This article was posted yesterday in the Observer News Weekly (暸望新闻周刊), and seems to be the first major policy declaration from the Xi administration. I will post an analysis shortly.
Belief, faith, confidence and real action are the guarantees for the success of our undertaking. If people in the same boat help each other, the sea will make way, and when the signal is cried, the waves will move to the side!
At the time of the first collective study of the 18th CCP Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the main line in implementing the report of the 18th Party Congress. We must closely grasp this main line and make persisting into and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics into a focal point, rallying point and stopover point for implementing the spirit of the 18th Party congress, only in this way will we be able to study the spirit of the 18th Party Congress more deeply, understand it more thoroughly and implement it more consciously.
Practice fully proves that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the banner of the Chinese Communist Party and the unity of the Chinese people, the banner for brave advance and the banner of victory. If we want to completely construct a relatively well-off society, accelerate the moving forward of Socialist modernization and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we must hold high the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics from beginning to end, and unwaveringly persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.
The 18th Party Congress pointed out that, revolving around this main theme, to grasp new victories for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics under new historical conditions, we must closely grasp the basic requirements in eight areas, and let them become the common convictions of the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country. These eight basic requirements are: we must persist in the dominant role of the people; we must persist in liberating and developing social productive forces; we must persist in moving reform and opening-up forward; we must persist in safeguarding social fairness and justice; we must persist in marching the path of common prosperity; we must persist in stimulating social harmony; we must persist in peaceful development; and we must persist in the leadership of the Party. The basic requirements and common convictions of these “Eight Musts” are an enrichment and development of the inner meaning of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and shall become our programme of action.
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the undertaking of the millions of people themselves, therefore, the mastering spirit of the people must be given full rein, to better guarantee that the people are the master of their own affairs.
Persisting in the dominant role of the people, is that we must believe in the people, rely on the people and consider the people as real heroes. This is the tradition and superiority of the Chinese Communist Party.
The 2nd Party Congress of 1922 pointed out that, all the Party’s actions must go deeply into the broad masses. In the revolutionary struggle, the Chinese Communist Party changed the viewpoint of the masses into a leadership method and work method, progressively formed the Party’s mass lines, and put forward a series of viewpoints, such as: the masses are true heroes, seeking the interest of the masses is the starting point and final settling place of Chinese Communist Party members’ revolution, the opinions and experiences of the masses are the basis for the Party’s formulation of policy, mobilizing the masses to liberate themselves, only by being the student of the masses is it possible to be the teacher of the masses, etc.
The 7th Party Congress of 1945 clearly entered the basic spirit of the mass line into the Party Constitution. Mao Zedong summarized: “We shall believe in the masses, we shall believe in the Party, these are two basic tenets. If these two tenets are doubted, nothing can be achieved”.
The development of thirty years of reform and opening up prove that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the undertaking of the millions of people themselves, the mastering spirit of the popular masses has achieved a huge burst forward in the process of this magnificent undertaking. It is as Deng Xiaoping pointed out: “Of the household contracting system in the countryside, the inventor’s rights belong to the peasants. Many things in rural reform are created at the grass-roots level, we take them, process them, and raise them into guidance for the whole country”.
Historical experience merits attention. In the magnificent practice of moving Socialism with Chinese Characteristics forward, we must most broadly mobilize and organize the people to manage State matters according to the law, manage economic and cultural undertakings, vigorously throw themselves into Socialist modernization construction, even better guaranteeing the people’s rights and interests, and even better guaranteeing the people to be the master of their own affairs.
Liberating and developing social productive forces are basic tasks of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, therefore, we must persist in taking economic construction as central, taking scientific development as the main line, realizing that we put people first, and scientifically develop in comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner.
Marxism believes that the development of productive forces is the final deciding power in the development of human societies. More than ninety years of Party history are the history of the Party leading the popular masses in incessantly liberating and developing productive forces.
During the revolutionary period, Mao Zedong clearly pointed out that: “For the good or bad, large or small of the function that all Chinese political parties’ policies and their practice manifest in the Chinese people, in the final analysis, we must look at whether or not it helps the development of the productive forces of the Chinese people, and how great that help is, and we must look at whether it fetters productive forces of liberated productive forces.” The victory of the revolution and the establishment of the New China have cleared away obstructions and provided guarantees for the development of the productive forces of society.
The 8th Party Congress of 1956 passed a resolution that pointed out: “Our main domestic contradiction is the contradiction between the people’s requirement of establishing an advanced industrial country and the reality of a backward agricultural country; it is the contradiction between the people’s requirement of rapid economic and cultural development and the situation that, at present, the economy and culture cannot satisfy the people’s needs”. Because of this, the Party’s work focus is leading the people of the entire country to construct the economy, forcefully develop productive forces, realize the industrialization of the country, and progressively satisfy the people’s daily increasing material and cultural needs. This judgment is extremely valuable, conforms to the objective process of our country’s historical development, and conforms to the common hope of the people nationwide. It is a pity that, in the period thereafter, reversals occurred in the understanding of this problem, and complications occurred.
One appreciates difficulty only through personal experience. The experience of both positive and negative sides made the people of all ethnicities in the entire country reach such a consensus, this is “the contradiction between the people’s daily increasing material and cultural needs and the backwardness of social production, this main contradiction in society has not changed” which the Party Centre has stressed repeatedly and which is reiterated in the Report of the 18th Party Congress. Liberating and developing social productive forces are the basic tasks of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics from beginning to end. We absolutely must persist in this conviction, not waver, not toss and turn, take economic construction as central, take scientific development as the main theme, completely move economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction forward, realize that people are put first, and develop scientifically in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner.
Unite all forces that can be united, expand harmonious elements to the largest extent, strengthen social creative vitality, guarantee that the people live and work in peace and contentment, society is stable and ordered, and the country knows a long period of peace and order.
The reason that Chinese Communist Party leaders stood up and started the revolution is because the Old China, under the domination of the Three Big Mountains, lacked fairness and justice, to say nothing of harmony. To this end, Mao Zedong clearly pointed out at the 7th Party Congress that: “Many unfair matters must progressively march towards fairness. At any time there will be issues of unfairness, therefore we must resolve problems at any time.”
During the period of construction after the establishment of the Socialist system, in order to “let literature, art, science and technology flourish and develop, let the Party regularly maintain vitality, the people’s undertaking blossom, and China become a strong country that will make people look kindly on it”, the Chinese Communist Party members with Mao Zedong as representative, through analysing the characteristics and manifestations of the basic contradictions of Socialist society, made correctly dealing with contradictions among the people into a main theme in national political life, its objective was to create a political situation that was both centralized and democratic, both disciplined and free, both having unity and determination, and individual ease of mind, that was vivid and vigorous. This vivid and vigorous political situation is both the formidable and kindly portrayal of Socialist China.
Kindness means harmony, naturally it isn’t so that there will be no contradictions or no conflicts within this, the important thing is that the nature of these contradictions must be correctly understood and the correct methods must be adopted to resolve it. There is no need for reticence, this issue has not yet been resolved well in a historical period. Lessons are also precious wealth.
The process of reform and opening up after bringing order out of chaos is the process of “matters marching progressively towards fairness”, and is the process of China becoming a strong country that also loves the people – that puts guaranteeing and improving the people’s livelihood in a more prominent position. Fairness and justice are implicit requirements of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, social harmony is the essential property of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. Understanding is hard-earned, the value of belief lies in holding on to it. Justice, fairness and social harmony must absolutely become objectives and convictions in which we persevere, and that we incessantly pursue.
Persisting in moving reform and opening up forward, persisting in marching the path of common prosperity, and persisting in peaceful development, are the common ideals that have been proven correct through more than thirty years of history and practice, that the people feel deeply within themselves.
The 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress of December 1978 opened up a new period, the clearest characteristic of which was reform and opening up. More than thirty years of full-speed development of China’s economy and society and the rapid increase in comprehensive national strength, have firmly established one conviction among the people of China: reform and opening up are the paths that must be followed to persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.
Perhaps, there may be people who ask: what is the objective of China’s reform and development? To sum it up in a word, it is to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and it is the satisfaction of the people’s expectation to live happy new lives.
Poverty isn’t Socialism, the wide gap between rich and poor also is not Socialism, going from letting some people become rich first to progressively realizing the people’s common prosperity is a necessary choice of history. Following the increase of national economic strength, we must extend the fruits of development even better and even more fairly to the whole body of the people, and steadily advance in the direction of common prosperity.
Perhaps, there may be people who ask: what does China’s development mean for the world? In one sentence, China persists in peaceful development, China’s development is an opportunity for the world, and not a menace.
China must develop peacefully. As far back as the early stages of reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping incisively analysed the new situation that peaceful development became the main theme of the times, and clarified the necessity and possibility of striving to conduct domestic construction in a peaceful environment for a relatively long time. China does not have a tradition of military expansion. In modern global history, the background of some country’s rise was accompanied by conflict and expansion without exception, at that time, the Old China, that was semi-feudal and a semi-colony was the target of their wanton invasion, oppression and exploitation. But now, following the strengthening and rise of China’s comprehensive national strength, the function to which China gives rein in international affairs becomes clearer every day, “Chinese threat theories” of every shade and description have emerged in international society. These views exactly reflected the loss and helplessness of some countries.
Facts speak louder than words. Both now and in the future, regardless of to what extent it develops, China will never seek hegemony. What China seeks is peaceful development, what it thinks of is the interest of the people of the world. China’s peaceful development will continue, China must also make new and greater contributions to humankind. This is the common conviction of the peace-loving Chinese people.
The Chinese Communist Party is the leading core of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, ideals and convictions are the “calcium” of Chinese Communist Party members’ spirits.
Persisting in the leadership of the party is the key for China to gain victories in revolution, construction and reform. “Since we had the Chinese Communist Party, the face of the Chinese revolution has taken on an entirely new look”, this is an irrefutable truth. Mao Zedong pointed out that the experience of China’s revolution has “given us and the people of China such a conviction: without the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party, and without Chinese Communist Party members standing rock-form among the people of China, China’s independence and liberation are impossible, China’s industrialization and rural modernization are also impossible.”. In the period of construction and reform, the core force leading our undertaking still is the Chinese Communist Party. This is the consensus and conviction of the Party and the people of China.
Deng Xiaoping distinctly pointed out that the key to resolving China’s problems lies in the Party. China’s reform and opening up has seen huge achievements, and has displayed the outstanding governing ability of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party’s responsibility is great, the mission of the Chinese Communist Party is glorious. Facing the market economy, reform, opening up and many other tests, and spiritual sluggishness, separation from the masses and many other dangers, and completely constructing a relatively well-off society on time, the Party must persist in building the Party for the public, governing for the people, strengthening and improving the Party’s leadership, persisting in the Party assuming responsibility for the whole picture, coordinating the core leading function in all areas, maintaining the advanced nature and purity of the Party, strengthening the Party’s creativity, cohesion and fighting strength, and raising the Party’s levels of scientific governance, democratic governance, and governance according to the law.
Convictions point the way to future actions, actions must be of one heart and one mind.
These eight basic requirements and common convictions put forward by the 18th Party Congress are the summoning call for the times of more than thirty years of practice of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, are the summary of the experience of the Party leading the people in conducting revolution, construction and reform, and are the consensus that merit to be cherished and persisted in for a long time, they should become conscientious actions that pervade the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country. Just as Comrade Hu Jintao pointed out in the Report of the 18th Party Congress, as long as we cherish ideals and firm convictions, do not waver, do not slacken and do not toss and turn, but struggle tenaciously, struggle arduously and struggle unwaveringly, we certainly can complete the construction of a relatively well-off society by the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, and we certainly can construct a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious modernized Socialist country by the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the New China.
Belief, faith, confidence and real action are the guarantees for the success of our undertaking. If people in the same boat help each other, the sea will make way, and when the signal is cried, the waves will move to the side. Be unwilling to yield to others, dare to be 1.3 billion sons and daughters of China running ahead of all under heaven, unite, go into action, use your own wisdom and abilities, to write a new Chinese legend in the journey of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation!
信仰、信念、信心和实干，是我们事业成功的保证。同舟共济海让路，号子一喊浪靠边。不甘人后、敢为天下先的13亿中华儿女，团结起来，行动起来，用自己的智慧和才干，在实现中华民族伟大复兴的征途中书写新的中国传奇! （文/《瞭望》新闻周刊 李庆刚 作者单位：中共中央党校党史教研部）