Can Stagnant African Liberation Movements Emulate China?

By Emmanuel Matambo.

On 22 June 2021, the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS) at the University of Johannesburg and the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) hosted a webinar to reflect on the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s 100th anniversary. Professor Ibbo Mandaza, a renowned Zimbabwean academic and politician was one of the presenters. In comparing the achievements of the CPC with those of Southern Africa’s liberation movements, Mandaza argued that the latter exhausted their usefulness the moment they succeeded to end settler colonial rule, and, thus, had no use after independence. I respectfully disagree with Mandaza’s categorical assertion for an obvious reason: according to that logic, the CPC, a liberation movement in its own right, would have had no usefulness beyond securing political independence for the Chinese people. This article submits that Southern African liberations movements need to adapt to their new circumstances if they wish to emulate the CCP’s longevity and successes.

The CPC’s impressive achievements, especially when told to a Southern African audience almost automatically brings into focus the quality of ruling parties in Southern Africa. However, the CPC itself has had a chequered history since its formation. I am of the view that the most important characteristic of the CPC is, by far, its ability to adapt. Arguably, others may allude to issues such as the forced political stability that does not brook political opposition, a merit-driven deployment of party cadres in strategic positions, and the work ethic of Chinese citizens. All these, however, could be traced to the willingness of CPC apparatchiks to timely respond to shifting domestic and international dynamics.

The CPC of the Mao era was doctrinaire, hell-bent on ideological purity, national sovereignty and pulling China out of the Soviet shadow. Thus, China under Mao played some part in sponsoring anti-colonial intrigue, it openly fought an ideological battle with the Soviet Union, purged those it considered apostates and embarked on costly disasters such as the Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, middle-class Chinese intellectuals and artisans, accused of harbouring capitalist tendencies, were shunted to rural areas for socialist instruction. Thus, while China might have gained in ideological authenticity during the Mao era, the country remained desperately poor.

Mao Zedong died in 1976, opening China to possibilities of foreswearing the zealotry of the late Chairman. In 1978, under the auspices of Deng Xiaoping, a survivor of Mao’s purges, China started making breath-taking reforms and risks that are responsible for the greatest reduction of national poverty unmatched in the country, which remains unmatchced in human history. Even Barack Obama writes that due to China’s post-Mao policies, which entailed an “export-driven economy, a state-managed form of capitalism, no nation in history has developed faster or moved more people out of abject poverty.” Deng and his successors managed to achieve such stupendous feats because they adapted to a constantly changing international economic system. They well understood that insular politics and foreign policies deprived China of the benefits of integration with countries that could furnish China with technology, mineral and energy resources and markets for the country’s products. The country worked painstakingly to be included in the World Trade Organisation (which eventually happened in 2001), and for more than thirty years since 1978, China’s economy was growing at an unprecedented 9.5%. Today, from the $23 of 1949, China’s per capita GDP stands at $10,000, and its life expectancy is at 75 years. In addition to this, in November 2020, President Xi Jinping announced that China had completely eradicated extreme poverty.

The presenters at the 22 June event referred to this inauspicious history in order to highlight the stupendous development that China has attained under the leadership of the CPC. Inevitably, this drew the discussion to where African liberation movements go wrong.  In this regard, the CPC’s example carries a few lessons for Southern Africa.

The need to adapt to changing circumstances

The problem with liberation movements in Africa is that they are not as adaptable as the CPC. A candid acknowledgement of mistakes committed led China to abandon Mao-era dogmatism. Southern African liberation movements would also have to forthrightly look at how policies such as affirmative action and land redistribution have not translated into upward mobility for the long suffering ordinary Southern Africans.

In a world that is increasingly globalised, Southern African leaderships could do well to encourage skills and student exchanges, a decision that served the CPC well at the time when it sought to implement what it called the Four Modernisations (agriculture, industry, defence, and science and technology). Considering that the biggest resource that Africa in general has is its people; with only 3% of Africans above the age of 65 years, and about 55% of the people between the age of 15 and 65, the continent is teeming with latent talent which could be put to use through aggressive investment in education; governing parties need to invest not only in traditional tertiary institutions, but in technical colleges that could provide the continent with hard skills.

All this does not require that liberation movements be removed from power. It requires that they become more responsive to their circumstances, that they nurture ideological clarity, and that they defer to talent and capability when appointing people in leadership positions rather than outdated references to one’s “struggle credentials.”

The imperative to advance national priorities

ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa are partly tethered to the witch-hunting mentality that made them successful liberation movements and exposers of enemy agents. However, there is a dearth of leaders within such movements with the foresight of leaders like Deng Xiaoping – the architect of China’s successful reforms. Consequently, lacking the necessary clarity of purpose, such liberation movements tend to perpetuate their bush-inherited stealth ways, with secret tussles for power that do not really have a national, people-oriented agenda as a priority.

Thus, the failure of entrenched political parties in Southern Africa is not because they have outlived their usefulness; it is rather because they have failed to adapt – to make the leap from anti-colonial agitation to effectively governing the countries they are in charge of, and, as a result, advance national priorities.

Clinging on to power cannot remain the main preoccupation

Multiparty political contestation is another preoccupation that usually taxes most of the energy of liberation movements. Desperate to maintain power, they tend to spend most of their energies and resources on discrediting and harassing their political rivals, as has been the case in Zimbabwe, to devastating effects. In South Africa, the ANC has clung on to power by a slew of stratagems that include the rolling out of the world’s biggest social welfare grant system, for which the poorest, comprising the biggest voting demographic are beneficiaries. In addition, the ANC plays up its central role in ending apartheid, thereby encouraging in prospective voters, the feeling that they owe post-apartheid South Africa to the governing party.

Like its Zimbabwean counterpart, the ANC also traffics in discrediting its rivals, such as accusing the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, of sectarian politics that cater only for white South Africans. This is an oblique allusion that the DA could take South Africa back to apartheid. Unfortunately, while such tactics (of slander, harassment and occasional violence) have kept some liberation movements in power, they have not improved Southern Africa’s circumstances. This calls for urgent action.

No more excuses

It is time for southern African liberation movements to adapt, act with the needed sense of urgency, and respond to changing circumstances in the way that the CPC did. According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s general unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2021 was 32,6%, while among the youth (aged between 15 and 34), it was 46,3% “implying that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021.” These cheerless statistics could tempt one to argue in tandem with Professor Mandaza. Yes, some of South Africa’s woes could be blamed on longstanding injustices wrought by colonialism and apartheid. The ANC, as well other southern African liberation movements, inherited a country where the majority of citizens were on the fringes of economic progress. But the CPC did not find a thriving China, either.

 

The Miami-Haiti Connection: Another mercenary, another day.

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Emerging details suggest that President Moïse’s assassins were Colombians hired by a security firm in Florida. Sound familiar?

This weekend we found out that the Colombian men arrested in connection with the assassination of Haitian president Jovenal Moïse may have been hired by a Florida private security company with Venezuelan connections. Furthermore, they might have been deployed on behalf of an Haitian ex-pat in Miami who wanted to replace Moïse as president.

Why does this sound so familiar?

Maybe because it was only last year that 13 men led an unsuccessful coup attempt — known cheekily as the “Bay of Piglets” — against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Their alleged leader was a former Navy Seal, who also runs a security company in Florida. Jordan Goudreau was allegedly working with ex-Venezuelan military exiles who wanted to help overthrow Maduro for opposition leader Juan Guaido (he has denied any involvement). They led an elaborate plan to train fellow ex-Venezuelan military soldiers at a training camp in Colombia. Goudreau wasn’t on the boat that day when the May 2020 plot was foiled, but two former Green Berets (ages 34 and 41) were, and they are doing 20 years in a Venezuelan jail right now, convicted on charges of conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons, and terrorism.

