Centennial commemoration of the CPC: Lesson for Nepalese communist leaders
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The centennial celebration of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a highly commemorative event for every Chinese national as well as individuals across the globe. The history of the CPC’s role and contribution in transforming Chinese society is robust and heartily felt in many ways. It encompasses a history that comprises a deeply felt patriotism of Chinese peoples.
This history also represents a course of restructuring of the Chinese society eliminating feudalism and foreign humiliation, thus transforming the lives of over a billion poor people of China. Most importantly, this history is instrumental for opening a way for a hope of new internationalism-driven harmoniously inclusive economic development across the globe.
These hundred years have witnessed five generations of human lives, but it is still considered brief from achievements CPC has bagged. Europe took almost five hundred years to step into modernity. But it failed to protect itself from the stigma of colonialism, racism, and distorted capitalism, which is responsible for creating a deeply rooted class division. Under this, a small segment of economic and political elites subordinated the overwhelming masses of the general populace.
In contrast, one of the most brilliant achievements of the CPC is its success in evolving a unique style of democracy where people are the masters of the nation. Thanks to the multiple generations of the CPC leaders, who tirelessly worked and sacrificed to build the Party as a platform of people’s liberation and socio-economic development.
We are aware that China, before liberation, suffered enormously. Foreign occupation placed independence of China to subjugation. The peoples of China suffered from unprecedented humiliation. They were turned into sick persons by the opium trade of European imperialist forces. The colonizers and occupiers institutionalized corruption and moral-laxness. Millions of Chinese people had been enslaved and forced to migrate abroad to work as menial workers. Many people died in desperation, looking for food and shelter. The foreign powers occupied territories of China and looted its resources; besides, they stigmatized its sovereignty. But China today stands taller as the second biggest global economy. And, this success is an output of the people-centric leadership of the CPC.
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The Communist Party is leading China for 72 years since 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was grandly declared established at Tiananmen Square by Mao Zedong, the supreme leader and chairman of the Party, amidst tremendous fear bombardment by Chiang Kai-shek’s air force. However, the fear did not dissuade Chinese people from euphoric jubilation of liberation and freedom from the two hundred years long national humiliation and poverty. The year 1949 marked the end of the past and opened a new gateway for building people’s glorious China. The seed of success was formally planted in 1921 when CPC was founded; in 29 years of that event, PRC was established. Yet, these 29 years individually and collectively witnessed unprecedented sacrifice and hardships along with tumulus time, which claimed an unprecedented number of lives. In these 29 years, history saw sacrifices by thousands of soldiers, the massacres of over a million peoples, and the torture of millions. In the world’s history, only rare such sacrifices and hardships were recorded. The revolutionary march continued with undeterred aspirations of people and un-fatigued determination of leaders.
At the juncture of the centennial celebration of the founding of the CPC, Chinese leaders, communists, and general people are feeling jubilation. But this jubilation is also shared by millions of people across the globe. Why people beyond China also commemorate this auspicious occasion? Some Marxist intellectuals shared their views in a small gathering, intending to reflect on the reasons of the Nepalese communist movement's failure to achieve similar glory. We agreed unanimously that the CPC leadership honest and accountable to the people and nation. But the Nepalese communist movement failed to protect the revolution from selfish interests, dishonesty to ideological conviction, and the lust of power in some leaders. The details of the century-long history of the CPC have many things to learn. But in my opinion, as a non-Chinese observer, the significance of this history may be conceptualized into three eventual successes and efforts of the CPC.
New and contextual construction of Marxism-Leninism
In my opinion, the CPC’s history may be synchronized into three concepts of its achievements, from the observation of an outsider—non-Chinese. The entire history may be synchronized to cover the period from its establishment in 1921 to 1980. In the 1980s, the transfiguration of the policies and strategies to build socialism with Chinese Characteristics began. The period between 1921 and 1978 is marked by revolutionary sacrifices and efforts of transforming party goals into state-building. This period was tumultuous, particularly for many critical problems, including ideological deviation caused by the Cultural Revolution. However, this period is significant in terms of the innovative development of Marxism in the context of a non-industrial setting.
