Scholars' views

Inherent Requirements for Pioneering a New and Uniquely Chinese Path to Modernization in New Development Stages

General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed pioneering a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization in his keynote speech at the ceremony Marking the Centenary of the Communist Party of China, as we have fulfilled the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and embarked on a new journey towards the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects. In this context, we should understand a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization based on the new development stage, and grasp its inherent requirements for pioneering such path from the profound connotation of the new development stage.

I. A new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization should lay the foundation for China's socialism to move towards a higher level

The new development stage refers to the stage in which China will complete the historical aspiration of building a great modern socialist country in the next 30 years, after winning a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eradicating poverty across China that has plagued the Chinese nation for thousands of years. As an important stage in the process of China's socialist development, the new development stage is still a stage in the primary stage of China's socialism, but it is also a stage representing a new historical start after decades of accumulation. At this stage, we should gradually change the underdeveloped social productive forces in China through progressive accumulation, so as to lay the foundation for socialism to advance from the primary stage to a higher one. This requires that the modernization in the new development stage must more clearly reflect the essential requirements of socialism, pursue the common prosperity of all citizens, the coordination of material progress and cultural-ethical progress, and the harmonious coexistence of man and nature, so that socialism will show strong vitality and vigor in China in the 21st century, so that China will make greater contributions to the development of socialism in the 21st century while moving toward a higher level of socialism.

The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization requires more tangible and substantive progress in promoting the common prosperity of all the people. As socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization requires not only continuously unleashing and developing productive forces, constantly creating and accumulating social wealth, but also preventing polarization, solidly advancing people's all-round development and the common prosperity of all citizens. In addition, we should adhere to the people-centered development ideology, take the deepening of supply-side structural reform as the primary task of promoting high-quality economic development, strengthen social fairness and justice by addressing the regional gap, the gap between urban and rural areas and the income distribution gap, and constantly make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive.

Unlike the one-way development of modernization in the West, the new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization is to boost the coordinated development of economic, political, cultural, ethical, social, and eco-environmental progress while planning to advance all of them forward. In the new stage of development, we should not only promote the comprehensive material abundance, but also adhere to the core socialist values, carry forward the fine traditional Chinese culture, realize the harmonious coexistence between man and nature, and foster a model of sustainable development featuring increased output, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.

After setting foot on the new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization, we should give full play to the positive role of capital in socialist economic construction while effectively controlling the negative role of capital. Capital is the product of market economy, and the orderly expansion of capital is conducive to expanding the production scale, removing the supply chain snarls, improving the efficiency and level of economic circulation, and meeting the multi-level social needs. However, capital is to pursue profits in nature, and will disrupt the social and economic order and even bring risks to the national security, once it becomes unconstrained. In the new development stage, on the basis of correctly understanding and grasping the characteristics and behavior laws of capital, we should control capital in accordance with the predefined YES or No criteria, and encourage, support and lead the sound development of non-public capital to make contributions to driving the socialist modernization, in addition to consolidating the foundation of public capital.

II. The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization should provide new choices for the modernization of developing countries

In the new development stage, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing upright to becoming prosperous and growing in strength. In the new stage of development, China will bring 1.4 billion people into a modern society. It will mark a fabulous modernization in such a huge population, completely rewrite the world’s map of modernization and expand the way for developing countries to move towards modernization, so as to transform Chinese characteristics into Chinese style, and upgrade the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics to a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization.

The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization is to encourage us to follow our own path and continue and develop in the new development stage. As General Secretary Xi Jinping said, we must follow our own path—this is the bedrock that underpins all the theories and practices of our Party. In the new stage of development, China emphasizes the exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations, and turns the diversity of civilizations and the differences among countries in the world into the vitality and driving force of development. It advocates that no civilization should be tagged better or worse, or superior or inferior, and they should be distinguished by features or region. Different civilizations should draw on others’ strong points to offset their own weaknesses learn from each other's strong points and make common progress, so that exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations can become the driving force for human social progress and the link for safeguarding world peace.

The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization is the inheritance and upgrade of the Chinese style modernization path in the new development stage. Chinese style modernization is not to follow the path of capitalism again, but to give play to the advantages of the socialist system, gain the positive results achieved by capitalism in a more reasonable way, avoid the negative results brought by capitalism, and create better fruits that capitalism cannot yield. In the new development stage, China will further promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, and give better play to the advantages of developing the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. We should cherish our cultural roots, draw on other cultures, and be forward-thinking, to balance the relations of production with the productive forces as well as the superstructure with the economic base. In the process of building a modern socialist country in all respects, China will embark on a new journey to high-quality development of human beings.

III. A new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization should make greater contributions to world prosperity and stability

In the new development stage, the overall goal of national rejuvenation and global change are intertwined and collide with each other. The world is experiencing tremendous changes on a scale unseen in a century, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of the great changes. On the one hand, capitalism has exacerbated the imbalance in the world. It, while leaving existing problems such as deficit in peace and development unsolved, even triggered a series of new global problems such as the refugee crisis, economic depression and climate change. On the other hand, since the world financial crisis in 2008, capitalism has witnessed a large-scale economic recession, no longer possible to address the global problems that mankind is facing in the 21st century on its own. As socialism with Chinese characteristics ushered in a new era, great achievements have been made in the building of Chinese-style modernization, and China is in the best development period over the past century. In the new stage of development, China should be firmly committed to peaceful development and make greater contributions to solving common problems facing mankind and promoting world prosperity and stability.

The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization should contribute to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. Capitalism has shaped the world market, but at the same time, it has spread the inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production and the resulting unbalanced development to the world, causing a series of global problems such as conflict, poverty, unemployment, and the expansion of income gap. General Secretary  Xi Jinping stressed it is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but we should not deny the positive aspects of economic globalization. Instead, we should adapt to and guide economic globalization, eliminate the negative effects of economic globalization, and make it better benefit every country and every nation. Although economic globalization is an irreversible trend of our times, it must not be based upon closed confrontation, exploitation and plunder anymore. Instead, we should guide the healthy development of economic globalization and build it on the basis of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation.

The new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization should make greater contributions to leading the world exchanges in the 21st century to continually advance towards peaceful development. Under the overall situation of strong capitalism and weak socialism, to develop and grow in the process of coexistence and competition with capitalism, socialism must unite all forces that can be united, and mobilized all positive factors available. Accordingly, opposing common enemies and pursuing common interests have become a basic strategy for socialist countries to play an active role in world exchanges. China has attached great importance to the establishment of an international united front at various stages of its socialist modernization drive, which has facilitated China's exchanges with the world and enabled China's socialist cause to increasingly step forward. In the face of the world's unprecedented changes in a century, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind, which takes the common challenges of mankind as common interests, truly transcending the interests of countries, groups or alliances, and reflects on the future and destiny of mankind and the trend of world history from the perspective of all mankind, and units all forces that can be united for the cause of human progress to the greatest extent Thus, China has established a new mode of thinking and a particular discourse for world exchanges in the 21st century, completely rejected the outdated conflict and confrontation and zero-sum game mentality, and built up a new concept of cooperation and win-win results, so that peaceful development continues to dominate our times, and provided Chinese ideas and solutions for answering the question of the times, What is going on with the world? and What shall we do about it?