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Understanding China Better
The book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China shows the real China to the outside world
By Charles Onunaiju | VOL.11 November ·2019-11-11

The book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, a great work of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), flows from trajectories of thoughts, concepts, ideas and practical work, that have shaped the vital governance landmarks of China and the strategic insight of the country's top leadership to vital issues of global governance.

Xi's thought, as reflected in his speeches and written works contained in the two volumes, traverses a range of important issues. These include profound theoretical clarifications and elaboration, practical governance issues of policy making and implementation, key strands of incisive insight on the emerging global architecture and China's role on the world stage.

Starting with volume one, first published in 2014, the 515-page tome offers readers outside China a first-hand understanding of Xi's thinking on deepening reforms as the strategic driver of the country's modernization efforts. An elaborate explanation of the core values of the CPC is featured. This includes discipline, wholehearted devotion to serving the people and maintaining unalloyed fidelity to theoretical innovation and exploration as the lifeblood of the Party, through which it would consistently reinvent itself to remain on top of issues of the day and even anticipate the future with confidence. Xi has boldly raised the task of reinvigorating China through rejuvenation and pursuit of the China Dream.

The book sheds light on China's framework of state governance, that, in the past several decades, shaped the meteoric development of modern China. This provides the first-hand information on the original thought and particularly China-nuanced policy context, that have driven the world's most astounding reform and modernization efforts.

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China lifts the lid off the vague interpretative ambiguity that has been the bane of contemporary Western scholars, where China is maliciously depicted as having abandoned the theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism, or at best pay lip service to it, while allegedly honing its economic modernization in the context of Western liberalism.

Xi's work clarifies this subtly woven ambiguity, that has impaired the clear understanding of the core issues about the governance of modern China. Xi Jinping: The Governance of China underscores the foremost theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism and the integration of China's specific national conditions, historical context and social reality as the crucial tapestry driving the trajectories of modern China.

The CPC is the main social force and political formation leading modern China, in close collaboration with other non-communist parties and social forces. In this book, Xi makes clear that the Party's work is far from being done, despite the universal accolades of its achievements. This is illustrated by his message: "Having been pushed ahead for more than 30 years, China's reform has entered a deep-water zone. It can be said that the early part of the job has been done to the satisfaction of all. What is left are tough bones that are hard to chew. This requires us to act boldly and progress steadily. To act boldly means to advance reform despite difficulties and be eager to take on challenges, chew tough bones, and wade through dangerous shoals." (page 113, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, Vol. I).

The second volume continues the clarifications on fundamental issues in the governance of modern China and put forward very clearly, fundamental elements in China's foreign policy and international relations.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, otherwise known now as the Belt and Road Initiative, a new framework of international cooperation tailored to drive development, is explained as a new type of international relations, that is open, participatory and inclusive.

Xi, through several elaborations in his book, presents the outlook of China as a responsible country that would shoulder more responsibility in global governance. However, as is traditional to China's foreign policy since its founding, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which are the motivating force of China's diplomatic engagement, are consistently enriched and upgraded to meet with the changing international arena.

The two volumes of Xi's book are an invaluable resource material for vital insight into the governance of China and understanding the critical issues of contemporary China.

It is a foundational work for anyone seeking to understand first-hand how modern China works and highly recommended for anyone who wants to gain a proper insight into the unique nature and structure of governance in modern China.

(The author is director of the Center for China Studies, Abuja, Nigeria)

(Comments to niyanshuo@chinafrica.cn)

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