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Speech by President Xi Jinping at a Ceremony Marking the 95th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China


Xi Jinping delivered this speech on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In it, Xi recounts the CCP’s achievements over this period and ties these into the narrative of China’s journey towards “national rejuvenation.”

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Comrades, friends,


Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); to look back at how the CCP has gloriously united the Chinese people and led them in tireless struggle; to look ahead at the bright prospects of the cause of our Party and our people; to honor outstanding Party members, exemplary Party workers, and advanced community-level Party organizations from across the country; and to mobilize the entire CCP and all Chinese people in an even more confident advance towards the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and towards the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. 


Comrades, friends, 


 Over the course of several millennia, the Chinese people created an enduring and splendid civilization, making a marvelous contribution to humankind and becoming one of the great peoples of the world. Following the advent of modern times, however, owing to the aggression of the Western powers and the corruptness of China’s feudal rulers, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society. As the land of China was laid to waste and the people descended into misery, the Chinese nation experienced suffering of unprecedented proportions. 


 Despite their bitter suffering, however, the Chinese people did not yield. Instead, they stood up and fought back. With an undying spirit, they waged momentous struggle after momentous struggle, writing one stirring epic after another. 


 In 1921, following the May Fourth Movement, at a time of unprecedented social crisis when our people were beset by domestic turmoil and foreign aggression, the Chinese Communist Party was born from the meeting of Marxism-Leninism and the Chinese workers’ movement.  


The emergence of a communist party in our country was an epoch-making event, which profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, the fate and future of the Chinese people and nation, and the direction and pattern of world development. 


In its momentous 95-year history, the CCP, relying closely on the Chinese people, has surmounted obstacle after obstacle, and gone from victory to victory, making a great, historic contribution to the Chinese nation.  


This contribution saw the CCP rally the Chinese people and lead them in a bloody, 28-year struggle, during which they defeated the Japanese imperialist aggressors, overthrew the reactionary rule of the Kuomintang, completed the new democratic revolution, and established the People’s Republic of China. This contribution was significant because it put an end to the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society of the old China; put an end to the state of total disunity that existed in Chinese society at the time; and put an end to the unequal treaties that were imposed on our country by foreign powers and to all privileges that imperialist countries enjoyed in China, thus bringing about a leap forward whereby China transformed itself from a millennia-old feudal autocracy to a people’s democracy. 


This contribution saw the CCP rally the Chinese people and lead them in carrying out socialist revolution, establishing socialism as China’s basic system, eradicating all systems of exploitation, and advancing socialist construction. This contribution was significant because it saw through the broadest and most profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation; laid down the fundamental political preconditions and institutional foundations for all development and progress in contemporary China; and laid down a solid foundation for China’s development, prosperity, and strength and the Chinese people’s affluence, thus bringing about a leap forward whereby the Chinese nation reversed its decline and set out towards prosperity and strength. 


 This contribution saw the CCP rally the Chinese people and lead them in launching reform and opening-up – a new revolution that has unleashed the creativity of countless ordinary people, liberated and developed productive forces, and significantly enhanced the vitality of our society, the living standards of our people, and the comprehensive strength and international standing of our country. This contribution was significant because it blazed a new path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, formed the theoretical framework and established the system of Chinese socialism, allowing China to catch up with the times, and bringing about a leap forward whereby the Chinese people have gone from regaining dignity to becoming prosperous and strong. 


The great victory of the Chinese people, achieved under the leadership of the CCP, put the Chinese nation, the curator of a 5,000-year-old civilization, well on the way to modernization, infusing new vigor into Chinese civilization. This great victory placed the tenets of socialism, which go back 500 years, on a highly realistic, feasible, and correct path in the world’s most populous country, allowing scientific socialism to display renewed vigor in the 21st century. Moreover, this great victory enabled the People’s Republic of China, founded more than 60 years ago, to captivate the world with its achievements in development. In little more than 30 years, China, the world’s largest developing country, has shaken off poverty and risen to become the world’s second largest economy. Guaranteeing its own survival, it has performed an earth-shaking miracle in the history of human development, and infused the Chinese nation with new vitality. 


History has told us that without the guidance of advanced theories, and without the leadership of an advanced political party that was equipped with these advanced theories and prepared to follow the tide of history, assume its historical mission, and make enormous sacrifices, the Chinese people would have been powerless to fight the various reactionary cliques that held them down; the Chinese nation would have been powerless to free itself from oppression and enslavement; and our country would have been powerless to unite and seek prosperity and strength on the path of socialism. 


