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Embarking on a Journey to Fully Build a Modern Socialist China

Submit Time:05-12-2017 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Zhang Gaoli | Source:People's Daily (November 8, 2017)

Abstract:

The Report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping made strategic plans for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era in light of the overall and long-term development of the Party and the country, and stressed that we must not only secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the first centenary goal, but also build on this achievement to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. This Report serves as the political declaration and program of action the Party should follow to enter a new era, embark on a new journey and make new progress, and points out the way forward for the further development of the Party and the country. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. This is a new historical position for our country. Under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, we must earnestly take concrete actions to constantly push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era. 

1. Keeping on working with great determination to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects 

Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is an important milestone in the process of socialist modernization in our country. At the beginning of the reform and opening up, Comrade Deng Xiaoping put forward the strategic concept of building a moderately prosperous society. According to this concept, our Party made strategic plans for the socialist modernization in our country and put forward the "three-step" strategic goals. The first two—ensuring that people's basic needs are met and that their lives are generally decent—have been accomplished successfully in the late 1980s and the end of last century, respectively. The 16th National Congress of the CPC proposed that we should comprehensively build a higher-level moderately prosperous society benefiting more than one billion people in the first 20 years of this century, and the 17th and 18th National Congresses of the CPC set out a series of new requirements on the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. 

Significant progress has been made in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, we have actively promoted socialist economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement and made great new progress in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The CPC Central Committee has demonstrated tremendous political courage and a powerful sense of mission as it has developed new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies, adopted a raft of major principles and policies, launched a host of major initiatives, and pushed ahead with many major tasks. We have solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done. On the basis of the significant achievements we have made since the founding of new China, especially since the reform and opening up, we have prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country, and dramatically enhanced the country's economic and technological strength, defense capabilities, composite national strength, and international influence, as well as the people's sense of fulfillment. 

From the perspective of economic and social development, first, the Chinese economy has exhibited steady and sound growth. In the context of an ever-increasing base, China's GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.2% from 2013 to 2016, contributing more than 30% to world economic growth. At present, the economy has been stabilizing with sound growth. In 2017, China's total economic output will reach 80 trillion yuan, equivalent to 12 trillion U.S. dollars, ranking second in the world. Second, the economic structure has been continuously optimized. From 2013 to 2016, the proportion of service industries increased from 46.7% to 51.6%; the contribution of consumption to economic growth increased from 47% to 64.6%; the proportion of the added value of high-tech industries to the added value of industries above designated size increased from 9.9% to 12.4%; the urbanization rate of resident populations increased from 53.7% to 57.4%. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Integration Initiative, and the Yangtze Economic Belt Initiative have made notable progress. The planning and building of the Xiongan New Area has advanced solidly. We have seen much accomplished toward making China a country of innovators. Third, we have made major breakthroughs in deepening reform. In the past five years, a total of more than 1,500 reform measures were launched, covering finance, taxation, state-owned enterprises, and "streamlining administration, delegating power, strengthening regulation and improving service." We have devoted unprecedented energy to these reform measures that have given impetus to economic and social development. Fourth, the people's sense of fulfillment has been significantly enhanced. From 2013 to 2016, new urban employment registered more than 13 million people annually; the income of residents across the country grew at an average annual rate of 7.4% in real terms, exceeding the economic growth rate; the rural poverty population decreased from 82.49 million to 43.35 million; the incidence of poverty fell from 8.5% to 4.5%. Life expectancy per capita increased from 74.83 in 2010 to 76.5 in 2016. Fifth, we have made notable progress in building an ecological civilization. The concept of green development has enjoyed popular support and efforts to develop a system for building an ecological civilization have been accelerated. We have formulated and further implemented the action plans for prevention and control of atmospheric, water and soil pollutions, and the average concentration of fine particulate matters (PM2.5) in 74 key cities dropped from 72 μg/m3 in 2013 to 50 μg/m3 in 2016, representing a cumulative decline of 30.6%. Thanks to the continuous promotion of energy conservation and emission reduction, the energy consumption per unit of GDP decreased by 17.9% from 2013 to 2016. Sixth, we have been deepening the opening to the outside world. The new institutions of the open economy have been steadily improved. In 2016, the total import and export value of the trade in goods reached 3.68 trillion U.S. dollars; utilization of foreign capital amounted to 126 billion U.S. dollars; outbound direct investment stood at 170.1 billion U.S. dollars; outbound tourism registered 122 million tourists; foreign exchange reserves reached 3.0105 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of the year. All of the figures led the world. Additionally, we have taken major steps in developing democracy and the rule of law. We have made significant advances on the theoretical and cultural fronts. We have initiated a new stage in strengthening and revitalizing the armed forces. We have made fresh progress in work related to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. We have made further progress in China's diplomacy on all fronts. We have achieved remarkable outcomes in ensuring full and strict governance over the Party. These historic achievements and historic changes have marked the beginning of a new historical period for the development of our country and laid a decisive foundation for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects as scheduled. 

