Home World British scholar: China is in the sixth period of rejuvenation in the past 2000. “There is indeed a governance crisis in the world, but the crisis is not in China.” | Blog Post

British scholar: China is in the sixth period of rejuvenation in the past 2000. “There is indeed a governance crisis in the world, but the crisis is not in China.” | Blog Post

by news dir

May 26, 2021 10:40 Last Update: 14:56

European and American politicians often spread a voice in the international public opinion field: “They oppose the Communist Party of China, but support the Chinese people.” Such remarks are intended to provoke the contradiction between the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people. However, according to a poll conducted by Canadian scholars, 98% of Chinese people support the Chinese Communist government.

Martin Jacques, a senior researcher at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said in an interview with the Global Times via a video link that “The CCP is more representative of the people than any government in the West.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Martin Jacques discussed with reporters in detail about the persistence and resilience of the Chinese Communist Party, the different political organization of the West and China, and the West’s misunderstanding of the CCP.

Martin Jacques, a senior researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Martin Jacques, a senior researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK.

The CCP “renews itself in an extremely active way”

Global Times: In the past few decades, some Western scholars have predicted that the CCP will “collapse”. For example, the CCP’s leadership will not exceed 70 years, but facts have proved that these predictions are wrong. What do you think was the logic of such predictions in those years?

Martin Jacques: This is a typical thinking paradigm, that is, the Western democratic model is the only viable and sustainable political system in the world. This is a common view in the West: Except for systems based on universal suffrage, multi-party system, rule of law, and separation of powers, other systems are undemocratic, unrepresentative, irresponsible, and therefore unsustainable.

Western politicians and scholars believe that the Western political model should be universal, and they have been doing their best to promote this goal, even using force to impose a system that is completely unsuitable for the local society and culture on another country, such as Promoting regime change in Iraq is a good example.

Another factor behind this argument is that during the Cold War of the last century, communism was promoted as a system of “instrumentalism, authoritarianism, and despotism.” Therefore, the term “communism” and the system would not win public opinion in the West. Support is also thought to collapse. After the resurgence of the new Cold War mentality in the West in 2016, this argument has risen again. This is a great retrogression in the intellectual and political level of the West.

The CCP celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and the CCP has renewed itself in an extremely active way.

The CCP celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and the CCP has renewed itself in an extremely active way.

Global Times: What was wrong with their prediction? Where does the CCP’s “persistence” and “resilience” come from?

Martin Jacques: This is a very important question, but the West rarely explores its answer. The West always condemns China morally, and then expects it to “fall down,” but has never seriously asked itself this question: Why can the CCP remain in power? I think that the CCP has received strong support from the people, which is the real reason why it can govern for a long time.

Another reason is the CCP’s ability to renew, recover, and change itself in adversity. For example, in the last century, Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to introduce the socialist market economy and vigorously promote China’s integration into the world fully demonstrated that the CCP can make profound changes when necessary, which is difficult for any other political party in the world to achieve.

The CCP’s deep foundation is because it represents the interests of the vast majority of Chinese people. In other words, the CCP must continue to fulfill its promises to the people and win the support of the people. This is another important factor that constitutes the “persistence” of the CCP.

In short, what we are seeing today is that the performance of the CCP from 1949 to the present is an epic story: extreme poverty has been eliminated, people’s living standards have been significantly improved, and China has changed from a weak country to a powerful country. Under such circumstances, who does not support the CCP?

A very interesting phenomenon is that if we look at China from a broader perspective, such as extending the time to the past two thousand years, we will find that China is the most advanced in the world in the five historical periods of Han, Tang, Song, Ming and early Qing. One of the society and culture. During these five periods, China has experienced decline, but it can always reshape itself, renew its blood, and achieve rejuvenation-which is very rare in other countries in the world. And now, China may be in its sixth period of rejuvenation. This is not only related to the CCP, but also an interesting reflection on the evolution of Chinese civilization.

Global Times: The West believes that China is a “one-party dictatorship.” What do you think of this statement?

Martin Jacques: The criticism of China’s “one-party dictatorship” is based on a point of view: China has only one ruling party. Therefore, there is no choice or change in China. Only multi-party competition can provide choice and change. However, this is a one-sided view. As I mentioned earlier, China’s policy changes from the “Mao Zedong era” to the “Deng Xiaoping era” are huge, and this is a manifestation of the CCP’s ability to renew itself. And the way the CCP manages China now is different from the way it was ten or twenty years ago. The CCP is always changing, and it renews itself in an extremely active way.

Of course, I am not saying that “one-party system” is the best-this view is also wrong. For example, the “one-party system” of the Soviet Union has shortcomings criticized by the West. But the situation in China is very different. I think the CCP is actually more creative than any Western political system since 1945, and it is more capable of change and moving forward.

