By Jiang Bo, People’s Daily
Red is the color of the flag of the Communist Party of Spain (CPS) and also the background color of the page of Jose Luis Centella, president of the CPS, on social media.
Centella is quite active on social media. He always forwards posts about China, such as the annual sessions of the country’s national legislature and top political advisory body, the technological elements of the Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as the remarks by the spokespersons of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Centella is closely following what’s happening in China.
Centella’s first trip to China was in 1998. At that time, the rural areas of China were quite underdeveloped, he recalled.
Two decades later, the Spanish man visited China again at the invitation of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), during which he had an inspection tour to Xiaogang village, Fengyang county in the eastern province of Anhui.
Greenhouses in the fields, neat residential houses, and a network of flat country roads – what he saw in the countryside in China this time was completely different from that 20 years ago. He was amazed by the rapid development and huge changes in rural China.
“The infrastructure I saw on the streets was completely different, and the young people were all enthusiastic and energetic,” he said.
Feeling amazed, Centella wondered what led to such drastic changes in China and why Marxism could be revitalized in China. He also wanted to know what opportunities and inspirations would be brought to the world as the CPC leads the Chinese people to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.
With these questions emerging in his mind, Centella decided to read the Spanish version of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” at the recommendation of a friend. In the book, he found the answers.
“I was greatly inspired by his governance philosophy and practices,” Centella told People’s Daily. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed that the people are the creators of history, and the Party must observe the fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people.
“In my point of view, this is why the CPC is supported by the Chinese people and why China can achieve such remarkable progress,” he said.
Centella has gained a deeper understanding of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and socialism with Chinese characteristics through his visits to China and constant studies.
He published a series of books explaining China’s success and development, offering a channel for the people in Spanish-speaking countries to learn the process of China’s development in the hope to enlighten other developing countries.
Last July, Centella was invited to participate in the CPC and World Political Parties Summit via video links, during which he listened to the keynote speech titled Strengthening Cooperation Among Political Parties to Jointly Pursue the People’s Wellbeing delivered by Xi.
He said Xi’s speech was of great significance and released a positive signal for the world to carry on cooperation, as the international situation was becoming more complex and turbulent and world peace and development were facing a series of challenges.
“It indicated that Xi is a visionary leader. He has responded to the profound changes, both domestic and international, with theories and practices,” Centella told People’s Daily.
In 2019, Centella attended the Belt and Road Forum for Interconnected Land-Sea Development held in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality. He said Chongqing and Madrid are both important cities along the Belt and Road, and the co-construction of the Belt and Road has provided new opportunities for China and Spain to further their relations.
Close friends make distance disappear. Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road had connected the ancient Chinese capital of Chang’an, known as Xi’an today, with Spain’s Tarragona.
“The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind raised by Xi is beyond the disputes and contradictions of human society. Eying on the welfare of all mankind, it has paved a new path for the mutual learning between the CPC and the CPS, as well as for building a new type of international relationship featuring mutual respect, justice, equity, and win-win cooperation,” said the Spanish communist leader.
The CPC and the CPS enjoy a long history of friendship. Centella said the two parties will further consolidate and deepen mutual dialogue and exchange, and actively promote the China-Spain development and the Belt and Road cooperation, so as to make contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.