There are inadequacies and areas of weakness confronting the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The main ones are as follows. Some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions; and the quality and effect of development are not what they should be. China's ability to innovate needs to be stronger, the real economy awaits improvement, and financial risks have been accumulating. In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short. There are still more than 40 million rural poor people; and poverty alleviation remains a formidable task. There are still large disparities in development between rural and urban areas, between regions, and in income distribution; and our people face many difficulties in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care. We have a long way to go in protecting the environment. Long-term efforts are needed to control high consumption and high pollution industries and eliminate excess and backward production capacity. There is still much work to do in ecological restoration. Smog has occurred frequently in autumn and winter in North China, which occurred from time to time, failing to live up to the people's expectations for a beautiful ecological environment. The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement. Social tensions and problems are intertwined, much remains to be done in seeing the country's governance is based in law, and China's system and capacity for governance need to be further strengthened. So we must focus on solving the prominent contradictions and problems according to the requirements for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. 

We must ensure that we can build a moderately prosperous society in all respects on schedule. The period between now and 2020 will be decisive in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, with heavy and arduous tasks awaiting us. We must follow the requirements on building this society set out at our 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th National Congresses, adhere to the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone, and act in response to the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. We must focus on priorities, address inadequacies, and shore up points of weakness. We must take more effective measures to secure a great victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. First, we must promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement. We must unify the five-sphere integrated plan with the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and have the five advancements promote and complement each other. Second, we must show firm resolve in implementing the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the strategy on developing a quality workforce, the innovation-driven development strategy, the rural vitalization strategy, the coordinated regional development strategy, the sustainable development strategy, and the military-civilian integration strategy, providing an important strategic support for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Third, we must promote sustained and sound economic growth. We must uphold the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, further supply-side structural reform, transform our growth model, improving our economic structure, and foster new drivers of growth, thus constantly enhancing the endogenous impetus of economic development. We must implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, adopt timely and moderate pro-cyclical fine-tuning, and maintain the economic operation in a reasonable range. Fourth, we must take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks. We must attach great importance to potential risks in areas such as finance, local government debts, information security and social stability, be ever ready to protect against potential dangers, and think about worst-case scenarios. We must take proactive and effective measures to contain risks in increasing resources and systematically defuse risks in available resources, thereby forestalling systemic risks. Fifth, we must win the battle against poverty. We must concentrate our efforts on and increase investment in targeted poverty reduction and alleviation measures, regardless of hardships and difficulties, in order to ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line will be lifted out of poverty and that poverty will be eliminated in all poor counties and regions, bolstering the biggest point of weakness that hinders the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Sixth, we must take tough steps to prevent and control pollution. We must realize that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and promote green development. We must strengthen energy conservation and emission reduction, continue to implement the action plans for prevention and control of atmospheric, water and soil pollutions, focus on solving prominent environmental problems, enhance the protection and restoration of important ecosystems, and change ecological and environmental regulatory mechanisms, in a bid to shape a new pattern of modernization featuring harmonious development of man and nature. 

As the Chinese saying goes, the last leg of a journey marks the halfway point. To build a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a solemn promise made by our Party to the people and to history. With the momentum of sprinting and the spirit of being bold and courageous, we must accomplish all tasks with quality and quantity assured, so that the moderately prosperous society we build earns the people's approval and stands the test of time. 

2. Staying true to our founding mission and depicting the grand blueprint of fully building a modern socialist country 

The five years between the 19th National Congress and the 20th National Congress is the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China's development, and on the basis of thorough study and repeated demonstration, we have drawn up a two-stage development plan for fully building a modern socialist country for the 30-year period from 2020 to the middle of this century, with each stage lasting 15 years. 

In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. This means that the third step—ensuring that modernization is basically realized— of the "three-step" strategy proposed by our Party will be accomplished 15 years ahead of schedule. The early realization of the third-step goal is set out considering the fact that the past 40 years since reform and opening up has witnessed sustained and rapid economic development, fast advancing of industrialization and urbanization, all-round progress in various undertakings, and unprecedentedly tremendous changes in the country. With the current sound foundation and momentum of development, it is very likely to basically realize socialist modernization by 2035. 

