Hu Jintao Says Goodbye and Starts Preparing Legacy

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On 23 July, Hu Jintao gave a speech at a training seminar for high-level provincial officials, on the importance of continuing the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. He evaluated the Party’s work over the last ten years, his period in office, and set out a number of goalposts and principles for the future. According to Bill Bishop, Hu Jintao spoke for many hours, clearly outlining the problems and challenges facing China. The full text of the speech has not been made public, but since then, the Party magazine Qiushi has published a number of articles drawing from this speech and the People’s Daily has opened an entire website dedicated to it, with commentaries from Xi Jinping and a number of experts from different fields. Also, this website contains a summary of the speech, which is available in translated form hereunder.

This speech sets the stage for the 18th Party Congress and outlines the agenda for the new leadership generation, although, in this acrimonious transition, it is not completely certain this speech reflects a consensus between the different factions. Nonetheless, there are some things we can learn from the summary, which consists of two parts. The first part takes stock of the experience of the last few years, while the second part lists plans for the future. In evaluating the last ten years, Hu indicated that China had a bumpy ride, but that generally, the government managed to successfully fend off domestic and foreign issues. Hu unsurprisingly attributes that success to his own theoretical innovation, the scientific development concept, while paying the necessary dues to the policies of Mao, Deng and Jiang, as well as Marxism-Leninism. As a result, China is still on track to complete the objective of building a relatively well-off society (xiaokang shehui) by 2020, and complete Socialist modernization by 2050. In order to do so, the core requirement is persisting in Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Conveniently, Hu provides few details about what this may mean, but it does signal that no basic political change is on the agenda.

In setting out ideas on the future, Hu subsequently lists a number of policy areas, which may reflect the order of priority they have on the CCP agenda. In order of appearance, these are transforming economic development methods, political structural reform, building a strong Socialist culture country, improving the people’s livelihood and providing social services, and protecting the environment. On the economy, Hu Jintao reiterates that shifting development methods remains the first priority. However, thus far, little rebalancing seems to happen. On political structural reform, Hu continues the line established by Deng Xiaoping that the Party’s leadership position may not change, but that under this condition, the people are to manage their own affairs. While he also pays lip service to democratic election, decision-making, management and supervision, these refer to intra-Party structures and do not indicate that the Chinese franchise will be broadened. On culture, which may take the central space accorded to Zhou Yongkang’s coercive internal stability apparatus, Hu repeats the line established at the Plenary meeting in October last year. On ensuring the people’s livelihood, Hu indicates that it is necessary to expand China’s social services. Lastly, Hu argues that environmental protection should become an integral part of China’s economic, political, cultural and social policy in all areas.

In short, this speech avoids any contentious statement in the run-up to the 18th Party Congress, and provides a relatively blank space on which Xi can begin to establish his leadership. At the end, Hu does pay special attention to the necessity of improving Party building and fighting abuses. In the wake of the Bo scandal, and the different incidents that have battered the CCP over the last few years, and in the fact of corruption, the Party must embark on a new round of Party building. However, Hu does not go beyond calling for the strengthening of existing measures, including internal organization and supervision, campaigns and political education. Without the full text of the speech, it is difficult to assess to what extent Hu aims to push appointments or policy in a certain direction, but at least according to this speech, it seems that the key objective the Party pursues, is not to pursue any clear objective at all.

Valiantly Forge Ahead Following the Path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

Hu Jintao pointed out that Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the banner for the development and progress of the China of today, and is the banner for the united struggle of the entire party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, we must unwaveringly take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thoughts as guidance, deeply implement the scientific development view, persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must grasp work, grasp implementation, and in the next five years, lay a decisive basis to completely realize the objective of a relatively well-off society, on time, by 2020, and after that, basically realize Socialist modernization by the middle of this century. We must unwaveringly march the correct path opened up by the Party and the people through a long time of practice, not fear any risk, and not be mislead by any interference. Liberating thoughts is a strong ideological weapon to promote the development of the undertaking of the Party and the people from beginning to end, reform and opening up is a strong force promoting the development of the undertaking of the Party and the people from beginning to end, we must unwaveringly move reform and opening up forward, never become fossilized, never stagnate, unite all forces that can be united, muster all vigorous factors that can be mustered, and with unbounded confidence, overcome all difficulties and risks on the path ahead.

