2021-06-23 10:10:43 | Author：Zhang Shengen | Source：Marxism & Reality, no. 3, 2021
The CPC’s Two Historical Resolutions and
Chinese Revolution and Construction*
Director and Research Fellow, Fourth Research Department
CPC Central Committee Institute of Party History and Literature
Professor and Doctoral Supervisor,
School of Marxism, Hefei University of Technology
This paper revisits the formation of the Communist Party of China’s Resolution on Historical Issues and Resolution on Historical Issues of the Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China at the important historical point of the centenary of the founding of the Party. It reviews the key aspects of the drafting of the two resolutions and elaborates on their rich content that revolve around the resolution of major issues. It argues that the two resolutions were made by the Chinese Communists at a great turning point in their historical mission of national independence, people’s liberation, national prosperity and people’s happiness. The paper concludes that the documents were well-prepared and properly formulated in a way that not only clarified ideas but also united the people, and not only solved historical problems but also provided inspiration for solving real problems. The formation of the two resolutions has played a crucial role in the development of the Chinese revolution and construction, and has continued to drive the Chinese revolution and construction from victory to new and greater victory.
Two historical resolutions, Chinese revolution, modernization
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has always attached great importance to historical research, study, publicity and education. Party leaders have made many discussions on this. Mao Zedong pointed out that, “No political party can possibly lead a great revolutionary movement to victory unless it possesses revolutionary theory and a knowledge of history and has a profound grasp of the practical movement.” Deng Xiaoping stated that, “Our people should study Chinese history; it will inspire us to develop the country.” Xi Jinping pointed out that history is the best textbook and the best sobering agent. These Chinese leaders not only said so, but also practiced what they said. While Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping led the formation of the Resolution on Historical Issues and Resolution on Historical Issues of the Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, respectively, Xi Jinping led the Party to carry out study and education on Party history on the occasion of the Party’s centenary and to promote the revolution and construction through the research, learning, publicity and education of the Party’s history.
The two historical resolutions of the Party were formed by the Chinese Communists in their historical mission of achieving national independence, people’s liberation and national prosperity and happiness, and in their leadership in advancing the revolution, construction, and reform and exploring the path of modernization suitable for China’s national conditions.
I. Historic Policy Decisions at Great Turning Points
Marx and Engels pointed out in the Manifesto of the Communist Party that, “The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country” and that, “Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.” The process of dependence, as Marx and Engels called it, is undoubtedly the process of aggression and plundering of the East by the West, the process of by blood and fire of the East.
Modern China missed the industrial revolution, and from being the leader of the world for thousands of years, it became greatly behind the world. The Chinese people and the Chinese nation suffered unprecedented hardships under the aggression of the Western powers and the rule of the feudal and corrupt forces. The mission of securing national salvation and survival was imminent. In order to change the fate of the Chinese nation, countless dedicated patriots and representatives of various classes carried out painstaking explorations and indomitable struggles. The famous ones include the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement and the Yihetuan Movement of the peasant class, the Westernization Movement and the Constitutional Movement of the late Qing Dynasty of the feudal landlord class, the Reform Movement of 1898 and the Revolution of 1911 of the bourgeoisie, but all of them failed without exception.
It had been proved that the self-improvement movement and reformism, the old peasant wars, the revolution led by the bourgeois revolutionaries, and all other programs copied from Western capitalism could not fulfill the national mission of saving the Chinese nation and the historical task of anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism without touching the root of feudalism. To solve the problem of China’s development and progress, it was necessary to find advanced theories that could guide the Chinese people in their anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution, and to find new social forces that could lead China’s social transformation.
World War I fully exposed the inherent contradictions and shortcomings of the Western capitalist system and caused the Chinese progressives to begin reflecting on it. This reflection created the conditions for the Chinese progressives to abandon the bourgeois republican program, to continue their search for the truth of saving the country and the people, and to embrace socialist thinking. During World War I, the outbreak of the Russian October Socialist Revolution in 1917 greatly inspired the Chinese people and the Chinese progressives. Russia was a large country with a large population, and its conditions were similar to those of China. The Russian Revolution gave great inspiration to the Chinese progressives, who proposed: follow the path of the Russians, and this is the conclusion.
In such a situation the CPC was born in 1921. The CPC came into being in the midst of the dramatic changes in Chinese society since modern times, in the midst of the fierce struggle of the Chinese people against feudal rule and foreign aggression, and in the process of integrating Marxism-Leninism with the Chinese workers’ movement.
As soon as the CPC was founded, it took the realization of communism as its highest ideal and ultimate goal, and unhesitatingly took up the historical mission of realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, uniting and leading the people in a painstaking struggle. However, in carrying out revolution in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal eastern country, the special conditions faced were farmers accounting for the vast majority of the population, a backward scattered small peasant economy and its deep-rooted social influence, and the economic and cultural backwardness due to the invasion and oppression by the Western powers, the choice of a path that would lead the Chinese revolution to victory became the primary problem. The young Chinese Communists, once simply applying the general principles of Marxism-Leninism on the proletarian revolution and the experience of the armed uprising in the cities of the October Revolution in Russia, suffered serious setbacks in 1927 when the Great Revolution failed and in 1934 when the Fifth Counter-Campaign against Encirclement and Suppression failed.
From such frustrating lessons of the revolutionary struggle, the Chinese Communists, such as Mao Zedong, profoundly realized that in the face of China’s special national conditions and the three big mountains pressing down on the Chinese people, the Chinese revolution would be a long-term process, and that Marxism-Leninism could not be treated from a dogmatic point of view, but must be adapted to the Chinese context. The Chinese Communists creatively solved a series of major theoretical problems of integrating the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism with Chinese realities, profoundly analyzed the social form and class situation in China, and after unremitting exploration, clarified the nature, targets, tasks and driving forces of the Chinese revolution, proposed a two-step strategy of the new-democratic revolution and the socialist revolution, formulated the general line of the new-democratic revolution, and opened up a new revolution based on the revolutionary path of surrounding the cities from the countryside and taking political power by armed force. This guided the ship of the Chinese revolution to keep riding the waves and moving forward victoriously.
The road of the Chinese revolution was never smooth; it advanced in the course of exploration and in the course of constantly correcting various mistakes.
