Op-ed: Confidence is the key to understanding China’s future progress
By Zhong Sheng from People’s Daily
The world sees the annual sessions of China’s top legislative and advisory bodies as a window to gaze upon China, yet observers would get a better understanding of China’s new political developments and its global significance if they were to look at what’s happening around the world.
Compared with the global political environment, especially that of Western countries, China’s socialist democracy manifested in the “two sessions” is full of vitality.
The “two sessions” present a prosperous atmosphere. The national lawmakers and political advisors are discussing many hot agenda items, ranging from big ones such as national economic transformation, innovation, and environmental protection, to specific issues related to every aspect of people’s life.
They submit constructive proposals and solutions to create concrete consensus and improve policies. With strong cohesion and improving ability to implement decisions, the “two sessions” in recent years have won the admiration of other countries.
In contrast, the political atmosphere of the West is not peaceful. Italy’s political panorama was further fragmented after the rise of populism in the election campaign concluded recently. What should be a campaign to push the country forward turned out to be an event not only unhelpful to solving the existing problems but also giving rise to new challenges. What happened in Italy is not a single case in Europe in recent years.
Last month, the US public was shocked by a Florida school shooting, except the members of congress who receive campaign cash from pro-gun groups. These elected representatives played the same irresponsible ritual in the face of school shootings, which disappointed many US citizens, with many students asking angrily how much are our lives worth to you?!
The different atmospheres are the result of different mindsets. An article published in Swiss daily newspaper the Neue Zurcher Zeitung said that confidence is felt in the Chinese annual sessions and China is using this confidence to play its role in the world.
“Confidence” is indeed a key word to learn about the Chinese politics. Why is China becoming more confident? One reason is the leapfrog development the country has made has brought a real sense of gain to its people. The other reason is that China is not only a country where people aspire for a better future, but also a country where their efforts are repaid.
The people are confident and the country is hopeful, this is the most valuable treasure for every country.
Recently, a series of think thank seminars hosted in the US, focused on “threats” the country thinks it is facing in a world full of “dangers.” Its sense of being threatened is rising, not because the situation has changed, but because the anxious US is losing self-confidence.
Even though managing its domestic affairs is deemed as a top priority, but as the political environment further fragments the US seems to be unable to fulfill even that task.
For instance, the need to build infrastructure has been recognized by all sides, but the Republicans and the Democrats are offering opposite proposals, which has led to the analysis that the purpose of the two parties is not to build infrastructure, but to weaken each other.
A similar mentality has also been adopted when dealing with other important issues such as reform of immigration system, medical insurance and education sector.
The problems come down to the twisted logic of democratic philosophy. The Western democracy got into hot water because the democratic philosophy has shifted from representing people’s aspirations and pursuing public welfare, to serving the interests of a few selected groups.
In China, the starting point of political progress is to serve the people, which means improving the sectors where people feel unhappy and unsatisfied and helping solve the everyday problems and difficulties they encounter.
China’s unique institutional arrangements ensure that its actions are performed in accordance with that purpose. The ongoing “two sessions” serves as evidence of that.
The important political meetings, during which delegates actively engaged in political discourse, have received more attention and greater expectations from the people.
The country will prosper in a healthy political atmosphere, where people and the government trust each other, and the people are highly united.
As China continues to speed up its pace of reform and development in the new era, the country’s political practices will make more noticeable contributions to humanity’s political civilization.