Complete a Moderately Prosperous Society and Realize the Chinese Dream*
July 26, 2017
Chinese socialism has been the prevailing theme of all the theoretical and practical work of our Party since the adoption of reform and opening up in 1978. The whole Party must uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics and remain confident in the path, theories, system and culture of Chinese socialism, ensuring that the development of the Party and the country proceeds in the right direction. On the basis of a thorough understanding of the phases of China's development and the people's aspirations for a better life, we should adopt new ideas, strategies and measures to advance the overall plan of seeking economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress. The Four-pronged Strategy must move forward in a coordinated manner to advance the cause of Chinese socialism. In our final sprint towards a moderately prosperous society, we will strive for the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation through successes in Chinese socialism.
In the context of these goals, the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress is a conference of great significance. It is expected to adopt general and forward-looking action plans of strategic importance, which are pivotal to the further development of the Party and the country, the future of Chinese socialism, and the fundamental interests of the people. Through this conference, our Party aims to make it clear which cause we must champion, which path we should choose, which historic mission we should take on, how we should prepare for that mission, and which goals we want to achieve.
In planning and promoting the work of the Party and the country, we must conduct in-depth analyses and make an accurate judgment of the current situation as it affects the world, the nation and the Party. Such analyses and judgment are of great importance because they provide the basis for formulating guidelines and charting blueprints for development. They also remind all Party members, especially leadership at all levels, to remain keenly alert to potential dangers – on guard against adversity while cherishing peace. In analyzing the international and domestic situation, in addition to documenting our achievements and opportunities, we should also identify weak links, shortcomings, difficulties, challenges and risks as situations evolve and change. We should be fully prepared for the worst possible scenarios as we strive for the best results.
The five years since the 18th CPC National Congress convened in 2012 have witnessed unprecedented development of the Party and the country. Over these years, on the basis of an accurate understanding of the general development trends we can see in China and around the world, and in response to realistic needs and the people's expectations, the central leadership has adopted significant strategies, guidelines and policies, advanced important plans, solved many intractable problems, and realized major goals that had long been overdue.
We have comprehensively strengthened the Party's leadership and enhanced its cohesion, vitality and influence. With the implementation of the new development concepts, we are pushing China's development forward towards higher quality and efficiency, and greater fairness and sustainability. We have carried all-round reform to a deeper level, making breakthroughs in key fields. We have advanced the rule of law in all respects, enhancing our Party's capacity to lead and govern the country by legal means. We have reinforced the Party's leadership in promoting ideological progress, consolidating the basis for the ideological unity of the Party and the people. We have taken important steps to promote ecological progress towards a beautiful China. In modernizing our national defense and military, we have made historic breakthroughs in our reform. Through its distinctive diplomacy, China has fostered a peaceful international environment and a sound regional environment for its development.
In enforcing strict Party discipline, we have focused on resolving problems which were of the gravest concern to the people and posed the most serious threats to the Party's governing status. The anti-corruption campaign has gained overwhelming momentum and injected new vigor into internal Party affairs. As a result, Party members have firmer ideals and convictions, and a stronger Party spirit; the Party has markedly enhanced its capacity to remain wholesome and to improve, renew, and extend itself; the Party has consolidated its governing status and gained even more solid support from the people, providing the political guarantee for the development of all undertakings of the Party and the state.
It is the requirement of materialistic dialectics to promote work in all areas by focusing on and tackling key issues. This is an approach that the Party has advocated and followed in the process of revolution, economic development, and reform. In almost four decades since the start of reform and opening up, China's productive forces have developed rapidly, and living standards have markedly improved, fostering higher expectations for a better life and diversified needs for development. The people aspire to a better education, more stable jobs, higher incomes, reliable social security, better medical and health care, improved housing conditions, a beautiful environment, and richer intellectual pursuits and cultural entertainment.
To understand and grasp the features of different phases in China's social development, we must follow the methodology of dialectical and historical materialism. That means we should think in a way that combines history and reality, theory and practice, and the domestic and the international, proceed from the historical orientation of China's social development and the overall situation of the Party and the state, and draw the correct conclusions.
