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The CHINA MODEL, China’s Development and Global Expansion Strategy: A Review from Chinese Sources

The China Model has been a hot topic in China recently. Over the last few years, numerous articles have been published in the Chinese Communist Party’s official publications and state media discussing the “China Model.” From those articles, the meaning of the China Model has been interpreted differently from what is generally perceived in the West. The government highly supports the study of the China Model,  and has designated it as a national project. On May 12, 2010, the team researching the “China Model” gathered at the Shanghai Social Sciences Institute to sign up and discuss the sub-projects of the China Model. Shijun Tong, deputy Party secretary of the Shanghai Social Sciences Institute and the leading scholar for the project, emphasized to the researchers that while conducting research and publishing papers, they must follow the theoretical system of Chinese style socialism as the guide, must have a vision of the big picture and a political sense, and must be conscious of the difference between open publication and an internal report. [1]
The current report reviews the publications in China’s state media about the China Model, in an attempt to put together a whole picture of the China Model as defined by Chinese Communist leaders and official scholars. In the ensuing reports, we will look into the CCP’s development of the China Model at the operational level.

Why the China Model Has Attracted So Much Attention
The Chinese Communist Party believes that the following factors have contributed to the widespread attention the China Model has received in recent years:
1. The West (democratic countries) has reexamined China’s development strategy and mode
following the collapse of the Eastern block
“… Subsequent to the Soviet disintegration, Western countries have produced one theory after another concerning ‘The China Threat’ and ‘The Collapse of China.’ … Yet these remarks have proved to be unfounded, as China survived the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 (international) economic crisis, and continues to maintain stable and accelerated growth, forcing them to re-examine China’s development strategy and mode. Even the United States and Europe’s intervention in financial markets has been viewed as learning from China.” [2] As an example of the success of the “China Model,” Xinhua reported the following: “20 high ranking U.S. officials studied at Qinghua University to learn the ‘China Model.’” [3]
2. China’s “Nationalized System” [to centralize national resources] is effective and powerful
“International voices of suspicion, criticism, and even dismissal of the Chinese political and social system have significantly weakened. They are instead being replaced by acknowledgement and commendations of China’s political system and social management system.” [4]
3. The “China Miracle” contrasts with the disasters caused by neo-liberalism
“The sharp contrast between the catastrophes caused by neo-liberalism based on the ‘Washington Consensus’ and the ‘China Miracle’ makes people pay more attention to the ‘China model.’ The ‘Washington Consensus’ advocates an economic development path featuring privatization and liberalization. As a result, it is responsible for three regions plagued with disaster, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” [5]
What Is the “China Model?”
Chinese Socialism (Socialism with Chinese Characteristics) Is the Core of the “China Model” 
On June 2, 2008, Beijing Daily, a newspaper of the Communist Party Committee of Beijing City, published an article, authored by Ma Shanlong, titled, “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Is the China Model.” Ma is a research fellow at the Institute of World History, China Academy of Social Science. The article states:
“The [Chinese Communist] Party’s 17th Congress Report comprehensively and systematically expounded the Chinese style socialist road and its theoretical system. The report explains the great significance of China’s reform and opening up and the socialist cause, and offers in-depth expositions on [socialism’s] creation, formation, theoretical origin and content. In fact, this is a milestone that marks the birth of the ‘Chinese socialist model’ or ‘China Model.’ … We should take pride in the birth of the ‘China Model’ and conduct in-depth studies and advocacy for this model.” [6]
“There is a good reason to say Chinese style socialism is the ‘Chinese way’ and ‘China Model.’ … We Chinese scholars and Chinese academics should announce solemnly and in a loud voice: Chinese style socialism is the ‘Chinese way’; Chinese style socialism is the’ ‘Chinese Model’ – it does not follow any other model.” [7]
Others concurred.
“Chinese style socialism is the essence of the ‘China Model.’ It is a path that goes hand in hand with the trend of the times and world civilization.  It is an independent development path associated with global development. … The ‘China Model’ is the result of the choices that China itself has made to bring about the modernization of society in the context of economic globalization. Since the reform and opening up, … China has walked its own path, applied the universal truth of Marxism to the realities of China, led practical innovations by using theoretical innovations, and, finally, has generated outstanding theoretical achievements in Chinese style socialism. The theoretical achievements have blazed the path of the Chinese style socialist road. If the ‘Chinese model’ is a success, then the most brilliant summary would be what the CPC 17th National Congress Report mentioned – one political banner, one path and one system, i.e., holding high the banner of Chinese style socialism, resolutely taking the Chinese socialist road, and establishing a theoretical system of Chinese style socialism.” [8]
Zhu Muzhi, former director of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party and former director of State Council Information Office, said in an article on Red Flag Transcripts in March 2010,
“The Chinese Socialist road has brought about sustained and rapid development for several years and much surprising success, attracting world attention. Hence, someone overseas coined the term, ‘China Model.’ Generally, this term means that China has its different, unique approach. … Chinese style socialism … takes economic build-up as the center, and adheres to the reform and opening up, and to the four cardinal principles [uphold the socialist path; uphold Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong thought; persist in the leadership of the CCP; persist in the proletarian dictatorship]. This basic line is very clear. … We can say that there is no doubt about this path. … Domestic and foreign hostile forces are doing everything possible to Westernize and divide us. A fortress is most easily captured from within.” [9]
“The Central Committee of the Party constantly stresses the need to enhance our awareness and be prepared. For those most damaging thoughts and expressions, of course, we must not ignore and just turn a blind eye to them. … We must resolutely resist and suppress any public remarks that advocate opposition to the four cardinal principles, to Chinese Socialism, and to the leaders of our Party.” [10]
Professor Qiu Gengtian from the Party School of the Central Committee (of the Communist Party) summarizes the core of the China Model as “in accordance with its national conditions, taking the road of development with Chinese characteristics.” [11]
On November 19, 2008, People’s Daily published an interview with Yu Keping, deputy director of the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau of the Party.