“There is indeed a governance crisis in the world, but the crisis is not in China.”

Global Times: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between members of the Chinese Communist Party and those of Western parties?

Martin Jacques: There is a big difference between the two, which also reflects the differences between the political systems of China and the West. Although there are some exceptions, most British politicians are very good at debating, and they criticize their opponents’ political parties in almost every speech. This is a manifestation of groupism, which is a major obstacle to Western politics. For example, I am a leftist, and most of the British Labour Party politicians I have met basically do not consider issues from a strategic point of view.

For British politicians, “speaking well” means everything, so speaking is a compulsory course. People care more about what the politicians say than what they actually do, so many British politicians lack real political achievements. Many people were lawyers or businessmen before becoming members of parliament. Some of the right wing came from the media sector, and the left wing might come from the trade union or education sector, but they lacked experience in operating and managing a certain field. I think this is a major flaw in the British political system. . The United States has the same problem, that is, everything is to be elected, not to improve society.

Global Times: You mentioned earlier that most of the West’s focus on politics focuses on electoral democracy, while the CCP pays more attention to governance capabilities. How do you see the difference between China and the West in this respect? Will history prove which is better?

Martin Jacques: Most discussions about government in the West focus on how the government is created, not how the government governs and does things. So we can see that the West attaches great importance to discussing universal suffrage and multi-party systems. In contrast, China is more concerned about the effectiveness of the government and whether it can fulfill its promises.

This also produced two completely different ways of political organization. The political systems of countries such as Britain, the United States, France and Germany revolve around elections, which can lead to a relatively short-sighted mentality. China’s system is easier to consider in the long-term. For example, setting a goal for 2049 is a completely different way of thinking. In my opinion, it is also a more scientific way.

From the perspective of politicians, Western politicians are more concerned with the degree of popularity, so most of their commitments remain verbal. Of course, there are excellent politicians like German Chancellor Merkel in the West, but there are too few. For Chinese politicians, only when they have excellent performance in governments at all levels and within the party can they become leaders of the party and the country.

Generally, Chinese leaders have rich governance experience in many regions, but what did British Prime Minister Johnson do? He used to be a journalist and later became the mayor of London for a few years. The former Prime Minister Blair was first a lawyer and then a member of parliament, but the parliamentarian was not responsible for any governance work. So they have no experience at the government level.

Frankly speaking, I think there is indeed a governance crisis in the world, but not in China. I think the West will seriously carry out reforms in the future, but this may take a long time.

Global Times: In your opinion, what is the biggest misunderstanding of the CCP in Western society today?

Martin Jacques: The biggest misunderstanding of the CCP in the West is that the CCP does not represent the Chinese people. But I think the CCP can represent the people better than any government in the West, because it has the ability to respond to the people’s demands. In fact, the above answers are obvious from indicators such as people’s satisfaction with the Chinese government, their participation in social governance, and the ways in which Chinese society is changing.

I am not opposed to elections, nor do I think that Britain or the West should have a Chinese political system. This will not work because we have completely different historical and cultural traditions. But in the same way, China and the West have completely different historical roots and cultural contexts, and there is no need to adopt a Western system. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all political system, because we live in a complex world.

The West’s misunderstanding of the CCP is essentially based on “Westerners are better than everyone else.” That is, when the West rules the world, it should rule the world, and Western norms should be the norms of the world. I’m sorry, that era is over, and it won’t be resurrected again. On the contrary, the West is in decline.

Global Times: In the past two years, we have seen that the West seems to be greatly “demonized” by the CCP. Why does this happen?

Martin Jacques: I think this phenomenon has mainly become clear since Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016. From the 1990s to 2015, China and the West had a relatively harmonious time. The West was more open to China and more willing to explore and understand China.

The key factor to change this situation is the United States. Prior to this, the United States had always believed that it could establish a benign cooperative relationship with China. This attitude is based on two assumptions: one is that it is difficult for China to become a challenger to the US economic status; the other is that as China modernizes, it will gradually Westernize.

As we see now, the United States has misjudged China greatly, and neither of these two things happened. The CCP’s dominance has not been weakened, and its influence and support domestically and internationally have increased significantly.

Therefore, from around 2016, the United States, which firmly believed that it was the “chosen country”, no longer viewed China from the old-fashioned perspective, but began to view China as a threat to the United States’ own global hegemony. This is the root cause of the change in his attitude.

We are now facing a period of increasing demonization of China by the West, one lie followed by another. But it will not last forever, but it is likely to last for a long time. The fundamental way to get out of this situation is that the United States needs to realize at some point that it must treat China as equals, and can no longer expect and force itself to have the supremacy in this world. When this kind of social consciousness emerges in the United States-in the long run, I think it will happen-a different Sino-US relationship from the present will have the conditions to exist.

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