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Study, Disseminate and Implement the Guiding Principles of the 18th CPC National Congress

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Author:Xi Jinping | Source:Xi Jinping The Governance of China

Abstract:

Study, Disseminate and Implement the Guiding Principles of the 18th CPC National Congress *

November 17, 2012 

The political report to the 18th National Congress of the CPC has charted a grand blueprint for bringing about a moderately prosperous society in all respects, accelerating socialist modernization, and achieving new victories for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new historic circumstances. It is a political proclamation and action plan with which our Party will rally and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in marching along the path of Chinese socialism and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It guides the work of the current central leadership. The CPC Central Committee has issued a notice on conscientiously studying, disseminating and implementing the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress, and Party committees at all levels should strictly comply with the notice. 

It was emphasized at the 18th National Congress that we should uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics, that the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is the fundamental accomplishment made by the Party and the people during the arduous struggle over the past 90 years, and that we must cherish what has been accomplished and never deviate from it but rather continue to enrich it. The Congress has called on the whole Party to explore and master the laws of socialism with Chinese characteristics, ensure that the Party is always full of vigor and that China never lacks the driving force for development, and that we must strive for a bright future for developing China's socialism. In fact, adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics was the theme of the political report to the 18th National Congress. We must always stick to this theme, continue to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, and work hard to reach the goal. This will enable us to study, understand and implement the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress more thoroughly, completely and conscientiously.

Why have I emphasized this? Because only socialism can save China, and only Chinese socialism can lead our country to development – a fact that has been fully proved through the long-term practice of the Party and the state. Only by upholding socialism with Chinese characteristics can we bring together and lead the whole Party, the whole nation and the people of all ethnic groups in realizing a moderately prosperous society by the centenary of the CPC in 2021 and in turning China into a prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country by the centenary of the People's Republic of China in 2049, so as to ensure the people greater happiness and the nation a brighter future.

To study, disseminate and implement the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress with emphasis on adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, in my opinion, it is important to pay particular attention to the following areas when applying theory to practice: 

First, we must understand that socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental accomplishment made by the Party and the people during long-term practice. China's socialist system was pioneered in the new era of reform and opening up, and it is an outcome of the Party's painstaking efforts. It was accomplished by the whole Party and whole people, under several generations of the Party's central collective leadership, through numerous trials and tenacious efforts at all costs. Relying closely on the people, our Party lowered the curtain, once and for all, on a poor and weak country that had suffered from both domestic turmoil and foreign aggression since the advent of modern times, and made an epic move towards the steady growth, development and renewal of the Chinese nation. It has thus enabled China, a country with a civilization of over 5,000 years, to stand firm among the nations of the world.

We must always remember the historic contribution made by the Party's three generations of central collective leadership and the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as general secretary to the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The first generation of the central collective leadership with Mao Zedong as the core provided invaluable experience as well as the theoretical and material basis for the great initiative of building socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new historic period. The second generation with Deng Xiaoping as the core started the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The third generation with Jiang Zemin as the core advanced socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century, followed by Hu Jintao as general secretary of the Central Committee who adhered to and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics from a new historic starting point. It goes without saying that socialism with Chinese characteristics encapsulates the ideals and explorations of generations of Chinese Communists, embodies the aspirations of countless patriots and revolutionary martyrs, and crystallizes the struggles and sacrifices of the myriads of the Chinese people. It is a natural choice for the development of Chinese society in modern times, and it is the only way to bring about the country's development and stability.

Facts prove that Chinese socialism is a banner of unity, endeavor and victory for the CPC and the Chinese people as a whole. We must always uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics and firmly adhere to and develop Chinese socialism in order to bring about a moderately prosperous society in all respects, accelerate socialist modernization and achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation. This is the very reason why the 18th National Congress has called on the whole Party to have full confidence in the path, theory and system of Chinese socialism.

Second, we must thoroughly understand that socialism with Chinese characteristics consists of a path, theory and system. The 18th National Congress expounded on the scientific meaning of the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the relationships between the three. The Congress stressed that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a way to reach the goal, the theory offers a guide to action, and the system provides a fundamental guarantee. All three serve the great cause of building Chinese socialism. This is the most salient feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

This conclusion reveals that socialism with Chinese characteristics incorporates practice, theory and system. It synthesizes successful experience in practice into theories, uses these correct theories to guide new practices and incorporates effective principles and policies into Party and national systems. That is why socialism with Chinese characteristics is special – in its path, theory and system; in the intrinsic interaction between the way of realizing the goal, guide to action and fundamental guarantee; and in that all three serve the great practice of building Chinese socialism. In present-day China, adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics means upholding socialism in its true sense. 