In the initial stage, before 1921, the seed of Marxist-Leninist ideology in China was planted by some intellectuals in Beijing, particularly by a couple of professors at Peking University, Chen Tuh-sui and Li Ta-chao are two important figures. Mainly, Li’s role in instilling Marxism and Bolshevism in the mind of Mao is crucial. For the sake of young Nepalese students and those unfamiliar with the history of the Chinese revolution, I consider it appropriate to go a little deeper into the details of the pre-1921 events setting a perspective for the CPC’s establishment. Let us begin by chaotic events faced by the 1911 republic revolution led by Sun Yat-sen, which ended in appointing Yuan Shih-kai as the provisional president in 1916. This man himself engaged in creating his dynasty by attempting to declare himself an Emperor. In fact, a group of elites highjacked the 1911 revolution. Yet, Yuan was unsuccessful in his attempt and died, creating more chaos.
Sun Yat Sen
Monarchists exploited this chaotic situation—attempts of reactionaries to revive the monarchy thickened densely. To counter that unwanted development and preserving the Republic, Sun Yat-sen launched the Constitution Protection movement in Canton in 1917. A General, namely Chang Hsun, attempted to restore the Manchu dynasty in monarchists’ instigation. He led troops to Peking and went Republic’s Provincial Assembly and threatened to restore the monarchy by dissolving the Assembly and ending the Republic. However, this event ignited a flame of awareness and dedication of intellectuals and students in Peking University to freedom from feudalism. The popular movement thus erupted foiled Chang’s attempt. Flowingly, the Peking University emerged as a seat of new ideas. Debates and discourses mushroomed among professors and students. Some suggested that China follow the Japanese model of reforms and development, which was mainly inspired by Western countries. Some others thought the model presented by the Russian revolution was an appropriate way to rescue China from its doomed past. Conservatives were keen to stick to Chinese traditions and suggested Confucianism as a foundation for future governance. Among these discourses, Bolshevism and Russia’s October Revolution attracted many young students, including Zhao Enlai, who figured one of the prominent student leaders during the patriotic movement against the Paris Peace Conference’s agreement that sustained Japan’s control in Shandong.
During this period, two eminent development took place in China. The rise of patriotism among students and intellectuals against Western and Japanese imperialism sharpened. Side by side, Marxism and Leninism made thicker ground among scholars, then gradually surging into the masses of students in Beijing, Shanghai, and Changsha. After the return from Beijing, Mao Zedong, along with his colleagues, began working to organize working forces in Hunan, particularly after Feng Kuo-chang revolted against Sun Yat-sen in 1918. Wu Peifu captured Changsha on March 26, 1918, thus further worsening the situation. These developments brought Mao Zedong, a young student filled with Marxist ideology during his stay in Beijing, to the revolutionary frontline, thus heralding the frequency of Uprisings in Hunan and setting a course for China’s revolution for people’s democracy.
Notably, after students and intellectuals’ movement against Paris Peace Conference’s resolution to leave Shandong under Japanese occupation, Marxism-Leninism and patriotism blended as the ideological foundation for prospective revolution for new China. While representatives of the Chinese government protested to that but its actions were not firm. This event erupted a nationalist sentiment among people. Mao and other young revolutionary wanted to see a new China that belonged to people, not to feudal and aristocratic elites. The role of intellectuals and students from Peking University appeared a groundbreaking instance for China’s future. Li Ta-chao of Peking University teacher was active in planting Marxism into young people's bright minds. He wrote articles on Marxism and Bolshevism, inspiring hundreds of students to the Russian October revolution. Mao Zedong was one of them.
Li inspired young students to read the Communist Manifesto, which proved rich manure for thriving Marxist ideology, particularly among young students. In the meantime, the Chinese working class also emerged as an independent force for change. In this hot atmosphere of change, the arrest of Beijing University professor Chen Tu-hsiu by the elitist government of China, during the patriotic movement to save Shandong, sprayed message for the rise of the nation for the new direction of change. This event generated an impetus for intellectuals and students to move forward in establishing the CPC. The role of scholars and students to prepare a ground for Marxist revolutionary direction is unforgettable.
