(29 January 1981)
The Centre has already decided to, on the basis of the preliminary achievements obtained in the two last years of implementing policies of adjustment, reform, rectification and improvement, conduct further adjustment of the economy, and to realize further stabilization politically. This is a further implementation of the Third Plenum’s guiding ideology of seeking truth from facts and correcting “leftist errors”, and it is a major policy decision in guaranteeing the smooth conduct of Socialist modernization construction. In order to complete this formidable task, we must strengthen ideological and political work, make the entire Party, entire Army and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country closely unite around the Party Centre, be of one heart and one mind, work diligently in spite of difficulties, and resolutely implement the Party line, principles and policies.
Newspapers, news, radio and television are important weapons for our Party’s conducting ideological and political work. In recent years, they have implemented the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, they have done great amounts of work in propagating Marxism, propagating the Party’s ideological line, political line and organizational line, liberating thoughts, bringing order out of chaos and other aspects, and have obtained clear achievements, which made great contributions to the Party’s undertaking. But some flaws also exist. These are mainly: not having persuasively, regularly or systematically propagated the Four Cardinal Principles with energy or initiative, with the assumption that truth is on our side, not having struggled forcefully against some ideologies and discourses opposing the Four Cardinal Principles, insufficiently marching in step with the Party on some issues; some news reports and theory or policy propaganda is one-sided; and a small number of reports were untruthful. At the same time, in leading work, earnest discussion of some ideological principle problems is lacking, and there is no persistent launching or criticism and self-criticism. It seems as through criticism violates the policy of the “Two Hundred”, this sort of erroneous viewpoints has not yet been rectified among a number of comrades. The above flaws are being progressively rectified. In order to adapt to the needs of further realizing economic adjustment and political stability as quickly as possible, the Centre believes that concentrated and uniform leadership over newspapers, news, radio and television work should be strengthened, enabling them to realistically persist in the principle of the Party nature, closely link up with the masses, carry forward a desirable work style of seeking truth from facts, showing their colours clearly, being truthful and accurate, active and lively, in order to further realize even greater achievements in economic adjustments and political stability.
I, Periodicals, news, radio and television must strictly conduct propaganda according to the Party line, principles and policies since the Third Plenum. In the present and future periods, the most important task is that they must firmly safeguard and develop a stable and unified political situation, guaranteeing the smooth conduct of further adjustment of the national economy. They must continue to liberate thoughts, stress the guiding ideology of criticising “leftism” in economic work, must strictly prevent against using “leftist” mistakes as an excuse to deny the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and the Socialist system, obliterating the huge achievements of the 31 years since founding the nation. They must closely link to reality, use rich and varied forms to vigorously and vividly propagate the Party line, principles and policies and the Party’s work, raise the people’s Socialist consciousness and their confidence towards the undertaking of modernization construction from all sides and inspire their revolutionary spirit. Concerning all sorts of discourse doubting or distorting the Party line, principles and policies, they must conduct education through explaining and expounding them patiently. Concerning discourse and actions openly resisting and opposing the Party line, principles and policies, they must differentiate situations, and firmly conduct serious and reasonable struggle on suitable occasions and using suitable methods. Periodicals, news, radio and television must unwaveringly implement the “Two Hundreds” policy. They cannot understand the “Two Hundreds” policy as cancelling out the Four Cardinal Principles, cancelling out the Party’s leadership and cancelling out criticism and self-criticism. Otherwise, the proletariat principle of the “Two Hundreds” may be confused with bourgeois liberalization. Periodicals and radio should, under Party leadership, launch vivid and realistic discussions relating to correctly understanding and implementing all Party principles and policies. This is beneficial for conducting deep propaganda and education towards cadres and the masses. But, this sort of discussion should not become open debate about the right and wrong of the Party’s basic principles and basic policies, in order to avoid creating ideological confusion among the masses. Concerning principle and policy=type issues where the Centre has not yet made decisions or some major political theory issues, in order to hear all sorts of opinions, with the agreement of the Centre, it is permitted to openly discuss them in newspapers. This sort of discussion must be prepared to come to a conclusion in a certain period of time, in order to avoid that the cadres and the masses are uncertain what to do, and all go their own way. Otherwise, there should be no open discussion. Concerning policies being tested and important measures, propaganda must be very cautious, must objectively and completely reflect situations, and may not hastily make judgments. Reports on special policies in special regions must be explained. On radio and television, generally, vivid and lively discussions, but that can be concluded on the spot should be broadcast, running discussion methods as in periodicals should not be used.
