Op-ed: World seeks clues on China’s future path from 19th CPC National Congress

By Hu Zexi

The rest of the world began a new round of speculation when the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened its 19th National Congress last week, which seemed to fit a comment from President Xi Jinping about China being like a big guy in a crowd, with others around him wondering just what the big guy will do next.

“Why is China’s governing system functioning well? The interesting part is the congress itself rather than its results. It is a key factor of the governance system of this exceptional power,” was how an article from the Russian news agency RIA Novosti saw it on Oct. 17, a day ahead of the opening of the 19th CPC National Congress.

The headline of the article was “CPC National Congress–the Reason China Achieved Soviet Union’s Unfulfilled Goal.”

Further proof that the 19th CPC National Congress was a global, historical event was a record number of overseas journalists — 1,818 – in Beijing reporting on the congress and the continuous coverage by foreign media of the agenda, and the “simultaneous” discussions by overseas and domestic media on reports from the Congress.

Now, even China’s cultural, ecological, and social policies, seemingly only domestic matters, have at the same time become the focus of international media — a reflection of China’s position in the international system.

The world was also looking for clues on how China will relate to the world in the future by following economic signals sent by the congress closely, with people seeming to believe that a more open Chinese economy means benefits for the globe.

Not to be left out, foreign diplomats joined the choir, forecasting China’s future moves and the global order by analyzing such concepts as the new type of international relations and a community with shared future for mankind that Xi emphasized.

Even though the ideas may differ, most countries seemed to share the same feeling that China is in a historical moment, “growing stronger” while the world expects this “stronger” to play a role in bringing them gain and justice.

Foreign media outlets such as Bloomberg and CNN, noted that the report made on the National Congress emphasized that China would not replicate the systems of other countries since it has had such a huge success with socialism with Chinese characteristics.

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From a historical point of view, what makes the China experience special is that it develops by sticking to its own path. At the same time, that success has given confidence to more developing countries.

Xi said in his report that socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.

Discovery Channel aired a three-part documentary, titled China: Time of Xi, ahead of the 19th CPC National Congress. Vikram Channa, its producer, noted that “in the dialogue on a new vision for the world, China’s perspective is more important than ever because of its unique journey, transformation and impact over the last 40 years.”

This new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics will be one that sees China moving closer to the world’s center stage and making a greater contribution to mankind and, as a result, the world has every reason to look forward to a new era.

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