Hu Jintao pointed out that, comprehensively analyzing present trends inside and outside the country, we face unprecedented opportunities, and also face unprecedented challenges, our country’s development is still in an important strategic period of opportunity with great potential. Whether we will be able to grasp the opportunities or calmly meet challenges, crucially depends on our ideological understanding, depends on our work strength, depends on our moving the pace of reform and development forward. We must completely examine development trends of the present world and the present China, completely grasp the new requirements for our country’s development and the new expectations of the popular masses, scientifically formulate action plans and major policies adapted to the requirements of the times and the aspirations of the people, press on more enthusiastically, work cautiously and conscientiously, continue to promote scientific development, stimulate social harmony, continue to improve the people’s lives, enhance the people’s happiness, and do all we can to complete the glorious and formidable tasks entrusted to us in these times.

Hu Jintao stressed that, since the 16th Party Congress, we have walked a very uneven path. Looking at these ten years overall, the international situation has constantly changed, the domestic tasks of reform, development and stability were grave, we have closely grasped and used our country’s important strategic period for development well, overcome a series of severe challenges, spared no effort to move the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics towards a new development phase. The reason that we are able to achieve such historical accomplishments and progress, most importantly is that we have persisted in taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thought as guidance, have dared to move the practical and basic theoretical innovation forward, have formed and implemented the scientific development view, and have provided powerful theoretical guidance for completely constructing a relatively well-off society and accelerating the pace of Socialist modernization. Deeply implementing the scientific development view still is a long-term, arduous task, facing a series of extremely challenging contradictions and difficulties. We must implement the scientific development view with even firmer determination, even more powerful measures and even more perfect systems, and truly make the scientific development view into a strong force promoting both strong and good development in the economy and society.

Hu Jintao stressed that, through a long period of efforts, our persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics has obtained great theoretical and practical results, the most important one is that the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been opened up, a theoretical structure for Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been formed, and a system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics established. This is the basic achievement of ninety years of struggle, production and accumulation by the Party and people, and must be utterly treasured, completely persisted in, and incessantly developed. Under new historical conditions, to continue to move Socialism with Chinese characteristics forward, we must incessantly enrich the practical characteristics, theoretical characteristics, ethnic characteristics and characteristics of the time, of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Hu Jintao pointed out that, the comrades in the entire Party must keep firmly in mind that the rapid development of our country over the last thirty years relied on reform and opening up, and our country’s development in the future must also resolutely rely on reform and opening up. Only through reform and opening up is it possible to develop China, develop Socialism and develop Marxism. We absolutely must persist in the line, principles and policies of the Party since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, persist in implementing the spirit of reform and opening up in all parts of governing the country, move reform and opening up forward even more consciously and even more firmly, incessantly stride forward in a new pace in areas of constructing and innovating systems, and do all we can to push reform and opening up forward.”

When discussing accelerating the transformation of economic development methods, Hu Jintao stressed that, having economic construction at the core is what is needed to rejuvenate the nation, development still is the key to resolve all problems of our country. In the China of today, the basic requirement that persisting in development is a hard principle is persisting in scientific development. Taking scientific development at the core, and taking accelerating the transformation of economic development methods as the main line, is the strategic decision of the overall picture of our country’s development. The comrades in the entire Party absolutely must unify thoughts, raise understanding and firmly implement the major policy deployments of the Centre on accelerating the transformation of economic development methods, shift the foothold of promoting development to raising quality and efficiency, firmly grasp the implementation of the strategy to have innovation drive development, move strategic readjustment of economic structures forward, promote the integration of urban and rural development, completely raise economic openness levels and other strategic tasks, strive to arouse all sorts of market subjects to develop new vitality, promote the synchronous development of industrialization, informatization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization, completely deepen economic structural reform, incessantly strengthen long-term development aftereffects.

When discussing moving political structural reform forward, Hu Jintao stressed that, since reform and opening up, we have always put political structural reform in an important position in the entire picture of reform and development, have unwaveringly moved it forward, have obtained major progress, successfully opened up and persisted in the political development path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. To move political structural reform forward, we must persist in organically unifying the leadership of the Party, letting the people master their own affairs, and governing the country according to the law, develop people’s democracy even more broadly and even more fully, guarantee that the people conduct democratic elections, democratic decision-making, democratic management and democratic supervision according to the law, pay even more attention to giving rein to the important function of the rule of law in governing the State and society, safeguard the unity, dignity and authority of the national legal system, and guarantee that the people enjoy broad rights and freedoms according to the law.

When discussing the construction of a strong Socialist culture country, Hu Jintao stressed that, constructing a strong Socialist culture country is a major strategic policy decision in our Party’s grasping the developments and changes in the times and the trends, and vigorously responding to the spiritual and cultural requirements of the people of all ethnicities. We must unwaveringly march the culture development path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, 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, persist in the principle of sticking close to reality, sticking close to life, sticking close to the masses, establish high levels of cultural consciousness and cultural self-consciousness, promote the complete development of a Socialist spiritual civilization and material civilization, and construct a ethnic, scientific Socialist culture facing modernization, facing the world, facing the future, of the masses.

When discussing the improving of the people’s livelihood and strengthening social construction, Hu Jintao pointed out that progressively raising the people’s material and cultural life levels on the basis of economic development, is the basic objective of reform and opening up, and Socialist modernization construction. Since reform and opening up, and especially in the last few years, we have exerted extremely large efforts obtained clear achievements in the area of improving the people’s livelihood. At the same time, we also must consider that the popular masses’ requirements to live an even better life are also strengthening, and their expectations concerning resolving prominent problems in the area of the people’s livelihood are also rising. We must continue to strengthen work, seek the benefit of the people’s livelihood more, resolve the worries on the people’s livelihood more, resolve the problems of interests that are of the most concern, are the most direct and the most real for the people, continue to gain new progress in ensuring that there are matters to learn, there are jobs to do, there is medicine for the ill, there is care for the elderly, and there are houses in which to live, ensure that the gains of reform and development are extended to the whole body of the people even better and even more fairly, and guarantee that the people lead an even better life.”

When discussing moving the ecological civilization construction forward, Hu Jintao pointed out that, moving the construction of an ecological civilization forward, is a strategic tasks involving fundamental change production methods and life methods, we must profoundly merge and implement ecological civilization construction concepts, principles and objectives, etc., into all aspects and the complete process of our country’s economic, political, culture and social construction, persist in the basic national policy of saving energy and protecting the environment, strive to move green development, recycling development and low-carbon development forward, and create a fine production and life environment for the people.

Hu Jintao stressed that, since reform and opening up, we closely revolved around the magnificent undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, completely moved the new magnificent project of Party building forward, and have gained great achievements. Under new trends, major changes have occurred in the historical bearing and governance conditions of the Party, and the composition and structuring of Party member teams, the risks coming from outside are unprecedented, the aspect of Party building and especially in Party members and cadre teams, many prominent problems that urgently need to be resolved have emerged. The entire party must strengthen a sense of urgency and a sense of responsibility, persist in the fact that the Party must manage the Party, and governing the Party strictly, completely strengthen the Party’s ideological building, organizational building, work style building, anti-corruption and clean government building, system construction, guarantee that the Party becomes a strong leading core of Socialism with Chinese characteristics from beginning to end. We must continue to move the new magnificent project of Party building forward, persist in ideals and convictions, preserve the blood-and-flesh relationship of the Party with the popular masses, vigorously develop intra-Party democracy, deepen cadres’ personnel system reform, tamp down an organizational basis for Party governance, unwaveringly oppose corruption, consciously safeguard the concentration and unity of the Party.

Lastly, Hu Jintao pointed out that, all levels’ Party Committees and government must, with a spirit of high responsibility, enthusiasm and accomplishment, do all work matters on reform, stability and development well, continue to be earnest and down to earth, firmly grasp implementation, earnestly implement the general fundamental key of seeking progress in stability, preserve the tendency of smooth and relatively rapid economic development, and establish a solid basis for the stability of the larger picture. We must realistically do well the work of caring for the masses’ production and lives, always keep the masses’ safety, danger and daily life in our hearts, and especially must do the work well to care for masses in difficulty, in all manners assist them in getting rid of worries and overcoming difficulty. We must strengthen propaganda and public opinion work, forcefully propagate our Party’s magnificent achievements in leading the people to move reform and opening up, and Socialist modernization construction forward since reform and opening up and especially since the 16th Party Congress, and strengthen the confidence of the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country in unwaveringly marching the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. The entire Party must even more closely unite around the Party Centre, firmly do work in all areas well, and welcome the victorious convocation of the 18th Party Congress with magnificent achievements.

沿着中国特色社会主义伟大道路奋勇前进
胡锦涛指出,中国特色社会主义是当代中国发展进步的旗帜,也是全党全国各族人民团结奋斗的旗帜,我们必须毫不动摇以邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想为指导,深入贯彻落实科学发展观,坚持和发展中国特色社会主义。我们必须抓紧工作,抓紧落实,在未来5年为到2020年如期实现全面建成小康社会目标打下具有决定性意义的基础,进而到本世纪中叶基本实现社会主义现代化。我们必须毫不动摇走党和人民在长期实践中开辟出来的正确道路,不为任何风险所惧、不为任何干扰所惑。解放思想始终是推动党和人民事业发展的强大思想武器,改革开放始终是推动党和人民事业发展的强大动力,我们必须毫不动摇推进改革开放,永不僵化、永不停滞,团结一切可以团结的力量,调动一切可以调动的积极因素,信心百倍战胜前进道路上的一切困难和风险。

胡锦涛指出,综合分析当前国内外形势,我们面临前所未有的机遇,也面对前所未有的挑战,我国发展仍处于可以大有作为的重要战略机遇期。能否牢牢把握机遇、沉着应对挑战,关键取决于我们的思想认识,取决于我们的工作力度,取决于我们推进改革发展的步伐。我们要全面审视当今世界和当代中国发展大势,全面把握我国发展新要求和人民群众新期待,科学制定适应时代要求和人民愿望的行动纲领和大政方针,更加奋发有为、兢兢业业地工作,继续推动科学发展、促进社会和谐,继续改善人民生活、增进人民福祉,奋力完成时代赋予的光荣而艰巨的任务。

胡锦涛强调,党的十六大以来,我们走过了很不平坦的道路。综观这10年,国际形势风云变幻,国内改革发展稳定任务繁重,我们紧紧抓住和用好我国发展的重要战略机遇期,战胜一系列严峻挑战,奋力把中国特色社会主义事业推进到一个新的发展阶段。我们之所以能取得这样的历史性成就和进步,最重要的就是坚持以马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想为指导,勇于推进实践基础上的理论创新,形成和贯彻了科学发展观,为全面建设小康社会、加快推进社会主义现代化提供了有力的理论指导。深入贯彻落实科学发展观仍然是一项长期艰巨的任务,面临着一系列极具挑战性的矛盾和困难。我们必须以更加坚定的决心、更加有力的举措、更加完善的制度来贯彻落实科学发展观,真正把科学发展观转化为推动经济社会又好又快发展的强大力量。

胡锦涛强调,经过长期努力,我们坚持和发展中国特色社会主义取得了重大理论和实践成果,最重要的就是,开辟了中国特色社会主义道路,形成了中国特色社会主义理论体系,确立了中国特色社会主义制度。这是党和人民90多年奋斗、创造、积累的根本成就,必须倍加珍惜、始终坚持、不断发展。新的历史条件下,我们继续推进中国特色社会主义,必须不断丰富中国特色社会主义的实践特色、理论特色、民族特色、时代特色。

胡锦涛指出,全党同志必须牢记,我国过去30多年的快速发展靠的是改革开放,我国未来发展也必须坚定不移依靠改革开放。只有改革开放才能发展中国、发展社会主义、发展马克思主义。我们一定要坚持党的十一届三中全会以来的路线方针政策,坚持把改革创新精神贯彻到治国理政各个环节,更加自觉、更加坚定地推进改革开放,不断在制度建设和创新方面迈出新步伐,奋力把改革开放推向前进。
在谈到加快转变经济发展方式时,胡锦涛强调,以经济建设为中心是兴国之要,发展仍是解决我国所有问题的关键。在当代中国,坚持发展是硬道理的本质要求就是坚持科学发展。以科学发展为主题、以加快转变经济发展方式为主线,是关系我国发展全局的战略抉择。全党同志一定要统一思想、提高认识,坚决执行中央加快转变经济发展方式的重大决策部署,把推动发展的立足点转到提高质量和效益上来,扎扎实实抓好实施创新驱动发展战略、推进经济结构战略性调整、推动城乡发展一体化、全面提高开放型经济水平等战略任务的贯彻落实,着力激发各类市场主体发展新活力,推动工业化、信息化、城镇化、农业现代化同步发展,全面深化经济体制改革,不断增强长期发展后劲。

在谈到推进政治体制改革时,胡锦涛强调,改革开放以来,我们始终把政治体制改革摆在改革发展全局的重要位置,坚定不移加以推进,取得了重大进展,成功开辟和坚持了中国特色社会主义政治发展道路。推进政治体制改革,必须坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,发展更加广泛、更加充分的人民民主,保证人民依法实行民主选举、民主决策、民主管理、民主监督,更加注重发挥法治在国家和社会治理中的重要作用,维护国家法治的统一、尊严、权威,保障社会公平正义,保证人民依法享有广泛权利和自由。

在谈到建设社会主义文化强国时,胡锦涛强调,建设社会主义文化强国,是我们党把握时代和形势发展变化、积极回应各族人民精神文化需求作出的重大战略决策。我们要坚定不移走中国特色社会主义文化发展道路,坚持为人民服务、为社会主义服务的方向,坚持百花齐放、百家争鸣的方针,坚持贴近实际、贴近生活、贴近群众的原则,树立高度的文化自觉和文化自信,推动社会主义精神文明和物质文明全面发展,建设面向现代化、面向世界、面向未来的,民族的科学的大众的社会主义文化。

在谈到改善民生和加强社会建设时,胡锦涛指出,在经济发展基础上逐步提高人民物质文化生活水平,是改革开放和社会主义现代化建设的根本目的。改革开放以来特别是近些年来,我们在改善民生方面作出极大努力,取得明显成效。同时,我们也要看到,人民群众对过上更好生活的要求也在增强,对加快解决民生领域突出问题的期盼也在提高。我们必须继续加强工作,多谋民生之利,多解民生之忧,解决好人民最关心最直接最现实的利益问题,在学有所教、劳有所得、病有所医、老有所养、住有所居上持续取得新进展,使改革发展成果更多更公平惠及全体人民,保证人民过上更好生活。

在谈到推进生态文明建设时,胡锦涛指出,推进生态文明建设,是涉及生产方式和生活方式根本性变革的战略任务,必须把生态文明建设的理念、原则、目标等深刻融入和全面贯穿到我国经济、政治、文化、社会建设的各方面和全过程,坚持节约资源和保护环境的基本国策,着力推进绿色发展、循环发展、低碳发展,为人民创造良好生产生活环境。
胡锦涛强调,改革开放以来,我们紧紧围绕中国特色社会主义伟大事业,全面推进党的建设新的伟大工程,取得了明显成效。新形势下,党所处历史方位和执政条件、党员队伍组成结构都发生了重大变化,来自外部的风险前所未有,党的建设方面特别是党员、干部队伍出现了许多亟待解决的突出问题。全党要增强紧迫感和责任感,坚持党要管党、从严治党,全面加强党的思想建设、组织建设、作风建设、反腐倡廉建设、制度建设,确保党始终成为中国特色社会主义的坚强领导核心。要继续推进党的建设新的伟大工程,坚定理想信念,保持党同人民群众的血肉联系,积极发展党内民主,深化干部人事制度改革,夯实党执政的组织基础,坚定不移反对腐败,自觉维护党的集中统一。

胡锦涛最后指出,各级党委和政府要以高度负责、奋发有为的精神做好改革发展稳定各项工作,继续脚踏实地、扎扎实实抓好落实,认真贯彻稳中求进的工作总基调,保持经济平稳较快发展势头,为大局稳定奠定坚实基础。要切实做好关心群众生产生活工作,时刻把群众安危冷暖放在心上,特别是要做好关心困难群众工作,千方百计帮助他们排忧解难。要加强宣传舆论工作,大力宣传改革开放以来特别是党的十六大以来我们党带领人民推进改革开放和社会主义现代化建设取得的伟大成就,增强全党全国各族人民坚定不移走中国特色社会主义道路的信心。全党要更加紧密地团结在党中央周围,扎扎实实做好各方面工作,以优异成绩迎接党的十八大胜利召开。

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