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Academy of Marxism (CASS) – New Opportunities for the International Communist Movement

New Opportunities for the International Communist Movement in Major Changes Unseen in A Century


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The Development Report of the International Communist Movement from 2019 to 2020

Research Group from Academy of Marxism, CASS

(Leading members: Professor Jiang Hui, Professor Pan Jin’e, etc.

Coordinator: AssociateProfessor Li Kaixuan

Translator: Doctor Liu Xinxin,

Proofread by Esther Chang Qingyun, EIS Education Group PLT)

Abstract

In 2019, the communist parties in various countries commemorated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International in various ways and discoussed the possibility of an international alliance in the new era. Among socialist countries, China solemnly celebrated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the May Fourth Movement and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Socialist countries such as Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, and North Korea continued to promote reforms and lay out new developments through the revision of constitutions and the establishment of legislations. Most of the non-ruling communist parties tried to change their struggle strategies. Meanwhile, socialist ideas also rose in Europe and America. However, in the context of the rise of the “New Cold War” mentality, the developments of most western communist parties are still on a downward path. In 2020, with the spread of COVID-19, the superiority of the socialist system was further manifested, and the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind is becoming more popular.

Keywords: the Communist International, 70 years of PRC, the relationship between the two systems, the left-wing unity, the community with a shared future for mankind

***

In the context of major changes unseen in a century, many new characteristics have emerged in the international communist movement. Year 2019 is a year of great commemorative significance in the history of this movement, which comprises the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International, the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the May Fourth Movement and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Communist parties around the world have held a variety of commemorative activities to summarize the historical experience and lessons of the Communist International and to explore the possibility of international alliances in the new era. China solemnly commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the May Fourth Movement and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It reviewed the historical progression and achievements of the Communist Party of China on its way to glory, encouraging the Chinese nation to continue to work hard to realize the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation. Socialist countries such as Vietnam, Cuba, Laos, and North Korea continued to summarize innovative practices and develop new blueprints. Meanwhile, the non-ruling communist parties are actively exploring and seeking new opportunities, and their results are mixed. In 2020, given the spread of the COVID-19, China’s concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind is becoming even more significant.

1. THE COMMUNIST PARTIES OF ALL COUNTRIES DRAW THE HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS OF THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL AND EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE IN THE NEW ERA

On March 2nd 1919, the Communist International (i.e., the Third International) was established in Moscow, and it was dissolved on May 25th 1943. In 2019, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International has become an important theme of the international communist movement. Communism organizations around the world hold various commemorative activities and conferences to review the historical significance and influence of the Communist International. From February 16th to 17th 2019, the European communist party and the workers’ party “initiated” a conference entitled Fighting for Communism: A Century of Political Legacy in Turkey. From June 1st to 2nd, 30 communist parties held a conference on Science and Practice in Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Communist International in Moscow. The meeting generally affirmed the positive role of the Third International established under Lenin’s leadership and its contribution to the development and strengthening of the world communist labor movement. The declaration of the conference pointed out:

Our positive estimate does not mean at all, that there were no mistakes in the experience of the Communist International and that it should not be treated critically. [1]

Although we are not capable of a new Comintern, it is still necessary to further study the historical experience of the Third International and apply it to the actual struggle of the international communist movement in the future. From October 18th to 20th, 137 representatives from 74 political parties from 58 countries participated in the 21st World Communist Party and Workers’ Party Conference in Turkey entitled 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist International, Continue to fight for peace and socialism! The meeting attendants analyzed and judged the ongoing crisis of the current capitalist system, international tensions and intensified war threats, urged for maintaining world peace and security, called for the strengthening of the international alliance of the proletariat. The French Communist Party’s Fête de l’Humanité and the Portuguese Communist Party’s Avante! Festival also took the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International as their main activities. The Centennial of the Communist International coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of the United States. The American Communist Party began to hold regional celebrations in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles in September to celebrate these two historic centenary days. The British Communist Party and others have also carried out a variety of commemorative activities, taking the opportunity to heighten the atmosphere and expand their influence, but their scale is relatively small. The parties of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe actively participated in international conferences commemorating major historical events in the International Communist Movement, reviewed and reflected on the history of socialism, jointly issued statements and opinions on the current situation, which demonstrated the strength of the unity world communist workers’ parties and also tempered the small parties. This conference has strengthened the confidence of the Communist Party and the people. In China, academic institutions including the Chinese Society for the History of International Communist Movements, Beijing Society for the History of International Communist Movements, and the Academy of Marxism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences held academic seminars on the theme of commemorating the Communist International to discuss its historical significance and summarize its impact on the Chinese revolution.

Regarding the historical significance of the Communist International, the communist parties from different countries generally believe that the Communist International promoted the establishment, development and growth of proletarian parties around the world during its short existence, which contributed to the victory of socialism in some countries after World War II, including the founding of the Communist Party of China. When the Communist International was founded, there were only 13 parties in the world named “Communist Party”, but when the Communist International was dissolved, it had grown to 68 Communist Parties and more than 3 million party members. [2] The Communist International woke the oppressed nations in the colonies and dependent countries, and contributed to the development and independence of the national liberation movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America; the Communist International actively promoted the world’s anti-fascist struggle and established an anti-fascist united front. A commemorative article published in the party newspaper by the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Zyuganov pointed out that “the historical significance of the Communist International lies in integrating Marxism-Leninism with the mass labor movement worldwide, promoting the founding of proletarian political parties and mobilizing the working people to defend their interests in the struggle against imperialism and fascism, strengthened the international unity of workers, and brought the national liberation movement in colonies and dependent countries to a new level. The work carried out by the Communist International laid the foundation for subsequent achievements, including the victory of the Communist Party in many countries and the formation of a world socialist system.”[3]

Regarding the historical lessons of the Communist International, the parties have varied views. The main points are as follows: Firstly, the highly centralized organizational system of the Communist International ignored the enthusiasm and creativity of the Communist Parties. Secondly, the policy towards the social democratic parties failed to unite all forces that could be united. Thirdly, the misjudgment of historical conditions of the revolutionary situation and of capitalism resulted in “left-leaning errors”. Regarding the merits and demerits of the Communist International in the Chinese revolution, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai quoted that Chairman Mao Zedong

once commented that the Communist International functioned well during the first and third periods, but not very well during the second. By that, he did not mean that everything was good during the first and third periods and nothing was good during the second [4].

From the perspective of the development history of the Chinese revolution, this is also a more pertinent evaluation of the role of the Communist International. Some scholars summed up that the historical merits and demerits of the Communist International could be further summarized as that “Great achievements are made, which will shine through the history; the mistakes are though serious and alerting for the future practices. [5]

When summing up the experience and lessons of the Communist International, people thought about the necessity and ways of international union in the current world socialist movement. The so-called “orthodox” ones represented by the Communist Party of Greece believes that the international communist movement has deviated from Marxism-Leninism since the 1950s, and the situation of today’s international communist movement is similar to that of the time when the Second International collapsed, and opportunism engulfed the Socialist left-wing movement. The Communist Party of Greece criticized “dozens of countries have joined the imperialist system and formed a capitalist monopoly.” When summing up the lessons of the Communist International, Joe Sims, the co-chairman of the U.S. Communist Party, pointed out:

“the Comintern failed not so much due to the CPSU’s dominance but because the variety and diversity of the working-class movement in each country rendered central direction and decision-making impossible […] Working-class internationalism and solidarity are clearly necessary in a world of ongoing imperialist intervention […] But this must be done carefully with complete respect for the autonomy and independence of the parties concerned. [6]

Many communist parties believe that 100 years after the founding of the Communist International, there should be a new starting point for the reconstruction of the international labor movement and the communist movement.

The Communist Party of Moldova argued that under the impetus of global competition, scientific and technological progress is advancing by leaps and bounds. The development of technology involves the creation of artificial intelligence with higher potential than human beings. The opportunity for a world revolution that is taking shape today is a sign of a new Communist International.

The Latvian Communist League believes that the current weapon of communists is still proletarian internationalism, united struggle, and the unity of classes and comrades. This is a necessary condition for opposing national isolation and opposing imperialism. The unity of Communists is an inevitable choice for the future.

First Secretary of the Penza Regional KPRF Committee, George Kamnev, said that the Communist International existed for 24 years – from 1919 to 1943. It has gone through different stages in its history. It is very important that the spirit of the International is still alive today, that the communist movement is developing. Thirty years after the drastic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe the International of Capital is cracking again: Trump's trade wars, U.S.-EU contradictions, contradictions within the EU, etc. Under these conditions, it is important to develop a unified strategy and tactics of the communists of different countries to use the split in the imperialist camp for the triumph of socialism[7].

The communist parties of various countries put forward different views on how to achieve international union. The “orthodox” represented by the Communist Party of Greece believes that the communist forces that adhere to Marxism-Leninism today must first integrate ideology and revolutionary strategy. The integration of ideology and revolutionary strategy means that the contemporary views on the imperialism, fascism, capitalism and other issues should be consistent.

Some communist parties represented by the Turkish Communist Party believe that the realization of international alliances by the communist party mainly reflects inter-party unity and exchange of experience, and cannot allow any authority to be established in a country that is above the will of the party and its members.

The leader of the League of Communists of Latvia believes that the communist party should strengthen cooperation within the European Parliament and fight against parties that defend the existing system. Only in this way, the slogan of “Proletarians of all countries, Unite!” could be realized.

In summary, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Communist International, the Communist parties of all countries recognized the necessity and urgency of achieving international union and explored ways to strengthen it. However, due to the different evaluations of the Communist International’s history by the various communist parties, as well as the strategies and paths for international alliances, we can see that the parties currently have differences on some basic theoretical issues and acting strategies. These differences mainly involve how to view, uphold and develop Marxism, socialist reforms and other issues. This has become the main obstacle to the unity and international unity of the Communist parties in the world.

II

SOCIALIST COUNTRIES SUMMARIZE PRACTICE, SEEK BREAKTHROUGHS AND LAY OUT A NEW DEVELOPMENT BLUEPRINT

1. China commemorates the May Fourth Movement and celebrates the glorious achievements of People’s Republic of China in 70 years, leading the world socialist movement on a new journey

The May Fourth Movement, which broke out in China on May 4th, 1919, was an ideological enlightenment and new culture movement that led mainly by the youth, which started China’s new democratic revolution. In an important speech at the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China pointed out that the May Fourth Movement promoted the spread of Marxism in China and promoted the integration of Marxism with the Chinese workers’ movement. It has made ideological preparations for cadres and nurtured new revolutionary in terms of forces and culture. [8] It can be seen that the May Fourth Movement is of great significance in the history of China’s socialist development.

On October 1st 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded. Over the past 70 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have created a miracle of rapid economic growth and long-term stability of society. At present, China is the world’s second largest economy, the largest manufacturing country, the largest trader and the second largest consumer of goods, and the second largest country in foreign capital inflows. Its foreign exchange reserves have ranked first in the world for many years. China has contributed to more than 30% of the world economic growth. Over the past 70 years, China has continuously explored and established a socialist political system with Chinese characteristics. China has reached the world’s top level in certain high-tech areas, leading the development of industry technology. Over the past 70 years, Chinese people’s livelihood construction has achieved remarkable results, and the people’s living standards have been continuously improving. In 2020, China will eliminate poverty throughout the country and build a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. In addition, the achievements of PRC in the fields of military and diplomacy are also recognized worldwide. Zyuganov, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, believes that China has become an important engine for global economic growth, and has achieved progress in the high-tech field, showing the world a unique development path.” [9] China’s success is an outstanding example for the world. China has made great contributions to world socialism and the international communist movement in the course of 70 years. At present, China holds high the banner of continuing to promote economic globalization towards a fair and reasonable direction, indicating an important turning-point for the development of world socialism. [10]

2. The Communist Party of Vietnam seeks a layout to develop a new blueprint for the 13th National Congress of the Party

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Vietnam’s economy grew rapidly in 2019. The annual GDP grew by 7.02%, and the inflation rate remained at a low level: the annual growth rate was 2.79%, a three-year low. The annual total merchandise trade reached US$ 517 billion, of which exports amounted to US$ 264,189 billion, achieving a surplus of US$ 11,118. US$ 38 billion of foreign capital investment, the highest level in 10 years, is record-setting in history. Political life is rich and vibrate. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam convened the 10th and 11th Plenary Session of the 12th Central Committee. The 11th Plenary Session of the Central Committee furthered the implementation of the tasks of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The government formulated a medium to long-term economic and social development plan in accordance with the spirit of the Party, the National Assembly held two meetings to discuss relevant legal documents and major social economy issues in Vietnam, and passed a number of legal documents and draft resolutions.

Substantial to the preparation for the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the work of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 2019 focused on the following aspects: setting up a leading group for the preparation of the conference, advancing the preparation of conference documents, formulating economic and social development plans, organizing the construction of a contingent of cadres with high quality and other personnel arrangements, deepening the anti-corruption work, strengthening the social management and preventing the “peaceful evolution” of hostile forces, etc. Among them, it is worth noting that on February 19th 2019, the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed the “two centenaries” vision for economic and social development when inspecting the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The first step is that by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party in 2030, Vietnam will enter the ranks of high-level middle-income countries and become an “innovative, fair, and democratic and civilized society”, meeting five indicators:

(1) Per capita GDP reaches 18,000 US dollars above (purchasing power parity in 2011);

(2) Most of the country’s population (more than 50%) become urban residents;

(3) Industry and service industries account for more than 90% of GDP and provide more than 70% of employment;

(4) The private economy accounts for more than 80% of GDP;

(5) The United Nations Human Development Index is above 0.7.

The second step is to establish Vietnam as a “prosperous developed country” by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the country in 2045. The specific indicators are:

(1) Step into the ranks of the happiest high-income countries in the world and become a prosperous country;

(2) Become the world’s top 20 in terms of global competitiveness index and business environment index, explore a knowledge-based economy with high income and diversified sources of it. The industry is progressing toward the direction of modernization. The proportion of agriculture has dropped below 10% and is no longer a purely agricultural country;

(3) It has become one of the countries with the highest quality of education in the Asia-Pacific region.