The details in both stories are sordid, but the common thread is this: guns for hire have always been around but after our 9/11 wars the proliferation of private military companies with sophisticated weapons, well-trained leaders, and money seeming to burn cannot be ignored. As Sean McFate, author of The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order (2015) likes to say, it would be impossible to stuff this genie back into the bottle. Not only did we conjure the djinn of the modern industry by outsourcing security throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — think Blackwater, Dyncorp, Triple Canopy — but made it a lucrative opportunity for the millions of veterans of those wars. And it’s not just an American game. Plenty of companies working with governments all over the world see the benefit of waging conflicts under the radar with hired mercenaries — just ask the Russians. According to reports, the Wagner group has been operating in Ukraine, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Madagascar, and yes, in 2019 they were reportedly working to protect Maduro in Venezuela.

And we cannot forget about our prince of peace, Erik Prince, Blackwater founder, who Time magazine just reported was allegedly approaching the Ukrainian government in 2020 with plans to build a private army to help them against the Russians.The Ukrainians smartly turned them down, as did the Trump administration when Prince was shopping around a plan to outsource Afghanistan. The Somali government shut down a Prince-related contract in 2011. Meanwhile, he was recently accused of backing an armed (but aborted) operation that would have helped insurgent Khalifa Haftar overthrow the government in Libya (in violation of UN arms embargo) in 2019. Supposedly, he even offered his services to Maduro, a year before Goudreau’s silly plot.

But the UAE was glad to take Prince’s sellswords for royal bodyguards in 2011. And guess where they were from (and trained)? Colombia. Soldiers trained there were later sent to fight (and die) in Yemen for the Emiratis.

Privateering is a lucrative business. It’s also a highly amoral trade in which governments, non-state actors, and private citizens with the right amount of money can wage an insurgency, repress local populations, or assassinate the leader of another country. The highest bidder wins.

While we are still just learning the Miami connection to Moïse’s murder, the very mention of a private security firm raises some uncomfortable questions about financing and the ease with which armed assailants can be trained and armed and transported around for these missions. As McFate would like to say, this won’t be the last time.

“A world with more mercenaries is one with more war and suffering,” he has said.

Let’s just hope Erik Prince doesn’t have his finger prints on this one. We sort of created him.

 

 

 

Controlling Covid-19 and its Origin: A Tale of Two cities.

By Allawi Ssemanda and Shemei Ndawula

 

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” a phrase from the Victorian dystopian novels ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens. This phrase can also be seen to apply to the two largest economies in the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the past two years the world has been ravaged by the pandemic bringing global economies to their knees. Arguably, in context of containing covid-19 pandemic, the People’s Republic of China is among countries that have largely emerged as the world leaders in fighting this pandemic; first with its rigorous domestic campaign to neutralize the virus within its borders setting benchmarks for the world with its massive treatment center projects and citizen relief during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the United States of America (U.S) first responded to the pandemic through what many analysts described as denial, then dismissal, panic, disputing science logic and now they are looking for a scapegoat to cover own inadequacies. A deeper analysis of this; one can argue that China has proven a timely ally of many; first with the timely aid – providing aid to various governments with equipments necessary for containing the virus as well as restructuring loans to various economies. Needless to say, China is currently at the forefront of the Covid-19 vaccination not only in Africa but the wider Global north donating several million vaccine doses on top of pledging support to the COVAX initiative aimed at providing vaccines to developing countries.

In contrast, the U.S first chose to hoard most of its domestic vaccines whilst critiquing Beijing for the so-called vaccine diplomacy. Consequently, Washington which often branded Beijing’s diplomats of practicing the so-called “wolf diplomacy” because of their assertiveness, it has now adopted what seems to be “blackmail diplomacy” as a major element amplifying the theories around Coronavirus origins with some people in Biden administration going against the position of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and scientists who support world health organization’s (WHO) first results contending a natural origin to the virus. Indeed, president Biden gave U.S’ CIA 90 days to ‘look into the possibility’ of the virus having originated from a lab in Wuhan, which rises several questions;

Why America? First, we are aware there’s’ an earlier comprehensive investigation into the origins of the Coronavirus headed by the WHO which concluded that; the possibility of the virus having originated from a lab is “highly unlikely”. Considering the fact that in WHO report, a follow up research was indicated to look into the possibility of there being an intermediary species in the transfer of Coronavirus from bats to humans, isn’t it redundant carrying out both investigations parallel to each other?

Why the lab theory? Most of the evidence quoted by believers of the lab theory is quite circumstantial due to the presence of the viral research institute in Wuhan. In addition, there’s been proven research into natural transfer in the previous SARs viruses that have broken out so it would be incredulous to abandon such precedent for an unproven theory especially if was rendered highly improbable by the world mandated body (WHO).

As Carl Sagan, a renown American scientist taught us; “the suppression of uncomfortable ideas maybe common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.” In the wake of Covid-19, American leadership ignored health experts and scientists’ advice in favor of politics. As China aggressively adhered to health experts’ and scientist’s advice such as wearing masks and tight lockdown which temporarily made several Chinese cities empty for several weeks, Washington opted to playdown efforts China employed branding them draconian despite scientific proof that these methods like lockdown and wearing mask were very effective.  An argument can therefore be made that after ignoring science and health experts’ logic and embracing political game(s) in containing Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S which is recovering from covid-19 wreckage must find someone to blame for the death of over 600,000 Americans who would have probably survived had Washington swallowed pride and followed science and “draconian measures” China employed in containing the virus.

Since Covid-19 hit the U.S, politicians in Washington have always tried to find who to blame. As the world raced to develop coronavirus vaccines, some politicians in the U.S were busy blaming China for what they called stealing of their knowledge in vaccine development despite showing zero proof. It was actually partly this issue that saw Trump administration closing China’s Consulate in Houston, Texas. When China produced their Covid-19 vaccines, because Beijing had already contained local transmission at home, and in what could be Xi Jinping’s cherished ideology of a shared prosperity for mankind, China decided to distribute vaccines to almost all countries especially in developing countries. This happened as the U.S and some other developed countries embraced vaccine nationalism by buying and booking all future productions for their citizens, leaving all developing countries to survive arguably on China’s mercy as Beijing supplied them with several tens of thousands of their vaccines. Surprisingly, Washington branded this gesture political, so-called China’s vaccines diplomacy.

Put differently, the U.S has always been ready to discredit China’s efforts not just in containing the spread of coronavirus but from measures of containing virus spreading, vaccine development, vaccine distribution and now after failing, they are trying to change the narrative by taking over WHO’s ongoing duty of investigating coronavirus origins. Such confusion reveals a disconnect with one country seemingly having so much to say about the virus and another (China) having so much to do about the virus, hence, a tale of two cities.

To sum it up, president Biden’s ordered inquiry in origins of covid-19 is nothing but political and blaming China, president Biden is reading Donald Trump’s old playbook – blame China for all your failures, your support back home will rise. What’s clear is that Americans are more divided than ever along political lines. Last year, Republican Party polling consistently indicated that “China-bashing” was very popular among Trump supporters that at one time, top republican officials indicated that “blame-China” theme could help Trump get re-elected since it was one of major tricks that could help offsetting some of the disdain several Americans had for his poor handling of the country’s COVID-19 crisis. It can be argued that president Biden knows that Trump had over 74 million supporters who voted him in 2020 elections. To please them and probably bring them to his side, it is possible that Biden believes doing what they like to hear (bashing China) will see them switch allegiance to him which would be a political score. Therefore, no matter diplomatic words Biden administration put behind his ordered CIA inquiry on origins of Coronavirus, the move is nothing but a cobweb of politics.

