CCP Central Committee Some Opinions concerning Strengthening and Improving Ideological and Political Work
29 September 1999
Giving high regard to ideological and political work, is our Party’s fine tradition and political superiority. The whole history of our Party’s leading the revolution and construction proves that grasping ideological education is the core segment of uniting the entire Party to conduct the grand political struggle; ideological and political work is the lifeline for economic work and all other work. In the process of reform, opening up and developing the Socialist market economy, closely integrating new historical conditions and fully giving rain to the Party’s political superiority, have an important immediate significance and long-term significance.
I, Fully understanding the importance of strengthening and improving ideological and political work
Under the resolute policymaking and correct leadership of the Party Centre with comrade Jiang Zemin at the core, we have obtained a decisive victory in the struggle against the “Falun Gong” organization, but, we must be aware of the complexity, acuity and long-term nature of this struggle. This is a serious political struggle of vying for the masses and vying for the ideological battlefield, it relates to the basic faith of Communist Party members, relates to the basic ideological basis for the united struggle of the people nationwide, and relates to the future destiny of the Party and the county. The emergence of the “Falun Gong” problem has deep social and historical causes and a complex international background, for a while, its political nature and serious danger has not attracted sufficient vigilance from us, to such an extent that it led to the gravest political incident since the political storm of 1989. The comrades in the entire party must take this as a lesson, draw inferences from this example, earnestly summarize experiences and lessons, strive to strengthen Party ideology and political work, organizational work, propaganda work and mass work, in order to provide powerful guarantees to realize the magnificent objective across centuries. This struggle with the “Falun Gong” organization, fully illustrates that in a new historical period, controversies and struggles in the ideological sphere are intricate and complex, and will sometimes still be expressed acutely. If Marxism does not go and occupy the ideological battleground, non-Marxist or anti-Marxist things will inevitably occupy it. Persisting in “grasping with both hands, and both hands must be strong” and realistically strengthening and improving ideological and political work, are major and urgent tasks put in front of the Party.
(2) Since the 4th Plenum of the 13th Party Congress, our Party has adopted a series of important measures to strengthen and improve ideological and political work. Persisting in using Deng Xiaoping Theory to arm the entire Party and educate the cadres and the people; persisting in the correct public opinion orientation, deeply conducting education on patriotism, collectivism, Socialism and the spirit of working hard and being enterprising; broadly launching mass-type spiritual civilization construction activities, concentratedly propagating a large batch of advanced models reflecting the spirit of the times, striving to enrich people’s spiritual cultural life; closely linking the Party with the masses, mustering the vigour of the people of all ethnicities in Socialist modernization construction. Ideological and political work has obtained clear achievements, and has had an important effect in stimulating reform, development and stability. At present, our country is in a key period to storm the fortifications of reform and development, complex and deep changes have happened in social situations, economic elements and economic interest have diversified, social life methods have diversified, social organization forms have diversified, employment positions and employment method have diversified, this becomes more clear every day, and has brought large amounts of new situations and new issues for ideological and political work. At the same time, Western hostile forces have not given up the wild ambition to subjugate us, and intensify their ideological and cultural infiltration through all sorts of channels, ideological and political work faces a grave challenge. But the problem of “one hand being strong, one hand being soft” has not yet been basically resolved in a number of localities and departments, a number of leading cadres bury themselves in their work, and do not pay attention to researching social ideological and political trends; some grass-roots Party organizations are in a weak and lax condition, and have not given rein to the necessary functions in ideological and education aspects; also, problems of not being adapted to new changes in social life, coverage not reaching the stipulated goal, the focus not being strong as well as methods and means being backwards exist in ideological and political work. If we do not realistically reverse these sorts of situations, but lower our guard against all sorts of erroneous thinking trends, leave them unrestricted and uncurbed, we will commit historical errors. Against this, the comrades in the entire Party must strengthen a mentality of concern, maintain a clear mind, raise political vigilance, and from the height of consolidating the Party’s governing position and completing the Party’s historical task, grasp the research and resolution of questions of strengthening and improving ideological and political work.
