BEIJING, Oct. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Among the 2,296 delegates who were elected to attend the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), 264 of them, or 11.5 percent of the total, are from 40 ethnic minority groups.
One day after the opening session of the milestone congress, Xi Jinping on Monday joined a group discussion with delegates from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is home to the country's largest ethnic minority population.
Xi called on Chinese people of all ethnic groups to stay as united as "a piece of hard steel" under the leadership of the CPC and pull together with one mind to power the giant ship of national rejuvenation through the wind and waves to reach its destination.
He said the 20th CPC National Congress further points out the direction for the development of the Party and the country's cause, and serves as a political declaration and program of action for the Party to unite Chinese people to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Hailing the achievements Guangxi has made in poverty alleviation, economic reform, environmental protection and other areas since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi said that they speak volumes for the success of the Party's ethnic policies and the system of regional ethnic autonomy, progress that is a vivid epitome of the great changes taking place in China in the first 10 years of the new era.
In April, Xi was unanimously elected delegate to the congress in the electoral unit of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, one of the 38 electoral units to represent the Party's over 96 million members across the country.
A mainly ethnic minority region in southern China that borders Vietnam, Guangxi is considered an important stop for cross-border trade with Southeast Asia. It has built closer economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) amid China's wider opening-up.
The momentum was visible at the 19th China-ASEAN Expo in September, during which a record 267 domestic and international deals were signed, with an investment of over 400 billion yuan, or about $57 billion, up 37 percent from last year.
In November 2020, Guangxi had lifted all its 54 poverty-stricken counties out of poverty, when the last eight impoverished counties in the region, including six ethnic minority autonomous counties, had eliminated absolute poverty.
Xi's taking part in election in border areas with a large ethnic minority population, and that of other leaders in old revolutionary base areas and key regions where national-level development strategies are implemented, has set an example for leading officials.
The leaders' election as delegates in respective electoral units and their attendance at group discussions of corresponding delegations is conducive to strengthening guidance, promoting high-quality development, furthering the implementation of major national development initiatives, as well as building China into a modern socialist country in all respects.
A strong sense of community for Chinese nation
When delivering a report to the 20th CPC National Congress on Sunday, Xi stressed the importance of making efforts to forge a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation.
China is a unified multi-ethnic state. Heightening a sense of identity of the Chinese nation, always maintaining the integrity and unification of the country, and all ethnic groups working jointly for common prosperity and development are the goals of the CPC's ethnic policies.
The system of regional ethnic autonomy means that areas with large ethnic minority populations shall practice regional autonomy, establish autonomous organs, and exercise the power of self-government under the unified leadership of the state. This basic political system is clearly specified in the country's Constitution and its Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy.
According to a white paper released in 2021, ethnic minority areas have made notable progress in fighting poverty. From 2016 to 2020, in the five autonomous regions – Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Guangxi – and three provinces with large multi-ethnic populations – Guizhou, Yunnan and Qinghai – the number of poor residents dropped by 15.6 million.
Extreme poverty was eliminated in all 28 of the minority ethnic groups with a small population, said the white paper.