 History has told us that, the path taken by China, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation over the past 95 years has been paved with the blood, sweat, and tears of the CCP and the Chinese people. Full of hardship and glory, setback and victory, and sacrifice and gain, this is a splendid chapter in the history of the Chinese nation that must never be forgotten or denied, and it is the foundation on which our people and nation will carry forward our cause and forge ahead courageously. 


History has told us that, the cause of the Chinese nation’s rejuvenation, which history and the people have chosen the CCP to lead, is correct, must be upheld, and can never be doubted. It has told us that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which the CCP has led the Chinese people in opening, is correct, must be upheld, and can never be doubted. And it has told us that the strategy of taking root in China, absorbing the finest achievements of human civilization, and independently achieving national development, which the CCP and the Chinese people have employed, is correct, must be upheld, and can never be doubted. 


Comrades, friends, 


 Everything we have achieved over the past 95 years is the result of a continued effort by generation after generation of Chinese Communists and the Chinese people. Three generations of CCP central leadership, with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin at the core, and the CCP Central Committee with Hu Jintao as General Secretary, have led the entire Party and all Chinese people in surmounting unimaginable difficulties and challenges, allowing our nation to embrace bright prospects for its great renewal. 


At this solemn and glorious moment, let us cherish the memory of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veterans of the revolution who contributed greatly to China’s revolution, construction, and reform, and to the CCP’s founding, consolidation, and development. Let us cherish the memory of those revolutionary martyrs who courageously laid down their lives for the founding, defense, and development of a new China. And let us cherish the memory of all the men and women who fought tenaciously for the independence and liberation of the Chinese nation after the advent of modern times. The heroic deeds that these people performed for our motherland and nation will forever be recorded in the annals of history. Their lofty spirit will forever live in the hearts of millions upon millions of Chinese people. 


The people are the creators of history; they are true heroes. On behalf of the CCP Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respects to workers, farmers, and intellectuals across the country; to all other parties, people’s organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society; and to all members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force, and the public security police. I would like to express my sincere greetings to compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, and to all Chinese residing overseas. And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all people and friends from around the world who are friendly towards the Chinese people, and who have shown understanding and support for China’s revolution, construction, and reform.  


Over the past 95 years, generations of outstanding Chinese Communists, through their selfless contributions to the motherland and the people, have vividly displayed their lofty sentiment and values as communists. The outstanding Party members, exemplary Party workers, and advanced community-level Party organizations that we are honoring today are outstanding representatives from all sectors. On behalf of the CCP Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respects to these who are being honored today. 


Comrades, friends, 


 As the saying goes, “The mirror reflects ourselves and the past sheds lights on the present.” In looking back at our history, our aim is not to take comfort from our past successes, nor are we seeking an excuse to rest on our laurels and evade the difficulties and problems we face today. Rather, our intention is to muster greater courage and strength to forge ahead by reflecting on our past experiences and grasping the underlying patterns of history. 


 In 2012, the report to the 18th National Congress of the CCP stated that developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is a long-term, arduous task of historic importance, and that we must be prepared to carry out a great struggle with many new historical features. This comes as a reminder for the entire Party. It tells us that we must be ready at all times to respond to great challenges, withstand great risks, overcome great obstacles, and address great challenges; and it tells us that we must uphold and develop Chinese socialism, and uphold and consolidate the CCP’s position of leadership and governance, thereby ensuring that our party, our country, and our people always stand undefeatable. 


 History moves ever onward, never stopping to wait for the hesitant, the undecided, the idle, and the weak. Only those who keep in step with history, and bind their destiny to the times, can secure a bright future for themselves. 


 Ninety-five years have gone by in the history of the CCP, but we must forever preserve the fighting spirit that Chinese Communists demonstrated when the CCP was first founded, and forever preserve our devotion to our people. As everything moves forward, we must remember the path we have trodden; no matter how far we go and how glorious our future may be, we can never forget the past, and we can never forget why we embarked on this journey in the first place. As we confront the future and face challenges, our Party must stay true to its cause and continue marching forward. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must uphold the guiding role of Marxism; continue to closely integrate the basic principles of Marxism with China’s realities and contemporary features; promote innovation in both theory and practice; and constantly advance the adaptation of Marxism to suit China. 


Guiding principles represent the spirit of a political party. Over the past 95 years, the reason why the CCP has managed to complete an arduous mission that no other political force in modern China was able to complete is that it has always taken Marxism as its guide to action, and remained committed to enriching and developing this scientific theory in practice. This has enabled the CCP to transcend the limitations of all other political forces that came before it, which always sought to advance their own special interests. Drawing from the scientific spirit of materialist dialectics, and from its selfless and fearless embrace, the CCP has led and advanced China’s revolution, construction, and reform, constantly upholding truths and righting wrongs. In times good and bad, the CCP has never let its belief in Marxism waver. 