The whole Party must emphasize the basic principle that China is in the primary stage of socialism and proceed from that base. It must notice the changing characteristics of this stage, uphold the Party's basic guidelines, and solve the problems of our society while continuing economic development. It must promote Chinese socialism while realizing the comprehensive development of all undertakings, of the people, and of society.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, based on achievements since the founding of the PRC in 1949 and, in particular, since the introduction of reform and opening up in 1978, the Party and the country have experienced historic changes and development. Now China has come to a new starting point and Chinese socialism has entered a new stage. The ongoing successes of Chinese socialism signify that the Chinese, who went through untold hardships in the first half of the 20th century, have made the historic leaps from liberation to prosperity, and thence to a strong nation.
This means that socialism has flourished in China and opened up new opportunities for development, that Chinese socialism has created a new path to modernization for developing countries, and that China is contributing its wisdom and finding solutions to the problems facing mankind. All Party members should enhance their strategic thinking, take a principled, holistic, forward-looking and innovative approach to work, and formulate principles and guidelines of the Party and the state in accordance with the new requirements. They should improve all development strategies and policies, advancing Chinese socialism with a stronger spirit of dedication and hard work.
Our Party attaches great importance to the development of theory and its guiding role, and emphasizes the unity of theory and practice. To uphold and develop Chinese socialism, we must set great store by the role of theory, and increase confidence in our theories and strategies. In the new era, we must maintain the principle of keeping abreast of the times which is characteristic of Marxist political parties, and promote theoretical innovation based on practice, so as to implement our major tasks and undertakings and further our causes and dreams.
Time is the origin of thought, and practice is the source of theory. In order to win the initiative in these rapidly changing times, and to triumph in the new struggle, we must maintain the basic tenets of Marxism, address the strategic issues facing China's future development with a broader and longer-term perspective, expand our theoretical horizons, and create new theoretical summaries.
We have made a pledge to the people and to history that China will complete a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, which is the first of the Two Centenary Goals. To achieve this goal we will focus on key issues, strengthen weak links, and correct shortcomings, in accordance with the requirements set out by the Party's 16th, 17th and 18th national congresses. We will work particularly hard to prevent and defuse grave risks, take targeted measures to relieve poverty, and prevent and control pollution. We will extend supply-side reform and promote the sustained and balanced development of the economy and society, working to ensure that the society we build wins the approval of our people and stands the test of time.
After achieving the first goal, we will inspire all the Chinese people to work together for the second of the Two Centenary Goals, so that China can move forward on its path towards a modern socialist country and stand firmly and proudly among the nations of the world.
To unite and lead the people in pursuit of our major tasks, causes and dreams, we must firmly uphold and improve the Party's leadership, develop the Party, and make it stronger. Only thus can we ensure that our Party maintains vigor and vitality, and that it can lead the people in successfully confronting challenges, dealing with risks, overcoming obstacles, resolving problems, and achieving continuous successes. Practice has made us keenly aware that self-discipline is of crucial importance not only to the future of the Party, but to that of our country and nation, so we must focus on developing the Party with greater determination, courage and effort.
Strict Party discipline is always high on our agenda. The future and the destiny of any political party and government depend on popular support. What we have achieved in strengthening Party discipline since the 18th CPC National Congress has won wide acclaim from the public. It offers valuable experience to be studied and drawn upon. However, we should never become complacent through short-sighted optimism. To enforce strict Party discipline across the board is no overnight journey. The whole Party should target existing problems, maintain confidence in our strategies, and make further progress by developing sounder, more rigorous and effective theories and measures. In doing so, we aim to ensure that the Party always concerns itself with the people's needs, and works together with the people in forging ahead towards the Chinese Dream.
* Main points of the speech at the opening ceremony of a study session on the guiding principles of Xi Jinping's speeches in the run-up to the 19th CPC National Congress, attended by officials at the provincial/ministerial level.
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