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Fully Grasp Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Entering a New Era

Submit Time:08-01-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Li Zhanshu | Source:People’s Daily (November 9, 2017)

Abstract:

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. This is a major political judgment made at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which clarifies the new historic juncture in China’s development, gives new connotations of the era to the Party’s historical missions, compliance with theories, goals and tasks, and provides coordinates of the era and a scientific basis for us to grasp the new features of development and change in China today and enhance the purposefulness and resolution in implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in depth. 

I. Basic Basis of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Entering a New Era 

The Communist Party of China was born along with the tide of the times, and developed, grew and matured in the historical course of keeping pace with the times. In China today, to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must grasp the characteristics of the era, directly face the questions of the era, and keep showing vigorous vitality in manifesting up-to-datedness, mastering regularity and enhancing creativity. The major political judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era, made on the basis of faithfully grasping the new historic juncture in China’s development, has sufficient temporal, theoretical and practical basis. 

First of all, this judgment is based on socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new stage of development. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has scientifically grasped the tide of domestic and overseas development, responded to practical requirements and the wishes of the people, demonstrated tremendous political courage and a powerful sense of mission, upheld the flag to show the direction, made overall plans, risen to challenges, pioneered and pushed ahead, made historic achievements in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization, and prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. These shifts with great impacts, wide ranges, obvious effects and far-reaching influences are all of pioneering significance in the history of the Party, the history of the development of new China and the history of the development of the Chinese nation. This shows that on the basis of the major achievements in China’s development made since the founding of new China, especially the beginning of reform and opening up, China’s development has reached a new historical starting point, and socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new stage of development. This new stage of development shares the same origin with the development in the nearly 40 years of reform and opening up and has many new characteristics in line with the times. For example, a new leap in the Party’s theoretical explorations was realized, major innovation in the Party’s mode and strategy of governance was carried out, the Party’s idea and mode of development promotion underwent a major shift, major changes took place in China’s environment and conditions of development, and the requirements on the level and quality of development are higher than before. Scientifically understanding and fully grasping socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new stage of development requires thinking and planning according to the new historic juncture and new coordinates of the era. 

This judgment is based on the new evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved from the contradiction between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production to the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. This conclusion reflects the actual situation of China’s development, reveals the crux restraining China’s development, and points out the focus of efforts for solving the problem with China’s development today. Through nearly 40 years of efforts in reform and opening up, China has seen the basic needs of over a billion people met, has basically made it possible for people to live decent lives, and will soon bring the building of a moderately prosperous society to a successful completion. The needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing. While China’s overall productive forces have significantly improved and in many areas our production capacity leads the world, our problem is that our development is and will be unbalanced and inadequate. This has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people’s increasing needs for a better life. The evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society will certainly exert broad and profound influence on the whole landscape on China’s development. Scientifically understanding and fully grasping the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society also requires thinking and planning according to the new historic juncture and new coordinates of the era. 

This judgment is at the same time based on the new requirements on the Party’s goals. The period between the 19th and the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. In this period, not only must we finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the first centenary goal; we must also build on this achievement to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. The glorious mission and major responsibility require further top-level design and careful planning. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, based on a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China’s development, put forward clear requirements on securing a decisive victory in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and drew up a two-stage development plan for realizing the second centenary goal. From 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized; we will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful in the middle of the 21st century. This is our strategic vision for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, not only making the roadmap and timeframe of realizing the two centenary goals clearer, but also meaning China’s original goal of basically realizing modernization will be completed 15 years in advance while the second centenary goal has been upgraded to developing China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. Scientifically understanding and fully grasping this inspiring and feasible goal and grand new blueprint also requires thinking and planning according to the new historic juncture and new coordinates of the era. 

This judgment is also based on the new changes in the international environment facing China. The world is undergoing major developments, transformation, and adjustment. China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development; the prospects are bright but the challenges are severe. Now is a critical moment of China’s transition from a major country to a great country, which attracts criticisms easily, and the external environment is more complicated. Some countries and international forces restrain, fear and pressure us more. This is also a major problem we need to face. Now China’s development integrates, connects and interacts with the outside world increasingly, and China is moving closer to center stage. The judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era was made after sufficient reflection on the new changes in the international situation and surrounding environment. 

