Enhance Publicity and Theoretical Work*
August 19, 2013
Our publicity and theoretical work must help us accomplish the central task of economic development and serve the overall interests of the country. Therefore, we must bear the big picture in mind and keep in line with the trends. We should map out plans with focus on priorities and carry them out in accordance with the situation.
Economic development is the Party's central task, and ideological progress is one of its top priorities.
Since the convocation of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978 the Party has made economic development its central task, devoting itself to accelerating the economy and improving the people's lives. This central task will not and should not change as long as the domestic or international situation does not change dramatically. It is a basic requirement for the Party to adhere to its basic line for 100 years and to solve all the problems of contemporary China.
Moreover, to enhance the cause of Chinese socialism we must promote material, cultural and ethical progress, strengthen the nation materially, culturally and ethically, and improve the material, cultural and ethical lives of the people of all ethnic groups.
Our publicity and theoretical work aims to consolidate Marxism as the guiding ideology in China, and cement the shared ideological basis of the whole Party and the people. Both Party members and officials must hold a firm belief in Marxism and communism, make unremitting and pragmatic efforts to realize the Party's basic program at the present stage, take every step needed for progress and pass the baton dutifully to our successors.
Officials, especially high-ranking ones, should master the basic theories of Marxism as their special skill and diligently study Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and especially Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development.
Marxism must be a required course in Party schools, executive leadership academies, academies of social sciences, institutes of higher learning and groups for theoretical studies. These places should serve as the centers for studying, researching and disseminating Marxism.
New and young officials in particular should work hard to study Marxist theory, learn to observe and solve problems from the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method, and become firm in their ideals and convictions.
More efforts should be made to enhance the awareness of socialism with Chinese characteristics among the people of all ethnic groups, so as to inspire the people to strive for Chinese socialism.
We should intensify the recognition of the core socialist values, foster and practice these values, improve civic morality, and cultivate the social trends of recognizing honor and disgrace, practicing integrity, encouraging dedication and promoting harmony.
Party spirit and the idea of serving the people have long been interrelated. Preserving Party spirit means keeping a correct political direction, taking a committed political stand and disseminating the Party's theories, lines, principles and policies, in addition to the major work plans of the CPC Central Committee and its major analyses and judgments on the country's situation. It also means maintaining a high degree of unity with the Party Central Committee and upholding its authority. All departments, institutions and all Party members and officials specializing in publicity and theoretical work must preserve their Party spirit without fail.
Serving the people means putting the people first and making realizing, safeguarding and developing the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people our starting point and goal. Our work should focus on serving the people. We should serve the people while educating and guiding them, satisfy their demands while upgrading their personal quality, disseminate and report more on their great endeavors and vigorous lives, role models and their moving stories. This way, we can enrich the people culturally and ethically, enhance their moral strength, and meet their cultural and intellectual demands.
An important platform for publicity and theoretical work is the stressing of unity, stability and encouragement, and putting the focus on positive publicity. We are new to a battle with many new historic features. We are facing unprecedented challenges and difficulties. Therefore, we must continue to enhance and intensify the underlying trend of thought in our country, advocate the themes of the times, popularize positive energy, and encourage the whole country to strive as one for progress.
The key to success lies in raising the quality and level of our publicity and theoretical work. We should have the proper timing, tempo and efficiency, make this work more attractive and influential, inform the people about what they love to hear, read and watch, and let positive publicity play its role in encouraging and inspiring the people.
When it comes to major issues, including those of political principle, we must take the initiative in helping officials and the people draw a line between right and wrong and acquire a clear understanding in this regard.
Over the years, our Party has accumulated abundant experience in publicity and theoretical work. Hard-earned and extremely precious, this experience serves as major guidance for our future work, and should be thoroughly reviewed and carried forward on a long-term basis, and continuously enriched and developed.
As an old Chinese saying goes, "A wise man changes his way as circumstances change; a knowledgeable person alters his means as times evolve."1 As for publicity and theoretical work today, we should pay close attention to innovation in the fields of ideas, methodologies and grassroots work, and move forward with new ideas to tackle difficulties, with emphasis on work in local communities. We should step up cultural reforms, push forward the culture industry, and build China into a country with a strong socialist culture.
At this time when China is opening its door wider to the outside world, it has become an important task for those engaged in publicity and theoretical work to help guide the people to a better understanding of present-day China while learning about the rest of the world more comprehensively and objectively.
To explain and publicize the special characteristics of modern China, we need to make it clear that 1) because different countries and nations have different historical traditions, cultural accomplishments and basic conditions, their development paths are different; 2) Chinese culture encompasses the deepest cultural and ethical pursuits of the Chinese nation, nourishing the people for generations; 3) fine traditional Chinese culture is a great strength of the Chinese nation and its most profound cultural soft power; 4) rooted in Chinese culture, socialism with Chinese characteristics represents the Chinese people's aspirations, suits the times and facilitates the development of the country, and is based on a long history and solid reality. The time-honored Chinese culture is capable of adding glory to it today and in the days to come.
It is inevitable for China, a country with a unique culture, history and basic conditions, to choose a development path featuring its own characteristics. As for traditional Chinese culture and foreign things, we should make the past serve the present and foreign things serve China; discard the dross and select the essential; eliminate the false and retain the true, and adopt traditional Chinese culture and foreign things after a thorough and well-considered review of both.
We should intensify our publicity of and report on the changes and developments worldwide, and the new thoughts, ideas and discoveries in other countries, so as to help draw on the achievements of other civilizations.
We should enhance our foreign-oriented publicity work through trying methods with new concepts, domains and expressions that are understood by both China and the rest of the world, telling the true story of our country and making our voice heard.
The departments concerned with publicity and theoretical work have an extremely important task to shoulder. They should play their part well and try their best. They should improve their work starting from their leaders and leading bodies. Therefore, those leaders should intensify their study and practice in order to become real experts.
Successful publicity and theoretical work requires joint efforts by the whole Party. Party committees at all levels should take political and leading responsibilities. They should redouble their efforts to study and address major issues, and to coordinate and guide major strategic campaigns. They should steadily upgrade their leadership skills. With a grand publicity blueprint, we should mobilize as many departments as possible in all walks of life and link publicity and theoretical work more closely to administrative, industrial and social governance in all areas.
* Main points of the speech at a national meeting on publicity and theoretical work.
1 Huan Kuan: On Salt and Iron (Yan Tie Lun), an important work for the study of the history of economics and thought during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25). The author (dates unknown) was a court minister of that dynasty.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)