The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance


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Jiang Shigong,

These historic changes will have a powerful and far-reaching effect on the development of this cause.

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Over the past five years, we have acted with courage to confront major risks and tests facing the Party and to address prominent problems within the Party itself. With firm resolve, we have tightened discipline and improved Party conduct, fought corruption and punished wrongdoing, and removed serious potential dangers in the Party and the country.

As a result, both the intraparty political atmosphere and the political ecosystem of the Party have improved markedly. Revolutionary tempering has made our Party stronger and it now radiates with great vitality. With this, efforts to develop the cause of the Party and the country have gained a strong political underpinning.

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But we must be very clear : There are still many inadequacies in our work and many difficulties and challenges to face. The main ones are as follows. Some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions ; and the quality and effect of development are not what they should be.

In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short ; and poverty alleviation remains a formidable task. There are still large disparities in development between rural and urban areas, between regions, and in income distribution ; and our people face many difficulties in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care. The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement.

Ideological struggle is still complicated, and in national security we face new developments. Some reform plans and major policies and measures need to be better implemented. Many dimensions of Party building remain weak. These are all problems that demand our full attention to resolve. The achievements of the past five years are the result of the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee, and, more importantly, the result of all Party members and all the Chinese people pulling together in their pursuit.

In the early days of reform and opening up, the Party made a clarion call for us to take a path of our own and build socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since that time, the Party has united and led all the Chinese people in a tireless struggle, propelling China into a leading position in terms of economic and technological strength, defense capabilities, and composite national strength.

Our Party, our country, our people, our forces, and our nation have changed in ways without precedent. The Chinese nation, with an entirely new posture, now stands tall and firm in the East. With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. The Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation : it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong ; it has come to embrace the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation.

It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence ; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.

This new era will be an era of building on past successes to further advance our cause, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. It will be an era for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work together and work hard to create a better life for themselves and ultimately achieve common prosperity for everyone.

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It will be an era for all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, to strive with one heart to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind. As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved.

China has seen the basic needs of over a billion people met, has basically made it possible for people to live decent lives, and will soon bring the building of a moderately prosperous society to a successful completion. The needs to be met for the people to live better lives are increasingly broad.

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Not only have their material and cultural needs grown ; their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing. The more prominent problem is that our development is unbalanced and inadequate. We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society represents a historic shift that affects the whole landscape and that creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country.

With this, we will be better placed to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress. We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society does not change our assessment of the present stage of socialism in China. The basic dimension of the Chinese context—that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism—has not changed.

The whole Party must be completely clear about this fundamental dimension of our national context, and must base our work on this most important reality—the primary stage of socialism. We must lead and unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in fulfilling the central task of economic development.

We must uphold the Four Cardinal Principles,1 continue to reform and open up, be self-reliant, hardworking, and enterprising, and strive to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.

In the history of the development of international socialism and the history of the development of human society, it is of tremendous importance. Our entire Party should develop unshakeable confidence, work hard and work well to see socialism with Chinese characteristics display even stronger vitality. With the advent of modern times, Chinese society became embroiled in intense upheavals ; this was a time of fierce struggle as the Chinese people resisted feudal rule and foreign aggression.

From that moment on, the Chinese people have had in the Party a backbone for their pursuit of national independence and liberation, of a stronger and more prosperous country, and of their own happiness ; and the mindset of the Chinese people has changed, from passivity to taking the initiative. But with the Opium War of , China was plunged into the darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression ; its people, ravaged by war, saw their homeland torn apart and lived in poverty and despair. But despite their efforts, they were powerless to change the nature of society in old China and the plight of the Chinese people.

National rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since modern times began. At its founding, the Communist Party of China made realizing Communism its highest ideal and its ultimate goal, and shouldered the historic mission of national rejuvenation.

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In pursuing this goal, the Party has united the Chinese people and led them through arduous struggles to epic accomplishments. Our Party united the people and led them in embarking on the right revolutionary path, using rural areas to encircle the cities and seizing state power with military force. This completed the broadest and most profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation. It created the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundation for achieving all development and progress in China today.

Thus was made a great transition : The Chinese nation reversed its fate from the continuous decline of modern times to steady progress toward prosperity and strength. Our Party was deeply aware that, to achieve national rejuvenation, it was imperative to follow the tide of the times, respond to the wishes of the people, and have the courage to reform and open ; and this awareness created a powerful force for advancing the cause of the Party and the people.

