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Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Ma Xinmin to Brown Land for Centenary of the CPC’s Founding and 72nd Anniversary of the PRC’s Founding (Part 2)

5. Brown Land: Sudan is a traditional agrarian country, with its agricultural population accounting for over 70% of its total population. As we know, China was also an agrarian country in the past, but the CPC has brought about a very good solution to issues relating to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers over the past 72 years of governance. Mr. Ambassador, could you share with us China’s good practices in the governance regarding agriculture, rural areas, and rural people?

Ambassador Ma Xinmin: Like Sudan, China has a relatively large rural population. Before the founding of the PRC, more than 90% of its population lived in rural areas. Since its inception, the CPC has considered issues related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers fundamental to the country as they directly concern national stability and the people’s wellbeing. Just as China’s revolutionary path and reform were initially launched in rural areas, China’s march toward modernization must set out from rural areas. Without rural modernization, national modernization is impossible. In the process of rural construction over the past hundred years, from rural revolution to rural reform and then to the current rural revitalization, the CPC has gained valuable experience whilst striving for the development of agriculture, rural areas, and rural people.

First, China has ensured the principal status of rural people. We have safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of farmers and paid particular attention to handling the rural land property rights issue for them.

Second, China has prioritized food security in state governance and made the increase in grain production a prime task for rural development. To this end, China has issued a strategy of sustainable farmland use and innovative application of agricultural technology to increase farmland productivity and made concrete efforts to have it fully implemented. In this way, 1.4 billion Chinese people have enough to eat. Getting enough to eat was a long-cherished dream of ordinary Chinese people, but was never realized by any previous government. It is under the CPC’s leadership that the country succeeds in feeding its population. We have supported nearly 20 percent of the world’s population with only 9 percent of the world’s total arable land. This is a miracle in the world history of agriculture.

Third, China has made relentless efforts to eradicate poverty. In the initial period of reform and opening up, 770 million rural people lived in poverty, while by the end of 2020, the 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty. This means extreme poverty has been eradicated in rural areas. What’s more, sea changes to the well-being of rural people have taken place. The per capita disposable income of farmers has reached 14,617 RMB, a 40-fold increase in real terms compared with the figure of 1949. Over 99% of towns are accessible by paved roads. New rural cooperative medical care, social insurance for rural residents, and compulsory education are now available in all rural areas. This brings greater benefits and happiness to our rural people.

Fourth, China has proceeded from reality while innovating rural systems and governance. By stimulating the enthusiasm and creativity of rural people, China has created, based on local conditions, a set of policies with Chinese characteristics on agriculture, rural areas, and farmers. Since the launch of reform and opening up, China has practiced the Household Contract Responsibility System, whereby we increase investment in agriculture, ease burdens on rural residents and loosen restrictions on rural business. Agricultural tax, a practice with millennium’s history, was abolished in China. We also rolled out the system of agricultural subsidies, allowed the extension of the current rural land contracts by another 30 years, and separated land ownership rights, contract rights, and management rights for contracted rural land. With these measures, and institutional framework aimed at supporting and protecting agriculture and ensuring stable reform and development in rural areas has taken shape.

Fifth, China has advanced urbanization with a balance between urban and rural development. We have worked to effectively balance the relationships between industry and agriculture and between urban and rural areas. This means that industry gives full support to agriculture and rural areas and that urban areas help spur rural and agricultural development. This will create a new type of industry-agriculture and urban-rural relationship, under which industry and agriculture, as well as urban and rural areas, reinforce and integrate and achieve common prosperity.

Last, China has improved rural people’s wellbeing by improving public infrastructure and public services in rural areas.

As the Party made a vital decision at its 19th National Congress to implement the rural vitalization strategy. This strategy prioritizes the development of agriculture and rural areas and envisions rural areas with thriving businesses, a pleasant living environment, social etiquette and civility, effective governance, and prosperity. This is another historic task faced by us after successfully lifting all out of poverty. It is also the key to our efforts concerning agriculture, rural areas, and farmers in the new era.

6. Brown Land: China is a multi-ethnic country with a population of 1.4 billion in 56 ethnic groups, including 120 million ethnic minorities. Likewise, Sudan is a populous nation with various races and tribes. Mr. Ambassador, my question is, how does the CPC deal with ethnic issues in state governance? And in what way are the CPC’s successful practices relevant to Sudan?

Ambassador Ma Xinmin: The great achievements the CPC has made are the result of unremitting efforts of people from all ethnic groups. They are also attributable to the Party’s right principles guiding our policies on ethnic groups. The CPC has found the right way of addressing ethnic issues that reflects China’s distinct characteristics. Specifically, the key points are as follows.

First, we have worked to consolidate the Chinese nation’s sense of community. We have strived to make people from all ethnic groups strengthen their faith in our great motherland, the Chinese nation, the Chinese culture, the CPC, and socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus demonstrating continuous progress in uniting the Chinese nation as a community. This is fundamental to safeguarding ethnic unity and national unification.

Second, we have worked to create a source of inspiration for the entire Chinese nation. The Chinese culture has always been the spiritual home shared by all ethnic groups. It creates a strong emotional bond among us by rallying the support of all ethnic groups and making us pull together for progress. As a comprehensive collection of various ethnic cultures, the Chinese culture is formed through mutual respect, mutual learning, and exchanges between different ethnic cultures. We are committed to preserve and pass on the customs in ethnic cultures following the law. This will allow all ethnic groups to share Chinese cultural symbols and images of the Chinese nation.

Third, we have implemented the right policies concerning ethnic groups. The core of these policies, namely equality, self-governance, and development, is used as the golden key to ethnic issues. In the first place, equality serves as the foundation. All 56 ethnic groups are equal members of the Chinese nation. Even the smallest ethnic group is represented by its deputy in the National People’s Congress (NPC) which is the highest organ of state power. We strictly prohibit discrimination against and oppression of any ethnic group and firmly oppose any practices undermining ethnic unity. Next, self-governance constitutes a guarantee. This means that under the unified leadership of the state, regional autonomy is practiced in areas where ethnic minority groups live in compact communities. They are allowed to manage their internal affairs and pursue economic and cultural development according to local conditions. By doing so, we ensure all ethnic groups are the masters of the country.

Finally, development is the fundamental solution. We are committed to faster economic and social progress in areas with large ethnic minority populations and improvements to local people’s living conditions. Through increased support and other major initiatives like the Large-Scale Development of Western China, developing border areas to make lives better for border residents, and the battle against poverty, people from all ethnic groups could benefit from the achievements of our development.

As for Sudan, it also faces the challenge of managing ethnic issues as it has hundreds of races and tribes. I am convinced that our Sudanese friends will find proper ethnic policies and development paths that suit their conditions to realize harmonious coexistence and common prosperity among all races and tribes.

Brown Land: The CPC was a small party with over 50 members when it was founded in 1921. Now it has grown into the world’s largest political party with over 95 million members over the past century. How does the CPC win extensive support of the people for its strong leadership?

Ambassador Ma Xinmin: The CPC always attaches great importance to Party building and has worked out a system of practicable theories and practices in Party building. I would like to share with you four points as follows.

First, we put a high value on reinforcing political foundations and uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership. Making political stance clear is the distinctive feature and political strength of the CPC. Since its inception, the Party has paid close attention to its political building and made upholding the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership its prime task. In particular, since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we have taken the political building of the Party as the top priority.

Through an array of important institutional arrangements, the Party ensures that all members consciously keep in alignment with the CPC Central Committee, strictly observe political discipline and rules, and act with firmer political beliefs. Strengthening the political building of the Party has been an unchanged theme on the Party’s journey over the past 100 years. It has a decisive impact on the direction and results of Party building and ensures that the CPC remains a Marxist political party in essence.

Second, we put a high value on strengthening ideological work and endeavor to increase thinking and theory within the Party. Founded under the guidance of Marxism, the CPC has taken Marxism and Leninism as the guiding ideology since its inception. In the meanwhile, the Party is deeply aware of the need to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities. Over the past hundred years, the Party has continued to emancipate its mind and seek truth from facts. It developed Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, formed the Theory of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and gave shape to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. These theories have provided effective guidance for China’s revolution, construction, reform, and development and ideologically guaranteed that the cause of the Party and the country always moves forward in the right direction.

Third, we put a high value on consolidating the Party organizations and give full play to the powerful role of the Party organizations system. The strength of our Party comes from the Party organizations. Since the first day the Party was founded, strengthening the Party organizations has formed an important foundation of our endeavors in Party building. With the focus on various central tasks at different times in the ensuing 100 years, the CPC continues to improve its organizational structure and to exploit the advantages of organizations, thus ensuring that whatever stage the cause of the Party is in, the organizational structure will be improved accordingly and the Party organizations and members will play their part in advancing the cause. The Party has now established a thorough organizational hierarchy consisting of organizations at the central, local, and primary levels. Among them are over 3,200 local party committees, 145,000 leading Party members groups and work committees, and more than 4.86 million primary-level Party organizations. In this way, the Party flag is always flying high at the forefront of every major battle and the grassroots level. This is a great strength that any other political party in the world does not have.

Fourth, we put a high value on improving our conduct and win wide support of the masses for our fine work styles. On the day of its founding, the CPC made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. Bearing its aspiration and mission in mind, the Party has worked unremittingly in the ensuing years to serve the people wholeheartedly and to realize, safeguard and develop the fundamental interests of the broadest majority of the Chinese people. From its long-term experience of endeavors to improve people’s wellbeing, the Party has acquired and developed fine work styles, including combining theory and practice, maintaining close ties with the people, and performing criticism and self-criticism. It takes a resolute stand against all instances of malpractice that deviate from the purpose of the Party. Party officials charge forward without regard for their safety at the forefront of major battles, be it the battle against poverty, disaster rescue, and relief, or the fight against COVID-19, conveying the high morale of the Chinese Communists in the new era and becoming a model for the whole Party and the entire Chinese people.

Brown Land: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for being with us today.

Ambassador Ma Xinmin: Thank you.

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