Chinese President Xi Jinping recently conducted an extensive inspection tour of Liaoning province. Situated in north-east China, Liaoning is one of China’s old industrial bases and borders the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
President Xi visited a revolutionary memorial, a river and lake management project, an enterprise and a residential community, meeting people from all walks of life. The party’s goal of realizing common prosperity was a major theme of his tour and the President stressed that no political consideration is higher than the people – so long as the party maintains its ties with the people, breathes the same air as the people, shares the same destiny, and stays connected to them, it can obtain the power to triumph over any difficulty.
He also noted that the local people had sacrificed a great deal for the liberation of north-east China and made massive contributions to the development of New China and the victory in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, adding that, “We will never allow our socialist country to change its nature. Nor will the people.”
Xi also laid stress on ecological conservation and green development, flood control and prevention, independent innovation, promoting self-reliance in science and technology and boosting the country’s grip on core technologies, and developing elderly care programs whilst also ensuring healthy growth of the younger generation.
He told local residents that Chinese-style modernization means common prosperity for all, not just a few. “More efforts must be made so that the people feel the CPC serves the people wholeheartedly and is always with the people,” he stressed.
President Xi Jinping has stressed greater sense of responsibility and endeavors in the revitalization of China’s northeast region in the new era.
During his inspection tour in Liaoning Province from Tuesday to Wednesday, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for breaking new ground in the revitalization and development of the northeastern province.
Xi called for coordinating the COVID-19 response with economic and social development, balancing development and security imperatives, fully and faithfully implementing the new development philosophy, and firmly promoting high-quality development.
Efforts should be made to promote common prosperity for all, advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance, and deepen the Party’s full and rigorous self-governance, to set the stage for the 20th National Congress of the CPC, said Xi.
During the inspection, Xi went to the cities of Jinzhou and Shenyang, where he visited several places, including a revolutionary memorial, a river and lake management project, an enterprise, and a community.
In the following short video, produced by China Daily, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez discusses the extraordinary changes that have taken place in China over the last decade since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Carlos particularly emphasises the progress in poverty alleviation, environmental protection, foreign policy, and the pursuit of common prosperity.
In this article, originally published on CGTN and coinciding with the Boao Forum on Asia, Keith Lamb addresses humanity’s looming climate catastrophe and how it is exacerbated by such factors as imperialism’s profit from war. In contrast, through cooperation with the Global South and by promoting global development alongside the sustainable preservation of humanity and the biosphere, China is pointing the way towards an ecological civilization. “China’s people-centred approach means markets and capital must stay subservient to society as a whole,” the author notes.
The annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), which brings together Asia-Pacific businesses and governments to promote economic and social development, is upon us. One of the pressing matters for this year’s forum is the climate catastrophe.
Plenty of discussion and even more action is needed if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal, as set out by the Paris Climate Agreement, global carbon emissions need to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030, from 2010 levels, and net-zero emissions must be reached by 2050. The agreement also requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their nationally determined contributions.
Unfortunately, as reported in the UN’s The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021, despite a slight downtrend in carbon emissions, due to COVID-19, by December 2020, emissions fully rebounded. Indeed, carbon emissions were 2 percent higher than in December 2019, leading the report to say “the climate crisis continues largely unabated.”
The following China Daily op-ed, written by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, reflects on the last decade of dramatic change in China, particularly in relation to poverty alleviation, environmental protection, foreign policy, and the pursuit of common prosperity.
In the past decade, the People’s Republic of China has grown enormously in economic strength and global stature.
At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, put forward the “two centenary goals”. The goals mean building a moderately well-off society in all respects by 2020, just before the centenary year of the CPC in 2021, and a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by the middle of this century, while the People’s Republic’s 100th anniversary is 2049.
The Party and the leadership mobilized tens of millions of people to achieve the first goal, the key component of which was the eradication of extreme poverty, which was achieved in 2020.
