Strive to Create a New Situation in Party Development under the Current Conditions(September 18, 2009)

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-20 12:33
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 The decision made at this Plenary Session was guided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, fully complied with the Scientific Outlook on Development and represented the pooled wisdom of the entire Party following a thorough analysis of the current conditions and tasks facing the effort to develop the Party and careful review of the basic lessons learned from our experience in self-development as a Marxist party in power. The decision specifies the general requirements, objectives and tasks, and important measures for strengthening and improving Party development, defines strategic arrangements for strengthening and improving Party development efforts under the current conditions and reflects the requirement to free up our thinking, continue carrying out reform and opening up, pursue scientific development and promote social harmony. This decision meets the objective requirements for the great new project for developing the Party under current historical conditions and provides an outline for guiding Party development at present and for some time to come.

 Past experience tells us that formulating a good document is not easy, and putting it into practice is even harder. The entire Party must carefully study, fully understand, thoroughly apply the guidelines set out at this Session, conscientiously carry out all the work in Party development and make significant progress in developing the Party.

 First, we need to fully recognize the importance and urgency of strengthening and improving Party development efforts under the current conditions and be more conscientious and resolute in carrying out the decision of this Session. All comrades in the Party should fully recognize that strengthening and improving Party development efforts under the current conditions is an urgent requirement for fully applying the guidelines set forth at the Seventeenth National Party Congress and an urgent requirement for applying the Scientific Outlook on Development and energetically promoting development, the highest priority for this Party in running the government and rejuvenating the nation. It is also an urgent requirement for addressing the impact of the international financial crisis, ensuring steady and rapid economic growth and for realizing, safeguarding and developing the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people.

 The world today is going through a period of great development, great changes and great shifts. The world is becoming more multi-polar, economic globalization is deepening and various types of political forces are forming and breaking alliances. Moreover, competition centering on the international order, overall national strength, geopolitics, the international market and science and technology is intensifying and exchange, borrowing and interaction among the different ideologies and cultures of the world are becoming more and more frequent. In order to maintain the initiative in the midst of these tumultuous changes in the international situation and to lead the people to meet the goals of economic and social development, our Party must improve its ability to balance the two major areas of domestic and international concerns and improve its ability to seize opportunities and address risks and challenges. It needs to make better use of its core leadership role in managing the overall situation and balancing all factors and unite with and lead all the ethnic groups in the country in boosting their confidence so they can wholeheartedly work together, take on substantial tasks, work together to overcome difficulties and strive to make progress in implementing the reform and opening up policy and carrying out socialist modernization.

 While carrying out inspection work in Shandong from October 16 to 19, 2009, Hu Jintao is shown in the center of the photo in the courtyard of a farmer’s home in Liujihou Village, Dawang Town, Guangrao County, Dongying City having warm and friendly conversation with Party members and cadres from Dawang Town and village representatives from Liujihou Village. / Photo by Xinhua reporter Ju Peng

 A general blueprint for developing a moderately prosperous society in all respects, accelerating socialist modernization and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics under the conditions of the current era was drawn up at the Seventeenth National Party Congress. The key to successfully carrying out this general blueprint is our Party. The tasks for the Party in implementing the reform and opening up policy and carrying out socialist modernization in this large developing country with a population of over one billion are daunting, complex and heavy, the likes of which have rarely been seen before in this world. For this reason, it was stressed at the Seventeenth National Party Congress that the Party must stand at the forefront of the times as it leads the people in making constant progress in their cause. We must develop ourselves in a spirit of reform and innovation and always remain the strong leadership core for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It was decided at the Seventeenth National Party Congress to make improvement in the Party’s ability to govern and strengthening of its advanced nature the main line to develop the overall work arrangements for the Party’s ideology, organization, style of work, institutions and anti-corruption efforts. We need to make full use of the successes we have had in Party development efforts over the past 60 years since the founding of New China in carrying out all aspects of the great new Party development project in accordance with the general arrangements set out at the Seventeenth National Party Congress. We need to strengthen the Party’s creative strength, cohesiveness and combat ability, raise the level of the Party’s leadership and governance, do even better in uniting and leading all the ethnic groups of the country to win new victories in the effort to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and make substantial progress in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

 Overall, the Party’s level of leadership and governance, the Party’s progress in self-development and the overall quality of all Party members are currently adequate for the historical tasks taken on by the Party. At the same time, huge changes have taken place in the structure of Party cadres. Many new situations have emerged in the thinking, quality and abilities of cadres and quite a few younger cadres lack the tempering provided by strict internal Party life and have not been tested by major political storms. We therefore urgently need to improve the overall quality of cadres. Even more importantly, there are quite a few areas in the Party that are not adequate to deal with the current situations, tasks and requirements and are not in line with the Party’s nature and general objectives. Although these issues are not widespread in the Party membership, they are seriously impacting the Party’s creative strength, cohesiveness and combat ability, seriously harming the close ties between the Party and the masses and seriously affecting the solidness of the Party’s governing position and the realization of the Party’s governing mission. 

 Our Party is a large party that encompasses over 3.7 million low level organizations and over 75 million members. Carrying out Party development in such a large party is an extremely difficult task. The various types of issues that have emerged in the Party are an objective reality. Resolving the internal issues of the Party will require a long-term and complex process; they will not be resolved overnight. We must face these issues head on and concentrate on resolving whatever issues emerge. We cannot afford to ignore them and let the situation build up to where it will be difficult to resolve. The entire Party must prepare for crisis in times of peace, increase sense of hardship, constantly show concern for the Party, faithfully carry out the responsibilities of developing the Party, concentrate on addressing the major internal Party issues, always preserve the health of the Party body and always preserve and develop the Party’s advanced nature.

 Second, we need to make full use of the basic lessons learned in Party development since the Party took power and enrich and develop those lessons through experience. In the 60 years since the Party took power, our Party has always considered self-development to be very important and closely integrated the work of administering the affairs of state and running the government with the important topic of how to develop the Party in relation to what kind of Party we want to develop. We have made tremendous achievements through this long process of experimentation. In the early years of New China, the Party’s first generation of central collective leadership with Comrade Mao Zedong at the core improved Marxist education throughout the Party in relation to efforts to consolidate government authority, develop the economy and complete the transformation from new democracy to socialism. They called on the entire Party to “strive to improve the quality of Communist Party members.” The discussion of how to develop a party in power at the Eighth National Party Congress pointed out the orientation for efforts to develop the Party once the Party took power throughout the country. 

 Following the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee, the Party’s second generation of central collective leadership with Comrade Deng Xiaoping at the core made the historic decision to shift the focus of Party and government work to economic development and carry out reform and opening up policy, and identified the objective of Party development as making the Party the strong core leading socialist modernization. They also introduced a plan to revolutionize the cadres, reduce their average age, raise their average educational level and make them more professional, promoted the recruitment of younger people to replace older cadres, made overall improvement in the Party’s ideology, work style and organization and launched the great new project to develop the Party. 

 Following the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth CPC Central Committee, the Party’s third generation of central collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core reviewed the profound lessons learned from the serious setbacks that had occurred in world socialism while carrying out the reform and opening up policy and developing a socialist market economy. They analyzed the issues exposed in the political turmoil that took place in China and abroad concerning Party cadres, confirmed that the two major historical topics were how to improve the level of the Party’s leadership and level of governance and how to strengthen the Party’s ability to resist corruption, prevent degradation and cope with risk, promoted improvement in ideology, organization, style of work and institutions in the Party, and continued to make progress in the great new Party development project. Following the Sixteenth National Party Congress, the Central Committee made a comprehensive analysis of China’s course of development in the current stage of this new century and identified a number of characteristics of this stage and introduced and implemented the major strategic concept of the Scientific Outlook on Development, closely tying it to efforts to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The Central Committee identified improvement in the Party’s governing ability and preservation of the Party’s advanced nature as the main focus of education activities to strengthen the advanced nature of Party members mainly concentrating on application of the important thought of Three Represents and activities to thoroughly study how to put the Scientific Outlook on Development into practice. The Central Committee also called on the Party to carry out improvement in the areas of ideology, organization, style of work, institutions and efforts to combat corruption and ensure clean government in a spirit of reform and innovation, striving to make continued progress in the great new Party development project by focusing on addressing the new situations and issues facing Party development. 

 Looking back at the past 60 years since the founding of New China, we can clearly see that when the Party’s political line was correct and the Party made good progress in Party development, the cause led by the Party would make smooth progress and that when the Party’s political line deviated from the correct direction and progress in Party development efforts was poor, the cause led by the Party would suffer from setbacks. At the Plenary Session, the valuable lessons we reviewed and summarized are a concentrated reflection of the rich experience we have gained in Party self-development since the Party took power throughout the country and represent the crystallization of the hard work of several generations of CPC members. These lessons represent an extremely valuable treasure for the Party, and we must use them as important guiding principles to strengthen and improve Party development efforts in the current situation to be followed for some time to come, truly put into practice and constantly enriched and developed through experience.

