CPC Resolved to Achieve Lasting Greatness for the Chinese Nation – On Principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Speech at the Ceremony Marking the Centenary of the CPC for the China Focus Column
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6 July 2021
At 8 a.m. Beijing time on July 1, 2021, a grand gathering in celebration of the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission delivered an important speech at the ceremony, looking back on the glorious journey the Party has traveled over 100 years of struggle and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the march toward the second centenary goal. President Xi’s enlightening and meaningful speech charts the course of and draws up a blueprint for the Chinese Dream of realizing national rejuvenation.
General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speech provides an explanation of the great path pioneered by the Party, and an answer as to “why the Party is considered great and glorious”. When the Chinese nation’s fate hung in the balance, a variety of plans were devised to save the country but failed one after another. As the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were undergoing a great awakening and Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the CPC was born. Since the very day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. Its founding profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation, and altered the landscape of world development.
General Secretary Xi’s speech provides a summary of the remarkable achievements made by the Party, and an answer as to “why the Party is able to advance the process of national rejuvenation”. The Party led the Chinese people in realizing the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, which is a key step towards the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Over the past hundred years, to realize national rejuvenation, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in achieving much great success. The great success in the new-democratic revolution created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation. The great success in socialist revolution and construction laid down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation. The great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization fueled the push toward national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for rapid development. The great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, specifically the historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country, have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative. The Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.
General Secretary Xi’s speech provides an account of the great founding spirit of the Party, and an answer as to “why the Party is able to grow from strength to strength”. Since its inception, the Party has developed the great founding spirit, which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength, and more importantly, the strong power for the Party to bear in mind its mission and strive for continued success. Over the past hundred years, keeping the great founding spirit alive, the Party has grown from a small political party with just over 50 members into the largest governing party in the world that has more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people and enjoys tremendous international influence. In the future, the great founding spirit of the Party will continue to serve as the guideline on our journey toward the second centenary goal, inspiring us to develop and grow while braving the storm and challenges and to advance with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation.
General Secretary Xi’s speech provides a summary of the great experience acquired by the Party, and an answer as to “why the Party was successful in the past” and “how it can continue to succeed in the future”. As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create a bright future, General Secretary Xi Jinping makes it clear that we must keep in mind the following nine points, which represent the experience drawn from our 100-year journey and will lead us on the road ahead.
We must uphold the firm leadership of the Party. Bearing in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, we must ensure that the Party fully exerts its core role in providing overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides.
We must unite and lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. We will put people first and rely closely on the people to create history.
We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context. We will continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture.
We must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must follow our own path and make sure the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that the Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us.
We must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. We will maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, and follow a Chinese path to military development.
We must continue working to promote the building of a human community with a shared future. China always works to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order. As General Secretary Xi Jinping remarked, we Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.
We must carry out a great struggle with many contemporary features. We will balance development and security imperatives, and strive to overcome all risks and challenges.
We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people. We will make sure that the Chinese people can focus their ingenuity and energy on the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation.
We must continue to advance the great new project of Party building. We will continue to undertake self-reform, and see that the Party always serves as the strong leadership core in the course of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
There is no end either to realizing our dreams or to our journey. In the past hundred years, the Party has scored remarkable achievements for the Chinese people. Today, the Party is leading the Chinese people to march toward the second centenary goal. Looking ahead, we are convinced that we will surely achieve the goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects and fulfill the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.