China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Comrade Wang Yi attended the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.
Besides delivering his address to the assembly on September 24, Wang Yi had a packed programme, which saw him:
Hold tens of bilateral meetings with other national leaders, both from countries friendly to China as well as those not so friendly, along with senior UN officials and leaders of international organizations
Meet with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Meet jointly with representatives of the National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce
Chair the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), attended by senior leaders from more than 40 countries
Address the Informal Leaders’ Roundtable on Climate Action
Attend the Security Council Foreign Ministers’ meeting on the Ukraine issue
Deliver a major speech on the prospects for China-US relations to the Asia Society
Participate in the meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers
Delivering his September 24 speech, Wang began by noting that humanity was facing various challenges, including the continued resurfacing of the Covid-19 pandemic, uncertain global security, and fragile and unsteady global recovery. “The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation…But we are also at a time full of hope. The world continues to move towards multipolarity…Around the world, the people’s call for progress and cooperation is getting louder than ever before.”
Posing the question of how to “ride on the trend of history to build a community with a shared future for mankind”, he explained that “China’s answer is firm and clear”:
We must uphold peace and oppose war and turbulence. “Turbulence and war can only open Pandora’s box, and he who instigates a proxy war can easily burn his own hands.”
We must pursue development and eliminate poverty, upholding all countries’ legitimate right to development.
We must remain open and oppose exclusion – “decoupling and supply chain disruption will hurt both those who practice them and others.”
We must stay engaged in cooperation and oppose confrontation. “Our biggest strength will come from solidarity; our best strategy is to stick together through thick and thin; and the brightest prospect is win-win cooperation.”
We must strengthen solidarity and oppose division. “Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom are common values of humanity.”
We must uphold equity and oppose bullying. “International rules should be drawn up by all countries together. No country is above others, and no country should abuse its power to bully other sovereign countries.”
Affirming that China will “pursue the shared interests of the vast majority of countries”, Wang went on to note that:
China has been a builder of world peace and is “the only one among the five Nuclear-Weapon States that is committed to no-first-use of nuclear weapons.” (Note: Wang Yi refers here to the five recognised nuclear powers under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The DPRK, India, Pakistan and Israel also possess nuclear weapons.)
China has been a contributor to global development. “Contributing about 30 percent of annual global growth, China is the biggest engine driving the global economy. China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction… It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.”
China has been a defender of the international order. By this, Wang refers to “the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law”, which, it should be noted, is very different from the so-called ‘rules based international order’, constantly touted by a handful of countries, principally the United States and Great Britain, which is nothing but a flimsy cover for the attempted maintenance of imperial diktat. “As a member of the developing world, China will forever stand together with other developing countries. We are heartened to see the rapid progress achieved by the developing world in recent years, and we will continue to speak up for other developing countries…Developing countries are no longer the ‘silent majority’ in international and multilateral processes. With stronger solidarity among ourselves, we China and other developing countries have spoken out for justice, and we have become a pillar of promoting development cooperation and safeguarding equity and justice.”
China has been a provider of public goods. “We have done our best to provide anti-pandemic supplies and shared our practices on combating the virus. China is among the first to promise making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and to support waiving intellectual property rights on the vaccines. China has provided over 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations…In response to climate change, China is committed to pursuing a development path that puts ecological conservation first, one of green and low-carbon growth…China accounts for one-fourth of all the trees planted globally. We have been making unremitting efforts to foster a community of life for man and Nature… This year, we have provided over 15,000 tons of emergency humanitarian food assistance to other developing countries in need.”
China has been a mediator of hotspot issues. “While adhering to the principle of non-interference in others’ domestic affairs and respecting the will and needs of the countries concerned, China has endeavoured to help settle hotspot issues in a constructive way…China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis…The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Justice is already late in coming, but it must not be absent… China firmly supports the Cuban people in their just struggle to defend their sovereignty and oppose external interference and blockade.”
Turning to the Taiwan issue, Wang Yi noted that: “Fifty-one years ago, right in this august hall, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority, which decided to restore the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN and to expel the ‘representatives’ of the Taiwan authorities from the place which they had unlawfully occupied. The so-called ‘dual representation’ proposal put forth by the United States and a few other countries to keep Taiwan’s seat in the UN became a piece of waste paper…When entering into diplomatic relations with China, 181 countries all recognized and accepted that there is but one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China, and that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. By firmly upholding the one-China principle, China is not only upholding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also truly safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and non-interference in others’ internal affairs, a basic norm of international relations that is of vital importance to the large number of developing countries.”
Coming to the conclusion of his speech, Wang Yi declared: “As China has one-fifth of the global population, its march toward modernization has important, far-reaching significance for the world. The path that China pursues is one of peace and development, not one of plunder and colonialism; it is a path of win-win cooperation, not one of zero-sum game; and it is one of harmony between man and Nature, not one of destructive exploitation of resources.”
We reprint below the full text of Comrade Wang Yi’s speech, which was originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. In a subsequent post, we will present some highlights from the minister’s New York meetings with the representatives of a number of friendly, progressive and developing countries.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
We are at a time fraught with challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept resurfacing. Global security faces uncertainty. Global economic recovery is fragile and unsteady, and various risks and crises are emerging. The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation. Changes unseen in a century are accelerating.
With the Twentieth National Congress of the Communist Party of China scheduled to open on October 16, the party’s leading theoretical journal, Qiushi, has recently published an extract from an extremely important speech made by General Secretary Xi Jinping on January 5, 2018, at a seminar for new central committee members and other leading cadres.
Echoing the opening of Comrade Mao Zedong’s famous article, ‘Where do correct ideas come from?’, Comrade Xi asserts that, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics did not fall from the sky”, but rather is deeply rooted not simply in the four decades of ‘reform and opening up’, but in the whole history of the Chinese revolution and in the inheritance of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
He goes on to explain that the socialist revolution constituted, “the most extensive and profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation.” After the establishment of the basic socialist system, the Party has, “made a long-term exploration of how to build socialism in China and has made important achievements as well as experienced serious twists and turns. The main problem here is that building socialism in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society like ours is an unprecedented undertaking, and there is no ready-made model to follow.”
Engels, he points out, noted that “‘the so-called ‘socialist society’ is not something that is set in stone, but should be seen, like any other social system, as a society that changes and reforms frequently.'” Socialism with Chinese characteristics has to be grasped, “in the course of the evolution of socialism in the world,” from Marx and Engels who turned socialism from an ideal into a science, to the October Revolution, which saw scientific socialism develop from theory to practice. Furthermore: “After the end of the Second World War, a number of socialist countries were born, especially our Party led the people to establish New China and the socialist system, which led scientific socialism from practice in one country to development in many countries. At that time, the socialist camp was flourishing, and together with the anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist struggles of Asian, African and Latin American countries, it formed a basically evenly matched pattern with the capitalist world, which is why Comrade Mao Zedong said that ‘the east wind overwhelmed the west wind.'”
