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The Great Significance of the Evolution of the Principal Contradiction in Chinese Society

Submit Time:24-01-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Yan Xiaofeng | Source:People's Daily January 4, 2018

Abstract:

Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out in the report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, "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." A profound understanding of the realistic basis for the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society and an accurate grasp of the important significance of the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society are the key to an in-depth understanding of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and the strategic cornerstone for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fully building a modern socialist China. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society marks major historical achievements in building socialism with Chinese characteristics 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the dialectical unity of the theoretical logic of scientific socialism and the historical logic of social development in China. After the founding of new China, our Party has persistently explored the question of what kind of socialism should be built and how socialism should be built in an East Asian country where the economy and culture were relatively backward. In building socialism in our country, we must first make clear the principal contradiction in Chinese society. The 8th National Congress of the CPC pointed out that the principal contradictions facing Chinese society are the contradiction between the people's desire for establishing an advanced industrialized country and the reality of a backward agricultural country and the contradiction between the people's needs for the rapid development of economy and culture and the situation where the current economy and culture cannot satisfy the people's needs. The Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee pointed out that after the socialist transformation was basically completed, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society is the contradiction between the growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backward social production. 

Since the founding of new China, especially since the reform and opening up, our Party has been working hard to solve the principal contradiction in Chinese society, and social production has continued to develop, accompanied by the growing needs of our people with both level and implication improving. After a long period of hard work, our Party has led the people in pushing socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new era and facilitating the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society in the new era is of extraordinary significance, marking major historical achievements in building socialism with Chinese characteristics and the strong vitality of scientific socialism in China in the 21st century. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society is the result of the generations of Chinese Communists leading the Chinese people in their concerted and continuous efforts to bring about the national rejuvenation. It is also a significant accomplishment our Party has made in taking the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the fundamental way to solve the principal contradiction in Chinese society. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society has proved that the people's needs for a better life can be satisfied and the national rejuvenation can be realized by combining the basic principles of scientific socialism with the actual development of China and adhering to the Party's basic theory, line, and policy. 

We must recognize 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. The primary stage of socialism is a very long historical process, during which the principal contradiction in Chinese society is bound to evolve as the society develops. 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. However, this evolution does not mean that the basic dimension of the primary stage of socialism has changed. It has taken place in the great historical stage of the primary stage of socialism, and the new era is still in the primary stage of socialism. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society signals the entry of socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new era 

An era is a category describing a particular social history. Different social formations, different historical periods and different stages of development constitute different eras with varying implications. The principal contradiction in society is a main basis for dividing the eras. It plays a role in leading, dominating and deciding the process of social development and is permeated in all fields and at all levels of an era. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society shows that the original principal contradiction has been replaced by the new principal contradiction, marking a new era which socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered. The new principal contradiction in Chinese society represents an important implication and basic characteristic of the new era. 

The new principal contradiction in Chinese society is characterized by new changing requirements from seeking food and clothing to seeking environmental protection, from seeking survival to seeking an ecological environment, from one getting affluent earlier than others to shared growth through collaboration, and from the high-speed growth stage to the high-quality development stage. All of these changes are specific characteristics of the new era. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society shows that the socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era has distinct characteristics and implication of the era and is no longer at the same level as in the past decades, but is at a new stage of development in the primary stage of socialism. Thirty years ago, we had "a billion-plus population with 800 million in rural areas, basically cooking with hand tools." Today, we have a population of more than 1.3 billion and 800 million people are in cities. We are at a stage of rapid development featuring new-type industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. To address what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop, and how we should go about doing it based on a systematic combination of theory and practice, we must first of all recognize the profound changes that have taken place in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, and grasp the new historic juncture and stage characteristics in China's development. As China's Marxism in the 21st century, the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has made a major contribution to clarifying the principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era. This major political judgment profoundly reflects the objective reality of our social development and is an important basis for formulating major policies and long-term strategies for the Party and the country. It provides an important guide for striving for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society represents the expansion of people's needs and the rise of economic and social development 