The picture depicts some members of the New People's Study Society (Xinmin Xuehui), which was set up in Changsha in April 1918 by Mao Zedong (pictured in back row, 4th L) and Cai Hesen, among others. [Photo/Exhibition Road to Rejuvenation at the National Museum of China]
After this development in Peking, intellectuals traveled to various cities, including Shanghai, Wuhan, Changsha, and Canton, to advocate Marxism between the summer of 1920 and the spring of 1921. These campaigns formed a prelude to establishing the Communist Party in July 1921. But the anti-people government in Beijing showed up oppressive and intolerant to communist ideology and its supporters, so it quickly embarked on killing communist supporters across the country. Many students, intellectuals, and workers sacrificed their lives. However, the prospect of a new revolution was bright and invincible. After his return from Beijing, Mao Zedong began addressing workers in Hunan. He initiated a formal process of organizing workers and educating them for a new revolution. He introduced Marxism as a guiding principle. His works in Hunan formed a solid basis for the rise of Nanchang and other uprisings subsequently. In 1919, as an emerging leader, Mao led a Hunan delegation to Peking for the dismissal of Chang Ching-yao, a man who oppressively ruled in Hunan. This delegation gave him a public appearance as a communist leader and precursor of future uprisings.
The process of forming the CPC began as early as 1919. Ultimately, in mid-June, delegates from different cities arrived at Shanghai for the First Congress, supposedly to establish the Party. Chang Kuo-tao, Chou Enlai, Liu Jen-ching, Li Han –chu, Li Ta, Teng En-ming, Wang Chin-mei, Tung Pi-wu, Chen Tan-chui, Chou Fo-hai, Pao Hui-seng (representing Chen Tu-hsiu), Ho Shu-heng, Mao Tse-tung and others assembled were the delegates. This Congress agreed on the name of the Party as Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Mao was one of the delegates to propose the name; Chen Tu-hsiu through his proxy. The Congress was organized underground because the Western power’s administration at Shanghai was closely following surveillance. While China had a so-called free-republic government, it was nothing but a puppet regime of the Western power block.
Most importantly, this Congress agreed to form a revolutionary army to liberate the country and people successfully. On July 1, 2021, the venue of the Congress was shifted to a Boat in Chiahsing South Lake because the hotel where delegates met was suspected and invaded by the Shanghai administration, under foreigner’s control. The Congress ended establishing the Communist Party with the arduous hope of making China a new China. In the July 1941 meeting, the central committee of CPC confirmed the date as the founding of the Communist Party of China. This day was the most monumental in Chinese history.
The day planted a seed for the new future of Chinese people. It formed a prelude for the revival of the glory Chinese civilization that flourished over 5000 years. Besides, the day heralded an era of people's liberation by ending the feudal and dominated past. Yet, the road was not easy, and challenges were robust. The Kuomintang government headed by Chiang Kai-shek was intolerable to the idea of people’s liberation and people’s government; he immediately began a campaign to suppress the CPC activities. Chiang’s government was backed by America and was nothing but a stooge of American imperialism. Hence, it never worked independently—the American experts determined its policies. American policies aimed to turn China into a neo-colonized nation for American trade and commerce purposes.
Chiang Kai Shek
The most challenging days embarked when, on April 12, 1927, Chiang’s government formally passed an order to mobilize Kuomintang forces to massacre communist workers, supporters, and ordinary citizens. In this campaign, Chiang’s security forces killed people indiscriminately without trial—peoples were simply arrested and shot without trial. Countless peoples had been subjected to the brutality of inhuman torture. Nevertheless, in support of the workers and peasants, the Red Army launched fierce resistance. The Nanchang Uprising led by Mo Pu, Autumn Harvest Uprising led by He Kongde, Gao Quan, and others, Guangzhou Uprising led by Zheng Hongliu, and several other campaigns blossomed people’s revolution nationwide like a plum blossom. The Kuomintang government could not stop China from becoming red.
The Nanchang Uprising unfolded a new idea and strategy of revolution, i.e., a revolution that practiced a united front of the workers and peasants under the CPC leadership. It was a departure from the Eurocentric stereotype of proletariat revolution, which persistently believed that proletariat revolution is always led by industrial workforce. Hence, it inaugurated a new approach of the people’s revolution for their liberation and government. Undoubtedly, it was a new understanding and application of Marxism. Building revolutionary bases by joint efforts of peasants, workers, and soldiers under the CPC leadership was uniquely based on Chinese social realities. This innovative articulation of revolution was an influential and crucial contribution of the CPC to the non-industrialized agrarian societies. Furthermore, it inspired the people of Asia and Africa to fight against Western colonialism. Though implicitly, the model of revolution evolved by the CPC instilled an idea in peoples' minds in colonies for the right to self-determination and rule.