However, historical development is full of twists and turns. Events in the late 1980s and early 1990s not only led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European socialist countries, they also, “brought a serious impact on the vast number of developing countries that aspired to socialism, and many of them were forced to take the path of copying the Western system.”
Noting that the previous year had seen the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, Comrade Xi explained, “I mentioned this major historical event at the beginning of the second part of the 19th Party Congress report in order to declare the historical impact of the October Revolution on the birth and development of the Chinese Communist Party. As Lenin profoundly pointed out in commemorating the fourth anniversary of the October Revolution, ‘this first victory is not yet final,’ but ‘we have already begun this enterprise. It does not matter when and for what period the proletarians of which country will carry this cause to its conclusion. What is important is that the ice has been broken, the voyage has been opened, the way has been shown.'”
Therefore, Xi notes, “The success of scientific socialism in China is of great significance to Marxism and scientific socialism, and to socialism in the world.” It is conceivable, he continues, that if the leadership of the CPC and China’s socialist system had also collapsed, then the cause of socialism as a whole could have been plunged into darkness. As it is, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics is becoming the banner for the development of scientific socialism in the 21st century and the mainstay for the revitalization of socialism in the world.”
The Chinese leader also addresses the question of the CPC being both a “ruling party” and a “revolutionary party”. He explains that those who assert that the party has transitioned from a revolutionary party to a ruling party are mistaken. They are not two distinct things. “We are communists and revolutionaries and should not lose our revolutionary spirit,” Comrade Xi notes, and continues: “Our Party is a Marxist ruling party, but at the same time it is a Marxist revolutionary party, and we must maintain the same vigor, revolutionary enthusiasm, and desperate spirit as in the past during the revolutionary war and carry out the revolutionary work to the end.”
This document has yet to be officially published in English translation. What follows is a machine translation from the Chinese original, received from the Dongsheng news group. As a result, it may contain some minor inaccuracies and should not be considered definitive. However, we are reprinting it on account of its great importance, rich content and timeliness.
When I met with Chinese and foreign journalists after the First Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, I said that practice has proved that our Party is able to lead the people not only in a great social revolution, but also in a great self-revolution of the whole Party. Let me first make some comments from the perspective of social revolution.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is the fruit of the great social revolution led by our Party and the continuation of the great social revolution led by our Party, and must be carried out consistently.
Both history and reality tell us that a social revolution often requires a long historical process to achieve ultimate victory. Only by looking back at the road taken, comparing the road of others, looking far ahead of the road, to figure out where we came from, where to go, many issues to see deep, accurate.
We are very pleased to publish below the full text of Comrade Xi Jinping’s important speech on human rights. Comrade Xi delivered this speech to a group study session of the Communist Party of China’s Political Bureau, held on February 25 this year, which took as its theme the Chinese path of advancing human rights.
In his comprehensive exposition, the Chinese communist leader notes how the concept of respect and caring for others is deeply rooted in Chinese history and culture and that during the Western bourgeois revolution, Enlightenment thinkers advanced the concept of “natural rights”. Marx and Engels, he goes on to note, endorsed the historical value of such bourgeois theories, but “firmly refuted the theory’s denial of the social, historical, and class-based nature of human rights. ‘The individual,’ Marx pointed out, ‘is a social being.’… They envisioned that ‘In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.’”
Throughout its century of struggle, therefore, the CPC has always fought for the genuine human rights of the Chinese people. As a result, absolute poverty has been eliminated and a system of whole-process people’s democracy gradually developed, along with the world’s largest education, social security and health care systems. Human rights, Xi observes, “are not special privileges bestowed on some people or a small minority but universal rights to be enjoyed by all the people.” Moreover, “The advancement of human rights is a common undertaking of all humanity. In protecting human rights, all of us can always do better.”
In this context, he calls out the hypocrisy of the major capitalist countries, noting that, “Political polarization, wealth disparities, and racial tensions have all intensified, while racism, populism, and xenophobia have become rife, thus bringing human rights issues to the fore. Yet, these countries still use slogans like ‘universal human rights’ and ‘human rights over sovereignty’ as a pretext for forcing Western conceptions and systems of democracy and human rights on others and for meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. This has only served to cause recurrent military conflict, ongoing unrest, and the displacement of many from their homes in a number of countries.”
The speech was originally published in Chinese in issue 12 (2022) of Qiushi Journal, the CPC’s main theoretical organ. We reproduce it from issue 4 (2022) of Qiushi Journal’s English language edition.
Today, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee is holding its 37th group study session, the focus of which is the Chinese path of advancing human rights. The goals of this session are to review our country’s human rights achievements, both theoretical and practical, in the new era, assess the international struggle in the sphere of human rights, and maintain steadfast commitment to the Chinese path to promote further progress in human rights.
It is the pursuit of all societies to protect the life, value, and dignity of every person and ensure their entitlement to human rights. Chinese culture has always stressed the importance of respecting and caring for others. From Confucius who declared that “benevolence has been the greatest priority of governance since ancient times” to Mencius who said, “Finding talents for the country is what benevolence is all about,” to Xunzi who believed that people were “most valuable” and Mozi who called on us to “love others as we do ourselves regardless of social status or wealth”—each of these great thinkers stressed the intrinsic value of the person. Our forebears also put forward other similar axioms: “Of all things in the world, people are most precious”; “To accomplish great feats, one must put the people first”; “In the matters of governance, the people should come first.” During the Western bourgeois revolution, the thinkers of the Enlightenment put forward the concept of “natural rights,” which holds that all men are created equal and possess inalienable rights, a concept that helped propel forward revolutions in Britain, America, France and other countries.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels endorsed the historical value of the bourgeois theory of human rights, meanwhile they firmly refuted the theory’s denial of the social, historical, and class-based nature of human rights. “The individual,” Marx pointed out, “is a social being.” He also argued that “Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.” Marx and Engels made the point that in a capitalist society “man has ceased to be the slave of men and has become the slave of things.” They envisioned that “In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”
On Wednesday May 25th, the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China organised an online meeting with comrades in Britain around the theme ‘My Impression: the CPC in the new era’.
According to the letter of invitation: “In 2021, the Communist Party of China (CPC) solemnly celebrated its centenary and convened the Sixth Plenary Session of its 19th Central Committee, through which we took stock of the major achievements and historical experience of the Party’s endeavours over the past century… In 2022, the CPC will hold its 20th National Congress, which is a major political event for both the Party and the country. As the changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the international landscape is evolving at a faster pace, and the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. As far as China itself is concerned, we are committed to upholding the CPC leadership, putting people first and sticking to the new path to modernisation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In this process we look forward to strengthening communications and dialogues… and to understanding your take on China’s development as well as your expectations on China and the CPC in the new era and the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress.”
A delegation from Friends of Socialist China participated in the meeting, where the keynote address was given by Comrade Guo Yezhou, Vice-Minister of the CPC International Department.
Co-Editors of Friends of Socialist China, Keith Bennett and Carlos Martinez both delivered speeches, which we publish below.
Speeches were also made by Comrades Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Ella Rule, Chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGBML), Andy Brooks, General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain (NCPB), and Jacob Maseyk of the Young Communist League (YCL) of Britain.
