eg Chinese Voices
No. 55 | 07.08.2022
BRICS – Paving roads, not building walls. [China Daily]
The Significance of the 14th BRICS Summit at This Critical Conjuncture
Xú Bù (徐步)
Xu Bu is the Director and Secretary of the Party committee of the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, and a member of the High Level Advisory Committee of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Context:

The future of human society has reached a critical point as the world's economic recovery since the Covid-19 pandemic has been grossly unequal and uneven, and security issues have become more pressing. Against this background, the BRICS mechanism has shown resilience and vitality, and the cooperation has made positive progress and achieved a lot. On June 23, the 14th BRICS Summit was held virtually with China as the rotating chair. In an interview with Guancha, Xu Bu explains the unique and constructive roles that the countries of BRICS could play at today’s critical conjuncture. He rejected the negative views, by some Western media, that the “bloom was off the rose” for BRICS.

Key points:

  • The reasons why BRICS can play a unique and important role can be summed up as follows: 1) BRICS addresses global traditional and non-traditional security challenges, supports genuine multilateralism, and opposes hegemony; 2) BRICS has become a development partner through mutual cooperation in logistics and energy, and through close coordination in supply chains and production; consequently this platform is able to manage the risks of disruptive external shocks; 3) BRICS is a pioneer in the field of innovative cooperation in the Global South; and 4) BRICS promotes the improvement of the existing global governance so as to be more inclusive and friendly to developing countries.
  • The cooperation platform of BRICS shows no signs of “cracking” or “losing its bloom”. This is demonstrated by the following: 1) BRICS countries are all addressing the global governance deficit and want to make this system more effective. For example, their New Development Bank has approved 80+ investment projects worth a total of US$30 billion; 2) the BRICS countries all regard economic development as their top societal priority; 3) they all support the multipolarity trend in the world system and support the democratization of international politics by opposing hegemonic politics; and 4) the BRICS countries are in the process of embracing the “new digital economy”; they all want to seize the innovation opportunities brought about by the developing technology revolution. Each BRICS country has its own sound education system and different capabilities for research and technological development. The diversity and basic structure of the BRICS platform provide significant room for cooperation in financial support, new forms of energy, technology transfer, and digitalization.
  • At this unique conjuncture, BRICS is becoming increasingly influential internationally, and many developing countries hope to join. BRICS+ is an innovative concept that opens up possibilities to expand the cooperation platform thus helping to solve global development needs. Despite Western media's propaganda, BRICS economies will continue to find their way to achieve sustainable development.
  • Looking forward, the key directions of BRICS cooperation are mainly in the following areas: first, to promote agricultural development in the member countries and contribute to the global goal of poverty eradication and zero hunger, second, to promote trade and investment so as to play a leading role in global sustainable and green development, third, to strengthen cooperation in the field of science and technology and create a talent pool for enhanced collaboration to further develop innovation and entrepreneurship, fourth, to strengthen cooperation in the field of finance and to weaken US dollar hegemony, and fifth, to advance people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation.
How the Communist Party of China (CPC) Renews and Improves itself?
Huáng Píng (黄平)
Huang Ping is a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); he was formerly the director of the Institute of European Studies at CASS as well as the director of the Institute of American Studies at CASS. His main research area is political sociology and China’s international politics.

Context:

It has been 100 years since the founding of CPC, and under its leadership, China has produced an economic “miracle” that has attracted worldwide attention. In an interview with the Economic Herald last July, Huang Ping provided an in-depth analysis on the history of how CPC developed its praxis of self-renewal and self-revolution and how these effective practices remain today.

Key points:

  • Western political parties mostly represent the interests of a particular group of people or social class. The nature and programs of parties change quite often, mainly in response to the political environment. CPC, on the other hand, is not a parochial association or grouping, and does not represent the particular interests of just a certain segment of the population. From the founding of the Party in 1921 to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, CPC experienced 28 years of war and revolution, forming a highly disciplined and trained organization of Party members with rich experience.
  • Xi Jinping, the CPC General Secretary, clearly emphasized, in his speech commemorating the Party's centenary, July 1, 2021, that "CPC…does not have its own special interests and never represents the interests of any specific interest group, any establishment, or any privileged class".
  • Thus, CPC is a new type of political party. But it is necessary to do a much better job of communicating to the rest of the world the theoretical system and practice of CPC so that it is well-known and understood.
  • Throughout its long and difficult history, CPC has developed a mature toolbox, in which the most important elements are: 1) seeking truth from facts (实事求是), 2) the mass line (群众路线), and 3) self-reliance and independence (自力更生). During the revolutionary war years, the Party also developed three major working styles: "linking theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses, and criticism and self-criticism". Constantly reasserting these “three elements” and “three styles” provides the guidance and confidence for the current self-revolution and self-renewal process of CPC.
  • After New China was born, the West resorted to "peaceful" political subversion of the CPC-led state and hoped they could influence China’s next generation. At that time, Mao Zedong and other CPC leaders always focused on the ideological education of Party members to prevent the “peaceful subversion path”. Today, in the new era, CPC, under Xi’s leadership, inherits these teachings. They emphasize "keeping our revolutionary mission firmly in mind", maintaining the Party's political character, and carrying forward the mass line so as to require all members to meet the entry requirements and adhere to the behavioral standards and norms defined by the Party's constitution.
  • To ensure the Party's connection to the people, CPC has always conducted active criticism and self-criticism within the party’s democratic life. It cannot be understood as a kind of Western-style political power struggle, much less a personal battle. Rather it is a critical analysis of and reflections on tendencies that ignore the Party’s purpose, misconstrue the political policies, and consequently harm the overall interests of the country.
  • CPC is a learning organization that maintains open discussion internally among its members and externally between CPC and the people. It constantly evaluates and elaborates the lessons from both its successes and failures. Through learning, it recognizes problems and finds gaps, adheres to the truth, and corrects its mistakes. In fact, this is the secret of the vitality of CPC – the constant drive for improvement in knowledge and practice.

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