WE ARE WORKING TO REVITALIZE
THE CHINESE NATION
April 7, 1990
Forty years have passed since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and we have laid a good foundation for economic development. Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee, we have been concentrating on modernizing the country so as to revitalize the Chinese nation. Unless we modernize, China will never attain its rightful position in the international community. But the modernization we are working for is socialist modernization. Only socialism can bind the people together, help them overcome their difficulties, prevent polarization of wealth and bring about common prosperity.
Last year there was some unrest in China. As was necessary, we brought the situation under control. I asked others to tell President Bush that if the political situation in China became unstable, the trouble would spread to the rest of the world, with consequences that would be hard to imagine. Stability is essential to economic development, and only under the leadership of the Communist Party can there be a stable socialist China.
Some Western countries have imposed sanctions on China, but to no avail. It was after twenty-two years of fighting that the People’s Republic was founded, and the experience of blockades, sanctions and isolation by certain countries has only served to mature it. Our development over the past forty years, and especially over the last decade, has increased our strength. China will never collapse; on the contrary, it will grow stronger. This is what the nation, the people and the times demand.
I am a Chinese, and I am familiar with the history of foreign aggression against China. When I heard that the seven Western countries, at their summit meeting, had decided to impose sanctions on China, my immediate association was to 1900, when the allied forces of the eight powers invaded China. Six of these same seven countries, excluding Canada, together with czarist Russia and Austria, constituted the eight powers that formed the allied forces in those days. Our people should study Chinese history; it will inspire us to develop the country.
Some people abroad are talking about the “Asia-Pacific century”. Asia has a population of 3 billion people, and 1.1 billion of them live on the mainland of China. The so-called Asia-Pacific century will make no sense unless China develops. Of course, it will make no sense unless India develops too. The image of China depends on the mainland, and the prospects for China’s development also depend on the mainland. Taiwan is contending with the mainland for authority over China. It really overestimates its strength. It would be better for both sides to be broad-minded. For our part, we have already shown our broad-mindedness by proposing the formula of “one country, two systems”. We believe that eventually our motherland will be reunified on the basis of that principle.
It will not be long before the People’s Republic of China, which is already a political power, becomes an economic power as well. China’s seat in the United Nations belongs to the People’s Republic. Although the average per capita income is quite low on the mainland, we are not backward in every field. For instance, our annual output of iron and steel has reached 60 million tons. Space technology and high technology in other areas have developed rapidly in China, and we have had a high rate of success in launching satellites. The Chinese are very intelligent. Chinese scientists have scored great achievements despite poor research conditions and poor living conditions. When the Chinese people are disunited, they are weak, but when they join together, they have enormous strength.
We Chinese should bestir ourselves. The mainland has developed a solid economic foundation. Besides, we have tens of millions of overseas compatriots, and they want to see China grow strong and prosperous. We are unique in that respect. We shall seize every opportunity to develop. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, nor do we fear their sanctions. China opposes hegemonism, and we shall never seek hegemony ourselves. China’s prospects for the next century are excellent.
(Excerpt from a talk with Dhanin Chearavanont, Chairman of the Board of the Chia Tai Group in Thailand.)