3. Cuba solemnly commemorates the 60th anniversary of the victory of the revolution, amending the constitution and reforming the national leadership system

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution, and the Cuban government held a grand commemorative event. The leaders of China and other socialist countries sent congratulatory messages affirming that the victory of the Cuban revolution has not only ushered a new history of Cuba’s independence and development, but also greatly inspired the national liberation movement, non-aligned movement and society in developing countries since the 1960s.

In 2019, Cuba passed a new constitution through a referendum. The new constitution stipulates that the State Council is a permanent body of the National People’s Congress. The head of state and government will no longer be held concurrently by the chairman of the State Council but replaced by the newly established president and prime minister. The President of the State is elected by the National People’s Congress and must be 35 years of age or older, and must not exceed 60 years of age when elected for the first time. The term of office is 5 years and can be renewed for one more term. The Prime Minister is nominated by the president of the country, elected by the National People’s Congress, responsible for the daily work of the government and leading the ministerial meeting. In October 2019, according to the new constitution and the new “election law”, Diaz-Canel was elected as the first President of Cuba, and Salvador Valdes was elected as the Vice President of the country, Esteban Lazo Hernández was elected chairman of the National People’s Congress and chairman of the Council of State, and Manuel Marrero Cruz was the prime minister of the government. The meeting also elected the 21-member State Council. Raul Castro will serve as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba until 2021. The new constitution points out that national ownership is the main form of ownership in Cuba, and the Cuban economic system is based on both planning and market factors.

4. North Korea amended its constitution, played down its “Songun Policy” characteristics, and achieved new breakthroughs in economic growth and diplomacy

In April and August 2019, the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea convened two meetings to discuss the issue of constitutional amendment. The amendments are: deleting many “Sonjun Thoughts” several times, merging the nominal supreme leader with the actual supreme leader, and implementing a socialist corporate responsibility management system. There are three main reasons for the amendment. The first one is that because “Songun politics” has been included in “Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il Doctrine”, it is no longer emphasized separately, and it has played down the “Songun Policy”, which conforming to its strategic shift centered on economic construction. Secondly, the new constitution stipulates that “the representative of the country” is chairman of the State Council instead of the standing chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, which established a national political system centered on the State Council, so that the chairman of the State Council not only possesses the actual supreme leadership of the country, but also represents the country in law, thus smoothed the legislative relationship in the system. Thirdly, “Chongsanri spirit” and “Taean work system” were replaced with “revolutionary work methods that highly exert the spiritual power and creative ability of the masses” and “implement a socialist corporate responsibility management system” for the reason that the old expression has the imprints of the regional characteristics of the 1960s, the new expressions are more in line with the broader strategic development requirements of North Korea in the new era.

However, it is necessary to clarify that although North Korea has adjusted the focus of its development strategy, the fundamental content of the constitution has not changed. For example, Article 34 of the Constitution that stipulates that “the national economy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a planned economy” has not been revised, and the new Constitution puts more emphasis on the role of the people and insists on the people’s first principle. Kim Jong-un emphasized that taking the people as the priority is the fundamental principle of all-parties affairs, which shows that the amendment to North Korea’s constitution is to change some outdated expressions, straighten out the administrative system and economic management methods, and ensure that it can develop smoothly in accordance with the Korean-style socialist road in the new era.

In 2019, North Korea’s diplomacy achieved important outcomes. On January 7th-10th, Kim Jong-un visited China again; on February 26th, Kim Jong-un arrived in Hanoi to hold the second North Korea-US summit with U.S. President Trump, and officially visited Vietnam. This was the first time for a supreme leader after in 55 years. On April 24th, Kim Jong-un and Putin met in Vladivostok. On June 30th, Kim Jong-un and Trump held a historic meeting at the border between North Korea and South Korea, known as the 38th Parallel. During the historic meeting on the 38th Parallel, Trump crossed the 38th Parallel to the North Korean side and shook hands with Kim Jong-un, becoming the first incumbent US president to set foot on North Korean territory in history, which is of iconic significance. From June 20th to 21st, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to North Korea, ushering a new chapter in the friendship between China and North Korea.

5. Laos strengthens the cadre teambuilding and the ideological and theoretical construction to prepare for the new party congress

In 2019, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has overcome many adverse influences at home and abroad and continued to promote socialist innovation. The development of all aspects of economy and society maintained a good momentum. Among them, the annual economic growth was 6.4%, and the per capita GDP reached US$2,620; positive results were achieved in poverty reduction.

In 2019, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party convened the 8th and 9th Plenary Sessions of the 10th Central Committee to summarize the achievements and experience of socialist construction and party building in Laos at the current stage, and make arrangements for the 11th National Congress of the Party to be held in early 2021. Among them, the 8th Plenary Session of the Central Committee issued three relevant documents to strengthen the cadre team building. Before and after the two plenums, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party also issued a number of relevant resolution documents, emphasizing further improving the cadre team building. The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has also strengthened the party’s ability to govern and maintain the advanced nature of the party members education, and has made great achievements in political thought, cadre management, anti-corruption and honesty, work style building, and discipline supervision. After the 8th Plenary Session of the 10th Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, a steady and orderly adjustment of cadres was carried out to prepare the personnel arrangements for the 11th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party to be held in early 2021.

In 2019, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party also made new progress in theoretical innovation. Since the 10th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party officially listed Kaysone Phomvihane Thoughts and Marxism-Leninism as the party’s guiding ideology, the party’s political bureau has promulgated it on December 13th, 2018 and March 27th, 2019. Documents such as the Resolution on the Study of Kaysone Phomvihane Thoughts and The Resolution on the Establishment of Kaysone Phomvihane Thoughts Research Committee meant the establishment of the The Kaysone Phomvihane Thoughts Research Committee, which is composed of representatives from the Lao National Academy of Social Sciences, the National Academy of Administration, the National Institute of Social Science Kaysone Phomvihane College, the People’s Security College, and the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum. On May 5th, 2019, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party also promulgated the Resolution on the Establishment of the Party Central Theoretical Research Institute, and the party’s theoretical research and propaganda work has gradually strengthened.

III.

THE COMMUNIST PARTIES OF NON-SOCIALIST COUNTRIES ACTIVELY EXPLORE FOR DEVELOPMENT, AND THE RESULTS ARE MIXED

1. The performances of the communist parties in the developing countries and the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern regions are mixed

The communist movement in Nepal in South Asia has been active for the past two years. On February 15, 2018, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) formed a left-wing coalition, came to power, and announced their merger to form the Communist Party of Nepal on May 17, 2018. Over the past year, Nepal has made great achievements in the political, economic, social, and diplomatic fields. It has been the most stable period in the past 30 years. In 2019, the Communist Party of Nepal integrated and improved the basic theories of the former Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center). Among them, the issue of how to deal with the People’s War has not yet formed a unified opinion. In 2020, the Communist Party of Nepal will convene the first party congress after the merger. The congress will determine a new theoretical program and plan a blueprint for a new period.

At the same time, the performance of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the largest Communist Party organization in South Asia, is worrying. In the 17th People’s Chamber of India election held in May 2019, the number of seats won by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was reduced from 6 to 3, which fell to the lowest point in history, and the number of seats for the Communist Party of India increased from 1 to 2. The Bharatiya Janata Party achieved an overwhelming victory. India’s political right turn has been further consolidated, and the left-wing political space has been further compressed.

In the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the European Parliament again passed an anti-communist resolution in 2019. The communist parties in some countries were banned from activities and the communist parties were in a difficult situation. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the communist workers’ parties of Eastern European countries actively participated in activities and international conferences commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist International, reviewed and summarized the history of the drastic changes in Eastern Europe and the history of the communist movement. Experience and lessons have promoted the development of the international communist movement in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In terms of political participation, the support rate of some communist parties in national and local assembly elections has increased, which has brought new vitality into the development of regional socialist movements.

Among them, in the Russian regional and local elections held in September 2019, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation made significant progress. In 10 of the total 12 regions, the support rate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has increased, and the total number of seats in the city council has also been an increase, especially in the Moscow City Council elections with 13 seats, an increase of 8 seats from the previous one.

In the November election for the National Assembly of Belarus, the number of seats of the Communist Party of Belarus increased from 8 in 2016 to 11 seats. As the largest party in the parliament, it maintains a certain influence in the domestic political arena. [11]

At the same time, in the national elections held on February 24th 2019, the Moldovan Communist Party collapsed across the board, losing all 21 parliamentary seats and becoming a party outside the parliament. This was another major setback after losing its ruling position in 2019.

2. Most western communist parties have taken the path of parliamentary struggle through the left-wing unity. There are bright spots but overall it is a downturn.

Year 2019 was an election year for the European Parliament. The political parties and organizations of the 27 EU countries were fully engaged in the election campaign. The communist parties of various countries actively participated in the parliamentary elections. Some communist parties jointly promoted candidates by joining other leftists. However, due to the fact that the campaign advocates focused on the left-wing coalition, the standings of the parties were vague, the characteristics were not clear, and they failed to catch the needs and concerns of their inherent voters. In addition, they were hindered by populist and far-right parties. The result is thus not optimistic. Among the more than 700 seats in the European Parliament, the European Union Left-Nordic Green Party, which is composed of the French Communist Party, the Italian Communist Refoundation Party, the Spanish Communist Party, and multiple left-wing parties in Europe, only won 39 seats, a decrease of 13 seats in comparison to the previous batch. Among the participating communist parties, the Belgian Workers’ Party won one seat, breaking a record in their history, the Greek Communist Party kept its two seats unchanged, the Portuguese Communist Party reduced to two seats, and the other communist worker’s parties did not win seats.

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the Belgian Workers’ Party (PTB/PVDA) became a “dark horse” that suddenly emerged from the development plight of the radical left-wing parties in Europe. The Belgian Workers Party’s support rate in the European Parliament elections held in May 2019 increased to 8.7% and won one seat, thus achieving a historic breakthrough. Moreover, in the country’s regional parliament elections, the Workers’ Party received 6.6%, 12%, and 13.5% approval rates in Flemish, Brussels, and Wallonia, and 4, 11 and 10 seats respectively. In the Belgian national parliament elections, the Workers’ Party won 12 seats in the Federal Parliament and 4 seats in the Senate. In addition to 1 seat in the European Parliament, the number of seats in the Belgian Workers’ Party has increased from 8 seats in 2014. It quickly rose to 42 seats, ranking fifth among the 12 political parties with elected representatives across the country. Under the circumstance that the communist movement in the West has generally fallen into a low ebb or even turned, the Belgian Workers’ Party successfully staged a perfect “counterattack”, known as an “important bright red breakthrough” and a “phenomenal social movement”. The reason is that the Belgian Workers’ Party has adjusted its action strategy and ideological theory and proposed that the ultimate goal is to build a classless society, that is, a truly collective society or a communist society. This conforms to the ideals of the majority of the people under the current situation and prompts people to join the party. As a result, the number of party members rose from 2,800 in 2007 to 19,000 at the end of 2019. The fruitful political practice of the Belgian Workers’ Party is an important reference and inspiration to other western communist parties.

In Asia, the Communist Party of Japan, which originally occupied a large proportion in the traditional territory of the communist party of western developed countries, has declined in recent years. In the 25th Senate election held in 2019, the Japanese Communist Party won 13 out of 245 seats, one less than the previous term, and the gap with the Komeito Party and the Liberal Democratic Party in terms of local seats is expanding. To seek development, the Japanese Communist Party changed its struggle strategy. Firstly, it is committed to increasing the possibility of forming a united front with the opposition parties to establish a coalition government. Secondly, the Japanese Communist Party is turning to inter-party diplomacy, attaching great importance to Europe. At the 28th Party Congress held from January 14th to 18th 2020, the Japanese Communist Party revised the party program and deleted the statement that China, Vietnam, Cuba and other countries are “new exploration with the goal of socialism” and no long took the 21st century as an era in which two systems coexist. These adjustments of the Japanese Communist Party actually reflect some characteristics of the current western communist parties in common, and its trend is worthy of attention.

In the Americas, Year 2019 was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of America. The Communist Party of America held its 31st National Congress from June 15th to 16th, achieving the replacement of leaders, including Rossana Cambron and Joe Sims became chairman of the United States Communist Party. [12] The Congress conducted a detailed analysis of current capitalism, proposed specific strategies for the Communist Party of the United States to carry out struggles in the new era, formulated the struggle stages and steps that the United States must go through to achieve socialism and communism, and to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal through a powerful working class movement to promote American socialism. In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. Communist Party supports the Democratic Congressman Sanders, who had been labeled as socialist. The US Communist Party hopes to expand its influence by uniting with the left to participate in political activities.

In Australia, the communist movement became active, but internal divisions remained serious. Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Communist Party of New Zealand, established in 1921, a group of young people, mainly students at school, established the “New Communist Party of Aotearoa” (NCPA). The founding meeting and the first Central Committee meeting was held in Wellington on November 21st 2019. At the meeting, the party constitution and party program were passed, clearly taking Marxism-Leninism as the party’s guiding ideology, and it declared that it is a proletarian party. Also at the inaugural meeting, the slogan “One class, Two unions” was put forward. “One class” means that the New Zealand Communist Party is a proletarian-oriented party. “Two Unions” includes the Workers’ Union (namely trade unions and community unions) which indicates that the party implements a policy of action focusing on trade union and community movements.

In recent years, the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) has seen serious divergence in ideological concepts and organizational principles. Former Central Committee General Secretary Bob Briton announced the establishment of Australian Communist Party (ACP) in June 2019. Bob Briton believes that the party is a firm Marxist-Leninist party, advocating thorough theoretical struggles, strengthening Marxist theoretical study and organizational construction, and opposing the reformist method of relying on trade unions and left-wing alliances to participate in the parliament. He believes that it is difficult to integrate market economy and socialist goals. These views are exactly where he differs from other members of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), and are actually the common cause of internal divisions in some western communist parties.

