Rising Power Having No 'Hegemonic' Aims
By Genc Mlloja
Albanian Daily News
Published October 23, 2017
The world's attention has been focused on China as its leading political force, the Communist Party of China (CPC), has been busy with its 19th National Congress, a milestone in the history of that country, house of almost 1.5bn people, whose task was to make a balance sheet of the achievements and unveil a blueprint for the national development during the next five years and beyond at a time when the world is beset with challenges and disorder.
The Congress has been held when China has become the world's second-largest economy after decades of rapid economic growth. China's GDP expanded by an average annual rate of 7.2 percent during 2013-2016, compared with 2.6-percent average global growth and the 4-percent growth of developing economies.
China in New Era with Its Own Characteristics
"Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era," was the motto that the CPC Chairman, Xi Jinping, also President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, unveiled to the delegates to the Congress in his three- hour report amid thumping applause from over 2,300 delegates who attended the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that was telecast live on October 18, 2017.
"The CPC has given shape to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, a long-term guide to action that the Party must adhere to and develop," he said, paying tribute to Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. "It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context," said Mr. Xi.
Founded in 1921, the CPC has about 89 million members with more than 4.5 million grassroots organizations. Last year, Mr Xi, 64, was endorsed as the core leader, a status bestowed on party founder Mao Zedong and successor Deng Xiaoping.
According to the main highlights of the program introduced by Mr. Xi, the CPC had drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of the 21st century to develop China into a "great modern socialist country."
A detailed scheme made public in the Congress showed that in the first stage from 2020 to 2035, China will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, the CPC will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
"Now the needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown, their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing," said Mr. Xi. President Xi called for more efforts to turn China into a country of innovators as well as reach frontier areas of science and technology. "We will strengthen basic research in applied sciences, launch major national science and technology projects, and prioritize innovation in key generic technologies, cutting-edge frontier technologies, modern engineering technologies, and disruptive technologies," he said.
In the meantime a special attention was paid to the fight to be carried out by the CPC against corruption. "Having gained overwhelming momentum in its fight against corruption, the Party is determined to secure a sweeping victory over the greatest threat to the Party," said its head. Calling corruption “the greatest threat” the party faces, Mr Xi said that the situation in the fight against corruption remains “grave and complex”.
China Speaking to the World as Never Before
In the past, even in 2012, congresses were largely domestic, introspective affairs - transacting party business for a party audience, watched by the rest of the county only when they could or would take time from their daily work and distractions. The rest of the world could make of it what they wanted - they were not the key audience. But since that time not only China's economy, but even the social life of that huge country, have been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development.
The International Monetary Fund raised last Tuesday its forecast for China's economic growth to 6.8 percent this year, reflecting the country's stronger-than-expected economic performance and its efforts in deepening economic reform.
"In developing a modernized economy, the country must focus on the real economy. China will support state capital in becoming stronger, doing better, and growing bigger, turn Chinese enterprises into world-class, globally competitive firms. China will leverage the fundamental role of consumption in promoting economic growth and improve the framework of regulation underpinned by monetary policy and macro-prudential policy, and see that interest rates and exchange rates become more market-based," said the CPC Chairman, Mr. Xi.
Following this idea he said that China will not close its door to the world; it will only become more and more open. According to him, China will implement the system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list across the board, and will significantly ease market access and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. In such a highly interdependent world, where the fates of all nations, big or small, rich or poor, are tightly intertwined, Xi has proposed that all nations come together to build a community of shared future for mankind. This vision led to the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to better connect Asia with Africa and Europe, and to strengthen the industrial capacity of nations in these regions so that they have the fundamentals to grow their economies. The initiative is also one of China's tools to help eradicate the root causes of terrorism and other extremist elements and build a safer world. As Xi has reiterated, "Development holds the master key to solving all problems."
CIA's Top Spy Believes Mr. Xi Will Do Good in the World
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping has been consolidating his power in the Communist Party congress held in Beijing and could use his commanding position as a positive force globally, according to America’s chief spy as quoted by bloomberg.com on October 19.
“We think that President Xi will come out of this in a dominant position with incredible capacity to do good around the world,” the Central Intelligence Agency Director, Mike Pompeo said last Thursday in Washington. Pompeo also urged China to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
US president Donald Trump will arrive in Beijing on November 8 for a three-day visit to China as part of his official Asian trip, the White House has recently announced. Mr. Trump will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing and attend a series of bilateral, business as well as cultural activities, the White House noted as quoted by gbtimres.com on October 18. Mr. Trump will become the second US president to make a state visit to China within the first year of his presidency, following the precedent set by Barack Obama in November 2009
Speaking of China's foreign diplomacy, President Xi was eager to assure the world in the CPC Congress that his country did not aim at hegemony or expansion; rather it is a win-win cooperation. "No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion," he said, adding that his country will continue to actively participate in global governance reform and contribute Chinese wisdom to the world. Mr. Xi has proposed forging a community of shared destiny for mankind, as well as establishing a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core.