The path of Chinese socialism is the only way to achieve China's socialist modernization and create a better life. This path takes economic development as the central task, and brings along economic, political, cultural, social, ecological and other forms of progress. It adheres to both the Four Cardinal Principles and the reform and opening-up policy. It entails further releasing and developing the productive forces, and achieving prosperity for all and the well-rounded development of everyone.

The theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to China's conditions. It incorporates Deng Xiaoping Theory , the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It has inherited, continued and creatively developed Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. We should not abandon Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought; otherwise, we would be deprived of our foundation. Moreover, we must focus our work on the practical problems in reform, opening up and modernization, and on our various endeavors, with a view to the application of Marxist theory, theoretical thinking on practical issues, and initiation of new practice for development. In contemporary China upholding the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics means upholding Marxism in its true sense.

The socialist system with Chinese characteristics integrates the fundamental political system, the basic political systems, the basic economic system and other systems and mechanisms. It combines national and local democratic systems, the Party's leadership, the position of the people as masters of the country, and law-based governance. This system conforms to the national conditions in China, showcases the special traits and strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and provides a fundamental systemic guarantee for China's development.

The socialist system with Chinese characteristics is unique and effective. However, we should be aware that it is not perfect or fully functioning. The Chinese socialist system needs to improve to keep in step with the development of the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics. During his inspection tour of southern China in 1992 Deng Xiaoping pointed out, "It will probably take another thirty years for us to develop a more mature and well-defined system in every field." It was emphasized at the 18th National Congress that it is imperative to give top priority to the building of systems while giving full play to the superiority of the socialist political system in China. We must improve current systems and promote institutional innovation with theoretical innovation based on practice. We must proceed from reality, formulate new systems in a timely fashion, and put in place a well-developed, systematically and rationally regulated, and effective framework of systems to ensure that all systems and institutions are working properly and functioning well, and thereby provide a more effective institutional guarantee for new victories. 

Third, we must have an in-depth understanding of the basic foundation, overall planning and main mandate of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. It was emphasized at the 18th National Congress that the basic foundation for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is that China is in the primary stage of socialism, that its overall plan is to seek economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, and that its main objective is to achieve socialist modernization and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The foundation, plan and objective are succinctly and pointedly defined. A better understanding and grasp of these new definitions will help us get to the essence and essentials of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

It is important to stress the basic foundation of China being in the primary stage of socialism. This is the paramount reality and the most important national condition in contemporary China. We must always bear it in mind and promote reform and development in all respects on the basis of this very reality. It is imperative not only in accelerating the economy, but also in speeding up political, cultural, social and ecological development; not only when our economy was small, but also when it is large; and not only when planning long-term development, but also during daily work. The Party's basic line for the primary stage of socialism is the lifeline of the Party and the state. In practice we must firmly adhere to "one central task, two basic points," neither deviating from the "one central task" nor neglecting the "two basic points." We must adopt a holistic approach to the realization of the common ideal of building Chinese socialism and the long-term goal of realizing communism, stand firm against various erroneous views aimed at abandoning socialism, and rectify all erroneous and unrealistic mindsets, policies and measures that go beyond the current primary stage of socialism. This will keep us from being either self-abased or over-confident, and enable us to achieve new victories for China's socialism. 

We give top priority to overall planning, simply because we must achieve all-round development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The most important thing for our Party is to govern the country well and rejuvenate the nation. The Party must always represent the requirements for developing the advanced productive forces. We must focus on economic development and promote coordinated political, cultural, social and ecological development on the basis of economic growth. As China steps forward socially and economically, it has become increasingly significant to pursue ecological progress. The 18th National Congress included ecological progress in its overall plan for building Chinese socialism, thus highlighting the strategic importance of ecological progress and making it possible to incorporate ecological efforts into those for economic, political, cultural and social progress in all respects and throughout the whole process. This is an important practical and theoretical achievement of our Party in our understanding of the law of building socialism. We must carry out the overall plan, pursue coordinated development in all areas of our modernization drive, and promote harmony between the relationships of production and the productive forces, and between the superstructure and the economic base. 

We pay close attention to the main objective because the CPC has shouldered the historic mission of rejuvenating the Chinese nation ever since its founding. The very purpose of the Party in leading the Chinese people in revolution, development and reform is to make the people prosperous and the country strong, and rejuvenate the Chinese nation. According to the three-step strategic plan for modernization, it is the goal of our Party and state to build a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country during the primary stage of socialism. The historic mission of our Party, the fundamental purpose of reform and opening up, and the goal of our country all converge in the main objective and are also derived from it. This is an objective for which we should never relax our efforts, nor should our future generations. 

