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Deeply Understand the Major Significance of the Evolution of the Principal Contradiction Facing Chinese Society

Submit Time:06-12-2017 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Li Junru | Source:People’s Daily November 16, 2017

Abstract:

In the history of our Party, the 19th National Congress has the epoch making significance. At the congress, Comrade Xi Jinping made the important political statement that “as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life.” This important political statement is of great significance, and we can understand and grasp it deeply only by linking the historical, present and future development.  

The evolution of the principal social contradiction reflects the new stage characteristics of the social development in our country 

The party's ideological line is proceeding from reality in everything we do, linking theory with the reality, seeking truth from facts, and testing truth and developing truth in practice. To our Chinese Communists, we must grasp three main points in proceeding from reality: the first is objective authenticity. We must go deep into practice and masses, reflect the social reality in an objective manner, including the true needs of the people. The second is the comprehensiveness of things. The reality can be big or small, global and local, and phenomena and essence. To adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must fully know the basic conditions in China, and it is particularly important to clearly know the principal contradiction facing the Chinese society. The third is the variability of development. Things always develop and change, new contradictions can generate after old contradictions are solved, and new contradictions also keep on changing. Therefore, to understand and grasp the basic national conditions of China, we must pay close attention to and know the stage characteristics of social development, and deeply analyze and understand the characteristics of the evolution of principal contradiction in the society.  

After the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core emphasized that we must correctly understand and grasp the stage characteristics of the social development in China. Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out that to understand and grasp the stage characteristics of China's social development, we should adhere to the methodology of dialectical materialism and historical materialism, think by combining history and reality, theory and practice, domestic and international aspects, in the historical position of the social development of our country, and in the global situation of the development of the undertaking of our Party and the state, to obtain correct conclusions.  

It can be seen that the social development of our country today does present a lot of new stage features. On one hand, the Chinese economy still maintains a medium-high growth rate. China's comprehensive national strength and people's living standards have been greatly raised, and the economic aggregate now ranks steadily at the second place in the world. In the five years since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China's GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan to 80 trillion yuan, contributing over 30% to world economic growth. Foreign trade, outbound investment and foreign exchange reserves are among the highest in the world. On the other hand, China's per capita GDP is still in the middle-income stage, there are more than 43 million rural poverty population, the development gap between urban and rural areas and between different regions is still large, the development quality and efficiency is not high, the real economy is not strong enough, there is still hard jobs to do and a long way to go in the ecological environment protection, there are a lot of weak areas in people's livelihood, and some outstanding problems of inadequate and unbalanced development remain unresolved.  

These stage characteristics in the economic and social development of China are reflected on the principal contradiction as: on the one hand, the masses of the people, after solving the problem of food and clothing and coming to a well-off society, not only put forward higher demands on material and cultural life, but also have ever-growing needs on democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice, security and environment; on the other hand, obvious progress has been achieved in the productive force and production pattern through reform and development, but the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development has become apparent, becoming the main restricting factor to the ever-growing needs of the people for a better life. The important political statement “as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life” is a scientific judgment of the Communist Party of China on the stage characteristics of the social development in China today, and an important theoretical innovation achievement of the 19th National Congress of the CPC.  

Evolution of the principal contradiction in society is an important basis for formulating the fundamental policy and long-term strategy of the Party and the state 

The judgment of the principal contradiction in society is an important basis for formulating the fundamental policy and long-term strategy of the Party and the stateFor a long time, our Party has revealed the social principal contradiction, and analyzed and grasped stage characteristics in social development through the complicated social phenomena, to formulate the programs and lines of the Party in different periods in a scientific way.  

At the beginning of reform and opening up, Comrade Deng Xiaoping, on the basis of the judgment on the principal contradiction facing the Chinese society at the 8th National Congress of the CPC in 1956, pointed out that: “the development level of productive force in China is still quite low, far from meeting the needs of the people and the state. This is our principal contradiction in the present period, and solving this principal contradiction is our central task.” Later, after in-depth study, the Communist Party of China further refined this important theoretical expression as: “after the basic completion of socialist reform, the principal contradiction to be solved in China is that between the ever-growing needs of the people for materials and culture and the backward social production.” 

