Huge Shakeup, Big Test, Great Cooperation
Keynote speech at the Understanding China Conference 2020 (Guangzhou)


Your Excellency Vice Minister Jiang jianguo,

Your Excellency Secretary General Norov,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Let me start by giving you a brief elaboration on the theme of this year’s Understanding China Conference, which is Huge Shake-up, Big Test, Great Cooperation, ——China’s New March Toward Modernization and Community of a Shared Future for Humanity.

I would like to share with you five points.


Suddenly, a pandemic that caught all of us by surprise disrupted the development process and expectations of humanity as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.


An equally unexpected wave of backlash against globalization fueled by protectionism, unilateralism and populism has added more uncertainties to the world.


The resulting loss of life and property, catastrophic damage to our society, economy, lifestyle and way of production have been unparalleled since 1980s when the world entered an era of peace and development.


With existing changes giving rise to new changes and multiple changes interacting with each other, the world is entering a stormy period of constant changes, which is the "huge shakeup" we are facing today.



The huge shakeup itself is putting us through a "big test":


First, can we overcome unilateralism and join hands to win the battle against the pandemic?

Second, can we restore the global value chain, ignite a new round of economic globalization and relaunch development when working together to overcome the pandemic;


Third, while fighting the pandemic and relaunching growth, can we stay committed and undistracted in spite of all the noises, so as to create a new chapter of world peace and development in the third decade of the 21st century and beyond?


Running through the dynamics of this huge shakeup and big test is a fundamental historical imperative, which is to achieve great cooperation among all countries and regions with different social systems, stages of development and aspirations from the third decade of the 21st century on. This great cooperation will be fostered gradually as we pull through the major tests of multilateral collaboration vs. unilateral actions, opening up vs isolation, and cooperation vs confrontation.


Truth be told, we have seen some early signs of this great cooperation in the tremendous global battle against Covid-19. There arise many examples of people’s strong desire to work together to contain the pandemic, and opportunities to greatly deepen cooperation have also emerged.


The "great cooperation" of all humanity is the silver lining in the dark and menacing clouds of the pandemic and is most cordially welcomed by all good people in the world.


That is true, but that is only part of the story.


As a matter of fact, there is another side of the story. To the surprise of all good people in the world, including all the conscientious statesmen and thinkers, the politician in power in a hegemonic country, in order to exonerate himself from his incompetence that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and to win more votes for himself in elections, shifted the blame to China when he himself openly declared to give up any effort to fight the epidemic, willfully made full containment of China a declared government policy, and even claimed unscrupulously that Taiwan is not part of China. This lame duck of the hegemonic country is viciously unleashing his “final madness”.


I must make a serious statement that this is the most negative part of the enormous changes unseen in a century.



In such a very challenging situation, China remains calm in making plans for the future, the most important one being the Proposal for Formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 adopted at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC recently. This proposal is a strategic choice made by the 1.4 billion Chinese people to tackle the changing landscape, meet the severe tests and promote great cooperation under the current domestic and international circumstances.


This plan answers the question of how, in the context of increasingly complicated international environment and growing instability and uncertainty and when the timeframes of the two Centenary Goals converge, the Communist Party of China intends to lead the Chinese nation to accomplish great rejuvenation amid momentous changes in the world unseen in a hundred years.


Offering a new vision for China’s development and demonstrating China’s responsibility as a major country that integrate its own development with that of the world, the Plan will become the most important blueprint to understand the governance of China by the CPC and the country's economic and social development in the current context.


The plan also contains a deeper strategic assessment. After making sober analysis of the favorable and unfavorable domestic and international conditions, the CPC Central Committee is convinced that China is still in an important period of strategic opportunities. In the third decade of the 21st century and beyond, we will maintain our strategic focus by concentrating resources and efforts to do our own things well; we will look for opportunities in crises and generate new possibilities in the changing environment; and as we pursue internal development goals, we will also actively conduct cooperation with other countries to create a much better prospect for the world.


Let me summarize in four statements.


First, adhere to reform and opening up and concentrate on doing China's own business well.

Second, by fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation being the mainstay and the domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, we will build a new economic system with higher-level opening up. A good example is the development of Shenzhen and the new goal for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Third, make sure that we basically achieve modernization by 2035, and build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful socialist modern country and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation by 2050.

Fourth, while actively participating in globalization at sea, we will promote globalization on land through the "Belt and Road Initiative" so as to form a new round of globalization both across the sea and over the land, which is unprecedented in the history of the world. And China will also be an active partner in the globalization of the cyberspace.

All these efforts echo our assessment of “huge shakeup, big test and great cooperation" and are guided by the overall principle of building a community of shared future for humanity. We welcome all countries to seize the new opportunities offered by China's development.

For your information, I’d like to point out  that in terms of self-sufficiency in industrial production and consumption, China is the only country in the world that possesses all the industrial categories in the United Nations "industrial classification". All 41 industrial divisions, 191 groups and 525 classes in ISIC can be found in China. Therefore, China is the least vulnerable to isolation and the best equipped to grow independently without relying on outside support. However, China has chosen to open wider to the outside world, stabilize the industrial supply chain, and promote reform and development through opening up. It demonstrates the strategic mindset and strategic vision of the Chinese People.

It also illustrates that in this changing landscape unprecedented in a hundred years, China has emerged from impoverishment and debilitation and entered a new era in which China can join hands with other countries to embrace and lead a new round of industrial revolution and economic globalization.

With this strategic dynamics, the period from now to 2035 will become a critical time for China's peaceful rise.

As to the attempts of the politician in power in the hegemonic country to turn back the wheel of history, we are very clear about how we will respond:we will be prepared both mentally and practically for all possible changes in the external environment, good or bad, with the worst scenario cases in mind, including taking precautionary measures in national defense.

As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the commemorative meeting of the 70th anniversary of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea: "The Chinese nation stands tough to fearmongering and extreme pressures!" "The Chinese people don't create troubles, nor are we afraid of troubles." "We should speak to the invaders in the language they understand, that is to end the war with war and to stop the invasion with force." This is so well-said and powerful!

After the general election in the hegemonic country, will the new administration take real actions in favor of Sino-US relations and for the benefit of world peace and development?  Here I would like to invoke an old Chinese saying: "Listen to what a person says and watch what he does". Let’s wait and see how the hegemony behaviors.


General Secretary Xi Jinping once made a profound remark that: "we need to adopt a historical and holistic approach to assessing international developments and choose the right approach to China’s role.” The right approach to China’s role is to be cool-headed in analyzing global developments. We should view China’s role in the context of its relations with the rest of the world so as to clearly define its position and role in an evolving international landscape, and adopt a foreign policy that befits China’s role.

Again, this so well-articulated!

Objectively speaking, the evolution of international landscape exhibits duality, having both positive aspects and negative aspects. In contrast to the "negative changes", the historic development of China’s relations with the world is becoming an anchor of the "positive changes" in the world today. China's "peaceful rise" is a great rejuvenation of the Chinese civilization driven by the comprehensive modernization of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is by no means a process of a new hegemon replacing the old hegemon as we have seen in modern world history.

That is to say, China defines its role as a country safeguarding, reforming and improving the international order and system, and upholds the banner of global governance, multilateralism and the community of shared future to respond to hegemonism.

In a word, the significant thematic setup of "huge shakeup, big test and great cooperation" itself means making historic choices and seizing historic opportunities. In the current situation, the real historic mission before the international community is to deeply reflect on economic globalization and global governance and substantially promote the community of shared future for humanity based on the convergence of interests and communities of interests.