Thus was China able to stride ahead to catch up with the times.

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Over the past 96 years, to accomplish the historic mission of national rejuvenation, whether in times of weakness or strength, whether in times of adversity or smooth sailing, our Party has never forgotten its founding mission, nor wavered in its pursuit. It has united the people and led them in conquering countless challenges, making enormous sacrifices, meeting setbacks squarely, and courageously righting wrongs.

Thus we have, time and again, overcome the seemingly insurmountable and created miracle upon miracle. Today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. Achieving national rejuvenation will be no walk in the park ; it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there.

Every one of us in the Party must be prepared to work even harder toward this goal. Realizing our great dream demands a great struggle. It is in the movement of contradictions that a society advances ; where there is contradiction there is struggle.

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If our Party is to unite and lead the people to effectively respond to major challenges, withstand major risks, overcome major obstacles, and address major conflicts, it must undertake a great struggle with many new contemporary features. All thinking and behavior in the vein of pleasure seeking, inaction and sloth, and problem avoidance are unacceptable. Every one of us in the Party must do more to uphold Party leadership and the Chinese socialist system, and resolutely oppose all statements and actions that undermine, distort, or negate them.

We must do more to channel our energies toward the contemporary current of reform and innovation, and resolvedly address deep-rooted problems. We must do more to guard against all kinds of risks, and work determinedly to prevail over every political, economic, cultural, social, and natural difficulty and challenge.

Every Party member must fully appreciate the long-term, complex, and onerous nature of this great struggle ; we must be ready to fight, build our ability, and keep striving to secure new victories in this great struggle. Realizing our great dream demands a great project. This project is the great new project of Party building that is just getting into full swing.

As history has shown and will continue to bear witness to, without the leadership of the Communist Party of China, national rejuvenation would be just wishful thinking. To remain the vanguard of the times, the backbone of the nation, and a Marxist governing party, our Party must always hold itself to the highest standards. Every Party member must be more actively involved in enhancing Party consciousness, and demonstrate commitment to Party principles. Realizing our great dream demands a great cause.

It is the fundamental achievement of our Party and our people made through countless hardships at enormous cost. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only path to socialist modernization and a better life for the people. The theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the right theory to guide the Party and people to realize national rejuvenation.

The system of socialism with Chinese characteristics provides the fundamental institutional guarantee for progress and development in contemporary China. The culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a powerful source of strength that inspires all members of the Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China.


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Our whole Party must strengthen our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must neither retrace our steps to the rigidity and isolation of the past, nor take the wrong turn by changing our nature and abandoning our system. We must maintain our political orientation, do the good solid work that sees our country thrive, and continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.

This great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream are closely connected, flow seamlessly into each other, and are mutually reinforcing. Among them, the great new project of Party building plays the decisive role.


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All work to advance this project must go hand in hand with that geared toward the struggle, the cause, and the dream. We must see that as history progresses and the world undergoes profound changes, the Party remains always ahead of the times ; that as history progresses and we respond to risks and tests at home and abroad, the Party remains always the backbone of the nation ; and that as history progresses and we continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party remains always a powerful leadership core.

Our mission is a call to action ; our mission steers the course to the future. In the great endeavors of building socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, let us get behind the strong leadership of the Party and engage in a tenacious struggle. Let all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, come together, keep going, and create a mighty force that enables us to realize the Chinese Dream. Our answer must be a systematic combination of theory and practice and must address what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop, and how we should go about doing it.

This involves fundamental issues like the overarching objectives, tasks, plan, and strategy for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era; like the direction, model, and driving force of development, and the strategic steps, external conditions, and political guarantees. It has continued to free our minds, seek truth from facts, move with the times, and apply a realistic and pragmatic approach.

In answering this question, our Party has continued to uphold dialectical and historical materialism; has considered carefully the new conditions of the era and the new requirements of practice; and has adopted an entirely new perspective to deepen its understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a Communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society. It has worked hard to undertake theoretical explorations, and has achieved major theoretical innovations, ultimately giving shape to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

It makes clear that the overarching goal of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernization and national rejuvenation, and, that on the basis of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a two-step approach should be taken to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century.

The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance
The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance The NEW China: Contemporary Life & Governance

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