People’s interests above all else

China stands tall on good governance goals and distinctive path toward modernization

It is no surprise that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held in October, attracted global attention. Positive vibes coursed through the report delivered by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee: Rejuvenation, reform, cooperation and social justice were among the most frequently mentioned terms.

For half of its length, the report to the Congress was inward-looking, deliberating policies on improving the people’s well-being, with the goal of being the exemplar of good governance — for the people.

Unlike the United States, China has never been so complacent as to claim perfection of its system, insofar as imposing its way of success on other countries. 

In fact, Chinese leaders believe the best governance system is built on a backbone of cultural and historical realizations.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress candidly lays out the plans of the Chinese government to experiment with policies spiced with local flavors to raise the living standards of different tiers of cities. 

As the report expects occasional blunders arising from newly minted policies, it makes a convincing case that Chinese leaders sincerely put the people’s interests above all else along the country’s distinctive path toward modernization via peaceful development.

Chief among the concerns of most Chinese people is to reunite the mainland with Taiwan. Some US politicians convey twisted messages about how the Chinese mainland supposedly plans to strong-arm Taiwan into submission. A few senators have even called for the US government to assert its influence in the area, even if that means upending peace around the region.

Bound by international treaties and norms, the West knows that most countries find the notion of Taiwan “independence” hard to swallow.

Most countries acknowledge China’s sovereignty over its Taiwan region, and Beijing has shown the utmost patience and persistence in pursuing peaceful reunification.

The developing world draws inspiration from the Chinese experience and is experimenting with policies that best suit their own people. China, like many other developing countries, must be given a chance to enhance the betterment of its people across the Taiwan Straits and in all its territory.

Moreover, Chinese solutions to common challenges facing mankind, as mentioned in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, make the nation stand taller in the global arena.

China has pledged to continue to uphold global interests in the midst of a rise in nationalism around the world and increasing international hostilities.

The report to the Congress serves to reach out to other countries that share similar perspectives. Climate change, water shortages and energy crises deserve the attention of all world leaders. By no means can any one country save the world on its own.

Politicians and media were quick to decipher what this exposition means for the future of the world’s second-largest economy, not least because the world balance ought to be tipped against long-standing Western hegemony.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress inspires confidence that the Chinese will be responsible global citizens. It is the voice of Chinese people calling for adhering to the global rules-based system, promoting multilateral trade, bridging the wealth gap and preserving nature.

China is independent enough to defy the norms of politics in the West and anchor instead on the issues that affect human lives and livelihoods the most. It also welcomes other countries to join in making the world a better place.

The author is a member of China Retold, a youth coalition in Hong Kong that aims to tell China’s stories well, and a member of the New People’s Party. 

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.