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Several Dimensions of Understanding Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

Submit Time:18-02-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Zhang Guozuo | Source:Guangming Daily (January 5, 2018 Page 06)

Abstract:

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Understanding of this important thought can unfold along such dimensions as the time background, practical foundation, historic mission and theoretical contribution. 

Dimension of the Time Background 

A new era certainly gives rise to new theories and certainly needs guidance by new theories. 

In light of the international situation, the trends of global multi-polarity, economic globalization, IT application and cultural diversity are surging forward, and sluggish global economic recovery, frequent outbreaks of regional conflicts and disturbances and intensifying global issues have not been alleviated fundamentally. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, China has made achievements attracting worldwide attention. The Belt and Road Initiative and the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping have won recognition from the vast majority of countries in the world. 

In light of the domestic situation, General Secretary Xi Jinping elaborated the new era’s historical features with three “means”. The first is the Chinese nation’s great change from decline to prosperity: “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”; the second is the thriving of scientific socialism in China: “scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see”; the third is the contribution of socialism with Chinese characteristics to the world: “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”. 

Dimension of the Practical Foundation 

Achievements, problems and challenges constitute the practical foundation of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. 

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, under our Party’s leadership, the Chinese people have made great historic achievements in reform, opening up and socialist modernization and the cause of the Party and the country has undergone historic shifts. 

Though we have made outstanding achievements, China’s development also faces many difficulties and challenges. For example, some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions, the quality and effect of development are not what they should be, China’s ability to innovate needs to be stronger and the real economy awaits improvement. Meanwhile, facing China’s rapid development, some Western countries do everything possible to impede and restrain China, spread the “China threat theory” and cause troubles around China. Unconventional security threats like terrorism, cyber-insecurity, major infectious diseases and climate change also bring factors of instability and uncertainty to building socialism with Chinese characteristics. These are all challenges we must address. 

Dimension of the Historic Mission 

The great times have bestowed a great historic mission on our Party, and undertaking the historic mission requires guidance by great theories. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping summarized the great historic mission as a great struggle, a great project, a great cause and a great dream, and elaborated their internal logic incisively. Realizing our great dream demands a great struggle. We must work determinedly to prevail over every political, economic, cultural, social and natural difficulty and challenge. Realizing our great dream demands a great project. We must be more actively involved in enhancing Party consciousness, and demonstrate commitment to Party principles. We must have the courage to face problems squarely, be braced for the pain, act to remove whatever undermines the Party’s purity and advanced nature, and rid ourselves of any virus that erodes the Party’s health. We must keep on strengthening the Party’s ability to lead politically, to guide through theory, to organize the people, and to inspire society, thus ensuring that the Party’s great vitality and strong ability are forever maintained. Realizing our great dream demands a great cause. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been the focus of all of the Party’s theories and practice since reform and opening up began. It is the fundamental achievement of our Party and our people made through countless hardships at enormous cost. To complete the mission successfully and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, our whole Party must strengthen our confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must neither retrace our steps to the rigidity and isolation of the past, nor take the wrong turn by changing our nature and abandoning our system. 

Dimension of the Theoretical Contribution 

As the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era made a historic contribution to Marxism’s development. 

With great political resolution and profound theoretical courage, General Secretary Xi Jinping comprehensively, systematically and scientifically addressed what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop and how we should go about doing it in the report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, adopting an entirely new perspective to deepen the understanding of the laws that underlie governance by the Communist Party, the development of socialism and the evolution of human society. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping’s new summary of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society accurately reflects the actual situations of China’s economic and social development after 40 years of reform and opening up and China’s current productivity growth. Comprehension of the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society provides fundamental basis for correctly formulating the Party’s lines, principles and policies for a new era. Of course, 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 whole Party 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. 

(Author: Zhang Guozuo, Director of the China Center for Cultural Soft Power Research and Dean of the College of Marxism Studies in Hunan University)


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