19th CPC National Congress to light up the future of China
By Rabi Sankar Bosu
From October 18, 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is due to start. It is expected that at this five-yearly Party Congress, a total of 2,287 delegates representing 89 million CPC members across the country from all walks of life will elect new CPC Central Committee, which in turn will elect a 25-member Politburo and its seven-member Standing Committee for the next five-year term. It is expected that the Politburo and its Standing Committee will see many changes with new faces as most of its present incumbents are due to retire based on age restrictions.
It is believed that while reviewing the progress achieved in the last five years, the 19th Party Congress will focus on how to make the last phase of the “Chinese dream” come true, put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2012 after the conclusion of the 18th Party Congress. The autumn Congress comes when China's endeavour to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way has entered the decisive stage. As such, the 19th Congress will be hailed as the defining milestone in the histories of the CPC and China.
Journalists take books and materials in the press conference hall of the Press Center of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 11, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
It is all but guaranteed that Xi Jinping will remain in his position as the "centre of gravity in China's politics." Xi already holds more titles than many of his predecessors. He is general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC and chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, and he is known as China’s “core” leader, a powerful status that puts him on a pedestal with Chairman Mao Zedong and reformist leader Deng Xiaoping. The core leadership of Xi guarantees the successful construction of the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics, which lays a solid foundation for the attainment of the two centenary goals. There is no doubt that President Xi possesses the essential qualities of true leadership that every nation, not only China, needs.
Over the past five years under the sound leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people are becoming increasingly confident that their nation is on the right track of development in almost all fields, covering every area of economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development, for which 1.4 billion Chinese people should be proud of. It’s a fact, Xi Jinping has successfully managed the country of 1.4 billion people, firmly advancing China with a "socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics”. Since taking the helm of CPC leadership, he has led the Party and Chinese people to achieve its "two centenary goals" and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation by 2020.
During the past period after the 18th CPC National Congress, China has greatly improved under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, firmly taking the socialist path with Chinese characteristics. It is the socialist theory and path that have catapulted China to its current status as the world's second-largest economy and the world's largest investor. It is believed that in the next 10 or 15 years, the socialist path with Chinese characteristics is likely to make China become the largest economy, overtaking the United States in terms of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) measured in U.S. dollars (USD).
Over the past five years under Xi Jinping, China's economy has been operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development. Last year, China's gross domestic product reached $11.2 trillion, accounting for 15 percent of the global total, 3 percentage points higher than that of 2012. According to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China's gross domestic product expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first half of the year to about 38.15 trillion yuan (5.62 trillion U.S. dollars). China's forex reserves totalled 3.1085 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of September, increasing 16.98 billion dollars from a month earlier, according to data from the People's Bank of China on October 9, 2017.
In the past five years, one of the most remarkable achievements China has truly made is its solid efforts in poverty-reduction work which deserves much praise. Remarkable progress has been made since the CPC Central Committee made a solemn promise to lift all rural people out of poverty by 2020. It’s a fact that poverty levels have been steadily decreasing in rural China.
Over 55.6 million Chinese rural residents were lifted out of poverty from 2013 to 2016, and at least another 10 million will shake off poverty by the end of this year, meaning the number of rural Chinese lifted out of poverty in five years will exceed 65 million. With a truly remarkable track record, China is undoubtedly a world-leader in poverty reduction and improving health outcomes and there is a lot the rest of the world can learn from its best practices and successful experiences, including India.
One of the major achievements of the current Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang administration has been the relentless campaign against corruption, designed to clean the Party’s image. The Chinese government is cleansing corruption at all levels. President Xi launched a high-profile nationwide anti-corruption campaign that promised to bring down both "tigers and flies" - high and low-ranking corrupt officials.
According to the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), more than 70,000 officials at or above the county-head level have been investigated for suspected corruption since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. 1.34 million township-level and 648,000 Party members and officials in rural areas were also punished during that period. The CPC released its eight-point rules on austerity in late 2012 to reduce undesirable work practices.
The Chinese people whole-heartedly welcomed and praised Xi’s efforts of cleansing corruption at all levels. This has boosted the morale of the Chinese people, who are showing more faith in government than ever before. Global public opinion also believes that President Xi Jinping's direction to fight "tigers" and "flies" will herald a new China in the long run.
The past five years have seen that today’s fast-rising China, led by President Xi Jinping, have earned the right to play a leading role in shaping the global order when US leadership seems uncertain. Since Donald Trump’s entry to the White House, China has emerged as a potential new leader on the global stage. President Xi is taking an increasingly assertive stance on matters of global trade and climate change.
China's positive role in global governance is reflected in its efforts to promote world economic development. Last year China hosted the G-20 Summit successfully. China has expanded its reach in the international arena by initiating the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Belt and Road initiative projects and BRICS mechanism, and making yuan as global reserve currency, an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global financial system. No doubt, China is raising the hopes of the developing countries with its Belt and Road initiative. It is hoped that the myriad projects under the Belt and Road initiative will bear fruit and bring returns on China’s investments overseas.
From these few glimpses of the past five years, it is evident that President Xi Jinping is holding up China as a confident global power. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the basic feature of China's development path. It is hoped that the 19th National Congress will surely inject a new impetus into China's rejuvenation drive to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way by 2020.
In sum, it is expected that Xi’s political-economic doctrine will be enshrined in the Party Constitution as part of the CPC’s guiding ideology. Xi's thoughts on governance will be the Party's historical task and practical direction for China to achieve the Chinese Dream, bringing real benefits to the Chinese people, under the guidance of the CPC with Xi as the core leadership. Surely, the 19th CPC National Congress will develop new concepts which will give China a new horizon for moving forward.
(Rabi Sankar Bosu is Secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, based in West Bengal, India)