Volume IV of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China continues the trajectory and stream of thought outlining issues at the core of the governance of contemporary China, articulated and presented in the writings and speeches of President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. The first, second and third volumes of the book have already left a huge mark. The writings and speeches of the Chinese leader are fairly easy to understand, but underneath this simplicity is a complex web of thinking encompassing the dynamics of the laws of human development, historical contexts of the development process and theoretical basis to investigate the process.
The book answers questions about the miracle of China's development and enumerates the enduring tradition in the governance of China, that is, keeping in mind the big picture without ever losing focus of the specific context. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the rigor in the critical exploration and innovation has exponentially grown, bringing the benefits of scientific progress to governance.
In Volume IV, President Xi gives insights into the competence of the CPC. To stay at the forefront of the times, a nation must always be guided by the right theories and thoughts. He asserts that "the capability of our Party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works." He makes it clear that socialism has succeeded in China because Marxism is adapted by the CPC to the Chinese context.
He further elaborates that Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology "upon which our Party and country are founded; it is the very soul of our Party and the banner under which it strives." China has demonstrated that Marxism is not a set of rigid dogmas, but a guide to action that must evolve as the situation changes.
This important theoretical outlook expressed in fairly understandable terms constitutes the ideational framework for the governance of China. Under its guidance, the CPC exerts itself to the utmost to respond to challenges in various facets of the country's modernization effort and even beyond. Seeking to connect thoughts generated through engagement with theories and developing practical solutions for issues of Party self-governance, state administration, people's welfare, and international relations constitute the crux of the governance of China outlined in this volume.
The 658-page tome is a page-turner, ushering the reader into fresh frontiers of President Xi's expansive thoughts on varying issues from a compilation of 109 of his speeches and written works spanning from February 3, 2020 to May 10, 2022.
The sustainability and inclusiveness of China's development have confounded many Western experts and other pundits, compelling them and most of the Western political establishment to harden their ideological prejudice against the CPC as the leading force in the governance of China. The ideological prejudice and paranoia have ultimately led to political brinkmanship in some Western ruling circles, shaping the policy framework of confrontation and containment in relations with China.
Volume IV of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China elucidates the nature of creative thinking and scientific investigation of facts and the relentless persistence in inquiry and explorations at the heart of the governance endeavors of the CPC. The CPC leverages maximally its founding mission of serving the people wholeheartedly, takes seriously its creed of theoretical innovations to keep a handle on evolving issues and engages with such issues to improve the lives of the people.
Throughout the four volumes, President Xi has continuously emphasized the strict and rigorous self-governance of the CPC as the only way for the Party to guarantee its vitality and govern the country competently. In the thoughts and works of President Xi outlined in these volumes, there is no doubt that the CPC is the main driving force leading the charge in China's governance and the development that has inspired universal interest.
However, the Party's success in its governance endeavors is directly connected to the support of the people, and its selfless commitment to serving the people. Subjecting itself to people's supervision, the Party upholds its fundamental tenet of serving the people wholeheartedly and consequently enjoys rock-solid support.
President Xi has reinforced the core historical pillar of the mass line, a major theme in the life of the Party, according to which the Party proceeds from the people, conducts its work in the midst of the people and puts itself under the supervision of the people.
Volume IV of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China will help readers understand China's role in the world, which is not as a new sheriff in town with whips and cudgels to knock heads and arms into following a "rules-based order" in which not all stakeholders contributed to the drawing of the "rules." China's engagement with the rest of the world proceeds from a solid framework of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and applies the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. The Belt and Road Initiative, a framework of international cooperation with connectivity of infrastructure and alignment of policies at its core, has generated global enthusiasm and ownership, making the initiative a practical expression to the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.
This volume offers the world not only a mirror to understand vital issues in the governance of China, but also a clear glimpse of its role as a major country bearing responsibility to humanity.
The book takes us through China's methodical exertions in different spheres to shoulder international responsibilities whether in upholding the basic multilateral mechanism in global governance, playing outstanding roles in generating global solidarity and cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic or outlining recovery plans and proposals for global development and security roadmaps. The works contained in the volume clearly show that none of these vital initiatives are mere happenstance, political rhetoric or grandstanding, but clearly outlined after a rigorous examination of reality and a strong will to generate outcomes for the advancement of humanity in its aspirations for peace, prosperity and collective security.
This volume cements President Xi's reputation not only as a Chinese statesman but a citizen of the world who, beyond the confines of his duties to his people, has abiding concerns for the prospects of humanity. Going through this volume, President Xi comes out as an outstanding proletarian theoretician for whom a high office means more toil and higher responsibility for the cause of his people and humanity at large.
This article was first published in the ChinAfrica magazine. The author is director of the Center for China Studies, Abuja, Nigeria