The CPC Its Mission and Contributions
14 September 2021, 14:473435
The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee
- I. Serving the People Wholeheartedly
- 1. Putting the People First
- . From Victory to Victory with the People
- . The People as Masters of the Country
- . A Good Life for the People
- II. Realizing the Ideals of the Party
- 1. Upholding Marxism
- . Firm Ideals and Convictions
- . Breaking New Ground
- . Defusing Risks and Overcoming Challenges
- III. Robust Leadership and Strong Governance
- 1. A Strong Central Committee
- . Sound Guidelines and Strategies
- . Effective Implementation of Decisions and Plans
- . Pooling the Efforts of All Sectors
- . Fostering High-Caliber Party Officials
- IV. Maintaining Vigor and Vitality
- 1. Upholding Intra-Party Democracy
- . Correcting Mistakes
- . Protecting the Party’s Health
- . Promoting Study and Review
- V. Contributing to World Peace and Development
- 1. Safeguarding World Peace
- . Pursuing Common Development
- . Following the Path of Peaceful Development
- . Building a Global Community of Shared Future
The Communist Party of China (CPC), founded in 1921, has just celebrated its centenary.
These hundred years have been a period of dramatic change – enormous productive forces unleashed, social transformation unprecedented in scale, and huge advances in human civilization. On the other hand, humanity has been afflicted by devastating wars and suffering.
These hundred years have also witnessed profound and transformative change in China. And it is the CPC that has made this change possible.
The Chinese nation is a great nation. With a history dating back more than 5,000 years, China has made an indelible contribution to human civilization. After the Opium War of 1840, however, China found itself plunged into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society. It endured intense humiliation, its people were pushed into darkness, and the ancient Chinese civilization lost its way.
The Chinese people fought with indomitable spirit against repeated setbacks to save the nation from subjugation.
The salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917 sent Marxism-Leninism to China, and the CPC came into being. The Chinese people were awakened, and a torch was lit for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The founding of the CPC was an epoch-making event which profoundly changed the course of China’s history, delivered a new future for the Chinese people and nation, and had an enormous impact on the rest of the world.
During its endeavors over the past century, the CPC has developed a great spirit and carried it forward – upholding truth and ideals, staying true to its founding mission, fighting without fear of danger, and meeting the people’s expectations.
This spirit has continuously inspired the CPC to forge ahead.
As a Marxist party, the CPC, unlike previous political forces, has no special interests of its own to pursue. From the outset, the CPC has made happiness for the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation its abiding goals. Like a beacon, it has illuminated the way forward for the Chinese people.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has grown from a small party with just over 50 members into the largest governing party in the world, with more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people. It is a party of major international standing.
It has governed the world’s largest socialist country for more than seven decades. It has led the Chinese people onto the path towards national rejuvenation and modernization, and it enjoys extensive support from the Chinese people.
Over the past hundred years, all the struggles, sacrifices and efforts made by the CPC and by the Chinese people under its leadership have been directed to one goal – the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
China’s Communists, with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping as their chief representatives, have adapted the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s realities and its traditional culture, and they have gone from victory to victory on their journey towards national rejuvenation.
To realize national rejuvenation, the CPC led the Chinese people in fighting with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the New Democratic Revolution (1919-1949).
Fighting as armed revolutionaries through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation, they defeated the counterrevolutionaries, shattered the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. They secured the independence of the nation, liberated the Chinese people, and put their future in their own hands.
Victory in the New Democratic Revolution brought an end to China’s semi-feudal and semi-colonial status and the disunity that plagued the country. All the unequal treaties imposed on China by imperialist powers and all the privileges they had accorded themselves were abolished. This created the fundamental conditions for realizing national rejuvenation.
By engaging in this tenacious struggle, the CPC and the Chinese people sent a powerful message to the world: The Chinese people had stood upright. The time of oppression and humiliation was over, and it would never return.
To realize national rejuvenation, the CPC led the Chinese people in a dedicated effort to build a strong China, and they achieved great success.
By carrying out the socialist revolution in China, they brought to an end several thousand years of feudalism – a system exploitative and repressive by its very nature – and established socialism as China’s fundamental political system. In the course of building socialism, they overcame subversion, sabotage, and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese nation. This great transformation of a poor, backward and populous country in the East into a modern socialist China created the fundamental political conditions and laid down the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation.
By succeeding in their tenacious struggle, the CPC and the Chinese people showed the world that they were equally capable of changing the old China and building a new one. They showed the world that only socialism could save China, and that socialism could deliver development to China.
To realize national rejuvenation, the CPC led the Chinese people in freeing their minds and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.
The CPC led the people in making a great transition after the founding of the People’s Republic by laying down its general guidelines for the primary stage of socialism. It advanced reform and opening up with resolve, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics.
This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy into a socialist market economy full of vitality, and from a largely closed country to one that is open to the world on all fronts. It also enabled China to achieve a historic leap – from a country constrained by backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy – and to make a historic transformation by raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to general prosperity.
These achievements fueled the push towards national rejuvenation by providing robust institutional conditions and the material base for rapid development.
By succeeding in their tenacious struggle, the CPC and the Chinese people showed the world that reform and opening up has been critical in making China what it is today. China has made great strides and caught up with the times.
To realize national rejuvenation, the CPC has led the Chinese people in carrying out their great struggle, launching a great initiative, advancing their great cause, fulfilling their great dream, and achieving great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
The 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012 marked a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics. In this new era, the Party has strengthened its overall leadership, coordinated the implementation of the Five-sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and modernized China’s system and capacity for governance.
It has adopted a full range of intra-Party regulations and exercised rule-based internal management. It has overcome significant risks and challenges, achieved the First Centenary Goal, and adopted a strategic plan to fulfill the Second Centenary Goal. All these efforts have provided robust institutional conditions, strong material foundations, and a source of inspiration for advancing the cause of national rejuvenation.
By succeeding in their tenacious struggle, the CPC and the Chinese people have shown the world that the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing upright to becoming prosperous and growing in strength, and that China’s rejuvenation is an unstoppable historical force.
At the ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC held on July 1, 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping declared that thanks to the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, China has realized the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that it has put an end to absolute poverty in China, and is now marching in confident strides towards the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country. This is a glorious achievement for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China.
Finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects means realizing a millennia-old dream and a century-old hope of the Chinese nation and fulfilling the solemn promise the CPC made to the people and history. In substantially reducing the world’s poverty-stricken population, China has made an outstanding contribution to human progress.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has led the Chinese people in ending the humiliation and misery inflicted on them in the modern era. Without the CPC, there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation. This is a fact that is clear to the Chinese people based on China’s achievements in revolution, reconstruction, and reform.
The leadership of the CPC is the choice of history and the people. This leadership is vital for the future of the country, the nation, and the Party itself.
Over the past hundred years, through its dauntless efforts to create a new China, the CPC has led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation. The great path they have embarked upon, the great cause they have undertaken, and the great achievements they have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the Chinese nation and humanity.
I. Serving the People Wholeheartedly
The Communist Party of China is the vanguard of China’s working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. Serving the people wholeheartedly is its abiding mission. The country is the people and the people are the country. The Party’s struggle to found a new China and develop it is for the people. Of the people, by the people, for the people – this is what has guided the CPC from victory to victory over the past century.
1. Putting the People First
The CPC is dedicated to the people and forever puts their interests first. It follows the underlying trends of social development and respects the people’s principal role in making history. It pursues the lofty goal of working for the wellbeing of the Chinese people; and does everything in the interests of the people.
The CPC is rooted in the people. It was born in 1921 in the great struggle against feudal rule and foreign aggression, at a time when Marxism-Leninism became integrated with China’s workers movement. From the very day of its creation, the CPC has represented China’s working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. It has no special interests of its own, nor does it represent any interest group, establishment group, or privileged social group. Its only goals are to deliver happiness for the people and achieve national rejuvenation.
The CPC shares the same goals as the people, and it shares a common stake with the people. Drawing support and strength from the people, the Party has grown in strength in the fight to overcome every challenge.
Members of the CPC are ordinary people. They love life and are hard working. They are sincere, open and compassionate. But they are also vanguards and role models in daily life, work, and public activities. They are the first to step forward in case of challenges and dangers, fearless and ready to give their all for the country and the people. They emerge from the people and lead them to go forward. They are Communists – citizens of China both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.
From its very beginning, the CPC has striven to serve the people and won their support and endorsement. It represents the fundamental interests of all the Chinese, and everything it does is to realize, safeguard and advance their interests. Meeting the people’s expectation for a better life is its goal.
The people’s interests are behind everything the Party does – leading revolution, building the armed forces, developing political institutions, boosting the economy, carrying out reform and opening up, developing culture, and exploring better ways of running society.
In China, the state founded by the people under CPC leadership is called the People’s Republic of China; its government is called the people’s government, the armed forces are called the People’s Liberation Army; and Party officials are people’s servants. The Party Central Committee’s newspaper is the People’s Daily, and China’s central bank is called the People’s Bank. The people are the lifeblood of the Party; indeed, they are the inexhaustible source of inspiration giving the Party all the strength it needs to fulfill its mission.
The CPC makes decisions and adopts policies in the fundamental interests of the people. At different stages of China’s revolution, reconstruction and reform, and at historical junctures critical to the future of the Party and the country, the Party has always acted to advance the people’s interests and oppose any action that harms them.
The Party has taken sound development as its top priority in governance. It has unleashed and developed the productive forces to meet the people’s expectation for a better life.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has followed a people-centered philosophy; it has launched a full range of initiatives to achieve common prosperity and uphold fairness and justice.
It has delivered initial prosperity for all. It has fought Covid-19 and saved lives no matter the cost. It has eradicated absolute poverty in the country, implemented the rural revitalization strategy, and promoted a new people-focused urbanization strategy. The vision that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets inspires the drive to protect the environment.
Determined that housing is for living in, not for speculation, the CPC has taken clear steps to keep the housing market under control. It sees that the capital market is properly regulated. It also sees that justice is served in every judicial case. All of this has enabled the people to fully share the country’s development gains.
Over the past century, through all the changes in the domestic and international environment, whether in good times or bad, the CPC has always put the people first. It has never wavered in fulfilling this commitment.
The CPC has made great sacrifices for the people. From the founding of the CPC in 1921 to the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, more than 3.7 million identified members of organizations under Party leadership gave their lives to liberate the country. Of the six family members of Mao Zedong who died for the revolution, five were Party members.
In peaceful times, too, during disaster relief efforts after earthquakes, floods and other emergencies, Party members have rushed to the scene and risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, close to 400 Party members and officials have lost their lives in the line of duty. More than 1,800 Party members and officials also gave their lives in the battle against absolute poverty.
Among all those who have died were rank and file Party members, senior officials, and family members of top Party leaders.
Panel 1 The Fight Against Covid-19
After China was struck by Covid-19, the CPC and the Chinese government responded swiftly, putting people’s lives before all else. It organized massive nucleic acid testing and inoculation, made every effort to identify every case of infection and did everything possible to save patients and protect the people’s health.
Treatment of Covid-19 patients is free of charge in China. All Covid-19 patients, both confirmed and suspected, have received government financial aid to pay for any medical bills not covered by basic medical insurance, serious disease insurance, or the medical assistance fund. As of June 2021, all medical expenditure of inpatients with confirmed infections had reached a total of RMB2.8 billion (with RMB1.6 billion paid by basic medical insurance), or RMB20,000 per person. The average cost of treating each Covid-19 patient in critical condition was more than RMB150,000. The individual cost for some patients in critical condition exceeded RMB1 million, all covered by the government.
Free nucleic acid testing and inoculation have been conducted nationwide. As of July 25, 2021, tests have been conducted on 2.2 billion nucleic acid samples, and more than 1.5 billion Covid-19 vaccines had been injected, with all costs covered by the government.
2. From Victory to Victory with the People
The CPC works in the service of the people. It trusts and relies on the people and mobilizes them to fight for their interests. It follows the mass line, a principle of “from the people, to the people”. It has shared good times and hard times with the people, and it has led them in surmounting all obstacles and making great strides forward.
By relying on the people, the CPC rose and grew strong. It gained the strength it needed to beat powerful enemies, both inside and outside China, and to win victory in the New Democratic Revolution.
During this revolution, in the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the CPC galvanized extensive public support and defeated the first four Kuomintang (KMT) encirclement and suppression campaigns. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the Party mobilized the people and overwhelmed the enemy with a vast people’s war. During the War of Liberation, with supplies transported in wheelbarrows and on people’s shoulders, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) secured decisive victories against the KMT troops in the three major campaigns.
In these contests between progressives and reactionaries and between justice and injustice, the KMT forces shielded themselves in ironclad fortresses, and the Japanese invaders put their faith in their military superiority. However by relying on the people, the CPC defeated them all.
By relying on the people, the CPC founded the People’s Republic, carried out socialist revolution, and engaged in rebuilding the country from scratch. The founding of the People’s Republic marked the ultimate moment of freedom for the Chinese people from the yoke of slavery and oppression. Now masters of their own country, the people threw themselves into reconstruction to create a bright future for the country and the nation.
In just a few years, an independent and substantial industrial and economic system took shape in China. Groundbreaking successes were achieved in nuclear technology, satellites, carrier rockets and other cutting-edge technologies, and major advances were made in China’s overall development.
By relying on the people, the CPC carried out reform, opening up and socialist modernization, pioneering a path of socialism that is distinctively Chinese.
The reform and opening-up initiative launched by the CPC in 1978 freed people’s minds, inspiring them to boldly explore new frontiers. The household contract system was introduced in rural areas, and village and township businesses flourished. The setting up of special economic zones connected China to the world, enabling it to introduce foreign technology and capital and export Chinese products. Waves of reform swept across the country, powering China’s development. With dedication and resolve, the Chinese people achieved great success in modernization, completing the greatest social and economic transformation the world has ever seen.
By relying on the people, the CPC has ushered Chinese socialism into a new era. Since its 18th National Congress, the Party has galvanized the whole nation to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and boosted economic vitality with further reform. Its successful internal initiatives to improve Party conduct have boosted public morale.