During different historical periods our Party has always been able to put forth inspirational goals in line with the will of the people and the needs of our development, and lead the people in achieving those goals. In response to both domestic and international changes and new economic and social developments in China, and living up to the new expectations of the people, the 18th National Congress revised the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, with a clearer policy guidance, greater inclination towards development problems, and better responses to the people's expectations. The updated goal is coherent with those set at the Party's 16th and 17th national congresses, and in line with the overall plan for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The whole Party and the country must act with one mind, work in a down-to-earth manner, be creative and pioneering, and forge ahead in realizing a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and continuing reform and opening up in all areas – the two goals set at the 18th National Congress. 

Fourth, we must have a thorough knowledge of the basic requirements for achieving new victories for Chinese socialism, which the 18th National Congress identified and which we must fulfill with firm determination in the new historic circumstances. These requirements are based on six decades of our experience in building socialism, especially socialism with Chinese characteristics, and on the Party's basic theories, lines, platforms and experience. They are the essentials that reflect the laws of governance by the CPC, laws of building socialism, and laws of the development of human society. They are testimony to the new understanding by our Party of the laws of Chinese socialism.

The basic requirements set forth at the 18th National Congress answer the question of how to achieve new victories for Chinese socialism on the new historic journey. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a cause for the people in their hundreds of millions – this is why we must give full play to the role of the people as the masters of the country. Freeing and developing the productive forces is a fundamental task of Chinese socialism – this is why we must focus on economic development and pursue a people-oriented, all-round, coordinated, proper and sustainable development. Reform and opening up is the only way leading to Chinese socialism – this is why we must always apply the spirit of reform and innovation to all aspects of governance, and continuously promote the self-improvement and development of China's socialist system. Fairness and justice are inherent requirements of Chinese socialism – this is why we must, relying on the concerted efforts of all the Chinese people and based on economic and social development, double our efforts to develop institutions that are vital to ensuring social fairness and justice, and establish in due course a system for guaranteeing social equity. Common prosperity is the fundamental principle of Chinese socialism – this is why we must ensure that all the people share the fruits of development in a fair way, and move steadily towards common prosperity. Social harmony is an inherent attribute of Chinese socialism – this is why we must rally all the forces that can be rallied, maximize the factors for harmony, stimulate the creative vitality of society, and ensure that the people lead a happy, stable life and the country enjoys enduring peace. Peaceful development is an inevitable prerequisite of Chinese socialism – this is why we must pursue development through opening up and cooperation to benefit all, expand areas of common interests with all others and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity together with other countries. The CPC is the core leadership for the cause of Chinese socialism – this is why we must enhance and improve the Party's leadership and give full play to its leading and core role in exercising overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all. 

The basic requirements set forth at the 18th National Congress positively responded to the need of addressing pressing issues in China's economic and social development, the challenges in the difficult in-depth reforms and in speeding up the transformation of the growth model, and the sensitive issues that officials and the general public are especially concerned about. They have also given us good guidance on how to pursue reform, development and stability, handle national defense and domestic and foreign affairs, and run the Party, the country and the military in this decisive stage at which China is striving to realize a moderately prosperous society in all respects. These basic requirements cover many areas – the productive forces and relations of production, the economic base and the superstructure, the great cause of Chinese socialism and the new undertaking of Party building, and a holistic approach to both the domestic and international situations. The 18th National Congress stuck close to and fully reflected these basic requirements in making plans and arrangements for actions in various areas. If we truly meet all the basic requirements we will be able to pool our strength more effectively, overcome all difficulties, pursue balanced, proper and coordinated development, promote social harmony and improve our people's lives. Then we can complete the glorious and arduous tasks bestowed by the times. 

Fifth, we must fully understand why we need to ensure that the CPC is always the firm core leadership guiding the cause of Chinese socialism. It was emphasized at the 18th National Congress that the CPC shoulders the great responsibility for bringing together and leading the people in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, in advancing socialist modernization and in achieving the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The Party's strength and its close ties with the people have ensured China prosperity and stability, and the Chinese people peace and happiness. The new developments, the need for progress in our cause and the people's expectations have all made it imperative for us to carry out the great new undertaking of Party building in the spirit of reform and innovation, and upgrade our efforts in all respects to a new level. To run the country well we must first run the Party well, and to run the Party well we must run it strictly. For this purpose, the 18th National Congress set forth the overall requirements for systematic Party building in the new circumstances, and spelled out the specific tasks involved. The whole Party must learn and understand them, and implement them to the letter.

