As part of the celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened a summit of leaders of socialist, communist, and ruling political parties from around the world. The conference took place via Zoom on July 6.
This meeting of leaders of political parties continued a series of conferences that began in 2017 with the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution in Moscow, followed by meetings in Shenzhen, China, and Athens, Greece, both in 2018.
This July’s conference not only gave the leadership of the CPC the space to express its aspirations for the people of China and humankind, but it also gave the world’s political leadership the opportunity to congratulate the CPC on its anniversary, to express admiration for its leadership in bringing China to a high level of economic and social development, and to thank China and the CPC for solidarity and support given each country’s own development.
Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC and President of the People’s Republic of China, opened the conference with a keynote speech. Xi said he was happy to join the leaders of more than 500 political parties and organizations from over 160 countries, that is at least 80% of the world’s nations. The CPC, he said, connected the future of the Chinese people with that of other countries, joining to “promote common prosperity of all countries.” China’s development was not possible without the generous support of all peoples, as all countries are increasingly becoming interconnected and interdependent.
No country should be left behind.
All countries and nations are equally entitled to opportunities and rights to develop and modernize in a way that suits their national conditions and in their own fashion, he said. No country should be left behind. Xi frequently repeated the imperative that development must be people centered.
Xi added that democracy is the right of all peoples rather than an exclusive privilege of the few; rather than a single model there are many ways and means to realize democracy. In an unspoken reference to the United States and its NATO allies, Xi stated that judgment of whether a country is democratic should be made not by a handful of elites but by its own people.
In multiple references, Xi said that the CPC would lead only the Chinese people. Unlike presidents of the United States of America, China’s president Xi Jinping at no point in his speech claimed that China would lead the world, or had that right. He said the CPC would share what it learned with political parties across the world.
In another clear reference to the U.S., Xi urged political parties to counter the politicizing of the Covid-19 pandemic, or attaching to it a geographic label. Only through scientific and political cooperation will the virus be overcome. Regarding the environment and global warming, Xi declared that the world must follow the laws of nature.
Humanity is at a historic crossroads: hostile confrontation or mutual respect.
Alluding to the colonial wars that held China in chains beginning in the early 1800s until the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949, and the classical and hybrid wars that continue to this day, Xi promised that China would never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence. It would always consider itself to be a member of the developing world.
Xi proposed that humanity is at a historic crossroads: hostile confrontation or mutual respect; a zero sum game or win-win results. Now that China has achieved its poverty alleviation goals ten years ahead of schedule, China’s Belt and Road development initiative, Xi noted, is a primary means for the CPC and China to share the benefits of development.
It is worth emphasizing that in the early 1990s the CPC prioritized poverty alleviation and has successfully lifted more than 800 million people out of extreme poverty, a population greater than twice that of the United States, in a relatively short time, a result that no capitalist country has come remotely close to.
The common challenges of humankind cannot be tackled alone, but all must work together. Xi urged political parties to respond to the people’s aspirations, strengthen cooperation, and build toward a shared future with common values of peace, justice, democracy, and freedom.
In total there were over 10,000 delegates representing more than 500 political parties and organizations from at least 160 countries. The CPUSA was represented by co-chair Rossana Cambron and members of both the International Department and the Peace and Solidarity Commission. Leaders of the two major parties in the USA were absent, as were leaders of most European political parties.
The widespread response to the CPC’s invitation makes clear that, despite the efforts of the United States to “contain” it, China is not politically and economically isolated, the goal of U.S. imperialism with respect to China in order maintain U.S. global hegemony. Xi stated directly that China did not seek hegemony.
Members of some parties gathered to watch the proceedings as a group, maintaining Covid distances in conference rooms decorated with flags and banners. Technicians operating the Zoom program often panned across the delegates in these rooms, who, seeing themselves on-screen waved to their counterparts across the globe. Many cities throughout China filled such conference rooms.
In the Zoom conference were 19 more speakers, 8 from Asia (including Russia), 7 from Africa, 3 from Latin America, 1 each from the Middle East and Europe. The broadcast Zoom summit lasted approximately three and a half hours. Speeches and messages of congratulations from numerous other countries were not carried in the live Zoom.
Translation was provided in 13 languages, including Chinese, for all speakers and participants.
The expressions of congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the CPC and appreciation for its role and China’s rapid advancement repeatedly echoed from all invited speakers.
It is worth noting that the privilege of speaking immediately following Xi was given to South Africa, one of the BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) large and fast-developing countries.
Below is a sampling of excerpts from those presentations.
