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Chinese Socialism Worthy of Genuine Respect
Source: english.peopledaily.com.cn
Source Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: China
Created: Nov 20, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese pupils are better at math than most of their global peers. Teachers usually encourage them to solve a problem using whatever method works best to get the correct answer.

China's aspiration for a successful society that benefits all its people is much the same situation as the diligent math students.

Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent political announcement that China will follow a "path of socialism with Chinese characteristics" disappoints some Western ideologues. However, China's mode of socialism turned China from an impoverished country into the world's second largest economy in the past three decades and thus deserves sober-minded consideration and genuine respect.

The economic success of many industrialized countries, largely in the West, after World War II reinforced the self-righteousness of Westerners who tend to deride ways other than capitalism and who admonish the rest of the world to take a similar path.

Over the last couple of decades, some Western thinkers have asserted that history has ended with the triumph of capitalism and all other paths have been proven wrong. Nevertheless, as predicted by Karl Marx and Joseph Schumpeter, the intrinsic defects of capitalism result in recurrent crises, the latest round of which erupted on a chaotic Wall Street and in Frankfurt's financial district.

Among 90 percent of the world's countries adopting capitalism, only a tiny fraction can be regarded as prosperous. Capitalism, with a history of nearly 500 years, first acquired primitive accumulation through colonization and plundering, often by coercive means.

Modern capitalism and liberal democracy are sometimes compromised by money, as seen in the latest U.S. presidential election -- the most expensive in U.S. history -- with campaign costs soaring into the billions of dollars.

The Nobel laureate Michael Spence has described the U.S. electoral process as "an evolution from one propertied man, one vote; to one man, one vote; to one person, one vote; trending to one dollar, one vote."

The Tea Party, which used to label itself as a grassroots movement, was later found to be financed by wealthy backers such as the Koch Brothers and others, who sought to influence political power.

The social flaws of capitalism, together with the financial crisis and the European debt crisis, should encourage people to rethink the Western development model.

In contrast, a socialist China is able to pool all necessary resources to solve major problems and reduce unnecessary bickering over de facto power competition. The effectiveness of this system helps explain why China has maintained a relatively steady course against the backdrop of the current international crisis.

China's pursuit of socialism is an inevitable choice in history. After the Opium War in 1840, China became a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, as foreign powers expanded their aggression against China. The country was devastated by incessant wars and turbulence, and the people suffered from hunger, poverty and oppression.

During the struggle of the Chinese people, none of the Westernization movements, such as the 1898 Reform Movement or the 1911 Revolution, prevailed. It is the Communist Party of China (CPC) that changed China's once doomed fate.

In recent years, the social unrest caused by Russia's "shock therapy," Latin America's "radical reform" and some African countries' copying of the U.S. political system have proven that unwise imitation of the Western system can be disastrous.

Although many problems exist, China generally ensures political and social stability and follows a path of socialism that accommodates Chinese features.

At the same time, China is ready to learn from other countries. The late leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the country's reform and opening-up policy, said socialism should be enriched by all the achievements of human civilization in a bid to gain comparative advantage over capitalism.

Addressing the 18th CPC National Congress, Hu said, "We should respect diversity of civilizations and development paths, respect and safeguard the rights of all peoples to independently choose their social system and development path, learn from others to make up for our shortcomings, and advance human civilization."

Like different methods leading to the same correct answer in math, both capitalism and socialism attempt to achieve an ideal society that can be shared by all human beings. It is still too soon to judge which system is better at achieving this goal.

China has no reason to abandon a path proven workable by history and suitable to its conditions in order to turn to a path that has already failed the Chinese people. Let China follow its own way and let the rest of the world genuinely respect China for pursuing its own unique path.
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