Leading Cadres Must Lead the Way in Striving for Progressiveness and Excellence

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-20 10:03
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 CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao has stressed that Party members and cadres should aspire to act as role models in striving for progressiveness and excellence. In Chinese culture, it has always been a tradition for people to follow the example set by their superiors. The Communist Party of China has always called on Party cadres to set a good example through their own actions. Therefore, leading cadres must take the lead in setting a good example if progressiveness and excellence are to become a widespread culture.    

 Progressiveness and excellence characterize Chinese Communists and represent what they aspire to

 The Communist Party of China consists of the most progressive people in Chinese society. It is the vanguard of the working class, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation for the cause of social progression. Therefore, progressiveness and excellence are fundamental requirements of the Party. In 1922, the Second National Congress of the CPC passed the Resolution on the Organizational Charter of the Communist Party of China, which stated that the CPC must “act as the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat.” During the struggle in the Jinggang Mountains, Mao Zedong called on Party cadres to deliver the highest standard of work and act as revolutionary role models. In the years of the revolutionary war, Chinese Communists fought with courage and bravery in the face of death. They defined the essence of progressiveness and excellence by shedding their blood and laying down their lives. In times of peaceful development, Chinese Communists have made arduous efforts to forge ahead and break new ground. They too have defined the essence of progressiveness and excellence through their devotion and efforts. In fact, if we look back on the near 90-year history of the Communist Party of China, we can see that it has been an ongoing struggle for progressiveness and excellence. 


  Yang Shanzhou formerly served as the secretary of Baoshan Prefectural Party Committee, 

Yunnan Province. After becoming a leading cadre in his twenties, Yang maintained a selfless

dedication to serving the public throughout the course of his career. After retiring, he 

devoted himself to serving residents in mountainous areas by planting trees and building 

roads.Yang Shanzhou died with almost no possessions of his own after having donated 

thousands of acres of forest to the government. The trees, which Yang spent over 20 years

cultivating, are worth hundreds of millions of yuan. Throughout his life, Yang Shanzhou 

maintained the highest conviction that a communist can hold. His dedication made him 

highly respected figure among the people around him./ Photo by Xinhua

  Progressiveness and excellence are definitive traits that distinguish Chinese Communists from other members of society. Party members and cadres differ from one another in the level of talent that they possess and the burden of responsibility that they assume. However, regardless of this, any Party cadre who takes the initiative in striving for progressiveness and excellence will have the capacity to earn the recognition of the people in the course of routine tasks, step forward at crucial times, and act with courage in situations of life and death. In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Yushu County in Qinghai Province, Tuding Pengcuo, the Party branch secretary of Jiajiniang Village in Laxiu Township, organized a rescue team that pulled more than 200 civilians from the rubble, despite the fact that two of his relatives had died in the earthquake and four had been seriously injured. Of the ten courageous people who gave their lives in the effort to control serious flooding in Jiangxi Province, eight were Party members, five of whom served as Party branch secretaries. During the rescue effort following the devastating landslide in Zhugqu County, Gansu Province, a young man involved in the rescue effort etched a unique application to join the Party on a piece of wood using a nail, saying that “As a member of the Party, I would have greater reason to charge forward.” Facts have demonstrated that those who deliver the highest standards of excellence in their daily work and those who surge ahead during times of disaster and adversity are, more often than not, members of the Party. This is both what the Party expects of Party members and how Party members are perceived in the hearts and minds of the people.   

 Progressiveness and excellence are essential if the Party is to create a cohesive society and complete its historic mission. In proposing the important thought of Three Represents, Jiang Zemin stated that the reason why the CPC has won the support of the people throughout the course of revolution, development and reform is because it has always represented the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. At a time when the structure of Chinese society is becoming more varied, the relationships between different interests therein are becoming increasingly diverse, and our participation in international competition is continuing to deepen, we are certain to encounter both unprecedented challenges and opportunities. As we pursue the path of scientific development in an effort to achieve moderate prosperity and modernization in all respects, it is essential that we constantly enhance the progressiveness of the Party, rally the people around the Party by demonstrating our progressiveness and excellence in practice, and thereby ensure that the hearts of the people always remain one with the Party.

 Leading cadres must set an example in striving for progressiveness and excellence

 Progressiveness and excellence embody different requirements for different groups of people. In striving for progressiveness and excellence, leading cadres are required to shoulder the responsibilities of both an organizer and, more importantly, a front-runner. 

 Leading cadres must stick firm to their beliefs and enhance their ability to lead with progressive thought. Ideals and beliefs represent the mental foundation on which Chinese Communists strive for progressiveness and excellence. In the face of adversities and challenges, the people will only have faith when their leaders do. Leading cadres must show initiative in the study and application of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development, establish correct outlooks on the world, power and careers through such study, and then turn these things into inherent beliefs, aspirations and a code by which to conduct themselves. Leading cadres should use the progressive thoughts of socialism with Chinese characteristics to bring the people together and lead them in the struggle to realize common ideals.

 Leading cadres must forge ahead and enhance their ability to achieve scientific development. Promoting scientific development is the core task in striving for progressiveness and excellence. China is currently undergoing a key phase in its efforts to accelerate the transformation of the pattern of economic development and embark on a course of scientific development. During this phase, there is a pressing need for leading cadres to enhance their ability to guide scientific development forward. Taking actual conditions into due consideration, we should emphasize our strengths whilst avoiding our weaknesses in order to seek new approaches to scientific development. We should actively promote industrial restructuring, enhance our capacity for independent innovation and address new problems encountered in the course of development, such as constraints in terms of land, energy and the environment. We need to free our minds, be adamant on reforms, and show the courage to clear away institutional and structural constraints so as to create an institutional environment that is conducive to scientific development. 

