Qu Qingshan: Upholding Five Principles: Important Principles That Must Be Followed in China’s Development During 14th Five-Year Plan Period

2021-01-06 12:53:24

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party was an important meeting during which our Party made the strategic decision to embark on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country at the historical juncture of the “two centenary goals”. The Proposals for Formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 (hereinafter referred to as Proposals) is a programmatic document on building a modern socialist country adopted during this plenary session upon deliberation, fully reflecting the farsighted, comprehensive, thoughtful, and operational strategic vision of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core and providing strategic guidance for realizing the second centenary goal and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. The Proposals clarifies the guiding thought for China’s economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period and puts forward five important principles that must be upheld and followed. This is a profound summary of China’s experience in economic and social development since the beginning of reform and opening up, especially since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party, a profound revelation of the laws governing China’s economic and social development, a scientific answer to the questions about practice, the times, and history raised by today’s world and China, the sublimation of the CPC Central Committee’s practical experience in governance, and the latest achievement of the Party’s theoretical innovation in the new era, providing scientific ideological guidance for us to deeply understand the new stage of development, implement a new vision for development in depth, and make efforts to build a new pattern of development. Conscientiously studying, fully understanding and accurately grasping its essence and scientific implications is of great significance to our study and implementation of the spirit of the Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party, our unification of thought, will, and action, and our march toward a new journey with full confidence, pride, and cohesion.

Key role: upholding the Party’s overall leadership

The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the choice of history and the choice of the people. Our Party was born when the country was facing domestic trouble and foreign invasion and the nation was in great danger. It arose in intense upheavals of Chinese society, in fierce struggles of the Chinese people against feudal rule and foreign aggression, and in the course of integrating Marxism-Leninism with the Chinese workers’ movement in modern times. Compared with any other party in the past, our Party has a completely different nature. It emerged as a new Marxist party from the beginning and came onto the historical stage as the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation.

In the period of the New Democratic Revolution, the Party united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in toppling the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism that were oppressing the Chinese people and establishing the People’s Republic of China. In the period of socialist revolution and construction, the Party united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in carrying out socialist revolution, establishing socialism as China’s basic system, advancing socialist construction, and establishing an independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economic system. In the new period of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, the Party united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in launching the great new revolution of reform and opening up, realizing considerate growth in China’s economic strength, technological strength, and composite national strength, and notably improving people’s lives. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, embarking on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, and embracing the brilliant prospects of national rejuvenation. If the Party struggled to save the country in the period of the New Democratic Revolution, to build the country in the period of socialist revolution and construction, and to enrich the country in the new period of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, then the Party is struggling to make the country strong in the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Communist Party of China is the powerful leadership core in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country. The defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China; the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China; the Party is the highest force for political leadership. The Communist Party of China plays the role of the leadership core in exercising overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all. The leadership of the Communist Party of China is political, ideological, and organizational leadership, manifested in formulation of lines, principles, and policies, selection of competent officials and talents, and its efforts to chart our course, craft overall plans, design policy, and promote reform. Thus the Party can lead politically, guide through theory, organize the people, and inspire society.

Ensuring Party leadership over all work is an important aspect of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and a basic policy that underpins our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. While studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully implementing the Party’s basic theories, lines, and policies, we must ensure Party leadership over all work. In the critical period of the world’s profound changes unseen in a century and China’s national rejuvenation, in the face of complicated situations both at home and abroad, various risks and challenges, and the arduous task of reform, development, and stability, to foster decisive opportunities in crises and pioneer new situations in changes, we must give full play to the Party’s role as the ballast stabilizing China’s development, the backbone in the hard work of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and the leadership core in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party established the important principle of upholding the Party’s overall leadership that must be followed in economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The Proposals emphasizes that we should uphold and improve systems and mechanisms for the Party to lead economic and social development, uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, keep improving the capacity and level of implementing a new vision for development and building a new pattern of development, and provide fundamental guarantees for realizing high-quality development. In the great practice of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan well and realize the long-range objectives through the year 2035, we must uphold the Party’s overall leadership and earnestly give full play to Party leadership’s key role in completing various work tasks of the Party and the country.

Fundamental goal: upholding a people-centered approach

Wholeheartedly serving the people is our Party’s purpose. The Communist Party of China does not have its own interests, to say nothing of special interests. The Communist Party of China faithfully represents the interests of the Chinese working class and the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The original intention and mission of the Party is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and seek rejuvenation for the Chinese nation.

In its glorious history, the Party united the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and led them in a tireless struggle for the people’s happiness and national rejuvenation. In the period of the New Democratic Revolution, our Party proposed “punishing local tyrants and distributing farmland” for the people. In the period of socialist revolution and construction, our Party carried out socialist industrialization and socialist transformation of agriculture, handicraft industry, and capitalist industry and commerce and led all peasants to take the path of collectivization for the people. In the new period of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, our Party implemented the rural family contract responsibility system with remuneration linked to output, relaxed control, and enhanced vitality for the people. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, our Party led the people in winning the battle against poverty and securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects for the people. In revolution, construction, and reform, our Party always aimed for the Chinese people’s happy lives and realization of national rejuvenation.