To basically realize socialist modernization, the following goals will have been met: 

——In terms of economic advancement, China's economic and technological strength will increase significantly, and China will become a global leader in innovation. China's economy will maintain a medium-high growth rate; industries will move towards the medium-high end; economic development will realize a fundamental shift from quantity and scale expansion to quality and effect improvement. The socialist market economy will be further improved; efforts will be accelerated to make new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts; economic vitality will enhance markedly. A number of world-class advanced manufacturing clusters will be fostered; the total factor productivity will be improved significantly; the modernization of economy will be basically completed. The spatial pattern of development will be optimized; the urbanization pattern with urban agglomerations as the main body and featuring balanced development of large-, medium- and small-sized cities and small towns will basically take shape; the infrastructure system will be more complete; the urban quality will obviously improve. The scientific and technological innovation capabilities will continue to increase. After the building of China a country of innovators in 2020, China will become a global leader in innovation by 2035. 

——In terms of political advancement, the rights of the people to participate and to develop as equals will be adequately protected. The rule of law for the country, the government, and society will be basically in place. Institutions in all fields will be further improved; the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance will be basically achieved. Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance will be highly united. The people's democracy will be more fully developed; the National Congress and CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) system will improve further; democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management and oversight will be implemented effectively; human rights will be fully guaranteed; people's enthusiasm, initiative and creativity will be further exerted. The government's credibility and administrative capacity will be greatly strengthened, and a service-oriented government able to satisfy the needs of the people will be basically built. Law-based governance will be fully advanced, to basically ensure our legislation is sound, law enforcement is strict, the administration of justice is impartial, and the law is observed by everyone. 

——In terms of cultural advancement, social etiquette and civility will be significantly enhanced. China's cultural soft power will grow much stronger; Chinese culture will have greater appeal. The Chinese Dream and core socialist values will be embraced by our people; patriotism, collectivism, and socialism will be alive in the people's hearts; the cultural confidence, cultural awareness and cultural cohesion of all the people will be continuously enhanced. Social attitudes that emphasize public ethical standards, work ethics, family virtues, and personal integrity will basically take shape, and people's ideological and ethical standards, cultural and scientific qualities, and physical constitutions will improve notably. The public cultural service system and modern systems for cultural industries and markets will be basically completed; cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries will be more extensive; the Chinese culture will go global at a new level. 

——In terms of people's livelihood social advancement, people will lead more comfortable lives, and the size of the middle-income group will grow considerably. Disparities in urban-rural development, in development between regions, and in living standards will be significantly reduced; equitable access to basic public services will be basically ensured; and solid progress will be made toward prosperity for everyone. The great vision ensuring people's access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance will be realized; fuller employment will be achieved and better quality jobs will be created. China will join the ranks of high-income countries, and the life expectancy of population and the education level of the people will reach the world's advanced levels. A modern social governance system will basically take shape, and society will be full of vitality, harmonious, and orderly. Government's governance efforts on the one hand and society's self-regulation and residents' self-governance on the other will reinforce each other; social fairness and justice will be fully demonstrated; our people will always have a strong sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. 

——In terms of ecological advancement, there will be a fundamental improvement in the environment; the goal of building a Beautiful China will be basically attained. An energy sector that is clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient, and a sound economic structure that facilitates green, low-carbon, and circular development will be basically built, and a system for building an ecological civilization will improve significantly. Ways of work and life that advocate green development will basically take shape, and the utilization efficiency of resources such as energy and water will reach the international advanced level.   Atmospheric, water and soil conditions will obviously improve; the system of shields for ecological security will be basically established; a land development pattern will take shape where the production space is safe and efficient, the living space is comfortable and resident-friendly, and the ecological space is full of lucid waters and lush mountains; the quality and stability of forests, rivers and lakes, wetlands, grasslands, oceans and other natural ecosystems will improve significantly. China's total carbon emissions will reach a peak around 2030 and exhibit a downward trend afterwards, playing an important role in coping with global climate changes and promoting green development. 

In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. By the end of this stage, through unremitting efforts to promote the five-sphere integrated plan, new heights will be reached in every dimension of material, political, cultural and ethical, social, and ecological advancement. First, China will become a prosperous and strong great modern socialist country that sees a high degree of material advancement, where the level of social productive forces substantially increases, China's core competitiveness leads the world, and its total economic output and market size surpass those of other countries. Second, China will become a democratic great modern socialist country that sees a high degree of political advancement, where a lively, dynamic political situation takes shape featuring centralization and democratization, discipline and freedom, and unified will and personal ease of mind, and rule of law and rule of virtue combine well. Third, China will become a civilized great modern socialist country that sees a high degree of cultural and ethical advancement, where practicing core socialist values becomes the conscious action of the entire society, the people achieve well-rounded development, and the Chinese spirit, Chinese values, and Chinese strength become important influencers and drivers. Fourth, China will become a harmonious great modern socialist country that sees a high degree of social advancement, where urban and rural residents generally enjoy higher incomes, sound basic public services, and affluent, happier and peaceful life, the common prosperity of all people is basically achieved, fairness and justice are generally demonstrated, and society is full of vitality, harmonious, and orderly. Fifth, China will become a beautiful great modern socialist country that sees a high degree of ecological advancement, where a beautiful ecological environment featuring blue skies, green lands and lucid waters becomes normal, creating a new realm of harmony between man and nature. By that time, as an ancient country with a civilization history of more than 5,000 years, our country will radiate unprecedented vigor and vitality. We will achieve modernization of China's system and capacity for governance, become a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence, and make more contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind and promoting world peace and development. The Chinese nation will become a proud and active member of the community of nations and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. 