The revolutionary campaign of the CPC intensified the formation of independent bases across the country as the primary strategy of the revolution. Under this strategy, the Red Army fought together with people. It focused on liberating people and socio-economic reforms in the liberated areas. A people’s government was formed to look after administration and production activities, thus helping general people to address their critical problems of material wants. The common people were freed from feudal exploitation and the atrocities of warlords.
The Kuomintang government took this strategy as a formidable challenge to its existence. The Western capitalist and imperialist bloc’s role was insidious—it wanted to prevent the spread of communism in China. Hence, the Western colonial and imperialist power persistently encouraged the Kuomintang government to apply a strategy of brutal suppression. The CPC stood undeterred, however. The CPC leadership firmly stood dedicated to the causes and goals of the revolution. Notably, the leadership restrained from diseases of factionalism and selfish power interest. This fact is what Nepal’s communist leaders failed to learn.
The Nanchang Uprising led to the founding of the Red Army, to which the Chiang Kai-shek seemed fully intolerable. Hence, CPC bases had been flooded by attacks soon—the air raid was resorted indiscriminately, killing masses of general, as if enemies. In the meantime, on September 18, 1931, Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China, showering all forms of barbarity and treachery over Chinese people. Now, the CPC and Red Army had to fight against two enemies at once, i.e., Japanese invaders and Kuomintang forces. While the nation was facing a foreign invasion, Chiang’s government showed no interest in mobilizing resistance. Instead, it concentrated on massacre communist revolutionaries and ordinary people. Understandably, the Kuomintang government listened to the Western powers, for whom communists formed more formidable enemies than Japanese occupation. Simply speaking, for Chiang Kai-shek, communists seemed more formidable enemies than Japanese imperialist forces.
As a matter of fact, in 1933, the Chiang Kai government adopted a heinous strategic decision to ‘encircle CPC bases’ by mobilizing five hundred thousand strong forces backed by an air force that bombarded the bases indiscriminately, killing an uncountable number of peoples. The Jiangxi, the main base of the CPC, was its main target. The situation posed a disastrously tricky for the CPC leadership. It was typically fateful because it involved the lives of two hundred thousand Red Army personnel and many hundred thousand general people. In this fatal situation, Mao Zedong’s strategic thought for rescue saved the future of the Chinese revolution. In this challenging situation, the CPC Central Committee adopted a strategic decision to leave Jiangxi, thus heralding the beginning of the historical Long March. This military campaign is unparalleled in the military history of the world. It is unique, like the Great Wall, an arduous and unimaginable event in the history of the people’s revolution. The stories it possesses are of unimaginable losses of lives and sacrifices.
The Long March began in October 1934. Two hundred thousand red army personnel under the command of Mao Zedong, Zhao Enlai, Zhu De, and many others set out for remote northern-west China, targeting Gansu province. Bloody encounters and sacrifices marked the route they had to follow. The march covered several thousand miles involving a treacherous, rugged and challenging landscape. However, the CPC and Red Army left no stone unturned to materialize their goals of saving the revolution. They marched arduously, generating people’s consciousness and support to the revolution and establishing more bases. They educated people of the corrupt system of governance and foreign invasion. They built bases and cultivated ideological clarity. They generated faith of people in the victory of the revolution and the system of governance by people that would correct the centuries’ long feudal oppression and foreign control of China. Despite unimaginable hardships, the CPC succeeded in expanding the horizon of revolution and garnering the trust of general people. For instance, when the Red Army contingents arrived at Xingguo of Jiangxi, fifty thousand residents of this county joined the Red Army, of whom 12000 died during the war.
At Zunyi, one of the vital locations, the CPC central committee organized a conference and central committee plenum. The meeting adopted some crucial and critical decisions. In view of some scholars, the conference was a turning point in the history of the Chinese revolution. Most importantly, from this conference, Mao Zedong assumed the command of the party leadership. Moreover, the central committee emerged as more mature and confident in its mission—the interference of the expert provided by the communist international in the formulation of military strategies reduced. Mao firmly held that the Chinese revolution must follow its contextual realities and Party’s experiences in the past. The role of Zhao Enlai as an interlocutor and manager of the party affairs emerged extraordinarily. His role in keeping the party unit remained historic.