The people’s standpoint is our Party’s fundamental political standpoint. Doing everything for the people and relying on the people all the time is an important aspect of our Party’s mass line, the fundamental starting point and destination of all our work, and a fundamental standard for us to judge whether reform is successful or not. The reason why our Party has always adhered to this fundamental political standpoint, attached great importance to this issue and repeatedly emphasized this principle is that in the historical course of revolution, construction, reform, and rejuvenation, the Party has deeply realized that the people are its roots, blood, and strength. If our Party is separated from the people and loses the people, its nature and color will change and it will have nothing and accomplish nothing.

Upholding a people-centered approach is an important aspect of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and a basic policy that underpins our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. While studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully implementing the Party’s basic theories, lines, and policies, we must uphold a people-centered approach. We should ensure and improve living standards through development, promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress, promote social harmony based on collaboration, participation, and common interests, and keep enhancing the people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party established the important principle of upholding a people-centered approach that must be followed in economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The Proposals emphasizes that we should ensure the principal status of the people, stick to the direction of common prosperity, always ensure development for the people and relying on the people with the fruits shared by the people, safeguard the fundamental interests of the people, stimulate the whole people’s enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity, promote social fairness, improve the wellbeing of the people, and keep realizing the people’s aspirations to live a better life. In the great practice of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan well and realize the long-range objectives through the year 2035, we must uphold a people-centered approach and always take the people as the fundamental goal of development.

Theoretical guidance: upholding a new vision for development

A new vision for development is the Party’s major innovative theory. A vision for development decides the overall situation, the fundamentals, and the direction with a long-term impact. Our actions are led by our vision for development, which is a concrete manifestation of the approach, direction, and focus of development. After the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward a new vision for development according to the development and change of situations both at home and abroad, especially the in-depth development of the new round of science and technology revolution and industrial change, in view of the principal contradictions and outstanding problems existing in China’s economic and social development, and based on summarizing China’s past experience in economic and social development and drawing on the fruits of human civilization’s development.

A new vision for development with scientific implications consisting of innovation, coordination, green, openness, and sharing is an organically integrated whole system. Among them, innovation is the driving force of development, coordination is the method of development, green is the model of development, openness is the path of development, and sharing is the goal of development. A new vision for development cuts into the contradictions and problems in China’s development, manifests the approach, direction, and focus of China’s future development, and profoundly reveals the only road to realizing high-quality development.

A new vision for development provided scientific guidance for China’s economic and social development in the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, a key period for China’s battle against poverty and decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Under the guidance of a new vision for development, after the development in the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, China made decisive achievements in securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The economic strength, technological strength, and composite national strength reached new major thresholds, the economic performance was stable overall, the economic structure continued to be optimized, agricultural modernization progressed steadily, the achievements in poverty alleviation attracted worldwide attention, unprecedented efforts were made to prevent pollution, the ecological environment improved significantly, major breakthroughs were made in deepening reform in all areas, opening up continued to expand, fruitful achievements were made in jointly pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, the people’s lives improved significantly, cultural undertakings and the cultural industry thrived, and modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance was accelerated. In general, the goals and tasks in the “13th Five-Year Plan” have been completed on time, and a victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is in sight.

Upholding a new vision for development is an important aspect of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and a basic policy that underpins our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. While studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully implementing the Party’s basic theories, lines, and policies, we must uphold a new vision for development. We should stick to taking high-quality development as theme and taking supply-side structural reform as main task, uphold the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability and unification of the problem-oriented approach and the goal-oriented approach, and continue to study new situations, solve new problems, face new tasks, and adopt new measures.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party established the important principle of upholding a new vision for development that must be followed in economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The Proposals emphasizes that we should implement a new vision for development in the whole course and all fields of development, build a new pattern of development, earnestly transform the growth model, work hard for better quality, higher efficiency, and more robust drivers, and achieve development that is of higher-quality and more efficient, fairer, more sustainable, and securer. In the great practice of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan well and realize the long-range objectives through the year 2035, we must uphold a new vision for development and take it as theoretical guidance for high-quality development.

Driving force of development: upholding deep reform and opening up

Reform and opening up was a strategic choice made by our Party. At the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Party, our Party followed the development trends of the times, met practical needs, responded to the people’s expectations, and resolutely made the historic decision to shift the focus of the Party and country’s work to economic development and to pursue the policy of reform and opening up. Reform and opening up was a great awakening of our Party, which gave birth to our Party’s great creation from theory to practice. Reform and opening up emancipated people’s thoughts, unleashed and developed productive forces, and greatly mobilized the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of hundreds of millions of people. Reform and opening up also strengthened the ties between China and the world and allowed China to open its doors and stride towards the world. Reform and opening up invigorated China, opened China, developed China, and strengthened China.

