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Academics highlight Party milestones ahead of congress

MAO LI | 2017-10-12
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Farmers in Wuyuan, East China’s Jiangxi Province, form a red heart using corn kernels and chili peppers to celebrate the convening of the 19th CPC National Congress, which is scheduled to open on Oct. 18.


Ahead of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, which is slated to open on Oct. 18, scholars expressed pride in the historical changes that have taken place in China over the past five years under the leadership of the CPC.


From 2012 to 2016, the per capita income from wages and salaries increased from 9,379 to 13,455 yuan, while the average standard of the rural minimum subsistence guarantee system was raised from 172 to 312 yuan per month.


“Behind the data are stories about China’s development,” said Hu Angang, director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University.


Hu noted that public expenditures on the five general categories—education; culture, sports and media; social security and employment; health care and birth control; and housing security—rose from 4.8 trillion yuan in 2012 to 7.3 trillion in 2016.


A list of national basic public services was also made for eight fields and 81 items during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). “This fully reflects the government’s people-centered governance model,” Hu said.


Not only has public welfare rapidly improved but also a series of new ideas and strategies with Chinese characteristics have been put forward in the past five years.


For example, a new emphasis on innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development was proposed as the nation approaches the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in a comprehensive manner. In the process of major-country diplomacy, the new idea of building a community of common destiny was unveiled.


The all-dimensional layout for state governance and Chinese plans for global governance have driven China’s fast growth, surprising the world, said Zhang Xu, deputy dean of the School of Marxist Studies at Renmin University of China.


Jiang Hui, Party secretary of the Institute of Information Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), attributed the remarkable achievements to the firm leadership of the CPC with Comrade Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, at the core.


Xi’s series of important speeches as well as the new governance ideas and strategies of the CPC have provided profound answers to such major questions as how to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and how to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Jiang said. They have opened a new frontier for the development of Marxism in contemporary China and constitute the CPC’s new contributions to Chinese Marxism in the 21st century, he added.


At the critical stage for the building of a moderately prosperous society and the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress will undoubtedly mark another milestone in the course of national and Party development.


“The 19th CPC National Congress concerns Party and national causes, the destiny of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and fundamental interests of the majority of people,” Jiang said, adding that the landmark meeting is sure to leave indelible imprints on the development history of socialism with Chinese characteristics and map out forward-looking blueprints for the realization of the “Two Centennial Goals.”


The Two Centenary Goals are: to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the CPC celebrates its centenary in 2021; and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the time China celebrates its centenary in 2049.


“We should not only summarize the lessons of the past five years, but also plan for the next three decades,” Hu said. He expressed hopes that the 19th CPC National Congress can present a top-level design for what a modernized socialist country should look like and how to build it by 2050.


The socialist modernization of China is not only about catching up with developed countries on modernization factors, but more importantly, achieving innovative modernization that is different from and superior to traditional Western capitalism, Hu said.