Monday, July 6, 2009

Socialism is Chinese people's historical choice

By People's Daily
It is an objective reality that China has embarked on the road of socialism. Then, why the socialist road the Chinese nation has been taking is said to the people's choice and the choice of history? This question is up to the history of China to "answer" or "elaborate" by itself.

In view of historical development, there are at least three main reasons why China takes the socialist road.

First, China's socio-economic conditions do not allow the Chinese people to take the capitalist road. In old and backward China prior to the national liberation in 1949, the Chinese Kuomintang, or the National Party, worked neither for equitable distribution of land among landless peasants at the time nor the development of the national industry. The bureaucratic capitalists, as represented by the Four Big Families of Chiang Kai-shek, T.V. Song, H.H. Kung and Chen Brothers never developed any industry of their own, but instead amassed great fortunes for themselves, thus plunging the country increasingly deeper in the mire of semi-colonialism and semi-feudalism.

Second, epoch conditions and the new international environment prompted the Chinese people to choose the socialist road. "It is certainly not the purpose of the imperialist powers invading China to transform feudal china into capitalist China," late Chinese leader Mao Zedong once said. The purpose of intruding imperialists, he noted, was to occupy China's markets, plunder China's resources and subject the country to a status of colonialism or semi-colonialism

Third, it is ascribed to the leading force of Chinese revolution to the cause that China will take the road to socialism. After the completion of the democratic revolution, the working class and its vanguard – the Communist Party of China (CPC) are sure to lead the revolution to the correct orientation of socialism.

Precisely for these reasons, China has taken the road of socialism instead of road to capitalism.

In early 1950s shortly after the founding of the People's Republic, China was "poor and blank" with its economy plunged in shambles plus unbridled, malignant inflations. However, great successes made in post-liberation industrial construction and production during the first Five-Year-Plan period far exceeded what Old China had accomplished in the preceding century. Evidence has given an eloquent proof that there was no other way to alter the future and destiny of the Chinese nation but the road of socialism it has embarked on.

Thanks to socialism with Chinese characteristics, China has won the unprecedented rapid economic growth in its modern history. It has recorded an average 9.8-percent growth rate since the country adopted the reform and opening up policy in the late 1970s. And the poor rural population has drastically reduced to the present 40 million from 250 million in 1978.

Meanwhile, among other feats China has created, the mammoth Three Gorges Dam has sprung up in central China, the Qinghai-Tibetan Railway, the highest or "heavenly" railroad on earth, is running smoothly to boost prosperity in western China, and a multi-billion-dollar project to divert water from southern China to the arid north is in full swing, and the country's lunar exploration project and manned space flight have all been crowded with stunning success.

The road of socialism with Chinese characteristics has not only won high recognition of people in China but also has attracted keen attention of people in all countries. What particularly worthy of cheers are that the 2008 Chinese economic stimulus packages and the country's superb economic performance attained in their wake. Consequently, many statesmen and scholars worldwide have all come to witness and praise the superiority of China's socialist system, or socialism with Chinese characteristics.

A few people in China, nevertheless, still admire or envy Nordic countries' multi-party system or "parliamentary road to socialism", and they even suggest China should follow suit. Here, it should be acknowledged first of all that these Nordic countries do not belong to the category of socialist countries.

In case of China, however, it did not possess any essential social conditions to practice reformism or implement the parliament road to socialism in modern times, as it had stood heavy burdens imposed by the three-fold oppression of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism since the beginning of this modern age .

At the same time, the overriding objective conditions,from the longstanding Chinese history and situation in China's economical, political and social conditions also prevent the country from taking on the Nordic pattern or model.

Late senior leader Deng Xiaoping once told foreign guests that China was impossible to take the capitalist road based on its experience. "Our experience has shown, however, that we cannot take that road," he said. "if we took the capitalist road, a small number of people in certain areas would quickly grow rich," while a large number of people cannot get rid of poverty … "The ultimate objective is to achieve common prosperity for all," Deng noted, and this is the essential requirement of socialism.

In marching unswervingly along the road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, we need to have a full, profound understanding of the basic national policy in the primary stage of socialism as well as a distinct and in-depth awareness of the protracted nature and complexity of socialism. With respect to the sense of arduousness in building socialism in China, Deng emphatically reminded people that "it will require unremitting efforts by several, a dozen or even dozens of generation to consolidate and develop the socialist system."

