Comparison and Contrast of China and Liberia’s Contemporary Global Status: Analysis of CPC’s Scientific Theories

By: Josephus Moses Gray – Paris, France/ Mobile (+33) 753467742/  Email: graymoses@yahoo.com |

Prof. J. Moses Gray

The contemporary international system in the last decade or so debates over how ideas matter in international relations has come to occupy a key place in the global political arena which promotes a sense of legitimacy for democratic transformation through the practices of diplomacy which maintains harmony between or among nations-states; without diplomacy nations would be in constant of crisis or war. Diplomacy is most importantly because it is a basic means by which a nation seeks to secure the goals of its national interest. The best way to evaluate whether a country’s political system is democratic and efficient is to observe whether the succession of its leading body is orderly and in conformity with the law and its normal political and decision-making system, how officials are appointed, dismissed, replaced and how power can be kept under effective restraint and supervision. Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Liberia Graduate School, Josephus Moses Gray offers insight into understanding the ideas, dynamic and enthusiasm of the subject under discussion.

This article presents in-depth and insightful analysis of the recent Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee’s decision on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance. The article also assesses China-Liberia relations and cooperation, focusing on both countries historic ties and amazing friendship.

It also looks into the new era of Chinese innovation and industrialization, years of remarkable transformations and growth, how the Chinese-state surpassed other industrial nations and become the world’s second economic power.  The article further delved into China and Liberia’s historical past and concludes with the reforms the Chinese-nation has achieved.

China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and become an upper-middle-income country from a low-income one. China has overcome the great divergence of development among different countries formed after the first industrial revolution and made a miraculous economic catch-up from behind.  In the past, China was listed among the poorest nations on earth, and the state was blemished by the failure of the Great Leap Forward and the political disorders during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.  The country integration into the global economy was trifling, its industry was ineffective.

The Chinese and Liberian nations cannot be judged without reference to their past histories and current status regarding their economics, social, cultural and political conditions that work to adjust political relations, establish political order, accelerate national development, and maintain national stability; keeping to the long-established track of historical heritage, cherishing the path to effect development, rather than breaking with history.

The people of China and Liberia have all along rendered each other solidarity and support and shared weal and woe in their struggles against imperialism and for national independence and liberation. July 26th each year marks the independence of the Liberian-state, with Liberia currently stands at 171-year old, while October 1st every year marks the Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the country turns 70 this year.

The founding father of Liberian-nation is Joseph Jenkins Roberts, its first president, while Chairman Mao Zedong if the founding father of China. Both countries have experienced to imperialism and colonialism; Liberia is 101 years old then China but China has made a remarkable transformations and growth, surpassed other industrial nations and become the world’s second economic power.

China is a state with a land of over 9.6 million square kilometers and a population of 56 ethnic groups of 1.4 billion people (Yang Fuchang, 2002, while Liberia is a state with 42 thousand square miles, 16 ethnic groups of 4 million populations(MOFA, 2010). China has an ageing population of 64.3%, while Liberia has a youngest population of 54%. In both states, more people reside in the rule parts than urban areas.

Regarding gender, the male population is about 50.8%, and the female population is about 49.2%. In terms of age, people 14 years or younger make up 35.7%, and those 65 or older carried 64.3%. The Han ethnic group makes up 91.59% of the national population, and other ethnic groups account for about 8.41%. The national language of China is Putonghua which is used by the largest number of Chinese, but many of the 55 ethnic minorities have their own languages ( Yang Fuchang, 2002).

China is divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities directly under the Central Government, and two administrative regions. China has 668 cities at different levels of administrative division. Beijing is the capital city with a history of 3,000 years and has served as a capital for more than 800 years. The city is full of historic interest and science beauty, the city retains its alluring fascination of an ancient capital (Yang Fuchang, 2002).

There is a saying that every successful reform helped the next, gradually China to build up its “reform” capital, which turn out to be a success story of the international system. People’s Daily (2018) in one of its editions, reported that President Xi Jinping made a powerful voice to the world that China will stay committed to reform and opening up at a grand gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the great revolution held on Dec. 18 in Beijing. President Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Liberia and China are both developing countries facing common challenges of development and sharing broad common interests. The official language of Liberia is English, followed by Kpelleh, Bassa and Kru while the national language of China is Putonghua which is used by the largest number of Chinese. China has 668 cities at different levels of administrative division, while Liberia has 150 cities.

