Goals of the Aspiration and Mission Education Campaign

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

Goals of the Aspiration and Mission Education Campaign*

May 31, 2019

The CPC Central Committee has defined clear requirements, targets, tasks, methods, and a timeframe for the Aspiration and Mission education campaign. All provincial authorities and central departments need to have an accurate understanding of them, and take active, targeted and context-based measures to ensure the desired results.

First, the requirements.

The requirements of this campaign – staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, identifying areas of improvement, and enforcing implementation – are based on the task of strengthening the Party in the new era and addressing the existing problems.

To stay true to our original aspiration, we must remember the fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly, remain true to the original aspiration with strong convictions, and remember that people's desire for a better life must be the focus of our efforts. Nourishing the aspiration with genuine compassion and concern for the people, we must never forget that our Party comes from the people and is rooted in them, and that their support is a source of inexhaustible strength propelling us to advance and gain victories. Working to make the aspiration come true as servants of the people, we must always remember that we Communists rely on the people to survive, that we must serve them and never distance ourselves from them, and that we must never make light of them, ignore them or be indifferent to their difficulties.

To stay true to our mission, we must remember that our Party must respond to the historic challenge of national rejuvenation. We need to be bold in taking on responsibilities, act proactively, and plan for our cause under sound and practical guidelines and with foresight. We should face up to risks and challenges, know our responsibilities and fulfill them, and overcome all difficulties and barriers on our way forward with perseverance and a selfless, dauntless spirit. This way, we will be able to gain experience and wisdom, and grow stronger and more capable through trials and tribulations.

To identify areas of improvement, we must check our conduct against the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, against the Central Committee's decisions and plans, against the Party Constitution and rules, against the people's new aspirations, and against role models and pacesetters around us, and we must discipline ourselves by setting high standards. We need to identify areas of improvement in enhancing the Four Consciousnesses, reinforcing the Four-sphere Confidence, and ensuring the Two Upholds. We need to identify areas of improvement in having respect for discipline and upholding principles, in putting the people first, thinking in their shoes, and serving them, and in improving our political integrity, capability and competence, moral standards, and conduct. And then we should take specific and targeted measures to rectify problems and improve performance.

To enforce implementation, we must apply the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in all our endeavors to promote reform, development, and stability, and in strengthening the Party. We must see that in staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, Party members and officials forge ahead with determination, pioneer our cause with solid work, and act conscientiously. To do this, we must avoid favoring form over substance and bureaucratism. We must ensure full implementation of the Party's guidelines and policies, address issues of major concern to the public, and continue to enhance people's sense of gain, happiness and security.

We must understand that these requirements are interconnected and work as a whole throughout the campaign.

Second, the tasks and targets.

In this campaign our major tasks are to gain a full understanding of and implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, forge a political character of loyalty, integrity, and responsibility, and unite with and guide all the people to strive for the realization of our great dream. The specific targets are to make sure that Party members and officials benefit from theoretical studies, enhance their political awareness, readily take on responsibilities in starting new endeavors, serve the people and address their concerns, and act as role models of clean governance. These tasks and targets embody the fundamental requirements for Party members and officials in the new era in areas of thought, political awareness, conduct, ability, and clean government.

To benefit from theoretical studies, the key is to guide Party members and officials to make further progress, and extend their understanding of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the Central Committee's guidelines and policies. We must dig deep into the theories to understand them in full, be more active and resolute in applying them, and enhance the ability to use the Party's new theories to guide our work.

To enhance political awareness, the key is to guide Party members and officials to reaffirm their faith in Marxism and Chinese socialism, and carry on the Party's legacy. We need to enhance the Four Consciousnesses, reinforce the Four-sphere Confidence, and ensure the Two Upholds. We need to stay consistent with the Central Committee in political principles, thought and action, and always remain loyal to the Party, the people, and Marxism.

To readily take on responsibilities in starting new endeavors, the key is to guide Party members and officials to be fully aware of their political responsibility and historic mission, to work hard, and to waste no time in furthering our cause no matter what difficulties lie ahead. Like a hammer driving a nail, we need to do solid work and abandon all thoughts of playing safe or muddling along, avoid token efforts, never shirk responsibilities and neglect our duties, and deliver results that are recognized by the people and withstand the test of time.

To serve the people and address their concerns, the key is to guide Party members and officials to always put the people first, seek people-centered development, forge closer ties with the people, and think and act in the people's interests. We need to focus on the people's concerns, and gain their trust by working for their benefit.

To act as role models of integrity, the key is to guide Party members and officials to serve the people and be pragmatic, clean and honest. We need to balance work and personal life, the greater good and individual interests, right and wrong, personal favors and the law, affinity with businesses and integrity of office, frugality and extravagance, work and leisure, and gains and losses. We must fight against the pursuit of privilege in any form, prevent and combat corruption, and be clean and honest in office and daily life.

Third, key measures.