Allawi Ssemanda and Shemei Ndawula are Research Fellows at Development Watch Centre, a Foreign Policy think tank.

Rwanda Deploys Joint Force To Mozambique.

The Government of Rwanda, at the request of the Government of Mozambique is in the process of deploying a 1,000-person contingent of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, which is currently affected by terrorism and insecurity.

The Joint Force commanded by Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana, will work closely with Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and forces from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in designated sectors of responsibility.

The Rwandan contingent will support efforts to restore Mozambican state authority by conducting combat and security operations, as well as stabilisation and security-sector reform (SSR).

The RDF Army Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Mubarakh Muganga briefed the departing contingent on behalf of the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, reminding them to uphold RDF values that include honour, patriotism, valour, and integrity. “Be always guided by the RDF values and discipline, have team spirit, and safeguard the good image of Rwanda by performing well,” said Lt Gen Muganga.

.                            Photo credit: Ministry of Defence, Rwanda.

This deployment is based on the good bilateral relations between the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Mozambique, following the signing of several agreements between the two countries in 2018, and is grounded in Rwanda’s commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine and the 2015 Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians.

Source: Ministry of Defence, Rwanda.

Politicizing Covid-19 on global stage is very dangerous.

By Allawi Ssemanda.

In 1907, then United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States of America (US), Lord Bryce is quoted to have observed; “The subject of foreign policy in the United States is like the subject of snakes in Ireland. There are no snakes in Ireland.” This statement has been described by several foreign policy scholars to have meant that in the US, foreign policy making has no style, and a designed process but rather national interests which is purely politics of promoting US’ global hegemony.

Indeed, after several hours of closed-door meeting with Russian president, Vladimir Putin on 16th June, 2021, US president Joe Biden told journalists that there are no secret codes to foreign policy, that it is all about personal relationships, and about human nature. In the same week, shortly after the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, president Biden told journalists that he had given Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 90 days to investigate the origin of Coronavirus. Biden supported this arguing that in the US, there are two elements of the intelligence community one believing the virus had a natural origin while the other leaned towards a lab leak theory.

Important to note is that while president Biden ordered CIA led inquiry on origins of Coronavirus, an on-the-ground investigation lead by experts from World Health Organization (WHO), a body mandated to carry out such inquires earlier this year concluded their phase one findings, observing that it was “extremely unlikely” that coronavirus started in a laboratory.   Upon this background, one can reason that with WHO primary report out and their investigations ongoing, any country to announce a parallel investigation lead by political appointees should not only worry us but inspire us to ask more questions.

As Indira Ghandi taught us, questioning is the basis of all progress, and those who don’t question are condemned to live in bondage. With that in mind, we must question president Biden’s intentions and interest in ordering a parallel inquiry.  Is it that the Biden administration does not trust WHO which the US joined on his first day in office after reversing his predecessor’s decision to withdraw U.S membership? How can we trust CIA report which receives orders from only Washington? Whose interest will their report be? Is President Biden continuing Trump era policy of America first which he often denounced for Isolating the US from international community? Is he declaring that anything done by international experts but without full say and control of the US is null and void?  Is it that the US knows the origins of Corona virus and want to influence the findings to hide those “facts”? These are some of questions that we should put before the US for their uncalled-for path. There are several reasons to look at the move with scepticism;

First and foremost, president Biden’s ordered inquiry exposes hypocrisy in Washington and casts doubt in their readiness to support the world in confronting the pandemic. It should be recalled that shortly after taking over office, president Biden wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) withdrawing his predecessors’ decision to withdraw US’ membership from WHO. It was actually on his first day in office when he wrote and informed UN SG that; “The United States intends to remain a member of the World Health Organization, …the WHO plays a crucial role in the world’s fight against the deadly covid-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security.  The United States will continue to be a full participant…,” read his letter in parts.  Isn’t it surprising that just months later, the president is discrediting the very organization he praised?

Secondary, during his campaigns and his first days in office, president Biden promised the world that “America is Back” as he criticised his predecessor, Donald Trump of Isolating the U.S from international community which is exactly what he is doing by setting a parallel investigation against international community supported inquiry which is ongoing under WHO.

The other important issue we should note is that CIA which president Biden ordered to do investigations cannot be trusted to do an independent investigation free from lies and political influence. For example, during a Q&A discussion at Texas A&M university on 15th April 2019, then Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, told his audience that; “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole… we had entire training courses.” After an outburst of laughter from his audience, secretary Pompeo added: “It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” With Pompeo’s admission’s that at CIA lying, stealing and cheating are part of their “training courses,” one wonders if their inquiry won’t be full of lies. It is not a surprise that the weapons of mass destruction CIA told the world that Iraq had to date cannot be traced.

All the above points at one key factor; politics. The U.S has always wanted to appear superior in global affairs. Put differently, they suffer from Libido dominandi, a Latin or the urge to dominate everything that they see a WHO lead inquiry with experts may not give exactly what they want. When covid-19 broke out, as Beijing took tough steps in containing the spread of the virus, Washington branded their efforts draconian measures. Instead of learning from measures China employed in containing the coronavirus, the US chose denial and as tens of thousands of people lost lives to covid-19, some pundits and politicians started blame game possibly to divert people from critiquing their weakness in containing the virus. After assuming office, president Biden promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days – a figure they missed. Instead of focusing on producing more vaccines and supporting efforts to contain the spread of the virus not just in the U.S but also in developing world, Biden administration is now choosing to concentrate on finding origin of coronavirus – work which is already in progress by respectable and mandated organization, WHO. Could it be that the administration is trying to hide from their failure to deliver on vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days? 

Lastly, according to Dominic Dwyer, an Australian immunologist and a member of WHO’s team of expert, there is no evidence backing the “lab leak” theory and lab leak narrative is political and plays in interests of some countries.  From the views above, a conclusion can be made that as president Biden announced that “America is back,” let Washington come back joining the world in fighting the spread of covid-19 by supporting other countries by making vaccines readily available, and supporting research and science.

Allawi Ssemanda is a Research Fellow with Development Watch Centre; a foreign policy think tank.

 

 

Strengthening Cooperation Among Political Parties to Jointly Pursue the People’s Wellbeing

Keynote Address by H.E. Xi Jinping General Secretary of the Central Committee of

The Communist Party of China And President of the People’s Republic of China

At the CPC and World Political Parties Summit Beijing, 6 July 2021.

Your Excellencies leaders of political parties,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to join you, leaders of more than 500 political parties, political and other organisations from over 160 countries as well as the ten thousand and more representatives of political parties and various circles, at this cloud event to discuss the important question of “working for the people’s wellbeing and the responsibility of political parties”, just as the Communist Party of China (CPC) reaches its one hundredth anniversary. Over the past weeks, more than 600 political parties, political and other organisations from over 170 countries have sent 1500-plus congratulatory messages and letters on the CPC’s centenary conveying their goodwill and best wishes. I wish to take this opportunity to express to all of you, on behalf of the Communist Party of China, our heartfelt thanks!

A few days ago, we celebrated the CPC’s centenary with a grand gathering. Over the past hundred years, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people in working ceaselessly towards the tremendous transformation of the Chinese nation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong. Over the past hundred years, the CPC has persisted in closely associating the future of the Chinese people with that of other peoples of the world and steered the course of China’s development amid the general trend of the world and the currents of the times to promote common development and prosperity of all countries.