The Chinese people have given of their best and fully released their power of creation in pursuit of their shared dreams. They have carried out further reform and achieved all-round initial prosperity. They have eradicated absolute poverty. They have fought side by side in the battle against Covid-19. They have reined in environmental pollution. And they have succeeded in keeping systemic risks at bay. Their hard work has made it possible for China to turn its blueprint for development into reality. Together, the Chinese people are creating miracles that stun the world. Proud and confident, they are pressing ahead on the path of Chinese socialism.
Over the past century, hundreds of millions of Chinese have dedicated themselves to realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Their contribution will go down in the annals of history; their epic deeds will be remembered by posterity. The people have created history, and they are the source of the Party’s strength. The Chinese are a great, glorious, and heroic people – this is a fact fully borne out by the 100-year history of the CPC.
3. The People as Masters of the Country
The people should run their own country – this is an abiding commitment of the CPC. Over the past hundred years, it has led the people in realizing people’s democracy in China, a country with a feudal history dating back several thousand years that descended into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society after the Opium War.
Under the CPC’s leadership, democracy has been practiced in the whole process of the country’s revolution, reconstruction and reform, in all aspects of governance, and in every field of economic and social life. Democracy, a shared value, has taken root in China as a political institution and mechanism of governance, and the Chinese people now truly hold in their own hands the future of the country, society and themselves.
The CPC has made unremitting efforts to explore new ways of realizing people’s democracy.
During the New Democratic Revolution, the Party committed to developing workers’ and peasants’ democracy and people’s democracy, and set up Soviet congresses of workers, peasants and soldiers, assemblies of representatives, and representative conferences of people from all sectors.
When the People’s Republic of China was founded, the people’s democratic dictatorship was adopted as the governing system, and the system of people’s congresses was instituted as the governing structure, thus enabling the people to run their own country.
Since the launch of reform and opening up, the CPC has worked to ensure the Party’s leadership, the people’s position as the masters of the country, and law-based governance, which have become fundamental principles of democratic socialism with distinctive Chinese features.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has set Eight Criteria to ensure that China’s political system is a democratic one that delivers, and these criteria underpin the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Party takes the development of democracy as a matter of comprehensive and far-reaching significance. To ensure the people’s principal position, improve the performance of the Party and the state, and arouse the people’s enthusiasm, the Party has expanded socialist democracy, advanced electoral democracy, and developed consultative democracy.
Instituted by the CPC, the system of people’s congresses is China’s fundamental political system. The Party fully solicits the views of the people and heeds their voices, and formulates its policies accordingly.
In a framework under which the Party exercises leadership over the law-making process, and the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee exercise the power of legislation, the Party’s core beliefs have, through proper legal procedures, been written into the Constitution, the law, and codes of conduct for all the people, state institutions, the armed forces, political parties, social organizations, enterprises and public institutions. The system of people’s congresses ensures the CPC’s leadership, the people’s position as masters of the country, and law-based governance, and it gives full expression to the guidelines of the CPC, the will of the state, and the expectations of the people. This system has been further consolidated and developed since the 18th National Congress of the CPC. The mechanism to ensure that deputies to people’s congresses engage with the people has been strengthened, enabling them to better perform their duties, and enabling the people’s congresses and their standing committees to better play their roles.
In addition to practicing and improving the system of people’s congresses, the CPC has led the people in establishing and developing a number of other political systems, including the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of community-level self-governance. These systems ensure that the people run their country.
Consultative democracy is a distinctive feature of China’s socialist democracy. It means consultation among political parties, people’s congresses, government departments, committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), people’s organizations, communities, and social organizations. It has enriched democracy by expanding its forms and channels.
The system of regional ethnic autonomy provides an institutional base for all ethnic groups to run the country together. It fully protects the equal rights of all 56 ethnic groups and the power of self-governance in ethnic autonomous areas, underpins development in ethnic minority areas, and reinforces ethnic unity.
Under the system of community-level self-governance, urban and rural residents directly exercise their democratic right to manage community affairs and programs for public benefit. Community-level governance in China is a dynamic, harmonious and orderly process.
The system of democratic management by employees congresses in enterprises and public institutions plays an active role in protecting the lawful rights and interests of the employees. It ensures they run their own affairs, enhances vitality of these organizations, and helps them to flourish and prosper.
The CPC conducts whole-process democracy. This practice is supported by public consultation, under which public issues are discussed by all those involved to reach extensive consensus.
Under whole-process democracy, the people exercise their democratic rights through a variety of channels – in regular elections, and through involvement in decision-making on major public affairs that are important to the economy and people’s lives. This democracy is conducted not only by means of elections, but also through democratic consultation, decision-making, management, scrutiny, and other mechanisms of governance. It is not only a political activity; it also relates to economic, cultural, social and other fields. Indeed, it has become an integral part of daily life and work.
The Chinese people enjoy extensive democratic rights. The days of isolation are gone in China, and democracy is the order of the day. The Chinese people now live in contentment, and Chinese society is full of vitality.
Panel 2 Whole-Process Democracy
Whole-process democracy, including democratic election, consultation, decision-making, management and scrutiny, operates across all of China’s governance mechanisms.
By April 2021, more than 2.6 million people from various ethnic groups, sectors, social groups, and political parties, including a large number of workers and farmers, had served as deputies to people’s congresses at all levels. Since 2016, more than one billion registered voters have elected close to 2.5 million deputies to county and township level people’s congresses.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, public opinion has been solicited on 187 draft laws. Over 3 million submissions have been made by 1.1 million people, and many important proposals from these submissions have been adopted. During the compilation of the Civil Code, ten rounds of public opinion were solicited, and more than one million proposals were collected from 425,000 people.
Since 2012, the CPC Central Committee has held or entrusted its relevant departments to convene more than 170 consultative meetings to hear views and proposals from the eight non-CPC political parties and from public figures with no party affiliation (non-affiliates) on major issues, such as the 14th Five-year Plan, and the formulation of the reports to be delivered by the general secretary to the CPC National Congress and plenary sessions of the CPC Central Committee.
Non-affiliates and the central committees of the other parties have submitted more than 730 written proposals, many of which have been incorporated into major policy decisions. From its first session in March 2018 to April 2021, the 13th CPPCC National Committee received 23,049 various proposals.
During the critical battle against poverty, the CPC Central Committee asked the central committees of the other political parties to each supervise poverty alleviation efforts in one of eight poor provinces and autonomous regions in central and western China. More than 36,000 people from these parties were involved in this work. They made more than 2,400 proposals to the Party committees and governments of these provinces and autonomous regions, and submitted more than 80 reports to the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
Democracy is a shared value; it is not something to be claimed by any one country. There is no fixed model of democracy; it comes in many forms. In judging whether a particular form of democracy works, one needs to see whether it is adapted to a country’s history and culture, whether it conforms to its conditions, whether it can deliver political stability and social progress, whether it can improve people’s lives, whether it can win public support, and whether it can contribute to advancing the progressive cause of humanity. Democracy as practiced in China is rooted in China’s history and culture. It fits the country’s conditions and enjoys popular support. The CPC is committed to developing socialist democracy with distinctive Chinese features. It will continue to enrich China’s model of democracy and ensure its sound development.
4. A Good Life for the People
Everything the CPC has done in revolution, reconstruction and reform is designed to ensure a good life for the people. Over the past century, China has undergone tremendous changes turning itself from a poor and war-torn country into a dynamic and prosperous one. It is now the world’s second largest economy, growing in composite strength and international standing. It has thriving cosmopolitan cities, beautiful and harmonious countryside, advanced infrastructure, a safe and convenient transport network, a dynamic market, and a stable and orderly society. Its people are leading a comfortable life to which they have aspired for several thousand years, and they are working towards common prosperity.
The people’s lives have greatly improved. They have shaken off absolute poverty and achieved moderate prosperity in all respects. Their rights to existence and development are well protected, and they feel happier, safer and more secure. With a per capita gross national income surpassing US$10,000, China has joined the ranks of upper-middle income economies, and is on its way to become a high-income country. The urban-rural income gap is steadily shrinking, and China has a middle-income group of 400 million people, the biggest in the world.
The employment market in China is stable. At the end of 2020, almost 751 million people in China were in employment.
China has built the world’s largest social security network, with basic medical insurance covering 1.3 billion people by the end of June 2021. During the same period, one billion people were covered by basic old-age insurance, 222 million by unemployment insurance, and 274 million by work-related injury insurance. The people have better access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance.
The cultural sector is flourishing, and the Chinese people enjoy colorful and enriching cultural activities. China has done much to protect its environment; across the country there are more blue skies, lush mountains and lucid waters. China maintains long-term social harmony and stability, and its people live in peace and contentment in a country widely recognized as one of the safest in the world.
Improvement of Living Standards in China
Early years of the PRC (1950s)
Rural poverty incidence
Almost all were in abject poverty
All rural residents living below the current poverty line were lifted out of poverty
Per capita disposable income
77.3 years (2019)
Infant mortality rate
200 per 1,000
48 per 1,000
5.4 per 1,000
Enrollment rate of school-age children
Average years of schooling among population aged 15 and above
More than 80 percent of the population were illiterate
Gross enrollment rate of higher education
The mindset of the Chinese people has changed profoundly. They have strong faith in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism. They now view themselves as the equals of any other in the world. They celebrate the CPC, socialism, reform and opening up, the motherland, and the unity of all ethnic groups in China. Patriotism, reform, innovation, and hard work have taken root in their minds. Core Socialist Values are practiced, and traditional Chinese culture is full of vitality. All of this fills Chinese society with positive energy and confidence.
The Chinese people value and uphold freedom. They enjoy true, comprehensive and extensive freedom. While pursuing their own individual freedoms, they also work to promote common prosperity, development, social harmony and stability. United as one, they face difficulties head-on, rise to challenges, and strive for success. They regard all the world’s peoples as one big family, and wish peace and a better life for everyone.
Energetic, passionate young Chinese are dedicating themselves to the cause of the CPC and the people, and they are at the forefront in working to rejuvenate the Chinese nation.
While China has achieved remarkable successes as a result of a dedicated effort made over many years, it is still in the primary stage of socialism and will long remain so. China is still the largest developing country in the world. There is still a long way to go before China can resolve the principal challenge it faces – the gap between unbalanced and inadequate development and the growing expectation of the people for a better life – and deliver prosperity to all its 1.4 billion people.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has won the heartfelt support of the people, not with rhetoric, but with actions and outcomes and by meeting repeated challenges. This support has never wavered since the Chinese people first chose the CPC to lead them. The Party and the people work together and share weal and woe, and there is an inseparable bond between them. No attempt to sever that bond will ever succeed, and any attempt to shake the people’s faith in the Party’s leadership is doomed to fail.
II. Realizing the Ideals of the Party
Struggle is a distinctive attribute of the CPC. In a complex domestic and international environment, China has encountered unprecedented difficulties and challenges in its revolution, reconstruction, and reform. Since it was founded a hundred years ago, the Party has never given up on the struggle, whatever hardships, existential trials, or bitter sacrifices it faced. These hundred years have seen the Party fight on, guided by Marxism, and buttressed by firm convictions, an enterprising spirit, and unyielding determination.
1. Upholding Marxism
Marxism is the single guiding ideology, the very soul of the CPC, and the banner under which it strives. Fundamentally, the strength of the Party and the strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works. The Party’s history of struggle is a process of continuing to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and to explore creative and innovative ideas.
Inscribing Marxism on its own banner. Marxism reveals the universal laws of the natural world, human society, and the human mind, pointing the direction for humanity and human civilization to progress. The communist and socialist ideals expounded in Marxism tally with Chinese cultural values such as a people-centered orientation, harmony, and unity in diversity. They are consistent with the dream pursued by noble and idealistic Chinese for generations – to build a strong and prosperous nation. And they accord with the aspiration of Chinese progressives, dating back to the Opium War, to rescue the nation from subjugation. A key feature of Marxism is that it not only defines the ideals of communism, but also specifies the ways and means by which they can be achieved.
When Marxism was introduced to China, the founders of the CPC first reflected on it and conducted careful analysis, then gained hands-on experience, and finally chose to embrace it wholeheartedly. Since China’s Communists chose Marxism, they have remained firm in upholding and developing it. Never have they wavered in their commitment, deviated from its goals, or abandoned it in favor of other options.
Using Marxism as a powerful ideological weapon to seek the truth, understand the world and its laws, and transform it, rather than applying rigid dogma. Respecting reality and combining with the people are the characteristics and strengths of the CPC.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has continued to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times. Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era are the results. The Party has thus devised well-conceived theories for its own and the people’s guidance, and made an enormous and original contribution to enriching Marxism.
At the fundamental level, the CPC’s successes can be attributed to its mastery of powerful theoretical weapons to correctly understand, scientifically analyze, and effectively solve problems by applying the Marxist stance, viewpoint and methodology. Experience has proved that the CPC’s choice of Marxism is correct. On the journey ahead, considering China’s realities in contemporary times the Party will continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to the best of China’s traditional culture, and use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times in the 21st century.
2. Firm Ideals and Convictions
From the outset, the CPC has championed the cause of socialism and communism. Over the past hundred years, standing firm in its ideals and convictions, it has led the people to press forward towards these goals. It has established, upheld and developed socialism, upheld the principles of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and demonstrated the vitality and bright prospects of socialism. The Party has remained true to socialism, and socialism has proved its worth to China.
Rising through adversity and failures. In the years of revolutionary war, the CPC was repeatedly confronted with difficulties and setbacks, to the extent that its very survival was threatened. After the failure of the Great Revolution (1924-1927), the membership of the Party fell from around 60,000 to just over 10,000. After defeat in the fifth encirclement and suppression campaign by the KMT in 1934, the Party and the Red Army were seriously weakened. The Battle of Xiangjiang soon after the beginning of the Long March cost the Central Red Army more than 50,000 of its 86,000 troops. But for all that the situation was bleak, the CPC remained unshaken in its convictions. It shook off its pursuers, rose above adversity, and emerged stronger from the setbacks.
After the founding of the PRC, the country faced testing military and economic challenges and hostility from abroad. Led by the CPC, and fearless of hardship and death, the people overcame these challenges. A new socialist China soon stood firm in the East.
From the late 1980s to early 1990s, when the tide of world socialism was on the ebb, the CPC led the people to press forward on the path of Chinese socialism, heedless of all obstacles.