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the African National Congress (ANC) and of South Africa, began by immediately referring to the celebration this year of the100th anniversary of the South African Communist Party, with which he said the ANC works closely and which played a central role in the struggle for freedom and democracy. Ramaphosa praised China for being a good and loyal friend, offering unwavering support as the South African and other African peoples fought for independence. He praised China’s Belt and Road Initiative in developing extensive skills, offering help in economic reform, enhanced trade and greater integration among African economies. Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramaphosa thanked the government and people of China for their generous provision of vaccines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and vital supplies. China, he offered, was a bridge in the huge divide that exists between rich and poor.
Ramaphosa continued, stating that we must take a firm stand against “vaccine imperialism,” which is morally indefensible,” as no person should be denied vaccine because of where he or she lives, gender, race, language, or personal circumstances. South Africa is inspired by China’s progress to eradicate absolute poverty in the largest developing economy on the planet. He wholeheartedly endorsed Chairman Xi’s statement that people are the true heroes who create history. He finished by calling the CPC a true, reliable, and valued friend.
Many respected national leaders made clear that China’s massive multilateral economic development project, the Belt and Road Initiative, deeply benefits their nations, contrary to the “debt trap” narrative being maliciously spread by U.S. imperialism.
Many participants in the conference also took the opportunity to outline the goals and aspirations of their own peoples, parties, and countries to the gathered leadership.
Following South Africa was Nursultan Nazarbaev, Chair of the Nur Otan Party and the first president of Kazakhstan. In this year, the 50th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, he said, we have something to be proud of. The country has reached 51st in development among 189 states, has the 41st highest economy in the world, and the 2nd after Russia in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The GDP has grown by 15 times. Life expectancy has risen from 57 to 73 years, while poverty and unemployment have significantly declined. Kazakhstan’s goal is to be among the 30 most developed countries in the world. Kazakhstan is developing its own Covid-19 vaccine, which is undergoing WHO approval, and is considering supplying vaccines to other countries. In 2013 President Xi first put forward the Belt and Road Initiative during a visit to Kazakhstan, which immediately endorsed it. Nazarbaev pointed out that with 160 million people living in conflict zones or displaced from their homes, it’s important not to leave anyone on the side of the road. To minimize inequality, political parties can have closer interactions to overcome political tensions. Ordinary citizens, he stated, in no way desire rivalries, military conflicts, and trade wars. Kazakhstan and China are neighbors with a large common border of over 1,700 km (1,100 miles). It makes sense to strengthen relations between the two countries.
Speakers included Rodrigo Duterte, President of PDP-Laban and of the Philippines; Mohammed Abbas, President of Fatah and of Palestine; Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Progressive P of Serbia and President of Serbia; Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of FRELIMO and Mozambique; Hage Geingob, President of SWAPO and Namibia; George Papandreou, President of the Socialist International; José Luis Centella, President of the Communist Party of Spain; Evo Morales Ayma, President of the MAS party and former President of Bolivia; among others.
Below are some highlights from a few other speakers.
Dmitri Medvedev, Chair of United Russia Party and Deputy Chair of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. The Soviet Union was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This partnership, the “best in our history,” continues to develop with the China-Russia treaty of good neighborliness and friendly cooperation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in a few days. Last week Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping officially announced the extension of the treaty for five more years. The two countries are jointly implementing large-scale projects on a bilateral basis. Active cooperation did not stop even during the pandemic because the two countries have common interests in long-term mutual support. China, Medvedev continued, is Russia’s largest trading partner. The two countries are building a EurAsian union through China’s Belt and Road Initiative. They are cooperating in the fields of energy, industry, high tech, agriculture, information security, and cybercrime. The two countries advocate abiding by international regulations within a global market and are cooperating against the global trade war and sanctions. China and Russia are working together to overcome Covid-19 through prevention, diagnosis, and development of vaccines and drugs. Russia is promoting green corridors to provide Covid relief in countries that are under sanctions by the West. All leading political parties in the world are responsible for protecting the interest of their voters, which cannot be accomplished without cooperation, friendship, and mutual understanding among political parties.
Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam sent his warmest congratulations to the Chinese government, people, and the CPC. Nguyen stated that the CPC has led the Chinese people in making historic achievements. Under Chairman Xi Jinping, China will score even greater achievements as a democratic, beautiful, and strong country. The great leader of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh said: “Under heaven there is nothing more important than the people and nothing is stronger than unity.” The CPV has met the people’s desire for independence, reunification of the country, safeguarding national interests, and rebuilding Vietnam after the war. Currently, Vietnam has entered the ranks of developing countries with middle income. It is one of the highest in the Index of Human Development. The CPV took practical efforts to fight the pandemic, while maintaining the economy and assuring the livelihood of the people. It works relentlessly to build a strong party and political system, while Vietnam at the same time is pressing ahead with reform and modernization and integration into the international community. Nguyen thanked China for valuable support in Vietnam’s efforts at building independence and its development.