“As for the ‘China Model,’ we can see the report of the 17th Party Congress to get some understanding. In summary, the most important spirit of the report of the 17th Party Congress is the three ‘ones’: one banner, one path, and one system. That is ‘hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ adhere to ‘the socialist path with Chinese characteristics,’ and establish the ‘theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.’ From the perspective of international comparisons, the socialist path with Chinese characteristics can be called … the ‘Chinese model’ that represents a range of strategies for China to achieve socialist modernization in the context of globalization. … Talking about the value of the ‘China Path’ or ‘China Model,’ I think primarily it broadens the path to modernization of the nation and the State, enriches mankind’s understanding of the law and the path of social development, and promotes the diversified development of human civilization in the era of globalization.” [12]
The People’s Daily editor quoted the above on December 8, 2008, in the Editor’s Note for “The China Model’s Four Wheel Drive and Optimal Development Path.” [13]
The Definition of Chinese Socialism
In China, socialism is often a synonym for communism. Chinese officials and scholars often use the term “socialism with Chinese characteristics” or “the preliminary stage of socialism,” which is to distinguish China’s socialism (Communism) from the socialism [or welfare system] commonly known in the rest of the world. Although each generation of Chinese Communist leaders usually adds its own element (thought) to the definition of (China’s) socialism, the core part always remains the same: Chinese socialism is a development path (model) under the absolute control of the Chinese Communist Party, ensured by the proletarian dictatorship.
Current Chinese President Hu Jintao’s statement in the Report of the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is a typical example:
“The theoretical system of Chinese style socialism adheres to and develops Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, embodies the wisdom and untiring efforts leading the people to explore and practice, represents the latest achievements in the Sinicization of Marxism, is the Party’s most valuable political and spiritual wealth, and serves as the common ideological basis for the unity and struggle of peoples of all nationalities. …” [14]
“The road of Chinese style socialism is that under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, based on basic country conditions, to take economic development as the center, adhere to the four cardinal principles, persist in the reform and opening up, release and develop the social productive forces, solidify and improve the socialist system, build a socialist market economy, socialist democracy, socialist advanced culture, and a socialist harmonious society, and build a prosperous, democratic, civilized, and harmonious modern socialist country.” [15]
Guangming Daily, a Party publication, interprets the content and nature of Chinese socialism to include the following four aspects: [16]
“First, ‘two important prerequisites,’ i.e., it must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party and it must be based on fundamental country conditions.
“Second, ‘one basic Party line,’ i.e. to take economic buildup as the center, and adhere to the four cardinal principles and open door reform are the lifeline of the Party and the country. …  Among them, economic development as the center is the requirement for the Party and the State; the four cardinal principles are the institutional arrangement for Chinese style socialism; persevering in the reform and opening up is the direct driving force of Chinese socialism.
“Third, ‘two fundamental tasks,’ i.e., to release and develop the social productive forces, and solidify and improve the socialist system.
“Fourth, ‘one general layout,’ i.e., the layout that includes Chinese socialist, economic, political, cultural, and social build-up. … Regarding economic build-up, the most important is to develop a socialist market economy, and uphold the basic economic system that is dominated by public ownership and includes diverse economic sectors. … For political build-up, it is most important to uphold the leadership of the Party. … For cultural build-up, it is most important to stay firm on the direction of socialist advanced culture. … On the one hand we should develop public culture undertakings and on the other develop commercial culture industries. … For social build-up, the most important is  to improve people’s livelihood.” [17]
The “China Model” Is Distinct from Other Development Models
Many Chinese scholars have pointed out the uniqueness of the China Model as compared to other known development models.
Ma Shanlong, research fellow at the Institute of World History, China Academy of Social Science, stated that the key distinctions between the China Model and the Soviet Model lie in several aspects pertaining to “dealing with class struggle in a socialist society and how to build a new society,” “commodity markets and capitalism,” “whether to adhere to the people first or to State supremacy, and whether to adhere to scientific development or to ‘voluntarist’ development.” [18] He indicated that the China Model stands for “Chinese style socialism that is totally different from the Soviet model of socialism – it is a close integration of Marxism with China’s specific situation and a clearly Chinese style socialist path and system of theories. [19]
Zhao Hong, a researcher at the CCP’s Central Party School, criticized Western countries for intentionally “avoiding the socialist nature” of the China Model. He emphasized, “The success of the China Model is the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Zhao listed three types of models in developed countries: “One represented by the United States and Britain is called ‘the Anglo-Saxon’ model; the second, represented by Germany and Japan, is ‘the Rhine’ model; and the third, represented by Sweden, is the democratic socialist model.” [20]
Zhao claims that the China Model is a distinct model in that:
“China’s development model in the past 30 years … maintains the Communist Party’s leadership, upholds broad participation by the masses, and adheres to socialism with Chinese characteristics. It implements the reform of the socialist market economy, and it adheres to Marxism.
