The Four Consciousnesses and the Authority of the Central Committee

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-24

The Four Consciousnesses and the Authority of the Central Committee*


December 26-27, 2016


The CPC's history and the PRC's course of development have proved that to govern this political party and this vast country, we must ensure solidarity, centralization, and unity of the CPC, and safeguard the authority of the CPC Central Committee. The latter is an important requirement of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in implementing the "Regulations for Political Activities Within the Party in the New Era" and the "Regulations of the Communist Party of China on Internal Scrutiny". Members of the Political Bureau must enhance their political integrity, develop a better understanding of the general picture, follow the core leadership of the Central Committee, and act consistently with CPC Central Committee policy. They must uphold the Party's guideline, keep in the Party's direction of progress, and maintain the Party's lofty will. To remain faithful to the Party, we must have firm ideals and beliefs. The Four Consciousnesses are not an empty slogan, and must be put into action. We must abide by the Party's basic line, and correctly understand and implement the Party's theories, guidelines, principles and policies. Based on the development trends of humanity, the evolving international situation, and China's development history, we should have an in-depth understanding of the Party's basic line and the reasons to uphold it.

Remaining forever faithful to the Party is the basic requirement of the Party Constitution for all CPC members. In this regard, members of the Political Bureau must be absolutely loyal to the Party, and this is concrete, not abstract, unconditional, not conditional. This loyalty must be reflected by their loyalty to the faith, to Party organizations, and to the Party's theories, guidelines, principles and policies. Standing on the side of the people is the fundamental political stance of a Marxist political party; the public is the true driving force for historical progress; the people are the real heroes; and the people's interests are the prime purpose and ultimate goal of the Party's work. Zhongnanhai must be directly connected with the people, and we should always keep the people in our thoughts. Members of the Political Bureau must share the people's joys and sorrows, weal and woe; must pursue people-centered development; must always care for the people, work for the people, and benefit the people; must understand public sentiment, listen to public appeal, and voice public concerns.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Political Bureau has performed well in implementing democratic centralism. Always upholding and developing intra-Party democracy, it has expanded democracy by multiple means and through multiple channels, thereby ensuring that its decision-making is effective, democratic, and in accordance with the law. The Political Bureau should become a model of the whole Party in upholding democratic centralization, combining democracy-based centralization and centralization-guided democracy. As members of this collective leadership, we must find our right place, implement collective decisions no matter what high positions and power we hold, and bear in mind the overall situation no matter what decisions we make and what we do. Strict discipline is an important guarantee for the Party's solidarity, centralization and unity. Every Party member must view discipline with respect and observe it strictly. Members of the Political Bureau should be the first to put this into action. Concerning guiding thoughts, guidelines, principles, policies, and important matters of principle concerning the overall situation, we must be particularly clear-headed and take a firm stance. We must implement the systems for requesting instructions and submitting reports on major issues, balancing the part with the whole and the central authorities with local authorities. The Party has maintained its strength because it implements the principle of the Party supervising the performance of officials, and we must uphold this principle.

The development of the Party and its national undertakings relies on the whole Party's hard work towards concrete results. Between merely shouting slogans and earnestly practicing what we advocate, the results are quite different. Speaking the truth and doing honest work is the best way to test and temper the Party spirit. Members of the Political Bureau must do solid work, conduct in-depth studies, and make targeted efforts to implement the programs of reform, development, stability, and the people's wellbeing. To put them into practice, we must conduct research and determine the truth. Facing new circumstances and challenges, we should have the courage and the capacity to confront difficulties, take a firm stance in major matters of principle concerning the future of Chinese socialism, tackle tough issues in promoting reform, development and stability; crack hard nuts in strengthening Party self-governance; and confront the tough with toughness in safeguarding core national interests. We should never bow our heads in the face of difficulties, never flinch from challenges, never compromise our principles, and never damage the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation under any pressure.

The Political Bureau should set a good example in carrying out criticism and self-criticism, and be bold in reforming ourselves. We should seek truth from facts, dare to conduct criticism and self-criticism, be willing to listen to dissenting views, and correct our mistakes promptly. Superiors, equivalents, and subordinates alike are equally subject to criticism and self-criticism. High-level officials are not untouchable. We should exercise criticism and self-criticism as a habit, an initiative and a responsibility; we should do this often and well.

To win popular support and maintain the authority of the CPC Central Committee, the Party must maintain integrity. We must uphold the fundamental purpose of the Party, have firm ideals, beliefs, and aspirations, maintain good conduct, enhance our morality, and improve Party conduct. Members of the Political Bureau should be the first to practice what is required for the whole Party. We should enhance the awareness of integrity and self-discipline, maintain integrity in exercising power properly, incorruptibly, and in accordance with the law, and be self-disciplined in observing disciplines and rules while maintaining our reputation and integrity. Members of the Political Bureau must resist the temptations of privileges, and provide good guidance for and exercise proper management of their relatives and immediate staff.


* Main points of the speech at a meeting for criticism and self-criticism of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee.

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