By the time Long March arrived at Zunyi, it had come to a scary situation—a crossroad of success and failure. Had the leadership of the CPC central committee not self-reflective and committed to correct mistakes, China’s fate would be decided by the Chiang Kai Government as dictated by the U.S. This specific time event, in which the CPC was able to save the revolution, changed China’s political landscape to come in the future. In my observation, the Zunyi conference’s significance was critical in the emergence of China as the first Asian People’s Republic, where people are the masters of the country.
The Zunyi Conference shifted the authority of the military decision to the Red Army Command, which in the past was primarily dictated by the expert appointed by the Communist International, who had made serious mistakes leading to a scary situation. This conference spelled out the immediate strategic goal of the revolution. According to it, to confront the Japanese invasion was the primary goal of the Red Army. Hence, the Zunyi conference blended two critical goals of the revolution (a) first, to free the nation from Japanese invasion, which also represented a goal and aspiration across the world against colonialism, and (b) second, the liberation of the Chinese people from the yoke of the feudal past and foreign humiliation. Patriotism and Marxist-Leninist political ideas drove these two goals ideologically. The Party’s determination to ensure the right to self-determination impregnated these two goals. In this sense, the Chinese revolution achieved the liberation of Chinese people and inspired peoples worldwide to end the yoke of colonialism or foreign domination.
Therefore, in commemorating the centenary of the CPC, we are reminded of the following significances of the Chinese people’s revolution. (a) Under the CPC's creative, constructive and innovative leadership, the Chinese revolution succeeded in evolving or constructing a new pragmatic paradigm of Marxism-Leninism. It achieved a paradigm shift in the understanding of Marxism-Leninism, focusing on the contextual reality. It articulated a massage that Marxist ideology should be free from dogmatism. It forcefully said that Marxism is a dynamic science; hence, it is neither stereotypical nor mechanical in the application. The CPC used Marxist science contextually to ‘build a new framework of a progressive revolution.’ It showed that the communist revolution for its success requires a dedicated and pragmatic role of the leadership. The Party's role in building a perspective of the revolution is crucial, and conscious intellectuals’ role for this is essential. In Nepal, communist parties always neglected the role of intellectuals. This particular achievement of the Chinese revolution was inspiring for many Asian nations. (b) The Chinese revolution was a great inspiration for people across the world against colonialism. Notably, the notable success of the CPC and Red Army against the Japanese invasion inspired the South and East Asian countries to spearhead anti-colonial campaigns. The vigor and sacrifices demonstrated by Chinese people in the fight against the Japanese invasion encouraged the people in colonies to intensify their struggle against the colonial regime. (c) The strategies of peoples’ government in liberated areas and their dedicated efforts to socio-economic reforms through policies such as land reforms and eliminations feudal social cultures also greatly inspired the other Asian societies. Though under the monarchy, a country like Nepal implemented massive land reform programs as early as 1964, which ended the feudal remnants of the society, thus paving the way for the capitalist mode of production ahead.
Rescue of Socialism after Cold War
In 1993, the Soviet Union as a state system collapsed. In its collapse, the Party’s bureaucratic red-tapism and densely flourished corruption had formed significant factors. Moreover, the entire capitalist world targeted the Soviet Union as a socialist country, though it had ceased to be essentially socialist quite long ago. But the Western media propagandized the collapse of the Soviet Union as the failure of socialism. Some Western scholars, like Fukuyama, even concluded that ‘History had come to an end.” Samuel Huntington came with another pernicious narrative that ‘the world's future was going face the clashes of civilizations.’ For many such Western scholars, capitalism and liberal political systems possessed no challenge. Busied and Western-centric, their narratives intended to establish that Western liberal democracy was invincible and the so-called values nurtured by Western civilizations were universal. In essence, they concluded that communism or socialism inherently bear authoritarian ideologies and systems.
The centenary of the CPC and its success now show that the Western scholars were arrogant, parochial, and presumptive in their analysis or deliberations. Their biased and fallaciously coaxed and concocted narratives had hidden agendas behind them. First, they wanted to prove that the demise of the Soviet Union was undoubtedly the demise of socialism. By this narrative, they tried to feed the Western media and international community that the downfall of the CPC and PRC was the next inevitable event. These narratives spearhead strategic attacks against China’s socialist system. With the propaganda of these narratives, they also attempted to justify Western political and economic leverage in developing countries, including the East European socialist countries. They launched propaganda forcefully advocating that ‘the concept of liberal democracy, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and electoral process’ are universal values and are essentially connected with the protection of human rights. With these propagandas, they called for the new waves of democratic revolutions across the world.
