Serving the People

By Zhang Zhiping
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, July 20, 2011
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On July 1, 2011, the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated its 90th birthday.

Hu Jintao, President of China and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, delivered a speech at a grand gathering marking this momentous occasion. In his speech, the word "people" was used 136 times, demonstrating the importance of the people in the Party's construction and development.

In the past 90 years, the Party carried out a new-democratic revolution, winning national independence and liberating the Chinese people, which allowed China to enter a new era of development and progress. The Party also completed the socialist revolution, established the basic socialist system and pressed ahead with reform and opening-up policies. It developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, and achieved remarkable progress in the socialist modernization drive.

The CPC accomplished these major achievements by firmly relying on the Chinese people.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the national strength and well-being of the people have constantly improved, pushed along by the concerted efforts of the Party and the people. In 2010, China's GDP totaled 39.8 trillion yuan ($6.15 trillion), the second largest in the world, up from 364.5 billion yuan ($56.35 billion) in 1978. That represented an average annual growth rate of 9.8 percent. China's fiscal revenue totaled 8.3 trillion yuan ($1.3 trillion) in 2010.

In 2010, the per-capita disposable income of urban residents was 19,109 yuan ($2,940), compared with 343 yuan ($53) in 1978. The per-capita net income of farmers increased from 134 yuan ($21) in 1978 to 5,919 yuan ($911) in 2010. In addition, China has pushed through nine-year free compulsory education in both urban and rural areas, and built a social security system covering urban and rural residents.

In its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), China set 24 indicators measuring its development in the next five years, nine of which were related to the well-being of the people. The budget on the livelihoods of the people has also been increased. That means the country has put more emphasis on improving welfare and lives of its people.

The CPC has 62 years of governing experience, and it is well aware that China is undergoing unprecedented social transformation and facing a lot of difficulties, challenges and dangers, including insufficient governance capacity, lack of initiative, divorce from the people, extravagance and waste, as well as corruption. Among them, divorce from the people poses the biggest danger to the Party. It is necessary to strengthen moral construction within the Party, enhance intra-Party democracy and combat corruption. Only those efforts can truly reflect the Party's basic principle of "putting people first and governing for the people," and the Party's fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly.

The Party's 90 years proves the people are the root force driving the development of the Party. Its goal is to improve the well-being of the people and allow them to live with dignity. The Party must always place the people's interests before everything else, and "serving the people" is the ultimate yardstick to guide, assess and test all governance activities of the Party. That is the most important message sent out by Hu's speech.

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