Report concerning the Issue of Intellectuals

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Zhou Enlai

14 January 1956


In order to strengthen Party leadership over intellectuals and strengthen Party leadership over overall scientific and cultural work, the Centre has decided to convene a conference to discuss the issue of intellectuals.

This decision of the Centre is a part of the Centre’s overall struggle to lead the entire Party in opposing conservative ideologies and striving to complete the main tasks of the transitional period

Everyone knows that, in 1955, on the basis of a proposition of Comrade Mao Zedong, the Party Centre conducted a series of struggles against right-leaning conservative ideologies within the party. The most important results of this series of struggles are: the gradual and thorough expansion of the elimination of counterrevolutionaries operating within organs and within society, and it is estimated that within the following two years, this will be basically completed on a nationwide scale; that the agricultural cooperative movement has advanced by leaps and bounds on the basis of the rapid growth of the awareness of the masses, this year, we will basically complete the semi-Socialist cooperative movement on a nationwide level, and are currently turning towards fully Socialist cooperative development; the development of capitalist industry and commerce into joint State-private organization in whole sectors was rapid, and it is very much possible that this year, it will be basically completed on a nationwide level; the first Five-Year Plan to develop the national economy will be comprehensively completed ahead of time and in excess of quota, it is foreseen that some productive departments may complete their production plans of 1957 in 1956, all other departments also may possibly complete the Five-Year Plan ahead of time and in excess of quota.

All these huge and moving achievements were unimaginable a year before, if we had not launched the struggle to oppose right-leaning conservative ideologies, these achievements would have been impossible to attain at this time. Thus it can be seen how great the harm from right-leaning conservative ideologies is within our Party.

The basic requirements for the struggle to oppose right-leaning conservative ideologies are that our country’s people’s democratic regime should be more consolidated and developed, Socialist reform should be completed ahead of time, State industry development plans are completed of time and the technological transformation of the national economy is accelerated. This struggle has a major global importance. In our huge China of 600 million people, being able to complete these tasks in advance and accelerate them, completing these tasks and conducting them in many ways, rapidly, well, and frugally, will enable the overall Socialist camp’s forces to strengthen even more quickly and greatly, and will even more benefit the our preventing the eruption of new wars, and if the insane invaders dare to start a new war, we also will be in a more powerful position. Therefore, the Party Centre has decided to make opposing right-leaning conservative ideologies into a central issue for the eighth national conference, and has required the entire Party to launch this struggle in all work departments.

The issue of intellectuals is put forward on this basis.

What sort of relationship does the issue of intellectuals exactly have with our present task of accelerating Socialist construction?

The reason why we want to construct a Socialist economy, in the final analysis, is in order to satisfy the daily increasing material and cultural requirements of the entire society to the largest extent, and in order to achieve this objective, we must incessantly develop social productivity, to incessantly raise labour productivity we must, on the basis of high technology, make Socialist production incessantly expand and incessantly improve. Because of this, in the Socialist times, it is more necessary than in any earlier time to fully raise production technology, and even more necessary to fully develop science and utilize scientific knowledge. Because of this, we must develop Socialist construction in larger numbers, faster, better an more frugally, and apart from having to rely on the vigorous labour of the working class and the broad people, we must also rely on the vigorous labour of intellectuals, that is to say, we must rely on the close integration of physical labour and mental labour, and rely on the brotherly bond between workers, peasants and intellectuals. Al construction we are carrying out at the moment, requires the participation of intellectuals ever more. For example, we want to look for minerals, which means we must have a batch of geology experts, bring along a large batch of university graduates and secondary school graduates, to go to desolate mountains and wilderness everywhere to conduct surveys, investigations, examinations and explorative drills. If we want to construct mines, factories, railroads and irrigation projects, we must have a batch of engineers and a large batch of technology experts to survey, design, construct and install them. If factories want to produce, in every segment from product design to finished product inspection, a certain quantity and a certain level of technological strength are required. Industry and commerce management requires all sorts of specialized knowledge ever more. If we want to construct a modernized national defence, we require all kinds of scientific experts. Without teachers and doctors, we cannot have schools and hospitals. Without culture and art workers, we cannot have cultural life. In villages, after realizing agricultural mechanization and electrification, we will undoubtedly need to have a large batch of agricultural machinery engineers, electricity station engineers, agricultural experts, accountants, etc.; at present, in order to realize the many items that need to be started in the nationwide agricultural development outline draft from 1956 until 1967, for example for the production of novel animal-drawn faring equipment, chemical fertilizer and water pumps, eliminating the main plant diseases and insect pests, eliminate grave human illnesses and epidemics, we must also rely on scientific and technological workers, plant protection scholars, and even more fully mobilize and give rein to their strength, serving the great Socialist construction, has also become an important task in our striving to complete the main tasks in the transition period. All departments of our Party, all levels’ Party organizations should all give this issue high regard.

What is then the issue of intellectuals at present? The basic issue at present is that none of the strengths of our intellectuals, regardless of whether they are in the quantitative side, the professional level side, or the political consciousness side, are sufficient to respond to the requirements of the high-speed development of Socialist construction; also, some irrational phenomenal of our use and treatment of intellectuals at present, and especially some factionalist emotions in a part of the comrades towards intellectuals outside of the Party, have impeded the full elaboration of existing strengths of intellectuals to a certain degree. We must strengthen leadership, overcome  flaws, adopt a series of effective measures, mobilize and give rein to the existing strengths of intellectuals to the fullest, incessantly raise their political consciousness, foster new strengths to com and expand their ranks to the largest extent, and rapidly raise their professional level as much as possible, in order to adapt to the incessantly growing demands of the State towards intellectuals. This is a basic task of our Party at present concerning the issue of intellectuals.


In order to discuss the tasks of the Party concerning the issue of intellectuals, we must first and foremost observe the current situation of intellectuals. Our Party has always given high regard to the issue of intellectuals. Still in 1939, the Party Centre passed a decision concerning attracting great numbers of intellectuals drafted by Comrade Mao Zedong, and in all the anti-Japanese base areas, this was effectively implemented. After nationwide liberation, the Party conducted a policy of uniting, educating and reforming intellectuals on a nationwide scale. The Party Centre believes that: revolution requires attracting intellectuals, construction especially requires attracting intellectuals. Especially because before liberation, our country was a country with backward science and backward culture, we must be even more good at fully utilizing this historical inheritance of the batch of intellectuals handed down from the old society, and bake them serve our country’s Socialist construction. The party Centre also believes that: our country’s intellectuals in the old times, although they have been influenced by imperialism and the reactionary class, the absolute majority among them has at the same time been subjected to imperialist and Guomindang oppression, and consequently, a part of them has participated in the revolution, a part of them sympathises with our revolution, and the majority has adopted a wait-and-see attitude and maintain a neutral position, counterrevolutionaries are in the absolute minority. Facts put forward more evidence for Chinese intellectuals every day: apart from being together with the working class and the Communist Party, there is no other way out, therefore, uniting intellectuals is necessary and is completely possible. Starting from this understanding, the Party Centre has adopted the policy of “embracing” the intellectuals from the old times, the absolute majority will continue to be given suitable work, and some among them will be allocated to responsible work; efforts are made to assist originally unemployed intellectuals with finding employment, or suitable arrangements are made for them. On the political side, the Party gave many intellectuals’ representatives their due position. The Party Centre believes that intellectuals from the old society must be assisted in conducting self-reform, enabling them to abandon their landlord class and bourgeois ideology, and accept the ideology of the working class. For this objective, the Party has adopted a series of steps. The Party organizes for them to participate in the struggles of  land reform, suppressing counterrevolutionaries, Resisting America and Supporting Korea, the “Three Antis” and the “Five Antis”, to visit factories and the countryside, visit the Soviet Union, participate in all sort of international activities, led them to learn the basic knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, criticize the idealist viewpoints of the bourgeoisie, conduct struggles against the Hu Feng counterrevolutionary clique [1] and other counterrevolutionary elements, and launch criticism and self-criticism on the basis of study. In the professional area, the Party has also adopted many steps to help them improve work methods and raise professional abilities. The absolute majority among them have already become State work personnel, and already serve Socialism, and also are a part of the working class. At the same time as uniting, educating and reforming old intellectuals, the Party has also used great forces to foster large amounts of new intellectuals, and among them, there have already been a corresponding quantity of intellectuals born in the working class. Because of all of this, a fundamental change has occurred in the appearance of  our country’s intelligentsia over the past six years.

