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China Remains the Largest Developing Country in the World

Submit Time:06-06-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Han Zhen | Source:People’s Daily (April 30, 2018)

Abstract:

One of the important bases that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era is 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. In the face of new changes of the principal contradiction in society, some people may have the question: have we passed the primary stage of socialism and are no longer a developing country? In fact, Comrade Xi Jinping already gave a clear answer in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC: “We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society does not change our assessment of the present stage of socialism in China. 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 important political assessment of “one evolution” and “two not changed” fully reflected the sober cognition of China's national conditions and a deep understanding of the international situation by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and it has the strong sense of the times and far-reaching historical significance.  

The basic condition of China of the primary stage of socialism has determined China’ international status as the world’s largest developing country.  

The principal social contradiction determines the characteristics of the social development stage. In all historical periods of revolution, construction and reform, our Party formulated the lines and policies with the principal contradiction in society as the primary basis. It should be seen that the movement of contradictions is a process from quantitative change to qualitative change, and from partial qualitative change to qualitative change as a whole. The change in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society as stated at the 19th National Congress of the CPC refers to the stage qualitative change of the principal contradiction in society in the quantitative change process in the primary stage of socialism. This can be understood and fathomed in two aspects.  

In social demand, China has solved the problems of food and clothing for more than one billion people, realized moderately prosperity as a whole, and will soon complete the building of a moderately prosperous society on all aspects, the people have ever-growing need for a beautiful life: the life should be both affluent and of high quality, and there should be more sense of gain, happiness and security, the demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security and environment are growing daily, and they look forward to have better education, more stable job, more satisfactory income, more reliable social security, higher level of medical and health services, more comfortable living conditions, more beautiful environment, and more abundant mental and cultural life,  

In social production, after more than 40 years of rapid growth during reform and opening up, the overall level of the social productive force in China has been substantially raised, and in many areas, China is running side by side with others and even taking the lead in the world. Today, the social production of China cannot be described as backward social production, and plus the changes in social demand, changes would surely take place in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. However, in the other aspect, the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development remains outstanding. In China today, prosperous metropolitans and backward rural villages coexist, and the developed east is accompanied by the underdeveloped west; we have the spaceflight power of “Shenzhou” and “Tiangong”, the swift express railway, and the world leading means of production and transaction of supercomputer and mobile payment, and also the primitive and extensive means of production only relying on the weather with iron ploughing and cattle farming.  

The unbalanced and inadequate development has become the main restricting factor in meeting the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, and this factor means that the problems in the primary stage of socialism have not been fundamentally solved. China’s economy has shifted from a high speed growth phase to a high quality development phase, however, the tasks are arduous and heavy in changing the development pattern, readjusting the economic structure and changing the drive force of growth, and there are still many weak areas in the economic and social development. Therefore, we must firmly adhere to the basic line of the Party which is the life line of the Party and the state and the happiness line of the people, take economic construction as the central task, uphold the four cardinal principles, persist in reform and opening up, self-reliance and pioneering, and work hard to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.  

The basic condition that China is still in and will remain for a long time in the primary stage of socialism has determined China’ international status as the world’s largest developing country. Although China's social productivity has developed greatly, its economic aggregate has been growing continuously, and it has become the second largest economy in the world, China’s per capita GDP is only 1/7 that of the United States, ranking at lower than 60 place in the world. The total social productivity level is not high, the structure of productive force is not reasonable enough, the growth pattern of high input and high consumption has not been fundamentally changed, the scientific and technological innovation ability is apparently insufficient, and the regional development gap between urban and rural areas remains great. China's manufacturing industry and international trade are in very large scale in the world, but the national economy still has the problem of large scale but not strong. Substantial progress has been made in social construction and governance, however, the modernization level of social undertaking development and social governance need to be further upgraded. The cultural soft strength has kept on growing, but it is still far from a change of the status “strong in the west and weak in China”. Science and technology has been developed rapidly, but we have not got the commanding height of top science and technology. Our national defense and military strength has greatly increased, but there is still a long distance to a world first-rate military force system matching with our territory size and economic strength. Therefore in summary, China is still a typical developing country.  

The international status of the largest developing country is an important logic foundation for the development of the cause of the Party and state.  

Only by soberly cognizing the international status that China is still the largest developing country in the world can we provide a scientific and accurate logic prerequisite to push forward the development of the cause of the Party and state. The era will issue the questionnaire, we will give the answers and the people will check how we answered it. There are questions to be answered in every era, and we can well answer the questionnaire of the era only by clearly knowing the questions of the era. Now the era has presented the questions, and the vast land we work hard in the primary stage of socialism is the answer sheet. We can conclude the answer sheet worthy of the history and the people only by delivering answers true to the questions.  

