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A century of struggle and achievements


The 100th anniversary of the CPC is an opportunity to remember the path the Chinese people have traveled to get where they are today

This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China.

The pre-1949 history of the CPC was one of great heroism and unspeakable sacrifices. Led by Mao Zedong, the communists began the gradual liberation of China. They won the hearts of the still relatively small working class in the cities and the vast majority of the peasants in the rural areas. This brought to life Karl Marx's observation that an idea becomes a material force when it grips the minds of the masses.

The reconstruction of China began in 1949 with the victory of the revolution. Progress and setbacks followed each other with some regularity between 1949 and 1978. However, importantly, the Party learned from its mistakes and corrected them.

In 1978, China launched the reform and opening-up, and the Party led by Deng Xiaoping took the decision to chart a new path to socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Party has shown remarkable ability to apply Marxism creatively and scored tremendous successes over the last 100 years.

China's economy is now the second largest in the world. It has lifted more than 800 million people out of absolute poverty. This is a decade before the target set by the international community in 2000.China's GDP as a percentage of global GDP rose from 1.8 percent in 1978 to 15.2 percent in 2018.Over the last 70 years, China's per capita GDP has risen from less than $50 in 1949 to more than $10,000.

The rapid development of China has been very beneficial to the whole world. The People's Republic of China has become the main driving force of the global economy. Today it accounts for more than one-third of the growth of the global economy. Imports from various areas of the world have soared over the last seven decades, contributing greatly to countries both developed and developing through international trade. From 1978 to 2017, the share of low-and middle-income countries in global GDP rose from 21.3 percent to 35.3 percent due mainly to trade with China.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a major driving force of development.

Benefiting from it, some countries in Africa are able to build modern infrastructure to help develop their economies and improve the welfare of their people.

One can continue writing on various aspects of China's development. Its growing education standards and modern health service have allowed Chinese people to increase life expectancy as well as enjoying a high quality of cultural development.

But the successes of China have also created enemies for it.

Western powers are spreading false accusations and attributing hostile intentions to China. Yet a dispassionate analysis shows that China desires peace no less than any other country in the world. It was in an atmosphere of peace that China was able to grow as rapidly as it did. Peace is a strategic objective of China. The West is clearly worried by the fact that it now has to compete with a country that promotes peace and opposes exploitation and oppression.

China has been actively participating in the South-South cooperation, and Chinese loans often come without strings and oppressive conditions. The Chinese philosophy of win-win arrangements does not allow it to exploit others. The relations are cooperative and always based on mutual benefits.

This is the new example that China is setting in international relations. It is this new type of relations that has provoked fear in those nations whose self-interests drive them to exploitation. It is naked self-interest and the desire to always be "first" that has led Western powers into numerous wars against poorer countries looking to uphold their independence and to maximize the benefits of their own resources.

The progress that China has made would not have been possible without the strong leadership of the CPC. It is the Party that has kept the people united and strong. It is the Party that has correctly interpreted and applied Marxist theory to China's circumstances and guided the nation through thick and thin to prosperity today.

The CPC has been the guiding light, protector and moral compass for the Chinese people. The past 100 years have been a century of struggle, sacrifice and achievements. The next 100 years promises greater successes.

The author is former president of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and former general secretary of the People's Progressive Party. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.