China’s sixth plenum: four insights from the Communist Party’s 100 years
On November 11, the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China concluded its sixth plenary session. The plenum, coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the party, is of historic significance to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Revisiting history helps to shed light on the future. At the plenum, a landmark resolution was passed: the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century.By reviewing the feats in the Communist Party’s extraordinary journey, the resolution reveals why China was successful in the past and how it can continue to succeed. It sets the tone for the party to further unite and lead all Chinese people towards realising the second centenary goal of building a fully modernised socialist society, and thus the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.The history of the Communist Party is important to decode China’s success, which means that to understand China, we must understand the party first. Here are some insights that other countries and political parties can glean from the party’s 100-year experience.First, always be an explorer following your own path. As China “stood up”, “became rich” and now “becomes strong”, the Communist Party has led the people in pioneering a Chinese development path and creating a new model for human advancement and the modernisation of developing countries.The Communist Party is clear that China’s political civilisation and system must be rooted in Chinese society and that other systems simply will not work for us. Even worse, cloning other systems could result in the collapse of a state. Instead, the party has created a successful path for the country over the past century and is leading Chinese people along that path to national revival.We respect the rights of the people of all countries to choose their own development paths, and we will continue to take steps to protect the diversity of civilisation and promote exchange and mutual learning between development models. It has been repeatedly shown that a few countries’ attempts to impose their own social systems and so-called democratic models on others only end in fiascos.Second, always put people front and centre. The Communist Party is of the people, by the people and for the people. We have left no one behind on the road to a well-off society and have protected lives at all costs in the face of Covid-19. “People first” and “people-oriented development” are the secrets of the party’s success.In a world witnessing major changes and a once-in-a-century pandemic, the issue of unequal, unbalanced and inadequate development stands out, and subsistence and development remain basic human rights.All countries, nations and peoples are equally entitled to development opportunities. To make global development more equitable, efficient and balanced, we need to step up cooperation and ensure the fruits of development are shared by all. Any political manipulation that sabotages the growth of other countries and undercuts the livelihoods of other peoples will receive little support and prove futile.Third, be braced for the pain of self-evolution. A forerunner of the times, the Communist Party has retained its vitality and original mission through the past century because it is able to reform bravely, faces difficulties squarely and draw timely lessons.All countries and political parties must come to grips with their deep-seated problems if they want long-term progress. To our dismay, certain countries and parties are obsessed with shifting the blame and fanning provocation at the expense of their own people and the people of other countries, merely to serve the selfish interests of a small group. But in the end, they themselves usually bear the consequences.In a world in flux, emerging challenges are a constant warning against resting on our laurels. To better address the challenges we all face, the international community must unite and reform the global governance system to make it more fair and equitable.Fourth, build a community with a shared future for mankind. With its global vision, the Communist Party has a history of joining hands with all progressive forces in the world, and it has set its sights on bettering the future of humanity.Faced with the major questions of our time – “what is happening in the world?” and “what shall we do about it?” – President Xi Jinping has called for the creation of a community with a shared future for mankind.We are committed to working with other countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity; we will pursue high-quality, people-centred and sustainable development to deliver more fruitful outcomes through the Belt and Road Initiative; and we welcome all cooperation initiatives for common development. By any standard, China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order.Standing at a new historical starting point, whatever risks and challenges may lie ahead, the Communist Party and the Chinese people are confident and resilient enough to secure new victories in a new era, and people all over the world will surely embrace a brighter future together.