Communist Party of China Over the Past One Hundred Years: be of the same mind and share the same destiny with the people throughout
H.E. Hu Zhangliang
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Sierra Leone
On July 1, 2021, the Communist Party of China(CPC) will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The history of 100 years of CPC has been one of fulfilling its original mission and serving the people wholeheartedly, of breathing the same breath as the people, sharing the same future with the people and staying truly connected to the people. It is also a history of the CPC uniting and leading the people in creating a better life. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has grown from an organization with only 50 plus members to the largest political party in the world with 91 million members today.
1. During the arduous 28-yearrevolutionary struggle, the CPC bravely shouldered historical responsibility, made huge sacrifices, and sought liberation and freedom for the people.
China is a country with 5000 years of civilization. Over the course of human history, China had stayed in a leading position in the world for quite some time. Unfortunately, following the advent of modern times, owing to the aggression of the Western imperialist powers and the corruptness and incompetency of China’s feudal rulers, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal status with its people plunged into deep misery. Various classes in China including the feudal ruling class, peasant groups and bourgeois class tried one after another to save the situation, but all ended up in failure without exception.
In 1921, the Communist Party of China was born in the process of Marxism-Leninism connecting with the Chinese labor movement. At that time, there were two to three hundred political parties in China, but only the CPC succeeded in leading the Chinese people out of deep suffering, defeating the Japanese imperialist aggressors, overthrowing the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang regime, completing the new democratic revolution, and founding the People’s Republic of China whereby the people become the masters of their own destinies. The fact that the CPC has set seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation as its original aspiration and mission has enabled it to become the people’s savior.
The CPC and its members have always been ready to sacrifice everything, including their lives, in the interests of the country and people. In the years of revolution, more than 3.7 million martyrs gave their lives to the just cause, among which a large number were CPC members.
During the famous Long March in early 1930s, three red army soldiers under the leadership of CPC were allowed to spend a winter night at an old lady’s shelter. When they found that the old lady had nothing to keep herself warm, they cut the only quilt they carried with into two pieces and left one piece for the old lady. The old lady said, “CPC is the one who will share with you half of the quilt even though he or she has only one.”
During the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the city of Yan’an was the seat of the central leadership of the CPC where the CPC led the progressive forces throughout the country in a resolute struggle against Japanese aggression. After the fall of Shanghai in 1937, a group of Shanghai patriotic youths arrived at Yan’an after untold hardships in order to resist Japanese aggression and save the Chinese nation. They said, “As long as we still have breath, we will head for Yan’an even by way of crawling.” The rationale behind it was that only in Yan’an could they be able to see the hope of the country and nation.
2. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC actively explored the ways of socialist construction and tremendously improved the people’s status and living conditions.
In the early days of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, all aspects of work had to start from scratch because the country had been impoverished and underdeveloped for so long.CPC rallied the Chinese people and led them in carrying out socialist revolution and socialist construction, putting in place basic socialist system, pushing forward socialist undertakings, setting up independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economic system, thus laying down the fundamental political preconditions and institutional foundations for all development and progress in contemporary China. China’s fundamental and basic political systems such as the People’s Congress system, the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the CPC, and the system of regional ethnic autonomy were established to ensure that the Chinese people enjoy extensive, full and genuine democratic rights, ushering in a new era of people’s democracy in its true sense.
In 1978, China’s GDP reached US$149.5 billion from US$12.3 billion in 1949, and the per capita GDP grew from US$23 to US$156.The feeding and clothing of nearly 400 million people, which accounted for about 42% of the population, was solved and people’s lives improved significantly compared to the days prior to the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Due to long-term wars, famines, lack of medical resources, poor hygiene practices, infectious diseases such as plague, cholera, smallpox and bilharziasis were common in the early years of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, posing a serious threat to the health and lives of the people. To address the problems and protect the people, the CPC Central Committee launched mass patriotic health campaigns, gradually put up a relatively strict line of defense against epidemics and achieved remarkable results in this regard. The plague was basically eliminated, the morbidity and mortality of smallpox dropped drastically, bilharziasis and malaria were effectively controlled.
