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Manifesto for China’s State and Governance Systems in the New Era

2019-11-29 14:07:00 Source:China Today Author:XIA YIPU
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SOCIALISM with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era that historically orients China’s development and heralds the direction China is heading toward.

Ancient Chinese believed that laws ensure social order, and without laws the nation is imperiled. A sound system and good governance are the ballast stones that keep the nation stable amid crises and adversity. Building and governing a socialist China in the new era requires constant coordination of internal and external development as well as sustained progress by absorbing and drawing on the invaluable experience of past social governance, thus to ensure the renewed vitality and vigor of China’s national governance. The convening of the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a realistic response to the critical issue concerning Chinese nation’s fate. Based on the theoretical summary of the CPC’s century-long struggle, the 70-year development of the People’s Republic of China, 40 years of reform and opening-up, and the dynamic institutional construction since the 18th CPC National Congress, the session made clear the major strategic task of the Party to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance.

A Scientific System with Vitality

China’s confidence in its system originates from the scientific nature and merits of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics which it has achieved.

The fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee clearly defined the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics as a scientific system formed by the Party and the people through their long-term practice and exploration. All the work and activities of the country’s national governance are carried out in accordance with the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The country’s governance system and governance capacity are a crystallization of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and its enforcement capability.

As General Secretary Xi Jinping said, the governance system of a country is determined by its historical heritage, cultural traditions, and level of economic and social development — hence by its people. China’s current system of national governance is the fruit of long-term development, gradual improvement, and endogenous evolution based on China’s historical heritage, cultural traditions, and economic and social development. Its national governance needs to be improved and perfected. As for “how,” it tests the Party’s wisdom.

The fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee clearly defined the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and the national governance system as guided by Marxism and rooted in China, with a profoundly Chinese cultural foundation, having won the people’s wholehearted support. Imbued with vitality, these systems will steadily advance the progress and development of this large country with a population of nearly 1.4 billion, and ensure that the Chinese nation, with its ancient civilization, can achieve its great rejuvenation.

The plenary session made the theoretical summary about the systems of socialism with Chinese characteristics and national governance based on an in-depth understanding and scientific grasp of the laws of socialist nation-building; it is an ideological summary of the laws of national governance, embodying the scientific application of the three rules respectively about the governance by communist parties, socialist construction, and human development, thus advancing the Marxist concept of nation-building to a new stage of development.

                

                   More than 210 foreign diplomats attend a thematic briefing on the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee on November 8 in Beijing. 

A Scientific System with Notable Merits

The systems of socialism with Chinese characteristics and national governance have displayed notable and significant strengths in both theory and practice.

The plenary session has pinpointed and summarized the 13 notable strengths of China’s state and governance systems as follows: Upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC, following the Party’s scientific theories, maintaining political stability, and ensuring that the country keeps advancing in the direction of socialism; seeing that the people run the country, promoting the people’s democracy, maintaining close ties with the people and relying on them to push forward the country’s development; ensuring law-based governance in all fields, building a country of socialist rule of law, and guaranteeing social fairness and justice and the people’s rights; ensuring the whole country works together and stimulating the enthusiasm of all aspects to mobilize resources for major undertakings; upholding equality between all ethnic groups, creating a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation to work jointly for common prosperity and development; upholding the dominant role of the public sector and common development of economic entities under diverse forms of ownership, the distribution system whereby distribution according to labor is dominant and a variety of other modes of distribution exist alongside it, the synergy between the socialist system and the market economy, and continuously unlocking and developing the productive forces; upholding common ideals and convictions, values, and moral standards, promoting China’s fine traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture, as well as inspiring the people to embrace shared ideologies and mindsets; adhering to the vision of making development people-centered, and continuously guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihoods and improving people’s wellbeing to achieve common prosperity for everyone; continuing reform and innovation, moving with the times, and promoting self-improvement and development to build a society full of vitality; selecting officials based on integrity and ability and on the basis of merit regardless of background to cultivate more talented individuals; keeping the armed forces under the Party’s command and ensuring that the people’s armed forces are completely loyal to the Party and the people so as to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests; upholding the principle of “one country, two systems,” maintaining lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and promoting the peaceful reunification of China; adhering to the unity of independence and self-reliance and opening up to the rest of the world, taking an active part in global governance, and continuing to make contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

All these notable strengths are the fundamental basis for fostering stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. They comprehensively showcase China’s image as a big socialist country with a profoundly historical background, diverse ethnic groups and cultures, political clarity, and a developed economy whose social stability underlines its sense of responsibility to uphold peaceful, common development, and international fairness and justice as it becomes more open to the rest of the world.

A Scientific System with a Strong Transformation Capacity

A country’s governance system and governance capacity are the concentrated embodiment of its state system and the system’s enforcement capability. The significant strengths of the socialist system must be turned into actual governance efficiency. This is the only way to truly uphold, consolidate, perfect, and promote our socialist system.

The plenary session systematically outlined 13 plans to transform the country’s institutional advantages into effective governance as follows: upholding and improving the Party’s leadership system; making sure that the people run the country; upholding and improving the system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics; upholding and improving the government administration system of socialism with Chinese characteristics; upholding and improving China’s basic socialist economic system; upholding and improving the system to make advanced socialist culture prosperous and developed; upholding and improving the livelihood system for protecting both urban and rural residents; upholding and improving the social governance system based on collaboration, participation and common interests; ensuring and improving the system for developing an ecological civilization; upholding and improving the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces; upholding and improving the system of “one country, two systems” and advancing the process toward the peaceful reunification of China; upholding and improving the independent foreign policy of peace; and upholding and improving the Party and state oversight systems.

The state system, the governance system, and governance capacity are all interdependent. Improved national governance hinges on a sound governance system, which in turn relies on a constantly perfected, highly efficient state system. An advantageous state system and a high-performance governance system incorporating competent national governance is imbued with the significant strengths sought by all countries. The building of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and improvements to the national governance system and governance capability are moving steadily towards the ultimate goal of the new era. The session vowed to see that institutions in all fields are notably improved when the CPC marks its centenary before the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance is basically achieved by 2035 and realized in full as the People’s Republic of China celebrates its own centenary.



DR. XIA YIPU is a research fellow with the Research Center of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.  

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