At the start of the targeted poverty alleviation program in 2013, a little less than 100 million people were identified as living below the poverty line. Seven years later, the figure was zero. As Xi said, “thanks to the sustained efforts of the Chinese people from generation to generation, those who once lived in poverty no longer have to worry about food or clothing or access to education, housing and medical insurance”.
In this video made for CGTN by Michael Dunford, Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (and Friends of Socialist China advisory group member), we get a glimpse of common prosperity in action, as Michael travels to a village at Tuohu Lake, in the northeast of Anhui Province. With the aim of revitalizing the village and promoting high-quality sustainable development, the village cooperative has worked with the local authorities to improve the water system and to adopt traditional, environmentally-friendly agricultural practices. Combined with technologies such as an internet-of-things monitoring system and e-commerce, the villagers have been able to significantly improve their standard of living whilst simultaneously contributing to biodiversity and environmental protection.
This important article from China Dialogue describes a new document issued by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Guidelines for ecological and environmental protection of foreign investment cooperation and construction projects. The authors describe the guidelines as “the most comprehensive document by any country regulator to guide environmental management of overseas projects”. Guidelines include adopting international standards or China’s stricter standards for environmental protection in host countries; actively cutting pollution of all kinds; strongly favouring clean energy; and reconsidering projects with high potential biodiversity costs. The authors note that these guidelines are not enforceable, but that they “send clear signals to China’s state-owned and private enterprises.” As such, they form an important milestone towards a Green Belt and Road.
This January, less than six months after publishing the “Green development guidelines for overseas investment and cooperation”, China’s ministries of commerce and of ecology and environment issued another set of recommendations with a similar name: “Guidelines for ecological and environmental protection of foreign investment cooperation and construction projects”.
How is this document different to last year’s? And how does it add value?
Simply put, the latest release reaffirms recommendations made in the earlier guidelines but has more focus on specific issues of environmental risk management throughout the whole lifecycle of Belt and Road projects. It provides more robust direction to manage environmental risks in specific sectors, such as energy, transport and mining.
It also reflects wider developments in recent months. Since the publication of last year’s guidelines, in July, China has made important commitments to support green overseas development. Notably, President Xi pledged China would no longer build new coal-fired power plants abroad, and would support green low-carbon energy in developing countries. In November, he further elaborated that China is exploring the establishment of an early warning and assessment system for overseas project risk.
The following report from China Environment News provides a useful summary of China’s progress in solar power. As part of its bid to reach peak carbon consumption before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060, China is investing heavily in generating and installing solar power. It is now by far the global leader in solar capacity and production, and its enormous investment in this area has been the key factor in the cost of solar electricity decreasing by 85 percent since 2010.
The world is adopting renewable energy at an unprecedented pace, and solar power is the energy source leading the way.
Despite a 4.5% fall in global energy demand in 2020, renewable energy technologies showed promising progress. While the growth in renewables was strong across the board, solar power led from the front with 127 gigawatts installed in 2020, its largest-ever annual capacity expansion.
The Solar Power Leaderboard
From the Americas to Oceania, countries in virtually every continent (except Antarctica) added more solar to their mix last year. Below is a snapshot of solar power capacity by country at the beginning of 2021. Data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows solar power capacity by top 10 countries in 2021. This includes both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power capacity.
The following article from Asia Times, written by David P Goldman, provides some indication as to China’s commitment to combating climate breakdown and the accompanying massive investment in low- and zero-carbon technology. This is “arguably the most ambitious investment program in economic history, designed to touch every sphere of China’s economic life.” Rather than demonizing China and imposing sanctions on its solar energy industry, Western countries should be closely cooperating with – and learning from – China in humanity’s shared struggle to prevent catastrophe.
China is projected to invest the equivalent of US$75 trillion (487 trillion yuan) in carbon neutrality financing over the next 30 years, representing five times its 2020 national output, according to a December 2021 study by a consortium of government, academic and private-sector experts.
