by Zamir Awan for the Saker blog
China has reached a stage where it can reshape the world order. It has emerged as the second largest economy, just after the US. But, the pace of growth is so steady and fast, that it will surpass the US within a few years. It has also emerged as a major power and is proactive in International Affairs. It is a key player in geopolitics already.
During the last four decades, China has made unprecedented progress in all dimensions. Especially during the last decade, under the visionary leadership of President Xi Jinping, has strengthened the overall leadership of the Party at all levels and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee. And devoted great energy to finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It has fully and faithfully applied the new development philosophy on all fronts, focused on promoting high-quality development, and worked to create a new pattern of development.
China has persuaded reform at a swift and steady pace, made solid progress in developing whole-process people’s democracy, and advanced law-based governance across all fields of endeavor. It has actively developed advanced socialist culture and ensured improved public well-being as a matter of priority and pooled resources to wage a critical battle against poverty. It has made a big push to enhance ecological conservation and worked with a firm resolve to safeguard national security, fended off and defused major risks, and ensured social stability. It has devoted great energy to modernizing national defense and the armed forces.
It has conducted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. And have made sweeping efforts to advance the great new project of Party building through political reforms.
In responding to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19, China has put the people and their lives above all else worked to prevent both imported cases and domestic resurgences, and tenaciously pursued a dynamic zero-Covid policy. In launching an all-out people’s war to stop the spread of the virus. It has protected the people’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible and made tremendously encouraging achievements in both epidemic response and economic and social development.
In the face of turbulent developments in Hong Kong, the central government exercised its overall jurisdiction over the special administrative region as prescribed by China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was formulated and put into effect, ensuring that Hong Kong is administered by patriots. Thanks to these moves, order has been restored in Hong Kong, marking a major turn for the better in the region. Further headway has been made in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and supporting Hong Kong and Macao in growing their economies, improving living standards, and maintaining stability.
In response to separatist activities aimed at “Taiwan independence” and gross provocations of external interference in Taiwan affairs, China has resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference, demonstrating its resolve and ability to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to oppose “Taiwan independence.” It has strengthened the strategic initiative for China’s complete reunification and consolidated commitment to the one-China principle within the international community.
Confronted with drastic changes in the international landscape, especially external attempts to blackmail, contain, blockade, and exert maximum pressure on China, China put its national interests first, focused on internal political concerns, and maintained firm strategic resolve. It has shown a fighting spirit and a firm determination to never yield to coercive power. Throughout these endeavors, it has safeguarded China’s dignity and core interests and kept it well-positioned for pursuing development and ensuring security.
Over the past five years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has rallied the people and led them in solving a great number of problems that had long gone unsolved, securing many accomplishments that hold major future significance, and achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country.
In the past decade, China’s GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan accounting for 18.5 percent of the world economy, up 7.2 percentage points. China has remained the world’s second-largest economy, and its per capita GDP has risen from 39,800 yuan to 81,000 yuan. It ranks first in the world in terms of grain output, and it has ensured food and energy security for its more than 1.4 billion people. The number of permanent urban residents has grown by 11.6 percentage points to account for 64.7 percent of the population. China’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world, as are its foreign exchange reserves. China has built the world’s largest networks of high-speed railways and expressways and made major achievements in building airports, ports, water conservancy, energy, information, and other infrastructure.
It has accelerated efforts to build self-reliance and strength in science and technology, with nationwide R&D spending rising from 1 trillion yuan to 2.8 trillion yuan, the second highest in the world. It is now home to the largest cohort of R&D personnel in the world. It has grown stronger in basic research and original innovation, made breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields, and boosted emerging strategic industries. It has witnessed major successes on multiple fronts, including manned spaceflight, lunar and Martian exploration, deep sea and deep earth probes, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information, nuclear power technology, new energy technology, airliner manufacturing, and biomedicine. China has joined the ranks of the world’s innovators.
It has implemented the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military for the new era, followed the military strategy for the new era, and upheld absolute Party leadership over the people’s armed forces. Having established combat effectiveness as the sole criterion, it has acted with resolve to focus the entire military’s attention on combat readiness. We have coordinated efforts to strengthen military work in all directions and domains and devoted great energy to training under combat conditions. It has carried out bold reforms of national defense and the armed forces, restructuring the military leadership and command systems, the modern armed forces system, and the military policy system and has moved faster to modernize its national defense and the armed forces and reduced the number of active service personnel by 300,000. With new systems, a new structure, a new configuration, and a new look, the people’s armed forces have become a much more modern and capable fighting force, and the Chinese path to building a strong military is growing ever broader.