In the new era, faced with the formidable tasks of reform, development and stability, and confronted by an unpromising external environment, the Party has led the people to continue the great historic struggle and to champion the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Difficulties, failures and setbacks in the past hundred years have never prevented the CPC from forging ahead; they have only made it stronger and helped it mature. At critical historical junctures and in times of crisis, the Party has stood firm in ideals and convictions, rising undaunted to face challenges. This has demonstrated its strength, increased the people’s trust and confidence, transformed its own prospects and those of the country, and advanced the cause of socialism.
Fighting in both favorable and unfavorable circumstances. After securing victory in its military campaigns, the CPC maintained its fighting spirit and strove to avoid complacency. After becoming the governing party of China, it continued to remain modest and prudent, never arrogant or impetuous. In leading reconstruction in the cities in peace time, it preserved the style of plain living and hard struggle and never fell victim to the desire for creature comforts. In the process of reform and opening up, the CPC endeavors to guard against the erosive influence of feudalist and capitalist decadence.
Entering the new era, the CPC has never allowed itself to be carried away by the successes the Party and the state have achieved. It has warned all its members that they must never surrender to complacency or sclerotic thinking, never falter, never waver; rather, they must remain alert to dangers in times of peace and keep fighting.
Over the past hundred years the Party has never rested on its laurels, slackened its efforts, or allowed flattery and praise to dilute its spirit and will to fight.
Being firmly grounded while aiming high for the future. Every generation of Party members has fulfilled its respective missions and kept pressing forward. The ideals of communism can only be realized by the Party based on fully developed and highly advanced socialism. Communists in China believe that if they keep fighting for this with sufficient effort over generations it can be achieved. In the battle to realize national rejuvenation, the Party and the people will pass on the torch from one generation to the next, with each generation fulfilling its duties for the benefit of the next.
Forging a fighting spirit in hard work and working hard to keep that spirit. Carrying forward its founding spirit, the CPC has fought hard and persevered. It has developed a set of inspiring principles which are manifested in the ranks of its revolutionary martyrs defiant in the face of death, its hard-working heroes, and its selfless and devoted models. This invaluable spirit has been distilled into the lifeblood of the Chinese nation, boosting the Chinese people’s morale, and creating longer, fuller and stronger support for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Over the past hundred years, led by the CPC, the Chinese people have changed the face of the country through their arduous efforts, and more importantly, reshaped China’s national psyche.
3. Breaking New Ground
China’s revolution, reconstruction and reform are unprecedented undertakings, with no previous examples to serve as a guide. Facing new situations and new problems on the way forward, and employing indomitable courage and determination, the CPC has succeeded in blazing a new trail from the unknown to the realms of freedom. All its endeavors have advanced the cause of socialism in China.
Recognizing the prevailing trends in the world, seizing and making the most of historic opportunities. There is an essential logic to the progress of human history. Over the past hundred years, the CPC has developed with this logic and kept pace with the trends of the times, constantly adjusting its strategies and policies in accordance with changing circumstances.
The founding of the CPC, the founding of a socialist people’s republic, and the launch of reform and opening up all followed underlying global trends. Based on its belief that peace and development were the themes of the times, the CPC pressed ahead with its plans for reform, opening up and modernization. It seized the opportunity of rapid advances in science and technology around the world, and applied the important proposition that “science and technology constitute a primary productive force”. It mobilized the resources of the whole country in a series of key national science and technology research and development programs such as the 863 Program and the 973 Program. All of this strengthened China’s capacity for original innovation and resulted in significant progress in high-tech and key industries.
The CPC followed the trend of economic globalization and initiated a set of major reform and opening-up measures, for example, creating special economic zones, opening up Shanghai Pudong New Area, implementing the strategies of “bringing in” and “going global”, and acceding to the World Trade Organization, all of which helped the Chinese economy to integrate with the international economy.
At the turn of the century, the CPC seized the first two decades as an important period of strategic opportunity to focus on development and promote more rapid growth.
In the new era, the CPC has implemented the strategy of national rejuvenation within the context of global changes of a scale unseen in a century. It has judged that “China remains in an important period of strategic opportunity for development”, and that “both opportunities and challenges are unprecedented in scale, with more opportunities than challenges in general”.
To tap into the trends of peace, cooperation, multi-polarity, economic globalization, and democracy in international relations, the Party places greater emphasis on the quality of growth. To this end, it has introduced and is implementing a new development philosophy and a new development dynamic as the country enters a new development stage. In external relations, the CPC pursues high-standard opening up and promotes win-win cooperation with more countries in more areas, on a larger scale, and in greater depth. The CPC is willing to contribute more to the world while promoting China’s own development.
Following an independent path. To carry out revolution, reconstruction and reform in a poor and backward country with a large population, it is fundamental to choose the right path.
During the New Democratic Revolution, the CPC initially opted to follow the Soviet example of insurrection in key cities. But that proved unsuccessful. It then reviewed the lessons learned, summarized the experience gained, and embarked on the correct path of encircling the cities from the countryside and seizing state power with military force.
After the founding of the People’s Republic, the CPC applied itself to learning from the Soviet Union. Encountering problems with the Soviet model, it began to explore its own path for building socialism. Since the beginning of reform and opening up, it has led the people in identifying, upholding, broadening, and committing to the path best suited to China’s actual conditions – socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In economic development, the Party has always adhered to the principle of self-reliance. To ensure that robust development continues amid mounting instability and uncertainties in the international environment, the Party has made the major strategic decision to accelerate the fostering of a double development dynamic, with the domestic economy and international engagement reinforcing each other, and the former as the mainstay.
In the field of science and technology, the Party has led the people in independent and self-reliant development. With their own strength, the Chinese people have put in place a complete and independent system of academic disciplines and a comprehensive program of scientific research, paving the way for independent innovation with Chinese characteristics.
All of this has carried forward the country’s scientific and technological strength and capacity for innovation in leaps and bounds. In the early days of the People’s Republic, even matches and iron nails had to be imported. China now leads the world in quantum communication, artificial intelligence and 5G technology. Its Shenzhou manned spacecraft and Tiangong space lab are orbiting the earth. The rover Zhurong has landed on Mars and is engaged in scientific exploration. Its manned submersible, Jiaolong, dived to the deep sea. All of these serve to demonstrate how China has significantly improved its independent scientific and technological capabilities.
In the process of socialist modernization, the Party has led the people in realizing coordinated material, political, cultural, social and eco-environmental progress, pioneering a new and distinctively Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human progress, and refuting the myth that modernization can be achieved only by following the capitalist model.
One of the basic reasons for the Party’s success is its adherence to the principles of independence and self-reliance. It follows its own path in managing China’s affairs in accordance with the country’s own realities and characteristics. The Chinese people have the courage, confidence, and ability to manage their own affairs well.
Emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts and moving forward with unrelenting courage. In all of its endeavors in revolution, reconstruction and reform, the CPC has always proceeded from reality rather than placing its faith in books or established authority. It has constantly explored new paths, free from hidebound restrictions and proscriptive models.
In its long-term leadership of economic development, the Party has adopted the basic principles of Marxist political economics and applied them in China’s realities, shifting from a model of pure public ownership to a model where public ownership plays the dominant role alongside economic entities under diverse forms of ownership. It is committed to consolidating and developing the public sector of the economy, and to encouraging, supporting, and guiding the non-public sector of the economy. The economic system has been reformed from a traditional planned economy to a socialist market economy, so that the market can play a decisive rather than a supportive role in resource allocation, while the government can fulfill its role better. This has ensured that the lifelines of the Chinese economy remain firmly in the hands of the Party and the people, and that economic development serves the interests of the people and the country. Market entities can be more innovative, and the productive forces have been unleashed and allowed to develop.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China’s reform has entered uncharted waters and encountered new problems. The Party has shown tremendous political courage, enacting more than 2,400 measures to remove deep-rooted obstacles, and promoting further comprehensive reform. This has achieved decisive results in key areas and boosted the driving forces of development. In pursuing reform, the Party encourages bold experiments and innovation while making sure that progress continues in the right direction. The basis of reform has always been upholding and improving socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing the country’s system and capacity for governance. Pressing ahead with reform and development while maintaining the stability of the country, it has rejected both the old and rigid closed-door policy, and any attempt to abandon socialism in favor of some erroneous path.
Understanding, grasping and following the laws of development. The ability to grasp and follow the objective laws of development is an important skill for a progressive Marxist party. The CPC has continued to expand its understanding of governance by a communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society, and to apply them in practice as a guide for action.
In developing socialism, the Party has constantly asked and answered a series of key questions, such as:
- • “What is socialism?”
- • “How should we build socialism?”
- • “What kind of a political party should the CPC be?”
- • “How should we build the CPC?”
- • “What kind of development should we pursue?”
- • “How should we pursue this development?”
- • “What is socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era?”
- • “How should we uphold and develop this socialism?”
It has given a series of new answers that have enriched and developed scientific socialism, and gained a much deeper understanding of the essence and nature of socialism, such as:
- • “Poverty is not socialism. Development that is too slow is not socialism, either.”
- • “The nature of socialism is to release and develop the productive forces, eliminate exploitation and polarization, and achieve common prosperity.”
- • “Achieving common prosperity is the essential requirement of socialism.”
The CPC has also gained a much deeper understanding of the process of building a socialist system, from establishing the basic socialist system in the early days of the PRC, through creating socialism with Chinese characteristics after the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy, to upholding and improving socialism with Chinese characteristics since the 18th CPC National Congress. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has matured with the completion of an overall framework of systems for state governance.
The CPC has also come to a deeper understanding of the laws of economic and social development, as reflected by its shift from “fast and sound growth” to “sound and fast growth”, from “economic growth” to “economic development”, from “high-speed growth” to “high-quality development”, from “accelerating development” to “equal emphasis on development and security”, from “the vision of comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development” to “the vision of innovation-based, coordinated, green, open and shared development”. Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has initiated the Five-sphere Integrated Plan, the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, the Eight Clarifications1 and
1 The Eight Clarifications:
- • that the overarching task of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernization and national rejuvenation, and on the basis of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a two-step approach should be taken to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the 21st century.
- • that the principal challenge facing Chinese society in the new era is the gap between unbalanced and inadequate development and the growing expectation of the people for a better life, which requires further commitment to the people-centered philosophy of development, well-rounded human development, and common prosperity for everyone.
- • that the overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the Five-sphere Integrated Plan, and the overall strategy is the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy, with an emphasis on stronger confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
- • that the overall goal of in-depth reform in every field is to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernize China’s system and capacity for governance.
- • that the overall goal of comprehensively advancing law-based governance is to establish a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and build a country of socialist rule of law.
- • that the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era is to build the armed forces of the people into world-class forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct.
- • that major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a global community of shared future.
- • that the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC; the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC; the Party is the highest force for political leadership, setting forth the general requirements for strengthening the Party in the new era and underlining the importance of reinforcing the Party’s political foundations.
the Fourteen Imperatives”1, which exemplify the Party’s new understanding of the nature of governance by a communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society.
Socialism can solve problems that other social systems cannot, and can achieve sustained, well-rounded human development and common prosperity. After several decades, socialism in China is still at the primary stage. The Party’s understanding and practical experience of socialism with Chinese characteristics is still very limited, with many more questions to answer and many more problems to solve. The Party will continue to explore how best to advance socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era by building a deeper understanding of its nature and laws.
4. Defusing Risks and Overcoming Challenges
China has carried out its revolution, reconstruction and reform against a backdrop of both conventional and exceptional risks and challenges, from both inside and outside the Party, from both within China
1 The Fourteen Imperatives are:
- • ensuring Party leadership over all endeavors,
- • people-centered development,
- • comprehensive and in-depth reform,
- • a new vision for development,
- • the people running the country,
- • law-based governance,
- • core socialist values,
- • improvement of the people’s lives through development,
- • harmony between humanity and nature,
- • a holistic approach to national security,
- • absolute Party leadership over the people’s forces,
- • the principle of One Country, Two Systems for national reunification,
- • the building of a global community of shared future,
- • the full and rigorous implementation of the Party’s discipline.
The Fourteen Imperatives form the fundamental guideline that underpins the endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
and abroad, and from both human society and nature. The CPC has led the people in defusing these risks and meeting these challenges with courage, confidence and resilience, while promoting the cause of socialism. It has secured and consolidated its position as the governing party, guaranteed national security, and ensured continuous and consistent development.
The Party is always ready to protect against potential dangers even in times of peace. Founded in years of trial and tribulation and maturing in adversity, the CPC always keeps in mind the ancient wisdom that “One should be mindful of potential danger in times of peace, the risk of downfall in times of rise, and potential chaos in times of stability.”
In the years of revolutionary war, the CPC maintained a high level of vigilance during a life-and-death struggle, and grew in size and strength despite being menaced by formidable enemies.
During reform and opening up, faced with frequent social conflicts and disputes, and major setbacks to world socialism, the CPC made it a priority to increase its ability to fend off threats, and successfully dealt with various risks and challenges.
After its 18th National Congress, the CPC was fully aware of the major changes in the domestic and international environment. One of its major principles of governance is to be always on guard against potential dangers in times of peace. It has made national security its top priority in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. Always alert to the worst possible scenarios, the Party adopts proactive strategies and strives for the best results.
In every historical period, the CPC has remained vigilant and clearheaded about the situation, seizing the initiative on every occasion and ensuring success in defusing risks and overcoming challenges.
The Party meets major risks and challenges head-on. It never hesitates in taking resolute action to address risks and challenges that threaten its position as the governing party, or endanger the stability of state power, the core interests of the country, the fundamental interests of the people, or the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Shortly after the founding of the PRC, in the face of threats and provocation by American imperialism, the CPC had the courage to resist US aggression and aid Korea, in defense of the motherland and at the cost of its own economic development. Victory in this war foiled the aggressors’ attempt to suffocate the new-born PRC, and established a firm foothold for the country.
After the launch of reform and opening up, the Party led the people through the political turbulence in 1989, the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the global financial crisis in 2008, and a succession of unprecedented natural disasters. It emerged victorious from the fight against the SARS epidemic in 2002 and the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008. It adopted resolute and lawful measures to quell the riots, robbery, arson and vandalism in Lhasa and Urumqi. It also resisted attempts to isolate, suppress and contain China by external political forces.
Since 2012, faced with a sensitive and volatile international situation, and challenging tasks related to domestic reform, development and stability, the Party has placed equal emphasis on development and security, pursued a holistic approach to national security, and led the people in an effective response to major risks, challenges, obstacles and conflicts by exploring new opportunities and breaking new ground.
