Home > News & Events
China Marches on New Journey and China-South Africa Cooperation Taken to New Heights
2022-10-28 21:18

Remarks by His Excellency Ambassador Chen Xiaodong
At the High-Level Dialogue on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
(October 27th)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Good morning! Welcome to today's High-Level Dialogue on the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. I want to extend my sincere thanks to our friends from all communities who have long cared about China and the development of China-South Africa relations!
Last week, from October 16th to 22nd, people of the world had their eyes on the 20th National Congress of the CPC, which concluded with huge success. The Congress is a meeting of great importance. It takes place at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward our second centenary goal.
The theme of this Congress is: holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implementing the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carrying forward the great founding spirit of the Party, staying confident and building strength, upholding fundamental principles and breaking new ground, forging ahead with enterprise and fortitude, and striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts. The Congress laid out well-informed guiding principles and missions of the Party and the country for the next five years and more. The success of the Congress has important practical and far-reaching historical significance for inspiring and mobilizing the whole Party, the entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to make greater achievements in the new era.
The international community closely follows this Congress.  Leaders of many countries and major political parties and dignitaries sent us congratulatory messages. On a special note, Comrade President Ramaphosa, Comrade TG Mashatile, Comrade President Mbeki, Comrade President Motlanthe, Comrade GS of the SACP Mapaila, leaders of COSATU and SANCO, as well as other friends present today also sent congratulatory messages to us on the success of the Congress and on General Secretary Xi Jinping’s re-election. It fully reflects the Comrades plus Brothers special bond between our governing parties, as well as the high level of the China-South Africa Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Because I attended this very Congress in Beijing myself, it is my great pleasure to share my observations and thoughts with my South African friends today. I hope that you will find my remarks useful for getting a better hold of the 20th CPC National Congress, the CPC itself and China as it is today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The 20th CPC National Congress is an unprecedented grand event. A total of 2,296 delegates and 83 specially invited representatives attended the Congress. The attendees are blessed with the trust of more than 96 million Party members and the ardent expectations of over 1.4 billion Chinese people. The Congress elected a new Central Committee, adopted a resolution on approving the report of the 19th Central Committee and a resolution on adopting the revised Constitution of the Communist Party of China. They worked to see that the Congress achieved fruitful and epoch-making results.
First, the most important political outcome of the Congress is that a new CPC Central Committee has been elected with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. The re-election of General Secretary Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee represents the people's wish and the expectation of all. It reflects the common aspiration of 96 million members of the CPC. After his re-election, General Secretary Xi Jinping led Members of the new Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to meet with Chinese and foreign journalists. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the 20th CPC National Congress was a Congress of holding high our banner, pulling our strength and forging ahead in unity. On the journey ahead, we shall always keep an enterprising spirit and write new chapters in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. On the journey ahead, we shall always act for the people and rely on them in everything we do and turn the people’s aspiration for a better life into a living reality. On the journey ahead, we shall always press forward with self-imposed reform. We must not halt our steps in exercising full and rigorous inter-party governance. We must make sure that our century-old Party, the biggest in the world, will become ever more vigorous through self-revolution. On the journey ahead, we shall always champion the common values of humanity. Just as China cannot develop in isolation from the world, the world needs China for its development. China will open its door ever wider. We will be steadfast in deepening reform and opening-up across the board and in pursuing high-quality development. A prosperous China will create many more opportunities for the world. We must forge ahead with enterprise and fortitude and endeavor to create a better future.
The Congress further established the core position of General Secretary Xi Jinping in the Central Committee and the whole Party, laying a solid political foundation for striving for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping, with his extraordinary courage in theoretical advancement, outstanding political wisdom, superb leadership and strong sense of mission, has united and led all Party members and all Chinese people to usher in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. General Secretary Xi Jinping won the support of all Party members, the armed forces and all Chinese people, as well as high praise from the international community. General Secretary Xi Jinping has become the core of the Central Committee and the Party as a whole. The core position of General Secretary Xi Jinping enjoys validation from long-term practice, from the Party’s great struggles and from engagement with the people. His core position represents the call of the times, the choice of history, and the will of the Chinese people.
As we move on to a new journey in the new era, General Secretary Xi Jinping will continue to steer the way forward as the core of the Central Committee and the Party. This way, the Party and the people will have a solid backbone for their struggles in solidarity and a guide for securing great achievements. This way, we will surely be able to write new chapters in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and striving to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Second, the most important theoretical outcome is that the Congress elaborated the theory of the Chinese path to modernization, ushering in a new frontier in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times. This represents an important development for Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.