II, Ideological and political work must persist in the correct principles and policies
(3) We must persist in taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as guidance, persist in the basic Party line, principles and policies. We must arm people with scientific theory, guide people with correct public opinion, mould people with noble spirits and hearten people with excellent works, fostering citizens with ideals, morals, culture and discipline. We must make idealistic and faith education into a core content, guide the broad Party members, cadres and masses to establish and construct a common ideal of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, establish a correct worldview, view of life and value system, and to struggle in unity to construct a wealthy, strong, democratic and civilized Socialist and modernized country.
(4) We must persist in taking economic construction as the core, and serve the large picture of the work of the entire Party and the entire country. Economic construction is our Party’s and country’s central task, reform, development and stability are the larger picture of our Party and country. The key to resolving all China’s problems, is that we must rely on deepening reform and accelerating development under the precondition of maintaining social and political stability. Ideological and political work must closely revolve around this centre of economic construction, closely integrate all lines of work, and provide strong spiritual drivers and ideological guarantee for reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction.
(5) We must persist in starting from reality, strengthening focus and effectiveness. Ideological and political work must stand on uniting all forces that can be united, mustering all vigorous factors, change negative factors into positive factors, guide, protect and give rein to the vigour of cadres and masses well. We must persist in starting from the reality of the primary stage of Socialism, start frim the reality of the ideology of the broad cadres and masses, integrate advanced requirements with broad requirements, differentiate levels, have definite goals, pay attention to real effects. We must believe in and rely on the masses, enlighten the masses to educate themselves and raise themselves. We must persist in the principle of implementing democracy and the policy of persuasion, and do more work of removing doubts and dispelling uncertainty, raising understanding, unifying thoughts and concentrating feelings against problems of ideological understanding among the cadres and masses. We must persist in stressing politics, and must stand firm against major principle problems, showing our true colours. We must persist in struggling with all sorts of erroneous thinking trends, and can absolutely not let them spread unchecked.
(6) We must persist in integrating education with management. The fostering of noble ideology and morals and the shaping of fine social customs, must both rely on patient and painstaking ideological education and rely on strict management with scientific norms. We must grasp the establishment and completion of relevant legal and regulatory systems; strengthen management over all aspects of society according to the law, merge the ideological and moral principles that we advocate into scientific and effective social management, making self-discipline integrate organically with discipline by others, and internal control merge with external control, shaping a fine social environment fighting for justice against evil, carrying forward the good and punishing the evil.
(7) We must persist in integrating the resolution of ideological problems with resolving real problems. Without a correct ideology and a noble spirit, it is impossible to move our undertaking forward. If we do not pay attention to resolving the real problems of the masses, ideological education will be removed from the masses, and it will be difficult to achieve real results. Strengthening ideological and political work must both speak to reason, and must solve real problems, listen to the calls of the masses, understand the emotions of the masses, and be concerned about the suffering of the masses. We must earnestly implement all Party policies, and do more work that wins the hearts of the people, warms the hearts of the people, and stabilizes the hearts of the people, realize good things, and do things well, and truly bring the warmth of the Party and the government into the bottom of the masses’ hearts.
(8) We must persist in relying on common action of Society under the leadership of the Party. Ideological and political work involves all aspects of economic and social life. Not only Party organs and propaganda departments must do it, other Party departments and government departments, as well as labour unions, the Youth League, the Women’s Union and other people’s organizations and other social organizations must do it as well. We must fully give rein to the important function of social science, press and publication, literature and art workers and education, science and technology workers. We must fully muster the vigour of all sides of society under the unified leadership of Party committees, and shape work mechanisms with clear responsibilities, that grasp management together in the entire society.
