China has effected many achievements unprecedented in human history under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). We know that China is the most populous country in the world. About four decades ago it was still a country with hundreds of millions people ensnared in poverty. In the following years since the country’s reform and opening-up policy was rolled out, China has made tremendous development strides. This great progress was not purely a coincidence, but rather came about through effective measures, planning, and guidance of the CPC, which has presented the world with a different development model in contrast to the neoliberal capitalism that has led to some chaos across the world.
As a person from the Middle East and the Arab region, I find that there are many lessons to be learned from the CPC’s pioneering experience. The most important is the lesson of independent self-reliance development. China has relied on activating the capabilities of the people to develop the economy, depending on its own capacity and specific resources. We know that China has built all these great civilizational glories without getting involved in colonial practices, or looting of the peoples of the developing world, as Western countries did.
The first non-stop flight MS953 from Cairo, Egypt to Hangzhou, China lands at the Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, on November 29, 2019, marking the opening of direct flights between Hangzhou and Cairo.
Under the leadership of the CPC, China has made impressive achievements, transforming from a semi-colonial and backward feudal state whose people suffered from poverty, ignorance, and disease, to a modern country ranking as the second largest economy in the world. What China has achieved was not won easily overnight, but gained by braving enormous difficulties and challenges. The CPC is the Party that led the Chinese people to establish the People’s Republic of China and then has advanced the country economically, socially, culturally, and scientifically. The Party is now on its move to lead the country to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. In my view, the country in a sense has already achieved that. China has lifted 770 million rural poor out of poverty and achieved incredible development during a time span of just 40-odd years. Recently, China has set an inspiring example in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the first country in the world that has effectively brought the pandemic under control. Meanwhile, the country has extended helping hands to many countries in need, providing them enormous COVID-19 aid. We in Egypt thank the Chinese people and the CPC under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping for providing free batches of the Chinese vaccine and for concluding an agreement with the government of Egypt to manufacture the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine locally in Egypt.
In recent years, the international endorsement of the CPC has obviously increased. The CPC has always been an advocate for the causes of national liberation and for the peoples of the world struggling against colonialism and seeking independence and development. China seeks to build a new world order together with other countries without hegemony and imposition of political strings or unfair conditions. China seeks to assist in solving the world’s most pressing issues through peaceful solutions that emphasize support for the independence of national states, without interference in their dometic affairs, to maintain world peace, and enhance the spirit of cooperation and friendship among peoples. Hence the initiative of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward by President Xi Jinping is gaining traction across the globe. It’s an initiative seeking to establish equal and balanced relations among countries and promote sustainable development in the world. Political parties are the driving forces for economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges among countries, and they should promote cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, mutual respect, and win-win results in fields across the board and improve the bond among peoples.
There are many lessons to be drawn from the experience of the CPC in leading Chinese people to achieve national independence and blaze a socialist development path with Chinese characteristics over the past 100 years. These experiences and lessons can be learned without trying to replicate them, and this is also what China suggests. All countries can benefit from these lessons and experiences, taking into account their own circumstances, traditions and levels of development. There are different models of socialism and of achieving socialism. The Chinese one is not the only one. Therefore, we in Egypt and in other developing countries should draw inspiration from the CPC’s great experience and learn from its lessons.
China is seeking more global cooperation. The first intercontinental trans-ocean route of Hainan Free Trade Port is officially put into operation at the Xiaochantan Terminal in Yangpu Economic Development Zone on September 28, 2020.
The following is what I want to underscore about China’s experience: First, it is a unique experience about development. China has successfully integrated the market economy with a socialist system in which the government plays the role in creating a sound and fair business environment and providing quality service and guidance. At the same time, while maintaining economic independence and the leading role of its state-owned economy, China has also opened its market to the private sector and foreign investment, and proactively sought cooperation with other countries. Second, China has adhered to the Marxist theory, while preserving its rich traditional culture. Third, the CPC has demonstrated a great aptitude in creatively adapting Marxism to Chinese context since its birth despite twists and turns during the whole process, and come to the conclusion that Marxism should not be taken as a static one-size-fits-all theory, but should be continually enriched and developed. Thus China has blazed a road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The key for the CPC to maintain its vitality involves several points: First, the Party has realized the unified and strong leadership of the country. Second, the Party has adhered to the Marxist theory in a way that adapts to the Chinese reality and has ensured the country’s rapid development. Third, the CPC has succeeded in combating corruption in the state and within the Party, which has gained it great confidence and support from the Chinese people for its leadership. Fourth, the Party has pursued a foreign policy that seeks more cooperation and promotes a new-type globalization. The secret of the Party’s success is the combination of the wise and strong leadership of the CPC, theoretical innovation in Marxism, and the country’s splendid ancient culture.
AHMED BAHAA EL-DIN SHAABAN is secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Egypt.