Imtiaz Rafi Butt
The Chinese Government has announced the 70th Independence Day celebrations as the Golden Week, to be held from 1st October, 2019. It is a momentous time for a great nation that has achieved gigantic tasks in the shortest time. A nation is on the rise, as it commemorates its past and reassures its resolve for the future. The world is watching and many a people are drawing inspiration from the example set by the People’s Republic of China. The Independence Day celebration carries a lot of substance for the country with the largest population in the world, soon to become a superpower exceeding all others.
The Government of China has released plans for the Independence Day. The Chinese Government will issue coins to remember the struggle that followed upto the declaration of People Republic of China on 1st October, 1949. A massive military parade will be held in the Tinamen Square in the centre of Bei Jeing which will be attended by the General Secretary of the Central Communist Party, all the prominent leaders and highest officials of Civilian and Military leadership will be present. The celebrations will carry on for a week with fireworks, festivals across mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The aim of these celebrations is to the highlight the achievements of the Chinese people since 1949. On the day of the 70th anniversary, President Xi Jinping will address the nation and congratulate the people on their victories and roadmap towards success. The day will also exhibit the most advanced weaponry and the show of strength of the Chinese military. General Secretary of the Communist Party and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping will be the guest of honor. As the roads, flights and transport systems towards Bei Jeing are set to choke, this day is much more than just a celebration.
The history of China can be briefly divided into two distinct eras. The dynastic era that lasted from ancient times till 1949 and the era of the communist party from 1949 to present. The history of the Chinese people is of immense significance. Just like history of many civilizations, the Chinese people were ruled by clans, dynasties and monarchical emperors, but what stands out, are the inventions like paper, silk, gun powder, smelting, rockets, paper money, crop rotation, which are, sole contributions to human progress. But the most notable achievement of the Chinese people is the breaking of shackles of elitist monarchical and despotic rule. Under the exceptional leadership of Mao Zedong, the people took the reins of their progress in the wake of the Second World War. The Civil War between the Koumintang and the Communist party lasted from 1927 to 1949. After proclaiming independence in 1949, Mao unveiled a comprehensive strategy to transform the Chinese society from every sphere of life. The path was gruesome and full of sacrifices. The reform programs of Chairman Mao lead to the death and displacement of millions as he forcefully pushed the agenda of the revolution. Centuries old traditions and socio-economic norms were challenged and tackled under the Socialist-Marxist philosophy of communism. The agonizing transition continued under able leadership and strict discipline, and when the aspect of innovation was added to the mix, the rewards began to shower on China. From 1978, China transformed into a force to be reckoned with.
Economic progress has been the cornerstone of Chinese success. It highlights that the vision of the founding father based on the materialistic interpretation of history still holds ground, even today. The first Five Year Plan to lift China out of poverty came from 1953 to 1957. This model was based around similar arrangement in Soviet Russia. The policies were largely based on ownership of productive forces by the State and their strict regulation by the one party rule. The aim was to transform the agrarian based economy to an industrial base. The second phase came in the form the Great Leap Forward from 1958-1960. The vision of Mao for rapid industrialization once again came at a massive cost.
The food output was reduced and millions starved. Efforts continued to change the economic foundations of the nation. In 1971, China opened its doors to the Western World as the United States recognized the communist as the legal authority over China. The preparation for the free market world were complete by 1978 and after that, China gained economic progress at the most impressive rates to seen in history. China has been the fastest growing economy in the world since the 1980s with an average annual growth rate of 10% from 1978 to 2005. This transformation has been accompanied by high levels of industrialization and urbanization, a process that has influenced every aspect of China’s society, culture and economy. Around 800 million people were raised from abject poverty into respectable living standards. It is a feat that few nations have achieved in the entire human history.
Now, the Chinese Government is set to take the center stage. President Xi Jinping is another great example of the Chinese Government meritocracy. Xi Jinping is now referred to as the Second great leader after Mao Zedong. His ideas on Governance, Foreign Policy and Economics are being studied in China and in foreign countries as the “Xi Thought”. His vision has been incorporated in the manifesto of the Central Communist party. Xi has propagated unity, wealth and discipline. He has bolstered the economy of China, ended the one child rule and tackled corruption at every level of Chinese government and society. For these, he is and will be known as the greatest Chinese leaders of all time. The 70th independence celebrations are an accolade to Xi Jinping as well. At this point, the people of Pakistan extend their warmest regards and felicitations on the 70th Independence Day of China. May this brotherhood prosper and bring growth and prosperity to both countries.
—The writer is, Chairman Jinnah Rafi Foundation, based in Lahore.