Putting People First, Promoting Common Development--Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Sun Weidong at an Online Seminar Themed "Sharing Experience on Party-Building, Promoting Exchanges and Cooperation"
2021-07-28 16:33

Shri Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist),
Shri D. Raja, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India,
Dr. S. Senthilkumar, Member of the Lok Sabha,
Shri G. Devarajan, Secretary of Central Committee of the All India Forward Bloc,
Mr. Du Xiaolin, Counselor of Bureau I of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China,
Comrades and friends,

Good Afternoon. Thank you very much for attending the online seminar under the theme of "Sharing Experience on Party-Building, Promoting Exchanges and Cooperation" held by the Chinese Embassy in India.

On July 1, the whole country of China celebrated the centenary of the Communist Party of China(CPC). General Secretary Xi Jinping addressed a ceremony marking the CPC centenary. More than 600 political parties and political organizations from over 170 countries have sent 1500-plus congratulatory messages and letters on the CPC's centenary, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, and the All India Forward Bloc. I express my heartfelt thanks to all of you. The participants today are leaders of relevant political parties. Many Comrades attended the CPC and World Political Parties Summit on July 6. The political parties you represent have accumulated rich experiences in party-building and party-governance in the respective developments and are important forces of the development of China-India relations. We are good comrades and friends. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the experience of the CPC's party-building, and exchange views on how to jointly promote China-India cooperation and development.

You may wonder why the CPC is able to grow from merely over 50 members to more than 95 million members, and successfully lead China from poverty to prosperity. There are many "secrets" of the CPC's success. I'd like to share with you three of them.

First, the CPC always puts people first. The values of a political party are determined by its political stance and its view on the people. Fundamentally, it is the litmus test for a Marxist party to see who it believes in, who it relies on, who it works for, and whether it always sides with the great majority of the people. President Xi Jinping vividly characterized the essence of the CPC's governance in the new era, saying we are like examinees sitting the tests set by the era, and it is the people who will review our results.

After the Opium War of 1840, China suffered greater savages than ever before. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. Since the very day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. She led the Chinese people in a 28-year hard struggle and established the People's Republic of China. We thus secured our nation's independence and liberated our people. The Party led the Chinese people in eliminating the exploitative and repressive feudal system, established socialism as our basic system and promoted socialist construction. The Party led the Chinese people in advancing reform and opening up, and enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world's second largest economy. The Party led the Chinese people in achieving the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We have brought about a historic resolution to absolute poverty in China. We are now marching in confidence toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.

The century-old history of the CPC testifies that all the Party's struggles are aimed at realizing the ideals of the people. As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out, the CPC comes from the people, is rooted in the people, was borned for the people, thrived by the people, and has always been with the people and strived for their interests. The CPC has no special interests of its own-it has never represented any individual interest group, power group, or privileged stratum. It has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese people. The CPC enjoys the most solid foundation for governance and massive public support. Any attempt to divide the CPC from the Chinese people or to set the people against the Party is bound to fail.

Talking about the people, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about human rights. Increasing people's sense of gains, happiness and security is the fundamental pursuit of human rights as well as the ultimate goal of state governance. We stick to a human rights philosophy that centered on people, ensure the people to be the real masters of their country and take part in national governance and political consultation, and take active measures to narrow the wealth gap and promote all-round development of the people. The rights to subsistence and development are the primary and basic human rights. Protecting people's lives and health and enabling people to live a peaceful and prosperous life are the best protection of human rights. In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the CPC has fully demonstrated its values of putting people and life first. Whoever is an infant or a senior citizen over 100 years old, all of them got admitted to hospital and treated carefully. All treatment and vaccination costs are borne by the government. At the most dangerous moment, we called for the CPC members firstly at the forefront which brought people a sense of security. Now, whenever there are very few confirmed cases in any region, we will immediately take the strictest measures such as arranging thousands of millions of citizens for testing in order to prevent the epidemic from re-emerging. These are the vivid examples of protecting the basic human rights of the Chinese people

The CPC will uphold the Party's fundamental tenet of wholeheartedly serving the people, practice the people-centered philosophy of development, promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all, and unite and lead the people in working for a better life. As long as we maintain close ties with the people, empathize and work with them, we are sure to win the wholehearted support of all Chinese people.