1. Drafting of the first historical resolution
During its early years, the CPC had been ruled and influenced by “Left” or rightist ideology, which brought great harm to the Party. The Zunyi Meeting in 1935 put an end to the dominance of the “Left” ideology, solved the most urgent organizational and military problems facing the Party, and established Mao Zedong as the leader of the CPC Central Committee and the Red Army. Since then, under the leadership of the correct Marxist line represented by Mao Zedong, the CPC overcame many difficulties and steered the Chinese revolution to victory step by step. However, the Zunyi Meeting did not liquidate wrong views, and Wang Ming committed Right deviationist errors during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. The Party’s unity in understanding was not fully resolved. The first historical resolution was formed in such a context.
The drafting of the resolution was gradually put on the agenda, and it mainly consisted of the following links.
(1) At the end of 1937, Wang Ming returned to China from the Soviet Union. Before his return to China, Stalin met him and in his talk asked the CPC to make every effort to firm up the determination of Chiang Kai-shek of the Kuomintang (KMT) to resist Japanese aggression for a long time. After his return to China, Wang Ming made Right deviationist mistakes in his work. The main ones were: politically, he overemphasized the unity in the united front and affected the implementation of the principle of independence; militarily, he did not know enough about the role of guerrilla warfare led by the Party and did not pay attention to the struggle in the bases behind enemy lines; and organizationally, he did not respect and obey the leadership of the Central Committee with Mao Zedong at the core. This series of claims brought chaos to the Party leadership. If this line continued, the Chinese revolution was bound to face new dangers.
(2) From September 29 to November 6, 1938, the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee of the Party was held. Wang Jiaxiang conveyed the instructions of the Communist International and Dimitrov’s opinions: The CPC has established the Chinese United Front against Japanese Aggression over the past year, and in particular, Zhu De and Mao Zedong led the Eighth Route Army, implemented the new policy of the Party, and the political line was correct; the CPC has really applied Marxism-Leninism under complicated circumstances and difficult conditions; and in the leading organs of the CPC Central Committee, Mao Zedong should be the core to solve the problem of unified leadership, and an atmosphere of intimate unity in the leading organs of the Central Committee should prevail.
At that time, the CPC was a branch of the Communist International, and such instructions were crucial. Mao Zedong made a report at the meeting and called on everyone to study hard the Marxist theory and to study the history of the nation and the current situation and trends of the movement. He stressed that today’s China was a development of the historical China, and that we were Marxist historicists who should not cut off history. From Confucius to Sun Yat-sen, we should summarize and inherit this precious heritage. In particular, he proposed to “apply Marxism concretely in China.” These ideas are one of the most important contributions to the Chinese revolution. Wang Ming admitted on the surface that “the Party should be united under Mao Zedong’s leadership,” but in fact he still clung to his previous mistakes.
(3) In March 1940, Wang Ming published the third edition of his book Struggle for a More Bolshevik Communist Party in Yan’an, which he had written in 1931 and which focused on his “Left” erroneous views. He wrote in the preface: “The facts recorded in this book are a rather important part of the history of the development of the CPC, and therefore many people demand to know these historical facts.” This shows that Wang Ming was still defending previous “Left” mistakes. In fact, not only did Wang Ming’s “Left” mistakes not get properly liquidated, but also the Right mistakes he made at the beginning of the war still had a certain influence in the Party and caused undue damage to the Party’s cause.
(4) Beginning in the second half of 1940, Mao Zedong personally presided over the collection of documents and edited Since the Sixth National Party Congress. It consisted of the main documents since the Sixth National Party Congress. During this process, Mao read many materials that he had not seen in the Central Soviet Union before, and gained a more systematic understanding and knowledge of the problems, and felt more deeply the serious harm of “Left” dogmatism to the Chinese revolution. On December 4, 1940, at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Mao Zedong spoke at length for the first about the Right and “Left” deviationist mistakes in the Party's history. He emphasized that the Right mistakes at the end of the Great Revolution and the many mistakes of the late Soviet period were due to the failure to integrate Marxism-Leninism with Chinese realities. Summarizing the lessons of the past is a kind of education for those who made mistakes and those who did not. But at this meeting, there were still people who disagreed that the mistakes of the late Soviet period were errors of line.
(5) From September 10 to October 22, 1941, the CPC Central Committee held an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau. Before the meeting, according to Mao Zedong’s proposal, the CPC Central Committee issued the Decision on Enhancing Party Spirit drafted by Wang Jiaxiang and the Decision on Investigation and Research drafted by Mao Zedong, and also distributed Since the Sixth National Party Congress to everyone, asking them to read them carefully and analyze them in comparison with the actual situation. This series of measures, especially the reading and study of Since the Sixth National Party Congress, made the officials deepen their understanding of the dangers of “Left” dogmatism and laid an important foundation for the Party-wide rectification and the resolution on historical issues. At the conference, many people seriously reviewed their historical mistakes in the spirit of self-criticism, and the Party leadership reached a consensus on the fundamental issue of the need to oppose subjectivism and sectarianism. During the conference, Mao Zedong prepared the Draft Conclusion on the Central Leadership Line since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth CPC Central Committee regarding the mistakes of the late Soviet period.
(6) From September 7 to October 6 and from November 3 to 27, 1943, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee held successive meetings to seriously liquidate Wang Ming’s erroneous line during the ten-year civil war and the early days of the war of resistance. Many central leaders reviewed the Party’s history and seriously criticized themselves at the meetings. At the November 13 meeting, after systematically reviewing the history of the struggle within the Party since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee, Mao Zedong concluded, “Our aim is to expose the errors of the line and to protect comrades, and this direction should not be deviated from.”
At this time, the historical conditions were ripe for systematically summarizing the Party’s historical experience, systematically criticizing the root causes of the Party’s successive mistakes from the perspectives of the guiding principle, and unifying the Party’s thinking on this basis.