The Chinese path to modernization is socialist modernization under the CPC’s leadership. It has the common features of modernization in all countries. It also has Chinese characteristics based on our own national conditions. There are five prominent features: First, it is the modernization of a huge population. Second, it is the modernization of common prosperity for all. Third, it is the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement. Fourth, it is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature. Fifth, it is the modernization of peaceful development.
The essential requirements of the Chinese path to modernization are as follows: upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China and socialism with Chinese characteristics, pursuing high-quality development, developing whole-process people's democracy, enriching the people's cultural lives, achieving common prosperity for all, promoting harmony between humanity and nature, building a human community with a shared future, and creating a new form of human advancement.
The creation and development of the theory of the Chinese path to modernization show that in order to adhere to and develop Marxism, it is important to achieve integration on two fronts.
First, we must integrate it with China's specific realities. We need to base everything we do on actual conditions and focus on solving real problems in our reform, opening up, and socialist modernization endeavors in the new era. In doing so, we should reach conclusions that are compatible with objective laws and provide better guidance for China’s practice. Second, we must integrate it with China’s fine traditional culture. We must integrate the essence of Marxism with the best of fine traditional Chinese culture and keep endowing Marxist theory with distinctive Chinese features.
The CPC will continue to keep advancing theoretical innovation on the basis of practice. We must, first of all, gain a good command of the worldview and methodology of the Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and adhere to and make good use of its stances, viewpoints, and methods. To that end, it is important to deliver the “six musts”.
First, we must put the people first. The people's creative practices are the inexhaustible source of our theoretical innovations. Second, we must maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet. China's issues must be dealt with by Chinese people in light of the Chinese context. Third, we must uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. We should keep pace with the times and adapt to the evolution of practice. We must use new theories to guide new practices. Fourth, we must adopt a problem-oriented approach.  We must be more conscious of problems and keep developing new thinking, new approaches, and new ways to effectively resolve problems. Fifth, we must apply systems thinking. We should improve our ability to adopt a strategic perspective and apply a historical, dialectical, and systematic approach to thinking. We should get better at thinking creatively, thinking in terms of the rule of law, and considering worst-case scenarios. Sixth, we must maintain a global vision. We should develop keen insight into the trends of human development and progress, and respond to the general concerns of people of all countries.
Third, another important outcome is the Congress adopted the revised Constitution of the Communist Party of China. The main content of the amendment are: adding language on the new developments of Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, adding language on the Party’s original aspiration and founding mission, as well as the major achievements and historical experience of the Party's century-long struggle, and adjusting and improving the language for the Party's goal and the primary stage of socialism. The amendment answers the call of the times and represents the will of all Party members and the aspirations of the people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
From the 18th to the 20th CPC National Congress, the decade has witnessed enormous challenges, hard work and progress for the CPC. The CPC and the country have made historic achievements, see historic shifts and China has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country on all fronts.
During the first decade of the new era, there have been  three major events of great immediate importance and profound historical significance for the cause of the Party and the people: We embraced the centenary of the Communist Party of China. We ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the first centenary goal. These were historic feats accomplished by the CPC and the Chinese people striving in unity, feats that will be forever recorded in the Chinese nation's history, and feats that will profoundly influence the world. The great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People's Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.
Here, let me use a few sets of data and demonstrate visually the breakthroughs and landmark achievements China has made over the past 10 years.
Over the past decade, China has focused on promoting high-quality development, our GDP has grown from 8.5 trillion US dollars to 17.7 trillion US dollars, ranking second in the world. Our average annual growth rate for the decade was 6.6 percent, contributing 38.6 percent to world economic growth. That is more than the combined contribution of the G7 countries and it makes China the number one engine for world growth. Also, the scale of China’s manufacturing sector and foreign exchange reserves remain the largest in the world. Over the past decade, we have won the tough battle against poverty. Close to 100 million poor rural residents and a total of 832 impoverished counties have worked their way out of poverty. We achieved the poverty reduction target set out in the UN’s Agenda 2030 ten years ahead of schedule and brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty. We have achieved moderate prosperity, which is the millennia-old dream of the Chinese nation, making significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction.