Second, the CPC sticks to its own path. Each country has its own national conditions and should follow a development path suited to its national realities. By constantly adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China's specific realities, the CPC has finally found the right path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have realized the scientific truth of Marxism as well as its openness to development, and continue to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times. For example, during the period of revolutionary war, the CPC created a revolutionary path of encircling the cities from the rural areas and taking over political power by armed force. This was not mentioned in the classical Marxism. Since reform and opening-up, China has established a socialist market economy, joined the World Trade Organization, integrated into economic globalization and opened wider to the outside world. All these paths were forged by China in light of its own national conditions.

The path we take determines our future. It is not easy to find the right path. The CPC has explored the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics through untold hardships. We created the two miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability rarely seen in the world. This is the right path proved by history and practice. We have embarked on the right path. We will keep moving unswervingly and confidently forward along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We will definitely follow the path through.

There is no one-size-fits-all model of development. Every country's efforts to independently explore a development path that suits its national conditions should be respected. "Only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit or not." China will neither import "foreign models" of development nor export the "Chinese model". We will not ask other countries to "copy" the Chinese practice. The CPC is willing to share with political parties of all countries their respective experience to enrich each other's toolbox to modernisation.

Third, the CPC constantly strengthens party-building. The CPC now has more than 95 million members, which is even larger than the population of many countries. How to manage such a large team is an eternal task. More importantly, the CPC is tasked to unite and lead more than 1.4 billion Chinese people in building a greater modern country and creating a better life. It takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. The CPC must forge itself stronger.

The CPC has strong organizational capacity and a well-established organizational system. This is where our advantage and strength lies. The CPC has more than 4.8 million primary-level Party organizations all over the country. These organizations always work at the forefront of tackling challenges, under the guidance of the CPC Central Committee functioning as the center. We have dispatched 255,000 resident teams and more than 3 million first party secretaries and resident officials to help win the fight against poverty. We have mobilized more than 3.3 million primary-level Party organizations and over 39 million Party members to participate in the prevention and control of COVID-19, and made a major strategic achievement in fighting the pandemic. Without the strong leadership of the Party, these achievements would not have been possible.

The CPC has a large number of selfless, fearless and dedicated outstanding party members. They are all ordinary heroes who fulfill their duties and serve the people wholeheartedly. This year, the CPC Central Committee for the first time awarded the July 1 Medal, the highest honor in the Party. Madam Zhang Guimei, a recipient of the medal, has been dedicated to helping nearly 2,000 girls from poor families to fulfil their college dreams for more than 50 years in the mountainous countryside. She established China's first free high school for girls and traveled accumulatively more than 11,000 kilometers visiting her students' homes in 13 years, despite that she suffered from 23 kind of diseases due to years of hard work and kept working by taking painkillers. She believes that an educated female can break the intergenerational transmission of poverty and change the destiny of three generations. She said, "I always have a burst of energy in my heart that I believe it is worth risking my life to change their lives." This is the exemplary spirit of sacrifice and struggle of the Party members and there are many like Madam Zhang in the Party.

The CPC exercises effective self-supervision and practices strict self-governance in every respect. We have the courage to carry out self-reform and scrape the bone to heal the wounds. We have solved our own problems by picking up the scalpel to remove our own lesions from time to time. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, we have been committed to cracking down on both "tigers" and "flies". The fight against corruption has won an overwhelming victory and been consolidated in all respects. We insist that power comes with responsibility which requires a sense of accountability. Those who fail to carry out their duties will be held accountable. At the end of last year, an authoritative survey showed that 95.8 percent of the public had confidence in comprehensively strengthening Party discipline and curbing corruption. According to data from several foreign polling agencies, the support rate of the Chinese Communist Party among the Chinese people is as high as 95%. I believe this fully demonstrates the lofty position of the CPC in the hearts of the people. Standing with the people through thick and thin is the important "secret", enabling the century-old CPC to remain in its prime.

