A visit to China
Between 16-29 April 2023, representatives of communist and progressive organisations from 15 countries were invited by the International Department of the Communist Party of China to attend a Workshop examining the issue of China’s modernisation. George K attended on behalf of the CPGB-ML and reported back with great enthusiasm regarding his experience at this event.
Proceedings started off on 17 April with a Seminar held by academics and researchers from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, at the National Academy of Governance in Beijing. This year, 2000 CPC cadres are being trained there. The School focuses on the teaching of theory and undertakes research in the social sciences and socialism.
Academics from the School gave a seminar about the huge task and responsibility that they have to provide the Party with research findings to assist in informed decision making, guided by Marxism Leninism.
The seminar presented five essential components of betterment in the following areas:
• The balance between economy and high quality development.
• More emphasis on technological innovation and self-reliance.
• Progress on science and technology admitting that China is behind in some areas, compared to the US
• Maintaining economic independence
• Need to develop people’s democracy.
In particular about Democracy, the Party School academics criticised the West’s inadequate understanding of it, “focusing only on election democracy every four years”, whilst the Chinese Communists understand democracy as “effective and comprehensive management and supervision” in responding to the needs of the people. The Chinese comrades prioritise the need for “people to have confidence in their democracy and culture and in the guiding philosophy of Marxism”.
The importance of “building a beautiful China” was also addressed. It was admitted that China’s environment had suffered during the country’s development but tremendous efforts have been taking place to improve the environment and contribute to the global environmental protection.
It was explained that the Chinese adopt a “holistic view on national security, covering many aspects; ideological, political, cultural security”. Reference was made to the defeated attempts of imperialism to bring about a colour revolution in Hong Kong.
The Chinese side responded to questions by the delegates about the new Cold War against China (saying that Ukraine is part of that war against China) and about the achievability of multilateralism. They said that a new ColdWwar will not succeed. The US is hunting down China finding all sorts of excuses (Huawei, national security). They attack China’s ideology with their narrative of “democracy vs. authoritarianism”. The effort to contain China in its rapid development is not something new but was there from the founding of the country.
It was emphasised that “all the people want to see the end of the war in Ukraine except the US. The arms suppliers, the very high price of energy in Europe, all profit the US and the people in Europe are beginning to realise this“. It was stated that many problems in the world have their roots in the US but ultimately its effort to maintain its hegemony will not succeed.
Finally, a mention was made of the challenge to narrow down the gap between regions, as eastern parts of the country are more developed as compared to the western parts of China. But the more developed regions have the task of helping the less developed ones. For instance, in natural disasters such as the major earthquake in 2012 that gave rise to many casualties, the whole country in very little time contributed to rescuing and reconstructing the affected areas.
On Tuesday 18 April, a meeting took place at the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Beijing. The comrades at the International Department of the CPC expressed their enthusiasm for sharing ideas and convictions and for being “explorers of socialism”. The Chinese Communists are always “seeking truth from facts”, according to the motto of the Party School.
The CPC has developed and prospered since 1949 and the last ten years have seen tremendous changes thanks to the hard work of the Chinese people for world peace, stability and prosperity. The Chinese are rightly proud for their modernisation that is setting the example for other countries. China has proved that modernisation no longer has to mean Westernisation, but must encompass harmony and mutual benefit that does not aim for competition.
The Chinese comrades invited the delegates to “join hands on the theories of the development path and make Marxist forces stronger”. They asserted their belief that mutual exchange between world Communist Parties, solidarity and co-operation will strengthen our voices and defend our shared interests and strategic goals.
On 19 April delegates visited the Renmin University of China to participate in a Symposium on the Chinese Path to Modernisation and Common Development. This university was founded by Mao in 1949. Of over 3000 Chinese universities, Renmin is the only one called a “People’s University”. It is world-leading first class university loyal to its revolutionary origins and the ideals of fighting for a brighter future and the liberation of humanity. It is open to exchanges for young members of communist parties of other countries.