II, Periodicals, news, radio and television must earnestly conduct propaganda concerning persisting in the Four Cardinal Principles. The core of persisting in the Four Cardinal Principles is persisting in Party leadership. This is the key of whether or not the Four Modernizations can be realized, and is the key deciding success or failure of economic adjustment. Propagating the Four Cardinal Principles must start from the real ideological situation of the masses, and the greatest efforts must be made to make this sort of propaganda truly persuasive. Ideologies and discourse doubting or slandering the Four Cardinal Principles cannot be left alone or condoned, and it is even less permitted to use the Party’s propaganda tools to disseminate them, but the must conduct powerful refutation. We must earnestly propagate persisting in Party leadership and improving Party leadership. Clarify the relationship of liberating thoughts and carrying forward democracy with strengthening Party leadership. Periodicals, news, radio and television workers must persist in the Party nature and strengthen the Party nature The Party nature is the highest reflection of the proletariat class nature. Comrade Mao Zedong once said, “All words and actions of Communist Party members, must have conformity with the greatest interest of the broadest popular masses, and being supported by the broadest popular masses as highest standards” Only Communist Party talents armed with Marxist ideology and revolutionary discipline are able to achieve this sort of objective, otherwise it is impossible. We can absolutely not lower the requirement of Party nature to the level of ordinary masses. If the party cannot have a leading function among the popular masses, the Party has no reason to exist. Periodicals, news, radio and television cannot permit the dissemination of ideologies and discourse that are wavering or damage the prestige of our Party and the Party Centre, and must oppose that sort of erroneous attitude of making the mistakes the Party Centre has made in the past into an excuse to refuse to submit to the correct leadership of today’s Party Centre. Concerning any sort of tendency scheming to weaken, cast off, cancel out or oppose Party leadership, the different situations must be differentiated, criticism, education and the necessary struggle must be conducted openly or internally. The basic viewpoints of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought shall be integrated with the present real situation, and unremitting efforts must be made to conduct vivid and forceful propaganda Criticism with substantive argumentative basis, that is truly persuasive, must be conducted against these fallacies attacking the basic viewpoints of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. This is one of the most basic tasks of ideological and political programmes in periodicals and broadcast. We must clearly recognize that class contradictions are not the main contradictions in our country’s society, but class struggle certainly still exists, and may absolutely not be belittled. We must propagate that carrying forward Socialist democracy and strengthening the Socialist legal system have an inseparable relationship. We must propagate to firmly attack all sorts of forces destroying stability and unity (including in all political, economic and social aspects), and firmly criticize all sorts of ideological trends destroying stability and unity. We must forcefully propagate the necessity and righteousness of implementing dictatorship over counterrevolutionary elements and criminals gravely harming social order. We must propagate the extremely important function of the People’s Liberation Army and the public security and judicial departments in guaranteeing the people’s interest, and call on the people and the youth to vigorously support their struggle, pay attention to safeguarding their dignity and honour, and not conduct open criticism against them if it is not truly necessary. This is where the basic interest of the country and the people is, and it cannot be regarded as unimportant. We must pay attention to using appropriate methods to expose political rumours, incitation of feudal superstition and other discourse confusing and poisoning people’s minds.