Also embedded below is a short video produced by the International Department featuring clips from different ‘My Impression: the CPC in the new era’ meetings held with comrades in various countries. The video includes clips of the speeches made by Friends of Socialist China co-editors Keith Bennett and Carlos Martinez, as well as advisory group member (and Communist Party of Britain General Secretary) Robert Griffiths.
Speech by Keith Bennett
First, on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, I would like to thank the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China for their kind invitation and express our full support for this meeting. We are very pleased to join with all the other comrades participating here.
In the time available to me, I am choosing to focus on one of your suggested themes, namely important and most memorable moments of your interactions with the CPC and China. We are talking about several decades so I can only touch on a few aspects.
I suppose that my first contact with China was at the age of about 12 or 13, when I rang on the bell of the Chinese Embassy in London and asked to be given a copy of the Red Book and a badge with Chairman Mao’s portrait – which they were pleased to do.
Probably my first formal interaction with the CPC was around the 11th National Congress of the Party in August 1977. I proposed to the National Committee of the organisation I was a member of at that time that we send greetings to the congress, which I then drafted. Considering that I had celebrated my 19th birthday just days before, and considering that then, as now, I considered the CPC to be the most important party of the world communist movement, I was so thrilled when I saw the message printed in full in the Daily Bulletin of the Xinhua News Agency.
Since that time, although generally not sent in my own name, I have drafted messages of greetings to most, if not all, of the subsequent congresses. For the last, 19th Congress, I wrote my draft in the port of Gwadar, where I was able to see for myself how the China Pakistan Economic Corridor has the potential to transform not just Pakistan but the wider region as a flagship of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.
From the 11th Congress to the eve of the 20th is a long road. So much has changed in China, Britain and the world. But one thing that has remained constant is my friendship with the Communist Party of China and my support for socialist China. That is why I believe it is fair and accurate to describe ours as an all-weather friendship and as a relationship of good friends, good comrades and good brothers and sisters, united by the same ideals and beliefs and committed to the same cause, although the concrete circumstances of our struggles differ radically.
My first visit to China was made in April and May 1981, with the last week being as a guest of your department. In those days, from the centre of Beijing one had to drive through quite a bit of countryside to reach your guest house. I had travelled quite extensively in China before reaching Beijing, including seeing the early days of the household responsibility system in Anhui province. To reach Beijing we made a long train journey from Nanjing. The days when China would be covered by the world’s biggest network of high-speed rail seemed far off. I was still only 22 and this was my first time in Asia, so my memories of that visit are abiding ones. It was a time of taking pride in China’s immense achievements since Liberation, but also of summing up mistakes, rectifying errors, learning everything that was useful and charting a new course. One could sense the people’s aspirations for a better life and felt that China was on the cusp of great change. But still one could not have imagined how far and how fast China would develop in the ensuing decades.
The most abiding impression I took away with me, from which I have never wavered, is that whatever the obstacles they might face, and whatever the twists and turns, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, will succeed in their goal of building a strong, modernised and prosperous socialist country and in making a greater contribution to humanity.
Another very memorable aspect of that visit is that it was a time for reassessment, not only with regard to China’s socialist development, but also with regard to the international communist movement and the international work of the party more generally. Naturally this was reflected in our discussions and I still recall the following words of one of your comrades:
“We deeply feel that the question of how to make a revolution in the countries of Western Europe remains an unanswered one.”
I am sure that he was trying to give me a message in a very polite, diplomatic and comradely fashion. I hope that it has been well received.
As part of this reassessment, the CPC was starting to move away from the policy it had hitherto followed for some years of overwhelmingly confining its relations to what were then termed the “genuine Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations”. One of the first developments was the resumption of relations with mass communist parties in Europe that displayed a degree of independence. Indeed, shortly before my own visit, Comrade Enrico Berlinguer had led the delegation of the Italian Communist Party, then well over a million strong and a very major participant in national political life. This was followed by the resumption or establishment of relations and exchanges with communist parties of various kinds, revolutionary democratic, national democratic and national liberation parties and movements throughout the Global South, socialist and social democratic parties, and then significant political parties without regard to ideology or differences in view. The culmination of this process has seen the CPC come to play an indispensable part in China’s overall diplomacy and external work and in global political affairs generally, as well as in steadily strengthening the unity, cohesion and effectiveness of the world communist movement, of which today’s meeting is but one example. I am so proud to have accompanied you on that journey, enjoying and benefiting from our friendship at every step.
In November 1989, speaking with Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, Comrade Deng Xiaoping said: “So long as socialism does not collapse in China, it will always hold its ground in the world.”
Today, under the bold and wise leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping, socialist China is steadily marching towards the centre of the world stage. As Comrade Xi said at the 19th Party Congress, the new era will be one “that sees China moving closer to centre stage and making greater contributions to humanity.” Socialism with Chinese characteristics, he further pointed out, “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 humanity.”
It is in this spirit and against this background that a small group of us formed Friends of Socialist China a year ago this month. We did so for two distinct reasons that together form an integrated whole: To support and defend the People’s Republic, especially in the context of the new Cold War being waged by the USA, Britain and other imperialist countries against China and other socialist and independent countries; and also to promote understanding of Chinese socialism, because, in the words of our founding statement:
“The global advance to socialism is indispensable if humanity is to survive and to flourish; humanity needs socialism in order to prevent climate breakdown, end poverty, establish global peace and work towards dismantling structural discrimination and oppression.”
We applaud Comrade Xi Jinping’s resolute opposition to historical nihilism with our statement that: “We believe that the record of the socialist countries is overwhelmingly positive; that socialism has been able to – or has the potential to – solve many of humanity’s most burning issues; that the most impressive advances in people’s living conditions have occurred under socialist systems; that socialist states and movements played the decisive role in the defeat of European fascism and Japanese militarism; that the socialist world was pivotal to the dismantling of colonialism; that the socialist states have made historic strides in tackling discrimination based on race, ethnicity and gender.”
The gains made by working people in the capitalist countries, for example our National Health Service, have always been inseparable from the strength, example and inspiration of the socialist countries. Equally, it is no coincidence that the setbacks encountered by global socialism, particularly around 1989-91, fuelled neoliberalism and savage attacks on working people everywhere that the socialist system did not exist. China’s historic elimination of extreme poverty, its advance to the front ranks of the world economy, its building of an ecological civilisation, its transition to a high income country, and the building of a China that is, in Comrade Xi’s words, “a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful” is decisive not only for the destiny of the Chinese people but also for that of global socialism and therefore humanity.
We need to study, disseminate and apply Xi Jinping Thought as 21st century Marxism and continue the long march with our Chinese comrades towards a bright socialist future for the whole of humanity.
Thank you once again for your initiative in organising this meeting and for inviting us. We wish every success to the 20th National Congress of the great Communist Party of China!
Speech by Carlos Martinez
China’s progress over the last decade has been truly inspirational.
At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the Two Centenary goals: to achieve a “moderately well-off” society by 2021, and a “great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” by 2049.