Battle in Swat hots up

ISLAMABAD - The security forces have killed another 27 terrorists and apprehended a few others, while four soldiers and a policeman were injured during operations in Swat, Bannu and other areas.
According to an ISPR update issued here on Monday, the security forces during search operation at Banjut, Swat, recovered 50 mules loaded with arms and ammunition, medicines and ration and also apprehended a few terrorists. During search operation at Thana, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off causing injuries to a soldier. As a result of operation at Tahirabad, Mingora, the security forces recovered surgical equipment, nine hand grenades and office furniture from the house of a militant.
Security forces also conducted search operation at Dadhra and recovered one hand grenade and high altitude sleeping bag, besides securing area of Tighak Banda and Gakhe Banda. Two soldiers were injured at Pir Patai ridge during exchange of fire with terrorists.
A combing operation around Uchrai Sar, Ziarat Khapa and Datpanrai was carried out by the security forces and they recovered two small machine guns and one gas mask. The security forces engaged terrorists’ hideouts at Tiligram where 14 terrorists were killed in exchange of fire. Large quantity of ammunition and explosives including 4 IEDs, one 14.5 gun barrel and 26 detonators were also recovered.
Security forces confiscated 2,156 rounds of small machine gun, 9,728 rounds of light machine gun, 7 grenades and 8 magazines of small machine gun from a single cabin vehicle at Kharkhanai Chowk, Dir. An IED planted by terrorists exploded near a civil vehicle at village Sarati Sherangal, Upper Dir, resultantly one child died and 10 civilians got injured.
Security forces conducted search operation at Rajgae Kandao, Buner, and apprehended two terrorists along with 5 kilograms explosives. Terrorists attacked on Jani Khel Fort in Bannu with mortars and small arms fire, which caused injuries to a policemen and a soldier.
As far as the relief activities are concerned, a conference on ‘Return Strategy’ was organised. The conference was attended by provincial relief commissioner of NWFP and UNHCR representative. So far, 4,872 families have returned to Bajur, Buner, Shangla and Dir, while 6,140 cash cards have been distributed amongst the IDPs of Malakand from July 3 to July 5. Around 754 tonnes of relief goods have been distributed so far in district Shangla, Upper Swat, Mingora and Charbagh.

Zardari for repeal of 17th Amend, 58(2b)

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday that there is a need to undo the 17th Amendment and Article 58(2b) and “reform” the constitution in light of the Charter of Democracy.

Presiding over a meeting of the central executive committee (CEC) of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – along with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani – at the Presidency, Zardari said the PPP would rid the constitution of all “undemocratic clauses” in consultation with other political forces. The president said the PPP would deliver on its pledge to “democratise” the constitution.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar later said, “The five-hour meeting discussed the current political situation and the proposed constitutional amendments.”

The PPP CEC also adopted several resolutions following the discussions. Babar said that the party had reiterated its resolve to take the fight against militancy to its logical end.

He said that according to one of the resolutions, the most serious threat to Pakistan emanated from within rather than from outside. “The party ... called for addressing internal security threats on priority basis,” he said. Babar quoted Gilani as saying that water issues between provinces would be resolved in accordance with the 1991 accord.

Karzai's Challengers Face Daunting Odds
JALALABAD, Afghanistan -- As U.S. Marines launched a major offensive against Taliban insurgents in southern Helmand province, the presidential campaign unfolding in more peaceful parts of northern and eastern Afghanistan last week seemed to be taking place on another planet.

Whether addressing rallies, chatting with voters in the streets or receiving delegations of tribal leaders, candidates barely mentioned the violent insurgency that international experts fear could sabotage the Aug. 20 polling.

Instead, the presidential hopefuls stuck to themes they knew would resonate with Afghan audiences. They denounced civilian casualties by foreign forces and called for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. They railed against corruption in government, evoked past military triumphs and hyped their personal ties to late national leaders.

"I decided to launch my campaign here because this is where the holy war began," said Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, addressing a large outdoor rally Wednesday in this muggy eastern city. "I want to stand and struggle for the honor and dignity of the holy warriors. I want to build an Afghanistan that can defend itself without foreign troops."

