The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Charts the Course for China’s Future Development
Article by His Excellency Wang Baodong, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was successfully held in Beijing from October 18 to 24, 2017. The theme of the Congress is: Remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. The Congress approved the report delivered by His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of CPC on behalf of the 18th Central Committee of the Party, amended the Party Constitution and added new fruits including Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the Constitution. At the First Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee held on October 25, the new central leadership was elected and Xi Jinping was re-elected Secretary General of the CPC Central Committee.
The Congress is a meeting of great importance taking place during the decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. It reviewed and summarized the historical achievements in reform and opening-up and construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics since the 18th National Congress of CPC under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and made overall plans and arrangements for the development of various undertakings of China in the next five years and even longer time.
— The Congress confirmed the new historic juncture in China’s development. Socialism with Chinese characteristics having crossed the threshold into a new era is a new historic juncture in China’s development. It means the Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation, as China has stood up, grown rich, become strong, and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind. Chinese socialism's entrance into a new era is, in the history of the development of the People's Republic of China and the history of the development of the Chinese nation, of tremendous importance. It is also of tremendous importance in the history of the development of international socialism and the history of the development of human society .
— The Congress revealed the new features in the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. The basic dimension of the Chinese context that China is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism has not changed. China's international status as the world's largest developing country has not changed. At the same time, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What China now faces is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. While China's overall productive forces have significantly improved, China has seen the basic needs of over a billion people met, and will bring the building of a moderately prosperous society to a successful completion in the next few years. Not only have the Chinese people’s material and cultural needs grown, their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security and a better environment are increasing. The unbalanced and inadequate development has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people’s increasing needs for a better life.
— The Congress took China on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist China. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China's development, the Congress put forth that China must embark on a new journey toward the goal of fully building a modern socialist country after the goal to finish building a moderately prosperous society was realized when the Party celebrates its centenary. To be specific, the Congress decided to make a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century: In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, China will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, China will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
— The Congress worked out a basic policy for implementing the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. General Secretary Xi Jiping elaborated the essence and rich implications of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in his report. He made it clear that to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, China must ensure Party leadership over all work, commit to a people-centered approach, continue to comprehensively deepen reform, adopt a new vision for development, see that the people run the country, ensure every dimension of governance is law-based, uphold core socialist values, ensure and improve living standards through development, ensure harmony between humans and nature, pursue a comprehensive approach to national security, uphold absolute Party leadership over the people’s armed forces, uphold the principle of “one country, two systems” and promote national reunification, promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind and exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party.
— The Congress put forward the new requirements for the Party building in the new era. The Party must exercise strict governance over itself and improve its ability to govern and lead, so that it could be built into a vibrant Marxist governing party that is always at the forefront of the times, enjoys the wholehearted support of the people, has the courage to reform itself, and is able to withstand all tests. CPC must give top priority to the political work of the Party, arm the whole Party with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, train a contingent of competent and professional officials, strengthen primary-level Party organizations, work ceaselessly to improve Party conduct and enforce Party discipline, secure a sweeping victory in the fight against corruption, improve Party and state oversight systems and strengthen every dimension of ability for governance.
— The Congress charted the course for major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. It was put forward at the Congress that China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, to forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation and to jointly building a community of shared destiny for humankind. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace, pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China will work to build a framework for major country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. China will deepen relations with its neighbors in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors. China will, guided by the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, honesty, affinity and good faith, work to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. China adheres to the fundamental national policy of opening up and will actively promote international cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative. China will increase assistance to other developing countries especially the least developed countries, and do its part to reduce the North-South development gap. China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, take an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system, and keep contributing Chinese wisdom and strength to global governance.
As the world’s second largest economy, China’s development is closely linked to the world’s future. A strong and confident China will definitely bring new opportunities to the world and provide more public products for the international community. The 19th National Congress of CPC has mapped out the strategic blueprint for the economic and social development of China in the coming years, which offers an important window for the international community to learn of China’s policy and future development and will further enhance the world’s confidence in China’s future. The Congress will not only chart the course for China’s future development, but also give new impetus to deepening the exchange and cooperation between China and other countries in the world including the Kingdom of Tonga. It will have positive and far-reaching effects on the relations between China and the world and inject positive energy in building a brighter future for human society.
The year of 2017 has witnessed China-Tonga relations maintaining a good momentum of development with fruitful and mutually beneficial results in various fields, while the year of 2018 will usher in the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between our two countries. Guided by the spirit of the 19th National Congress of CPC, China will work with Tonga to seize the opportunity, increase high-level contacts, expand the exchanges and cooperation and break new ground in the China-Tonga strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development to bring more benefits to the two peoples and make new contribution to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Pacific Island countries.