Reaching for Modern Chinese Civilization
As one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world, the Chinese civilization is the only one that has survived every twist and turn in the history of mankind. In ancient and classical times alike, Chinese people continuously made brilliant achievements and remarkable contribution to the development of the human race. However, China’s classical culture began to collapse in modern times under pressure from Western civilization, and the nation saw a steep decline since then. This is why modernization and rejuvenation has become the long-cherished wish of the Chinese people. Due to many factors buried deep in the storied history of Chinese civilization, the Chinese people have chosen the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to guide the development of modern civilization along a path of socialism featuring Chinese characteristics.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and the subsequent establishment of the socialist system, China set up a planned economy, under which the national economy was dominated by the government bodies, and society was built with community-level Party organizations as the core to overcome the contradiction between the need of modernization and the situation of an underdeveloped agricultural society. These efforts laid the foundation of socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics. After the basic tasks of socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics were fulfilled, the CPC Central Committee decided to launch reform and opening up, which set up systems that have provided power for modernization construction in long terms. After more than three decades of efforts, the major elements of a modern civilization, including a modern market, modern government, modern party and modern society, are established and flourishing in China.
However, many of these institutions of modern civilization are relatively new to China and their functionality still needs improving. Moreover, interaction among them is rare. In light of the situation, the 18th CPC National Congress vowed to comprehensively deepen reform and modernization of governance, and that spirit has been put into action since the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Current work shows that China has begun to enrich the function of such major players and promote interaction among them from a comprehensive view.
The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee presented the task of comprehensively deepening reform and modernization of governance to improve and perfect socialism with Chinese characteristics, which suggests that China has begun to explore the function of these institutions as well as interaction among them from a comprehensive view.
To consolidate reformed mechanism through legislation and forge ahead for the future of the country, the CPC Central Committee held the Fourth Plenary Session wherein the decision was made to comprehensively implement rule of law.
Efforts to “comprehensively deepen reform” and “comprehensively implement rule of law” are meant to construct a modern civilization and a solid foundation for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Since the comprehensive construction of a moderately prosperous society is the key step to rejuvenation, the CPC Central Committee held another session, making arrangements for achieving this.
All these tasks need to be fulfilled behind the firm leadership of the CPC and with the support and joint efforts of all people of the entire nation. Therefore the Party must further improve its party building work, and to this end the CPC held the Sixth Plenary Session to comprehensively strengthen Party discipline.
Those four “comprehensives” are namely, comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, implementing rule of law, and strengthening Party discipline, which all align with the needs of development of civilization and serve the solidification of socialism with Chinese characteristics as well as the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core and with the joint efforts of the party and people of the whole nation, China has finished the work of shaping the structure of a modern civilization, and the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new phase. At this crucial point in time, the 19th National Congress of the CPC will be held. It is expected that during this congress, strategies to further develop socialism with Chinese characteristics will be proposed in order to achieve the goal of completion of construction of a moderately prosperous society by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and rejuvenation of the Chinese people by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The author is director of State-Building Research Center of Fudan University.