3. Working with resolve and tenacity and striving to promote the great cause of fully building a modern socialist country 

This is our strategic vision for fully building a modern socialist country: Finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, move on to basically realizing modernization, and then turn to making China a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. Our ambitious blueprint and goal require 10% efforts on planning and 90% efforts on implantation. To make the blueprint and goal a reality, we must follow the decisions and plans set out in the 19th National Congress of the CPC, take forceful steps and deliver tangible results, and have the perseverance to hammer away until a task is done. 

First, we must study, understand and implement the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era so as to better steer the development of the Party and people's cause. The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and encapsulates the practical experience and collective wisdom of our Party and the people. It is an important component of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for all our members and all the Chinese people as we strive to achieve national rejuvenation. This Thought must be adhered to and steadily developed on a long-term basis. We must launch a campaign on the theme of "staying true to our founding mission" within the entire Party, to enable all Party members to be more purposeful and unswerving in studying and implementing the Xi Jinping Thought, develop a good grasp of its scientific system, essence, rich implications and requirements of practice, and apply it to the entire process of socialist modernization and all aspects of Party building. We must ensure coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, in an effort to make new advances in the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era. 

Second, we must focus on the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society and continue to pursue development as the Party's top priority in governance. In the past 40 years since reform and opening up, China's economy has enjoyed sustained and rapid growth. In many areas our production capacity leads the world and the output of more than 220 kinds of industrial and agricultural products ranks first in the world. At present, the more prominent problem is that our development is unbalanced and inadequate. The 19th National Congress of the CPC pointed out that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. At the same time, the basic dimension of the Chinese context—that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism—has not changed. China's international status as the world's largest developing country has not changed. The evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society represents a historic shift that affects the whole landscape and that creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. We must adhere to the central task of economic development, remain committed to the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, apply a new vision of development, and develop a modernized economy. We must put quality first and give priority to performance. We should pursue supply-side structural reform as our main task. We must accelerate the building of an industrial system that promotes coordinated development of the real economy with technological innovation, modern finance, and human resources. We should endeavor to develop an economy with more effective market mechanisms, dynamic micro-entities, and sound macro-regulation. This will steadily strengthen the innovation capacity and competitiveness of China's economy. We need to further supply-side structural reform, make China a country of innovators, pursue a rural vitalization strategy, promote coordinated regional development, and make new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts. We must continue to comprehensively deepen reform, accelerate efforts to improve the socialist market economy, and modernize China's system and capacity for governance. We must continue commitment to our people-centered philosophy of development, ensure and improve living standards, and work to promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone. We should, acting on the principles of prioritizing resource conservation and environmental protection and letting nature restore itself, develop spatial layouts, industrial structures, and ways of work and life that help conserve resources and protect the environment. We must plan development based on the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, devote great energy to addressing development's imbalances and inadequacies, and constantly improve the level of social productive forces. With this, we will be better placed to meet the ever-growing needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. 

Third, we must make sweeping efforts to strengthen Party leadership and Party building, so as to provide the fundamental guarantee for fully building a modern socialist country. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country. The great new project of Party building plays a decisive role in carrying out our great struggle, building our great project, advancing our great cause, and realizing our great dream. We must strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, in our posts and actions. We must strengthen our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must work harder to uphold the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee. We must 100% implement the Central Committee's decisions and plans, and closely follow the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core in terms of our thinking, political orientation, and actions, to ensure socialist modernization is proceeding in the right direction. We must strengthen the Party's long-term governance capacity and its advanced nature and purity. We must make all-round efforts to see the Party's political building enhanced, its theory strengthened, its organizations consolidated, its conduct improved, and its discipline enforced, with institution building incorporated into every aspect of Party building. We must step up efforts to combat corruption and ensure strict Party self-governance. We must strengthen the Party's ability and resolve to chart our course, craft overall plans, design policy, and promote reform, and continuously improve the Party's ability to lead economic and social development. 

The blueprint has been drawn with bright prospects. We should rally closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, and hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We should continue to free our minds and carry out reform and innovation. We should keep on working with great determination to fully implement the Party's basic theory, line, and policy. We should secure a decisive victory in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and see that our people realize their aspirations for a better life. 


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