people traveling abroad each year in recent years, ensuring that the Chinese are a major pillar of the global tourism industry. The Chinese people are enjoying a growing sense of happiness, fulfillment and safety.
China always pursues harmony and coexistence, while its ruling party is always dedicated to the people. The historical wisdom China has drawn from thousands of years of history tells us that hegemony is bound to decline. As a country that incorporates peaceful development into its constitution, China has always relied on the power of peace, development and progress. And China’s development never comes at the expense of other countries’ interests. Even when faced with groundless accusations due to differences in social systems, China is committed to peaceful development, breaking down lies with facts, and pursuing win-win cooperation with an inclusive attitude.
The CPC has led China to remarkable achievements in development since it came to power. The secret lies in its people-centered administration philosophy. We resolutely uphold and support all political strategies that benefit the people and refuse to take any side path that is not conducive to the people. In the face of obstacles encountered in development, we always take the overall and long-term interests of the overwhelming majority of the people as our starting point, and then make resolute decisions and work hard to implement them. We will stay true to our original aspiration and honor our solemn commitment to serve the people.
Over the seven decades since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC has intently led the Chinese people to successfully formulate and implement a total of 13 five-year plans for national economic and social development, and is now implementing the 14th five-year plan. This is a time-consuming, hard battle for development, which requires policy continuity and sustained long-term efforts. Guided by the blueprints, generations of Chinese people have unswervingly walked a long way, step by step, and continuously won victories. Though it was never smooth sailing along the way, the CPC has had the courage to reform itself and it adheres to the people-centered philosophy in the face of setbacks, providing a steady stream of confidence and motivation for development.
As a friendly country with the whole world in its mind, China respects the values of others. Former Premier Zhou Enlai put forward the principle of “seeking common ground while reserving differences” at the 1955 Bandung Conference. Every country, whatever its political regime or system, should explore a development path that suits its own conditions and should develop relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Institutional differences do not necessarily lead to divergences and estrangements, and do not necessarily make countries become competitors. Different development paths do not necessarily hinder mutually beneficial cooperation.
China is committed to being a sincere partner of all countries because we believe that only through cooperation can we have a future, and only by taking common development and the prosperity of the whole world as our ultimate goal can we ensure the steady and far-reaching development of every country. In this respect, China’s relations with Arab and Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, can serve as a model for state-to-state relations.
As the largest developing country in the world, China always emphasizes “mutual benefit” and a “shared future” with other countries, while seeking its own development, and it advocates the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. To achieve this grand goal, China promotes cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative, transforms its own advantages in production capacity, technology, capital and experience into market and cooperation advantages, and turns China’s opportunities into the world’s opportunities. By advocating international cooperation, building a new type of international relations and forging an interconnected global partnership network, China provides guidance for globalization and global governance to eventually build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China’s relations with Arab and Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, can serve as a model for state-to-state relations.
President Xi Jinping has emphasized that “China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa,” conveying Beijing’s sincere willingness to work together with other countries and to forge ahead, hand in hand, for a better future for mankind.
Since 2016, Xi and King Salman have exchanged visits and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has visited China twice. China and Saudi Arabia have built up a comprehensive strategic partnership and established a high-level joint committee, propelling relations between the two countries into the fast lane. In the face of the coronavirus disease, China and Saudi Arabia have shared weal and woe and overcome difficulties together. All these achievements are attributable to the compatibility of the development strategies and visions of the two countries, their willingness to respect each other, and the common goal of maintaining world peace, stability and development.
The Saudi crown prince’s Vision 2030 aims to promote economic and social reform in Saudi Arabia, create a more vibrant environment for enterprises and society through the development of new industries and the reform of investment regulations, and enable the Kingdom to move toward a new era of development. China supports and is willing to take an active part in Vision 2030, it welcomes Saudi Arabia’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, and is ready to be a close partner with the Kingdom for the common development and building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
For the CPC, 100 years is just a prelude to China’s long-lasting cause, and the best is still ahead of us. China and Saudi Arabia are both countries that have strong commitments to justice and dare to take responsibilities. We will both bring more confidence and strength to the common development of all countries in the world.
- Chen Weiqing is China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.