Xie Chuntao, editor of Why and How the CPC Works in China, speaks at the launch ceremony for the book's English edition in July (FILE)
Why does the Communist Party of China (CPC) remain popular despite making several serious mistakes? How could the CPC make China the world's second-largest economy? These are among the 13 questions answered by Xie Chuntao, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, in his latest national bestseller—Why and How the CPC Works in China.
The English edition of the book, published in July by the Beijing-based New World Press, won a larger international audience at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October—not only because it addresses Western curiosity about the "China model" and "China's road," but also because it puts forward a new way of introducing China and the CPC to the world.
For this and the next three issues, Beijing Review will publish several chapters of the book, allowing readers a glimpse into the book.
Edited chapter one—Why Was the CPC Capable of Establishing a New China—is as follows:
On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded. It was only three years and three months after the War of Liberation(1946-49) between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) broke out. When the war began, no one in the CPC, the KMT, the United States, the Soviet Union or other countries expected that the end would come so fast because the CPC was much weaker than the KMT. Various parties were looking for a convincing answer, but the parties had a common understanding that the popular support of the people finally decided the outcome of the war.
In the final phase of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), what kind of a country should be built on the ruins of the war became the focus of Chinese politics. The CPC advocated the establishment of a democratic coalition government, aiming to put an end to the one-party autocracy of the KMT and implement a multi-party system on the basis of democracy. This gained tremendous political support as soon as it was put forth, especially from the majority of the forces outside the CPC and KMT. Clearly, the coalition government had become a common political aspiration of all parties except the KMT. However, the KMT's vision of the postwar political situation of China was completely different from that of the CPC. Chiang Kai-shek strongly opposed the CPC's coalition government suggestion, demanding the CPC give up its armed forces. Then, ignoring public opinion at home and abroad, the KMT launched brutal military operations against the CPC-controlled areas, resulting in a civil war.
On December 15, 1945, U.S. President Truman declared that a strong, united and democratic China was extremely important for world peace, as a divided China in turmoil would endanger the stability and peace of the world both then and in the future. His administration also called for the armies of both the CPC and the KMT to stop the conflict and hold a national conference of representatives of the major political forces. Meanwhile, Truman also sent General Marshall, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as his special envoy to China to mediate between the CPC and the KMT.
The CPC had a positive and welcoming attitude toward the mediation of the United States. On December 17, 1945, a spokesman for the CPC issued a statement, saying that the CPC welcomed the suggestions President Truman made on December 15 about his China policy. Chiang Kai-shek firmly opposed a coalition government, and Marshall's mediation led nowhere. The U.S. had to give up the mediation, and eventually sided with the KMT.
Thus, in the early period after the victory of the War of Resistance Aganist Japanese Aggression, the blueprint for multi-party democracy that the CPC was making efforts to create was drowned by the rumble of guns. Later, John Leighton Stuart, a former U.S. ambassador to China, remarked that the KMT's poor record showed that the one-party system should be abandoned. The only way for China's salvation was to achieve broad democracy and give the people human rights. However, the tremendous efforts made by the CPC for peace, democracy and unity awakened people of all walks of life in China, who saw through the nature of the KMT regime. As a result, the common aspirations and financial resources of the majority of the people were brought together, and the foundation of the victory over the KMT was consolidated.