Strengthen the Party and Its Organizational Line in the New Era

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

Strengthen the Party and Its Organizational Line in the New Era*

July 3, 2018

I emphasized at the Party's 19th National Congress that of the great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream, the great project of strengthening the Party itself plays the decisive role. To successfully carry out the great social revolution of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, our Party must have the courage to reform itself and become stronger.

We have achieved remarkable results in strengthening Party discipline since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, but we still have a long way to go. We are still to go through the Four Tests and to overcome the Four Risks; they are protracted and tough. The root causes undermining the Party's pioneering nature are complex. While prominent problems such as unwholesome thinking, organization and conduct and petty politics in the Party have not yet been fully resolved, new ones continue to arise.

Some Party members and officials do not abide by political discipline and rules, groundlessly criticizing the Central Committee's major policies, feigning compliance, and practicing duplicity. Some waver in their ideals and convictions, having doubts about communism. Some lose their faith in Marxism-Leninism and instead believe in ghosts and gods, experiencing drastic changes in their worldview, their outlook on life, and their values. Some lack drive in their work, ducking responsibility and shying away from action, in order to avoid mistakes. To play safe, they neither stand in the fore to avoid the limelight, nor stay in the rear. Some have a penchant for forming cliques and factions, cultivating connections or currying favors with higher-ups for personal benefit. Some lack resolution or commitment in addressing undesirable work practices, using artifice or taking a perfunctory approach to deal with issues such as favoring form over substance, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. Some abuse power for personal gain and become corrupt and degenerate, refusing to restrain themselves in spite of repeated warnings from the Central Committee. Some grassroots Party organizations are dysfunctional, weak, ineffective or marginalized, and these problems have not been properly addressed. Some places have seen unbalanced and inadequate development of their talent, failing to unleash their potential for creativity. Some places neglect reality in bringing in high-caliber personnel, paying too much attention to their number, academic titles, and nationality. Some places and entities lack the awareness to enforce proper Party discipline, failing to fulfill their responsibilities, and even refusing or disdaining to work towards strengthening the Party.

These problems severely undermine the Party's unity and solidarity and adversely affect its cause and the people's interests.

The great social revolution is being carried out in the new era by the people under the leadership of the Party. We should be fully aware that never before has it covered such a wide range of social sectors, affected so many interest groups, touched upon so many severe problems, involved so many institutional barriers, and faced such complicated circumstances. We must enhance our risk awareness and sense of responsibility to ensure that the self-reform of the Party is carried through to the end.

Deng Xiaoping once pointed out, "The implementation of the correct political line must be ensured by a correct organizational line."1 Our Party has always made its organizational line serve its political line. The program it adopted at its First National Congress in 1921 specified the principles for its organizational work. The concept of "organizational line" was established at the Sixth National Congress in 1928. At the Gutian Meeting held in 1929, a requirement was set to "transform Party organizations to make them capable of fulfilling the Party's political tasks"2 . At the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee in 1938, Mao Zedong pointed out, "Cadres are a decisive factor, once the political line is determined."3 He defined "appointing people on their merits" as the key principle in appointing and promoting officials and "political integrity and professional capability" as the standards to be applied. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, in line with the needs of the socialist revolution and development, our Party emphasized that officials in all positions must be socialist-minded and professionally competent.

After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, Deng Xiaoping said, "We must guarantee China's stability and the realization of the four modernizations by following the correct organizational line."4 He also set forth requirements for selecting officials: They should be more revolutionary, younger, better educated, and more professionally competent.

"When the line of a fishing net is held up, all the meshes will be open. When the fundamental principles are upheld, all work will fall in place."5 The organizational line is instrumental in upholding Party leadership and strengthening the Party and its work. I now define the Party's organizational line for the new era as follows:

• fully embrace the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era;

• with a focus on improving the organizational system, train high-caliber officials who are loyal to the Party, have moral integrity, and demonstrate a keen sense of responsibility;

• gather talented people who are patriotic and dedicated, evaluate them in terms of both political integrity and professional competence, with priority given to integrity, and appoint people on their merits; and

• guarantee a strong organization in upholding and strengthening overall Party leadership and in adhering to developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Party's organizational line in the new era is both theoretical and applicable; it must be fully implemented in the great new project of strengthening the Party and its self-governance.

* Part of the speech at the CPC's National Conference on Organizational Work.


Deng Xiaoping: "Excerpts from Talks Given in Wuchang, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shanghai", Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. III, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1994, p. 367.

Mao Zedong: "Resolution of the Ninth Party Congress of the Fourth Army of the Red Army", Collected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. I, Chin. ed., People's Publishing House, Beijing, 1993, p. 88.

Mao Zedong: "The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War", Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. II, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1965, p. 202.

Deng Xiaoping: "The Organizational Line Guarantees the Implementation of the Ideological and Political Lines", Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. II, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1995, p. 200.

5 Yang Quan: Discourse on Truth and Matter (Wu Li Lun). Yang Quan (dates unknown) was a philosopher during the Western Jin Dynasty (265-317).

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