“People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma. They approve of Marxism, but are not prepared to practice it in full; they are not prepared to replace their liberalism with Marxism. These people have their Marxism, but they have their liberalism as well — they talk Marxism but practice liberalism. They apply Marxism to others but liberalism to themselves. They keep both kinds of goods in stock and find a use for each. This is how the minds of certain people work.”
—Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 31-32
For those who believe that the communist dictatorship in Beijing is ready to enter a new era of democratic capitalism, the recent “Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development,” delivered at the fourth session of the Ninth National People’s Congress on March 5, may prove to be an eye-opening exercise.
This is the 10th such five-year plan under communism and the first China will implement in the new century. The proposal defines objectives, guiding principles and major tasks for China’s economic and social development during the next five years. The proposal was hard-hitting and elaborated on the ways and means China’s dictators will attempt to implement state-sponsored socialism in the near future.
The plan reads as follows:
“We need to consolidate and build on our achievements in the reform of state-owned enterprises and pay special attention to establishing a modern corporate structure, transforming operational mechanisms and intensifying scientific management. We need to quicken preparation for accession into the World Trade Organization. We need to improve the social security system, create more jobs by various means, and raise people’s living standards. An important and pressing task is to make great efforts in reorganizing and standardizing the order of the market economy. We need to promote spiritual civilization and improve democracy and the legal system. We need to continue to handle the relationship between reform, development and stability properly, improve all facets of public security and maintain social stability. We fully support Beijing’s bid to host the Olympic Games. We need to make overall plans by taking all factors into consideration and avail ourselves of the favorable circumstances in order to sustain our forward momentum in economic and social development.
“We have already entered the 21st century and started to march toward the strategic objectives of the third stage in the modernization drive. No difficulties or hardships can deter we Chinese people in our pursuit of success. Let us rally closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Jiang Zemin at its core, hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, adhere to the Party’s basic line, and follow the guidance of the important principle of the `Three Represents.’ Let us bestir ourselves and work diligently toward the objectives set forth in the 10th Five-Year Plan for the establishment of a strong, prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced modern socialist country!
“We need to follow the [Maoist and Marxist] principle of `doing two jobs at once and attaching equal importance to each.’ We need to consolidate and strengthen the guiding role of Marxism and educate the people in Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory. We need to promote patriotism, collectivism and socialism.
“We need to continue education of our cadres in the important principle of `Three Represents’ (The Communist Party of China represents the requirement to develop advanced productive forces, an orientation towards advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China) and foster the spirit of studying hard, being politically minded and being honest and upright.
“Our cadres should have a correct outlook on the world and life and have correct values. We need to work hard to foster ideas and ethics appropriate for a socialist market economy. We need to administer the country in accordance with moral principles as well as the law. We need to disseminate scientific knowledge, combat ignorance and superstition and encourage healthy lifestyles. We need to further develop various cultural undertakings, such as literature and art, journalism and publishing, and radio, film and television. We should adhere to the principles of serving the people and socialism and of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend.
“We need to produce more and better cultural and intellectual works. We need to maintain the correct orientation of public opinion, and place strong emphasis on the establishment and management of new information media. We need to build more libraries, cultural centers, science and technology centers, museums, archives, and recreation centers for juveniles and senior citizens. Mass participation activities should be continued to promote cultural and ethical progress. We need to deepen reform of the system for managing cultural undertakings, improve the economic policies concerning cultural undertakings, and promote the development of industries related to culture.”
At the Ninth People’s Congress, the communist dictators stated clearly their immediate plans for Taiwan.
Their report stated: “An early settlement of the Taiwan issue and the accomplishment of national reunification are the shared aspirations of the entire Chinese nation and an enormous task we are now facing. We will continue to follow the basic principles of `peaceful reunification’ and ‘one country, two systems’ and the eight-point proposal put forward by President Jiang Zemin. We will, together with the vast majority of our compatriots in Taiwan, resolutely put a stop to any separatist attempt and do our utmost to achieve peaceful reunification. We will adhere to the one-China principle, continue to push for cross-straits dialogue and negotiations on that basis, and promote economic, cultural and personnel exchanges between the two sides. We are confident that with the unremitting efforts of all Chinese people, the great cause of national reunification will surely be accomplished at an early date.”
Speaking of China’s military, the latest five-year plan calls for “strengthening national defense and building up the armed services. This is an important guarantee for the security of the state and the success of the modernization drive. As we focus our efforts on developing the national economy, we must also strengthen our national defense and increase our defense capabilities. We need to strengthen ideological and political work among servicemen, ensure the absolute leadership of the Party over the armed forces and guide the development of the armed forces in the correct direction.”