They also argued that the world is unipolar, and it should remain unipolar if the world peace globalization has to flourish smoothly. In particular, the Western, the U.S. influence was then considered usual international affairs, followed by a policy of its interference political and development affairs of the third-world countries. The Western countries busied themselves to manufacture consent by launching global propaganda that ‘until socialism exists’ the world will face the challenge of instability and the cold war. The Tiananmen Square incident was a part of this propaganda and strategy. Yet, the brilliance of CPC leadership saved socialism in China unhurt. Deng Xiaoping’s ideas instilled a new ideology in the Chinese socialist revolution that ‘a socialist system is pragmatic’ and should avoid dogmatism. The message passed by the CPC’s policies for “Reforms and Opening-up” was that the socialist system must flow pragmatically, with the changed context of international and national affairs and socio-cultural realities of the society. It means that a socialist system cannot be xeroxed from other societies.
The invention of a pragmatic ideology that China must have“Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” paved the way for China's socio-economic development and protection of Marxism-Leninism as the fundamental science of socialism. With these innovative ideas, the Chinese socialist system stood unchallenged. Consequently, the Western narratives of the ‘end of history and clashes of civilizations’ proved wrong and presumptive and eventually disappeared. The contribution of the CPC to preserve and protect socialism as a progressive, pro-people and dynamic politico-economic system of people is imminent—no one disagrees with this fact. From the 1980s onward, the Chinese socio-economic development took an unprecedented pace, showing that the Chinese Socialist System and Democracy are dynamic, constructive, and innovative under the CPC leadership. Thus, the Western propaganda against China as an authoritarian regime slackened and became disapproved by the peoples across the world.
Over the last 30 years, the CPC's role in building prosperity of people by elevating poverty of 500 million peoples, making unparalleled infrastructural development, progress of science and theology, and creating a hope of the peaceful world is outstanding either. It is pertinent to recall one of the dialogues between Mao Zedong and Li Shouji during the 1950s. Some issues they discussed were the necessity of addressing relations between the diversity of China such as Sea-connected China and hinterland China, the relations between Party and People, the relations between industrialization and agriculture and culture and development, to mention only a few. Attention to these critical relations itself presents the commitment of the CPC leadership to the well-being of the general people. After the 1970s, the CPC leadership succeeded in creating a pragmatic and rational balance between these dynamics or variables through reforms and opening-up policies. China has now successfully landed on the moon. It has made an absolute commitment to build a green world by addressing environmental problems. Most importantly, China has shown no inclination and interest to build itself as a hegemonic nation, affecting world peace. The rise of China under the CPC leadership is peaceful and inspiring.
Present China has maintained a democratic government, which is based on its unique style of democracy. The CPC’s remarkable success in achieving economic development and political stability leads us to conclude that Western democracy and its values are neither universal nor perfect. Admittedly, the COvid-19 responses of the Western developed countries show that their economic and political systems are grossly weak to face such challenges. The significance and effectiveness of the socialist system are proven in matters of the state’s accountability to the common people. Manifestly, the world has seen that the Western capitalism and liberal democracy have many weaknesses to save people's lives—mainly, they have been unsuccessful in protecting the lives of working class populations. The lack of inclination to respect the value of humanity and share life is seen typically as un-cosmopolitan. This fact is well evident from their policy of extreme protectionism in Covid-19 vaccines, which imposes restrictions on the export of vaccines to third-world countries, whereas, as appreciated by the World Health Organization, China’s assistance to fight Covid-19 is widely liberal and humanly.
To conclude this context, by succeeding in building a new horizon of socialism, China has successfully regenerated the hope to the bright future of socialism as a system accountable to the people. Through its constructive policies and programs, the CPC has proved competency to rescue socialism in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and relentless attacks from Western propaganda. A pragmatic blend of market principles and socialist ideologies has shown a new hope of prosperity for the poverty-stricken populations across the globe. Similarly, its success in evolving a unique style of democracy is equally inspiring to the rest of the world, exceptionally when liberal democracy has been turned into a system of unending corruption, criminalization of politics, and electoral democracy. Nepal and other South Asian countries are glaring examples. Nepal failed to realize a socialist path mainly because of its model of democracy that proved unyielding and unaccountable to the people. This system, like in India, does not feel that democracy must work for the benefit of the people.
