Chinese Embassy in London organises round table discussion on building a shared future for humanity

On February 21, the Chinese Embassy in London organised a lunch and round table discussion for representatives of fraternal parties and other British friends of China to celebrate the Lunar New Year and to explore the topic of building a shared future for humanity along with the other major themes raised at the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, held in Beijing last December. 

In his keynote report, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang first dealt with economic developments. China’s economy, he noted, had become greener, the middle income group had already reached 400 million, and Premier Li Qiang has noted that it will reach 800 million in five years. There were intensified efforts to sort out the problems in the real estate market. 

On foreign policy, the Ambassador laid particular stress on high quality Belt and Road (BRI) developments, the historic reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, brokered by China, China’s contribution to the UAE consensus on climate change reached at COP 28, along with China’s role in the Global South, championing the expansion of the BRICS cooperation mechanism and the African Union’s admission to the G-20. 

China’s policy, he explained, was to promote peace and oppose war. Without peace there could be no development and peace can only be possible if the independence and territorial integrity of nations was defended. It was further necessary to uphold mutual learning and to oppose ideas of a clash of civilisations. 

Friends of Socialist China was represented by our co-editor Keith Bennett along with committee member Dr. Ali Al-Assam. In his contribution, Keith laid stress on how President Xi’s concept of a community with a shared future for humanity, which is described as the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, embodies Xi’s concept of the “two integrations”, namely the integration of Marxism with China’s specific realities and especially the best of its traditional culture. 

Other speeches were made by Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB); Andy Brooks, General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain (NCP); Christina Kostoula, Vice Chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGBML); Wang Qi, Minister of the Chinese Embassy; Stephen Perry, Honorary President of the 48 Group Club; Right Honourable Lord Davidson KC of Glen Cova, Labour Member of the House of Lords; Martin Albrow, Fellow of Britain’s Academy of Social Sciences; Martin Jacques, author of the best selling ‘When China rules the world’; Sam Daws, Director of the Project on UN Governance and Reform at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford; and Hugh Goodacre, Secretary of the Xi Jinping Thought Study Group of the Institute for Independence Studies.

Further contributions were made in discussion by Roger McKenzie, Foreign Editor of the Morning Star; and Ali Al-Assam of Friends of Socialist China.

The below article was originally published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in the UK. It is followed by the full text of Keith’s contribution to the discussion.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds a Chinese New Year Luncheon for Representatives of British Political Parties to Discuss China’s Practice and the Global Significance of Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

On 21 February 2024, the Chinese Embassy in the UK invited representatives from various British political parties and people from different sectors for a Chinese New Year luncheon. H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang delivered a keynote address and the other participants shared their views. While celebrating the Chinese New Year, the participants engaged in in-depth discussions on China’s practice and the global significance of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

In his address, Ambassador Zheng pointed out that building a community with a shared future for mankind is the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. It is the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s answer to the question of what kind of world we should build and how to build it. It is also the noble goal pursued by China in conducting major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Ambassador Zheng elaborated on the goal, the pathway, the guiding principle, the basic underpinning, the strategic guidance and the platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind. He pointed out that building a community with a shared future for mankind has developed from a conceptual proposition to a scientific system, from a promising vision to substantive actions and from a Chinese initiative to an international consensus. Extending to various regions and covering various areas, it has served as a glorious banner leading the progress of the times.

Ambassador Zheng noted that over the past year, China continued to steadfastly advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind through practical actions. China’s economy grew by 5.2%, contributing about one-third of the global economic growth. China’s rapid green and low-carbon transition propelled global sustainable development. And China shared more development opportunities with the world through expanded high-level opening up.

China made active efforts to improve relations between other major countries, successfully mediated a historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and played a constructive role in addressing regional hotspots such as the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Ukraine crisis, making new contributions to world peace.

China actively contributed to the UAE Consensus at the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference, enhanced solidarity of the Global South, promoted the historic expansion of BRICS and gave support to the African Union in joining the G20, playing an important role in improving global governance.

Continue reading Chinese Embassy in London organises round table discussion on building a shared future for humanity

Peace delegates report back from China

Although the Biden administration has made some small gestures towards improving US-China relations, the US continues to escalate its campaign of encirclement and containment. The US has ramped up its military aid to Taiwan; it is attempting to strengthen the AUKUS nuclear alliance; it is doing everything it can to prevent China’s emergence as a major computing power; it is imposing sanctions and tariffs on China; and it is relentlessly spreading lurid anti-China slander.

Recognising the terrible dangers posed by the New Cold War (and its potential degeneration into a hot war), a number of peace activists from the US have recently taken part in delegations to China, in order to build understanding and solidarity, and to see China’s reality with their own eyes.

On Sunday 18 February 2024, we heard back from these peace delegates and discussed ways to continue building people-to-people links between the West and China, and to develop a powerful movement for peace and cooperation.

Embedded below are the videos from the event.

Full event stream

Lee Siu Hin: building US-China relations at the grassroots

Charles Xu (Qiao Collective): reflections on a trip to China

Sara Flounders: Organize collectively to demand hands off China and show solidarity with Palestine

Danny Haiphong: telling the truth about China and being an ambassador for peace

Dee Knight: If we want to make peace, more of us should visit China

Bahman Azad: debunk lies about China in order to advance the cause of peace

CPUSA: By developing people-to-people relations, we can all build a bedrock for peace

Hugo Chávez, Xi Jinping, and a global community of shared future

The following is the text of the presentation delivered by Carlos Martinez, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China, at a round-table discussion on Venezuela’s foreign policy in a changing world, held on 20 February 2024 at Bolivar Hall in London. The event was organised by the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the UK in coordination with the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

The speech discusses Hugo Chávez’s vision of a multipolar world, and explores how that vision overlaps with China’s strategy of pursuing a global community of shared future.

Other speakers at the event included Her Excellency Rocío Maneiro, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the UK; Francisco Domínguez, Secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign; Calvin Tucker, Campaigns Manager of the Morning Star; and Radhika Desai, Convenor of the International Manifesto Group.

Dear friends and comrades, thanks so much for inviting me to today’s important event.

And thank you in particular to Her Excellency compañera-embajadora Rocío Maneiro, who continues to do such a wonderful job representing her country and standing in solidarity with the progressive movement here in Britain and with the working class and oppressed peoples of the world.

Thanks also to the indefatigable comrade Francisco Domínguez for his hard work putting this event together.

I’m going to focus these brief remarks on the connection between Venezuela’s foreign policy and that of China.

As you’re all no doubt aware, Hugo Chávez had an extremely far-sighted worldview. While the Bolivarian Revolution has always aimed to have good relations with the US, its foreign policy has nonetheless been informed by the identification of that country as the principal enemy to sovereignty and to socialism, not just in Venezuela but throughout the world.

And of course the US’s consistently aggressive stance in relation to Venezuela – its campaign of sanctions, of coercion, of destabilisation – has only confirmed what Chávez and his comrades already knew.

Chávez saw Venezuela as part of a global movement challenging half a millennium of colonialism, imperialism and racism; a global movement that included the growing leftist and pro-sovereignty trend in Latin America and the Caribbean, but also China, Cuba, Russia, Libya (until NATO’s war of regime change in 2011), Syria, South Africa, Vietnam, Iran, the DPRK, Belarus and others.

This global movement seeks to put an end to the unipolar era of US hegemony, and to create a multipolar – or as Chávez called it, pluripolar – world, with multiple centres of power, in which countries and regions all have their role in global politics and in which no one power can impose its will on others.

Under the guidance of Hugo Chávez and then Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has become one of the most prominent voices in support of this multipolar project.

Indeed, one of the slogans of Chávez’s 2012 presidential election campaign was: “to develop a new international geopolitics forming a multicentric and pluripolar world to achieve equilibrium in the universe and guarantee planetary peace.”

Continue reading Hugo Chávez, Xi Jinping, and a global community of shared future

Wang Yi: Contributing to a brighter future of peace, security, prosperity and progress in the world

Following last December’s Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, held in Beijing, an important article by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was published on January 16, in which China’s top diplomat comprehensively outlined the themes of the conference and gave a profound exposition of the key features and theoretical background of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.

According to Wang Yi, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is “a shining example of applying the basic tenets of Marxism to the practice of China’s diplomacy and fine traditional Chinese culture. It has not only built on the proud diplomatic tradition of New China but also kept abreast of the times, broken new ground and opened up new vistas in China’s diplomatic theory and practice.”

He goes on to explain that “building a community with a shared future for humanity is the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. It reflects the high consistency of the Communist Party of China’s founding aspiration and mission with the trend of our times, and embodies the broadest common expectations of people around the globe for a better world. With tremendous theoretical value and far-reaching historical significance, this vision is gaining increasingly strong influence, vitality and appeal.”

The fundamental safeguard for China’s diplomacy and foreign policy, he notes, is the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). “CPC leadership is our greatest political strength and the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is also the most fundamental principle and greatest source of strength for China’s diplomacy.”

Reviewing the achievements of China’s diplomacy over the last decade, Wang Yi outlined six imperatives, namely that it “is imperative to uphold principles, shoulder China’s responsibility as a major country, apply systems thinking, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, carry forward our fighting spirit, and leverage our institutional strengths.”