IV

IN 2020, THE SUPERIORITY OF THE SOCIALIST SYSTEM WILL BE MORE PROMINENT IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19

Year 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Engels and the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth. The communist parties and socialist countries will hold commemorative activities and academic seminars focusing on related themes, and reinterpret the classic works of socialism from utopia to science, from theory to practice in light of the new situation, from one country to multiple countries, from direct transition to indirect transition and other related theoretical viewpoints, re-evaluate the great personality of revolutionary mentors, and promote the new development of world socialism construction and the international communist movement in the new era. However, in early 2020, COVID-19 swept across the world. Under the influence of the epidemic, the scale of the commemoration of Engels and Lenin by the communist parties of various countries was restricted. Therefore, the communist parties and scholars of various countries have expounded the realistic guiding significance of the classic writer’s thought to the international communist movement through books and articles.

For example, Professor Yu Liangzao of Nanjing Normal University wrote an article on that the theory of scientific socialism was created by Marx and Engels to guide the proletariat to carry out revolutionary movements and build communism. It is an evolving theory. After the death of Marx, especially after the 1890s, Engels adhered to the theory of scientific socialism in the practice of guiding the international communist movement, and enriched the theory of scientific socialism based on new practices. [13]

Researcher Jin Minqing from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences believes that the Communist League created by Marx and Engels through the reorganization of the Justice League is the first proletarian party in human history established on the basis of scientific socialism, opening up a new era in the communist movement. [14]

Professor Nguyen Xuan Thang, secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, director of the Central Theoretical Committee, and president of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, wrote an article in the Communist Journal of the Communist Party of Vietnam on April 22nd, arguing that Lenin upheld and developed Marxist theory on the new historical stage, that is, imperialism and proletarian revolution, successfully led the Russian October Revolution of 1917, established the world’s first political power of workers and peasants, ushered a new era that transition from capitalism to socialism, socialism evolved from theory to reality through his outstanding theory and practical activities. Lenin’s life and his revolutionary cause were extremely great, and so were his contributions to the working class and the oppressed working people in the world. It is of epoch-making significance. In commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, we must firmly adhere to and creatively apply Marxism-Leninism, adhere to the goals of national independence and socialism, and unswervingly overcome challenges, persist in innovation, and create a miracle in Vietnam.[15]

The international communist movement in 2020 will continue to develop under the influence of COVID-19. This epidemic will not only affect people’s health, but will also have a major and far-reaching impact on the world’s production methods, technological development, international structure, and the balance of power between socialism and capitalism.

On the one hand, China, as the country that suffered from the pandemic first, successfully controlled the spread of the epidemic swiftly, fully demonstrating the advanced nature of the Communist Party of China and the superiority of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, other socialist countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and North Korea also performed well in the management and control of the epidemic. As of April 30, with the exception of Cuba, the other three countries have not reported a single death from COVID-19. Among them, North Korea has no cases reported, Laos has only 19 cases and no new epidemics have appeared since mid-April. Vietnam, as a country with a population of close to 100 million, has only reported 320 cases and all have been cured. Although Cuba has confirmed 1,467 cases and 58 deaths, compared with most countries in the world, especially the large-scale spread of the epidemic in neighboring Brazil, Cuba’s prevention and control of the epidemic is excellent. It clearly shows that the socialist countries have used practical actions to prove the superiority of the socialist system in the management and control of major disasters and the medical system.

In addition, China has given full play to the spirit of internationalism and the responsibility of a major country, providing a large number of epidemic prevention materials, treatment experience and medical teams to many countries, and made every effort to help other countries to beat the epidemic, and won the global recognition and appreciation of all countries in the world. On April 2nd, 2020, the Communist Party of China and more than 230 political parties in more than 100 countries issued a joint appeal on strengthening international cooperation against the epidemic. [16] The political parties that participated in the joint appeal came from five continents, including the ruling parties, participating parties, important opposition parties and international political parties in major countries, covering political parties with different ideologies from the left, the middle and the right. The appeal also received support and praise from the Communist Party of Cuba, the Communist Party of Nepal, the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus, the Communist Party of the United States, the Communist Party of Brazil, the Communist Party of Chile, the Communist Party of Argentina, the Communist Party of Britain, the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the Spanish Communist Party, the Australian Communist Party, and the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist) in various ways. [17] The pandemic highlights that all human beings share weal and woe in face of disasters, and no one can survive alone. Therefore, China’s concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind is easier to be appreciated and welcomed.

On the other hand, some western countries ignore China’s achievements in fighting against COVID-19 and make groundless accusations and attacks on China, but their policies are slow and ineffective in dealing with the epidemic in their own countries, leading to the spread of the epidemic. It not only exposes the double standards that capitalist politicians are implementing under the guise of freedom and democracy, but also exposes the shortcomings of the western medical system, social management, capitalism’s goal of maximizing profits and the hypocrisy of the human rights that the West is advocating. Under the spread of the epidemic, working people and people at the bottom of society in western countries are even less insured, living standards cannot be guaranteed and the gap between the rich and the poor has further widened, which may cause more serious social problems and even political turmoil.

Therefore, under the epidemic, socialism, as an ideology and system replacing capitalism, has received increasing attention and trust in the world. However, because the difference between the two forces is sharp, the defenders of the Western bourgeoisie and the capitalist system will not stop. They will inevitably intensify their resistance to and crack down on the socialist movement, and the situation of the communist parties of all countries will be even more difficult. Although the struggle between the two systems is conducive to the socialism, the long-term coexistence of the two systems is difficult to change. Therefore, we should actively advocate the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, which is a rational solution for win-win cooperation between countries and different systems in the world under the current historical conditions.

Reference

[1] http://www.wyzxwk.com/Article/sichao/2019/06/404628.html;

See also: https://inter.rkrp.ru/%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%B7-%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B8/final-declaration-of-the-participants-of-international-conference-100-years-to-the-communist-international-and-tasks-of-the-communist-movement-today-moscow-1-2-june-2019/

[2] Lin Jianhua, The Practical Logic of the Communist International in the World Revolution [J], “Chinese Social Sciences”, Issue 8, 2014.

[3] [Russian] Gennady Zyuganov, Liu Shuchun (Translation). The Valuable Experience of the Communist International [J], “World Socialism Studies”, Issue 5, 2019.

[4] Zou Enlai, “The Communist International and the Chinese Communist Party”, July 14 and iy, i960, in Selected Works of Zhou Enlai, Volume 2, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1989, p. 306.

[5] Lin Jianhua, The Practical Logic of the Communist International in the World Revolution [J], “Chinese Social Sciences”, Issue 8, 2014.

[6] Joe Sims, The Road to Socialism and the World Communist Movement: A Reply to Wadi’h Halabi, http://www.cpusa.org/article/the-road-to-socialism-and-the-world-communist-movement-a-reply-to-wadih-halabi. [EB/OL]

[7] В Турции прошла XXI Международная встреча коммунистических и рабочих партий, “Правда”,22.11.2019, https://kprf.ru/party-live/opinion/189657.html

[8] Xi Jinping, Speech at the Conference Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the May Fourth Movement [M]. People’s Publishing House, 2019. p. 2.

[9] Song Qu, China is fully capable of handling domestic issues – Interview with Zyuganov, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation [N], “People’s Daily”, December 9th, 2019.

[10] Jiang Hui, The Transitional Role of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the World Socialist Movement [J], “World Socialism Studies”, Issue 4, 2019.

[11] Yu Haiqing, Qin Zhenyan. New Situation and New Characteristics of the Development and Changes of Foreign Communist Parties in 2019 [J], “Contemporary World”, Issue 1, 2020.

[12] Yu Haiqing, Qin Zhenyan. New Situation and New Characteristics of the Development and Changes of Foreign Communist Parties in 2019 [J], “Contemporary World”, Issue 1, 2020.

[13] Yu Liangzao, Engels’ Important Contributions to the Theory of Scientific Socialism in His Later Years [J], “Theory and Reform”, Issue 3, 2020.

[14] Jin Minqing, Engels’ Special Contributions in the Process of Creating the First Communist Party in History [J], “Studies on Party and Government”, Issue 3, 2020.

[15] http://tapchicongsan.org.vn/web/guest/tin-tieu -diem/-/asset_publisher/s5L7xhQiJeKe/content/di-san-cua-v-i-le-nin-gia-tri-ly-luan-va-thuc-tien-doi-voi-cach-mang-the-gioi-va-viet-nam

[16] http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2020-04/02/c_1125806860.html

[17] https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/BX0kTpGYnvPM0RuhIj-1ww

West’s pandemic falsehoods debunked

Global Times, 2020/4/16

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1185819.shtml


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Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, China has worked hard to overcome the peak of the outbreak and people have started to return to work and resume production.

It is the hope of people around the world, who are still at the most difficult stage of their anti-virus war, to receive anti-epidemic assistance. Yet some bizarre accusations against China have arisen. There are suggestions that “China concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak” and “China sees opportunity to expand global influence amid pandemic.” There have also been ridiculously claims for compensation from China. This attempt to cast blame on China is designed to divert attention from their own country’s inept responses to COVID-19. We must recognize these as obfuscations that so regrettably undermine humanity’s efforts to end the pandemic.

The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China refutes the six types of typical buck-passing remarks in the current situation.

The article is written by Wang Wen, Jia Jinjing, Yang Fanxin, Guan Zhaoyu, Wang Peng, Zhang Mengchen from Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

 

I. Accusing China of concealing coronavirus akin to calling white black

Some Western media and politicians have alleged that China deliberately concealed the number of infections and deaths caused by the COVID-19 epidemic in China. They even claim China shared disinformation that led to their underestimation of the extent of the outbreak and thus delayed their response to the virus.

Such rhetoric is rampant in the West, but in essence it is an attempt to justify the West’s inability to fight the pandemic. China released a report on April 6 on the timeline of the country’s information sharing of the virus, in response to those discredited remarks.

The report shows in detail, how China regularly shared information and its prevention and control measures with the US since January 3. Including 30 exchanges in one month.

Over the past three months, American experts have been invited to China to better understand the situation. There have also been intensive communications, such as summit talks, communication between top diplomats and between the two countries’ public health authorities. During this period, US President Donald Trump also repeatedly praised China’s efforts and expressed gratitude to China.

On April 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a timeline of operations against COVID-19, and the content of the timeline is being continuously updated. According to the timeline, China reported a set of pneumonia cases as early as December 31, 2019, and identified a novel coronavirus. The WHO put itself on an emergency footing to deal with the outbreak on January 1. Many countries and regions have achieved good results under the early warning issued by the UN health agency and China.

According to recent research of Yale University, prevention and control measures, such as a city lockdown, compulsory quarantine, community management, and restricted outdoor activities, implemented in China since late January have greatly reduced the transmission of COVID-19, which was effectively put under control by mid-February. As of February 29, national and provincial level public health measures implemented in China had effectively prevented more than 1.4 million infections and up to 56,000 deaths across the country.

China’s achievements in fighting the virus are obvious to all. The allegations made against China’s handling of the epidemic are themselves an information virus.

 

II. False accusation that China misled the world

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to ferment globally, with Europe and the US being most severely hit.

On April 9, 1,601,302 cases were confirmed globally, with the number of confirmed cases in the US exceeding 460,000; 5.6 times great than in China. The number of infections and deaths in New York City has exceeded those in China. New York’s coronavirus-related death rate is greater in China’s Wuhan. The number of confirmed cases in the EU was more than 650,000, with 54,600 deaths, or 16.4 times more deaths than in China. The death rate in Europe was 8.4 percent, or 2.06 times great than China’s.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed China for offering misleading information. Informed people can clearly see this is an excuse to shirk responsibility for his administration’s inept response to the epidemic. After analyzing Trump’s remarks on COVID-19 from January 22 to today, we found that his statements made at different stages of the outbreak show his transformation from bystander to participant.

The first stage for Trump’s transformation was from January 22 to February 25, when there were very few confirmed cases in the US. At that time, Trump’s tweets said the US was in close contact and cooperation with China, suggesting China was doing a good job.

In the second phase, from February 26 to March 9, the US epidemic began to break out and affected three major stock markets. Trump declared on Twitter that the virus was spreading slowly in the US with a death rate well below 1 percent, and a candidate vaccine was beginning clinical trials.

In the third phase, from March 10 to 14, when the coronavirus began hitting the entire US, Trump’s changed his tone and began calling COVID-19 a “horrible scourge.” Americans were thus advised to reduce nonessential travel and a national emergency was declared. He said the federal government would “unleash the full power” to defeat the virus.

In the fourth phase, from March 15 to March 18, the virus spread rapidly in the US, and Trump’s position changed dramatically. For the first time, he publicly called COVID-19 a “Chinese virus,” and he found himself in hot water.

The fifth phase from March 19 to the present, the outbreak in the US is out of control. Trump begun to blame China, slander China for not informing him of the virus earlier and offering disinformation. He even accused the WHO of siding with China, and moved further to suspend WHO funds.

In addition to Trump’s finger-pointing statements that were contrary to known facts, some senior US officials have also defied facts by accusing China of misleading the world and threatening to hold China accountable for the outbreak. On Saturday, the senior US health official Dr. Anthony Fauci said China had delayed the world’s understanding of the coronavirus when it suggested in January the virus was being transmitted only “from an animal to a human.” He said that after the pandemic, the origins of the misinformation will be investigated.

The Trump administration’s repeated attempts to blame China, redefine the timeline, defend the US stock market and promote his reelection campaign, reflect the fact that in the face of a catastrophe, Trump is more concerned with political issues than saving lives.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus responded to Trump’s criticism without naming names: “If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it.” Democratic candidate Joe Biden had this warning that seems more practical than political: “As we prepare to reopen America, we have to remember what this crisis has taught us: The administration’s failure to plan, to prepare, to honestly assess and communicate the threat to the nation led to catastrophic results. We cannot repeat those mistakes.”

