The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in Beijing in October. It laid out the overarching goals for China’s development at the current stage and in the years to come. It exerts far-reaching influence on and carries profound significance for China, Canada, as well as the world at large.
I would like to mention four key words in this short article to help readers know more about the 20th National Congress of CPC and how it relates to Canada-China relations.
The first key word emphasized at the 20th National Congress is “strong,” which mainly refers to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as the core.
From 2012 to 2021, China’s GDP grew from $8.53 trillion to $17.73 trillion, with its share of the world economy rising from 11.3 percent to 18.5 percent, ranking the second worldwide. During the 2013-2021 period, China’s contribution to global economic growth averaged 38.6 percent, higher than that of the Group of Seven countries combined. The country has lifted close to 100 million poor rural residents out of poverty. It once and for all resolved the problem of absolute poverty in China. It contributed to more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction during this period.
China has established the world’s largest education, social security and health care systems, with its life expectancy reaching 78.2 years. China tops the world in terms of the development and use of renewable energy resources, as well as the production and sale of new energy vehicles. These are merely some examples of China’s achievements and national strength.
The second keyword emphasized at the 20th National Congress is “new.” A great many new ideas, thoughts, and strategies on national governance were promoted for the first time in the Report to the 20th CPC National Congress. Among them, “a Chinese path to modernization” is an important new idea.
Chinese modernization is the modernization of a huge population. Chinese modernization is the modernization of common prosperity for all. With this new approach, China aims to make the economic pie bigger, share it fairly, and build an olive-shaped structure of income distribution. Chinese modernization is the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement. We will keep raising people’s living standards and enriching their lives, so that every family will enjoy a decent life and everyone will be imbued with a strong sense of moral integrity.
Chinese modernization is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature. We will protect nature and the environment as we do our own lives. Chinese modernization is the modernization of peaceful development. China remains the only country in the world that enshrines “adherence to the path of peaceful development” in its Constitution. All of these paths align well with Canadian growth and development goals.
The third keyword emphasized at the 20th National Congress is “high.” The Report to the 20th CPC National Congress underlines high-quality development and high-standard opening-up. To push high-standard opening-up, China will fully leverage the demand of the super-sized domestic market, attract global resources, advance the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and engage at a higher level in the international circulation. China steadily expands institutional opening-up, and establishes an open economy that is diverse, balanced, secure, and efficient and brings benefit to all.
The fourth keyword emphasized at the 20th National Congress is “stable.” At present, momentous changes unseen in a century are accelerating across the world, including in Canada and China. Our world, our times, and history are changing in ways like never before. Against the backdrop of a chaotic international situation, stability has become even more important.
China will stay committed to socialism with Chinese characteristics, a path already proven viable. The CPC and the Chinese government will maintain consistency and continuity of China’s foreign policy. China keeps to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, stays committed to the fundamental national policy of opening-up, and creates new opportunities for the world with our own development. This is the biggest contribution that China can contribute to global peace, security, and stability.
In summary, a China marching toward modernization will bring more opportunities to the world, inject stronger momentum for international cooperation, and make greater contribution to human progress – all of which can benefit the relationship between China and Canada.
Cong Peiwu is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Canada