Concerning the political situation of intellectuals at present, many work units have made statistics. These statistics indicate that: among high-level intellectuals, progressive elements supporting the Communist Party and the People’s Government, vigorously supporting Socialism and vigorously serving the people occupy about 40 per cent; middle-roaders supporting the Communist Party and the People’s government, that are generally able to complete tasks, but are insufficiently vigorous politically also occupy about 40 per cent; the above two parts together occupy about 80 per cent. Apart from these 80 per cent, backward elements lacking political consciousness or opposing Socialism ideologically occupy ten-something per cent, and counterrevolutionary and other bad elements occupy a few per cent.

At the same time, in comparison with the early period of liberation, this change has been very rapid. For example, on the basis of the statistics of four higher education institutes in Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao on 141 teachers, in the past six years, progressives have grown from 18 per cent to 41 per cent, backward elements decreased from 28 per cent to 15 per cent. Many intellectuals, in the face of our country’s great Socialism reform or Socialist construction undertaking, cannot but daily receive strong influence, and see the mutually connected destiny of the entire nation and themselves from the new Chinese students.

What must be given attention here is, that the ideological situation of intellectuals is not completely adapted to the changes in their political and ideological position. Many progressive elements still have different degrees of bourgeois idealist and individualist ways of thinking, and even less want to say that they are middle-roaders. Furthermore, intellectuals in not a few work units, especially the part that is relatively backward, change very slowly, and also reflect that we did very little work among them.

The ranks of intellectuals have seen rapid expansion in terms of quantity in the last six years. At present, high-level intellectuals in scientific research, education, engineering and technology, hygiene, culture, art and other areas number about 10.000 according to estimates, among those, the number added after liberation, according to some data statistics, occupy about a third. In some departments, the increase is especially quick. For example, there were fewer than 200 geologic work personnel in the early period of liberalization, but in 1955, according to statistics in the four departments of geology, heavy industry, oil industry and coal industry, just engineers have increased to 497 people, and higher education institute graduate technicians numbered 3440.

In the six years after liberation, higher education institute graduates nationwide number 217900 people. Although they do not all conform to our standards for what we call high-level intellectuals, but they are newly emerging forces in intelligentsia, and furthermore, are the reserve forces of experts. Moreover, it must be pointed out that many youths, although  they are not yet expert  in rank, have already taken charge of expert work, and generally don’t take charge badly. Among the 4200 teaching personnel in higher education institutes, professors and assistant-professors occupy 17.8 per cent, tutors occupy 24 per cent, and teaching assistants occupy 58 per cent, and a pert of the teaching assistants have already participated in teaching work. In engineering circles, it is the same. There are only 31000 engineers of all levels nationwide, but higher education institute graduate technicians of all levels number 63600 people, many among them in fact take charge of engineering work, some among then should have already been promoted to engineer earlier. Apart from this, as reserve forces for high-level intellectuals, there are still other broad troops of intellectual, they are currently incessantly raising their knowledge levels in real work and part-time study processes.

Among the so-called high level intellectuals and general intellectuals, there are no strict boundaries, there are in total 3.840.000 intellectuals in the five areas of scientific research, education, engineering and technology, hygiene, culture and art at the moment according to statistical data. They are a great force in the undertaking of Socialist construction. Correctly estimating and using these intellectuals, in a planned way assisting them in incessantly progressing politically and professionally, is an extremely important task for the Party and the country. In my report, although I stress discussing the issues relating to high-level intellectuals, but the majority of principles are equally applicable to common intellectuals.

As it was said earlier, our country’s intellectuals have become a very large force. But, our country is so large, our construction undertaking develops so fast, and will develop even faster in the future, because of this, we cannot but even faster expand the ranks of intellectuals and especially the ranks of high-level intellectuals, in order to satisfy the urgent requirements of Socialism. It should be recognized that our work of fostering and promoting newly emerging forces still has many flaws, these flaws impede the even faster expansion of intellectual ranks.

The professional levels of our country’s intellectuals have clearly risen over the past six years as well. Nationwide higher education institutes conducted education reform, and newly set up many departments and specializations that did not exist in the entire country before, newly complied and translated large amounts of teaching materials, and have raised teaching quality. Science and technology circles nationwide have conducted high work in geological prospecting aspects basic construction design and work aspects, new product design and test-manufacture aspects, and gained clear achievements, because of the results of striving to learn from the Soviet Union, our country’s engineering circles have now already mastered many modern factory, mine, bridge, irrigation construction design and implementation, and have seen a great rise in the capacity to design large machinery, engines and steamers. From 1952 to 1955, the new machine products that were successful in test manufactures numbered about 3500, and a small number already achieved global levels. In the area of metallurgy, our country is able to smelt 240 varieties of high-quality steel and alloys; our country’s blast furnace and open-hearth furnace utilization coefficients already achieve the level of the Soviet Union in 1952. In the area of theoretical science, the achievements of our country in some departments of mathematics, physics, organic chemistry and biology, have also received attention from the global scientific circle, and some among them have already mate contributions to production and practice.

But generally speaking, our country’s science and technology level is still very backward. We have not yet been able to grasp and use many of the newest achievements in world science, but we have also not been able to leave Soviet expertise and resolve matters independently in many complex technological issues in our country’s construction at present. But until recently, we had not yet made an overall plan on the issue of raising our country’s science and technology levels; even existing forces have not been completely and effectively used. The backwardness in science and technology cannot be separated from the weakness of the theoretical science base, and the strength we put into scientific research is very little.

From the above simple tale, it may be deduced that: our achievements are great, but there still are not a few flaws.

Then, which policies should we adopt concerning the issue of intellectuals? Which tendencies should we prevent and rectify?