Materialist dialectics believes that any society is full of contradictions, among which the principal contradiction plays a leading and dominant role. As the socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, although the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has changed, it is still the change in the historical progress of the primary stage of socialism, or the change of the principal contradiction in the different historical periods of the primary stage of socialism. Only by grasping the principal contradiction in society accurately can we grasp the ox nose to solve the difficult problems of development, enhance the driving force of development and expand the development space; only by grasping the connotation and extension of the change of principal contradiction in society accurately, being neither conservative nor excessive in the understanding, can we grasp the principal contradiction in society accurately. It must be made clear that we are still on the journey in the primary stage of socialism and that China is still the largest developing country in the world. Only by recognizing this biggest national condition and grasping this biggest reality can we make a great undertaking in a down-to-earth way.  

With the historic evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society affecting the whole landscape while China remaining the largest developing country in the world, it creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. First, we should endeavor to properly solve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development while further pushing forward development, to energetically upgrade the development quality and efficiency, better meet the people’s needs on economy, politics, culture, society and ecology, and better promote the all-round development of people and overall progress of the society. Second, there are still many to be done in securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Because the economy of China is big but not powerful, there are still heavy tasks to strengthen its tendons and bones and to prevent and dissolve risks; due to the unbalanced and inadequate development, there are still heavy tasks to bolster the weak links, especially in targeted poverty alleviation; as our development pattern is still relatively extensive, there are still heavy tasks in preventing and harnessing environmental pollution and building a beautiful China. Third, after we complete the building of a moderately prosperous society, we will still work hard to basically realize socialist modernization in 2035 and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful in 2050. Only by maintaining a moderate pace of economic development can we solve many of our problems as a developing country. Otherwise, we will not be able to improve the quality, efficiency and people's livelihood. Therefore, we must unswervingly take development as the top priority in our Party's governing and rejuvenating the country, firmly seize the central task of economic development, and build a strong material base for a better life of our people in the new era by emancipating and developing social productive force.  

At present, China’s development is in a promising period of historical opportunity. The development situation is generally good, but the road ahead cannot be always smooth sailing. As Comrade Xi Jinping has warned and pointed out, the more achievements we have obtained, the more cautious and prudent we should be, and be better prepared for danger in times of safety, and we must never commit strategic and subversive mistakes. We must not lie down on the past laurels and admire ourselves, nor slack off in complacency, more important, we must not evade new problems and contradictions. Facing the perplexing changes of international situation, complicated and sensitive surrounding environment, heavy and arduous tasks of reform, development and stability, we should not only have the guard against the risk of stones, but also ingenious ways to meet the challenges and dissolve risks; we should not only be prepared to fight against risks, but also take the strategic initiative to turn risks into opportunities. We will continue to carry out great struggles with many new historical features, be prepared to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and forge ahead towards the great goal set by our Party.  

Contribute the Chinese wisdom to solving human problems on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics 

As the socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, it means that the Chinese nation, which since modern times began has 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. But we need to be soberly aware that we still have a difficult way to go before the completion of building a strong socialist modernized country in an all-round way, and we must make harder and more arduous efforts. As the largest developing country in the world, only when the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics grows wider, with theories becoming more clear, systems more mature and culture more flourishing, can China offer a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and offer the Chinese wisdom and Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.  

A country can only do what it has the power to do, doing what it can within its ability. If we do things beyond our capacity, it will not only be difficult to last long, but it will probably bring us down and ultimately threaten the prosperity of the world. As a big developing country, while developing itself, China also assists other developing countries within its capacity. The spillover effect of China's economic development has benefited many developing countries. At the same time, as one of developing countries, China has been speaking up for developing countries in the international community. If China is excluded from developing countries, it will not only “kill” China with lavished praises, but also harm the overall interests of developing countries. Socialism with Chinese characteristics entering the new era does not mean that China is no longer a developing country, let alone that China has become a developed country. This new era will connect the past with the future, to continue to seize the great victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the new historical conditions, to secure a decisive victory in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, and to build a great modernized socialist country in all aspects, and in this new era, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups will work with united efforts to constantly create a better life, and gradually achieve common prosperity for all people, the Chinese people will unite as one to strive to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and China will approach the center of the world stage with each passing day, to make greater contributions to the mankind.  

Only by clearly cognizing the international status that China is still the largest developing country in the world, well grasping the law of development of the primary stage of socialism, can we adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics persistently, and devote ourselves to work in a spirit of time and tide waiting for no man, and continue to create a new situation for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. To persistently adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must have the prospect to look ahead into the future. Our Party has led the people in this great new revolution of reform and opening-up, opened up the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and enabled China to catch up with the Times in big strides, but there is still a long way to go for China to enter the rank of developed countries, and it will need our long-term unremitting efforts. To persistently adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must have the bosom to open to the world. Facing the world development trend, if you can't really reach and transcend the level of developed capitalist countries in economic and social development, only be content with the present achievements, the advantages and characteristics of socialism of China cannot give full play, and our cause is lacking in sufficient convincing power. We must face up to the fact that China is still a developing country at present if we want to make greater historical contribution to the development of scientific socialism and to the solution of problems in the future development of mankind. To persistently adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must always keep the revolutionary spirit. We must not be proud of our victory, nor slacken off for our achievements, nor shrink back in face of difficulties. We should make further efforts to make socialism with Chinese characteristics more powerful and more convincing with the power of truth. 

 (Author entity: Beijing Foreign Studies University)


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