“When Western scholars talk about the ‘Beijing Consensus,’ or China Model, they often overlook or deliberately avoid China’s ‘socialist’ nature. They are reluctant to admit that the success of the China Model is the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In fact, the reason that China has made rapid progress is because the country insists on independence and sovereignty, and insists on following the socialist path. With such a foundation, China absorbs capital, technology, and experience from the developed countries. China has refused to subvert its own system by replacing it with another country’s transplanted system.”
“China will not adopt the Western political system of ‘separation of powers’ and the ‘bicameral’ system. China has tried to overcome the limitations of the system of ‘separation of powers.’”
Huang Jing, senior analyst of international economy at Xinhua, maintains that, compared to the “Washington Consensus,” the China Model has three distinct points:
“First, collective and State interests are above everything else. In other words, individual rights are abrogated or totally sacrificed for the overall interest. This is the reason for the so-called sovereignty above human rights. Second, the socialist market economy is based on this principle: Individuals have a large degree of economic freedom, but the State holds the right to be a monopoly. Third, the political system established subsequently is the one-party leadership of the Communist Party.” [21]
Huang holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and at one time served as senior fellow on foreign policy at the U.S. Brookings Institute.
The “China Model” Is a Multi-Dimensional System
Most of the State’s experts agree that the China Model is a multi-dimensional system. It consists of the sub-models of political, economic, social, cultural, and military models.
1. The political model
From the political perspective, the China Model means the Communist Party “has a powerful and effective government” because “it is capable of implementing whatever it wants [to do].” [22] Furthermore, “China has not introduced a multi-party system and parliamentary politics; does not engage in a ‘separation of powers’ or a ‘legislative, executive, and judicial branch;’ and China … always upholds the dominance of Marxism in the ideological field.” [23]
In March 2009, Cheng Enfu, the representative of the People’s Congress and director of the Institute of Maxims Research under the China Academy of Social Science, wrote, “China’s Political Model … is what was stated in the 17th Party Congress Report, i.e. Integration of the Three, and Four Democratic Frameworks.’” [24] Integration of the Three refers to a statement Wu Banquo (Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee) made in his report at the 11th National People’s Congress. “The Integration of upholding the Party’s leadership includes the people as master, and the rule of law, with the Party leadership as the core.” [25] The Four Democratic Frameworks refer to what was stated in the Party’s 17th Congress report: to adhere to the political development path of Chinese socialism; to integrate the Party’s leadership, with the people as master and the rule of law; to uphold and improve the People’s Congress,’ political consultation; and to support multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Party, regional ethnic autonomy, and the grassroots self-governing system.” [26]
Zheng Yongnian, Director of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, said, “The Party’s power is the core of China’s politics. Without understanding the Party’s power, one can hardly understand Chinese politics.” “Actually if we don’t review China’s political model, we can hardly understand China’s economic model. One can even say that China’s economic model is a product of China’s political model.” [27]
2. The economic model
Economically, the China model refers to its socialist market economy, meaning it has both market and socialist elements. [28] This model is not the Soviet’s “product economy,” the British-U.S. “market economy,” the Northern-Western European “social market economy,” or the German and Japanese “state capitalism.” [29]
The Party’s scholars believe the most notable feature of the China Model is the cohesive integration of the socialist system and the modern market economy.” [30] Hence they use the term “socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics.” [31]
These Party scholars also maintain, “Economic achievements are the most prominent manifestation of the China [Model]’s success, and the economic model is also the outer layer of the China Model.” Specifically, the economic model is primarily the mixed ownership system dominated by State ownership. Although China has imported the market mechanism, government intervention and regulation is much more powerful than in Western countries.” [32]
Professor Pan Wei from Beijing University holds that the China Model has four pillars: “one, State ownership of land and the non-state sector’s limited right to use the land; two, State owned financial institutions and large entities in oil, railroads, power, telecommunications, highways, airlines, water, education, technology research and development, health care, sports, culture, and so on; three, the least regulated labor market in the world…; four, a capital market involving the free exchange of commodities.” [33]
Pan also states, “The State’s control of land and the State’s ownership of various large entities was born out of the planned economy era, and is now a critical function as far as the Party is concerned.” [34] He finally concludes, “The West and China took two separate paths. In the former, the government is a captive of capital, while in the latter, the State moves and influences capital. … China’s economic model has taken shape and it is the one that leads to success.” [35]
3. The cultural model
From the cultural perspective, the model seeks to establish a system composed of an ideology that is very Chinese. Cheng Enfu, director of the Marxist Institute of the China Academy of Social Sciences, stated that the socialist cultural model is based on the basic socialist core value system set forth by the Party at its 6th session of the 16th Party Congress: the guiding ideology of Marxism; the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics; the national spirit, with patriotism as the core; and the socialist concept of honor. [36]
During the 17th National Congress of the CCP in October 2007, CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao called on all to “Promote the vigorous development and prosperity of socialist culture.” [37]
Through its cultural development, the CCP aims to further its socialist ideology and use it as a soft power to control public opinion on the world stage.