At present, the main tendency in the issue of intellectuals is factionalism, but at the same time, tendencies of slackening vigilance and compromise also exist. The former tendency is: underestimating the huge progress of intellectuals politically and professionally,  underestimating their major function in our country’s Socialist undertaking, not recognizing that they are a part of the working class, believing that production in any case relies on workers, that technology relies on Soviet experts and consequently not earnestly implementing the Party’s policy concerning intellectuals and not earnestly researching and resolving problems relating to the area of intellectuals; being indifferent on how to fully mobilize and give rein to the strengths of intellectuals, how to further reform intellectuals, expand the ranks of intellectuals, raise the professional abilities of intellectuals and other questions. The latter tendency is only seeing the progress of intellectuals and not seeing their flaws, estimating them too highly, without differentiating and blindly trusting them, or even not guarding against bad elements, and consequently not conducting education and reform work over them, or although seeing their flaws, because of the existence of all sorts of worries that should not exist, not daring to conduct education or reform work over them. These two sorts of tendencies are opposite in form, but the result in reality is all a sort of right-leaning conservatism, it all is abandoning leadership, lacking a vigorous fighting spirit, and this all hinders our correct resolution of issues of intellectuals and issues of science and culture, this all hinders the development of our country’s Socialist undertaking.

We must at the same tome oppose these two sorts of incorrect tendencies. We cannot not neglect the existing strengths of intellectuals, and even less not believe to be satisfied; we cannot rely on Soviet experts for an indefinite duration, or slacken conducting the most efficient study of the advanced science and culture of the Soviet Union and other countries. The principle of sole correctness that we should adopt, is in order to enable our country’s Socialist construction undertaking to be conducted in great numbers, rapidly, well and frugally, and we must exhaust all efforts to mobilize and give rein to the existing strengths of intellectuals to the fullest extent, and at the same time strive to further reform, expand and raise them as much as possible, enabling the speed and scale of this sort of reform, expansion and rise to be able to fully conform to our country’s giant pace in great development  in all areas.


Mobilizing and giving rein to the strengths of intellectuals, not only is necessary for our country’s present intense construction undertaking, but it is also a precondition for intellectuals to further reform, expand and rise.

Generally speaking, intellectuals are mobilized in great numbers under the leadership of our Party. Otherwise, the huge progress of intellectuals and their huge contribution to our country that we talk about, would be unimaginable. We must first and foremost affirm this point, this is the main aspect of the facts.

But in our work, not a few flaws certainly exist as well, including some grave flaws. In the present wave of Socialist construction and reform, we must strengthen leadership, and rapidly overcome these flaws, before we will be able to fully mobilize and give rein to the strengths of intellectuals.

In order to mobilize and give rein to the strengths of intellectuals to the fullest extent, first, we should improve use of and arrangements for them, enabling them to give rein to their specialty that is beneficial for the country.

In the area of using and arranging for intellectuals, we haven’t done badly in the majority of situations. Many intellectuals already have undertaken many and great tasks in the construction of the country, and their abilities have incessantly risen in practice.

But in the end, it cannot be said that we have already used and arranged for intellectuals in a wholly suitable manner, and have not let any strength be left idle. For example, in many organs, because of work being unsuitably allocated, or work not being organized well, situations that cause small numbers of intellectuals to “sit around with no work to do” still exist, and these intellectuals have often been allocated towards these organs just because of some specialist knowledge. This sort of situation that wastes the country’s most cherished assets must be eliminated. Another example, in higher education institutes in the entire country, there still are small numbers of teachers who have not started teaching. Among these people, there are some who by no means cannot start teaching, or for whom only some study needs to be organized before they may start teaching, they should be let to start teaching; if they truly cannot start teaching, methods should be thought up to allocate them to work that they can undertake, such as editing and translation work, publishing work, library work, etc., and they should not left idle. Another example, in society, there are still an extremely small number of unemployed intellectuals who have substantial work ability, localities or the Centre should allocate them to a certain work according to the situation.

In some localities, in the arrangement for and use of intellectuals, the situation of engagement in work not related to training also still exists. There are a number of scientists who themselves  are willing to engage in scientific research work, and who are most useful to the country in doing scientific research work, who are, however, allocated to do administrative work in organs or administrative work in schools. There still are a number of experts who, because of mistakes in work allocation, have been appointed work that they have not studied for completely without reasons, sometimes, today they are called to do this, tomorrow they are called to do that, but they are not let to return to their own speciality. On the basis of the State Council’s 4th Office statistics concerning the five work units subordinate to the Ministry of Light Industry, this sort of situation of engagement in work not related to training affects about ten per cent of high-level intellectuals, this is such a grave loss! We must adopt firm and determined measures to redress this sort of bureaucratist, factionalist and departmentalist mistakes in treating talent, in order to ensure that specialists are only used in the places where they are needed most.

In order to mobilize and give rein to the strengths of intellectuals to the fullest extent, second, we should have a full understanding of the intellectuals we use, and give them the deserved trust and support, enabling them to vigorously conduct their work.

The trust and support that intellectuals give us is generally satisfactory, but we still should look at our flaws in work. On the issue of intellectuals’ trust, as said before, one sort of tendency is to excessively trust them without differentiation in politics and professional matters, to such an extent that some State secrets have been unnecessarily told to a number of unrelated people or have been revealed to some unreliable people, or that completely unqualified people have been put in important position, causing work to be harmed. This sort of situation exists, and must be rectified. Another sort of tendency is that they have not been given the necessary trust, for example, not letting them go to factories they are permitted to go to, not letting them see materials they are permitted to see,  this sort of situation exists as well, and must be rectified as well. State secrets must be kept unconditionally, any slackening is not permitted; the problem is to correctly draw a clear boundary of secrecy, and not to wilfully expand the scope of secrets, causing work to suffer harm, and causing work personnel to run into difficulty. At the same time, there must be a correct appraisal and understanding of the history of intellectuals, in order to avoid that some people suffer from long-lasting and unnecessary doubt because of “historical complexities”. Among the high-level intellectuals of today, many people have a relatively complex history, this is not a strange thing. But only a small number of people have political issues, and only an extremely small number has political issues at present. There are not a few intellectuals over whose history a conclusion has not yet been reached, because the leading comrades have not earnestly and responsibly gained a clear idea of their issues in a way that seeks truth from facts, consequently causing their issues to be postponed without resolution for a long time. Relatively strong forces should be concentrated to differentiate importance and urgency, and speedily settle their outstanding cases as far as possible, in order to benefit their use in the future.

Intellectuals outside of the Party, apart from their deserved trust, must also have their deserved support. That is to say, they should be given a position and authority, their opinion should be respected, their professional research and work results should be given high regard, their academic discussion should be advocated and carried forward in academic discussion, and their creations and inventions should be given opportunities for testing and popularization. There are small numbers of Party and League members who do not respect the leadership of their higher-level intellectuals outside the Party, we should take responsibility to rectify this sort of situation.

As for the fact that trust in and support for intellectuals is insufficient, this is the main manifestation of factionalism of a number of our comrades in the issue of intellectuals. Not a few comrades still have not become accustomed to encounter and consult matters with intellectuals outside of the Party, and to guide and assist the before and during matters. Some comrades have even adopted an attitude of respectful distance from intellectuals outside of the Party. In this way, both sides lack understanding, and unfamiliarity is easily shaped. But, they are important work personnel of our country, the quality of our work directly influences the construction of the country, therefore, we have a responsibility to learn to approach them in a comradely manner, to correctly understand them, and thereby governing them through guidance and assistance, and enabling them to give rein to a vigorous function in work.