The historic achievements the CPC and the Chinese people have made would not have been possible without the generous support of world peoples.

Here, on behalf of the CPC and the Chinese people, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to political parties, peoples and friends of all countries who have cared about, supported and helped the CPC and the cause of revolution, development and reform in China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

The world today is undergoing profound transformation unseen in a century, amid which the trend of multi-polarity and economic globalisation is experiencing a sea change, and countries are becoming increasingly intertwined, interdependent and interconnected. To cope with COVID-19, restart the economy, and safeguard world stability, the international community has made strenuous efforts. Political parties in various countries have also exhibited a strong sense of responsibility by making active explorations. Meanwhile, in some places, wars and conflicts are still raging, famine and diseases remain prevalent, and estrangement and confrontation grow even deeper. The call for a better life from people of all countries is becoming all the more loud and clear.

Today, human society has once again found itself at a historic crossroads. It is about hostile confrontation or mutual respect, seclusiveness and decoupling or openness and cooperation, zero-sum game or win-win results. The choice is in our hands and the responsibility falls on our shoulders.

The human race is an integral community and the planet Earth its homeland. In the face of common challenges, no person or country can remain insulated. The only way out is to work together in harmony with one accord. Political parties, as an important force behind human progress, need to set the right course forward and shoulder their historic responsibility to ensure the people’s wellbeing and pursue human progress. In my view, political parties need to work even harder on the following:

First, we need to shoulder the responsibility to steer the course by seizing and shaping the shared future for mankind. People aspire to affluence and contentment. They yearn for fairness and justice. Great times call for grand architecture, and grand architecture calls for great vision. Viewed from the perspective of “my own country first”, the world is a cramped and crowded place perpetuated in fierce competition. Viewed from the perspective of “a global community with a shared future”, the world is a vast and broad place full of cooperation opportunities. We need to heed the voices of the people, follow the trend of the times and strengthen coordination and cooperation. By doing so, the interests of the people of one country will be kept in line with those of all others and humanity will move forward towards a shared future.

Second, we need to shoulder the responsibility to build consensus by upholding and promoting the common values of humanity. Despite differences among countries in history, culture, institution and level of development, their peoples do subscribe to the common values of humanity for peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom. With a strong sense of responsibility for the future of all mankind, we need to champion the common values of humanity, foster broad-minded tolerance toward the understanding of values by different civilisations, and respect the explorations of different peoples to turn values into reality. By doing so, the common values of humanity will be translated into the practice of individual countries to serve the interests of their own people in a concrete and realistic way.

Third, we need to shoulder the responsibility to promote development by bringing greater benefits to all peoples in a fairer manner. Development holds the key to the people’s wellbeing. On the road to the wellbeing of all mankind, no country or nation should be left behind. All countries and nations are equally entitled to development opportunities and rights to development. We need to face squarely up to major problems such as wealth gap and development divide, with particular attention and care given to underdeveloped countries and regions, and impoverished people so that hope prevails in every corner of the world. As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “Those who only seek comfort for themselves will ultimately be rejected and those who sacrifice their own interests for the success of others will be supported”. Development is the right of all countries, rather than an exclusive privilege of the few. We need to enable all countries to step up development cooperation, and see to it that the fruits of development are shared by all. We need to bring greater equity, higher efficiency and stronger synergy to global development, and jointly oppose the practice of seeking technology blockade and divide as well as decoupling. I believe that, in the final analysis, any political manipulation for the purpose of sabotaging the development of other countries and undercutting the livelihood of other peoples will receive little support and prove to be futile.

Fourth, we need to shoulder the responsibility to enhance cooperation by working together to address global risks and challenges. In the face of the on-going COVID-19, we need to continue with a science-based response approach and advocate solidarity and cooperation so as to close the “immunization gap”. We must oppose the practice of politicising the pandemic or attaching a geographical label to the virus. We need to work together to build a global community of health for all. In the face of terrorism and other common enemies of mankind, we need to pursue security and stability through cooperation so as to tighten the security fences together. In the face of the fragile ecological environment, we need to respect Mother Nature, follow the laws of Nature and protect her so as to build a green homeland together. In the face of the severe challenges to human existence and development brought about by climate change, we need to be brave enough to take responsibilities and work as one to find a way of harmonious co-existence between man and Nature.

Fifth, we need to shoulder the responsibility to improve governance by enhancing our capacity to ensure the people’s wellbeing. There are different pathways toward wellbeing. People of all countries are entitled to choose their own development paths and institutional models. This, in itself, is what wellbeing entails. In the same vein, democracy is the right of all peoples, rather than an exclusive privilege of the few. There are multiple ways and means to realise democracy, instead of a single stereotype. The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others. To advance political democracy in a way that suits the national conditions of a country, we need to strengthen exchanges and mutual-learning, improve mechanisms for communication, be fully aware of the public opinion, put into place well-fledged institutions and enhance our governance capacity. By doing so, our capacity and efficacy to ensure the people’s wellbeing will be elevated continuously.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Working for the people’s wellbeing has been the original aspiration the Communist Party of China cherishes all the way. With the goal of moderate prosperity in all respects achieved, China has embarked on a new journey towards building a modern socialist country. The Chinese people are brimming with a greater sense of fulfillment, happiness and security with each passing day. It is the unswerving goal of the CPC to run our own house well, ensure a happy life for the 1.4 billion plus Chinese people, and advance the lofty cause of promoting peace and development of all mankind. The CPC will continue to uphold the people-centred development philosophy, reflect upon the overarching issues of national rejuvenation and human progress in the greater context of time and space and lead the entire Chinese people in creating an even better tomorrow through ceaseless pursuit and in an enterprising spirit.

As history has taught us, we can only embrace the future when we embrace the world, and can only travel safe and sound when we walk together. The CPC stands ready to work with world political parties to live our dreams and act to create a better future. Let us always be builders of world peace, advocates for global development, and guardians of the international order.

The CPC will unite and lead the Chinese people in pressing ahead with the Chinese-style modernisation to make new contributions to humanity’s search for ways to modernise. Proceeding from reality in all it does, the CPC has led the Chinese people in finding, through trial and error, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. History and practice have proven and will continue to prove that this is not only the correct path that works, but also the sure path that pays off. We will unswervingly follow the path leading to a bright future to ensure that development is pursued for both our own good and the benefit of the world. There doesn’t exist a fixed model for the path to modernisation, and the one that suits you well will serve you well. Cutting one’s feet to fit the shoes will lead nowhere. All efforts of individual countries to independently explore the path to modernisation in light of their specific national conditions are worthy of respect. The CPC is willing to share with political parties of all countries modernisation experience to enrich each other’s toolbox to modernisation for better ensuring the wellbeing of their own people and all other peoples.

The CPC will unite and lead the Chinese people in taking comprehensive steps to deepen reform and opening up to make new contributions to shared development and prosperity of all countries of the world.Currently, economic globalisation, despite facing considerable headwinds, has in storage even greater impetus to move forward. On the whole, the impetus prevails over the headwinds and the trend towards opening-up and cooperation in all countries remains unchanged, and will not change. The CPC is ready to enhance communication with world political parties in steering economic globalisation towards greater openness, inclusiveness, balance and win-win results. We stand ready to work with the international community to improve global connectivity and further promote high quality Belt and Road cooperation, so that more countries and peoples will be able to share the fruits of development.

