Party ful­fills prom­ises to the peo­ple

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO LEI in Bei­jing zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Xi, while prais­ing progress of past five years, warns of com­pla­cency

When look­ing back over the past five years, changes in all as­pects of Chi­nese so­ci­ety have oc­curred in such a grad­ual, steady man­ner that some­times they may not be so con­spic­u­ous.

But the up­com­ing 19th Na­tional Con­gress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, which starts on Wed­nes­day, of­fers a chance to re­view what the na­tion has achieved un­der the lead­er­ship of the Party and Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping.

At the con­gress, Xi, also pres­i­dent of China, is ex­pected to de­liver a re­port on the com­mit­tee’s work in the past five years and to present the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the Party and coun­try.

“Our peo­ple have an ar­dent love for life. They de­sire bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, sta­ble jobs, higher in­come, re­li­able so­cial se­cu­rity, trust­wor­thy health­care, im­proved hous­ing con­di­tions and a nicer en­vi­ron­ment. They want their chil­dren to be healthy, to have good jobs and to lead bet­ter lives. The Party will strive to meet their wishes,” Xi promised on Nov 15, 2012, when he was elected top Party leader.

The Party and Xi him­self have hon­ored th­ese pledges by main­tain­ing China on a cor­rect and rapid de­vel­op­ment track.

“We have re­solved a great num­ber of tough problems the Party had wished to re­solve but had been un­able to do so. We have re­al­ized many grand projects the Party had as­pired to un­der­take but had seen no com­ple­tion,” the gen­eral sec­re­tary said at a key Party meet­ing on July 26.

The achieve­ments have been hard won. The Party and its mem­bers, num­ber­ing more than 89 mil­lion, con­stantly work to make sure the peo­ple have a bet­ter life and China sees a great re­ju­ve­na­tion.

Hap­pier and health­ier

Groups of peo­ple ex­er­cis­ing out­doors at night con­tinue to swell in Chi­nese cities. This is, to a great ex­tent, be­cause the air is cleaner. In 2016, av­er­age con­cen­tra­tions of PM2.5 — tiny, harm­ful par­tic­u­late mat­ter — fell by at least 30 per­cent in ma­jor cities com­pared with 2013, the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion said.

Water qual­ity in lakes and rivers and soil con­di­tions are im­prov­ing, with grass­lands and forests con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand.

Peo­ple also have seen progress in other facets of life. In­comes keep ris­ing and more jobs are be­ing cre­ated; food safety is no longer a con­cern to many peo­ple; ed­u­ca­tion is get­ting more sup­port and is more ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery child re­gard­less of back­ground; al­most all of the pub­lic are

cov­ered by so­cial se­cu­rity, and they find it eas­ier to get med­i­cal ser­vice at a lower cost; new hous­ing is more af­ford­able for low-in­come fam­i­lies.

A sym­bol of China’s pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture, rail­way net­works — es­pe­cially high­speed lines — have been ex­tended rapidly. The coun­try has more than 22,000 kilo­me­ters of high-speed lines, ac­count­ing for 60 per­cent of the world’s to­tal high­speed rail­ways.

The progress flows from com­pre­hen­sive re­forms the Party has been im­ple­ment­ing un­der Xi’s in­struc­tions in the po­lit­i­cal, so­cial, eco­nomic, cul­tural and mil­i­tary spheres.

One of the most re­mark­able ad­vances is tak­ing place in ru­ral ar­eas. Nearly 70 mil­lion peo­ple in un­der­de­vel­oped re­gions, mostly in the north­west and south­west, have been lifted out of poverty.

Poverty al­le­vi­a­tion is a top pri­or­ity on the Party’s agenda. Xi has vis­ited all of the 14 re­gions with high con­cen­tra­tions of the poor since he was sworn in five years ago, and the Party’s cen­tral lead­er­ship has made a solemn pledge to elim­i­nate poverty in China by the end of 2020.

To make sure that re­forms stay on track and goals are achieved, the Party and Xi also are striv­ing to get rid of two out­stand­ing hin­drances — cor­rup­tion and bu­reau­cracy.

In the past five years, over 280 of­fi­cials di­rectly un­der the man­age­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee’s or­ga­ni­za­tion depart­ment, most at or above min­is­te­rial level, were de­prived of their ti­tles, given in­ter­nal pun­ish­ment or sent to prison for graft or other mis­con­duct. They in­cluded for­mer se­nior lead­ers Zhou Yongkang and Ling Ji­hua as well as for­mer mil­i­tary com­man­ders Guo Box­iong and Xu Cai­hou.

