Op-Ed

China in the new era: advancing socialist modernization in unity and confidence

A few weeks ago, close to 2,300 delegates from all over China converged at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the most important political event in the country for the whole year.

The attendees of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China were elected from 38 electoral units in provinces, state-owned enterprises and central authorities, representing a total membership of more than 96 million.

The 20th National Congress of the CPC took place at a critical time as the entire Party and the Chinese people embarked on a new journey of achieving full socialist modernization of China by the centenary of the People’s Republic in 2049, known as the “Second Centenary Goal”.

General Secretary Xi Jinping’s report reviewed China’s extraordinary journey of development in the past 10 years of the new era, and mapped out a blueprint for its path to socialist modernization.

The nearly two-hour report was greeted with 32 rounds of applause, the loudest of which was when Xi said the national reunification of China can and will surely be realized.

As General Secretary Xi Jinping stated, the past decade has seen three major events of profound significance for the CPC and the Chinese people, namely, the centenary of the CPC, a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the eradication of absolute poverty and building of a moderately prosperous society, thus completing the First Centenary Goal.

Some of the highlights of China’s transformation in the past decade of the new era included:

Focusing on high-quality development, China maintained an average annual growth of 6.6 percent. China’s growth contributed 38.6 percent to global economic growth, more than the combined contribution of the G7 countries.

China won the tough battle against poverty. Close to 100 million poor rural residents have shaken off poverty, fulfilling the poverty reduction target in the UN’s Agenda 2030 10 years ahead of schedule.

China pursued people-centered development. One billion people, urban or rural, now enjoy basic old-age insurance, and 1.36 billion are covered by primary medical care insurance.

In the face of COVID-19, we put lives above all else and coordinated COVID response with socio-economic development, which saw the lowest COVID rate and fatalities of all major countries.

Over the past decade, China has comprehensively deepened reforms and expanded opening-up.

We successfully held four International Import Expos with a combined contractual value of over $270 billion.

Being the biggest trader in goods, China is now a leading trade partner of more than 140 countries and regions.

China is also the second largest destination of foreign direct investment and the third largest global investor.

The critical battle against pollution has been advanced, and solid progress has been made in promoting green, circular, and low-carbon development.

While doubling the GDP in the past 10 years, China brought down carbon intensity by 34.4 percent.

The global development initiative and security initiative China has put forward has been warmly welcomed by the international community.

The building of a community with a shared future for humankind proposed by China has been written into multiple United Nations resolutions.

Belt and Road cooperation has become a popular platform for international cooperation, attracting the participation of nearly 150 countries.

The past 10 years have shown that the fundamental reason behind such historic transformation in China has been the strong leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core of the Central Committee and the whole Party, and the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.

This capable leadership and guidance will continue to underpin China’s success going forward.

General Secretary Xi won the wholehearted support of the Party ranks and the wider Chinese population and was re-elected to another term as general secretary, which represented the most important outcome of the Party Congress.

The Party Congress also spelt out the CPC’s central task in the years ahead, namely, realizing the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization.

The Chinese path to modernization is similar to the modernization processes of other countries, but is also unique, as our modernization involves more than 1.4 billion people, larger than the combined populations of all developed countries.

At the same time, this is a modernization of common prosperity for all, of parallel material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.

China will not tread the old path of war, colonization, and plunder, or of brutal and blood-stained enrichment at the expense of others, which was only too familiar to the developing world.

The Chinese path to modernization offers humanity a new choice for achieving modernization. China will strive to make greater contributions to world peace and development through its own development.

China’s modernization will not be plain sailing.

While we are blessed with new strategic opportunities, the combination of lingering pandemic, backlash against globalization, rising unilateralism and protectionism, sluggish global economic recovery, flare-ups of regional conflicts, and growing global challenges such as climate change has ushered in a new period of turbulence, change and uncertainty for our world.

At home, deep-seated imbalances regarding reform, development, and stability, and stubborn and recurrent problems such as corruption still remain, not to say we still face external attempts to suppress and contain China.

To make ourselves ready for high winds, choppy waters, and dangerous storms ahead, we must adhere to a set of principles which have underpinned China’s success so far.

We will continue to uphold and strengthen the Party’s overall leadership.

This will ensure that our Party always remains the pillar to lean on in times of difficulty, that our socialist modernization advances along the right path, and that we have the political cohesion and confidence to strive in unity.

We will continue to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Some in the West sought to underrate and even distort the institutional strengths of China’s political system. They cannot accept that a non-western system could succeed and modernize without westernization.

For China, a proud civilization of 5,000 years, we will never give up what has proven to be successful and will continue to go our own way.

We will continue to promote people-centered development, and better deliver the gains of modernization to increase common prosperity.

We will remain committed to deepening reform and opening up to imbue our socialist modernization with fresh vitality. And we will carry forward our fighting spirit, foster a firmer sense of purpose, fortitude, and self-belief so that we cannot be swayed by fallacies, deterred by intimidation, or cowed by pressure.

China’s continued modernization drive will provide new opportunities for a world beset by uncertainty.

Further progress of its high-quality development and high-level opening-up will generate ever stronger and more sustained driving force for global economic recovery. The whole world will be better off as a result.


• Dai Qingli is ambassador of China to The Bahamas.

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