BEYOND THE GREAT WALL: The China I Heard About, The China I have Seen

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye


My Experience In Covering China’s Political Activities

It is being viewed in other parts of the world that there is no democracy in China because there is only one-party rule.

The Chinese government, in consultation with the people, has been maintaining its cultural heritage for 5,000 unbroken years, thus making it difficult for any nation to make it fall.

“We learn from our ancestors, and if anyone wants to destroy China, you must destroy our culture first; which is very difficult,” said Mr Jin Canrong, Professor and Associate Dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China (RUC) told one of our lecture classes.

Many Chinese including analysts say it will be a disaster if multiplicity of parties is allowed for such a country that has nearly 1.4 billion human beings, noting that there will be millions of political parties with diverse political views. And many opposing political views will not help China because of the population, adding, “Any attempt to do that will make China to fall”.

Above all, the Chinese are satisfied with the Government, as evident by views of citizens in 32 cities and towns I visited in 12 provinces. Focus of their conversations is on how the world can learn from China about development and creating peaceful environment.

There is a high level of nationalism by the Chinese, and as such, experts, scholars and prominent figures as well as enterprises in the Chinese public diplomacy have founded a non-government organization called the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA); the sponsor of the exchange programs of African journalists in China.

China is a very large country, large population; but growth in all of its sectors, has been described as the best way to address human rights.

Political leaders say the country alone cannot be making progress, and so they have decided to strengthen relations with the world; thus paying more attention to Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and other international organizations.

Now that China is moving fast, the question is what lesson African leaders and citizens can learn if the continent must improve.

Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.37 million square km (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of Earth‘s total surface area and 20.2 percent of its total land area. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world’s human population.  It contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition, the continent with the world’s highest number of countries.

Due to such partitions by colonial masters and with countries having individual sovereignty, it is impossible for Africa to unite like China.

But Africans have to learn from China to foster economic growth and development; and the political will must be holistic and patriotic.

Diverse and opposing political ideologies, masterminded by external forces have been keeping Africa behind.

Besides, the Communist Party of China (CPC) is represented all over the country, working with other local officials to ensure development projects are implemented according to the aspirations of the citizens.