Reflections on a visit to China and its path to modernisation

Whilst western ‘democracies’ focus on elections every four years, the CPC aims to prioritise ‘confidence in its democracy and in the guiding philosophy of Marxism’.

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Since Comrade Xi Jinping took over the helm of party leadership, China has made it clear that it aims to carry out its modernisation in harmony with nature. Proofs of this policy, which is enshrined at every level of decision-making, are available to see everywhere you travel in the country.

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Between 16-29 April 2023, representatives of communist and progressive organisations from 15 countries were invited by the international department of the Communist Party of China to attend a workshop examining the issue of China’s modernisation. Comrade George K attended on behalf of the CPGB-ML and reported back with great enthusiasm.

The role of socialist theory in China

Proceedings started off on 17 April, with a seminar held by academics and researchers from the party school of the CPC central committee at the National Academy of Governance in Beijing. This year, 2000 CPC cadres are being trained there. The school focuses on the teaching of theory and undertakes research in the social sciences and socialism.

Academics from the school gave a seminar about the huge task and responsibility that they have to provide the party with research findings to assist in informed decision making, guided by Marxism-Leninism.

The seminar presented five essential components of betterment in the following areas:

  • The balance between the economy and high-quality development.
  • More emphasis on technological innovation and self-reliance.
  • Progress on science and technology, admitting that China is behind in some areas as compared with the USA.
  • Maintaining economic independence.
  • The need to develop people’s democracy.

Socialist democracy

The party school academics criticised the west’s inadequate understanding of democracy, commenting that it “focuses only on election democracy every four years”, whilst the Chinese communists understand democracy as “effective and comprehensive management and supervision” in responding to the needs of the people.

The Chinese comrades prioritise the need for “people to have confidence in their democracy and culture, and in the guiding philosophy of Marxism”.


The importance of “building a beautiful China” was also addressed.

It was admitted that China’s environment had suffered during the country’s development, but tremendous efforts have recently been taking place to improve the environment and contribute to global environmental protection.


It was explained that the Chinese adopt a “holistic view on national security, covering many aspects: ideological, political, and cultural security”. Reference was made to the defeated attempts of imperialism to bring about a colour revolution in Hong Kong.

Chinese academics responded to delegates’ questions about the new cold war against China (saying that Ukraine is part of that war against China) and about the achievability of multilateralism.

They said that a new cold war will not succeed. The USA is using any excuse to hunt down China, such as the apparent ‘national security’ threat of the telecommunications company Huawei. It attacks China’s ideology with its narrative of ‘democracy v authoritarianism’. This effort to contain China in its rapid development is not something new; it has been present since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It was emphasised that “all the people want to see the end of the war in Ukraine except the USA. The arms deals, the very high price of energy in Europe, all profit the USA, and the people in Europe are beginning to realise this”. It was stated that many problems in the world have their roots in the USA, but that ultimately its effort to maintain its hegemony will not succeed.

Finally, mention was made of the challenge of narrowing the income and development gap between Chinese regions, given that eastern parts of the country are more developed than the western parts. The more developed regions have thus been given the task of helping the less developed ones. For instance, in natural disasters such as the major earthquake in 2012, which gave rise to many casualties, the whole country – in very little time – contributed to rescuing and reconstructing the affected areas.

Exchange between communists

On Tuesday 18 April, a meeting took place at the international department of the CPC central committee, Beijing. The comrades at the international department of the CPC expressed their enthusiasm for sharing ideas and convictions and for being “explorers of socialism”. The Chinese communists are always “seeking truth from facts”, according to the motto of the party school.

The CPC has developed and prospered since 1949, with the last ten years in particular witnessing tremendous changes, thanks to the hard work of the Chinese people for world peace, stability and prosperity. The Chinese are rightly proud of their modernisation, an example that now sets a precedent for other developing countries.

China has proved that modernisation no longer has to mean westernisation, but must encompass harmony and mutual benefit that does not aim for competition.

Chinese comrades invited the delegates to “join hands on the theories of the development path and make Marxist forces stronger”. They asserted their belief that mutual exchange between world communist parties, solidarity and cooperation will strengthen our voices and defend our shared interests and strategic goals.

China’s path to modernisation

On 19 April, delegates visited the Renmin University of China to participate in a symposium on the ‘Chinese path to modernisation and common development’. This university was founded by Mao Zedong in 1949.

