There’s a tremendous sense of things coming together in the report of President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, a vision for China in the world being elaborated through actual accomplishments and concrete plans.
This report [Xi delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress on behalf of the 19th CPC Central Committee at the Great Hall of the People on October 16] was balanced, sober and positive. It was animated not by any reference to external threats but by the vision of national rejuvenation and the call to build a Chinese modernization that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful, within a global community that has a shared future for humanity.
It contained a moving reminder that the country had in the past 10 years waged a battle against corruption on a scale unprecedented in its history, highlighting that regimes rise and fall in historical cycles, and that ceaseless self-reform is the only way for the CPC to defeat that process.
In character, it was everything that Western leadership seems incapable of today. Generous, far-sighted, self-aware and serene, in substance it reiterated a commitment to development and laid out accountable plans for social, scientific and cultural development that is open to the world, solicitous of the natural environment and resistant to hegemony.
In this speech, it was clear that key phrases such as “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” “whole-process people’s democracy,” and “community with a shared future for humanity,” are declarations by which the party submits itself to the judgment of the people and presents China to the world. These concepts are tested and given substance in real-world accomplishments. Together they lay out a comprehensive vision articulated over time. They map the Chinese people’s fundamental commitment to build a harmonious, just and flourishing society at peace with itself and the world.
China, under the CPC's leadership, is conducting the greatest project in the betterment of human welfare ever seen. It has already undergone an economic transformation larger than the Industrial Revolution. It is where further transformational change, guided by an expansive, self-reflective vision of the human good, is on the way.
The author is a former Malaysian government official and also the founding CEO of the CIMB ASEAN Research Institute
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson