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Logical Line of Development Revealed by Socialism with Chinese Characteristics after Its Entry into a New Era

Submit Time:04-02-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Dai Mucai | Source:Guangming Daily (January 8, 2018)

Abstract:

As indicated by General Secretary Xi Jinping in his report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China ("CPC" or "the Party"), "With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. This is a new historic juncture in China's development." The important statement that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era is determined by the historical, theoretical and practical logics that have been exposed in the course of development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is what socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era means: The Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation—it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong; and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.  

The Historical Logic Revealed by the Entry into a New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics 

History is a collection of objective records on development of times. A look into the global history awakens us to the fact that with a history of more than 5,000 years, the Chinese nation created a splendid civilization, made remarkable contributions to mankind, and became one of the world's great nations. But with the Opium War of 1840, China was plunged into the darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression; its people were ravaged by wars, saw their homeland torn, and lived in poverty and despair. Therefore, the pursuit for national independence and liberation and the fight for a stronger and more prosperous country were elevated to become two historic missions confronting the Chinese nation since the advent of modern times. The fulfillment of the two missions needed the Chinese nation to stand up, grow rich, and become strong again. The arduous struggles of the Party in the nearly 100 years fully justified the historical logic of "standing up, growing rich and becoming strong."  

With tenacity and heroism, countless dedicated patriots fought, pressed ahead against the odds, and tried every possible means to seek the nation's salvation. Some examples of their bravery fights included the Westernization Movement, the Hundred Day's Reform, and the Revolution of 1911. Despite their efforts, they were powerless to change the plight of the Chinese people. During the arduous process, only the CPC, guided by the correct theory, blazed a right path of the Chinese revolution which ultimately led the Chinese people to its great success. On the basis, the Party established socialism as China's basic system that conformed to the reality of the country, and advanced socialist construction, thus completing the broadest and most profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation. It created the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundation for achieving all development and progress in China today. Thus was made a great transition: The Chinese nation reversed its fate from the continuous decline of modern times to steady progress toward prosperity and strength. This historic phase witnessed China laid the fundamentally institutional foundation for its standing up, growing rich and becoming strong from the perspective of the basic socialist system. But seen from the entire history, the country was still in the transition from the backward, oppressed situation to the rise to its feet again.  

The useful experience and lessons drawn upon from the explorations for how to develop socialism since the foundation of new China inspired the Party to socialism with Chinese characteristics—a path towards a strong and prosperous country. Reform and opening up is a pivotal move to change the fate of China today. It is also the most distinct feature of the country now. In its essence is the self-improvement and development of the socialist system. After rising to its feet, China never wavered from the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus creating the "China Wonders" that have drawn the attention of the entire world. This historic phase witnessed China laid the solid social foundation for its growing rich and becoming strong from the perspective of material progress. But seen from the entire history, the country was still in the transition from the rise to its feet to the prosperous state.  

Since the CPC 18th National Congress, the Central Committee of the Party with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has keenly aware of the major trends of development revealed by the entire world including China today, and responded to the requirements of practices and the wishes of the people, by developing a host of new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies, adopting a raft of major principles and policies, launching an array of major initiatives, and pushing ahead with many major tasks. Thanks to these efforts, China has solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done, and prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. The historic achievements have touched every area and broken new ground; the historic changes have been profound and fundamental. These historic achievements and historic changes have marked the beginning of a new historical period for the development of China, signaling that the country has crossed the threshold into a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. After standing up and growing rich, the Chinese nation embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation in the new era, where it will undergo the transition from growing rich to becoming strong.  

The Theoretical Logic Revealed by the Entry into a New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics 

Thoughts are a guide to action that points out the direction in which times will develop. In the explorations for the fulfillment of the two historic missions confronting the Chinese nations since modern times, only the Party arrived at the correct guiding thoughts that marry the basic principles of Marxism with the basic reality of the country, and gave scientific and up-to-date answers to the following questions: how the Chinese people secured the victory of revolutionary struggles in such a time-honored, populous, poor and backward big country; how the shift was accomplished from the New Democratic Revolution to the socialist development; what kind of socialism was to be built and how to do so. The scientific answers to these questions amounted to the achievements in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context that were required by the questioning and development of an era, capable of directing the great cause of China for socialist revolution, development, reform and opening up to new realms steadily. The arduous struggles of the Party in the nearly 100 years fully justified the theoretical logics of "standing up, growing rich and becoming strong."  

