The 70th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China in Power
By Bol Makueng Yuol
This year, the Communist Party of China [CPC] will be 70 years old in power in China. In the last 70 years, the country underwent tremendous transformation socially, economically and militarily. All this happened without a single foreign charity working in the country. The Chinese story has defied the belief that, simply some rich countries giving to others on the basis of strings attached to the aid can overcome poverty and inequality.
China on its own developed to become a nuclear country without the support of charities. One success story of foreign aid was the Marshal Plan of 1945, which reconstructed Europe following the massive destruction by war. Understandably, it was the European-Americans who rebuilt their mother Europe. Marshal plan was not replicated elsewhere until today.
As for China, it has always led in technological innovations: Water mills; harnesses for horses; paper and porcelain (Han Dynasty, 200 BC to 200 AD); Printing, cross-bow, iron, gun powder, Irrigation and double cropping (600 – 900 AD) just to mention a few. Nevertheless, the country was invaded, colonised and remained in poverty. It was this last condition that resulted in the formation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its eventual capture of power 70 years ago until today.
On gaining power in 1949, the CPC became the ruling party and directing anything from social, economic and military development. It identified the root causes of poverty before prescribing a suitable remedy and delivering targeted treatment that brought equality between towns and villages. This is the feature described by the SPLM as “Taking Towns to People”.
In its self-reliant culture, the CPC leadership embarked on technological programme and continuous policy reforms as driving forces for poverty eradication. This resulted in improvement in basic means of production and living conditions. Poor areas and communities are identified and prioritised as battlefields for poverty alleviation. Living standard and quality of life has improved in both towns and rural areas of China under the motto: “No one should be left behind”.
In learning from our own mistakes, the China Open-Up Policy enabled the formulation of “Sustainable income to the Poor” that brought impressive results throughout the implementation period. In 2015 alone, more than 700 million people were lifted out of poverty. A Social Security School got established for training officials to manage its comprehensive social security system in line with market-oriented economic reforms covering its 1.4 billion people. Moreover, China has a kind of pay-as-you-go pension system that tops up basic benefits for employees. This policy plan and practice addresses issues of equity and development by improving social security system and providing tools and means to escape poverty.
China’s poverty alleviation programmes are practical as indicators are set for success. CPC deploys about a million party officials in the villages and rural areas to drive the anti-poverty campaign. These people move from door to door to find out what the government can do to help. Officials who are corrupt or failures are not recycled, not rewarded and not retained. There is no future for them in the country.
The date 17th October is marked as International Day for Poverty Eradication. The United Nations (UN) number one goal of 2030 sustainable development agenda is a call on all nations to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. This general call does not provide tools and means for doing so.
China provides practical pillar tools for poverty alleviation. There is compulsory state supported education and giving science and technological innovation as priorities. With continuous reforms and modernisation of the military, the China that was at the periphery yesterday is not the same China under Xi Jinping today. The Open-Up policy is supported with the CPC Dialogue with World in which president Xi Jinping advocates “world community of shared future”. This is where the world community can learn useful lessons from China. In one of recent reports, about 98% of administrative villages in poverty stricken areas had paved roads, electricity, telephone signal, schools and health infrastructure towards the end of 2017. It is inevitable that the CPC may consign poverty to history in China in less than the projected 2030 of the United Nations benchmark Timeline.