In pursuit of the first centenary goal, millions of cadres were mobilised in a targeted poverty alleviation campaign, with the goal of eliminating extreme poverty. At the start of that campaign, eight years ago, just under 100 million people were identified as living below the poverty line. By late 2020, the number was zero.
And it’s important to note that rising out of poverty in China means more than just surpassing an income threshold. It also means having assured access to adequate food and clothing, along with guaranteed access to medical services, safe housing with drinking water and electricity, and nine years of free education.
Meanwhile, the land ownership system in China means that the rural poor have rent-free access to land and housing – putting them in an entirely different category to the rural poor elsewhere in the world.
As Xi Jinping has observed, “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.”
To eradicate extreme poverty in a developing country of 1.4 billion people, which at the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was one of the poorest countries in the world – characterised by widespread malnutrition, illiteracy, foreign domination and technological backwardness – is a truly extraordinary achievement, and it’s an achievement of socialism. It is possible because of the leading position of the working class and peasantry.
As Deng Xiaoping put it in 1987, “only the socialist system can eradicate poverty.”
Poverty alleviation is part of the DNA of the Communist Party of China. It’s a thread that runs throughout the history of the Chinese Revolution, starting with the land reform measures in the liberated areas before 1949, and continuing with the dismantling of the feudal system after the founding of the People’s Republic, then Reform and Opening Up, and now the targeted poverty alleviation program.
Meanwhile in the West, where the bourgeoisie is the ruling class – and where neoliberal economic theory has dominated for several decades – the last ten years have witnessed an alarming rise in poverty and inequality.
In 2019, I visited two important cities for the first time: Beijing and New York. New York is unquestionably a wonderful city in many respects, but the levels of deprivation and inequality, the widespread homelessness, along with the crumbling infrastructure and simmering social tensions, are quite stark – certainly when compared with Beijing, which stands out as a very modern, harmonious, well-organised city, in which the problems of homelessness and extreme poverty have been solved.
Another key area in which China has made outstanding progress in the last decade is in the fight against climate breakdown and in promoting biodiversity, clean air and clean water.
In 2017, Xi Jinping introduced the concept of ‘ecological civilisation’, putting environmental sustainability at the heart of Chinese policy-making. And in 2021, China committed to reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and has already developed systematic programs for reaching these goals.
China is already by far the world leader in renewable energy, with a total capacity greater than the US, the EU, Japan and Britain combined. China’s forest coverage has doubled in the last four decades. Meanwhile it also leads the world in the production and use of electric cars, trains and buses.
China has led the way in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Its dynamic Zero Covid strategy has saved millions of lives in China. Furthermore China has provided extensive assistance to countries around the world, particularly in the Global South, supplying enormous quantities of medical supplies, as well as more than 2 billion vaccine doses.
The Belt and Road Initiative, first advanced in 2013, has transformed the global investment landscape for infrastructure and connectivity, particularly in the developing world. Over 140 of the world’s 195 countries have formally affiliated to the Belt and Road, assisting them in addressing their substantial needs in terms of physical infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, and energy production and transmission.
Meanwhile China is playing a crucial role in international organisations, promoting peace, dialogue, multilateralism and multipolarity.
American politicians sometimes refer to the US as “the indispensable nation”. But if we look at what country is contributing the most to poverty alleviation, to global development, to the construction of a more peaceful world, to the fight against the pandemic, to the fight against climate breakdown; and if we contrast that with the US’s record of non-stop war, unilateral sanctions, destabilisation and bullying; we would have to conclude that China is much closer to meeting the definition of “indispensable” than the US is.
Looking to the future, with the first centenary goal now achieved, the second goal is coming into sharp focus. Building a great modern socialist country in all respects implies taking on relative poverty, improving per capita GDP, reducing inequality between regions and groups, and developing in an ecologically sustainable manner.
Common prosperity will be a key theme: reducing inequality, increasing the size of the middle income population, and improving the lives of the least affluent.
The CPC and the government it leads are not in the habit of making empty promises, and significant progress has already been made on tackling the disorderly expansion of private capital, housing speculation, extreme income inequality, and excessive power of tech companies and private education providers.
In the coming years and decades, Chinese people will increasingly come to enjoy a standard of living and quality of life comparable to, or indeed ahead of, working people in the advanced capitalist countries. And unlike in the advanced capitalist countries, this shared wealth won’t have its origins in historic colonialism and ongoing hegemonism, but in the hard work of the people and the sustained wise leadership of the CPC.
China’s successes since the founding of the PRC, and the successes it will surely achieve on the path to becoming a great modern socialist country in all respects, should serve to inspire working people around the world as to what can be achieved under socialism.
And for this reason, the Western ruling classes are working round the clock to ensure that ordinary people know nothing about China’s progress. The mass media barely mentions China’s successes in poverty alleviation. Rather than commending China for its handling of the pandemic, newspaper headlines talk about how “oppressive” and “authoritarian” the dynamic Zero Covid strategy is. Politicians and journalists accept that millions of lives have been saved as a result of China’s Covid suppression efforts, but they never fail to ask: “but at what cost?” As if human life had a quantifiable cost, and as if millions of deaths might have been “worth it” for the sake of smoother-running supply chains and corporate profits.
In order to pull the wool over people’s eyes, the West is waging a systematic propaganda war against China. Consuming mainstream media in Britain or the US, what you hear about China is that a “cultural genocide” is happening in Xinjiang; that pro-democracy students are being attacked by the Hong Kong police; that China is trapping African, Asian, Latin American, Caribbean and South Pacific countries in “debt traps”.
This web of lies is serving to keep people ignorant about the reality of Chinese socialism, and therefore it is extremely important to debunk these fabrications.
The slander that there is a “genocide” or “cultural genocide” against Uyghur Muslims, or that there are “concentration camps” in Xinjiang, has been repeated a thousand times. And yet, anyone visiting Xinjiang can see the total falsehood – indeed the utter absurdity – of this slander.
I personally went to Ürümqi in January 2020, with a group of friends. We walked around freely and certainly didn’t see any evidence of religious persecution or ethnic oppression. In fact we saw hundreds of Uyghur Muslims, wearing Uyghur clothing, going about their normal lives and practising their culture, religion and traditions.
We ate in Uyghur restaurants, where the food was halal and where alcohol wasn’t available. We heard the Uyghur language being spoken everywhere. All road signs have both Uyghur and Chinese writing. You see Uyghur language newspapers and magazines everywhere.
It’s notable how many mosques there are. Indeed Xinjiang has one of the highest concentrations of mosques in the world. And this is what the Western media calls a “cultural genocide”!
One of the reasons we formed Friends of Socialist China, just over a year ago, was to systematically oppose this propaganda war – a propaganda war that serves the interests of the imperialist ruling classes, and that runs directly counter to the interests of the working classes and oppressed communities.
As Marxists, as communists, as people working to popularise and promote socialism, we consider it crucial to spread an understanding of the remarkable successes of socialist China.
