The following speech was given to a meeting of British friends of China hosted by the Communist Party of China as part of the preparations for the CPC’s upcoming 19th party congress. The meeting was entitled ‘My impression: the CPC in my eyes’.
Comrade Mao Zedong famously taught us: “The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” (On coalition government, 24 April 1945)
Nevertheless, freeing the people from the shackles of past history requires organisation and the dissemination of the understanding among the people that they have the power to put an end to the injustices they have been enduring and to create a new world that serves their interests.
That role is played by those people who grasp this understanding earlier than others, who devote their lives to deepening that understanding while spreading it far and wide to those for whom it spells liberation.
Deepening understanding requires profound study of the science of the theory of revolution, which is encompassed in Marxism-Leninism. Spreading enlightenment requires working tirelessly among the masses, participating in their struggles. To be effective, these pioneers form themselves into an association through which they can act as one, the Communist party.
As Comrade Mao Zedong said: “If there is to be revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its running dogs.” (Revolutionary forces of the world unite, fight against imperialist aggression!, November 1948)
When the Communist Party of China was formed in 1921, it was tiny. Yet, grasping the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism as a powerful and indefeasible weapon, it was able to lead the masses in defeating both local reaction and the imperialist powers that were severely oppressing the Chinese people, to throw off the century of humiliation and to establish a sovereign socialist state whose people were at last able joyfully to stand up proud.
Freed from the yokes of feudalism and imperialist oppression, the people of China, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, went on to build a powerful industry and agriculture, an economy that in manufacturing terms is now the world leader, and is still advancing further by leaps and bounds.
It has achieved its goal of building a moderately prosperous society, and has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Besides bringing prosperity to its own people, it has also helped poor countries all over the world to improve their economies, lessening the stranglehold of imperialism that has been keeping them poor despite their abundant natural resources and hardworking local populations.
Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, huge opportunities are being opened up for countries all along its path to accelerate their economic progress and secure their own prosperity, based on cooperation and mutual respect for the sovereignty and wellbeing of all participants.
Because such a party as the CPC is in the leadership of China, the Chinese people are able effectively to resist any encroachment on Chinese sovereignty by imperialism, despite the major investments made by the latter in the country, and despite all its attempts to undermine that sovereignty through the corruption of officials, incessant anti-China propaganda, attempts to take advantage of internal contradictions among the people, and military threats.
The CPC has waged a successful and untiring battle against corruption, and always deals promptly, fairly and effectively to overcome any contradictions that may arise from time to time among the people.
When imperialists fail, as they always do, in their plans to take advantage of such contradictions, they try to explain away their failure on the basis that the Chinese people are being repressed by a dictatorial regime. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For instance, in Xinjiang, where problems arose because of terrorist crimes perpetrated by a tiny minority of people under the influence of religious fundamentalism, no stone was left unturned to protect China’s muslim population from being misled, doing so by means of education rather than repression, so that everybody was able to understand where their true interests lay and the falsity of the messages being smuggled in by a few people who felt threatened by the advances being made by society.
As a Marxist-Leninist party, the CPC fully understands that people’s religious sentiments can only be fuelled by repression, which is why in China all people have full freedom of religious worship should they wish to do so.
Under the leadership of the CPC, China gives first importance to the human rights of the Chinese masses.
Comrade Xi Jinping has written: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a significant document in the history of humanity, which has profoundly impacted progress in human rights round the world.
“Together with the peoples of other countries, and based on the common values of humanity – peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom – China is committed to safeguarding human dignity and rights, and promoting fairer, more equitable and inclusive global governance of human rights, so as to build a global community of shared future and strive for a better world.
“The ultimate human right is that people can lead a happy life.”
Of course, human rights mean nothing unless the rights of all other citizens are respected as one expects one’s own to be respected. There is no ‘human right’ to jeopardise the wellbeing of anybody in order to enrich oneself or out of nostalgia for the glories of a past exploitative society.
Anybody who acts in such a way has to be prevented from doing so. Such people become the darlings of imperialism, which holds them up as victims of repression, but the fact remains that what got them into trouble was their own desire to attack the wellbeing of their fellow citizens, directly or indirectly.
Another accusation laid against the Chinese government that is led by the CPC is that China’s political system is ‘undemocratic’. This is, of course, nonsense, as in China the masses of the people have a far greater ability to influence government than the people of any western ‘democratic’ country enjoy.
In Britain, for instance, communists have no chance of winning elections because they are excluded from media coverage and all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles are put in the way of their candidates even standing. There is a ‘choice’ only between various bourgeois parties whose policies are largely identical, albeit their marketing may be aimed mainly at one section of the population rather than another.
Successful candidates then work purely in the interests of the ruling class, with the parties even ignoring their own campaign promises if they want to. How different is the situation in China!
Xi Jinping has written: “We must uphold the principle that all power of the state belongs to the people, which guarantees not only democratic elections in accordance with the law but also democratic decision-making democratic management, and democratic supervision, and avoids any risk that pre-election promises will not be kept” (Confidence in the political system of Chinese socialism, 5 September 2014)
Another important area in which China is leading the world is on the issue of climate change. Despite all the dire warnings of the scientists regarding global warming being on course to destroy the world as we know it, in capitalist countries it has proved impossible to take adequate steps to address this issue. The profit motive always comes in the way.
Only with the CPC’s leadership of the Chinese government is it possible to ensure that steps shall be taken to minimise damage to our planet, even though to do so means sacrificing profitability. Moreover, China ensures that to a considerable extent measures to protect the planet are incorporated into projects that form part of the Belt and Road Initiative throughout the world.
The imperialist press never ceases to belittle and mock at China’s efforts in this regard, even though in the imperialist countries the only way that they are able to achieve any clean air or climate change minimisation targets is by exporting their industries to non-imperialist countries – which is only done for the purposes of profit maximisation – and then blaming those countries for the ensuing toxic emissions.
The world is on the brink of suffering a tsunami of overproduction that will dwarf the capitalist economic crises of the past. Already several countries, even those such as Pakistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which have not been devastated by imperialist wars, have been plunged into insolvency, and the masses of the people of those countries are finding they cannot afford the most basic necessities of life.
The Nato aggression against Russia has further severely aggravated the situation with regard to world energy and food supplies, which had already reached crisis point even before the Covid pandemic struck, and got worse, of course, with the pandemic itself. Even in imperialist countries such as Britain people’s lives are being devastated.
As Marxist-Leninists we are only too aware that the imperialists respond to these desperate situations by intensification of military aggression to try to save themselves at the expense of peoples of other countries. Only China, led by the CPC, recognises that world peace is the only rational way to proceed.
As the ultimate irrationalities of the market are unleashed on the world in devastating fashion, the CPC-led Chinese government can be the only one with the strength and the will to lead the world out of disaster, armed with the knowledge and understanding of Marxism-Leninism that makes communism historically indefeasible.