Further developing this theme, he explains:

“On major issues of right and wrong, it is imperative to uphold principles. China is a socialist country led by the CPC. We should take a clear position by standing on the progressive side of history and on the side of fairness and justice, work actively to meet the common aspirations and legitimate concerns of people of all countries, and demonstrate the people-centeredness of the CPC and the commitment to serving the people in China’s foreign policy. This way, we will always rally abundant support for the just cause, hold the high ground of justice and have strategic initiative.

“It is incumbent on China, the biggest developing country and a major country, to uphold justice in a world undergoing profound changes and turbulence and to shoulder responsibility at critical moments, and hence be a firm defender of world peace and champion of global development. “At the same time, and through Chinese modernisation, we are ready to be helpful in the efforts of other developing countries that want to achieve development while preserving their independence, so that all countries will be able to embark on the right path toward modernisation through peaceful development.

“In developing strategies and policies, it is imperative to apply systems thinking. The CPC, a Marxist party armed with theories of dialectical and historical materialism, should know how to analyse, study and assess the international situation with the understanding that things are universally connected and constantly evolving. “We should be able to see the present from a historical perspective and look beyond the surface to get to the crux of issues, so as to discern and analyse accurately the laws and direction of the profoundly changing world, and formulate sound foreign policies.”

Regarding assessing risks and challenges, “it is imperative to carry forward our fighting spirit. The CPC has never been deterred by intimidation, swayed by fallacies, or cowed by pressure. Only with the courage and ability to carry on our fight, can we overcome various difficulties and obstacles. Going forward, we will face an even more severe international situation and more complex external environment. We must forge ahead with an indomitable spirit and tenacious efforts to open up new horizons in our external work.”

Wang notes that at the conference, it was pointed out that great transformation is accelerating across the world. Changes of the world, of our times, and of historical significance are unfolding like never before, and the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. Yet the overall direction of human development and progress will not change, the overall dynamics of world history moving forward amid twists and turns will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change.

A country’s foreign policy, he went on to explain, is closely linked to its domestic agenda as its external and internal imperatives correlate and interplay with each other. “At a fundamental level, we should handle the relationship between the three well: a community with a shared future for humanity, global transformation, and Chinese modernisation. Building a great modern socialist country in all respects and achieving national rejuvenation through Chinese modernisation is the top political priority on the new journey of the new era. To accomplish this central task of the Party and the country, we must hold high the banner of building a community with a shared future for humanity to steer global transformation in the right direction. We need to pursue China’s development in the broader development of the world, and advance the interests of both the Chinese people and people the world over. By doing so, we will facilitate the move toward a brighter future of peace, security, prosperity and progress in the world.”

Turning to multipolarity, Wang described it as the general trend of the world today. Great transformation is accelerating across the world. The international balance of power is undergoing profound realignment. The Global South is gaining a stronger momentum, shaping the trajectory of world history in a profound way. The overwhelming majority of the members of the international community, be they big or small, all stand for a multipolar world and reject the old path of bloc confrontation and zero-sum competition, still less a repeat of war and conflict.

The multipolar world China champions is one based on equality. It means all countries, regardless of their size, are treated as equals; hegemonism and power politics are rejected; international affairs are not dominated by only a handful of countries; and democracy is truly promoted in international relations. Each and every country or group of countries should have its place in the multipolar system, and the conventional myth that multipolarity is the monopoly of a few big powers should be debunked.

Similarly, the economic globalisation China advocates is one that is universally beneficial. It means meeting the common needs of all countries, especially the developing countries, properly addressing the development imbalances between and within countries resulting from the global allocation of resources and delivering balanced and adequate development. This will help foster a globalisation process that enables faster development of all countries, especially the developing countries, and ensure universal benefit and common prosperity.

The following is the full text of Comrade Wang Yi’s article. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Implementing the Guiding Principles of the Central Conference On Work Relating to Foreign Affairs and Breaking New Ground In Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics

At the end of December 2023, the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs was successfully held. General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered an important address at the conference, in which he presented a comprehensive review of the historic achievements and valuable experience of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, gave a profound exposition on the international environment and historical mission of China’s external work on the new journey, and made comprehensive plans for China’s external work for the present and coming periods. The conference identified the theme of China’s external work as building a community with a shared future for mankind, set the noble goal pursued by China in conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and laid out the top-level plan for China’s diplomatic strategies on the new journey ahead. Practiced and developed over the first decade of the new era, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has increasingly demonstrated its extraordinary theoretical quality of keeping in sync with and leading the times, a testament that our Party’s understanding of China’s relations with the world has reached a new and higher level.

Continue reading Wang Yi: Contributing to a brighter future of peace, security, prosperity and progress in the world

Self-confidence and self-reliance, openness and inclusiveness, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation

China’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is also a Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, delivered an important and comprehensive speech at a Beijing Symposium on the International Situation and China’s Foreign Relations on January 9, 2024.

Saying that in the preceding year China had created a favourable environment for building a great modern socialist country and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and had made new contributions to maintaining world peace and promoting common development, Wang Yi went on to identify six highlights:

Our head-of-state diplomacy has been immensely successful, achieving new milestones in major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

In 2023, President Xi Jinping was personally involved in the planning and execution of major diplomatic actions. He chaired two home-ground events, attended three multilateral summits, made four important overseas visits, and held more than 100 meetings and phone calls.

Solid progress has been made in building a community with a shared future for mankind, lending new impetus to the building of a brighter future for humanity.

During General Secretary Xi Jinping’s historic state visit to Vietnam in December 2023, the most important political outcome reached between the two sides was to upgrade the bilateral relationship to a community with a shared future that carries strategic significance. This characterisation has marked not only a new level in the “comradely and brotherly” relations between the two socialist neighbours but also a full commitment of the Indochina Peninsula to jointly building a community with a shared future. 

The inclusion of Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has brought its coverage to the whole of Central Asia. China is working with Cambodia and Laos on a new, five-year action plan, and has reached agreement with Malaysia, in addition to Thailand and Indonesia, adding to the good momentum toward a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. In his visit to South Africa, President Xi Jinping announced with President Cyril Ramaphosa the decision to build a high-quality China-South Africa community with a shared future, taking China-Africa relations to a new stage.

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held, taking BRI cooperation to a new stage of high-quality development.

 Ten years on, Belt and Road cooperation has extended from the Eurasian continent to Africa and Latin America and expanded from physical connectivity to institutional connectivity and people-to-people bonds. 

The BRICS mechanism achieved a historic expansion, adding new strength to unity and cooperation in the developing world.

BRICS countries have made dedicated efforts to promote global growth and improve global governance. Inspired by the vibrancy and appeal of the mechanism, dozens of developing countries have officially applied for its membership. The expansion marks a milestone in the development of the BRICS mechanism, and ushers in a new era of strength through unity for the Global South. The expanded “greater BRICS” will surely play a stronger role in shaping a more just and equitable global governance system and increasing the representation and voice of the Global South in international affairs.

A successful China-Central Asia Summit was held, creating a new platform for good-neighbourliness and friendly cooperation in the region.

China and the five Central Asian countries, connected by mountains and rivers, have always been friendly neighbours. China hopes to see, more than anyone, a stable, prosperous, harmonious, and interconnected Central Asia. At a key moment in the evolving international landscape, President Xi Jinping and the heads of state of the five Central Asian countries gathered in the historical city of Xi’an, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, for the inaugural China-Central Asia Summit. 

President Xi Jinping comprehensively elaborated on China’s foreign policy toward Central Asia, and decided, together with the heads of state of the five Central Asian countries, to build a closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future, formally establish the mechanism of meetings between the heads of state of China and Central Asian countries and set up a permanent secretariat for the China-Central Asia mechanism. 

We facilitated the historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, setting a new example of political settlement of hotspot issues.

President Xi Jinping had in-depth communication with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran, persuading the two countries to let go of past grievances and meet each other halfway. We are glad to see that Syria has rejoined the family of the League of Arab States; Qatar, Syria, Iran, and Türkiye have restored diplomatic ties or normalised their relations respectively with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, with Sudan and with Egypt; and the people of regional countries are taking the future of the Middle East back into their own hands.

Wang Yi went on to say that over the past year, when faced with major issues concerning the future of humanity and the direction of world development, China has all along stood firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human progress in its diplomacy, and made decisions that can stand the test of practice and time, and gave a further six examples in this regard:

Continue reading Self-confidence and self-reliance, openness and inclusiveness, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation

Lenin, China, Palestine, and the global struggle against imperialism

Below is the text and video of a short speech given by Carlos Martinez on behalf of Friends of Socialist China at the International Assembly Against Imperialism in Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance, held at the Malcolm X & Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center in New York City on January 21, 2024.

The event was organised by Workers World Party, and the date was chosen to honour the centennial of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, who died that day in 1924.

Carlos asks “what ties together these seemingly disparate themes of Palestine, China and Leninism”, suggesting that the answer lies in the global struggle against imperialism. He explains the effect of Lenin’s analysis of imperialism in expanding the scope and applicability of Marxism to cover the entire world; how this informed Soviet support for socialist and national liberation projects in the Global South; and how People’s China carried forward this tradition. “China has been and remains a bulwark against imperialism, standing in solidarity with the Global South.”