The CPC will shoulder its responsibilities as a major political party in a major country to make new contributions to improving the wellbeing of mankind.The eradication of poverty has been a common aspiration of people of all countries and an important objective that all political parties strive to achieve. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, all the 98.99 million rural residents living below the current poverty line in China have been lifted out of poverty, enabling China to meet the poverty reduction target set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. The CPC is willing to contribute more Chinese solutions and Chinese strength to the poverty reduction process worldwide. It will spare no effort to support international cooperation against COVID-19 and to enhance the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. China will make extremely arduous efforts in delivering its promise of achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality and contribute more to the global fight against climate change. China is going to host the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, where parties will consult with one another on new strategies for biodiversity and embark on a new journey of global biodiversity governance.

The CPC will actively improve global governance to make new contributions to humanity’s joint response to common challenges.Multilateralism has been the core concept of the current international system and order. The better multilateralism is practiced, the faster humanity’s common problems will be resolved. International rules should be based on universally-recognised norms rather than rules of the few. Cooperation among countries should aim at serving all mankind instead of seeking hegemony by way of group politics. We should stand opposed to the practice of unilateralism disguised as multilateralism and say no to hegemony and power politics. Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, China is of the view that matters concerning all shall be handled through joint consultation so that the international order and system will be more just and equitable. I wish to reiterate that China will always be a member of the developing world, and is committed to enhancing their representation and voice in the global governance system. China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence. The CPC will work with political parties of all countries to promote state-to-state coordination and cooperation through party-to-party consultation and cooperation and bring into better play the due role of political parties in global governance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Our journey ahead will be a long and arduous one. But as long as we press ahead with a sense of perseverance, there will be much to expect. There will be twists and turns down the road, but hopes abound. The CPC stands ready to continue to work with political parties and political organisations of all countries to stand on the right side of history and the progressive side of mankind. Let us make even greater contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and that of a better world!

 

I thank you all.

 

CPC’s Centenary of progress: a journey that mutually benefited African Countries.

By Allawi Ssemanda.

Today marks exactly 100 years since the formation of China’s ruling party – the Communist Party of China (CPC). From a humble beginning which characterised its very first national congress in the city of Shanghai, today CPC stands tall. After their 72 years at the helm, CPC has transformed the once poor and under developed country to become the world’s second economy and technology power house with a staggering GDP estimated at about $14.7 trillion as of 2020 just behind United States of America’s (U.S.A) $20.9 trillion.

With able party leadership, CPC has driven China on a steady and consistent economic growth which has seen the country carrying on the most successful poverty alleviation projects in the world’s history. For example, from 1990 to 2018, China was able to reduce extreme poverty from 66.3% to 0.3% and early February this year, Xi Jinping, the secretary general of CPC’s Central Committee announced the good news that China had completely eliminated abject poverty. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres hailed the achievement as a huge contribution to UN’s 2030 sustainable development agenda stressing that “It also brings hope and inspiration to the international society, and shows that a campaign promise and consistent policy can make a difference in improving livelihood of the most deprived and vulnerable.”

Whereas China’s success story has been viewed by some western world with scepticism, some criticising China’s good relations with developing countries especially in the global north, one can firmly say such criticism is a result of lack of information and malice and arguably, some Western country’s libido dominandi, a latin concept meaning the argue to dominate everything.

From historical perspective, China has never been a selfish country and has always been on the side of developing countries. For example, during colonial bondage when many African countries were under colonial rule, despite her challenges at home as a developing country, China played a key role in helping African countries to snap the ugly shackles of colonial rule. In late 1960s, China set up a soft loan of about $400 million to assist in construction of the famous TAZARA railway line linking Tanzania and Zambia which helped in easing transport in East African region and beyond. China set up this fund at a time when its total per capita GDP was still low compared to Sub-Saharan Africa. For record, until 1978, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP was about $490 while China’s averaged was about $156. Therefore, it is not new China to consider helping other developing countries at a time when Beijing seems to be in need.

Therefore, the continued good relations and development assistance from China to several African countries and the rest of global south should not be interpret as Beijing’s hidden agenda but rather, Chinese belief in promoting sprit of a shared prosperity for mankind.

Today, as CPC and People’s Republic of China in general mark 100 years of success, there are many lessons countries world over can draw from China’s governance and leadership model. Arguably, CPC is one of largest and vibrant old political parties in the world and tops the list of political parties enjoying citizen’s support. Indeed, a May 2021 study by Washington Post revealed that 98% of Chinese had trust in the national government. This was a great score compared with 2018’s Values survey which put the percentage at 95!

Perhaps the puzzle other governments should ponder at should be; how does CPC function to enjoy such huge support from not just party members but all citizens?

Looking at CPC right from the revolution time to date, it is evident that party leadership has always firmly put interest of people first whenever the government is developing policies. It is this magic that has seen the country able to provide better and functioning systems that support the country in all important sectors like health, transport, education, energy, creating employment opportunities for citizens, and ensuring security among others.

The other magic bullet CPC and Chinese government employed that can’t be under looked is creating a knowledge-based governance system. This has been achieved through party leadership’s commitment of ensuring right people with right knowledge are put in right place to ensure government policies and plans work and results are seen in given timelines. Coupled with the party’s leadership stance against corruption, when government makes a promise to people, results are delivered.  It is model that embraces merit over mediocracy that has seen the country achieve set goals year after year, thereby leaving citizens contended and trusting their government.

Beijing’s decision to maintain her non- interference policy in affairs of sovereign states has left Beijing a friend to many. If looked critically, this has saved the country unnecessary expenses and costs that come with meddling in internal affairs of other countries. This means the country has enough time to plan, put to good use resources and work for her people and where necessary offer a helping hand to other countries instead of imposing their beliefs and influence in quest for global hegemony.

As we look forward to another century – a journey CPC has started today, China is proving to the world that communism with Chinese characters work best, not because Beijing forces it on other nations, but people of the world can see success in China which resonates well with their aspirations.  To CPC and People’s Republic of China, congratulations for reaching this far.  What China has just celebrated is by all definitions a century of success and provides countless lessons to other developing countries on how to dream big and realise such dreams.

Allawi Ssemanda is a senior research fellow at Development Watch Centre, a Foreign Policy Think Tank.

Speech at a Ceremony Marking the Centenary of the Communist Party of China

July 1, 2021

Xi Jinping

Comrades and friends,

Today, the first of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese nation. We gather here to join all Party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the centenary of the Party, looking back on the glorious journey the Party has traveled over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To begin, let me extend warm congratulations to all Party members on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.

On this special occasion, it is my honor to declare on behalf of the Party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China!

Comrades and friends,

The Chinese nation is a great nation. With a history of more than 5,000 years, China has made indelible contributions to the progress of human civilization. After the Opium War of 1840, however, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

To save the nation from peril, the Chinese people put up a courageous fight. As noble-minded patriots sought to pull the nation together, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement, the Reform Movement of 1898, the Yihetuan Movement, and the Revolution of 1911 rose one after the other, and a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. China was in urgent need of new ideas to lead the movement to save the nation and a new organization to rally revolutionary forces.

With the salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. Then in 1921, as the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were undergoing a great awakening and Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. The founding of a communist party in China was an epoch-making event, which profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation, and altered the landscape of world development.

Since the very day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. All the struggle, sacrifice, and creation through which the Party has united and led the Chinese people over the past hundred years has been tied together by one ultimate theme—bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution.

Through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation, we fought armed counter-revolution with armed revolution, toppling the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism and establishing the People’s Republic of China, which made the people masters of the country. We thus secured our nation’s independence and liberated our people.

The victory of the new-democratic revolution put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China. It created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people had stood up, and that the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in endeavoring to build a stronger China with a spirit of self-reliance, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction.