III. The ‘China accountable’ fabrication

Claims arguing that “China should be held accountable for the coronavirus pandemic” have been rising in the field of international public opinion.

A mainstream Bolivian newspaper quoted Patricia Janiot, a senior anchor for CNN, in an editorial published on March 29, propagating that China should take the blame for the pandemic, writing off China’s enormous sacrifices and tremendous outcomes in fighting the virus, and neglecting other countries’ improper responses to the outbreak.

The allegation is apparently rife with lies and prejudices. Accusations such as “China had concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak for two months” and “China supplied faulty coronavirus test kits to Spain” are a pure fabrication based on misinformation or hearsay.

The truth is China was the first country to report the coronavirus outbreak and the first to effectively curb the epidemic. The country took decisive measures to curb the spread or the virus and was the first country to release the genetic sequence of the virus and openly shared it with the international community.

As the domestic situation improves, China has begun to offer help to other countries and regions around the world. So far, China has provided assistance to at least 89 countries and four international organizations and has become the world’s largest supplier of medical materials. China’s transparent sharing of data has also contributed greatly to the development of vaccines and drugs in other countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 26 at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit called on G20 members to “jointly help developing countries with weak public health systems enhance preparedness and response.”

Many state leaders are also becoming aware that large-scale infectious diseases are one of the major challenges facing humanity in the era of globalization, and to overcome the pandemic, all countries must closely unite rather than blame each other.

Seeing China’s strong leadership in the global fight against the virus, an increasing number of international media outlets have realized that China has indeed been practicing the vision it proposed of building a global community with a shared future for humanity, and has been fulfilling the obligations of a responsible world power.

 

IV. Requesting compensations from China unwarranted

The International Council of Jurists and the All India Bar Association have filed a petition at the UN Human Rights Council, seeking compensation from China over the global pandemic, India’s media reported on April 4.

The complaint accuses China of “surreptitiously developing a biological weapon capable of mass destruction,” and urges China to “adequately compensate international community and member states, particularly India.”

News of similar suits can be found in the US, the UK, Australia and many other parts of the globe. Although different in form, they are in essence the same - requesting China be held accountable for the global spread of the virus. These attention-grabbing headlines are designed to manipulate public opinion, tie the virus to China and discredit the country.

Various organizations and politicians in many countries have acted in concert to ask for an apology and reparation from China, reminding many Chinese of the “Gengzi compensation,” also known as “Boxer Indemnity,” in early1900s, in which several Western states humiliated China by requiring compensation after Eight Nation Alliance invaded China and suppressed the Boxer rebellion.

But a century has passed, and China is no longer what it used to be. In 2020, China no longer needs to worry about foreign invasions, although the public opinion war against China, waged by certain politicians in some countries, is worrisome.

Today’s demands for compensation from China are eerily reminiscent of those of a century ago; both are designed to make the victim pay, and both are filtered through conspiracy theories and rumors.

Many authoritative institutions and the academic community, such as the WHO and Nature, have repeatedly reiterated that where the virus was first reported has no direct relation with where the virus originated. And one can never blame others for the losses caused by their own improper responses to the outbreak.

China has always upheld solidarity and cooperation during a critical time. The unwarranted claims that demands compensation from China are poisonous and misleading. The global fight against the coronavirus is likely to be an arduous protracted fight. All countries should show solidarity and strengthen cooperation instead of complaining or blaming each other.

 

V. ‘Low-quality export’ - bite the hand that feeds

After four months of effort, China’s virus fight has achieved good initial results, while the global pandemic situation is far from positive. In this disaster facing all humans, China has adhered to the concept of a community with a shared future for humanity and has sent medical supplies, including masks, test kits and protective outfits, to 130 countries and four international organizations. In addition, numerous private organizations, social groups and individuals from China have offered assistance to the world by various means.

However, US-led Western countries have refused some of China’s medical supplies and hyped China’s low-quality exports. Traditional media and social media have also hyped this sentiment to the public which urgently needs these supplies.

There have been some exceptional cases caused by the different standards in China and other countries. Some profit-seeking Chinese companies have produced and exported low-quality products, but these have been exposed and halted. China has enhanced its supervision of these exporters and imposed stricter criteria on their products.

Meanwhile, we have noticed there are forces that are attempting to exploit this issue. In the wake of the outbreak, some foreign media and officials have spared no effort denouncing China, and alleging it is responsible for the novel coronavirus. Radio France Internationale (RFL) claimed that China will be far less passive in responding to criticism. The notion quickly spread as Western countries continue to demonize China. Even Josep Borrell, head of EU foreign policy, recently wrote in a blog referring to China that “there is a geopolitical component, including a struggle for influence, through spinning and the politics of generosity.”

Yet the fact is during the initial stage of China’s fight against the virus, it also received substandard supplies from other countries. Of course there are profit-driven companies around the world that have produce low-quality products. The hype against China by foreign media stems from fear of China’s growing strength and a deliberate attempt to meddle in the favorable relations China has with many other countries.

 

VI. Ungrateful ‘mask diplomacy’ accusation

Facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some international public opinion makers have again repaid China’s goodwill with evil intent. Since March, French media including Le Monde and Le Figaro have reported that European leaders and governments should be vigilant of China’s aid during the epidemic fight, and should be wary of China’s so-called widespread publicity of its aid. Some Western media even described China’s foreign medical aids, including face masks, as “mask diplomacy.” They call it China’s “politics of generosity,” accusing China of fighting for geopolitical influence and taking advantage of the difficulties facing others.

This is not new. The international public opinion’s short-sighted slander of China has never ceased. In recent years, Western media reports about China’s economic growth, the Belt and Road Initiative or China’s overseas investment and construction, always seek an imaginary dark side and impugn China’s motives. These reports claim China is attempting to redraw the world map, or planning to exert geopolitical influence or suggest China is embarking on an aggressive diplomatic path. This type of reporting exacerbates the anxiety of neighboring Asians countries, the US and other countries.

Looking back at the Chinese history, the world can see that China spread its technology of papermaking, movable type printing, gunpowder and the compass to other countries and greatly promoted the progress of human civilization. China has made transformative explorations in the fields of science, including astronomy, geography, medicine, mathematics, agronomy. China made inventions in textiles, cooking, clothing, food, construction, shipping and other areas that are closely related to daily life today. China’s brilliant achievements in astronomical instruments, musical instruments, metallurgy, water conservancy and other technological fields made tremendous contributions to human civilization and provided important material support for the West’s Age of Discovery.

The Chinese civilization has developed over the last 5,000 years, and the very idea of human development is based on the thousands of years of human civilization. Under the impact of the pandemic, China has upheld the vision of building a global community with a shared future. China was the first to mount a national fight against the epidemic, during which it actively supported other countries. Yet, ill-intentioned Westerners maliciously continue to point a finger and blame China. This is worrying. In the past, people all over the world appreciated each other’s contributions to human civilization. Today, why are these people treating China’s support and contributions in a narrow-minded way? It is regrettable to see people in power in the West who care more about private interests than saving lives.


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Did China hide the number of Coronavirus victims? Fake.

Francesco Galofaro, University of Turin

2020 April 13th

This article in English adapts and updates the article published in Italian on April 7, 2020 with the title “La Cina ha nascosto il numero delle vittime? Falso. Ecco perché”.


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Since this epidemic began, the number of unfounded accusations and insinuations against China has multiplied each day. For example, on March 30thPierre Haski wrote an article for France Inter, accusing China to hide the real number of the Coronavirus victims. Haski refers to the number of funeral urns sold in Wuhan, which would be almost double the declared dead. He also mentions a brave doctor who mysteriously disappeared after reporting the matter. Haski is not an epidemiologist, but he accuses the World Health Organization of poor supervision. The motivation provided by the author is clearly ideological: “In a context like the present one, in which Beijing builds on its successes to boast the merits of its political system, greater transparency would be indispensable”[i]. In short: we are in the middle of the cold war.

 

Is Haski right?

One day before Haski, on March 29th, the Italian economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore had already published an article on the same subject, writing that the urns-based argumentassumes that Qingming, the day of the dead, is celebrated in China on April 4. “And that for that date the Wuhan funeral homes would like to deliver all the urns to their relatives, at a rate of 3500 urns per day from 23 March. The calculations are correct, but the basic thesis is false. Because in Wuhan, this year, the Qingming celebrations are prohibited by a provision signed by the local government on March 26th. Any tomb sweeping day is suspended until April 30th. […] In short, the link between daily ballot boxes and the deadline for Qingming does not exist”[ii].

As Il sole 24 ore points out, the thesis of the ballot box was propelled by Radio Free Asia, a Washington-based broadcaster, and is false.In short: Haski’s article presents a false argument; this argument has beenalready contradicted; this argument is not based on epidemiology; Haski does not quote his source; Haski does not know whether the “brave doctor” who accused Chinese government disappeared or not, he simply trusts Radio Free Asia; he charges China of conspiracy. All these features allow us to categorize the article as a classic fake news.

How to recognize fake news

I apologize for using the term fakenews. “Fake” is just the label that some propaganda attaches to the news of the opposing propaganda.It is a showdown whose stakes is the power to decide what’s true. Official media often accuse social networks to spread fake news, while claiming the monopoly of correct and verified information. This is obviously not the case, since the article published by France Inter has all the characteristics of a fake:

  • the author is not a scientist;
  • he criticizes official science;
  • he does not acknowledge sources;
  • he does not propose scientific arguments or data;

These arguments spread rapidly, since they instil fear and rage, thus bypassing critical sense; on the contrary, medical research is technical, difficult to understand, has to be controlled through a very long process of peer-review, and to be “translated” into common language by science communicators.

Why would western countries accuse China?

The problem that this kind of articles faces is the following: why is the spread of the virus higher in some western countries than it is in China?In the US the active cases are 493650 while the deathsare 22109; in Hubei, China, the active cases are 83135, the deaths are 3219 (I am writing on April 13th). Do the numbers prove the superiority of the communist system onwestern one? This doubt is inadmissible: China must have rigged the data.

 

A scientific counterargument

According to a scientific interpretation of the data proposed by Italian researchers and scientist of the University La Sapienza, the difference between China and western countries is the speed of the countermeasures: “The beginning of the epidemic had the exact same number of infections in China, Italy and other countries.The difference is that China blocked Wuhan and the whole Hubei region 8 days before Italy, quickly and severely”. This happens because the contagion curve is exponential. For example, let us say that China started fighting the epidemic on day one, when 4000 people were infected. This means that Italy started on day 8, when the epidemy had reached 512000 people (4 - 8 - 16 - 32 - 64 - 128 - 256 - 512 ...). In short: the Chinese moved faster and better.This is why Italian researchers promoted an open letter to the governments warning them to be timely in adopting the necessary isolation measures[iii].

Adverse effect of propaganda

What if anti-Chinese bias had affected western readiness to fight the virus? For example, on January 24th James Hamblin published an article on the Atlantic[iv], titled “A Historic Quarantine: China’s attempt to curb a viral outbreak is a radical experiment in authoritarian medicine”. Ironically, the editor added a note before the text: “Information about the novel coronavirus is rapidly changing. As a result, some of the information or advice in this article may be out-of-date”. Hamblin wrote:

  1. The moderately virulent nature of the pathogen seems at odds with the fact that the largest quarantine in human history is now taking place in an authoritarian state;
  2. International agreements were put in place to limit the practice as a matter of justice, because of the burden it placed on people and economies, in addition to basic questions of effectiveness;
  3. In China, given the advanced spread of the outbreak (…) some experts believe any window for effective containment has passed;
  4. China has a political stake in the appearance of an authoritative response;
  5. In the U.S., the constitutional basis for quarantining is somewhere between tenuous and non-existent (…). A massive imposition like China’s would be unconstitutional, according to James Hodge, a health-law professor at Arizona State, who noted the likelihood of human-rights violation in such a scenario;

It is possible that an ideological bias let western countries and governments underestimate the real danger, interpreting China’s behaviour as an effect of his form of government and asa form of propaganda.

 

Medical science in the crosshairs

All Hamblin’s insinuations have proven to be unfounded: China’s answer to the virus was adequate and justified, quarantine just works, burdens on people and economy sometimes are necessary and cannot be considered a human-rights violation. Above all, the virulent nature of the pathogen was not “moderate” at all. In the present case, rational expectations toward governments imply to cooperate, and to share medical research. Western and Eastern scientists and researchers are working together: a glance at Google Scholar reveals how Chinese studies are published in such prestigious scientific journals as The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Nature, matching their quality criteria.

Unfortunately, American government decided otherwise, blaming WHO organization and menacing to cut off funds in the midst of a pandemic[v]. Having lost the propaganda match, the US decided to shoot on the referee, putting in danger humankind. Furthermore, CNN insinuated that Chinese medical research is not free, basing on central government directive and online notices, that have since been removed from the web. CNN interviews an anonymous researcher who concludes: “I think the importance is that the international scientific community must realize that any journal or manuscripts from a Chinese research institution has kind of been double-checked by the government.It is important for them to know there are extra steps between independent scientific research and final publication”. Once again:

  • None of the authorsis a scientist;
  • The article criticizes official science;
  • The article does not acknowledge sources – they disappeared; the interviewed researcher requested anonymity;
  • The article does not propose scientific arguments or data;

In other terms: it is a fake news.

