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Centennial CPC steers China in tackling global challenges

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech via video link at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou) in Guangdong province on Dec 2, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

GUANGZHOU – People attending the 2021 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou) have underlined the role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in steering China as it tackles global challenges, calling for more international cooperation and Chinese wisdom.

Themed “Whence and Whither – Unprecedented Changes in the World and China and the CPC,” the event, scheduled from Dec 1-4 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, has attracted nearly 80 celebrated figures from the global political, academic and economic communities. They have taken the opportunity for a vigorous exchange of views on China and its ruling party.

In his speech via video at the opening ceremony on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the world is experiencing changes unseen in a century which, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, have brought the world into a period of fluidity and transformation.

It is all the more important for us to exchange views, have more interactions and cooperation, and contribute our wisdom and strengths to a joint response to global challenges at such a juncture, he noted.

“As I have pointed out, ‘To understand China today, one must learn to understand the CPC’,” Xi said.

The Understanding China book series II is unveiled in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Dec 1, 2021. The books focus on the history and achievements of the CPC, the country’s governance system, the Belt and Road Initiative, and other issues. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

We see the power of China to act, to stay true to its ideals with every step forward, and to stick to its own foundational theories and ideologies … For a long time, no domestic or global event has changed the original aspiration of the CPC a century ago.

Ivan Ivanovich Melnikov, Russia’s First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma

This year’s conference comes as the CPC marks its centenary. In November, the CPC issued a landmark resolution on major achievements and historical experience of the Party over the past century.

“We see the power of China to act, to stay true to its ideals with every step forward, and to stick to its own foundational theories and ideologies,” said Ivan Ivanovich Melnikov, Russia’s First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma via video link at the ceremony. “For a long time, no domestic or global event has changed the original aspiration of the CPC a century ago.”

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Melnikov said that the CPC’s consistency and progressiveness in governance have ensured that the country’s strategic direction remains unchanged.

He also noted the creativity of the Party, which, instead of following dogmas, explores new concepts, methods and mechanisms and finds proper solutions under specific historical conditions.

Martin Jacques, a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, said the success of the CPC lies in its ability to demonstrate and elucidate the Chinese civilization.

He added that the Party’s development has undergone a prolonged process, rather than an overnight sensation, and it has improved itself through constant reforms.  

This photo taken on Dec 2, 2021 shows the opening ceremony of the 2021 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou) in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Over the past few decades, China has shown the world how good management and leadership can lead to economic growth and prosperity.

Shaukat Aziz, former prime minister of Pakistan

More international cooperation, Chinese wisdom needed

Addressing the international conference via video link, Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the World Trade Organization, pointed out that the vaccine gap, digital divide, carbon emissions gap and wealth disparity still pose severe challenges and risks to global peace and development.

He said that, if the assessment of these various risks and challenges is correct, then there is no choice but to address them by working together even harder.

Attendees of the event widely echoed the view and called for more international cooperation and Chinese wisdom.

“Over the past few decades, China has shown the world how good management and leadership can lead to economic growth and prosperity,” said Shaukat Aziz, former prime minister of Pakistan.

Alex Wang, a professor and co-director at the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles, said China has a lot of experience in areas such as solar power, electric vehicles and batteries, and cooperation can help both China and the world in improving sharing and the acceleration of action on the climate.

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Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former prime minister of Spain, said the world needs the sort of leadership that China demonstrated in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.

“When I think ahead towards the next few decades, I look forward to China playing an important role, in applying its wisdom to the many challenges we face – and in promoting peace, progress and prosperity for all,” said Shaukat Aziz.

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