III, Periodicals, news, radio and television must propagate the construction of a Socialist high-level spiritual civilization on a grand scale. Without this sort of spiritual civilization, it is impossible to construct Socialism. They must forcefully propagate Communist ideals and morals; propagate the patriotic ideology of doing everything to strengthen the country, strengthen the nation’s self-respect and self-confidence; propagate the ideology of unity of the Party and the masses, the unity of the Army and the people, and unity of the people of all ethnicities in the entire country; propagate and carry forward the revolutionary history that first, does not fear hardship and second, does not fear death, to always use a scientific attitude in any position to intensely conduct all work matters, and oppose fear of difficulty and craven fear of death; they must timely guard against the risk of war, and make being a member of the People’s Liberation Army and defending the motherland into a matchless honour. They must propagate the fine traditions of closely linking with the masses, sharing joy and sorrow and overcoming difficulties, educate the cadres to be concerned about the suffering of the masses, and strive to resolve their real difficulties. No open promises may be made concerning matters that cannot be achieved for the time being, and it is even less permitted to wittingly or unwittingly induce and arouse the people to demand their resolution, in order to avoid that the people are dissatisfied towards the government, or may even create disturbances. On problems that can only be resolved progressively, more must be done and less propaganda made, or things must only be done and no propaganda made, in order to avoid creating disadvantages for the Party and government. They must continue to criticize and oppose all sorts of remaining influences of feudalism in the ideological and political sphere inside and outside of the Party, resist the erosion of degenerate bourgeois ideology. They must criticize and oppose anarchist, individualist and bourgeois liberalization tendencies. They must firmly implement the principle of persuasion concerning ideological problems with the cadres and the masses. Persist in aligning facts, speak about reason, convince people by reasoning, and cannot do things in a simple manner, block up or suppress matters. If some sorts of ideological tendencies have already become a sort of organized destructive force persisting in regarding Socialism with hostility, or regarding Party leadership with hostility, they must be “blocked up and suppressed” according to the law, and no person may give them support in any way.
IV, Periodicals, news, radio and television must correctly deal with the relation between praise and criticism. They must persist in the principle of mainly praising. Regardless of whether it concerns praise or criticism, they must seek truth from facts, be truthful and reliable, may absolutely not gossip, stoop to deception, exaggerate or stray from the truth. Untruthful “praise”, has a great danger for the Party and relevant work units and individuals, this must be firmly opposed and prevented. They must not only praise good people and good events of hard work, plain living and honesty in official duties, they must pay even more attention to propagating reliance on the masses, overcoming difficulties, reforming old habits, creating new situations, new undertakings, new methods and make the people gain educative and beneficial good people and good events. In recent years, many newspapers and periodicals gave high regard to reflecting the opinions and calls of the people, vigorously launched criticism and self-criticism, which strengthened the links between the Party and the popular masses and raised the prestige of periodicals and the Party. In the future, we must persist in doing this. All levels’ Party Committees must be good in utilizing periodicals to launch criticism and proper work. The quality of the Party style concerns the survival or perishing of the Party. We must continue to integrate reality and implement the “Some Standards concerning Intra-Party Political File”. Concerning unhealthy tendencies, we must firmly conduct criticism and struggle. First and foremost, we must oppose those tendencies opposing the Party line, principles and policies since the Third Plenum, go their own way, and feign compliance. Naturally, it is also necessary to criticize and rectify bureaucratism and live privileges, but this sort of criticism must be conducted under the leadership of the Party. Attention must be paid to methods and opportunity, attention must be paid to differentiating inside and outside, persisting in being well-disposed and curing sickness to save a patient. Criticism must select model examples, criticism by name must be cautious. Facts must absolutely be clearly verified. The opinion of the relevant Party department and the opinion of the criticized person must be heard in advance. The influence of criticism by name in newspapers is much larger than that of praise, therefore, the quantity must be somewhat controlled, radio and television must be even more cautious.
