Zimbabwe’s lessons from the Chinese


COMMUNIST ideology transformed China into one of the world’s biggest economies, threatening to dislodge US’ trade dominance.
Inheriting the communist ideology from Russia more than four decades ago, China has grown in leaps and bounds to become the second biggest economy in the world.
Communism has helped the Asian giant to maintain a closed society with its own tenets and values for decades. Social problems like those faced in Africa are not an issue in the Asian country.
Africa has suffered a series of cultural cross-pollination and today a plethora of socio-political problems haunt its livelihood.
China today owes its success to the strong ideology entrenched in its human capital who put forward patriotism in their daily routine.
Incumbent Chinese President Xi JinPing said: “We will promote the core values to unite the people and consolidate our society. The soft power of a country is dependent on the vitality, cohesion and appeal of its core values.”
Chinese society has kept its moral fibre intact as they have managed to counter the cultural imperialism through film, social media and other agents of cultural pollination.
China produces its own television content from series, comedies to epic movies. The Asian country also has its own social media. They have their own version of youtube, Yukou, where they can access movies and other content.
They have WeChat, an application similar to WhatsApp, but which is a step further as it has a mobile money transfer option.
They have a vibrant movie industry that produces content for the television stations. They also buy copyrights for other movies from other countries and reproduce them in the local language to suit their people.
For example, this way, gay and lesbian content will not find its way into their society.
The Chinese road to success is summed up in four decades. After the Cultural Revolution, political chaos coupled by economic stagnation and people’s suffering, followed, but China managed to transform their social life, economy and politics.
There are three 10-year periods that spurred Chinese development from 1978-1988, 1989-1999, 2000-2017 and then now 2018, China is opening up trade with the world and Africa is poised to be the biggest beneficiary.
The first move China made under Mao ZeDong’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, was to stop class conflict and start economic development. The rural economy was commercialised, specialised and modernised.
Deng acknowledged China was poor and backward and sent emissaries around the world to learn from other nations and they were to return to implement what they had learnt.
“We are too poor and backward. We fail the expectations of the people. We must develop productivity and improve people’s living conditions,” said Deng.
China was 40 years behind the developed world and 20 years behind in technology against Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1978.
The Chinese did not re-invent the wheel but rather modified it to suit their needs.
Today, China enjoys a mechanised industry that has a potential of flooding the world with affordable goods and services.
Deng challenged his kinsmen saying: “If the productivity of socialist countries is lower than that of capitalist countries for a long period, then what are the advantages of socialism?”
With Deng’s words in mind, in 2006 China surpassed Britain to become the fourth largest economy, while in 2009 it leap-frogged Germany to be the third biggest economy.
In 2010, the Asian giant overtook its neighbour Japan to become the world’s second biggest economy. Now China only has the US to dislodge to become the world leading economy.
The Chinese political landscape is dominated by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Dissenting voices are there but communist ideology rules the roost. Governing people with the same mindset has not given the Asian giant internal problems like in other countries where labour movements caused upheavals.
The issue of the bourgeoisie and proletariat that took centre-stage in capitalist countries where class struggle was the order of the day was a thing of the past after 1978.
Communism binds everyone together, sharing the dream of building China into a powerful modern state.
The media landscape defines how communism keeps China going. There are several media houses which are publicly and privately owned.
All subscribe to the communist ideology. Reportage from the media outlets preach communist ideologies.
Newspapers, radio and television played a critical role in spreading the values of communism to the nation.
The ethos was the same in all spheres of the media, hence there were no dissenting voices during the nation building in the 40-year period.
Policies implemented by the government needed to be spread and the media played a role.
Deng said the 20 years of Cultural Revolution had taught them lessons and it was imperative to make new political and social policy.
“Twenty years of experience, especially the lessons of ‘Cultural Revolution’, tells us that reform is imperative. It is also imperative to make new political, economic and social policy,” he said.
Fruits of the economic and social policies they made years ago are still being enjoyed after 40 years and China today has well-planned cities which are second to none.


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