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Change of Principal Contradiction in Society has not Changed China's Basic National Conditions

Submit Time:27-08-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Yang Huang | Source:People’s Daily (July 31, 2018)

Abstract:

The report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC made the important political statement that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has been transformed into the contradiction between the ever-growing need of the people for a better life and unbalanced and inadequate development, and it also stressed 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”. A scientific understanding of this dialectical unity between “change” and “not changed” can better promote the development of the cause of the Party and the country in the new era.  

Comrade Mao Zedong once profoundly pointed out that we should understand China's special national conditions, “this is the most fundamental basis for solving all the problems concerning revolution in China”. It is precisely because of the correct understanding and grasp of China's basic national conditions that Chinese Communists found the correct road of the Chinese revolution. After the establishment of the socialist system in China, it also required a clear understanding of national conditions how to carry out socialist construction. After arduous explorations, our Party came to the scientific conclusion that China is in and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism. Practice has proved that only by keeping a firm foothold on the biggest national condition and reality of the primary stage of socialism, can we push forward the cause of socialism in China smoothly. We should have a clear understanding of the long-term nature of the primary stage of socialism, and we should not rush to do things beyond the reality and beyond the stage.  

When we say that the primary stage of socialism is a long historical process, we do not mean that no change will take place in this process. There must be a process from quantitative change to qualitative change, and from partial change to overall change, it must go through several specific stages of development, with different characteristics of specific phases in different periods. The major political statement made in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has changed, was based on the cognition that the primary stage of socialism has undergone periodic change, showing new characteristics of a specific period. On one hand, China has become the world’s second largest economy, the level of social productivity in China has been significantly improved on the whole, and our social production capacity has ranked in the front of the world in many aspects. Therefore, the perspective of production, it can no longer be generally described as “backward social production”. On the other hand, on the demand side, China has steadily solved the problem of food and clothing for more than a billion of people, realizing a well-off life on the whole, will soon complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, the people have an extensive need for a better life, not only with higher requirements on material and cultural life, but also with ever-growing demand for democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice, security and environment. It can be seen that the major political conclusions about the changes of major social contradictions in China reflects the Party's deep understanding of China's social reality and its keen response to the changes in people's needs.  

While deeply understanding that the change of principal contradiction facing Chinese society is a historical one in connection with the overall situation, we should also see that, on one hand, the “need for a better life” is an updated version of “material and cultural need”, and is the enrichment of connotation and upgrading of level in the people’s needs, indicating the diversified, multi-level and multi-aspect feature of the people’s needs; on the other hand, “unbalanced and inadequate development” means that China's social productive force has been significantly raised on the whole, which is no longer a situation of “backward social production”, but there is still gap when compared with developed countries, with the problem of being big but not strong. We can say that the current change of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society is a kind of quantitative improvement plus partial qualitative change, without fundamentally changing the nature of the primary stage of socialism. Therefore, 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.  

In practice, we should grasp the dialectical unity between the “unchanged” of the primary stage of socialism and the “change” of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. For the “unchanged”, we are required to stick to seek improvement in stable progress, strengthen strategic determination, do not rush to go beyond the stage for early success, and always adhere to the basic line of the Party. For the “changes”, we are required to keep pace with the times, keep abreast of the changes in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society, work hard to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development on the basis of continued development, and lead the people in creating a better life.  

(Author’s employer: Qiushi Journal)


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