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held on 16-22 October 2022 in Beijing and has transformed China into a more united, more strong, more committed, and more proactive in all respect. The Newly appointed leadership is fully aware of their task, responsibility, and capabilities. They will meet the expectations of the people of China as well as global responsibilities.
The Communist Party of China is dedicated to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is also dedicated to human progress and world harmony. It will expand its global vision and develop keen insight into the trends of human development and progress, respond to the general concerns of people of all countries, and play its role in resolving the common issues facing humankind. With an open mind, it will draw inspiration from all of human civilization’s outstanding achievements and work to build an even better world.
We will leverage the strengths of China’s enormous market, attract global resources and production factors with its strong domestic economy, and amplify the interplay between domestic and international markets and resources. This will position China to improve the level and quality of trade and investment cooperation.
It will steadily expand institutional opening up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards and will upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and promote digital trade, in order to accelerate China’s transformation into a trader of quality.
China will better plan regional opening up, consolidate the leading position of eastern coastal areas in opening up, and more widely open the central, western, and northeastern regions. It will accelerate the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in the western region and will work faster to develop the Hainan Free Trade Port, upgrade pilot free trade zones, and expand the globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas.
China will promote the internationalization of the RMB in an orderly way, deeply involve itself in the global industrial division of labor and cooperation, and endeavor to preserve the diversity and stability of the international economic landscape and economic and trade relations.
For its part, China has always been committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future. It remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. It has always decided its position and policy on issues based on its own merits, and it has strived to uphold the basic norms governing international relations and safeguard international fairness and justice.
China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. It stays true to the principle of equality of all countries big or small, strong or weak, and rich or poor, and it respects the development paths and social systems independently chosen by all the world’s peoples.
China stands firmly against all forms of hegemonies and power politics, the Cold War mentality, interference in other countries internal affairs, and double standards. China pursues a defensive national defense policy, and its development strengthens the world’s forces for peace. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism.
China adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries. It is committed to promoting a new type of international relations, deepening and expanding global partnerships based on equality, openness, and cooperation, and broadening the convergence of interests with other countries. China works to enhance coordination and positive interaction with other major countries to build major-country relations featuring peaceful coexistence, overall stability, and balanced development. Acting on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendships and partnerships with its neighbors, China strives to enhance friendly ties, mutual trust, and converging interests with its neighboring countries. Guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, China endeavors to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries and safeguard the common interests of the developing world.
China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening up to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. It strives to create new opportunities for the world with its own development and to contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all people.
China adheres to the right course of economic globalization. It strives to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, advance bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation, and boost international macroeconomic policy coordination. It is committed to working with other countries to foster an international environment conducive to development and create new drivers for global growth. China opposes protectionism, the erection of “fences and barriers,” decoupling, disruption of industrial and supply chains, unilateral sanctions, and maximum-pressure tactics.
China is prepared to invest more resources in global development cooperation. It is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development. China plays an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system. It pursues a vision of global governance featuring shared growth through discussion and collaboration. China upholds true multilateralism, promotes greater democracy in international relations, and works to make global governance fairer and more equitable.
China is firm in safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It opposes all forms of unilateralism and the forming of blocs and exclusive groups targeted against particular countries.
China works to see that multilateral institutions such as the WTO and APEC better play their roles, cooperation mechanisms such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) exert greater influence, and emerging markets and developing countries are better represented and have a greater say in global affairs.
China is actively involved in setting global security rules, works to promote international security cooperation, and takes an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. China plays a constructive role in safeguarding world peace and regional stability.
Building a human community with a shared future is the way forward for all the world’s people. An ancient Chinese philosopher observed that “all living things may grow side by side without harming one another, and different roads may run in parallel without interfering with one another.” Only when all countries pursue the cause of the common good, live in harmony, and engage in cooperation for mutual benefit will there be sustained prosperity and guaranteed security. It is in this spirit that China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and it stands ready to work with the international community to put these two initiatives into action.
China is committed to building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation, a world of universal security through collaboration and shared benefits, a world of common prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation, an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning, and a clean and beautiful world through green and low-carbon development.
We sincerely call upon all countries to hold dear humanity’s shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom; to promote mutual understanding and forge closer bonds with other peoples, and to respect the diversity of civilizations. Let us allow cultural exchanges to transcend estrangement, mutual learning to transcend clashes, and coexistence to transcend feelings of superiority. Let us all join forces to meet all types of global challenges.
Although this is an era fraught with challenges, it is also an era brimming with hope. The Chinese people are ready to work hand in hand with people across the world to create an even brighter future for humanity.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: [email protected]).