It has promoted supply-side reform to stave off economic risks. It has implemented effective countermeasures in the economic and trade friction provoked by the US. It has won a strategic victory in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. It has taken a series of resolute measures to restore order in Hong Kong and ensure a turn for the better in the region. All of these actions have contributed to social stability in China and sound and sustained economic development.
The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will not be easily achieved. It cannot be achieved merely by beating drums and clanging gongs. There will be all kinds of foreseeable and unforeseeable difficulties on the way forward. The CPC is a major political party that has accumulated rich experience in the long-term struggle over the last hundred years, which has enabled it to withstand risks and address complex issues. No matter the difficulties, the Party will lead the people to final victory.
On its centennial journey, the CPC has tempered its character with the courage to vanquish formidable enemies, defuse risks, and overcome challenges. This has become the Party’s defining quality. All of its achievements are the results of the hard work of generations of Party members, and the base on which the cause will continue to prosper. The success of the Party in the past equips it to face the future with full confidence.
III. Robust Leadership and Strong Governance
China is a huge country with a large population and complex national conditions. In order to achieve independence, development, and prosperity it must have robust and decisive leadership. It is the CPC’s solidarity and unity, its firm leadership, and its strong governance capability that have rallied and united hundreds of millions of the Chinese people and overcome a multitude of difficulties and crises.
1. A Strong Central Committee
The CPC is a mature Marxist political party organized in accordance with the principle of democratic centralism. Upholding the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized leadership has always been one of the Party’s fundamental operational principles. Democratic centralism involves Party members deferring to Party organizations, the minority deferring to the majority, lower-level Party organizations deferring to higher-level organizations, and the whole Party deferring to the Central Committee. This and upholding the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized leadership are strengths the Party has built from valuable experience gained during revolution, reconstruction and reform.
Upholding the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized leadership has led to smooth and steady progress in China, and ensures the CPC’s position as the governing party and the country’s long-term stability.
The first generation of the CPC central collective leadership with Mao Zedong at the core united the whole Party and the people and led them on the revolutionary path, using rural areas to encircle the cities and seizing state power with military force. It was under its centralized leadership that the Party and the people completed the New Democratic Revolution, founded the People’s Republic of China, succeeded in socialist revolution, established socialism as the country’s basic system, and advanced socialist development. All of this led to success in the broadest and most profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation. It also laid down the political and institutional groundwork for all future progress and provided invaluable experience, a theoretical base, and the material conditions for Chinese socialism in the new historical period.
After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, the second generation of the Party’s central collective leadership with Deng Xiaoping at the core led the Party and the people in a historic shift of focus to economic development and reform and opening up. Based on its keen understanding of the essence of socialism, the Party established its basic line for the primary stage of socialism, made it clear that China must define its own approach in building socialism, and provided answers to a series of basic questions. This marked the creation of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
After the Fourth Plenary Session of the 13th CPC Central Committee in 1989, the third generation of the Party’s central collective leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core led the Party and the people in defending socialism with Chinese characteristics in a complex domestic and international situation and in the face of serious setbacks experienced by socialism worldwide. It established the objectives and framework of reform for developing the socialist market economy, and put in place basic economic and distribution systems in the primary stage of socialism, advancing Chinese socialism into the 21st century.
After the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, the Central Committee with Hu Jintao as general secretary led the Party and the people in promoting innovation in theory, practice, and systems in the course of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, with a focus on people-centered, all-round, coordinated, and sustainable development, and upholding and building socialism with Chinese characteristics, at a new historical point.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core has led the Party and the people in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream, upholding and improving the Party’s overall leadership, and implementing the Five-sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy. The Party has made greater efforts to improve Chinese socialism, modernize the system and capacity for governing the country, and uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics. All of this has prompted historic shifts and led to historic achievements in the cause of the Party and the country, ushering Chinese socialism into a new era. The prospects of national rejuvenation are ever brighter.
Since 2012, the CPC Central Committee has taken a series of effective measures to strengthen the overall leadership by the Party and uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized leadership. The central leadership has emphasized that:
- (1) The Party exercises leadership over all areas of endeavor across the country and is the highest force for political leadership;
- (2) Upholding overall Party leadership means first and foremost upholding the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized leadership, which is the highest principle of the Party’s leadership and the fundamental political discipline and rule;
- (3) It is important to strengthen the consciousness of the need to maintain political commitment, think in terms of the broader picture, follow the core leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and act in accordance with its requirements; to enhance confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism; and to resolutely uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in the CPC Central Committee and in the Party as a whole.
The 19th CPC National Congress in 2017 emphasized: “Leadership by the CPC is the defining feature of Chinese socialism and the greatest strength of this system. The Party is the highest force for political leadership.” The congress confirmed this principle as a significant element of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and this major political principle has been enshrined in the CPC Constitution. In 2018 the 13th National People’s Congress adopted at its first session an amendment to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. In addition to providing for the CPC’s leading position in its Preamble, the amended Constitution explicitly stipulates in its General Principles that leadership by the Party is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
To uphold the CPC Central Committee’s authority and its centralized leadership through concrete actions, the CPC has improved its leadership system and its working mechanism. The Central Committee has issued a series of regulations to this end:
- • ensuring Party organizations and initiatives cover all areas;
- • improving the system by which the Central Committee exercises leadership over major tasks;
- • strengthening the roles and functions of relevant Central Committee offices in decision-making, deliberation and coordination, and improving the mechanism by which the Central Committee’s major decisions are implemented;
- • strictly enforcing the system by which all important issues are promptly reported;
- • developing practical measures and making institutional arrangements to implement the principle of upholding the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized leadership.
In recent years, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has held dedicated meetings to hear annual work reports of CPC leadership groups of the NPC Standing Committee, the State Council, the CPPCC National Committee, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the report of the CPC Central Committee Secretariat. Each member of the Political Bureau has submitted a written work report to the Central Committee and General Secretary Xi Jinping every year. This has been one of the institutional arrangements for strengthening and upholding the Central Committee’s centralized leadership.
To uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized leadership, a robust leadership core is the top priority. During the New Democratic Revolution, it was at the Zunyi Conference in 1935 that Mao Zedong was confirmed as the de facto leader of the Party Central Committee and the Red Army, and the Party’s first central collective leadership with Mao Zedong at the core took shape. This move circumvented a serious threat to China’s revolution and resulted in positive progress. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, with Xi Jinping at the core of the Central Committee, the Party, the country, the people, the military, and the whole Chinese nation have made unprecedented headway.
Over the past hundred years since its founding in 1921, the CPC has been able to build consensus among its members on the way forward and take concerted actions; the fundamental reason for this is its robust leadership core, which has played a unique and irreplaceable role in leading the Party to grow stronger despite all the difficulties it has encountered.
Both history and reality have shown to us that only with a firm and effective leadership core can the Central Committee exert authority and the Party remain strong.
Upholding the leadership core of the CPC in no way involves the creation of any kind of personality cult – something the CPC has resolutely opposed ever since it was first founded. The Party’s Constitution explicitly stipulates that “The Party proscribes all forms of personality cult.” The Party leadership core never wields unlimited power or engages in decision-making at will; instead, it takes on heavy responsibilities in steering the Party and the country. The CPC is organized on the basis of democratic centralism, so its leadership core functions by that principle, observes the system of collective leadership, and acts within the scope of the country’s Constitution and the law. The Party leadership core does not emerge through entitlement; it is not self-proclaimed. It comes into being through long-term experience under sound leadership and as a common choice of the whole Party and the whole country.
China’s history, which dates back thousands of years, and its revolution, reconstruction and reform have fully demonstrated that only with a robust centralized authority to maintain unity of the whole country and rally the people can the nation achieve long-term peace, stability, and prosperity, and the people work and live in contentment. Centralized leadership by the Party serves the best interests of the Chinese people, suits China’s national conditions, and conforms to traditional Chinese culture. This is an invaluable understanding that the Chinese people have gained through years of CPC leadership. There is a common purpose behind the conscious commitment of the Party and the Chinese people to uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized leadership, and to protect and be loyal to the leadership core.
2. Sound Guidelines and Strategies
Robust leadership comes from sound leadership; sound leadership comes from rational policymaking. For a party as large as the CPC, policymaking is its lifeline. Over the past hundred years, at every historic juncture, the CPC has been able to analyze the situation from an overall, objective and forward-looking perspective, and set forth practical goals, tasks, policies and roadmaps. It is the Party’s sound guidelines that have enabled it to carry out its work in a well-organized and systematic manner.
The CPC is adept at formulating sound guidelines, principles
and policies. At different historical stages, the Party has succeeded in devising the right policies based on an accurate analysis of domestic and international developments.
In the early years of the CPC, at its Second National Congress in 1922, the Party set forth its primary platform of achieving national independence and establishing a democratic republic, and its ultimate goal of realizing socialism and communism, pointing out the direction for a two-step Chinese revolution.
During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the Party identified the correct path towards ultimate success, adopting the strategy of total resistance and protracted war.
During the Socialist Revolution, the Party devised the general guideline for the transition period, mapping out the road towards socialism.
After the adoption of reform and opening up, at its 13th National Congress in 1987, the Party formulated the basic guidelines for the primary stage of socialism – One Central Task, Two Basic Points – to keep socialism with Chinese characteristics progressing on the right track.
After its 18th National Congress, in accordance with its basic theories, guidelines and policies, the Party specified the measures for upholding and developing Chinese socialism in the new era, proposing the Five-sphere Integrated Plan for coordinating economic, political, cultural, social and eco-environmental progress, and the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy for achieving moderate prosperity, furthering reform, advancing the rule of law and strengthening Party self-governance.
It is due to sound policymaking that the great cause of the CPC has remained on the right course, the CPC has rational guidelines to follow, the Chinese people have been able to enjoy tangible benefits, and the entire Chinese nation has forged a strong synergy to pursue shared dreams and aspirations.
The CPC is adept at formulating time-phased development goals and strategies. To achieve its long-range goals, the Party has adopted progressive tactics – defining time-phased objectives and roadmaps and achieving successes in steps.
In the 1960s, after the Socialist Revolution had been completed and initial success in socialist development had been made, the Party set the goal of achieving the Four Modernizations – of industry, agriculture, national defense, and science and technology – by the end of the 20th century, and to this end devised a Two-stage Plan on Economic Development.
In the early stages of reform and opening up, the Party set the goal of providing a relatively comfortable life for the people by the end of the 20th century.
In the mid-1980s, the Party formulated a Three-step Strategy for Economic Development to meet this goal.
In the mid-1990s, the Party proposed a New Three-step Strategy for Economic Development to meet this goal.
Entering the new century, the Party proposed to build a well-off society of a higher standard in an all-round way to the benefit of well over one billion people in the first two decades of the 21st century.
In 2012, at its 18th National Congress, the Party set the goal of achieving moderate prosperity in all respects by 2021 when the CPC would celebrate its centenary.
In 2017, at its 19th National Congress, the Party set the goals of building on moderate prosperity in all respects to realize basic socialist modernization by 2035, and turning China into a strong, prosperous and modern socialist country by the mid-21st century.
The CPC has worked to see that the above goals and plans remain consistent, but are always adaptable to changing realities and new developments.
Centralized leadership by the Party is one of China’s political strengths. It enables the Party to formulate time-phased objectives based on long-range plans. It makes it possible to balance overall with particular interests, and long-term with immediate interests, to forge unity among all social forces to achieve common goals, and to ensure consistency in the implementation of state laws and policies. A step-by-step approach to policymaking has for many years brought China ever closer to the goals of socialist modernization.
The CPC is adept at spearheading development and overcoming challenges through systematic planning. The mechanism of Five-year Plans on National Economic and Social Development has proven successful. Five years is an appropriate time span to ensure consistency in policymaking and to plan and accomplish major programs and projects. Since the implementation of the First Five-year Plan (1953-1957), the CPC has introduced a total of 14 such plans, with the 14th Five-year Plan (20212025) now under way.
In the 1990s, the Party launched a mechanism of Ten-year Outline Programs to anticipate general trends of economic development in the next decade or the foreseeable future. The purpose is to set long-range goals, provide a framework for the Five-year Plans, and make the plans more future-oriented. In preparing Five-year Plans, the Party conducts in-depth research and many rounds of extensive consultations.
To implement its time-phased plans and programs, a system of national planning guided by the country’s overall development strategies has been established. This system divides overall goals into sub-goals in different categories and at various levels to ensure coordinated nationwide development.
The system has expanded from social and economic fields to other areas of state governance. With proactive plans and feasible measures, the Party has succeeded in eliminating both “grand words and no concrete action” on long-range goals, and blinkered carthorses feverishly dragging their loads with no real idea of where they are heading.
The CPC is adept at conducting pilot programs before launching nationwide reform measures. In addressing issues vital to the economy, development and people’s wellbeing, the Party opposes both conservative thinking and impetuous actions, preferring to seek practical, balanced and steady progress while encouraging bold experiments and breakthroughs. Confirming long-term development goals and implementing related policies is always preceded by small-scale pilot programs. Within the policy framework of the central government, regional pilot programs are conducted to work out specific methods, through testing, modifying and then wider application, for the implementation of a particular national policy. These specific methods, if successful, will be gradually replicated by other localities.
The Party’s reform initiatives are implemented through national legislation so as to ensure their legal basis and assist their smooth and effective application. The Party attaches great importance to the rule of law and considers it a guarantee for consolidating the foundations of the Party’s governance, meeting people’s expectations, and maintaining long-term development. Successful reform measures are codified into state laws and policies in a timely manner.
To mitigate the risks of any social instability or other problems that might arise from the ill-judged nationwide rollout of a pilot program, the Party conducts timely analysis of the results of the pilot and makes the appropriate policy adjustments.
The Party has launched a series of major reform initiatives through pilot programs, including:
- • special economic zones,
- • China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone,
- • Xiong’an New Area,
- • Shenzhen Pilot Demonstration Zone for Chinese Socialism,
- • Pudong Leading Pilot Zone for Socialist Modernization Through High-level Reform and Opening Up,
- • Zhejiang Demonstration Zone for Common Prosperity Through High-quality Development.
The pilot approach has ensured that vigorous reform can make steady progress. It has made national policies more creative and adaptable, and facilitated positive interaction between the policymaking of central government and the innovative initiatives of local government.