V, Periodicals’ literature and art works or comments, radio and television literature and art programmes, have a major social influence. We must absolutely persist in the principle of serving the people and serving Socialism, correctly implement the principle of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend. We must stress that serving the people is first and foremost serving workers, peasants and soldiers and serving the construction of the Four Modernizations. We must correctly understand and reflect the new times in which we are, stimulate the entire Party, the entire Army and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country to engage in the grand undertaking for the Four Modernizations with one heart and one mind. We must enthusiastically eulogize the new Socialist person and the pioneers of the Four Modernizations. Exposing and criticizing the negative side has rectification as objective, and must have correct standpoints and viewpoints, enabling people to strengthen confidence and force, and preventing negative influence. Exposure-type works concerning anti-rightism and anti-rightist opportunism errors and the decade of chaos have been expressed in no small numbers in recent years, generally speaking, these works are beneficial, and the absolute majority of writers writing these works also start from a sense of responsibility towards history and towards the people, and start from revolutionary enthusiasm. It must be pointed out towards literary and artistic circles that in the future, these themes naturally may be written about, but publishing has been excessive, this may engender a certain negative influence, which is also an objective fact, and it is hoped that they are able to recognize this. We must strengthen literary and art comment work under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and conduct criticism of seeking truth from facts against works playing up erroneous ideological trends. We must firmly resist and oppose that certain people utilize literature and art to deny the Four Cardinal Principles and enter into rivalry with the Party line, principles and policies. We must guide the vigour of literature and art workers in caring for the country’s political life and social life towards the correct track of constructing Socialism.
VI, Periodicals, news, radio and television are the Party’s public opinion organs, and must strengthen organizational discipline. They must unconditionally maintain political consistency with the Centre, and are not permitted to publish discourse going against the Centre’s line, principles and policies. They must accept and submit to Party leadership, must externally unite with the decisions and line of action of the Centre in all major political and theoretical issues involving the Party line, principles and policies, keep in step with the Party, and may not go their own way. If there are different opinions concerning the Party line, principles and policies and Party Committee decisions, it is permitted to put this to higher-level Party Committees all the way up to the Centre, some may also be discussed in intra-Party periodicals, but where higher levels have not yet changed relevant decisions, this may not be openly published, and certainly, no-one may go his own way and propagate opinions opposite to the basic viewpoint of the Party. Inside periodicals, news, radio, television and other Party public opinion organs, concentration and unity must be similarly strengthened, and it cannot be that each does things his own way. We must realistically improve study styles and writing styles, persist in the fine traditions of linking theory closely to action, seeking truth from facts, and letting everything start from reality, and must establish the necessary strict responsibility systems. Communist Party members and Youth League members engaged in periodical, news, radio and television work, must be models of propagating the Party line, principles and policies, models of persisting in the principle of the Party nature and considering the larger picture, models of observing Party discipline and safeguarding Party unity, and models of going deeply into reality and linking close to the masses. Periodical, news, radio and television system Party Organizations, should truly have a function of Party fighting fortresses. All levels’ Party Committees must strengthen and improve leadership over periodicals, news, radio and television. They must adjust and substantiate periodical, news, radio and television teams, strive to improve their Marxism theory levels and consciousness of propagating the Party line, principles and policies. We must vigorously improve their work conditions, help them to summarize experiences and improve work, as far as possible give reign to their initiative, vigour and creativity. The Centre is convinced that the whole body of comrades on the periodical, news, radio and television front absolutely can further firmly implement the principles decided upon by the Centre, carry forward success and rectify flaws, making their work be serious and conscientious, and also vivid and vigorous, and making even larger contributions to the Party’s undertaking.
VII, This Decision shall be passed on and implemented together with all documents from the Centre’s work conference of December 1980 and especially the speeches of Comrade Deng Xiaoping. During transmission and implementation, the explanation must be stressed that these principles are all continuations of all principles since the Third Plenum. We must realistically prevent and correct that sort erroneous viewpoints that cut apart the spirit of the December work conference and set them against this Decision, believing it changes and rectifies the spirit of the Third Plenum. Some comrades misunderstand the spirit of the Third Plenum, now, their expressing this sort of erroneous viewpoints is by no means strange. But their errors must be pointed out, and they are not permitted to continue to disseminate their erroneous viewpoints. This is an important issue for unifying the understanding of the entire Party and making the entire Party’s ideological workers maintain political consistency with the Centre, and it is hoped that the comrades in all relevant departments pay special attention to this when transmitting and implementing this Decision.