Dressing for the occasion, the dapper professional wore a traditional Afghan tunic and baggy trousers. He also strove for ethnic balance by donning a rolled wool cap worn by Afghan Tajiks, then exchanging it for a striped turban favored by Pashtuns.

His audience, mostly men rounded up by a local legislator and former anti-Soviet militia leader, listened politely in the steamy tent. Later, after Abdullah had departed in a government helicopter for Kabul, the capital, some said they had not decided whom to support for president, but many said they were fed up with the incumbent, Hamid Karzai.

"We gave Karzai a chance, but he did not serve the people. He is weak, and his administration is corrupt," said Ghulam Sahi, 48, a tribal elder. A man named Zaman ul-Haq complained that Karzai's government had "taken away our weapons but not given us jobs. Today only the mafia people get jobs. After three decades of war, we need a strong and honest leader."

Public opinion surveys show that Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since soon after the overthrow of Islamist Taliban rule in late 2001, is still likely to emerge the winner. To shore up his flagging popularity, he has made preelection deals with powerful tribal, business and militia figures -- including some with unsavory reputations -- who command large numbers of votes.

Within the field of 41 candidates, only Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani are considered remotely in the running; most others are expected to pull out or support one of the big three. Karzai can hold endless televised news conferences in his secure palace, while the threat of insurgent attacks makes it dangerous for other candidates to venture into the countryside to enhance their name recognition.

As a result, with just over six weeks until the election, only a handful of the country's 10 million to 12 million voters have met any of the candidates in person. Most campaign events have been highly guarded and orchestrated, such as Abdullah's visit here, which included closed-door meetings with local officials but not a single handshake with audience members.

"There is very little public enthusiasm for this election," said Haroun Mir, director of the Afghan Center for Research and Policy Studies. "The old political actors are still running things, and the attempt to form an opposition coalition failed. No matter who wins the presidency, the government will be dysfunctional -- with little hope of reform."

International concern has focused on whether the Taliban will follow through on threats to attack the polling places, especially in the south, where low turnout could raise the prospect of ethnic imbalance in the national count. The United States and NATO are sending extra troops to protect the vote, but officials said it would be impossible to guarantee the safety of all 28,000 polling stations.

Election advisers and opposition candidates said they are also worried about pro-government rigging on election day. They warned that this could trigger a violent confrontation similar to what has recently occurred in Iran -- only worse because Afghanistan is awash with weapons.

"The stakes are very high, so if the race gets tight, all the stops may be pulled out to deliver the vote," said one international election observer in Kabul. An election complaint office has been established, but its cumbersome procedures might be unable to forestall a wave of public anger.

Karzai has pledged not to use his government status and powers to influence the election. He has also complained that U.S. officials, while maintaining a formally neutral position, recently held high-profile meetings with several key opponents. Relations between the Afghan president and Washington have gone steadily downhill in the past year.

Yet only a few of Karzai's challengers have journeyed into the provinces on their own or mingled with crowds in Kabul. One is Ramazan Bashardost, a former planning minister and eccentric crusader whose office consists of a tent pitched outside the parliament. Another is Shala Attah, a psychologist and legislator who spent 20 years as a war exile in Alexandria, Va., and returned home in 2007.

"I'm not afraid of people, and I'm not afraid to speak the truth," said Attah, 41, who left her husband and five children behind in Virginia and said she misses them terribly. "There is too much corruption in this country. There are women in villages living in caves. There are boys killing for the Taliban. Someone has to talk about the real problems."

One evening last week, Attah drove through the capital and stopped in a busy market, draped in an elegant black cloak, to greet astonished shoppers. Because she has near-zero name recognition, her campaign posters feature images of the late Mohammed Daud Khan, a former president.

"Daud Khan was a good man, and this lady says she will follow in his footsteps," said Ghulam Haider, 51, a cook who was bicycling home and stopped to take one of Attah's fliers. "What we really need from our next leader is to negotiate with the Taliban. They are our brothers, and the foreigners have destroyed our country. We have to end this war."

Several other candidates, including Ghani and former anti-drug official Mirwais Yasini, have developed substantive policy platforms but tend to campaign in the traditional Afghan way, through private meetings and elaborate receptions for visiting provincial elders.