In order to mobilize and give rein to the strengths of intellectuals to the fullest extent, third, we should provide the necessary work conditions and appropriate treatment for intellectuals.

At present, the work conditions and treatment of intellectuals has greatly improved since before Liberation. But, just as stated before, there still are some problems in this area that urgently need to be resolved.

In the area of the work conditions of intellectuals, at present, an important issue is that among them, many people cannot most effectively allocate their own work time. Many intellectuals feel deeply about the fact that too much of their time is used in non-work-related meetings and administrative matters, it is permissible that they are not required to participate in these meetings and many work matters. Almost the more famous the scientist, writer or artist is, the more time is lost in all sorts of meetings, tasks and social activities, this is a grave phenomenon at our country’s cultural front. The Centre believes that, it must be guaranteed that they can use at least five of every six work days (or 40 hours every week) for their own work, the rest of the time may be used in political study or necessary meetings and social activities. This requirement should be firmly implemented. Intellectuals participating in social events is beneficial, the flaw at present is the fact that these activities are often concentrated on the shoulders of too few people. In the future, this should be adjusted, ensuring that as many people as possible participate, so that it does not become a burden on anyone. Not a few experts have too many concurrent positions, this should also rapidly be adjusted.

A number of intellectuals feel that they lack necessary books, materials and work equipment in their work, or lack suitable assistants, with the result that work efficiency is low. This sort of situation truly exists. For example, many work units using large amounts of book materials have not fully given regard to these precious assets, and have not appointed suitable cadres to put them in order, consequently a number of experts are unable to use theses book materials to conduct research. The main cause creating this phenomenon is our lack of understanding of their needs, or the fact that although this have been heard many times, it have not been responsibly resolved, and some work personnel is unwilling to trouble themselves for these “small matters”, this is mistaken. This is not a “small thing”, and we should earnestly and speedily resolve these issues.

Intellectuals’ life remuneration, generally speaking has improved since before Liberation, but in order to enable high-level intellectuals to use more of their strengths in their work, their life remuneration should be appropriately raised. A number of high-level intellectuals often unnecessarily spends too much time on daily life trifles, this should be seen as damage of the country’s labour force. Some high-level intellectuals’ housing conditions are too bad, in Beijing and other cities where the population is growing especially rapidly, there are situations where families of a number of mouths live together in a small room. Their rest and entertainment life is also not organized well. All these issues should be resolved earnestly by controlling departments.

In order to resolve the issue of life remuneration of intellectuals even better, we must mainly set about three areas: first, we should educate all relevant work units’ administrative management personnel to ideologically give high regard to the life conditions of intellectuals, and that they especially must break through  the sort of mistaken concept of only paying attention to the life of administrative responsible persons, and to think about intellectuals “whatever you have that merits care, why should I wait upon you”. As long as we do this, issues will be resolved by about half. Second, we should educate all relevant work units’ labour union organizations and consumer cooperative organizations to strive to broaden their services to intellectuals in their work unit. Labour union’s membership fees should to a very large extent be used for the cultural life and material welfare undertaking in work units. Work units’ work personnel should go deeply into the masses, and use indomitable spirits to resolve all sorts of life difficulties for labour union members in their work units, this should be an important task for all sorts of intellectuals’ labour unions. Third, we should, on the basis of the principle of payment according to work done, suitably adjust the salary of intellectuals, and ensure that the amount of salary their receive corresponds to the size of the contribution they make to the country, and eliminate egalitarianism in salary structures and other irrational phenomena. Furthermore, there is a small number of intellectuals that does not fall into the scope of state work personnel, for example, a number of drama and opera actors, Chinese painting artists and Chinese medicine doctors, at present, their income is relatively low, this sort of issue should also be resolved through separate rules by controlling departments.

Another important problem in intellectuals’ life remuneration is the promotion system. Now, our promotion system is irrational in many places: there are many ranks and the difference between them is small, higher education graduates’ ranks are too low; there are no fixed promotion rules and promotion standards; many work units aren’t graded for years, and because of this, there is also a number of people that has not been able to be promoted. This sort of irrational promotion system greatly obstructed intellectuals to progress in their work, and has especially obstructed the fostering of newly emerging forces and the promotion of common intellectuals. This system must be rapidly reformed. Furthermore, concerning academic degrees, academic ranks, honorary titles for intellectual circles, reward systems for invention, creation and outstanding writings, etc., are also important methods to encourage intellectuals to progress and stimulate the progress of science and culture. These systems are currently being drafted by relevant departments, and should be promulgated in the near future.

Concerning the political treatment of intellectuals, there are also some places that must be improved. The main problem here is that we must eliminate the fact that many work units do not care about the political life of intellectuals. Some intellectuals blame us to require them to listen repeatedly to a long report, but even more intellectuals blame us for not letting them listen to one report in a whole year. Similarly, there are many social activities, and people believe that they participate too much, but even more people believe that, if they are able to have a chance to participate once, they will feel greatly encouraged. We should pay attention to these areas and suitably adjust matters. Furthermore, we should also conduct education among working personnel, and let them understand how to correctly deal with intellectuals, and must not inadvertently injure their proper self-respect, this sort of self-respect is something any upright worker should have.

What I said earlier, are some necessary conditions for fully mobilizing and giving rein to the strengths of intellectuals. Naturally, for the sake of this goal, they must still be educated and reformed, and they must be given political and professional leadership, we must still talk about this later on. But, no matter what, those conditions I just talked about are indispensable. Only with these conditions will it be easy to fully mobilize intellectuals to give rein to their strengths in the magnificent undertaking of constructing the motherland, and will it be easy to mobilize them to progress politically and professionally.

Continuing to help intellectuals to conduct self-improvement is one of the important political tasks of the Party during the transitional period.

Our country is now in a transitional period, this is the time of the deepest social transformation. The private ownership system of the means for production that lasted for millennia must change and become a Socialist ownership system; the exploiting system that lasted for millennia must be eliminated forever; all people must change into workers of different categories. This sort of earth-shattering change cannot but attract intense reactions in all aspects of our country’s social life and ideological sphere. Because of this, all social issues of this period, also including the issues of intellectuals, cannot be observed in separation from class struggle. All sorts of political fault lines and changes of intellectuals are the reflection of the progress of class struggle among the ranks of intellectuals. We have already seen that, among the present intellectuals, there is a small percentage of counterrevolutionaries and other bad elements (for example frauds and hooligans), these people must be eliminated from the ranks of intellectuals. Outside of this, there still is a small number of people who ideologically oppose Socialism or who do not completely understand Socialism. Concerning these people, we should criticize their mistaken thoughts, and as much as possible strive for them to come to the Socialist side.

The work to eliminate counterrevolutionary elements concealed in intellectual circles has seen great achievements in the past year. We should continue our efforts, and strive for the objective that within the next two years, counterrevolutionary elements will be basically cleared out.

