On 1 October 2017, we will celebrate the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the 68 years, the Communist Party of China (CPC), with strong and constant determination, has rallied and led the people of all ethnic groups of the country in turning the poor and backward old China into a prosperous and powerful new China, in turning the blocked and isolated country into the world’s economic engine.
First of all, China’s overall national strength has made substantial strides in history. From 1949 to 2016, the country’s GDP grew from less than $20 billion to $11.2 trillion, taking the second place in the world and increasing at an average rate of over 8 per cent per year. The amount of China’s manufacturing production, foreign trade, FDI, and scientific research personnel surged from low level to the top place in the world, accounting respectively for 25 per cent, 11 per cent, 9.1 per cent, and 25 per cent of the global amount. The contribution of China’s economic growth to world economy is over 30 per cent. More than a quarter of the world’s material wealth has been created in China.
Furthermore, China’s economic structure has been obviously optimised. The People’s Republic of China once had a weak agricultural infrastructure, a fragmentary industry, and an obsolete service in its early days. Agriculture was a dominant sector, accounting for more than 50 per cent of China’s GDP at that time. Nowadays, the overall agricultural production capacity of China has increased steadily, feeding one-fifth of the world’s population and contributing significantly to world food security. China’s industry has been moving from low-end to high-end manufacturing, forming a complete and well-organised structure. The proportion of service in the national economy as a whole has reached 54.1 per cent, outstripping industry by 14 percentages. The economy has been increasingly driven by innovation instead of input and investment. The development of many new production and business models, like the ‘internet plus’ and sharing economy, has been highly boosted.
In addition, China’s infrastructure has registered major progress. In the early days of the People’s Republic of China, the aggregate railway mileage in the country was only 22 thousand kilometres, less than that in the UK in 1880. In those days China had no motorways. There were merely 80 thousand kilometres roads in the country, all of them in poor condition. By contrast, today China tops the world in the following figures: it has 124 thousand kilometres railway, including 22 thousand kilometres high-speed railway; its motorway totals 130 thousand kilometres; its netizens have exceeded 700 million.
Also, Chinese people’s living standards have been significantly improved. In 1949, China was one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income less than $30, life expectancy averaging merely 35 years, primary school enrollment rate less than 20 per cent, and healthcare institutions amounting just 3600. In 2016, China’s GNI reached $8260; life expectancy raised to 76.34 years; primary school enrollment rate soared to 99.92 per cent, gross enrolment ratio for higher education increased to 40 per cent. There are nowadays 992 thousand healthcare institutions working in an improved healthcare system in China. According to a survey carried out by relevant international organisations, 70 per cent Chinese young people feel happy about their lives. ‘The China National Human Development Report 2016’ initiated by the UNDP appreciated that China has been the world’s fastest growing economy in the last three decades.
Moreover, China has made huge progress in developing democracy and legal system. Guaranteeing the fundamental position of the people as masters of the country, China keeps to improve socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics, ensures the system of people’s congresses to keep pace with the times, improves legislative standards, steps up the people’s congresses’ oversight of the people’s governments, courts, and procuratorates, requires that deputies be elected to the people’s congresses based on the same population ratio in urban and rural areas; promotes the extensive, multilevel, and institutionalised development of consultative democracy, makes the socialist consultative democracy featuring appropriate procedures and complete segments, makes the consultative democracy institutional both at state and community-level, improves relevant working mechanism; upholds the socialist judicial system with Chinese characteristics, and includes the law-based governance into the ‘Four Pronged Comprehensive Strategy’ (i. e. to finish building a moderately prosperous society, deepen reform, advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-discipline). The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee has rolled out a series of concrete initiatives for the law-based governance. The socialist democracy has been more institutionalised, standardised, and has its procedures.
Last but not least, China has unprecedentedly increased its international prestige. China has established diplomatic relations with 175 countries, running various forms of partnership with 97 countries and international organisations, and tagging more new friends. China consistently upholds the international order and system based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with the United Nations at the centre, and steadfastly safeguards and promotes international rule of law. China has dispatched a total of 35 thousand person-times of peacekeeping and military personnel to take part in 24 UN missions. The Chinese opinions, solutions, and wisdom are widely understood and endorsed by an increasing number of countries, becoming international consensus. China stands unprecedentedly close to the centre of the world stage, becoming a real global power.
China has achieved in several decades what took other countries centuries to achieve, accumulating the following experiences:
First, we uphold the CPC leadership. Over the past 68 years, relying firmly on the people and adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s conditions and the underlying trend of the times, the CPC has pursued its own course independently according to the condition of China. The great initiative of building socialism with Chinese characteristics was successfully launched and developed. In the crucial moments for our nation’s destiny, it was the CPC leadership which ensured China’s modernisation on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which united the people of all ethnic groups in obtaining new achievements for our country. The CPC is the core leadership of the whole Chinese people, the mainstay for the great renewal of the Chinese nation.
Second, we keep releasing and developing the productive forces. China pursues economic development as the central task and concentrates on it with every determination. We consider development as the key to resolve all other problems. Following the laws of economy, we encourage the development of diversified economic elements while insisting on the primacy of public ownership. We permit some people and regions prosper before others, so that they can bring along the backward regions. Our overall approach is to comprehensively promote economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress.
Third, we persevere in reform and opening up. Reform and opening up are the fundamental force that drives China’s economic and social development. With the help of reform and opening up, China has made the historic shift from a centrally planned economy to a dynamic socialist market economy and from a closed or semi-closed society to an open one. Removing institutional obstacles, the reform and opening up policy has created the golden age for China’s development, constituting the most distinctive characteristic of contemporary China.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, general secretary Xi Jinping has put forward a series of new ideas, thoughts, and strategies centred on reform, development and stability; on domestic affairs, foreign relations and national defence; and on running the Party, country and armed forces. The new ideas, thoughts, and strategies include the Chinese dream; two Centenary Goals; the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development; building the community of common destiny for mankind; the Belt and Road initiative; etc. They have provided scientific theoretical guidance and guidelines for action to deepen reform and opening up under new historical conditions, and accelerate the progress of socialist modernisation. The 19th CPC National Congress, which will convene on 18 October, will summarise and expound the new ideas, thoughts, and strategies of general secretary Xi on the governance of China, providing optimised guidance to the undertaking of the Party and the country. In the Congress, new plans will be worked out for China’s development; new measures will be launched for building the community of common destiny for mankind, opening China wider to the outside world, deepening the cooperation with other countries, and advancing the Belt and Road initiative at a faster pace. China will be more closely connected to the world. China’s development will bring more benefits to the world.
On the fifth day since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Romania established diplomatic relations with New China. China and Romania maintain deep traditional friendship. The Chinese people especially cherish friendship. We will never forget old friends with whom we have stood together through thick and thin. China always considers Romania as an equal partner from the international community. We truly hope that China’s development will bring more opportunities to Romania. May China and Romania further promote and align their cooperation projects, substantiate their traditional friendship, and make greater contribution to pursuing the Belt and Road initiative. May more Romanian friends turn their eyes on China, join and support China-Romania cooperation, in order to build with concerted effort a splendid community of common destiny for mankind.