The Kpelleh ethnic group is the single largest tribe in Liberia while the Han ethnic group makes up 91.59% of the national population of China  ( Yang Fuchang, 2002.  The national motto of Liberia is “Love of Liberty and China is “Crossing the river by feeling the stones”; the political system of Liberia is Republican form of government while runs a Socialism; both governments are headed by presidents, assisted by Vice president and premier.

In the area of traditional diplomacy, Beijing maintains a diplomatic relationship with 54 of the 55 African states, and that Africa is the largest overseas destination for Chinese investors and visitors. While Liberia maintains twenty-seven embassies across the world with none located in South and Central Americas, Australia and the Oceania and Caribbean regions.

Further figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that China’s GDP has averaged a yearly growth rate of about 9.5 percent amounting to $14.140 trillion (CNBC, 2019) and Liberia GDP figure in 2018 was $3,249 million, Liberia is number 164 in the ranking of GDP of the 196 countries (Country economy, 2018). For World Bank(2019) report,  Liberia’s current account deficit narrowed to 21.1% in 2019 from 23.4% of GDP in 2018 which the World Bank attributed largely to a decline in imports following the complete UNMIL drawdown. The overall fiscal deficit of the central government widened from 4.1% of GDP in FY2017 to 4.8% of GDP in FY2018 and further to an estimated 6.2% in FY2019. Liberia is a low-income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from the Diaspora. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Palm oil and cocoa are emerging as new export products.

While in terms of foreign trade, China has registered a yearly growth of over 14.5 percent in U.S. dollars. In the last 10 years, with China’s strength in the workforce, capital, market and technology, the nation, on average, contributed 30 percent of the global economic growth yearly, sharing the benefits of China’s development with the world.

Both Liberia and China cannot be judged without reference to their past histories, China has been keeping to the long-established track of historical heritage and cherishing the Chinese path to effect development especially the country’s economic, social, cultural and political conditions. For Liberia which was once classed as the beacon of hope and pioneer of African democracy has breaking with history, the nation’s historical heritage and cultural values and norms have been demolished. The Liberian-nation has blindly copying the political system of the West without trying to understand that properly, which difficult to work in the state.

According to an official document, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee’s communique has revealed that China’s state and governance systems enjoy notable strengths in the following aspects including upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC, following the CPC’s scientific theories, maintaining political stability and ensuring that the country keeps advancing in the direction of socialism; seeing that the people run the country, promoting the people’s democracy, maintaining close ties with the people and relying on them to push forward the country’s development and ensuring law-based governance in all fields, building a country of socialist rule of law, and guaranteeing social fairness and justice and the people’s rights.

The communiqué also pinpointed ensuring the whole country works together and stimulating the enthusiasm of all aspects to mobilize resources for major undertakings; upholding equality between all ethnic groups, creating a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation to work jointly for common prosperity and development and upholding the dominant role of the public sector and common development of economic entities under diverse forms of ownership, the distribution system whereby distribution according to labor is dominant and a variety of other modes of distribution exist alongside it, the synergy between the socialist system and the market economy, and continuously unlocking and developing the productive forces;

— Upholding common ideals and convictions, values, and moral standards, promoting China’s fine traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture, as well as inspiring the people to embrace shared ideologies and mindsets.

Other areas of focus of the communiqué include adhering to the vision of making development people-centered, and continuously guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihoods and improving people’s wellbeing to achieve common prosperity for everyone; continuing reform and innovation, moving with the times, and promoting self-improvement and development to build a society full of vitality;  Selecting officials based on integrity and ability and on the basis of merit regardless of background to cultivate more talented individuals and keeping the armed forces under the Party’s command and ensuring that the people’s armed forces are completely loyal to the Party and the people so as to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.

