A study session on the gist of Xi Jinping’s speeches to welcome the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), attended by officials at the provincial/ministerial level, was held from Tuesday to Wednesday in Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech. He stressed that on the journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and achieve the Second Centenary Goal, the whole Party must hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Marxism adapted to the Chinese context and to the needs of our times, remain confident in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism, and stay committed to driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation.
Focusing on the Party’s central task in the new era on the new journey, we should put forward new ideas, strategies and measures to advance the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy in a coordinated manner. Through vigorous and determined endeavor, we should work together and strive to write a new chapter in building a modern socialist country in all respects, Xi noted.
Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng, all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and Vice President Wang Qishan, attended the opening ceremony of the study session.
Xi stressed that the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress is a conference of great significance, as it will be held at this crucial moment when we embark on the new journey to build China into a modern socialist nation in all respects. At the congress, we will lay out goals, tasks, and major policies for developing the cause of the Party and the country in the next five years or even longer periods to come, which are pivotal to the further development of the Party and the country’s cause, the future of Chinese socialism, and the realization of national rejuvenation. Clearly identifying the banner our Party will hold, the path it will take, the goal it will continue to strive for, and to what extent it is motivated on the new journey ahead is of great significance to uniting and encouraging Chinese people of all ethnic groups to strive for a new success for Chinese socialism.
Xi noted that to plan and advance the work of the Party and the country, we must thoroughly review the international and domestic situations to have a clear understanding of the strategic opportunities, risks and challenges we face. At present, profound changes unseen in a century are evolving rapidly across the world, exhibiting more distinctive features of our world, our times, and the historic change we are facing. China faces new strategic opportunities and new strategic tasks, enters a new strategic stage, and is confronted with new strategic demands and strategic environment for its development. The risks and challenges we are to face and the problems we are to address are more complex than ever before. The whole Party must be more mindful of potential dangers, be always prepared for worst-case scenarios and have a strong will and greater capability to respond to even harder situation. We must formulate right strategies to respond to changes, foster opportunities, and make breakthroughs, and rely on tenacious struggle to open up new horizons for our cause. The most essential is to manage our own affairs well, Xi said.
Xi said that the five years since the 19th CPC National Congress have been unusual and extraordinary. The CPC Central Committee has kept in mind the overall picture for national rejuvenation and major changes in the world unseen in a century, united and led the whole Party, the armed forces and the people of all ethnic groups in effectively coping with the grave and complex international situation and a series of risks and challenges, and pushed forward socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era in an energetic manner.
We have continued to strengthen the Party’s overall leadership and the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee. We have worked with full strength to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, boosted high-quality development and taken swift yet steady steps in advancing reforms. We have promoted the whole-process people’s democracy, developed advanced socialist culture and improved public well-being. We have pooled our efforts in eradicating absolute poverty and spurred ecological conservation. We have defended national security, maintained overall social stability, advanced the modernization of national defense and the armed forces, safeguarded peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and carried out major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts.
We celebrated the centenary of the founding of the CPC and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and carried out a campaign to encourage the study of the Party’s history among Party members. In particular, in the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, we have put the people and their lives first and launched an all-out people’s war to curb the epidemic. We have protected people’s lives and health to the maximum extent and achieved the best performance in the world in coordinating economic development and epidemic response. We have enforced the central government’s overall jurisdiction over the special administrative regions in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Laws, and formulated and implemented the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, securing a firm grip on the overall situation of Hong Kong.
Facing the rapid changes in international situation, we have worked hard to safeguard our national dignity and core interests, keeping in hand the initiative in our country’s development and security. We have made further efforts to exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party, worked ceaselessly to improve Party conduct and enforce Party discipline, and made coordinated efforts to ensure that officials do not have the opportunity, desire or audacity to engage in corruption. As a result, the Party’s ties with the people have become closer, and a healthy political atmosphere has been fostered and developed within the Party, providing strong political underpinnings for the development of the cause of the Party and the country, Xi said.
Xi noted that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. Over the past decade, we have upheld Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, fully implemented the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the Party’s basic theory, line and policy. We have taken a host of strategic approaches, carried out a series of transformative moves and made many breakthroughs and remarkable progress. We have also solved many tough problems that remained unsolved for a long time, accomplished many things of vital importance and long-term significance, and withstood the test brought about by risks and challenges from political, economic, ideological, and natural domains. We have scored historic achievements and historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. Such great changes in the first decade of the new era are of landmark significance in the history of the Party, the People’s Republic of China, reform and opening up, and the development of socialism and the Chinese nation, Xi said.
Xi stressed that achieving national rejuvenation will be no walk in the park, and it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there. We must undertake a great struggle with many new contemporary features and be prepared to work even harder toward this goal. Over the past decade, we have encountered risks and challenges that were like high winds and raging waves, with some of them as severe as storms on the sea. All sorts of risks and challenges have arrived one after another, making the situation unprecedentedly grim and complex. We have braved difficulties with firm confidence and won one battle after another. All the achievements we have made are outcomes of the hard work of our Party and the people, Xi said.
