(Conclusion, continued from yesterday)
DURING the 1980s, after Deng Xiaoping had successfully launched China on the road to modernization, Hu Yaobang, the secretary general of the Communist Party of China, seized upon the Deng policy of openness of the Chinese market to promote reforms in the Chinese economy. Students and bourgeois-inclined intellectuals (some accounts place them as US-instigated) used the Hu Yaobang reforms as launching pads for promoting in turn liberal democratic ideas, with clear intent of toppling the regime. This culminated in the Tiananmen Square incident which, though drawing reportedly some 1.2 million participants at its height, was utterly frustrated by the government. The Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution in 2014, similarly calling for democratic reforms, likewise failed.
So now, here is Premier Li Keqiang disclosing to the world, during the 20th China-Asean summit, the status achieved by China in its economic forays not just regionally but already globally as well. His speech on the occasion certainly points to the factor that spells the difference between success or failure of a socialist regime to combat ostensible democratic onslaughts. These attacks are nothing but the attempts of the bourgeoisie to retrieve lost glories. Where the dictatorship of the proletariat is unrealized in its correct economic perspective, as in the Soviet Union, the bourgeoisie succeeds; where it has been realized and has in fact reached a degree of global consolidation, the bourgeoisie fails, as it did in China.
It is quite noticeable that Premier Li does not speak much about political issues, concentrating in this regard on the South China Sea tension which he proposes to ease through the Framework of the Code of Conduct, which he lauds for achieving “positive momentum.”
Rather, Premier Li dwells mainly on the great Chinese strides in the realm of economics—trade with Asean, highlighted by the upgrading of the China-Asean Free Trade Area, and pushing the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and launching of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which the Philippines is the latest member.
Calling his audience “colleagues,” Li addresses five major points: first, China-Asean Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 with the “3+X,” a cooperation framework aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; second, greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Asean development plans; third, steady advancement of political and security cooperation; fourth, strengthening of business cooperation; and fifth, raising of the level of people-to-people exchange and cooperation.
Li cites China’s commitment to push on further with its cooperative efforts with Asean in such other mutual concerns as combating terrorism, natural disasters, transnational crimes, cross-border diseases, endeavors that have a way of strengthening the foundations of goodwill between China and Asean. This has proven particularly true for the Philippines which has experienced instant assistance from China during its most trying moments, like in the destruction of Tacloban and Samar by Yolanda in 2013 when China, without waiting for an official request from the Philippine government, dispatched a high-end hospital ship to attend to the thousands of typhoon victims; in the rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City, China again was the first to donate badly needed heavy equipment for the job.
Zhao Jianhua, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, did an excellent yeoman’s job of making sure that Premier Li’s task of spreading China’s vision of cooperation with Asean and the world was successful. For the Philippines, that vision is embodied in 14 bilateral agreements signed between the country and China in Malacañang on the occasion of Li’s official visit a day after the 20th China-Asean summit. Those agreements cover a wide range of economic cooperation concerns, like trade and invest, infrastructure, and industrial parks development.
Based on statistics, China today is indisputably the second largest economy in the world, the first being, of course, the United States. But my layman’s mind can’t get off this nagging reckoning. America admittedly owes China $1 trillion, an amount that certainly must have flown into the American economy that is perceived to currently dominate the world. But what is that $1 trillion but money of the Chinese dictatorship of the proletariat?
In the final analysis, the dictatorship of the proletariat, correctly handled as an economic question by China, now rules roughly two-thirds of the world. By Mao Zedong’s principle of contradiction in which the principal aspect determines the character of the contradiction, the world’s economy is without doubt now already under the dictatorship of the proletariat.