Promote steady advancement along the Chinese path to modernization
Updated 21:17, 08-Mar-2023
Cao Honghui , Xie Shiqiang
People visit a cherry garden in Laifang town, southeast China's Fujian Province, February 24, 2023. /CFP
People visit a cherry garden in Laifang town, southeast China's Fujian Province, February 24, 2023. /CFP

People visit a cherry garden in Laifang town, southeast China's Fujian Province, February 24, 2023. /CFP

Editor's note: Noting that 2023 is the first year for fully implementing the guiding principles from the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the ongoing "Two Sessions" will grab the world's attention. To better understand China's development blueprint, CGTN has curated the "Towards China's Modernization" series, and this is the fourth piece. Cao Honghui is a senior expert at China Development Bank and a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Xie Shiqiang is a research fellow at the Center for Cultural Development and Promotion of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article reflects the authors' opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The Chinese path to modernization has contributed China's wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development, and has great global significance in promoting the progress of human civilization and the common development of mankind. The 2023 government work report reiterated the need for steadfast advancement along the Chinese path to modernization, so as to get China's efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects off to a good start. The question is how to better realize Chinese modernization.

Firstly, we should continue to promote economic modernization by advancing high-quality development. It's necessary to attach great importance to the role of development, especially high-quality development, in building a modern socialist country in all respects. Considering current development realities, prominent issues and strategic goals, we should take a balanced approach to the relationship between the size, structure, driving forces and benefits of development. We need to stay committed to building a modern market economy system, modernizing itself to become more competent and efficient, exploring mechanisms for better synergy between high-quality development and common prosperity, and constantly improving the quality, efficiency and vitality of economic development.

Besides, we should keep encouraging primary-level institutional innovation, vigorously developing strategic emerging industries, and deepening the reform of the sci-tech system and mechanism around important industries, equipment and technologies. It's essential to adopt innovative measures to establish a new whole-of-nation innovation system; actively promote institutional opening up; and continuously strengthen China's strategic independence in scientific and technological innovation. We must ensure the safety, stability and controllability of important supply chains, industrial chains and value chains. In addition, we should continue to boost the dynamism of the domestic economy, and coordinate the efforts in fostering a smooth national economic circle and dual circulation. We should also rely on and upgrade a large number of medium- and low-quality growth drivers to ensure that economic growth stays within a reasonable range.

A view of the Tiexi Plant of BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, December 21, 2021. /Xinhua
A view of the Tiexi Plant of BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, December 21, 2021. /Xinhua

A view of the Tiexi Plant of BMW Brilliance Automotive in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, December 21, 2021. /Xinhua

Furthermore, it's compulsory to bring innovation to the theoretical system around the Chinese development path and explore new ways to building a brilliant political civilization. We need to comprehensively review the successful experiences and effective practices of China's political system reform since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially since the reform and opening-up policies began in 1978; explore the underlying connotation and working mechanism of the socialist democratic system with Chinese characteristics; improve the leadership system of the Communist Party of China, the system of people being the masters of the country, the system of patriotic united front, consultative democracy and whole-process democracy. It's necessary to improve political systems such as democratic elections, checks and balances, and democratic supervision. We should steadily promote grassroots elections by strengthening leadership, encouraging exploration, setting up intra-Party pioneering programs, and then replicate the successful practices across the China. We must get people's representatives and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) closer to the people at the grassroots level, to the realities on the ground and to public opinion, so that they can better represent the people and serve the general public.

Thirdly, it's indispensable to focus on improving national governance and adopt innovative measures for the modernization of social governance. We should develop comprehensive understanding of the current development realities, prominent issues, call of the times and strategic goals. Based on the responsibilities, depth of participation and focus of different stakeholders, we must always adhere to the people-centered governing philosophy in the process of searching for the steps, key points and methods for modernizing social governance with Chinese characteristics in the new era. We should be responsive to mainstream public opinion; continuously improve the professionalism, specialization and law-based operations of relevant government agencies; expand the participation of the general public; and ensure fair and scientific decision-making and implementation. We need to strengthen top-level design, establish a well-conceived target system, institutional system, operation system and evaluation system for the purpose of modern governance. We should combine a top-down institutional framework with bottom-up practical experience; turn classic governing experience into theories, institutions and brands; and systematically facilitate the multi-dimensional and multi-level collaborative governance by different stakeholders.

Moreover, it's essential to adopt an innovative approach to green development and enhance ecological conservation. With regard to the shortcomings in our efforts to enhance ecological conservation and the potential development opportunities arising therefrom, we must stick to the Chinese approach to enhancing ecological conservation. With the strategic goal of building a beautiful China, the focus should be put on promoting green ecology, green development and green society. We should take the resolution of prominent ecological problems and achieve carbon neutrality. We should adopt a multi-pronged governance approach consisting of administrative governance, law-based governance and tech-enabled governance. By improving the ecological management system and mechanism, ramping up investment in ecological sci-tech research and development, accelerating innovation in ecological economy, and establishing a sound evaluation system for green development, we aim at achieving a healthy balance between ecological conservation and economic development.

We should establish a governance mechanism featuring shared benefits through discussion and collaboration; formulate effective incentive and restraint policies; drive up private capital investment; give full play to market forces; and actively promote regional and even international cooperation, in order to ensure the sustained and healthy progress in ecological conservation. We should make green development a key element in improving the quality of development. It's imperative to promote the comprehensive green transformation of economic and social development. The whole country needs to move away from the production and consumption model of "massive production, massive consumption and massive emission," and reorients itself towards a development model which is environmentally friendly, self-sustaining and efficient in production, and which encourages simple and moderate lifestyle and green behavior among consumers.

In order to achieve concrete and effective results along the Chinese path to modernization, it is necessary to carefully analyze fundamental characteristics of this path, such as its implications for the world and for China, how it fits into this era, and its gradual and uneven nature. In this process, we should examine the commonalities between Chinese modernization and that of other countries, successful practices in promoting modernization, and China's modernization endeavor, while taking into account China's specific national conditions, development realities and prominent issues in the new era.

Meanwhile, in accordance with the current plans for high-quality development, political system reform, national governance and green development, it is essential to pursue the integrated development of the economy, politics, culture, society and ecology, and to promote modernization in areas such as industry, agriculture and rural areas, national defense, science and technology, as well as the modernization of the national governance system and capacity. Only by doing so can we advance steadily along the Chinese path to modernization and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

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