Mao Zedong Thought makes clear about the nature, targets, tasks and motive forces of the Chinese revolution, devises the two-step strategy that New Democracy comes before socialism, and proposes the program of the new democratic revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism waged by the broad masses of the people under the leadership of the proletariat. Furthermore, it has led the Chinese evolution to the great success, made preliminary explorations for how to develop socialism, and thus offered the ideological principles and guide to action as needed by the Chinese nation's transition from the backward, oppressed situation to the rise to its feet.  

Since the introduction of reform and opening up, in the great endeavors of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics that encompasses Deng Xiaoping Theory, Theory of Three Represents, and Scientific Outlook on Development has presented the clear answers and solutions to the following questions of an era about what is socialism, how to develop socialism, what kind of party to be built and how to build it, what kind of development is to be realized and how to realize it. All of these provide the Chinese nation with the guides to ideology and action as needed by its transition from standing up to becoming rich.  

Since the 18th National Congress, to answer the major question of an era: "what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires China to uphold and develop, and how it should go about doing it," the Central Committee of the Party with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core made arduous theoretical explorations by combining the basic principles of Marxism and the overall reality of the country. These major accomplishments in theoretical innovation have formed Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era makes it clear that the overarching goal of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernizations and national rejuvenation, and, that on the basis of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a two-step approach should be taken to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century, thus providing the Chinese nation with the guides to ideology and action as needed by its transition from standing up to becoming rich.  

The Practical Logic Revealed by the Entry into a New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics 

Practice is the real force that promotes the development of an era. To develop socialism in a country which features the poor productivity and underdeveloped commodity economy is inevitably different from doing it in another country. The basic dimension of the Chinese context determines that it will take China a long period of time to develop and refine its socialist system. So the Chinese people must recognize the basic dimension of the Chinese context that the country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism. It cannot afford to skip the primary stage. At the same time, as socialism is walking out of the primary stage, there will emerge multiple divided stages of development which shall demonstrate different features accordingly. Proceeding from the basic reality, the Party has proposed the "three strategic goals" and "two centenary goals" successively. Inspired by them, it takes action to propel the Chinese nation towards steadily fast development and further strength and prosperity. Hence this fully justifies the practical logics of standing up, growing rich and becoming strong.  

After the founding of new China, the Chinese socialist revolution and development had gone through a tortuous course that lasted three decades. Looking back to the uneven course of development, there were splendid accomplishments, compelling setbacks, and even material mistakes. Even so, the unique stage of development created the fundamental political conditions, institutional foundation, necessary international environment, and economic development foundation for paving the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. To sum up, China gathered precious experience from the stage, which made it possible for the Chinese nation to stand up and grow into richness and prosperity. It is on the basis that the Party made a clarion call for the Chinese people to explore the socialist road that fits its reality, embarked on the path to socialist modernization, and worked hard to turn China a strong and prosperous country.  

Since the introduction of reform and opening up, China has been growing into a major nation that is so important to impact how the world looks, develops and changes with each passing day. As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, "In the early days of reform and opening up, the Party made a clarion call for us to take a path of our own and build socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since then, the Party has united and led all the Chinese people in a tireless struggle, propelling China into a leading position in terms of economic and technological strength, defense capabilities, and composite national strength. China's international standing has risen as never before. Our Party, our country, our people, our forces, and our nation have changed in ways without precedent. The Chinese nation, with an entirely new posture, now stands tall and firm in the East." China rose to the second largest economy in 2010, and its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 totaled RMB74, 412.7 billion, a figure 204.15 times of that in 1978. The country has revealed a new image of growing virtually rich and becoming preliminarily strong.  

Bearing in mind the blueprint and vision for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, the Party on its 19th National Congress made a strategic arrangement clear that the socialist modernization will be basically realized by 2035 and China will turn into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century. As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, China must realize that instead of changing its assessment that its socialism is in the primary stage, it should be clearly aware that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What it now faces is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. Against such a backdrop, it is expected to better promote the well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. The historic evolution affects the whole landscape and creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. The entry into a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics has conveyed multiple meanings of the Party. It means the Party makes a clear call to everyone in the Party, the forces, and the Chinese nation for making China a strong country; it means the Party embarks on a new journey to the tremendous transformation—it has stood up, grown rich and become strong; and it means China will realize the great transition from rise to its feet to a state of being rich and strong.  

(Author: A special researcher at the Research Center of Socialist Theories with Chinese Characteristics affiliated with the Ministry of Education)


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