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The Centenary only ushers in the prime of life

The coming 1 July marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China(CPC). Its 100-year journey surges forward with great momentum. Chinese people have been gearing up for grand celebrations for this special event, which is an epochal event in China’s history and has profound impacts on the development of the Chinese nation and the destiny of the Chinese people.

During the past 100 years, the CPC has overcome formidable difficulties and grown into the world’s biggest ruling party of 92 million party members from barely 50 more so people at the very beginning. More than 80 percent of its membership joined the CPC after 1978 when reform and opening up policy was adopted, over half hold junior college degrees or above, and about one-third are aged 40 or younger. According to authoritative international research, the Chinese people’s overall satisfaction toward the CPC exceeds 90 percent for many years, which is at the top of world rankings.

Looking into the history to search for the secrets of its success, we can see the CPC is both the choice of history and the choice of Chinese people.

China boasts a long history and has created a splendid civilization, but it has gone through tremendous trials and tribulations in modern times. The Opium War of 1840 plunged China into a dark period, and since then foreign invasions and domestic turmoil led to the disintegration of our land and unspeakable misery of our people. To save the nation, countless patriots had struggled with great tenacity and heroism to explore the path forward, and the political systems they had tried included constitutional monarchy, parliamentarism, multiparty system and presidential system. But none of such endeavors succeeded.

At the critical moment of life-or-death, as Marxism-Leninism was integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. From that moment on, the Chinese people have had in the Communist Party a backbone for their pursuit of national independence and liberation, of a stronger and more prosperous country, and of their own happiness.

National rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since modern times began. At its founding, the CPC made realizing Communism its highest ideal and shouldered the historic mission of national revival. In pursuing this glorious goal of nation rejuvenation, the CPC has rallied the Chinese people and led them through arduous struggles to epic accomplishments, the key milestones of which include the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and launching the great new revolution of reform and opening up and embarking on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Since the founding of new China 72 years ago, under the strong leadership of the CPC, Chinese people have stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong. China has gone through remarkable transformation from a poor and backward agrarian society to the world’s second largest economy. Despite the grim background with the fallout of COVID-19 and deep global economic recession, China has become the only major economy which has registered positive growth in the year 2020 with gross domestic product topping 100 trillion yuan (US$15.4 trillion) for the first time. The world bank forecast a GDP growth of 8.5 percent in 2021 for China, leading the world economic recovery.

Now China is the worlds’ largest manufacturer, biggest trading country of goods, top destination of foreign investment and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, contributing nearly 30% annually to global economic growth. China is the largest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions and more than one million foreign enterprises have been set up in China.

Chinese people’s living standard has improved significantly. China’s per capita GDP has grown from merely 20 US dollars in 1952 to over 10,000 US dollars in 2019. Chinese people’s life expectancy has more than doubled from 35 in 1949 to 77.3 in 2019. And China’s urbanization rate now exceeds 60%. China has lift more than 850 million people out of poverty and now has a middle income population of over 400 million. China has established a preliminary social security system covering age care, medical care, minimum subsistence, housing, and education, which covers the largest population in the world.

China’s modern science and technology started from scratch and has seen great progress including taking samples from the Moon, building space station and landing on Mars. About half a month ago on 17 June, China launched the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship, which successfully docked with the space station core module Tianhe. The entry of Chinese astronauts into Tianhe core module once again attests to China’s achievements in scientific and technological innovation. China’s homegrown deep-sea manned submersible “Fendouzhe”, which has dived to a national record depth of 10,909 meters in the Mariana Trench, and China’s ‘Sky Eye’ FAST radio telescope have both recently opened to the world scientists to aid global research.

Compared with the torn-apart, poverty-stricken old China almost at the brink of extinction 100 years ago, the achievements made by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC are nothing short of historic miracles of mankind. How has China made such great leaps forward within one century’s time since CPC was founded? Why is the CPC firm leadership key to guiding China over crucial tests en route to rejuvenation through 100 years?

The answer is the CPC has found a development path suitable to China’ actual conditions.

The CPC has no experience of modernizing China, a vast country with huge population, to borrow from in history, but has to blaze its own path. Over the past 70 years, China has achieved great development success. The ultimate reason is the CPC has found the right path – socialism with Chinese characteristics.

It is a path of reform and innovation. With the purpose to safeguard and develop Chinese socialism, to unleash and enhance productivity and social vitality as well as to modernize China’s system and capacity for governance, the CPC has constantly overcome and addressed difficulties and challenges through reform and innovation by decisively removing institutional and systemic obstacles hindering our development. The most remarkable move is no doubt the adoption of reform and opening up policy in 1978 under leadership of Deng Xiaoping.

Since the reform and opening up in 1978, in just a few decades, China has completed the industrialization process that took developed countries hundreds of years. Currently, China is the only country that possesses all the sections in the United Nations’ International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), with the output of many industrial products ranking first in the world. The Chinese people achieved a transformation from meeting basic living needs to building a well-off society.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, China has made a series of new historic achievements. Against all odds of COVID-19 pandemic, China has won a decisive victory in our battle against poverty in 2020 and has eliminated absolute poverty for the first time in Chinese history. The country is poised to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Communist Party marks its centenary, which is China’s first centenary goal.

