Today, 1st July 2021, China’s Communist Party celebrates its 100th birthday.
Born out of a meeting of a few young revolutionary leaders on a small red boat not too far from where our factory is today, the Party has always called itself ‘great, glorious and correct’. As it enters its second century, the Party has good reason to boast.
China has transformed itself from a famine-racked disaster, into the world’s 2nd-largest economy, whose cutting-edge technology and infrastructure put the West’s creaking roads, railways, and airports to shame and made Chinese companies some of the world’s biggest and most successful. Not only did the Party survive much longer than its many critics predicted – the most successful authoritarians in the world are on the rise.
Over the years, the West has found many reasons to predict the collapse of Chinese communism. Isn’t the control demanded by a one-party state incompatible with the freedom demanded by a modern economy? Will China’s economic growth run out of steam, leading to disillusion and protests? Will the growing middle class demand greater freedoms and liberties, especially because so many of them have encountered democracy first-hand? “These predictions have been belied by the continued popularity of the Party” said Barry Piper, GM Asia Cooper Turner Beck. “Many Chinese credit it for improving their lives and admire its strength”. Look how quickly China crushed Covid-19 and revitalized its economy, even as the Western governments continue to stumble under record amounts of debt and mismanagement.
The Chinese relish the idea of China’s newfound pride as it moves to the world’s centre stage, and it is bringing with it its political and social values. The Chinese are hugely nationalistic. It is probably the safest place to be in the world and caricatures the West as a land of race riots and gun massacres – here in China do we really want this as an alternative to the Party and China’s one-party rule.
Whilst no party lasts forever, we wish the Party another century of being ‘great, glorious and correct’ in representing the Chinese people’s wishes and aspirations.