Generally speaking, the major political judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era was made on the basis of scientifically grasping the trends of the era and major changes in the international situation and scientifically grasping the new situations, new problems and new contradictions we have seen, might see and cannot predict in the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. This judgment in line with the reality of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the logical outcome of China’s social development and progress since the beginning of reform and opening up, the logical outcome of the movement of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, the logical outcome of the historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country promoted by the all Party members and all the people in the five years after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and a requisite for our Party to unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them to a bright future. 

II. Main Connotations of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Entering a New Era 

The major political judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era neither emerged out of the void nor is a simple new conceptual expression. Instead, it has rich and profound ideological connotations. 

This new era will be an era of building on past successes to further advance our cause, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental achievement that the Party and people strived for, created and accumulated in the past 96 years. After the beginning of reform and opening up especially, our Party led the people to forge ahead on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, greatly sparking the Chinese people’s creativity, greatly unleashing and developing productive forces, greatly stimulating the vitality of the society, and greatly raising China’s international standing. Our Party, our country, our people, our forces, and our nation have changed in ways without precedent, and socialism has shown strong vitality in China. Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out in the 1980s: “But only our achievements in economic development can eventually convince those who do not believe in socialism. If we can become comparatively prosperous by the end of this century, they will be partly convinced, and when we have turned China into a moderately developed socialist country by the middle of the next century, they will be completely convinced.” In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the primary task of the Party’s governance is to closely focus on the theme of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, unite and lead the people to strive for realization of the two centenary goals, write a great new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and let socialism with Chinese characteristics display even stronger vitality. 

This new era will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. Focusing on realizing the two centenary goals, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China clearly put forward very strategic, prospective and targeted requirements on economic, political, cultural, social and ecological advancement rich in ideological, political and reform content. Finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects on schedule in 2020 is a solemn commitment made by our Party to the people and history. To complete this goal, we must overcome many barriers in the days to come. The period between now and 2020 will be decisive in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. In this decisive period, we must sound a bugle call, give a general mobilization order, and muster the whole Party and country to make tireless efforts. To complete the second centenary goal of making all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country, we must overcome many barriers. In view of the history of the world’s development, most of the countries and regions having realized modernization completed their modernization gradually in nearly 300 years after the industrial revolution, while China plans to complete the course of modernization that took developed countries hundreds of years in 100 years. The speed and scale of such transition are extraordinary, so are the width, depth and difficulty of such change. Therefore, working with resolve and tenacity to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and make all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country is a prerequisite and historical task for the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

This new era will be an era for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work together and work hard to create a better life for themselves and ultimately achieve common prosperity for everyone. The people’s aspirations to live a better life have always been our Party’s goal. The essence of socialism is to unlock and develop the productive forces, eliminate exploitation and polarization and ultimately realize common prosperity. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China took continuous creation of a better life for themselves and achievement of common prosperity for everyone as the goal and end of development, reflecting our Party’s fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people and essential requirements for socialism with Chinese characteristics. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, our Party’s major tasks are to give more attention to the people’s diversified new needs for a better life, give more attention to social fairness and justice, give more attention to doing more to improve the lives and address the concerns of the people, make efforts to let all our people have a greater sense of fulfillment as they contribute to and gain from development, make efforts to let all the people enjoy happier, safer, and healthier lives, and make efforts to realize substantial new progress in achieving common prosperity for everyone. 

This new era will be an era for all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, to strive with one heart to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Realizing national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since the Opium War, embodying the long-cherished wishes of several generations of Chinese people. The founding of new China laid a solid foundation for national rejuvenation. The great revolution of reform and opening up injected strong vitality for national rejuvenation. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China as the largest developing country in the world created an earthshaking miracle of development in the history of man’s social development, and the Chinese nation thrived again. After going through the historic shifts since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, by creating a mighty force that enables all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, to realize the Chinese Dream, continue to struggle and forge ahead, we can certainly reach the glorious goal of national rejuvenation, and the Chinese nation will certainly become a proud and active member of the community of nations. 