Li Changchun, a member of the CCP’s Standing Committee of the Politburo and the Party’s propaganda czar, spoke at CCTV’s (China Central Television) 50th anniversary celebration on December 20, 2008, “Today, whoever advances in telecommunication ability and technology will be able to influence the world with their cultural beliefs and values, hence exercising a stronger influence in other countries.” The speech highlighted the expansion of the Chinese media by “strengthening the development of foreign language international channels, expanding into other major foreign television sectors, and vigorously promoting the localization of our media overseas so that our images and voices can be more widely spread around the world and into tens of thousands of households.” [38]
The CCP claims that after 30 years of effort, China has, step by step, built up a great international communication platform that is all-dimensional, multi-tiered, and wide-ranging. [39]
4. The social model
From the sociological perspective, the CCP believes it should legitimize the Party’s source of power. [40] Zheng Hangshen, a professor at China People’s University and honorary director of the China Sociological Association, quoted from Deng Xiaoping’s October 4, 1979, speech on economic issues, “We should use economic solutions to resolve political and social problems.” [41] Commenting on Western challenges on the lack of a one person, one vote election system, sociologist Liu Tao said, “Chinese people traditionally are not so much concerned about the  source of the legitimacy of power as about the legitimacy of the government’s achievements. In other words, the channel and procedures of the power source are not critical – the key is whether or not the power is in line with Heaven and the people.” [42] “In general, the Chinese people are most concerned about whether the government policy goes along with popular opinion, is kind to people, and promotes people’s well-being, and their livelihood. A government that claims it is for the people and of the people, and takes actions to upgrade and improve people’s well-being, will win popular support through its achievements. Such a government is the one with great legitimacy.” Hence, Liu continued that the Party claims it is the party of workers and peasants and represents the interest of the Chinese people with the mission to serve the people and to strive to build an equalitarian society with no exploitation.
After the open policy, the Party quickly adopted a pragmatic approach and focused on economic development, people’s living standards, and comprehensive national power. [43]
Zheng agreed. “Using economic solutions to resolve political and social problems under specific historical conditions provides a feasible approach to promoting economic and social reforms and is … the best choice.” [44]
5. The military model
(1) The function of the military is to fortify the power of the Communist Party.
From the military perspective, the China Model means that the People’s Liberation Army “shall provide important force protection to consolidate the ruling Party’s power, provide strong security for important strategic opportunities of national development, and provide strong strategic support for safeguarding national interests. [45] The Party consistently maintains, “The nature of the Party determines the nature of the armed forces, and the Party’s mission determines the mission of the armed forces.” [46] “As the people’s army is under the absolute leadership of the Party, [it] is the armed forces that carry out the Party’s political tasks. It must always take the Party’s banner as its own banner, the Party’s will as its own will, and the Party’s task as its own task. It must resolutely follow the Party’s leadership and command, and resolutely safeguard the Party’s ruling status and leading authority.” [47] “Maintaining the Party’s absolute leadership is an integral component of the Chinese socialist political system as well as an inevitable demonstration of the Party’s pivotal leadership of the military. This system is totally different from that in the Western countries and distinctive from the former Soviet Union countries.” [48]
The mechanism to ensure the Party’s absolute dominance of the military includes, “military leadership and command centralized in the hands of the Party’s Central Committee and Central Military Commission; Party committees, political commissars and political institutions at levels above regiments; grassroots Party committees (Party branches), mentors (assistants), and instructors at battalions and companies; and the accountability of Party officials under the unified collective leadership of Party committees (branches).” [49]
The CCP believes, that “pressure from economic, technological, and military dominance of the [Western] countries will exist for a long time. … Hostile forces will do everything possible to engage in infiltration, partition, subversion, and sabotage activities.” [50] The hostile forces have, “all along, taken the Chinese military as its primary political strategic target to Westernize and divide. They strongly advocate, in the name of democracy, ‘military non-partisan, apolitical’ and ‘nationalization of the armed forces’ in an attempt to remove the military forces from the Party’s leadership and to change the nature of the military forces.” [51] Besides, “domestic reform has entered into a crucial stage and various social conflicts have become increasingly rampant.” [52]
Therefore, “whether it is resisting hostile forces’ schemes to Westernize and divide, or handling various tests during development, the military forces shoulder important responsibilities in consolidating the Party’s ruling status.” [53]
The point was further explained in the National Defense Mobilization Law promulgated on February 26, 2010. The law authorizes and requires that the military work together with other armed forces in cases of social unrest (emergency management). The National Defense Mobilization Committee Office explained the law as:
“The National Defense Mobilization Law with Chinese characteristics is a practical step to improve the socialist legal system. … Today’s world is not safe, and hegemony and power politics still exist. … Our national security faces many challenges. … The National Defense Mobilization Law sets forth the standards for national defense mobilization and the legal basis for mobilization preparations in peacetime and during wars so as to effectively improve the capacity to transform from peace to war. … This law also provides that the national defense mobilization system should be linked to the emergency response mechanism. … The national defense mobilization and implementation plan should be in accord with Emergency Management plans in terms of command, resources, information and protection.” [54]
(2) The national military buildup is a permanent issue in national politics
In a commentary article published on PLA Daily and China Daily in 2007, Zhang Wenmu, a professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, stated that the national military buildup is a permanent issue of national politics. He said, “Some pacifists and romanticists claim that the world has changed and there is no need to prepare for military war. Saddam was once powerful militarily. He then made a 180-degree turn and gave up his power before the Americans. He remained highly transparent in the process, but was still beaten. Saddam did not have nuclear weapons. Then why did the United States still overthrow him? Bush said it was because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. On the contrary, Cuba and North Korea, although not so ‘democratic’ and not so economically developed, are unshakable, with a strong sense and a clear vision of war strategy.” [55]
(3) Future wars will be won by the control of information; future battlefields will be in space
Regarding future wars, much discussion is centered on informational wars. It is believed that whoever controls the Internet will win the war.
