- by Casey Davidson
- The Guardian
- Issue #1969
The Communist Party of China (CPC) commemorated its centenary on Thursday 1st July with an impressive range of memorable celebrations across the nation, including a notable speech by President Xi Jinping and a gala of 10,000 performers in Beijing’s National Stadium. The celebrations centred on remarkable achievements of the CPC, including victory over colonialism and imperialism, elimination of absolute poverty, the growth and strong leadership of the Party, the unity of Chinese peoples, and their shared vision for peace. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) sent its fraternal greetings to the 95-million strong leading party of China, remarking on its positive force in the developing world in creating a prosperous path away from US hegemony.
HIGHLIGHTS OF XI JINPING’S CENTENARY SPEECH
Xi opened his centenary speech in the significant historical site of Tiananmen Square, greeting all CPC members and all ethnic groups of China, reflecting on China’s rise from a semi-colonial semi-feudal impoverished country, to an independent, liberated, strong and moderately prosperous nation through the leadership of the CPC, the dedication to Marxist-Leninist principles, and the courage and perseverance of the Chinese people. While rapid development towards modernisation has been a tough endeavour for the people, Xi confidently noted that China’s rejuvenation is a “historical inevitability.”
In his speech, Xi demonstrated how the Marxist-Leninist principle of historical materialism has been applied to China in most straightforward terms. He explained how “by learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. Looking back on the Party’s 100-year history, we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future.”
With this strong basis, Xi explained how firm leadership of the CPC is essential to China’s prosperity, for without it, there would be no People’s Republic of China, no national rejuvenation, and no political integrity. He explained that the CPC shares a common fate with the people of China, and that any attempt to divide it from the people is bound to fail. He expressed how the enhancement of a whole-process people’s democracy can only be achieved with a people-centred philosophy of development. The president acknowledged the continued necessity to adapt Marxism to a Chinese context, and to uphold and develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.
Xi described Socialism with Chinese Characteristics as being drawn from struggles over the past century, which creates a new model for human advancement, and ensures Chinese people run their own country. He declared that “[the CPC] will not […] accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us.” He also promoted the building of human community and peace, rejecting the hegemonic model and disapproving of zero-sum games or threats of force.
TYPICAL WESTERN MEDIA DISINGENUITY
The Western mainstream media focused on “fearmongering” this snippet of Xi’s centenary speech, misinterpreting the core message as a threat to Western nations. As Australia’s ruling class has allied itself politically with the United States and its imperialist ambitions, it is little wonder why this kind of disingenuous interpretation is common in both the Murdoch press and the ABC. As stated in the CPA program, their “long-range objective is ‘regime change’ in China and the destruction of its socialist construction.” It is most condescending and unfair for Australians to be fed nonsense alluding to China’s “threat,” and the declining relationship between Australia and China due to these consistent accusations has serious consequences for the Australian people as trade relations weaken.
MASS GALA IN BEIJING STADIUM
Ten thousand cast members performed in the CPC’s centenary gala, “Great Journey” at Beijing National Stadium in front of 20,000 audience members including President Xi, and televised across the 1.4 billion-strong nation. The show started with magnificent fireworks above and around the whole stadium and opened with fireworks marking the number 100 before drawing open the curtains to reveal a breathtaking tiered stage. Excellent performances from singers and dancers in bright and beautiful costumes fronted a backdrop of an enormous digital display which played in unison with the essence of each scene. Music filled the stadium, with orchestras of songs from China’s past and present, and spectacular props, including vehicles and bridges entering and leaving the stage, creating a constantly evolving experience.
The gala was divided into four main parts, starting with events between 1931 and 1949, most notably the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese aggression, and the Chinese Civil War. The next part moved on to the socialist revolution, focusing on the Chinese People’s Volunteers in the Korean War, and remarking on the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. The third part celebrated the return of Hong Kong and Macao from the colonialists, as well as the fight against SARS and recovery from natural disaster. The final part symbolised CPC’s great achievements of incredible infrastructure projects, alleviating poverty and the fight against COVID-19. Key parts of the gala also included China’s economic opening to work towards prosperity for the Chinese nation in 1978 and the recent three-crew space mission.
The gala also included the singing of The Internationale, and concluded with audience members participating in the singing of Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China.
BEIJING’S HIGH APPROVAL RATING
The CPC enjoys a ninety-five per cent approval rating from its citizens and it is by far the largest political party in the world, with over 95mil members. However, this fact may seem somewhat surprising to readers in the West. While this article is not about debunking the several lies spread about the CPC – rather celebrating the achievements – the majority of accusations are spread through US-funded think tanks and sources, hellbent on destroying the CPC’s reputation. The CPA program describes how US “imperialism promotes ‘independence’ movements (or colour revolutions) in a number of countries, with the objective of causing internal conflicts … making it easier for imperialism to re-impose its domination.” It is important to remember this when criticisms and accusations are made about China, or other nations struggling against US imperialism.
Those who use the argument that almost 1.4bil people must be brainwashed, are hiding behind their thinly veiled racist attitudes. With these points in mind, an objective view of China can be made to discover why the CPC is viewed as a positive force by the Chinese people.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CPC
As President Xi highlighted in his speech, the Chinese people suffered intense humiliation brought on by colonial powers such as Great Britain, particularly during the Opium Wars of the 1840s. The Chinese became impoverished and life expectancy plummeted. It was not until the CPC was born that the Chinese people were able to defeat imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism.
Later, through the development of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, China opened up and was transformed into a socialist market economy. Rapid development saw living standards rise from bare subsistence to moderate prosperity. From 1949 to 2020, grain output surged from just over 100mil tonnes, to 670mil tonnes. It now supplies food for twenty per cent of the world’s population, yet it only has nine per cent of the world’s arable land and six per cent of the world’s fresh water.
But China’s achievements do not stop there. In 1949, China was not able to even produce something as simple as nails, but now produces goods in every United Nations-classified industry. It has the second highest GDP in the world, and is now considered an upper-middle income country. Its ability to allow citizens to participate in decision-making through democratic processes continues to improve, with cooperation and consultation with minority ethnicities and those in rural areas.
Innovation and science are leading the way, with space missions, deep-sea missions, new technologies, and high-speed rail, which has essentially “shrunk” the country, allowing those from regional areas to travel more efficiently for work. China boasts over 3000 museums and 3000 libraries, and delivers radio and TV to 99.5 per cent of the population. Over one billion of its citizens now have life insurance and medical insurance. China has also been a leading force in eliminating COVID-19.
All of these accomplishments and more have led to the most wonderful and celebrated achievement of lifting approximately 800 million people out of poverty, accounting for seventy per cent of global poverty reduction. This has been achieved in less than a lifetime.
To comprehend this level of achievement is to understand the reason behind the CPC’s giant approval rating. In shared support, the CPA program specifies how China’s model “demonstrates an alternative and less destructive model of economic development […],” that “its experience in constructing a socialist society, its rapid economic growth and the steady improvement in the living standards of China’s huge population is of great interest to the world-wide Communist movement […]” and that “the objective of the People’s Republic of China is to become a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilised, harmonious, and modern socialist country.”