Marxism, and its development in China, has guided the causes of our Party and people with scientific theories that not only run in continuity but are also able to evolve as the times require. This has provided a solid theoretical foundation for enhancing the unity of the entire Party and all people of China. 


Marxism is the fundamental guiding thought upon which our Party and country are founded. Were we to depart from or abandon Marxism, our Party would lose its sole and its direction. Therefore, on the fundamental issue of upholding the guiding role of Marxism, we must maintain unswerving resolve, never wavering at any time or under any circumstances.


At the same time, as it is confronted with new trends and requirements in practice, Marxism also needs to be further adapted to China, further attuned to contemporary needs, and further popularized. Marxism does not exhaust truth, but rather paves a path towards it. As Engels said long ago, “Marx’s whole manner of conceiving things is not a doctrine, but a method. It offers no finished dogmas, but rather points of reference for further research, and the method of that research.” 


Ideas are born from the times in which we live, and theories originate from practice. Just as there is no end to development in practice, there can be no end to our efforts to understand truth and carry out theoretical innovation. Today, times have changed, and the breadth and depth of our country’s development have far surpassed what the authors of the Marxist classics imagined when they wrote their works. At the same time, China has mere decades of experience with socialism, which remains in the primary stage of its development. The further our cause advances, and the more new circumstances and problems we encounter, the more we will be required to carry out brave explorations in practice and seek constant breakthroughs in theory. 


Few people will be convinced by half-done theories. Adopting a broader perspective, we must examine the practical foundations and needs of Marxism’s contemporary development. By upholding a problem-oriented approach, centering on the initiatives that we are currently advancing, and responding to the call of the times in which we are living, we need to advance in greater depth the concrete and actual integration of Marxism with China’s contemporary development, open up new prospects for the development of Marxism in the 21st century, and enable contemporary Chinese Marxism to shine even more brightly with the light of truth.


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must remember that our Party established communism and socialism as its program at the time of its founding; remain committed to the great ideal of communism and the common ideal of Chinese socialism; and constantly advance a great effort for our ideals. 


Revolutionary ideals rise above all else. The Chinese Communist Party is known as a communist party because it established communism as its ideal on the day it was founded. The reason why our Party has been able to rise up and carry on our pursuit despite setback after setback is ultimately because we have great ideals and aspirations.  


Nothing in this world can be achieved without firm ideals. The wavering of an ideal or belief is the most dangerous form of wavering; the collapse of an ideal or belief is the most dangerous form of collapse. The decline of a political party often begins with the loss or absence of ideals and beliefs. The continued strength of the CCP depends not only on whether or not our Party as a whole can maintain an unwavering commitment to its ideals and beliefs, but more importantly on whether each and every Party member can maintain an unswerving commitment to these ideals and beliefs. Over the past 95 years, the communist ideal has inspired generation after generation of communists to fight courageously. Thousands upon thousands of martyrs have laid down their precious lives for this ideal. “Beheading is nothing to me, a true communist who’d be.” “The enemy can hack off our heads, but they can never shake our beliefs.” These fearless, righteous vows vividly express the uncompromising belief of communists in their ideal. Our ideals can never be extinguished, nor can our beliefs. We must always remember the unfulfilled wishes of those martyrs, and we must never forget the ideals for which they spilled their blood. 


 Ideals are known as ideals because of their farsightedness; beliefs are known as beliefs because of their steadfastness. It is important that we see the teaching of ideals and beliefs as a strategic task in our effort to strengthen the CCP theoretically. To ensure that the entire CCP remains politically committed to pursuing our ideals, we must consciously act as staunch believers in and loyal practitioners of both the great communist ideal and the common ideal of Chinese socialism, and play an exemplary role in the drive to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. 


Political resolve depends on a clear understanding of theory. Our firm ideals and beliefs must be founded on a profound understanding of Marxism, and on a profound grasp of the underlying laws of history. The entire Party must thoroughly study Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It must also study in depth the new ideas, thoughts, and strategies in national governance introduced by the CCP Central Committee since the 18th National Congress of the CCP, in order to raise its awareness and understanding of Marxist theories and maintain its clear perception and dedicated pursuit of our great ideals and goals. We must teach Party members and officials to transform the knowledge they acquire into a source of inner strength, with which they can strengthen their awareness of Party norms and guidelines, enhance their theoretical attainment, and raise their moral standards. By genuinely studying, understanding, believing, and applying, we should strive to remain modest and prudent in the face of victory and good fortune, and avoid disillusionment and wavering in the face of difficulty and adversity, promoting social progress and realizing the fine aspirations of humanity with firm command of the moral high ground. 