Collateral damage of propaganda

As we saw, an anti-Chinese bias let early articles on Coronavirus represent lockdownas a political, scientifically unjustifiedchoice, mainlybecausethe virus was considered harmless.Science and data proved China to be right; thus,new articles try to delegitimatescientificauthorities and research. According to Umberto Eco[vi], the semantic space (the space of the meaning) of every debate is contradictory: A distinctive feature of ideological asserts is to hide these contradictions, opposing simplistic and one-sided interpretations to difficult political choices, denying the very possibility of different interpretations. This seems a good criterion for identifyingideological fake news.Scientists, intellectuals, and journalists should make every effort to foster mutual understanding, and to open a new era of cooperation with China. In the situation of extreme difficulty of the world, we can only hope thatthispropaganda willnot cost too muchin termsof delay in responding to the epidemic,adverse economic consequences, and victims.

[i]https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/geopolitique/geopolitique-30-mars-2020 retrieved on April 13th(our translation).

[ii]https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/coronavirus-cina-ha-mentito-numeri-ma-wuhan-non-sono-morte-42mila-persone-ADPepmG?refresh_ce=1 retrieved on April 13th(our translation).

[iii]https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E5AOOKQrFrhNtl5au1N5FCBqKmJiRtwwUjXIBT2vMSc/edit?usp=sharing

[iv]https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/01/china-quarantine-coronavirus/605455/ retrieved on April 13th.

[v]https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-trump-world-health-organization-funding-reforms/ retrieved on April 13th.

[vi] Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1976.


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China’s global response to Covid-19

Press conference on March 25, 2020 held by Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1761102.shtml

 


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“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, China has always argued that the international community should jointly safeguard an open world economy, and ensure the stability of the global supply chain”. This was said by the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, at a press conference on March 25. Geng added: “As we continue to meet domestic demand, we are facilitating the supply of medical supplies to all countries through trade channels. “In our era of globalization, the interests of all countries are closely interrelated, with increased interdependence. The formation and development of global industrial and supply chains are determined by market forces and business decisions. Some people on the American side are trying to artificially cut global industrial and supply chains, or even demand their ‘dissociation’ and ‘displacement’, which goes against the trend of our times and the laws of economics. This attitude is irrational and unrealistic. In the face of the epidemic, such behaviour will not solve the problems facing the United States, but will damage the interests of US companies and the American people”. China, Geng said, “has no restrictions on foreign trade” and “supports and encourages Chinese companies to expand exports in an orderly manner. “In addition to facilitating trade procurement, China has also provided WHO with protective equipment to help other countries in the epidemic response”.

 

According to the latest figures from the NHC, March 24 saw 491 patients cured and discharged from hospital in China’s mainland, bringing the tally to 73,650.

To help Italy fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has decided to send the third team of medical experts to Italy. The team, organized by the National Health Commission, consists of experts selected by the Fujian Provincial Health Commission. The team left for Italy at noon on March 25.

CCTV: It is announced today that President Xi Jinping will attend the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on Covid-19. What is China’s expectation for the meeting? What are the initiatives and proposals that China will put forward this time?

Geng Shuang: Currently, Covid-19 is engulfing many parts of the world, endangering the life and health of people in all countries and hitting the world economy pretty hard. The international community expects all parties to work together to combat the pandemic and stabilize the global economy. The G20 is a premier platform for global crisis response and economic cooperation. It played an important role in responding to the 2008 international financial crisis, and the international community looks to the G20 once again for leadership at this critical moment. This virtual summit, the first in the G20 history, presents an important opportunity for world leaders to discuss joint actions.

The virtual summit will be the first major multilateral event that President Xi Jinping attends after the outbreak. Under the direct leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has achieved notable results in the pandemic prevention and control and is now actively supporting other countries in their battles against the pandemic, which has been highly praised by the international community. China expects that this virtual summit will deliver positive messages of pooling consensus and taking actions to strengthen solidarity, work together to counter the pandemic and stabilize economy.

China is ready to work with G20 members for practical outcomes of this summit.

 

China News Service: You mentioned that the Chinese government is ready to facilitate the commercial procurement of medical supplies by foreign countries from China. Could you give us more details?

 

Geng Shuang: since the outbreak of Covid-19, China has always maintained that the international community should jointly safeguard an open world economy and ensure the stability of global supply chains and industrial chains. At present, while meeting the domestic demand, we are trying to facilitate the procurement of medical supplies through commercial channels by all countries. We have no restrictions on foreign trade, and we support and encourage enterprises to expand exports in an orderly manner.

As far as I know, buyers from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, the Czech Republic, Djibouti, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Qatar, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and the UK have signed purchasing contracts with China companies for goods like testing reagents, masks, protective suits and goggles.

In addition to facilitating commercial procurement, China has also provided supplies of protective equipment to the WHO in support of other countries’ epidemic response. After the WHO expressed its wish to buy medical supplies from China to support global anti-epidemic response, Chinese enterprises quickly signed the first batch of supply contracts with the WHO.

I am confident that China’s business community will continue to provide more of such supplies to the international community, and the resumption of work and production and China’s economic development will continue to provide stronger support for the international community’s response to the pandemic. I also believe that it is in the common interests of the international community to make cooperation strong, barriers low and trade unfettered.

RIA Novosti: First, you announced that China sent the third expert team to Italy. How many are on this team? Second, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee confirmed in their statement the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games but no later than the summer of 2021. Do you have any comment?

Geng Shuang: Regarding your first question, I don’t have that specific number at hand but I will come back to you once I have it.

As to the second question, the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games shows the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Japanese government and Tokyo Organizing Committee’s responsible attitude towards the health and safety of athletes, participants and all mankind. It also manifests the IOC’s commitment to the Olympic Movement. China respects this decision and will continue supporting Japan in hosting the Tokyo Games.

Phoenix TV: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview yesterday talked about moving medical equipment supply chain back to the US from China and elsewhere. President Trump also stressed in a daily briefing on coronavirus that the US should never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of its own survival. US media reported that the US is preparing an executive order to relocate the supply chain of enterprises. Do you have any comment?

Geng Shuang: I have taken several similar questions recently and I just want to reiterate our position on this issue.

In an era of globalization, the interests of all countries are closely intertwined. The formation and development of global industrial and supply chains are determined by market forces and companies’ choices. As such, it is unrealistic and insensible to try to sever them or even trumpet “shifting” or “decoupling” theories as they run counter to economic law. In the face of the pandemic, such practice will not help solve problems at home. It will only harm the interests of US businesses and people.

China is a leading manufacturer as well as a major producer and exporter of epidemic-related and medical supplies. As the situation is getting better at home, China is gradually resuming its normal socio-economic order. We are providing support to the steady operation of global industrial and supply chains by accelerating resumption of work and production. Chinese businesses are speeding up manufacturing of urgently needed medical supplies for the world. China has pledged assistance to 82 countries, WHO and African Union, and facilitated commercial procurement in China for countries in need, like I said earlier. Our responsible practice has been well recognized by the international community.

To sum up, I want to stress that no country can face the pandemic by going it alone. It’s time for solidarity and cooperation rather than division and decoupling.

Beijing Youth Daily: China released information on several video conferences on Covid-19 recently. Could you give us a number of such meetings? Will there be more?

Geng Shuang: After the outbreak of Covid-19, China has been fighting it with all-out efforts. The most comprehensive, stringent and thorough measures taken have produced positive effects. Thanks to the Chinese people’s arduous efforts, the situation at home keeps trending for the better. China has made tremendous sacrifice in this battle and its efforts are an important contribution to the world as they bought precious time for other countries. We have also gathered valuable experience in this process.

With the pandemic breaking out and spreading in many places across the globe, China, with the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and a responsible attitude towards global public health security and people’s well-being, has been sharing its experience through communication, coordination and cooperation with relevant countries and regional organizations in an open and transparent manner.

As of today, incomplete statistics show that China has held about 20 video conferences for experts with more than 100 countries in Northeast Asia, South Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Pacific as well as international organizations including ASEAN, the EU, the AU, the SCO and the Caribbean Community. The latest conference was held yesterday with over 200 specialists and officials from Nicaragua and 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries having diplomatic ties with China. Exchange through this mechanism has helped countries across the globe.

The Chinese side shared via video link what we have learned about Covid-19, including epidemiological features, prevention and control strategies, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and tracing of close contacts, and offered suggestions to foreign counterparts. Participants all expressed thanks to China and spoke highly of the open, transparent, information-rich and professional meetings, where Chinese experts shared everything within their knowledge that their foreign counterparts can learn from.

As we speak, China is still receiving requests for such conferences from many countries. Competent departments are doing all they can to coordinate arrangements. We will continue close communication and exchange with other parties through video link to help developing countries enhance capacity-building and mount a concerted response to the pandemic for regional and global public health security.

Besides these conferences, China has also released the seventh version of its diagnosis and treatment protocol and sixth of prevention and control protocol. They are a collection of combat experience gathered over the course of more than two months. They represent the wisdom and hard work of tens of thousands of frontline medical personnel in China. With the protocols translated into many foreign languages, we are sharing them with WHO and the international community.

The video conferences and diagnosis and treatment protocols are both examples of how China is contributing to the global response through technical assistance and public goods.

I want to stress that large-scale infectious diseases are major unconventional security threats to mankind. The virus is a common scourge facing all. With our future linked together, countries can only overcome the challenge by standing in solidarity. China will stay committed to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, work together with other countries to defeat the virus through mutual assistance, and contribute our wisdom, experience and prescription to the international community.

Bloomberg News: We are wondering if you had any comment on President Trump’s decision to stop using the term “Chinese virus”?

Geng Shuang: China has made clear its stance on the origin of the virus. We firmly oppose stigmatization on China. This stance has not changed.

The virus knows no borders and ethnicity. It can only be defeated by the concerted efforts of all mankind. Covid-19 has taken footholds and is rapidly spreading in many parts of the world. We hope that the US will work with China and the larger international community to jointly fight against the pandemic and safeguard the global public health security.

[…]

Reuters: On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Pompeo said China is still denying the world information it needs to prevent further cases of the coronavirus. What’s your response to this?

 

Geng Shuang: In recent press conferences, we have repeatedly responded to the US accusations. At a press conference last week, I also detailed how China has kept the US updated on the epidemic by retracing the timeline.

China has always shared information, stayed in communication and cooperated with WHO and countries and regions including the US in an open, transparent and responsible manner, which has been widely praised by the international community.

We urge the US to respect facts and the international public opinion, stop politicizing the pandemic and discrediting China, and focus on getting its own house in order and stemming the spread of the pandemic in its country.


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Xi Jinping: Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak

Full text of Xi’s remarks at Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit, Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-03/26/c_138920685.htm


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From day one of our fight against the outbreak, we have put people’s life and health first. […] What we fought was a people’s war against the outbreak. […] We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease. […] G20 members need to jointly help developing countries with weak public health systems enhance preparedness and response. […] Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will be more than ready to share our good practices, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and provide assistance where we can to countries hit by the growing outbreak. […] We will continue to advance reform and opening-up, widen market access, improve the business environment, and expand imports and outbound investment to contribute to a stable world economy.

 

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday delivered a speech titled “Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak” at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit via video link in Beijing.

The following is an English translation of the full text of the speech:

Working Together to Defeat the COVID-19 Outbreak

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit

Beijing, 26 March 2020

Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,

Dear Colleagues,

It is good to join you. Let me begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to His Majesty King Salman and Saudi Arabia for having done tremendous work of communication and coordination to make this summit possible.

Facing the COVID-19 outbreak that caught us all by surprise, the Chinese government and Chinese people have been undaunted as we took on this formidable task. From day one of our fight against the outbreak, we have put people’s life and health first. We have acted according to the overall principle of shoring up confidence, strengthening unity, ensuring science-based control and treatment and imposing targeted measures. We have mobilized the whole nation, set up collective control and treatment mechanisms and acted with openness and transparency. What we fought was a people’s war against the outbreak. We have put up a strenuous struggle and made tremendous sacrifices. Now the situation in China is moving steadily in a positive direction. Life and work are quickly returning to normal. Yet, there is no way we will lower our guard or relax control.

At the most difficult moment in our fight against the outbreak, China received assistance and help from a lot of members of the global community. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people.

Major infectious disease is the enemy of all. As we speak, the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading worldwide, posing enormous threat to life and health and bringing formidable challenge to global public health security. The situation is disturbing and unsettling. At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease.

For that to happen, I would like to put forth four proposals.

First, we need to be resolute in fighting an all-out global war against the COVID-19 outbreak. The community of nations must move swiftly to stem the spread of the virus. In this regard, I propose that a G20 health ministers’ meeting be convened as quick as possible to improve information sharing, strengthen cooperation on drugs, vaccines and epidemic control, and cut off cross-border infections. G20 members need to jointly help developing countries with weak public health systems enhance preparedness and response. I propose a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative for better information sharing and policy and action coordination with the support of the World Health Organization. Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will be more than ready to share our good practices, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and provide assistance where we can to countries hit by the growing outbreak.

Second, we need to make a collective response for control and treatment at the international level. This is a virus that respects no borders. The outbreak we are battling is our common enemy. All must work together to build a strongest global network of control and treatment that the world has ever seen. China has set up its online COVID-19 knowledge center that is open to all countries. It is imperative that countries pool their strengths and speed up research and development of drugs, vaccines and testing capabilities in the hope to achieve early breakthrough to the benefit of all. Discussions are also needed regarding the establishment of regional emergency liaison mechanisms to enable quicker response to public health emergencies.

Third, we need to support international organizations in playing their active roles. China supports WHO in leading the global efforts to develop science-based and proper control and treatment and minimize cross-border spread. I call on G20 members to enhance anti-epidemic information sharing with the support of WHO and to promote control and treatment protocols that are comprehensive, systematic and effective. The G20 platform for communication and coordination may be used to increase policy dialogue and exchange, and a high-level meeting on international public health security may be convened in due course. For China, we will be happy to join other countries and scale up support for relevant international and regional organizations.

Fourth, we need to enhance international macro-economic policy coordination. The outbreak has disrupted production and demand across the globe. Countries need to leverage and coordinate their macro policies to counteract the negative impact and prevent the world economy from falling into recession. We need to implement strong and effective fiscal and monetary policies to keep our exchange rates basically stable. We need to better coordinate financial regulation to keep global financial markets stable. We need to jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable. What China will do in this regard is to increase its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, and anti-epidemic and other supplies to the international market. What’s more, we also need to protect women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and provide for people’s basic needs. China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy. We will continue to advance reform and opening-up, widen market access, improve the business environment, and expand imports and outbound investment to contribute to a stable world economy.