The overall requirements for Party building set forth at the 18th National Congress are derived from the need to inherit and develop the fundamentals that have shored up the advanced nature of our Party, a Marxist party, for over 90 years. They respond to changes in the world, in our country and within our Party. Over the years we have been pressing ahead with the new task of Party building in all respects. The Party has enhanced its governing capabilities, preserved and improved its pioneering nature and purity, and strengthened and improved its leadership. However, in view of the need to manage changes in domestic and international conditions, and to accomplish its historic mission, there is still considerable room for our Party to improve its art of leadership, governing capacity and organization, and the quality, competence, and practices of its members and officials. Party building in the new circumstances, in particular, faces "four tests" and "four risks," which makes it more difficult and pressing to ensure that the Party properly manages its own affairs and strictly disciplines itself. All Party members must heighten their sense of urgency and responsibility, focus on the overall requirements of Party building, steadily improve the Party's art of leadership and governance, and enhance its ability to resist corruption, prevent degeneration and ward off corruption risks, so that our Party may always remain ahead of the times in its historic journey accompanied by profound changes worldwide, always act as the backbone of the Chinese people in its historic response to domestic and international risks and tests of all kinds, and always be the strong core leadership in the historic journey to adhere to and develop Chinese socialism. 

It has always been the foundation for the lifeline and pursuit of all Communists to have full confidence in ideals and firm faith in communism. Belief in Marxism and faith in socialism and communism are the political soul of Communists, enabling them to withstand all tests. Put figuratively, the ideals and convictions of Communists are the marrow of their faith. Without, or with weak, ideals or convictions, they would be deprived of their marrow and suffer from "lack of backbone." This has been proved true by the cases of some Party members and officials who acted improperly due to lack of ideals and confused faith. All Party members, in accordance with the plans set at the 18th National Congress, must earnestly study and implement the system of socialist theories with Chinese characteristics, especially the Scientific Outlook on Development, reflect Party awareness in their actions, observe moral standards, set good examples and work hard for the common goal of realizing Chinese socialism. 

Maintaining close ties between the Party and the people and between officials and individuals has always been the basis of our success. Facts prove that the future and destiny of a political party and government depend on popular support. If we stray from the people and lose their support we will end up in failure. We must bear in mind the new characteristics and requirements for public work in the new circumstances. We must organize our people, communicate with them, educate them, serve them, learn from them, and subject ourselves to their oversight. We should always be part of the people, work for their interests, and maintain close ties and share good and bad times with them. We should draw wisdom and strength from their great practice; deliver more concrete services to the people that meet their needs, relieve their burdens and benefit their lives; and put a stop to all acts that prejudice their interests. The 18th National Congress put forward the idea of carrying out an extensive program throughout the Party to heighten awareness of and implement the Party's mass line, with the focus on serving the people and staying pragmatic and honest. The CPC Central Committee will make specific arrangements for this program, and Party committees at all levels should implement them, solve pressing problems of major concern to the people and make the program a success. 

It has always been the CPC's consistent and clear political position to combat corruption, promote political integrity and keep the Party healthy. Building a fine Party culture and a corruption-free Party is a major political issue of great concern to the people. "Worms can only grow in something rotten." In recent years, long-pent-up problems in some countries have led to resentment among the people, unrest in society and the downfall of governments, with corruption being a major culprit. Facts prove that if corruption is allowed to spread, it will eventually lead to the destruction of a party and the fall of a government. We must keep up our vigilance. Serious violations of Party discipline and state laws that have occurred inside our Party during the past few years are of a vile nature and have produced shockingly harmful political consequences. Party committees at all levels must firmly oppose and combat corruption, and prevent and crack down on it more effectively to ensure that all officials are honest and upright, governments clean and incorruptible, and Communists of political integrity. Officials at all levels, especially high-ranking officials, must conscientiously observe the code of conduct. They should exercise strict self-discipline, strengthen education and restrain their family and immediate staff. It is absolutely impermissible to abuse one's power for personal gain or to seek privileges. All violations of Party discipline and state laws must be punished without exception, and we shall not be soft in dealing with them. 

The 18th National Congress pointed out that developing Chinese socialism is a long-term arduous task of historic importance, and that we must be prepared for a great struggle with many new historic features. All Party members must make strenuous efforts with firm conviction and unswervingly develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in a pioneering spirit. We must keep improving the practice and theory of Chinese socialism in line with the national features in a timely fashion. We must bring together and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in accomplishing goals and tasks for a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We must continue to work for the three historic missions of modernization, reunification of the motherland, and world peace and the common development of all nations. These are missions of historic importance that have been bestowed on our generation of Communists, and to which we must dedicate all our wisdom and strength.

* Speech at the first group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee which Xi presided over.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)


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