 – To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must remain confident in the path, theories, system, and culture of Chinese socialism; uphold the basic line of the Party with unswerving resolve; and constantly advance the great cause of Chinese socialism. 


 Our direction determines our path, and our path determines our future. Socialism with Chinese characteristics did not just fall from the sky. Rather, it is the fundamental achievement that the CCP and people have made at the cost of countless hardships and enormous sacrifices. Chinese socialism is not only a great cause that we must continually advance; it is a fundamental guarantee for our future. 


The entire Party must have firm confidence in the path, theories, system, and culture of Chinese socialism. Of all the political parties, countries, and peoples in the world today, none have as much cause to be confident as the CCP, the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese people. With the spirit that “self-confidence can empower a man to swim 3,000 miles and live for 200 years,” as a poem reads, we can fearlessly confront any challenge or difficulty that lies ahead, and resolutely open up new horizons and create new miracles. 


We must firmly believe that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only path that can lead us to socialist modernization, and the only path that can create better lives for the people. We must firmly believe that the theories of Chinese socialism are not only correct theories that will lead the CCP and people to national rejuvenation along the path of socialism, but also scientific, evolving theories that are founded on the forefront of the times. And we must firmly believe that the system of Chinese socialism is a fundamental institutional guarantee for progress and development in China today, and an advanced system with distinct Chinese characteristics, notable institutional strengths, and a strong capacity for self-improvement. 


Cultural confidence is a more fundamental, broader, and deeper form of self-confidence. China’s fine traditional culture, which was born out of more than 5,000 years of civilization, and its revolutionary and advanced socialist culture, which was born out of the great struggles of the CCP and the people, house the deepest aspirations of the Chinese people, representing a unique symbol of our nation. We must promote our core socialist values, promote a national spirit that is based on patriotism and a contemporary spirit that is based on reform and innovation, and enhance the inner strength of the entire Party and all people of China. 


The whole Party must remember, what we are building is socialism with Chinese characteristics, not some other -ism. History has not ended, nor can it possibly end. To judge socialism with Chinese characteristics we must look to fact, and to the judgment of the Chinese people, and not to the subjective and groundless conclusions of biased people. The CCP and Chinese people have every confidence in their ability to provide a Chinese solution to aid the exploration of a better social system for humanity. 


Deng Xiaoping once said: “We should adhere to the basic line for a hundred years, with no vacillation. That is the only way to win the trust and support of the people. Whoever attempts to change the line, principles, and policies adopted since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee without the consent of the people will be toppled.” The basic line of the Party is the lifeline of our country, and the source of our people’s wellbeing. With determination and resolve, we must continue to regard the central task of economic development as the key to our country’s rejuvenation, regard the Four Cardinal Principles as the foundation of its stability, and regard reform and opening-up as its path to strength. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must advance the “Five-Pronged Overall Plan” for developing Chinese socialism; promote the “Four Comprehensives” strategy; engage in an all-out push to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects; and work constantly towards attaining the “Two Centenary Goals.” 


 At the present stage, our main task in developing socialism is to realize our first centenary goal: building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the CCP marks its centenary in 2020. This will enable us to lay down a solid foundation for the realization of our second centenary goal: establishing China as a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the time the People’s Republic of China marks its centenary in 2049. 


Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects represents a solemn promise that our Party has made to our people and to history. It is the common wish of more than 1.3 billion Chinese people. In order to realize this goal, since its 18th National Congress in 2012, the CCP has formed and actively promoted a “Five-Pronged Overall Plan” that consists of economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological development; and formed and actively promoted a comprehensive strategy that consists of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepening reform, comprehensively advancing the rule of law, and comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. Mutually reinforcing and interconnected, the “Five-Pronged Overall Plan” and “Four Comprehensives” need to be implemented on a coordinated basis. On the basis of promoting economic development, we must develop a socialist market economy, democracy, advanced culture, environmental culture, and harmonious society, and advance a coordinated effort to make our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful. 


 Development is the CCP’s top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country, and it is the key to solving all of China’s problems. China’s basic national condition – that it is still in the primary stage of socialism and will continue to be so for a considerable period of time to come – has not changed. The principal contradiction in Chinese society – that the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people are unable to be met by China’s underdeveloped social production – has not changed. And China’s international status as the world’s largest developing country has not changed. This is the basic foundation on which we are seeking to develop. 


