By Chao Xiaoliang
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos
In the past week, world media had been focusing on a highly significant event in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party held its 19th National Congress from October 18-24.This is a meeting of great importance taking place during the decisive stage when China is securing a victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment that socialism with Chinese characteristic has entered a new era. Some highlights are as following:
- The week-long Congress amended CPC Constitution to include XI Jinping’s Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era as a component of Party’s a long term guide. It makes clear that the new principal contradiction facing Chinese society is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, which is a brilliant summary of new historic juncture in China’s development. The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory. It is an important component of the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context.
- There is a new road map for China’s development in the coming decades. The congress have drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century to realize the grand goal of building a socialist modernized country in an all round way.
In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized.
In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
- The new central leadership of with Xi Jinping as the core has been elected during the Congress. As we say, great cause requires strong and firm guidance. On 25th Oct, Xi Jinping was reelected as general secretary of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military commission. And the new members、Standing Committee of both Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee have been determined at the same time. The new CPC central leadership with Xi Jinping at its core is confident and determined in leading the Chinese people into a new era.
Under the strong leadership of Xi Jinping, in the past five years, China has made historical achievement in reform、opening-up and socialist modernization. China maintained a medium-high average growth rate of 7.2% annually, which contributes about 30% to global growth. And more than 60 million people have been lifted out of poverty. To focus on the next 5 years, China will endeavor to import 10 trillion US dollars of goods and services, and foreign invest reaching 750 billion dollars totally, outbound tourism with 700 million travelers. And by the year 2020，all rural residents living below the current poverty line will have been out of poverty，and poverty is eliminated in all poor counties and regions.
In the new era, China will definitely become stronger and wealthier. What will this mean to the world? To Africa? And To Nigeria?
The Communist Party of China strives for both the wellbeing of the Chinese people and human progress. To make new and greater contributions for mankind is our Party’s abiding mission. In the new era, the diplomacy with Chinese characteristics we take will promote the construction of new international relations and human destiny community as a general goal, and will make new contributions to the cause of human peaceful development. China will continue to hold high the banner of peace，development，cooperation，and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promote common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity，mutual nonaggression, mutual noninterference in each other’ s internal affairs，equality and mutual benefit，and peaceful coexistence.)，and to forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect，fairness，justice，and win-win cooperation.
The path、the theory、the system and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristic have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.
The Chinese side is willing to continuously uphold the policy towards Africa featuring sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and the correct value of friendship, justice and shared interests. Since the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in 2015, more than half of the 60 billion USD funding support that China pledged to Africa has been disbursed or arranged, further driving additional hundreds of billions of dollars of investment and financing into Africa. China will push forward the implementation of the “Belt and Road” construction in Africa, and support Africa in well implementing the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As Consul General in Lagos, I am also interested in the significance of the 19th CPC National Congress to China-Nigeria relations.
Nigeria and China have common in terms of national conditions, and make the development strategy in parallel with highly complementary and potential for cooperation. In 2017,China-Nigeria strategic partnership continue its comprehensive and deep development. Our economy and trade relations is progressing smoothly, and from January to August this year, the bilateral trade volume reached 8.94billion USD, ranked third among that of China with all African countries. Both the formal and informal communication is lifting our relations to a new level for the greater benefit of our two peoples.
We noticed that this March, Nigeria government released the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).In cooperating with China, Nigeria will harvest great benefits for its own economic development and people’s well-being, especially since the 19th National Congress, I believe there would be a better future prospects for our two countries’ win-win development, and that is what we all expect—a New Era .