Grace Maingire Correspondent
Once every five years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) holds a national congress, where the party’s top leadership is selected and the party outlines its future vision.
In 2017, the 19th congress held in Beijing saw China outlining its intent to approach a new era where socialism with Chinese characteristics will be followed. President Xi Jinping was endorsed as the core of the party as new senior members were selected in their respective capacities.
The 19th CPC Congress was special because President Xi Jinping’s ideas, which are called the “Xi Jinping Thought On Socialism with Chinese Characteristics For A New Era”, were enshrined in the party’s constitution.
The principles carry a number of values, which include; practising socialist core values, prioritisation of the rule of law, improving the discipline of the CPC, ensuring a people-centric leadership for the benefit of China, among others.
The CPC Congress saw a development plan being unveiled. A stratified two-stage development model was communicated with intention to kick-start China’s evolution into a great modern socialist country.
Between 2020 and 2035, the CPC will try and create a sustainable contemporary socialist society rooted in moderate prosperity. The 15 years will be devoted to improving the lives of Chinese citizens through creating a balance in wealth. The next 15-year cycle will begin in 2035 up until 2050.
After reaching a considerable level of equity, the CPC would like to extend the projected success to the socio-economic space touching aspects like democracy, culture as well as peaceful and well-endowed living.
China ranks very high among the fastest growing economies in the world and it was declared at the CPC Congress that it will be seeking to take its economic progression to a more defined trajectory.
In 2016, China’s GDP reached 74,4 trillion Yuan, representing 6,7 percent growth and also contributed more than 30 percent of global growth. China’s CPI rose by 2 percent with an 8,5 percent increase in profits. China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development.
Chinese firms have grown into global names with markets and visibility across the whole world. Resolutions were set to transform the Chinese economy into being characterised by improved efficiency and high quality production.
It was agreed at the congress that interest rates will be market friendly, meaning that there will be demand-based capital available to expand business activities into areas like artificial intelligence and Internet integration into the economy.
China also assured that it will not close its door to the world, rather it will only become more and more open and will significantly ease market access and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. This move presents tremendous opportunities to the outside world.
Surely with Zimbabwe’s Look East Policy, which focuses on China and other Asian countries, it will bring in success once technicalities of operation are smoothened out as Zimbabwe enters the new political dispensation. China and Zimbabwe have enjoyed good relations from the latter’s fight for liberation war of the early 1970s.
One of the common traits between the CPC and Zanu-PF is that both parties believe in socialism, an idea which may be criticised by some, but signals a caring leadership. President Xi Jinping’s ideas, which were adopted breathe a new lease of life on socialism and every party which believes in the ideas can refer to the contemporary listing of new ideas.
The CPC Congress resolved that it needs to fight and weed out one of its biggest threats, which is corruption and this coincides with Zimbabwe’s Operation Restore Legacy, which was meant to combat corruption.
Both countries can engage in joint research so as to identify creative ways in which the graft plague can be stopped. It poses a threat to the livelihood of people. China-Zimbabwe relations are set to benefit from both the CPC and Zanu-PF’s rejuvenation in 2017.
These ideological cousins can share ideas, continue with engagement and fulfil the previously agreed agreements for the betterment of both Chinese and Zimbabwean people. The already existing cooperation can be harnessed to produce maximum results, aligning the actions to the ideas formulated and adopted at the CPC 19th Congress.
There is already a precedent, Chinese Mobile Company Huawei and Zimbabwean Government-owned telecommunications networks operator TelOne have entered into deals which promise to grow the Zimbabwean communication industry.
The most recent was recorded in The Herald on December 6, 2017 in a story headlined “TelOne partners Huawei” in which TelOne Centre for Learning (TCfL) is now a certified Huawei Learning Partner after it received certification from the Chinese technology giant to train students in its courses and products.
China and Zimbabwe have a lot of collaborative potential, with the CPC Congress promising more interaction with countries at an economic level, the two sides’ future surely look bright.
With already signed deals to the tune of $1 billion, it is a matter of time before the bilateral economic decisions start bearing fruit in the not so distant future.
- Grace studies International Relations at the University of Zimbabwe.