Innovative Steps at Party Building to Achieve the Chinese Dream
A CPI(M) cadre delegation visited China from August 24 to September 3, 2016 at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The main theme was “to study the new initiatives in building the Communist Party of China in pursuance of the Chinese dream”.
The CPI(M) delegation visited Kunming (capital of the relatively less developed province of Yunnan, bordering Burma), Jinggangshang (called the Cradle of the Chinese Revolution due to its rich revolutionary history) in Jiangxi province, and the Chinese capital Beijing.
The cadre delegation consisted of the following – K N Balagopal (Kerala), leader of the delegation; Chintha Jerome (Kerala); Sumit Dey (West Bengal); Aparna Purkait (West Bengal); Krishna Rakshit (Tripura); K G Bhaskaran (Tamil Nadu); Subbarao Dadala (Andhra Pradesh); Mariam Dhawale (Maharashtra); Basanta Majhi (Orissa); Ajay Kumar (Bihar); Nirangkush Nath (Assam); Sudhir Kumar Singh (Uttar Pradesh); Dinesh Kumar (Uttarakhand); Dharamaraj Mahapatra (Chhatisgarh); and Ranjan Kumar (central office).
OUR China visit was an amazing experience. The impressive mix of history, places, development and culture that we saw, the variety of people that we met and the knowledge and understanding of China that we gained made this a memorable visit indeed for all of us.
PURSUIT OF THE CHINESE DREAM
We saw everywhere that the nation and its people are in single-minded pursuit of the ‘Chinese dream’, which is their road to rejuvenation. After the 18th Congress of the CPC in 2012, CPC general secretary and Chinese president Xi Jinping put forth the concept of the Chinese dream which has two centennial goals. By 2021, the centenary year of the founding of the CPC, the goal of a well-off Chinese society will be achieved. By 2049, the centenary year of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a fully modernised socialist China that is strong, prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced will rise in the world.
We were told that the solid foundations of the Chinese dream are a sound and booming economy, an open-minded and aspirational Communist Party, strong support of the people and efforts to promote a stable regional and global situation. The focus is on peace and development. Though there are problems internationally, the fundamentals are positive because of the rich material base, the vast human talent and, of course, the socialist system.
As is well known, the Chinese economy is today the second largest in the world. In 2015, China’s GDP was 10.5 trillion US dollars and the USA’s GDP was 17 trillion US dollars. GDP growth in China, which was a phenomenal 9-10 percent every year for nearly three decades, was 6.7 percent in the first half of 2016 – partly a result of the global economic slowdown. They expect that China will remain in the second place for the next 10-15 years and will then overtake the USA. Japan and Germany hold the third and fourth position in the world economy respectively. In China, agriculture is the foundation for economic development and industry is the backbone. The service sector accounts for half the GDP.
The demographic structure is changing since the reform and opening up. Urbanisation is increasing. The urban population was less than 30 percent thirty years ago. Now it is more than 50 percent. Out of the Chinese population of 1.37 billion, 770 million is the urban population. There is now a large population of migrant labour.
PROBLEMS AND PRIORITIES
The CPC has decided to concentrate on two aspects for economic development – on exports and, especially after the 2008 world economic crisis which has adversely affected exports, on domestic consumption. It is well aware of the problems facing the Chinese economy: 1) Uneven development between regions, 2) Upgradation of industry to enhance quality, 3) Some major industries faced with over capacity, 4) Resource constraints in various areas, 5) Under supply of basic services and amenities, 6) Increasing disparities in income and wealth, 7) Degradation of ecology and environment, which adversely affects harmony between man and nature. These problems are being addressed in a concerted manner, despite difficulties.
The opening up policy is promoting exchanges with the rest of the world. There is cooperation with global financial institutions to compete in the world market. At the same time, the Asia Infrastructure Financial Bank, the BRICS Financial Bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are being promoted to combat the ‘hegemonism’ of the USA. In the United Nations, China and Russia are now becoming more assertive against aggressive US designs. A senior CPC leader told us, “We want peace, development and friendly relations with all, but if anyone threatens China, we know how to deal with the devil.”
The ultimate goal is to promote the rapid development of the Chinese people. The people have to be mobilised for this so that they have a sense of being included in the development process. The priority is to ensure basic livelihood to all. 60 million people are still below the poverty line. So poverty alleviation programmes are targeting the uplift of every poor household. Attempts are being made to address the problem of income and wealth inequality. A concerted battle is being waged against corruption, which we will discuss later.
Efforts are being made to improve the quality of education at all levels and to increase access to it. The aim is to promote knowledge and skills along with values and civil conduct. Giving employment to millions is a key priority. A multi-layered heath care and preventive health care system is being developed. Due to the family planning policy, China is faced with an aging problem. 15 percent of the population, ie, 250 million, is over 60 years of age.
The youth is the future of the country and of the CPC too. Only if the youth have faith in its ideology, will they join the Communist Party. The CPC has stressed the importance of promoting Communist ideology among the youth. Extensive discussions are held to educate the young about the CPC’s glorious past and its hopes and aspirations for the future.
NEW INITIATIVES IN PARTY BUILDING
For this Chinese dream to be realised, the crux is to take new initiatives in the vital area of building the Communist Party. This year, the CPC is celebrating its 95th anniversary since its formation in 1921. In 1921, the CPC had only around 50 Party members. In 2015, the Party membership in China was 88 million. It had 4.4 million grassroots level organisations. It is the single largest Communist Party and the single largest ruling party in the world. The CPC is handling a country with the world’s largest population of nearly 1.4 billion (140 crore).
The process of comprehensive strengthening of the Party building process taken forward by the 18th Congress of the CPC has four cardinal aspects: 1. Working style and mass line, 2. Ideological unification, 3. Organisational streamlining, 4. Anti-corruption drive and enforcement of discipline. We shall briefly see what they are doing in each of these areas.
(To be continued)