Of over 3,000 Chinese universities, Renmin is the only one called a ‘people’s university’. It is a world-leading first-class university loyal to its revolutionary origins and the ideals of fighting for a brighter future and the liberation of humanity. It is open to exchanges for young members of communist parties of other countries.

The international delegates heard about China’s strategy for modernising the country in a balanced way, which aims to increase peace and oppose hegemony and expansion, setting an example that the west cannot. It was pointed out that the west fails to see that China works for “world civilisation to flourish”. The Belt and Road initiative, the exchanges, think tanks, tourism and other projects aim to link China closer to other peoples and create “a deepened relation for a world civilisation”.

The symposium offered a list of “legal factors” in China’s path to modernisation and common development:

  1. Avoid fragmentation and aim for unity.
  2. Independence and self-reliance of the Chinese nation.
  3. People-centeredness: democracy of the people by the people.
  4. Since 2021, the CPC has sought a “transcendence of the legal systems of the western countries, cultural advancements and laws concerning private property and wealth”.
  5. Advancements in science and technology to open up new spheres, with a new impetus in the use of digital technologies and the internet.
  6. Commitment to world peace, for the common good of humanity and overall justice for the whole world. Opposing colonialism and hegemony.

A Chinese official from the ministry of ecology explained that the environment is linked to the question of modernisation. He said that, in addition to material advancement, people need a good quality of life and a clean environment.

For the past ten years, China has been working hard to protect the environment; it has reduced carbon use and is witnessing a fast increase of forest recovery. China has signed the Paris Agreement on carbon neutrality and, through the Belt and Road initiative, aims at making sure its development does not take place at the cost of nature but in harmony with it.

Delegates engaged in a lively discussion with their Chinese counterparts.

Visits to Anhui and Jiangsu

From 21-24 April, delegates were taken on a trip to Hefei and Chizhou, Anhui province, which included visits to community centres, museums, countryside and rural vitalisation innovation parks, and meetings with leaders of the CPC Anhui provincial committee’s experts and scholars.

The Anhui province is a very prosperous area of China with exemplary transportation infrastructure. It has a splendid history and culture as it is the birthplace of Peking opera and the cradle of Chinese calligraphy. The province has an important role in the CPC’s spiritual legacy – the history of the New Fourth Army and the Yangtze River Crossing campaign are still a source of inspiration that sustains Anhui’s development.

Anhui has been China’s front-runner in terms of technological innovation and has a well-developed manufacturing industry. The number of high-tech enterprises in the region tops 11,000. Anhui also has rich ecological resources and is a leading producer of grain, cotton and edible oils. The first national forest chief scheme reform demonstration zone was set up in Anhui before being introduced nationwide.

In 2022, the per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents increased by about 5 and 6.5 percent respectively. A capacity of 6.47 million kilowatts of renewable energy has recently been installed, while the air quality keeps improving. Around 22,700 hectares of forest have been planted.

International cadres were welcomed everywhere by friendly party members.

The cadres visited a listed company specialising in intelligent speech and artificial intelligence technologies. The company promotes the development of AI products and their sector-based applications.

From 25-28 April, delegates visited Suzhou and Nanjing, Jiangsu province, including visits to a local community, the hospital of the Nanjing medical university, the Suzhou Urban Planning exhibition centre and the Pingjiang Road cultural block. They had meetings with leaders of the CPC Jiangsu provincial committee, as well as with various experts and scholars.

Thoughts on the experience of this visit

  1. The path to the construction of a socialist society takes place in a situation in which imperialism is declining economically, but in military terms it has a very great potential for destruction. Therefore, an open economic war is being launched against China.
  2. China is pursuing a foreign policy of peaceful coexistence with other countries, while maintaining the ideological struggle and the struggle against imperialism. This policy is a prerequisite for progress in the international class struggle.
  3. Chinese foreign policy includes alliances with capitalist states geared towards equal economic cooperation, including Brics and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. China is pursuing a wide range of goals with this alliance policy.
  4. The Belt and Road initiative is of particular importance in China’s foreign policy. It reaches over 65 percent of the global population with more than 40 percent of global economic power and will change global trade routes and relationships.
  5. The People’s Republic of China aims for a multipolar world order in contrast to the unipolar dominance of US imperialism, and this policy helps to keep the peace by opposing imperialism’s war policy with alliances that can limit the US’s ablity to dominate economically and militarily.
  6. Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and other countries improves the conditions for the struggle for socialism.
  7. It is our duty to collaborate more closely with our Chinese comrades and seize every opportunity to study both their theoretical texts and practical achievements.