 As China adapts to a new normal of economic development, the global economy enters a period of transformation, and the world prepares for new breakthroughs in science and technology, it is important that we continue to take economic development as our central task; guide the new normal of economic development with new principles of development; accelerate the transformation of our economic growth model, the restructuring of the economy, and the upgrading of our development; vigorously advance supply-side structural reform; enhance a more efficient, higher-quality, fairer, and more sustainable economic development; and speed up the formation of an institutional environment in which innovation is revered, coordination is emphasized, green development is advocated, openness is fostered, and sharing is encouraged, so as to bolster our country’s economic strength and overall national strength. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must uphold reform and opening-up with firm resolve; have the courage to comprehensively bolster reform; further liberate our minds, release and develop productive forces, and emancipate and boost social dynamism; and push forward the reform and opening-up program. 


Reform and opening-up represents the most distinctive feature of contemporary China, and the most salient aspiration of the CCP in a new period of history. It is the crucial choice that has determined the fate of China today, and a major reason why the cause of the CCP and the people has been able to catch up with the times at such an extraordinary pace. 


Reform must stay on the right course, neither going back down the rigid, closed-door path of the past, nor embarking on the erroneous path of changing our political direction. The overall goal of reform should be to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to modernize our national governance system and governance capacity. This requires that we have the courage to innovate in terms of theory, practice, and systems, and in many other areas, so as to make our institutions more mature, raise the quality of development, enhance our capacity for governance, and give the people a greater sense of benefit. 


Remaining committed to making the economy the main focus of reform, and continuing to orient reform towards the socialist market economy, we should comprehensively continue economic, political, cultural, and social reform as well as reform pertaining to ecological progress and the CCP’s self-improvement. 


Reform tends to start with the easy things before moving to the more difficult ones. Placing greater emphasis on systematic, holistic, and coordinated reform, we must have the courage to wade into uncharted waters and tackle tough challenges. We must advance reform with unyielding determination, and with the courage to impose reform on ourselves, daring to take the malignancies that have grown over many years head on, and daring to touch upon entrenched interests and deep-rooted problems. We must resolutely break away from the shackles of outdated thinking, dismantle the barriers erected by entrenched interests, and clear away all institutional barriers impeding the development of productive forces. 


 Reform and the rule of law are much like the wheels of a chariot or the wings of a bird. With a commitment to upholding China’s unique approach to socialist rule of law, we must work faster to develop a Chinese system of socialist rule of law and establish China as a socialist country under the rule of law. The core of comprehensive rule of law lies in an organic balance between the leadership of the CCP, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law, while the key to achieving it is to ensure that the CCP leads legislation, guarantees law enforcement, supports the administration of justice, and leads the way in observing the law. We must firmly establish the authority of the Constitution and law throughout our entire society, and endorse the fundamentals of the Constitution. All organizations and individuals must act within the scope permitted by the Constitution and law, and no one is permitted to have special privileges that go beyond these boundaries. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must firmly believe that the people are the foundation of the CCP and the source of its strength; remain committed to serving the people and relying on them in all endeavors; give full scope to the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of the people; and keep working to make their life better. 


Standing on the people’s side represents the fundamental political stance of the CCP, and it is what distinguishes a Marxist political party from other political parties. The CCP stands together with the people in times good and bad, maintaining its close bond with them no matter what fate may bring. This is a fundamental guarantee that enables the CCP to overcome all difficulties and dangers. As the saying goes, “He who wins over the people wins the country; he who loses the people loses the country.” 


 Putting the people at the very center of their hearts, all members of the CCP should uphold the CCP’s fundamental tenet of wholeheartedly serving the people; work to realize, safeguard, and develop the fundamental interests of the people; and take the support, approval, satisfaction, and consent of the people as the fundamental criterion for appraising all initiatives. Doing these will give the CCP an inexhaustible source of strength. 


 Leading the people in building a better life is the goal that the CCP is working tirelessly to achieve. Responding to the desire of the people for a better life, we must uphold a concept of development that puts the people in the center; prioritize efforts to guarantee and improve standards of living; develop all kinds of social programs; intensify regulation of the distribution of income; mount a successful fight against poverty; safeguard the right of all people to participate and develop on an equal footing; ensure that all people can benefit more thoroughly and fairly from the fruits of reform and development; and take steady steps towards the goal of common prosperity for all. 


 The policy of the CCP has always been to respect the principal position of the people and guarantee their role as masters of the country. With a commitment to following the path of Chinese socialism, we must always uphold, fully implement, and constantly develop the system of people’s congresses, the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CCP, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of community-level self-governance; and we must develop socialist consultative democracy; consolidate and expand the broadest possible patriotic united front; widen the orderly participation of the public in political affairs; and guarantee the broad participation of the people in national and social governance, so as to foster a political environment that is lively, stable, and conducive to unity. 


