By Filippo Mignini
I’m a scholar studying Chinese philosophy. The book “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” is what I’ve been reading lately. After reading the book’s first two volumes in Italian and the third in English, I deeply felt that the book is an important work, showcasing the essence of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s thoughts and China’s domestic and foreign policies.
“People” is a keyword of the book. President Xi stresses in the book that all power of the state belongs to the people, and that “We must base our efforts on the interests of the people, ensure the principal status of the people, humbly learn from the people, listen to their voices, and draw on their wisdom.”
It is because the Communist Party of China (CPC) adheres to a people-centered approach that China has lifted over 700 million rural people out of poverty and achieved remarkable progress.
The CPC maintains close ties with the masses and upholds a mass line. President Xi said that whether the party can maintain close ties with the people decides whether it can succeed in its cause. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has exercised full and rigorous self-governance and advanced self-reform to strengthen its style of work. The CPC now has closer ties with the people and has acquired greater vitality.
President Xi attaches great importance to China’s fine traditional culture, calling it “a prominent strength of our nation that enables us to gain a firm footing amidst global cultural interaction,” the country’s most profound cultural soft power, and fertile ground for socialism with Chinese characteristics. He values cultural confidence, which mirrors his deep thoughts on inheriting and carrying forward the traditional culture of the Chinese nation. I’m very much impressed by this.
Law-based governance also makes up an important part of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China”. President Xi noted that the rule of law system that China is building constitutes a core component of the country’s national governance system, and the rule of law shall be integrated with the rule of virtue.
While enhancing law-based governance, China is also fostering and practicing the core socialist values, establishing good morals of society and promoting social equity and justice.
There’s a Chinese saying that “Governors should worry about inequality, not scarcity.” And as another Chinese saying suggests, “If the ruler himself is upstanding, all will go well even though he does not give orders.” In my opinion, President Xi’s remarks well reflect the fine traditional culture of China.
China takes the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as the basic principles in dealing with foreign relations. It makes active efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind and opposes hegemonism and power politics.
As President Xi noted, China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa. The country firmly upholds the international system with the UN as its core and gives active support to reforming the UN to make the organization stronger, fairer and more effective.
Europe is an important force in today’s world. By reading “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China”, I realized that President Xi attaches high importance to the development of China-Europe relations. In his speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, he noted that China and Europe need to build four “bridges” of peace, growth, reform and progress of civilization to step up friendship and cooperation.
“The bridges will make the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership take on even greater global significance”, he added.
In spite of changes in the international landscape, China has always supported European integration and a bigger role in international affairs by a united, stable and prosperous EU. I’m looking forward to a continuously consolidated foundation for China- Europe relations.
(Filippo Mignini is a professor with University of Macerata, Italy)