Like Abdullah, both men are former senior aides to Karzai who broke with him and are now highly critical of his performance. Ghani has accused Karzai of wasting billions in foreign aid and allowing corruption to poison the state.

Yasini tends to sound the same alarm, saying Karzai is running the government like a crony enterprise and cozying up to ethnic strongmen. Yasini is the only candidate who has dared to speak strongly in favor of keeping Western troops in the country, but he scoffs at opinion polls predicting that he and other challengers have little chance.

"Unless the election is rigged, Karzai is not unbeatable," Yasini said in an interview. "He thought he could use the warlords, but they won't help him because the people are fed up with these dragons. This boat is sinking, and if Karzai stays or the wrong man takes his place, the country will drown."

PM urges global community to assist the NWFP

ISLAMABAD: Talking to Foreign Minister of Portugal Luis Amado here Monday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated that the global community should come forward and assist his government in rehabilitating the affected areas of the NWFP since it is crucial to win the hearts and minds of the local residents of these troubled territories, DawnNews reported.

He emphasized the need to resolve the core issue of Kashmir and the water dispute with India.

‘The resolution of these outstanding issues would enable Pakistan to turn its attention to its western border with renewed focus,’ the premier said.

He urged countries from the EU to provide GSP-Plus facilities to Pakistan and facilitate Islamabad’s bid for signing the Free Trade Agreement. He also added that enhanced trade would help Pakistan in the long run.

The prime minister asked the EU to play its role in building the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcing agencies and equipping them adequately, besides providing for the families of those who lost their lives on the battle front.

Luis Amado agreed to add a new dimension to the bilateral relations by putting in place institutional frameworks and enhanced contacts between the two countries.

Obama visits Russia

MOSCOW, Russia -- President Obama arrived in Moscow on Monday for a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at trying to "reset" the U.S.-Russian relationship. But he also may have a less publicized goal: figuring out who's really in charge here.

When Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, engaged in his first summit with his Russian counterpart, things took an odd turn. Bush said -- now infamously -- that he looked into then-President Vladimir Putin's eyes and saw into his soul, and basically found he was a good guy that Americans could do business with. Oops. The Bush-Putin relationship ended up getting pretty chilly, which is why the new U.S. president is now trying to warm things up.

Obama gets his first shot at literally looking into Putin's eyes Tuesday, when he has a sitdown with the man who is now prime minister of Russia, a post that many international analysts believe allows Putin to continue to pull the strings behind the scenes.

Obama's outreach to Medvedev started sooner, their first meeting coming back in April at the G-20 summit in London, and it's been bearing some fruit for Obama. Russia recently signed on to sanctions against North Korea, and this week both sides will officially announce that Russia has agreed to let U.S. military equipment headed for Afghanistan fly over Russian territory.

Both sides are also hoping to announce significant cuts in nuclear arms, though there are still major hurdles to clear, such as Russian suspicions about U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. In an interview with The Associated Press late last week, Obama seemed to be trying to work through the sticking points by driving a bit of a wedge between Medvedev and Putin.

"The old Cold War approaches to U.S.-Russia relations is outdated and that it's time to move forward in a different direction," said Obama. "I think Medvedev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new."

Ouch. If he wants to accomplish some key goals in Moscow, such as winning Russian cooperation in dealing with Iran's nuclear program, why would Obama fire a rhetorical shot like that at Putin -- if, in fact, he's really in charge here?

It could be that Obama is trying to flex his muscles a bit for American domestic political consumption to show he's not rolling over to Russia, amid Republican charges that he's soft on foreign policy. It's a move Putin knows well, having perfected the art of flexing his muscles at then-President Bush as a way of asserting Russian nationalism in recent years.

Whatever the intention of Obama's words, the back and forth with Putin is a reminder of the high stakes here. Of course, the president's second stop in Italy for the G-8 summit will be important too, with a packed agenda including Iran, the financial crisis, climate change and eradicating world poverty. The first African-American president's third and final stop at the end of the week in Ghana will also get wide international attention.

But it's this first stop where Obama will get a big diplomatic test as he juggles, among many issues, who's really in charge here.