The New Stage of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, addresses the opening session of a workshop for provincial and ministerial officials in Beijing, capital of China. by Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been the aim, theory and practice of the Communist Party of China (CPC) since the country’s reform and opening-up policy was implemented. Adhering to developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is the central driver of the CPC Central Committee charged with administering the country, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. Xi pointed out that based on the great achievements China has made since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, especially after the reform and opening up, the CPC and the country have witnessed historic changes since the 18th CPC National Congress. As Chinese development reaches a new historical threshold, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new development stage. This understanding is tremendously significant for grasping the historical changes and achievements of socialism with Chinese characteristics since the 18th CPC National Congress.

As a whole, China is still in the primary stage of socialism, but domestic and international development and changes have added new characteristics to the primary stage of socialism.

Since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced, Party members have been working on the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which has created a solid foundation for the development and progress of contemporary China. Today, socialism with Chinese characteristics should be promoted more thoroughly than in the past. While upholding the basic guidelines of the Party and continuing to promote economic development, it is necessary to better solve various social problems and promote more balanced development of people to achieve overall societal progress.

The country’s mission during the primary stage of socialism with Chinese characteristics is to seize strategic opportunities in the world. The primary focus is overcoming ideological obstacles and institutional barriers hindering China from making better contact with the outside world. Today, the central task is managing how China creates and expands strategic opportunities, with focus on building a community of shared destiny with all countries of the world.

Having experienced tribulations and hardships in the recent past, the introduction of reform and opening up aimed to bridge the “development gap,” which was the crucial issue of the time. Today, when the “characteristics” and “advantages” have become central expectations, China must look to solve problems related to “institutional strengths.” Developed countries are no longer the only reference for China. China is now looking at the development trends of the world and becoming one of the most active and involved elements of it, making it one of the most important countries for future reference.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the new concepts, ideas and strategies put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core have combined innovative theory and practice to clearly define what kind of socialism to pursue in a country with such a large population. From a weak foundation, the country has become solid, and socialism with Chinese characteristics has reached a new stage of development. New great achievements will happen through strengthening Party leadership, carrying out new development concepts, comprehensively deepening reform, comprehensively implementing rule of law, comprehensively strengthening Party discipline and many similar strategies.

China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will long remain so. The basic condition of China has not changed; nor has the core problem in our society—meeting the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people with still relatively backward social production. Economic globalization has created new opportunities for China as well as challenges, but the global situation and domestic and Party conditions continue to undergo profound changes. The time is ripe for China to dive head first into developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, deepening reform in key sectors and resolutely discarding all notions and systems that hinder efforts to pursue development scientifically. We must coordinate all efforts and aspects of our modernization drive, and balance the relations of production with productive forces and superstructure with economic base, thus constantly improving the development path and development model in accordance with China’s actual conditions to perpetually maintain the vitality and dynamism of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The author is an associate research fellow at the Scientific Research Department of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. The article is reprinted from Study Times, edited for space constraints with the author’s approval.

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