 Leading cadres must show the courage to shoulder responsibility and increase their capacity to respond to challenges. Having the courage to assume responsibility is a fundamental quality of excellent leading cadres. Deng Xiaoping stated that the burden of responsibility shouldered by leading cadres became heavier after the CPC came into power. China has been frequently struck by natural disasters over recent years, and incidents involving public security and public order have also been on the increase. These things have further demonstrated that China is undergoing a period in which the economy is booming but social problems are becoming more prominent. This situation calls for leading cadres to be more aware of potential dangers and more aware of the responsibilities that they assume. Leading cadres must exercise their duties with diligence, rise to the responsibilities of their office, act with courage in the face of difficulties and conflict, seize the initiative to solve problems, take resolute action to handle emergencies and resist the temptation to be the “nice guy” or evade responsibility. 

 Leading cadres must dedicate themselves to being realistic and pragmatic and earn greater public trust by exercising their powers in the interests of the people. The core Marxist outlook on power is that power is granted by the people and should therefore be exercised in the interests of the people. The way that leading cadres exercise their powers has a direct bearing on the public trust of the Party. Therefore, in striving for progressiveness and excellence, leading cadres must make efforts to be realistic and pragmatic and do things for the people. By doing so, they should show diligence in serving the people, be willing to contribute, approach their work with their feet on the ground and refrain from using their powers to serve their own interests. 

 Leading cadres must improve their moral standing and seek to inspire people through personal character. The Party views ability and moral integrity as the major criteria in recruitment, with added emphasis given to moral integrity. When the people gauge the quality of a leading cadre, the first thing they look to is personal character. It was not power that excellent CPC county committee secretaries such as Jiao Yulu and Wang Boxiang relied on to rally county cadres behind them, it was strength of character. Indeed, power is often of a temporary nature, whereas strength of character is able to traverse the boundaries of time and space. Leading cadres must remain true to the spiritual essence of a communist, prevent themselves from being weighed down by power, status, personal interests and private affairs, and uphold their clean and upstanding political nature.  

 Leading cadres should aspire to receive recognition from the people

 The interests and the happiness of the people are the reasons that communists strive for progressiveness and excellence in their work. General Secretary Hu Jintao has stated that the recognition of the people is the highest reward that a cadre can receive. In striving for progressiveness and excellence, leading cadres should refrain from seeking to establish an undeserved reputation, instead they should judge themselves on the basis of public satisfaction and the praise of the people they serve. Therefore, the progressiveness and excellence of leading cadres must be able to withstand the test of practice, the people and history. In Youyu County, Shanxi Province, 18 successive CPC county committee secretaries showed a continued commitment to plantation and afforestation initiatives, turning an impoverished mountain region into a lush, wealthy and vibrant community. Shen Hao devoted six years of painstaking efforts to Xiaogang Village, leading the village toward a major reinvigoration in which per capita net incomes increased from over 2000 yuan to more than 6000 yuan. This kind of progressiveness and excellence leaves its mark on the land and in the hearts of the people. Therefore, the progressiveness and excellence of leading cadres must be judged by the people. Leading cadres must be willing to listen to the opinions of the people, genuinely understand the will of the people, put themselves in the position of the people and act as good cadres like Shen Hao who are relied on by the people. 

 We must create a culture in the appointment of personnel that encourages progressiveness and excellence. In adherence to the principles of democracy, impartiality, competition and selectivity in the appointment of personnel, we should give key promotions to cadres who demonstrate progressive thought, excellent performance, a high moral standing and public support. We must make great efforts to publicize exemplary figures in striving for progressiveness and excellence. This will endow progressive and excellent Party cadres with honor and respect and help to form a sound social culture in which people learn from progressive role models, strive to be progressive and push the boundaries of progressiveness. 

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.19, 2010)

Note: /Author: Member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee  

From a speech made by the author to mark the commencement of the 2010 fall semester at the Pudong, Jinggangshan and Yan’an branches of the China Executive Leadership Academy

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 The Campaign of “Striving for Progressiveness and Excellence” 

 Arrangements were made at the Seventeenth National Party Congress to strengthen and improve Party development efforts by carrying out two campaigns. The first is an activity to carefully educate all Party members about how to put the Scientific Outlook on Development into practice. The second is a campaign to “strive for progressiveness and excellence” to be carried out among lower-level Party organizations and Party members. Practical study campaigns are focused educational activities and the campaign to “strive for progressiveness and excellence” is designed to encourage lower-level Party organizations and their members to play their role as advanced models in their daily work in connection with their responsibilities. The CPC has called for thoroughly carrying out this campaign and carefully following the guidelines set out at the Seventeenth National Party Congress and the third and fourth plenary sessions of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee, guided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, concentrating on thoroughly studying how to apply the Scientific Outlook on Development and taking into consideration actual conditions in the local area, local departments and local organizations. The Party also called for carrying out reform and innovation and being pragmatic in balancing Party development and other routine work, giving full play to the role of local Party organizations as fighting bastions and the role of Party members as exemplary vanguards, and promoting social harmony, serving the people, strengthening the effectiveness of the work of lower-level organizations, working to improve the progressiveness of organizations, striving for excellence in Party members and true benefit for the public in carrying out scientific development. The main form of this campaign is the development of progressive lower-level organizations and excellent Party members. Developing progressive organizations means striving to develop good leadership teams, good membership bodies, good work mechanisms, good work performance and good public reaction. Developing excellent Party members means taking the lead in learning, seeking to improve, striving to get good results, serving the public, observing the code of conduct and the law, and advocating proper behavior. All localities, departments and organizations should define specifics for these general requirements, define specific conditions for progressiveness of lower-level organizations and excellence in Party members and ensure that these specifics are concise and practicable, easy to remember and amenable to assessment.

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