Understanding the historical logic of Chinese modernization

Source:Chinese Social Sciences Today 2023-03-05

Theoretical logic, historical logic, and practical logic are three important dimensions of understanding Chinese modernization, and together they constitute a complete knowledge system.

The theoretical logic focuses on the philosophical discussion of the theoretical paradigm, framework system, essential characteristics, and values of Chinese modernization, as well as its similarities to and differences with Western modernization theories. The historical logic of Chinese modernization needs to clarify its historical context, inheritance, and confidence. The practical logic focuses on clarifying the practical experience, implementation strategies, and promotion pathways.

In terms of the historical logic, Chinese modernization has its own origins and its own evolution history. We must deeply explore its rich connotation and significance from the perspective of reality and history, and clarify the historical processes, continuity, inheritance, and values contained in Chinese modernization. We should learn from history to create the future. To this end, the following aspects should be thoroughly grasped.

Historical evolvement

The evolution of Chinese modernization must be deeply understood.

Chinese modernization has progressed through three main stages of development: the foundation period of Chinese modernization was from 1949 to 1978. The main task of this period was to explore a feasible path for China’s industrialization and modernization, and to lay a solid foundation for the realization of modernization through institutional reforms and path explorations on the basis of the success of the New Democratic Revolution. The period from 1978 to 2012 was a period of rapid development of Chinese modernization. The focus of the Party’s work began to shift toward socialist modernization, and various reform measures were rolled out in succession. China’s economy achieved unprecedented rapid development, and the social landscape also underwent tremendous changes. Since 2012, Chinese modernization has matured. The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical phase.

Historically, Chinese modernization is a process of progressive evolution, characterized by constant sublimation and a leap from quantitative changes to qualitative changes. From standing up to getting prosperous, and to becoming a great soialist country in all respect, its essence is the gradual transformation and steady improvement of the path from building the country to rejuvenating the country, and then on to becoming a great socialist country in all respects, so that the Chinese dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is gradually turning to reality.

Fine traditional culture

The final aspect to be grasped is the internal relationship between Chinese modernization and fine traditional culture.

History and culture are inherently heritable. Why did Chinese modernization take a distinctive and unique path? In addition to many practical factors, the most fundamental is China’s more than 5,000 years of historical inheritance and cultural tradition. Chinese modernization is deeply rooted in the fertile soil of China’s fine traditional culture.

Only by returning to “history” and “culture,” can we truly decode the genetics of Chinese modernization. In fact, Chinese modernization is the product of combining basic principles of Marxism with China’s realities and its fine traditional culture. Chinese modernization, to a greater extent, is the transformation and “flexible use” of tradition, as well as the inheritance and innovation of China’s fine traditional culture.

National rejuvenation

To comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese modernization is the central task and basic strategy of the Party in the new era on the new journey.

The relationship between Chinese modernization and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the relationship between the pathway and the goal. The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is our fundamental goal, and Chinese modernization provides a practical path, impetus, and support for realizing this goal.

History has proved and will further prove that the only correct path to rejuvenating the nation is Chinese modernization, and the essence of this path lies in the socialism with Chinese characteristics and the creation of a new form of human advancement.


Ma Min is a professor from the Institute of Modern Chinese History at Central China Normal University.

Editor:Yu Hui

Copyright©2023 CSSN All Rights Reserved

Copyright©2023 CSSN All Rights Reserved