Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping's speeches offer the world a chance to better understand modern China

Cai Mingzhao says a new book of Xi's speeches offers insights into reform and the Chinese Dream

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 October, 2014, 5:06am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 October, 2014, 5:06am

In the less than two years that Xi Jinping has been China's top leader, he has taken the nation onto a new journey of reform, opening up and modernisation.

Now, for the first time, a book titled Xi Jinping: The Governance of China - a collection of some 80 of his speeches - has just been released in multi-language editions, including English. The book presents comprehensive and systematic answers to major problems that China has encountered and serves as a unique opportunity for the international community to understand the country.

In fact, the book deals not only with Chinese matters, but with the world at large. Readers will get a clear picture of the concepts and strategies of China's new leadership, feel the drastic changes in China, and come to see its people's dreams and pursuits.

More importantly, people outside China will be able to understand where China has come from, in which direction it is going and what it means for them.

Soon after taking office, Xi said that China's path of socialism with a Chinese character "is the only way to foster our country's development and stability and create a better life for our people". He admitted that "it will not be an easy path".

Today, China's economy ranks second in the world. Meanwhile, China remains the largest developing country with a per capita gross domestic product that ranks about 80th in the world, showing that its development is not well balanced, coordinated or sustainable.

The Chinese leadership has introduced innovative concepts and measures to ensure more encouraging prospects for development.

Xi has announced the "Chinese dream" of national rejuvenation. According to him, the essence of this dream is to make the country prosperous and strong, rejuvenate the nation, and enable the people to lead happy lives. In the age of globalisation, the Chinese dream is also connected to the dreams of people from other countries.

In pursuing reform, China is facing tough challenges. The book documents the courage and wisdom Xi and his colleagues have shown in overcoming difficulties. For Xi, reform and opening up play the decisive role in determining the destiny of China.

Last year, China produced a bold reform plan covering 15 sectors and involving 330 measures. The announcement of the objectives, tasks and methods for comprehensive and deeper reform allows readers to see the difficulties and complexities of the current reform.

Much of the determination Xi has shown in tackling problems can be explained by his personal background. As a young man, he experienced the hardships of a rural life of hunger and did a number of jobs before becoming president. His experience enhances his understanding of people's lives and their expectations.

The book document Xi's visits to poverty-stricken areas, where he heard local opinions, pinpointed their needs and emphasised the importance of promoting social fairness.

He has shown commitment to involve the general public in every step of the process of governance.

One of the first things his administration did was to implement an eight-point code of conduct to fight corruption, improve official performance and maintain closer ties with the people.

In recent decades, China has drastically improved its national strength and international standing. Not unexpectedly, many outside China hold an increasingly complicated attitude towards the country's growth.

The book devotes five chapters to addressing these concerns.

Xi stresses that commitment to the path of peaceful development is China's strategic choice, and that such a policy is not an act of expediency or empty diplomatic talk. Rather, it is a conclusion drawn from objective assessment of China's history, the present situation and future prospects.

Since it benefits both China and the world, there is no reason why China should not continue on such a path.

In the book, he elaborates on such concepts as "a community of shared destiny", "a new model of major-country relationship", and "friendship, sincerity, reciprocity and inclusiveness".

Xi is an excellent storyteller. His cultural background and rich experiences contribute to a simple, natural and vivid style of communication.

He says "only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit or not", as a way of illustrating that only the people can tell if the path they are on is suitable or not.

In fighting corruption, he uses "catching tigers" as well as "flies" to convey his lack of tolerance for illegal conduct. While in Brussels, he said that "Chinese people are fond of tea, and Belgians love beer", to illustrate the concepts of inclusiveness and mutual learning between different civilisations.

Cai Mingzhao is minister of the State Council Information Office