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    1. CONTACT US Wed Nov. 13, 2013

      CASS 中国社会科学网(中文) Fran?ais

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      A confident China inspires the world: Review of A Concise History of the People's Republic of China (1949-2019)

      Author  :  Wei Haisheng     Source  :    China Daily     2019-12-23

      A Concise History of the People’s Republic of China (1949-2019). [Photo provided to]

      With the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China approaching, the Chinese and English versions of the Institute of Contemporary China Studies' A Concise History of the People's Republic of China (1949-2019) have come off the presses. The publication of this book adds a valuable general reference for the study of PRC history. After examining the book as a whole, it has three qualities worthy of attention.

      First, the book uses simple language to describe how the Communist Party of China has led the people toward grand achievements through self-reliance and arduous struggle over the past 70 years. Thanks to the people's untiring efforts, the PRC has transformed from a backward agrarian country into the world's second-largest economy. The country has made great progress in all its endeavors, and is growing stronger with each passing day. In the space of mere decades, China has reached milestones of development that took developed countries a century or more to reach. In the process, more great feats and theoretical breakthroughs were made and more heroic figures emerged than could possibly be counted. Despite its short length, this book is able to offer a vivid picture of the PRC's course of development, allowing the reader to grasp this grand historical process in the briefest possible amount of time. It is thus deserving of praise. Though containing simple language, the book is skillfully written, and though relatively short, it is rich in content. The words of the historians who contributed to it come alive on the page. As a result of the modern information explosion, material people read is increasingly fragmentary in nature. This concise historical work is a convenient vehicle for readers to study Chinese history in the limited time they have available and understand the CPC's core leading role, as well as the difficult path the Chinese people have walked. It is also a helpful resource for building a complete and coherent understanding of the history of the PRC. This is important for correctly understanding historical issues, investigating the relationship between the pre- and post-reform periods, resisting historical nihilism and avoiding the tendency to see things in a one-sided way.

      The audience of this book includes both Chinese and foreign readers. Due to cultural differences, lengthy and ponderous works on Chinese history may have limited appeal overseas. This book, on the other hand, is better matched to the habits of foreign readers because it is succinct and approachable. It will therefore play an important role telling China's story to the world and ensuring China's voice is heard.

      Second, the book explains the concepts of the "Chinese Path" and the "Chinese Spirit" in a full and objective manner. Over the past 70 years, the Chinese people have brought about a historic leap, from standing up to growing prosperous to becoming strong. China has consistently drawn closer to the center of the world stage and stunned people around the world with the speed at which it has developed. At the same time, however, there are many misunderstandings about China among the international community, with no shortage of comments seeking to slander or vilify us. As a result, certain countries and regions have become fearful or hostile toward China's development. Meanwhile, nihilistic historical views have at times emerged within China. Many people have been hoodwinked by one-sided comments or had their minds poisoned by rumors, leading them to believe in falsehoods. A full understanding of China's development is thus more important than ever. This brief historical work can help Chinese and foreign readers understand China's path with very little time commitment, and is therefore an extremely useful tool for clearing up misconceptions and informing public opinion.

      For the reader, this book will help instill a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the process China has gone through since the founding of the PRC, and how that process was historically inevitable and the result of arduous exploration. It will also allow one to learn about China's national spirit centered on patriotism, reform and innovation, as well as the focus on self-improvement and belief in peace and inclusiveness that define the character of the Chinese nation. The book also makes clear to the world that although China has a long list of great achievements in its development, it is still a developing country and still faces tough challenges with regard to reform, development and stability. China needs the world, and the world needs China. Though the global community with a shared future that China has proposed to build is necessary for our own development, it will undoubtedly be beneficial for the peace and development of all humanity.

      Third, the book eloquently shows how scientific socialism has been successfully applied and advanced in China. It notes the CPC's pioneering achievements in integrating the universal principles of Marxism with the Chinese context and exploring a path of socialist development suited to China's conditions. This book provides an objective account of the accomplishments China made and the difficulties it encountered, through the planned economy era as well as the shock the country faced when the international communist movement hit an all-time low at the end of the last century. It also shows the CPC and the Chinese people have always held high the banner of Marxism and remained committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Through eloquent expression of historical facts, the book proves scientific socialism possesses tremendous vitality, that only socialism can save China and only by upholding and developing Chinese socialism can the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation be achieved.

      By reading this book, one can acquire a fuller and deeper understanding of the advantages of the Chinese socialist system and how the practice of scientific socialism has brought the Chinese people prosperity and injected vigor into the world. It will therefore play a positive role in dispelling biased views held by some overseas observers, and drive forward pioneering research and advancement in the theory of scientific socialism.

      General Secretary Xi Jinping has often said, "History is the best textbook." The seven decades of development that have passed since the founding of the PRC represent not only the Chinese nation's journey toward rejuvenation, but also a course of exploration into scientific socialism. In this sense, China has played the role of trailblazer for the well-being of all humanity. Therefore, the history of the PRC not only serves to encourage and inspire the Chinese people, but also can serve as reference for people around the world who are pursuing peace and development.

      Editor: Yu Hui

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