During the period of struggle with counterrevolutionary elements, we must not implicate people who only have a normal social relationship with counterrevolutionary elements, this point is very important, because there are many people like this among intellectuals. In the past, if it happened that they were mixed up with counterrevolutionary elements incorrectly, we should explain matters clearly to them. Concerning people who only had relationships with counterrevolutionary elements in the past, and who have changed position after Liberation, after they have appropriately accounted for themselves, they should also be treated the same as normal people.

We have talked about it earlier, that some distance still exists between a number of intellectuals and our Party. We must actively strive to eliminate this sort of distance. But this sort of distance often has been opened up from two sides: on the one hand, it is because or comrades haven’t engaged with them and understood them; but on the other hand, it is in fact also because a number of intellectuals have adopted an attitude of maintaining distance from or even opposing Socialism. In our enterprises, schools and organs, and in society, there still are such intellectuals: they do not differentiate between enemies and ourselves, between the Communist Party and the Guomindang, between the Chinese people and imperialism; they are dissatisfied about the policies and measures of the Party and the People’s Government, and recall capitalism with nostalgia or even recall feudalism with nostalgia, they oppose the Soviet Union and are unwilling to learn from the Soviet Union; they refuse to study Marxism-Leninism, and vilify Marxism-Leninism; they belittle labour, belittle the labouring people, and belittle the cadres that rose from the labouring people, they are unwilling to engage with workers and peasants and worker and peasant cadres; they are unwilling to see the growth of newly emerging forces, and believe progressives are opportunists; they not only often create disputes and opposition between intellectuals and the Party, and furthermore, they create disputes and opposition among intellectuals, they are self-important, and think they are first under heaven, they are unable to accept leadership from anyone and criticism from anyone; they deny the interests of the people and the interests of society, start from their individual interest in looking at all issues, praise what conforms to their own interests and oppose what does not conform to their own interests. Naturally, all these people full of mistakes are not great in number among the intellectuals at present; but the abovementioned sort or sorts of mistaken people, are not great in number. Not only backward elements, must also a number of middle-of-the-roaders, often have some of the above-mentioned mistaken viewpoints. The afflictions of narrow-mindedness, arrogance and conceit, and starting from individual interests when looking at problems, are also not few among progressive elements. If such intellectuals do not change their viewpoints, even if they strive to engage with us, there will still be distance between us and them.

Because of this, we should not only transform backward elements, but should also as far as possible educate middle-of-the-roaders to cast of their middle-of-the-road attitudes, and become progressive elements; progressive elements must also be helped to continue their progression, and be helped to diligently study Marxism-Leninism and eliminate the influence of capitalism, individualism and idealism from their ideologies. We should foster  a large batch of red experts who persist in struggling for Socialism among high-level intellectuals. At present, there are some high-level intellectuals that have already become red experts, there still are many people who have this sort of hope. We should warmheartedly help them to conduct self-transformation and realize this hope of theirs, any exclusion or discrimination against them is mistaken.

Generally speaking, thoroughly eliminate the counterrevolutionary elements hidden among intellectual circles, reduce backward elements to the smallest extent, change middle-of-the-roaders into progressive elements as much as possible, and make progressives into completely Socialist intellectuals, this is our struggle programme for continuing to transform intellectuals in the present stage.

Concerning the transformation of intellectuals, we have already obtained rich experience and huge advances. Because of this, concerning the question whether or not intellectuals can be transformed, there have not been a few detailed discussions. Our present task is to summarize experiences from the past, overcome some flaws in past work, and ensure that work in the future can be conducted in a more planned manner. Since we see all sorts of political fault lines among intellectuals, we should by and large, according to this sort of situation, respectively formulate methods to educate progressive elements, middle-of-the-roaders and backward elements, adopt all sorts of methods that have already proven to be effective, and implement them.

The transformation of intellectuals generally has three paths: one is through observing social life and practice; one is through the practice of their own work, and one is through common theoretical study. These three sides are mutually linked, a person’s ideological transformation often is influenced by these three sides. But generally speaking, education of social life has the broadest and most direct function. Everyone knows that the ideological transformation of many intellectuals has begun through participation in land reform and resisting America and supporting Korea. In the past few years, visits to factories and villages have also extremely forcefully helped intellectuals to gain confidence towards Socialism. But we still have not systematically organized this work, and especially many middle-of-the-roaders and backwards elements often have not been put into our plans. In the future, we should make intellectuals participating in Socialist construction into an important task, ensure comprehensive arrangements, and ensure that all people who have not yet participated can have an opportunity for a visit in the next few years.

Professional practice has a major function in the ideological transformation of intellectuals. In the past few years, the transformation of educational methods and the adoption of Soviet learning materials has enabled many teachers who did not believe in the Soviet Union or who did not believe in Marxism-Leninism to change their understanding. Similarly, our country’s worker and peasant masses’ creation of productive technology, the dissemination of Soviet science and technology, and the real models of Soviet experts, have also enabled many science and technology personnel to be convinced of the superiority of the Socialist system. In the future, we should continue to develop experience in this regard. But as for the issue of learning from the Soviet Union, in the past, there have also been flaws of excessive rashness, rigidity and mechanical imitation, some comrades even arbitrarily denied the scientific and technological achievements of capitalist countries. These flaws should be avoided in the future.

The study of Marxism-Leninism has a decisive significance concerning intellectuals establishing a revolutionary view of life and a scientific worldview. But now, in some localities, this sort of study is not organized well, either because of the level of the instructors is too low, or because study plans and methods do not conform to the needs of high-level intellectuals. In the future, we should overcome these flaws, and according to the principles of voluntarity and linkage to work, provide for some obligatory basic courses in Marxism-Leninism, and stress the adoption of self-study, evening university, correspondence learning, scientific discussion meetings and other methods, to help intellectuals study theory.

As the transformation of intellectuals is a sort of reflection of class struggle, the process of this transformation itself cannot be without corresponding struggle. First and foremost, we must require all intellectuals to stand on a patriotic standpoint, respect the Constitution and draw a clear boundary between enemies and ourselves. If a person violates the patriotic viewpoint, violates the Constitution, or confuses enemies and ourselves in speech or actions, then, it is unimaginable that people do not engage in struggle with this sort of people. Second, between Socialist ideology and capitalist ideology, materialist ideology and spiritualist ideology, there cannot but be intense struggle. The process of intellectuals’ ideological transformation is inseparable from the development of ideological struggle in intellectual circles. Since Liberation, the ideological transformation movement led by the Party and the criticism of spiritualist ideology, has engendered great results concerning the progress of intellectuals. What must be given attention in ideological struggle is that the transformation of a person’s thoughts must go through that person’s consciousness. Use coarse methods to conduct ideological transformation, and it is impossible to resolve problems. But the phenomenon of using coarse methods in dealing with scientists and scientific issues still happens, all localities must pay attention to rectifying this. Furthermore, although some people persist in their own ideological mistakes, as long as they do not oppose the people in words and deeds, and even are willing to use their own knowledge and energy to work for the people, than, we should, at the same time as criticising their mistaken ideologies, we must also be good at patiently dealing with them and helping them to progressively come to understanding.

