Proof that Party puts peo­ple first

Poverty-re­lief num­bers best ev­i­dence of CPC’s so­cial pri­or­i­ties, ex­pert says

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG zhangzhoux­i­ang@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

To put into per­spec­tive the sig­nif­i­cance of 718 mil­lion peo­ple, the num­ber is larger than the pop­u­la­tion of the Euro­pean Union and Rus­sia com­bined. It is more than twice the pop­u­la­tion of the United States, or 10 per­cent of the planet’s en­tire pop­u­la­tion.

It is also the num­ber of peo­ple lifted out of poverty by China be­tween 1981 and 2015, ac­cord­ing to data from the World Bank.

And the process of poverty al­le­vi­a­tion has been fur­ther speed­ing up since the 18th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China in 2012. From 2013 to 2016 alone, 55.64 mil­lion peo­ple in China had been lifted out of poverty. The num­ber is es­ti­mated to be more than 10 mil­lion in 2017, which means China has helped more than 13 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty on av­er­age each year dur­ing the past five years.

For Jiang Yu, an as­so­ciate re­searcher at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil, the glo­ri­ous achieve­ments of China’s poverty al­le­vi­a­tion are the best ev­i­dence of the CPC in­sist­ing on peo­ple-cen­tered­ness.

“Peo­ple-cen­tered­ness” is what Xi Jin­ping, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, em­pha­sized in his key­note speech de­liv­ered at a high-level work­shop on July 26.

In that speech, Xi made a ma­jor strate­gic judg­ment that so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics has en­tered a new de­vel­op­ment stage, and re­quired the mak­ing of poli­cies and plans that suit the needs of the epoch and meet the needs of the peo­ple. Xi em­pha­sized that the CPC must cling to the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the de­vel­op­ment stage as well as the Chi­nese peo­ple’s pur­suit of happy and pros­per­ous lives.

Jiang said that peo­ple-cen­tered­ness is “a main foun­da­tion of his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­al­ism,

an es­sen­tial part of the com­mu­nism the­ory.”

“The main logic is that hu­man la­bor cre­ated all value and the peo­ple who la­bor cre­ated his­tory. There­fore, the com­mon ul­ti­mate goal of de­vel­op­ment paths should be ben­e­fit­ing the peo­ple.”

Jiang agreed that hold­ing to the two prin­ci­ples of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the de­vel­op­ment stage and peo­ple-cen­tered­ness is the pre­req­ui­site for push­ing for­ward the con­struc­tion of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Some of the prob­lems that China has faced since it adopted the mar­ket econ­omy in the past sev­eral decades, such as in­dus­trial over­ca­pac­ity, wi­den­ing gaps be­tween the rich and poor, en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion and fi­nan­cial bub­bles, can be solved more quickly and more ef­fi­ciently com­pared with West­ern coun­tries as long as the ad­van­tages of China’s so­cial­ist sys­tem are fully used to serve peo­ple­cen­tered­ness, he said.

Lyu Jia, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of Marx­ism stud­ies at Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity, said: “China has been on a fast but steady ris­ing path. The five years af­ter the 18th Party Congress are es­pe­cially amaz­ing be­cause they see China not only ad­just­ing eco­nomic struc­ture and keep­ing eco­nomic growth, but also im­ple­ment­ing many key projects that ben­e­fit the peo­ple.”

These projects cover al­most ev­ery as­pect of Chi­nese peo­ple’s daily life. For ex­am­ple, by the end of 2016, the ma­jor­ity of the coun­try’s 1.3 bil­lion ci­ti­zens have been cov­ered by the ba­sic med­i­cal se­cu­rity fund. More than 10 mil­lion fam­i­lies now par­tic­i­pate in the na­tional af­ford­able hous­ing project.

Lyu also said that Xi’s key­note speech, es­pe­cially the two points of China hav­ing en­tered a new de­vel­op­ment pe­riod and the es­sen­tial need for peo­ple-cen­tered­ness, point out the di­rec­tion for the com­ing 19th Party Na­tional Congress, which will open on Wed­nes­day.

Lyu also said peo­ple-cen­tered­ness is a key part of Xi’s the­o­ries about gov­er­nance. “We must an­swer our own ques­tions with our own the­o­ries,” Lyu said. “That China has en­tered a new de­vel­op­ment stage and the ne­ces­sity of in­sist­ing on peo­ple-cen­tered­ness are the es­sen­tial strate­gic judg­ments of Xi about China, and they should guide us like torches for walkers on roads.”

Zhang Xix­ian, a pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in Party build­ing at the Cen­tral Party School, said peo­ple-cen­tered­ness is a chief prin­ci­ple of all ma­jor poli­cies of the Party with Xi as the core. “Xi is full of love for the peo­ple and the land that cul­ti­vates the peo­ple,” he said. “And he made many in­spec­tion tours to the re­gions that lag rel­a­tively be­hind in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. He also opened the path for tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion.”

These, ac­cord­ing to Zhang, show that peo­ple­cen­tered­ness is deeply rooted in Xi’s mind. “With Xi’s de­vel­op­ment strat­egy of peo­ple-cen­tered­ness, the CPC has carved peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness deeply on the mile­stone to­ward re­al­iz­ing our Chi­nese Dream,” he said.

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