comments and feedback

Deeply Understand the Historical Inevitability and Practical Value of Reform and Opening up

Submit Time:19-09-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Liu Tongfang | Source:Guangming Daily (August 13, 2018)

Abstract:

  The Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of CPC held in 1978, achieved a great historical transition from taking class struggle as the key link to centering on economic construction, and ushered in a new historical period of reform and opening up. During the 40 years of exploration despite winds and rains, the great “second revolution” of reform and opening up not only changed the fate of contemporary China, but also affected the development course of world history. Looking forward to the future from a starting point of the new era, we must have a deep understanding of the historical inevitability and practical value of reform and opening up, strengthen our determination to implement reform and opening up, and carry on the great cause of reform and opening up through to the end.

  The historical inevitability of reform and opening up

  Reform and opening up is a critical move deciding the destiny of the contemporary China. The implementation of reform and opening up is a scientific judgment and decision made by the Communist Party of China on the basis of reviewing the domestic and international development trend, and summarizing the experience and lessons of socialist construction and discovering its internal laws, hence a profound historical inevitability.

  Reform and opening up is an inevitable demand in following the law of historical development and resolving the basic social contradictions. Marxism believes that the basic contradiction between productive forces and relations of production, as the fundamental driving force of social development, runs through the whole course of historical development. The productive force determines the relation of production, and the relation of production must accord with the development requirement of productive force, this is the objective law of historical development. Comrade Mao Zedong clearly pointed out: “in a socialist society, the basic contradiction is still that between the relations of production and the productive forces, and between the superstructure and the economic base.” This means that socialist society should also follow the objective laws of historical development and resolve the contradiction between productive forces and production relations. The contradiction between productive forces and relations of production in the primary stage of socialism, before the reform and opening up, was highlighted as the constraint of the system of planned economy on the development of productive forces in the economic field. The implementation of reform and opening up is a bold adjustment and major reform made by Chinese communists to socialist relations of production on the basis of mastering the basic social contradictions. The introduction of socialist market economy is an inevitable requirement for abolishing the relations of production not adaptive to the development of productive forces, releasing the potential of productive forces and liberating and developing the socialist productive forces.

  Reform and opening up is a necessary requirement for complying with the aspirations of the people and for consolidating and developing socialism. The 8th National Congress of the CPC made the important judgment that main contradiction in China was already that between the people's demand for establishing an advanced industrial country and the reality of an backward agricultural country, and that between the people's need for rapid economic and cultural development and the current situation that the economic and cultural conditions could not meet the needs of the people, and determined the central task to concentrate forces to turn China from a backward agricultural country into an advanced industrial country. However, due to the misjudgment of the situation of class struggle in China at that time, the socialist construction once deviated from the main line of developing productive forces. It became the common aspiration of the people of all ethnic groups to improve and upgrade their living standards, and the people's call for reform was growing louder and louder. The Third Plenum of the 11th CPC Central Committee convened in this historical background should not only bring order out of chaos ideologically, but also establish a scientific development program. Comrade Deng Xiaoping stressed in particular, “If we do not carry out reform now, our modernization and socialist cause will be ruined”, “If we did not adhere to socialism, implement the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, develop the economy and raise living standards, we would find ourselves in a blind alley”. Reform and opening up is a major issue that concerns the attitude and mind of the people, and the survival of the ruling party and socialist China. Implementing reform and opening up became a critical choice to save the Communist Party of China and the socialist cause.

  Reform and opening up is an inevitable requirement to catch up with the trend of the development of the times. In the 1960s, thanks to the third scientific and technological revolution and the wave of economic globalization, western capitalist countries and neighboring countries and regions around China developed rapidly and rose up. While countries all over the world were going all out to run after one another in the economic field, China's economic construction was in stagnation. It rejected the advanced technology and development experience from the capitalist countries, confining the socialist construction to an “isolated island” without support for development, and missing the golden period of economic development, as a result it was in the state of stagnation and wandering for a long time. The sluggish domestic economy was in sharp contrast to the booming economic development in other countries in the world. China was far behind the development of the times. Facts proved that it was impossible to proceed with construction behind closed doors. China could not isolate it from the rest of the world to develop itself. If socialism was to obtain advantages in the transversal comparison with capitalism, and the Chinese nation wanted to catch up with the development tide of times, it was necessary to practice reform and opening up, boldly absorb and draw lessons from advanced science and technology of capitalism as well as all excellent civilization achievements created by the human society, to provide an endless supply of resources and driving force the development of the cause of socialism.

  Comprehensively deepening reform and opening up is an inevitable requirement of the new era

  It was pointed out in the report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC that, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. This is a new historic juncture in China's development. The new era is a period to secure a decisive victory in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, to build a great modernized socialist country in all aspects, and to realize the historical mission of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Deepening reform and opening up comprehensively in the new era is an inevitable requirement for defusing the principal social contradictions in the new era, undertaking the historical mission of the new era and promoting world peace and development.

