Tuesday, 25 November 2008


China keeps proving socialism’s worth

Havana, Monday November 17 2008. Year 12 / Number 320
Oscar Sánchez Serra

A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.

On November 23, 2004, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro said:
“In the face of all the mortal dangers of times past and
the even worse ones we face today, socialism will
definitely remain humanity’s only real hope of peace and
survival. That’s precisely what the Communist Party and the
people of China have proved beyond question. They have also
shown, as have Cuba and other friendly countries, that
every people must fit their revolutionary strategies and
goals to their own specific conditions, and that no two
revolutionary socialist processes are identical. We can
learn from each country’s best experiences and worst

Recently, while we enjoyed the privilege of traveling for
17 days across more than 6,000 kilometers of the great
Asian nation (the world’s third largest one), where we
witnessed its impressive scientific and technological
development and were dazzled by the magnificence of cities
like Beijing, Shanghai or Suzhou, not without realizing
that they also have social problems, those words spoken by
the leader of the Cuban Revolution seemed to reverberate in
our ears.

Those who have never visited that huge country and do it
now in 2008 might as well think they have arrived in
another galaxy or been abruptly pushed into the setting of
a science-fiction movie, all with its futuristic
architecture, its highly computerized society, its
extraordinary road infrastructure, its modern means of
transport, and its vast and functional airports –Beijing’s
is considered to be the world’s largest one– its amazing
industrial and construction activity, and a remarkable boom
in trade, to name just a few of China’s realizations that
the whole world, almost in wonder, can appreciate nowadays.

At the same time, you can feel all around you the respect
paid by the People’s Republic to a time-honored culture
rich in traditions that defies the brisk pace of
development to give us a nation where modern and ancient
features merge into a fascinating, mind-blowing ambiance.

China knows what it has, but also what it lacks

2008 marks the 30th year of a process of reforms for
China’s development spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping. Based on
the premise that progress is reason, it set in motion a
gigantic wave of investments which soon bore rich rewards.
Not that the negative effects of such a hasty spiral took
too long to appear either: there still exist unequal income
levels, noticeable differences between urban and rural
areas and a damaged environment, the yardstick some use to
find fault with China instead of its achievements.

But watch out! Regardless of the gloomy picture the West
intends to give us, China’s success and reforms by no means
point to an abdication of socialism, much less a move
towards capitalism, another media-fed idea intended to
present the country’s colossal advance in only 30 years as
an excuse to vilify the socialist model.

In October 2007, the XVII Congress of the Communist Party
embraced a scientific approach to development based on the
assurance that the human being is paramount and the
integral, coordinated and sustainable development of the
nation, qualities at once intrinsic to socialism and
contrary to capitalism. History has proved them right:
owing to the latter’s long-standing ills, children are
dying of curable diseases and there’s illiteracy,
malnutrition and poverty in more than 100 nations

Underlying the above concept is a long list of goals,
including a harmonized development between cities and the
countryside as well as between regions, economy and
society, and individuals and nature. In other words, it
means acting on the main problems currently facing China,
which shows consistency between what the authorities preach
and what they do, but also makes it plain that they know
what they have and don’t have.

Development is proportional to the Chinese Communist
Party's leadership

Those were precisely the topics discussed in the III
Meeting of the Party’s Central Committee, which held its
final session last October 12, the day of our arrival. For
instance, it launched a strategy for rural development
until 2020 to improve the peasants’ living and working
conditions and double their per capita income by the end of
next decade. In 2007 they earned around 605 dollars, a
figure to be raised in more than 6% before the end of the

In a meeting with Political Bureau member Liu Yunshan, who
is also Head of its Information and Propaganda Division, we
learned of other projects that come high on the
government’s list of priorities, such as plans to meet the
Chinese people’s increasing demands by focusing on a more
just distribution of wealth and better measures to protect
the environment. As Liu himself said, “We have
environmental problems, and a country aiming for high
levels of development must do it in a sustainable manner".

He insisted that only by persevering with today’s
Chinese-style socialism –which welcomes foreign investment
and fosters state and private ownership, known as "one
country, two systems", in line with the present situation
of this large nation of almost 1.4 billion inhabitants and
56 ethnic groups– and the rules of scientific development
followed for the last 30 years of reform will the People’s
Republic be able to deal successfully with its current

Powerful though they are, the West’s media machinery and
the top exponents of that select world can disregard
China’s advancement no more than they can deny that its GDP
has steadily remained a two-figure number since 2002
–estimates for this year place it between 10.1 and 10.4– or
downplay the fact that it’s the world’s second exporting
country, with reserves adding up to two billion dollars.
But they fail to mention both the institutional work
carried out by the Chinese people and their government and
the role of the Communist Party as the driving force of
this process.

No matter how much they twist reality, they can’t make it
go away. Suffice it to walk the streets of the big cities
or countryside villages, even in the most backward regions
of central or western China, to notice the Party’s force
and how it has managed to stick to its history and
principles and highlight the consistency of the scientific
theories it practices with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong’s
ideas, Deng Xiaoping’s postulates, and the triple
representativeness, that is, the Party must always stand
for what is needed to develop the most advanced productive
forces, the direction national culture must take, and the
interests of the great mass of the population.

As compañero Fidel stated on November 23, 2004 when the
Council of State of the Republic of Cuba bestowed upon
president Hu Jintao the José Martí Order –our Homeland’s
highest award: “China has objectively become the most
promising hope for and the best example to all Third World


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