Since Xi Jinping came to power at the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China in November, 2012, he has made a series of speeches on Chinese culture, traditions and value system. It is obvious that Xi wants to end the dominance of Western political and ideological discourse among Chinese elite.
The report of the 18th Party Congress stressed “three self-confidences” proposed by Xi a few months before the meeting, which are being self-confident on China road, Chinese system and the Chinese theory, stressing the need to adhere, to explore and to develop the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
At the third plenary session of the 18th Party Congress held in 2013, Communist Party of China (CPC) passed a resolution on comprehensively deepening reform on a number of important issues.
It states that the overall objective of the reform is “to improve and develop the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, promote the modernization of national governance systems and governance capacity” making a complete maturation of the Chinese socialist system a major historic task.
As early as October 13, 2009, Xi Jinping told the 61st Frankfurt International Book Fair opening ceremony that, “Cultural diversity is an objective reality of human society and the basic feature of the contemporary world. Differences in ideology, social system and development model should not become the barrier to the exchange of human civilizations. There should not be a reason to confront each other. We should uphold the diversity of civilizations and promote dialogue among civilizations. We should learn from each other and should not be mutually exclusive in a colorful world.”
On March 23, 2013, Xi in Moscow Institute of International Relations said, “All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal. We should respect the rights of the people of other countries to independently choose development paths and to oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs. We should maintain the international justice. ‘Shoes fit or not, only the wearers know.’ Where a development path fits a country or not, only its people have the final say.”
Speaking at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris early this year, Xi said, “No one civilization can be judged superior to another.”
“Every civilization is unique. Copying other civilizations mechanically or blindly is like cutting one’s toes just to fit his shoes, which is not only impossible but also highly detrimental.”
“If all civilizations can uphold inclusiveness, the so-called “clash of civilizations” will be out of question and the harmony of civilizations will become reality. This is like what we Chinese often say, ‘radish or cabbage, each to his own delight.’”
Since the 1911 Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, China experimented with constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, multi-party system and presidential government.
But Xi said in a speech at the College of Europe in Belgium four months ago, “Nothing really worked. Finally, China took on the path of socialism. We have, acting in line with China’s national conditions and the trend of the times, explored and blazed a trail of development and established socialism with Chinese characteristics, building a moderately prosperous society, so as to realize modernization, and gradually achieve common prosperity of all.”
As Xi has repeatedly stated that China cannot copy the political system or development model of other countries because it would not fit China, and it might even lead to catastrophic consequences.
Xi said, “The Chinese people over 2,000 years ago had come to understand this from a simple fact that a tasty orange grown in southern China would turn sour once it is grown in the north. The food may look the same but the taste is quite different because the north means different location and different climate.”
(Source: Front Page of APD 12th issue, published in September 2014)