I want to call on all G20 members to take collective actions - cutting tariffs, removing barriers, and facilitating the unfettered flow of trade. Together, we can send a strong signal and restore confidence for global economic recovery. The G20 needs to draw up an action plan and promptly set up communication mechanisms and institutional arrangements for anti-epidemic macro policy coordination.

Dear Colleagues,

Now is a crucial moment, a time for us to rise up to challenge and act with swiftness. I am convinced that through solidarity and mutual assistance, we will prevail over this outbreak and we all will embrace a brighter future for mankind!

Thank you.


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Full text of joint open letter from world political parties concerning closer international cooperation against Covid-19

We are aware that the virus respects no borders, and no country can respond to the challenges alone in the face of the outbreak. Countries must enhance their consciousness of a community with a shared future for mankind, proactively rendering mutual help and support to one another as the situation becomes more difficult.

We call on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of Covid-19.

We call on the provision of material, technical and other support to developing countries and countries with vulnerable public health systems. Let the sunlight of cooperation disperse the darkness of the pandemic.

We call on all countries to step up the international coordination of macroeconomic policies to maintain stability of global financial market as well as that of industrial and supply chains, and to reduce or exempt tariffs for trade facilitation so as to prevent world economic recession.

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Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-02 19:23:29|Editor: huaxia http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-04/02/c_138941592.htm

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China and more than 230 political parties from over 100 countries issued a joint open letter Thursday, calling for carrying out closer international cooperation to beat Covid-19.

This is the first joint appeal of major world political parties for strengthening international cooperation since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The following is the full text of the joint open letter.

A JOINT OPEN LETTER FROM WORLD POLITICAL PARTIES CONCERNING CLOSER INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST Covid-19

Today, as Covid-19 is spreading rapidly across the globe, it constitutes the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of the humanity and world peace and development.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, we, major political parties of various countries tasked with the weighty responsibility of improving people’s wellbeing, promoting national development and safeguarding world peace and stability, hereby issue our joint appeal as follows:

I. We pay our loftiest tribute to all the people, health workers in particular, who devote themselves to saving lives and protecting people’s health. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and solicitude to those who are suffering from pain and whose lives are under the threat of Covid-19 as well as the bereaved families of those deceased. We also express our deep mourning for the unfortunate loss of lives in the outbreak.

II. We recognise that if the Covid-19 outbreak is not effectively and promptly contained, it will inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of many more people, and exert a severe impact on the economic and social development of most countries as well as on international exchanges and cooperation. We call on all countries to put the lives, safety and health of the people above everything else and take resolute and forceful measures to put an end to the spread of Covid-19.

III. We support countries to put in place contingency plans and strategies for combating Covid-19 in light of their specific national conditions and to strengthen cooperation, with equal emphasis on containing the further spread and on patient treatment. Meanwhile, modern science and technology must be applied to the full to ensure the quickest and best possible results.

IV. We call on the general public of all countries to comply with prevention and mitigation measures with a due sense of social responsibility. We encourage countries to fully leverage the strength of civil society organisations and volunteers with a view to unleashing the power of all social sectors to combat Covid-19.

V. We encourage all countries, while devoting efforts to epidemic control, to adopt an integrated approach to ensure economic and social development, take targeted measures to protect vulnerable groups and the SMEs, and honour their commitment to people’s living standards and social progress. We call on all countries to step up the international coordination of macroeconomic policies to maintain stability of global financial market as well as that of industrial and supply chains, and to reduce or exempt tariffs for trade facilitation so as to prevent world economic recession. Countries are also encouraged to maintain an appropriate level of international exchanges, in particular to facilitate the cross-border transportation of urgently needed medical equipment and protective materials for the fight against Covid-19.

VI. We are aware that the virus respects no borders, and no country can respond to the challenges alone in the face of the outbreak. Countries must enhance their consciousness of a community with a shared future for mankind, proactively rendering mutual help and support to one another as the situation becomes more difficult. Closer international cooperation, coordinated policies, concerted actions, and mobilisation of resources and forces globally will enable us to defeat this virus, a common enemy to all of humanity.

VII. We take note of the significant progress in the fight against Covid-19 in China and some other countries, which has bought time and offered experience to the rest of the international community. We highly commend countries including China for adopting an open, transparent and responsible attitude to disclosing related information in a timely fashion, sharing experience on response and patient treatment, and in particular providing medical and other supplies to the best of their ability to other affected countries. These represent a major contribution to the global fight against Covid-19, boosting the hope and confidence of countries that they can win this battle.

VIII. We welcome the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on Covid-19 and support countries to strengthen the sharing of experience and medical cooperation in containing the outbreak, including joint research and development of specific medicines, vaccines and tests. We call on the provision of material, technical and other support to developing countries and countries with vulnerable public health systems. Let the sunlight of cooperation disperse the darkness of the pandemic.

IX. We call for science-based professional discussions on issues like prevention measures and the origin of the virus. We strongly oppose the politicization of public health issues and the stigmatisation of other countries under the excuse of Covid-19. We stand firmly against all discriminatory comments and practices against any country, region or ethnic group, and call on governments of all countries to take proactive measures to protect the health, safety and legitimate interests of foreign nationals and students they host.

X. We are of the view that the Covid-19 outbreak has laid bare the need for all countries to further foster the global governance outlook of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration and to support the leading role of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation in global public health governance. We call for all parties to enhance coordination and cooperation within the framework of the G20 and other international mechanisms for effective international prevention and control as we strive to build a global community with a shared future for public health.

As major political parties from countries of the world, we undertake to maintain close communication under the unusual circumstances, and ensure better performance of the due role of political guidance for the purpose of injecting political energy into the global fight against Covid-19. We firmly believe that our current difficulties are only temporary, just as the sunlight shall eventually shine after each storm. If the international community makes concerted efforts with confidence and resolve and takes a science-based and targeted approach, it will definitely win the final victory in the all-out global war against Covid-19. It is our belief that, after the pandemic, the community with a shared future for mankind will emerge stronger and humanity will embrace a brighter tomorrow.


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WSRC letter and MarxVentuno’s reply

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Letter from the Editorial Department of "World Socialism Studies" to the editorial staff of MarxVentuno

COVID-19 is a natural disaster, but the capitalist system not only cannot cope with such natural disasters but also is still making man-made disasters

This epidemic will profoundly change the world order, and will have impact on, and change,  people’s mind as well.

We are warriors with a shared Marxist belief and are committed to building socialism. We wish to strengthen our communication so that we will be able to shoulder the historical responsibilities and obligations entrusted to us by the times and the people and we will be able to work together to address these social problems. The people of the world will surely stamp out this epidemic. And our final goal, the International, is sure to come true.

Dear comrades and friends of the Editorial Office of Marx Ventuno Edizioni

As countries around the world are suffering from COVID-19, we sincerely wish you and your families good health and we would also like to express our highest respect for all the productive work you have done.

When the British government officially announced lockdown measures in London on March 20th, British journalist Ed Conway commented: “Normal life as we know it has been suspended in the UK. Capitalism as we know it has been suspended in the UK. What an extraordinary moment”. In fact, not only the UK but also other countries, Europe, the United States and even the whole capitalist world have taken measures similar to the UK in dealing with the epidemic and have suspended capitalism for the time being. All this shows that COVID-19 is a natural disaster, but the capitalist system not only cannot cope with such natural disasters but also is still making man-made disasters, therefore, even the staunchest supporters of capitalism have to “suspend capitalism”.

COVID-19 is a disaster for mankind, a disaster with no winners. However, it is this epidemic, this disaster, that is forcing people in the whole world to reflect deeply on the capitalist system. Just as the Black Death ravaging Europe in the Middle Ages greatly impacted on people’s faith in the Church, capitalism superstition will surely be subverted by this epidemic today, and the capitalist system may be knocked off the pedestal. In contrast, people will certainly start to observe more inclusively and positively, understand and accept socialism and the community of human destiny.

We believe that this epidemic will profoundly change the world order, and will have impact on, and change, people’s mind as well.

Dear comrades, we are warriors with a shared Marxist belief and are committed to building socialism. We wish to strengthen our communication so that we will be able to shoulder the historical responsibilities and obligations entrusted to us by the times and the people and we will be able to work together to address these social problems.

The people of the world will surely stamp out this epidemic. And our final goal, the International, is sure to come true.

The Editorial Department of World Socialism Studies

Beijing, 2 April 2020

***

Reply of MarxVentuno editorial staff to the letter of the Editorial Department of "World Socialism Studies"

 

The commitment of the Chinese Communists to foster critical awareness of capitalism and aspiration to socialism among the peoples of the world is extremely important.
The PRC was able to contain and isolate the epidemic thanks to the full active, disciplined, conscious adherence of a population of one billion and 400 million people to the directives of the Chinese government. Without this very strong bond – of mind and heart, reason and passion – between leaders and people, between the Chinese Communist Party and the masses, the virus could not have been contained. Far from being a “dictatorship” that imposed its diktats on the population – as some Western media have often said, unfortunately also in Italy – it was one of the brightest affirmations of Chinese socialist democracy.
We have found ourselves faced with two opposing world trends: on the one hand, the primacy of people’s life and health; on the other, the primacy of capitalist profit in contempt of human life. On the one hand, solidarity among peoples according to that conception of a community of shared destiny for all humanity that the Chinese Communists are widely developing and elaborating; on the other hand, closure in a narrow and petty nationalism that thinks it is acceptable to build one’s own fortunes to the detriment of other peoples.
The position of the PRC is politically, culturally and morally the right one at this time. It can concretely foster a great change of mentality for billions of people, it can bring them closer to the ideals of socialism. It is of great help to the common cause of socialism.
We feel committed to promote knowledge and study of Chinese strategy in our country. Aware of the great political and cultural contribution that the Chinese Communists give us today, we will intensify mutual exchanges and the translation and publication of articles and books on Chinese socialism.

 

Dear comrades and friends of the Editorial Department of World Socialism Studies

We are honoured and happy to receive your warm message, which is not simply kind and courteous, but has great human and political significance for us and for all the peoples of the world.

We fully agree with the historical and political essence of your message: the Covid-19 epidemic tragically throws light on the limits of the capitalist system which puts profit before people’s lives and health.

In our country, Italy, the great conquest of the National Health Service, achieved in 1978 thanks to the struggles of workers, trade unions, the Italian Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the democratic and progressive forces, has been increasingly mutilated in the thirty years following 1989-91, when the fall of the USSR and of the European socialist camp favoured the full affirmation in the West of the most unbridled political forces of capitalism and imperialism. Public health conditions worsened from year to year, hundreds of public hospitals were closed, beds, doctors and all the staff of nurses and health workers in the public sector were significantly reduced, while private healthcare was largely favoured. See, in particular, the case of the richest and most populous region of Italy, Lombardy, with its capital Milan, the region that today is suffering the greatest number of infections and deaths from Covid-19.

We find a similar situation in other European capitalist countries such as the United Kingdom, which in the thirty years after the war – under pressure by the Labour and Social Democratic parties – had also established its own welfare state. The emergence of a harder capitalism in the form of neo-liberalism has resulted in severe cuts in public health, public schools and universities, significantly worsening the condition of the population. Covid-19 hits harder and claims more victims where the public health system is weak and underdeveloped. In the key country of world imperialism, the USA, where the capitalist class managed, since the early years of the 20th century, to crush the workers’ movement and assert a violently anti-communist ideology, a public health system has never been built. Today the American population is paying a very high price to the epidemic and the US has climbed to the top of the world’s infamous ranking of the number of people infected and killed by Covid-19. A bitter record for President Trump, who has made the slogan “America first” the compass of his domestic and foreign policy.

Comrades and friends of the World Socialism Centre

We fully agree with the perspective you show. You take a good look at the turning point in world history that the Covid-19 pandemic entails. This pandemic, with the measures taken to contain it, with the temporary but radical change in the lifestyle and way of life of billions of people forced to remain in physical isolation for a few months, with almost total blockage of production and commercial activities, travel and transport, can lead to profound and rapid changes in the consciousness of the masses. As a great master of socialism, Vladimir Lenin, taught us that there are moments and situations in history in which the conscience of the masses can change in a very short period of time, as it could not happen in the previous decades in which it had remained asleep. In our country we had a similar experience in 1943, when a generation of young people who had been educated under Fascism became aware of the disaster into which the latter had brought the country and decided to join the partisan formations to fight in the anti-fascist and anti-Nazi Resistance. Today the Covid-19 may prove to be the detonator of a critical mass awareness of capitalism and incline people towards socialism.

But, as for the Italian youth educated under fascism, the active presence of anti-fascist political avant-gardes – the Communist Party in the first place – was decisive for its conversion to anti-fascism and Resistance, so, to favour an anti-capitalist and pro-Socialist awareness, the active and militant presence of the communists and the forces of socialist inspiration throughout the world is necessary.

That is why we consider your message to be of the highest value.

Your World Socialism Centre Study, with your magazine, your constant activity, the annual forums that you organize in the autumn with the presence of hundreds of scholars from all over the world on the prospects for world socialism, are an integral and organic part of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics under the guidance of the CPC, the largest Communist Party in the world, whose 100th anniversary next year we will celebrate. The commitment of the Chinese Communists to foster critical awareness of capitalism and aspiration to socialism among the peoples of the world is extremely important.