The international cadres heard about China’s strategy that aims to increase peace and never hegemony or expansion even if they don’t see that from the West. It was pointed out that the West fails to see that China works for “World civilisation to flourish”. The Silk Road initiative, the exchanges, think tanks, tourism and other projects aim to link China closer to other peoples and create “a deepened relation for a world civilisation”.
The symposium offered a list of “legal factors” in China’s path to modernisation and common development:
1. Leadership of CPC, avoiding fragmentation and aiming for unity serving a long-term view
2 Independence and self-reliance
3. People-centeredness, democracy of the people by the people
4 Highly organised systematic efforts with 2025 as deadline to do with law-based government and country policies affecting the whole of society by 2050.
5. Since 2021 a “transcendence of legal systems of the Western countries, cultural advancements and laws concerning private property and wealth” is sought.
6. Advancements in science and technology opening up new spheres with new impetus in the use of digital technologies and the internet.
7. Commitment to world peace, for the common good of humanity and overall justice for the whole world, opposing colonialism and hegemony.
A Chinese official from the Ministry of Ecology said the environment is linked to the question of modernisation and offered the following observations for the participants at the symposium. He said that in addition to material advancement, people need quality of life and a clean environment. For the past 10 years, China has been protecting the environment; it has reduced carbon and is witnessing a fast increase of forest recovery. China has signed the Paris Agreement on carbon neutrality and, through the Belt and Road Initiative, aims at a development not at the cost of the environment but in harmony with Nature.
Delegates engaged in a lively discussion with their Chinese counterparts.
Between 21 to 24 April delegates were treated to a trip to Hefei and Chizhou, Anhui Province, including visits to community centres, museums, countryside and rural vitalisation Innovation Park and meetings with leaders of the CPC Anhui Provincial Committee experts and scholars.
The Anhui Province is a very prosperous area of China with exemplary transportation. It has a splendid history and culture as it is the birthplace of Peking Opera, and the cradle of Chinese calligraphy. The province has an important part in CPC’s spiritual legacy – the spirit of the New Fourth Army, and the Yangtze River Crossing Campaign are still a source of inspiration that sustains Anhui’s development. Anhui has been China’s front-runner in terms of technological innovation and has a well-developed manufacturing industry. The number of high-tech enterprises tops 11,000. Anhui also has rich ecological resources and is a leading producer of grain, cotton and edible oil. The first national forest chief scheme reform demonstration zone was in Anhui and then introduced nationwide. In 2022 the per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents increased by about 5 and 6.5% respectively. A capacity of 6.47 million kilowatts renewable energy was recently installed, while the air quality keeps improving. 22.67 thousand hectares of forest have been planted.
Cadres were welcomed everywhere by friendly party people in the service of the community centres.
The cadres visited a listed company specialising in intelligent speech and artificial intelligence technologies. The company promotes the development of AI products and their sector-based applications.
From 25 to 28 April delegates visited Suzhou and Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, including visits to a local community, the Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, the Suzhou Urban Planning Exhibition Centre and the Pingjiang Road Cultural Block. They had meetings with leaders of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee, and various experts and scholars.
General conclusions reached from the experience of the visit and the discussions that took place:
• The path to the construction of a socialist society takes place in a situation in which imperialism is declining economically, but in military terms it has a very great potential for destruction. Therefore, an open economic war is being launched against China.
• China pursues a foreign policy of peaceful coexistence with other countries, while maintaining the ideological struggle and the struggle against imperialism. This policy is a prerequisite for progress in the international class struggle.
• Chinese foreign policy includes alliances with capitalist states geared towards equal economic cooperation, including BRICS and the Eurasian Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China is pursuing a wide range of goals with this alliance policy.
• The Belt and Road Initiative is of particular importance in China’s foreign policy. It reaches over 65 percent of the global population with more than 40 percent of global economic power and will change the global trade routes.
• The People’s Republic of China aims at a multipolar world order in contrast to the unipolar dominance of US imperialism, and this policy helps to keep the peace by opposing imperialism’s war policy with alliances that can limit its freedom to dominate economically and militarily.
• Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and other countries improves the conditions for the struggle for socialism.
• It is our duty to collaborate more closely with our Chinese comrades and seize every opportunity to study both their theoretical texts and practical achievements.