The statement in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC that “the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved, and what we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life” is of great significance. This is not only because the evolution of principal contradiction in society is a historical one related to the global situation, but also because the evolution of principal contradiction in society means that new stage characteristics have appeared in the socialism with Chinese characteristics. Only by firmly grasping the stage characteristics in the development of China and the new aspiration of the people for a better life, can we put forth new ideas, new strategy and new measures with respect to the new evolution of the principal contradiction in society, continue to implement the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Today, in studying and implementing the important political judgment in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC about the principal contradiction in society, we must recognize that it has centrally reflected the new stage characteristics in the social development of China, and put forth many new requirements on the work of the Party and the state. Therefore, we should carry out deeply the new concept of development, and strive to solve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, to better meet the ever-growing needs of the people on many aspects, and better promote the all-round development of people and all-round progress of the society.  

The evolution of the principal contradiction in society in China has not changed our judgment on the historical stage of socialism in China.  

While stating the evolution of the principal contradiction in society, the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC also emphasized that “the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society does not change our assessment of the present stage of socialism in China. The basic dimension of the Chinese context that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism has not changed. China's international status as the world's largest developing country has not changed.” In studying and comprehending the important political judgment on the evolution of the principal contradiction in society, we must think deeply and study on a unified basis the issue of the evolution of principal contradiction in society with the issue that the primary stage of socialism has not changed, and understand and grasp both judgments of “changed” and “not changed” on a unified basis.  

The so-called “not changed” means that the basic dimension of the Chinese context that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism has not changed, and China's international status as the world's largest developing country has not changed. This is because the task of realizing socialist modernization in China has not yet been fulfilled. After the reform and opening up, while recognizing that the primary stage of socialism is the basic dimension of the Chinese context, we emphasized that the connotation of the primary stage of socialism is underdeveloped socialism. It is underdeveloped socialism because the socialism in China was born out of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, we have not yet fulfilled the tasks of industrialization and modernization, and we must realize under the conditions of socialism the industrialization and modernization that many other countries have already fulfilled under the conditions of capitalism. As long as this task remains unfulfilled, the primary stage of socialism is not ended, and China's international status as the world's largest developing country will remain unchanged.  

The so-called “changed” means that the primary stage of socialism has the characteristics of continual changes. In other words, the primary stage of socialism can be further divided into different stages. It was the primary stage when we were “poor and blank” at the beginning of establishing the socialist system, the primary stage after we have established independent industrial systems and national economy system in the socialist construction, the primary stage when we strove to become “well-off” after solving the question of food and clothing, and will remain the primary stage after we complete the building of a well-off society in all aspects. After the start of the 21st century, the economic strength of China has substantially enhanced. Then we faced the important theoretical questions whether China is still in the primary stage of socialism and whether the principal contradiction in society has changed. At the 17th National Congress of the CPC, while confirming that “the basic national conditions have not changed” and the “principal contradiction of the society has not changed”, it was stated that “as we entered the new century and a new stage, the development of our country has presented a series of new stage characteristics”. As the new stage characteristics in the development of China became daily apparent, the 19th National Congress of the CPC made an in-depth analysis of the stage characteristics in the social development of China today, and made the important political judgment that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved, and what we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. This has reflected the objective reality in the social development of China, conducive to better solving various problems in the development of our country, to better realizing the overall development of all undertakings, and to better developing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.  

It is pointed out in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC that, the world is changing every moment and China is also changing every moment, we must keep up with the times theoretically, keep on cognizing the law of evolution, and keep on pushing ahead theoretical innovation, practical innovation, institutional innovation, cultural innovation and innovation on other aspects. A clear recognition of the principal contradiction in society in China is a matter concerning the correct cognition and grasp of the basic national conditions, a matter concerning the scientific formulation of the fundamental policy and long-term strategy of the Party and the state, and a matter concerning the long-term development of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. The important political statement on the evolution of the principal contradiction facing the Chinese society is an important component of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We should, guided by Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, deeply understand the new evolution of the principal contradiction in society in the primary stage of socialism, firmly grasp the basic national condition of primary stage of socialism, firmly take foot on the biggest reality of primary stage of socialism, firmly adhere to the basic line of the Party which is the life line of the Party and the state and the happiness line of the people, lead and unite people of all ethnic groups of the country, take economic construction as the central task, uphold the four cardinal principles, persist in reform and opening up, self-reliance and pioneering, and work hard to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.  

(The author was former vice principal of the Party School of Central Committee of CPC)


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