This campaign is not divided into stages. This does not mean we can lower our standards. On the contrary, we must reach higher. All provincial authorities and central departments need to be creative in carrying out the campaign based on the local context. All Party members and officials need to study, research, identify and rectify problems throughout the whole campaign for the best possible effect.

Some prominent intra-Party problems are caused by ideological deficiency. All our major education campaigns since the Yan'an Rectification Movement1 in the 1940s have prioritized ideological and theoretical guidance. In the current campaign, we need to strengthen theoretical studies, and focus on root causes of those problems. Party members and officials need to read and study works of Marxism, understand its basic tenets, examine themselves against our goals and standards, and promptly rectify any deviation. We need to set up theory study groups for leading officials and reading groups for Party members, and discussion sessions for exchanges on different topics. More means need to be employed to educate Party members and officials on our revolutionary traditions, our current situation, and our policies, and to introduce role models on the one hand and cases that can serve as a warning on the other. All this needs to be more targeted, effective and appealing. We need to tell the stories of role models who hold fast to the Party's ideals and convictions, remain true to its original aspiration and founding mission, and readily take on responsibilities, so as to encourage Party members and officials to learn from them and become role models themselves.

"There is no use in reading 10,000 books if we cannot even put one of their words into practice."2 Party members and officials must understand people's lives and needs and keep abreast of the real situation, identify problems and their causes, and come up with feasible solutions to difficult issues. Research must produce solid results, and help us better understand the Party's new theories and maintain close ties with the people – it needs to serve and facilitate our cause. We cannot research for the sake of it. We cannot be perfunctory in research or all rush to one and the same place for research purposes, nor can we make a show of research.

The courage to face up to problems and correct mistakes is a prominent feature and strength of our Party. Party members and officials need to be bold in reforming themselves. They need to widely solicit opinions, examine their conduct, reflect on problems, and find the root causes, so as to know where to improve and how to improve. No one should brush off defects casually, downgrade the severity of problems, or avoid key issues and real problems. Problems pointed out by higher levels should not serve to mask problems discovered through self-inspection; problems of the collective leadership should not serve to mask problems of individual members; problems of other people should not serve to mask problems of our own; problems in work and professional competence should not serve to mask problems in political commitment; and problems of the past should not serve to mask the problems of today. When a problem is pinpointed, targeted measures need to be provided to address it effectively.

"It is most pitiful that one does not know one's mistakes, and those who know but do not change have no courage."3 Rectification is key. When a problem is found, it needs to be corrected at once. A time limit needs to be set for problems that we expect to resolve quickly, and the requirements must be met before the deadline. Those that cannot be resolved soon need to be kept on the radar, and followed up with conscientious and continuous efforts directed towards targets set for different stages. Rectification cannot be a one-off process. We must be quick to take real action and avoid procrastination, empty talk, and falsification. Enforcing accountability does not mean simply blaming officials working at the community level, and no more form filling needs to be imposed on lower levels in the name of rectification. The education campaign needs to offer guidance on the placement of officials. Leading bodies and officials need to be evaluated in terms of political and theoretical awareness, conduct, and the ability to perform duties. Capable and upright officials should achieve faster promotion, and those who are disloyal to the Party, corrupt in office, or fail to fulfill their duties must be investigated or removed. We must promote the able, demote the incapable, and discharge the poorest performers.

In recent years, in response to people's concerns, we have carried out programs against such misconduct as wining and dining at public expense, using public-funded cars above one's designated grade, and putting up office buildings and other facilities without authorization. These programs have clear targets and have proved effective in solving problems. In the current education campaign, special programs are a key element and must be enforced throughout the whole process. In addition to Central Committee planning, all provincial authorities, central departments and major state-owned enterprises should make a list of their main problems and address them with force. The results of these programs need to be made public, and violations of Party discipline or the law must be dealt with.

Before the education campaign ends, leaderships at and above the county level need to have meetings for criticism and self-criticism.

Self-criticism needs to be specific about our problems and needs to touch underlying questions. When criticizing our colleagues, we need to be direct in pointing out their problems, to make them flush with embarrassment and help them scour away their ills. We must be gratified when told of our errors; we must not shy away from our shortcomings. We must accommodate different opinions and sharp criticism.

* Part of the speech at the Conference on the Aspiration and Mission Education Campaign.


1 This refers to a Marxist education campaign inside the CPC from the spring of 1942 to the spring of 1945. Its main aims were: to fight against subjectivism in order to improve theoretical study; to fight against sectarianism in order to improve Party conduct; and to fight against stereotype essays in order to improve writing. Through the movement the whole Party reaffirmed the practice of applying the basic theories of Marxism to the actual conditions of China's revolution. It is called the Yan'an Rectification Movement because the CPC Central Committee was seated in Yan'an at the time.

2 Lin Hong: "Drinking" (Yin Jiu). Lin Hong (dates unknown) was a poet of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

3 Han Yu: "Five Admonitions" (Wu Zhen). Han Yu (768-824) was a writer, thinker and official of the Tang Dynasty.

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