By carrying out socialist revolution, we eliminated the exploitative and repressive feudal system that had persisted in China for thousands of years, and established socialism as our basic system. In the process of socialist construction, we overcame subversion, sabotage, and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese nation. This great transformation of China from a poor and backward country in the East with a large population into a socialist country laid down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people were capable of not only dismantling the old world, but also building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism could develop China.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in freeing the mind and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.

We established the Party’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism, resolutely advanced reform and opening up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, safeguarded, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board. It also enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy, and to make the historic transformation of raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to an overall level of moderate prosperity, and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects. These achievements fueled the push toward national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for rapid development.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that by pursuing reform and opening up, a crucial move in making China what it is today, China had caught up with the times in great strides.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance, and innovation, achieving great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. In this new era, we have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, modernized China’s system and capacity for governance, remained committed to exercising rule-based governance over the Party, and developed a sound system of intraparty regulations. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. All the historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people have shown the world that the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.

Over the past hundred years, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation, embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote, “Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.” The great path we have pioneered, the great cause we have undertaken, and the great achievements we have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the development of the Chinese nation and of human civilization.

Comrades and friends,

A hundred years ago, the pioneers of Communism in China established the Communist Party of China and developed the great founding spirit of the Party, which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength.

Over the past hundred years, the Party has carried forward this great founding spirit. Through its protracted struggles, it has developed a long line of inspiring principles for Chinese Communists and tempered a distinct political character. As history has kept moving forward, the spirit of the Party has been passed on from generation to generation. We will continue to promote our glorious traditions and sustain our revolutionary legacy, so that the great founding spirit of the Party will always be kept alive and carried forward.

Comrades and friends,

We owe all that we have achieved over the past hundred years to the concerted efforts of the Chinese Communists, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. Chinese Communists, with comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao as their chief representatives, have made tremendous and historic contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. To them, we express our highest respect.

Let us take this moment to cherish the memory of comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veteran revolutionaries who contributed greatly to China’s revolution, construction, and reform, and to the founding, consolidation, and development of the Communist Party of China; let us cherish the memory of the revolutionary martyrs who bravely laid down their lives to establish, defend, and develop the People’s Republic; let us cherish the memory of those who dedicated their lives to reform, opening up, and socialist modernization; and let us cherish the memory of all the men and women who fought tenaciously for national independence and the liberation of the people in modern times. Their great contributions to our motherland and our nation will be immortalized in the annals of history, and their noble spirit will live on forever in the hearts of the Chinese people.

The people are the true heroes, for it is they who create history. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respects to workers, farmers, and intellectuals across the country; to other political parties, public figures without party affiliation, people’s organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society; to all members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force, the public security police, and the fire and rescue services; to all socialist working people; and to all members of the united front. I would like to extend my sincere greetings to compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to people and friends from around the world who have shown friendship to the Chinese people and understanding and support for China’s endeavors in revolution, development, and reform.

Comrades and friends,

Though our Party’s founding mission is easy to define, ensuring that we stay true to this mission is a more difficult task. By learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. Looking back on the Party’s 100-year history, we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and purpose in staying true to our founding mission and pursuing a better future on the new journey that lies before us.

As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create a bright future, we must bear the following in mind:

 We must uphold the firm leadership of the Party. China’s success hinges on the Party. The more than 180-year-long modern history of the Chinese nation, the 100-year-long history of the Party, and the more than 70-year-long history of the People’s Republic of China all provide ample evidence that without the Communist Party of China, there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation. The Party was chosen by history and the people. The leadership of the Party is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and constitutes the greatest strength of this system. It is the foundation and lifeblood of the Party and the country, and the crux upon which the interests and wellbeing of all Chinese people depend.

On the journey ahead, we must uphold the Party’s overall leadership and continue to enhance its leadership. We must be deeply conscious of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. We must stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold the core position of the General Secretary on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. Bearing in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, we must enhance the Party’s capacity to conduct sound, democratic, and law-based governance, and ensure that it fully exerts its core role in providing overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides.

 We must unite and lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. This country is its people; the people are the country. As we have fought to establish and consolidate our leadership over the country, we have in fact been fighting to earn and keep the people’s support. The Party has in the people its roots, its lifeblood, and its source of strength. The Party has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese people; it stands with them through thick and thin and shares a common fate with them. The Party has no special interests of its own—it has never represented any individual interest group, power group, or privileged stratum. Any attempt to divide the Party from the Chinese people or to set the people against the Party is bound to fail. The more than 95 million Party members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people will never allow such a scenario to come to pass.

On the journey ahead, we must rely closely on the people to create history. Upholding the Party’s fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people, we will stand firmly with the people, implement the Party’s mass line, respect the people’s creativity, and practice a people-centered philosophy of development. We will develop whole-process people’s democracy, safeguard social fairness and justice, and resolve the imbalances and inadequacies in development and the most pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people. In doing so, we will make more notable and substantive progress toward achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all.

 We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our Party and country are founded; it is the very soul of our Party and the banner under which it strives. The Communist Party of China upholds the basic tenets of Marxism and the principle of seeking truth from facts. Based on China’s realities, we have developed keen insights into the trends of the day, seized the initiative in history, and made painstaking explorations. We have thus been able to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and to guide the Chinese people in advancing our great social revolution. At the fundamental level, the capability of our Party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works.

On the journey ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture. We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China and in the 21st century.

 We must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must follow our own path—this is the bedrock that underpins all the theories and practices of our Party. More than that, it is the historical conclusion our Party has drawn from its struggles over the past century. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental achievement of the Party and the people, forged through innumerable hardships and great sacrifices, and it is the right path for us to achieve national rejuvenation. As we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural-ethical, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization, and created a new model for human advancement.

On the journey ahead, we must adhere to the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy, and implement the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. We must deepen reform and opening up across the board, ground our work in this new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy, and foster a new pattern of development. We must promote high-quality development and build up our country’s strength in science and technology. We must ensure it is our people who run the country, continue to govern based on the rule of law, and uphold the core socialist values. We must ensure and enhance public wellbeing in the course of development, promote harmony between humanity and nature, and take well-coordinated steps toward making our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful.

The Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us. The Party and the Chinese people will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will make sure the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands.

 We must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. A strong country must have a strong military, as only then can it guarantee the security of the nation. At the point that it was engaged in violent struggle, the Party came to recognize the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a people’s military of its own. The people’s military has made indelible achievements on behalf of the Party and the people. It is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond.

On the journey ahead, we must fully implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military in the new era as well as our military strategy for the new era, maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, and follow a Chinese path to military development. We will take comprehensive measures to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, to strengthen them through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and to run them in accordance with the law. We will elevate our people’s armed forces to world-class standards so that we are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

 We must continue working to promote the building of a human community with a shared future. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas the Chinese nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5,000 years. The Chinese nation does not carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes. The Party cares about the future of humanity, and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

On the journey ahead, we will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, to an independent foreign policy of peace, and to the path of peaceful development. We will work to build a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities. The Party will continue to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics, and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling toward bright horizons.

We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

We must carry out a great struggle with many contemporary features. Having the courage to fight and the fortitude to win is what has made our Party invincible. Realizing our great dream will require hard work and persistence. Today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. But we must be prepared to work harder than ever to get there.

On the journey ahead, we must demonstrate stronger vigilance and always be prepared for potential danger, even in times of calm. We must adopt a holistic approach to national security that balances development and security imperatives, and implement the national rejuvenation strategy within a wider context of the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world. We need to acquire a full understanding of the new features and requirements arising from the change to the principal contradiction in Chinese society and the new issues and challenges stemming from a complicated international environment. We must be both brave and adept in carrying out our struggle, forging new paths and building new bridges wherever necessary to take us past all risks and challenges.