The speech discusses China’s long history of solidarity with Palestine, and its current positive diplomatic role in opposition to the genocide in Gaza, and concludes:

“The brave Palestinian people, with the solidarity and support of freedom-loving people around the world, will surely win their liberation.”

Dear comrades and friends,

It’s a great honour for Friends of Socialist China to be invited to contribute to this International Assembly Against Imperialism, in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

What ties together these seemingly disparate themes of Palestine, China and Leninism?

The answer lies in the struggle against imperialism.

The original slogan of the communist movement, ‘Workers of the world unite’ – the rallying cry and final phrase from the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels in 1848 – was put forward at a time when the nascent communist movement was geographically limited to Europe and North America, and focused almost exclusively on the industrial working class.

Lenin’s study of global political economy, and particularly of the dynamics of monopoly capitalism and the emergence of modern imperialism, led him to an acute understanding of the expanded – global – applicability of Marxist thought. He understood that, as a result of imperialist domination, the capitalist class of the metropolis had become an enemy not just to the working class in the advanced capitalist countries but to the broad masses of the oppressed in all countries.

Lenin and the Bolsheviks thus proposed the development of a worldwide united front of the working class and all peoples oppressed by imperialism. Such a united front would be capable – indeed still is capable – of taking the fight to the oppressors, of defeating imperialism, of establishing national independence and sovereignty for the peoples of the Global South, and thereby opening the possibility for a global advance to socialism.

Hence at the second congress of the Comintern in 1920, ‘Workers of the world unite’ was updated to ‘Workers and oppressed peoples of all countries, unite’.

In his letter titled Better Fewer, But Better, the last document he wrote, Lenin observed that “in the last analysis, the outcome of the struggle will be determined by the fact that Russia, India, China etc account for the overwhelming majority of the population of the globe. And during the past few years it is this majority that has been drawn into the struggle for emancipation with extraordinary rapidity, so that in this respect there cannot be the slightest doubt what the final outcome of the world struggle will be. In this sense, the complete victory of socialism is fully and absolutely assured.”

The Chinese communists of course played a crucial role in developing this ideology and applying it in practice. The overthrow of imperialist domination and the construction of socialism in China, Korea and Vietnam represented a profound shift of the revolutionary centre of gravity in the world towards the East and the South.

The Chinese benefited enormously from the solidarity of the Soviet peoples.

Mao Zedong stated in 1949, just two months before the proclamation of the People’s Republic, that “it was through the Russians that the Chinese found Marxism. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought us Marxism-Leninism. The October Revolution helped progressives in China, as throughout the world, to adopt the proletarian world outlook as the instrument for studying a nation’s destiny and considering anew their own problems.”

In turn, China has been and remains a bulwark against imperialism, standing in solidarity with the Global South.

China’s history of support for the Palestinian national struggle in particular goes back to the 1950s. As Xi Jinping has put it, no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore the legitimate rights and interests of their nation, and always stands with the Palestinian people.

China sent its first aid to the Palestinian people in 1960, and when the PLO was founded in 1964, China became the first non-Arab country to recognise it. The first Palestinian fighters were sent for military training in China in 1965. It was also one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine – on 20 November 1988. Indeed Yasser Arafat – Chairman of the PLO from 1969 to 2004 – stated in 1970 that “China is the biggest influence in supporting our revolution and strengthening its perseverance.”

Premier Zhou Enlai wrote in 1967; “Wherever there is oppression, there is resistance; wherever there is aggression, there is struggle against aggression. I believe that having taken up arms, the revolutionary Arab people of Palestine and the entire Arab people will not lay down their arms and, like the heroic Vietnamese people, will fight on unflinchingly, resolutely and stubbornly until final victory.”

Today, China is among the loudest voices calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and insistently calling for the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the right of return.

The heroic Palestinian resistance has put the issue of Palestine back at the centre of global politics. Meanwhile the shift towards a multipolar world and away from US hegemony is creating favourable conditions for finding a lasting and just solution.

Even as we witness the horrors of Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, we remember the words of the great Paul Robeson, that the people’s will for freedom is stronger than atom bombs. The brave Palestinian people, with the solidarity and support of freedom-loving people around the world, will surely win their liberation.

Can the rise of China reset a broken world order?

The following is the text of the speech given by Ben Chacko, Editor of the Morning Star and a member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group, at the international symposium on China and Marxism, held in Istanbul on November 18.

Ben starts by recalling how US diplomats had briefed that they would be “encouraging China to take a more responsible approach to international affairs”, when the country’s foreign minister Wang Yi visited Washington in October. He states that he was “a bit taken aback” by this:

“As Israel rains death on Gaza, China has backed resolutions at the UN security council for a ceasefire. It also stressed the need to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. By contrast, the United States vetoed the ceasefire resolutions and has armed and facilitated Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land. When it comes to Ukraine, China again has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace talks, even putting out a 12-point plan that could form the basis of such talks.”

“China being ‘responsible’ over Ukraine,” Ben contends, “does not mean trying to find a peaceful solution. No, it means China obeying US policy by joining its efforts to isolate and economically punish Russia. “And China using its influence to avoid escalating the crisis in Gaza doesn’t mean trying to find a peaceful solution there either. It means helping to restrain regional countries with which China has good relations, such as Iran, to allow Israel to do whatever it likes to the Palestinians without provoking a wider war.”

Ben stresses the need to “to demolish the lies about China posing a military or security threat to the West. China, with one single military base overseas (at Djibouti to protect its Red Sea shipping from pirates), is hardly attempting to project military power worldwide like the United States (with over 800 military bases) or even the UK (with 145). When the US raises the alarm about ‘close encounters’ between its forces and those of China, these always occur just off the Chinese coast.”

However, “our second challenge must rest on the sense in which China does pose a threat – that China’s rise will end the worldwide hegemony of an imperialist bloc led by the United States. Here, we need to assess the ‘universal values’ [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken talks about and to what extent the US rhetoric about a ‘rules-based international order’ matches reality: secondly, we need to examine whether China’s rise is simply that of a new aspiring hegemon which wants to replace the US, or whether China’s values are in fact different and its rise could mean a genuine shift to a more democratic, just and peaceful model for international relations.”

Ben develops his arguments by reference to the imperialist wars of aggression against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, along with former President Obama’s drone warfare against Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, and highlights China’s fundamentally different approach to questions of war and peace and national sovereignty.

He also looks at questions of world trade and the global economy, contrasting the inequitable and predatory behaviour of the IMF and World Bank, and the US’s illegal deployment of unilateral sanctions, to the development of the BRICS cooperation mechanism among major emerging and developing economies, and the great success of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also refuting the ‘debt trap diplomacy’ calumny often levelled against China.

Ben further explains that, just as it is the superiority of China’s planned socialist economy that underwrites the success of the BRI, so is it the ‘secret’ behind China’s global leadership in the fight against climate change along with its development and deployment of green technology. This, he explains, is related to Xi Jinping’s shift “away from using economic growth as the main yardstick of progress, instead seeking to build an ‘ecological civilisation’ in which quality of life, something connected to clean air, clean water and green spaces, is measured by more than the accumulation of goods… China’s environmentalist lead is noteworthy not just because it shows a political will to act lacking in the West: it is at least arguable that its achievements would not be possible in capitalist countries.”

Last month when China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Washington, US diplomats briefed that they would be encouraging China to take a more responsible approach to international affairs.

China should use its influence to urge calm and de-escalation over the erupting Israeli assault on Gaza, the White House told the press. It should also do more to avoid escalating the war in Ukraine.

I was a bit taken aback by the US’s criticisms of China in this case.

As Israel rains death on Gaza, China has backed resolutions at the UN security council for a ceasefire. It also stressed the need to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. By contrast, the United States vetoed the ceasefire resolutions and has armed and facilitated Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land.

When it comes to Ukraine, China again has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace talks, even putting out a 12-point plan that could form the basis of such talks. It has declined to arm either side in the war, and has brought in new export restrictions to prevent its commercial exports, such as drones, being used in war zones.

The United States’ role in Ukraine has been different. Its expansion of its military alliance Nato to Russia’s borders, despite promises not to, since the late 1990s crossed multiple Russian red lines; its support for a violent coup against Ukraine’s government in 2014 helped spark the civil war in the Donbass; it dismissed out of hand Russian proposals to defuse the situation in 2021, including a suggested mutual agreement not to station nuclear missiles on third countries’ territory. Since Russia invaded in February 2022, the US has deployed special forces to Ukraine, helped sabotage peace talks according to both Turkish and Israeli politicians, and sent tens of billions’ worth of military equipment to prolong the war.

So how can the US urge China to de-escalate either conflict? The demands only make sense in the eyes of a country that judges other countries solely on how far they submit to itself. 

China being “responsible” over Ukraine does not mean trying to find a peaceful solution. No, it means China obeying US policy by joining its efforts to isolate and economically punish Russia. 

And China using its influence to avoid escalating the crisis in Gaza doesn’t mean trying to find a peaceful solution there either. It means helping to restrain regional countries with which China has good relations, such as Iran, to allow Israel to do whatever it likes to the Palestinians without provoking a wider war.