In order to help intellectuals to pursue progress, it is important that the Party’s leaders conduct direct engagement with them. Many intellectuals hope that we are able to give them more ideological and political assistance and criticism, and feel that we give them too little of this sort of assistance. There are not a few intellectuals who not only find it difficult to come into contact with local Party Committee leading comrades, and even when they live together with the Part Committee members in their work unit, have difficulties in gaining opportunities to talk with them. They say that we “use them much and help them little”, or that we “only use them, and don’t help them”. There are also people who say that our work personnel only goes to find them for three reasons: (1) transferring work; (2) to explain history; (3) when mistakes have been made. These criticisms are acute, and should attract our attention. We should include conducting ideological and political talks with them and conducting comradely criticism of them into plans for the transformation of intellectuals. Organizing some symposiums to exchange opinions with them is something they welcome, and this should be done regularly in the future. Furthermore, we should also attract some intellectuals from outside the Party, according to concrete situations, to participate in Party groups and branches as non-voting members, to let them further understand the intent of the Party and receive the Party’s education.

In order to help the progress of intellectuals, apart from relying on Party members, we must also organize progressive elements who already occupy about forty per cent of the intellectuals to participate in work. The Communist Youth League, labour unions and all democratic parties have done not a little work in the past few years, and should use their forces in an even more planned manner in the future.

Because we have much experience in the area of transforming intellectuals, and also have the support of progressive forces, common intellectuals have, in the construction of the motherland that advances by leaps and bounds, ever more deeply accepted Socialist education, their progress inevitably will be quicker than in the past few years. As long as every work unit in the entire country makes plans for the transformation of intellectuals, including seven-year plans from 1956 to 1962, and annual plans, and persistently implements them, we certainly will ensure that progressives who vigorously struggle for Socialism and accept the basic viewpoints of Marxism-Leninism, by the end of the second Five-Year Plan, will number more than three quarters of high-level intellectuals, and that backward elements will be reduced to about five per cent.

Concerning the work of attracting Party members from among intellectuals, plans should be made as well. Now, there are already many progressive intellectuals who require entry to the Party. For example, the Ministry of Heavy Industry Nonferrous Metallurgy Design Academy’s project technology staff number 1920 people in total, of which 605 have applied to join the Party, or about 31 per cent. The Tianjin 6th higher school teaching staff of lecturer or higher number 291 people, of which 106 have applied to join the Party, or 36 per cent. The staff of the North China Agricultural Scientific Research Centre number 131 people, of which 53 have applied to join the Party, or 40 per cent. But, in the past few years, we have attracted few Party members from among them, this is a sort of closed-doorism tendency. This sort of tendency must be corrected. Naturally, attention must be paid to strictly attracting Party members according to Party membership conditions, but it may be believed that, among these people who have applied to joint the Party, those conforming to Party membership conditions aren’t few in number. Considering the increase of progressive forces among high-level intellectuals, and considering the incessant addition of newly emerging forces to the teams of high-level intellectuals, we believe that planning to achieve that, in 1962, Party members number about one third of the total number of high-level intellectuals, is appropriate.

Realizing the above plans, will bring further basic changes to the ideological and political situation of our country’s intellectuals. We will possibly basically complete this one particular historical task of transforming intellectuals during our country’s transition phase. After that period, intellectuals will be the same as all people, they must still incessantly transform themselves through study and practice, and must, at new levels, advance towards even high progress and objectives. But, that is a sort of regular task by then.


In order to adapt to the needs of the rapid development of national construction, our intellectual teams must be broadened in quantity, and must be raised in professional levels.

Our country’s scientific and cultural forces, at present, are much smaller than those of the Soviet Union and other large countries worldwide, at the same time, they are also much lower in quality, this does not correspond with the requirements of our large Socialist country of 600 million people. We must do our utmost to catch up, and strive to, as rapidly as possible, expand and raise the scientific and cultural forces of our country, and overtake global advanced levels in not too much time. This is the magnificent struggle task for our Party and the intellectual circles nationwide, and the people nationwide.

We regularly say that our science and culture is backward, but we do not regularly go and research in which areas they actually are backwards. Comrades: I’d like to say a but mire here on the situation in the area of science, this is not only because science is a decisive factor that relates to all areas of our national defence, economy and culture, but because global science, in the past two or three decades, has seen huge and rapid progress, this progress has relegated us far to the rear of scientific developments.

Modern science and technology advances by leaps and bounds, by 1000 miles in a day. Overall mechanization, overall automatization and remote control are being progressively realized in production processes, thereby enabling labour production rates to rise to unprecedented levels. All sorts of high-temperature, high-pressure, high-speed and extra high-temperature, extra-high pressure and extra high-speed machines are being designed and produced. The voyages and velocities of transportation machines on land, on the waters and in the skies rise every day, high-speed airplanes have already exceeded the speed of sound. This progress in technology require all sort of materials that possess new and specialized particularities, and consequently, all sorts of new metals, and alloy materials, as well as synthetic materials made through chemical methods, these are incessantly being produced, in order to satisfy these new requirements. All production departments’ production technology and technology rules are being transformed day by day, guaranteeing that production processes are further accelerated and strengthened, that the useful parts of natural resources are used to the fullest, that raw materials are economized to the grates extent and product quality rises incessantly.

The highest peak in new developments of science and technology is the use of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy has provided humankind with a new source of power without parallel in strength, and has opened up promising prospects for improvements in all scientific departments. At the same time, because of electronic automatic control machinery produced through electronics and other scientific progress, it has become possible to start conditionally replace a number of specific mental work, in the same manner that other machines replace physical work, thereby greatly raising the level of automatized technology. These newest achievements have caused humanity to face a new eve of a scientific, technological and industrial revolution. This revolution is exactly as Comrade Bulganin said: “in terms of its meaning, it exceeds the industrial revolution that was engendered by the emergence of steam and electricity by far.”

We must catch up with the advanced scientific level of this world. We must remember that, at a time where we are driving ahead and catching up, other people are also continuing to advance rapidly. Because of this, we must expend the most intense labour in this area, only by grasping the most advanced science will we be able to consolidate national defence, will we be able to have strong and advanced economic forces, and will we be able to have full conditions to, together with the Soviet Union and other people’s democratic countries, regardless of whether in peaceful competition or in a war of aggression initiated by enemies, vanquish imperialist countries.

Now, it is still very difficult to exactly estimate how much time will be required before we are able to overtake advanced global levels with our science. But at this time, if we want to put forward this task, we must, by the end of the 3rd Five-Year Plan, ensure that the scientific departments most needed by our country approach advanced global levels, and ensure that the newest foreign achievements can be achieved rapidly through our own efforts. With this basis, we will be able to further resolve the issue of catching up to global levels.

