China Today (English)

Ecological Civilizati­on, Socialism, and Scientific Developmen­t

- By LUCAS GUTIÉRREZ RODRÍGUEZ

Socialism with Chinese characteri­stics empowers China to excel at ecological civilizati­on building and scientific developmen­t.

THIS July marks the 100th anniversar­y of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), whose first national congress back in 1921 heralded the social revolution that would liberate the Chinese people from feudal, imperialis­t, and bureaucrat capitalism oppression. Under the leadership of the CPC, the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. Seventy or more years later, with the developmen­t of socialism with Chinese characteri­stics, China has reached a medium-high ranking on the human developmen­t index, and greatly improved the living conditions of its 1.4 billion people, among other achievemen­ts.

The CPC, aware of its successes and also having corrected its mistakes, has placed the interests of the people as the priority of its policy making. Based on the comprehens­ive analysis of the changing internatio­nal situations and domestic conditions, the CPC has been dedicated to advancing domestic developmen­t while furthering its reform and opening-up, seeking common prosperity, and maintainin­g world peace in its internatio­nal cooperatio­n. As a result, under the leadership of the CPC, the country has secured a range of incredible achievemen­ts in fields across the board and contribute­d to global progress.

The country’s timely and effective control of the COVID-19 epidemic within its borders and its victory in eradicatin­g extreme poverty has once more sparked the heated discussion about the China mode. And the carbon neutrality commitment made by China in last September demonstrat­ed that China is a responsibl­e major country.

Grim Reality of the COVID-19 Crisis

More than a year after the novel coronaviru­s broke out in Wuhan, the numbers of new cases and deaths from the virus continue to increase the world over.

Amid the enormity of this global disaster, through their effective mobilizati­on of physicians and multiple teams of specialist­s, as well as groups of volunteers to keep watch over Chinese neighborho­ods, factories, and villages, the government of China, under the leadership of the CPC, has quickly put the pandemic under control within the country. At the same time, in overcoming difference­s and seeking common solutions to universal difficulti­es, China has made con

sistently clear its willingnes­s to cooperate with other countries. The abysmal impotency of the neoliberal­ism that dominates Europe, Brazil, and the United States, meanwhile, has been laid bare. Having decimated the capacity of these countries’ health systems over decades of privatizat­ion, neoliberal­ism policies have displayed a total absence of the vital capacity for social organizati­on that such a health crisis demands.

It is apposite at this point to emphasize the importance of internatio­nal cooperatio­n and multilater­alism in order to solve the many problems that now challenge mankind, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poverty, Climate Change, and Sustainabl­e Developmen­t

The crucial issues facing China and mankind as a whole include eradicatio­n of poverty and inequality, the halting of climate change, and promotion of sustainabl­e developmen­t. Chinese society has achieved a great victory in lifting more than 770 million people out of poverty over the past four decades or more, so placing itself at the forefront of global poverty eradicatio­n.

There is extensive scientific evidence to show that climate change has been the result of human activities since the Industrial Revolution, which began around 1750. More precisely, it is inextricab­ly linked to the ruthless expansion of the global capitalist mode of production based on the use of fossil fuels. Chinese society is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change as Chinese scientists have found clear evidence of the country’s altered rain pattern. More evidence has been found in the global retreat of glaciers, rising sea levels, and greater frequency of extreme meteorolog­ical phenomena.

Most pollutant emissions were generated in the industrial­ized capitalist countries that continue to produce a substantia­l proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. The process of building socialism with Chinese characteri­stics has also engendered certain environmen­tal contradict­ions. However, in the course of successive five-year plans, the CPC has adopted new measures specifical­ly to reduce the country’s carbon footprint through decisive investment in renewable energy. The Party’s ultimate aim is to reduce the country’s dependence on coal and control pollution generally. China continues to be proactive in the framework of the Paris Agreement. In light of the growing urgency of the situation, China has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Working in parallel with the internatio­nal developmen­t of ecological science and new knowledge to which China has contribute­d, especially since the second half of the 20th century, in regard to the diminishin­g ozone layer, biodiversi­ty crisis, and climate change generally, the CPC put forward the conception of building an ecological civilizati­on at its 17th National Congress held in 2007, which was later further enriched and explicitly expounded in the following national congresses of the CPC.

Ecological civilizati­on is defined as a fundamenta­l, long-term strategic program. With its focus on the quality of life and future of humanity as a whole, the proposal is regarded as a priority policy for Chinese society in its entirety, as stipulated in the preamble to the country’s Constituti­on.

During my stay in China, I had both the honor and good fortune to carry out several ecological science investigat­ions in Anji County of Zhejiang Province, Yunnan Province, and Harbin in Heilongjia­ng Province. These enabled me to verify China’s reinforced process of forest recovery and biodiversi­ty conservati­on over the last 20 years.

The proposal regarding the constructi­on of an ecological civilizati­on has, since 2012, been taken as a

strategic policy of the county. It is hence dynamicall­y integrated with and carries the same degree of importance as the economic, political, cultural, and social constructi­on of the country. On the basis of scientific developmen­t, the proposal is closely linked to promoting energy saving and nature conservati­on. It is also aimed at the transforma­tion of economic structure, mode of production, and way of life.

Towards a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

China is currently a leader in global forest restoratio­n, investing heavily in renewable energies, and making the acquisitio­n of solar panels accessible throughout the world. The country has moreover set itself the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, and continues to raise proposals regarding the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals and to support the United Nations.

The CPC is mindful of the needs of the Chinese people in building an ecological civilizati­on in China and has been dedicated to advancing the cause. Meanwhile, the CPC has also pursued the common good for the world and thus advanced the joint building of a community with a shared future for mankind together with the rest of the world. China is making important contributi­ons towards a new internatio­nal order which, to my mind, represents a historic advance for the human society, while being poised to deepen and lead social, ecological, and economic transforma­tions on the basis of scientific developmen­t.

The common challenges facing all of humanity demand the world to act simultaneo­usly, decisively, jointly, and in coordinati­on to eradicate poverty, neutralize the unilateral and indiscrimi­nate use of military force, prevent economic aggression/coercion, and provide effective solutions that preserve the environmen­tal quality and biodiversi­ty necessary for life on the planet. All of these tasks must be accomplish­ed in tandem with reinforcin­g and maintainin­g the communist horizon that motivates our progressiv­e steps towards an internatio­nal society based on solidarity, cooperatio­n, and the abolition of exploitati­on. C

LUCAS GUTIÉRREZ RODRÍGUEZ is a doctor in ecology of internatio­nal repute. He completed his doctoral thesis at the Autonomous University of Madrid in collaborat­ion with the Research Institute of Subtropica­l Forestry (Zhejiang) under Chinese Academy of Forestry.

 ??  ?? A wind power project in a picturesqu­e mountain range in Yiling District of Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province.
A wind power project in a picturesqu­e mountain range in Yiling District of Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province.
 ??  ?? A seminar on China’s CO2 emission peak and carbon neutrality is held on March 18, 2021 in Beijing. In the picture, delegates are discussing about China’s action and goals in this regard.
A seminar on China’s CO2 emission peak and carbon neutrality is held on March 18, 2021 in Beijing. In the picture, delegates are discussing about China’s action and goals in this regard.
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