Jin Yinan, head of the Strategy Institute at China’s National Defense University, stated in an article on new global military changes, published on the website of China’s Ministry of National Defense, that “military goals that have a big vision, and an eye on the future, can win the war.” He said that since the late 1980s and early 1990s, the global military arena has gone through the change of “new military revolution.” The essence of the revolution is a reflection of the information revolution on the military. [56]
Lin Dong, a professor at the National Defense University, said in an interview with China Youth Daily, “The 20th century is a century with continuous military innovation. Today’s global military innovation is marked by informationization. The change was initiated by the U.S. military force, and originated from the competition with the Chinese army.” [57]
In November 2007, a Chinese spacecraft landed on the moon for the first time. In commenting on the implications of the space project, PLA Daily said, “Entering space is the requirement to command the high ground of information. In the Persian Gulf War, Kosovo War, and Afghanistan War, 70-90 percent of the U.S. military force and its allies’ military information was  obtained using the space detection system. Implementing various space satellites not only ensures the timely transmission of battlefield information, but also ensures the prompt transformation of information into fighting capability.” [58]
The Potential Impact of the China Model 
Based on the above, Yu Keping and others agree, “The China Model is a strategic choice for China to bring about social modernization as a developing country facing globalization, and it is a complete tool kit for the Development Strategy and Governance for globalization challenges that China has gradually developed during its open door reform.” [59]
Zhang Weiwei, professor from the Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations, states, “This model [the China Model] is unique and appropriate for China. In fact, we have significantly increased our voice in international affairs. It is fair to say that not one single international issue can be resolved without China’s participation and its soft and hard power. It is because Western influences have weakened drastically.” [60]
Xu Chungwen, honorary member of the China Academy of Social Sciences, states, “Although the China Model is the result of our Communist Party combining Marxist principles with the specifics of our country, establishing our own path, and building Chinese socialism, it no doubt carries significance for other countries in the world because it successfully resolves, through this norm and using Marxism, a series of major issues such as the pursuit of civilization, economic development, getting out of poverty, and the inevitable socialist path, all of which now face humankind. [61]
Deng Xiaoping once said in the 1980s that China would show the world that socialism is the only path, and is superior to capitalism when, by the mid 21st century, China has a population of 1.5 billion, a per capita income of US$4,000, and a GDP that reaches US$6 trillion. [62]
The Chinese Communist Party believes that the China Model has fundamentally changed the international political arena.
Zhuang Junju from the Institute of World Socialism under the Party’s Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, and Zhang Lixi from Qiushi magazine wrote in a Party publication that it is a major event of historical significance that the China Model has led to China’s rise. “It has fundamentally changed the international political balance and even changed the historical course of the world. … The great achievements and the success of China’s reform and opening up represent the experience of how to build socialism in backward countries and how to modernize.” [63]
Song Luzheng wrote in the Party’s Red Flag Journal of March 2010, that the China Model has been widely accepted worldwide due to two reasons. “One is that it is highly successful. Within 30 short years, China’s GDP ranks third and may soon surpass Japan as the second, with tremendous impact on world affairs. … Two is that the financial crisis that originated in the United States has shaken the world’s confidence in the capitalist system. [64]
Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili hold,
“The relative success of the China Model has helped China to win valuable power to control public opinion. China’s rise may have brought about a totally new way of thinking, a paradigm shift, a new identity beyond the existing Western theories and explanations. For China, the battle between the two models, the Washington Consensus and the Beijing Consensus, is significant, because it not only relates to economic interests but also relates to political interests.  For example, the ‘China Model’ has considerable appeal on the African continent. If Beijing is able to convince the international community to accept the ‘Beijing Consensus,’ then Beijing can bring about a new world ideology by challenging the universality of Western norms. [65]
They cited the example of India. China’s development model has achieved a lot more than the results of the Indian development model. It is because China has chosen the socialist model while India chose the path of capitalism. [66]
Song Luzheng concluded that the political system has played the most important if not most critical role in the success of the China Model. [67]
The Path of Chinese Socialism – Peaceful Development
On November 3, 2003, at the Boao Forum of Asia, Zheng Bijian, chair of the China Reform Forum and former executive vice president of the Communist Party School, first discussed the China Peaceful Rise Doctrine in his speech “A New Path for China’s Peaceful Rise and the Future of Asia.” [68] Zheng stated in his speech that the current stage of China’s socialist development requires a peaceful environment in order “to achieve the benefits while avoiding the harmful elements” of the global economy.
