The Leadership of the Communist Party of China Is the Choice of History and the People

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-19 23:37
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    Earthshaking historical changes have taken place in China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China over the past 60 years. The CPC has established and consolidated its position of leadership in guiding the people to realize the most profound changes in Chinese history and in the great course of building and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. The leadership of the CPC is the choice of history and the people.

    I. The nature, program, purpose and theory of the CPC are the crystallization of the advanced nature of a Marxist political party and represent the direction China is taking in its history and the fundamental interests of the greatest majority of the people.

    The Chinese nation has been confronted with two major historical tasks throughout the history of modern China, one, to seek national independence and liberation of the people and two, to make the country strong and all the people prosperous. History has shown that neither the peasant uprisings of the old type nor the efforts of the reformists and revolutionaries of the bourgeoisie were able to change the nature of China’s semi-colonial and semi-feudal society and the miserable life of the Chinese people. Only the CPC represents the direction of development of new productive forces and the relations of production in China, and guides and relies on the people to achieve great victories one after another in the historical journey of Chinese revolution, construction and reform. It is precisely for this reason that only the leadership of the CPC could become the choice of history and the people.

    The nature of the CPC is a concentrated manifestation of the law of development of society and the position of the people as the main players in history. Since the day the CPC was founded, it has maintained a clear understanding of its own nature and continuously deepened this understanding to keep up with the times. The fact that the program passed at the First National Congress of the Party identified the name of the Party as “the Communist Party of China” indicated its nature as a Marxist party. The resolution passed at the Second National Congress of the Party clearly defined the nature of the Party for the first time, stating, “The Communist P arty is a combination of all the proletarian elements in society with class consciousness and the vanguard of the proletariat.” The CPC, as the vanguard of the proletariat, naturally marched at the forefront of the tide of history and became the leader of the new-democratic revolution. At the meeting at Wayaobao in 1935 it was pointed out that the CPC was not only the vanguard of the Chinese proletariat, but also the “vanguard of the whole nation.” This further consolidated the class base of the Party, expanded the mass base of the Party and strengthened the cohesion and fighting capacity of the Party. The Party Constitution passed at the Seventh National Congress of the Party clearly stipulated: “the CPC is an advanced organized army of the Chinese working class and its highest form of class organization. The CPC represents the interests of the Chinese nation and the Chinese people.” It made clear for the first time that the Party represents the interests of the people of all the ethnic groups of China. Under the new situation of reform and opening up, the Party Constitution passed at the Twelfth National Congress of the Party scientifically expressed the nature of the Party, stating, “the CPC is the vanguard of the working class of China, a loyal representative of the interests of all the ethnic groups of China and the core of leadership of the socialist cause of China.” Since the beginning of the 21st century, the CPC has been following the important thought of Three Represents and the theory of the “Two Vanguards” in line with the new situation at home and abroad and made a more thorough summary of the Party’s nature. The consistent adherence to and continuous deepening of the understanding of the nature of the CPC by itself gives a concise reflection of the direction of the history of Chinese society and fully embodies the basic principles of scientific socialism.

    The program of the CPC is a solemn promise to fight for its lofty ideals and for the interests of the greatest majority of the people. Program is a formal expression of the principle to be strictly adhered to and followed by a political party and the banner under which this party fights to realize its purpose. Realizing communism is the highest ideal for the CPC. In order to realize this highest ideal, the CPC has scientifically developed the basic line and the basic program for each historical period in accordance with social conditions and the central task for each different historical period and held high the brilliant banner for unity and struggle among the broad masses of Party members in the interests of the people and their common objectives. The First National Congress of the Party advanced the revolutionary program to “overthrow the political power of the capitalist class,” “recognize proletarian dictatorship” and “wipe out the private ownership of the bourgeoisie.”  At the Second National Congress of the Party the nature and target of and the driving force for the Chinese revolution were correctly analyzed and it was pointed out that the greatest pains inflicted on the Chinese people were at the hands of imperialist and feudal forces. A thorough anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolutionary program was clearly advocated for the first time, and the direction for the revolutionary struggles of the people of all the ethnic groups of China was clearly defined, greatly aiding the development of the Chinese revolution. In 1940, Comrade Mao Zedong put forward the political, economic and cultural programs for new democracy in his work “On New Democracy,” and developed these programs into the basic program of the Party during the period of the new-democratic revolution in his work “On Coalition Government.” The report from the Party’s Fifteenth National Congress contained a systematic exposition of the basic program for the primary stage of socialism. The report from the Party’s Seventeenth National Congress was the latest political proclamation and program of action of our Party for uniting and leading the people of all the ethnic groups of the country in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. The CPC has always combined its maximum program and its minimum program and demonstrated that our Party has always had a scientific understanding of the nature and the main issues in Chinese society during different periods and consistently and scientifically understood the conditions and process of the socialist movement.

    The First National Congress of the CPC was held here at 106 Wangzhi Road, French Concession Shanghai in July 1921, marking the birth of the Communist Party of China. The 12 people in attendance represented the slightly more than 50 Party members in the country at the time. / Photo supplied by Xinhua

    The purpose of the CPC is a concise expression of the inherent requirements for social and historical progress and the ideology of a proletarian party that views the people as its foundation. The purpose of the Party is the fundamental starting point for all the actions of our Party. The Seventh National Congress of the Party of 1945 formally incorporated “serve the people” as its purpose into the Party Constitution and clearly stipulated that “Chinese Communists must maintain a spirit of serving the Chinese people wholeheartedly.” The spirit of dedication of Chinese Communists who are willing to shed their blood and lay down their lives in the interests of the people, the fine style of sharing good times and bad with the masses and the fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people clearly reflects the most commendable political qualities of our Party.

    The theory of the CPC is a profound understanding of the law of social and historical development and is a scientific summary of the valuable lessons learned from the successes of the people achieved under the leadership of the Party. The 160 years since Manifesto of the Communist Party was published have shown that Marxism is a vital, creative power and inspiration only when integrated with the actual conditions of a country and adapted to suit the times, and when it shares a common fate with the masses. The Chinese Communists with Mao Zedong as the main representative have integrated the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with the realities of the Chinese revolution, thus creating Mao Zedong Thought. Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee, the Chinese Communists have been gradually carving out a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics based on a thorough review of both positive and negative experiences since the founding of New China and through the implementation of the reform and opening up policy. They have also formed a theoretical system for socialism with Chinese characteristics that includes the important strategic approaches of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development under the correct leadership of the Party’s second generation of central collective leadership with Deng Xiaoping at the core, the third generation of central collective leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core, and the current central collective leadership with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary. These important theoretical achievements reflect our Party’s accurate understanding of and conscious compliance with the general laws for a party holding power, the general laws for building socialism and the general laws for the development of human society, and mark a new development in scientific socialism in contemporary China. 

    II. The CPC follows the scientific principle of Marxism identifying people as the makers of history and has established and consolidated its own leading position and its position as the party in power in the great course of guiding and relying on the people to continuously open up new situations in revolution, development and reform in China.   

    The CPC has always stood firmly at the forefront of the times and led the people in establishing great historical cause that will shine through the ages. Beginning with the Opium War of 1840, modern China has faced many serious national and social crises under the double oppression of imperialism and feudalism. In the early 1920s, the new CPC bravely shouldered the heavy responsibility of saving the country and the people, held high the great banner of struggle against imperialism and feudalism and opened up a new chapter of revolution for democracy in China. At a life-and-death juncture in the history of the Chinese nation when the iron heels of Japanese imperialists were wantonly trampling on Chinese land, the CPC became the first to call for unity to resist Japan, establishing a united front, widely mobilizing the masses, fighting a protracted war and serving as the key element in the victory in the war of resistance fought by the whole nation. In the face of encirclement, blockade and strangulation on the part of imperialist and reactionary forces when China was at a historical juncture facing two possible destinies and futures, the CPC led the people in smashing the offensives of the enemies, overthrowing the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang and establishing New China in which the people became the masters of the country. In the early years of New China when the country was seriously plagued by poverty and hopelessness with a thousand pressing matters to resolve, the CPC led the people in rapidly healing the scars of war and establishing the basic system for socialism, an independent and relatively comprehensive industrial system and a national economic system, thus bringing a glow of unprecedented vigor and vitality to the China of old. When China was working vigorously to recover from the disasters brought on by the Cultural Revolution, the CPC thoroughly reviewed their experience to draw lessons from it. As a result, the Party reestablished the ideological line of freeing the mind and seeking truth from facts, made the historical decision to change the central task of the Party and state to become economic development, implemented the policy of reform and opening up and led the people in striding proudly ahead on the broad road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

    The CPC has always kept its finger on the pulse of history and relied on the people in overcoming difficulties and risks of all descriptions while developing a road of development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The CPC comes from the people and has its root in the people. The heartfelt endorsement and great support of the masses provides the fundamental guarantee for success in overcoming all difficulties and risks and continued success in the undertakings of the CPC. When the CPC was first founded there were only some 50 members, but the Party led workers’ strikes on a grand and spectacular scale and set off a new workers’ movement. Thanks to the support of the working class the Party was able to open up new prospects for revolution and was able to come onto China’s political stage as a brand new political force. During the Agrarian Revolution, the CPC implemented a new land policy, and instituted a policy of “bring down local tyrants and divide up their land,” which won the support of the peasants who constituted the overwhelming majority of the Chinese population. In addition, they successfully led the establishment of a democratic political authority consisting of workers and peasants and broke through the encirclement and interception of Kuomintang troops to achieve a great victory in the Long March of the Red Army. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the CPC initiated and implemented the policy of forming a national united front to resist Japan, enlisted the support of people from all classes and strata in society and made the Party the core force uniting the nation in fighting the war of resistance. By 1945, the Party had developed into a party with more than 1.2 million members, while the people’s army had grown to more than 1.2 million personnel and the people’s militia to more than 2.6 million. The total area of all anti-Japanese bases was nearly one million square kilometers containing a population of nearly 100 million. In the face of the 4.3 million-strong regular army of the Kuomintang fully armed with American equipment during the War of Liberation, the CPC was firmly convinced that “only the people are truly powerful.” The Party successfully established a consolidated people’s democratic united front, overthrew the Kuomintang reactionaries and achieved the victory of the new-democratic revolution. Under the leadership of the Party following the founding of New China, the Chinese people became eager and energetic participants in socialist transformation and national development showing unprecedented zeal as masters of the country and a highly creative spirit. The Party has been working to mobilize the creative vitality of the masses and regularly evaluating the most recent experiences of the people since the implementation of the reform and opening up policy. The Party takes the support, approval, satisfaction and agreement of the people as the starting and ending point in working out all policies and principles and uses its power for the benefit of the people, shows concern for the people and works to better the lives of the people, while successfully charting the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It enabled China to enjoy a long run of rapid development unprecedented in modern times.

