One Hundred Years’ Journey
with the People and for the People
On July 1 this year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated its 100th anniversary. In the past century, the CPC has grown from a small party of about 50 members to the largest political party in the world with a membership of over 95 million. How has it made it? Why has it been able to serve as the ruling party of China with the strong and firm support of the 1.4 billion Chinese people? What is the secret of the CPC’s success?
To answer these questions, a brief review of China’s history in modern times is essential.
China more than 100 years ago was a poor and backward semi-colonial, semi-feudal country devastated by warlord fights and repeated foreign invasions. The Chinese people suffered tremendously as a result and the very survival of the Chinese nation was hung in the balance.
To salvage the country and the nation, countless Chinese patriots and progressive forces rose up in search of ways to turn around the situation. But none of these efforts got anywhere until the establishment of the Communist Party of China in 1921, who, in the subsequent 28 years, rallied and led the Chinese people in a courageous fight for national independence and liberation. After pulling through all the difficulties and hardships and making huge sacrifices, the Party led the Chinese people to the founding the People’s Republic of China in 1949, regaining national sovereignty and dignity and putting to an end the trying history of modern China. It dismantled feudalism, ended the imperialist domination of China, and liberated the Chinese people from the enslavement and exploitation of all the oppressive forces, creating the fundamental social conditions for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Under the leadership of the CPC and with the concerted efforts and hard work of the Chinese people, New China has made remarkable success in national development. It finished within several decades the industrialization process that took the developed countries several hundred years to complete, built the world’s second-largest economy, and completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Thanks to more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has lifted 770 million rural residents out of poverty, built the world’s largest middle-income group and largest social safety net, and vastly advanced the social undertakings from culture, education to health care, raising the life expectancy of the Chinese citizens from 35 years in 1949 to 77.3 in 2019. In 2020, China’s per capita GNI exceeded US$10,000, reaching the level of upper-middle-income countries. All this has given the Chinese people one of the highest sense of security and self-fulfillment in the world. Today, under the able leadership of the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people are marching with confidence towards the middle-of-the-century goal of building China into a modern socialist country that is strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.
The secret of the CPC’s success lies in its unwavering commitment to its founding aspiration to create a better life for the people and achieve national rejuvenation. National independence and prosperity, social stability and harmony, and a happy and well-to-do life have been the biggest dream of the Chinese people since modern times. It is also the goal of the CPC in the past century. No matter what has happened and what difficulties and challenges might lie ahead, the Party has never relaxed its effort to pursue a better life for the people and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and has always put the people’s interest first along the way.
Under the leadership of the Party, the Chinese people have embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that best suits China’s reality and represent the will of the people, and is leading China to be a prosperous modern socialist country. Under the leadership of the Party, the Chinese people have got rid of abject poverty for the first time in China’s thousands of years of history and started to enjoy a happy and secure life. To them, this is the biggest human right ensured and the best success story of democracy. This also explains why the CPC has been able to win the trust and firm support of the Chinese people. Surveys done by Harvard University for several consecutive years have shown that over 93 percent of the Chinese people are satisfied with the performance of the Party and the government. That is the key to the CPC’s success.
While dedicating itself to the welfare of the Chinese people, the Communist Party of China has been working consistently for the peace and progress of mankind. The Chinese values are deeply rooted in the traditional Chinese culture and philosophy that believes that “peace is most precious” and advocate “harmony without conformity” and “peaceful coexistence”. China maintains that all countries, regardless of their size, wealth or strength, are equal members of the international community. Since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has never provoked a single war or occupied a single inch of foreign territory. Nor has it ever imposed its will on others. China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening up and maintains that global governance is carried out by all countries together on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. We need to work together to meet global challenges of all kinds and make our world an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful place with enduring peace, universal security, and common prosperity, so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China’s development is an opportunity to the world, not a challenge or threat. It is now the second-largest contributor to the UN regular budget and the UN peacekeeping budget and provides more personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations than any other permanent member of the Security Council. It has contributed over 30 percent of the global growth for many years in a row. It is estimated that China’s total import of goods will top US$22 trillion in the next decade, and its Belt and Road Initiative, according to the World Bank’s 2020 report, will help at least 40 million people around the world get out of poverty by 2030. Moreover, China is doing its best to meet its 2030 NDC targets in a joint effort with the international community to address and mitigate climate change. We believe that so long as we work together on the basis of mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual assistance, and mutual benefit, we can turn our planet into a big harmonious family and translate into reality the wish of the world’s people for a better future.
Both China and the U.S. are big countries bearing special and important responsibilities for world peace and development. The development of Sino-U.S. relations in the past decades has borne out that we both stand to gain in cooperation and lose in confrontation. When China and the U.S. work together, they can make great things happen for the good of the two countries and the world; when they are locked in dispute and confrontation, however, it will definitely spell disasters for both sides and the larger world. The COVID-19 pandemic is another stark reminder that we are passengers in the same boat with shared destiny and future and that the world now needs more than ever solidarity and cooperation.
There has been a long-standing history of exchanges between China and the U.S. Midwest. Over 80 years ago, Edgar Snow, a progressive journalist from Kansas City, traveled to northwest China to interview Mao Zedong and other CPC leaders at that time. Through his narratives of the ideals and stories of the CPC, people in the U.S. and the rest of the world got to know the Party and its leaders and how they had come from the people and shared weal and woe with the people. In the 1980s, Mr. Xi Jinping, the then Secretary of the Party Committee of Zhengding County, Hebei Province, led a delegation to Iowa, opening a new chapter in the sub-national and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. Now several decades have passed. The CPC’s original aspiration to work for the welfare of the people and the rejuvenation of the nation and to promote world peace and development has remained unchanged. So has the desire of the Chinese and American people to strengthen their bonds of friendship through closer exchanges and cooperation. To promote the sound and stable development of Sino-U.S. relations on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation remains in the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the common interests of the people worldwide.