Going further, the communique shows upholding the principle of “one country, two systems,” maintaining lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and promoting the peaceful reunification of China, adhering to the unity of independence and self-reliance and opening up to the rest of the world, taking an active part in global governance, and continuing to make contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity and that “All these notable strengths are the fundamental basis for fostering stronger confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” the communique said.

The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee stressed upholding and improving the fundamental, basic and important institutions that underpin the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. A set of institutions that are well conceived, fully built, procedure based and efficiently functioning must be built to better transform institutional strength into effective governance, it added. The session vowed to see that institutions in all fields are notably improved when the CPC marks its centenary before the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance is basically achieved by 2035 and realized in full as the People’s Republic of China celebrates its own centenary.

Besides, the session underscored the followings: Upholding and improving the system of institutions for Party leadership to improve its capacity to practice scientific, democratic and law-based governance; upholding and improving the system of institutions through which the

people run the country and developing socialist democracy, upholding and improving the system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and improving the Party’s capacity for law-based governance and law-based exercising of state power and upholding and improving the government administration system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. A law-based government administration with well-defined functions and duties shall be built, it added.

Other areas are upholding and improving China’s basic socialist economic system and promoting the high-quality development of the economy; upholding and improving the system to make advanced socialist culture prosperous and developed to consolidate the common ideological foundation upon which all people are united and work together, upholding and improving the livelihood system for protecting both urban and rural residents and working to meet people’s ever-increasing needs for a better life, upholding and improving the social governance system based on collaboration, participation and common interests, as well as maintaining social stability and defending national security, upholding and improving the system for developing an ecological civilization and promoting the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature and upholding and improving the Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces and ensuring that they will faithfully fulfill their missions in the new era.

Upholding and improving the system of “one country, two systems” and advancing the process toward the peaceful reunification of China;

Upholding and improving the independent foreign policy of peace and

working to build a community with a shared future for humanity and were also earmarked.

Besides, upholding and improving the Party and state oversight systems and strengthening checks on and oversight over the exercise of power. The session was attended by 202 members of the CPC Central Committee and 169 alternate members of the CPC Central Committee.

Also present were members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), senior officials of relevant departments, a number of delegates to the 19th CPC National Congress who work at the grass-roots level as well as experts and scholars.

Life expectancy is such a sensitive indicator or overall social condition because it sums up in a single figure all positive including rising living standards, good education, good health care, environmental protection and negative including poverty, lack of education, poor health care, pollution trends.  From a critical analysis, one can conclude that China’s life expectancy is better than would be expected purely from its economic development.

The country’s motto was “Crossing the river by feeling the stones,” denoting partial reforms in an experimental manner, often starting in a few regions, and expanding them upon proven success. Other publications, under different authors, disclosed that another strategy was a means to find solutions suitable to China, experimentation, and gradualism was a means to circumvent political resistance against reforms. The successful China reform goes with a painful decision and hard work especially instituting several actions that focused on policy implementation and enforcement since any law that lacks enforcement action is considered a dead law.

 

 

Nowadays, China has become the world’s second economic power in decade or two, to the bewilderment of many economists and political scientists, and thanks mainly to four dynamics factors.   China’s remarkable jump has been made from an impoverished society which only depended on sufficient food and clothing to a flourishing society in the world. The state now plays a better role in the international arena due to its improved socio-economic situation.

China to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and those profound changes have taken place over the past seven decades as China has become the second-largest economy.  others under-developed nations need to see China’s great transformation as a wake-up call to transform their economies and political policies by initiating their own development path different from the outdated philosophy of hegemony, and always stick to peaceful development.

China has successfully expanded beyond its border ushering a new era of industrialization, and record-breaking socio-economic development. The state is also credited for its successful strategic approach towards the establishment of diplomatic ties and cooperation with hundreds of sovereign states, governments, and people across the globe.  China made much headway in socio-economic development. In 1949, most than a half-century ago, the birth of new China opened up a new chapter in world politics, as far as international relations is concerned.

The former head of the Communist People’s Party, Chairman Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949 made these remarks: “The Chinese people have stood up to announce the creation of a “People’s Democratic state”; even though China is a socialist democracy, the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has kept to the socialist path of making democratic political progress with Chinese features.