The United States does not view any country as equivalent to itself: how else could it issue stern warnings about rises in Chinese military spending, when the US spends more on its armed forces than the next 10 countries put together, and 15 times more per head than China?

Identifying hypocrisy from the US is essential when we consider China’s rise. In 2021 US national security adviser Antony Blinken told China’s then foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi that their differences rested on Washington’s determination to strengthen the “rules-based international order.” 

The next year he went further, naming China as “the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it,” adding that “Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.”

Blinken speaks for the entire Western bloc. The line — that China poses a threat to the global order — is one we are familiar with in Britain. 

We need to challenge this narrative in two ways. The first, of course, is to demolish the lies about China posing a military or security threat to the West. 

China, with one single military base overseas (at Djibouti to protect its Red Sea shipping from pirates), is hardly attempting to project military power worldwide like the United States (with over 800 military bases) or even the UK (with 145). 

Continue reading Can the rise of China reset a broken world order?

Xi Jinping’s New Year address: We will work for the common good of humanity and make the world a better place for all

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered his New Year Address for 2024 on December 31, 2023. 

Having reviewed a wide range of China’s achievements, trends and key milestones in the preceding year, and alluding to the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said: “All these exhilarating activities have made our lives richer and more colourful, and they mark the return of bustling life across the country. They embody people’s pursuit of a beautiful life, and present a vibrant and flourishing China to the world.”

Noting that many challenges remain, Xi continued: “Along the way, we are bound to encounter headwinds. Some enterprises had a tough time. Some people had difficulty finding jobs and meeting basic needs. Some places were hit by floods, typhoons, earthquakes or other natural disasters. All these remain at the forefront of my mind. When I see people rising to the occasion, reaching out to each other in adversity, meeting challenges head-on and overcoming difficulties, I am deeply moved… Each and every ordinary Chinese has made an extraordinary contribution! You, the people, are the ones we look to when we fight to prevail over all difficulties or challenges.”

Noting that 2024 will see the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and setting out key themes and goals for this significant year, Xi emphasised:

“Our goal is both inspiring and simple. Ultimately, it is about delivering a better life for the people. Our children should be well taken care of and receive good education. Our young people should have the opportunities to pursue their careers and succeed. And our elderly people should have adequate access to medical services and elderly care. These issues matter to every family, and they are also a top priority of the government. We must work together to deliver on these issues. Today, in our fast-paced society, people are all busy and face a lot of pressure in work and life. We should foster a warm and harmonious atmosphere in our society, expand the inclusive and dynamic environment for innovation, and create convenient and good living conditions, so that the people can live happy lives, bring out their best, and realise their dreams.”

Touching on the international situation, the Chinese leader said:

“As I speak to you, conflicts are still raging in some parts of the world. We Chinese are keenly aware of what peace means. We will work closely with the international community for the common good of humanity, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make the world a better place for all.”

We reprint below the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency. We also reprint an article from China Daily which includes comment from our co-editor Keith Bennett on President Xi’s address.

Full text of President Xi Jinping’s 2024 New Year message

Greetings to you all! As energy rises after the Winter Solstice, we are about to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new. From Beijing, I extend my best New Year wishes to each and every one of you!

In 2023, we have continued to forge ahead with resolve and tenacity. We have gone through the test of winds and rains, have seen beautiful scenes unfolding on the way, and have made plenty real achievements. We will remember this year as one of hard work and perseverance. Going forward, we have full confidence in the future.

This year, we have marched forward with solid steps. We achieved a smooth transition in our COVID-19 response efforts. The Chinese economy has sustained the momentum of recovery. Steady progress has been made in pursuing high-quality development. Our modernized industrial system has been further upgraded. A number of advanced, smart and green industries are rapidly emerging as new pillars of the economy. We have secured a bumper harvest for the 20th year in a row. Waters have become clearer and mountains greener. New advances have been made in pursuing rural revitalization. New progress has been made in fully revitalizing northeast China. The Xiong’an New Area is growing fast, the Yangtze River Economic Belt is full of vitality, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is embracing new development opportunities. Having weathered the storm, the Chinese economy is more resilient and dynamic than before.

This year, we have marched forward with robust steps. Thanks to years of dedicated efforts, China’s innovation-driven development is full of energy. The C919 large passenger airliner entered commercial service. The Chinese-built large cruise ship completed its trial voyage. The Shenzhou spaceships are continuing their missions in space. The deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe reached the deepest ocean trench. Products designed and made in China, especially trendy brands, are highly popular with consumers. The latest models of Chinese-made mobile phones are an instant market success. New energy vehicles, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products are a new testimony to China’s manufacturing prowess. Everywhere across our country, new heights are being scaled with dogged determination, and new creations and innovations are emerging every day.

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s New Year address: We will work for the common good of humanity and make the world a better place for all

Xi Jinping: Integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and the best of its traditional culture

The following is the text of a speech given by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, at a meeting on cultural inheritance and development in June 2023, at which he comprehensively set out his views on the integration of Marxism with China’s specific realities and especially the best of its traditional culture, which is now being known as the “two integrations”.

Xi notes that:

“The traditional Chinese culture encompasses a multitude of significant concepts, including social ideals of pursuing the common good for all and achieving universal peace; governance principles of regarding the people as the foundation of the state and governing by virtue; traditions of striving for great unity in the country and ensuring unity amid diversity; values of dedicating oneself to self-cultivation, family management, state governance, and peace for all and shouldering one’s duties to secure the future of the nation; aspirations of embracing the world with virtue and cultivating integrity; economic principles of enriching the people and improving their lives and pursuing the greater good and shared interests; ecological ideas of promoting harmony between humanity and nature and the coexistence of all living things; philosophical thoughts of seeking truth from facts and combining knowledge with action.”

Explaining that Chinese civilisation is distinguished by its continuity, he adds that Chinese people’s deep-rooted sentiments for the motherland and profound sense of history constitute an ideal for upholding great unity and provide spiritual support for guiding the Chinese nation through countless hardships on the path to national rejuvenation.

He also refers to the creativity of Chinese civilisation, saying that it “places stress on discarding the outdated in favour of the new and making progress on a daily basis… The creativity of Chinese civilisation determines that it upholds tradition without clinging to the past and respects ancient wisdom without reverting to archaic thinking. It also determines that the Chinese nation is fearless in facing new challenges and embracing new things.”

It is also inclusive:

“Rather than replacing diverse cultures with a single monoculture, Chinese civilisation endeavours to integrate various cultures into a shared tapestry.”

Next, Xi Jinping turns his attention to the significance of the two integrations with Marxism, explaining that:

“Given the profound foundations of our venerable 5,000-year-old civilisation, the only path for pioneering and developing Chinese socialism is to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and the best of its traditional culture (‘two integrations’). This systematic conclusion has been derived from our extensive explorations of Chinese socialism. We have always emphasised integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and have now officially brought forward the integration of the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s fine traditional culture. As I once stated, without the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilisation, where would the Chinese characteristics come from?”

Mutual compatibility, he insists, is the fundamental prerequisite:

“The ‘two integrations’ is not a far-fetched proposition. Despite their distinct origins, Marxism and traditional Chinese culture exhibit remarkable congruence. For instance, the social principles of pursuing the common good for all and acting in good faith and being friendly to others resonate harmoniously with the ideals and convictions of communism and socialism; the governing concepts of regarding the people as the foundation of the state and governing by virtue align seamlessly with the political principle of putting the people first; and the practices of discarding the outdated in favour of the new and ceaselessly pursuing self-improvement correspond faithfully to the revolutionary spirit of Communists. Marxism sees the essence of man from the angle of social relations, while in Chinese culture, people are defined by their relationships with their family, their country, and the world. Both reject the notion of viewing humans as isolated entities.”

“Integration,” he further explains, “extends beyond mere juxtaposition; instead, it creates a new, organically unified cultural entity. On one hand, Marxism entered China with its advanced theories, giving a new lease of life to Chinese civilisation with its truthfulness. It ushered China into the modern era, revitalising and modernising Chinese culture. Traditional concepts such as regarding the people as the foundation of the state, all regions sharing common customs and practices, all things living side by side, and enriching the people have transformed to modern ideas of pursuing democracy, forging a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation, maintaining harmony between humanity and nature, and striving for common prosperity.”

This integration has reinforced the foundations of China’s socialist path:

“The path of Chinese socialism is fundamentally socialist, grounded in Marxism. The essential socialist elements in Chinese culture provide an intellectual foundation for the embrace of Marxism in China. The path of Chinese socialism is continually broadening, and our determination to remain on this path is unwavering.”

In the concluding part of his speech, Xi Jinping points out that: “Under the guidance of Marxism, we must adeptly integrate the past with the present, draw on successful foreign experiences, make informed choices through dialectical reasoning, and develop the new from the old, therefore achieving a seamless fusion of traditional and contemporary cultures.”

The speech was originally published in Chinese in Qiushi Journal, theoretical organ of the Communist Party of China, issue 17 of 2023. This official English translation appeared in Qiushi’s English language edition, issue 5 of 2023.

Today, we convened a meeting on cultural inheritance and development. Preceding this event, I visited the newly built China National Archives of Publications and Culture and the Chinese Archaeological Museum at the Chinese Academy of History and found them exceptionally insightful.

