China’s meteoric economic rise attributable to sound political leadership, says Ambassador Lin Songtian

China’s Ambassador in South Africa Lin Songtian [center] sharing a light moment with Prof Cheryl Hendricks, executive director of the African Institute of South Africa [right] and Xie Fuzhan president of the think-tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) during a symposium in Pretoria.
PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

PRETORIA – Shrewd political leadership and consistent people-centred policies are at the heart of the People’s Republic of China meteoric economic growth and the acclaimed alleviation of poverty for almost all of its more than one billion population, Ambassador of China to South Africa Lin Songtian said on Tuesday.

“The Communist Party of China has more than 90 million people. Whoever wants to join this party, you have no choice but to swear that from now on I have to forget who I am but get ready to sacrifice for who we are. You should forget the “I am”. The CPC is all about the people first,” Lin addressed a symposium hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the China-Africa Institute (CAI) on Governance and Socioeconomic Development in China and Africa in Pretoria.

“The only, and never changing purpose of the CPC is to serve the people wholeheartedly. Everybody likes to serve the people as president, premier, minister or as an ambassador – but when it is wholeheartedly you have to forget yourself and be ready to sacrifice for the nation, for the people. All the nation’s achievements must be shared by the people. That is the path of socialism.”

The conference in Pretoria was aimed at discussing issues including building governance capacity, urbanisation, industrial development, innovation and social policies deemed necessary to address scourges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. 

Lin questioned why Africa has not been able to realise swift economic development and emancipation despite the decades of independence and close cooperation with other continents.