The following is an op-ed by the Chinese embassy in Maldives.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, China has undergone earthshaking changes and made remarkable achievements in various fields and in all aspects. The past decade has been a decade of historic improvement and reforms in China's economic and social development, as well as a decade of historic leaps in China's relations with the world and historic contributions to the international community.
Over the past decade, under the guidance of Xi Jinping's Economic Thought, China comprehensively pursued the new concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, achieving significantly results in promoting high-quality development and creating a new development paradigm. China is accelerating the speed of achieving higher quality, more efficient, fairer, more sustainable and safer development. China’s economic capacity, scientific and technological capacity, comprehensive national strength and international influence increased continuously. The total economic volume of China rose from 53.9 trillion yuan in 2012 to 114.4 trillion yuan in 2021, which took the share of the world economy from 11.3% to over 18%, and China’s per capita GDP rose from US$6,300 to over US$12,000.
Over the past decade, China has made great efforts to develop its manufacturing industry in the direction of making it more progressive, high-quality and bigger, the comprehensive capacity and international influence of the manufacturing industry have been greatly enhanced, and the security and stability of the industrial supply chain has been reinforced. China stands in the first place in the world in the production of more than 40% of 500 major industrial products.
Over the past decade, China embarked on a path of development based on well-trained professionals and strong sci-tech capacity towards the stronger industry, stronger economy and stronger country. In the Global Innovation Index ranking, China rose from the 34th in 2012 to the 12th in 2021. China has speeded up the research on core technology of such as 5G, basic software, new energy vehicles, smart cars and renewable energy. China's position and role in the global innovation landscape has changed a lot and become an important player in international innovation frontier and an important contributor to joint solutions to global issues.
Over the past decade, upholding people-centered development thought, China won the fight against extreme poverty, historically eliminating absolute poverty in the country and lifting 98.99 million rural poor out of poverty.
Over the past decade, with a deeper understanding of its path to democracy and the political system, China has developed whole-process people's democracy as a key concept and striven to translate the relevant democratic values into effective institutions and concrete actions. Whole-process people's democracy integrates process-oriented democracy with results-oriented democracy, procedural democracy with substantive democracy, direct democracy with indirect democracy, and people's democracy with the will of the state. It is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of society. It is a true democracy that works.
Over the past decade, China’s overall law-based governance has been deepened and promoted, forming the Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law as its guidance. With persistent efforts, social governance became smarter, more law-based, and more professional with more public participation, constantly enhancing the people's sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. The sense of security of the Chinese people has increased from 87.55% in 2012 to 98.62% in 2021, and the international community generally considers China to be one of the safest countries in the world.
Over the past decade, China has made significant and historical achievements in employment and social security. With an annual average increase by more than 13 million job opportunities in urban areas, China has achieved sufficient employment in a big nation with a large population over 1.4 billion.
Over the past decade, China has made tremendous progress in medical and healthcare. The life expectancy of the Chinese people has increased to 78.2 years old, which is a historic surge. The main health index ranks in the first place among upper middle-income countries, and the Chinese people's health rights are well guaranteed.
Over the past decade, China has made historic progress in popularization of universal education. There are nearly 530,000 schools of various kinds at all levels, enrolled with over 290 million students. The average period of education for the working-age population has reached 10.9 years.
Over the past decade, China constructed the largest number of affordable housing unit projects in the history, with a total investment of 14.8 trillion yuan and as a result, more than 140 million people realized their dream of living in their own apartments.
Over the past decade, China pushed forward the reform of the ecological civilization system, which has strongly contributed to the modernization with the characteristic of the harmonious coexistence of man and nature. The protection of farmland has made notable progress, holding firm the red line of farmland. China has made a solemn commitment to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and realize carbon neutrality by 2060, and set up a “1+N” policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality.
Over the past decade, China's diplomatic work, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, has overcome difficulties and forged ahead, undergoing a series of risks and tests, overcoming many hardships and obstacles, making all-round and groundbreaking historic achievements, and embarking on a new path of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.
China has followed a path of peaceful development to build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and form a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation. China has sticked to its role as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order.
China has made great efforts in advancing China's diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel and multifaceted way, keeping dialogues, exchanges and cooperation with countries around the world. With the total number of countries with diplomatic relations increased to 181 and partnerships established with more than 110 regional organizations, China's circle of friends has been expanded continuously and the partnership network has covered the planet.
China has actively participated in global governance reform. Committed to the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, China has practiced true multilateralism, pursued the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, supporting the global fight against pandemic, tackling climate change, promoting sustainable development, and providing Chinese solutions and contributing to crack the global governance deficit and solve global challenges.
China has firmly defended national interests and national dignity, taken a clear stand on major issues, fought every inch of the way with determination, and effectively safeguarded national sovereignty, security and development interests.
With the strong leadership of the CPC, concerted efforts of the 1.4 billion people, the notable strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics, a solid foundation underpinning sustained rapid development, and strong confidence in achieving development through its own efforts, China will enjoy sustained and sound development, usher in even brighter prospects, and make more splendid miracles come true.
The Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress on 16th October. It will be an important meeting to be held at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey toward its second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. At this national congress, the Communist Party of China will fully review the major achievements made and valuable experience gained in China’s reform and development endeavors. It will also formulate programs of action and overarching policies to meet China’s new development goals on the journey ahead in the new era and the new expectations of the people. We will continue to follow the Chinese path to modernization to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we will continue to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. By doing so, we will create new opportunities for the world with new advances in China’s development and contribute our vision and strength to world peace and development and human progress.