Through constant experiment and practice, China has created a positive cycle – promoting reform through pilot programs, propelling development through reform, maintaining stability through development, and winning public support for reform by sharing the fruits of development achievements with the people.
3. Effective Implementation of Decisions and Plans
If there were no strong organizational support and disciplinary restraints, the CPC would become fragmented and remain weak in spite of its massive size. Over the past hundred years, the Party has been consistent in building its organization, tightening its discipline and strengthening the rule of law. It has united tens of millions of Party members and organized hundreds of millions of Chinese people, thereby ensuring that its decisions and plans are implemented in a timely, resolute and forceful manner.
The CPC has built an organizational system featuring unimpeded communication and effective policy implementation at all levels. Prior to and during the creation of the CPC, its founders aimed to establish a strong and tightly-knit organization. Over the years, the Party has established a sound and complete structure consisting of the central, local and grassroots units.
The highest leading bodies of the Party are the National Congress, and the Central Committee which it elects. The Central Committee, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, and the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau are like the brain and nerve center of a body. The Central Committee is responsible for formulating the Party’s policies and guidelines. Therefore, it has the authority to make the final decisions.
Local Party organizations are responsible for implementing the Central Committee’s decisions and plans in their respective areas, and for reporting feedback and suggestions from grassroots Party organizations and Party members to the Central Committee. Hence they are important intermediate links helping realize the smooth transmission and implementation of policies.
There are more than 4.86 million grassroots Party organizations, widely distributed in enterprises, villages, Party and government institutions, schools, research institutes, sub-districts, communities, social organizations, military units and other grassroots entities. They are like the nerve endings of the Party, responsible for implementing, at the relevant level, the decisions and plans of the Central Committee and the Party organizations at each successive level up. They also collect and report the concerns and suggestions of Party members and the people. More than 95 million Party members also play an exemplary role in grassroots organizations.
With such an extensive, well-knit and strong organizational system, the Central Committee can command with flexibility and efficiency the subordinate Party organizations just as the brain employs the arms and the arms employ the fingers. This is why the Party’s policies, guidelines, decisions and plans are implemented fully and rapidly at the grassroots. This is why the Party’s organizations and members keep close ties with the people and constantly reinforce the foundations of the Party’s governance.
The CPC has strict discipline and rules. Discipline is the lifeline of the Party. Without strict discipline, there would be no unity and solidarity in the Party, policies would not be communicated and implemented smoothly, and the Party’s cohesiveness and leadership would be seriously weakened.
In the years of revolutionary war, convinced that “the army will win all battles in revolution as long as discipline is strengthened”, the Party issued the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention. It used these to reinforce its internal unity and win popular support.
After the beginning of reform and opening up, in response to the adverse impact of bourgeois liberalization and the decadent Western lifestyle, the Party proposed that unity depends on ideals and discipline, and made great efforts to strengthen discipline.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has employed the enforcement of discipline as an essential tool in its full and rigorous self-governance. It has prioritized its efforts to enforce strict political discipline and rules, and is committed to running itself with rigor by forming a sound system of Party regulations. It has strengthened guidance and management of Party members, and strictly investigated and punished violations of discipline and rules. As a result, the principle of observing the Party’s constitution, discipline and rules has become more firmly established.
Strict discipline and rules and a sound organizational system ensure that the sophisticated machine of the Party runs efficiently, with all its parts well-coordinated, generating a powerful force.
The CPC ensures that its leadership is followed in all aspects of state governance. As a governing party, the CPC exercises governance and realizes its goals by establishing and improving the state governance system. By exercising leadership over departments running state power, and embodying its leadership in the design, setup and functioning of state power systems and institutions, the Party has effectively integrated its views with the will of the state.
The Party actively supports the work of the government in accordance with the Constitution and other laws. With the Party supervising officials and exercising leadership over staff, the CPC selects talented people of integrity and ability, and recommends candidates for leadership positions in government in accordance with statutory procedures. The Party exercises leadership over the state and society through the agencies of state power, and thus ensures that its decisions are implemented in the governance of the country.
The Party establishes Party committees or Party leadership groups in government agencies, public institutions, people’s organizations, social groups, enterprises and other entities, and places them under the unified leadership of the Party organizations at the next level up. The Party sets up and improves Party organizations in non-public economic entities and social organizations, to ensure that its leadership reaches all social undertakings.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has further reformed Party and government institutions, and conducted thorough and systematic restructuring of the organization and management of the Party and the government. As a result, the Party’s leadership system and the government’s administrative system have improved, and the leadership of the Party and the government’s capacity to deliver have been strengthened.
The integration of the Party leadership’s political strengths and the government’s institutional strengths unites the Party, the government and the people behind shared goals, interests and aspirations. This generates a huge cohesive force, keeps internal differences to a minimum, and significantly raises the efficiency of state governance. This is a clear manifestation of the institutional strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The CPC ensures effective implementation of its policies through
the rule of law. Respecting and practicing the rule of law are essential to good governance and the implementation of the Party’s policies. The CPC is committed to law-based governance and always applies law-based thinking and approaches to consolidate its governing status, improve its approach to governance, and strengthen its governance capability.
During the New Democratic Revolution, the Party supervised the formulation and implementation of laws on land, marriage, labor, finance and other matters in the Central Soviet Area, the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region and other areas under its rule.
After founding the PRC, the Party applied its successful experience in introducing a new legal system in base areas during the New Democratic Revolution, and laid the foundations of socialist rule of law.
After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, the Party reviewed the experience and lessons it had learned in building democracy and the legal system. It used this review to accelerate the implementation of socialist rule of law and establish law-based governance as the basic means of governing the country, and law-based exercise of state power as the basic tool for governance.
Since the 18th National Congress, to consolidate its position as the governing party and ensure lasting peace and stability, the CPC has emphasized the importance of the rule of law. Comprehensively advancing the rule of law is one prong of the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy. The Party provides guidance for legislation, guarantees law enforcement, supports judicial justice, and plays an exemplary role in abiding by the law. It holds that respecting the Constitution is essential to law-based governance. The Party is improving its working mechanisms for exercising law-based governance to ensure effective implementation of its policies through the law, and to modernize China’s governance system and capacity.
4. Pooling the Efforts of All Sectors
The CPC is strong because it has always placed the united front in an important position. It has ensured great unity and solidarity, and balanced commonality and diversity. It has strengthened theoretical and political guidance, built broad consensus, brought together the brightest minds, and expanded common ground and the convergence of interests.
It has always consolidated and developed the broadest possible front, combining all the forces that can be united, mobilizing all positive factors, and pooling as much strength as possible for collective endeavors. The patriotic united front is an important means for the Party to unite all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation.
The CPC has united with and pooled the efforts of all sectors to defeat powerful enemies. During the Great Revolution (1924-1927), the Party actively called for cooperation with the KMT, which resulted in a nationalist revolutionary united front, striking a blow against foreign imperialist forces in China and ending the reactionary rule of the Northern Warlords.
During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the CPC campaigned for a national united front. Workers, peasants, urban petty bourgeoisie, national bourgeoisie, overseas Chinese, and some landlords and compradors answered the call in various ways, waging an all-out people’s war.
During the War of Liberation, the Party united all possible forces in both rural and urban areas, even among the KMT troops, forming the broadest possible people’s democratic united front. The extensive support of so many parties was indispensable to the victory of the PLA in the three major campaigns and to the rapid success of the War of Liberation.
The CPC has founded a people’s government in which all parties participate. During its Yan’an Period (1935-1948), the Party proposed a “democratic coalition government”, with CPC members, non-CPC progressives, and centrists each accounting for one third of the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region government. This aroused great enthusiasm among all parties involved in the arrangement.
Shortly before the founding of the PRC, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was convened at the behest of the CPC. The CPC, the other political parties, the non-affiliates, people’s organizations, and the PLA were all represented, as were various regions and ethnic groups and overseas Chinese. On behalf of some 400 million Chinese people, they engaged in a lively democratic debate and agreed on the terms for the founding of the People’s Republic.
After the PRC was founded, the Party continued to maintain the people’s democratic united front, involving participants from all walks of life in reconstruction.
After policies for reform and opening up were implemented, the CPC united workers, farmers, intellectuals, and other patriots, regardless of their party affiliation or ethnic background, expanding the patriotic united front and making it as broad as possible. Formed of all builders of socialism, patriotic supporters of socialism, and patriots who support the reunification of the country and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the front represents a combined effort to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The CPC has formed a new political party system. During the long process of revolution, reconstruction and reform, the CPC, together with the other political parties and the non-affiliates, has formed a CPC-led system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation based on long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, sincerity and sharing weal and woe. This new model can truly, extensively, and consistently promote the interests of the maximum number of people of all ethnic groups and social sectors. It is effective in avoiding the drawbacks of the old political party system that stood for only a small number of people and interest groups, and it can prevent the frequent changes of regime caused by internal strife among political parties.
As the governing party, the CPC is willing and able to hear opinions, and accept scrutiny and criticism. As participants in socialism with Chinese characteristics, the non-CPC political parties function as advisors and assistants of the CPC, and play an active role in establishing the people’s government and formulating important national strategies and policies. They have played a key role in devising and implementing national policies, laws and regulations.
The CPC has systematically inspired and rallied the people to work together and make progress. Growing affluence and an extended period of peace may breed mammonism, hedonism and self-centrism, leading to a weakening of resolve, a loss of fighting spirit, and a decline in social cohesion.
Always conscious of this, while promoting continuous progress in material terms, the CPC also attaches great importance to education in culture and ethics. It carries out systematic campaigns to encourage the general public to study the Party’s theories, ideals, beliefs, and spirit, so as to strengthen guidance and create a positive atmosphere for social development, unity and progress.
The CPC has stepped up education of young people, encouraging them to hold fast to its ideals and beliefs, carry forward the revolutionary spirit, and pass down revolutionary traditions. The Party works to ensure that they are on the right track when starting their lives. Thus, under the CPC’s leadership, they will be able to safeguard the socialist country and pass it from generation to generation.
The CPC has gathered the strengths of overseas Chinese. Overseas Chinese are important members of the great Chinese family, and a vital force for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Party has united with and called on them to play their part in national revival.
Overseas Chinese, with the motherland and hometown in their hearts, have given unstinting support to China’s revolution, reconstruction and reform, and made a huge contribution to the development of the nation, the reunification of the motherland, and the cooperation between the peoples of China and other countries. China’s growing prosperity and national rejuvenation have given a great boost to their pride in the nation and sense of identity.
5. Fostering High-Caliber Party Officials
With the CPC’s political guidelines clearly defined, how officials carry out their duties makes a great difference to the performance of the Party. The CPC can realize its overall leadership over state affairs and in all sectors of society because a large number of high-caliber officials play their role to the best of their ability.
The CPC attracts progressive individuals. For millennia, dedicated progressives in China have demonstrated a deep concern for the country and the people. Today they are attracted to the CPC to realize their aspirations, as the Party’s ideals, beliefs and principles are consistent with their values and goals.
In the early years of the CPC, a large number of young intellectuals left their well-off families and joined the Party in its struggle, ready to sacrifice their lives for the Chinese revolution wherever and whenever they might be called upon to do so.
During the Yan’an period, progressive individuals from every sector of society overcame great difficulties to make the testing journey from all parts of the country to Yan’an, where the CPC Central Committee was located. Many young patriots were willing to risk their lives to complete the journey.
After the founding of the PRC, many outstanding overseas Chinese scientists made great efforts to break through the Western blockade and return to China in order to work for the country.
Today’s China, on the path to greater prosperity and development, provides an even larger arena for talented individuals to fulfill their aspirations.
Throughout history, the CPC has always been able to gather the most outstanding social groups, all dedicated to the nation’s independence, the people’s liberation and wellbeing, and the country’s prosperity.
The CPC values talented and capable professionals. Selecting and appointing talent has always been of fundamental importance in advancing the cause of the Party and the people.
During the revolutionary war years, the CPC trained a large number of qualified officials who were loyal to the Party, brave and skillful in battle, and unafraid to sacrifice their lives.
After the founding of the PRC, as the CPC shifted its focus from rural areas to cities, and from war to reconstruction, it trained a cohort of officials who were politically solid and professionally competent.
After the beginning of reform and opening up, to facilitate socialist modernization, the CPC began to select officials who were younger, better educated, more professional, and more dedicated to the revolution. A group of young officials committed to reform rose to positions of leadership.
Since its 18th National Congress, selecting and training officials, and tightening their discipline, have been key to strengthening the Party. The CPC has further clarified the standards and procedures for selecting officials for the new era, enabling a large number of outstanding candidates to emerge.
The CPC selects competent officials and puts them to good use. Drawing on domestic and foreign experience, the CPC has developed a comprehensive system for selecting, appointing, training, managing, evaluating and incentivizing officials, allowing competent officials to be identified and trained, then assigned to the posts where they are most needed.
The Party selects officials regardless of background, on the basis of both integrity and ability, with priority given to integrity. The Party appoints officials who are dedicated, impartial, upright, pragmatic and successful.
Qualified officials must be firm in their ideals and convictions, willing to serve the people, diligent in work, ready to take on responsibilities, honest and upright.
The recruitment of officials is based on the results of fair national exams and reviews.
The promotion of officials, based on the assessment of integrity, ability, diligence, performance and incorruptibility, follows strict procedures – recommendation by Party organizations, assessment by the public, oral inquiries, and group discussions. To prevent incompetent or even corrupt officials from being promoted, the Party has adopted the mechanism of Four Musts for the selection and appointment of officials at all levels.
To improve officials’ performance, the Party provides them with training in various forms, including on-the-job training and assignment to temporary posts, rotating posts, and concurrent Party/administrative posts. The aim is to train competent and professional officials who are loyal, honest and upright.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has grown into a towering tree with its roots spreading throughout China, drawing on a wealth of experience from Marxism and serving 1.4 billion people. The CPC Central Committee with its leadership core is the trunk of the tree, the Party organizations at all levels the branches, and 95 million Party members the leaves. The tree continues to grow with vigor and vitality, impervious to wind and storm.
IV. Maintaining Vigor and Vitality
Forever young are the revolutionaries. The CPC has always been able to maintain vigor and vitality and stand at the forefront of the times despite the many hardships it has endured in the past hundred years. This is because it has constantly engaged in significant self-reform while leading the people in a great social revolution. To maintain its health and vigor, it exercises effective self-supervision, practices strict self-discipline in every respect, consistently pursues improvement, and advances with the times.