In order to complete this magnificent task, we must first and foremost break through the dependent mentality that lacks a national self-consciousness. “The backwardness of China in the scientific area cannot be changed immediately, reliance on Soviet assistance is needed anyhow”. This is not wrong, we must rely on Soviet assistance to change our backwardness. But what method should we use to utilize this sort of assistance? One sort of method is not having complete plans, treat the symptoms, healing feet when feet hurt, and when running into some problem, asking the Soviet Union for lessons. Those being sent to the Soviet Union for study are not scientists, but the absolute majority are secondary graduates. The results is a situation whereby we cannot break away from reliance and imitation in a lifetime, it is adding to the burden of Soviet scientific circles for indefinite duration, and harms our country’s planned and rapid development of science, which has also influenced the growth speed of the scientific strength, economic strength and defence strength of the Socialist camp. Another method is to make complete plans, clearly distinguishing greater and lesser urgency, the fundamental and the incidental, systematically utilizing the newest achievements of Soviet science, and as quickly as possible overtaking Socialist levels. This is to say, apart from requiring Soviet assistance in the most urgent tasks, and learning technology from Soviet assistance, all our country’s departments that need to learn from the Soviet Union in science, should send out relatively mature scientists in a planned manner to learn from the soviet union, or ask Soviet experts to come to our country and help us establish the basis for scientific research, striving to make it possible in the shortest time that, at levels that the Soviet Union has already achieved, we continue to launch research domestically and foster the work of cadres. In this manner, it will be possible to utilize Soviet assistance most effectively and rationally, stimulate the planned development of our country’s science, and ensure that both countries’ scientific undertakings may establish mutually assisting relationships relatively rapidly, this also stimulates the growth of the scientific strength, economic strength and defence strength of the Socialist camp. The latter sort of method is what both Soviet and Chinese scientists have repeatedly suggested, and is the only correct method that should be adopted.

In order to systematically raise our country’s scientific levels, we must also break through myopic tendencies, and maintain a suitable proportion in allocating forces between theoretical work and technological work, long-term needs and present needs, and furthermore, form correct divisions of work and cooperation, in order to avoid doing one thing and neglecting another. In the past few years, all sorts of our country’s work have just begun, and we have put more strength towards present needs and technology work, and have paid relatively less attention to long-term needs and theoretical work, this is hard to avoid, and it can also be understood. But by now, if we still do not timely strengthen attention towards long-term needs and theory work, then, we will make a great mistake. Without certain theoretical science research work as a basis, there will be no fundamental progress and innovation in technology. But the growth of theoretical strength, must always be a little slower than the growth of technological strength, and the effect of theoretical work generally is indirect, and it is not easy to perceive it at once. Because this is the case, many comrades still have a sort of myopic tendency, they aren’t willing to produce the necessary strength in the area of scientific research, and regularly require scientists to resolve relatively simple problems of technological application and production operation methods for them. Naturally, theory can absolutely not be separated from reality, any sort of “theoretical research” that is separated from reality is something we must oppose, but the main tendency at present is a neglect of theoretical research. This sort of situation not only is manifest in the area of natural sciences, it is equally manifest in the area of social sciences. At present, the forces that we have allocated to the area of social sciences, in comparison with the forces allocated to the area of natural sciences, in terms of our country’s needs, is still weak and ill-matched. For example, in the Chinese Academy of Science committees, there are 172 people in the area of natural sciences, and those who are at the moment able to, as a matter of fact, use the majority of their time for scientific work is more than half; in the area of social science, it is 51 people, and those who are at the moment able to, as a matter of fact, us the majority of their time for scientific research work are only few!

Both of the above tendencies are mutual cause and result, and are mutually integrated. We must thoroughly rectify these improper tendencies, and change these situations that are not beneficial to scientific development.

The State Council has now already entrusted the State Planning Commission to be responsible for, together with relevant departments, formulating long-term plans for scientific development from 1956 until 1966, by the end of March. When formulating this long-term plan, we must introduce the newest global science to our country’s scientific departments, national defence departments, production departments and educational departments, according to possibility and needs, make our country’s scientific circles make up for its shortcomings in the areas with the greatest shortages and the fields most urgently needed for the country’s construction as much as possible, to ensure that after 12 years, these scientific fields and technological categories may approach the Soviet Union and other large countries in the world.

What is then the path to achieve this objective most rapidly and most effectively?

A path like this is: first, according to the most urgently needed categories, as rapidly as possible dispatching some groups of experts, excellent scientific work personnel and excellent university graduates to go to the Soviet Union and other countries for one or two years of practical training, or to be research students, and after they come back, immediately establish a basis for developing this science and technology in scientific institutions and all government departments, and foster large amounts of new cadres. At the same time, according to requirement, successively sending people for practical study and research every year. Second, concerning a number of disciplines, requesting some expert groups from the Soviet Union and other relevant countries, and request them to be responsible for assisting us to establish scientific research organs in scientific institutions and all relevant departments within the shortest possible time, fostering cadres, or conducting comprehensive collaboration with our country’s scientific circles. Third, organizing large batches of scientific work personnel and technological personnel to lean from Soviet experts who are in China at the moment in a planned manner use them as tutors, and we must not use them as common workers. In the proves of construction of and production in the 156 enterprises that the Soviet Union helped our country to establish, systematically organizing large batches of technology personnel to research and grasp the new technological principles, and rapidly pass them on. Fourth, concentrate the most excellent scientific forces and the most excellent university graduates to go into the area of scientific research. Use extremely large forces to strengthen the Chinese Academy of Science, make it become the locomotive leading the entire country in raising scientific levels and fostering newly-emerging forces. Fifth, all scientific forces in higher education occupy the absolute majority of the nationwide scientific strength, they must forcefully develop scientific research work under the guidance of the nationwide science development plan, and greatly foster newly emerging forces who conform to current levels of science and technology. Sixth, all government departments, and especially geology, industry, agriculture, irrigation, transportation, national defence and hygiene departments should rapidly establish and strengthen necessary research organs, reasonably divide work and cooperate with the Academy of Science, jointly broaden teams in scientific circles, and be responsible for introducing the newest achievements of global science into real application in a planned and systematic manner, in order to use the newest technologies of the world to equip our country in all areas, as rapidly as possible.

In order to earnestly and not emptily march towards modern science, we must grasp time. One year’s time can be lost very easily in empty prattle and procrastination. Because of this, the Party centre requires that: before the end of April this year, long-term scientific development plans must be determined, as well as concrete plans that are suited to this long-term for both this and next year, also, the first batch of scientific forces must be mustered in order to implement this long-term plan and the plans for this and next years (including a name list of personnel that must be sent out of the country, the number of Soviet experts that need to be invited, the number of people that need to be transferred from other positions to scientific research positions and a name list of important people, etc.), and all possibilities must be exhausted to realize the plans for sending people out of the country or transferring them by the end of June this year. Concerning the plans to broaden scientific research work and broaden the fostering of scientific forces in higher education institutes, these must be commenced and realized after this year’s summer vacation.

In order to realize the plan to march towards science, we must prepare all necessary conditions to develop scientific research. What is of primary importance here, is that we must ensure that scientists obtain the necessary books, files, materials, technological materials and other work conditions. We must increase the book expenditures of all research organs and higher education institutes, increase their reasonable use, strengthen the work of libraries, archives and museums, extremely greatly improve the import work of foreign books and periodicals, and ensure that existing books and periodicals are allocated reasonably. We must broaden the education of foreign languages, and broaden the translation work of important foreign books.

All the above principles generally equally apply to other departments in culture and education. All cultural and education departments should make development plans for the period from 1956 to 1967, and adopt effective measures to implement them.

Our plan to develop scientific and cultural forces must be a plan that both raises and broadens, because not only is our country a large country, that must have a certain number of talents that are suited to needs in these areas, quality can generally also only emerge on a certain quantitative basis.

