‘Path towards modernisation: The responsibility of political parties’

JINPING—We should break the shackles of
stale thinking

This is an abridged version of a keynote address that Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered on Wednesday at the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting via video link on Wednesday.

The address was titled ‘Path towards Modernisation: The Responsibility of Political Parties’.

The history of human development is full of twists and turns. Similarly, the journey of each country to explore the path to modernisation is also arduous. In today’s world, multiple challenges and crises are intertwined.


The global economic recovery remains sluggish, the development gap is widening, ecological environment is deteriorating and the Cold War mentality is lingering. Humanity’s modernisation process has once again reached a crossroads of history.

Polarisation or common prosperity? Pure materialistic pursuit or coordinated material and cultural-ethical advancement? Draining the pond to catch the fish or creating harmony between man and nature? Zero-sum game or win-win cooperation? Copying other countries’ development model or achieving independent development in light of national conditions?

What kind of modernisation do we need and how can we achieve it?


Confronted with these questions, political parties, as an important force steering and driving the modernisation process, are duty bound to provide answers. Here, I wish to share some of my observations.

We must put the people first and ensure modernisation is people-centred. The people are the creators of history and are the strongest bedrock and force in advancing modernisation.

The ultimate goal of modernisation is people’s free and well-rounded development. For a modernisation path to work and work well, it must put the people first. Modernisation is not only about indicators and statistics on the paper but more about the delivery of a happy and stable life for the people.

With a focus on the people’s aspirations for a better life and further progress of civilisation, political parties should strive to achieve material abundance, political integrity, cultural-ethical enrichment, social stability and pleasant living environments so that modernisation will better address the concerns and meet diversified needs of the people.

In this way, modernisation will promote the sustainable development of humanity by not only increasing the wellbeing of this generation but also protecting the rights and interest of future generations.

We must uphold the principle of independence and explore diversified paths towards modernisation. Modernisation is not “an exclusive patent” of a small handful of countries, nor is it a single answer question.

It cannot be realised by a cookie cutter approach or simple “copy and paste”. For any country to achieve modernisation, it needs not only to follow the general laws governing the process, but more importantly consider its own national conditions and unique features.

It is the people of a country that are in the best position to tell what kind of modernisation best suits them. Developing countries have the right and ability to independently explore the modernisation path with their distinctive features based on their national realities.

We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of our country’s development and progress. We should respect and support the development paths independently chosen by different peoples to jointly usher in a new prospect for humanity’s modernisation that is like a garden where a hundred flowers bloom.

We must uphold fundamental principles and break new ground and ensure the continuity of the modernisation process. In the face of various new issues, conditions and challenges in the modernisation process, political parties should boldly take on responsibilities and excel in their work.

We should break the shackles of stale thinking, remove institutional barriers, explore new methods and new approaches, and break new ground in theories and practices to instil unceasing dynamism into the modernisation process.

We should work together to reform and develop the global governance system and make the international order more just and equitable as we advance humanity’s modernisation in an environment of equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all.

We must help others to succeed while seeking our own success and ensure all can enjoy the outcomes of modernisation. Humanity lives in a community with a shared future where we rise and fall together. For any country to achieve modernisation, it should pursue common development through solidarity and cooperation and follow the principles of joint contribution, shared benefits and win-win outcome.

The frontrunners should sincerely support other countries in their development. One will not be seen in a more favourable light after blowing out others’ lamp; nor will they go farther by blocking others’ paths.

We should share opportunities, create a future together and make the pie of humanity’s modernisation bigger to ensure more people enjoy the outcomes of modernisation in a fairer way.

We stand firmly opposed to the practice of preserving one’s own development privilege by suppressing and containing other countries’ endeavour to achieve modernization.

We must forge ahead with enterprise and ensure firm leadership over modernisation. Modernisation does not fall into our lap automatically. It is the result of hard work with the strong historical initiative.

Political parties are the leading and driving force for modernisation. Their values, ability to lead and govern, ethos, willpower and character have a direct bearing on the orientation and future of the modernisation process.

As an ancient Chinese philosopher said, “He who conquers himself is strong.” Political parties should integrate party building with national modernization, forge ahead with enterprise and resolve, and excel themselves.

In this way, they will have the confidence, determination and capability to respond to the challenges and questions presented by the times, meet people’s expectations, and steer the course and marshal strength for the modernisation cause.

Achieving modernisation is a dream that the Chinese people have strived to fulfil since modern times. The journey of over 100 years that the Party has traversed to unite and lead the Chinese people in pursuing national rejuvenation is also an exploration of a path towards modernisation.

Thanks to the unremitting efforts of generation after generation, we have found our own path to modernisation.

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