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Nation's modernization both challenging and significant

Updated:2022-10-28 16:53:09

In the report delivered to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that China's modernization is "a task of unparalleled difficulty and complexity", as it entails the modernization of a population that is larger than the combined population of all developed countries. Its difficulty and complexity can be seen from at least two perspectives.

First, from a historical perspective, modernization is a developed social form characterized by industrialization, urbanization and profound changes in the economy, society, politics and culture.

So far, the current trend of modernization of human society has been going on for over 200 years. In the second half of the 18th century, when the United Kingdom started its industrialization, it had an estimated population of 8 million people. In the 20th century, when the United States led global modernization, its population grew from 100 million in 1910 to more than 300 million in 2007.

China must complete its modernization process with a population of over 1.4 billion, which would be the most remarkable modernization in the history of human development.

Second, from a realistic perspective, China is the world's most populous country and the largest developing country.

According to population data this year, China's population accounts for about 18 percent of the total global population. The nation's population is 4.26 times that of the US, 3.16 times that of the European Union, 9.75 times that of Russia, and 11.21 times that of Japan. China's population is over 1.5 times the total population of the countries and regions that have completed modernization.

The modernization of a country with such a huge population will completely rewrite the landscape of global modernization. By that time, the center of global modernization will no longer be Europe and North America, but China or modern Asia and modern East Asia with China as the mainstay. It is an inevitable outcome of major changes underway in the global landscape.

The modernization of its huge population is significant for both China and the world.

In terms of the implications for China, its modernization seeks common prosperity and thus is a process that will benefit all of the people. It took only decades for the Chinese people, under the leadership of the CPC and through their own unremitting efforts, to complete the nation's industrialization process — a process that took developed countries over 200 years.

The nation has managed to lift nearly 100 million rural residents out of extreme poverty over the past decade with a campaign that brought an end to regional and overall poverty. With the overall living standards of urban and rural residents being lifted to a higher level, China has succeeded in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, laying a solid foundation for the realization of its modernization.

Being able to move toward modernization in a developing country with such a huge population fully demonstrates the strength of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. This strength has been transformed into the efficiency of national governance, which in turn has been transformed into a huge development achievement in the process of national modernization.

Therefore, the modernization of a huge population and common prosperity will offer not only the best example of the strength in China's system, but also the best example for a new form of human civilization created by the Chinese path to modernization.

In terms of its significance for the world, the modernization of a country or region with a small population will not be as significant as the modernization of a country with a large population. The modernization of the UK, Germany and the US has exerted important influences and played high exemplary roles in the world.

As a developing country with a huge population, China started as a poor country. Through arduous exploration and hard work, the nation has followed a path of modernization that is different from that of the developed countries in the West.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the nation's successful practice in continuously improving public wellbeing, and its modernization drive toward common prosperity, have demonstrated that the modernization of Western capitalist countries is not the only modernization path. In doing so, China has blazed a new path for developing countries to move toward modernization, and provided new options for nations wishing to accelerate their development and maintain their independence and autonomy. Therefore, the contribution of Chinese modernization to human modernization is brand new at the institutional level.

It should be pointed out that, with its huge population, China's modernization will be an arduous and complex process. As General Secretary Xi pointed out, "Our modernization is both the most difficult and the greatest."

Therefore, it is important to maintain a sober mind going forward and adopt a problem-oriented approach focusing on the goals already established. The successful convening of the 20th CPC National Congress marks the beginning of the next stage of China's journey as it strives to become a modern socialist country in all respects.

As long as we uphold the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and make steady progress toward the established goals in accordance with strategic plans, the blueprint for the Chinese path to modernization and common prosperity for over 1.4 billion people will surely become a reality.