Global Times Editor’s Note:
“Though the CPC’s 100-year history has not been linear, there has been a vision, a dedication to bring about that vision, and a commitment to policies required to make it happen,” said Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn (Kuhn), chairman of The Kuhn Foundation and recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal (2018), expressed to the Global Times his views on why the Communist Party of China has been able to go through the past century with quite a number of remarkable achievements.
Why could the CPC turn the tables for China’s destiny? How does the party keep dynamic? Kuhn believes that “Essential are long-term policy commitment and a commitment to make changes, fine or broad, based on real-world feedback.”
GT: The Communist Party of China (CPC) was founded in 1921 three years after the end of World War I.
The CPC has led China through various wars and the West’s suppressions that aimed to isolate the country.
It then took China to reform and open-up, which has resulted in the country’s remarkable prosperity.
What is your take on the CPC’s success to repeatedly turn the table for China’s destiny indicate?
Kuhn: It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have spent more than 30 years not only observing China but also participating with China as the largest population on earth undergoes the greatest transformation in history.
I have given deep thought over the years as to what has brought about China’s developmental miracle? Consider eleven principles.
1. A people who work long and hard to improve the lives of their families and the destiny of their country.
2. The prioritizing of economic and social development over ideological rigidity.
3. A one-party-leadership system (what is called “the multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC”) that enforces political stability and media control and encourages economic development and social enhancement.
4. A one-party-leadership system that is structured in hierarchical administrative levels – central government and five levels of local government: provincial, municipal, county, township, village).
5. A one-party-leadership system that prioritizes selection, education, training, monitoring and inspection of key personnel, inculcating a high degree of administrative and managerial professionalism.
6. A one-party-leadership system that solicits, and pays attention to, expert opinion, whether in the Party or not, as exemplified by the increasing influence power and social pressure of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
7. A one-party-leadership system that solicits, and pays attention to, public opinion.
8. The setting of long-term goals, mid-term objectives, and short-term policies that are monitored and modified continuously; policies that need long-term commitment have long-term commitment.
9. A way of thinking that experiments and tests before implementing and rolling out.
10. A one-party-leadership system that provides checks and balances via anti-corruption institutions
11. A one-party-leadership system that is willing to admit and correct errors.
In early February 2020, soon after Wuhan was locked down, I went on record in the media, international and Chinese, expressing confidence that China would contain the escalating epidemic.
I based my confidence not on prophetic gift but on China’s success in alleviating extreme poverty, which I had been following for years.
I saw a revealing parallelism between China winning the war to control the contagious coronavirus and China winning the war to eradicate extreme poverty.
The common root was the leadership and organizational capacity of the Communist Party of China that celebrates its 100 anniversary this year.
The structural similarities between anti-pandemic and anti-poverty campaigns are striking: CPC leadership, General Secretary Xi’s commitment, CPC mobilization.
First, the operational leadership of the CPC – not just giving directives and making pronouncements, but implementing programs and operating projects through the CPC organizational structure – central government and five levels of local government (provincial, municipal, county, township, village).