Irish communists’ visit to China

Part 2

■ Part 1 was published in the August issue here

The Communist Party of Ireland recently accepted an invitation from the International Department of the Communist Party of China to attend the 3rd Communist Party Leaders’ Delegation of North American, Oceanian and Nordic Countries at three venues in Guangdong Province, Guizhou Province, and Beijing City. In part 2 of a their report, Gearóid Ó Machail, member of the National Executive Committee of the CPI, who travelled to China with the general secretary, Jimmy Corcoran, provides an account of the delegation’s remaining time spent in Guiyang and Beijing.

The final day of the international delegation of communist leaders’ visit to Guizhou provided an opportunity for a cultural tour of Qingyan Ancient Town, a famous historical and cultural town in the southern suburb of Guiyang. Qingyan was originally built in 1378 and is an attractive destination for numerous domestic and foreign tourists. Religious culture here is also quite rich, including Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, and Christianity. Contrary to the constant disinformation put about in the Western media, China celebrates both its ancient culture and its religious and ethnic diversity.

Our eventful three-day stay in Guiyang was rounded off with a presentation ceremony back at the CPC Party School, where the international delegates were presented with a photograph album and video of their action-packed and educational stay in Guizhou province before flying to Beijing in the evening.

The first engagement in Beijing was a visit to the impressive central offices of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, where delegates had discussions on “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” and the global geo-political situation with the director-general, Zhou Rongguo, Comrade Wang Yingchun, and young members of the Bureau for North American, Oceanian and Nordic Affairs.

The international delegates were then guests of honour at a dual ceremony presided over by Minister Liu Jianchao, Vice-Minister Guo Yezhou, Vice-Minister Li Mingxiang, and Assistant Minister Zhu Rui of the International Department.

The International Department presented commemorative medals to senior Chinese party comrades with more than fifty years’ membership, followed by an oath-swearing ceremony by a number of new party comrades before all members present renewed their oaths to the party, and all those in attendance sang “The International.”

Delegates then met Vice-Minister Guo Yezhou before a conference and Q&A with the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China. The busy afternoon concluded with a meeting and Q&A with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

A definite highlight of the ten-day trip came the following day, on the 102nd birthday of the Communist Party of China, as comrades embarked on a visit to the extremely impressive Museum of the CPC before visiting and climbing a section of the Great Wall of China. Before the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and after nearly 1,000 days of construction, the Museum of the CPC, a site devoted to permanent and comprehensive exhibitions of the party’s history, was inaugurated on 18 June 2021, with its first visitors, including Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The museum’s construction involved nearly 50,000 people. A total of 276 exhibits tell the story of the CPC’s hundred-year struggle for the well-being of the Chinese people and national rejuvenation.

On the day that we visited, the museum was packed with Chinese tourists, school parties, and visitors from all walks of life, evidently enjoying the enormous range of artefacts and some very powerful virtual reality based immersive experiences. Definitely a must-see for anyone visiting Beijing.

The following day, Sunday, offered another glorious sightseeing opportunity with a trip to the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City before the international comrades were offered the opportunity for some free time and relaxation.

The penultimate day of the trip began with a briefing to the visiting delegation by Professor Guo Qiang, Deputy Director for Teaching and Research of Scientific Socialism at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, on Chinese Modernisation and the Establishment of the Xiong’an New Area—a new city development aimed at improving quality of life, easing traffic congestion, relieving housing pressures and reducing environmental pollution in the capital city, Beijing.

Professor Guo reiterated that China’s path to modernisation has several characteristics distinguishing it from the Western path to modernisation. it is the modernisation of a huge population, with common prosperity for all, harmony between humanity and nature, and material and cultural-ethical advancement, and is based on peaceful development. The professor gave an overview of the main objectives for the coming five years, including achieving greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology, further enhancing the institutions, standards and procedures of whole-process people’s democracy, enriching the intellectual and cultural lives of the people, ensuring that personal income grows in step with growth, ensuring much more equitable access to public services, substantially improving both urban and rural living environments, and making notable progress on building a “Beautiful China,” continuing to promote green development, renewable energy, and the protection of biodiversity.

After lunch, delegates were transported to the China National Archives of Publications and Culture before joining the Chinese Vice-President, Han Zheng, and foreign dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Dialogue on Exchanges and Mutual Learning among Civilisations and the 1st World Conference for Sinologists.

So ended the 3rd Communist Party Leaders’ Delegation of North American, Oceanian and Nordic Countries, organised by the International Department of the Communist Party of China. International delegates exchanged contact details and agreed to deepen and strengthen cordial relations between their respective parties. The International Department of the CPC urged delegates to report back to their national parties on the facts pertaining to the “Modernisation of China,” the evolution of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” and China’s role in promoting international peace, the pursuit of common prosperity, global civilisation, and economic and social progress in developing countries.

The Communist Party of Ireland extends our greatest gratitude to Comrade Wang Sitian and her colleagues at the International Department for the opportunity to witness their country’s remarkable progress and achievements and wishes our comrades in the Communist Party of China continued success in leading the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realise the party’s Second-Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.

In the words of the leader of the International Delegation, Robert Griffiths (Communist Party of Britain), “You have shown us a tantalising glimpse of the future and what a peaceful, modern socialist world will look like. Long live the Chinese Revolution! Long live the CPC! Long live the international communist movement!”