2021 marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan period, in which China has entered a new development stage and started a new journey towards realization of its second centenary goal, i.e. to build China into a modern socialist country in 2049, when the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding.

In the 14th Five-Year Plan period, China will promote the new development paradigm with domestic circulation as its mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. China will continue to create a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards, and unleash the potential of the huge China market. China will be more deeply integrated into the international market and expand opening-up at a higher level.

With a population of 1.4 billion and a middle income group of more than 400 million, China has been the world’s second largest importer of goods for ten consecutive years. In the next ten years, China’s cumulative merchandise imports are expected to exceed US$22 trillion. China’s development will bring greater confidence to the world economy.

It is a path prioritizing the people’s interests. Seeking happiness for the Chinese people and striving for rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the founding aspiration and mission of the Communist Party of China. One of the primary reasons why the CPC could secure victory of the revolution and further establish socialism with Chinese characteristics is that the CPC is the vanguard of the Chinese people and has won people’s wholehearted endorsement and support.

Since the outbreak of the unprecedented pandemic, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese government has put people and life front and center and adopted swift and timely measures with a strong sense of responsibility. As a result, China became among the first to control the local spread and realize economic and social recovery. On 19 June, China became the first country in the world to have administered one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

China is the world’s largest developing country, in addition to its weak foundations and uneven development, the nation had long been plagued by poverty at a scale and a level of severity that has rarely been seen anywhere else in the world. As a result, the challenge of poverty alleviation in China almost defies imagination.

Ever since the CPC was founded 100 years ago, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in the battle against poverty with unwavering faith and will and has achieved satisfactory outcomes by constantly promoting development – from winning the people’s liberation to meeting their basic needs, from ensuring them a moderately prosperous life to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Since reform and opening up, more than 770 million of China’s rural population living below the current poverty line have been raised from poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global total over the same period according to the World Bank’s international poverty standard.

Removing the label of extreme poverty is not the end, but the beginning of a new life and a new journey. The CPC will always put the people before everything else, and continue to work for people’s all-round development, and common prosperity and a better life for all.

The past 100 years witness that the CPC shared weal and woe with the people, winning the heartfelt support of the people. The CPC and the people are as inseparable as fish and water.

It is a path of peaceful development. To seek happiness for the Chinese people, rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and the common good for the world are the goals and source of strength of the CPC. China’s peaceful development has greatly benefited the world.

China supports 19% of the world’s population, 16% of global GDP, 12% of global trade with merely 7% of the world’s arable land, 6% of fresh water and 12% of mineral resources. A prosperous and stable China is in itself a huge contribution to the world.

China is committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, and is the only country that has codified peaceful development in its Constitution. China is committed to peaceful co-existence with all countries, true multilateralism and to non-hegemony, non-expansion, non-alignment and non-coercion. President Xi Jinping proposed building a community with a shared future for mankind as China’s solution to collectively address global challenges such as COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. This vision embodies the ideas of building an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of China’s restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations. Under the sound leadership of the CPC, China has gone through remarkable transformation from an outsider of the international system to a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and keeper of international order. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO. During the two decades, we have always fulfilled our obligations and honored our commitment. We comply with WTO rules and firmly safeguard the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime.

China stands ready to work with the rest of the world to firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order underpinned by international law, firmly advance the construction of the global governance system, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be held next year. We have confidence that with the active support and participation of all parties, we will overcome the impact of the pandemic and host the Games in a simple, safe, and excellent manner.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gough Whitlam’s historic mission to China in 1971, and Whitlam had become one of the first Western leaders to travel to China. Next year China and Australia are going to celebrate our 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. If there is one thing we can learn from our past half a century’s interactions, that is, the sound and stable development of our relations serves the fundamental interests of China and Australia and is conducive to regional prosperity and stability.

The world we live in is in the midst of profound changes unseen in a century. China and Australia need to take an objective view of each other’s development paths and social systems, adhere to mutual respect, and properly handle differences. We should treat each other’s development as an opportunity rather than a threat and continue to build mutual trust. Faced with common challenges of defeating virus and recovering economy, China and Australia need to maintain mutually beneficial cooperation and close people-to-people exchanges, and to create a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from both sides.

Western Australia has long been the staunchest advocate of China-Australia friendship. As Consul General of China in Perth, I will put my heart and soul into promoting all-round collaboration between China and Western Australia, so as to facilitate China-Australia relationship getting back on track as soon as possible.

Zhejiang Province is the sister province of WA and Jiaxing City in Zhejiang is the sister city of Bunbury. For your kind knowledge, Jiaxing is the cradle of the CPC. It is in the small red boat in the South Lake in Jiaxing where the first CPC congress was concluded. Bearing the great trust of the people and the hope of the nation, the boat has sailed through turbulent rivers and treacherous shoals, and has voyaged across violent tidal waves, becoming a great ship that navigates China’s stable and long-term development.

I have assumed my office in Perth for 3 months and the more Western Australians I have talked to the more I believe that, like the small red boat in the South Lake in Jiaxing, the boat of China-Australia relationship is also able to brave all tough and tricky waves, overcome bitter battering and finally sail into warm clear waters.

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