The 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a very solemn and monumental milestone to which the whole world should pay attention.
China’s efforts to transform itself into a modern country able to resist foreign economic or political domination, to become prosperous, began in the mid 19th century. There were many setbacks, notably the Second World War, in which China was grievously hurt by Japan but resisted heroically. We in England, who were also fighting for the survival of our civilization in the 1940s, are more aware of China’s great achievement in WW2 than any others.
In the 1920s and early 1930s, lots of European and American intellectuals and artists wanted to visit China to learn from it. Then came the war. Today, for those many non-Chinese who admire Chinese civilization and have longed to see it revitalized and renewed, the situation of China today is a wonderful consummation. China is not only regaining its centuries old position as one of the largest economies in the world, but is also leading the advance and development of dozens of other countries.
Because the basic domestic economic problems have been solved, China has also started on a cultural renaissance; its people can demonstrate their innovativeness and creativity in the sciences and technology, the arts and literature, and in the resolution of world problems.
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China is to recall an important stage in China’s transformation and express admiration at the re-emergence of the Chinese civilization and its long-awaited worldwide acknowledgement as one of humanity’s greatest achievements.
HUGO DE BURGH is director of the China Media Centre at the University of Westminster.