comments and feedback

Practical Experience and Historical Inspirations China Gathers from Its Reform and Opening-up

Submit Time:31-07-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author: | Source:Guangming Daily (July 5, 2018)


In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia, General Secretary Xi Jinping, after reviewing the historic achievements China has accomplished over the four decades since the introduction of reform and opening-up, stressed that “Four decades of reform and opening-up has given us many valuable inspirations. The most important one is that for any country or nation to achieve rejuvenation, they must follow the logic of history and the trend of the times in their pursuit of progress and development.” Arduous explorations and great accomplishment China has made in its reform and opening-up offer the Chinese experience to the entire world.  

What China has achieved through its reform and opening-up is a proof that there is more than more path leading to modernization. With the right direction and unremitting efforts, all roads will lead to Rome. A look back to China’s pursuit for national independence and prosperity since 1840 reveals an array of its “West-centric” endeavors for modernity from “opening eyes to see the world” to “beating foreigners by learning from their advantages," from the westernization movement that advocates “Chinese learning as substance, western learning for application” to the top-down Constitutional Reform and Modernization, and from the Revolution of 1911 to the New Culture Movement. However, these efforts got the semi-feudal, semi-colonial Chinese society nowhere. Western modernity is fundamentally characterized by capitalist modernity. Its core value choice is capital expansion and profit maximization. “Democracy, freedom, equality and fraternity” is only a manifesto that appears on a banner. All of its action is about colonization, snatching, expansion and exploitation. As a latecomer, China is doomed to be at the inferior end of the capitalist world economy. Therefore, learning Western modernity even cannot help China to realize national independence, let alone national prosperity and rejuvenation. The Communist Party of China (“the CPC”) sees through the surface of Western modernity into its essence. Under the guidance of Marxism, it embarks on a path leading to socialist modernization. The marvelous achievements in the past four decades since the reform and opening-up justify that the socialist modernization path that the Chinese people have taken under the leadership of the Party not only shatters the dominant say of Western modernity but also points out a new direction for developing countries to modernize themselves. The socialist modernization path serves as a brand new option for the countries and nations that intend to quicken their development without compromising their independence and offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.  

What China has accomplished attests that its reform and opening-up meets the Chinese people’s aspiration for development, innovation and a better life. It also stays in sync with the global trend toward development, cooperation and peace. In an era where peace and development remain the call of all people, those who have a clear understanding of themselves, introduce the all-rounded reform with unparallel courage, and bring the best out of institutions and policies will hold an invincible position despite fierce competition. China is a nation that has courageously engaged in self-revolution and self-reform, constantly made improvements to the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and kept overcoming institutional and systematic obstacles to development. In this way, socialism fully demonstrates the huge institutional superiority which is incomparable for capitalism, and displays the higher productivity, development of higher quality, and broader prospect. Today economic globalization has become an inevitable trend in the open world. The Chinese people actively come on board with this trend by sticking to the reform and opening-up path. While fully leveraging on the advanced sciences and technologies created by the human society as well as the useful management experience, they constantly try to keep in mind both internal and international imperatives more proactively and efficiently, so as to improve their opening-up in terms of both quality and standard. Over the last four decades, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Party, have integrated the basic principles of Marxism to the Chinese reform and opening-up reality. Through determined exploration with a pioneering spirit, they include the reform and opening-up undertaking into the world’s course for development and progress. By living up to its responsibility as a major country, China has grown into a key anchor and driver for the world economy, thus making its unique contribution to building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys peace, universal security, and common prosperity.  

Reform and opening-up is an experience China has offered to the human society and a valuable spiritual wealth the Chinese people has extracted from its great practice and contributed to the world. It brings us many historical aspirations.  

Firm commitment to the logic of history. It requires freeing up thinking, analyzing problems, and guiding actions with the logic of history. Socialism would ultimately replace Capitalism. This is a truth of Marxism. At the same time, we must be clearly aware that the new replacing the old proves to be a long process. During the process, the old won’t exit from the historical stage willingly. Determined in the confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must be always prepared to engage in great struggles with the characteristics of the new era, and make unremitting efforts to deliver on the “Two Centenary Goals” and to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.  

Firm commitment to the trend of the times. The tides of the times are vast and mighty. History looks kindly on the people who come on board with it, and shows no mercy to those falling behind. Today we live in a world which stands out by its peace and cooperation, openness and connectivity, and reform and innovation. For peace and cooperation, we must resolutely reject the cold war and zero-sum mentality, and realize a real-sense win-win outcome through peaceful development and extensive collaboration. For openness and connectivity, we must resolutely abandon the closed mentality and have an open mind to achieve common prosperity. For reform and innovation, we must resolutely cast away the outworn mentality, get rid of the outdated things, and bring forth new ones courageously. The initiative of Xi for building a community with a shared future for mankind has been well acclaimed and recognized by more and more countries and their people all over the world, which stands as a striking contrast to the anti-globalization proposed by some countries.  

Firm commitment to one’s own road. Any attempt to mechanically copy the development modes of other countries is bound to end up with failure. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is an outcome of marrying the basic principles of Marxism with the Chinese reform and opening-up reality. It represents a review to what China has done in its reform and opening-up practice and a theoretical improvement on the basis of that. It blends well into the Chinese actual conditions. Although socialism with Chinese characteristics has secured the eye-catching achievements in the world, we never tend to export our development pattern overseas. Instead, we prefer that different countries can choose their path to development on their own. We respect their rights to decide social regime and development path. This is a realistic foundation for mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, and also the inevitable requirement for building a peaceful, secure, prosperous, open and beautiful world.  

Firm commitment to putting people at the center. The strength of China revealed through the reform and opening-up can be primarily attributed to the fully aroused initiative and creativity of the vast Chinese people. With the people-centric approach interwoven into every aspect concerning the economic and social development, the country has seen its people developing a greater sense of fulfillment, happiness and security in the great practice of reform and opening-up. The development as proposed by socialism means putting people at the foremost position, a far cry from the development of capitalism which is aimed for profit growth. Whether socialist development can be realized depends on the efforts we will make to carry forward with our reform, further open ourselves to the rest of the world, and advance our socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics.   

(Author: Beijing Municipal Research Center of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era with Hu Yuping doing the actual writing)

Related Articles