Like a mirror of social development, the principal contradiction in society reflects the basic relations, core elements and key issues of social development in a concentrated, concise and typical form. The principal contradiction in society exists in the entire process of social history, but the contradiction manifestations may change with the development of history. The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society is the best proof of the tremendous achievements made by socialism in China. It is also the underlying reason for the unprecedented changes in the Chinese nation, marking the expansion of the people's needs and the advancement of economic and social development. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society needs to be understood in two aspects. On the one hand, we must profoundly understand the people's growing needs for a better life. The people's needs in the new era have undergone historical changes, shifting from the ever-growing material and cultural needs to the ever-growing need for a better life. The needs to be met for the people to live better lives 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. On the other hand, we must have a profound understanding of the unbalanced and inadequate development. In terms of the development situation, China's economic and social development has undergone historic changes since the reform and opening up. China's overall productive forces have significantly improved and in many areas our production capacity leads the world. The more prominent problem is that our development is unbalanced and inadequate. This has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people's increasing needs for a better life. The unbalanced and inadequate development is reflected in many areas, prominently manifested in the fact that the quality and effect of development are not what they should be. China's ability to innovate needs to be stronger; the real economy awaits improvement; and we have a long way to go in protecting the environment. In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short; and poverty alleviation remains a formidable task. There are still large disparities in development between rural and urban areas, between regions, and in income distribution; and our people face many difficulties in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care. The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement. Social tensions and problems are intertwined. Therefore, much remains to be done in seeing the country's governance is based in law, and China's system and capacity for governance need to be further strengthened. The new principal contradiction in Chinese society is advancing through a virtuous circle. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society heralds the success in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fully building a modern socialist country 

Chinese socialism's entrance into a new era is the result of the long-term efforts of the Party and the people, and the result of the endeavor of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core to stay true to our founding mission, regard as our goal the people's aspirations to live a better life, and courageously march forward toward the grand goal of national rejuvenation since the 18th National Congress of the CPC. The new era for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fully building a modern socialist China is the result of the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. 

China has seen the basic needs of over a billion people met, has basically made it possible for people to live decent lives, and is embarking on the journey of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Thus, what we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The new principal contradiction shows that we have had a solid foundation and sufficient conditions for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The new principal contradiction also shows that we have the necessary conditions and the ability to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. 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. From 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, 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. The process of fully building a modern socialist country coincides with the process of satisfying the people's growing needs for a better life through more balanced and adequate development. According to the report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, this is our strategic vision for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. We must work with resolve and tenacity and strive to write a brilliant chapter on our new journey to socialist modernization. This strategic vision also addresses the current principal contradiction and promotes its new evolution. 

The evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society indicates that there are new implications and requirements for the direction, focus, way and mechanism for resolving the contradiction 

Contradictions and solutions to contradiction come hand in hand. The report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC clearly pointed out the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society and also proposed new requirements and new ways of resolving the contradiction.  

According to the report of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society represents a historic shift that affects the whole landscape and creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. Building on continued efforts to sustain development, we must devote great energy to addressing development's imbalances and inadequacies, and push hard to improve the quality and effect of development. With this, we will be better placed to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. It also sets new demands on our understanding and solution to the principal contradiction in Chinese society. In the stage of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we must act in response to the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society, and promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement. We must focus on priorities, address inadequacies, and shore up points of weakness. In this regard, we must take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, and prevent and control pollution. In the first stage of fully building a modern socialist country, China will become a global leader in innovation. The modernization of China's system and capacity for governance will be basically achieved. Social etiquette and civility will be significantly enhanced. Solid progress will be made toward prosperity for everyone. A modern social governance system will basically take shape. The goal of building a Beautiful China will be basically attained. In the second stage of fully building a modern socialist country, new heights will be reached in every dimension of material, political, cultural and ethical, social, and ecological advancement. Modernization of China's system and capacity for governance will be achieved. China will become a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence. Common prosperity for everyone will be basically achieved. The Chinese people will enjoy happier, safer, and healthier lives. We must always follow the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, make clear the direction, focus, way and mechanism for resolving the principal contradiction in Chinese society, and create a bright future for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era when resolving the principal contradiction. 


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