He said China will never pursue development at the cost of others, nor will China ever give up its legitimate rights and interests. “No one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests,” he said.
About neighbours, Mr Xi said China would “deepen relations its neighbours in accordance with the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership”.
“We should commit to settling disputes through dialogue and resolving differences through discussion, coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional threats and oppose terrorism in all its forms,” he said. "No country can alone address the many challenges facing mankind; no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation," said Mr. Xi.
The Chinese President paid also a special attention to the armed forces given the country's national interests and integrity. "By the year 2020, military mechanization will be basically achieved, with IT application coming a long way and strategic capabilities seeing a big improvement. The modernization of the national defense and armed forces should be basically completed by 2035. The people's armed forces will be transformed into world-class military by the mid-21st century," Mr. Xi said.
Albania's Politicians on CPC Congress
"This has been a very important Congress for the People's Republic of China to determine its strategic priorities for the next five years and beyond," former Foreign Minister and deputy in Albanian Parliament Edmond Haxhinasto told Albanian Daily News on Saturday. According to him, these priorities cover domestic issues to face the challenges of the economic growth, environment, markets or poverty reduction as well as for carrying out its responsibilities as an important world power. "But I believe that the epicenter in the Congress was the President and CPC Chairman, Xi Jinping and his consolidation as uncontestable leaders of People's Republic of China," said Mr. Haxhinasto. In addition he said many analysts evaluate that President Xi had been ranked in this Congress at the most important pantheon of the political thought of CPC linking his name with "the political thought on socialism with Chinese features for the new era," he said, adding that Mr. Xi confirmed that that new thought would be loyal to the Marxist philosophy adapted to the specific conditions of China.
Albania's ex-FM thought that since 2012, when Mr. Xi took the power, his most important achievement was the strengthening of China as a "great world power" that has played an "important role in humankind's history". Rephrasing the former US State Secretary, Kissinger in his book "Diplomacy", Mr. Haxhinasto said that under Xi's leadership 'the Chinese lion has fully shown the claws' and has won the confidence to behave as a world power and shows itself ready to offer its modern development.
For his part Albania's Ambassador to Beijing Selim Belortaja said in an interview with China Radio International (Albanian service) that he felt privileged for attending closely the CPC Congress, which, according to him, was very important as it made the balance sheet of a very meaningful development of China. "But the Congress is important not only for China, but also for the international partners of China where Albania is also included and for this reason the findings and analysis of the Congress are followed very attentively by us because it is linked with the stability and continuation of the very good relations that we have started. The Congress is calling a spade a spade and is highlighting some of the fundamental features of China's development in the these five years and at the same time opens horizons for the continuity and new developments in the future," Mr. Belortaja said, adding that the development successes of China are clear and undisputable in these five years.
The Ambassador appreciated what he called the extraordinary and important role of President Xi Jinping in the undertaking of regional and global initiatives, China's opening and a comprehensive politics as far as trade and economic aspects are concerned. According to him, the Congress is the further opening of China and further cooperation with countries like Albania. He referred to the "One Belt, One Road" Initiative launched by China pointing out that Albania had confirmed officially its engagement, participation and interest to be part of it and make its contribution.
'Innovation, competition, efficiency', these were the fundamental thesis of the future economic development of China which had drawn the attention of Mr. Belortaja. "What impresses me more in the unveiling of the reform by President Xi Jinping is the link with people's life and the living standard of the Chinese family," he said, adding that everything should be done in the benefit of the Chinese family and every individual.
The Ambassador was pleased that as the top envoy to Beijing of a friendly country like Albania, which has very good traditional ties with China, to listen that the opening and all- inclusive policy with countries with which China does not have any problems, as Albania, will continue even in the future having a new rhythm. "This is, probably, the best news for us, foreigners, who follow the deliberations of the congress," he said. With regard to future projects Mr. Belortaja expressed the wish to see the implementation of more projects in far away countries like Albania and the region based on the principles of mutual benefit.
"The finding of investors remains the first priority, but it has never been underlined so strongly by the new government of Mr. (Edi) Rama, who has stressed that would be the major task of the foreign service and Albania diplomacy," Albanian Ambassador said, highlighting the fact that the basis of China-Albania relations is very powerful and solid having an extraordinary and excellent tradition.