This contribution is made not only by relevant and challenging statements in world forums, congresses, academies and study centers. This contribution is made with concrete facts, the most recent and relevant of which has been the ability demonstrated by the PRC, by socialism with Chinese characteristics, by the CPC, to be able to contain and isolate the epidemic, thanks to the full active, disciplined, conscious adherence of a population of one billion and 400 million people to the directives of the Chinese government which required it to endure enormous personal, social, economic sacrifices to contain the aggression of the virus. Without this very strong bond – of mind and heart, reason and passion – between leaders and people, between the Chinese Communist Party and the masses, the virus could not have been contained. Far from being a “dictatorship” that imposed its diktats on the population – as some Western media have often said, unfortunately also in Italy – it was one of the brightest affirmations of Chinese socialist democracy. Not external coercion, the repression of a “dictatorship”, but the active and conscious participation of an entire people united in the struggle to contain the Covid-19, was the keystone of the great result obtained. A people aware that Chinese socialism puts – as President Xi Jinping rightly pointed out at the Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on Covid-19 G20 on March 26th – people’s life and health first: “From day one of our fight against the outbreak, we have put people’s life and health first”.

The PRC, with its socialism with Chinese characters, is becoming in the eyes of many people – despite the shameful campaign of anti-Chinese slander by reactionaries and pro-imperialists, who, unable to deny the Chinese effectiveness and success in containing Covid-19, are attacking China as a “dictatorial country”, “anti-democratic”, “censoring and obscuring information” – a model, an example to follow.

In recent months, the PRC is earning the admiration and respect of many citizens of our country: for the success achieved in containing the epidemic; for the substantial aid sent: doctors, pulmonary ventilators, facial masks and medical equipment; and also for the exemplary behavior of the many Chinese citizens working in Italy, who have strictly followed the prescriptions of their government to contain the Covid-19 contagion, proving to be good Chinese patriots and respectful citizens of the host country.

But there is also and perhaps above all something else that can highlight the values of socialism in the eyes of the masses. It is the comparison between the attitude of the PRC and that of the USA and some European countries in the face of the storm of this tragic epidemic for the world. The leader of the leading country of the Western capitalist camp, Donald Trump, as well as the UK leader Boris Johnson, initially moved along the line of putting in first place not the life and health of people – as the PRC did – but profit, the economic interests of the capitalist class in their country.

Moreover, Trump – and with him some governments of the EU countries – have moved with the short-sighted and selfish view of trying to protect their country from the epidemic at the expense of other countries, they have moved not in the spirit of a “community of shared future for all humanity”, as Xi Jinping asks, not in the spirit of the solidarity of the human race – which a great Italian poet-philosopher of the 19th century, Giacomo Leopardi, called, in his last work-testament, “The Broom or The Desert Flower” (1836), reflecting on the destruction of the ancient cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii caused by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, the “social chain” – but in that of a narrow one-sided interest.

Thus indignation was aroused in mid-March by the news (published in the Sunday edition of the German newspaper “Die Welt”) that Trump has offered to the German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, which is carrying out advanced research on Covid-19, many millions of dollars to ensure that the potential vaccine goes “exclusively” to the U.S. Or 101,600 masks and respirators, destined from the city of Qingtian to Italy were seized by the government of the Czech Republic. These are just a few cases of a negative and reactionary trend that can take hold.

In Italy, as in other Western countries, we have thus found ourselves faced with two opposing world trends: on the one hand, the primacy of people’s life and health; on the other, the primacy of capitalist profit in contempt of human life. On the one hand, solidarity among peoples according to that conception of a community of shared destiny for all humanity that the Chinese Communists are widely developing and elaborating [we would like to be able to publish in Italian the extensive book by Xi Jinping On building a human community with a shared future, published in English last year by the Central Compilation& Translation Press]; on the other hand, closure in a narrow and petty nationalism that thinks it is acceptable to build one’s own fortunes to the detriment of other peoples. On the one hand, the socialist ideal of the International and the “Proletarians and peoples of the world unite”; on the other hand, the preaching of hatred between peoples. On the one hand, the proposal of a new world order based on the recognition of the concrete multiplicity of different “poles”, different “centers” and cooperation on a win-win basis of mutual advantage, which can have in the New Silk Road a first great realization; on the other hand, the anachronistic attempt to affirm American unipolarity, the absolute primacy of the USA, exemplified in Trump’s slogan “America first”. On the one hand, the Chinese proposal of an anti-imperialist globalization, of a world market open and free from the diktats of U.S. and big monopolies imperialism; on the other hand, an anachronistic protectionist closure, clearly stigmatized by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC Geng Shuang, in the press conference of March 25:

In an era of globalization, the interests of all countries are closely intertwined. The formation and development of global industrial and supply chains are determined by market forces and companies’ choices. As such, it is unrealistic and insensible to try to sever them or even trumpet “shifting” or “decoupling” theories as they run counter to economic law. In the face of the pandemic, such practice will not help solve problems at home. It will only harm the interests of US businesses and people[1].

The Covid-19 pandemic has intervened in the midst of a great upheaval of the world framework, of all international relations, in which the progressive trend represented by the PRC and the countries rejecting US unipolarity, and the regressive trend aimed at maintaining the old imperialist order, the unbridled domination of capital, collide.

In the course of the pandemic, the internationalist and sympathetic position of the PRC became more and more clearly and decisively manifested. To Trump, who on repeated occasions slandered and despised the PRC, until the spread of the epidemic in the USA led him to ask for China’s help, the PRC answered with firmness and dignity, and with very concrete and important expressions of solidarity with the American people, to whom it sent substantial aid of medicines and medical supplies. China is concretely on the path towards a community of shared destiny for all humanity. Xi Jinping’s important speech at the G20 on March 26th, the Letter of one hundred Chinese scholars to the American people (published in “the Diplomat”[2]), the Open Letter of April 2nd, promoted by the CPC and shared by 230 parties in the world – including the Italian Communist Party – invite to put the life and health of people, of all people in the world, in the first place, invite global coordination and cooperation to contain and eradicate the virus and to develop health facilities that will help to prevent and combat other epidemics in the future. Xi Jinping told:

Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will be more than ready to share our good practices, conduct joint research and development of drugs and vaccines, and provide assistance where we can to countries hit by the growing outbreak[3].

The position of the PRC is politically, culturally and morally the right one at this time. It can concretely foster a great change of mentality for billions of people, it can bring them closer to the ideals of socialism. It is of great help to the common cause of socialism.

It is in the interest of all the socialist and authentically democratic forces to make it known correctly to the greatest number of people. We feel committed – albeit within the limits of our small forces of Marxists and Italian Communists – to promote knowledge and study of Chinese strategy in our country. Aware of the great political and cultural contribution that the Chinese Communists give us today, we will try to intensify mutual exchanges and the translation and publication of articles and books on Chinese socialism.

It will be good for the cause of socialism.

It will be good for the friendship between our peoples.

The Editorial Office of MARX VENTUNO EDIZIONI


[1] https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1761102.shtml

[2] https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/an-open-letter-to-the-people-of-the-united-states-from-100-chinese-scholars/

[3] Full text of Xi’s remarks at Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit, Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26


CLICCA QUI PER LA VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

On Building a Human Community with a Shared Future – Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping
On Building a Human Community with a Shared Future
CCTP – Central Compilation & Translation Press, Beijing, 2019

 

[The Institute of Party History and Literature of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China]

 


CLICCA QUI PER LA VERSIONE IN ITALIANO


Since ancient times, the Chinese nation has upheld the belief that “ail under Heaven are of one family” and has advocated the ideas of peace among all nations and harmony under Heaven. The Communist Party of China (CPC) regards making new and greater contributions to humanity as its abiding mission. Since the CPC’s 18th National Congress in November 2012, Xi Jinping has called for the building of a human community with a shared future. As General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the People’s Republic of China, and the highest military leader of China, Xi Jinping has put forward this concept from the perspective of humankind’s development throughout history. It is based on the profound changes in the international situation, on the trend of our times toward peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, and on an in- depth reflection of the major questions concerning the future of humanity, namely what kind of world should we build and how should we build it.
The concept reflects the shared values of humankind — peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom; and it embodies the aspirations for peace, development, and prosperity, which represent the common interests of the people of all countries. In February 2017, the concept of building a community of shared future for mankind was written into a United Nations resolution for the first time. Later, it was also included in UN Security Council Resolution 2344 (2017) and the resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council’s 34th and 37th sessions.
This book is a collection of translations of 85 articles and speeches written by Xi Jinping since 2012. The purpose of the book is to help readers gain a clearer understanding of President Xi’s thinking on building a human community with a shared future.

[The Institute of Party History and Literature of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China]
March 2019

 

***

 

WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD A HUMAN COMMUNITY WITH A SHARED FUTURE

by Xi Jinping

Your Excellency Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly,
Your Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General,
Your Excellency Mr. Michael Moller, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva,
Ladies and Gendemen,
Friends,
As a new year begins, everything takes on a new look. And as we start 2017, it gives me great pleasure to be able to visit the United Nations Office in Geneva to discuss with you an issue for our time — the building of a human community with a shared future.
I just attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. In Davos, many speakers pointed out that today’s world is full of uncertainties and that people long for a bright future but are unsure about what lies in store. What is happening to the world? And how should we respond? These are questions that everyone is reflecting on and that are also very much on my mind.
I believe that to answer this question, we need to first clarify some basic questions: Where did we come from? Where are we now? And where are we going?
Over the past century or more, mankind has endured both bloody hot wars and a chilling Cold War; but it has also achieved remarkable development and tremendous progress. In the first half of the last century, humanity suffered the scourge of two world wars. What the people of that era yearned for most was the end of war and the advent of peace. In the 1950s and 1960s, people across the colonies were awakened, and with a powerful voice, proclaimed that they would shake off their shackles and struggle for independence. Since the end of the Cold War, the most ardent aspiration of people everywhere has been to foster greater cooperation and pursue common development.
Peace and development: throughout the past century this has been the prevailing aspiration of humanity. However, this is a mission far from fulfilled. It is now up to us to respond to the people’s call, take up the baton of history, and continue on the marathon toward peace and development.
Mankind is currently in an era of great development, profound transformation, and dramatic change. The trend toward multipolarity and economic globalization is deepening. IT application in social development and cultural diversity continues to progress. A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is in the making. Interconnection and interdependence between countries have become crucial for human survival. And the forces for peace far outweigh the factors causing war. In a word, the trend of our times toward peace, development, cooperation, and mutually beneficial outcomes grows only stronger.
At the same time, however, mankind is also in an era of myriad challenges and proliferating risks. Global economic growth is sluggish, the impact of the financial crisis lingers, and the development gap continues to widen. Armed conflicts are a frequent occurrence, the mentality of the Cold War and power politics persist, and non- conventional security' threats, particularly terrorism, refugee crises, major communicable diseases, and climate change, are spreading.
Our universe has only one earth and we humans have only one homeland. Stephen Hawking has raised the proposition of a “parallel universe,” in the hope of finding another place where mankind may setde. When, or if, this wish can be realized is anyone’s guess. Whatever the case, at present, earth remains the only home mankind has, thus caring for and cherishing this earth is the only option we have. In the dome of the Federal Palace of Switzerland is inscribed the Latin motto, “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno” (One for all, and all for one). We must not only think about our own generation, but also fulfill our responsibility to the generations of the future.

