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The Webinar on the Third Volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China and the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee was Held Successfully in South Africa

On November 24, the Webinar on the Third Volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China and the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee were successfully held by the Chinese Embassy in South Africa and the National Press Club of South Africa. Ambassador Chen Xiaodong attended the Webinar and delivered a keynote speech. Chairperson of the National Press Club of South Africa Val Boje chaired the Webinar.

Jessie Duarte, Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Solly Mapaila, First Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Ambassador Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General of DIRCO, Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, Mathole Motshekga, Executive Director of the Kara Heritage Institute, and the representative of Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Maseko, member of the National Executive Committee of ANC, delivered speeches as guest speakers.

Ambassador Chen first congratulated on the success of the Webinar, saying that The Third Volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China reflects the major thoughts, philosophies and strategic policies put forward by President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China centering on the development of the Party and the country. The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee deliberated and adopted The Proposals of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, which is a blueprint for China’s development in the next five to fifteen years as well as the embodiment and the latest practice of Xi Jinping thought on governance. Both are the golden keys to in-depth understanding and interpretation of China’s domestic and foreign policies in the new era.

Referring to the five key words of “People First”, “Party Leadership”, “New Paradigm”, “Shared Prosperity” and "Governing Proficiency”, combined with solid data and vivid examples, Ambassador Chen offered an in-depth elaboration and interpretation of Xi Jinping’s thought on governance and great achievements.

Ambassador Chen said that President Xi Jinping has always adhered to the concept of people-centered development, and China’s fight against COVID-19 and poverty alleviation are the most vivid practice. This concept is also the main thread running through the Proposals. The Communist Party of China and its government have not only developed the national development strategy, “drawing up blueprints to the end”, but also resolutely implemented the blueprints, thus effectively translating the blueprints into great strides achieved in economic and social development. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the choice of history and the people, and the key to running China’s affairs well lies in the Party. The key to the success of the CPC lies in the strong core of leadership, the commitment to strengthening Party self-discipline, maintaining strong political leadership, organizational mobilization, overall coordination and implementation, and the commitment to promoting socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics. Ambassador Chen also said that the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee proposed that China will continue to implement new development philosophies, build a new development paradigm and promote high-quality development. This is a strategic choice made by China as it enters a new stage of development and responds to changes in both the domestic and external environment. The new development pattern emphasizes the duel circulation of mutual opening-up at home and abroad, rather than a single closed circulation of the domestic economy. China will get more actively integrated into the global market and more actively deepen external cooperation to create more opportunities and space for world economic recovery and development.

Ambassador Chen also reviewed the achievements of China-Africa relations since the inception of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 20 years ago. He pointed out that FOCAC has become a banner of China-Africa cooperation and a model of multilateralism and mutual benefit in that it has consolidated the unity and friendship between China and Africa, promoted the common development of China and Africa, and deepened the friendship between the Chinese and African peoples. China-Africa relations have entered a new historical stage of development, and we look forward to closer experience sharing in governance and building a community of shared future between China, South Africa and Africa. More efforts will be made to deepen anti-pandemic cooperation, in particular, to give play to South Africa’s role as an important bridge for BRICS cooperation with Africa, and jointly build a China-Africa community of health for all. We shall act on the new vision of development, focus on post-COVID-19 economic recovery, advance the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation aligned with national development strategies of Africa, and work together to build a China-Africa community of common development.

In closing, Ambassador Chen said that Africa’s Ubuntu Philosophy fits in well with the vision of building a community of shared future for mankind. Under the guidance of these two visions, China and Africa need to be further engaged in global governance, firmly uphold multilateralism, support the international system with the United Nations as the core, drive the international order towards greater fairness and rationality, safeguard the common interests of developing countries and jointly build a community of shared future for mankind.

The guest speakers shared their understanding of Xi Jinping’s thought on governance from different perspectives, including China’s experience in governing the Party and country and its implications for South Africa, the “Belt and Road” Initiative, mutual benefit and mutual learning between China and Africa, and largely quoted “golden words” from President Xi’s book. Participants agreed that The Third Volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China and the Plan adopted at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee provided the most authoritative and systematic solution for the outside world to explore the governance code of China’s rapid development, and provided experience and ideas for the development and revitalization of South Africa and Africa.

The guest speakers spoke highly of the governing philosophy and strategy of President Xi Jinping and the CPC, holding that with a people-centered approach to development, President Xi has lifted 1.4 billion people out of poverty and brought them to common prosperity, and that being committed to high-quality, innovative and green development, China has built the world’s largest social security system and a strong public health care system, which is the fundamental factor of uniting the CPC and the Chinese people together in close bond, as well as an important guarantee for China to control the COVID-19 pandemic and take the lead in resuming work and production within a short period of time. The Communist Party of China and its government have not only formulated long-term strategic plans to ensure policy coherence and continuity, but also centralized the resources of the whole society to translate them into development outcomes in an efficient manner.

The guest speakers spoke highly of China’s commitment to cooperation, openness and win-win diplomacy, which, they believe, is of great significance for solving many problems in today’s world. The “Chinese dream” of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is closely related to the pursuit of building a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world. China has always been open to the outside world and actively advanced the “Belt and Road” construction, which has brought important development opportunities to South Africa and other developing countries. China firmly supports multilateralism, vigorously promotes global governance and multi-polar development, and upholds a fair, just and inclusive international order.

The guest speakers also highly appreciated President Xi and the Chinese government’s advocating and adhering to the policy concept of sincerity, real results, friendship and good faith in engagement with Africa. They thanked China for its firm support to Africa’s fight against COVID-19 and its commitment to giving priority to Africa and other developing countries when the vaccine is developed and put into use. The speakers also said that China has never colonized, enslaved or exploited Africa, but has conducted mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa on an equal footing through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and other mechanisms. China has become the most important and reliable partner for South Africa and Africa, providing a strong catalyst for the rise of the African continent. South Africa and China enjoy deep friendship and close exchanges between the two parties and countries. South Africa looks forward to strengthening mutual learning with China, deepening bilateral friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly ushering in a better future.

Participants praised the timeliness and depth of the Webinar, which is of great significance to boosting the development of Africa itself and Africa-China relations. Ambassador Chen’s speech was comprehensive in content and profound in thinking, being highly concise and easy to understand. It was quite thought-provoking. Supplemented by illustrated slides, the photos of President Xi’s visit to Africa, especially those involving South Africa, made everyone feel quite warm and excited to revisit history. The guests’ speeches and discussions were full of highlights. After the Webinar, participants asked the organizer for The Third Volume of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China and Ambassador Chen’s speech script.

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Nearly 200 representatives from South Africa’s ruling party, government, universities, think tanks and media, as well as representatives of central media, Chinese media, overseas students and senior diplomats from the Chinese Embassy in South Africa attended the Webinar.

The National Press Club of South Africa is South Africa’s leading NGO of media practitioners, with membership covering all mainstream media in South Africa.

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