Stronger and might­ier

Xi puts great im­por­tance on in­no­va­tion in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, em­pha­siz­ing that it de­ter­mines the fur­ther growth of the econ­omy and even the fu­ture of the na­tion.

In the past five years, the coun­try launched two manned space mis­sions, with the most re­cent last­ing over a month. As­tro­nauts con­ducted dozens of sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ments in­side the space lab­o­ra­to­ries. Sci­en­tists sent an ex­ploratory rover to the moon and are pre­par­ing for a mis­sion that will bring lu­nar sam­ples back to Earth. They are also plan­ning robotic ex­plo­rations of Mars and Jupiter.

In the field of su­per­com­put­ing, China’s Sun­way Tai­huLight is the world’s fastest sys­tem, ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing 93 quadrillion cal­cu­la­tions per sec­ond.

The na­tion’s air­craft de­sign­ers have built the C919, a large, ad­vanced jet­liner that rep­re­sents their as­pi­ra­tion to com­pete with Boe­ing and Air­bus in the most so­phis­ti­cated in­dus­trial field, air­liner pro­duc­tion.

In the mil­i­tary sphere, the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army is un­der­go­ing the big­gest and deep­est over­haul in decades.

Xi, who is also chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, is per­son­ally di­rect­ing the far-reach­ing re­form, which aims to make the PLA stronger, more in­te­grated and more flex­i­ble so it will al­ways be able to win mod­ern wars.

The se­nior gov­ern­ing bodies of the world’s largest mil­i­tary have been reshuf­fled — in­clud­ing the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion — to op­ti­mize the com­mand chain. Re­gional com­mand sys­tems were re­or­ga­nized to boost joint com­bat abil­ity. Group armies and in­sti­tu­tions were merged to im­prove ef­fi­ciency, and new high-tech­nol­ogy units were set up to pre­pare for non­tra­di­tional fields such as cy­berspace. Sol­diers now spend more time in com­bat train­ing and live-fire ex­er­cises.

The PLA, ben­e­fit­ing from strength­ened ef­forts in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, has added some of the world’s top weaponry, in­clud­ing the J-20 stealth fighter jet and DF-21D anti-ship bal­lis­tic mis­sile.

Far­sighted, sober-minded

While Xi has praised the Party’s ad­vances, he also is fully aware of ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges. The pres­i­dent of­ten tells of­fi­cials to re­main sober-minded and to un­der­stand un­solved dif­fi­cul­ties.

Speak­ing at the July 26 Party meet­ing, Xi asked of­fi­cials to keep in mind that “China is still in the pri­mary stage of so­cial­ism and there still are many chal­lenges and dif­fi­cul­ties in the way ahead”, adding that they should al­ways main­tain a sense of cri­sis.

Yan Shuhan, a re­searcher of so­cial­ist sys­tems at the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee Party School, said as the Party con­tin­ues to ful­fill its goals, problems and un­ex­pected dif­fi­cul­ties may con­tinue to emerge.

“There­fore, Xi’s re­mind­ing of­fi­cials to be aware of chal­lenges and dif­fi­cul­ties is nec­es­sary and im­por­tant,” he said. “Of­fi­cials mustn’t be­come com­pla­cent about ex­ist­ing ac­com­plish­ments and need to go on study­ing new things and new problems.”

Pro­fes­sor Tao Wen­zhao, a re­searcher on so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics at Ren­min Univer­sity of China, said one of the rea­sons the Party has been so suc­cess­ful is that it has al­ways been aware of its cir­cum­stances.

“Of­fi­cials must al­ways take dis­ad­van­tages and the like­li­hood of un­ex­pected sit­u­a­tions into con­sid­er­a­tion . ... This is cru­cial to whether the Party can meet its goals,” Tao said.

WANG JING / CHINA DAILY

An ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing the up­com­ing 19th Na­tional Con­gress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China is ad­mired by vis­i­tors at the Na­tional Mu­seum on Thurs­day. The paint­ing shows Xu Lip­ing and his team of tech­ni­cians pro­cess­ing pro­pel­lant for the na­tion’s bal­lis­tic mis­siles.

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