We deeply value our relationship with the CPC International Department, and we look forward to expanding our work together with you and with the other organisations represented here today.
On Saturday May 21st, Friends of Socialist China joined the Belt and Road Initiative Quarterly (BRIQ) journal, the Russian Cultural House in Ankara, the Turkish Students Union in China and the Istanbul Kent University as a co-organizer of a conference themed on ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for BRI Under the Background of the Ukraine Crisis’. It was a hybrid event, held both online and physically at Kent University.
Our co-editors Danny Haiphong and Keith Bennett both presented papers and we reproduce them, slightly edited for publication, below. The other speakers were Adnan Akfirat, Chair of the BRIQ journal; Professor Hasret Comak of Istanbul Kent University; Professor Ma Xiaolin of Zhejiang University; Daria Platonova of Moscow State University; Rajiv Ranjan, Associate Professor at Shanghai University; Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain; Dr Vali Kaleji of Tehran University; and Dr. Ahmet Shahidov, Chair of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.
Danny Haiphong: Why the Belt and Road Initiative won’t be derailed by the Ukraine crisis
Thank you to all the organizers of this event, including the Belt and Road Initiative Quarterly Journal, the Russian Cultural House in Ankara, the Friends of Socialist China platform which I co-edit, the Turkish Student’s Union, and Kent University. My discussion centers on the politics of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and how they ensure that the development plan won’t be derailed by the monumental crisis underway in Ukraine.
The Ukraine crisis has revealed quite starkly that there is a huge divergence between the path that’s being taken by the United States, NATO, the EU, and that of China. The former, perhaps more aptly called the Western imperialist sphere, has poured gasoline onto the fire that is the Ukraine crisis. The consequences have been enormous. Sanctions on Russia have sent shockwaves throughout the global economy. Economic growth has declined and inflation skyrocketed. The IMF’s economic forecast is dimmer now than it was prior to the Ukraine crisis and much of this is due to Western imperialist policy.
On the other hand, for China and the BRI, the situation is quite different. A commitment to peace and neutrality, cooperation, and robust and quality growth characterizes the partnerships within the BRI. It is clear that the massive trade and infrastructure project is not a prisoner of the moment. The BRI is not just about a single region or a particular country but rather an overall vision for global development that seeks to harness the present to brighten the future. The BRI does what Western-led economies such as the United States and its allies cannot and will not do, which is to offer opportunities for economic progress and true investment in all areas social and economic development.
The BRI, as Xi Jinping remarked, began in China but its achievements belong to the world. There are 140 countries and 30 international organizations that have already signed on to the BRI since 2013. Thus far, 8 trillion USD in trade and investment has been directed toward the BRI to cover the cost of more than 2,500 projects worldwide. The size and scope of the BRI demonstrates that it is not dependent upon the whims and the interests of the U.S. and the West. The BRI operates almost entirely independent of from Western imperialism, with the exception of the European countries which have accepted China’s invitation to join the project.
It is also worth noting that China is no stranger to operating in conflict zones. The world has been engaged in a war against the COVID-19 pandemic over the past several years and yet China has not only been able to extend solidarity and cooperation over this period but also advance the aims of the BRI. China has adjusted its own economic and political development in a way that takes into account the challenges of the global pandemic. That’s why China has achieved so much success in containing the pandemic and led the way in providing critical solidarity in the form of vaccines and protective equipment to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The pandemic has been a flashpoint for a people’s war to protect human life and this war is inextricably linked to the BRI’s overall vision.
China has also prioritized Belt and Road Initiative relationships with countries such as Pakistan that have been embattled with external and internal conflict. Pakistan has been subject to numerous conflicts over the past decade alone, whether in the form of the U.S.’s drone strikes killing thousands of civilians or the ongoing struggle in Kashmir. While these sensitive issues have inevitably caused economic difficulty, Pakistan and China’s cooperation in the BRI through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has only grown. The BRI has already brought about significant achievements in Pakistan such as the launch of the first transit system in Lahore in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter what is happening internally in Pakistan, the BRI’s vision of development which emphasizes win-win cooperation rather than political interference or influencing the politics internally of any one country has been a major reason as to why these two nations have been able to build such a strong friendship despite internal and external threats to Pakistan’s stability. This includes a recent change in political administration just in the last few months.
The Biden administration recently completed his first trip to Asia, visiting South Korea and Japan in an attempt to organize the Southeast Asia into a conflict with China. The region has quickly become the most important flashpoint in the U.S.’s New Cold War and has been flooded with hundreds of U.S. military bases and hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel. Still, China has been able to build even stronger relations with the region that have led to remarkable achievements in the last few years alone. In 2021, the Sino-Laos high-speed railway was launched and is projected to increase economic growth for Laos by several percentage points. Laos is a country that was bombed by the U.S. more times than the entire number dropped in World War II during the U.S. invasion of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s.
In January 2022, Syria joined the BRI as a major step in its own rebuilding process from the U.S.-led war on the country. The U.S. currently occupies 30 percent of Syria’s territory. Despite being engaged in a deadly conflict that has displaced millions and killed more than 300,000 people, the Syrian government is committed to rebuild the country through the BRI.
Of course, the Ukraine crisis has indeed inflicted damage on the global economy. Mainstream media reports have emphasized disruptions in rail traffic that have slowed global trade to Europe. While these short-term challenges will delay certain aspects of the BRI, particularly the Eurasia rail link, the vision of the BRI is more than a century long and remains an incredibly attractive project for development. The Ukraine crisis does not take away from the BRI’s global advantages. In fact, the Ukraine crisis is likely to make the BRI even more attractive to countries around the world, including Ukraine.
For one, the United States and its allies offer few alternatives in the form of financial and economic arrangements to help rebuild from conflict and war. Furthermore, the United States and the West is pursuing a policy that will make the Ukraine’s economy “scream,” to paraphrase Henry Kissinger’s description of Chile in 1970s during the U.S.-backed coup there. The U.S. has provided predatory loans to Ukraine since the war began. In addition, the U.S.-sponsored lend-lease program has provided Ukraine billions in military aid, $40 billion of which was just passed in the U.S. Congress. Ukraine will be expected to pay back what it has received in conditional aid, making these arrangements detrimental to Ukraine’s long-term economic stability and growth.
The neoliberal policies of the U.S. and the West are laying the foundations for the BRI to become an even more important feature of Ukraine’s economic future. Ukraine is one of the earliest member of the BRI. China’s capacity to maintain a stable relationship with Ukraine and strengthen the Russia-China partnership at the same time has demonstrated what it means to place narrow and selfish interests to the background and the interests of humanity in the foreground. Whatever short term difficulties arise from the Ukraine crisis will not derail Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia’s desire to adhere to the BRI’s principles of creating a win-win model of infrastructure and economic development that addresses the need for real South-South cooperation, decreases extreme poverty, and reduces dependency on external lenders.
The BRI is already doing just that. The World Bank has acknowledged that the BRI offers a path forward out of extreme poverty. Monumental achievements have already come out of the BRI in countries such as Pakistan and Laos. Though the Ukraine crisis is a warning shot about the dangers of war and the neoliberal path led by Western imperialism, China’s approach to global development as manifested in the BRI will not just remain consistent but is also likely to strengthen its influence within the international order in the coming period.