“A great undertaking requires capable people to succeed; a great cause requires capable people to flourish.” To continue advancing the cause of the Party and people, it is essential that we pool all kinds of talent and put them to the best use. With a keen eye for talent, a sincere appreciation of talent, the courage to employ talent, the capacity to accommodate talent, and sound means of pooling talent, we must open up broad channels for the recruitment of talent, and attract and pool talent inside and outside the CCP, from within China, and also from abroad, so as to foster a sound environment in which all people wish to become talent, strive to become talent, are able to become talent, and can give full scope to their talents. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must remain firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and to a mutually beneficial strategy of openness; strengthen friendly ties with all countries; and work with all peoples to advance the grand cause of peace and development for humanity. 


The CCP and Chinese people pledged long ago to make a new and bigger contribution to human development. Having experienced bitter sufferings in the past, the CCP and Chinese people know the value of peace and development, and see it as our sacred duty to promote the peaceful development of the world. 


 Humankind is now more capable than ever of making strides towards the goal of peaceful development. China proposes that all countries work together to turn pressure into impetus, turn crisis into opportunity, and replace confrontation with cooperation and exclusive gain with mutual benefit. What kind of international order and governance system best suits the world, and best suits the people all countries? This is something that should be decided by all countries through consultation, and not by a single country or small minority of countries. China will participate actively in developing the international governance system, contribute Chinese wisdom for improving global governance, and work with the peoples of all countries in pushing the international order and global governance system towards a more just and equitable direction. 


Preserving world peace and promoting common development are the core tenets of China’s foreign policy. Having always promoted world peace, contributed to global development, and safeguarded the international order, China is ready to seek a broader convergence of interests with all countries, with a view to establishing a new model of international relations based on mutually beneficial cooperation, and forming a community of shared future and interests for all humankind. 


 China is committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, and is willing to engage in friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China is firmly committed to a basic national policy of opening-up, and will continue to pursue development with open doors. Through major international cooperation initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, it will seek to open itself up to the outside world in a deeper, more comprehensive, and more plural way. 


The Chinese people are fully aware that China has benefitted from the international community, and they are willing to contribute to international development through their own development. China’s opening drive is not a solo act. Rather, it is an invitation open to all. It is a pursuit not to establish China’s own sphere of influence, but to support cooperative development of all countries. It is meant to build not China’s own backyard, but a garden shared by all countries. 


China advocates a community of shared future for humankind, and is opposed to the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game. China upholds that all countries are equal, irrespective of size, strength, and wealth. It respects the right of all countries to choose their own path of development, upholds international equity and justice, and opposes the act of imposing one’s will on others, interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, and using one’s strength to bully the weak. China does not covet the rights and interests of other countries, nor does it envy their development, but it will never give up its own legitimate rights and interests. We Chinese people do not believe in fallacies, but we are not afraid of them; we do not make trouble, but we are not afraid of it. No country should entertain the fantasy that China will barter away its core national interests or allow its sovereignty, security, and development interests to be infringed upon. 


On the basis of independence and autonomy, complete equality, mutual respect, and mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, the CCP will pursue exchanges and cooperation with political parties and organizations from all countries and regions, so as to promote the development of relations between countries. 


– To stay true to why we started out and continue going forward, we must preserve the advanced nature and purity of the CCP; raise our ability to govern and lead; enhance our capacity to withstand risks, resist corruption, and prevent degradation; and constantly advance a grand new undertaking of self-improvement by the CCP. 


 China’s success hinges on the CCP. The leadership of the CCP constitutes the most essential attribute of Chinese socialism, and the greatest strength of this system. The foundation and lifeblood of the CCP and the country, and the interests and wellbeing of all Chinese people, boil down to upholding and improving the leadership of the CCP. 


The self-improvement of the CCP, a political party with more than 88 million members, more than 4.4 million organizations, and that governs a country of more than 1.3 billion people on a long-term basis, has a major impact on the big picture. CCP’s self-improvement must reach whatever stage its causes and the people arrive at. This is a basic rule that must be observed as we intensify the self-improvement of the CCP. 


The most essential attributes of Marxist political parties are their advanced nature and purity. In intensifying CCP’s self-improvement, our aim is to combat all problems that weaken the Party’s advanced nature and undermine its purity, so that the CCP can be healed and cleansed. With the political courage to make itself the target of reform, the entire CCP must devote major efforts to addressing pronounced problems within itself; enhance its capacity to remain pure and to improve, renew, and surpass itself; and withstand the “four major tests” and “four major dangers,” thus ensuring that the CCP remains the firm leading core of the cause of Chinese socialism. 


