|Briefing at ELBC Radio on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China by Chinese Ambassador to Liberia H.E. Ren Yisheng|
(3 November 2022)
Good morning! Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the recently concluded 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and give you some update on China-Africa and China-Liberia friendly and win-win cooperation. I would like to talk about 5 issues.
First, a brief account of the Congress
The Congress was convened from October 16 to 22 in Beijing. General Secretary of CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping, who is also President of the People’s Republic of China(PRC), delivered a report to the Congress on behalf of the 19th Central Committee.
In his report, General Secretary Xi Jinping comprehensively summarized the work of the past five years and the great changes in the first decade of the new era since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012.
The report clarified the mission and tasks of the CPC in the new journey of the new era, and pointed out that “From this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization”.
The Congress elected a new Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection(CCDI), and Xi Jinping was reelected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. It also passed resolutions on the report of the 19th Central Committee, on the work report of the 19th CCDI, and on the Constitution of the CPC (Amendment).
Second, achievements in the past decade
In the past ten years, China’s economic strength has achieved a historic leap. The GDP has increased from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan(roughly 17.7 trillion US dollars). China's GDP has come to account for 18.5 percent of the world economy, up 7.2 percentage points over the past 10 years. The world's second largest economy has become a major trading partner for over 140 countries and regions, leading the world in total volume of trade in goods. China's average contribution to world economic growth exceeds 30%, ranking first in the world.
The per capita GDP has risen from US$6,300 to over US$12,000, and people's lives have been improved in all aspects. China has won the largest poverty alleviation battle in human history. In less than ten years’ time, nearly 100 million rural people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, making significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction. Nearly 800 million rural people have shake off poverty since reform and opening-up started in China in 1978. Around 1,800 party members and cadres have lost their lives during the poverty alleviation battles.
I would like to especially highlight some new development in Xinjiang of China. In recent years, Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, better living standards, cultures thriving like never before. GDP in Xinjiang has an average annual growth rate of around 7 percent. All remaining 3.09 million impoverished people have been lifted out of poverty. All ethnic groups, regardless of their populations, have equal legal status and enjoy freedom of religious belief and various rights in accordance with the law, including participating in the management of state affairs, receiving education, using their own languages, and preserving their traditional culture. The lies and disinformation fabricated by some Western countries at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee session about so-called “genocide”, “forced labour” and “forced sterilization” are nothing but a political attempt to use Xinjiang-related issues to smear and contain China and are doomed to fail.
China has also joined the ranks of the world's innovators with breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields.
With its people-centered philosophy of development, the country has built the largest education, social security, and health care systems around the globe.
As a collaborative endeavor, the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) advocated by President Xi has been welcomed by the international community both as a public good and a cooperation platform. According to the prediction of the World Bank, the joint construction of the B&R is expected to lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty in relevant countries.
During the past two years, President Xi has also put forward Global Development Initiative(GDI) and Global Security Initiative(GSI) respectively.
Other great achievements highlighted in the report range from comprehensively deepening reform to advancing the critical battle against pollution. For examples, over the past 10 years, more than 2,000 reform programs have been rolled out. And one of our four big deserts is about to disappear thanks to our decades’ afforestation efforts.
Third, central tasks over the next 5 years and beyond
China will accelerate the creation of a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development; invigorate China through science and education and develop a strong workforce for the modernization drive; advance whole-process people’s democracy and ensure that the people run the country; exercise law-based governance on all fronts and advance the rule of law in China; build cultural confidence and strength and secure new successes in developing socialist culture; improve the people’s well being and raise quality of life, pursue green development and promote harmony between humanity and nature; modernize China’s national security system and capacity and safeguard national security and social stability; achieve the centenary goal of the People’s Liberation Army and further modernize national defense and the military; uphold and Improve the policy of One country, Two systems and promote national reunification; promote world peace and development and build a human community with a shared future; exercise full and rigorous self-governance and advance the great new project of party building in the new era.
Fourth, significance of the 20th National Congress
The 20th National Congress of the CPC is a very important meeting held at a critical moment as it was held after China had accomplished its first centenary goal of building xiaokang - a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021 when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC, and to start the second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by 2049 when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
The decisions, arrangements and achievements made at the 20th National Congress of the CPC will certainly play a very important role in guiding and ensuring the overall construction of a modern socialist country, the overall promotion of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the new victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics for the next five years and beyond.
Fifth, bright future for China-Africa and China-Liberia friendly and win-win cooperation
In recent years, China-Africa win-win cooperation, by docking the B&R Initiative and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC) action plans with AU Agenda 2063, Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development(PAPD) and other African development strategies, has focused on economic growth and development, reducing poverty through human resource capacity development, to ensure sustainable peace and security on the continent.
Today, the outcomes of China-Africa cooperation are all over the African continent. The roads, railways, airports, ports, high-rise buildings, stadiums and other structures that China helped build can be seen everywhere.
This is true for our cooperation with Liberia, too. Landmark projects are seen inside and outside Monrovia including the SKD Sports Complex and Ministry of Health completed in the early days, the Fendall Campus of the University of Liberia, Monrovia Vocational Training Center and the rebuilt JFD Hospital in Tapeta completed shortly after the civil conflict, and the Ministerial Complex(the second largest China-aided construction in Africa when dedicated), the two annexes to the Capitol Building, and the Roberts International Airport through concessional loan dedicated since 2018.
New projects including the two Overpass Bridges on Tubman Boulevard, the National Clinical Diagnostic and Treatment Lab at the 14 Military Hospital, the Fingerprint Examination Lab, and LBS upgrade and expansion, etc. are in tendering and procurement phases respectively. An engineering team is expected to arrive to conduct feasibility study for the Somalia-Sinkor Road and Bridge project. The two governments are also working together to design projects for implementation of the next phase Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement which was sign last year.
China and Liberia have also carried out active people-to-people exchanges. Every year, China provides around 50 full government scholarships and more than 150 short- and long-term training opportunities, some of which also include master and doctorate degree scholarships, to Liberian students and trainees. For the 2020-2023 period, the Chinese government will provide altogether 190 full scholarships to Liberia.
China-Africa and China-Liberia cooperation has become a model for South-South cooperation and international cooperation with Africa. The biggest feature of China-Africa and China-Liberia cooperation is mutual benefit and common development.
Next year, Liberia will hold presidential and general elections and we will also usher in the 20th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Liberia. In the new era, by taking the 20th National Congress of the CPC and the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and AU as the new starting point, and based on the principle of equality and mutual respect, China will strengthen the alignment of BRI, GDI and GSI with African and Liberian development strategies and jointly implement the “Nine Programs” of the FOCAC with African countries and Liberia and make concerted efforts in building a community with shared future for both sides.