As delegates of the Communist Party of China meet to examine what the country has been through and accomplished over the past five years, they will also deliberate on the future and what needs to be done.
As the communiqué issued on Oct 14 after the conclusion of the seventh, and last, plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee indicates, the 19th National Congress is essentially about ascertaining what has been tried and tested over the past five years and how to carry that forward.
And as reflected in many recent surveys gauging Chinese citizens’ feelings about the future, what the 2,500-character text conveys is first and foremost confidence the Party’s leaders are charting the right course for the country.
In the words of the communiqué, the past five years have been extraordinary years in which the nation has made historic achievements in reform and opening-up, and undergone fundamental changes with many deep-rooted problems and issues that were too difficult to be resolved before now being addressed. Not least corruption, where the unprecedentedly resolute anti-graft campaign has made remarkable headway.
As a result, China stands at a new historical starting point, which is of great and far-reaching significance for the country’s development cause and the realization of its two centenary goals.
There are those outside the country that might try to suggest otherwise. China is no stranger to doom-mongering. But from predictions that it will experience an economic hard landing to claims that it faces total collapse, people in this country have heard it all before, and more than once.
Heard it and each time dismissed it, knowing it is such prophecies that have struggled to gain traction and eventually collapsed. For, each time China has faced storms that threaten to blow it off course, its leaders have demonstrated their acumen by steering the country safely through each tempest.
Today, China’s economy continues to drive global growth, prompting the International Monetary Fund to raise its expectations, four times already this year. More important, people’s lives have improved, not least the lives of many of the country’s poorest residents, as 14 million people have been lifted out of poverty each year since 2012.
And as CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping has observed, this nation has never been so close to center stage when it comes to global affairs.
Beyond what IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde cited the other day as the reason the entire world will be watching what unfolds at the congress－the country’s role as an economic powerhouse for the global economy－people around the world will also be hoping to gain some insight into how this country intends to wield its growing influence in the coming years.
If fact, the world already knows the country’s intentions since Xi has reiterated on many occasions it seeks to forge a community of shared destiny for all humans, and he has made clear the nation’s territorial integrity is its bottom line.
No matter whether suspicious outsiders can or are willing to appreciate its vision of a global community living in harmony, the country has garnered the endorsement of many in the international community for its championing of shared and inclusive development and its providing of beneficial public goods such as the Belt and Road Initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which in turn have encouraged increased confidence in its approach to global governance.
And throughout Chinese society, there is a broadening consensus that the country, as well as the world, needs strong, efficient leadership. That is what Xi and his colleagues have presented, and what they have received praise for, not only at home but also elsewhere.
By carrying out the great project of Party building and advancing the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi and his colleagues have instilled the belief that they can meet the challenges of the times and so realize the Chinese people’s dream of the rejuvenation of the nation.
As the communiqué noted, the past five years have been an extraordinary period in which the Party’s efforts to unite and lead the country have produced comprehensive and groundbreaking achievements. This momentum will be sustained over the coming years with the advancing of the Party’s new governance concepts, thoughts and strategies.