III, Deeply and soundly conducting ideological and political education
(9) Making the use of Deng Xiaoping theory to arm the Party and educate the cadres and the people into a primary tasks of ideological and political work, broadly conducting education of the basic Party line and the basic Party programme, conducting education on patriotism, collectivism, Socialism and a spirit of hard work and enterprise. We must closely link up with theoretical and practical problems in reform and construction to strengthen the focus and real effect of work, and enable the broad cadres and masses to even more consciously implement the basic Party theory and the basic line. We must persist in conducting education on recent Chinese history, Chinese Communist Party history and the basic national situation, conduct education on the fine traditions and revolutionary traditions of the Chinese nations, conduct education on safeguarding national unity, and forcefully carry a patriotic spirit forward. We must continue to propagate the magnificent spirit of fighting against floods, encourage the cadres and masses to struggle arduously, forge ahead and remain enterprising. At present, we must grasp the beneficial and opportune moments of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the New China, welcoming Macau back into the motherland, and welcoming the arrival of the new century, to concentrate the propaganda of China’s process of struggle and its glorious achievements of the last fifty years and especially the twenty years of reform and opening up, look forward to a glorious prospect, enhance morale, inspire spirits, and unify the entire Party’s thoughts and actions around the spirit of the 15th Party Congress, and concentrate the wisdom and strength of the people of all ethnicities in the entire country around all tasks determined by the 15th Party Congress.
(10) strengthening Marxist materialism and atheism education, forcefully advocating a scientific spirit. The dialectical materialism and historical materialism in Marxism are a scientific worldview and methodology. We must broadly propagate its basic tenets and basic viewpoints, help and guide people to clearly distinguish materialism from idealism, atheism from theism, science from superstition, and civilization from ignorance, and strengthen their capacity to distinguish and resist idealism, feudal superstition and all sorts of false science. We must completely and correctly propagate the Party’s religious policies, vigorously guide the adaptation of religion to Socialism. We must persist in unremittingly disseminate scientific knowledge, disseminate knowledge in natural science, medicine and hygiene, scientific fitness, the four miseries of human life and other aspects that closely correspond to the masses’ daily lives, help people to grasp scientific thoughts and scientific methods, and strive to shape a trend of loving science, studying science and using science in the whole society.
(11) Strengthening education on situational policies, the democratic legal system and safeguarding social stability. We must regularly conduct education on the international and domestic situation, guide the cadres and masses to understand the beneficial conditions and harmful factors ahead, and to not be blindly optimistic when considering questions at times when circumstances are good; and to not be disheartened when running into difficulties and setbacks, but seeing the bright side. We must strengthen education on democracy and the legal system, disseminate knowledge about the Constitution and laws, guide people to strengthen their conception of the legal system, persist in handling matters according to the law, observing discipline and law, to not participate in illegal organizations, to not participate in activities harming social and public order, to determinedly struggle with acts using feudal superstition to destroy society as well as all unlawful phenomena, and consciously safeguard the larger good picture of stability and unity.
(12) Strengthening a Socialist moral construction with serving the People at the core and with collectivism as principle. Vigorously conducting social and public moral, professional ethics and household virtue education, guiding the broad masses to abide by moral standards and raise moral quality, to be good citizens in society, to be good workers in work units, and to be good members of households. Vigorously advocating attacking the most importance to the national interest, attaching the most importance to the people’s interest, and broadly propagate a spirit of doing more good things for society and the people. Firmly opposing and resisting Mammonism, hedonism and individualism. We must firmly grasp the formulation of the “Citizen Moral Construction Implementation Outline”
IV, Vigorously exploring the rules and methods of ideological and political work under new circumstances
(13) Our Party has accumulated rich ideological and political work experience in its long-time practice of revolution and construction, this is our precious spiritual wealth, and we must closely inherit it and carry it forward in integration with new circumstances. At the same time, we must be aware that under the economic conditions of reform and opening up, and developing the Socialist market economy, the environment, tasks, content, channels and targets of ideological and political work have seen great change. If we cannot adapt to this sort of change, and only simply repeat the old methods and old ways of the past, it will be difficult to achieve good effects, and matters may even run counter to our desire. We must persist in liberating thoughts, seeking truth from facts, go deeply into the grass roots, go deeply into the masses, examine and understand new situations and new problems, earnestly research the characteristics and laws of ideological and political work under new circumstances, vigorously open up new channels, explore new methods and create new experiences. We must determinedly oppose and prevent formalism, and completely maintain the vitality and vigour of ideological and political work.
