Beijing won’t follow Washington’s footsteps in politics

By Su Tan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/27

Western media have recently paid tremendous attention to China's political system. Their reports and analyses have one thing in common: They observe the Chinese political system through a typically Western prism and on that basis draw their conclusions.

China has indeed drawn upon advanced Western experiences, including political, to make its remarkable achievements since reform and opening-up. But the phase of being a pure learner has passed.

China has a distinct political course that notably differs from the Western practice and is profoundly influenced by traditional Chinese culture and the political environment. China has succeeded both in economic and political terms, but this success by no means results from duplicating Western politics.

After five centuries' expansion of Western civilization, Western political practices have almost become a universal standard for the rest of the world. But this is not the case in China. The country's single-party system that doesn't meet the Western criteria actually works out well, as proven by the nation's significant progress so far. Beijing won't be like Washington and allow itself to become mired in partisan strife and as a result hinder national development.

Today China stands at a critical juncture. The goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has yet to be realized. The country needs to figure out the right way forward based on its social and governance practices and can never lose touch with its reality.

Unfortunately the West seems unable to talk substantially with China about the latter's political system since they are not on the same page. When Westerners try to look at China through their lens and speak their own words, there will certainly be clashes, incongruities and misunderstandings. This will intensify as China increasingly takes decisions according to its own reality rather than upholding Western standards. To deal with this issue, China has to understand the Western mentality and more importantly, the West should get to know what makes China different.

The West has a lot to catch up on. They need to deepen and broaden their knowledge of China's history, culture and the Communist Party of China (CPC), shake off their stereotypes about the world's second-largest economy and reshape their impression in accordance with China's reality.

In particular, the West needs to learn more about China's political system since the 18th CPC National Congress. Many Western politicians that comment on China don't actually apprehend Chinese politics. How can their comments be reliable and trustworthy?

The West has much homework and contemplation to be getting on with, as it clearly considers China important. In the future China will surely give more political surprises to the West and make it ever clearer that Beijing is never a follower of Washington.