July 29, 2017
Xi Jinping’s speech is indicative of China’s commitment to her sovereign minded political system and unique “market socialist” economic system that have guided China to becoming a world class economic powerhouse.
Chinese President Xi has addressed a large meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in preparation for the forthcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
During a wide ranging speech, President Xi stated that China must reaffirm and bolster both its Chinese characteristics as well as the socialist traditions of the CPC. According to Chinese media, Xi stressed “that socialism with Chinese characteristics had been the theme of all the Party’s theories and practices since the reform and opening up in 1978”.
1978 was the beginning of landmark internal reforms in China by Deng Xiaoping who was China’s Paramount Leader between 1978 and 1989. During this time, China embarked no a programme Deng called “market socialism”. According to Deng
“A basic contradiction between socialism and the market economy does not exist”.
This underlies the pragmatic reforms which have underscored China’s economic boom, one which has led the country to becoming a global economic super-power which is set to fully overtake that of the United States in areas where it has not already done so.
This reality was made unambiguous when the IMF head Christine Lagard recently confirmed that it may move its headquarters from the US to China in line with the fact that the IMF must be located in the world’s top economy.
China’s economic miracle was accomplished without changing its political system nor its independent foreign policy.
This miracle was due to the leadership and principles of Deng Xiaoping:
“Deng is the perfect example of applying moderate reforms with the zeal of a quiet revolutionary. Too often in other countries people get it the wrong way around. In the Soviet Union, Gorbachev and his right hand man Alexander Yakovlev introduced anti-patriotic reforms which lead to the illegal disintegration of the Soviet Union and the economic chaos of the 1990s where pirate oligarch capitalism destroyed one of the most prosperous state’s in history. The USSR could have been easily saved had a Russian Deng appeared, instead Russia ended up with Boris Yeltsin, a drunken traitor seduced by the incompatible economic systems of the west.
Deng Xiaoping was able to avoid the worse excesses of the ideological dogmas of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yakovlev and later Yeltsin by focusing not on the demands of foreigners or the misunderstood needs of those in his country, but instead by focusing on the practical needs of the economy and the power that China’s untapped workforce had in unleashing a new era of prosperity and happiness upon the nation, one that Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had advocated for shortly after Mao’s death.
By combining market reforms at a local and regional level with state oversight at a national level, China has become a country that generates capital internally and via international engagement and trade. China has accomplished this without losing sight of a sovereignty minded management and regulation of that capital.
Deng has been vindicated by the modern successes of China. By contrast, the globalist west has failed miserably. The economic creativity of the ordinary people has been crushed, workers have lost their jobs, their wages and their living standards while only the international corporations have come out on top and even among the top 1%, many individuals are finding that their own ‘usefulness’ is quietly being replaced by artificial intelligence”.
Since Deng’s reforms, China’s most ambitious project has been embarked upon during the Xi era. In 2013, less than a year after assuming office, Xi’s country announced the One Belt–One Road initiative to create an ultra-modern global trading infrastructure across land and sea routes that would help to harmonise world trade on the basis of multi-lateral cooperation between fully sovereign states. The initiative is still in its early stages, but its prospects for bringing the Chinese model of success to other parts of Asia, Eurasia, Africa and Europe has already worried the United States which is not participating in the endeavour.
This helps explain that when President Xi told his CPC audience, “The whole party should remember, what we are building is socialism with Chinese characteristics, not some other -ism”, Xi was sending a rebuke to any Chinese who think the western model holds the key to China’s future as well as those in the west who attempt to seduce China into forfeiting its sovereign model of governance as they did with the weak Soviet leadership of Gorbachev.
China has learned a great deal not only from its own experience but from that of Russia and the United States. In the case of Russia, the failed experiment of a US socio-economic model in the 1990s devastated the country and shamed Russia through an artificially created refugee crisis. It has only been under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin that Russia has been able to reduce the worst of the failed ‘reforms’ of the 1990s. China has observed this carefully and has avoided the pitfalls of Russia’s dark Yeltsin years.
China has also more recently learned from the United States whose political model has resulted in a totally dis-unified Washington whose scandals are being played out on a world’s stage, the unsubstantiated ‘Russiagate’ scandal being foremost among the many current American scandals.
With China set to overtake the US as the world’s most powerful economy, China clearly has got the balance objectively correct.
In this sense Xi’s speech was an admonition to not only stay the course but to become more emboldened and unapologetic about the country’s unique Chinese model that is now the envy of much of the world.