(14) Fully giving rein to the important function of news media in ideological and political work. Newspapers, radio, television and other news media are important channels to conduct ideological and political education, their influence in society grows ever large, and they must be grasped in the hands of the Party. The propaganda of all news media must persist in the principle of the Party nature, persist in seeking truth from facts, persist in unity, stability, encouragement and giving first place to positive propaganda, and must closely grasp the correct public opinion orientation. We must stick close to the masses, stick close to reality and stick close to life, earnestly perform model propaganda, hot topic guidance and public opinion supervision, strengthen the attractiveness, infectiousness and persuasiveness of propaganda education. We must forcefully carry forward a correct social atmosphere, timely conduct forceful exposure and criticism of all sorts of erroneous ideological trends and evil social phenomena, we may absolutely not provide a public opinion battlefield for them. We must strengthen management over social life-type newspapers and periodicals, and entertainment-type radio and television programme. Strengthening the analysis of Internet information, and in a focused manner, expand online propaganda strength and raise propaganda quality.
(15) Making mass-type spiritual civilization construction activities into an important carrier for ideological and political work. Spiritual civilization construction activities with “stressing civilization, establishing a new trend” as main content is an effective channel to conduct ideological education for the masses and raise the civilization level of the whole society, and is a new method to strengthen the Party’s mass work. Creating civilized cities and civilized towns, civilized sectors and all other construction activities must all put the focus of attention on raising the ideological, moral, scientific and cultural quality of the masses, and make the masses to receive education and obtain improvement through participation. Persisting in picking up matters from concrete facts, organizing a few things with a large function, large influence, that are welcomed by the masses, building close links between the Party and government with the masses, strengthening the trust and support of the popular masses for the Party and government.
(16) Paying regard to giving rein to the function of culture in social education. Spiritual products and social cultural life have an unobtrusive influence on people’s ideological conceptions and moral integrity. All cultural work must persist in the orientation of serving the people and serving Socialism, persist in the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, carry forward the main melody, advocate diversity, inherit and carry forward the nation’s excellent culture and revolutionary culture traditions, vigorously attracting global excellent culture achievements, we must persist in putting social interest first, and strive for the integration of social interest with economic interest, persist in opposing pure profit-seeking, and forgetting integrity when tempted by gains. We must forcefully carry forward community culture, town culture, enterprise culture and school culture, broadly launching mass-type culture and sports activities that are rich, varied, healthy and beneficial. Cultural centres, libraries, museums, science and technology centres, sports centres and all sorts of mass activity centres must face towards society, serve the masses, and fully give rein to their function in ideological and political education. We must persist in grasping flourishing with one hand and grasping management with one hand, resist the influence of feudal cultural waste and foreign degenerate culture, deeply and lastingly launch the struggle to “sweep away pornography and strike illegality”, and create a healthy social and cultural environment. At present, relevant departments must concentrate on thoroughly cleansing away publications propagating feudal superstition and fake science, or that have grave political problems.
(17) Stressing the use of advanced models to influence and spur the masses. The advanced collectives and advanced persons having emerged in large numbers during reform, opening up and modernization construction have reflected the spirit of the time, and are examples for practicing the Socialist spiritual civilization. We must adopt many kinds of methods to forcefully propagate their moving achievements and noble qualities. We must improve propaganda methods, let the masses feel that they inspire affection, respect, trust and learning. All sectors and all industries must pay attention to discovering and summarizing their advanced models, and achieve that there are models to study and objectives to pursue, to form a fine atmosphere of advanced trends, advanced study and advanced competition in the whole society.
V, Implementing ideological and political work tasks among the grass roots
(18) At present, the weakness of grass roots ideological and political work is a prominent problem, we must adopt effective measures to reverse this as quickly as possible. Enterprises, villages, schools, scientific institutes, neighbourhoods and other grass roots work units must all, on the basis of their own reality, resolve the problem of implementing ideological and political work tasks among the grass roots well.
Enterprises ideological and political work must integrate deepening reform, establishing modern enterprise systems and raising economic efficiency. State-owned enterprises and State-controlled enterprises’ Party organizations must realistically give rein to their core political function, strengthen leadership over ideological and political work, fully rely on labour unions, the Communist Youth League as well as worker representative conferences to conduct ideological and political education. We must strengthen enterprise culture construction, foster Socialist enterprise spirits, and guide the broad workers to give rein to their protagonist function even better. We must give high regard to ideological and political work in enterprises in difficulties, the Party organizations in these work units must earnestly perform the work of uniting the masses, stabilizing people’s emotions and overcoming difficulties. All localities and all relevant departments must adopt measures to strengthen ideological and political work in collective enterprises, township and village enterprises, private and foreign-invested enterprises, as well as individual industry and commerce companies.