Keith Bennett: China, Ukraine and the Belt and Road Initiative
Thank you for your invitation.
I would like to offer some brief comments on four of the topics you raise, namely:
The effect of the Ukraine crisis on the use of national currencies in foreign trade
The consequences of US and EU sanctions on the BRI
The impact of the crisis on the international pro-USA terrorist network
The impact of the crisis on the energy security of the EU and China
With regard to the first issue, namely the effect of the Ukraine crisis on the use of national currencies in foreign trade, I believe it is likely to have a profound impact. Developing countries, especially Russia and China, but also others, such as the other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, some African countries, the ALBA grouping led by Venezuela and Cuba, and so on, have been exploring this for some time. But this will now intensify. As will the development of digital currencies by countries like China.
The major sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus will undoubtedly cause considerable difficulties in the short to medium term.
However, strategically they are an example of what the Chinese leader Mao Zedong called, lifting a rock only to drop it on your own feet.
In fact, they really announce the end of dollar hegemony. Measures like excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system were prefigured, for example, in the sanctions imposed on Iran. But this is the first time that such measures have been taken against a G20 economy, a member of the Permanent Five on the United Nations Security Council and a major nuclear power.
We know that China is looking very closely at the implications of this for its own economic and financial security.
We’ve also seen the imperialist powers freezing the assets of so-called Russian oligarchs. Literally stealing them. Incidentally, one should note that the likes of Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov and Oleg Deripaska are always described with the pejorative term oligarch, whereas the likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates are described as entrepreneurs. However, the combined wealth of the last named three equals the combined wealth of all of Russia’s top 20 ‘oligarchs’ – that is before the recent assault on their wealth.
Such actions are again in a sense nothing new. We’ve seen them in numerous cases recently, like Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran and so on. Even as far back as the Albanian gold illegally held by the Bank of England from 1948-1996, a full half century.
But again, this is unprecedented in its scope – being against a major power and not just against its national institutions, but also against numerous individuals, some of them apparently designated solely as a result of citizenship or even just ethnicity.
The implications of this are huge.
If you are a citizen of any country of the Global South – be it Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, or wherever – how secure should you now feel about investing, depositing funds, or acquiring assets in the United States or the United Kingdom? When, should your government do anything to displease Washington or London, they can be frozen or confiscated overnight, apparently on a whim and with little or no regard for the so-called ‘rule of law’.
Yet it is partnerships such as these that financial centres like the City of London, on which the UK economy is disproportionately dependent, are increasingly reliant upon. It will therefore lead to the relative decline of long-established financial centres in the UK and elsewhere and impel the growth and development of new ones, along the Belt and Road, including in countries like Turkiye and Kazakhstan, as well as in the Far East, including in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Regarding the consequences of US and EU sanctions on the BRI, I think it will have a contradictory impact. On the one hand, part of the dynamic of the BRI was to draw to draw together the whole of the Eurasian space through increased trade, enhanced connectivity, developed infrastructure and so on. Clearly the EU is to a large measure and for now excluding itself from a number of these aspects, which is absolutely not a situation that China wishes to see. However, the unity of the EU in this aggressive policy is not so solid as is being suggested. Countries with energy supplies that have pivoted on Russia, those with traditionally strong economic or cultural ties, or who preserve some measure of independence and neutrality in their politics and diplomacy are already restive. This can only increase as the economic pain that Europe has brought on itself increases. There are already signs that Berlin, Paris and Rome do not share London and Washington’s apparent appetite for endless war.
However, there are other challenges, too. In general terms, conflict is simply not conducive to investment and development. Trade, transport, logistics, communications and connectivity are disrupted, not only by the fighting itself, but also by ruptured political relations, sanctions, such as on overflights, and so on. And the threat or use of secondary sanctions is also a very serious one.
But, whilst serious, many of these issues are essentially transient in nature. The potential of this conflict to reconfigure the international balance of forces lends greater urgency to BRI and to enhancing the unity of the Global South, something that is reflected, for example, in their almost unanimous rejection of sanctions on Russia.
Regarding the impact of the crisis on the international pro-USA terrorist network, again I think the impact will be contradictory. Terrorist networks instigated or manipulated by the imperialist powers may ultimately serve one goal, but they take different forms.
If Russia is successful in attaining its military objectives, then the anti-hegemonic front will be strengthened and it will be in a more advantageous position to confront and defeat terrorist forces.
However, the resilience of such forces should not be underestimated. For example, the leadership of the Taliban has repeatedly expressed a wish to have good neighbourly relations with China and other countries. But it seems hard for them to fully enforce this, including on some of their rank and file and regional commanders. Hence, there have been border incidents with Pakistan and Iran, the Pakistan Taliban has increased its activities and the central Taliban authorities are not yet in a position to completely suppress groups like the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) or Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-K), the local franchise of Daesh, which has emerged as the Taliban’s rival.
In the case of Ukraine, we know that neo-nazi and far right elements are flocking there from throughout Europe and North America. In the future, some of them will definitely pose a threat to their own societies. This is exactly what we saw with Afghanistan from the 1980s onwards and with Syria and Libya more recently. This is precisely what the American political scientist Chalmers Johnson termed blowback.
Finally, regarding the impact of the crisis on the energy security of the EU and China. In a word the impact is likely to be negative for the EU and positive for China. That the results are not what the EU intended can already be seen from the spiraling costs of energy, Russia’s increased earnings from energy exports and the strengthening of the ruble. At present, Germany has wasted billions on the now mothballed Gazprom 2 project. Meanwhile, countries like Hungary, are already indicating their willingness to pay their energy bills in rubles.
Further, in seeking to find alternative energy sources, it is not all plain sailing for the EU. Most of Qatar’s natural gas production is tied up in existing, long-term contracts, principally with the Far East. Saudi Arabia, at least for now, is sticking to its OPEC+ agreements and refusing to increase production. And it is indicating a willingness to price its oil exports to China in RMB, the so-called petroyuan. Both France and Spain have issues with Algeria – France due to the colonial legacy and Spain due to its acquiescence to Moroccan demands concerning the liberation struggle of the Saharawi people led by the Polisario Front.
In the case of China, close energy ties with Russia have been developing for some time now, for example through Gazprom’s Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline, part of a deal generally valued at $400 billion.
Whilst there are obvious, and not insignificant, obstacles to be overcome, China is essentially well positioned to absorb whatever Russian energy that the EU elects not to purchase.
China can also be expected to increase its interaction with other regional energy suppliers that are not impacted by potential maritime chokeholds. Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and, with enhanced BRI connectivity, Iran and Iraq, are all important in this regard.
We are very pleased to publish the full text of President Xi Jinping’s speech on China’s practice of socialist democracy via the system of people’s congresses. This was originally delivered to the Central People’s Congress Work Conference on October 13th 2021. The full text has just been published in the latest Chinese and English language editions of Qiushi, the lead theoretical journal of the Communist Party of China.
