by Xinhua writer Wang Yaguang
Over the past 100 years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has gone a long way toward the prosperity China has achieved, and overcome many difficulties to bring the country closer to the world center stage, a former Thai diplomat has said.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. "It's obvious that without the CPC, China would not be like what it is today," former Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Tej, also the Thai ambassador to China during 1986-1990, has witnessed China's opening up to the outside world and its transformation from an impoverished backwater into a major contributor to the world's economy.
"When I first went to China in 1973, Shenzhen was just a small fishing village. Now it's an international city of more than 10 million residents and a high-tech hub," said the 77-year-old China observer.
Under the leadership of the CPC, China has made remarkable progress in all fields. "What impresses me most is the rapid growth of the general wealth of China," he said.
The Chinese people are enjoying much higher per capita GDP and standard of living than ever before, and the country has managed to eradicate extreme poverty, Tej said.
In his view, China's infrastructure development is also "amazing." Back to his days as an ambassador to China, he said, it took more than three hours to travel from Beijing to Tianjin -- aound 110 km between both cities, while currently it only takes half an hour on a high-speed train.
Throughout its 100-year history, the CPC has been firmly marching on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, flexibly adapting to changes and improving its policies, which Tej believes is a source of the party's strengths.
China has been committed to its reform and opening-up, pursued innovation-driven development, raised proposals such as the Belt and Road Initiative, and promoted a new type of international relations and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, making contributions to the world's development, he said.
"I'm sure the CPC will continue to change and develop for the benefit of the Chinese people," Tej said.
Speaking about the fight against COVID-19, he said China has done wonderfully in containing the pandemic and "has shown a good internationalist spirit in helping other countries with vaccine,which we all appreciate."
"The first vaccine that was used in Thailand came from China's Sinovac. We will continue to cooperate with China and seek assistance from China in increasing our vaccination campaign," he said.