We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people. In the course of our struggles over the past century, the Party has always placed the united front in a position of importance. We have constantly consolidated and developed the broadest possible united front, united all the forces that can be united, mobilized all positive factors that can be mobilized, and pooled as much strength as possible for collective endeavors. The patriotic united front is an important means for the Party to unite all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation.

On the journey ahead, we must ensure great unity and solidarity and balance commonality and diversity. We should strengthen theoretical and political guidance, build broad consensus, bring together the brightest minds, and expand common ground and the convergence of interests, so that all Chinese people, both at home and overseas, can focus their ingenuity and energy on the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation.

We must continue to advance the great new project of Party building. A hallmark that distinguishes the Communist Party of China from other political parties is its courage in undertaking self-reform. An important reason why the Party remains so vital and vibrant despite having undergone so many trials and tribulations is that it practices effective self-supervision and full and rigorous self-governance. It has thus been able to respond appropriately to the risks and tests of different historical periods, to ensure that it always remains at the forefront of the times even as profound changes sweep the global landscape, and to stand firm as the backbone of the nation throughout the process of meeting various risks and challenges at home and abroad.

On the journey ahead, we must keep firmly in mind the old adage that it takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. We must demonstrate greater political awareness of the fact that full and rigorous self-governance is a never-ending journey. With strengthening the Party politically as our overarching principle, we must continue advancing the great new project of Party building in the new era. We must tighten the Party’s organizational system, work hard to train high-caliber officials who have both moral integrity and professional competence, remain committed to improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption, and root out any elements that would harm the Party’s advanced nature and purity and any viruses that would erode its health. We must ensure that the Party preserves its essence, color, and character, and see that it always serves as the strong leadership core in the course of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Comrades and friends,

We will stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of One Country, Two Systems, under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong, and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao, and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two special administrative regions to safeguard national security. While protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions.

Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Comrades and friends,

The future belongs to the young people, and our hopes also rest with them. A century ago, a group of young progressives held aloft the torch of Marxism and searched assiduously in those dark years for ways to rejuvenate the Chinese nation. Since then, under the banner of the Communist Party of China, generation after generation of young Chinese have devoted their youth to the cause of the Party and the people, and remained in the vanguard of the drive to rejuvenate the nation.

In the new era, our young people should make it their mission to contribute to national rejuvenation and aspire to become more proud, confident, and assured in their identity as Chinese people so that they can live up to the promise of their youth and the expectations of our times, our Party, and our people.

Comrades and friends,

A century ago, at the time of its founding, the Communist Party of China had just over 50 members. Today, with more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people, it is the largest governing party in the world and enjoys tremendous international influence.

A century ago, China was in decline and withering away in the eyes of the world. Today, the image it presents to the world is one of a thriving nation that is advancing with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation.

Over the past century, the Communist Party of China has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey toward realizing the second centenary goal.

 

To all Party members,

The Central Committee calls on every one of you to stay true to our Party’s founding mission and stand firm in your ideals and convictions. Acting on the purpose of the Party, you should always maintain close ties with the people, empathize and work with them, stand with them through good times and bad, and continue working tirelessly to realize their aspirations for a better life and to bring still greater glory to the Party and the people.

 

Comrades and friends,

Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Looking back on the path we have travelled and forward to the journey that lies ahead, it is certain that with the firm leadership of the Party and the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, we will achieve the goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects and fulfill the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Long live our great, glorious, and correct Party!

Long live our great, glorious, and heroic people!

 

CPC’s success story has fruits for Uganda and entire Global South.

CPC’s success story has fruits for Uganda and entire Global South.

By Alan Collins Mpewo

Tomorrow, China’s Communist Party (CPS) will be celebrating 100 years of service and success. When it comes to diplomacy, under the leadership of CPC, China has become a global power and genuinely shared her success with other countries especially in the developing world or the global south. The country championed a path of diplomacy which has seen it enjoy good diplomatic relations with almost all countries of the world. These diplomatic ties have left several countries world over gain economically, and all other forms that describe development.

For example, since establishing diplomatic relations between Uganda and China in early 1960s, the Government of China has continued to provide economic assistance to Uganda in form of interest-free loans and grants to a cumulative value of approximately US$80 million by 2003. The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries diversified considerably, resulting in a trade volume of close to $100 million in 2005. China’s economic role in Uganda has been increasing over the years that in many ways, there is no way one can ignore the role played by China when it comes to Uganda’s economic development.

In energy sector, Chinese construction of Uganda’s Karuma Hydro Power Plant by Sinohydro Corporation Limited entered the finishing stage despite what seemed to be insurmountable challenges complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When completed, the power plant will be the largest power-generating installation in Uganda. It’s one of Uganda’s flagship projects financed by the Export Import Bank (EXIM) of China. Inadequate power supply is one of the key bottlenecks to fast tracking Uganda’s economic development. Therefore, it’s critical in addressing the country’s increasing electricity demand in efforts to fast track industrialization.

Additionally, in March 2019, the Chinese-built 183-megawatt Isimba Hydropower Plant was inaugurated. At the time, the Plant had increased the country’s total installed capacity to 1,202 MW. According to China International Water and Electric Corporation, the construction contractor of Isimba, at the peak of the construction of the Plant, there were over 3,000 workers, of whom 85% were Ugandans; several Ugandan engineers sent to China to receive further training, while those who remained behind were also able to have hands-on experience. Once there is adequate and cheap electricity coupled with the government’s enabling policies, Uganda’s massive industrialization will kick off.

China is also helping Uganda achieve its Oil exploration through China National Offshore Oil Corporation International, one of the largest oil and gas companies in Uganda’s energy sector. In 2016, development and production licenses for eight oil fields in the Exploration Areas 1 and 2 blocks were issued by the government. In 2017, the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the blocks was initiated and the intergovernmental agreement for an oil pipeline was signed and the FEED was completed. CNOOC International also completed the FEED for ground construction and drilling on block EA 3A in 2017. With this, many Ugandans have attained jobs and Oil production will be a blessing to Uganda’s economy

In Agriculture, China has been contributive to agriculture which remains Uganda’s major economic activity with the vast majority of the population deriving its livelihood from the sector. In November 2019, Uganda became the first African country to sign an agriculture project worth 2.4 million U.S. dollar worth of under the UN Food and Agriculture Organization-China South-South cooperation framework. The funds would be used in efforts to boost agriculture production and productivity over the next 3 years. The agriculture project was designed to upscale and commercialize agricultural production with a target of increasing exports to Chinese markets.  China’s major agricultural imports from Uganda have been in tea, coffee, and spices. China also supplies machinery and equipment and after sales servicing for various farming and industrial products. Through companies such as China North Machine Co. Ltd, large stock of quality machines used in sectors like Agriculture and Irrigation have been supplied in Uganda.

Zhong’s Industries Ltd through the Chinese paddy rice initiative has also helped boost food security and employment in central Uganda.

In areas like Aid and Grants, China has substantially increased its aid commitments to Uganda over the years, which it has provided in the form of technical assistance, with an emphasis on training in Chinese institutions. Grants, interest-free loans, preferential loans that have an interest subsidy and debt relief. 2020 was a fruitful year for China-Uganda ties as the two countries agreed to lift their relations to a comprehensive cooperative partnership and inked a series of cooperation documents in June. The elevation of the relationship was a milestone, and those agreements injected fresh momentum into bilateral economic cooperation. According to figures from the Chinese embassy, about 4,500 Ugandans attended training courses backed by China, covering various subjects including public management, social organization, education, economy and trade, mineral resources, agriculture and health.

