[Editor’s Note] In October this year, General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a report at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, explaining in detail how he will lead the CCP to realize its vision of governing the country, indicating that the central task of the CCP in the future is to “unite and lead the whole country.” The people of all ethnic groups will build a powerful modern socialist country in an all-round way, realize the second centenary goal, and comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with Chinese-style modernization."
It may not be easy to understand the 20th National Congress report, which is more than 30,000 words in length, but it is the most direct document for understanding the strategic intentions and governance planning of the Chinese Communist Party in the coming period.
Why does the CCP, which takes Marxism as its theoretical banner, actively promote the Sinicization of the ideological field?
What is the long-term firm confidence shown by the CCP, and what is the difference between the "Chinese-style modernization" officially explained in the report and Western modernization?
How does the CCP understand Xi Jinping's "great changes unseen in a century", and what changes will China, which is at the center of the changes, bring to the world structure?
This series of articles revolves around these questions.
(Series No. 10)
In the past few years, Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, has often mentioned "the great changes in the world that have not been seen in a century." Whether it is the United States' encirclement of China in terms of technology, economy, and geopolitics in recent years, the U.S. and Russia triggered the war in Ukraine due to geopolitical conflicts, The impact of the new crown epidemic on the medical system around the world has all highlighted the significance of the "big change".
When the proposition was raised, my colleagues and I did some analysis and interpretation.
Our main judgment is that "Great Changes" has two protagonists, the "world" on the surface, and China in fact.
The two are closely intertwined, and there is me in you. From a longer-term historical survey, the kinetic energy of "changes" comes from China, and "unchanged changes" refers to both "the world" and "China."
Without the rise of China, the world would not have entered into a "big change". If we had seen the changes coming, the "change" would not have had an impact, and the "change" would not have been so "big".
Xi Jinping sees change coming.
"Centenary" is an accurate tone. Didn't the CCP just celebrate its centenary?
The historical turning point represented by the "May 4th Movement" a hundred years ago was not only due to the painful experience, but also the roar of international hegemony. More importantly, it inspired young people to stand on the stage of changing history for the first time in the name of the Communist Party of China. Be the driving force for change.
When the power accumulated in a century is accumulated today, it is naturally a "big change". Everyone has seen how Xi Jinping became a symbol of the new world pattern at the G20 and APEC meetings after the 20th National Congress.
Recognize important documents that have not undergone major changes in a century
China is the main force triggering the great changes, the CCP is the core of the changes, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a major event to see through the great changes, and the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is an important document for interpreting the great changes.
It is the greatest ignorance to interpret the 20th National Congress as Xi Jinping's continuation of power, but there will always be people who look at history from a superficial perspective, especially the history that is taking place.
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a landmark event in which Xi Jinping led China to promote the transformation of the new era, continued Mao Zedong's new democratic revolution and Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening up, and used "Chinese-style modernization" to support the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the rise of a great power.
Without the achievements of "governing the country" in the past ten years, the 20th National Congress will only be a five-yearly CCP meeting; without the explanation and strategic deployment of this meeting, general economic construction will not be upgraded to "Chinese-style modernization."
If the Western powers that have dominated the development of the world for hundreds of years cannot clearly grasp the strategic intentions of the Chinese Communist Party, it will turn the "big change" into a "big conflict."
The Twentieth National Congress is a political meeting for the Communist Party of China to announce the next stage of "governance" and the country's economic development.
It is aimed at the strategic pavement for the second century after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China since the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and anticipates the country's development path and political journey by the middle of this century.
This period is the "New Era" defined by the CCP, and its task is to promote China to become a modern and powerful country with socialism with Chinese characteristics.
When Xi Jinping met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the G20, he pointed out that the "strategic intentions of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government are open and aboveboard, maintaining a high degree of continuity and stability." He also introduced the content of the 20th National Congress, clearly explaining the political implication.
History often likes to fool a smart man, even if he is the leader of a superpower that dominates the world.
Everyone remembers the arrogance of Emperor Qianlong when he received the British imperial mission. It is estimated that he could not have imagined that the British would use gunboats to open the door to China's trade more than 40 years later, and he could not have imagined that more than a hundred years after his death, the Qing Dynasty would fall apart.
When Nixon visited Beijing fifty years ago, he probably would not have imagined that China would threaten the status of the United States as a superpower.
When President Obama announced in his first State of the Union address that the United States would not take second place, he did not expect such a nightmare to quickly appear in front of him.
In fact, history does not happen suddenly, and it does not hide its own trajectory. It is only because Qianlong, Nixon, and Obama refused to open their eyes that the "current situation" will become a "changing situation."
The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a document that introduces history openly and honestly.
To regard historical changes as machinations or calculations will only reflect one's own short-sightedness, but there are quite a few such people, especially in Western developed countries.
Clarify the innovative thinking of the CCP in governing the country
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a key turning point in Chinese politics. It made a phased summary of China's development in the past ten years, and summarized it in "Chinese-style modernization."
Western scholars have never done research on socialism with Chinese characteristics, thinking that it is a copy of the Soviet Union, and regard reform and opening up as China's imitation of the Western development model, and China's modernization is only following the Western modernization.
It is because they are too dogmatic that they turn a blind eye to China's unique development model and underestimate Xi Jinping's systematic and innovative ideas for "governing the country." Naturally, they cannot see the coming of "big changes."