President Xi dates China’s system of people’s congresses to ideas first put forward by Mao Zedong in 1945, four years before liberation, and notes that since the Party’s 18th National Congress in 2012, this system has been further developed in six aspects, namely:
Upholding the Communist Party’s leadership;
Making institutional provisions to ensure that the people actually run the country;
Advancing law-based governance;
Upholding democratic centralism;
Keeping to the path of socialist political development with Chinese characteristics;
Continuing to modernise China’s governance system and capacity.
To further improve the work of people’s congresses as China advances towards the status of a modern socialist country, Xi Jinping put forward a further six key tasks:
To ensure the full implementation of the constitution and safeguard its authority;
Improve the socialist legal system and use the law to ensure good governance;
People’s congresses should make good use of their oversight powers;
People’s congress deputies should respond to the demands of the people;
People’s congresses should intensify their self-improvement;
The party’s overall leadership should be strengthened.
In his speech, President Xi draws a powerful line of demarcation between bourgeois democracy and socialist democracy, stating:
“Democracy is not an ornament to be put on display, but an instrument for addressing the issues that concern the people. Whether a country is democratic or not depends on whether its people are truly the masters of the country. It depends on whether the people have the right to vote, and more importantly, the right to participate; what promises they are given during elections, and more importantly, how many of these promises are delivered after elections; what kind of political procedures and rules are set through state systems and laws, and more importantly, whether these systems and laws are truly enforced; and whether the rules and procedures for the exercise of power are democratic, and more importantly, whether the exercise of power is genuinely subject to public oversight and checks. If the people are only engaged with to solicit votes and then are left in the dark, if they must listen to grandiose election slogans but have no voice when the elections are over, or if they are only treated well by candidates during elections and are ignored after, this is not true democracy…
“The Communist Party of China has always upheld people’s democracy and has always adhered to the following basic ideas. First, people’s democracy is the life of socialism; without democracy, there would be no socialism, socialist modernisation, or national rejuvenation. Second, the running of the country by the people is the essence and heart of socialist democracy. The very purpose of developing socialist democracy is to give full expression to the will of the people, protect their rights and interests, spark their creativity, and provide a system of institutions to ensure that it is they who are running the country. Third, the Chinese socialist path of political development is the right path, as it conforms to China’s national conditions and guarantees the position of the people as the masters of the country. It is the logical outcome of history, theory, and practice based on the strenuous efforts of the Chinese people in modern times. It is a requisite for maintaining the very nature of our Party and fulfilling its fundamental purpose. Fourth, China’s socialist democracy takes two important forms: one in which the people exercise rights by means of elections and voting, and another in which people from all walks of life are consulted extensively in order to reach the widest possible consensus on matters of common concern before major decisions are made. Together these make up the institutional features and strengths of China’s socialist democracy. Fifth, the key to developing China’s socialist democracy is to fully leverage its features and strengths. As we continue to advance socialist democracy with well-defined institutions, standards, and procedures, we can provide better institutional safeguards for our Party and country’s prosperity and long-term stability.”
And the Chinese leader reminded his audience: “Deng Xiaoping once said, ‘The democracy in capitalist societies is bourgeois democracy – in fact, it is the democracy of monopoly capitalists.'”
This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Upon its founding a hundred years ago, our Party made the pursuit of happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its founding aspiration and mission, and it has since explored every means to ensure that it is the people who run the country. During the New Democratic Revolution, our Party established people’s governments in base areas and provided practical experience for building a new political system.
Through practice and theoretical reflection, Chinese Communists, with Mao Zedong as their chief representative, put forward the original idea to implement a system of people’s congresses. As early as April 1945, Mao Zedong said, “The organizational principle of the new democratic state should be democratic centralism, with the people’s congresses at all levels determining the major policies and electing the governments. It is both democratic and centralized, that is, centralized on the basis of democracy and democratic under centralized guidance. This is the only system that can give full expression to democracy with full powers vested in the people’s congresses at various levels and, at the same time, ensure centralized administration with the governments at each level exercising centralized management of all the affairs entrusted to them by the people’s congresses at the corresponding level and safeguarding whatever is essential to the democratic activities of the people.”
We are very pleased to publish the full text of the speech given on May 10th 2022 by President Xi Jinping marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China.
In his comprehensive exposition, President Xi outlines how the youth have always stood in the forefront of the struggles and striving of the Chinese people and nation. The May Fourth Movement of the youth and students in 1919, “promoted the spread of Marxism in China, ushered in the new-democratic revolution, and marked the beginning of the youth’s role as the pioneers advancing social changes in China… As Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. Since the day of its founding, the Party has paid particular attention to the youth and placed the hopes of revolution on them.”
He further outlined the indispensable role of the Communist Youth League and young people generally in the periods of the new-democratic revolution, socialist revolution and construction, reform, opening up and socialist modernisation, and the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
“Inspired by ideals and convictions,” Xi pointed out, “the Communist Youth League has organised and united young people with firm belief and scientific thinking. The first national congress of the League defined building a communist society as its ultimate ideal and made clear its banner of socialism, which has lit the beacon of ideals and convictions among generations of young people. This is the most fundamental and enduring cohesion of the League. History tells us that only by holding high the banner of communism and socialism, can the Communist Youth League form the most solid unity, forge the most effective organisation, and ensure that the youth are united under the banner of the Party’s ideals and convictions.”
Expressing the hope that the League would continue to play its vanguard role, President Xi noted that: “Young people are the most vigorous, enterprising, and least conservative group in society, who possess infinite power to improve the objective world and promote social progress,” adding:
“Revolutionaries are always young. Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Quoting from Engels, Lenin once said, ‘We are the party of the future, and the future belongs to the youth. We are a party of innovators, and it is always the youth that most eagerly follows the innovators. We are a party that is waging a self-sacrificing struggle against the old rottenness, and youth is always the first to undertake a self-sacrificing struggle.’ Both history and reality have shown that the Communist Party of China is a party that always preserves its youthful features and a party that is worthy of the young people’s trust and worth following.”
Party organisations, the Chinese President said, “must attach great importance to the training and recruitment of outstanding young people and should particularly focus on cultivating and admitting outstanding League members into the Party, so as to ensure our socialist country never changes its nature.”
Members of the Communist Youth League of China (League), young friends, and comrades,
Youth gives rise to infinite hope, and young people are the creators of a bright future. A nation can thrive and prosper only when it places hopes on its youth and maintains its youthful vigor.
Today, we are gathered here at the ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China to encourage League members and young people to forge ahead on the new journey toward realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
We are very pleased to publish the full text of President Xi Jinping’s important speech delivered via video to the opening session of this year’s Boao Forum for Asia on the morning of April 21. Often referred to as the ‘Asian Davos’, this year’s forum was joined virtually by several regional leaders, including the presidents of the Philippines, Mongolia and Nepal and the Prime Ministers of Laos and Kazakhstan.