In industrial sector, China has created industrial parks in different parts of Uganda like Liaoshen Industrial Park in Nakaseke. Commissioned in 2019, this one-stop-center, accommodated 13 factories and employed about 2,500 Ugandans at the time. It is expected to have 80 industries employing up to 16,000 people by 2025.  Other Chinese industrial parks include Mukono Industrial Park, Shandong Industrial Park, Kehong China-Uganda Agricultural Industrial Park in central region, and Sino-Uganda Industrial Park in Mbale district, eastern region. By this, China has shared expertise in production and management as Uganda keeps fast-tracking industrialization.

In the field of human capital development, the Chinese Government provides scholarships for Ugandan students to study in Chinese higher education institutions since 1980s. This has been done within Uganda and China. For example, within Uganda, The People’s Republic of China in 2019, awarded 30 scholarships worth UGX85million to students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to pursue their studies at Makerere University for academic year 2018/2019 and second cohort of 30 scholarships awarded for Academic Year 2020/2021. Internationally, the Ministry of Education of China formulates Chinese Government Scholarship, and entrusts the China Scholarship Council to handle the enrollment of international students to wit, the Scholarship provides full Scholarships for Ugandan students who wish to study in China for bachelor, master or doctoral degrees and scholar programs to candidates who major in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture, and pedagogy.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation also set up scholarship programs for students in elementary and high school. Since the establishment of the scholarships in 2012, 330 Ugandan students have benefited from the program. The CNOOC programs have enhanced academic performance in Bunyoro. The number of Hoima students who achieved first-class standing in the Uganda Certificate of Education increased from 13 in 2012 to 387 in 2017. The attainment of education skills and knowledge has consequently translated into economic development of Uganda.

Infrastructure which is key for any country’s development, China is supporting Uganda’s ongoing upgrading and expansion of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s main gateway to the rest of the world, as well as the construction of Kampala-Entebbe Expressway which links the capital Kampala to Entebbe International Airport. Chinese road construction contractors have also been involved in building several roads in the country. All in all, as Chinese gather to celebrate CPC’s 100 years of existence, as a African, I feel I have all reasons to join them in jubilations considering the big impact their success has contributed not just towards my country’s development but entire Global south and the world at large.

Alan Collins Mpewo is a Law student at Islamic University in Uganda and Fellow at Development Watch Centre, a Foreign Policy Think Tank.

China sparking Green Revolution in Uganda with Bamboo.

By Shemei Ndawula.

Bamboo is largely known as an ancient Chinese crop, an aggressive grass identified by its long canes and synonymous with the Chinese pandas (which largely live on bamboo diets). However, in the wake of global warming and the shift to green energy, the plant has seen a rapid increase in value, grossing a global approximate trade of US$25 billion per year.

In the past two decades, Bamboo has spread to several countries across the world as a solution to environmental mismanagement. In Africa, it is used to address the rapidly declining forest cover and desire for a faster growing eco-friendly alternative to wood fuel. In 2012, a US based company developing commercial bamboo plantations – EcoPlanet Bamboo used Bamboo trees in a project restoring 480 hectares of land previously ruined by years of pineapple farming in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

In East Africa, Uganda has in recent years made tremendous strides in commercial farming with the aid of developing partners like China. In a country where bamboo has always been synonymous to the mountainous Elgon regions with the Bamasaaba (Bagisu) integrating bamboo shoots into their local delicacy malewa, it comes as no surprise that the crop has been embraced by the wider farming community. I recently had a chat with Mr. Andrew Kalema, a former newsroom journalist and editor of the agricultural magazine Harvest Money who is now fondly referred to as the Father of Bamboo in Uganda and in his view, this is one crop that if well managed can be the solution to most of the country’s energy needs. He explains that when he made his first trip to China in 2011, he was enthralled by what he refers to as Green Gold. “When in China you realize that bamboo is one of the most commercially viable and environmentally sustainable projects for the world to adopt in the wake of global warming because of its fast-growing properties and heightened ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen besides its anti-inflammatory abilities,” he says.

This year (2021) marks a whole decade since the trip and there’s been such rapid transformation in the bamboo industry of Uganda with generous contributions from the Peoples Republic of China going towards setting up and maintaining bamboo research units, plantations, technological transfer as well as various trainings done in China and on the continent. Currently, Uganda has an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 hectares of bamboo.

One such research units is the Bamboo project at Uganda Industrial Research institute in Nakawa which I have been fortunate enough to visit. This unit adds value to bamboo biproducts through small scale processing; making crafts, toothpicks, tablemats and furniture. Interestingly they also treat bamboo poles which are used in construction as an alternative to wood. These are elegant, sturdy, pest resistant (which comes in handy for rural projects) and relatively cheaper than most wood species. A casual walk around Kampala would reveal how comfortably this bamboo has been adopted by high-end popular night clubs which makes them look beautiful.

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR)is the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo development programme once coordinated by Andrew Kalema as a multilateral effort in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, facilitated by Chinese and Dutch expertise in the areas of bamboo Value chain development, product design, marketing and standardization. This would help East African countries to unlock the vast potential of their indigenous bamboo resources in addition to contributing to green economic growth, investment and international trade between Europe, China and East Africa.

More farmers, environmentalists and research agencies within Uganda are investing considerably in bamboo agribusiness, research and value addition to bamboo products. With guidance and assistance from China National Bamboo Research Center (CBRC). Organisations like Uganda Forestry Authority, INBAR, Uganda Bamboo Association, Nature Uganda and even Uganda Prison Services (with an expansive bamboo nursery in Luzira) etc. are teaching farmers how to grow and multiply bamboo.

However, taking an objective look at the history of farming in Uganda, such ‘high potential’ crops have always let the farmers down with the outstanding examples being vanilla and cocoa. The long-awaited vanilla boom that was promised in the 2000s still haunts farmers who cleared large tracts of land to plant vanilla prophesized and championed by many prominent agriculturists; there was a gold rush into the business with hopes of earning lots of profits only for the price of vanilla to suffer a severe drop on the world market leaving them stranded. Could the renowned father of bamboo Mr. Andrew Kalema and his ilk be yet another outcrop of false prophets?

To contrast, bamboo is a fast-growing plant which multiplies fast and has potential to be turned into several byproducts that have large local and international markets. By adding value to the plants, using small scale manufacturing techniques, farmers can produce toothpicks, mats, fertilizers, bamboo vinegar and also treat their own construction poles (bamboo has been shown to have a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete). In fact, besides the processing ventures bamboo is also used for land demarcation and ornamental landscaping, so, the market for seedlings is currently booming.

However, the huge potential bamboo possesses could also pose a threat when natural forests are cleared to pave way for bamboo plantations. In a country losing an estimated 80,000 hectares of forest cover every year, this could prove disastrous. The solution to this can also be borrowed from the Peoples Republic of China which is the global leader in producing sustainable green energy where farmers practice selective harvesting of trees to maximize output of smaller tracts of land. Eastern Africa is currently on a healthy trajectory by building its capacity and transferring technology to local bamboo producers -including trainings funded by China’s Ministry of Commerce on craft creation, industrial use, furniture and also producing energy by making bamboo briquettes.

Currently, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia have got the largest reserves of natural bamboo forests accounting for some 3 to 4 per cent of the global known coverage and with the help of development partners like the Peoples Republic of China and Denmark, this could turn around the livelihoods of thousands of farmers in Africa while most importantly, flattening the curve of climate change.

The author is a research Fellow at Development Watch Centre, a Ugandan based Foreign Policy Think Tank

 

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