Over the past decade, we have implemented a people-centered philosophy of development. China’s per capita disposable income has risen from 2500 US dollars to around 5500 US dollars. More than 13 million urban jobs have been created each year on average and 1.04 billion people now enjoy basic old-age insurance. We have ensured food and energy security for more than 1.4 billion people and China’s average life expectancy has reached 78.2 years. In the face of COVID-19, we put the people and their lives above all else and coordinated COVID response with socioeconomic development, which achieved significant and positive results.
Over the past decade, China has comprehensively deepened reforms and launched more than 2,000 reform programs on all socioeconomic fronts, covering people’s daily lives, education, medical care and old-age care. China has built the world's largest networks of high-speed railways and expressways and a world-class group of ports. China built the world's largest education, social security and medical insurance systems, and notable progress was made in modernizing our system and capacity for governance.
Over the past decade, China has followed an opening-up strategy. We successfully held four China International Import Expos and set up 21 pilot free trade zones. China has become a top trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions. We rank number one in the world in the total trade volume of goods.
Looking back at the past decade, China emerged from the dangers of sailing in uncharted waters, hardships of climbing steep slopes and difficulties of breaking through barriers. The Chinese people have come to realize that for the CPC to write these grand chapters in the development of the Party and the country in the new era, there is a fundamental reason. The fundamental reason is that we have General Secretary Xi Jinping's superb leadership as the core of the Central Committee and the whole Party, as well as the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The resolution of the 20th CPC National Congress points out that from now on, the CPC’s central task will be: to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. The overall arrangement is to take two steps: first, from 2020 to 2035, we will work to basically realize socialist modernization; Second, from 2035 to the middle of this century, we will work to develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
In order to achieve this central task, the 20th CPC National Congress has made a series of strategic plans. These are the major fronts that we will work on along the path toward the central task:
First, accelerate the creation of a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development.  We will work to build a high-standard socialist market economy, modernize the economic and industrial system, advance rural revitalization across the board, and promote coordinated regional development and high-standard opening up.
Second, invigorate China through science and education and strengthen fundamental strategy supports for modernization. We will work to develop education that meets the people's expectations, improve systems for scientific and technological innovation, accelerate the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy and implement the workforce development strategy.
Third, apply a people-centered development philosophy and improve people’s well-being. We will improve the system of income distribution, implement the employment-first strategy, improve the social security system, and advance the Healthy China Initiative. We will develop whole-process people's democracy and strengthen the institutions through which the people run the country. We will fully develop consultative democracy and actively develop democracy at the primary level.
Fourth, modernize the system of governance and capacity. We will fully deepen reform, exercise law-based governance on all fronts, and improve the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution at its core. We will steadily advance law-based governance and government administration, ensure strict and impartial administration of justice and step up efforts to establish the rule of law throughout society.
Fifth, exercise full and rigorous self-governance, and further advance the new great project of Party building in the new era.  We will resolutely uphold the Central Committee’s centralized, unified leadership and enhance cohesion and forge the Party's soul with the Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. We will improve the systems and regulations for the Party's self-revolution and win the tough and protracted battle against corruption.
To build a modern socialist country in all respects is a great and arduous endeavor. Our future is bright, but we still have a long way to go. On the journey ahead, we must firmly adhere to five major principles: uphold and strengthen the Party’s overall leadership, follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, apply a people-centered development philosophy,  remain committed to reform and opening-up, and carry forward our fighting spirit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The Communist Party of China is dedicated to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is also dedicated to human progress and world harmony. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on diplomacy, China has conducted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts and promoted a human community with a shared future. We stood firm in protecting international fairness and justice and advocated and practiced true multilateralism. All this has seen us win more and more international recognition. China's international influence, appeal, and power to shape have risen notably.
First, we forged global partnerships with the guidance of head of state diplomacy. Over the past decade, General Secretary Xi Jinping made 42 trips to 69 countries on five continents and received more than 100 heads of state and government at home. He once traveled abroad four times in one month and hosted 70 bilateral and multilateral events in one week. Since COVID started, General Secretary Xi Jinping has actively carried out "cloud diplomacy". He spoke over the phone or virtually with foreign leaders and heads of international organizations and attended major international events via video link 259 times in total. By now, China has established diplomatic relations with 181 countries and partnerships with more than 110 countries and regional organizations.