To establish both the Chinese Academy of History and the China National Archives of Publications and Culture was a decision of great significance made by the CPC Central Committee. The Chinese nation boasts a legacy spanning millions of years of humanity, ten millennia of culture, and five thousand years of civilization. My visit to these two places helped deepen my appreciation for the time-honored Chinese culture and the profound depth of Chinese civilization. Only through a comprehensive and deep understanding of the history of Chinese civilization can we more effectively promote the creative transformation and development of the best of the traditional Chinese culture, vigorously push forward the progress of socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, and cultivate a modern Chinese civilization.

Culture is fundamental to a nation’s foundation and future. Recently, I have consistently pondered the major issue of promoting China’s socialist culture and developing a modern Chinese civilization. This is precisely the reason that led us to convene this meeting today. Here, I would like to address three key points.

I. Developing a profound understanding of the defining characteristics of Chinese civilization

The traditional Chinese culture encompasses a multitude of significant concepts, including social ideals of pursuing the common good for all and achieving universal peace; governance principles of regarding the people as the foundation of the state and governing by virtue; traditions of striving for great unity in the country and ensuring unity amid diversity; values of dedicating oneself to self-cultivation, family management, state governance, and peace for all and shouldering one’s duties to secure the future of the nation; aspirations of embracing the world with virtue and cultivating integrity; economic principles of enriching the people and improving their lives and pursuing the greater good and shared interests; ecological ideas of promoting harmony between humanity and nature and the coexistence of all living things; philosophical thoughts of seeking truth from facts and combining knowledge with action; the mindset of understanding multiple perspectives and seeking harmony through the middle way; and communication approaches of acting in good faith and being friendly to others. These concepts collectively shape the defining characteristics of Chinese civilization.

Chinese civilization is distinguished by its continuity

Chinese civilization is the only great, uninterrupted civilization that continues to this day in a state form. This unequivocally affirms the cultural identity and robust vitality of Chinese civilization as it has responded to challenges and broken new ground through self-development. Chinese people’s deep-rooted sentiments for the motherland and profound sense of history constitute an ideal for upholding great unity and provide spiritual support for guiding the Chinese nation through countless hardships on the path to national rejuvenation. This continuity inherently dictates that the Chinese nation will follow its own path. If not through the prism of its extensive history of continuity, one would not be able to understand ancient China, contemporary China, let alone China of the future.

Chinese civilization is distinguished by its creativity

Chinese civilization places stress on discarding the outdated in favor of the new and making progress on a daily basis. It embodies both profound depth and dynamic forward surges. Continuity doesn’t mean being stagnant or inflexible; on the contrary, it represents a history marked by creativity-driven progress. The Chinese nation embraces the ethos of self-renewal, as an ancient saying goes “improve oneself in one day, do so from day to day, and there will be daily improvement.” This spirit propels the Chinese nation’s sustained material, cultural-ethical, and political advancement, allowing it to stand tall and firm as one of the most prosperous and powerful civilizations throughout a long historical period. The creativity of Chinese civilization determines that it upholds tradition without clinging to the past and respects ancient wisdom without reverting to archaic thinking. It also determines that the Chinese nation is fearless in facing new challenges and embracing new things.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and the best of its traditional culture

Summing up a busy year of activity for Friends of Socialist China

The text below is a speech given by our co-editor Keith Bennett at a Friends of Socialist China end-of-year social held on Sunday 17 December at Hiba, a Palestinian restaurant in London.

Around 40 friends and activists joined us, including Minister Zhao Fei from the Chinese Embassy and two of his colleagues. Unfortunately due to illness and unexpected circumstances, a number of comrades who had planned to be present were not able to, including the ambassadors of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste, and the Counsellor for Press and Cultural Affairs from the Cuban Embassy.

The speech summarises our work over the past year and sets the scene for 2024, as well as expressing our solidarity with the Palestinian people, currently facing a genocidal war in Gaza. Referencing China’s recent commemoration of the Nanjing Massacre – which took place when Japanese troops captured the city on 13 December 1937 and brutally killed approximately 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in just over six weeks – Keith drew a parallel between the Chinese people’s struggle for freedom and that of the Palestinians.

As we recall that dark page in history, and as our hearts are broken by the bestial atrocities being perpetrated, with the support and connivance of our government, in Gaza, and indeed on the West Bank, too, let us remember that ultimately nothing is stronger than the people’s will for freedom. The Chinese people won their liberation and, however long it takes, the Palestinian people, and all the oppressed people of the world, will surely win theirs, too.

Minister Zhao Fei and Comrades from the Chinese Embassy

Comrades and Friends

First, thank you all for being here. I hope you will have an enjoyable evening.

All of you here have supported, helped and encouraged the work of Friends of Socialist China, in your various ways, over the year that is just ending. Thank you.

When we sent out the invitations for tonight, we wrote: “Without wishing to seem immodest, we are pleased with what we have managed to achieve in 2023. It is inseparable from your cooperation and encouragement.”

I thought I’d give you some flavour of that, which I’m able to do thanks to the invaluable and forensic input from Carlos.

We started Friends of Socialist China in May 2021, with no resources and no masterplan.

As of now, our followers on Twitter, or, as I should say, X, formerly known as Twitter, are now just under 35,000.

We have 5,400 followers on Facebook.

Our YouTube subscribers are just under 10,000.

The subscribers to our weekly e-bulletin, containing links to all of our articles, are around 2,000.

In terms of events this year, we began with a hybrid meeting hosted at the Marx Memorial Library, and also organised in conjunction with the Morning Star, the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group on Socialist Solutions to the Climate Crisis, with speakers including the Nicaraguan Ambassador (much missed since her return to Managua), visiting US comrade and author Dan Kovalik and a comrade from the Greener Jobs Alliance.

We responded to Genocide Joe Biden’s laughable Summit for Democracy with our own online counter summit, joined by top quality speakers including Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report in the US, the legendary activist and cultural worker Lowkey, Luna Oi, the inimitable Vietnamese blogger, Venezuelan Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Carlos Ron, Pawel Wargan from the Progressive International, Calla Walsh, a true rising star of the Young Communist League in the United States, as well as in Cuba solidarity work, who was recently arrested for taking direct action in support of Palestine, Ju-Hyun Park from the Korean diaspora, Mohammed Marandi from Iran, and Ben Norton, whose work will be familiar to many of you.

Then we were back at the Marx Memorial Library for the hybrid launch of Carlos’s book, The East is Still Red. If anyone hasn’t read it yet, you really have to. And if you’re still wondering what to get that special comrade in your life for Christmas – problem solved. Carlos has, in my view, made a truly outstanding contribution to the movement with this book. If there is one book on China by a non-Chinese author – where it is today, where it has come from, where it is going – that everyone on the left should read, it’s this one.

Continue reading Summing up a busy year of activity for Friends of Socialist China

Xi Jinping: the collective punishment of people in Gaza must stop

On November 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed an extraordinary joint meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries, along with the leaders of those countries who have been invited to join the cooperation mechanism from January 1, 2024, called to discuss the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza. The meeting was held virtually and was initiated by the current chair of BRICS, President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa. 

In his address to the meeting, President Xi said that China is gravely concerned that the current conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster. He stressed that the collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop and continued:

“The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored. I have emphasised on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. China calls for early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.”

He also outlined the humanitarian assistance that China has so far provided to the Palestinian people in the current situation, adding that, “China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza.”

We reprint the full text of President Xi’s remarks below. They were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Working Toward a Ceasefire and Realizing Lasting Peace and Sustainable Security

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS Leaders
And Leaders of Invited BRICS Members
On the Situation in the Middle East with Particular Reference to Gaza

November 21, 2023

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Colleagues,

This is our first summit since the expansion of BRICS. Before I speak about the issue of our discussion, I wish to extend a warm welcome to leaders of new BRICS members and express my thanks to President Ramaphosa and the South African government for your efforts that have made our meeting possible. Given the current circumstances, it is very timely and very important that we meet and speak up for justice and for peace on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

The conflict in Gaza is raging on into its second month. China is gravely concerned that the conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster, and tends to expand and spill over. China believes that the following is urgent and imperative: First, the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a ceasefire immediately, stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive, and act to prevent loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries. Second, humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza. The collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop. Third, the international community must act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole. China supports the resolution adopted at the emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly on October 27. The U.N. Security Council under China’s presidency has adopted Resolution 2712. All the parties must act to deliver on these resolutions through concrete measures on the ground.

The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. China calls for early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.

Since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has been working actively to promote peace talks and a ceasefire. China has provided humanitarian assistance to help ease the humanitarian plight in Gaza. This includes USD 2 million of emergency humanitarian assistance provided through the Palestinian National Authority and U.N. agencies, and emergency humanitarian supplies worth RMB 15 million, such as food and medicine, to the Gaza Strip with the help of Egypt. China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza. At the U.N. Security Council, China has acted in its capacity as president to facilitate the adoption of the resolution, which calls for extended humanitarian pauses and corridors, the protection of civilians, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

Colleagues,

The BRICS cooperation mechanism is an important platform for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and safeguard common interests. Our meeting today to coordinate positions and actions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict marks a good start for greater BRICS cooperation following its enlargement. China commends South Africa for its significant contribution as BRICS chair to advancing BRICS development. As Russia will take over BRICS chairmanship next year, China stands ready to work with other members to jointly support Russia’s work as the chair and usher in a new era for BRICS cooperation.

Thank you.

Zhang Weiwei: the BRI is built on socialist concepts of discussing together, building together and benefiting together

The following is the text of a speech given by Professor Zhang Weiwei (Director of the China Institute at Fudan University, and author of several important books about China, including The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State) at the webinar Building a multipolar world – Ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative, held on Saturday 4 November.

Professor Zhang outlines the founding principles and broad historic significance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He notes that the foundations for the BRI were laid during the two stages of China’s rise – the first three decades of socialist construction from 1949 to 1978, followed by the accelerated industrialisation and modernisation of the Reform and Opening Up period – and that both these stages were indispensable in allowing China to break from the US-dominated peripheral-central world order and emerge as an economic leader in its own right.

The BRI is a manifestation of this leadership. It is a “hard power” project, with China providing goods, experience and technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to developing countries, and a “soft power” project, with the socialist principles of “discussing together, building together, and benefiting together” guiding the BRI’s development. Zhang observes that these principles are rooted in China’s consultative democracy and can-do spirit, and have been tested and proven in China’s own modernisation process.

A short report of the webinar can be found on China Daily.

The event stream can be viewed on YouTube.

Hello, comrades and friends,

It’s a great pleasure to speak at this webinar on Building a multipolar world – Ten years of the BRI. I will make three observations:

First, on the rise of socialist China. Indeed, it’s remarkable than with 7 decades of unremitting effort, China has become the world’s largest economy by PPP, and the largest trading nation, with the largest middle income group, and largest consumer market.

This historic transformation can be divided into roughly two stages, the first stage, in the first three decades, under the leadership of Chairman Mao, China laid political, economic and social foundations for its rise.

Then the second stage, from 1978, economic take-off, roughly, “one decade, one Industrial Revolution”. China achieved a miracle of the “Four Industrial Revolutions in One” within four decades or so, and now it is in the premier frontier of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (big data, AI and quantum technologies, etc).

Second, on the Chinese break from the peripheral-central world order and becoming the first super-large socialist country that has meaningfully broken the yoke of dependency on the West.

Internally, China has completely eradicated extreme poverty, achieved medical insurance for all, pension for all, and China now has a higher literacy rate than the US, and higher life expectancy than the US (2 years longer, 2021).

Externally, China has become simultaneously the largest partner for the peripheral countries and center countries in terms of trade, investment, financial resources and technologies. That’s why we rightly predicted in 2018 that US will lose its trade war and tech war against China.

Third, all this has paved the way for the launch of the BRI by President Xi Jinping ten years ago and for its stunning success so far. Its success has to do with what may be called the BRI’s hard power and soft power.

Hard power: China is the only country capable of providing goods, experience and technologies of the Four Industrial Revolutions to the developing countries, and China has helped Africa build 6,000 kilometers of railways and 6,000 kilometers of highways. Many landlocked countries are no longer landlocked, many countries without railways are now with railways. Many people who could not afford smart phones now have smart phones and their countries have 4G or even 5G networks.

China is often capable of providing total solutions to industrialization in developing countries. For instance, China completed a comprehensive petro-chemical production package from scratch for countries like Chad, Sudan and Turkmenistan. Being the world’s largest consumer market, China can accommodate a large number of goods from developing countries. For instance, with the completion of the China-Laotian railway, China has become the largest market for the famous Thai fruit durian, a jump of 65% since the railway was built. Now the durian trade alone created 3 billion dollar business for Thailand and the Chinese consumers benefited from this trade.

Soft power: the motto of the BRI is gòngshāng gòngjiàn gòngxiǎng (共商共建共享) or “discussing together, building together and benefiting together”. These ideas are very socialist and have been tested repeatedly within China’s successful process of modernization.

Discussing together originates from China’s consultative democracy (in both high politics and low politics).

Building together originates from the Chinese can-do spirit. Many Africans described the Western projects in Africa as NATO (No Action, Talk Only) whereas Chinese projects are action-oriented, and once consensus is reached by the parties concerned, actions immediately follow suit.

Benefiting together means, China-aid projects aside, the BRI is not a charity, and most BRI projects are commercially viable ones and win-win for all the parties concerned.

In short, these well tested ideas and practices are guided by a deep-rooted Chinese philosophical belief. If the Western belief can be described as “divide and rule”, then the Chinese one is “unite and prosper”. We practice it at home with stunning success and now we promote it in the BRI, and it’s also working well.

In conclusion, the hard power and the soft power are still gaining momentum as shown in China’s rise and the BRI’s success, and this will surely encourage more and more countries in the Global South to work together in a meaningful way to change the unipolar global order to a multipolar one.

Putin: the Belt and Road Initiative is a truly important idea, facilitating a fairer, multipolar world

At the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on October 18, the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping was immediately followed by that of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Noting that the forum was being held on the tenth anniversary of President Xi proposing the Belt and Road Initiative, President Putin described the BRI, as “a truly important and global idea that is spearheaded into the future, towards creating a fairer multipolar world and system of relations,” adding:

“We pointed out on numerous occasions that Russia and China, just as the majority of other countries, share the striving for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation towards universal, sustainable and lasting economic progress and social welfare based on respect for civilisational diversity and the right of every state to its own development model.”

Putin asserted that BRI is based on these fundamental principles and therefore fits very well with the integration processes underway in many regions:

“It also rhymes with our idea of creating a greater Eurasian partnership as an area of cooperation and interaction among like-minded nations and the alignment of various integration processes, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which Russia is successfully developing with its post-Soviet partners. It is notable that Russia and China have reached a practical agreement on a concurrent and coordinated development of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative.”

President Putin took the opportunity to outline the various projects and plans of the Russian Federation in this regard, such as work to connect Russian ports on the Baltic and Arctic seas to ports in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, including seamless rail connectivity from Murmansk in the far northwest of Russia to the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.

Concluding, President Putin noted that, “when a major project is launched, everybody hopes that it will succeed. However, to be honest, it is difficult to expect that all its elements will be successful, considering the global scale of the initiative advanced by the President of the People’s Republic of China 10 years ago. Our Chinese friends are working successfully. We are happy for them, because this also concerns many of us.”

His speech was followed by those of the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Argentina, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The following is the full text of President Putin’s speech. It was originally published on the official website of the President of Russia.

President Xi, my dear friend,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express gratitude to President of China Xi Jinping for inviting me to the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The forum is being held on the 10th anniversary of the initiative Mr Xi advanced, a truly important and global idea that is spearheaded into the future, towards creating a fairer multipolar world and system of relations. It is a global plan, without a doubt.

I agree with the President of China that the Belt and Road idea ties in logically with multilateral efforts to promote creative and constructive interaction throughout the international community.

We pointed out on numerous occasions that Russia and China, just as the majority of other countries, share the striving for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation towards universal, sustainable and lasting economic progress and social welfare based on respect for the civilisational diversity and the right of every state to its own development model.

The Belt and Road initiative is based on these fundamental principles and fits in very well with the integration processes that are ongoing in many regions. It also corresponds to the Russian ideas of creating an integration contour that will ensure the freedom of trade, investment and employment and will be complemented with interconnected infrastructure.

Continue reading Putin: the Belt and Road Initiative is a truly important idea, facilitating a fairer, multipolar world

Building an open, inclusive and interconnected world for common development

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF III) at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on October 18, 2023.

The Chinese leader was joined at the opening ceremony by state leaders from more than 20 countries, including:

  • President of Argentina Alberto Fernández;
  • President of Chile Gabriel Boric;
  • President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou-N’Guesso;
  • President of Indonesia Joko Widodo;
  • President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev;
  • President of Kenya William Ruto;
  • President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith;
  • President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhna;
  • President of Russia Vladimir Putin;
  • President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić;
  • President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe;
  • National Leader of the Turkmen people and Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov;
  • President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev;
  • President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong;
  • Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Manet;
  • Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly;
  • Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali;
  • Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán;
  • Prime Minister of Mozambique Adriano Afonso Maleiane;
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar;
  • Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape;
  • Prime Minister of Thailand Srettha Thavisin;
  • Vice President of Nigeria Kashim Shettima;
  • Special Representative of the President and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi;
  • Special Representative of the President and former Prime Minister of France Jean-Pierre Raffarin;
  • and Senior Representative of the Prime Minister and Minister of Development of Greece Kostas Skrekas, as well as heads of international organisations, including United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the New Development Bank (NDB) Dilma Rousseff.

Presidents Vladimir Putin, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Joko Widodo, and Alberto Fernández, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, and Secretary-General António Guterres also delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.

Under the title, ‘Building an Open, Inclusive and Interconnected World for Common Development’, and noting that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), President Xi said that it draws, “inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and, focusing on enhancing connectivity, aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, inject new impetus into the global economy, create new opportunities for global development, and build a new platform for international economic cooperation.

“Belt and Road cooperation has extended from the Eurasian continent to Africa and Latin America. More than 150 countries and over 30 international organisations have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents.”