(7) On February 24, 1944, a meeting of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee discussed the historical problems of the Party and reached consensus on one points: the mistakes of Wang Ming and Bo Gu should be regarded as internal Party problems; the Provisional Central Committee and the Fifth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee should be recognized as legitimate because of international recognition, but it must be pointed out that their formalities are incomplete; when studying the line, the problems of understanding in history should be clarified, and leniency must be striven for in the conclusions, and at the moment it is necessary to emphasize unity in order to unite everyone to work together; when studying the line, it must be pointed out that the basic policy of the Sixth National Party Congress is correct and that the Sixth Congress has played a progressive role; it is necessary not to take a blanket negative attitude toward the period between the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee to the Zunyi Meeting, and to recognize whatever had been done right.
This meeting, in fact, made a clear conclusion on the historical issues of the Party. On May 10, 1944, the Central Secretariat decided to set up a committee to prepare a resolution on the Party’s history, with Ren Bishi as the convener.
(8) On May 21, 1944, the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party was held. The main task of this plenary session was to summarize the Party’s historical experience on the basis of the rectification movement and to prepare for the Seventh National Party Congress. The redrafting of the historical resolution was the most basic and important task of comprehensively summarizing the historical experience. The conference lasted for 11 months, the longest in the history of the Party. During the plenary session, several general meetings were held to discuss the Party’s historical issues and the draft historical resolution. Mao Zedong pointed out in this regard that, “The question on the historical resolution concerns the majority or the minority? I say it is a question of the majority, a question of the whole Party and the whole nation. So we must be modest and cautious, not proud and impatient.”
On April 20, 1945, the Resolution on Historical Issues was adopted in principle by the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee. On August 9, the Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh CPC Central Committee. The Resolution summed up the historical experience of the Party and, in particular, made formal conclusions on the issues of the leadership line of the Central Committee during the period from the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee to the Zunyi Meeting.
2. Drafting of the second historical resolution
After 28 years of hard battles, the CPC and people defeated the Japanese imperialist invasion, overthrew the three big mountains, won the victory of the new-democratic revolution, achieved national independence and people’s liberation, which had been the dream of several generations of Chinese people, and established the People’s Republic of China.
After the founding of People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communists, such as Mao Zedong, led the people to quickly heal the wounds and restore China’s economy. On this basis, they lost no time in proposing the general line of the transitional period, creatively completed the transformation from the new-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution, and enabled China, a large Eastern country accounting for one quarter of the world’s population, to enter a socialist society, thus successfully achieving the most profound and greatest social change in China’s history. On this basis, the Party led the people in a painstaking exploration of the path to modernization in China. Learning from the lessons from the Soviet Union, Mao Zedong proposed to create new theories and write new works, to integrate the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism with the Chinese realities for a “second time,” find out the correct path for socialist revolution and construction in China, and formulate the strategy of building China into a strong socialist country.
In 1954, Zhou Enlai proposed the goal of building China into a country with a strong and modern industry, agriculture, transportation and national defense. In 1964, Zhou Enlai proposed the concept of a two-step approach to fully modernizing agriculture, industry, national defense and science and technology. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people were engaged in vigorous socialist construction. In a short period of time, China established an independent and relatively complete industrial system and economic system, and became an influential power in the world.
During the period of socialist revolution and construction, the CPC also experienced hardships in finding the right path to modernization. At the beginning, it copied the Soviet model overwhelmingly, and after discovering problems, it began to explore actively and achieved some results. Later, due to a misunderstanding of the international and domestic situation and the erroneous guiding thought, finally the Cultural Revolution happened, which was a serious mistake of a global nature for a long time, causing the Party, the country and the people to suffer the most serious setbacks and losses since the founding of People’s Republic of China. As a result, the Party failed to find a path of building socialism and modernizing the country that is fully in line with China’s realities.
As Engels pointed out, “The so-called ‘socialist society’ is not anything immutable. Like all other social formations, it should be conceived in a state of constant flux and change.” “The 10-year setback of the Cultural Revolution is the best illustration of the opposite.
After the end of the Cultural Revolution, the question of “where is China going” became the most important issue in front of the Chinese people. Deng Xiaoping, with his vision, rich political experience and superb leadership, emphasized that seeking truth from facts was the essence of Mao Zedong Thought, took a clear-cut stand against the erroneous “two whatevers,” supported and led the discussion of the criterion for testing truth, and promoted the efforts to set things right in all respects. Under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping, the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Party was held in December 1978, which re-established the guiding principle of freeing the mind and seeking truth from facts, stopped using the erroneous formulation of “class struggle as the key link,” decided to shift the focus of the Party’s work to socialist modernization, made the major decision of reform and opening up, and realized a great turnaround of far-reaching significance in the history of the Party.
In this great historical turnaround, several major questions of principle inevitably arose: How to evaluate Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought, how to evaluate the Cultural Revolution, and how to evaluate the history of the CPC and the People’s Republic of China since the founding of People’s Republic of China? The most crucial of these is the question of how to evaluate Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought. Without solving these problems, reform, opening up and modernization would not be able to move forward well. The second historical resolution was formed in this context.
The key aspects of drafting are as follows.
The drafting of the second resolution was also proposed and put into practice step by step, and it mainly consisted of the following links.
(1) On December 13, 1978, Deng Xiaoping pointed out at the closing session of the Central Working Conference that, “The Cultural Revolution has become a stage in the course of China’s socialist development, hence we must evaluate it. However, there is no need to do so hastily. Serious research must be done before we can make a scientific appraisal of this historical stage. It may take a rather long time to fully understand and assess some of the particular issues involved. We will probably be able to make a more correct analysis of this period in history after some time has passed than we can right now.”
(2) The forum on the principles for the Party’s theoretical work held in the spring of 1979 explored and discussed a series of previous theories and policies and provided an important reference for the Central Committee to solve historical problems. However, another tendency began to emerge at the meeting, and some statements were made that denied Mao Zedong, Mao Zedong Thought and the socialist system by correcting the mistakes of the Cultural Revolution.
In response to this situation, in March 1979, Deng Xiaoping made an important speech entitled “Uphold the Four Cardinal Principles,” stressing that, “Some Party members have not yet freed themselves from the evil influence of the ultra-Left ideology of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. A handful have gone so far as to spread rumors and calumnies, attacking the principles and policies adopted by the Central Committee since the toppling of the Gang of Four and particularly since the Third Plenary Session as running counter to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. In addition, a handful of people in society at large are spreading ideas which are against the Four Cardinal Principles or at least cast doubt on them, and because individual Party members, instead of recognizing the danger of such ideas, have given them a certain degree of direct or indirect support.” Therefore, Deng Xiaoping concluded that when criticizing ultra-”Left” ideas, it was necessary to emphasize the criticism of a trend of thought which was skeptical of, or opposed to, the Four Cardinal Principles, but which came from the Right.
