China’s stability is a force for global good

CGTN Insight

Editor’s note: “Roots of China’s Growth” is a 10-episode series marking the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which has presided over the country’s meteoric rise as a global power. The series focuses on 10 fundamental elements of the strategy that has led to China’s transformation from an impoverished nation over the past 100 years. “China’s peaceful rise” is the last in the series. The article is part of a special series from CGTN and its international media partners.

Victor Gao:

China is celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1, 1921).  Ever since 1949, the CPC has been the ruling party of China and, with its almost 100 million members, is the largest political party in history.

China has transformed itself into the second largest economy (measured by official exchange rate) and the largest economy (measured by purchasing power parity). It has become the biggest producer of agricultural products, manufacturing, iron and steel, cement, concrete, chemical fiber, automobiles, bicycles, desktop computers and mobile phones, as well as more than 200 major industrial items.

Every year, China, which has the world’s largest population, graduates more college students than any other country. It has rolled out the longest high-speed railway network and has pushed the urbanization rate close to 70 percent. Life expectancy, literacy, and the average height of the population are all on the rise. At the end of 2020, China declared that extreme poverty had been eliminated. It has committed to achieving peak carbon emissions by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2060. The country is the largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping forces.

Pictures show the changes of a cliff village in Zhaojue County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province before and after 2016. /CCTV

China, the CPC, and the Chinese people as a whole have ample reasons and justification to take great pride in the transformation and modernization of China.

In historical terms, China’s great achievements are even more extraordinary in the sense that all these have been achieved peacefully through the hard work and sacrifices of the Chinese people, rather than through wars of aggression, occupation of other countries, suppression of other people’s rights, enslaving other nations, or plundering other countries resources.

Compared with the rise of the Spanish Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the British Empire, and the extermination of the native populations in America and the enslaving of Blacks for hundreds of years in the United States, and the rise of the Axis powers before and during the Second World War, China’s ascent has been peaceful, creating huge growth opportunities for humanity as a whole.

Ever since 1978 when China started opening to the outside world, maintaining domestic stability, keeping peace abroad, and promoting development have always been the top priorities for the nation, the CPC as its leading force, and for the Chinese people as a whole. As a matter of fact, stability, peace and development have been intertwined into a coherent and inseparable paradigm. Without domestic stability, development is out of the question.

Staff members serve British merchant Taishan (R) at an international trade service center in Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang Province, November 29, 2019. /Xinhua

No one wants to invest in a country in turmoil and chaos. Wars and conflict eat away at a country’s wealth, generating no benefits for the people at large. Without development and without constantly improving livelihoods, stability may give way to chaos, anarchy and revolution.

China’s ancient philosophy is simple and elegant: Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you. Maintain stability, sometimes at any cost; advocate peace and prevent war, sometimes at any cost; and always promote growth and development for the overall benefit of all the people in China.

If the real criterion for good governance and good government is of the people, for the people, and by the people, China should be ranked at the top for the tremendous transformation it has undergone and the spectacular improvement of the living standards of the Chinese people.

On top of that, China has now become a major champion of peace in the world and the pursuit of domestic stability for the sake of development. No country in the world has a monopoly on truth or has any right to impose its values on other countries. The better way is to respect each other and promote greater understanding and promote growth and development for the benefit of all, rather than engaging in plunder and exploitation of other countries.

China has been unique in identifying an extraordinary growth path for itself and has achieved stellar successes so far. Going forward, it will have greater confidence in doing the right things in continuing to promote stability, peace and development for the benefit of all humanity.

(Victor Gao is a chair professor at Soochow University and vice president of the Center for China and Globalization. You can contact him directly at gaovictor@aya.yale.edu. Please send any other contributions, including expressions of interest in sharing expertise with us, to opinions@cgtn.com.)