BEIJING, Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the most
challenging tasks for Western scholars is understanding
China. The differences in their
cultures overshadow the interpretation of China in Western discourse. As a result,
China is regularly portrayed
according to Western expectations or standards. In an article for
Beijing Review, George N. Tzogopoulos, Director of the
EU-China Program at the Centre International de Formation
Européenne, explains how President Xi Jinping's book on governance
helps give an authentic picture of China:
China's progress in the last
decades has been the result of hard work, systematic action and
careful planning. Xi Jinping: The Governance of China Volume III offers a valuable account
of Chinese political thinking and the priorities in the governance
of the country structured around 19 thematic units.
China finds itself at a
crossroads due to the volatile international environment. President
Xi Jinping is leading the country during a period of unprecedented
challenges, which had been apparent even before the outbreak of the
novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As he says, "One should be
mindful of possible danger in times of peace, downfall in times of
survival, and chaos in times of stability."
China created a miracle in the
past and now it needs to patiently sustain it. What deserves
attention, particularly from the Western perspective, is that this
miracle was created with a different governance model. Xi's book
explains this model, socialism with Chinese characteristics, and
how it is being played out in the political, economic, cultural,
societal and international spheres.
In the final count, what matters is leadership. A leader should
solve problems instead of hiding them. Xi acknowledges the reality.
He says, "We must be clear: There are still many inadequacies in
Some difficulties, for example, have been caused by "unbalanced
and inadequate development." Xi is well aware that meeting the
fundamental interests of the people is the ultimate yardstick for
judging the work of the Communist Party of China.
It is rare for a leader to talk about problems instead of
glossing over the situation. But that's what Xi does. In the book,
for instance, he refers to weaknesses in China's scientific and technological
development. Although data from the U.S. National Science
Foundation recently showed that China surpassed the U.S. in the number of
science and engineering articles published in peer-reviewed
journals in 2018 and the publication growth was double the world
average, Xi pushes for improvements.
He argues that some enterprises did not pay attention to basic
research and sees shortcomings in fields such as machine tools,
high-end microchips, basic software, development platforms and
basic algorithms. And he employs a similar argument about
environmental protection and eco-conservation.
Xi Jinping: The Governance of China Volume III informs about
different Chinese policies. More importantly, it sketches out Xi's
determination to succeed in China's avowed goals.
One of the maxims inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of
Apollo in Delphi, Greece, laying
down the foundation of ancient Greek philosophy, was "Know
thyself." It has echoes in the writing of Chinese philosopher-poet
Han Yu, who wrote, "It is most
pitiful that one does not know one's mistakes, and those who know
but do not change have no courage."
Xi learns lessons from history and charts policies for the
future accordingly. The policies are not general or theoretical but
practical and targeted. This explains China's progress even in turbulent times.
By October, a few months after the publication of Xi Jinping:
The Governance of China Volume
III, China has controlled the
novel coronavirus disease at home, and pledged to have carbon
dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality
Xi reiterates early Ming Dynasty poet Lin Hong's words that "there is no use in
reading 10,000 books if we cannot even put one of their words into
This is what makes the book special: its honesty and
applicability in day-to-day domestic and international politics,
even under extreme circumstances.
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The author is director of the EU-China Program at the Centre
International de Formation Européenne
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