(3) In June 1979, the CPC Central Committee decided to draft a speech for the 30th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Central Committee believed that a formal summary of the history of the previous 30 years, especially the decade of the Cultural Revolution, should be made at an appropriate time and through a special meeting. However, it was necessary to give a preliminary basic assessment to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Ye Jianying delivered a speech on September 29, in which he spoke highly of the immortal achievements of Mao Zedong and other revolutionaries of the older generation, comprehensively reviewed the 30-year history of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and summarized the basic experience of the socialist revolution and socialist construction. The speech was well received by the whole Party and the whole country.
(4) In late October 1979, Deng Xiaoping talked with Hu Yaobang, Yao Yilin and Hu Qiaomu on the arrangement of some important work in 1980. Deng Xiaoping stated that, “The Standing Committee of the Central Committee has decided to prepare for the Fifth and Sixth Plenary Sessions next year and the 12th Congress the year after. The drafting of the resolution on the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China should be done now and will be discussed and adopted at the Sixth Plenary Session next year.” Deng Xiaoping also said that with the National Day speech, the historical resolution would be ready to be written. The drafting of the resolution thus officially kicked off.
(5) On March 19, 1980, Deng Xiaoping talked with Hu Yaobang, Hu Qiaomu, and Deng Liqun specifically on the issue of the guiding thought of the resolution. Deng Xiaoping stressed that: First, the historical role of Mao Zedong should be affirmed and the necessity to uphold and develop Mao Zedong Thought should be explained. This is the core and is the most important, the most fundamental, the most crucial. Second, there should be an analysis, in the spirit of seeking truth from facts, of the rights and wrongs in the major events of the 30 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, including a fair evaluation of the merits and demerits of some leaders. Third, there should be a basic summary of the past work. The Party should try to ensure that when this resolution is adopted, the thinking of Party members and non-Party people alike will be clarified, common views will be reached and, by and large, debate on the major historical questions will come to an end. It is better to write it in broad outline and not go into too much detail. The purpose of summing up the past is to encourage people to close ranks and look to the future. Deng Xiaoping added that these three points constitute the general guidelines for the resolution. The first is the most important, the most fundamental, the most crucial.
The three requirements put forward by Deng Xiaoping in this talk became the principle that the drafting group always adhered to.
(6) In October 1980, the draft of the Historical Resolution was submitted for discussion by 4,000 senior Party officials, actually more than 4,000. The discussion lasted for more than a month. During the discussion, the issue of the evaluation of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought remained a hot spot and the focus of controversy, with many opinions in favor of them, but also many more one-sided and even extreme statements disparaging or denying them. After discovering these tendencies, on October 25, 1980, Deng Xiaoping firmly said: “On no account can we discard the banner of Mao Zedong Thought. To do so would, in fact, be to negate the glorious history of the Party.... The resolution must contain a section expounding Mao Zedong Thought. It’s not merely a theoretical question that is involved but also and especially a political question of great domestic and international significance. If we don’t have this section, or if it is badly written, it would be better to have no resolution at all.” Deng Xiaoping’s talk showed the Party Central Committee’s firm and unambiguous attitude on the most controversial and divisive issue at that time, which was also the most fundamental and central issue. This was the key to the success of the resolution.
(7) By March 1981, the draft of the Historical Resolution still had not resolved the question of how to evaluate Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought. At this time, Chen Yun proposed to write the 60-year history of the CPC before and after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, so that the problem that Deng Xiaoping had been thinking about for a long time was successfully solved. Deng was pleased to say: This opinion is very good; when the 60-year history is written, Mao Zedong’s achievements and contributions will be more comprehensive, and this will provide a comprehensive basis for establishing the historical status of Mao Zedong and upholding and developing Mao Zedong Thought,
In April of the same year, the draft of the Historical Resolution, which had been revised according to Chen Yun’s suggestion, was sent to dozens of veteran members of the Party for review. Everyone generally affirmed the evaluation of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought and considered it appropriate. Under Deng Xiaoping’s repeated insistence, the key issue of how to correctly evaluate Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought was well resolved. The drafting of the resolution entered the final stage.
(8) On June 27, 1981, the plenary session unanimously adopted the Resolution on Historical Issues of the Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, marking the completion of the Party’s rectification of its guiding thought. The Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee pointed out that the adoption and publication of the Resolution will certainly have a great and far-reaching impact on unifying the understanding of the whole Party, the whole army and all the Chinese people, and struggling with one heart and one mind to achieve the main historical tasks. On June 29, Deng Xiaoping pointed out at the closing session of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee that the Resolution on Historical Issues of the Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China had really met the Party’s original requirements. The resolution has really met our original requirements. He added that this had a very important role in unifying the thinking of the Party and that he believed that this resolution would stand the test of history.
II. The Rich Content of the Historical Resolutions
Revolves around the Main Issues
1. The main contents of the first historical resolution
The first resolution is divided into seven parts.
Part I and II are the preparations for the resolution of the main issues.
Part I, “The first part, the General Introduction, summarizes the entire history of the Party since its founding. It is pointed out that since its founding in 1921, the CPC has been guided in all its work by the integration of the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism and the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, and that Mao Zedong’s theory and practice of the Chinese revolution is representative of this integration. The 24-year new-democratic revolution led by CPC is divided into three periods: the Great Revolution, the Agrarian Revolution and the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. In the course of the struggle, the Party achieved great achievements and rich experience. It produced its own leader, Mao Zedong, developed the doctrines of Lenin and Stalin on the colonial and semi-colonial issues and the doctrines of Stalin on the Chinese revolution. In the course of the struggle, the Party achieved unprecedented intellectual, political and organizational consolidation and unity. The Party had more than 1.2 million members, led liberated areas with nearly 100 million people and nearly 1 million troops, and became the great center of gravity of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and liberation cause of the whole country.