Miguel Diaz-Canel, 1st Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of Cuba: The founding of the CPC and creation of the new China were major events in human history. Since then, China, a great nation representing progressive and left revolutionary forces, has made important theoretical and practical contributions to Marxism- Leninism by holding high the banner of socialism. Comrade Mao Zedong, one of the founding delegates, as party leader made major contributions to revolutionary struggle and the national liberation of China, which was large and impoverished. Today after more than four decades of reform and opening up, China is recognized throughout the world with a strong economic base, which is supported by a huge domestic market and experience gained in exploration of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We see in China a united, industrious people, with a historic memory, millennial culture, and highly trained capable and committed cadres. Above all, we see a party that has firmly and wisely addressed the greatest adversities and has been able to place integrated development, institutions, rule of law, and the people at the center of its work. The CPC’s effective battle against Covid-19 and the visible results in eradicating poverty are recent and admirable examples of its response to the people’s demands.
Despite China’s undeniable achievements, the U.S. government, deliberately concealing its hegemonic interests and world domination, is trying to portray China as a threat to its security while at the same time tarnishing the image of the CPC. The truth is quite different. In the context of a complex international situation, China has provided an important element of balance, stability, and peace. It does not impose its model, adopt unilateral measures, or apply extraterritorial laws. Instead, China defends multilateralism and the principles of international law. In the battle against the pandemic it has donated its vaccine to 80 countries and three international organizations and exported to more than 40 countries.
With the triumph of the Cuban revolution, a colonial past and imperialist plundering have come to an end. The road to justice, equality, and human dignity for all has begun. As a small nation Cuba guarantees universal access to health and education, citizen security, and social tranquility under the principle of leaving no one unprotected. We assure the equality of all people without discrimination of any kind. Cuba faces a criminal blockade imposed by the U.S. government imposed over 60 years ago, which was intensified during the Trump administration, which added 243 brutal measures that the Biden administration maintains. These are kept in place despite the international crisis aggravated by the pandemic. Despite this genocidal policy, Cuba managed to sustain services, attend to its population infected by Covid and set up more than 20 biological labs in record time, design and develop national prototypes of ventilators and diagnostic kits, and develop five vaccine candidates. Those vaccines are expected to immunize our entire population and to help other nations. At the same time, our country provided selfless medical assistance to other countries; 57 medical teams and 2,500 health professionals were sent to 40 countries in different regions. This is proof that the Cuban revolution always considers the needs of the people and international solidarity as priorities.
We reiterate our consistent support of the one-China principle and objection to interference in Chinese internal affairs. At the same time, we appreciate the unequivocal stance of this great nation in solidarity with Cuba, which has paid a high price in economic development and lives for defending its noble ideas.
Our deepest conviction is that in 2049 China will be the first modern socialist country to reach its centenary under the leadership of the CPC, the political vanguard of China.
Emerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe and 1st Secretary of ZANU-PF. The CPC has been our strategic ally, dating back to the days of our armed liberation struggle. The excellent bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China have been steadily growing since independence, which was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2018. ZANU-PF is grateful to the CPC and government of PRC who supported Zimbabwe on its development path and national rejuvenation in several infrastructure projects undertaken due to Chinese support. These include the new parliament building, upgrading and expansion of the Robert Mugabe International Airport, and construction of the Hwange Sovereign Aid thermal power station and other projects. We’ve equally welcomed a number of private Chinese companies in the mining sector and steel production subsectors.
Our party draws lessons and inspiration from the successes achieved by the CPC, which has turned around the fortunes of China to be a global leader. On our part ZANU-PF is unwavering in advancing sustainable development which leaves no one behind. The aspirations of our people for a better quality of life are the focus of our party and government efforts. So far notable successes are being scored with regard to market stabilization, reduction of inflation, and overall projected growth in our GDP. National priorities include accelerated agricultural revolution through modernization of that sector; broadening value chains and appreciation of our vast primary commodities; exploitation and growth of the mining sector; driving an innovation agenda and industrial growth; modernization and development of infrastructure as well as energy generation; bringing business reforms. I express my gratitude to the CPC and government of the PRC and specifically to his excellency Xi Jinping for the role China is playing in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on the pandemic in Zimbabwe. China has made timely and numerous donations of medical equipment, PPE, and, most recently Covid-19 vaccines. ZANU-PF congratulates the leadership of China in advancing the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many other substantive statements were presented. In a relatively brief window of time, political party leaders, not just heads of governments, were able to speak directly to a world audience. This internet summit organized by the Communist Party of China displays an important avenue for building solidarity and good will among the peoples of the world. To view the speeches and for more information, visit the Summit website.
Images: CPC and World Political Parties Summit.