Yu Keping wrote in Study Times in November 2009, “An adjustment of the relations between the Communist Party and the world changes in the role it plays in the world, and major shifts in its strategic thinking all originate from the peaceful development doctrine of the Communist Party.” [69]
Yu went on to say,
“Since the late 1980s of the 20th century, socialism in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and other countries has suffered setbacks. The reason for these traditional socialist road setbacks was fundamentally closely related to the ‘Stalin model’ of independent development of the socialist planned economy. … This model primarily isolated socialist countries from the capitalist world and independently built socialism, in order to lay the foundation for world revolution. Although this model has the advantage of making things happen with centralized resources, there are profound defects of institutional rigidity, resource constraints, and lack of vitality. … The failure of socialism in the world since the 1980s of the 20th century is not the failure of socialism itself, but of the ‘Stalin model.’” [70]
In contrast, Yu continued, Chinese socialism was able to be revived in the 20th century because the Party engaged in open policy reform and took full advantage of globalization and technological breakthroughs.
“Peaceful development is a breakthrough of traditional socialism and a breakthrough in the traditional capitalist road. It is the externalization of Chinese socialism.” [71] As an underdeveloped socialist country, the Party must connect and cooperate with the capitalist world, which is the only way to push forward “the great cause of Chinese style socialism. … Hence, the essence of China’s peaceful rise, i.e. of Chinese socialism, is to expand Chinese socialist power through wide participation in the international division of labor, to grow on the nutrition of the ‘capitalist body’ and to push forward Chinese socialism while cooperating and co-existing with the entire capitalism system.” [72]
“In the competition between socialism and capitalism, the competitiveness of Chinese socialism lies in pursuing a peaceful international environment, developing ourselves, providing markets, capital, technology, talent, resources, and other factors, and enhancing the international recognition of China; it lies in proactively participating in the formulation and improvement of rules of games in international affairs, … to increase China’s influence and appeal.” [73]
Yu recognized that socialism continues to be at a disadvantage compared to the dominance of capitalism, particularly after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, which “mandates China’s priority to pursue a peaceful international environment. … Only with our voice heard in the international community can we prove the superiority of socialism. … Thus, the competition between Chinese socialism and capitalism is not on the battlefield to see who is the hero, but on the path of development to see who has the last laugh. As long as China fully takes advantage of ‘strategic opportunities’ in the peaceful international environment and truly grows itself, one will naturally see the superiority of Chinese socialism.” [74]
The roadmap of peaceful development is, according to Yu, “to establish as many different levels of cooperation with capitalist countries as possible, so as to win time, resources, and opportunities for Chinese socialism; domestically, to actively push forward the progress of the market economy, to develop multi-forms of the non-State economy, to release initiatives of the productive forces of capitalism and the market economy, and to lay a solid foundation for socialist development and growth.” [75]
On April 1, 2010, an editorial in China Review News commented, “On the development of the economy, the United States market, technology, and investment are very important to China.” [76]
China Review News advisor Liu Nanqiang, also a member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the National People’s Congress, wrote, “[The Party] develops the economy only to buy time and accumulate power, so that it can ultimately triumph over capitalism.” [77]
The Strategic Analysis of China-U.S. Relations
The Position of China-U.S. Relations
Dai Xu, a colonel in the China Air Force and a military scholar, made the following comments in his speaking tour (a patriotic education opportunity for Chinese soldiers, military officers, college students, and other Chinese intellectuals) around the country:
“The U.S. strategy to control China essentially includes financial devastation, geographic encirclement, military inhibition, political suppression, attack from both inside and outside, continuous interference, and also trade containment.” In its global strategy, the CCP believes that “the U.S. mainly applies the confining strategy to manipulate China, i.e., to let China develop along the way designed and set by the U.S. … The U.S. has mainly applied four ways to deal with China: Make China transparent in its military, enhance high level military communications, increase military contacts, and cooperate with China to explore and solve certain international issues. The U.S. intention is to let China understand the game plan of the U.S. military on one hand, and to force China to accept the game plan on the other hand, so as to be able to confine China’s development of military power” [78]
Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Qinghua University, said at the 2010 World Economic Forum, “China and the U.S. are not friends. The interests (of the two countries) are, in many ways, contradictory and in opposition.” [79] He analyzed how China and the U.S. are not friends from three perspectives.
