SONG CHEN/CHINA DAILY
The Chinese people have more than 100 reasons to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on Thursday.
A century ago, the physiognomy of the Chinese nation would change forever with the founding of the CPC, which within three decades, on Oct 1, 1949, led the Chinese people to found the People's Republic, ending a century of internecine feuds and strifes, and foreign invasions. The Party was committed to driving the colonial powers out of the country, ending injustice and social chaos, eliminating poverty and building an equitable, strong and prosperous society.
From the First Opium War (1840-42) until the founding of the People's Republic, China's history was one of invasions and occupations, arm-twisting by foreign powers, unequal treaties and poverty, hunger and suffering. Usually it is referred to as the "century of humiliation".
Just after the founding of New China, the average life expectancy in the country was 35 years and the literacy rate 15 percent, with up to 95 percent of the population mired in poverty.
As a result, the Party realized unity was the only way forward, and against all odds, it brought all the domestic forces together to work for the betterment of the country.
Just as Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on Tuesday said the recipients of the July 1 Medal embody the fighting spirit of the CPC members, who dedicate themselves to the Party and the country and fulfill their duties in a lifelong pursuit.
Indeed, only a party that embodies the aspirations of the people could have led China to achieve the extraordinary successes over the decades, especially during the past 40-odd years. The Party may have been flexible in its strategies and tactics, but always firm in its principles and objectives.
Today, the Party has more than 95 million members, who are selected on the basis of merit rather than connections. No wonder the Party has been able to adapt to the changing times, including new economic and social conditions, by developing and applying new concepts and strategies, rather than borrowing them from other countries.
To the Party members, much is offered, but also much is required from them. A CPC member should always be on the front line of every battle, be selfless and self-disciplined, and shoulder responsibilities and work to provide common good.
China's economic, social and political achievements are inseparable from the leadership of the CPC, which has adapted Marxism to the real conditions of the country.
The desire for great initiatives has always been a characteristic feature of Chinese civilization. But such initiatives have been brought to fruition thanks to the capable and astute leadership which the Party has provided.
After decades of impressive accomplishments, the Party has put the Chinese people on the irreversible path to prosperity. China's rapid development has its common denominator long-term and strategic planning, and the continuity of the Party in power has ensured the country continues to follow people-centered policies.
The Party's goal is to further improve the well-being of the people, and better protect the sovereignty and security of the country, by pursuing balanced development. What Xi Jinping made the Party's goal after being elected CPC Central Committee general secretary in 2012－the Chinese dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation－has become the leitmotif of the Party and the whole nation.
And China has taken a giant step toward achieving that goal by eradicating absolute poverty last year and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. What is even more impressive is the goals were achieved despite the grave impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Chinese economy.
China has entered a new phase in its transformation from a high-growth economy to an innovation-driven economy. The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee in October 2020, while discussing the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), announced that China will "basically achieve socialist modernization" no later than 2035 and reach the economic and per capita income level of moderately developed countries.
When a vision and mission intertwine, great achievements can be made.
The centenary of the CPC is cause for celebration because it has made the seemingly impossible come true, and continues to embody the hopes of the Chinese people.
The Party's achievements are even more remarkable considering that the country has a socialist political system－socialism with Chinese characteristics to be precise－which the West, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, didn't think it would succeed.
Whether the West likes it or not, China owes its socioeconomic success to the Party.