Comrades and friends,

The CPC is a political party that seeks happiness for the Chinese people and strives for the cause of human progress. From the very beginning of its founding, the CPC has closely linked happiness of the Chinese people with that of people around the world. Today the world is undergoing once-in-a-century changes. The destiny of mankind has never been so closely linked and the interests of all countries have never been so deeply integrated. China is committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, and has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

The CPC has always shouldered its responsibilities as a major political party. What the CPC does is not only seeking happiness for the Chinese people, but also common good for the world. We wish the Chinese people live a better life and wish the same for people around the world. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, all the 98.99 million rural residents living below the current poverty line in China have been lifted out of poverty, enabling China to meet the poverty reduction target set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. The CPC is willing to contribute more Chinese solutions and Chinese strength to the global poverty reduction process. At the Global Health Summit in May this year, President Xi Jinping made a solemn commitment that China will provide still more vaccines to the best of its ability. We walk the talk. China has provided more than 100 countries and international organizations with 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, more than 300 billion masks, 4.8 billion testing kits and other supplies. We will continue to fully support international cooperation in fighting the pandemic, and further improve the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries to make contributions to global fight against COVID-19.

The CPC has always adhered to equity and justice. Since its founding, the CPC has dedicated itself to the pursuit of equity and justice and the emancipation of humanity. From adopting the first program of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolution to giving support for the national liberation movements of Asian, African and Latin American countries in the 1960s and 1970s, from speaking up for developing countries at the United Nations and other international fora to taking a firm stand against the headwinds of unilateralism and bullying, the CPC has always stood on the side of equity and justice. At all times, we have underscored that all countries are equal, regardless of their size, strength and wealth, and stood against imposing one's own will on others, interfering in other countries' internal affairs, and the practice of the strong bullying the weak. We firmly uphold true multilateralism, the UN-centered international system, and the international order underpinned by international law. We will work with other countries to promote greater democracy in international relations. We have always believed that global affairs should be run by all countries in the world through joint consultation, not dictated by those waving bigger fists. We have always remained convinced that justice will eventually prevail over power politics and actively promoted the improvement of global governance. These ideas have been widely recognized.

The CPC has remained committed to win-win cooperation. The CPC has acted out the win-win strategy of opening up, calling for cooperation and mutual benefit rather than confrontation and zero-sum games. We have provided the world with new opportunities through China's new development progress. China is committed to promoting common development. We will work with other countries to deepen infrastructural and industrial cooperation, and ensure the stability and smooth functioning of global industrial chains, supply chains and financing environment, to improve global inter-connectivity and realize fairer, more efficient and coordinated global development. China will work with other countries to meet the challenge of climate change and strive to fulfill the commitment to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This shows China has taken up its responsibility as a major global player.

To truly understand China, we need to have a comprehensive, real and multi-dimensional perception of China from an objective perspective. How can you see a colorful China if you wear sunglasses? A very few countries like the United States often label China as "authoritarian", "human rights violator", "aggressive" and "bullying" out of ideological prejudice and self-interest. We do not accept any of them. The US has also wantonly interfered in China's internal affairs and wielded the big sticks of sanctions against Chinese officials and companies. We are firmly opposed to this and have vigorously fought back. These "label factories" and "stick campanies" will never work with us and should be shut down for the good of the world.

In fact, the US has been plagued by serious human rights problems such as racial discrimination, forced labor and gun violence, and has bad records of illegal military intervention and indiscriminate killing of civilians in other countries. The US does not have the qualification to play the role of "a human rights lecturer" from a higher position. It should look at itself in the mirror. While facing the challenge of the pandemic, the US has engaged in "vaccine nationalism" by stockpiling vaccines far beyond its own population's needs, thus creating an "immunization gap" and causing severe shortage of vaccines in developing countries. This is typically egocentric and self-serving. In order to maintain its hegemony, the US provokes bloc confrontation and attempts to form small circles targeting other countries for geopolitical rivalry. It is the revival of the zero-sum game and the Cold War mentality. It seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations and goes against the historical trend of openness and inclusiveness.

