The 19th National Congress of Chinese Communist Party
Süleyman ŞENSOY
Süleyman ŞENSOY
TASAM Başkanı / Chairman
Release Date : 10/12/2017
The 19th National Congress of Chinese Communist Party What’s your take on the achievements of the Communist Party of China (CPC) since its 18th National Congress? How do you view China’s economic, social and cultural development since the 18th National Congress? What’s your comment on the governance style of President Xi Jinping? 

One of the most important outcomes of Xi Jinping’s governance style is his handling of corruption within the state apparatus. He has been committed and severe in his dealing with corruption cases. This has provided him a lot of popularity. Prior to the 18th Congress main focus of attention in China’s economic performance has been the growth of its GDP. Indeed, China has achieved high economic growth rates but this was not problem free. One of the problematic areas has been corruption to which President Xi Jinping developed a very good answer.
 
He changed the previous understanding according to which some of the officials were promoted not because of their merits but because they have been working for the government during high growth rates. Over the past five years CPC dealt with corruption and inspections have swept through local governments, public institutions, state-owned enterprises, financial institutions and universities. As a result CPC has removed more than 40,000 Party leaders and cadres from part-time "jobs" in enterprises. More than 200 vice-ministerial or higher levels of officials and managers have been investigated.
 
Apart from so called "tigers" or high-level officials engaged in major graft cases, "flies" or grass-root officials, and more than seventeen thousand graft cases amongst low-level officials had been handled mainly in land grabs, demolitions and fund management related to agriculture, rural area and farmers. These are very positive governance issues that should be viewed positively
 
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, quality and sustainable development, rising living standards and social harmony have been promoted. Officials who are selected to the office are getting decided according to this. Since 2014, the decision of the CPC Central Committee to provide party cadres with opportunities to work in impoverished areas and in remote places provided them with greater understanding and experience. But also CPC committed itself to the protection of environment.
 
President Xi Jinping put forward the philosophy; "clean water and lush mountains are priceless assets of the country” which changes China to be a better place. For the past 5 years, the world's second largest economy has been trying to repair its environment, once contaminated due to unsustainable development. The development around Chaobai River is a case in point. As President Xi Jinping took action as a visionary and a trusted leader, he unveiled the Belt & Road Initiative. 
 
This has changed China’s going abroad strategy fundamentally and presented China as a place of hope in the eyes of poor nations of the world. Xi Jinping took initiative and responsibility in reforming China. Probably this is the second biggest risk taken after the cultural revolution. The decision to slowdown the economic growth below 7% is the result of adopting a new model to keeping pace with the global economy and desire for quality management over simple numbers has been a fundamentally positive vision quantity. However, we may also stress pleasantly that China is still growing above projected levels.
 
 
How do you view China’s diplomacy since the 18th National Congress? How to view China’s role in and contribution to globalization and global governance?
 
China is promoting soft power and complying with the diplomatic initiative across the globe. It should be mentioned that China has the strongest state tradition in the World and diplomacy has been mastered in China. It might be said that China’s socialist character and the economic developmental model it represents have become an important source for those who are searching for alternatives. China offers a new path of harmonious society in the global set up, particularly at this conjuncture of chaos and global economic turmoil. But for China to promote its own governance model it still requires continuation of its reform policy.
 
The Chinese model for economic growth and social harmony must be understood along its attempt to integrate into the global economy. Although China still has strong protectionist measures and government intervention, hybrid organizations and market failure problems persists. This requires resolving problems stemming from the presence of asymmetric information. In order to successfully promote its interest and harmonize with the global economic structures it should continue deepening its governance reforms through increased transparency and accountability for anti-corruption. This becomes an inevitable necessity particularly following the phase of institutional modernization. In the global set up China is competing with forces that are acting on efficiency and effective competitiveness. For China to keep up with the efficiency competition it has to complete its reform efforts. 
 
 
How do you like China’s development path? What are the opportunities and challenges? And the prospect?
 
Up until more recently, China’s economic development has been explained in terms of its investment strategy and the magnitude of its GDP. Today, this does not make much sense to address relevantly new developmental areas, such as human development. China still needs to attract inward investment for high quality production to contribute its GDP overcoming domestic consumption and labour wages for a wealthier economy. Its ambition to go global as one of the global leaders, particularly for developing countries, creates mutual interaction in dealing with opportunities and challenges.
 
Currently China’s contribution is much more regional than global. Investing into infrastructure construction is a questionable developmental path. Sooner or later China will have to join a new supply chain particularly due to its heavy dependence on energy that comes from abroad. It would be very onerous to mobilise capital while investing in non-tradables. On the other hand, rampant need to deal with the problem of unemployment creates a cul de sac for policy makers. China has declared that its priorities with Belt and Road Initiative were political co-operation, connectivity through infrastructure projects, financial integration, new trade links, people to people exchange, technology and R&D. In this regard, opportunities and challenges have to be analyzed to find out what they means for the regions as well as corporations in the global context. As investment trends are bilateral rather than multilateral, common bilateral strategies can be aimed by paying attention to the modern management framework on the basis of universal values and principles of international business.   
 
