70 YEARS OF CHINA

Asia Politics

Formations featuring a giant Chinese national flag and the national emblem ushered in a mass pageantry in the National Day parade in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on Tuesday, October 1, in Beijing.

 

The mass pageantry, under the theme of “Pursuing the Chinese Dream Together”, featured the historical process in the past seven decades since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The pageantry had three segments, namely, “the Founding of the People’s Republic”, “the Reform and Opening-up” and “the Great Rejuvenation”. Some 100,000 people from all walks of life along with 70 floats marched through the Tian’anmen Square on the Chang’an Avenue in 36 formations.

Three formations unveiled the mass pageantry. The first formation was made up of 1949 young people holding a giant Chinese national flag. The second formation was made up 2019 young people holding the logo of year mark “1949-2019” and the giant national emblem. The third formation was made up of 21 vehicles carrying representatives of family members from the older generation of the Communist Party of China, the state and army leaders, representatives of the older generation of builders and their family members, as well as senior and model veterans. This celebration marks the 70th National day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On this day, let’s remember the journey of this incredible country.

China’s struggle from an ideological state to an economic powerhouse has been a real one. These 70 years for China have been no less than a roller-coaster ride. The outcome however, is not only remarkable but also inspiring. It has indeed taken numerous sacrifices, blood and hard work, to transform an authoritarian, largely isolated state into one of the world’s major powers. The seven decade journey for sure has not always been a smooth one.

Today as China observes the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic. A sneak peek into its achievements should be celebrated, followed by a critical review to see what can be improved internally to create greater social harmony and freedom, accompanied with economic prosperity.

The People’s Republic came into being after the Second World War, when the Cold War had just gained its roots. Led by Mao Zedong, the socialist revolutionaries defeated the nationalists and laid the foundation for modern China. Mao, was not only one of the founding fathers of modern China, but also a renowned and influential figure, internationally.

This was an era of ideological warfare, when the socialist and capitalist blocs were fighting to gain dominance in the world arena. However, the present status and economic strength of the People’s Republic of China is largely the accomplishment of Deng Xiaoping, who masterminded great changes in the economic structure of his country and promoted the development of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’.

Today, China is socialist, but only in books, though there has been a renewed focus by the state on Marxism under the leadership of Xi Jinping. The current Chinese president has also been pushing economic growth, the Belt and Road Initiative being his signature project. Under the BRI, China is seeking to link continents in a web of trade and commerce, with Pakistan also benefiting in the shape of CPEC.

Today, China’s journey is considered as a success story, especially when it comes to economic growth and military strength but there are serious concerns about the state of human rights within the state. For example, numerous foreign media outlets have highlighted the situation in Xinjiang, particularly with respect to the Muslim Uighur ethnic group. There have been claims that the Turkic Uighurs are being forced by Beijing to abandon their religious and cultural practices, though the state denies this. The unrest in Hong Kong also refuses to die down, as protesters have been taking to the streets in the former British colony for several months now.

It is easy to brush aside these criticisms, but if China is to truly reap the harvest of its economic achievements, there must be internal harmony, with all nationalities given their due rights under the law, greater freedoms for the Chinese people and a free press. If kept in line, these goals can help China to further flourish and make a mark in the hearts of the masses.

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