Ambassador Zhou Pingjian: CPC Plenum Highlights Strength of China's System and Governance
On November 14, 2019, Nigerian newspaper Peoples Daily published an article written by Ambassador of China to Nigeria Dr. Zhou Pingjian. The full text goes as follows:
A Chinese proverb says, “Shoes don’t need to be the same for everyone; they have to fit the foot that wears them. Governments don’t need to be the same for everyone; they have to be right for their people.”
No two political systems on earth are exactly alike, and no model can fit the political systems of all countries. The kind of governance system best suited for a country is determined by that country’s heritage and cultural traditions, and its level of social and economic development, and it is ultimately decided by that country’s people.
Only a shoe’s wearer knows if it fits.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doesn’t buy it, apparently. On November 8, he launched a new round of attacks on the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s political system in a speech delivered in Berlin, Germany. Out of personal political calculations, he has been venomously attacking the CPC and the Chinese government, smearing China's domestic and foreign policies, and playing up the so-called “China threat” narrative wherever he goes.
Mr. Pompeo’s attempts to negate China’s socialist system and sow discord between the CPC and the Chinese people to serve his own political agenda are doomed to fail. During the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC has led the Chinese people in realizing the historic leap from finding our feet to building a prosperous and strong country. It enjoys the wholehearted support of the entire Chinese people. Leadership of the CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is a historical choice made by the Chinese people who have every confidence in their path, theory, system and culture. China will stay firmly on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive for new glories. Nobody should dream of shaking our faith and obstructing our progress.
Highlighting the miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability in the past 70 years since the founding of New China, the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and China’s system for governance are systems of strong vitality and huge strength as proven by practice.
In a sense, the latest CPC plenum provided fresh proof that the CPC will not allow outside influences to distract it from its mission.
From October 28 to 31, the 19th Central Committee of the CPC concluded its fourth plenary session in Beijing, which adopted a decision on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance. This time, the session was not only logical follow-ups to the previous but also operational guidelines as well as specific moves to put into practice improved governance in a new era of “big changes not seen in 100 years”.
If the CPC’s 19th National Congress in 2017 adopted the governance philosophy expressed in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era, the fourth session has clarified the notable strengths of China’s state and governance systems in 13 aspects, and called for efforts to better turn institutional strength into effective governance. As the general targets and tasks, the session vowed to see that institutions in all fields are notably improved when the CPC marks its centenary before the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance is basically achieved by 2035 and realized in full as the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary. Moreover, the session also made clear 13 “upholding and improving” to fulfill the tasks.
The session raised that the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a scientific system developed by the Party and the people through their long-term practices and explorations, emphasized that all the work and activities of China’s national governance are carried out in accordance with the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, noted that the country’s system and capacity for governance are a crystallization of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and its enforcement capability.
Such an approach to governance may not find much sympathy outside the country by those who believe they have an axe to grind with China — as shown by the recent remarks of Mr. Pompeo and some other US politicians. Yet the fourth plenum showed that the CPC is prepared to demonstrate the faith it has in its own convictions and that it remains undaunted in its pursuit of reform and opening-up to achieve high quality development.
There is no one-size-fits-all development model in this world; it is the model that brings sustained benefit to the people that is most viable.
The path of the Chinese people has been chosen for us by history. In 1911, the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the old system. But once the old system was gone, where China would go became the question. The Chinese people then started exploring alone and hard for the path that would suit China’s national conditions. They experimented with constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parlimentarism, multi-party system and presidential government. Yet, nothing really worked. Finally, China took on the path of socialism. Admittedly, in the process of building socialism, we have had successful experience, and so made mistakes. We even suffered serious setbacks. After reform and opening up was launched in 1978, we have acted in line with China’s national conditions, and the trend of times, explored and blazed a trail of development, and established socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In today’s world, openness, inclusiveness, and mutual learning are the defining features of our times. Despite differences in history, culture, and systems, all countries in our great family of human civilization need to live together in harmony and as equals in the 21th century. As President Xi points out, “We should respect and learn from each other, and reject pride and prejudice. Only in this way may all countries achieve common development and shared prosperity.”