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Message of H.E. Ambassador Song Zhe to the Seminar on the 90th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China Organized by the Madariaga Foundation

Respected Professor Defraigne,

Professor Li Junru,

Deputy Director General Tian Peiyan,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I wish to express, on behalf of the Mission of China to the EU, our appreciation to the Madariaga Foundation for organizing this seminar. We also want to thank our two Chinese guest speakers for flying to Brussels to attend this event.

In one week time, we will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. So this seminar is a very timely one. Today, many friends in Europe follow very closely China’s development, and try to have a deeper understanding of our country. But a comprehensive and accurate understanding of China cannot be achieved without a correct understanding of the CPC. Therefore, it bears great practical significance for us to review the history of the CPC of the last 90 years, reflect on the painstaking efforts of the Party in leading the Chinese people to achieve national independence, economic and social progress, and appreciate the historical changes that have taken place in China’s relations with the rest of the world. I believe that after today’s discussion, all of you will have a more objective, comprehensive, and deeper understanding of the CPC, and have stronger confidence in the future of China and China-EU relations.

I understand that our friends in Europe have all kinds of views about the CPC. Here I wish to briefly talk about four points.

First, the CPC is a party that pursues national development through good governance. The CPC has placed its priority on economic development as early as 1978 at the beginning of our reform and opening up. Today, as the ruling party in China, the CPC places its utmost on national economic and social development and the improvement of people's living standard. We are constantly working to improve our governance capacity to better fulfill our responsibilities and mission.

Second, the CPC is an innovative party that keeps pace with the trends of the times. The CPC always bears in mind China’s national conditions and development goals at different stages. Based on that, we have constantly broken the limit of past theories and ideas, proposed innovative ideas like the scientific outlook on development and building a harmonious society, and have enriched and improved the theories of communism with distinct Chinese characteristics.

Third, the CPC is a party that puts people first and serves the people. The CPC represents the fundamental interest of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The purpose of its governance is to set free and develop productivity, improve people’s living standards, realize the full potential of each individual, and protect the rights and interests of people. These purposes show that the CPC is fundamentally a party that puts people first and governs for the people.

Fourth, the CPC is a transparent and open party that follows democracy in decision making. The Party is an attentive listener to the voices from the outside world. We draw the best successful practices from parties around the world. We attach great importance to research and survey in decision making, heed the views across the whole of society, and maintain political consultation with democratic parties to ensure democratic and reasonable decisions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are living in a fast changing era. We are already in the second decade of the 21st century. If we continue to observe China and the CPC from the perspectives of the beginning of this century, the last century, or even that of the earlier, it would be impossible to have objective and fair judgment and conclusion. To be honest, I still find that some people in Europe have outdated ideas and misunderstandings about the CPC. In my view, we need to do the following three things to remove these inaccurate and unfair views.

First, we need to admit the political reality that China and Europe are different. We are different in terms of history, culture, politics, and economic and social development level. Under such conditions, we shouldn’t demand China to practice the same party system, political regime and economic growth model as those of Europe. Like major parties in European countries, the purpose of our governance is to promote domestic economic growth, maintain social stability, and improve the wellbeing of the people. What has happened proves that the CPC can live up to this historical task with impressive performance well recognized by the people. I think this also explains why the CPC can for a long time grow from strength to strength with robust vitality and creativity. Therefore, we shouldn’t ask China to give up its own path, change its own pace, and move forward on an unfamiliar roadmap designed by someone from the outside.

Second, we should objectively view the changes of politics in different countries. No single party or political system in this world can remain unchanged forever. In the face of new global challenges and international environment, parties in all countries must adapt to the changes of the times through learning, innovation, adjustment, and self-improvement. Compared with the last century or even with ten years ago, a lot of changes have taken place in the political model of both the EU and its member states. With the continued development of EU integration, member states will certainly have to continue to surrender some sovereignty and adjust accordingly administrative management model. The CPC also adopts different plans and policies at different historical moments to adapt to the changes of situation and promote national development and social progress.

Third, we should actively promote exchanges and communication with the CPC. The European philosopher Baron d’Holbach has famous remarks about relations between fear and ignorance. I think people have misgivngs about the CPC mostly because of the lack of knowledge and communication. No individual country could be isolated from the trend of the world, nor could any party achieve development in isolation from the world. Over the last 90 years since its founding, the CPC always conducts active exhcanges with other parties in different counties. We draw from their best practices. With that, we consolidate China’s steady growth, pursue peaceful development, carry out mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, and contribute to world peace and development. We cannot go back to the Cold War mentality, build up high walls of bias and hostility, or willfully demonize others. We should continue to increase exchanges and communication, deepen mutual understanding, properly handle differences, and pursues common development.

To conclude, I wish this seminar to open up another widow between China and Europe to increase exchange and mutual trust. I hope that through candid and in-depth discussions, you will have more comrehensive and objective understanding about China and the CPC.

Thank you!

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