“We need to work conscientiously to implement the military strategy of active defense in the new era; persist in reform and innovation; strengthen the armed forces through science and technology, with an emphasis on quality and thrift; run the armed forces by law; and streamline the armed forces in a Chinese way in order to build a more modernized, standardized revolutionary army. We need to raise the people’s awareness of the importance of national defense and improve the mobilization system. We need to strengthen defense-related scientific research, reform and restructure science, technology and industry related to national defense, develop new weapons and equipment, utilize modern technology, especially high technology to improve the defense capabilities and combat effectiveness of the armed forces, and ensure their preparedness for any contingency.”
A green China?
Another key point of the plan is for the Chinese government to pay more attention to environmental concerns — especially since China hopes to host the Olympic Games in 2008.
A remote sensing system will be set up in the next couple of years in the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China to monitor the region’s environment. With an expected investment of 20 million yuan ($2.4 million), the system has so far been approved by the Chinese State Meteorological Administration and the local Tibetan authorities.
The system is designed to receive observation data from Chinese and foreign satellites; collect and transmit the observation data about the land, rivers, forests and grassland in Tibet; and thus help facilitate the protection of Tibet’s environment.
Tibet has a vast, sparsely populated area and complicated landscape. Traditional means of observation have failed to meet the new demands, local officials said. In addition, Tibet has a high altitude and thin atmosphere, where the remote sensing technology can be efficiently applied.
Cheers from Mexico
How has China’s new five-year plan been received overseas? Mexico provides an excellent example.
On April 10, Xinhua, China’s Official News Agency, reported that China’s mode of social and economic development was deemed “innovative” and “successful” by Luis Felipe Bravo Mena, president of Mexico’s ruling National Action Party.
The PAN has stood in opposition to the PRI Party, which has dominated Mexican politics since the 1920s. Bravo Mena was elected president of the National Action Party in 1999.
Bravo Mena, who is currently visiting China at the invitation of the Communist Party described China’s development as “highly impressive.” He spoke of the “great changes [that] have taken place since I came here five years ago to attend the 96th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.”
Mexico wishes to enhance its cooperation with China, as well as other economies in the Pacific Rim, said Bravo Mena, citing the facts that President Vicente Fox is planning to visit China and that Mexico will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Shanghai later this year.
Fox created a stir in California during a recent visit when he called for America to give full welfare benefits and voting rights to Mexican illegal aliens living in the U.S.
“Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s ongoing visit to six Latin American countries is of great significance,” Bravo Mena added. He also expressed his hope that the visit will enhance friendship and understanding and push forward cooperative relations between China and these countries in the 21st century.
“Mexico and China are highly complementary in trade,” said Bravo Mena. “Bilateral trade has experienced rapid growth in the past years, and we hope our trade relations will see further development. Mexico is already a member of the World Trade Organization, and we hope to see China’s entry at an early date.”
Statistics released by the General Administration of Customs show that Sino-Mexican trade was up 91.8 percent in 2000 to U.S.$1.82 billion.
Beijing’s new investment opportunities
On the heels of Bravo Mena’s visit, the city government of China’s capital will offer greater benefits for overseas investors in a package of policies put forward at a recent meeting on foreign trade and economic cooperation.
Mayor Liu Qi said the city is expected to achieve new breakthroughs in foreign trade and economic cooperation this year, so as to face challenges and opportunities brought about by China’ s expected entry into the World Trade Organization.
Beijing will promote exports by selling more local goods abroad, mainly machinery, electrical products and high-tech products, Liu said. He called for special efforts to attract international high-tech companies to invest in the city’s high-tech industry, state enterprises and infrastructure. Long- and mid-term foreign investment is encouraged in various forms, he said.
Local companies will be encouraged to invest abroad or set up businesses in foreign countries, as part of the efforts to boost the export of local equipment, parts and materials, as well as labors, according to Lui.
Liu said that Beijing welcomes participation by overseas companies in its urban development, as it is now launching a series of projects to build more subways, highways and sewage treatment plants. He added that in order to attract more overseas investors, the Beijing municipal government has come up with a series of favorable policies and simplified the procedure for project approval.
But not all is rosy in China, as many Chinese continue to flee that nation.
According to Vienna ORF Television, police in Austria have uncovered a gang of refugee smugglers who smuggled about 3,000 people — most of them Chinese — to Austria as tourists without the proper visas. Seven people have been arrested. This recent bust is the result of months of investigations by the Austrian authorities.
The refugee smugglers made contacts with their victims in China, demanded a down payment of 350,000 schillings, which they had to pay for their ticket to Europe, and then brought the illegal immigrants to the country — mostly with forged papers.
Police suspect the gang of smugglers has received at least 500 million schillings – perhaps twice that. Officials believe that the “masterminds” of the organization, who “cashed in” the profits, are based in China.