英文

Editorial : Anti-corruption drive does not conflict with democracy

【明報專訊】A hundred years have passed, and everything has changed beyond recognition. As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) commemorates its centenary, there have been all kinds of development and changes over the past hundred years. For many years, the West has believed that a communist system is not capable of self-improvement, nor will it be sustainable. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 further strengthened this view. As the communist bloc in Eastern Europe collapsed, the mainstream view of the West was that other communist regimes would also fade into oblivion. But in reality, things have developed in another way. China's modernisation has been different from the model advocated by the West. The CCP emphasises the need to be confident about its own path and systems. However, for China to become a powerful modern socialist country, democratic political construction is still indispensable. This is a goal the country must work towards in the future.

In the West, a political party's raison d'être is elections. The CCP is not such a political party. Since the mid-nineteenth century, China has faced aggression from Western powers. The entire history of modern China has been about the pursuit of self-improvement, independence and modernisation. The 100-year history of the CCP must be examined in this context. History does not necessarily develop in a particular way, but the range of choice is restricted by all kinds of objective situations. For more than a century, China has tried different approaches from "Applying Western knowledge on the basis of Chinese knowledge" to a constitutional monarchy to republicanism. The CCP has been in power for more than half a century. Its achievements should be recognised, but it must be admitted that the CCP has made mistakes. Over the first 30 years after its establishment, an ultra-left ideology took hold of the party when it was trying to put China on a road to modernisation. It went into the wrong directions multiple times. The Cultural Revolution was the biggest mistake. The violent June Fourth crackdown was unreasonable. The June Fourth Incident will remain a historical injustice until it is rehabilitated. Over more than a decade, the "China model" has met with controversies, but the CCP has emphasised socialism with Chinese characteristics and that it will not follow the path of the West but must have confidence about its systems.

The CCP has undoubtedly made some sorts of achievements in building a meritocratic political system. Corrupt officials have been punished, and an anti-corruption system has been built. However, anti-corruption is an endless undertaking, and it is too early to claim an "overwhelming victory". Absolute power corrupts easily, and this is an irrefutable law in politics. Given the vast territory of China, the self-purification of the CCP alone is inadequate. More powerful supervision by way of public opinion is necessary. Meritocracy and democracy do not conflict with each other. They can complement each other. Democratic building should be part of the building of a modern and powerful socialist country. In Hong Kong, many people lack a deep understanding of the CCP and China. Some of their perceptions and points of view remain decades-old. Some people are too willing to accept one-sided information. Some people do not understand the ideas of the mainland authorities and regard many national policies as only political slogans. Over the past six months, the central government has rectified the monopoly of technological giants and Internet companies with a kind of vigour unimaginable in a capitalist society.

Pragmatism breeds flexibility, and flexibility makes adaptations possible. When handling Hong Kong matters, adherence to a pragmatic approach and allowing more flexibility will certainly be of great benefit to the stable and sustainable implementation of "One Country, Two Systems".

明報社評2021.07.01:中共反腐路無盡 賢治民主不相悖

百載幻變,滄海桑田。中共成立100周年。中共建黨百載,百年間有種種發展和變化。西方多年來一直認為,共產主義體制無法自我完善,不可持續,1991年蘇聯敗亡,進一步強化了這一觀點,東歐共產世界瓦解,其他共產政權亦將退出歷史舞台,一度成為西方主流看法,現實發展卻是另一回事。中國現代化,有別於西方主張的模式,中共強調要有道路自信、制度自信,然而要成為社會主義現代化強國,民主政治建設必不可少,這是國家未來必須致力的方向。

在西方,政黨為選舉而生,然而中共並不是這樣的政黨。19世紀中葉以降,中國面對西方列強侵略,整部中國近代史,就是追求自強自立現代化的進程,中共百年歷史,必須放在這一框架審視。歷史進程沒有必然,但進路選擇卻受到各種客觀條件制約,百多年間,中國試過不同進路,由「中學為體、西學為用」,到君主立憲、共和政體。中共執政大半個世紀,成就要肯定,錯誤要承認。中共建政頭30年,在推進國家現代化的道路上,受極左意識形態影響,走過不少歧途,文革是最大錯誤;六四鎮壓暴烈不合理,一日不平反,始終欠歷史一個公道。過去10多年,「中國模式」備受議論,中共強調中國特色社會主義,不走西方道路,要有制度自信。

中共在賢能政治建設方面,無論是懲治貪官還是反腐制度建設,都有建樹,然而反腐是無休止的事業,現在說取得「壓倒勝利」,為時尚早。絕對權力易生腐敗是政治鐵律,中國幅員廣大,單靠從嚴治黨自我淨化並不足夠,必須有更強的輿論監督。賢能政治與民主政治並非互相排斥,可以相輔相成,建設社會主義現代化強國,民主建設是其中一部分。在香港,很多人對中共和國家認識不深,一些認知和觀點,仍然停留在數十年前,有人樂於接受片面資訊,有人則因為不明白內地想法,將很多國策方針統統看成政治口號。近半年中央整治科網巨企壟斷情况,力度之大,在資本主義社會難以想像。

務實造就彈性,彈性容許變通,中央處理香港事務,堅持務實方針,容許更多彈性,對於一國兩制行穩致遠,必有莫大裨益。

■Glossary

生字

fade into oblivion : to gradually become forgotten or no longer important

raison d'être : the most important reason for sb's/sth's existence

meritocratic : a meritocratic society or social system gives people status or rewards because of what they achieve, rather than because of their wealth or social position

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