On October 24, 2017, the twice-a-decade National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing successfully completed its week-long session where I was present as China’s ambassador to India. The most important outcome of the 19th CPC National Congress was that it endorsed Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guiding ideology for the party.
First of all, the Thought originates from the great political judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold to enter a new era. China has witnessed historic changes since reform and opening up nearly 40 years ago, especially in the past five years. The Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation: It has stood up, grown rich, and is now becoming strong.
Second, the Thought originates from the new changes of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. It has greatly evolved from the contradiction between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production to the one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society has raised new demands for the work of the party and the state. We will devote ourselves to addressing the imbalances and inadequacies in development, driving China’s economy from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development, in a bid to meet the people’s ever-growing demand for a better life.
Third, the Thought will serve as a guideline to implement the new blueprint. As per achieving the two centenary goals, China aims to accomplish the task of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 when the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary anniversary. Building on this achievement, we will strive for developing China into a strong modern socialist country by 2050 when the country celebrates its centenary anniversary. The 19th National Congress has drawn up a two-step approach to achieve this goal. In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, socialist modernisation will be basically realised. In the second stage from 2035 to 2050, we will develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
Fourth, the Thought is abundant in content which includes comprehensively deepening reform, advancing law-based governance, exercising full and rigorous governance over the party as well as policy guidance on political affairs, economy, culture, education, foreign affairs and national defence. The overarching goal is to realise socialist modernisation and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Indian media has paid close attention to the 19th CPC National Congress. The emerging concerns and misgivings focus on the allegation that a rising China would be a threat. The doubts are misplaced.
First, to bring China’s new blueprint into reality, we are committed to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and thereafter developing a great modern socialist country. China will maintain a stable society with the economy booming, which in itself will contribute to world peace and stability.
Second, China will make greater contribution to world peace and development. The essence of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Thought on Diplomacy is to forge a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, and build a community with a shared future for mankind, to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. China is opposed to zero-sum game and never seeks hegemony.
Third, China will continue making development the top priority, reform and open up, and promote further integration into the world. It will present greater opportunity for China to advance mutually beneficial cooperation with India and the rest of the world.
Fourth, a stable and sound international environment and order is highly required for China to transform the new blueprint into reality. This has determined that China must stay committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, upholding the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and promoting good neighbourliness and friendship.
In a word, to make new and greater contributions to mankind is our party’s abiding mission. General Secretary Xi’s Thought on Diplomacy is highly innovative and consistent. It will further enhance closer interactions between China and the outside world, and exert a positive influence on the international community.
After the 19th CPC National Congress, Chinese diplomacy has already taken on a new look. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a successful visit to China. US President Donald Trump will visit China soon. Chinese leaders will later attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the Series of Leaders’ Meetings on East Asia Cooperation and visit some other countries. China-Republic of Korea and China-Japan relations have also made positive progress.
Both China and India are developing countries and face common tasks of developing their respective economies and improving people’s well-being. At a critical stage of deepening reform and advancing modernisation, both countries need to foster a favourable external environment. China and India are neighbours that cannot be moved away. We live under the same sky. As important members of BRICS and the SCO, China and India are committed to advancing globalisation and multi-polarity and upholding democracy in international relations. We believe that the New India initiative proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese Dream are closely connected and can be synergised as well.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to its relations with India. President Xi and Prime Minister Modi have met many times. In early September, the two leaders reached an important consensus on bilateral relations during the meeting in Xiamen, China. We need to implement the consensus, enhance mutual trust and focus on cooperation while properly managing differences in a bid to take our bilateral relations to a new level.