Ladies and Gendemen,
Friends,
To let the torch of peace pass from generation to generation; to let the forces of development flow eternally; and to let the light of civilization shine through the ages — this is what the peoples of all nations long for; thus this is the responsibility all statesmen of our generation must shoulder. To see this fulfilled, China’s solution is this: to build a human community with a shared future and to realize mutually beneficial development.
Vision guides action and direction determines the future. As modern history shows, to establish a just and equitable international order is the goal mankind has always striven for. From the principles of equality' and sovereignty established in the Peace of Westphalia over 360 years ago to international humanitarianism affirmed in the Geneva Convention 150-plus years ago; from the four purposes and seven principles enshrined in the UN Charter more than 70 years ago to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence championed by the Bandung Conference over 60 years ago, many principles have emerged in the evolution of international relations and become widely accepted. These principles should guide us in building a human community with a shared future.
Sovereign equality has been the most important norm governing state-to-state relations over the past several centuries and the cardinal principle observed by the United Nations and all other international organizations. The essence of sovereign equality is that the sovereignty and dignity of all countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, must be respected, their internal affairs are not subject to interference, and they have the right to independently choose their social system and development path. In organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Meteorological Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Universal Postal Union, International Organization for Migration, and International Labor Organization, all countries have been afforded an equal voice in decision-making, thus they constitute an important force for the improvement of global governance. Under new circumstances, we should uphold sovereign equality and work for equality in rights, opportunities, and rules for all countries.
Geneva witnessed the adoption of the Final Declaration on the Problem of Restoring Peace in Indo-China, the first summit meeting for reconciliation between the two blocs during the Cold War, and dialogue and negotiations on hotspot issues like the Iranian nuclear issue and the Syrian issue. What we can learn from both past and present is that dialogue and consultation are an effective way to bridge differences and political negotiation is the fundamental solution to end conflict. When we have sincere desire, goodwill, and political wisdom, no ice is too thick to break, no conflict too big to settle.
An ancient Chinese philosopher said, “Law is the very foundation of governance.”[1] Here in Geneva, countries, on the basis of the UN Charter, have concluded many international conventions and legal documents on political security, trade, development, social issues, human rights, science and technology, health, labor, intellectual property, culture, and sports. The essence of the law lies in enforcement. It is thus incumbent on all countries to uphold the authority of the international rule of law, to exercise their rights in accordance with law, and to fulfill their obligations in good faith. The essence of law also lies in fairness and justice. All countries and international judicial institutions should ensure equal and uniform application of international law. They cannot apply double standards or apply international laws in a selective way; they should ensure that they are “without bias or favor, just as was espoused in the great way of governance of old.[2]
“The ocean is vast because it admits all rivers.” Openness and inclusiveness have made Geneva a center of multilateral diplomacy. We should advance democracy in international relations and reject dominance by just one or several countries. All countries should involved in shaping the future of the world, writing international rules, and managing global affairs, and should share in the outcomes development.
In 1862, in his book A Memory of Solferino, Henry Dunant pondered the question of whether it was possible to set up humanitarian organizations and formulate humanitarian conventions. The answer came one year later with the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Over more than 150 years, the Red Cross has become a symbol and a banner. In the face of frequent humanitarian crises, we should champion the spirit of humanitarianism, compassion, and dedication and give love and hope to ordinary innocent people caught in dire situations. We should uphold the basic principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence, refrain from politicizing humanitarian issues, and remain committed to the non-militarization of humanitarian assistance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,
Great visions are simple and pure; all they require is action. Action is thus the key to building a human community with a shared future. It is my belief that the international community should work on promoting partnership, security, growth, intercultural exchanges, and ecological conservation.
We should build a world of enduring peace through dialogue and consultation. When countries enjoy peace, so too will the world; when countries clash, the world suffers. From the Peloponnesian War in the fifth century BC to the two world wars and the Cold W'ar that lasted more than four decades, we have drawn painful and profound lessons. “History, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future.[3]” By establishing the United Nations, those before us won more than 70 years of relative peace for the world. W'hat we must do is to improve our mechanisms and methods to more effectively resolve disputes, reduce tensions, and put an end to conflict and war.
The Swiss writer and Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse stressed the importance of serving “not war and destruction, but peace and reconciliation.” Countries should foster partnerships based on dialogue, non-confrontation, and non-alliance. Major countries should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, keep their differences under control, and build a new model of relations based on non-conflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect, and mutually beneficial cooperation. As long as we maintain communication and treat each other with sincerity, the “Thucydides trap” can be avoided. Big countries should treat smaller ones as equals and avoid acting as hegemons imposing their will on others. No country should open Pandora’s box by willfully waging war or undermining the international rule of law. Nuclear weapons are the Sword of Damocles that hangs over mankind. They should be completely prohibited and, ultimately, completely destroyed to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. Guided by the principles of peace, sovereignty, inclusiveness, and shared governance, we should make the deep sea, the polar regions, outer space, and the Internet new frontiers for cooperation rather than arenas of competition.
We should all build and share together a world of common security. There exists in this world no haven of complete freedom from danger. A country cannot build its security on the turmoil of others, as the threats that beset other countries have every possibility' of one day coming to haunt itself also. When neighbors are in trouble, instead of tightening our own fences, we should extend a helping hand. As the saving goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.[4]” All countries should pursue a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable approach to security.
Terrorist attacks that have shaken Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East in recent years have shown time and again that terrorism is the common enemy of mankind. Fighting terrorism is the shared responsibility of all countries. In fighting terror, we should not be content to just treat the symptoms, but must get to its root causes. We should enhance coordination and build a global united front against terrorism so as to create an umbrella of security for people around the world. The number of refugees has hit a record high since the end of the Second World War. Addressing this crisis is imperative, but we should also take time to ponder its roots. Why would anyone choose be displaced if they have a home to return to? The UNHCR and International Organization for Migration should act as the coordinators of an effort to mobilize the whole world in an effective response the refugee crisis. China has decided to provide an additional RMB 200 million of humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced people in Syria. Terrorism and refugee crises alike are both closely tied to geopolitical conflict, thus the fundamental solution to these probblems lies in the resolution of conflicts. Parties directly involved in conflict should return to the negotiating table, other parties should work to facilitate talks for peace, and we should all respect the role of the UN as the main channel for mediation. The alarm has been sounded for international health security by pandemic diseases such as bird flu, Ebola virus, and Zika virus. It is important that the WHO plays a leading role in strengthening epidemic monitoring and the sharing of information, practices, and technologies. The international community should step up support and assistance for public health in African countries and other developing countries.
We should build a world of common prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation. The idea that development is the top priority is applicable to all countries. Instead of beggaring thy neighbor, countries should stick together like travellers in the same boat. All countries, the main economies in particular, should strengthen macro policy coordination, pursue both current and long-term interests, and focus on resolving deep-seated problems. We should seize the historic opportunity presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, transform our growth models, drive growth through innovation, and unlock greater social productivity and social creativity. We should uphold WTO rules, support an open, transparent, inclusive, and nondiscriminatory multilateral trading regime, and build an open world economy. Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one.
Economic globalization is an inevitable historical trend that has greatly facilitated trade, investment, the flow of people, and technological advancement. Since the turn of the century, and under the guidance of the UN, the international community has capitalized on the wave of economic globalization to set the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These initiatives have helped lift 1.1 billion people out of poverty, provide access to safe drinking water for 1.9 billion people, ensure access to the Internet for 3.5 billion people, and we now are on course to eradicate extreme poverty' by 2030. All this demonstrates that economic globalization is moving in the right direction. Of course, challenges such as the development disparity, governance dilemma, digital divide, and equity deficit are also objective realities. But they are growing pains. We should squarely face these problems and come up with solutions, instead of succumbing to inaction. As we Chinese like to say, one should not stop eating for fear of choking.
We should draw on the lessons of history. Historians told us long ago that rapid economic development makes social reform inevitable; but people tend to support the former while resisting the latter. Instead of watching on with hesitation, we should have the mettle to forge ahead. Answers can also be found in reality. The 2008 international financial crisis has taught us that we need to strengthen coordination and improve governance so as to ensure economic globalization unfolds in a way that is open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all. We need to make the cake bigger, but, more than that, we need to see it is shared fairly and that justice and equity are ensured.
Last September, the G20 Summit in Hangzhou focused on global economic governance and other major issues. It adopted the Blueprint on Innovative Growth, placed development within the global macro policy framework for the first time, and formulated action plans for a number of important areas.
We should strive to build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning. Delicious soup is made by combining different ingredients [5]. The diversity of human civilization not only defines our world, but drives the progress of mankind. Our world has over 200 countries and regions, over 2,500 ethnic groups, and many different religions. Different histories, national conditions, ethnic groups, and customs have given birth to different civilizations, and for that, our world is a richer and far more colorful place. There is no such thing as superior or inferior when it comes to civilizations, only differences in traits and location. Civilizational diversity should not be a source of global conflict, but an engine powering the advance of human civilizafi- as a whole.
Every civilization, with its own appeal and essence, is a human treasure. Diverse civilizations should draw on each other’s strengths to achieve common progress. We should see that exchange among civilizations serves as a source of inspiration for advancing human society and a bond that keeps the world in peace.
We should strive to build a clean and beautiful world by pursuing green and low-carbon development. Man coexists with nature, which means that any harm it does to nature will eventually come back to haunt it. We hardly nonce natural resources such as air, water, soil, and blue skies when we have them. But once they are gone, they are gone forever. Industrialization has created material wealth hitherto unseen, but it has also inflicted irreparable damage on the environment. We must not exhaust all the resources left to us by previous generations and leave nothing to our children — we cannot pursue development that destructs and destroys. As is often said, clear waters and lush mountains are as precious as mountains of silver and gold. We must respect the unity of human and nature by pursuing a path of sustainable development.
We should advocate a green, low-carbon, circular, and sustainable approach to life and production, advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a balanced manner, and continue to explore a model of sound development that ensures growth, prosperity, and a good environment. The Paris Agreement is a milestone in the history of climate governance. We must ensure this endeavor is not derailed. All parties should work together to implement the Paris Agreement. For its part, China will continue to take steps to tackle climate change and fully honor its obligations.
The Swiss Army Knife is the embodiment of Swiss craftsmanship. I remember when I got my first Swiss Army Knife, I marveled at how its makers had been able to endow it with so many functions. I could not help but thinking how wonderful it would be if we could make an omnipotent Swiss Army Knife for our world. Whenever there was a problem, we would be able to use one of the tools on the knife to fix it. It is my belief that, with the unremitting efforts of the international community, we may one day create just such a knife.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,
The Chinese people have always believed that China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa. Looking to the future, many people are interested to see what direction China will move in its policies, and there has been much discussion among the international community' about this. Here, I wish to give you an explicit answer.
First, China remains unchanged in its commitment to uphold world peace. Amity with neighbors[6], harmony in diversity[7], and peace are the cherished values of Chinese culture. The Art of War, a Chinese classic, begins with this observation, “The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road to either survival or ruin. Hence it demands careful study.” What this means is that every effort should be made to avoid war and great caution must be exercised when it comes to fighting war. For several millennia, peace has coursed the veins of the Chinese people and been imprinted in our very DNA.
Several centuries ago, China was strong, such that its GDP accounted for 30 percent of the world total. Even then, China never engaged in aggression or expansion. In the century and more after the 1840 Opium War, China suffered at the hands of aggression and brutality and endured the curse of war and chaos. Confucius said, “Do not to others what you would not have others do to you.” We Chinese firmly believe that peace and stability- is the only way to prosperity and development.
China has grown from a poor and weak country to the world’s second largest economy. What it relied on was not military expansion or colonial plunder, but the hard work of its people and our efforts to uphold peace. China will never waver in its pursuit of peaceful development. No matter how strong its economy grows, China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence. History has borne this out and will continue to do so.
Second, China remains unchanged in its commitment to pursue common development. An old Chinese saying tells us that when enjoying the fruit, you should remember the tree; when drinking the water, you should remember its source[8]. China’s development has been possible, because of the world, and China has also contributed to the world’s development. We will continue to pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, in order to share our development opportunities with other countries and welcome them aboard the express train of China’s development.
Between 1950 and 2016, China provided foreign countries with over RMB 400 billion of aid, and we will continue to increase assistance to others as our ability permits. Since the outbreak of the internati financial crisis, China has contributed over 30 percent of global growth each year on average. In the coming five years, China will import US$8 trillion of goods, attract US$600 billion of foreign investment, make US$750 billion of outbound investment, and Chinese tourists will make 700 million outbound visits. All this will bring more development opportunities to the countries of the world.
China pursues a path of development in keeping with its national conditions. We always put the rights and interests of the people above everything else and have worked hard to advance and uphold human rights. China has seen the basic living needs of its 1.3 billion-plus people met and helped lift over 700 million people out of poverty. These stand as significant contributions to the global cause of human rights.
The Belt and Road Initiative I have put forward aims to achieve development with mutually beneficial outcomes to be shared by all. Over 100 countries and international organizations have so far supported the Initiative, and a large number of “early harvest” projects have been launched. In order to provide more public goods to the international community, China is providing support to ensure the successful operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other new multilateral financial institutions.
Third, China remains unchanged in its commitment to foster partnerships. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and is ready to enhance friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China is the first country to make partnership-building a principle guiding state-to- state relations. It has formed partnerships of various forms with over 90 countries and regional organizations. It seeks to foster a circle of friends that links every corner of the globe.
China will endeavor to put in place a framework for major-country relations based on general stability and balanced development. We will strive to build a new model of major-country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, a partnership with the EU based on peace, growth, reform, and civilization, and a partnership of unity and cooperation with BRICS countries. China will continue to uphold the right approach to justice and the pursuit of interests, and it will boost practical cooperation with other developing countries to achieve common development. We will further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with our neighbors under the principles of amity, sincerity', mutual benefit, and inclusiveness. We will pursue common development with African countries on the basis of sincerity, real results, affinity', and good faith. Further, we will elevate our comprehensive cooperative partnership with Latin America to higher levels.
Fourth, China remains unchanged in its commitment to multilateralism. Multilateralism is an effective way to preserve peace and promote development. For decades, the United Nations and other international institutions have made a universally recognized contribution to maintaining global peace and sustaining development.
China is a founding member of the United Nations and the first state to sign the UN Charter. We will firmly uphold the international system of which the UN is the core, the basic norms governing international relations of which the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are the cornerstone, and the authority and position of the UN and its core role in international affairs.
The China-UN Peace and Development Fund has been officially inaugurated. Through this, China will give priority to making funds available to peace and development initiatives proposed by the UN and its agencies in Geneva. China’s support for multilateralism will only increase as it continues to develop.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,
Geneva invokes a special memory for us. In 1954, Premier Zhou Enlai led a Chinese delegation to the Geneva Conference, and worked with the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to find a political solution to the Korean issue and negotiate a ceasefire in Indo-China. This demonstrated China’s desire for peace and saw it contributing its wisdom to world peace. Since 1971 when China regained its lawful seat at the UN and began to return to international agencies in Geneva, China has gradually involved itself in disarmament, trade, development, human rights, and social issues, putting forward Chinese proposals for the resolution of major issues and the making of important rules. In recent years, China has taken an active part in dialogues and negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Syrian issue, and other hotspot issues, providing its input in order to achieve political settlements. China has successfully applied to the International Olympic Committee to host both the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Furthermore, we have gained endorsement from the International Union for Conservation of Nature for over a dozen applications for world natural heritage sites as well as world cultural and natural heritage sites, thus allowing China to present its splendor to the world.

Ladies and Gendemen,
Friends,
The ancient Chinese believed that “one should be good at finding the laws of things and solving problems.”9 Building a community with a shared future is an exciting goal, one that will require the unceasing efforts of generation after generation. China is ready to work with all other UN member states as well as international organizations and agencies to advance the great cause of building a human community with a shared future.
On 28 January, we Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster. The rooster symbolizes bright prospects and auspiciousness. As a Chinese saying goes, the crow of the golden rooster heralds a great day for all. With this, I wish all of you the very best and a very happy Chinese New Year!
Thank you.


Note

[1] See note 1, p254.

[2] The Book of Documents (Shang Shu).

[3] Strategies of the States (Zhan Guo Ce).

[4] Wei Shou, Book of Wei (Wet Shu). Wei Shou (507—572) was a historian and writer during the Northern and Southern Dynasties.

[5] Chen Shou, Records of the Three Kingdoms (San Guo Zhi).

[6] Rites of Zhou (Zhou LT). This work is a description of the putative organization of the government during the Western Zhou period (1046-771 BC).

[7] See note 7, p.91.

[8] Yu Xjn, “Poems to the Tune of Zhi ” Yu Xin (513—581) was poet during the Northern and Southern