Second, we promoted open cooperation and opened up wide space for shared development. China champions the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits as we pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We have signed more than 200 Belt and Road cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organizations. From 2013 to 2021, China’s total trade volume in goods with Belt and Road partner countries reached nearly 11 trillion US dollars, and two-way investment surpassed 230 billion US dollars. By the end of 2021, China had built 79 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 Belt and Road partner countries. In these countries, China made a total investment of 43 billion US dollars and created 346,000 local jobs. Belt and Road cooperation has thus become a popular international public good and a major platform for international cooperation.
Third, we worked to build a human community of a shared future and provide Chinese solutions for global governance. Over the years, China hosted many major international events at home, including the APEC Leaders' Meeting in Beijing, the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, the SCO Summit in Qingdao, the BRICS Summits, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the FOCAC Beijing Summit, etc. These major events speak volumes to China’s active participation in global governance. China advocates true multilateralism. We put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. We take part constructively in the political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues. We participate in global climate governance and promote stronger global public health governance. In doing so, we contribute Chinese wisdom to the resolution of various challenges facing humanity.
As we move further into 2022, changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before. The pandemic unseen in a century continues to take its toll and anti-globalization thinking, unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise. The world economy is sluggish in its recovery and there have been frequent local conflicts and turmoils. Global problems have intensified and the world has entered a new period of turbulent changes. With his mind on humanity’s common good, General Secretary Xi Jinping developed profound insights into the future of mankind and the trend of the times. He gave effective and coherent answers to a historic question of our times, that is, “where is our world headed?” This demonstrates General Secretary Xi Jinping’s great determination as leader of a major country and his sense of mission to seek harmony for the whole world.
China’s answers to that question are consistent and clear: First, commitment to world peace. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. We stand firmly against all forms of hegemony and power politics, the Cold War mentality, interference in other countries' internal affairs, and double standards. China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism. We are committed to promoting a new type of international relations and deepening and expanding global partnerships based on equality, openness, and cooperation. Guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, China endeavors to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries and safeguard the common interests of the developing world. China’s development is a boost for the strength of all developing countries and the force for world peace.
Second, commitment to international fairness and justice. China actively participates in the reform and development of the global governance system. We uphold global governance based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, call for the implementation of the GDI and GSI and advocate true multilateralism. China will always stand on the side of developing countries and fully support stronger representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global affairs.
At the Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping also sincerely called on all countries in the world to hold dear humanity's shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom; to promote mutual understanding and forge closer bonds with other peoples; and to respect the diversity of civilizations. He called on countries to allow cultural exchanges to transcend estrangement, mutual learning to transcend clashes, and coexistence to transcend feelings of superiority, so that we can join forces to meet all types of global challenges.
Although this is an era full of challenges, it is also an era brimming with hope. The Chinese people are ready to work hand in hand with people across the world to build a human community with a shared future and create an even brighter future for humanity.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The 20th CPC National Congress drew a blueprint for China's development and made strategic plans. China’s new development will bring new opportunities for the further growth of China-South Africa relations.
First, it is important to strengthen the exchange of experience in governance.  The success of the 20th CPC National Congress provides broad space for China and South Africa to strengthen exchanges of experience and connect development strategies. China is ready for more high-level visits, inter-party exchanges and institutionalized exchanges with South Africa. We are ready to share experience in poverty reduction, development and revitalization with your side and to jointly enhance governance capacity through mutual learning.
Second, it is important to deepen win-win cooperation.  China will remain committed to developing the real economy, and advance new industrialization and a high level of opening up. China is ready to strengthen practical cooperation with South Africa under BRI and FOCAC, and focus on cooperation in new sectors such as 5G, digital economy, high-tech, e-commerce, smart cities and clean energy. We are ready to work to see more projects under FOCAC’s nine programs implemented here in South Africa.
Third, it is important to enhance international collaboration.  China and South Africa are both important developing countries. We have the same or similar views on the international order and global governance. China is ready to continue to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with South Africa and firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and our common interests.  China will fully support South Africa’s BRICS Chairship next year. We will work to strengthen BRICS mechanisms and BRICS cooperation in various fields for more concrete results.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
President Mandela once said, together, we can make great achievements. In China, we also have an old saying, "Going solo is tough, but things are easier when people work together." We believe that stronger win-win cooperation between our two countries will surely produce greater synergy. The CPC is ready to join hands with the ANC, the SACP and other parties in South Africa to explore development paths that are in line with our respective national conditions, and to usher in a new era of China-South Africa cooperation and friendship!
Last but not least, I wish today’s High-Level Dialogue a full success and I look forward to hearing your insights.

Suggest To A Friend: