This article was originally published by People’s Daily on 8 November 2013.
Study General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Important Elaboration concerning the “Two Cannot Denies”
CCP Central Committee Party History Research Department
General Secretary Xi Jinping profoundly pointed out that there are two historical periods in our Party leading the people in conducting Socialist construction, before the Revolution and after the Revolution, these are two periods that are mutually connected and have major differences, but essentially they are both the exploration in practice of the Party leading the people in conducting Socialist construction. He stressed that the historical period before reform and opening up must be correctly evaluated, the historical period after reform and opening up cannot be used to deny the historical period before reform and opening up, neither can the period before reform and opening up be used to deny the historical period after reform and opening up (hereafter, this sis simply called the “Two cannot denies”. This major elaboration by General Secretary Xi Jinping has profoundly reflected the fundamental position and clear attitude of our Party concerning these major questions. Studying General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important elaboration, has an important guiding significance in correctly understanding and grasping both historical periods before and after reform and opening up, and even the entire history of the Party, in further strengthening self-confidence about the path, self-confidence about the theory and self-confidence about the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics through strengthening self-confidence about the Party’s history, and in resolutely continuing to push forward with the magnificent undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
I, The history since the foundation of the New China includes two historical periods, before and after reform and opening up, none of these two periods can be denied.
The path has come step by step, only when a first step is taken, can there be a second step. Our Party’s leading the Revolution, construction and reform is also a magnificent undertaking that originates in a single stream, through which a torch is passed down, and that is replicated endlessly. All successes that have been obtained in the new China are the results of continued struggle and successive exploration on the basis of the victory in the New Democratic Revolution. With the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress as symbol, the history of New China is divided into two periods, before and after reform and opening up. Innumerable facts indicate that none of these two historical periods can be denied.
(1) The history before reform and opening up is a history in which the Party led the people of all ethnicities in the entire country in conducting Socialist revolution and construction, and great achievements were made.
From the day on which our Party came into being, it has made realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation into its own task, and has shouldered the two historical tasks of striving for the independence of the nation and the liberation of the country, and of realizing a strong and powerful country, and a prosperous people. The Party has led the people in completing the New Democratic Revolution, which realized the Chinese people’s long-cherished dream of national independence and liberation of the people. This cleared away obstacles for the establishment of a Socialist system in China and the implementation of Socialist construction, and provided fundamental political preconditions to realize a strong and wealthy country and prosperity of the people, and thereby realizing the magnificent rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The struggles and explorations of before reform and opening up are a new magnificent historical march that began as a fruit of victory in the New Democratic Revolution. After the New China was established, the first generation collective Party leadership with Comrade Mao Zedong at the core led the people to build and consolidate the national regime of the people’s democratic dictatorship, creatively realized the transformation from New Democracy to Socialism, comprehensively established the basic Socialist system, and successfully realized the most profound and magnificent social transformation in Chinese history. The Party did not lose any time or opportunity in putting forward general economic guidelines for the period of transition, and through Socialist transformation, it established the basic Socialist economic system. The Party also led the people in establishing the People’s Congress system, the multi-Party cooperation and consultative conference system under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and established the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological area. The establishment of the Socialist system conformed to China’s national conditions and the basic interest of the people, and created a fundamental institutional basis for all China’s developments.
After the basic Socialist system was established, how to construct Socialism in China was a completely new question that the Party faced. The Party had called to study Soviet experiences, but rapidly became aware of the limitations of the Soviet model. Comrade Mao Zedong put forward the task of conducting a “second integration” of Marxism-Leninism with China’s reality, which meant taking the experiences and lessons of the Soviet Union as a warning, and independently exploring a path for Socialist construction that conformed to China’s national characteristics. Through practical exploration, the Party accumulated important experiences in leading Socialist construction. The Party united and led the strength of the entire people to push Socialist construction forward, and obtained huge achievements. The fruits of exploration and huge achievements obtained in the historical period before reform and opening up must be fully affirmed.
There is no need for reticence, because the Party has little experience in leading the Socialist undertaking, and the Party leadership’s analysis of circumstances and their understanding of national conditions suffered from subjectivist deviations, and it made the mistakes of broadening class struggle, and hurriedly seeking for purity in the issue of ownership systems as well as hurriedly seeking for results in economic construction. In subsequent practice, because of the development of “leftist” mistaken tendencies in the ideology of the Party leadership, grave comprehensive and long-term mistakes such as the “Cultural Revolution” occurred, which brought grave setbacks to the process of Party exploration, and brought grave disaster to the Party, the country and the people of all ethnicities. We can never forget the hard-learned lessons from this. That is to say, that we cannot deny the historical period before reform and opening up, is meant in general terms, it does not mean that we must overlook or even conceal the mistakes before the “Cultural Revolution” and of the “Cultural Revolution”. Concerning the mistakes before the “Cultural Revolution”, the 6th Plenum of the 11th Party Congress passed the “Resolution concerning Some Historical Questions of our Party after Founding the Nation” (Hereafter simply named the “Historical Resolution”), which made a scientific analysis and an objective appraisal; concerning the “Cultural Revolution”, the “Historical Resolution” made an even more fundamental and clear conclusion of thorough denial, and pointed out that the “‘ Cultural Revolution’ was not and could not in any sense a revolution or social progress”. In these matters, we must continue to persist.
The historical period before reform and opening up is closely connected to Comrade Mao Zedong. That we cannot deny the historical period before reform and opening up does not mean that we must overlook or even conceal the mistakes of Comrade Mao Zedong in his later years. At the same time, we can also not artificially exaggerate the mistakes of Comrade Mao Zedong in his later years, and can certainly not completely deny Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought, if we do this, we will both violate historical fact and the will of the people, and this will certainly create extremely grave political consequences. Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that: “The evaluation of Comrade Mao Zedong, and the elaboration of Mao Zedong Thought, is not just a question that involves Comrade Mao Zedong individually, it is also inseparable from the overall history of our Party and our country. We must see this larger picture”. Comrade Deng Xiaoping earnestly put forward this major problem, and its basic spirit was completely consistent with the “Historical Resolution”. The “Historical Resolution” points out that: “Comrade Mao Zedong was a great Marxist, and was a great proletarian revolutionary, warrior and theorist. Although he made grave mistakes during the ‘Cultural Revolution’, when looking at his entire life, his contributions to the Chinese revolution are fare greater than his faults. His merits are primary, his mistakes are secondary.” We must profoundly comprehend the spiritual essence of this judgment, affirm the historical position of Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought with the assumption that justice is on our side, and evaluate the historical period before reform and opening up by seeking truth from faces.
(2) The history after reform and opening up is the history of the Party leading the people of all ethnicities in the entire country in successfully creating and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics
The 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Committee in 1978 re-established the ideological line of liberating thoughts and seeking truth from facts, it made the historical policy decision to transfer the centre of Party and State work to economic construction and to implement reform and opening up, and it realized a magnificent transformation that had a profound significance for the Party’s history after the foundation of the new China. The second generation Central leading collective with Comrade Deng Xiaoping at the core conformed to the demands of the times and the aspirations of the people, conducted reform and opening up with huge political courage and theoretical courage, ad clearly put forward that we must make clear these major theoretical and practical questions of what is Socialism and how to construct Socialism. Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that: “There are many strands in our experiences and lessons, the most important strand is that we must make these questions clear”. Exactly because of the fact that these questions were put forward so acutely, did Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s profound exploration of and creative scientific response to these major questions come into being. In 1981, the 6th Plenum of the 11th Party Congress put forward the “Historical Resolution”, which symbolised the Party’s victorious completion of bringing order out of chaos in terms of guiding ideology. In 1982, Comrade Deng Xiaoping put forward the resounding call to “march our own path and build Socialism with Chinese characteristics” at the 12th Party Congress. Through practice and exploration, the Party has further put forward the theory of the primary stage of Socialism, established the basic path of the Party in the primary stage of Socialism, and profoundly revealed the essence of Socialism. Comrade Deng Xiaoping profoundly summarized historical experiences and new experiences, and for the first time, brought a relatively systematic preliminary answer to the series of fundamental questions about how to build Socialism, how to consolidate and develop Socialism in a country that is relatively backward in economic and cultural terms as China, he used new ideological viewpoints to inherit and develop Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, opened up a new frontier for Marxism, raised our understanding of Socialism to new scientific levels, and successfully created Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics incessantly develops and progresses with the times. After the 4th Plenum of the 13tdh Party Congress, the third generation Central leadership collective with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core successfully pushed Socialism with Chinese characteristics towards the 21st Century. In a new historical period, the Party Centre with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary successfully persisted in and developed Socialism with Chinese characteristics from a new historical starting point. Since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Centre with Xi Jinping as General Secretary united and led the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, and realized a good beginning to seize new victories for Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Over more than thirty years, the Party has led the people in persisting in and expanding the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, persisting in and enriching the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics that includes Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought and the scientific development view, persisting in and perfecting the institutions of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, ensuring that Socialism with Chinese characteristics shines with thriving vitality and exuberant vigour.
As soon as Socialism with Chinese characteristics took root in Chinese soil, it has revealed a strong life force and power to inspire, and has become the glorious banner to lead the development and progress of contemporary China. In over thirty years, the Party has led the people in writing a new and majestic chapter of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction. Huge achievements that have attracted worldwide attention have been obtained in economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction, and the Party’s self-construction is greatly strengthening. Our country’s social productive strength and comprehensive national strength have markedly increased; scientific and technologic strength and national defence strength have clearly risen. From 1978 to 2012, GDP grew from 364.5 billion Yuan to 51.93 trillion Yuan, and it became the second largest economy in the world. A historical leap was realized in the people’s lives, from insufficient food and dress to comprehensive moderate prosperity. In today’s China, the people are high-spirited and vigorous, development brings something new every day, society’s vitality bursts forth, and our international position has clearly risen. In a large eastern country with a large population and extremely backward economy and culture such as China, bringing such great change in such a small period of time and at such a high speed, truly is and extraordinary achievement. It is normal and not strange that a few problems have arisen in this process, about which people are broadly concerned and that need to be promptly resolved, and we can absolutely not deny the historical period after reform and opening up because of this. As early as 1981, the “Historical Resolution” put forward that: “Since the 3rd Plenum our Party has progressively established a correct path for Socialist modernization construction that conforms to our national circumstances. This path will be incessantly strengthened and developed in practice, but its main points may already be summarized by the positive and negative experiences after founding the nation, and especially the lessons learnt from the “Cultural Revolution.” Afterwards, the Party and the country have marched through another 32 years, Since over 30 years, the Party has consistently soberly recognized and scientifically responded to the problems on the path ahead, persisted in using development thought to resolve the difficulties encountered in development, used the methods of reform to resolve problems emerging from reform, relied on the people in storming fortifications and overcoming difficulties, continued to advance, and ensured that the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics became ever broader. Practice convincingly proves that Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the basic orientation and the only correct path for the development and progress of contemporary China, only Socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. The correct orientation and huge achievements in the historical period after reform and opening must be fully affirmed.
II, Both historical periods before and after reform and opening up are essentially the Party leading the people in conducting practical exploration of Socialist construction, and cannot mutually deny each other
When looking from the overall picture of the development of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, both historical periods before and after reform and opening up have both major differences, and fundamental links. We must persist in the basic viewpoints of dialectical materialism and historical materialism, and on the basis of fully affirming all historical contributions and fully paying attention to specific historical characteristics, closely grasp the dialectical unity of both historical periods, which can absolutely not deny each other.
(1) The practice and exploration of Socialism before reform and opening up has provided important conditions for the practice and exploration of Socialism after reform and opening up.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been created in a new historical period of reform and opening up, but it has also been created on the foundation of the basic Socialist system established in the New China, which underwent more than 20 years of construction. The 18th Party Congress highly evaluated the important contributions of the first generation Central leadership collective with Comrade Mao Zedong at the core in exploring a Socialist construction path that conformed to China’s national circumstances, stressed the unique creative theoretical results and huge achievements that the Party obtained in Socialist construction, which provided precious experiences, theoretical preparations and a material basis for creating Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new historical period. This is a correct judgment that completely conforms to historical fact.
Before and after the 8th Party Congress of 1956, with “On the Ten Great Relationships”, “Concerning Correctly Handling the Question of Contradictions Among the People” published by Mao Zedong as the main symbol, the Party’s exploration of a Socialist construction path conforming to China’s national circumstances had a good beginning. Through practice and exploration, and especially the summarizing of experiences and lessons, the Party progressively shaped a series of extremely important ideological viewpoints that had a long-term guiding significance concerning this path. These mainly were: the contradictions between productive forces and relationships of production, the economic basis and the superstructure are the fundamental contradictions of Socialism, the contradiction between the people’s rapidly developing economic and cultural demands and the fact that the economy and culture cannot yet satisfy the people’s demands is the main contradiction within our country, and developing productive forces is the fundamental task; the necessity to shift the work focus of the Party and the State to scientific and technological revolutions and Socialist construction; the necessity to persist in taking agriculture as the basis and industry as guidance, to arrange the national economy in the order of agriculture, light industry and heavy industry, and to march a Chinese industrialization path; the objective of Socialist development being the construction of a modern industry modern agriculture, modern science and technology, and modern national defence; the fact that Socialism can be divided into two stages, “not developed” and “relatively developed”; the necessity to broaden Socialist democracy, persist in the system of democratic centralism, strengthen the construction of a Socialist legal system, and oppose bureaucratization and privileges among leading organs and leading cadres; the necessity to correctly differentiate and deal with contradictions with the enemy and contradictions among the people, etc. The Party also put forward a series of important guiding principles and policy standpoints such as constructing a Socialist economy, politics and culture, national defence and military construction, foreign relations work, etc. Even though the abovementioned correct ideological viewpoints, principles and policies sometimes were not implemented, and sometimes were not persisted in, the summary of the Party’s experiences during this period, the understandings and results, provided an important source of thought for the creation and development of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. The theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics inherited and developed Mao Zedong Thought, which not only includes the inheritance and developments of the living soul of Mao Zedong Thought, i.e. seeking truth from facts, the mass line, independence and autonomy, but also includes the inheritance and development of the summary of correct experiences from explorations and original theoretical results. It is as Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out: “The important ideological results formed through arduous exploration when Comrade Mao Zedong led our Party are precious riches for our Party, and are an important source of thought for the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
After the New China was established, the Party led the people in recovering the national economy and launching the construction of the planned economy, it implemented the 1st Five-Year Plan and completed it before schedule. After the establishment of the basic Socialist system, the Party led the people in launching comprehensive Socialist construction, and even though grave setbacks were experienced, huge achievements were obtained in all areas of construction. The most important achievements among these are the establishment of an independent and relatively integrated industrial structure and national economic structure on the basis of “grinding poverty’, which enabled the ancient China to stand rick-firm in the East of the world with a completely new bearing. Even though the speed of economic development had its ups and downs, generally speaking, it was relatively fast. From 1952 to 1978, the total output of agriculture and industry rose 8.2% per annum on average, and the average growth rate of industry was 11.4%. Our country’s economic power, scientific and technological strength and national defence strength clearly strengthened. GDP rose from 67.9 billion Yuan in 1952 to 364.5 billion Yuan in 1978. Even though this number was not very high, the growth from the original baseline was relatively clear. Breakthroughs were obtained on the frontiers of science and technology, represented by the “two bombs and one satellite”. Comrade Deng Xiaoping afterwards evaluated this: “If China would not have had the nuclear bomb and the hydrogen bomb since the Sixties, and would not have launched a satellite, China could not be called an important influential large country, and it would not have the international position is has now. These things reflect the ability of a nation, and are the symbol of the flourishing and growth of a nation and a country”. Following economic development, the people’s lives progressively improved. Generally speaking, the historical period after reform and opening up relied on a material and technological for Socialist modernization construction that was established during this period; the backbone forces for economic and cultural construction and other such areas and their work experiences were also fostered and accumulated during this period. This is the dominant aspect of Party work during this period.
History has already demonstrated that without the establishment of the New China in 1949 and the conduct of Socialist revolution and construction, the accumulation of important ideological, material and institutional condition, and the accumulation of both positive and negative experiences, it would be difficult for reform and opening up to be pushed forward smoothly, and it would be difficult to successfully create Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
(2) Socialist practice and exploration after reform and opening up is the continuation, reform and development of Socialist practice and exploration before reform and opening up.
As early as the initial period of reform and opening up, Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that: “Now, we will do the things that Comrade Mao Zedong already put forward, but did not do, correct the mistakes that he made, and do the things well that he did not do. In the considerably long time ahead, we will still do this”. It is, in fact, just so, the Party has implemented many correct standpoints that were put forward through Socialist practice and exploration before reform and opening up, after reform and opening up; Socialist practice and exploration after reform and opening up is the continuation, reform and development of Socialist practice and exploration before reform and opening up. History develops and progresses through such contradictory movements.
From the beginning of reform and opening up, the Party stressed the necessity to persist in the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the Socialist system. Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that: “We implement reform and opening up, this is a question of how to do Socialism. In terms of structures, without this precondition of Socialism, reform and opening up will march towards capitalism.” He stressed that “the dominance of public ownership and common prosperity, are the basic principles of Socialism that we must persist in.” In the face of thinking trends in society where people preached the mechanical copy of the Western model, the Party timely and with clear banners put forward the necessity to persist in the Four Cardinal Principles in ideology and politics, meaning the necessity to persist in the Socialist path, persist in the proletarian dictatorship, i.e., the people’s democratic dictatorship, persist in the leadership of the Communist Party, and persist in Marxism-Leninism and Mao- Zedong Thought, it stressed that this was the foundation to build the country, and thereby guaranteed that reform and opening up would have a persistent and clear Socialist orientation from the start.
The Party stressed that reform and opening up demand conducting a new magnificent revolution under the conditions of new times, and is the self-perfection and development of the Socialist system, Reform and opening up has enabled our country to successfully realize the transformation from a highly concentrated planned economic system to a Socialist market economy system that brims with vitality, and from closedness and half-closedness to complete openness in all directions. Without the Party’s resolute decision to implement reform and opening up in 1978, its unwavering pushing reform and opening up forward, and its unwavering grasp of the correct orientation of reform and opening up, Socialist China could not have engendered the good situation there is today. History proves that reform and opening up is the crucial choice that decided the fate of contemporary China, and is the only way to develop Socialism with Chinese characteristics and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
During the new historical period of reform and opening up, the Party led the people in the successful creation of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, this is the most important and most fundamental achievement obtained on the basis of inheriting and developing the ideological, material and institutional results provided by Socialist practice and exploration before reform and opening up. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has both persisted in the basic principles of scientific Socialism, and based itself on the Chinese characteristics that the conditions of the times have endowed it with, systematically answering these great questions of what kind of Socialism to build and how to build Socialism in a large eastern country such as China, with its large population and low baselines, by integrating theory and practice. The Party stresses that Socialism with Chinese characteristics is Marxist Socialism and not any other ism, regardless of whatever reform or whatever opening up comes, they must always persist in the path, theoretical structure and system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics throughout. More than 30 years of practice prove that Socialism with Chinese characteristics has, on the basis of the huge achievements made after the establishment of the New China, again gained even greater results that attracted worldwide attention. This is a major reason why it can stand up and go far.
The Report of the 18th Party Congress has systematically summarized the content of the path, theoretical structure and system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and put forward eight basic demands to seize new victories for Socialism with Chinese characteristics, these are all important reflections and real applications of the basic principles of scientific Socialism under new historical conditions. Facts demonstrate irrefutably: just as the huge achievements gained through more than 30 years of reform and opening up do not brook denial, the Socialist essence of our country’s reform and opening up cannot be denied and is impossible to deny.
(3) Persist in using the viewpoint of history, the viewpoint of practice and the viewpoint of dialectics to correctly handle both historical periods before and after reform and opening up
The two historical periods before and after reform and opening up are two periods that are mutually linked but different in important ways. Looking at the mutual links, it can be said that these sort of links are not only links of temporal subsequence and continuation, but they are links based on persisting in the Socialist development orientation, basic systems, basic tasks and struggle objectives, there is absolutely no clear-cut separation between both historical periods, neither are they fundamentally opposed; looking at the important difference, this mainly refers to the great differences in the ideological guidance, principles and policies, and real work in conducting Socialist construction, and also includes the large differences that exist in internal and external conditions to engage in Socialist practice and exploration, the basis for practice and other such areas. Among these, some differences have a transformational sense, for example, from “taking class struggle as the key link” to “putting economic construction central”, from a highly concentrated planned economic system to the Socialist market economy. The links between the former and latter historical periods are essential and intrinsic for the most part, they all are the Party leading the people in conducting Socialist construction. Only by correctly understanding these sorts of linkages and differences will it be possible to see that, regardless of whichever historical period is used to deny the other historical period, they all are a denial of our own historical period, and will it be possible to even more consciously persist in the “two that cannot be denied”.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the dialectical unification of scientific Socialist theoretical logic, and the logic of the development history of China’s society. Stressing that “the two cannot be denied”, means that it is necessary to observe and grasp these two historical periods by placing them in the long river of historical development, and particularly in the more than ninety years of history of the Party, attention must be paid to both analysing what the former historical period provided to the latter, and to analysing how the latter period picked or corrected content from the former, as well as which content it provided or added. Only in this way will it be possible to correctly understand the unique position and role of each historical period in the process of exploring, creating and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, to respect history and not to distort or cut off history, to seek truth from facts and not to raise high or be overly critical of our predecessors, and consciously ensure that the fruits of the victory in the New Democratic Revolution are not lost, that the achievements of Socialist revolution and construction can absolutely not be denied, and that the direction of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction can absolutely not waver.
III, Persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese characteristics on the basis of correctly understanding and grasping both historical periods before and after reform and opening up
General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward that: “In which ism a country implements, the key is that it is necessary to look at whether or not this ism can resolve the historical questions that this country faces”. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has concentrated this most basic dream of the Chinese nation since the advent of modernity, realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and also reflects the beautiful longing for and unwavering exploration of Socialism by the Chinese people since the advent of modernity. Correctly understanding and grasping both historical periods before and after reform and opening up means that it is necessary to unwaveringly persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese characteristics under new historical conditions.
(1) Correctly understand and grasp that both historical periods before and after reform and opening up are a treasure of great value for the history of the Party, and benefit strengthening the Party’s self confidence about history
Our Party is a party that has united and led the people of all ethnicities in he entire country to conduct the revolution, construction and reform under extraordinary and complex circumstances, and has created magnificent miracles, it is a party that has endured victories and setbacks, high tides and low tides, favourable circumstances and adversity. It survived desperate situations at times of calamity, it resolutely rose again after setbacks, it brought order out of chaos after mistakes, it kept fighting in spite of all adversity in the face of tribulations, it has seen both hardships and miracles, it has undergone difficulties and glorious outcomes. The Party’s history of more than 90 years, is a process in which generations of Communist Party members struggled and explored unswervingly with the same beliefs, under the leadership of the same convictions, and through the drive of the same pursuit. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been created and developed by the untold hardships of generations of Communist Party members, and against the payment of all sorts of prices. History and practice have repeatedly proven that only Socialism can save China, and only Socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. Persisting in the “two that cannot be denied”, does not only mean respecting and cherishing the historical facts of both periods before and after reform and opening up, it also means having the necessary self-confidence about the Party’s overall history of more than 90 years.
(2) Correctly understanding and grasping both historical periods before and after reform and opening up is a real demand to respond to challenges in the ideological area, and to promote the development of the undertaking of the Party and the people
Correctly understanding and grasping the relationship of Socialist practice and exploration before and after reform and opening up is not only a historical issue, but more importantly, it is a real political issue. If this important political issue is not handled well, it may engender grave political consequences. If incorrect viewpoints are used to simply deny both these historical periods or any one of them, it will inevitably lead to the denial of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and of the Socialist system, and it will inevitably lead to the denial of reform, opening up and Socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must absolutely have such political sobriety.
The ancients said: “To annihilate a country of men, its history must be removed first”. Analysing from the side of domestic and foreign hostile forces, they deny of the historical period before reform and opening up, because they want to deny the major historical contributions of our Party, exaggerating the mistakes and setbacks of our Party during practice and exploration, this demonizes the Chinese Communist Party, and thereby fundamentally denies the governing position of the Chinese Communist Party; they deny the historical period after reform and opening up, because they want to deny the Socialist essence of reform and opening up, exaggerating the difficulties, contradictions and problems that emerged during reform and opening up, this demonizes Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and thereby shakes the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Chinese people. The denial by hostile forces of both periods, fundamentally speaking, is a deviation from historical fact, it aims to confuse people’s minds, and schemes to disintegrate the historical basis and ideological foundation for Chinese Communist Party governance, and thereby destroy the future of Socialist China and the prosperity of the broad Chinese people. “A crash of the vehicle in front is a lesson for the following vehicle”. One important reason for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the CPSU is the complete denial of the history of the Soviet Union, and the history of the CPSU, the denial of Lenin and other leading personalities, and historical nihilism confused the people’s thoughts. Because of this, correctly understanding and grasping both historical periods before and after reform and opening up is a major political issue that relates to the fate of the Party, the country and the people. In the face of such great matters of right and wrong, every Communist Party member and especially leading cadres, should firmly defend the Party’s history, earnestly study the Party’s history, and consciously use the Party’s history.