The 200-page report, which encompasses the whole range of carbon-neutral technology from hydrogen-fuel vehicles to nuclear electric power, was issued by the Research Group of the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking under the direction of Ma Jun, president of the Beijing Institute of Finance and Sustainability, an academic unit under the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work.
Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed by CGTN journalist Li Jingjing about the recent Xi-Biden summit, the prospects for the New Cold War in the coming period, the failure of the trade war, the influence of the military-industrial complex on US policy, escalating tensions over Taiwan, and the possibilities for cooperation between the major countries on the question of climate change.
This very interesting article by University of Glasgow professors Asit K Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada provides an overview of the extraordinary economic, political and scientific progress China has made since liberation – with a particular focus on the strategy of Reform and Opening Up – and analyses how this progress provides the foundations for achieving the country’s ambitious goals around sustainable development. The article was originally published in China Daily on 12 November 2021.
The speed, scale and span of the economic and social transformation of China during the past 40-odd years have been unprecedented in human history.
One hundred years ago, times were not good for China. Its 400 million people lived mainly in rural areas, mired in poverty. It was a nation ravaged by imperial mismanagement, foreign colonialism and civil wars.
On July 23 1921, 13 disillusioned Chinese young men and two representatives from the Communist International, met secretly in an inconspicuous house, 106 Rue Wantz, in Shanghai’s French Concession, which began the first national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The police interrupted the meeting on July 30, and the Chinese members shifted their discussions to a tourist boat on the South Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, to continue the first National Congress. The first congress marked the founding of the CPC.
We republish below this interesting article from Euronews about China’s innovation and investment in the development of sponge cities – an urban water management system that conserves water and protects natural habitats.
The survival and development of human society depends on water. In fact, global water demand increased nearly eightfold between 1900–2010 as a result of factors like population growth, economic development and a shift in diet.
But in China, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, the vital resource is running out. The country’s 1.4 billion population needs water to thrive but it has become limited and unevenly distributed.
We’re pleased to republish this article by KJ Noh and Michael Wong, originally published in Asia Times on 12 November 2021, detailing the remarkable progress China has been making in decarbonising its economy.
The Earth’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) concentrations are driving catastrophic climate change, and creating an existential threat to the planet. But there is a way out.
Last year, President Xi Jinping pledged that China’s carbon-dioxide emissions would peak before 2030, and that the country would become carbon-neutral before 2060.
China has a history of setting ambitious, nearly impossible goals and then achieving them –often before deadline – so this pledge is significant.
📺 In this brief presentation, Carlos Martinez gives a comprehensive explanation of why the US and its allies’ attempts to push responsibility for the climate crisis onto China are hypocritical and ridiculous, and why cooperation on climate change is essential.
In this important speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for a coordinated global effort to suppress the pandemic, to tackle climate change, and to prevent a New Cold War.
Xi reiterates his oft-stated belief that vaccines must be a global public good, and urges countries to work together to ensure fair and equitable distribution, with particular attention to developing countries. Speaking on the need for a comprehensive low-carbon transition, he points out that this will be impossible without simultaneously pursuing development and improving the living standards of those that currently live in poverty.
He notes that humanity’s major challenges cannot be solved in the context of a New Cold War, and warns against any attempts to divide the world on ideological lines or to break with the principles of multilateralism and respect for sovereign development, stating that “the Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era.”
Leaders of the Business Community, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
I am very glad to meet you again. At present, COVID-19 is still ravaging the world, and the journey to global economic recovery remains a difficult and tortuous one. The Asia-Pacific has all along been an important engine driving the global economy. Indeed, it is among the first to regain the momentum of recovery in this crisis. At this historical juncture, it is important that we in the Asia-Pacific face up to the responsibility of the times, be in the drive’s seat, and strive hard to meet the goal of building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.
This article from Xinhua provides a handy summary of the progress China has already made in decarbonisation, as well as outlining its commitments to 2060.
