Xi Jinping’s book: Guests from political, academic sphere shared thoughts on China
Pretoria - As insightful as the detailed presentation by China’s new ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong during the launch of Volume III of President Xi Jinping’s book, The Governance of China, were the comments made by a panel of invited guests.
Following the presentation by the ambassador, highlighting both the book and the resolutions of the recent Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) plenary session, guests from the political and academic sphere shared their thoughts on the lessons that could be taken from Xi Jinping and China’s development agenda in the next five to 15 years.
ANC deputy-secretary general, Jessie Duarte, referred to the extremely good relations between the ANC and the CPC and the support of China in the struggle for struggle against apartheid South Africa.
China, she said, had been a beacon of hope, not just for South Africa, but also for the developing world because of its unprecedented growth and development and upliftment of its people from poverty.
The emphasis on people-centred development and China’s success on the socio-economic front was testament to the vision, drive and discipline of its leaders, and was reflected in the writings of President Xi.
The emphasis on creating a harmonious society was in line with the notion of the “Chinese dream” which President Xi describes as the “great renewal of the Chinese nation, and aligned with the idea of creating a better South Africa and Africa, and there were lessons in President Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress in recognising the need for good governance, reform and opening up.
The books, “remind us of the importance of ideological battles we have to engage in … especially in this era of crisis in the liberal-democratic heartland of the West,” she said.
Duarte outlined the mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries with South Africa being China’s largest trading partner in Africa.
China and South Africa had a shared future through BRICS and programs such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) and the Belt and Road initiative with infrastructure development top of the agenda in Africa, and support of the AU of which President Cyril Ramaphosa is chair.
She noted that China could provide an opportunity for Africa that colonial powers had failed to deliver. Duarte said China and other Asian countries had dealt with Covid-19 most effectively. She commended collaboration on efforts to develop a vaccine.
In remarks by Lindiwe Zulu, the Minister of Social Development and chair of the International Relations Subcommittee of the ANC, delivered by Advocate Lindiwe Maseko – the value of the book also came to the fore.
“The Governance of China III holds many lessons and insights on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, poverty alleviation and the creation of a moderately prosperous society,” she said.
Zulu commended the humanitarianism and solidarity shown in the Covid-19 pandemic, with donations of PPE and other medical resources for Africa, quoting from the book on the kind of great power China seeks to be which “lifts others up as it rises.”
Solly Mapaila, SA Communist Party first deputy general secretary, said that the world was interested in how China had achieved such great economic and developmental milestones in a relatively short time, an interest that went beyond researchers to include the masses of people who “envy socialism and how China had constructed it”.
The book launch and reflections on the recent plenary session of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party were the topic of a webinar hosted by the Embassy of China in South Africa and the National Press Club.