1. Upholding Intra-Party Democracy
The CPC’s advocacy and promotion of democracy is demonstrated first in its application within the Party. To achieve intra-Party democracy and create a political model characterized by centralism and democracy, by discipline and freedom, and by unity of will and individual initiative, the Party mobilizes all its members’ dynamism and creativity in exploring the optimum models.
Advancing intra-Party democracy. Upon its founding the CPC specified provisions on criteria for full Party membership, Party organizations at all levels and Party discipline, which all embodied the principle of democratic centralism.
Some of the major decisions made by the CPC after the founding of the PRC included improving democratic centralism, making Party affairs transparent, establishing a system of Party congresses with a fixed term, and protecting and expanding Party members’ democratic rights.
After the launch of reform and opening up, the Party made an important judgment – that “intra-Party democracy is the Party’s lifeline”.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has stepped up efforts to strengthen intra-Party democracy.
The CPC Central Committee leads by example in passing on the Party’s finest traditions and work styles and developing them at every level. It has created a more favorable environment for intra-Party democracy.
Democratic decision-making has been extended. The CPC Central Committee and the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee carry out in-depth research and solicit opinions from subordinate Party organizations and Party members before making major decisions and plans.
Reports to the Party congresses, documents of the plenary sessions of the Central Committee, other important documents and major decisions of the Party, and key measures for reform and development are drafted and issued after appropriate intra-Party consultations, in some cases amounting to several rounds.
A vigorous campaign has been conducted to regulate political activities and conduct within the Party. The Political Bureau takes the lead in holding meetings for criticism and self-criticism. Differences of opinions among Party leaders on policy and work can be discussed in pursuit of consensus.
With the Central Committee leading by example, intra-Party democracy in Party organizations at all levels has been constantly improved, intra-Party activities are more vigorous, and officials have taken the lead in practicing democracy in their work.
Respecting the principal position of Party members and protecting their democratic rights. Party members play a principal role in intra-Party democracy. All Party members, regardless of occupation, position, Party standing and age, enjoy equal status and equal rights in political activities within the Party. They have the right to attend relevant Party meetings, read relevant Party documents, and benefit from Party education and training, to participate in discussion on questions concerning Party policy at Party meetings and in Party newspapers and periodicals, to make suggestions and proposals regarding the work of the Party, and to participate in voting and stand for election.
Within the Party, democratic channels are open and unimpeded. Party members can express their views freely, frankly and honestly at Party meetings. Arguments over differences of opinions are encouraged. Much information from the grassroots is accurately conveyed to the upper levels through unblocked democratic channels. Genuine and extensive intra-Party democracy increases Party members’ enthusiasm, initiative, creativity, and will to participate in intra-Party affairs, and pools their wisdom and ingenuity.
Applying intra-Party democracy in elections, decision-making, management and oversight. The Party’s major decisions and plans are made after soliciting opinions from a wide range of Party members. The Party upholds collective leadership. Party committees at all levels combine collective leadership with individual responsibility based on the division of work. Decisions on major issues are made after discussion in accordance with the principles of collective leadership, democratic centralism, pre-meeting reflection, and meeting-based decision-making, with the minority deferring to the majority.
The intra-Party election system has been improved. Delegates to Party congresses and members of Party committees at all levels are elected, and reflect the will of the electorate.
Continuous efforts have been made to strengthen internal oversight, focusing on leading Party organs and Party members in leadership positions, and particularly those holding principal positions in leadership teams.
In the selection and appointment of officials, democratic recommendation and appraisal is a basic step and an essential requirement. Intra-Party democracy at the grassroots is practiced in many forms, and direct elections are held by most primary-level Party organizations.
As the CPC is the governing party, its progress in intra-Party democracy exerts an important and positive influence on the state’s politics, and on society and the economy. Party officials at all levels and Party members have vigorously advanced people’s democracy by applying democratic ideas, habits, conduct and traditions fostered within the Party, influencing others and nurturing a democratic atmosphere in their own fields, enhancing the sense of democracy around them, and strictly abiding by the law and regulations.
2. Correcting Mistakes
In the course of leading China’s revolution, reconstruction and reform to great success, the CPC has made mistakes and experienced setbacks. It has faced up to its problems and mistakes, and corrected them by upholding the truth. Through trial and error, it has grown stronger and better, and continues to lead the people forward.
The CPC openly confronts its shortcomings and errors. As a party in service of the people, it is not afraid of criticism of its shortcomings. It always retains what is right and corrects what is wrong, all in the best interests of the people. After the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong offered to take responsibility for the mistake. The Party leadership explained to the other political parties and non-affiliates that the CPC and particularly its Central Committee should take the main responsibility for the error, and offered sincere self-criticism.
The attitude of a Marxist party towards its mistakes is an important means to gauge whether it can fulfill its responsibilities towards the people, and whether it is truly a capable organization. In the case of the CPC, as a large Marxist party it always acts in ways commensurate with its character, breadth of vision, and sense of responsibility. Seeking truth from facts, it remains open to criticism and suggestions, and this has won understanding and support from the public.
The CPC learns from its mistakes, and, while correcting them, presses on. It has the courage to do this precisely because it has a deep love for the people and a strong sense of its cause. It applies the fundamental principle of democratic centralism, and employs the powerful weapon of criticism and self-criticism. Honestly acknowledging its problems and mistakes, including those of its leaders, the CPC has always conducted careful analysis of root causes and taken resolute measures to correct them. Its mistakes, failures, and lessons, together with its successes, all serve as an invaluable textbook.
During the New Democratic Revolution, the CPC drew lessons from the failed Great Revolution and from its defeat in the KMT’s fifth encirclement and suppression campaign. It subsequently led the Chinese revolution onto the correct path.
During socialist revolution and reconstruction, the Party corrected the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and conducted a comprehensive, in-depth review of the hard lessons it had learned, thus laying the groundwork for socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In the long-term fight against both Leftist and Rightist tendencies, the Party has made its position clear in the Resolution on Certain Issues in the History of the CPC (released in 1945) and the Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of the CPC Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China (released in 1981). The two resolutions document grave problems and mistakes in the history of the Party. They analyze the root causes and draw objective conclusions regarding important historical events and figures. In this way the whole Party has come to a clear consensus on its past and thus grown stronger in unity.
Every political party makes mistakes. What matters most is whether it can learn from its mistakes and improve itself. The CPC is a great and glorious party that charts the correct course. This does not mean that it never errs, but that it adopts the correct approach to its mistakes, corrects them, and learns from them. To uphold truth and correct any mistake is the Party’s approach to always serving the people and putting people first.
3. Protecting the Party’s Health
In revolution, reconstruction and reform, the CPC has been and will be confronted with all kinds of tests, including temptations from the outside world. Any slackness in enforcing Party self-discipline or any negative shift in its members’ thinking and behavior will erode its health. With that in mind, the Party takes resolute measures against all phenomena that may undermine its integrity and progressive nature. It treats any signs or symptoms of disease as soon as they appear and promptly removes any virus or tumor identified in order to protect its health.
Maintaining the vitality of Party members. As Party members play the primary role in implementing CPC programs and activities, the Party attaches great importance to strengthening its membership in both quantitative and qualitative terms and making them a strong and united contingent of staunch Communists. In all historical periods, in the light of changing circumstances, the Party has given particular attention to replenishing its ranks by admitting progressive people from all sectors of society, so that it always represents the fundamental interests of the people. Although the eligibility and procedures for Party membership have varied in different periods, the requirements for Party members always remain high and procedures for joining the Party always remain rigorous. Personal status, level of education and financial background are irrelevant to qualification for CPC membership, but political and moral requirements are strict. An applicant must go through stringent procedures and undergo rigorous education and observation for a probationary period before becoming a full member.
The CPC considers it imperative to strengthen the education and management of its members, regardless of their origins and background, to forge resolute Communists. Every Party member, irrespective of position, must join a branch, group, or other given unit of the Party. They must participate in the regular activities of the Party organizations, place themselves under the scrutiny of people both within and outside the Party, and engage in criticism and self-criticism.
In addition to regular education and day-to-day management, the CPC also carries out themed education programs focusing on the situations and tasks that it faces in any given period, and on the prominent problems that confront its members. The Party gives priority to improving its conduct and regards this as a major issue that has a direct impact on its prospects of winning or losing public support and on the very survival of the Party. To forever maintain its close ties with the people, it applies resolute and effective measures to prevent or punish any action that creates barriers between the Party and the people or infringes on their interests.
The Party is mostly composed of sound and committed members, yet it is inevitable that some of them may become fainthearts, dissidents, corrupt elements, or traitors. To its underperforming members the Party sounds a warning and instructs them to rectify their conduct in a timely manner; it resolutely expels those with serious failings.
Panel 3 Maintaining Integrity of Party Organizations
In the Rectification Movement from the second half of 1951 to the spring of 1954, 410,000 out of 6.5 million members were expelled from the Party or urged to withdraw.
In the Rectification Campaign from 1983 to 1987, through membership registration and management by Party organizations, nearly 33,900 members were expelled from the Party, 90,000 were denied registration, 145,000 had their registration suspended, and 184,000 were subjected to disciplinary sanctions such as probation within the Party, removal from a position within the Party, recommended removal from a position outside the Party, warning, and severe warning.
The Party Member Re-registration in 1989 and 1990 involved 3.75 million Party members working in central and local departments. In this process, appropriate action was taken against substandard members, who represented a very small minority, and disciplinary sanctions were imposed on members who had violated Party discipline.
Between the Party’s 18th National Congress in November 2012 and May 2021, 4,089,000 people were investigated by disciplinary and supervisory departments across the country, 453 of whom were senior officials. Among those investigated, 3,742,000 were given Party disciplinary and/or administrative sanctions.
Strengthening checks and scrutiny over the exercise of power. The mandate of the CPC comes from the people and must be exercised in the interests of the people. The Party is always soberly aware of this. Upon its founding, the Party stipulated that the finances, activities and policies of local committees would be supervised by the Central Executive Committee. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the Party made it clear that only under public scrutiny could a government be clean and efficient. Soon after the founding of the PRC, the Party set up commissions for disciplinary inspection and the state established supervisory departments at the central and local levels to bring officials under closer scrutiny, especially those in senior positions. Since the beginning of reform and opening up, the Party has actively pressed forward with reform of the system of Party and state leadership, improving the mechanisms for deliberation and decision-making within Party committees, and establishing and improving a framework for the exercise of power under which decision-making power, executive power and supervisory power are mutually exclusive but are coordinated with each other. Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has been strengthening checks on and scrutiny over the exercise of power as an important part of its full and strict self-discipline.
Focusing on confining the exercise of power in an institutional cage,
the Party gives prominence to scrutiny of the “key few” – the principal members of the leadership teams at all levels. It is improving its regulatory system for internal oversight, the priorities being the introduction of provisions on tours of disciplinary inspection and the regulations on internal scrutiny. While strengthening the deterrent role of disciplinary inspection, the Party has launched massive inspection campaigns and dispatched resident disciplinary inspection agencies to the central-level departments of the Party and the government. It works to extend reform of the national supervision system and integrates intra-Party oversight with oversight by state organs, democratic oversight, judicial oversight, public oversight, and oversight by the media, to ensure that power is exercised under public scrutiny.
Resolutely combating corruption. Corruption is a major threat to the Party’s survival. The CPC is fully aware of the harm that corruption can do and tolerates no corruption. At its very beginning, the Party cautioned that it must stay keenly alert to the entryism of corrupt elements, and vowed to resolutely expel bad elements and fight against negative trends. In the early years of the PRC, the Party launched the campaign against the “three evils” of corruption, waste and bureaucratism within Party and government institutions. In particular, the death penalties imposed on Liu Qingshan and Zhang Zishan, both of whom had performed with great merit in the revolutionary war but later degenerated into major embezzlers, sent a shockwave through the whole Party.
Since its 18th National Congress, facing a situation where corruption had been a growing problem in the Party for some time, the CPC has demonstrated its commitment to resolute action. It would rather offend a few thousand corrupt officials than fail to live up to the expectations of 1.4 billion Chinese people. It has remained firm in its determination and demonstrated great courage in combating corruption. Just as heavy doses of medicine are needed to treat serious disease, stringent measures must be applied to address serious corruption. To this end, the Party has allowed no safe haven, left no ground unturned, and shown no tolerance in fighting corruption. It has taken firm action to “take out tigers”, “swat flies”, and “hunt down foxes”. To form a powerful deterrent it has punished corruption with decisive measures and overwhelming severity. At the same time it has taken a systemic approach to addressing both the symptoms and root causes of corruption, ensuring that officials do not dare to be, are denied the opportunity to be, and have no wish to be corrupt. As a result, a crushing victory has been won in the anti-corruption campaign and the success has been consolidated. In resolving the issue of corruption, a persistent problem in governance at all times and across the globe, the Party has adopted an uncompromising attitude and taken concrete actions.
Preventing the formation of an entitled elite in the Party. The CPC has drawn profound lessons from examples of failure or ineffective leadership of political parties or states throughout history and across the world. It is always strict with itself, with its Central Committee, and with its senior officials. In the years of revolutionary war, the Party’s top leaders and other officials at all levels stood together with the rank and file through thick and thin, forming an invincible force. After the founding of the PRC, the Party adopted rigorous measures to bring senior officials under closer scrutiny. In the early years of reform and opening up, it set out provisions delimiting the legitimate privileges of senior officials, and emphasizing that they must take the lead in carrying forward the Party’s fine traditions. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Central Committee has played a model role in strictly observing its Eight Rules. It opposes corruption and the Four Malfeasances, as well as any sense of entitlement and the inclination to act on it. It has issued a series of rectifying measures on the assignment of offices, official vehicles, and immediate staff, and on spending in the performance of official duties, with the goal of strictly delimiting the privileges of officials, especially senior officials. All of this has led to a complete change in the whole ethos of the Party and society. As a result, the Party has boosted the faith of its members and the people, and enhanced its image and authority in their hearts.