On the question of how to treat both historical periods before and after reform and opening up, there is another sort of situation, which is that some confused understandings exist among the people as well. Although this sort of confused understanding is essentially completely different from the previously mentioned situation, it is also necessary to clear matters up by correct education and guidance. If the main stream and essence of the Party’s historical development cannot be understood or recognized, if the long and winding road that the Party has marched cannot be correctly dealt with, this may shake trust in the Party, shake belief in Socialism with Chinese characteristics, shake faith in realizing the magnificent rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and in the end, what will be damaged is the undertaking of the Party and the people, as well as the basic interests of the broad popular masses that are closely connected to this undertaking. Therefore, we must persist in correctly propagating the Party’s history, educating the broad popular masses to correctly understand and deal with the history of the Party, and further strengthen determination and conviction to march with the Party along the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
(3) Correctly understand and correctly grasp both historical periods before and after reform and opening up, spare no effort to realize the Chinese Dream along the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics
At present, the Party and the people are, under the leadership of the Party Centre with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, imbued with self-confidence about the path, the theory and the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and they struggle and strive to completely construct a moderately prosperous society and to seize new victories for Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Correctly understanding and correctly grasping the Socialist practice and exploration during both historical periods before and after reform and opening up, has an important encouraging and enlightening role in our further strengthening our self-confidence and staunchness in persisting and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to struggle for the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The history of Socialist practice and exploration before and after reform and opening up tells us that to realise the Chinese Dream, we must unwaveringly persist in marching a Chinese path. During the historical period of reform and opening up, the Party has made arduous efforts to explore a path of Socialist construction that conforms to China’s national conditions, and formed a series of major understandings and results. Since reform and opening up, the Party has based itself on the basic national conditions of the preliminary stage of Socialism, incessantly deepened its understanding of the laws of Communist Party governance, the laws of Socialist construction, and the laws of human social development, and has successfully created a path for Socialism with Chinese characteristics. On the new journey, we must absolutely persist in integrating Marxism with China’s reality and the characteristics of the times, persist in and develop Socialism with Chinese characteristics, we may neither walk the old road of closedness and fossilization, nor walk the evil path of changing banners, but persist in unwaveringly following the Chinese path to forge valiantly ahead.
The history of Socialist practice and exploration before and after reform and opening up tells us that to realize the Chinese Dream, we must forcefully carry forward the Chinese spirit. In the historical period before reform and opening up, the Party persisted in the guiding position of Marxism, and used patriotism, collectivism and Socialism to educate the people, fostered and formed the spirit of Lei Feng, the spirit of the “Iron Man”, the spirit of Jiao Yulu, the spirit of “two bombs and one satellite” and other spirits rich in characteristics of the time. Since reform and opening up, the Party has persisted in using the newest results of the Sinification of Marxism to arm the entire Party and educate the people, and has composed a glorious chapter for the undertaking of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction with a spirit of forging valiantly ahead and innovative practices that surged like a tidal wave. On the new journey, we must absolutely forcefully carry forward the spirit of the nation with patriotism at the core and the spirit of the time with reform and innovation at the core, incessantly strengthen spiritual bonds that unite all hearts, spiritual drivers of continuous self-renewal, and march towards the future with an eternal spirit of vigour and vitality.
The history of Socialist practice and exploration before and after reform and opening up also tells us that to realise the Chinese Dream, we must broadly concentrate China’s forces. In the historical period before reform and opening up, our country realized a magnificent leap from a few millennia of feudal autocratic politics to people’s democratic politics, and the people have become the masters of the country, society and their own fates. During the years of enthusiast and ardent construction, the Party and the people shared weal and woe, shared joy and sorrow, worked diligently in spite of difficulties, made selfless contributions, and have assembled formidable forces to construct Socialism. Since reform and opening up, the Party has united and coalesced the people of all ethnicities in the entire country under the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and they commonly struggled to realize the magnificent rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. On a new journey, we must absolutely keep our mission firmly in mind, be of one heart and mind, not fear any risk, not be confused because of any disturbance, and use the struggles and wisdom of hundreds of millions of people to assemble undefeatable and overwhelming forces.
Looking back at history, the Party and the people are full of self-confidence; looking into the future, there are splendid prospects for the majestic motherland. Let us closely unite around the Party Centre with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, spare no efforts to broaden the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and struggle untiringly for the realization of the magnificent Chinese Dream!