 Third, we must be more scientific and innovative in Party development efforts. The Plenary Session introduced the major proposition and task of making Party development more scientific, which is a new requirement placed on Party development by recent changes in the situations in the world, in China and the Party. In the final analysis, making Party development more scientific means constantly working to better understand and conscientiously apply Marxist rules for developing a party in power. Developing a party in power is a long-term task and exploring the Marxist rules for developing a party in power is an ever-present topic. We must continue working to free our thinking, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times, study new situations as they arise, resolve new issues, review recent experience and see results from applying scientific theories to guide Party development, using the scientific system to ensure success in Party development efforts and applying the scientific method to promote Party development.

 The key to making Party development efforts more scientific is to take scientific theories as our guide. Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development provide a powerful theoretical guide for coping with the requirements of new situations and new tasks in Party development. Strengthening and improving Party development efforts in the current situation require that we recognize and understand its objective rules, and study and resolve many and complex issues. Some recent Party development efforts have not as yet produced the expected results, and a major reason for this is that we have not carried out enough in-depth study of current conditions and recent issues facing Party development in the current situation. While strengthening Party development efforts and exploring new ways to develop the Party, we must fully take into consideration the current historical conditions and current historical tasks, carefully study Marxist doctrine on party development, improve theoretical research on and make more innovations in Party development, strive to understand and apply the objective rules of Marxism for developing a ruling party, fully understand and apply the objective rules for party leading the people to take power, consolidate power and hold on to power, thoroughly study the new requirements facing Party development due to the promotion of scientific development and social harmony, carefully review fresh experience in improving the Party’s ability to govern and maintaining the Party’s advanced nature, and constantly enrich and develop theory concerning Party development. 

 Institutional development is an important component of Party development and an important guarantee of success in Party development. We need to make internal Party life and the system for Party development more rigorous and scientific. To this end, we need to set up both a substantive system and a procedural system, clearly stipulate the correct actions as well as how to handle violations of the regulations, and reduce the leeway for discretion in execution of the system and work to make Party development efforts more scientific, more institution-based and more standard.

 Any accomplishment requires thorough preparation. Applying scientific methods is absolutely essential to successfully raising the level of Party development efforts. We have made quite a few accomplishments in exploring and applying scientific methods for Party development and we need to take into account the specifics of the current situation to enrich and improve them. For instance, the increasing information content available online presents challenges as well as opportunities for Party development. The Plenary Session called for careful operation of the Party development website, development of a national information databank for Party members, application of IT in the work of lower level Party organizations, stronger efforts to integrate the network of the modern distance education for rural Party cadres and improvement of the mechanism for on-line reporting and accepting information for anti-corruption and clean government and the mechanism for collecting and handling information on the Internet. The purpose is to use Internet technology to strengthen and improve Party development efforts and improve the results of Party development work. Party cadres at all levels should study and become familiar with the Internet, become skilled at using the Internet and improve their ability to use the Internet to carry out guidance and management. We need to strengthen and improve Party development efforts in the current situation by being resolute and confident, by applying scientific methods, by carrying forward and developing successful practices accumulated through long-term experience and by actively looking for ways to apply modern scientific methods in modern management science, organization science and psychology and borrowing from the useful practices of foreign political parties.

