Meet Challenges Head-On

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

Meet Challenges Head-On* 

September 3, 2019 

Officials, especially younger officials, must undergo strict theoretical and political studies and be tempered by practice. You should enhance your capability and meet challenges head-on, and work tenaciously towards the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. 

The emergence and development of Marxism and socialist countries are stories of hardship and struggle. The Communist Party of China, the People's Republic of China, the reform and opening-up policy, and socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era all came into being, developed and grew in strength in the course of this struggle.

Today's world is in the midst of great changes that have not been seen in a century. The great struggle, the great project, the great cause, and the great dream are flourishing under the Party's leadership. The tasks of advancing reform, promoting development, and maintaining stability are arduous. We are facing a historic opportunity and also a series of major risks and tests. To achieve the goals and targets set by the Party, we must enhance our capability and meet challenges head-on.

Achieving national rejuvenation is no easy task. It will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there. Realizing this great dream demands a great struggle. The tests we face on the way forward will only become more complex as we press on, and we must be prepared to crest unimaginable waves.

The struggle on all fronts is not short-term but long-term, extending across the whole process of realizing the Second Centenary Goal. We must enhance the Four Consciousnesses, reinforce the Four-sphere Confidence, and ensure the Two Upholds. Furthermore, we need to strengthen our will to confront the grim challenges that lie in front of us; we must steel ourselves, take proactive action, and dare to fight and win.

We Communists have a clear direction, stance and principle in our struggle – the general direction is to uphold CPC leadership and the socialist system. We must fight resolutely and successfully against any risks and challenges that endanger Party leadership, the socialist system, the sovereignty, security and development interests of our country, our core national interests and principles, the fundamental interests of our people, the realization of the Two Centenary Goals, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We should be clear-headed, take a firm stance, and stay on the right course in major struggles. In the face of any major test, we should be "unperturbed by the cloud that obscures our vision"1, and remain steadfast while "riotous clouds sweep past"2.

Communists have always been ready for the struggle to resolve problems, threats and challenges. China has entered a period when threats and challenges will accumulate and may surface en masse. Major issues will therefore arise in no small number in the fields of the economy, politics, culture, society, the eco-environment, national defense and the military, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs, foreign affairs, and the work to strengthen the Party. They will become increasingly complex, and leading officials should be sharp and quick in foreseeing and identifying potential threats, perceiving their locations, forms and likely trends, and resolving them as necessary.

Struggle is an art, and we must be adroit practitioners. In major endeavors, we should strengthen our awareness of potential dangers while maintaining strategic confidence, make sound strategic judgments and tactical decisions, and focus on both process and result. Leading officials should fulfill their due responsibilities, be ready and able to fight, and prevail at all times and in all circumstances.

We should pay close attention to strategies and methods and master the art of struggle. We should focus on major problems and key aspects of these problems, and always fight for just reasons, to our advantage, and with restraint. We should choose the right methods for addressing problems, take measured approaches, stick to our principles, and be flexible on strategies. We should adjust these as the situation demands, and apply them in a timely manner, to the proper extent, and for the best results. Moreover, we should unite all forces available, mobilize all favorable factors, and strive for unity, cooperation and mutual benefit in our endeavors.

Fighting spirit and capacity are not innate. Leading officials must undergo strict theoretical and political studies and put them into practice. We must brave storms, broaden our horizons, and strengthen our muscles and bones to withstand complex and severe challenges. We must grasp and apply new theories of the Party, master the Marxist stance, viewpoint and methodology, and thereby prepare our minds for courageous and successful struggle. Only when we are cognizant of the theories, can we be politically firm and have the courage and strength to fight. We must hone ourselves in major efforts of struggle. The more serious and complicated the situation is, and the more difficulties and problems there are, the better we can exercise our courage, sharpen our will, and develop our capacity. Leading officials should actively engage themselves in the struggle, take an unequivocal stance in major matters of principle, tackle problems and conflicts head-on, step up in the face of crisis, and resolutely fight against misconducts.

Society progresses in the movement of opposites, and where there are opposites, there will be conflicts. No matter what posts they hold, leading officials should have the courage to shoulder responsibilities and overcome difficulties, and have the ability to be both commanders and fighters, cultivating and maintaining a strong fighting spirit and greater capacity to fight and win. The problems we encounter in our work are diverse, covering reform, development, social stability, national defense, domestic and foreign affairs, and governance of the Party, the country and the military. We must be brave and able to confront such problems on all fronts, including strengthening Party self-governance, upholding the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological field, furthering reform in an all-round way, pushing forward supply-side structural reform, promoting high-quality development, eliminating hidden dangers in the financial sector, ensuring and improving people's wellbeing, eradicating poverty, protecting the eco-environment, dealing with serious natural disasters, advancing law-based governance, handling group incidents, combating organized crime and local tyrants, and safeguarding national security. All leading officials must become bold and capable fighters.

* Main points of the speech at the opening ceremony of a training program for younger officials at the Central Party School (National Academy of Governance) during its 2019 fall semester.


1  Wang Anshi: "Mounting the Feilai Peak" (Deng Fei Lai Feng). Wang Anshi (1021-1086) was a thinker, writer and statesman of the Northern Song Dynasty. 

2  Mao Zedong: "The Fairy Cave: Inscription on a Picture Taken by Comrade Li Jin", Mao Zedong Poems, Chin./Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1999, p. 79.

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