The report delivered by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, to the 20th CPC National Congress on Sunday unveiled a blueprint for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.
Chinese modernization, which is socialist modernization pursued under the leadership of the CPC, is dynamic and distinctive to the Chinese setting.
People's well-being and harmony have been seen as two underlying principles for the modernization of the Chinese economy and society, which employs a holistic approach that benefits not just a select few but everyone.
It contains elements that are common to the modernization processes of all countries, but it is more characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context. As the report said, it is the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.
In contrast, the Western capitalist model of modernization that resorted to aggression, colonization and expansion is polarized and materialistic, leading to the vast gap between the affluent and the poor. China's pursuit of modernization aims for equality, allowing all Chinese people to enjoy prosperous, healthy, and culturally-rich lives.
This is evident from China's monumental achievements in poverty alleviation. Over 770 million have been lifted out of poverty since China's reform and opening up began in the late 1970s, and nearly 100 million in the past decade, perhaps the greatest victory over poverty ever in the history of humankind.
The CPC places a high value on the Chinese people's interests, happiness and well-being, and stresses no one shall be left behind, and this is reflected in the outstanding successes achieved in areas such as economic growth, green development, improvement of education, job creation, and enactment of policies involving elderly and child care.
Just as the report said, "We must protect the people's fundamental interests, improve their well-being, and work tirelessly to ensure that development is for the people and by the people and that its fruits are shared by the people. We must do a better job of seeing that the gains of modernization benefit all our people fairly."
At the opening of the congress, Xi emphasized the importance of unity among all CPC members in building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.
However, in order to achieve modernization in a huge developing nation such as China, there is neither a precedent nor a predetermined path. Only exploration and adherence to one's own way can be deemed a pragmatic approach.
The success of China's own modernization efforts serves as a compelling reminder that there is more than one road to achieving modernization, and every nation has the right to pursue its own path to modernization, one that takes into account the specifics of its own history, culture, economy, and other factors. No modernization model should be regarded as the only model, nor is there a single standard for modernization that fits all.
As China's route to modernization broadens, the country's growth prospects will improve and the global community will reap additional benefits.
In its pursuit of modernization, China, as the world's most populous and largest developing nation, has also stressed the promotion of social values such as mutual respect, mutual assistance, and mutual trust, which will be a boon to world peace and harmony.
Insights from the Chinese model of modernization are highly relevant to the global quest for alternate paths to modernization, and China's success story can contribute to accelerating global human development and serve as an inspiration for other countries to map out their own plans for growth and for the international community to work for a better future.