In Part II, the history of the first and second periods is reviewed and summarized. It is pointed out that during the first period—the new-democratic revolution, especially from 1924 to 1927, the great revolution of the Chinese people against imperialism and feudalism developed rapidly and achieved great victories. The CPC developed the national workers’, youth and peasants’ movements, promoted and helped the reorganization of the KMT and the establishment of the National Revolutionary Army, and formed the political backbone of the Eastern and Northern Expeditions. However, the revolution failed because the integrated forces of imperialism and the KMT reactionary group were too strong, because the reactionary group within the KMT defected, and because Chen Duxiu’s Right capitulationism dominated the leading organs of the Party and refused to carry out correct advice.
In the second historical period in the decade from 1927 to 1937, under the reign of extreme counterrevolutionary terror, the Party was united in continuing to raise the banner of anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism, led the great political, military and intellectual battles, created the Red Army, established the governments formed by conferences of workers, peasants and soldiers, set up revolutionary bases, distributed land, and resisted the attacks of the reactionary KMT government and the Japanese imperialist aggression. The Party, represented by Mao Zedong, creatively applied the revolutionary doctrines of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin to the actual work in China, which developed greatly within this decade. The CPC finally established the leading position of Mao Zedong in the Central Committee and the whole Party in the final period—the Agrarian Revolutionary War. During this period, the Party also made some mistakes, the most serious of which was the “Left” errors made during the period from the Sixth Plenary Session of the Fourth Central Committee in January 1931 to the Enlarged Meeting of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau in January 1935. In order to learn from the historical lessons of the Chinese revolution, so as to “learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient,” the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party held that considered it useful and necessary to draw formal conclusions on a number of historical issues within the Party during this decade, especially on the leadership line of the Central Committee during the period from the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee to the Zunyi Meeting.
Parts III–V focus on the issues of criticizing the “Left” erroneous line and establishing the status of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought.
In Part III, the resolution reviews and summarizes the “Left” and “Right” deviations in the Party from 1927 to 1937. It is pointed out that during this period, a small group of capitulationists, such as Chen Duxiu, were pessimistic and disappointed about the future of the revolution and gradually became abolitionists. In addition, the “Left” deviationist sentiment of revolutionary impetuosity on the part of petty bourgeoisie, soon developed. The August 7th Meeting set the general policy of agrarian revolution and armed resistance against the KMT reactionaries, but it also fostered adventurism and commandism, as well as organizational sectarianism. At the Enlarged Meeting of the Party Central Committee in November 1927, the “Left” line of putschism was formed, and for the first time the “Left” line gained a dominant position in the leading organs of the Party Central Committee. However, this error was criticized by Mao Zedong and others from the very beginning and was basically ended by April 1928.
The Sixth National Party Congress affirmed that Chinese society was a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, that none of the basic contradictions that caused the modern Chinese revolution had been solved, that the revolution at the present stage was still a bourgeois-democratic revolution. The Congress issued the Ten Program of the Democratic Revolution. It stated that the political situation at that time was between two revolutionary climaxes, and that the general task of the Party was not to attack, but to win over the people. The Congress criticized Chen Duxiu’s Right opportunism and “Left” deviationist” putschism. There were shortcomings in the Congress, and the “Left” errors were not completely corrected, but the achievements were predominant. The work of the Party in the period after the Congress made achievements. Mao Zedong developed in practice and theory the correct aspects of the Sixth Congress. Beginning in June 1930, the second “Left” line ruled the central leadership and set out a risky plan to organize armed uprisings in the major cities of the country and to concentrate on attacking these cities. Under the slogan of anti-Rightist tendency, the Li Lisan line wrongly cracked down on dissenting Party members and developed sectarianism. Fortunately, the Li Lisan line ruled the Party for a very short time (less than four months). During this period, Mao Zedong corrected the “Left” deviationist” mistakes of the Red Army and crushed the enemy’s First Encirclement and Suppression Campaign. The Third Plenary Session of the Sixth Party Central Committee corrected the Li Lisan line, but did not liquidate its intellectual ideological essence.
In January 1931, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee of the Party was held, marking the beginning of the rule of the new “Left” deviationist line headed by Wang Ming in the leading organs of the Central Committee. On the question of the nature of Chinese society and class relations, the new “Left” deviationist line exaggerated the significance of the struggle against the bourgeoisie, the struggle against the rich peasants and the “nature of the socialist revolution” at the present stage of the Chinese revolution. On the question of the revolutionary situation and the Party’s tasks, the line continued to emphasize the nationwide “revolutionary climax” and the Party’s nationwide “offensive line.” Organizationally, the line continued to develop sectarianism, promoting those “Left” dogmatic and sectarian people to the central leadership on the one hand. On the other hand, those who made the mistake of the Li Lisan line were hit too hard.
At the beginning of 1933, the Central Committee moved to a southern base of Jiangxi, which allowed the wrong line to develop further in the base where the Central Committee was located and in the neighboring bases. The Fifth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee marked the culmination of the third “Left” error. The greatest consequence of the third “Left” error in the revolutionary bases was the failure of the Fifth Counter-Campaign against Encirclement and Suppression in the central region and the withdrawal of the main forces of the Red Army from the central region. The Party’s work in most of the other revolutionary bases and the vast white areas also failed due to the errors of the “Left” line. The Zunyi Meeting concentrated on correcting the decisive military and organizational mistakes of the time, and began a new leadership of the Central Committee headed by Mao Zedong.
After the Zunyi Meeting, the political line of the Party Central Committee under the leadership of Mao Zedong was completely correct. The “Left” line was gradually overcome politically, militarily and organizationally. Since 1942, the Party-wide rectification campaign against subjectivism, sectarianism and Party stereotypes under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the study of the Party’s history had corrected all the “Left” and Right mistakes in the Party’s history from the intellectual root. The “Left” and Right mistakes in the Party’s history had been corrected from the ideological root. The vast majority of people who had made “Left” and Right mistakes before had made great progress and done a lot of work for the benefit of the Party and the people during their long experience. These people and others united with each other in a common political understanding. The Enlarged Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee gladly noted that, “The Party, after all its own successes and setbacks, has finally, for the first time under the leadership of Mao Zedong, reached such a high degree of consolidation and unity intellectually, politically, organizationally and militarily as it is now. This is the Party that is on the verge of victory; this is the Party that no force can defeat anymore.”
