After the Congress: China, the world and youth

BEIJING, Oct. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 20th CPC National Congress was held in Beijing in October, and the fifth episode of the second season of the China Daily series Youth Power was broadcast on Oct 30.

For the show, organized by China Daily Gen Z Studio, young Gen Zers from China, Australia, Egypt, India, Russia and the United States were invited to discuss the impact of the congress on China and the world.

Under the theme “Youth Voices: Forging the Path Forward”, the Gen Zers talked about China’s reforms and development over the past 10 years, whole-process democracy, China’s path to modernization and China’s responsibilities to the world.

The program was also keen to hear, through street interviews, the views of international students, overseas Chinese and foreign friends from all over the world concerning the 20th CPC National Congress.

Among the topics they discussed were “developing whole-process people’s democracy and ensuring people’s running of the country”, which was mentioned in the congress report. There was also discussion of “whether there’s only one model for democracy”. The consensus among participants was that it ought to be recognized that democracy comes in various forms.

Shamim Zakaria, an Indian reporter who covered the 20th CPC National Congress, talked of his perceptions of the concept of “the Chinese path to modernization” and “whole-process people’s democracy”.

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government constantly focuses on improving people’s lives, and most Chinese have faith in their government and recognize the China model, he said. “China has developed at such a rapid pace and people trust the government, and I think this is the biggest yard stick to decide whether it is a democracy or not.”

Wang Licheng, a Gen Z student at Peking University, said: “China is proposing different kinds of roles and a system that is also a good way of developing. And we are having a benign influence on the world through the Belt and Road Initiative.”

The show’s presenter, Zhong Yutong, a graduate of Fudan University in Shanghai and Cambridge University in England, said the initiative “features cooperation instead of the enforcement of one type of political model or political paradigm onto other countries”.

Monica Liu, a Gen Zer from Australia, said that in the Belt and Road Initiative “everyone is equal, everyone has a say, and there’s room for discussion”.

Sherif Abdelsamie, a student in Beijing who was born in Egypt and has lived in China for 24 years, said the Belt and Road Initiative created many jobs in Egypt. “This is with consent. This is with our knowing. This is with the support of our governments’ mutual respect. Our land is getting developed.”

Gen Zers at home and abroad talked of seeing China’s people gradually move toward common prosperity on the path to realizing the Second Centenary Goal of the Chinese Communist Party.

Miriam Frank, an American who teaches at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said more and more young people in China, including her students, are choosing to return to their hometowns to work after they graduate. “They go back to their hometown to help out with some of the villages in their hometown to improve on the situation there.”

Nik Gu, a Russian studying at Tsinghua University who has lived in China for 17 years, said China has once again proven that it is not seeking hegemony or expansion, but peaceful development in the world. “I think we should of course understand each other, learn more about each other and try to reach consensus between each other.”

He cited the Chinese sayings “Harmony in diversity” and “If three men are walking together, one of them is bound to be good enough to be my teacher”, which he thought well described making friends worldwide and growing together.

In terms of world peace and development, participants agreed that when young people from different countries and backgrounds can sit together and discuss solutions to problems facing humanity, the world will be more united. They also discussed Chinese wisdom and solutions embodied in the report of the 20th CPC National Congress, and expressed their hopes for a better China and a better world.

Youth Power, organized by China Daily and first broadcast in June last year, aims to build a global platform for communication and exchange focusing on the interests and ideas of Generation Z. The program comes in the form of interviews, forums and speeches, with topics related to anything of current interest in the world.