“From the perspective of interest, … the complementary interests between China and the U.S. are mainly at the economic level. China needs the U.S. market to create job opportunities; the U.S. requires China’s products to maintain its daily life. China needs U.S. dollars as a foreign currency reserve; the U.S. requires China to buy U.S. treasury (notes) to revive its economy. The complementary nature of these economic interests encourages China and the U.S. to maintain a business-like partnership, i.e., a customer-seller relationship, not a cooperative partnership of co-investment. … Such a relationship cannot be a friendship. Even in the economic area, China and the U.S. have conflicts of interest, such as the exchanges rate, and the trade imbalance.” [80]
“In the aspect of security, the conflict in strategic interests far exceeds the common interests. The U.S. sells arms to Taiwan to prevent China’s unification. China opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in order to realize national unification. The U.S. monitors China’s coast the whole time in surveillance of China’s naval force, in order to ensure its military leadership position in East Asia, particularly on the seas. China needs to develop its own navy to improve its security on the seas, particularly in the East Asia seas. The U.S. organizes the Western countries’ arms embargo of China, in order to prevent China from challenging the U.S.’s position of hegemony in worldwide military power worldwide. China needs to speed up the modernization of national defense, and narrow its distance from the U.S. in military power. Compared to the direct conflicts in security interests, other common interests, such as preventing nuclear dissemination in other parts of the world, fighting terrorism, and maintaining peace, all appear too remote.” [81]
“On the political level, China and the U.S. differ in ideology and political system. Even though both sides can put aside their differences in ideology, the U.S. will at least express sympathy to the Dalai Lama, ‘Taiwan independence (forces),’ ‘Xinjiang separatists,’ and other separating forces, and will support these separating forces when it’s possible. … The U.S. will never give up its hope that China will divide like the former Soviet Union. … Therefore, in the political arena, China and the U.S. mainly have a conflict of interest, and only share a few common interests.” [82]
Yan concludes,
“From these three perspectives, China and the U.S. conflicts of interest center on a high political level, with complementary interests being at a lower political level. This implies that China and the U.S. are contradictory in their core interests. Therefore, the nature of strategic relations on both sides embodies more contradiction than friendship. … Said simply, it is ‘more foe than friends.’ … Now we should re-establish U.S. policy based on the reality that the nature of China-U.S. relations is not one of ‘friends.’” [83]
A commentary article from China Review News says, “[Of China and the U.S.] both sides have different political ideology and beliefs. … It’s impossible for China and the U.S. to become true strategic cooperative partners, whereas both can only be permanent opponents. The China-U.S. relationship will move forward along the up and down path, until one day when China is strong enough to dominate the China-U.S. relation.” [84]
Adjusting the China-U.S. Relationship
The Chinese Communist leaders contend that the international financial crisis that started in 2008 brought them an unprecedented opportunity. The balance of power significantly tilted toward China’s side as the Western countries have been struggling to pull out of the crisis.
Yan Xuetong said to the International Herald Tribune in an interview on December 30, 2009:
“(China)’s policy of ‘hide our capabilities and bide our time’ was a tactic to deal with the situation of being isolated by the international society. The policy allowed us to successfully escape that isolation. Compared to the situation 20 years ago, the international environment our country is facing has changed fundamentally. … (Therefore), our foreign policy should make the principle adjustment, that is, to ‘increase the effectiveness of our political influence, economic competitiveness, cultural affability, and political charisma in the international arena as proposed at the 11th Diplomatic Envoy Conference’ [held in Beijing from July 17 to 20 in 2009]. [85]
Song Xiaojun, guest commentator of CCTV, said in the same report, “China should ‘conditionally break away from the West,’ have the courage to police international society, sweeping away negative sentiment while empowering the nation. … Now that China’s rise is a fact, [we] should continue our own rising path. Why worry about the ‘China Threat?’” [86]
The author of the article concluded, “China not only should have a bigger, more independent power to define public opinion, but should also take more international responsibility, and allow the international society to share the fruits of ‘China’s Rise.’” [87]
Shi Yinghong, a professor at the International Relations Institute of China People’s University, said in an article published in the 2010 January issue of China Review News,
“In terms of the recognized role and status of China in world politics and economics, one can say that they have markedly increased over the past more than one year. It, to a large extent, is correlated with, or even the result of, the decline of U.S. power. It is because they are, for the most part, the results of the global financial crisis and economic recession, while it is well known that the U.S. is the original maker of the financial crisis and economic recession and biggest victim of the decline of power. … The prosperity and decline (respectively) of China and the U.S., even though it may not be permanent, has already changed one major factor that determines the landscape of the China-U.S. relationship: the nature of mutual independence. China and the U.S. will continue to depend on each other, and China will still need the U.S. in many ways, but the most important imbalance issue—who needs who more—has changed its meaning drastically and even fundamentally. The dependence of the U.S. on China is increasing very quickly, particularly in finance and the monetary area. China’s regular purchase of huge amounts of U.S. treasury bonds and lending other U.S. dollar denominated assets to the U.S. has become a necessity for the U.S. … China has become the biggest creditor that the U.S. relies on and the biggest outside money provider. This has become the basis to discuss China-U.S. relations. What’s more, the U.S. is burdened by the economic recession and is eager to revive its economy. Therefore it is more dependent on China’s market than before. The U.S. is trapped in multiple difficult issues in Iran, Afghanistan, (North) Korea, and Iraq. Therefore its dependence on China’s cooperation in the arena of world security is almost without an end in sight. … This implies that the U.S. is in a weaker position in this very critical issue in the China-U.S. relations’ structural change. … A change in ‘relational position’ has occurred between China and the U.S. It’s not only a change in ‘relative power.’ To a certain extent, it is a reversed ‘mutual dependence imbalance’ as compared to before. The manifestation is, in many issues, that the U.S. dependence on China is more than China’s dependence on the U.S. The main reason is that the U.S. is dependent on China in the three major areas of finance and economics, world security, and ‘world leadership.’ This implies that the U.S. is in a weaker position than China. This is a major structural change in China-U.S. relations.” [88]
 [1] Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences,
[2] Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili, Overview of Recent Opinions on China Model, January 23, 2009
[3] China News Service, April 24, 2010
[4] Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili, Overview of Recent Opinions on China Model, January 23, 2009
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ma Shanlong, Chinese Style Socialism is the China Model, June 2, 2008
[7] Ibid
[8] Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili, Overview of Recent Opinions on the China Model, January 23, 2009
[9] Zhu Muzhi, My Views on Several Hot Issues, March 25, 2010
[10] Ibid.
