Continue the Great Historic Struggle

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III Updated: 2021-12-28

Continue the Great Historic Struggle* 

January 5, 2018 

CPC Central Committee members and principal officials at the provincial and ministerial level are critical to the sound development of our Party and good governance of the country. We officials must raise our political awareness, adopt a historic perspective, reinforce theoretical reflection, think in terms of the broader picture, enrich our knowledge and intellectual attainments, and keep to a problem-oriented approach, so as to see and understand major theoretical and practical issues from a broader perspective that takes into consideration both history and the present, the international and domestic situation, and theory and practice. By doing so, we will be able to consistently uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, advance the great new project of strengthening our Party, stay alert against peril, and guard against risks and challenges. Time waits for no one. We will race against time to unite the whole Party and the whole people on the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress, and pool all our strength to achieve the goals and tasks set at this congress, striving to break new ground for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is both a result and the continuation of the great social revolutions of the Chinese people led by the CPC. We must carry it forward. Both history and reality have shown to us that any social revolution requires a long process to achieve the final victory. We can grasp the essence of many problems only by looking back over the path we have taken, comparing it with other paths, looking to the road ahead, and by understanding where we came from and where we are going. 

Chinese socialism did not drop from the sky, but has stemmed from 40 years of reform and opening up and nearly 70 years of exploration since the founding of the PRC in 1949. It is the result of the Chinese people's experiences during 97 years of great social revolutions under the leadership of the CPC founded in 1921. It is the result of more than 170 years of historical progress since 1840 during which the Chinese nation has evolved from decline to prosperity. It is the bequest and development of the Chinese civilization in the past 5,000 years or more. It is a valuable result of the painstaking efforts made by our Party and the people at great cost. It is a hard-won achievement. 

The success of scientific socialism in China is of great significance for Marxism, scientific socialism, and socialism across the world. The 19th CPC National Congress reached a major political conclusion that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. We must realize that this era is one for socialism with Chinese characteristics, not for some other models. It is fundamental that the Party uphold Chinese socialism so as to realize its historic mission in the new era. 

To remain true to our original aspiration and founding mission, we must never forget that we are Communists and revolutionaries and we must never lose our revolutionary spirit. The successes of yesterday do not guarantee future successes, and the glories of the past do not guarantee glories in the future. We are like examinees sitting the tests posed by this era, and the people will review our results. To achieve prosperity, enduring peace and stability of the Party and the country, all Party members should keep their revolutionary spirit and maintain the courage to carry forward the 97-year social revolution. We should neither get lost in the pride of victory, nor rest on achievements, nor retreat from difficulties. We should strive to make socialism with Chinese characteristics demonstrate more powerful and convincing truth. 

Our Party must have the courage to carry out self-reform and become stronger in order to uphold and develop Chinese socialism in the new era. To have the courage to carry out self-reform and conduct strict self-governance is the most distinctive characteristic of our Party, and strict governance of the Party is a permanent feature. The great new project of strengthening our Party in the new era will play a decisive role in realizing our country's great cause and dream. In the new era, our Party must promote the social revolution it leads, and build itself into a vibrant Marxist ruling party that is always at the forefront of the times, enjoys the wholehearted support of the people, has the courage to reform itself, and is able to withstand all tests. This is not only an objective requirement for our Party to lead the people in advancing this social revolution, but also an innate need of our Party, which is a Marxist party, to strengthen and develop itself.

We must see that the arduous task of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the historic mission of realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation have placed unprecedented challenges and new demands on our Party. The various factors that weaken the Party's progressive nature and integrity are very dangerous and destructive. This drives the need to push forward the great new project of strengthening the Party in the new era. Our Party should consolidate its foundations, innovate in a pioneering spirit, grasp key issues, and judge from the overall situation, especially in a spirit of thorough self-reform.

One can draw lessons from history by studying failures and successes of the past. In times of success, it is not easy to guard against potential dangers and maintain the hard-working and motivated spirit our Party had in the early days of the PRC, or to remain modest and frugal and stay true to our original aspiration after coming into power. Neither is it easy to exercise strict discipline on officials and prevent and fight corruption in times of peace, nor to follow the tide of the times and respond to the wishes of the people at junctures of significant change. To remain as the vanguard and the backbone of the nation, and a Marxist ruling party, our Party must always hold itself to the highest standards.

To strengthen the Party, we must focus on key senior officials. 

CPC Central Committee members and principal officials at the provincial and ministerial level must be true believers of the ideals of communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, they should also be faithful practitioners of these ideals.

They must be politically upright and embrace the Four Consciousnesses1. These require that they must adhere to correct political stance, direction, path, and principles; they must uphold the authority of the Party's central leadership, follow its political guideline, and strictly observe its political discipline and rules. 

They must develop a stronger sense of responsibility, adopt a correct view of their achievements, seek truth, and be down to earth. They should work tenaciously to be truly responsible to history and the people.

They must be highly competent, continue to acquire new knowledge, understand new fields, open up new horizons, and improve capabilities in leadership and governance in all respects.

They must be strictly disciplined in conduct, bear the people in mind, and make fact-finding trips and profound analysis. In this way they will enhance their political caliber and work competence while serving the people wholeheartedly; they must expand their vision, enrich their work experience, and better combine theory with practice while learning sincerely from the people; they should conduct self-questioning, self-criticism, and self-education while listening to the voice of the people and accepting public scrutiny. That is to say, they should improve themselves while serving the people, and continuously oppose the practice of favoring form over substance, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance.

Officials must practice the Three Guidelines for Ethical Behavior and Three Basic Rules of Conduct at work, as well as in their daily life. Furthermore, they should turn the practice into a habit. They should enhance morality and self-cultivation, take the lead in promoting the core socialist values, discern between right and wrong and between good and evil, develop healthy pursuits, and keep up with the high standards of clean governance and self-discipline, so that they are prudent in mind and deed and observe rules and principles. All officials should first preserve moral integrity, being self-disciplined on small matters and resolutely opposing ideas and actions born of privilege, so that they will develop a habit of working and living under supervision and restraint, and become strictly disciplined in their conduct.

"Prepare in advance against the unexpected, which is a basic principle of governing a country."2 At present, China is in a period of promising historic opportunities. The overall prospects for development are good, but the road ahead will not be smooth. The more our country achieves, the more prudent and prepared we should be, as though walking on thin ice, in order to avoid making strategic or fatal mistakes. In the face of a confusing and changing international landscape, a complex and sensitive neighboring environment, and the formidable tasks of reform, development and maintaining stability at home, we must take the precaution of guarding against risks, while adopting effective measures to address and resolve them when they arise. We must be fully prepared and make proactive strategic moves to convert danger into safety and adversity into opportunity. We will continue the great historic struggle with many new features, prepare to overcome all difficulties and obstacles, and march forward towards the great goals set by our Party.

* Main points of the speech at the opening ceremony of a study session on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress. Members and alternate members of the newly elected CPC Central Committee and principal officials at the provincial and ministerial level attended the session.


1 This refers to maintaining political commitment, thinking in terms of the general picture, following the core leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and acting in accordance with its requirements. 

2 Wu Jing: Governance of the Zhenguan Period (Zhen Guan Zheng Yao). Wu Jing (670-749) was a historian and official of the Tang Dynasty.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)

Copyright © The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. All Rights Reserved. Presented by China Daily.