The video above is of Comrade Joti Brar‘s contribution to the summit, in which she outlines the difference between the two types of political party in the world today.
The summit, on the theme of ‘working for the people’s wellbeing and the responsibility of political parties’, formed part of the ongoing celebrations in honour of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. It was attended globally via video link by national leaders and representatives of political parties around the world, many of whom gave congratulatory speeches on the day.
The keynote speech was delivered by President Xi Jinping. He emphasised that, given the multipolarity of today’s world – as evidenced by the rise of China and the decline in US imperialist power – and the spectrum of problems we face as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, political parties worldwide must shoulder a number of responsibilities.
One of these responsibilities is a commitment to internationalism and the rejection of competitive nationalisms that perpetually pit us against one another:
“Viewed from the perspective of ‘my own country first’, the world is a cramped and crowded place perpetuated in fierce competition. Viewed from the perspective of ‘a global community with a shared future’, the world is a vast and broad place full of cooperation opportunities.”
In addition, it is incumbent on political parties to work to redress uneven global development – the ongoing product of imperialism and the global capitalist system – by opposing the sabotage of other nations’ development:
“We need to face squarely up to major problems such as the wealth gap and the development divide, with particular attention and care given to underdeveloped countries and regions and impoverished people, so that hope prevails in every corner of the world … Development is the right of all countries, rather than an exclusive privilege of the few. We need to enable all countries to step up development cooperation, and see to it that the fruits of development are shared by all.”
He strongly condemned the practice of “unilateralism disguised as multilateralism” and indicated that China would never seek global hegemony or expansion. Rather, China is seeking to work with the international community on pressing global issues like poverty eradication, an area in which China has already achieved tremendous results.
Following President Xi’s address, the floor was opened to leaders of political parties around the world to offer their reflections and congratulations to the CPC on the 100th anniversary of its founding.
President of the ANC and of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was the first of several African leaders to thank the CPC for its longstanding friendship, its solidarity in the anti-colonial struggle and its present support in development and Covid relief effort. He noted that it was a particularly auspicious moment for South Africans because July 2021 also marks the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the South African Communist Party (SACP).
Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, also expressed gratitude to the CPC for its ongoing friendship since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. This can be seen, he stated, in infrastructure projects such as the international airport, which has been built with Chinese support. He also noted the presence of Chinese companies in the mining sector, and the importance of China’s support in mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic through the supply of medical equipment and vaccine doses.
Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, president of Mozambique, extolled the life and work of the founding fathers of the CPC and described the Belt and Road initiative as “an opportunity to build an open and balanced world”. Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, also remarked on the long history of friendship between the Congolese Party of Labour and the CPC, and expressed his gratitude for the provision of vaccines and his hope for further close cooperation and common prosperity.
Hage Geingob, president of Namibia, called the CPC “the vanguard of forces against colonialism and imperialism around the world, born in the crucible of heroic struggle for national independence”. He further remarked on the CPC’s successful eradication of poverty and explained that Namibia, too, as one of the world’s most unequal societies, must declare “all-out war” on poverty and corruption.
Messages also came in from Latin America. President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba emphasised the continuing importance of Marxism–Leninism, beginning in Cuba with Fidel Castro and in China with Mao Zedong. Echoing remarks made by Xi Jinping in the keynote speech, he strongly criticised the US government for deliberately concealing its hegemonic intentions and described China as an important element for “balance, stability and peace”.
President Díaz-Canel described how Cuba, in the face of a criminal and genocidal blockade of over 60 years, has set up more than 20 medical laboratories in record time and has five vaccine candidates that will immunise the entire nation as well as helping others around the world. The Cuban Revolution, like the Chinese Revolution, is an ongoing gift to humanity.
Former president Evo Morales of Bolivia’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) likewise sent his revolutionary greetings, remarking that the great distance between himself and President Xi presented no barrier to solidarity. He went on to describe how people’s China is becoming the largest economy in the world by its own efforts, in stark contrast to the “predatory, individualist and competitive capitalism” imposed by the United States.
From southeast Asia came greetings from the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the CPV, noted that the achievements of the Communist Party of China were recognised the world over and that, with Xi Jinping at its core, the party’s success would continue.
Hun Sen, president of the Cambodian People’s Party, emphasised the need for multilateralism in vaccine production and distribution, expressing gratitude for the strong Cambodia-China friendship and for assistance with medical supplies. He also indicated that Cambodia was a full participant in the Belt and Road initiative, which he sees playing a role in increasing prosperity around the world.
On the subcontinent, Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, described the founding of the CPC as “a seminal event in world history” – one moment in an epic struggle against foreign occupation that built pride, self-respect, and new vigour and hope far beyond China’s borders. He concluded by speaking glowingly of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, a cornerstone of the Belt and Road initiative.
The president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, announced the minting of commemorative coins for the occasion. He noted that although diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka began officially in 1957, party-to-party relations stretched back to the 1940s; he then went on to praise Zhou Enlai, the first premier of the PRC. He further expressed his hope that the Belt and Road initiative would return Asia to the prosperity it knew 500 years ago.
Elsewhere, Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine expressed his hope for the continued support of the CPC for the struggle of the Palestinian people. He also his expressed readiness to work with China on a peaceful settlement in the middle east, and his gratitude to Xi Jinping for efforts already made in that regard.
Dmitry Medvedev of United Russia praised the Communist Party of China and its leadership for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He spoke of the historic ties between People’s China and the Soviet Union – from assistance with party-building at the sixth congress of the CPC, to being the first country to establish diplomatic ties in 1949.
Mr Medvedev went on to explain that China is still Russia’s largest trading partner, and provides crucial assistance in combating external threats and terrorism – areas in which the two nations would strive for “the maximum convergence of our stands”. He further praised the CPC for its productive cooperation in Covid response, and for living up to the exhortation of Deng Xiaoping to “fully and completely serve the people”.
The summit was concluded by newly-arrived ambassador to the United Kingdom Zheng Zeguang, who took the opportunity to thank the participants and express his desire for the strengthening of exchange and dialogue.
The CPGB-ML offers its sincere gratitude to Ambassador Zheng and all at the Chinese embassy for their kind invitation and warm welcome, congratulates the Communist Party of China on its tremendous achievements over the last century of struggle, and hopes that the next 100 years will bring only further glory.