Never Forget Where We Started

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III Updated: 2021-12-29

Never Forget Where We Started*

October 31, 2017

To stay true to our original aspiration and founding mission and to continuously work hard is the only way to keep the CPC forever vigorous. As long as all Party members and all Chinese people unite as one and do solid work, the country, like a great ship braving winds and waves, will surely reach the shore of national rejuvenation. 

Mao Zedong compared this site to the cradle of the CPC. It is a vivid metaphor. I see the site as an anchor of the souls of Chinese Communists. Every relic used when the Party was founded here in 1921 is invaluable; every picture gives us food for thought. We need to recall and reflect on the founding of the Party, which may help us better understand our Party's original pledge.

Our Party's history started from its First National Congress in 1921. No matter how far we have traveled, we must never forget where we started. The oath to join the Party is not long. It is easy to recite in a moment but hard to observe for a lifetime. All Party members must bear in mind the oath, always discipline ourselves in accordance with the oath, and uphold the oath all our lives. 

The Red Boatsparked the flame of the Chinese revolution and started the century-spanning voyage of the Party. Since the ceremony to lay the foundation for the Nanhu Lake Revolutionary Memorial in 2006, I have been longing to visit once the construction was complete. Today, I am finally here, inspired and encouraged.

When I worked in Zhejiang, I defined the Red Boat spirit as a pioneering spirit that creates from nothing, a hard-working spirit that keeps faith and fears no setbacks, and a spirit of service that honors the Party's commitment to the public good and its loyalty to the people. We should carry forward this spirit in the context of this era. 

All our Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee are here today to review the Party's history, particularly its founding, carry on our revolutionary traditions, follow the lofty ideals of our predecessors, confirm the heavy responsibilities on our shoulders, and sharpen our sense of responsibility and mission to achieve the objectives set at the 19th CPC National Congress.

The site of the First CPC National Congress in Shanghai and the Red Boat on the Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing are the two places where our Party set off to live its dream. It is here that our Party was born; it is here that our Party started its expedition and finally became the governing party of the whole country. This is where our Party is rooted.

"A promising cause may seem simple at the beginning, yet proves great on completion."2 Over the past 96 years, our Party has united the Chinese people and led them to remarkable achievements. This is a source of our pride. As our cause progresses, no Chinese Communist should ever forget our original aspiration. This is the only way to honor history and our predecessors, to win popular support and uphold the call of the era, and to accomplish our deeds with indomitable will.

At its 19th National Congress, the Party set the goals and tasks for itself as well as for the country. All Party members must uphold the Party's fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, and lead the people in creating a better life. We must strengthen our shared ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and press forward towards our ultimate ideal of communism and a better future. We must maintain a modest and prudent style of work, fear neither hardship nor self-sacrifice, and work hard to realize the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

* Main points of speeches during visits to the site of the First CPC National Congress in Shanghai and the Red Boat on the Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province.


1 Starting in Shanghai in late July 1921, the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China was completed on a pleasure boat on the Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province in early August. It heralded the official founding of the Communist Party of China. The pleasure boat has since been hailed as the "Red Boat" in Chinese revolutionary history. – Tr.

2 Zhuang Zi.

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