Inclusive international cooperation for development with shared future
In the post-Second World War era, the Washington-driven economic cooperation through the IMF and World Bank generated, in the words of Joseph Stieglitz, discontents among developing countries across the world. The IMF and World Bank explicitly worked as instruments of U.S. foreign policy. Their policies widened the inequality of income and wealth distribution, thus increasing the poor population across the world. Most spectacularly, the Western economic cooperation attached its political influence as a precondition, forcing the recipient nations to compromise in their sovereign independence. The Western model of international collaboration remained neither inclusive nor did it encourage a humanly sophisticated approach. The Western commitment of respect to the rule of law and human rights stood as a sheer hoax.
However, the Chinese policy of international cooperation shows a distinct approach, which has been precisely explicit during the crisis of Covid-19. The Chinese support reached every corner of the world, stressing its humanitarian commitment. The international development partnership under the BRI model is another example. Under President Xi Jinping’s tenure, the concept of BRI emerged as a perfectly new orientation in international development cooperation. While BRICS and AIIB are seen as new instruments of flowing financial resources for the infrastructure developments, the BRI as a global development partnership forges out a new partnership model, particularly from the vantage point of sharing resources. The goal of building a connected world through a belt and road concept is remarkably free from the risk of compromise in the sovereignty of partnering countries.
Most importantly, BRI avoids a policy of exporting ideologies. Mutual respect to the state systems is an antithesis against seeking political leverage that has been promoted by Western countries in the past, under the guise of international cooperation. Understandably, the model of international assistance practiced by Western governments and international organizations has contributed to the adverse impacts of the recipient countries' economy and political systems. The disposition of BRI is unique and is marked by inclusivity and the common destiny of humanity.
While evaluating the centennial success of the CPC as an outsider or non-Chinese national, the three contributions of the CPC form significant spheres for learning. They manifest a need that it is a time for the world to learn from Chinese innovative political, economic, and social commitments to the people. The Chinese people's flourishing trust in the CPC leadership suggests that the style of democracy it represents is inspiring and innovative. It is innovative because it is committed to serving the people by ending all vestiges of corruption, rendering the people the masters of the country and subjecting the CPC leadership to authority. A party is an instrument for serving the people; it cannot be a ruler like dynasties of kings and exclusive privileges of aristocrats. Enjoying the state's power by competing to the position with corrupt practices of elections cannot empower people to rule by themselves. Incorruptible, moral, and benevolent leadership is possible only in a system of democracy that works for social security, social justice, environmental protection, and human dignity of the people, which are seriously lacking in the transplanted liberal democracies in developing countries like Nepal.
Unfortunately, Nepal Communist Parties have demonstrated gross incompetence to observe and learn from what the CPC has achieved in hundred years. The Communist leaders of Nepal, an exception to a few, are seen grossly affected by a tendency of (a) non-committalness to the Marxism-Leninism as a core ideology to pursue, thus lacking socialist ideological and moral foundation, (b) unaccountability to the socio-economic security and prosperity of general people, thus failing in responsibility of keeping themselves out the helm of power-mongeneses, (c) lacking a vision of developing socialism with typical Nepalese characteristics, focusing into a reality of its geopolitical reality, challenging geographical landscape and utter want of expertise and technology, (d) lack of sincerity to political honesty and patriotism, which has led them to ignore or overlook the history and unique culture evolved for over 3000 years long history, (e) disinclination of learning from neighbors in the activism of socio-economic development, and (d) influence of the Western cultural hegemony.
One of the biggest failures of the political parties in Nepal relates to their incompetency of seeing the significance of BRI, which may contribute to the infrastructure development and transform Nepal as a bridge between China and South Asia. Failure to prevent an implicit conflict between BRI and MCC is a gross mistake of the Nepalese political leaders, the communist leaders in particular. Admittedly, they have pushed the traditionally stronger relationship between China and Nepal to extremely low ebb. The division and conflict in the Party have virtually destroyed the trust of people over the ability of communist leaders to build a workable model of socialism as aspired by the 2015 Constitution. Hence, the Nepalese communist leaders and intellectuals must take the occasion of the centennial commemoration of the CPC as an opportunity to reflect on their past mistakes. They must understand that time will not wait longer for them. In the meantime, like professors and students of Peking University, Nepalese intellectuals and students must dedicate their efforts to build a pragmatic socialist system in Nepal because the hope with current communist leaders is rapidly fading.
Published on 6 June 2021
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