Rural ideological and political work must integrate running towards moderate comfort, and construction a new Socialist countryside. We must start from the reality of the countryside, and focus on launching education on the Party’s basic line and rural policies, education on Socialist and collectivist spirits, education on transformation of social conditions, education on the democratic legal system and education on science and culture. We must integrate ideological education with creating civilized households and civilized towns even more closely, advocate science and eradicate feudal superstition; advocate civilization, and overcome ignorance and backwardness; advocate thrift and oppose extravagance and waste. We must strengthen rural culture infrastructure construction, expand radio and television coverage, and organize activities for the “three moving to the countryside” of culture, science and hygiene.
Schools’ ideological and political work must revolve around the basic task of fostering Socialist undertaking constructors and successors. Schools at all levels and all categories must earnestly implement the Party’s education policies and persist in the Socialist orientation in running schools, They must persist in using Marxism to guide education work, and can absolutely not provide a stage and a battleground for erroneous ideological trends. We must substantiate and improve the education content of ideological and moral classes and political theory classes, integrate school education with social practice, completely move moral quality education forward. We must realistically strengthening the ideological and moral construction of teaching teams, enabling them to bear the tasks of fostering talents meeting qualifications even better. The youth is the future of the motherland and the hope of the people. Strengthening their ideological and moral education relates to the fate of the country and the prospects of the nation. The entire Party and the entire society must care for the ideological and moral construction of youth, schools, households and society must closely coordinate, to create a fine environment for their healthy growing up.
(19) We must give high regard to and strengthen ideological and political work in communities. Following the development of the Socialist market economy, communities’ functions in strengthening urban management, serving residents’ lives and stimulating social progress has grown ever larger. We must revolve around raising residents’ quality and the level of urban civilization, earnestly research and vigorously explore channels and methods for community ideological and political work. We must integrate ideological and political work with community construction and community management, and implement it in all segments of creating civilized households, civilized apartment compounds and civilized districts, shape new forms of interpersonal relations with unity and mutual support, fairness and affection. We must let management reside inside service, fully use all sorts of life and culture facilities in communities, advocate resource sharing, and provide comprehensive social services to residents. We must select people with a relatively high quality, who are in their prime to replenish neighbourhood and residents’ committee leadership ranks.
Following economic development and the rise in the people’s living standards, our country’s elderly population has increased year by year, we must earnestly perform ideological education work of the elderly and especially those that are retired or on pension. Retired and pensioned old comrades have made vigorous contributions to revolution and construction, and we must earnestly implement relevant policies, care for their lives, ensure that they are provided for, that they are happy, and at the same time care for their ideology, ensure that they have something to learn and something to study. This must become a focus point of community work, to be earnestly organized and implemented.
(20) We must fully pay attention to performing ideological and political work for laid-off workers and migrant labourers. We must enthusiastically care for the thoughts and lives of laid-off workers and enable them to get rid of worries and overcome difficulties. Vigorously moving re-employment projects forward, leading laid-off workers to establish correct occupation selection views and a spirit of self-strengthening and self-sufficiency, help and encourage them to become enterprising again in a new position. Relevant urban departments and recruiting work units must timely understand the ideological situation of migrant workers, and realistically bear the tasks of managing and educating them.
(21) We must grasp guidance and management over social organizations. In recent years, our country’s social organizations developed rapidly, and have had a vigorous effect in society, economy, cultural life and foreign exchange. At the same time, the problems that they are excessive in number, lack guidance and negligent in management exist. Relevant departments must, on the basis of conducting earnest clean-up and rectification of existing social organizations, perfect management systems and standardize social organization conduct. We must, on the basis of the real situation, establish and complete Party organizations in social organizations having conditions for the establishment of Party organizations. All Party organizations must respect State laws and regulations, persist in the correct political orientation and strive to perform ideological and political work for the masses to which they relate.
