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Only CPC can lead China toward modernization

By Li Feng | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-27 07:13


Since its founding in 1921, the Communist Party of China has been relentlessly working to improve Chinese people's lives and livelihoods. The Party, from the first-generation leadership with Chairman Mao Zedong as the core, has led the Chinese people to protect, invigorate and enrich the country, find the Chinese path to modernization, create a new model for human advancement and, more importantly, realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Only under the Party's leadership can China realize national rejuvenation through the path of Chinese modernization.

The two Opium Wars (1840-42 and 1856-60) broke China's traditional political structure and the overall socioeconomic and political order. Although many patriots looked to the West for a formula which would help modernize the Chinese nation, they could not find one that suited China's real conditions.

The 1911 Revolution ended imperial rule in China, leading to the founding of a republic. The then leaders tried to adopt a Western multiparty political system including the presidential election, but they failed to develop China into a modern country. As a result, China suffered repeated setbacks on the path to modernization due to political disorder and a backward economy.

Since its founding, the Party has remained true to its original aspiration and mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and realizing national rejuvenation, with the New Democratic Revolution prompting the Chinese people to independently explore a Chinese path to modernization.

After the founding of New China in 1949, the Party led the Chinese people to make great achievements in the socialist construction of the country, laying the institutional foundation for treading a new path to Chinese modernization. In 1978, China launched reform and opening-up, promoting socialist modernization. These achievements fueled the push toward Chinese modernization by providing institutional guarantees and material conditions for fast-paced economic growth.

Following the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Party has led the Chinese people in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. It has strengthened the cause of national rejuvenation by consolidating the institutional and material foundations to achieve it.

The CPC Central Committee had made eradicating poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects one of its basic missions and a symbolic benchmark. China fulfilled that arduous task by eradicating extreme poverty by the end of 2020, making an exemplary contribution to global poverty alleviation. The enormity of the task can be gauged from the fact that about 800 million people China has lifted out of poverty account for more than 70 percent of the global poverty alleviation efforts in the last four-plus decades.

Besides, in the past decade, China's GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan ($7.56 trillion) in 2012 to 121 trillion yuan in 2022.

The 20th CPC National Congress in 2022 proposed that a two-step strategic plan be made to build China into a great modern socialist country, and set the overall goal of development from 2022 through 2035 and from 2035 through 2050. It also said the CPC will lead the Chinese people to realize the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and realize national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization, setting a clear timetable and targets for Chinese modernization.

Chinese modernization has entered a new era, with the principal contradiction facing Chinese society changing from that between unbalanced and inadequate development to people's ever-growing needs for a better life. But the imbalances and inadequacies in development in some regions and fields still constrain Chinese modernization.

China has entered a period of development in which strategic opportunities, risks and challenges coexist, and uncertainties and unforeseen factors are rising. As a result, "black swan" and "gray rhino" events could occur at any time. In fact, China's reform and development face daunting challenges amid the fast changing global landscape.

Upholding the Party's leadership can help Chinese modernization to progress in the right direction, stand the tests of the times by adhering to a people-centered philosophy. The system of using resources to accomplish large undertakings can provide political and institutional support to China in overcoming the challenges and minimizing the risks on the path to modernization.

Only the Party can lead Chinese modernization, because it has led the social revolution through self-reform. The Party has been providing the political leadership, giving theoretical guidance, organizing the people and inspiring society, all the while maintaining a close bond with the people. It has also been eliminating the viruses that could weaken Chinese society's health, and breaking the barriers to achieve increased productivity and innovation.

By upholding the Party's leadership, we can build a mighty force to realize Chinese modernization. The Party's advantages and strengths lie in its organizational system. With more than 98 million members and 5 million primary-level organizations, the CPC can unite all the forces and mobilize all positive factors to realize Chinese modernization as well as national rejuvenation.

The author is an associate professor of politics and law at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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