— In September last year, China updated its nationally determined contribution targets which aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, giving China a gap of about 30 years between the two targets. In comparison, the gap for the EU will be 71 years, the United States 43 years and Japan 37 years.
— China has translated its pledges on carbon emissions peaking and carbon dioxide neutrality into concrete actions. According to the World Bank, China has accounted for more than half of the world’s entire energy savings since 2005.
— According to a guiding document on China’s work to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals released on Oct. 24 by the Chinese authorities, China aims to gradually increase the share of non-fossil energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2025, around 25 percent by 2030, and over 80 percent by 2060.
As the world’s largest developing country, China is striving to meet a grand goal: to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
This ambitious target means China will complete the world’s most dramatic reduction in carbon emission intensity, and realize carbon neutrality from carbon peaking in the shortest time in global history.
We republish below an interview with Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez in Xinhua about the attempts by the US and its allies to shift responsibility for the climate crisis onto China. The interview was first published on 9 November 2021 in English and Chinese.
China has made remarkable progress on climate issues and will continue to do so, so the West’s shifting blame onto China just means they are not taking their own responsibilities seriously, Carlos Martinez, a British author and political commentator, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Martinez greatly appreciated the fact that China met its target for 2020 ahead of schedule, elaborating on a wide range of progress that China has made on the environment.
This important article by Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Chief Executive Officer of Asian Institute of Ecocivilization, Pakistan, details how China is working energetically to ‘green’ the Belt and Road Initiative, divesting from fossil fuel projects, promoting renewable energy projects, and working closely with other countries to agree standards and strategies on sustainable development. The article was first published in China Focus on 4 November 2021.
A lot has been written about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but there is a dearth of literature which highlights green aspects of the BRI. China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, has a clear commitment to green and nature-friendly development and the BRI is the torchbearer of President Xi’s vision.
Unfortunately, this dimension is not part of any discourse. The opponents criticize China on the basis of self-assumed perceptions. They have launched smear campaigns against the BRI without understanding the new philosophy of development, President Xi’s vision of Eco-civilization and circular economy.
The West has followed a Cold War agenda of demonising the world’s most populous country, when in fact China’s per-capita greenhouse gas emissions are less than half those of the US; meanwhile China leads the way in renewable energy, reforestation and electric vehicles. This article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez first appeared in the Morning Star on 5 November 2021.
In the run-up to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, currently taking place in Glasgow, politicians and media in the West conducted a coordinated and insistent campaign to shift responsibility for the climate crisis on to China.
US President Joe Biden claimed in his closing statement to the G20 Summit, the day before the start of COP26, that China “basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change.” He further stated that meaningful progress on climate change negotiations is “going to require us to continue to focus on what China’s not doing.”
Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman on the Sputnik Radio show By Any Means Necessary on 02 November 2021. They discuss the misleading attacks on China over climate, the reality behind China’s carbon emissions and its climate change mitigation efforts, how the Chinese economic system facilitates those efforts, and the hypocrisy of the West using the threat of climate catastrophe as part of its cold war drive against China. The audio is embedded below.
We are pleased to publish the written statement of President Xi Jinping delivered today to the COP-26 meeting in Glasgow. The Chinese President makes three essential points – he stresses the need to uphold multilateral consensus; to focus on concrete actions; and to accelerate the green transition. This succinct and principled statement not only sets out the key tasks facing the entire international community if we are to prevent climate catastrophe – it also constitutes a fitting retort to those national leaders who would rather engage in vacuous rhetoric and foster a new Cold War against China and Russia than take concrete actions and face up to their responsibilities.
Honorable Prime Minister Boris Johnson,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the World Leaders Summit and discuss ways to address the climate challenge. As we speak, the adverse impacts of climate change have become increasingly evident, presenting a growing urgency for global action. How to respond to climate change and revive the world economy are challenges of our times that we must meet.