Hu Xingdou: Ten Recommendations on Getting China Out of Its Current Difficult Situation

Editorial note: Dr. Hu Xingdou, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology, sent his “Ten Recommendations” as a screenshot to one of our editors. He is a scholar who has always favored expanding and deepening reform in China. His view is quite representative of this reform-oriented community in China, but it’s a community whose members are subject to constant surveillance, intimidation, harassment, and imprisonment. U.S. pressure on the Chinese Communist Party and government has sometimes made the activities of these community members more difficult. However, they are still fighting to make their voice heard. Hu’s most influential view is to advocate the abolition of China’s Hukou (household registration) system.

To read the original article in Chinese, please click here.

Since the Reform and Opening-up, China has made significant achievements in its modernization. In recent years, it has also made impressive progress in the areas such as financial risks prevention, poverty alleviation and environmental protection. At the same time, with changes in the domestic and international situation, China’s modernization efforts have fallen into difficulties.

How to get out of the difficulties and start a “new Reform and Opening Up”?

Based on the principle of “Three Beneficials”: whether it is beneficial to the realization of China’s modernization, beneficial to the country’s long-term stability, and beneficial to the well-being and pursuit of happiness of the Chinese people, I would like to make the following 10 recommendations to the top leadership of China

First, the Chinese government should reaffirm its adherence to the policy guidelines adopted since the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, especially the determination to focus on economic development and to continue Reform and Opening-up.

Second, the Chinese government should reaffirm its adherence to the resolution of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to comprehensively deepen Reform and Opening-up.

Third, the Chinese government should reaffirm its commitment to rule the country in accordance with the constitution and to establish a rule-of-law government, state and society.

Fourth, the Chinese government should reaffirm a return to Deng Xiaoping’s strategy and principles of keeping a low profile and biding our time, growing the economy quietly, not assuming global leadership, not engaging in controversies, and not drawing boundaries based on ideology, striving to have stable relationship with developed nations, aiming for peaceful coexistence and avoiding a new cold war.

Fifth, the Chinese government should reaffirm its attitude of firmly rejecting the Cultural Revolution, changing its mindset of conducting struggle, and returning to the concept of pursuing peace and harmony. Spokespersons, especially those in the diplomatic apparatus, should no longer present themselves as Red Guards type of ” Wolf Warriors “, but should return to the gentleness, modesty, openness and tolerance of a great power that has been the hallmark of the Chinese civilization for 5,000 years.

Sixth, the Chinese government should adhere to Deng Xiaoping Theory: emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts, and implementing term limits for leaders. It should also adhere to Mao Zedong Thought: to be modest and prudent, not to be arrogant, to serve the people, to engage in criticism and self-criticism, to advocate free artistic creation and free expression of one’s own ideas, and to encourage and institutionalize democratic supervision within the Chinese Communist Party.

Seventh, the Chinese government should change the practice of supporting developing countries and bringing in foreign students from underdeveloped countries at any cost, stop or lower the profile of the Belt and Road Initiative, and focus on domestic construction (the Belt and Road Initiative has been boycotted by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and others, and China has already suffered huge economic losses as a result of implementing BRI).

Eighth, given that the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and China’s growing power have led to the eastward shift of the United States strategic focus and the implementation of the Indo-Pacific strategy, which has seriously impeded China’s quest for modernization, Chinese government should suspend the relevant construction to avoid potential military conflicts. Given that the disputes over the Diaoyu and South China Sea islands have often led to tensions between China and Japan, and between China and some ASEAN countries, Chinese government should return to its established policy of “shelfing differences and pursuing joint development”.

Ninth, the Chinese government should strictly abide by international treaties (such as the WTO agreement), strictly protect intellectual property rights, promote fair competition, stop the expansion of the state owned enterprises and shrinking of the private sector, stop the government’s massive subsidies to enterprises, reduce the scope of state-owned monopolies, ,, enforce the rule of law, improve the business environment, protect the property of private enterprises, build a real market economy led by the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation, and strive to make the international community, especially the United States, the European Union, and Japan, to recognize China’s market economy status in the near future.

Tenth, the Chinese government should downplay the influence of the China model, prohibit the export of the so-called China model, and defend the existing international order. China is the biggest beneficiary of the existing international order. The global trend of globalization, marketization and democratization established by the United States and the West through decades or even two or three hundred years of war provides a good external environment for China’s reform, opening-up and modernization, and China has no reason to revise it. Imagine if there had been no global market economy and the establishment of the post-World War II world order, and if planned economy, command economy, totalitarianism, and religious extremism had prevailed and dominated the world, where would China have had the opportunity to reform and open up? To whom would China be reforming and opening up?

The above ten recommendations may be the only choice for China to get out of the current difficult situation and move towards modernization.

This is the author’s original expression, which seems to be inconsistent with the context. Should we change “state-owned” to “private”?