Zheng Yongnian: New Era, New Judgment, and New Mission
Created On : 2017-11-07    Views : 252

Source: The People's Daily

The basic national condition that China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come is not changed and China's national status that it is the largest developing country in the world is not changed. 

At every National Congress of the CPC, the most important subject is to answer the question of where we came from, where we are now, and where we are going, and this is also true with the 19th National Congress of the CPC. The answers to the three questions constitute a basic judgment, which is of very high importance. The CPC is a mission-guided party. Only after a basic judgment has been established, can CPC determine its new mission and future direction of development. 

In 1949, under the leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong, the CPC completed its hardest task since the contemporary times—founding of the new China. Over the 30 years since founding of new China, a set of basic political system has been established. After entering the new era of reform and opening up, comrade Deng Xiaoping put forward the concept of socialist market economy, which is also an important content of the Deng Xiaoping Theory. The 13th National Congress of the CPC put forward CPC's basic route at the primary stage of socialism. In 1992, in his South Tour Speeches, Deng Xiaoping stressed over again that the basic route shall be valid for 100 years.

New era, new judgment, and new mission. Presently, China's development has entered in a new era. The New Era is not just a noun, moreover, it represents a new basic judgment that the CPC made based on the fact that China's social and economic development has reached a certain level, but the development is uneven and inadequate. The report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC points out that: "As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development, and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life." However, change of the primary contradiction in the Chinese society doesn't change the CPC's judgment about the historical stage that Chinese socialism is in. The basic national condition that China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come is not changed, and China's national status that it is the largest developing country in the world is not changed.

Despite that China's development has made great achievement, and has won much applause in the international world, China must have a clear knowledge about the time it is in and the internal and external environment. Socialism is not something you can achieve simply by trumpeting about it. The leaders of the CPC are very cool-minded. On the basis of fully acknowledging the achievements that have been made, they are well prepared to face squarely the challenges and look forward to the future, and they have made very serious and cool-headed thinking and judgment about the problems that China faces.

General Secretary Xi Jinping drew a blueprint for the future in the Report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC: The period between the 19th and the 20th National Congress is the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. In this period, not only must we finish building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and achieve the first centenary goal; we must also build on this achievement and embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. 

This blueprint was drawn based on the basic judgment. Economically, China has come to a critical stage for completing building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. Based on the discussion about policy over the recent years, China's focus has shifted to how to avoid the middle-income trap, and how to develop China into a high income economy, namely, an affluent society. Presently, China's per capita GDP has grown to exceed $8000 US dollars, and according to the 13th Five-year plan, China's per capita GDP is expected to reach $12,000 dollars by 2020. What's more important is that, on the basis of having met the needs for food and clothing, and generally achieving moderate affluence, people’s needs in other aspects, for example, the needs for a good environment, and social equity and justice, is ever increasing, which highlights the uneven development between China's economy and society, economy and environment, or material civilization and spiritual civilization, and the report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC put forward "we should promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress".

This new judgment that the CPC made in the new era not only concerns the development of China itself, but also provides a new option for those countries and nations that want to speed up their development and maintain their independence.


(The author is Director of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, and a member of the Academic Committee of Shanghai Academy)