Having Marxism as a sound theoretical guide is the source of our Party’s distinctive political character and huge political strength, Xi noted. It has been proved that at the fundamental level, the capability of our Party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, changes taking place at home and abroad and developments in practices have presented us with a series of important theoretic and practical questions that urgently require our in-depth answers. We have continued to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture, forming the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and achieving a new breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context.
The whole Party must grasp the outlook and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and uphold and make good use of its standpoints, viewpoints and methods. We will thus be able to open up new horizons in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times through great practices in the new era.
Xi stressed that based on long-term exploration and practices since the founding of the PRC in 1949, especially since the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, we have made new breakthroughs in theories and practices since the 18th CPC National Congress, thus successfully promoting and expanding a uniquely Chinese modernization.
There is no set model of modernization in the world, nor is there a universal criterion for modernization that fits all. The modernization we are pursuing is the CPC-led socialist one. We must push forward national rejuvenation by following a uniquely Chinese path to modernization. We must reject both the old and rigid closed-door policy and any attempt to abandon socialism and take an erroneous path. We must stress reliance on our own efforts to drive the nation’s development, and make sure the future of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands.
Xi pointed out that the 19th CPC National Congress outlined a two-step strategic plan to build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects: Socialist modernization will be basically realized from 2020 to 2035; From 2035 to the middle of the century, China will become a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.
The 20th CPC National Congress will envision the two-step strategic plan for building China into a great modern socialist country, with a focus on outlining strategic tasks and major initiatives for the next five years. The next five years are crucial as we set out to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects, and doing a good job during this period is of vital importance to achieving the Second Centenary Goal. We must focus our efforts on addressing unbalanced and inadequate development, and on addressing inadequacies, strengthening areas of weakness, consolidating fundamentals and giving full play to strengths, and work out new approaches and measures for solving our problems.
Xi stressed that our efforts to build China into a modern socialist country and achieve the goals and tasks on the new journey in the new era hinge on the Party. The CPC is the world’s largest Marxist ruling party. To strengthen its governing position and retain people’s sincere support, the Party must always keep sober-minded and determined on the journey. CPC members must stay vigilant against long-term tests facing the CPC’s governance from reform and opening up, the market economy, and the external environment, and against the dangers of losing drive, lacking competence, becoming disengaged from the people, and succumbing to inaction and corruption. The Party’s full and rigorous self-governance is a never-ending journey, so is its self-reform.
Historical experience suggests that strong discipline and self-governance of the CPC should always be in place. Neither laxation nor war-weary attitude is allowed. The CPC must continue full and rigorous self-governance, push ahead with the great project of Party building in the new era, and lead social transformations through its self-reform.
According to Xi, the CPC needs to uphold its fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, reinforce its mass viewpoint, implement its mass line, and respect the people’s creativity. It should do everything for the people and rely on them in everything it does, act in line with the sentiment of “from the people and to the people,” maintain close ties with the people, and keep open to public criticism and supervision. It should always breathe the same breath as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them.
When presiding over the opening ceremony, Li Keqiang pointed out that General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a very important speech. Xi made a sound analysis of the current international and domestic situations, expounded on the work of the past five years and the great changes taking place over the past decade of the new era. He explained in depth the major theoretical and practical issues for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and illuminated major principles, policies and action plans for developing the cause of the Party and the country in the years to come.
Hailing Xi’s speech as highly political, theoretical and instructive, Li said that it plays a critical role in helping the whole Party deeply understand the decisive significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; strengthen their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership.
Li urged officials to thoroughly study and understand Xi’s remarks, and align their action and thinking with the guiding principles conveyed by Xi’s speech as well as the Party Central Committee’s major decisions and plans. It is imperative to remain confident, conscientiously push for reform, development and stability in their respective regions and departments, and pave the way with concrete action for the convening of the 20th CPC National Congress, Li said.
In his summary speech at the commencement of the study session, Wang Huning stressed that Xi’s remarks profoundly elucidated a series of major theoretical and practical issues concerning the development of the cause of the Party and the country. By studying those remarks, we have become more strategically self-confident, remained strategically clear-headed, and enhanced our confidence and morale, Wang said.
Wang called for continued efforts to study the guiding principles of Xi’s speech, deeply comprehend the decisive significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, firmly uphold Xi’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, thoroughly understand and effectively apply Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and improve capacity for political judgment, thinking, and implementation.
Members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress with CPC membership, state councilors, president of the Supreme People’s Court, procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, vice chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference with CPC membership and members of the Central Military Commission attended the opening ceremony.
Those who participated in the study session included leading officials from all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, relevant departments of the central Party and state organs and people’s organizations, as well as from major units of the armed forces and departments of the Central Military Commission. Heads of the central committees of other political parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and other relevant departments were present at the opening ceremony.