 To do a good job of governing the country, we must first do a good job of governing the CCP, and that means governing it strictly. If we cannot manage the Party effectively, or govern it with the necessary stringency, then the problems within the Party that the public feel most strongly about will go unsolved, and our Party will eventually lose the right to govern, being unavoidably eliminated by history. Effective governance hinges on strict governance. We need to integrate the requirement of strict governance throughout all processes in the running of the Party, carrying out a genuine, brave, and constant effort to govern the Party. 


 The staidness of political activities within the CCP constitutes the foundation for comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline. To do this, it must begin by strictly regulating its internal political activities. We must enhance and regulate political activities within the Party; strictly enforce CCP’s political discipline and political rules; make political activities within the Party more political, more relevant to the current time, more principled, and more effective; and comprehensively purify the political environment within the Party. All members of the CCP must enhance their political integrity, keep in mind the big picture, follow the core leadership of the CCP Central Committee, and act consistently with CCP Central Committee policy, ensuring that they remain loyal to the Party, that they share its concerns, and that they assume their responsibilities and fulfill their obligations to it. 


The CCP’s conduct amounts to its image. Like a barometer, the conduct of the CCP indicates the relationship between the Party, its officials, and the public, and tells us how the support of the public will shift. When the CCP upholds good conduct, and the people enjoy peace of mind, the Party and people are able to stand together through thick and thin. As past experience has proven, as long as we genuinely govern the CCP strictly and have the courage to govern it strictly, there are no issues involving the conduct of the CCP that cannot be resolved through CCP’s self-improvement. Such self-improvement is a never-ending effort. “How can one correct others if he himself is not upright?” Beginning with the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, the Political Bureau, the CCP Central Committee, and senior officials, we must engage in a constant effort to improve the conduct of the CCP, and uphold and promote our Party’s fine traditions. Through a routine, meticulous, and sustained effort, we must improve the conduct of the CCP in all respects and ensure that the Party always stands with and maintains its bond with the people.  


The biggest threat the CCP faces as a governing party is corruption. Since its 18th National Congress in 2012, the CCP has been committed to both caging the “tigers” and swatting the “flies.” Not only have we created a deterrent so that officials dare not become corrupt, we have also yielded initial results in our efforts to ensure that officials cannot and have no desire to commit acts of corruption. All this indicates that the fight against corruption is in the process of gathering unstoppable momentum. We must remain constantly alert of the need to combat corruption, foster integrity, and prevent degradation. Party officials at all levels should view the power they possess in the correct light. Maintaining noble aspirations, they should treat the people, the Party, the law, and the rules with awe; exercise their power justly, lawfully, honestly, and for the good of the people; and maintain the political character of communists by resisting corruption and remaining pure at heart. With unbreakable will, we must maintain zero-tolerance on corruption, ensure that all cases of corruption are investigated and all acts of corruption punished, and see to it that the corrupt have nowhere to hide within the Party. 


A great struggle and cause demands high-caliber officials. We must continue to stress both professional ability and moral integrity, with added emphasis on integrity, and appoint officials on the basis of merit, regardless of their origins. Putting our cause first, we must act in a fair and upright manner and resolutely prevent and rectify undesirable tendencies in the selection and appointment of personnel, so as to carefully cultivate, promptly discover, and appropriately employ the good officials that our Party and people need. 


 An important element for officials to rise up is to use virtue to cultivate oneself, establish one’s authority, and win the trust of the people. Every Party-member official is required to adhere to the Three Stricts and Three Honests; maintain the right worldview, outlook on life, and values; be mindful of the Party, the people, their responsibilities, and the rules; and regard selfless contribution to the causes of the Party and people as their highest aspiration in life. By keeping their knowledge up to date and their practical skills sharp, officials in positions of leadership should ensure that their professional competence and abilities keep up with the pace of change, ensuring that they do not become misguided or confused due to lack of knowledge. They should strive to become highly proficient in their area of work. 