二、报刊、新闻、广播、电视要认真进行关于坚持四项基本原则的宣传。坚持四项基本原则的核心是坚持党的领导。这是四个现代化能否实现的关键，也是决定经济调整成败的关键。宣传四项基本原则，要从群众的实际思想情况出发，尽最大努力使这种宣传真正具有说服力。对怀疑、诋毁四项基本原则的思想和言论，不能放任、容忍，更不允许利用党的宣传工具加以散布，而必须进行有力的批驳。要认真宣传坚持党的领导和改善党的领导。阐明解放思想、发扬民主同加强党的领导的关系。报刊、新闻、广播、电视工作者必须坚持党性，增强党性。党性是无产阶级阶级性的最高表现。毛泽东同志说过，“共产党人的一切言论行动，必须以合乎最广大人民群众的最大利益，为最广大人民群众所拥护为最高标准。”只有以马克思主义思想和革命纪律武装起来的共产党人才能达到这种标准，否则是不可能的。决不能把党性要求降低到一般群众的水平。党如不能在人民群众中起领导作用，党就没有存在的意义。报刊、新闻、广播、电视不能允许散布动摇、损害我们党和党中央威信的思想和言论，必须反对那种把过去党中央曾经犯过错误作为拒绝服从今天党中央的正确领导的借口的错误态度。对于任何企图削弱、摆脱、取消、反对党的领导的倾向，必须区别不同情况，公开或在内部进行批评、教育以至必要的斗争。对于马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想的基本观点，应当结合当前的实际情况，持久不懈地进行生动有力的宣传。对于那些攻击马列主义、毛泽东思想基本观点的谬论，要进行有充分论据、确实能够说服群众的批判。这是报刊和广播的思想政治节目的基本任务之一。要宣传遵守革命秩序和革命纪律，宣传 个人利益、局部利益、暂时利益必须服从社会整体的长远的根本利益，坚持和加强人民民主专政 。要明确认识阶级矛盾虽已不是我国社会的主要矛盾，但阶级斗争确实仍然存在，决不可小看。要宣传发扬社会主义民主和加强社会主义法制不可分割的关系。要宣传坚决打击各种破坏安定团结的势力（包括政治的、经济的、社会的各方面），坚决批判各种破坏安定团结的思潮。要大力宣传对反革命分子和严重危害社会秩序的刑事犯罪分子实行专政的必要性和正义性。要宣传人民解放军和公安司法部门对保障人民利益的极其重要的作用，号召人民和青年积极支援他们的斗争，注意维护他们的尊严和荣誉，非确有必要不宜对他们进行公开的批评。这是国家和人民的根本 利益所在，不可等闲视之。要注意用恰当的方式揭露政治谣言和煽动封建迷信等蛊惑人心的言论
四、报刊、新闻、广播、电视要正确处理表扬和批评的关系。要坚持以表扬为主的方针。不论表扬和批评，必须实事求是，真实可靠，决不能道听途说，弄虚作假，浮夸失实。不真实的“表扬”，对党和有关单位、有关个人造成的危害极大，务必坚决反对和防止。不仅要表扬艰苦朴素、廉洁奉公的好人好事，更要注意宣传依靠群众，克服困难，改革旧习，创造新局面、新事业、新方法、新风气并使群众得到教育和利益的好人好事。 近年来，许多报纸刊物重视反映群众的意见和呼声，积极地开展批评和自我批评，增强了党和人民群众的联系，也提高了报刊和党的声誉。今后还要坚持这样做。各级党委要善于运用报刊 开展批评，推动工作。党风的好坏，关系着党的生死存亡。要继续结合实际，宣传贯彻《关于党内政治生活的若干准则》。对于不正之风，要坚持进行批评斗争。首先要反对的是对三中全会以来党的路线、方针、政策进行抵制或另搞一套、阳奉阴违这样一种不正之风。当然，对官僚主义 和生活特殊化的批评和纠正也是必要的，但是这种批评，必须在党的领导下进行。要注意方法和时机，要注意内外有别，坚持与人为善、治病救人。批评要选择典型事例，点名批评要慎重。事 实一定要核对清楚。要事先听取党的有关部门的意见和被批评者本人的意见。在报刊点名批评比表扬的影响大得多，所以数量要有所控制，广播和电视则更要慎重。