  Comprehensively deepening reform and opening up is an inevitable requirement for solving current problems in reform and undertaking the historical mission of the new era. In the new era, our Party undertakes the major historical mission to secure a decisive victory in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, to build a great modernized socialist country in all aspects, and to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, it is necessary to accord with the trend of the times, conform to the wishes of the people, be bold in reform and opening up, and let the cause of the Party and the people always be full of strong impetus to forge ahead. Under the new historical conditions, undertaking this historical mission faces the realistic difficult question of reform. At present, the reform in China has entered the critical stage and deep water area, those easy to be reformed have been reformed, and what remains are hard nuts difficult to be crushed. The problems in development must be solved through development, and the problems in reform can be solved only through reform either. The current reform is bound to be a battle in which “only the brave one will win when enemies meet in a narrow path”. Only with the courage of a strong man to break his wounded arm and determination to press forward with indomitable will can we truly walk out of the deep water area of reform and accomplish the historical mission given by the times.

  Deepening reform and opening up comprehensively is an inevitable requirement for advancing world peace and development and building a community with a shared future for mankind. The current international situation continues to undergo profound changes: the gap between the north and south is widening and the global economy is markedly unbalanced; trade protectionism, isolationism and populism are on the rise and regional conflicts are intensifying; traditional and non-traditional issues of security interweave. The call for abandoning the cold war mentality and the “zero-sum” model and pursuing win-win cooperation, common development and building a community with a shared future for mankind is growing daily stronger. In the early years of reform and opening up, we stressed that China could not develop without the world, and under the conditions of the new era, we should see more clearly that the world also cannot develop without China. Since the reform and opening up, China has been long committed to world peace, stability and common development while developing rapidly. It has become a new engine driving world economic development and a pillar in safeguarding world peace. In the face of the complex international situation, to play a bigger role in world peace and development, China must not only strive for a peaceful international environment to develop itself, but also further deepen reform and opening up to safeguard and promote world peace through its own development.

  Deeply understand the practical value of reform and opening up

  The achievements in the reform and opening up are irrefutable proof that only reform and opening up can develop China, socialism and Marxism. The great practice of reform and opening up has profoundly changed the social aspects of China and the spiritual outlook of the Chinese people, blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, formed the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and produced great practical value.

  Reform and opening up have changed the social aspects of China and the spiritual outlook of the Chinese people, and laid the foundation for building a modern powerful socialist country. The tremendous energy released in the reform and opening up has brought tremendous changes in China's social landscape. Especially, since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, important breakthroughs have been achieved in comprehensively deepening reform and opening up. The socialist market economy has been continually improved, democracy and the rule of law continually completed, institutions and mechanisms in the cultural field gradually upgraded, institutional development in the field of people's livelihood kept on advancing, the framework for the ecological environment protection has been basically formed, and encouraging results have been made in the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind. The tremendous achievements of reform and opening up have demonstrated to the world the excellent quality of the Chinese nation of diligence, bravery, wisdom and innovation, highlighting the correct path, scientific theory, superior system and advanced culture of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Chinese people, now more confident in the path, theory, system and culture, have every reason to believe that as long as we uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China, adhere to the reform and opening up, and stick to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we can win the final victory of socialist construction.

  Reform and opening up has blazed the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and expanded the development route of modernization. In the reform and opening up, the Chinese communists creatively combined the market economy with the socialist system, launched all-round renovation in all aspects of politics, society, culture, military and diplomacy with establishing the socialist market economy as the breakthrough, and blazed a path of socialism development in line with China's national conditions and having the distinct Chinese characteristics. The socialist modernization path with Chinese characteristics, explored through reform and opening up, has combined upholding the socialist basic system with the development of market economy, the promotion of change of economic base with the reform of superstructure, and the development of domestic market with the utilization of foreign resources, neither through the bloody plunder and foreign wars in the process of capitalist modernization nor the dependence on western powers for the success of modernization at the expense of national sovereignty and independence. The successful experience of reform and opening up has made all countries in the world, especially those still in the process of modernization, focus on China's development path and prospects. The success of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics has answered the worldwide difficult question of universal significance as how to realize modernization in a country with relatively backward economy and culture, has broken the “monism” myth for modernization development that the western world has long advocated, expanded the route for developing countries to march towards modernization, offer a new option for countries and nations in the world who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and contributed the Chinese wisdom and Chinese approach to solving the problems of the mankind.

  Reform and opening up has formed the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and enriched the theoretical treasury of Marxism. The time is the mother of thought and practice is the source of theory. Over the past 40 years, the Communist Party of China has taken root in the vast land of China and combined the basic principles of Marxism with the concrete practice of contemporary China, and creatively answered the new question raised by the times and the practical development with a high degree of theoretical self-consciousness. These communists have kept on practicing while pondering and summarizing, and raised the practical results into a systematic theoretical program, forming the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As an important part of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a major theoretical innovation of the Communist Party of China in the practice of reform and opening up, realizing another leap-forward in integrating the basic principles of Marxism with China's concrete reality. Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has covered the basic issues as the overarching goal, general task, overall plan, strategic deployment and development direction, development pattern, development motive force, strategic steps, external conditions, and political guarantee in upholding and developing the socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, systematically answered the question of the era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, greatly enriched and developed the epistemology and methodology of reform, and provided scientific theoretical guidance and action guide for us to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  (Author: Liu Tongfang, chief expert of Zhejiang University Research Base of the Research Center of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Theoretical System of Zhejiang Province)


Related Articles