This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Under the leadership of the Party, China’s economic development and social governance are on the rise on the global arena.

The advantage of the CPC’s leadership has become increasingly obvious. But to many people’s surprise, smears and attacks against the Party, especially those from the US, have only increased. 

It’s not hard to understand why. China has gained more advantages and is pursuing a different development path from the West. This has led to irrational psychological reactions from some Western countries and people.

In addition, although we have made it very clear that we will not impose the “Chinese path” upon other developing countries, or force others to learn from us because China always believes that all countries must follow the development path that suits their own national conditions, some Westerners do not see it this way. 

Confronted with attacks, rumours and slanders made by the US and some other Western countries, many Chinese netizens feel aggrieved. They have chosen to “fight back” online. This is a natural response. China wants the outside world to hear and see the real situation of China not the distorted image of China created by certain Western media outlets and politicians.

In the long run, the Chinese people need to be more relaxed. It is difficult for the US and European countries, especially their political elites, to accept different ideological cultures. 

In ancient China, although there were numerous schools of thought, they all eventually developed toward an inclusive cultural mentality. When Chinese people deal with different civilisations, they have developed the approach of tolerance.

The civilisation and habits of Europe and the US have been different from that of China. Their values are all about competition, opposition, division, conquering and suppression. The obstacles to achieve “unity in diversity” are much greater in the West than in China. 

Unfortunately, when some people in the West perceive that China has advantages in development, and this may generate certain influence or threats to them, they tend to ascribe this diversity to the clash of civilisation.

For example, Kiron Skinner, the former policy planning head of the US State Department, has described great power competition with China as, “a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before.” 

Skinner also said this was because, “the regime in Beijing isn’t a child of Western philosophy and history.” This reflects the deep-rooted causes for the ideological rejection made by some US and European political elites and intellectuals toward China.

This also shows that Chinese culture and China’s institution-building efforts will take a long time to be accepted by the West as China has a different civilization from the West. 

In the long run, we should be prepared for a few scenarios. First, no matter whether or not others accept it, we should have confidence in ourselves. Since we have formed the Chinese path after thousands of years of practice, we must have the determination to continue following our path. 

Second, on the basis of cultural and political commitments, we need to bring the strengths of China’s cultural characteristics and values onto the world stage. For example, China does not attach any political conditions to its economic cooperation with foreign countries under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is unlike some Western countries, whose economic collaboration is often mixed with political and cultural calculations.

We need to run our own affairs well and safeguard the overall strategy for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

As long as we follow this path, no one will be able to shake our system or civilisation. Sooner or later, they will have to accept China’s path.

Author: Chen Jin, Member of Foreign Affairs Committee of National People’s Congress.
Editor’s Note: The article reflects the author’s opinion only, and not necessarily the views of editorial opinion of Belt & Road News.