Belt and Road cooperation, he noted, has progressed from ‘sketching the outline’ to ‘filling in the details’, and blueprints have been turned into real projects. A large number of signature projects and ‘small yet smart’ people-centred programs have been launched.

“Belt and Road cooperation has expanded from physical connectivity to institutional connectivity. Important guiding principles for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation have been laid down, which include the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together,’ the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and the goal of pursuing high-standard, people-centred and sustainable cooperation.

Over these 10 years, we have endeavoured to build a global network of connectivity consisting of economic corridors, international transportation routes and information highway, as well as railways, roads, airports, ports, pipelines and power grids. Covering the land, the ocean, the sky and the Internet, this network has boosted the flow of goods, capital, technologies and human resources among countries involved and injected fresh vitality into the millennia-old Silk Road in the new era.

Hydro, wind and solar energy based power plants, oil and gas pipelines, and the increasingly smart and interconnected power transmission networks are removing the development bottleneck caused by energy shortage and fulfilling the dream of developing countries to achieve green and low-carbon development. These energy projects have become the oasis and lighthouse for sustainable development in the new era.”

The Chinese leader went on to note that, “when COVID-19 struck, the Belt and Road became a life-saving road. China provided more than 10 billion masks and 2.3 billion doses of vaccines to other countries and jointly produced vaccines with over 20 countries, making a special contribution to BRI partners’ efforts in fighting COVID-19. And China also received valuable support from more than 70 countries when it was hit hard by the pandemic.

“Belt and Road cooperation is based on the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together.’ It transcends differences between civilisations, cultures, social systems, and stages of development. It has opened up a new path for exchanges among countries, and established a new framework for international cooperation. Indeed, the BRI represents humanity’s joint pursuit of development for all.”

He also stressed that:

“We have learned that humankind is a community with a shared future. China can only do well when the world is doing well. When China does well, the world will get even better… We have learned that win-win cooperation is the sure way to success in launching major initiatives that benefit all. When countries embrace cooperation and act in concert, a deep chasm can be turned into a thoroughfare, land-locked countries can become land-linked, and a place of underdevelopment can be transformed into a land of prosperity. Countries taking the lead in economic development should give a hand to their partners who are yet to catch up. We should all treat each other as friends and partners, respect and support each other, and help each other succeed… Viewing others’ development as a threat or taking economic interdependence as a risk will not make one’s own life better or speed up one’s development… Belt and Road cooperation is based on the belief that flame runs high when everyone adds wood to the fire and that mutual support can get us far. Such cooperation seeks to deliver a good life not only to people of just one country, but to people in other countries as well… Ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry and bloc politics are not a choice for us. What we stand against are unilateral sanctions, economic coercion and decoupling and supply chain disruption… We need to remain clear-eyed and undisturbed in a volatile world, and we need to be keenly aware of our responsibility for history, for the people and for the world. We should jointly address various global risks and challenges, and deliver a bright future of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit for future generations… The modernisation we are pursuing is not for China alone, but for all developing countries through our joint efforts. Global modernisation should be pursued to enhance peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation and bring prosperity to all.”

President Xi also outlined eight major steps that China will take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The following is the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Heads of International Organizations,
Representatives of Various Countries,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,

Today, we are meeting here for the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF). On behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people and in my own name, I wish to extend a very warm welcome to you all!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) I proposed. The BRI, drawing inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and focusing on enhancing connectivity, aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, inject new impetus into the global economy, create new opportunities for global development, and build a new platform for international economic cooperation.

Continue reading Building an open, inclusive and interconnected world for common development

Chinese Embassy symposium: The CPC and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, to which a range of political parties, organisations and individuals were invited. Three people attended the symposium on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, at which Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats introduced Xi Jinping’s concepts in relation to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ambassador Zheng and the ministers from the Chinese Embassy provided valuable reports on China’s major foreign policy initiatives directed at supporting global peace, prosperity and friendship: the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative. The presentations were followed by contributions from Robert Griffiths of the Communist Party of Britain; Ella Rule of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist); Andy Brooks of the New Communist Party; Keith Bennett of Friends of Socialist China; and British scholars Martin Albrow, Frances Wood and Martin Jacques. The event concluded with a wide-ranging discussion, to which Carlos Martinez and Francisco Dominguez both contributed on behalf of Friends of Socialist China.

We publish below the report of the syposium from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK, along with Keith Bennett’s speech and Carlos Martinez’s remarks.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds a Symposium on “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”

On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”, which was attended by representatives of various political parties and people from different sectors in the UK. At the symposium, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats at the Embassy introduced the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building and the important contributions made by the CPC to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Participants from the British side made remarks respectively, sharing their understanding of the tenets and significance of the relevant philosophies of the CPC.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out that to understand China, one must understand the CPC. The key to China’s great achievements to date lies fundamentally in the strong leadership of the CPC and its Party building. Since the 18th Party Congress, the Chinese communists with General Secretary Xi Jinping as their chief representative, have attached great importance to the innovation of Party building on practical, theoretical, institutional and other aspects, and formed the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building.

This important thought is a scientific summary of the theoretical development and practical experience of Party building in the new era. It represents a major theoretical innovation that answers the call for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It has given sensible answers to what kind of Marxist party exercising long-term governance we should develop in the new era, and how we should go about achieving it. This innovation has enabled the CPC to always remain at the forefront of the times, brimming with vigour and vitality.

Ambassador Zheng said that the CPC has led the Chinese people in a concerted effort to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal, to embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance towards the Second Centenary Goal, and to promote the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.

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Whole Process People’s Democracy is a significant contribution to human rights

The 2023 China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights was held in the Italian capital Rome on September 20, with the theme, “Modernisation and the diversity of human rights among civilisations”.

Organised by the Human Rights Institute of the South West University of Political Science and Law (SWUPL) in Chongqing, China, and the Roma 9 China-Italy Economic and Cultural Exchange Centre, and hosted by the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the Faculty of Law at Sapienza University of Rome, it was attended by distinguished academics and prominent political and social activists from China, Italy, Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.

In his paper, entitled ‘Whole Process People’s Democracy is a significant contribution to Human Rights’, our co-editor, Keith Bennett noted that:

“To frame international relations as being characterised by a supposed struggle between democracy and autocracy, and to stigmatise, sanction and even commit acts of war against other countries on such a basis, is itself the grossest violation of the most fundamental human rights of many millions of people and potentially of the majority of humanity.”

Drawing on The German Ideology, an 1846 work by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Keith noted that, “it is on the basis of this materialist Marxist principle that socialist countries like China, and many developing countries more generally, have placed such emphasis on the liberation and development of the productive forces. This has not been to negate or to violate human rights. On the contrary, it has been the prerequisite for their development and their guarantee.

“In this way, socialist countries, both historically and today, have paved, and are paving, the way for the elaboration of a human rights paradigm that is actually focused on people’s right and ability to manage the affairs of the state, economy and society as a whole.”

Xi Jinping’s concept of whole process people’s democracy, he explained, has its roots in Marxist theory, the historical experience of the Chinese revolution and in China’s fine traditional culture and civilisational experience.

According to this concept, politics, and therefore social relations, are not characterised by an adversarial division into contending and hostile camps, but rather by a search for consensus, harmony and inclusivity, whereby the achievement of the rights of all becomes the prerequisite for the achievement of the rights of one.

The necessary prerequisite, and material basis, to fully embody such inclusive and non-adversarial democracy is the establishment of a socialist system, where exploitation and oppression are no longer the defining characteristics of society, although they may persist to a certain extent in a primary phase of socialism.

In a situation characterised variously by frequent changes of prime ministers, unstable coalition governments, and the crisis and implosion of the traditional political party system, with once almost hegemonic political forces reduced to insignificance or even extinction, whilst new party formations prove to be nebulous and ephemeral, it surely behoves those of us in Europe to look without prejudice at alternative experiences and experiments and not least at China’s evolving whole process people’s democracy.

The full text of Keith’s paper is printed below.

We also reproduce a news report on the conference originally published by the Chinese newspaper, Global Times. Reporting the presentation made by Lord (Neil) Davidson, a member of the British House of Lords from the Labour Party and former minister, it notes his observation that certain sections in the UK’s political parties have been particularly vocal in their use of human rights criticisms to attack other states’ parties, adding:

“In the case of the UK, one does not require to be steeped in history to reflect that the history of the British Empire reveals case after case of the destruction of the human rights of peoples across the world.”

He noted that discussions on human rights with the objective of mutual understanding between countries can only serve to improve relations. Differing ideologies and differing cultures are a given in today’s world but an acceptance that mutual understanding makes for a safer world for all is hardly a controversial proposition.

Whole Process People’s Democracy is a significant contribution to human rights

Thank you very much for your invitation to participate in the 2023 China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights and for giving me an opportunity to say a few words.

Dialogue of this type is extremely relevant and timely. Human rights are the universal aspiration and entitlement of humanity. But each country and each people have to find their own way to realise them. No country can genuinely claim that its human rights situation is perfect. They remain a work in progress. To frame international relations as being characterised by a supposed struggle between democracy and autocracy, and to stigmatise, sanction and even commit acts of war against other countries on such a basis, is itself the grossest violation of the most fundamental human rights of many millions of people and potentially of the majority of humanity.