    The CPC has always worked to improve the lives of the people and to realize, safeguard and develop the fundamental interests of the greatest majority of the people. Over the past 80 some years, the Chinese Communists have always been the first to bear hardships and the first to make contributions, never shirking from sweating and shedding blood or even sacrificing their precious lives in the interests of the people. In just over a decade from the founding of the CPC in 1921 to the beginning of the War of Resistance Against Japan in 1937, the number of CPC members who died or went missing was about 400,000. At the time of the founding of New China, the number of Communist martyrs identified by name was 3.7 million, all people who gave their lives to the cause of national independence and liberation of the people before the founding of the People’s Republic. During the period of socialist development and the new period of reform and opening up, groups of outstanding Party members such as Lei Feng, Jiao Yulu, Wang Jinxi, Shi Laihe and Kong Fansen have served as vanguards and models on various fronts with a spirit of love and dedication to their jobs in making selfless contributions. By uniting with and leading the masses, the Chinese Communists have brought prosperity to the country and wellbeing to the people through their unremitting struggles. In the early days of New China, the per capita GDP was below US$100, rising to just below US$200 when the reform and opening up policy was first introduced, by 2003 it had topped US$1,000 and in 2008, it reached US$3,266.80. The 30 years of reforms and opening up was the period in which the income of China’s urban and rural residents increased the fastest and in which they received the most material benefits as the overall standard of living reached the level of moderate prosperity. The Chinese people were fully aware of the sacrifices and contributions the Chinese Communists have made to bring about the great increase in overall national strength and the great improvement in their standard of living, and have become even more convinced that choosing the leadership of the CPC meant choosing a beautiful life and bright prospects.

    The choice of history must ultimately be realized through the choice of the people. It is precisely because the CPC has always worked to improve the Party to better serve the public, exercised political power for the benefit of the people and truly represented the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation that it merited the reward of becoming the firm choice of the masses and the firm leadership core for the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

    III. The CPC must always face up to the tests and choice by history and the people in working for the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation

    Chinese Communists must improve their ability to see potential problems and become more aware of their role as public servants. In light of the new situation and new tasks resulting from developments and profound changes that have taken place since the Sixteenth CPC National Congress, Hu Jintao stressed on many occasions the importance of strengthening our ability to see potential problems and becoming more aware of our role as public servants. He made the profound statement that, “Neither the vanguard character of the Party nor the Party’s position as the party in power is unchangeable; they must be adjusted for each period in time. It means that those who were progressive in the past may not still be considered progressive now and those who are progressive now may not be considered progressive forever, and that those who owned things in the past don’t necessarily still own them and those who own things now will not necessarily own them forever.” Some major parties and old parties in other countries have lost their position as the party in power over the past 20-some years. Looking at this phenomenon we can see even more clearly the ever-present danger of losing our position of leadership and our position as the party in power. We are even more fully aware that consolidating our leadership and position as the party in power is a long term and arduous historical task, as it is for any political party in power.

    Chinese Communists should have the courage and skill to respond to new issues and meet new challenges. The present world is going through extensive and profound changes, and contemporary China is also going through extensive and profound changes. Looking at the present international situation, we can see that coping with the financial crisis, taking advantage of good opportunities and avoiding risks, and taking full advantage of this period of important strategic opportunities in the present century will present a severe test to the Party. Looking at the domestic environment, the sustained rapid development of the past 30 years since the institution of the reform and opening up policy has laid a solid material foundation for China’s economic, political, cultural and social development. The basic situation of China is still that of a country in the primary stage of socialism, where it will stay for a long time. The main problem in society today is still that the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people cannot be met by the existing backward social production. In addition, there are an increasing number of potential risks and sensitive factors and the effort to maintain social stability is facing serious challenges. Whether or not we succeed in efforts to ensure growth, ensure people’s well-being and ensure stability and then succeed in carrying out structural adjustments, raising the quality of economic growth and promoting reform is also a test of the ability of our Party to lead and hold political power. Looking at internal efforts to improve the Party, for a long time our Party has been making important and high-profile achievements in Party improvement, but the ideological concepts, governing ability and moral and professional standards of many Party cadres have not become accustomed to or are not in line with the requirement to extensively apply the Scientific Outlook on Development and the new expectations of the people concerning the Party. The new issues and challenges for our Party presented by the world situation, the domestic situation and the state of our Party will not only be complex and difficult, but long-term and sustained as well.

    Chinese Communists should always work to improve the Party for the public good and exercise power for the benefit of the people. Under the new historical conditions, we must fully recognize the historical position of the Party, always stay current with the tide of history, always represent the fundamental interests of the largest segment of the people possible and respond to the tests choice of history and the people.

(From Qiushi in Chinese No.19 2009)

Note: Author: Deputy Head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee

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