4. Promoting Study and Review
The CPC is a capable party. Over the past hundred years, it has led the people to numerous great achievements: defeating the many and strong with the few and weak in war, maintaining rapid economic growth and lasting social stability, and turning the impossible into the possible again and again. The reasons that the Party has been able to stand in the forefront of the times, respond to complex circumstances, and complete arduous tasks, are twofold. One is its emphasis on study and review; the other its commitment to drawing on good experience from other countries to strengthen its own capability for revolution, reconstruction and reform.
The CPC is a learning party. Its nature and mission require it to devote attention to learning, be adept at learning, and continue to learn. Facing developments and changes in its circumstances and tasks, the Party has always been modest, learning from the people, from experience, from history and from other countries.
In the years of revolutionary war, it was by learning that the Party found the correct path for the Chinese revolution. After the founding of the PRC, it was by learning that the CPC was able to quickly restore the economy, winning praise and respect from those doubting its ability. After the launch of reform and opening up, it was by learning that the Party opened up the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In the new era of surging modern information technology and a complex domestic and international landscape, the Party has set a major task – to develop itself into a learning, service-oriented, and innovative Marxist governing party, launching campaigns to encourage learning within the Party to strengthen its ability in governance.
The CPC gives priority to learning by officials, particularly those in leading positions, through which it has cultivated a strong contingent of individuals capable of leading the Party, governing the country, and commanding the military. The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has a system of regular group study sessions, playing an exemplary and leading role for the whole Party. There is also a system of study groups for leading officials, under which Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels hold study sessions on different topics on a regular basis. Various activities are organized to educate Party members on the current situation and the Party’s targeted policies. Training on a large scale and at multiple levels is conducted by central and local Party schools or schools of governance. This requirement for learning and being able to learn has enabled the Party to adapt to changing circumstances, foster new ideas, acquire new skills and solve new problems. It is through learning that the Party has succeeded in the past, and it is through learning that it will succeed in the future.
The CPC has grown strong by reviewing experience and summarizing the lessons learned. Whether in times of war or peace, Party organizations, from the top-level Central Committee to the grassroots, produce a review after completing a project or major task, so that they can identify successes, remedy shortcomings, and move forward. Being diligent in and adept at reviewing experience has become an important part of the Party’s theoretical and practical work. In addition to summing up successful experience, the CPC attaches great importance to drawing lessons from and learning from failures. Problems and mistakes – particularly serious ones – and the requirements revealed by such mistakes and problems are often worth summarizing. Throughout its history, the CPC has been able to draw lessons from every major error, in order to advance its cause. From this progressive spiral of review, summary, and action the CPC has extracted important experience, and gone on to make changes of historic significance.
Contemporary China is the extension and development of China in the past. The CPC pays close attention to learning from history and constantly emphasizes the significance of such learning. By studying its own history and the history of China, including the PRC, reform and opening up, and the development of socialism, the Party has been able to move forward based on historical experience. To learn from history the CPC draws on wisdom and nutrients from the best of traditional Chinese culture, and at the same time learns lessons from the rise and fall of previous regimes or political powers. It reminds the whole Party not to commit the same errors. The CPC also sums up experience and lessons from other political parties around the world and from the world socialist movement, to reflect on and improve its work, reinforce its ability to govern the country, and combat corruption.
The CPC is an open-minded party. Proceeding from China’s realities, the Party absorbs and draws on all the excellent achievements of human civilization. After the founding of the PRC, it learned from the Soviet Union how to carry out socialist revolution and how to build socialism, which helped it to restore and develop the economy and advance socialist transformation and industrialization.
After the launch of reform and opening up, it drew on advanced operating models, managerial experience, and technologies that embody the laws of modern socialized production. What the Party learned from the rest of the world, including developed capitalist countries, helped advance China’s modernization.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has promoted exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations, expanded the sharing of experience with political parties from other countries, and strengthened communication and cooperation in many forms and at multiple levels with political parties around the world. Through consultation and cooperation with other political parties, the CPC has strengthened China’s ties with other countries in pursuit of common development and mutual benefit.
Over the past hundred years, the CPC has remained robust and vibrant despite having undergone so many trials and tribulations. An important reason for this is that it has had the courage to carry out self-reform. On the way ahead, the Party will still face dangers – loss of drive, incompetence, disengagement from the people, inaction, or corruption. And it will still be confronted with tests of its capacity to exercise governance of the country, carry out reform and opening up, develop the market economy, and respond to external volatility.
However, after a hundred years of hard struggle, the CPC has the courage and ability to carry out self-reform and is able to meet any challenge and withstand any test. It will never change or betray its nature. It will always remain dynamic and grow stronger.
V. Contributing to World Peace and Development
The CPC is a political party that seeks happiness for the people and progress for humanity. No matter how the global situation might have changed, the CPC has always pursued the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. It has championed internationalism, stood on the right side of history and the progressive side of humanity, and contributed to world peace and development.
Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has moved closer to the center of the world stage. Playing a more active role in international affairs, the Party has consistently promoted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and the building of a global community of shared future. It has won respect from peace-loving people throughout the world with real actions, and friends of the CPC and the Chinese people are to be found all over the world.
1. Safeguarding World Peace
Having gone through many testing times in pursuing national independence and the people’s liberation, the CPC deeply understands how precious peace is. In a complex world, the CPC has always championed justice, peace, democracy and multilateralism while opposing war, hegemony and unilateralism.
Defending world peace in World War II. During this epic war on which the future of humanity depended, the CPC fought for peace and justice. In a complex conflict involving nations and domestic classes, it made the interests of the country its priority, steadfastly resisted Fascist aggression, and carried the hopes for national salvation. The Party led the people in fighting in the major eastern theater of the war, and made an important contribution to the ultimate victory.
During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the CPC proposed the guidelines for all-out resistance, and pushed for the formation of a united front, creating a situation never before seen in the country’s modern history. It defined the strategic guidelines for a protracted war, solidified the Chinese people’s resolution to fight, charted the direction for them, and played a key role in the victory.
In addition to taking the lead in successfully pushing for the united front in China, the CPC also called for a united international anti-Fascist front. During the later stages of the war, the Party actively supported the founding of the United Nations, and played an important role in the establishment of a peaceful post-WWII order.
Taking a clear-cut stance against hegemony and power politics. Born in resistance against foreign aggression, the CPC has an innate opposition to hegemony and power politics. Since the founding of the PRC, the Party has maintained an independent foreign policy, insisting that the CPC’s affairs must be handled by the CPC, and China’s affairs must be managed by the Chinese people. It never permits interference by any external force in any form, and never yields to any external pressure. This ensures that China’s sovereignty, security and development interests always rest in China’s own hands.
In the words of Chairman Mao, “All reactionaries are paper tigers.” Confronted with blatant US provocation, the CPC decided to fight to defend China, which led to victory in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (the Korean War), proving that hegemony would not be tolerated and was doomed to failure. In the 1970s, the CPC put forward the Three Worlds Theory, emphasizing that China belonged to the Third World, and it united with all possible forces to form the broadest international front against hegemony.
Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has faced challenges such as hegemony and unilateralism. It has seen blatant external interference in China’s internal affairs related to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Taiwan. It has faced criticism on human rights, ethnic and religious affairs, and the judicial system. On the issue of the South China Sea and the East China Sea, some forces have hidden agendas and have even taken actions that threaten China’s territorial security. The CPC has maintained a firm and clear-cut stance, and resolutely defended China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
In today’s world, multilateralism is the prevailing trend. Any country that attempts to pursue hegemony and supremacy will fail. No country has the right to dictate international affairs, determine other countries’ destiny, monopolize development resources, do as it pleases, or ride roughshod over others. Weak a hundred years ago, China is no longer weak today. The Chinese people have never abused, oppressed or subjugated the people of any other country. By the same token, we in China will never allow any foreign force to abuse, oppress or subjugate us. Any force that attempts to do so will inevitably fail in front of the great wall forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.
Contributing wisdom and efforts to maintaining world peace. Actively offering Chinese solutions to maintain world peace, the CPC has proposed important ideas and initiatives such as the five principles of peaceful coexistence, the independent foreign policy of peace and nonalignment, a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity, a global community of shared future, a new model of international relations, and the Belt and Road Initiative. The CPC has not limited itself to solemn promises – it has done what it can to safeguard world peace.
Since 1949, China has neither started a single war or conflict, nor occupied an inch of any other country’s land. Since the day that China gained a nuclear weapon, it has been actively advocating for a comprehensive ban and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and has pledged to the world that it will never make first use of nuclear weapons, and will never use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against nuclear-free countries and regions.
To promote world peace after the launch of reform and opening up, China voluntarily downsized its military forces by more than 4 million people. It is committed to a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. It has followed the path of building a strong military with Chinese characteristics, devoted itself to building a global community of shared future, and actively assumed its international military responsibilities as a major country. It has given impetus to comprehensive international military cooperation, and contributed to creating a beautiful world with lasting peace and universal security. China has actively participated in arms control, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and opposed arms races so as to maintain global strategic balance and stability.
China is committed to solving land and water border disputes through negotiations and consultation. It has settled all land border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbors and delimited the maritime boundary in the Beibu Gulf with Vietnam. This provides a new model for the peaceful resolution of historical border issues and other international disputes. China has actively participated in defusing major international and regional flashpoints, making fair and fact-based judgments, facilitating peaceful negotiations, and contributing to international and regional peace and stability.
Firmly upholding the international system with the United Nations at the core. As a founding member of the United Nations, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and the largest developing country, China has always firmly upheld the authority of the United Nations, strictly followed the missions and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and maintained the world order based on international law. It has worked with various countries to support multilateralism and oppose unilateralism.
China has taken an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. It is the second largest contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget, and to its regular budget, and the largest contributor of peacekeeping troops among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Chinese military forces have become a key force in UN peacekeeping missions, creating momentum for peaceful international development. China has strictly enforced international conventions such as the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. It has actively engaged in international exchanges and cooperation under the UN framework in such fields as energy security, food security, cybersecurity, and biosafety, as well as polar, outer space and ocean affairs.
Currently the world is plagued with a crisis of rule and order – restoring the rules and maintaining order are matters of the greatest urgency. There is only one international system – the one with the United Nations at the core. There is only one international order, which is based on international law, and there is only one set of fundamental international norms, which is based on the missions and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Hegemonic “systems” or “rules” set by one country or a few countries, even when wrapping themselves in the cloak of justice, will be resolutely opposed by China and rejected by the overwhelming majority of countries.
Promoting democracy in international relations. The CPC is faithful, active, and exemplary in pursuing, exploring, and practicing democracy. It has implemented democracy within the Party and throughout China, and vigorously promotes democracy in international relations.
Shortly after the founding of the PRC, the CPC proposed the five principles of peaceful coexistence as the norms for countries to follow when establishing and building relations with each other. China has applied these principles in its bilateral relations with many countries.
As the world experiences change on a scale unseen in a century, China has followed the principles of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and pressed for a new model of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.
At a time of intense global competition in economic, scientific, technological and other fields, China still regards other countries as partners rather than rivals. It does not engage in cold war, confrontation, control or manipulation, but rather promotes mutually beneficial exchanges and cooperation.
China has formed partnerships with many countries, and established a framework of major-country relations that is generally stable and balanced. It implements the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in developing relations with neighboring countries, and promotes friendship and partnership with them. China upholds the values of greater good and shared interests, and follows the principles of sincerity, affinity, good faith and real results in strengthening cooperation with other developing countries.
The present world is far from fair and just. A small number of countries ignore international law, trample on international justice, disdain international public opinion, flagrantly infringe upon the sovereignty of other countries, interfere with others’ internal affairs, and frequently abuse and dictate to smaller and weaker countries, turning the “global village” into a primeval jungle where the strong prey on the weak. Their politicians fabricate and spread lies out of self-interest, and denigrate other countries and peoples.
In a world rife with crises, the CPC holds that all countries, large or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal. Powerful countries should behave as befits their status, make the future of humanity their priority, and shoulder greater responsibility for world peace and development, rather than wielding their power in pursuit of supremacy or hegemony. The future of the world should rest in the hands of all peoples and all countries, and all countries and all peoples should enjoy dignity and security and share development fruits.
Political parties are an important force for safeguarding world peace and promoting human progress. Different political parties around the world, emerging from different historical backgrounds and conditions, are endowed with different missions and obtain their governing status and exercise their authority in different ways. The world is colorful, not monochrome. The logic that “whoever disagrees with me is wrong” is out of line with the evolution of human civilization. Facts are the most convincing criteria for judging whether a governing party is progressive and qualified to rule, and whether a political system is viable, efficient and effective. The people should have the biggest say in making such judgments. Political parties in all countries need to play their part in steering the course forward. They should seek common ground while setting aside differences. They must build consensus, promote development, enhance cooperation, improve governance, respect and learn from each other, strengthen exchanges and cooperation, and work together to seek happiness for all.
2. Pursuing Common Development
Development is the right of all countries, rather than the exclusive privilege of the few. The CPC seeks happiness for the Chinese people, and also the wellbeing of all others. The CPC is committed to pursuing development for both China and the world, and to bringing benefits to all.
As the world’s largest developing country, China contributes to humanity by maintaining long-term stable development. The CPC is leading the Chinese people to focus on completing our own tasks, and making the country more prosperous and the people happier. This is a contribution to world peace and development in its own right. China’s economy continues its healthy growth and has become the major driver of global economic growth. China has succeeded in eradicating absolute poverty, meeting the target set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, and contributing to over 70 percent of global poverty reduction. China’s innovative achievements in science and technology have brought greater convenience to work and daily life around the world, and injected new impetus into international technological innovation and global economic growth. China succeeds in feeding almost 20 percent of the global population with only 9 percent of the planet’s arable land. China is making great efforts to strengthen environmental governance and has become a major force in global eco-environmental progress. It takes active steps to advance green and low-carbon development and has fulfilled its international commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 2020 ahead of schedule. In addition, it has pledged to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. China’s all-round opening up creates more opportunities for other countries to share China’s development dividends, and China’s strong domestic demand provides a huge market for other countries to explore. Since the founding of the PRC, the country has undergone profound economic and social changes of a scale never before seen in history. It has maintained long-term overall political and social stability, which not only benefits the Chinese people but also contributes to world peace and order.