 Fourth, in order to meet the development demands of this era, we need to put into practice the major strategic task of making the CPC into a learning-oriented Marxist party. How well we constantly study, become proficient at studying, and work hard to fully understand and apply all new scientific ideas, knowledge and experience is the factor that determines whether or not the Party can always be at the forefront of the times and lead China’s development progress, and has a direct bearing on how successful we can be in consolidating the Party’s position as the ruling party and carrying out the Party’s governing mission. Our Party has always considered study to be important, and in particular, the Party has always called on all comrades in the Party to increase their studies during every major historical turning point. And every such period of intensive study promotes great progress and development in our cause. In the face of constant changes in the domestic and international development situations and the constant stream of new knowledge emerging in today’s world, we can maintain our position at the forefront of the times, constantly raise our level of leadership and governance and truly take on the historical mission of leading the people in the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics only if we diligently engage in study, constantly engage in study and become good at studying. For this reason, the Plenary Session introduced the strategic task of making the CPC into a learning-oriented Marxist party. All members of the Party must pay more attention to their studies, and truly improve their ability to study and put what they have learned into practice. Leading cadres in the Party, in particular our comrades in the Central Committee, should conscientiously view study as the fundamental way to improve themselves, improve their skills and abilities and successfully carry out their leadership work. They should study more in depth, further enrich their understanding of theory, further increase their knowledge with a high sense of political responsibility and in a spirit of strong thirst for knowledge and zeal for progress, and set an example in constantly studying and being accomplished at study. They should work to stay at the forefront in their full and systematic understanding of Marxist theory, especially the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, solidify their ideals and beliefs, work to gain a systematic understanding of Marxist stand, views and methods, and improve their political awareness and political discernment ability through study. They should always be firm in their stand, keep a clear head, be even more conscientious and firm in adhering to the Party’s basic theories, basic line, basic outline and basic lessons, be more conscientious and firm in following the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, constantly strive to advance the causes of the Party and the people and be firm believers in the lofty ideals of communism and the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics. They should be in the forefront of studying and understanding modern scientific knowledge, extensively study knowledge of economics, politics, culture, science and technology, society and international affairs required to promote modernization, broaden their horizons through study, correctly understand the current situation in world development, correctly understand the actual situation in reform and development and truly improve their ability to think strategically, creatively and dialectically. They should be in the forefront of advocating Marxist method of study to link theory and practice, fully understand and be thoroughly familiar with the basic situation in the country in the primary stage of socialism, lead the way in finding solutions to major theoretical and practical problems, closely link solution of the most practical and immediate problems of greatest concern to the people, the major issue of balancing reform, development and stability within localities and government departments, major issues in Party development and make their work better conform to principles, more systematic, more proactive and more creative. Leading cadres should set an example by reducing their social activities to make more time for study, and through their role as examples, promote an excellent atmosphere for study throughout the Party and society.

 The strategic task of making the CPC into a learning-oriented Marxist party must be carried out down to the lowest level, and every Party organization must be responsible for diligently organizing study for Party members. We must make innovations in study methods, enrich the content of study and improve the system of study, closely relating efforts to supporting the central task, and make Party organizations at every level into learning-oriented Marxist party organizations and every level of Party leadership group into a learning-oriented Marxist leadership group. The organization of study should be integrated with training in the nature of the Party, make successful study activities for Party members an integral part of efforts to improve organizational life, make the Party organization into a large oven for strengthening the advanced nature of Party members and making them more ideologically aware, as well as a large school where Party members can study new knowledge and learn new skills and abilities. We must guide Party members so that it becomes common for Party members to place great importance on study, persevere in studying and study throughout their lives so they can conscientiously work to improve their moral standards, increase their knowledge and learn to be more enterprising through their study. Study should be organized to integrate with normal work and Party members should be encouraged to engage in problem-based study so that their work process becomes one of earnest study and ability improvement. We must put on activities that are rich and varied as well as very fruitful to increase the actual benefit of study. We must make relentless efforts to motivate Party members to study, improve the quality of study and make it more fruitful so that Party members can resolutely avoid formalism, changing with the wind and treating all cases the same regardless of individual circumstances. 

 Fifth, we must improve the leadership of Party development efforts and ensure that all work is completed. Strengthening and improving Party development efforts under the current conditions is a major political responsibility for the entire Party. All levels of Party committees and relevant departments must faithfully carry out the decision of the Plenary Session and while carrying out activities to carefully study how to apply the Scientific Outlook on Development in actual practice, uphold the practice of the Party exercising self-discipline and being strict with its members, and ensure that all arrangements for Party development work are put into operation and carried out down to the lowest levels. They must continue to vigorously and successfully carry out the decision arrangements and policy measures for Party development previously adopted by the Central Committee and strive to constantly produce results. They should work out ways to implement the new requirements and measures clearly defined in the decision of the Plenary Session and truly act on them. They should diligently and thoroughly investigate and study the requirements for the orientation of efforts to strengthen and improve Party development work and formulate a work plan as soon as possible. They should fully implement a responsibility system for Party development work and make it commonly recognized throughout the Party, especially among leading cadres at all levels, that carrying out Party development is one of their normal duties, so not doing so constitutes neglect of duty and doing it poorly constitutes incompetence. The secretaries of Party organizations at all levels must carry out their duties as persons chiefly held responsible for Party development, pay close attention to Party development work and promote scientific development and social harmony through their Party development work. They must make full use of the function of leadership groups for Party development efforts, strengthen communication and coordination among relevant departments and create more synergy in Party development efforts. They should pay close attention to improving the overall quality of the Party members responsible for Party work, especially at the lower levels, select outstanding individuals to carry out Party work and strive to create a Party workforce that is firm ideologically, has a good work style and is highly skilled.

(From Qiushi in Chinese No. 1, 2010)


Note: Extract of a speech delivered by Hu Jintao at the second full session of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee

Author: General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission

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