VI, Realistically strengthening Party leadership over ideological and political work
(22) Persisting in “grasping with both hands, both hands must be strong” is an important principle emphasized often by the Centre. The more reform deepens, opening up expands, and the Socialist market economy develops, the more we must pay regard to ideological and political work. All levels’ Party Committees (Party groups) must raise understanding, determinedly correct and prevent neglect of erroneous tendencies in ideological and political work, list this work in the important matters agenda, research it regularly and strengthen inspection. We must establish and complete ideological and political work responsibility systems, Party Committee (Party group) number one leaders must bear the primary responsibility, other leading members must also clarify tasks and take their responsibilities. All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Party Committees may, on the basis of need, establish ideological and political work joint conference systems with participation of responsible persons from relevant sides. All levels’ Party and government leading cadres must strengthen their sense of politics, sense of the larger picture and sense of responsibility, and take the lead in performing ideological and political work. We must make the achievements of work into an important basis for appraising leadership ranks and leading cadres. Ideological and political work can absolutely not remain in conferences and documents, but its implementation must be grasped. We must strengthen investigation and research, timely grasp social ideological trends, adopt measures in a focused manner, go to the bone, and grasp results. We must oppose bureaucratism, pay attention to regular analysis of factors influencing social stability, and resolve questions in the initial stage. We must absolutely report important situations according to the facts, and can absolutely not report only the good and hold back the bad. We must punish the relevant leading responsibility over those bungling opportunities and creating grave effects. According to the needs for raising quality, optimizing structures and facing stability, constructing a line of ideological and political work teams who are strong in politics, good in their work and have a correct work style. We must select a batch of middle-age and young cadres having both ability and integrity, and bring them into these teams. We must pay attention to caring for and fostering ideological and political workers, help them to raise their ideological and political quality and professional ability, and we must give rewards and awards to those with prominent achievements.
(23) Earnestly implementing the principle of strictly governing the party, strengthening the Party’s cohesion and combat capacity. Since reform and opening up, the broad Party masses have given rein to a pioneering and model function in all aspects, the main stream of Party teams are good. But, there are also a small number of Party members and even cadres who are indifferent towards ideals, waver in their faith, lose their willpower, and have an empty spirit, some have been captured by erroneous thinking trends, some hanker after feudal superstition activities, some have become corrupt and degenerate, fell into the mire of law-breaking and crime, which gravely harmed the image and prestige of the Party, and also weakened the effect of conducting ideological education over the broad masses. During this “three talks” education, all levels’ party organizations must earnestly summarize experiences and lessons concerning prominent problems existing in Party member education and management aspects, establish and complete strict requirements, strict management and strict supervision systems over Party members. Party members and especially leading cadres must talk learning, talk politics, talk the correct atmosphere, strengthen Socialist and Communist ideals and convictions, persist in serving the People with their whole hearts and minds, strictly observe Party discipline, consciously accept supervision from the Party and the masses, must first achieve themselves what they require the masses to achieve, absolutely not do themselves what they require the masses not to do, and be an example for the masses through their actual conduct. We must continue to strengthen the construction of a clean and honest Party style, deeply and lastingly launch the struggle against corruption, and we must firmly punish corrupt elements harming the interest of the Party and the people according to Party discipline and State law.
(24) We must make strengthening Party grass roots organization construction into a pressing task and grasp it. The Party grass roots organizations are the basis for the Party’s overall work and fighting strength, and bear an important function in ideological and political work. All levels’ party committees must closely integrate new situations and tasks, earnestly research and resolve problems of grass roots organization construction weaknesses. We must pay attention to establish and complete Party grass roots organizations and strengthen education for and management over Party members aimed at the new situation of the daily increase of all sorts of economic organizations and social organizations and the large amount of the labour force moving between industries and migrating between regions. The Party grass roots organizations must strengthen self-construction, fully give rein to their function as fighting fortresses, perform ideological and political work thoroughly and in detail, unite and lead the masses to firmly struggle with all sorts of unhealthy trends and evil practices, guaranteeing the implementation of the Party line, principles and policies.
Party Committees (Party groups) in all localities and all departments must, on the basis of the above opinions, and integrating their own reality, earnestly research and formulate concrete measures, grasp implementation, and report the implementation situation to the Centre before the end of this year.
（1999年 9月 29日）
（中发 1999） 17号）