Part IV analyzes the “Left” errors politically, militarily, organizationally and intellectually. It begins with the content of the correct line represented by Mao Zedong, and analyzes the wrong line in comparison with the correct line of Mao Zedong.
Part V analyzes the social roots of the petty bourgeoisie from which the “Left” line emerged. It analyzes the composition and revolutionary characteristics of the petty bourgeoisie, and the policies that the Party should adopt toward them. Three aspects of petty-bourgeois thinking are analyzed: in the way of thinking, it is characterized by subjectivity and one-sidedness in observing problems; in the political tendency, it is characterized by swaying from side to side; and in the organizational life, it is characterized by individualism and sectarianism, which is disengaged from the people.
Parts VI and VII are the conclusion which clarifies the policy and strategy.
Part VI, it is emphasized that to overcome the “Left” or Right ideas, neither hastiness nor impetuosity will do, but in-depth education on Marxism-Leninism is necessary to improve the Party’s ability to discriminate between proletarian and petty-bourgeois ideas, and to promote democracy within the Party, to carry out criticism and self-criticism, and to carry out patient persuasion and education.
Part VII consists of the concluding remarks. It reviews history and looks into the future. It emphasizes that the practice of the Chinese revolution over the past 24 years has proved, and is still proving, that the direction of struggle of the Party and the people represented by Mao Zedong is completely correct. The ideas of Marxism-Leninism represented by Mao Zedong have a more general and deeper grasp of the officials, Party members and the people, the result of which will surely bring great progress and invincible power to the Party and the Chinese revolution. Under the correct leadership of the Central Committee headed by Mao Zedong, the Chinese revolution will surely reach complete victory.
2. The main contents of the second historical resolution
The second resolution is divided into eight parts.
The first four parts pave the way to solve the main problems.
Part I, “A Review of the 28-Year CPC History before the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,” points out that only the CPC pointed out to the people that the way out for China was to completely overthrow the reactionary rule of imperialism and feudalism and then enter into socialism. In the 22 years from 1927 to 1949, if Mao Zedong had not saved the Chinese revolution from crises many times, and if the Party Central Committee headed by him had not given the Party, the people and the people’s military a firm and correct political direction, the CPC and people might have spent much more time groping in the dark. Just as the CPC is recognized as the leading core of all the Chinese people, Mao Zedong is recognized as the great leader of the CPC and all the Chinese people, and Mao Zedong Thought, which emerged from the collective struggle of the Party and the people, is recognized as the guiding thought of the Party, which is the inevitable result of the historical development of the 28 years before the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Part II, “A Basic Evaluation of the 32-Year CPC History after the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,” summarizes the achievements made in the 32 years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in ten aspects, including politics, economics, culture, national defense, and foreign affairs. It is emphasized that the achievements the CPC has made in the past 32 years are predominant, and it is equally a serious mistake to ignore or deny these achievements and the successful experiences that led the Party to these achievements.
Part III, “The Seven Years of Basically Completing Socialist Transformation,” emphasizes that, from October 1949 to 1956, the Party led the people throughout the country to achieve the transformation from new-democracy to socialism in a systematic manner, rapidly restored China’s economy and carried out planned economic construction, and basically completed the socialist transformation of private ownership of the means of production in the vast majority of the country. During this stage of history, the guidelines and basic policies set by the Party were correct, and the victories achieved were glorious.
Part IV, “The Decade of Beginning to Build Socialism in All Respects,” points out that in the ten years up to the eve of the Cultural Revolution, although the Party suffered serious setbacks, it still made great achievements. During this decade, the Party accumulated important experience in leading socialist construction. In short, a large part of the material and technical foundation on which China now relies for modernization was built during this period; most of the backbone of the nation’s economic and cultural construction and their working experience were also cultivated and accumulated during this period. All the achievements in this decade were made under the collective leadership of the Party Central Committee headed by Mao Zedong. The responsibility for the mistakes in the work during this period also lies with the collective leadership of the Party Central Committee. Mao Zedong bore the main responsibility, but not all mistakes can be attributed to Mao personally. During this period, Mao’s errors in theory and practice concerning class struggle in socialist society became more and more serious, his personal and arbitrary style gradually undermined the Party’s democratic centralism, and the phenomenon of cult of the individual gradually developed. The Party Central Committee failed to correct these mistakes in time. Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng who were careerists, used and promoted these mistakes with ulterior motives. This led to the launching of the Cultural Revolution
Parts V–VIII are the key parts which focus on the establishment of Mao Zedong’s historical status and the upholding and development of Mao Zedong Thought. In addition, they objectively analyze and evaluate the Cultural Revolution and Mao Zedong’s mistakes in his later years.
Part V, “The Decade of the Cultural Revolution,” points out that the Cultural Revolution from May 1966 to October 1976 caused the most serious setbacks and losses to the Party, the country and the people since the founding of People’s Republic of China. It was initiated and led by Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong’s wrong views that started the Cultural Revolution obviously deviated from the track of Mao Zedong Thought, which is an integration the universal tenets of Marxism-Leninism and the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, and must be completely distinguished from Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong was mainly responsible for the Cultural Revolution which was a global and long-lasting “Left” serious mistake. However, the mistake of Mao Zedong was after all a mistake made by a great proletarian revolutionary. The struggle of the Party and the people against the “Left” mistakes and the counterrevolutionary groups of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing during the Cultural Revolution was difficult and tortuous, and it never stopped. “The reasons why the Cultural Revolution happened and lasted for ten years include not only Mao Zedong’s leadership mistakes, the direct cause, as analyzed earlier, but also complex social and historical reasons. The main reasons are: the history of the socialist movement was not long, and the history of the socialist countries was even shorter. The laws of development of socialist society were relatively clear in some cases, but more still needed to be explored. When the Party was faced with the new task of shifting its focus to socialist construction and thus needed to be particularly cautious, Mao Zedong’s prestige also reached its peak, and he gradually became proud and detached from realities and the people. His subjectivism and personal autocratic style became increasingly serious, and he increasingly overrode the Party Central Committee, so that the principle of collective leadership and democratic centralism in the political life of the Party and the state were constantly weakened and even destroyed. This made it difficult for the Party and the state to prevent and stop the launching and development of the Cultural Revolution.
Part VI, “The Great Turnaround of History,” states that in the two years between October 1976, when the Gang of Four was overthrown, to December 1978 when the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee was held, the work of the Party hesitated to press forward. This Third Plenary Session was a great turnaround of far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of People’s Republic of China. It put an end to the situation in which the Party’s work had hesitated to press forward since October 1976, made the strategic decision to shift the focus of work to socialist modernization, re-established the intellectual, political and organizational lines of Marxism, and brought China to a very good situation economically and politically. The scientific principles of Mao Zedong Thought and the correct policies of the Party were restored and developed under the new historical conditions, and all the undertakings of the Party and the country flourished again.
Part VII, “The Historical Status of Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought,” points out that Mao Zedong was a great Marxist-Leninist, a great proletarian revolutionary, strategist and theoretician. Although he made serious mistakes during the Cultural Revolution, his merits for the Chinese revolution far outweigh his faults in his life. His contributions are primary and his mistakes secondary.
The Chinese Communists, such as Mao Zedong, based on the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism, theoretically summarized a series of original experiences in China’s long-term revolutionary practice and formed a scientific guiding thought suitable for the Chinese situation, which is the product of integrating the universal tenets of Marxism-Leninism and the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution—Mao Zedong Thought.
Mao Zedong Thought enriched and developed Marxism-Leninism with original theories in the following aspects: the new-democratic revolution, the socialist revolution and construction, the development of the revolutionary army and military strategy, policy and strategy, political and cultural work, and strengthening the Party. The living soul of Mao Zedong Thought is the stand, viewpoint and method that run through each of these components, and they have three basic aspects: seeking truth from facts, the mass line, and independence.
Mao Zedong Thought is the valuable intellectual treasure of the Party and will guide its actions for a long time. It is totally wrong to attempt to deny the scientific value of Mao Zedong Thought and its guiding role in China’s revolution and construction because of the mistakes made by Mao Zedong in his later years. It is also totally wrong to adopt a dogmatic attitude toward Mao Zedong’s remarks, to think that what Mao said is the irrevocable truth and can only be copied and reproduced, or even to be unwilling to admit realistically that Mao Zedong made mistakes in his later years, and to attempt to uphold these mistakes in new practice.
The Party cherishes all the positive results of integrating the universal tenets of Marxism-Leninism and Chinese realities in the course of the Chinese revolution and construction for more than half a century, applies and develops these results in new practice, enriches and develops the Party’s theory with new principles and conclusions in line with realities, and ensures that the Party’s cause continues to advance along the scientific track of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.
Part VIII, “Unite and Struggle for Building a Strong Modern Socialist Country,” points out that the goal of the Party’s struggle in the new historical period is to gradually build China into a strong socialist country with modern agriculture, industry, national defense and science and technology, and is highly democratic and culturally advanced. It is emphasized that since the Third Plenary Session of the Central Committee, CPC has gradually established a correct path of socialist modernization that suits China’s situation. Its main points are: the focus of the work of the Party and the state must be shifted to socialist modernization with economic development as the center, socialist economic development must be based on China’s national conditions, the change and improvement of socialist relations of production must be adapted to the condition of the productive forces, class struggle is no longer the main contradiction, the gradual development of a highly democratic socialist system is one of the fundamental tasks of the socialist revolution, and socialism must have a high degree of cultural-ethical progress, the consolidation and development of socialist ethnic relations is of great significance, modern national defense must be strengthened, world peace must be maintained, and the CPC must be built into a party with sound democratic centralism.
III. Ensure the Chinese Revolution and Construction Move
from Victory to Greater Victory
At the great turning points, the Party made decisions and adopted two historical resolutions with thorough preparation and proper methods. The resolutions not only clarified ideas but also united people, solved historical problems and provided inspiration for solving real problems, and played a crucial role in the development of China’s revolution and construction.
The first historical resolution.
1. The Resolution summarizes the history of the Party and its basic lessons since the founding of the Party, especially in the period from the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee to the Zunyi Meeting, highly evaluates the outstanding contribution of Mao Zedong in applying the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism to solve the problems of the Chinese revolution, and affirms the great significance of establishing the leadership of Mao Zedong in the Party.
2. It comprehensively and thoroughly expounds the political, military, organizational and intellectual manifestations of the “Left” errors and the serious harm they caused, and focuses on the social and intellectual roots of these errors, distinguishing right from wrong.
3. In summing up the experience of the intellectual struggle within the Party, it stresses the need to adhere to the policies of “learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient,” and “both clarifying ideas and uniting people.” It proposed that the future task of the Party was “to unite all Party members to become a harmonious family and strong steel, and to struggle for the complete victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the complete liberation of the Chinese people.”
The Resolution elaborates on the correct line with Mao Zedong as the main representative, and is in fact a preliminary summary of Mao Zedong Thought. After the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party adopted this Resolution, the Seventh National Party Congress was held. The Sixth Plenary Session resolved the historical issues, and the Seventh Congress concentrated on the new issues.
In the more than ten years since the Seventh National Party Congress was held in 1945, the CPC, led by the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, led the people to a glorious victory in the Chinese revolution and socialist construction. As Deng Xiaoping said, the Seventh National Congress of the Party held in 1945 under the chairmanship of Mao Zedong was the most important congress of CPC during the period of democratic revolution after the founding of the Party. The Congress summed up the historical experience of the tortuous development of the Party’s democratic revolution over 20 years, formulated a correct program and strategy, overcame the wrong ideas within the Party, unified the Party’s understanding on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and achieved an unprecedented unity of the Party as a whole. The Congress laid the foundation for the victory of the new-democratic revolution in the whole country.
The second historical resolution.
1. The Resolution not only made a scientific analysis and profound criticism of the “Left” errors over the years and the mistakes of Mao Zedong in his later years, but also firmly upheld the fine tradition of the Party formed during the long struggle, the historical status of Mao Zedong and the scientific system of Mao Zedong Thought, thus distinguishing right from wrong and correcting the erroneous “Left” and Right views that existed at that time, and unifying the thinking of the whole Party and the whole nation. This provided a fundamental guarantee for maintaining the unity of the Party and the unity of the people, and for the healthy development of the cause of socialist construction.
2. The Resolution summarizes the positive and negative experiences since the founding of People’s Republic of China, the fresh experiences of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, and gives a preliminary overview of the main points of the new path created by the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Party. This points out the direction for the development of the Party and the state.
3. The Resolution, which was produced not long after the end of the Cultural Revolution, correctly solved two major interrelated historical issues, namely, the scientific evaluation of the historical status of Mao Zedong and the scientific system of Mao Zedong Thought, and the establishment of the correct path for China’s socialist modernization in the light of new realities and development requirements. This fully reflects the foresight and political maturity of the Party Central Committee.
The Resolution summarizes the main points of the correct path of socialist modernization that had been established by the Party since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee to suit the situation in China in ten aspects, which essentially provides a preliminary answer to the question of what kind of socialism to build in China and how to build it, and is also a preliminary summary of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Resolution had a far-reaching impact on unifying the understanding of the entire Party and the Chinese people, and on uniting them in the struggle to achieve the new historical tasks. After the Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Party adopted this Resolution, the 12th National Party Congress was held in 1982. The Congress went down in history with the major proposition of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. With the convening of this Congress as a symbol, reform and opening up and socialist modernization were in full swing.
Deng Xiaoping said of the 12th National Party Congress: “Just as the quarter century of twists and turns in our democratic revolution before the Seventh Congress taught the Party the laws governing that revolution, so the quarter century of twists and turns in our socialist revolution and construction since the Eighth Congress has taught the Party other profound lessons. Since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee, the Party has returned to its correct policies in the economic, political, cultural and other fields. In addition, after a study of the new situation and new experience, it has adopted a series of correct new policies. Our Party now has a much deeper understanding of the laws governing China’s socialist construction than it did at the time of the Eighth Congress, and it has become much more experienced, purposeful and determined to implement correct principles. We have every reason to believe that the correct program that will be decided on at this congress will create a new phase in all fields of socialist modernization and bring prosperity to our Party, our socialist cause, our country and our people.”
As Deng Xiaoping revealed, after the history of CPC and the country entered a new period of reform, opening up and socialist modernization, no matter how changeable the international situation is and how difficult and heavy the domestic reform and development tasks are, the CPC unites and leads the people to always uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics without wavering, and ensures the Party and the country continuously achieves great new victories in all undertakings, and that China is becoming more prosperous and stronger day by day.
Since the 18th National Party Congress, the Chinese Communists, such as Xi Jinping, have united and led the entire Party and the people in working for the great struggle, the great project, the great cause and the great dream. They have created Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They have implemented the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. They have solved longstanding and complex problems and accomplished many long-sought objectives. They have promoted the historic changes and achievements of the Party and the state. 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 is becoming strong; it has come to embrace the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation.
China’s development not only promotes its own prosperity and strength, but also provides successful experiences and bright prospects for the modernization of other developing countries, is a powerful force for world peace and development, and is a major contribution of the Chinese nation to the progress of human civilization.
However, socialism has always been a pioneering process. Marxism is also bound to evolve with the development of the times, practice and science, and cannot remain unchanged. The Party’s understanding of socialism and its grasp of the laws of socialism with Chinese characteristics have reached an unprecedented new height. However, socialism in China is still in its primary stage, and China is still facing many unanswered questions and difficult problems to be solved, and its understanding and grasp of socialism is still very limited and needs to be deepened and developed in practice.
No matter how long the journey is and how bumpy the road is, the Chinese people are always confident in the bright future of building a strong modern socialist country and achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is because the Chinese people have faith in Marxism, because they have faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics, and because we have always been based on our own history and attached great importance to the summary and learning and education of historical experience. History is the foundation on which the CPC survives and moves forward. Because of this, Xi Jinping stressed, “Rooted in a land of more than 9.6 million square kilometers, nourished by a nation’s culture of more than 5,000 years, and backed by the invincible force of more than 1.3 billion people, we have an infinitely vast stage of our era, a historical heritage of unmatched depth, and incomparable resolve that enable us to forge ahead on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
As can be seen from the above, at the juncture of the imminent victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the great turning point at the beginning of reform and opening up, the CPC took stock of the history since its founding and since the establishment of People’s Republic of China respectively, corrected mistakes, affirmed achievements, clarified the direction, unified thought, will and action, and ensured revolution and construction achieved great new victories.
On the occasion of the centenary of the founding of the Party, the Party launched a Party history study and education campaign, which is of great significance and far-reaching meaning. At the beginning of this campaign, Xi Jinping stressed that it is necessary to adhere to the two resolutions of the Party on historical issues and the relevant guiding principles of the Party Central Committee as the basis. He added in the study, it is essential to learn history in order to understand the principle, enhance confidence, respect virtue, work hard. He required that the people learn the history of the Party, understand the Thought, seek real results, and create a new phase. In accordance with such requirements, if the Chinese people are based on China’s actual situation, protect their foundations while innovating on, and complete the tasks of learning and education with high standard and high quality, they will be able to advance the Party’s self-reform and preserve its vitality, strengthen their faith and conviction, and play their due role in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. They will also make greater achievements in the great historical cause of national renewal.
* This paper was published Marxism & Reality, no. 3, 2021.
 Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1991, vol. II, p. 533.
 Selected of Deng Xiaoping, Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1993, vol. III, p. 36.
 Marx and Engels, Collected Works, Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2009, vol II, p. 36.
 Marx and Engels, Collected Works, Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2009, vol X, p. 588.
 They refer to the statement that “we will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave.”
 Selected of Deng Xiaoping, Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1994, vol. II, pp. 298–299.
 The five-sphere integrated plan is to promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement.
 The four-pronged comprehensive strategy is to make comprehensive moves to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepen reform, advance law-based governance, and strengthen Party self-governance.
 Xi Jinping, “Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” CPC Central Committee Institute of Party History and Literature (ed.), Selected Documents Produced since the 19th CPC National Congress, Beijing: Central Party Literature Publishing House, 2019, vol. I, p. 49.