This new era will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind. In the world today, the dream of the Chinese people is closely connected with the dreams of the peoples of other countries; the Chinese Dream can be realized only in a peaceful international environment and under a stable international order. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, in the face of deep adjustment of international patterns and relations and the external environment where local conflicts and upheavals occur frequently and man needs to cope with many common challenges, we must keep in mind both our internal and international imperatives, always hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development, firmly grasp the goal and pursuit of building a community with a shared future for mankind, stay on the path of peaceful development, and continue to pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. We will uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, and will foster new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. We will pursue open, innovative, and inclusive development that benefits everyone, boost cross-cultural exchanges characterized by harmony within diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual learning, and cultivate ecosystems based on respect for nature and green development. China will continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order. In the history, China made outstanding contributions to human civilization. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China can certainly make greater new contributions to the world’s peace and development and man’s prosperity and progress. 

III. A New Look and New Accomplishments Required for the New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era is, in the history of the development of the People’s Republic of China and the history of the development of the Chinese nation, of tremendous importance. In the history of the development of international socialism and the history of the development of human society it is of tremendous importance. It means the Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation—it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong; and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind. 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era has created many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. All Party members, especially leading cadres at all levels, must have a higher state, stronger ability, better workstyle and more positive mental outlook, actively follow trends, forge ahead with determination, create new achievements that that do justice to the new era, and continue to promote socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

The new era requires arming with new ideology. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, in line with socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era, is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for the entire Party and all the Chinese people to strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the new Constitution of the Communist Party of China adopted at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China summarize the CPC Central Committee’s new ideas, new thinking and new strategies of governance since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, establish it as the guiding ideology that the Party must always stick to, put forward the strategic task of arming the whole Party with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and make the strategic arrangement of launching a campaign on the theme of remaining true to our original aspiration and keeping our mission firmly in mind, which is of major political, theoretical and practical significance. We should, with a high sense of political responsibility and historical mission and in close association with the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, study and practice Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in depth, and conscientiously follow the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in both thinking and action. Leading cadres must play a leading role in arming the whole Party with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, develop a good grasp of this thought’s scientific system, essence and practical requirements, fully comprehend the Marxist standpoints, views and methods embodied in this thought, make great efforts to foster the good learning style of integrating theory with practice, work hard to be good at learning, be good at exercising political leadership, be good reformers and pioneers, be good at promoting sound development, be good at exercising law-based governance, be good at engaging with the people, be good at implementing policy and be good at managing risks, turn the Party’s scientific theory into strong material power, and strive to realize the Party’s historical missions more determinedly and consciously. 

The new era requires new ideas and initiatives. On the one hand, though socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era, 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. Development is still the Party’s top priority in governance. We must be completely clear about this fundamental dimension of our national context, and must base our work on this most important reality—the primary stage of socialism. We must remain fully committed to the Party’s basic line as the source that keeps the Party and the country going and that brings happiness to the people. On the other hand, in the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, with the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, the connotations and priorities of development, ideas and modes, environments and conditions, levels and requirements are quite different from the past. Therefore, we must better implement the new vision of development, put forward new thoughts, new strategies and new initiatives for development’s imbalances and inadequacies, and strive to achieve better quality, more efficient, fairer, and more sustainable development. Most fundamentally, we should fully stick to the Party’s basic theory, line and policy in the primary stage of socialism, keep making work more principled, systematic, foreseeable and creative, and better solve various problems emerging in Chinese society, better realize various undertakings’ full development and better develop the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics according to the requirements of the new era on the basis of continuously promoting development with new ideas and initiatives. 

The new era requires the Party’s new workstyle. In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the “four tests” and “four dangers” facing our Party are still long-lasting, complex, intense and severe. Ensuring Party self-governance is exercised fully and strictly is a journey to which there’s no end. This requires us to implement the arrangements made at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in depth, uphold and strengthen overall Party leadership, try to keeps the Party competent and strong, and build the Party into a vibrant Marxist governing party that is always at the forefront of the times, enjoys the wholehearted support of the people, has the courage to reform itself, and is able to withstand all tests. We should give top priority to the political work of the Party, highlight the overarching position of political building in Party building, implement the requirements of political building in ideological building, organizational building, workstyle building, discipline building and combat against corruption, and implement them in specific practices such as ensuring that intraparty political activities are carried out in earnest, improving democratic centralism, developing a positive and healthy political culture in the Party and fostering a healthy political atmosphere of integrity. Party members and cadres should further establish their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, closely align themselves with the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core in terms of political stance, direction, principle, and path, keep enhancing their consciousness of being loyal to the core, supporting the core and maintaining the core in both thinking and action, ensure the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee, and provide strong political and organizational guarantees for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and realizing the two centenary goals. 


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