In order to broaden our country’s scientific and cultural forces, we must first and foremost increase the quota for higher education students according to plan, and must also pay attention to fostering the existing common intellectuals, incessantly raising their professional level. They are not only important reserves and collaborators for high-level intellectuals, but as said before, they are much more in number than high-level intellectuals; they are distributed among all regions and all work departments nationwide, and have a huge responsibility in national construction. All Central departments and all provinces must respectively formulate special plans to help their progress, ensure that their professional abilities are rapidly increased, and raise the excellent elements among them into high-level intellectual teams.


Our Party is currently victoriously resolving the problems of agricultural collectivization and manual labour collectivization, and is currently victoriously resolving the problem of the transformation of capitalist industry and commerce. The entire Party and the working people of the entire country are currently striving to complete the Five-Year Plan in advance and in excess of quota. The people nationwide are filled with a confidence in victory and a vigour of struggle. Following the high tide of turbulent and tempestuous transformation of the Socialist economy, a high tide of cultural construction must emerge, at this moment, we must completely resolve a series of issues concerning intellectuals, this is undoubtedly extremely necessary in our cause of Socialist transformation and our cause of Socialist construction.

Among the tasks concerning intellectuals we put forward, we cannot say there will not be some difficulties. But these difficulties cannot be more difficult than our transformation of 500 million peasant and transforming the entire capitalist industry and commerce, they cannot be more difficult than our realization of the first Five-Year Plan. In the past six years, our Party has gained huge achievements in the area of leading intellectuals and leading scientific and cultural undertakings. Now, we have more experiences and more methods than in the past, and on the basis of past experience, our Party certainly will be able to lead the intellectuals towards new and even greater victories in scientific and cultural undertakings. That sort of thinking that believes that the Party is unable to lead the intellectuals in scientific and cultural construction has absolutely no basis.

The problem lies in being good in learning. All departments, Central and regional, must learn to even better lead intellectuals and lead scientific and cultural undertakings. We should not imagine that, since we are Communist Party members, we naturally can lead intellectuals in conducting constructions, or that we naturally cannot make mistakes. Whatever issue we deal with, we must always persist in the honest attitude of “know what you know, don’t know what you don’t know”, not pretend to understand something when we don’t understand it, but we must change non-understanding into understanding. Our Party must foster a large batch of  cadres mastering all areas of knowledge in culture and science. As long as we earnestly dig into this, we can certainly master it.

Of all tasks raised in the report, many are things that need to be uniformly resolved by the Centre. Concerning these issue, we put forward the following division of work:

Concerning all sorts of issues related to intellectuals that have an administrative nature, because of the necessity to make some uniform regulations and management, the State Council prepares the establishment of a Chinese Experts’ Bureau to be responsible for handling this matter. But until this organ is established, relevant departments should, on the basis of Centre instructions, immediately set to resolve all issues in the area of intellectuals. After this organ has been established, all departments can also not reduce their responsibility for directly handling matter that they should bear because the expert bureau generally is only responsible for those issues that are unsuitable to be handled by one single department. The expert bureau is responsible for uniform planning, uniform regulation and uniform inspection, supervision and stimulation, in issues of all administrative issues concerning high-level intellectuals. Concerning localities were all departments deal unsuitably with high-level intellectuals, the expert bureau has the power to rectify this according to certain procedures.

Concerning all sorts of issues related to intellectuals that have a political nature, and concerning the issue of continuing to conduct ideological transformation among intellectuals and dealing with relevant counterrevolutionaries, all relevant departments must take direct responsibility, and the Central Propaganda Department is responsible for conducting uniform supervision. The Central Propaganda Department shall regularly examine all departments’ situation of implementing the Centre’s policies concerning intellectuals and examine the situation of their work plans and implementation plans, overcome their flaws in work, disseminate their advanced experiences in work, and timely put forward issues and suggestions to the Centre.

The work of absorbing Party members among the intellectuals is the responsibility of the Central Organization Department. Democratic Party work among intellectuals is the responsibility of the United Front Work Department. Labour Union work among intellectuals is the responsibility of the All-China Labour Union. But when resolving important issues in these areas of work, contact should be made with the Central Propaganda Department.

In order to strengthen leadership, deal with and investigate issues related to intellectuals, all levels’ Party Committees and all departments should respectively appoint suitable organs to bear day-to-day responsibility, and must regularly convene some special meetings, regularly exchange experiences and incessantly strive for the improvement of the work situation.

Comrades, we are convinced that, through our work, intellectuals will further unite around the Party, and contribute their forces even more vigorously to the magnificent Socialist undertaking. The alliance shaped within the Socialist undertaking by workers, peasants and intellectuals of the entire country, will develop in step with our work, and will be more consolidated and strengthened day by day. Relying on this alliance, we certainly will, within not too long a period, construct our country into a completely modernized, rich and strong Socialist industry country, and will certainly, within not too long a period, realize the mighty call of Comrade Mao Zedong: “We will emerge into the world as a nation with a high culture.”

[1] In 1955, Hu Feng and other people were mistakenly branded as the “Hu Feng counterrevolutionary clique”. On 29 September 1980, the Party Central Committee, when approving the Public Security Bureau, Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate Notice concerning the Re-examination Report of the “Hu Feng Counterrevolutionary Clique” Case, proclaimed that the “Hu Feng counterrevolutionary clique” was rehabilitated. The Notice said: “The ‘Hu Feng Counterrevolutionary Clique’ case, under the historical conditions of that time, confused two contradictions of a different nature, in which some comrades with mistaken speech and factionalist activities branded him a counterrevolutionary and a counterrevolutionary clique. The Centre has decided to rehabilitate him. All those branded as Hu Feng counterrevolutionaries, are rectified without rectification, their reputation is restored, and they will recover their original salary treatment from the date of rehabilitation, where there are other problems in the history of the person concerned, a verdict is made on the basis which problem it is, and the original  work unit will appropriately arrange work for them. Of all those having undergone legal procedures and verdicts, the original handling court is suggested to revoke the verdicts.


























































































* 这是周恩来在中共中央召开的关于知识分子问题会议上的报告。


注 释

〔1〕 一九五五年胡风等人被错定为“胡风反革命集团”。一九八0年九月二十九日,中共中央在批转公安部、最高人民检察院、最高人民法院党组关于“胡风反革命集团”案件的复查报告的通知中,宣布为“胡风反革命集团”平反。通知说:“‘胡风反革命集团’一案,是在当时的历史条件下,混淆了两尝不同性质的矛盾,将有错误言论、宗派活动的一些同志定为反革命分子、反革命集团的一件错案。中央决定,予以平反。凡定为胡风反革命分子的,一律改正,恢复名誉,从平反之日起恢复原工资待遇,本人历史上有其他问题的,是什么问题按什么问题作结论,并由原单位妥善做好对他们的安置工作。凡经过法律程序判决的,建议由原经办的法院撤销原判。凡因‘胡风问题’受到株连的,要彻底纠正。”


One thought on “Report concerning the Issue of Intellectuals

    Latest Updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    January 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

    […] Report concerning the Issue of Intellectuals (1956) […]

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