[11] Qiu Gengtian, China Model and Development Path of Low Cost, August 1, 2008
[12] Yu Keping, The China Model and Ideological Emancipation, November 19, 2008
[13] China Model’s Four Wheel Drive and Optimal Development Path, December 8, 2008
[14] Di Chenguang, “Outline of the theoretical system of Chinese Style Socialism, September 8, 2008.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Qiu Gengtian, China Model and Development Path of Low Cost, August 1, 2008
[17] Ibid.
[18] Ma Shanlong, Chinese Style Socialism is China Model, June 2, 2008
[19] Ibid.
[20] Zhao Hong, China Model as Compared with Other Major Development Models, Red Flag Manuscripts issue 22, 2009 reprinted at
[21] Ye Yun, Future of China Model – Exclusive Interview with Professor Huang. October 1, 2009
[22] Zhang, Weiwei, China Model is the “Least Bad” Model, July 20, 2009
[23] Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili, Overview of Recent Opinions on China Model, January 23, 2009
[24] Communist Party of China, Thirty Years of Reform, experience in China has risen to the China Model. March 12, 2009
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Zheng Yongnian, What is the core of the China Model? May 11, 2010
[28] Zhang, Weiwei, China Model is the “Least Bad” Model, July 20, 2009
[29] Wu Qiang, The China Model is the Model of Success – an Interview of Professor Pan Wei of Beijing University, Red Flag Journal, April 26, 2010
[30] Song Luzheng, Personal Space.
[31] Wu Qiang, China Model is the Model of Success – an Interview of Professor Pan Wei of Beijing University, Red Flag Journal, April 26, 2010
[32] Zhuang Junju and Zhang Xili, Overview of Recent Opinions on China Model, January 23, 2009
[33] Wu Qiang, China Model is the Model of Success – an Interview of Professor Pan Wei of Beijing University, Red Flag Journal, April 26, 2010
[34] Ibid.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Li Chude, Basics Content of the Socialist Core Value System, December 21, 2006; See also Zhang, Weiwei, China Model is “the Least Bad Model, July 20, 2009; Communist Party of China, Thirty Years of Reform, experience in China has risen to China Model. March 12, 2009
[38]Guangming Daily, December 23, 2008
[39] Xinhua, December 10, 2008
[40] Liu Tao, China’s Century – China Model III Source of Legitimacy of China New Democracy Model, February 26, 2010
[41] Zheng Hangshen, Sociological Interpretation of China Model, December 25, 2008
[42] Liu Tao, China’s Century – China Model III Source of Legitimacy of China New Democracy Model, February 26, 2010
[43] Ibid.
[44] Zheng Hangshen, Sociological Interpretation of China Model, December 25, 2008
 [45] News of the Communist Party of China, Shouldering the Glorious Mission of the People’s Army – In Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, July 31, 2007
[46] Qiushi, Unswervingly Upholding the Party’s Absolute Leadership, October 16, 2009
[47] News of the Communist Party of China, Shouldering the Glorious Mission of the People’s Army – In Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, July 31, 2007
[48] Huanqiu, U.S. Triple “military Triangle” Locks In Eurasia, January 15, 2010
[49] News of the Communist Party of China, Shouldering the Glorious Mission of the People’s Army – In Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, July 31, 2007
[50] Qiushi, Unswervingly Upholding the Party’s Absolute Leadership, October 16, 2009 from
 [51] Qiushi, Firmly Taking the Upholding Party’s Absolute Leadership of the Military as the Ultimate Task of the Party Build-up, January 26, 2010
[52] Qiushi, Unswervingly Upholding the Party’s Absolute Leadership, October 16, 2009
[53] Ibid.
[54] People’s Daily, February 27, 2010
[55] Zhang Wenmu, National Strategic Capability and World Peace, May 6, 2007;
[56] Jin Yinan, World’s Military Changes Far Reaching
[57] Xinhua, September 7, 2007
[58]  Xinhua, April 26, 2007
[59] Yu Kepin