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Xi Jinping: China’s modernisation is socialist modernisation

The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), at a study session for new members of the Central Committee and some other leading party members on February 7, 2023. It originally appeared in the Chinese language edition and subsequently the English language edition of Qiushi, the main theoretical journal of the CPC Central Committee.

In the speech, Xi Jinping clarifies that China’s modernisation is socialist modernisation led by the CPC. He notes that: “The report to the 20th CPC National Congress held in October 2022 pointed out that Chinese modernisation is socialist modernisation pursued under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. This is an overarching and fundamental definition of Chinese modernisation.”

He explains that the nature, purpose, founding mission, convictions, policies, and principles of the party determine that Chinese modernisation is socialist modernisation, and not modernisation in any other form, adding:

“With Marxism as its fundamental guide, our Party has deepened its understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a communist party, the development of socialism and the evolution of human society, opening up a new frontier in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times.”

Stressing the absolute necessity of party leadership in the process and course of modernisation, Xi says that: “Without it, Chinese modernisation will veer off course, lose its soul, or even bring about catastrophic mistakes.” The party has ” integrated high ideals with phased targets, which once set, it has tenaciously pursued with relentless hard work and dedication. After the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, we advanced gradually and consistently toward our goals for building a modern socialist country.”

In a comment strikingly similar to one he made recently to visiting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Xi says that: “Reform and opening up has been a crucial move in making China what it is today.”

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress held in October 2022 pointed out that Chinese modernization is socialist modernization pursued under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. This is an overarching and fundamental definition of Chinese modernization. Why is it important to emphasize the leading role of the Party in Chinese modernization? It is because Party leadership has a direct bearing on the fundamental orientation, future, and ultimate success of Chinese modernization.

Party leadership determines the fundamental nature of Chinese modernization. The nature, purpose, founding mission, convictions, policies, and principles of our Party determine that Chinese modernization is socialist modernization, and not modernization in any other form. Under socialism with Chinese characteristics, our Party has upheld the basic tenets of scientific socialism while also endowing it with distinctive Chinese characteristics and contemporary features. Our Party has firmly followed the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics to ensure that Chinese modernization is advanced along the right track. With Marxism as its fundamental guide, our Party has deepened its understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a communist party, the development of socialism and the evolution of human society, opening up a new frontier in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times and providing sound guidance for Chinese modernization. Our Party has upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, further modernized the system and capacity for governance, and formed a set of institutions that includes the fundamental, basic, and important systems for socialism with Chinese characteristics, thereby providing strong institutional guarantee for the steady progress of Chinese modernization. Our Party has also upheld and developed a socialist culture with Chinese characteristics to ignite the cultural creativity of the entire nation, thus providing a powerful source of inspiration for Chinese modernization. It is fair to say that only by firmly upholding Party leadership can we create a bright and prosperous future for Chinese modernization. Without it, Chinese modernization will veer off course, lose its soul, or even bring about catastrophic mistakes.

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China: socialist or capitalist?

This presentation by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was given to the Communist Party USA on 20 August 2023 as part of its Marxist Classes series.

Introducing his book, The East is Still Red – Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, Carlos goes into detail as to the class character of China today.

The book is available in paperback and ePub formats from Praxis Press, and is also available for Kindle. The voucher code ‘Carlos’ provides a site-wide 10 percent discount on Praxis Press.

Xi Jinping at 15th BRICS Summit: Cold War mentality is still haunting our world

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the 15th BRICS Summit, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 23.

Aptly titled, ‘Seeking Development Through Solidarity and Cooperation and Shouldering Our Responsibility for Peace’, and noting that BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape, the Chinese leader said early in his speech that:

“We [the BRICS countries] choose our development paths independently, jointly defend our right to development, and march in tandem toward modernisation. This represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world.”

Making a series of practical proposals, the Chinese leader called for deepening business and financial cooperation to boost economic growth. Development, he noted, is an inalienable right of all countries, not a privilege reserved for a few. “We BRICS countries should be fellow companions on the journey of development and revitalisation, and oppose decoupling and supply chains disruption as well as economic coercion. We should focus on practical cooperation, particularly in such fields as digital economy, green development, and supply chain, and bolster economic, trade and financial exchanges.”

He also called for expanding political and security cooperation to uphold peace and tranquility.

“The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world, and the geopolitical situation is getting tense. All nations long for a sound security environment. International security is indivisible. Attempts to seek absolute security at the expense of others will eventually backfire.”

Regarding the Ukraine crisis, he said that it had “evolved to where it is today because of complex reasons. What is pressing now is to encourage peace talks, promote de-escalation, end the fighting, and realise peace. No one should add fuel to the fire to worsen the situation.”

Turning to the talk of the so-called ‘rules based international order’ touted by a handful of countries, Xi said that:

“International rules must be written and upheld jointly by all countries based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than dictated by those with the strongest muscles or the loudest voice. Ganging up to form exclusive groups and packaging their own rules as international norms are even more unacceptable.”

The following is the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,

Your Excellency President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,

Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,

Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

I am very pleased to join you in Johannesburg for the important discussions on BRICS cooperation and development. It is especially significant that the BRICS Summit is held in Africa for the third time. I wish to thank President Ramaphosa and the South African government for the thoughtful arrangements.

We gather at a time when the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. It is undergoing major shifts, division and regrouping, leading to more uncertain, unstable and unpredictable developments.

BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape. We choose our development paths independently, jointly defend our right to development, and march in tandem toward modernization. This represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world. Our track record shows that we have consistently acted on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and taken BRICS cooperation to new heights in support of our five countries’ development. We have upheld fairness and justice in international affairs, stood up for what is right on major international and regional issues, and enhanced the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS countries invariably advocate and practice independent foreign policies. We always address major international issues based on their merits, making fair remarks and taking fair actions. We do not barter away principles, succumb to external pressure, or act as vassals of others. We BRICS countries share extensive consensus and common goals. No matter how the international situation changes, our commitment to cooperation since the very beginning and our common aspiration will not change.

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Xi Jinping: ​Enhancing solidarity and cooperation to overcome risks and challenges and jointly build a better world

Prior to the opening of the main BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, a BRICS Business Forum was held on August 22, marking ten years since the birth of the BRICS Business Council, also in South Africa. 

In an address to the forum’s closing ceremony, which was read on his behalf by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, President Xi Jinping, noting that, “changes in the world, in our times and in history are unfolding in ways like never before, bringing human society to a critical juncture”, posed the following questions:

“Should we pursue cooperation and integration, or just succumb to division and confrontation? Should we work together to maintain peace and stability, or just sleepwalk into the abyss of a new Cold War? Should we embrace prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, or allow hegemonic and bullying acts to throw us into depression? Should we deepen mutual trust through exchanges and mutual learning, or allow hubris and prejudice to blind conscience? The course of history will be shaped by the choices we make.”

The Chinese leader noted that humanity has “achieved notable economic development and social progress over the past decades, and that is because we have drawn lessons from the two world wars and the Cold War… and embarked on the right path of openness and development for win-win cooperation… What people in various countries long for is definitely not a new Cold War or a small exclusive bloc; what they want is an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity.”

Stressing the need to promote development and prosperity for all, President Xi continued: “Many emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) have come to what they are today after shaking off the yoke of colonialism. With perseverance, hard work and huge sacrifices, we succeeded in gaining independence and have been exploring development paths suited to our national conditions. Everything we do is to deliver better lives to our people. But some country, obsessed with maintaining its hegemony, has gone out of its way to cripple the EMDCs. Whoever is developing fast becomes its target of containment; whoever is catching up becomes its target of obstruction. But this is futile, as I have said more than once that blowing out others’ lamp will not bring light to oneself.

“Every country has the right to development, and the people in every country have the freedom to pursue a happy life. With that in mind, I have proposed the Global Development Initiative, with the goal of promoting development for all by the international community and boosting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Highlighting the increasing role of the BRICS countries in the global economy, the Chinese leader noted: “The collective rise of EMDCs represented by BRICS is fundamentally changing the global landscape. EMDCs have contributed as high as 80 percent of global growth in the past 20 years, and their share in the global GDP has increased from 24 percent 40 years ago to more than 40 percent.”

Xi again expressed China’s support for more countries to join the BRICS mechanism, while noting that this is not a matter of pressing countries to take sides or fomenting confrontation:

“The gathering between BRICS countries and more than 50 other countries in South Africa today is not an exercise of asking countries to take sides, nor an exercise of creating bloc confrontation. Rather, it is an endeavor to expand the architecture of peace and development. I am glad to note that over 20 countries are knocking on the door of BRICS. China hopes to see more joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism.”

We reprint below the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,
Members of the Business Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,

I wish to extend my warm congratulations on the success of the BRICS Business Forum in South Africa!

Ten years ago here in South Africa, we BRICS leaders witnessed the birth of the BRICS Business Council. Since then, the Council has stayed true to its founding mission. It has seized opportunities to deepen cooperation, contributing to economic and social development of BRICS countries and helping sustain global economic growth.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: ​Enhancing solidarity and cooperation to overcome risks and challenges and jointly build a better world