The author of the book, Egon Krenz, is the former general secretary of the United Socialist Party of Germany (SED) and chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Krenz has deep connections and knowledge of China, which dates back to his work on normalizing the GDR’s relations with China. He has visited China nine times since the late 1980s and has witnessed China’s development and tremendous change over more than three decades of reform and opening-up. He has long followed and supported China’s reform and development. He wants to present a real China to the rest of the world. He has long been a good friend of the Chinese people.
As the last SED leader towards the end of the GDR, Krenz lived through the historic fall of the Berlin Wall and witnessed the ups and downs of socialist movements around the world. After the reunification of Germany, Krenz reflects on the failure of the socialist construction of the GDR and is astonished at the rapid and rapid progress of socialism with Chinese characteristics. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its 19th National Congress in 2017, Krenz was visiting Beijing. The report submitted by Secretary General Xi Jinping to Congress deeply marked him and triggered his reflection.
Krenz sees China as a shining example to the world with its sustained efforts to find solutions to social problems and help foster a common destiny for mankind in an unstable world. China, as such, is a powerful source of impetus for global peace and stability. Western media, including in Germany, however, have chosen to remain Eurocentric and ideologically biased. Their reporting on China can often be quite misleading and full of misinformation, which deeply frustrated Krenz.
In a demonstration of his friendly feeling towards China and drawing on the experience of his own political career, Krenz wrote the book China, Wie ich es sehe. Based on his direct experience in China, he presented an overview of China’s political, economic and social progress in various fields such as infrastructure, science, technology and innovation, urban and rural development and environmental protection, and explained to the world the 19th CPC National Congress and China’s development plan for the new era. He hoped that through this book, the German public and the rest of the Western world would get a real idea of what socialism with Chinese characteristics is all about.
Krenz wrote in his book that Chinese socialism is about providing “a better life for everyone”. He remembered seeing monotonously dressed people on the streets and roads filled with cyclists when he visited China in 1989. Then, on each of his subsequent visits, Krenz could sense that the country took on a refreshing pace wherever he went. it went: the cities of China “flourished with bustling scenes of city life, well-tended greenery, shopping malls offering an impressive variety of merchandise, and historic tourist attractions.” The countryside in China is “verdant with greenery wherever people look.” “Each household lives in a lovely detached house with solar panels on the roof.” In Chinese ports, “it is easy to spot many cranes, containers, ships, docks, tankers and railroads.” Chinese highways are “very smooth, with no irritating maintenance sites or blocked sections.”
Some Western leftists misinterpret China’s reform and opening up as a deviation from the socialist line. Krenz commented on these views, stressing in his book that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is “a socialist path worthy of China.” Citing the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Krenz argued that China’s development model and current policies conform to the essence of Marxism. He wrote: “I am convinced that the logic of Capital in three volumes, which contains detailed explanations of the process of social development and how it works, supports the path of China in the final analysis”, and “as long as it serves for the sake of the people, I do not regard the effective exploitation of the laws of the market and relevant capitalist methods as a takeover by capitalism. “
Krenz hailed socialism with Chinese characteristics as a key component of global socialism and praised its global importance. He wrote: “The premature assertion that the great socio-political transformation has ceased, that capitalism has taken control of the world, that Marxism has come to an end, and that socialism has been defeated, apparently neglects the existence of the People’s Republic of China. . “” China has given new inspiration to socialist thought, “Krenz wrote. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new option for developing countries seeking independent development.” The experience of the China could become a manual to encourage other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to think about how to shape their own present and future. ”He suggested that the Belt and Road initiative “from China” could replace the currently dominant neoliberal model of globalization. “
The book China, Wie ich es sehe highlights Krenz’s expectations for a socialism with Chinese characteristics. With its German-style rationalist writing and philosophical reflections, Krenz’s book offers an account of the great practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and a window for the rest of the world to truly understand China. Although the red stars have faded on the European continent, the red flag of socialism stands tall and firm in the East. The story is not over and will not end. As Krenz said in an interview: “As long as China is still there, so is socialism!