CPC commemorates founding centenary

Published : 13 Jul 2021 09:34 PM | Updated : 14 Jul 2021 03:31 PM

The establishment of the Communist Party of China (CPC), also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a century ago changed the geo-strategic dynamics of that country. Founded in 1921 in the city of Shanghai, the CPC established the People’s Republic of China on 1 October, 1949.

The principle of democratic centralism that guides the CPC is based on the principle of democratic centralism and Marxism-Leninism that was conceived by the Russian leader Vladimir Lenin. This received a further push forward over the years from the great Chinese leadership - starting from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping.

It may be recalled here that after coming to power, China under Mao had a difficult time. Under his leadership it went to war against the USA in the Korean Peninsula with the help of the Soviet Union. That brought about economic challenges within the country.

The Communist Party’s new philosophy of ‘Great Leap Forward’ in 1958 saw the initiation of more difficulties because of efforts aimed at transforming an agrarian China into a modern industrial power. There was deconstruction of household farming and the establishment of ‘people’s communes’. This effort did not have the desired consequences. 

Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message sent on 1 July to the 

Communist Party of China has justifiably wished them well and hoped 

for a more fruitful relationship between China and Bangladesh. We need 

a more pragmatic approach with more Chinese investment in different 

economic and agricultural sectors in Bangladesh

Some strategists associated with socio-economic history, have during the anniversary celebrations, recalled the severe economic collapse and the famine between 1959 and 1961 - when several million people are supposed to have died. Mao also launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966 - a great effort by the exemplary leader, before his passing away in 1976.

After that came the pragmatic leadership of Deng Xiaoping. He provided China with a fresh lease of life. With the rise of Xi Jinping in 2012 the cycle of pragmatism has moved forward with care. In this context, in his own way, the current Chinese President, a transformational leader, has added greater paradigms that did not exist in the time of his predecessors - Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin.

The matrix guiding the CPC has had to take into account over the last three decades the collapse of Eastern European communist governments in 1989- 1990 and also the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. This has been a difficult task but China appears to have been able to surmount many of the changing dimensions.

As the ruling Communist Party of China celebrated its 100th anniversary at the end of June, analyst Michael Standaert drew particular attention to certain awkward facts within the current scenario that China’s leaders are having to face. This includes formidable economic challenges from falling birth rates, sub-regional economic disparities, gaps in economic opportunities and income inequality in rural-urban areas. Nevertheless, one needs to note that such anxiety should not be identified as being solely dominant in China. This format is being found also in the United States, many countries of Europe and Latin America.

China’s President Xi Jinping has however in his speech in late January promised to tackle the nation’s pressing problems so that China is able to usher in an era of ‘common prosperity’. To enable such a profile to emerge, Xi has decided to offer better income distribution, education, social security, affordable medical care, housing, elderly care, child support, and quality employment. This might be a difficult task because of existing structural and political barriers, but China has shown the world that it can overcome challenges. Otherwise, it would not be today the second largest economy in the world.

Max Baucus, a former US Democratic Party Senator who served as the US Ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017, has commented on this scenario. He has observed that the vast bulk of people in China are not only more concerned about their own lives but also that living standards in China have risen dramatically in the last 20 years and they are very happy about that. This factor is something that must not be overlooked by the USA.

In this regard strategic analysts have pointed to the large quantities of pomp, pageantry and pyrotechnics that were evident in the Chinese celebrations on CPC’s 100th birthday and reiterated that this dynamics brought into sharp relief the prospect of an ever-rising, ever more prosperous capitalist China.

One needs to note here that the Chinese government’s celebrations were planned meticulously.

It was kicked off by Xi Jinping on 29 June through a ceremony honouring 29 people for “outstanding contributions to the party”. Recipients of the newly established July 1 medal included several soldiers and officials from Tibet and Xinjiang. This interesting move was obviously undertaken by Beijing to demonstrate that the Communist Party considers that it is important to battle separatism and encourage loyalty to the Communist Party.

On 1 July, Xi in his speech displayed his determination by warning foreign powers. Mr Xi, who spoke for around an hour, reiterated the role of the Communist Party in modern China, and stressed that the Party has been central to the country's growth and that attempts to separate it from its 1.4 billion people would ‘fail’. In this regard he also re-affirmed that ‘only socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China’.

In his reference to Hong Kong and Macau, Xi rebutted criticism by underlining that both would retain a ‘high degree of autonomy’. However, at the same time efforts should be made by both of them also to – ‘accurately implement the principles of 'One Country, Two Systems’. The CPC to restate Xi’s conviction also used the opportunity to end their special programme in Beijing with a song called “Without the Communist Party There Would Be No New China”.

Nevertheless, there are still many areas where China despite its attempts at pro-active engagement with the rest of the world still faces questions. They relate to the subjects associated not only with trade and investment but also development. These are all reflected in issues linked with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

One can only hope that differences of opinion remain within the matrix of good governance rather than becoming politicised because of national interest.

Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message sent on 1 July to the Communist Party of China has justifiably wished them well 

and hoped for a more fruitful relationship between China and Bangladesh. We need a more pragmatic approach with more

 Chinese investment in different economic and agricultural sectors in Bangladesh.

Muhammad Zamir, a former Ambassador, is an analyst specialized in foreign affairs, right to information and good governance