China is strengthening Marxism internationally – a Chinese analysis

The following analysis of the significance of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress is by Liu Zhiqin, Senior Fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. Its focus is not only the significance of the Congress within China but China’s international role in the strengthening of Marxism. It originally appeared in China’s Global Times.

One of the arrogant, ‘colonialist mentality’ illusions of Western analysis of China, both the ‘right’ and some sections of the ‘left’ was that Western writers knew better than China itself what was the ruling theory of China. This was the significance of the claim made in major parts of the Western media that Marxism in China was merely paid lip service to, that it was merely ‘for show’. This ‘colonialist’ intellectual illusion made many Western analysts incapable of understanding the dynamics in China.

This analysis of the 19th CPC Congress shows just how mistaken that Western idea was. China’s policy was not only based on Marxism but China’s success is now by far the most powerful force strengthening Marxism internationally after the collapse of the USSR. It is vital for those interested in progress in all countries to learn from China and it is greatly to the benefit of the international community that new global conditions make China more active in helping others learn from it. China’s impact both in general, and specifically in Marxism, will of course increase with the continuation of China’s success.

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The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) takes place at a crucial time in world affairs. The report to the 19th CPC National Congress delivered by General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping on Wednesday is undoubtedly the manifesto of the Communist Party in a new era, as it bears historic and practical significance. The report not only serves as a guide to China’s political direction and destiny, but also exerts a profound influence on the development of the international situation and the world political landscape. Since the early 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union has set people’s understanding of socialism and communism into a swirling maelstrom and devastated the European socialist camp led by the Soviet Union. After the color revolution hit eastern Europe, almost no political party and public figure dared promote socialist and communist theories and engage themselves in activities in this regard. Marxism was treated unfairly, something that had not happened in the previous century. Society was divided and chaotic. People’s beliefs were distorted. As some politicians in the West defamed socialism and communism at that time, Marxism and socialism reached an unprecedented low ebb.How Marxism and socialism would develop has baffled the international community for almost 30 years. However, China, with the fruitful results of its reform and opening-up over the last 40 years, announced to the world that Marxism and socialism are still an attractive theoretical guide and development path, full of vitality for developing countries. China, through countless facts, has proven a simple truth: Adapting Marxism to a country’s reality is the most effective guiding ideology to develop its politics and economy and also to modernize its culture.

Fortunately, China upholds the principle of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context in its reform and opening-up. The astounding achievements China has made in reform and opening-up result from the practice of Marxism in China and the socialist path in line with China’s national conditions. 

Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress proves to the world that more than one path is available for countries striving to pursue socio-economic development and modernization. The development pattern in the West doesn’t fit all nations. China’s development experience shows that one can follow China’s path to head toward the modernization that was achieved in the developed world. If China’s path turns out to be feasible to a country home to about 1.36 billion Chinese people, it can serve as an important reference for most nations around the globe.

This is the global significance of China’s experience in its reform and opening-up as well as the value of the informative report delivered by Xi at the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress. The past five years have witnessed unprecedented progress and groundbreaking achievements.

The CPC, by training cadres and officials using strict criteria, conforming to people’s wishes and keeping up with the times has completed missions and undertakings that the West considered impossible. This is the key to the CPC’s consistent achievements. 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The CPC has given shape to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era which builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It is a long-term guide to action that the Party must adhere to and develop in a bid to address new challenges and fulfill new missions in a new era. 

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This article was originally published under the title ‘​Xi’s report: manifesto of CPC in a new era’.

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