In his comprehensive speech, President Xi made a number of important calls to the Asian and wider international community, stressing the need to unite together to win final victory over the Covid-19 pandemic; to promote economic recovery and to overcome uneven and inadequate development through the Global Development Initiative; and to work together to promote peace and stability in the world.
The Cold War mentality, President Xi explained, would only wreck the global peace framework, hegemonism and power politics would only endanger world peace, and bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.
China would therefore like to propose a Global Security Initiative – to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
Specifically turning to Asian issues, the Chinese president noted that: “The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, first advocated by Asia, are all the more relevant today. We should honor such principles as mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence, follow a policy of good-neighborliness and friendship, and make sure that we always keep our future in our own hands.”
The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and specifically the opening to traffic of the China-Laos Railway, were cited by Xi as key examples of Asian cooperation.
Ambassador Ma discusses the nature, development and trajectory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; the history of China-Cuba relations; Cuba’s remarkable progress in pursuing its own form of socialism; and the importance of ending the criminal US blockade against Cuba.
I am delighted to join you at this very important webinar. The topics are wide-ranging. I will first share two points on what socialism with Chinese characteristics is and what it is not, then two points on Chinese-Cuban relations, and then my observations about Cuba.
First, socialism with Chinese characteristics is the result of the Chinese people’s painstaking trials and great sacrifices. It just doesn’t come easy to us.
Since the 1840s, through successive aggression such as the two Opium Wars, the Sino-French War, the First Sino-Japanese War, and the Eight-Allied Powers invasion, the Western powers bullied China into signing a series of unequal treaties, gradually reducing China from a world power to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal state. As a result, the Chinese people embarked on the arduous quest for survival and rejuvenation. China tried constitutional monarchy, parliamentary system, multi-party system, presidential system, you name it, but all failed.
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.
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.
We are very pleased to print the text of President Xi Jinping’s speech, delivered by video link on October 30, to the G20 Summit in Rome. In his speech President Xi makes five key calls to the international community, namely to:
1. Work in solidarity to combat COVID-19 2. Cooperate to promote recovery 3. Embrace inclusiveness to achieve common development 4. Pursue innovation to tap growth potential 5. Promote harmonious coexistence to achieve green and sustainable development
Taken together, these five themes represent a comprehensive programme for humanity to overcome its present grave challenges and advance to a better future. It represents the antithesis of the new Cold War peddled by the various imperialist powers even whilst they also intensify an increasingly ill disguised contention between themselves. President Xi’s proposals constitute a programme around which the broadest united front of countries at various levels of development can coalesce and should be supported by all progressive forces.
Your Excellency Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Dear Colleagues,
I wish to begin by sincerely thanking Italy, the G20 President, for the great efforts it has made in hosting this Summit.
Below is the text of a speech given by Carlos Martinez at the recent webinar organised by the Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges to expose the Western media’s propaganda in relation to the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Thank you very much for inviting me to speak today.
Living in the West – as I do, in London, England – I’m exposed to a very intense media propaganda campaign in relation to Xinjiang.
When I read the newspapers, or I watch the debates in the Houses of Parliament, I often see accusations of Chinese genocide against Uyghur Muslims, of cultural genocide, of forced labour, of forced sterilisation of women, of prison camps. Actually we see these sorts of accusations every day.
We are pleased to republish this detailed and helpful summary of the recent ‘China and the Left’ forum recently organised by Qiao Collective in association with the People’s Forum, Monthly Review and CODEPINK. The review first appeared on Charles McKelvey’s blog.
A full playlist of videos from the forum can be found on YouTube.
A socialist forum on China and the Left, sponsored by the Qiao Collective, was held in New York City on September 18, 2021. The Qiao Collective was formed in January 2020 by intellectuals and activists of the Chinese diaspora, with the intention of defending Chinese socialism against imperialist aggression.
Opening Keynote Address by the Qiao Collective
In the Opening Keynote address on the “The U.S. Hybrid War,” Michelle of the Qiao Collective maintained that Chinese trade has long stimulated imperialist aggression, which has included the colonial concession zones, the taking of Hong Kong, the backing of Chinese nationalists, and the support of Formosa. Imperialist aggression against China is historic.
We are pleased to republish President Xi Jinping’s address to this year’s UN General Assembly. In his speech the Chinese leader addresses the most crucial issues facing humanity. He highlights the need to defeat the Covid pandemic, describing it as a “decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity”. He also sets out a comprehensive programme for a greener global development.
The year 2021 is a truly remarkable one for the Chinese people. This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. It is also the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, a historic event which will be solemnly commemorated by China. We will continue our active efforts to take China’s cooperation with the United Nations to a new level and make new and greater contributions to advancing the noble cause of the UN.
Below we reproduce the statement by President Xi Jinping at the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on 17 September 2021. The English translation originally appeared on Xinhua. Comrade Xi’s speech covers a number of important topics including the fight against Covid, Afghanistan, multilateralism, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the record thus far of the SCO.
Your Excellency President Emomali Rahmon,
I wish to thank you, President Rahmon, and Tajikistan for hosting this meeting under Tajikistan’s Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). As the SCO marks its 20th anniversary, together with all of you, I look forward to reviewing the proud history of the SCO and charting the course for even broader prospects of its future development.
On 9 September 2021, President Xi Jinping addressed the 13th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing. His speech provides a concise overview of China’s approach to international relations, focused on multilateralism, common development, and solidarity. He also used the speech to announce that China would be donating a further 100 million Covid vaccine doses to developing countries.
At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world. The road to global recovery remains bumpy and tortuous. And the international order is going through profound and complex changes. Facing these challenges, we the BRICS countries must step forward to make an active contribution to world peace and development and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
This speech by Elias Jabbour (Adjunct Professor of Economics, Rio de Janeiro State University) at the recent launch of Through Pluripolarity to Socialism usefully describes the current state of international relations, the global trajectory towards socialism, and the vanguard role of the People’s Republic of China.
First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of this Manifesto for the invitation to be here with you today. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of a document which summarizes not only the fundamental contradictions of our epoch, but mainly the solutions towards pluripolarity and socialism. This Manifesto not only demonstrates the defense of socialist experiences, but also shows to the world that we don’t deny the history of the international communist movement. On the contrary. We are proud of our history. The Soviet Union was responsible, for the first time in history, for giving women equality before the law.
This speech by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, delivered at the Join Hands for a Shared Future Seminar to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of The Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, provides a succinct and powerful outline of China’s foreign policy framework and its approach to international relations. It sets out a clear vision of multilateralism and cooperation to tackle shared problems and build global peace and prosperity.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations. It is of great significance that we have in-depth discussions under the theme “Join Hands for a Shared Future.” Let me extend my congratulations on the successful opening of the seminar and express my appreciation to all the guests for your active participation and contribution.
At its 26th Session in 1971, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority, restoring all the lawful rights to the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations. This was a landmark in history. It signified that the UN had truly become the most representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization. It also opened a new chapter in China’s cooperation with the UN. Over the past 50 years, China, with concrete actions, has lived up to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and has served as an important builder of world peace, the biggest contributor to global development, and a firm defender of international order.