 
How do you view the unfolding of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its prospect? What is the response from the international community to the BRI? What are your proposals regarding the BRI?
 
BRI is a global orientation of China opening up its economy outward with a comprehensive investment strategy. It is China’s re-interpretation inspired by the ancient Silk Road. BRI provides poor countries on its destination with positive prospects for their future development. BRI encompasses sixty eight countries. It aims to link Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic through a number of transportation infrastructures, rapid train railroads, airports and harbours. It aims to upgrade and gentilify cities on its destination. As such investing into smart cities and bringing those regions into the global supply chain provides positive outcomes. As such, BRI is viewed positively by the countries involved.
 
Additionally, as globalization evolved it has produced different outcomes for developed and developing countries. Some of the important global problem areas appeared to be within the areas of security, high indebtedness, poverty, climate change, refugee crisis, health, income inequality, gender inequality, water sanitation, education, etc. Those issues need to be addressed through cooperation between developed and developing countries. China’s BRI brings about a glimpse of hope. But it is not problem free.
 
Slowing down of the Chinese economy might create problems of funding. This would require mobilising resources from partner countries. However, financial mechanisms to achieve that do not exist. Also destination countries mostly have different economic and social structures. Also, they have varying legal structures. Up until today, it is still a mystery; how and by whom bilateral projects will be managed. There is no defined management structure to oversee a successful completion of the BRI. These and many other problems appear to put BRI on a difficult track. 
 
 
What are your expectations for the 19th National Congress of the CPC? And proposals? What role do you expect China to play on the international arena after the 19th National Congress?
 
“Proportional Risk & Interdependency with/and Building Power and Justice”
 
China targeted "medium-high economic growth rates" in the five years from 2016. This is expected to double China’s per capita income for both rural and urban resident of 2010, in 2020. Such economic growth was expected to be the outcome of a more balanced, inclusive and sustainable development. The country also wanted to promote its industrial sector by achieving greater sophistication. It aimed to increase the contribution of consumption to the economic growth. Hence, for the CPC it is important to analyse the development trends in the world and China, to grasp new requirements for the country's development and expectations from the people, and to summarize the leadership experiences of the Party in advancing the reform.
 
Therefore, the 19th CCP National Congress is a very important process. The meeting will be held at a critical stage of China's development to form a prosperous society. The call of the Congress will emphasize a country that has to make unique contributions to Marxist theories based on her history and experience.
 
In this regard, the congress has a great significance in inspiring and mobilizing people to forge ahead along socialist principles. But President Xi Jinping also called for deeper understanding of contemporary capitalism, including its structural problems. These debates within the CPC appears to indicate that we might expect to see at the 19th National Congress some alterations to the CPC Manifesto, thereof. Last amendment to the CPC Manifesto was in 2012. In fact, the amendment of the CPC constitution at the 19th Congress already drafted at a meeting presided over by Xi Jinping with the Central Committee.
 
These amendments are expected to address the new global and national situation with an emphasis on promoting and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. These amendments will be a welcome development as they are expected to incorporate new governance concepts, new thinking and new social strategies of the CPC Central Committee since the 18th CPC National Congress. In this regard, the 19th Congress, would be instrumental in building a more prosperous society, helping to deepen ongoing reform, advancing law-based governance and strengthening democratic rule within the Party governance itself.
 
No doubt, with the improvements made to upgrade the quality of its cadres the Communist Party of China (CPC) is now in a better position to achieve such targets. One of the novel developments at the 19th Congress will be the ways in which delegates are selected.  CPC has adopted procedures to select Party officials from amongst the most competent while getting rid of the corrupt ones. CPC delegates were elected from across the country when local CPC committees held their congresses this year. But these elected delegates will need to pass a qualification check to get final approval to attend the national congress.
 
The delegates were elected in accordance with the Party constitution and CPC Central Committee requirements and they are composed of outstanding CPC members who are highly-qualified ideologically and politically, have good work and life styles, are competent in discussing state affairs, and have made remarkable achievements in their work. The delegates include not only Party leaders, but also CPC members from frontline production and manufacturing, minority ethnic groups, female members, and those from various sectors including the economy, science and technology, national defence, politics and the judicial sector, education, publicity, culture, health care, sports and social management. This makes the selection process more democratic and helps creating a more competent CPC to reach developmental targets and carry out reform process. As such this is a welcomed development.
 

( This is the text of the interview done on behalf of the Chinese State Authority before the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress to be held on 18 October 2017. )


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