The facts are before our eyes. If some people still cannot see the difference between "Chinese-style modernization" and "Western-style modernization", it is because they are ignorant.
The importance of the top 20 reports can be succinctly understood in four aspects:
1. How to summarize the century-old history, especially the historical achievements of the past ten years, into the mission of the Communist Party of China for a period of time to come, and become the guidance and historical continuation of the development of the "new era";
2. How to better integrate the ideology of the Communist Party of China with China's specific reality and excellent traditional culture, so as to provide theoretical support for "governing the country" and "Chinese-style modernization";
3. The mission of the CCP will focus on "Chinese-style modernization", so that the strategic intentions and implementation plans of a socialist modernized country with Chinese characteristics will be more solidly linked with its organizational construction, and will continue to strengthen all aspects of "governance";
4. How to connect the CCP's "governance" with the "new development concept", implement a people-centered political stance in specific policy areas, and better support the integration of "Chinese-style modernization" and Xi Jinping's "governance" thought mutual improvement.
The CCP’s documents are boring to read, and require a unique framework of understanding. Knowledge and psychological preparation must be done well, otherwise they will only be half-understood and easy to take out of context, and many CCP members are the same.
In fact, the CCP’s documents are very structured and have clear goals, but because more specific sentences are used to explain the main principles, these sentences hide dialectical thinking that is difficult to see through, making the plain exposition read like detours.
Once you grasp the background of the document and the context in which the CCP states its views, you will be able to better appreciate its meaning.
On the contrary, if you read it with colored glasses, you will naturally not be able to find the context, and you will not be able to understand it.
The century-old history of the CCP is a history of continuous revolution, not because it is a revolutionary party, but because China needs revolution in many fields to get rid of feudalism and enter modernity.
"Chinese-style modernization" is a continuation of the revolution, and it is the CCP's choice to explore a path different from Western-style modernization.
Whether it is a revolution or a self-revolution, the CCP needs to rebuild the world's understanding and trust in Chinese civilization. This is the profound significance of Xi Jinping's cultural and historical self-confidence.
The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a document that highlights self-confidence. It carries a modernization plan that the Chinese people may not know, but they have great imagination.
It proposes a brand-new understanding of Chinese people's own civilization, reflection on Western-style modernization, writing a new chapter for traditional culture that was once misunderstood as the cause of its two-hundred-year decline, and Marxism should be injected into "Chinese-style modernization" and "governance". What kind of power of the times.
The Chinese Communist Party is not an easy political organization to understand, and the developing ideology it follows is equally difficult to grasp, especially for Hong Kongers who have received a Western-style education, or for Western elites who still cling to an outdated view of China.
A scholar who has worked in an international relations think tank for many years and is now an important staff member of President Biden once told me that Americans know less about China than they do about South America and Africa, whether from the perspective of history or international comparative politics .
He believes this is the biggest mistake American scholars and politicians have made in the past three decades.
Clarify the strategic intention of being a strong country but not seeking hegemony
The "Chinese-style modernization" announced in the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the "new development pattern" constructed according to the "new development concept", and the socialist modernization power with Chinese characteristics are all unfamiliar to the West, and the word "powerful country" Easily misunderstood.
Misunderstandings are inevitable, and have triggered anxiety in the West, thinking that a "powerful country" intends to threaten the hegemony of Europe and the United States and challenge the world order recognized by the United States.
The misunderstanding is because many people think that the relationship between countries can only be based on the comparison of strengths, and that a powerful country will inevitably dominate. They will ask: Doesn’t China want to become another United States?
This is an extremely expensive misunderstanding, and it is also stupid.
The main task of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is to focus on "governance of the country" and combine "new era" and "Chinese-style modernization" to explain the country's governance and economic development of the Chinese Communist Party over a period of time.
The CCP has shown to the outside world that China has no intention of challenging the hegemony of the United States, because what the Chinese care about is the effectiveness of national governance and development, and whether the Chinese people’s lives are happy.
The goal of China's modernization development is to make the country prosperous and strong, but there is no necessary connection between prosperity and hegemony.
Western scholars and media agree with the CCP that China still has many problems to solve, but the solutions to the same judgment are quite different.
The former believes that China may defuse internal pressure by creating external conflicts; the latter believes that China has many tools to solve problems, and only needs the continuous efforts of society.
China hopes to work with developed countries to find arrangements to solve world problems, instead of worrying about who can dominate.
The main task of the Communist Party of China is to continuously improve the "governance of the country". It is the "governance of China". Synthesizer.
Xi Jinping's strict governance of the party is the key starting point of "governance of the country", the first condition of "governance of China", and the prerequisite for the realization of "the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities".
Xi Jinping pointed out that "self-revolution" is the second answer to jumping out of the historical cycle of chaos, prosperity and decline. It not only makes up for the lack of people's supervision proposed by Mao Zedong, but also establishes an institutional guarantee for the continued governance of the Chinese Communist Party.
It may not be easy to understand the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, but if anyone wants to know the strategic intention and governance plan of the Chinese Communist Party in the future, this is the simplest and most straightforward explanation, and it is a must-read political document.
"Deconstructing the Top 20" series of articles:
Deconstruct the 20th National Congress.
1｜Why should we understand the report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China?