China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign has made the public more confident in the Communist Party of China (CPC), and the campaign serves as a “role model” for other countries, many observers say. More than 200 officials and managers at the vice-ministerial level or higher have been investigated since the 18th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2012. China’s court system concluded 45,000 graft cases implicating 63,000 people in 2016, with the conviction of 35 former officials at the provincial and ministerial level or higher, and 240 at the prefectural level, according to a work report of the Supreme People’s Court. Behind the campaign is the Communist Party of China led by President Xi Jinping. “Over the decades, CPC has given China a strong identity, a resolute sense of purpose and self, and transformed the once slumbering giant into a global, economic, military and strategic power,” says author of the article below who is Chief Minister of Punjab – Pakistan’s largest province, and host to maximum number of Chinese companies (state-controlled & private) landing in Pakistan for the $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor considered a game0changer in the region.
By MUHAMMAD SHAHBAZ SHARIF — As a young schoolboy, China for me was a little red book. Intrigued by pictures of smiling children proudly holding the book and reading from it, I also wanted to share the magic of that special looking book. And that’s how I learnt about a party called the Communist Party of China (CPC). But as I grew older, I realized that unlike any other typical party CPC was more of an ideological whirlwind. How else does one describe an ideological platform with 86 million committed members? CPC is not one of the many miracles of China. It is the miracle maker.
Community Party of China (CPC) and China are two sides of the same coin. It is impossible to distinguish between the Communist Party of China and China itself, because the story of China is the story of the Chinese Communist Party. A story of epic success, achieved not by mere chance but through dogged resolve and masterful planning.
Two elements have made China great: The endless energy and hard work of the people, and the generations of leadership provided by CPC. These men of great vision and resolution provided continuity and kept the ship steady and on course, regardless of the changing circumstances and realities of the world. China’s peaceful rise as the world’s second largest economy and a paramount global power owes itself to the vision and dedication of the party and its leadership. It was only a few years back that the CPC started the journey of taking China to the world, and today the world comes knocking at its doors. Achieving excellent economic growth rates for three decades testifies to the loftiness of the party leadership’s vision.
Till the 1920s, China was reeling like many of us: a country without direction and any true sense of identity. New China may have been born in 1949 but the seed was sown in 1919 by the May 4th movement, and the germination of the seed started when visionary leaders including great Mao Zedong formed CPC in 1921.
Modern China was not built overnight. The Chinese Communist Party inherited an unsure China – a China that had been subjugated and brutalized through protracted wars and imperial influences. 1949 changed everything. From the ashes emerged a consolidated country. By design, the first few decades were inward facing because this was the rebuilding phase. The party provided the bedrock on which the Chinese leadership embarked upon a painstaking journey – brick by brick they built the nation ground up.
1978 was the year when China changed forever. To understand the spectacular rise of China as a global powerhouse, it is imperative to comprehend the CPC. To the benign, it may appear as a stern single political apparatus controlling all state affairs but an informed insight reveals a persistently evolving ideological creature that is neither rigid nor a hostage to its own past.
It was in late 1978 when the CPC Central Executive Meeting led by iconic Deng Xiaoping shifted the focus of work to economic construction and introduced the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, bringing China into a new period of socialist construction.
By 1980s, China had cleared up its rebuilding agenda. Foreseeing the needs of the coming times, the party then chose leadership that was to turn China into an economic super power, and so they did. With Mr. Deng’s sagacity and the party’s complete support, China liberalized its economy to offer a miracle that is still hard to fathom and has catapulted China as the 2nd largest economy of the world.
The new China is a global powerhouse. Over the decades, the CPC has given China a strong identity, a resolute sense of purpose and self, and transformed the once slumbering giant into a global, economic, military and strategic power.
The Communist party and the Chinese leadership knew fully well that global respect and recognition would follow once China had performed the economic miracle. The 21st century China is not only an economic super power but also a proper multi-dimensional economy that has invested in its human development indexes. Health, education, and rural support form the backbone of China’s new policy. It is no wonder that today’s China is reaching for the moon, Mars, and beyond.
The CPC defies conventional wisdom and logic pertaining to political outfits. This dizzying pace of transformation defies logic, for this was done in barely a few decades and only could have happened because a robust body like the Chinese Communist Party stood behind the strategy.
China is now a formidable military power. Its might on land, in the skies, and at the seas is profound. Its space science has given it an envious edge. This could not have happened if CPC had not shown its wisdom over the past many decades. If we watch closely, there is a method to the game here. There is a science at play here. It is a classic display of collective wisdom being deployed for individual good.
China today is led by the dynamic leader H.E. President Xi, a loyal son of the country and the Communist party. His vision of ‘One Belt One Road’ is nothing less than historic in nature – it is epic – it is bold and futuristic.
Just as an ancient road opened ancient China to the world, President Xi appreciates that the new rising China needs to meet the world via modern routes that become corridors of trade and movement; that bring talent and knowledge to countries that are strung together via this One Belt One Road project – the pearls on a string – that will make the world prosperous and peaceful.
Pakistan and CPEC are at the vanguard of the One Belt One Road project. China understands that for prosperity to happen, Pakistan needs energy, roads and ports. That is exactly what it has done and the $46b dollar (now $62 billion) CPEC is already rolling along merrily. This will start coming into operation from next year and then the model will be there for the world to see. This again is a miracle for which the credit must go to the CPC and its visionary leader, President Xi.
We describe our time-tested friendship with China as, “higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the deepest seas, and sweeter than the sweetest honey.” This bond of friendship evolved almost as the Communist Party of China evolved. I call it a shared evolution. Pakistan and China have remained close allies through thick and thin and it is the CPC which provided the longevity and institutional continuity.
The Communist Party of China deserves accolades for performing the ‘economic miracle’ of lifting around 700 million people out of extreme poverty within a span of 25 years. By turning its huge population into a demographic dividend, the party has set an example worthy of emulation by other countries. It has changed the concept of population growth from being a burden, to a highly productive asset.
In a world facing multiple challenges and torn by strife, the peaceful rise of China is a source of stability and rationality. Wisdom, spawned by a history of intellectual genius going back thousands of years is what China has gifted to the world. China is bringing a much needed balancing and moderating influence to the world order and is a strong advocate of multilateral global architecture under the auspicious of the United Nations.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect PKonweb’s editorial policy.
(The original version of the article appeared in People’s Daily online in uly 2016)