The Chinese socialist democracy plays a decisive, comprehensive, and far-reaching role in the country’s national political dealing. President Xi Jinping is the country’s most powerful leader. President Xi Jinping (2017) publication pinpointed that blindly copying the political system of other countries will never work in China, and never follow others without trying to understand them properly.

He reiterated that only a system deeply-rooted and fully cherished in our own soil is trustworthy and will serve our purposes, stressing that all countries differ in realities, each country is unique in its political system, which is determined by its people and has been developed and gradually refined over a long period of time on the basis of their historical heritage, cultural traditions, and social and economic development.

The realities of the Chinese amazing transformation are visible on the Chinese soil, they are hardworking, they have the energies and demeanors towards jobs, and they accept challenges and believe in the Chinese spirit and characteristics. The best way to evaluate whether a country’s political system is democratic and efficient is to observe whether the succession of its leading body is orderly and in conformity with the law and political respectability, decision-making system, how officials are appointed, dismissed, replaced and how power can be kept under effective restraint and supervision.

China not only is an important driving force of global economic growth but also makes a significant contribution to maintaining world peace and stability as well as promoting interconnectivity between countries and regions.  The Chinese government has captured the attention of many countries due primarily to Beijing’s reasonable approaches towards development, and the ways in which the government practices “win-win“ diplomacy This style has featured greater accommodations with several countries.

Unlike the Western donors who tend to impose Western values like democratic ideas on Africa, China invests and provides aid without much preconditions and interference in their internal affairs, therefore, it is not unimaginable that China is regarded by Africa as a more cooperative and valuable partner to the West. Besides providing loans, China also invests in infrastructure development and many high-visibility projects, that the African leaders generally in favor. Physical infrastructure constructions have been long neglected if not avoided, by Western donors.

China has been steadily increasing its official finance investments in other countries, but these flows are less concessional than that of other large players like the US. The US dwarfs China in official development assistance, but the two countries have similarly sized official finance portfolios overall between 2000 and 2014. Seven of the top 10 recipients of Chinese “aid” (ODA) were in Africa, but its other official flows (OOF) are more geographically dispersed.  In his recent publication, The Governance of China, President Xi Jinping disclosed that from 1950 to 2016, China provided foreign countries with over RMB400 billion in aid, and will continue to increase assistance. He further explained that President Xi China has contributed on average over 30 percent of global growth each year and revealed that in the coming years, China is expected to importUS$8 trillion worth of goods, attract US$600 billion in foreign investment, and made US$750 billion in outbound investment.

The first top ten African States that received Chinese financial assistance are Angola ($13.4 billion), Cote d’Ivoire ($4.0 billion), Ethiopia ($3.7 billion),  Zimbabwe ($3.6 billion), Cameroon ($3.4 billion),  Nigeria ($3.1 billion),  Tanzania ($3.0 billion), Ghana ($2.5 billion (Samantha, 2018). The world top recipients of Chinese assistance are   Russia ($36.6 billion), Pakistan ($16.3 billion), Angola ($13.4 billion), Laos ($11.0 billion), Venezuela ($10.8 billion), Turkmenistan ($10.1 billion),  Ecuador ($9.7 billion), Brazil ($8.5 billion), Sri Lanka ($8.2 billion),  Kazakstan ($6.7 billion) and Cuba ($6.7 billion).

According to global data (2017), drawing on several novel sources of data and analysis in 126 countries on US$354 billion in Chinese official finance investments.  However, another interpretation could be that China is a relatively young donor and is just getting started.  In Africa, the US still had a strong influence edge over China with leaders in sub-Saharan Africa but is falling behind in the Middle East and North Africa. The US surpasses China’s influence in several policy areas: governance, social, environmental policy among them.

It established various partnerships with over 100 countries and international organizations and is committed to building equal and balanced partnerships for global development as well as creating common development opportunities and space. President Xi noted that over the past 40 years, China’s trade in goods has increased 198 fold, and trade in services 147 fold. It has attracted investment totaling $2 trillion, becoming the world’s largest trader of goods, the largest tourism market, and a major trading partner of over 130 countries.

The joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative promotes interconnectivity among countries, as a result of which a pattern of interconnected development has been formed, while China has gained rich experiences in human development by focusing on development and the welfare of the people.  Accordingly, Chinese industries are not only getting closer to the technological frontier in conventional areas such as electronics, machinery, automobiles, high-speed railways and aviation but also driving technological innovations in emerging areas.

According to an article published by a China researcher, Prof. Hung Ho, China’s has attracted not only many of the best technologies, but also many of the best scientific and technological talents globally, while the Wall Street Journal, citing “executives at Chinese and Western companies,” put it, “China’s technology sector is reaching a critical mass of expertise, talent and financial firepower that could realign the power structure of the global technology industry in the years ahead.” In addition, in searching for the best supply chain capability to commercialize innovations, high-tech industries increasingly look to China for manufacturing solutions, a kind of complementary innovation.

Apple’s products are typical examples. China’s internal market, now with 1.4 billion consumers and a per capita income of $8,000+ is also a blessing to innovation in many ways. The huge market size promises sufficient return to cover the costs of either acquiring foreign technology or undertaking a cumulative learning process to catch up with frontier foreign technologies, Prof. Hung Ho asserted.

The Chinese tradition of emphasizing education is also crucially important for its technological rise. Globally, China has the highest number of students studying overseas and the ratio of these students returning to China has been increasing. China’s recent phenomenal achievements in science and technology show exactly the contrary.

Infrastructure and basic industries used to be a major bottleneck in China’s economic development. Over the past 70 years, China has increased investment in the construction of base industries and infrastructure, such as energy, transportation, and telecommunication, and remarkable achievement has been made in this regard.

Nowadays, China has become the second-largest energy producer in the world, next only to the United States of America. The total self-sufficient rate of energy is 90 percent in China, the statistics from the Chinese Bureau of Statistics have revealed.    The country has over the past 60 years greatly enhanced its transportation capacity, with railways, highways, airports, and ports built one after another. The length of railway lines in service increased from 21,800 km in 1949 to 120,000 km in 2018.

According to a global index report, China conducted economic and cultural exchanges with over 220 countries and regions in the world. China today opens wider to the outside world and has become a major trading power in the world today. China has been actively participating in international competition and economic cooperation, increasing investment in overseas projects.  In the 21st century, the pace of socio-economic development quickens the pace in China.

Great progress has been made in educational undertakings, with the educational popularization rate and the level of education approaching the average of medium-income countries.  Further statistics show that in the early 1950s, illiterates and semi-illiterates made up over 60 percent of the total population of China. In 2007, the gross attendance rate of schools of higher learning, high schools, middle schools, and primary schools reached 99.5 from 23.5 percent, the report has said.

According to Jinglian Wu (2007), the major Reform Steps in China 1978-2017 are captured under different eras and summarized: In 1979 Open door” policy initiated, foreign trade and investment reforms begin; law on Joint Venture Companies passed, in 1980 the state established a policy of eating from Separate Kitchens” reforms in intergovernmental fiscal relations.

The third factor is China’s most precious treasure, its hard-working labor force which is estimated to be 800 million, has allowed China to become the world’s factory in the past three decades.  Another key area of China’s remarkable transformation is the fiscal system and the political organizations that are grounded within the Communist Party were key in aligning regional government incentives. The benefits of reforms were distributed broadly across the population and governments, creating strong incentives to pursue growth and promote a market economy.

In the practicality of the reforms, the authorities were also able to mature and test the managerial processes and harmonizing policies needed to implement the reforms. Another area of success by the Chinese was the strategy of approaching reforms with the tested policy one step at a time, and initial with those most likely to deliver results, allowing the administration to built up its repute for practical delivery. Authored by Josephus Moses Gray, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy Studies at the University of Liberia Graduate School of International Studies, Monrovia, Liberia. Contact (Monrovia) (231) 880330299/ Paris, France/ Mobile (+33) 753467742/ Email:graymoses@yahoo.com

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About Cholo Brooks 12922 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.