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Centenary progress proves China on right path

By Adham Sayed | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-11-05 09:44

The Qingdao-Yinchuan Expressway meets the Beijing-Lhasa Expressway in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. [Photo by Tian Manchao/For China Daily]

The significance of the centenary of the Communist Party of China stems from all the lessons one can learn from it. As a young Arab, the main question I've had is, why was China able to rise and succeed, while the Arabs were not able to do the same? China, unlike most Western nations, did not resort to occupying or colonizing other countries to fulfill objectives. On the contrary, China itself was an occupied and colonized country, and until today it still faces threats to its territorial integrity. Notably, China gained its independence around the same time that our countries were liberated from the grip of colonialism.

"The economic miracle" is how the experts describe the Chinese economy. China is a country that witnessed civil wars and colonial greed, and was left with poverty and hunger. A revolution led by the Communist Party of China came to the rescue, unifying the people and showing them the path of revival. In less than 70 years a great economic power was born out of all that oppression, with the Chinese economy rising to become the second largest in the world.

Over the past 10 years, China has advanced in many sectors. Its GDP rose from $8.5 trillion in 2012 to $14.34 trillion in 2019, and the annual growth rate of its GDP reached 6.1 percent in 2019. Additionally, great resources were channeled to emerging industries such as e-commerce, as well as high-tech industries and advanced technology. Also, development strategies with innovative elements have been implemented, resulting in important scientific and technological achievements, such as the Tiangong space laboratory and the Tianyan wireless telescope.

Investments have also increased in infrastructure facilities such as ports, airports, highways and bridges, and this can be easily noticed as you move throughout China. As far as improving people’s livelihoods, the per capita GDP rose to $10,200 in 2019 after it was around $5,000 in 2011, and all citizens were liberated from extreme poverty, after almost 80 percent of the population languished in impoverishment in 1978.

On the other hand, there are still many issues that the Chinese government seeks to resolve. The environmental issue, for instance, is a crucial problem for every flourishing country, including China. For years now, this objective has been at the top of the priority list, and indeed, there are numerous ambitious plans to address this problem. The reform and opening-up policy has resulted in a period of continuous progress that came alongside a number of inconveniences, such as corruption, income inequality, and a gap between the countryside and urban areas. Unsurprisingly, decisive measures were adopted to fix these problems.

So my question still remains -- why did the Arabs stay behind?

Because independence by itself is not enough, much less incomplete independence. The revolution in China gave the people complete independence, especially on political and economic levels. This is precisely what we lack in our countries. Colonialism has made us its followers through a relationship of full dependence, especially on an economic level. We only produce what they want us to produce. Additionally, dividing our lands into several countries weakened us more than ever, and then we became hostile to one another. Although we share the same language, geography and history, we aren't united. That's because the West wants us to stay divided and weak, making it easier for them to exploit us.

Here, allow me to say it loudly, as a young Arab, before you and the whole world. I declare that we are tired of this American oppression, humiliation and exploitation. We are done with their continuous wars and assaults under false pretenses and slogans. Our countries have been destroyed, our economies have been shattered, and we have been driven away from our homelands, becoming refugees around the globe. And for what? Only because the US imperialism seeks to perpetuate its control.

As a young Arab, I hope to see my country stand on its feet, rise, develop and advance in every way. I want a new world that is based on cooperation as well as mutual profit and mutual respect, not on the zero-sum equation pursued by US imperialism, which is power-hungry and also based on war, aggression and blockade. It is our right to dream of a better future, to determine for ourselves who is our enemy and who is our friend. It is our right to build friendly and complementary relations with the East in general and China in particular without being afraid of sanctions and war. The experiences of the past hundred years have proven that the West treats us only as subservient and looks at us only as wealth waiting for them to plunder.

It is our mission to end, once and for all, the law of the jungle that is ruling the world and that has become an obstacle to the development, progress and happiness of mankind. The current world order is dead, and the Arabs say, honor the dead by burying them.

Someone might say, what a dreamer, you are -- this kind of world will never come to see the light. I answer that you are free when you fight for freedom. When you fight for a better future, you already have it. I repeat the question: Did anyone imagine a hundred years ago that China would be what it is today? The leaders of the Communist Party of China in the first half of the last century were called dreamers. They dreamed of a great, united China. They fought for it, and the people marched with them. They made sacrifices, with hope and joy beaming from their faces because, in their struggle, they were already living the dream. They were gladly fighting, knowing that they were doing it for a better China, and when they fought for freedom, they had it.

A century ago, 13 people gathered in a small house in Shanghai and announced the founding of the Communist Party of China. One hundred years after the decisions of the first conference of the Communist Party of China were made public, three researchers from Kennedy College at Harvard University concluded that 93.1 percent of the Chinese people, or more than one billion and three hundred million Chinese, still trust the party that was founded by those 13 people. They trust the leadership, goals, and practice of this party, which now includes more than 91 million individuals. Despite the importance of these results, what drew my attention was the fact that this trust only grows as time passes, increasing from 86.5 percent in 2003 to 93.15 percent in 2016.

I am sure that if a similar survey had been conducted today, especially after the tremendous efforts made to control the pandemic, we would have seen this trust increase even more. What does it mean? It means that the Communist Party of China, a hundred years after its founding, is still following the right path.

The only validation they need comes from the people, and the Chinese people said it clearly. They said it with commitment and sacrifice. They said, we trust the Party.

Adham Sayed is a researcher with the China-Arab BRI Research Center at Zhejiang Gongshang University, and author of the book "This Is How It Was in Wuhan: Diaries of Quarantine Days".

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