Reform and opening up is the key to determining the destiny of contemporary China and the key to realizing the “two centenary goals” and national rejuvenation. China’s rapid development in the past few decades depended on reform and opening up; to maintain China’s rapid development and realize our set goals in the future, we must still rely on reform and opening up. Reform and opening up is the fundamental driving force behind China’s development. Development is realized by reform. To deepen reform and opening up, the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Committee of the Party made strategic deployments for deepening reform in all areas. According to the deployments of the CPC Central Committee, we have taken moves across the board, achieved breakthroughs in many areas, and made deeper progress in reform. From establishment of foundations and frameworks to full promotion and momentum accumulation and to system integration and efficient coordination, we progressed all the way rapidly, steadily, courageously, and determinedly and realized new breakthroughs at a new starting point. In practice, benefits of reform were delivered continuously, momentum of reform became stronger and stronger, and decisive achievements were made in important areas and key links of reform. While deepening reform, China further expanded opening up to the outside world at a higher level. Reform and opening up energized high-quality development in the new era.

Continuing to comprehensively deepen reform is an important aspect of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and a basic policy that underpins our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. While studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully implementing the Party’s basic theories, lines, and policies, we must continue to comprehensively deepen reform. We should free our mind while seeking truth from facts and pursue overall progress while implementing targeted measures. Top-level planning should go in tandem with localized pilot programs that allow us to feel for stones when crossing a river. Bold moves should be taken with steady steps. The right balance should be struck among reform, development, and stability. We should pursue reform in a more systematic, holistic, and coordinated way and always make sure that reform will go on and that opening up will not stop.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party established the important principle of upholding deep reform and opening up that must be followed in economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The Proposals emphasizes that we should unswervingly advance reform, unswervingly expand opening up, strengthen modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance, remove the system and mechanism barriers that restrict high-quality development and high-quality life, strengthen major reform and opening up measures conducive to improving the efficiency of resource allocation and mobilizing the whole society’s initiative, and continue to enhance the driving force and vitality of development. In the great practice of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan well and realize the long-range objectives through the year 2035, we must uphold deep reform and opening up and provide a lasting driving force of development for the new stage of development through deep reform and opening up.

Important method: upholding a systematic concept

A systematic concept is an important basic thinking and working method. Marxism holds that the world is material and that matter has motion. Things are contradictory and generally related. The whole is not equal to the simple sum of the parts. Problems must be understood and grasped from the perspectives of development, connection, the whole, and systems.

Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Party, the CPC Central Committee has upheld a systematic concept and made systematic overall plans to advance the Party and country’s various undertakings. According to the development and change of situations and tasks, the general development trends of the world, and the new expectations of the people, General Secretary Xi Jinping clearly put forward the five-sphere integrated plan and four-pronged comprehensive strategy for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and proposed the basic policies that underpin our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and the general requirements for Party building for the new era. These plans, policies, and requirements are all products of upholding a systematic concept, playing a role in concentrating on the main points, grasping the key links, focusing on the goals, and leading the way in the overall situation of the Party and the country’s work.

Facing the new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country that will soon begin, we must cope and deal with complex contradictions and problems at home and abroad with a systematic concept. Now we are closer to the goal of realizing national rejuvenation than in any period in history and we are more confident and capable of realizing this goal than in any period in history. However, as we get closer to national rejuvenation, there will be more difficulties, risks, challenges, and even tempests. At present, the internal and external environments of China’s development are undergoing profound and complex changes. Profound changes unseen in a century are taking place in the world today, accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The international economic, technological, cultural, security and political landscape is undergoing profound adjustments. The world has entered a period of turbulent change. The domestic development environment is also undergoing profound changes. China has entered the stage of high-quality development. The principal contradiction in society has undergone major changes. We have many advantages and conditions for further development, but the problem of development’s imbalances and inadequacies is still prominent. Various contradictions at home and abroad are intertwined and various problems are accumulated. All these need to be understood and grasped with a systematic concept. We should proceed from reality, think carefully, and plan and solve them systematically.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party established the important principle of upholding a systematic concept that must be followed in economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The guiding principle proposed is an important innovation and development of the Party’s theories, adding new content to the thinking and working methods of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and providing methodological guidance for all Party members and officials to promote economic and social development in the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. The Proposals emphasizes that we should strengthen prospective thinking, overall planning, the strategic layout, and overall advancement, keep in mind both our internal and international imperatives, ensure both development and security, stick to coordinated national response, give better play to the initiative of the central government, local governments, and various quarters, focus on solidifying the foundation, leveraging our strengths, and tackling areas of weaknesses, focus on preventing and defusing major risks and challenges, and build greater synergy among quality, structure, scale, speed, efficiency, and security of development. In the great practice of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan well and realize the long-range objectives through the year 2035, we must uphold a systematic concept and take it as an important thinking and working method in the stage of making overall plans to promote new development.

 (Author: Qu Qingshan, Director of Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee)

 (Source: Party Building Magazine, Issue 11 of 2020)