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Special> 18th CPC National Congress> Opinion
UPDATED: November 5, 2012 NO. 45 NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Toward a Stronger Socialism
By Rolf Berthold

The upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be inscribed as an especially historic event. The congress will further emphasize and clarify the principles and policies that have already been clearly stated by the Party. Led by the CPC, China has made remarkable achievements in both economic and social areas in the past decades, which proves that the country's development strategy is correct in spite of the problems and difficulties it still faces. China's economic status in the world has been rising and its international influence has strengthened. Despite various disturbances, the domestic situation of the country is stable. The people's living conditions have markedly improved. China's development has also led to major changes in the world's balance of power.

The 18th CPC National Congress will make it clear that the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the drastic changes in East European countries have not put an end to socialism, and capitalism may not be the only valid social system. People in many countries, especially in developing countries, are paying increasing attention to China's development. They are studying China's economic and social development models. Even in developed countries, people are studying China's policies, technological development and many other things that are happening in the country.

The CPC regards history as a continuous and revolutionary process. In order to rescue the semi-feudal and semi-colonial Chinese society from being reduced to a colony, the CPC was established by the working class to launch the New Democratic Revolution (1919-49), which overthrew the imperialists' and feudalists' rule in China. The Party further led the nation to carry out the socialist revolution which established the socialist system. Although the CPC has met with difficulties and setbacks during this process, the new social development path it has created suits the realities of China and can be applied to other countries facing similar social conditions.

Based on the New Democratic Revolution, the CPC has explored a socialist path with Chinese characteristics and achieved great success. Although China is distinct from others because of its vast land, long history, culture and other circumstances, it is still beneficial for those dedicated to social progress and world peace in other countries to study the CPC's principles and policies when they are making their own strategies and policies. Mutual learning is an important method. In the past decades, the CPC has learned from both the experiences and the lessons of others. Now it is more and more necessary for the rest of the world to learn from the CPC. This will particularly involve those questions raised by the CPC: What is socialism, and how to build and develop it? How to promote socialist democracy and the construction of a socialist country ruled by law.

The 18th CPC National Congress is being held at a time when key elements of socialism, such as the economic development strategy, socialist political system, fiscal policies and foreign policies, have been set up. Communist and socialist parties around the world are talking about socialism in the 21st century, but they often lack the determination to learn from the CPC.

The CPC has formulated the theories such as the primary stage of socialism and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Any misunderstanding of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics is related to the misunderstanding of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the drastic changes in socialist European countries from 1989 to 1991. The drastic change disheartened socialists and communists in those countries. They came to the conclusion that socialism was doomed to fail. However, the CPC has successfully developed socialism in China by suiting its principles and policies to the reality of the country.

I sincerely wish the 18th CPC National Congress a big success and the continuing advancement of the interests of the Chinese people.

The author was German Democratic Repulic's ambassador to China from 1982 to 1990

Email us at: zanjifang@bjreview.com

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