In times of difficulty, CPC leaders and other members were all hardworking and plain-living just like common people. At a time, upon learning that people had not enough food to eat, late Chairman Mao Zedong cut down on his food quotas and refused to eat meat for 8 months.
3. Following the tide of the times, the CPC implemented reform and opening up and led China in achieving world-renowned development and promoting the well-being and happiness of the people.
Since the end of 1978, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people in launching the great new revolution of reform and opening up, focusing on economic development and improving people’s material and cultural lives. Reform and opening up has greatly unleashed the creativity of countless ordinary people, liberated and developed productive forces, significantly enhanced the vitality of the society and successfully established socialism with Chinese characteristics. China’s comprehensive strength, international standing and the living standards of the people have been improved remarkably. In 2010, China’s GDP ranked the 2nd in the world. China’s total GDP grew from 367.9 billion Yuan in 1978 to 5.4 trillion Yuan in 2012. China’s per capita GDP grew from about 155 US dollars to about 6,100 US dollars during the same period according to the comparable price of the relevant years. The Chinese people made a great leap from standing up to getting rich.
In the 1970s, when a Chinese couple getting married with the Old Three Appliances, namely a sewing machine, a bicycle and a watch, they would be enviable. In the 1980s, a telephone, a color TV and a refrigerator became the New Three Appliances for measuring the economic conditions of a couple. Since the 1990s, air conditioners, computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens, and video cameras started to be owned by ordinary households. After 2000, various products such as automobiles, smart phones, and smart computers have gradually become popular in Chinese people’s daily life.
During this period, the Chinese people’s democratic political rights, spiritual and cultural life and access to better environment have also been continuously widened and enriched.
4. Standing high, looking far and forging ahead, the CPC is leading the Chinese nation towards rejuvenation and creating better living conditions for the Chinese people.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has introduced a series of new thoughts and strategies for governance. The party has made it clear that meeting people’s desire for a happy life is its mission and achieving common prosperity an important policy orientation.
With a view to enhancing the strength and prosperity of the country and the people, CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping has put forward important development ideas such as the five-sphere integrated plan, the four-pronged comprehensive strategy and the new vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development. China has taken new major steps in economic, political, cultural, social development as well as ecological civilization. Chinese people’s living standards have been steadily uplifted and their sense of happiness, fulfillment and security have been continuously boosted. China has entered a new era in its development and is striving courageously forward towards the building of a great modern socialist country and realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
In 2020, China’s GDP surpassed the 100 trillion Yuan mark (about 14.7 trillion US dollars), with per capita CDP outnumbered 10,000 US dollars. China has succeeded in eradicating abject poverty (about 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty over the past 4 decades) and has set up the world’s largest medical and social insurance systems. The average life expectancy has increased from 35 years in 1949 to 77 years in 2018.
Faced with the sudden attack of COVID-19, General Secretary Xi Jinping put people’s lives and health at the first place and made swift decisions. He personally directed and planned China’s response effort to make sure that every life be cherished and protected. Under the strong leadership of the CPC, China expeditiously put the pandemic under control and restored economic and social development in a very short time.
In the rescue operations of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, fires, pandemics etc., the CPC organizations of all levels and their members have always been at the forefront, taking on the most difficult and most dangerous tasks while leaving the chances of survival or getting better off for others. More than 1,800 CPC members laid down their lives to the poverty elimination cause.
As per some international surveys, the CPC and the Chinese government enjoy over 90% of approval among the Chinese people, ranking the first in the world for many years.
The CPC does not only seek happiness for the Chinese people, but also contribute to the cause of world progress. Under the leadership of the CPC, China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, stands for fairness and justice, and advocates win-win cooperation. As the fundamental guidance of China’s diplomacy in the new era, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has made promoting the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind its core tenets. China is committed to working with other countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
China’s experience expands the path for developing countries in their quest to modernization and provides a brand new choice for countries and nations in the world that wish to accelerate their development and at the same time maintain their independence.
Devoted to an eternal great cause, the centenary of the CPC is just in the midst of its prime of life. We have every reason to believe that the CPC, committed to serving the people, relying on the people in all endeavors and ensuring that all the fruits of development are shared by the people, will surely lead the Chinese people in scoring greater accomplishments.