Comrades, friends, 


Building a solid national defense capacity and strong military that is commensurate with China’s international standing, and that can meet the country’s security and developmental needs is a strategic task of China’s socialist modernization. We need to coordinate the development of the economy and national defense, and work to make the military more revolutionary, modern, and standardized in every respect. We must uphold absolute CCP leadership over the armed forces; focus on CCP’s goal of building strong armed forces under new conditions; comprehensively implement a policy of developing the military through political work, strengthening it through reform, and governing it according to law; broaden and deepen our preparations for military conflict; foster a new generation of revolutionary soldiers who are dedicated, capable, valiant, and morally motivated; and strive to build a people’s army that follows the command of the CCP, is capable of winning battles, and has a fine style of work. China adheres to a strategic principle of active defense. It will not threaten the use of military force on a whim, nor will it impulsively show off its military strength on others’ doorsteps. Going around showing off one’s strength all over the place is not a symbol of strength, nor is it going to scare anyone. We need to further implement an integrated military-civilian development strategy; accelerate our efforts to build a modernized armed police force; strengthen our national defense mobilization capacity and reserve strength; and consolidate unity between the government and the armed forces and between the people and the armed forces. 


Advancing the process of China’s peaceful reunification, and accomplishing this great cause is a prerequisite for realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The success of “one country, two systems” in practice has been universally acknowledged, and this policy continues to go strong. Our confidence in and commitment to “one country, two systems” will never be shaken, regardless of what difficulties or challenges we may encounter. We will fully implement the principle of “one country, two systems,” according to which the people of Hong Kong govern Hong Kong, the people of Macao govern Macao, and both regions enjoy a high degree of autonomy. We will act in strict compliance with China’s Constitution and the basic laws of Hong Kong and Macao; support the chief executives and governments of both special administrative regions in lawfully governing and executing their duties; and support Hong Kong and Macao in developing their economies, improving public wellbeing, advancing democracy, and promoting harmony. 


Maintaining peaceful relations across the Taiwan Straits represents the right approach to preserving peace, promoting common development, and benefiting people on both sides of the Straits. It is also a path of great promise that will lead us towards peaceful reunification. Upholding the “1992 Consensus” and opposing “Taiwan Independence” constitutes the political foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. We resolutely oppose separatist forces advocating “Taiwan secession”: 1.3 billion Chinese people, and the entire Chinese nation, will never allow anyone to carry out separatist activities at any time or in any form. The people on both sides of the Straits are brothers and sisters, members of the same family whose blood runs thicker than water. All compatriots will benefit when the nation is strong and prosperous, but all will suffer when it is weak and divided. Cherishing the interests of the entire nation, people on both sides of the Straits should join hands in a common effort to make the Chinese Dream – the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation – a reality. 


Comrades, friends, 


 Youths represent the future of our country and the hope of our nation, as well as the hope and future of our Party. Li Dazhao, one of the founders of the CCP, once said: “The youth should advance the world’s civilization and contribute to humankind’s prosperity. With their youth, they should create youthful families, a youthful country, a youthful nation, a youthful human race, a youthful earth, and a youthful universe, from which they can take a lifetime of fulfillment.” The passion and dedication of the youth are embodied in everything that the CCP has achieved over the past 95 years. The entire Party must care about youths, show concern for youths, and listen to youths, serving wholeheartedly as their confidant and their guide. 


Our country’s youth should fully understand the glorious and great history of the Chinese people’s tireless struggle since the advent of modern times. They should resolutely follow the CCP, have the courage to forge ahead, pioneer, and contribute while standing at the forefront of the times, and glow with magnificent glory through their contribution to their country, their people, and their nation. 


Comrades, friends, 


 Ninety-five years ago, the Chinese people’s desire for national independence and liberation, for the prosperity and strength of the country, and for the happiness of the people was so strong, yet the prospect of these things was so distant. Today, we are closer than ever to realizing the goal of national rejuvenation, and more confident and able than ever to realize this goal. We can now say with complete confidence that the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation has to be achieved, and definitely will be achieved. 


 On the morning of March 23, 1949, when the central leadership of the CCP set off from its base in Xibaipo to Beijing, Mao Zedong said: “Today we race to the capital for the imperial examination.” As the past 60 years have proven, the CCP has achieved an outstanding result in its historic test. However, this test is by no means over, and it is continuing right now. The entire efforts of the CCP to rally and lead the people today represent the continuation of this test. 


“Long as the way is, I will keep on searching high and low.” The entire CCP must stay true to its cause and continue marching forward. It must maintain its modesty and prudence and avoid arrogance and impetuosity. It must preserve its tradition of bitter struggle, have the courage to change and innovate, and ensure that it never becomes rigid nor stops in its tracks. And it must continue to rise to the challenge of its ongoing historic test, striving to produce new and even more outstanding results for history and for the people. 


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Cite This Page

习近平 (Xi Jinping). "Speech by President Xi Jinping at a Ceremony Marking the 95th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China [在庆祝中国共产党成立95周年大会上的讲话]". CSIS Interpret: China, original work published in Xinhua News Agency [新华社], July 1, 2016

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