The human race is an integral community and the planet Earth its shared homeland. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas the Chinese nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5,000 years. China wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind. China always believes that facing the raging pandemic, all mankind are in the same boat. No one is safe until everyone is safe. China's support for India's fight against the second wave of COVID-19 is following this idea. China helped India with a large number of anti-epidemic supplies. Chinese companies worked overtime to meet India's procurement needs. Relevant Chinese authorities actively provided facilitation for customs clearance and transportation. All these efforts have helped India fight the pandemic and save many lives. We are candid and aboveboard, and did our utmost with conscience in the fight against the virus. We sincerely hope that the Indian people will prevail the epidemic at an early date.

Chinese leaders have said on many occasions that running China's own affairs well is the biggest contribution to the entire world. For major developing countries like China and India, it needs enormous efforts and a favorable external environment to run their own affairs well. In my opinion, China and India need to do the following:

First, we need to focus on development to run our own affairs well . Development and rejuvenation is the top priority for China and India. China and India are the two largest developing countries accounting for about two-fifths of the world's population. We each have to feed over one billion population, provide employment for tens of millions of people every year, and meet the people's various needs like education, medical care and social security. Without development, we cannot achieve this. If both China and India can develop, it will be 2.7 billion people moving towards modernization. It is of great significance to the development of both countries and mankind. China and India should see each other as development opportunities and support each other in achieving their respective development goals, which is actually more important than anything else.

Second, we need to strengthen cooperation to run our own affairs well. China and India are at similar stages of development. Our economies are highly complementary, and we have huge potential for cooperation. In the first five months of this year, our bilateral trade volume jumped by 70% year on year to 48.1 billion US dollars. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, such growth shows that China-India cooperation conforms to the rules of market and meets the needs of enterprises and consumers of both countries,which could not be blocked artificially. We should continue to promote economic, trade and pragmatic cooperation. Meanwhile we should expand exchanges and cooperation between our political parties, local governments and people-to-people exchanges. As our two countries share broad common interests in multilateral affairs, we should strengthen coordination in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, G20, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and China-India-Russia Cooperation. We need to promote cooperation in areas such as pandemic prevention and control, disaster prevention, poverty alleviation, energy security, and climate change, to jointly safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

Third, to run our own affairs well, we need to properly manage our differences. It is an objective fact that we have differences on issues like boundary question. We take these differences very seriously. But differences are not and should not be the whole story of China-India relations. Heightening differences does not help solve problems and only erodes the basis of mutual trust. It would make the differences more difficult and complicated to solve. We should place the border issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through dialogue and consultations. Pending final settlement, the two sides should jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

The rights and wrongs of what happened in the China-India border area last year are very clear. China has made clear its position on many occasions. The two sides have maintained communication through diplomatic and military channels. The frontier troops of both countries have disengaged in the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Lake areas. We should consolidate the achieved results, find a solution acceptable to both sides on the issue that needs emergency response through negotiation and consultation, gradually move towards regular management and control, in order to further ease the situation and avoid any recurrence of tensions due to misunderstanding and miscalculation.

China-India relations are significant to peace and prosperity of the region and the world at large. We should view and treat our bilateral relations from a more comprehensive and long-term perspective. China's strategic assessment of China-India relations has not changed. We always believe that China and India should unswervingly adhere to the consensus reached by our leaders, and we pose no threat but offer development opportunities to each other. The two countries are partners rather than rivals or enemies. We need to help each other succeed instead of undercutting or even confronting each other. We should correctly view each other's strategic intentions, be committed to the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and mutual respect for each other's core interests. We should be committed to regard cooperation as the main theme, seek mutual benefits and complementarity, so as to bring more benefits to our two countries and peoples.

Comrades and friends, you have made unremitting efforts and important contributions to the development of China-India relations over the years. We have common ground and many experience to share. I would like to hear your views on the centenary journey of the CPC and your thoughts on how responsible political parties can work together to promote the well-being of mankind.

Thank you!

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