'Serving the people'—an empty promise in many countries, in China, it's the focus

October 24, 2017

As the 19th CPC Congress discusses a 50-year perspective to create a "beautiful" nation, a new tone is coming from China: confident, on the move, exuberant about the future, inviting the world to join in.

"A new paradigm of economic development and governance was announced.... The world is watching with excitement as China is entering a defining moment in its drive to uphold its past gains while seeking to position itself in a new era of economic growth," Toumert Al, a director of Education at the International School under China Foreign Affairs University, wrote in today's Global Times. "China is now not only a miracle, a rising economic nation. China is a power that reflects a vision of governance, and economic policies, a nation, a civilization that nurtures equality and development, while preserving its core identity."

For Toumert Al, the key is the call issued at the Congress "for giving priority to the real economy," the focus on developing "its capacity to transform its workforce into an original, research-oriented one. Xi said in his speech that people with talent are a strategic resource for China as it endeavors to achieve national rejuvenation and stay ahead in international competition," he wrote.

An unsigned op-ed in the same publication asserted with pride, "in many other countries, serving the people is an empty promise, but in China people are precisely the focus of politics." The government has committed itself to "satisfy[ing] people's ever-growing thirst for a better life," a concept more advanced than the previous "ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people," the author wrote, citing President Xi's "incorporating 'Beautiful China' into the development plan" at the Congress.

So, the lying sewage flowing from Western media about China is dismissed as the West's problem, not China's. "China no longer cares much about Western prejudices" and its "cultural arrogance," well-known author Zhang Weiwei wrote in his Oct. 19 Global Times column. "The West has hardly made a correct political forecast for China over the past 30 years. Almost all predictions they made were wrong, such as China would follow the same path after the collapse of the Soviet Union; Hong Kong's prosperity would be gone forever after its return to the motherland; China would collapse after joining the WTO. In a word, the China collapse theory fell apart.

"In this sense, we must re-educate the Western media to help them know the real China. The more people in the West that know the truth, especially the truth about the rise of China, the more likely they will see their own system's problems," Zhang argued.

A frog in the well is "a Chinese idiom used to deride a mix of parochialism, narrow-mindedness and complacency ... if the West, facing the overall success of the Chinese model, refuses to question its own assumptions about economic and political modernity," he warns, "it simply runs the risk of ending up as the last frog in the well."