COMMENTSWednesday, August 20, 2014 - AT present, China, to which Mandela had special connections, is on the road to national rejuvenation, following its more than 30 years of skyrocketing economic growth. But it is also facing the challenge of the US’ rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, which is widely seen as being aimed at containing China. At this critical moment of great changes and transitions, China is in dire need of a political leader who has the courage, sense of mission and wisdom to lead the country to its reawakening.
After showing his resolve with a sweeping and unprecedented anti-graft campaign, which netted Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee, the spotlight of global attention is now on President Xi Jinping.
A year ago, many in China didn’t believe that the CPC would investigate such a high-ranking former top official as Zhou, nor did observers in other countries imagine that Xi, who just came to power, had the capability and courage to cage such big “tigers” as Zhou and Xu Caihou, the former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The outside world has mostly been impressed by the ruthlessness of the CPC’s anti-corruption campaign. Yet, many people close to the CPC ruling circle said that the fight against corruption is just part of the political objectives of the central leadership led by Xi. Behind the anti-graft campaign is a grand blueprint, which analysts have labeled “The Second Reforms” . The new concept contains a lot more than the word “reforms” can convey and has gone farther and wider than the outside world would imagine. Xi aims to break the entrenched bureaucracy and vested interests of officialdom formed during the fast economic expansion and initiate a brand-new model of governance for a modernized country. What is even more noteworthy is that Xi is quietly leading a revolution that is transforming the CPC’s theory of governance and the legal framework for governance. It has yet to be seen how Xi is going to implement it, but one thing is for sure, he highly cherishes the breadth and depth of traditional Chinese culture. As for economic development, the “new economic normal” idea, which runs counter to the reckless development of the past 30-plus years, has appeared and is starting to take root. What is more, reform of the People’s Liberation Army has been initiated and rebuilding the soul of military has become a top priority.
In its recent history, China was humiliated by Western powers. The Opium Wars made it realize that it had been abandoned by modernization. Western powers used their more advanced weapons to force the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to drop its policy of seclusion. China’s agricultural civilization, which had enjoyed thousands of years of glory, was beaten by capitalist civilization. Then the terrible defeat of the Qing Dynasty’s Northern Navy to Japan in 1894 made “political reform” and “restoration” a consensus. From then on, China has been looking for a road to return to and lead global modernization. With the flooding of Western civilization into China along with gunfire, Chinese culture was denied and discarded. In his speeches at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Artin 1942, Mao Zedong opened up a new political era. Traditional Chinese culture suffered unprecedented attack during the ten-year “cultural revolution”(1966-76). After which, China’s economy enjoyed 30 years of rapid growth thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening-up policy.
“Everyone has only one fate.” What Michael Corleone said in the God Fatheris concise and thought provoking. “What should we do with our only fate?” What Pavel Korchagin wondered is an eternal question — the fates of the weak are controlled by others while strong people hold their own destinies. And the fate of a nation is held in the hands of its leaders.
Xi Jinping insists that he is a loyal descendant of revolutionary elders and it is his mission to revive China and achieve the ruling party’s modernization. “Xi could have enjoyed a relaxed term of office, but as a descendant of revolutionary forerunners, he feels obligated to choose a harder road.” said another offspring of revolutionary elders. Hu Jintao turned over both the power of Party and military to Xi at the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. Despite being in office for less than two years, Xi’s confidence has made him a mature leader who is not afraid of hardship. The image Xi presents to the public is unimaginable for others, even for friends and colleagues who used to be familiar with him. His every word is no longer an empty slogan, but from his deep thinking.
Xi stressed that the road the country takes can determine its fate, and he proposed the dream of the great rejuvenation of China as the road to take while visiting the exhibition Road to Revival on November 29, 2012. This was also an announcement of his historical mission. And so we Chinese will no longer be those who were controlled by others. During Xi’ visit to Europe in 2014, he mentioned Chinese civilization and China’s road many times, declaring that “China the lion has already woken up” . Xi has his own plan on how to revive the country, what kind of country China will be when revived, and how it will interact with other countries after reviving. Even though he is a leader who has not been in office for long, he has declared to the whole world that China will step into a new era under his leadership.
Therefore one can conclude that all of Xi’s ideas and actions on cultural, military, political and economical reforms are meant to push China further along the road to rejuvenation.
—Courtesy: People’s Daily.