The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded on October 24, but the agendas it set remain hot topics. What does the outcome of the Congress mean for today’s China and the world? Global Times (GT) reporters Wang Wenwen and Luan Xuan talked with Chen Haosu (Chen), chair of the China Esperanto Association, former chairman of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
GT: General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping mentioned a “new era” in his report to the 19th CPC National Congress many times. What does the “new era” mean from your perspective?
Chen: The “new era” stands for a new thought, new journey and new strategy. In the new era, we face different major contradictions and missions. Dramatic changes have taken place in our economic and social development modes. China has made new achievements in its reform and opening up, and Chinese society has taken on a different landscape. Xi’s thought was enshrined in the CPC Constitution. The CPC, which has grown more mature, has now formed clear-cut and systemic designs and strategic planning for our nation’s development.
GT: How do you understand the concept of “a community with a shared future for mankind” as noted in the report?
Chen: Building a community with a shared future for mankind is a focus of China’s diplomacy in the new era. In my opinion it’s the development result of the times. In the Deng Xiaoping era, China summarized that peace and development are the main themes of the era. This still applies to today’s China.
From a global perspective, after World War II people gradually realized that they should depend on each other and seek development together, rather than harming each other. The idea of a community with a shared future for mankind reveals humanity’s growth from a propensity for violence associated with childhood to the mild state in adulthood.
In addition, building a community with a shared future for mankind is an essential path for people to make the world a united one. The concept developed by China stresses the common interests of humanity, the interdependence and cooperation of nations rather than force and confrontation.
GT: What kind of wisdom and plans can China offer to the world for building a community with a shared future for mankind?
Chen: The philosophy of ancient Chinese can make contributions in this process. As Confucius says, “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.” China has accumulated some experiences in its development, which can help promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, such as its heightened cooperation with the rest of the world through South-South cooperation, and the Belt and Road initiative. They all demonstrate Chinese wisdom and planning.
GT: The report changed the statement on China’s efforts to “uphold” world peace to its efforts to “build” world peace. Is it a signal that China is participating in international issues more proactively?
Chen: It’s the result and demand of China’s development at this time. With its overall national strength improved and higher position in the world, China is taking a more confident posture in dealing with international issues. China is working and engaging with other countries to promote global governance. This is part of our efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
GT: Some countries and peoples still misunderstand China. Do you have suggestions for addressing this issue?
Chen: In addition to proper reporting, the most effective method is taking real actions to make other countries to know us better. For instance, China’s aid programs in Africa have brought more job opportunities and benefits to the local people and boosted local economic development. Such moves have made good impressions on foreigners and helped improve their understanding of China.
GT: From your experience of people-to-people exchanges with foreign countries, what is the highlight of the diplomacy part in Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress? How will it guide people-to-people exchanges in the future?
Chen: We have made remarkable achievements in diplomacy over the last five years. Xi has made China’s voice heard by the world. China has maintained close ties with other major countries, its neighbors and other developing countries. The Belt and Road initiative has received positive responses worldwide. These have facilitated countries to learn from each other economically and culturally. It also means China’s ideas have stepped onto the international stage and China’s influence has expanded.
People-to-people exchanges constitute the foundation of a nation’s diplomacy and aim to reach equality and trust of people from all countries so as to lay the foundation for a more peaceful and stable international environment. China’s economic cooperation and international initiatives such as the Belt and Road initiative in the last five years have helped foster meaningful people-to-people diplomacy and provided guidance for future exchanges.
GT: The 18th CPC National Congress started a strictest anti-corruption campaign. After the 19th CPC National Congress, the Party will continue the efforts. What do you think of the CPC’s capacity of self-renewal?
Chen: The Party has gained some victories with its anti-corruption campaign that have sustained and enhanced the vitality of the CPC’s leadership.
For the last five years, the Party has used all means to eliminate corruption, such as through mechanisms, and has reached some achievements.
Besides, the Party was founded with the goal to serve the people. This has laid a good foundation so that Party members are educated and reminded of the original intention of the Party. Just like Xi said in the report, “Only by remaining true to our original aspiration, keeping our mission firmly in mind, and keeping on striving, could the Party stay young and live.”
Moreover, the Party is capable of self-renewal and self-reform, hence it has maintained its vitality as the ruling party. It is able to eradicate corruption within the Party.
(Editorial in Global Times)