China is committed to strengthening international cooperation. As a developing country itself, China shows great empathy for other developing nations plagued by poverty and hardship, and provides assistance for them as far as its capacity permits. Since 1949, China has been a provider of support to other developing countries with no political strings attached. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, in response to the call of the times, China has been upgrading its foreign aid to a model of international development cooperation, contributing its strength to resolving global development issues and implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From 2013 to 2018, China allocated a total of RMB270 billion to foreign aid, undertook the construction of 423 complete projects, provided 890 shipments of goods and materials for countries and regions in need, completed 414 technical cooperation projects, and held more than 7,000 training sessions and seminars for about 200,000 people to promote cooperation in building human resource capacity.
China takes an active part in global cooperation against the Covid-19 pandemic, and has done its best to offer help to international organizations and other countries. By June 2021 China had provided US$2 billion in aid for the international Covid-19 response, and as aid to social and economic recovery in developing countries hit by the pandemic. It has sent medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations, and supplied more than 290 billion masks, 3.5 billion protective suits, and 4.6 billion testing kits to the world. It has also provided more than 520 million doses of vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations, and sent 33 medical expert teams to 31 countries in need of help.
The global path to development is a rocky one, and many people are still struggling with poverty, famine and disease. Some rich countries are getting richer while poor countries are getting poorer. As long as this situation persists, the world can never enjoy lasting peace and prosperity. The CPC holds that to accelerate the global poverty relief process, developed countries need to increase their assistance to developing countries, and developing countries need to generate greater endogenous momentum for development. China will continue to do all it can to promote international cooperation, expand South-South cooperation, and contribute to global poverty reduction.
China takes an active part in leading the reform of the global governance system. The international system formed after World War II played a pivotal role in post-war global economic recovery. However, the development gap and economic inequality caused by globalization has become increasingly prominent. As a major country that takes its responsibilities seriously, China has always sought to balance rights and obligations. It has taken an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system, and tried hard to recalibrate the international political and economic order according to a fairer and more reasonable set of standards. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has actively pressed for reform and improvements in the global governance system. It has participated in formulating rules in a number of emerging fields, and stepped up the reform of unfair and unreasonable arrangements in the existing system.
China firmly supports multilateralism. To facilitate dialogue and cooperation, it devotes itself to building multilateral platforms in areas including politics, the economy, security, and culture. It has initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launched the Silk Road Fund, making a greater contribution to an open world economy and inclusive, sustainable global development. At present, considering the many difficulties and challenges ahead, it remains a daunting task to reform and develop the global governance system. China will adopt a proactive opening-up policy, safeguard economic globalization through concrete actions, and promote an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy. China will continue to play its part as a major country, and follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in global governance. It will be an active participant in reforming and developing the global governance system, with the goal of making the system fairer and more reasonable, to enable more people across the world to benefit from development.
3. Following the Path of Peaceful Development
Peaceful development is an everlasting aspiration of the CPC and the salient feature of China’s progress. Over the past hundred years, pursuing and safeguarding peace, the CPC has led the Chinese people on a new path of national rejuvenation that leads to prosperity rather than hegemony. Laid down by the Chinese people through self-reliance and hard work rather than colonization and aggression, this path enables China to accelerate its own development and contribute to world peace and development. History demonstrates that the CPC is a peace-loving political party, that China is a peace-loving country, and that the Chinese people love peace and are sincere and generous.
In the past, there have indeed been countries that followed the path of hegemony as they grew in strength, but there is no iron law that dictates that a rising power will inevitably seek hegemony. If the experience and logic of the West is applied mechanically in forecasting China’s future, the conclusion will inevitably be counterfactual and false.
“China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development.” This statement is neither diplomatic rhetoric nor a policy of expediency or strategic equivocation, but reflects the nation’s self-confidence and conscientious behavior. Peaceful development is embedded in the trajectory, logic and goals of the CPC’s governance and China’s development. This is clear in the cultural genes of the Chinese nation that have been passed from generation to generation. It is clear from China’s past and present, and from the comparison between the rise of China and the rise of Western powers.
China’s path of peaceful development derives from the legacy of the Chinese civilization. China’s culture is characterized by a world view of harmony between humanity and nature, a global view of coordination and cooperation between all countries, a social view of unity without uniformity, and a moral outlook of kindness and friendship. Peace, amity and harmony have been cherished and passed down by the Chinese nation through more than 5,000 years of history. A loyal successor to the best of Chinese culture, the CPC has no inclination to invasion and hegemony.
China takes the path of peaceful development due to its clear understanding of its own goals and conditions. Development is the CPC’s top priority in governance. China’s past development benefited from a peaceful, stable external environment, and its future will also depend on such an environment. Expansion and hegemony violate the interests of China and the aspirations of the Chinese people. The CPC has always been firm in its commitment to a peaceful international environment for China’s own benefit, which in turn plays a greater role in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.
China takes the path of peaceful development due to its deep understanding of global trends favoring peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit. Any country, regardless of size and strength, can achieve sustainable development only when it takes part in international cooperation following the principles of equality and mutual benefit. In contrast, those pursuing hegemony and military aggression will only exhaust their resources and eventually decline and fall.
Humanity can learn profound and bitter lessons from history, where people were plunged into misery and human civilization suffered repeated catastrophes due to the wars caused by great powers seeking hegemony. It is a simple and sincere aspiration shared by people around the world to achieve peace, development and stability, rather than war, poverty and unrest. China’s path of peaceful development flows with the tide of history and conforms to the general trend of the world.
China has the right to development, and the Chinese people have the right to pursue a better life. As a country once subjected to oppression and humiliation, China seeks development with the goal of regaining dignity and security and enabling its people to live a happy life. In the process of pursuing this goal, China has grown and become strong. However, it will never seek to overtake, threaten, challenge or replace any other country, far less seek hegemony. The future of China lies in its own hands, and only the Chinese people can determine the destiny of their own country. No one has the right to deprive the Chinese people of the right to pursue a better life, or to slow China’s pace of development.
China hopes that other countries will accompany it on the same path. Only by sticking to this path can countries achieve common development and live together in peace. China will never pursue development at the expense of others’ interests, nor will China ever give up its own legitimate rights and interests. No country should expect China to trade off its core interests. No country can undermine China’s sovereignty, security and development.
4. Building a Global Community of Shared Future
The world has once again reached a crossroads, and humanity faces a choice between two paths. One advances into brightness; the other retreats into darkness. The profound changes we face, on a scale unseen in a century, and the raging Covid-19 pandemic are interlinked. Cold War thinking and the zero-sum game mindset are resurgent. Unilateralism, hegemony and power politics are on the rise. Economic globalization is battling against headwinds. The global arms race is escalating. Conventional and non-conventional security issues, such as climate change, terrorism, cyber-attacks, biosecurity challenges, and major infectious diseases, together pose a severe threat to global and regional security. The beautiful planet on which all humans live is experiencing a tremendous crisis, one caused by humanity itself.
Confronted by this level of change, and other difficulties and problems hindering development and governance, there is an urgent need for human society to seek out a new philosophy and make the international system and order fairer and more reasonable. The CPC has proposed building a global community of shared future, with the goal of creating an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. By addressing practical problems faced by the world today, human society will achieve peace and sustainable development through win-win cooperation, joint efforts, and shared benefits.
Building a global community of shared future is an essential choice that aligns with the general trend of history. Today, the interconnections and interdependences between different countries are closer than ever before. All countries coexist in the same global village, where each needs to safeguard humanity’s common interests together with other countries, while pursuing its own interests. Many problems are no longer confined to individual countries, and many challenges cannot be overcome by a single country alone. None can achieve development on its own; none is immune from global threats. Only through full cooperation can countries effectively address the problems the world faces and achieve common progress, on the base of their own development.
The concept of building a global community of shared future calls for promoting win-win cooperation. It rejects the law of the jungle, power politics and hegemony, and goes beyond the zero-sum game mindset.
In terms of politics, China calls on all countries to respect each other, discuss international issues as equals, reject the Cold War mentality and power politics, and take a new approach to developing state-to-state relations based on communication, not confrontation, and based on partnership, not alliance.
In terms of security, China calls on all countries to commit to settling disputes through dialogue and to resolving differences through discussion, to coordinate responses to conventional and non-conventional threats, and to oppose terrorism in all forms.
In terms of economic development, China calls on all countries to work together, to facilitate free trade and investment, and to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, and balanced, so that its benefits are shared by all.
In terms of cultural exchange, China calls on all countries to respect the diversity of civilizations, and to replace estrangement with exchange, clashes with mutual learning, and cultural superiority with coexistence of diverse cultures.
In terms of eco-environmental progress, China calls on all countries to be good friends to the environment, to strengthen cooperation on climate change and biodiversity conservation, and to protect our planet for the sake of human survival.
The concept of building a global community of shared future reflects the truth that all countries are interdependent and the whole of humanity shares the same future. It reflects the common values of humanity and finds the greatest common ground to build a better world. The aim of building a global community of shared future is neither to promote the unilateral propositions of one or a few cultures, nor to seek to make each and every country act in the same manner, far less to replace one system or civilization model with another. Instead, it proposes that countries with different social systems, ideologies, historical civilizations and development levels target the same goals, align their interests, and share their rights and responsibilities, so as to promote the overall development of human society.
The Belt and Road Initiative provides an important platform for building a global community of shared future. To make a real success of the BRI, it is imperative to follow the Silk Road spirit characterized by peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit. It is also important to focus on policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties. It is essential to uphold the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and to pursue open, green, clean, and close cooperation to improve people’s lives and promote sustainable development. The BRI has turned ideas into actions and vision into reality, and the initiative itself is a public product widely welcomed by the international community.
China has signed more than 200 documents on BRI cooperation with 140 countries and 32 international organizations. A World Bank report shows that the BRI could contribute to lifting 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million from moderate poverty, boost trade by 2.8 to 9.7 percent for participating countries and by 1.7 to 6.2 percent for the world, and increase global incomes by 0.7 to 2.9 percent. The BRI originated in China, but the opportunities and benefits it creates belong to the world. It pursues development, advocates win-win cooperation, and conveys hope.
The CPC is a political party with lofty goals. Its ambition is not to seek hegemony, but to contribute to the world. Over the past hundred years the CPC and China have shown firm self-confidence on a world stage riven with change, and built constructive relationships with other political parties and countries based on an attitude of humility and a spirit of partnership. The CPC firmly believes that the strength of a powerful political party or a powerful country lies in its open mind, broad vision, and great sense of responsibility, rather than its size and muscle. It also believes that peace, cooperation, dialogue and openness, rather than war, hegemony, confrontation and seclusion, represent the correct and the only path to a better future for humanity.
The past hundred years have been the prologue.
The past hundred years have witnessed the great struggle waged by the CPC to realize its goal of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
They have also been an extraordinary and difficult hundred years. The CPC has led the Chinese people to outstanding achievements of which they can be proud. But they will never give in to complacency or slacken their efforts. On the contrary, they will continue to work hard and forge ahead.
From a new starting point, the CPC and the Chinese people have set out on a new journey towards a modern socialist country. By the year 2035 China will realize socialist modernization, and by the middle of the 21st century, when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary, China will have developed into a great and modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. For the future, the CPC will lead the Chinese people towards even more ambitious goals.
The history of the past hundred years tells the story of the road behind and foretells the story of the journey ahead. China must uphold the firm leadership of the CPC, and the CPC must lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. It must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context, uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, continue the modernization of national defense and the armed forces, work towards a global community of shared future, engage in great endeavors, strengthen the unity of the Chinese people, and advance the new project of consolidating the Party.
This is a condensed summary of the 100-year experience of the CPC.
It also reflects the fundamental principles by which the Party will lead the people in creating a better future.
Achieving national rejuvenation is the historic mission of the CPC. It will maintain unity and lead the people to work harder than ever. Realizing China’s complete reunification is one of the historic tasks of the CPC. The Party and the people have the resolve, the will and the ability to complete the task. This is a cause that no person and no force will thwart.
The CPC has made an unbreakable commitment to bring the people a happy life. However, it is not an easy task to realize common prosperity and ensure the comforts of modern life for more than 1.4 billion people. On the journey ahead, the CPC will always put the people first, and work hard to resolve imbalances and inadequacies in development and the pressing difficulties and problems that are of the greatest concern to the people. It will overcome any obstacles and break any shackles hindering common prosperity, equity and justice. With pragmatic and sustained efforts, it will make substantive progress towards achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all. The CPC will prevail so long as it follows its own path, runs its affairs well, and works to satisfy the people’s new aspirations for a better life.
Moving forward, the CPC will continue to pursue people-oriented development as its top priority in governance. It will extend reform, open wider to the rest of the world, and follow a unique Chinese path to modernization. This will ensure that economic, political, cultural, social and eco-environmental development is of higher quality, more efficient, more equitable, more sustainable and more secure, so that the people will enjoy a greater share of its benefits. In addition, China will bring new opportunities to the rest of the world and provide new momentum for common development.
Moving forward, the CPC will continue to build socialism and continue to adapt Marxism to China’s conditions and keep it up to date. It will continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, so that socialism can herald bright prospects for China. The theory of scientific socialism will withstand the test of time and increase its appeal, and socialism in practice will help facilitate human progress and make a greater contribution to the human quest for better social systems.
Moving forward, the CPC will continue to stand on the right side of history and human progress. It will work together with all peace-loving countries and peoples to carry forward the common values of humanity – peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom. It will pursue cooperation rather than confrontation, opening up rather than isolation, and mutual benefits rather than the zero-sum game. It will oppose hegemony and power politics and contribute to building a global community of shared future and a better world.
Moving forward, the CPC will continue with its self-reform and maintain its progressive nature and integrity. It will continue to improve its leadership and governance and reinforce its ability to resist corruption and withstand risks. This will ensure that the Party remains always ahead of the times as history progresses and the world undergoes profound change. The Party will always remain the backbone of the nation as China responds to risks and challenges at home and abroad, and a powerful leadership core as the country continues to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. No external force can defeat the CPC as long as it retains its strength.
There is a logic behind all evolution. This is also true of political parties. The history of the CPC helps to explain how it has come to its present form, and also helps to indicate what its future will be.
The journey ahead will not be smooth, but the prospects are bright and broad. The CPC will unite more closely, the Chinese people will unite more closely, and all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, both at home and abroad, will unite more closely, all in pursuit of the same, better future. The goal of building China into a great modern socialist country will surely be achieved, the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation will surely come true, and the Chinese nation will surely make a greater contribution to humanity.
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