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Report On the Revision of the Constitution of the Communist Party of China

REPORT ON THE REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA

September 16, 1956

 

Comrades,

More than eleven years have passed since the Seventh National Congress of our Party was held in April 1945. During this period tremendous changes have taken place in both our country and our Party. In a little over three years our Party, led by the Central Committee with Comrade Mao Zedong at the head and rallying the people of the country, defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s army of several million men, overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, and established the People’s Republic of China. Following the nationwide victory in the revolution, the Party and the People’s Government, again in no more than three years, completed the rehabilitation of our national economy and carried out a series of democratic reforms. From 1953 on, the Party and the People’s Government have been engaged in the construction programme mapped out in the First Five-Year Plan and have achieved decisive victories in socialist transformation. This succession of magnificent victories furnishes indisputable proof of the correctness of the political line laid down by the Party’s Central Committee since the Seventh Congress. It is also indisputable proof of the correctness of the organizational line laid down by the Seventh Congress and of the organizational leadership of the central Committee in the same period. Comrade Liu Shaoqi has already made a detailed report on the various aspects of the work done by the Party during this period and the tasks that now confront it. The Central Committee has entrusted me to make the following report concerning the revisions to our Party Constitution necessitated by the changes that have taken place in the Party.

I

The draft of the Party Constitution now before the Congress for consideration has been discussed by Party organizations in all localities and has undergone much revision. The present draft does not differ on any fundamental principle from the Constitution adopted at the Seventh Congress, but it contains many specific changes, including some involving principles.

At the time of the Seventh Congress our people’s revolution had not yet achieved victory in most parts of the country. Most of our cities and communications lines were then still under the occupation of the Japanese aggressors, and the greater part of the rear areas was still under the control of the Chiang Kai-shek government. The liberated areas under the leadership of the Party were still separated from one another by the enemy. At that time there were 1.21 million Party members, with the vast majority operating in villages of the liberated areas. Party members in Kuomintang-controlled and Japanese-occupied areas were all working underground.

Now the situation in our country has changed entirely. Under the leadership of our Party the people’s revolution attained nationwide victory in 1949, bringing about unprecedented national unity. Now, except in a few outlying areas, we have not only completed the task set for the stage of bourgeois-democratic revolution, but also, in the main, carried out the task for the stage of socialist revolution. Besides, in the past seven years, we have achieved tremendous results in all spheres of our socialist development. All this has brought about a fundamental change in the class relationships in our country. The working class has become the leading class of the state; the peasantry has changed from individual farming to co-operative farming; and the bourgeoisie as a class is on its way to extinction.

Our Party has also undergone great changes. The Communist Party of China is now the party in power, playing the leading role in all the work of the state. Party organizations have spread to every city and town, to every county and district, to every major enterprise, and to the various nationalities. Party membership is now nine times what it was at the time of the Seventh Congress and nearly three times what it was in 1949 at the time of our nationwide victory. Furthermore, the majority of our Party members are now working in government offices, economic and cultural establishments and people’s organizations at all levels. All these changes make it imperative for us to pay extremely close attention to improving the Party’s organizational and educational work among our membership.

As the Party in power, our Party has been facing a new test and, in general, has stood the test over the past seven years. Our country has made notable progress in every sphere, and the overwhelming majority of our Party members are working hard and doing well in their respective posts. However, the experience of these seven years has also shown us that, with the Party in power, our comrades are liable to become tainted with bureaucratism. For both Party organizations and individual members, the danger of becoming divorced from reality and from the masses has increased rather than decreased. As a consequence, errors of subjectivism, that is, errors of dogmatism and empiricism, have been made, which have increased rather than decreased in our Party over the last few years.

Being the party in power can also easily breed conceit and self-complacency among the membership. Some Party members become puffed up over the smallest success in their work, looking down on others-particularly the masses and non-Party people, as though the mere fact of being a Party member puts one head and shoulders above non-Party people. Others, fond of showing off their positions as leaders, stand over the masses and order them about and are reluctant to consult them when matters arise. This, in fact, represents a tendency towards narrow sectarianism, an extremely dangerous tendency which could lead to absolute isolation from the masses.

In view of this situation, the Party must constantly be on the alert to combat subjectivism, bureaucratism and sectarianism and must keep up our guard against the danger of becoming divorced from reality and the masses. Therefore, apart from strengthening the ideological education of its members, the Party has an even more important task, namely, to strengthen the Party’s leadership in every way and to make appropriate provisions in both the state and the Party systems for strict supervision over Party organizations and members.

We need internal supervision, and we also need supervision of Party organizations and members by the masses and non-Party people. The key to supervision, whether internal or external, lies in promoting the democratic spirit in the Party and the state and developing our Party’s traditional work style of “integrating theory with practice, forging close ties with the masses and practicing self-criticism”, as expounded by Comrade Mao Zedong in his political report at the Seventh Congress.

It is clear that the great changes in our country and our Party mentioned above have placed more rather than less strict demands on our Party. It is also clear that more, not less, is now expected of our Party members. It is on the basis of these changed conditions and demands that appropriate revisions have been made of the existing Party Constitution, revisions contained in the draft Constitution now placed before the Congress.

Furthermore, since the Seventh Congress our Party has accumulated a great wealth of fresh experience in maintaining close ties with the people, in organizing them, in uniting with democratic forces outside the Party, in guiding state affairs and economic work, and in expanding and consolidating the Party and leading all Party organizations and membership so that they may become closely united and do their work well. This store of new experience is also reflected in the draft Constitution, as appropriate.

This is all I have to say regarding the basis on which the Party Constitution has been revised.

II

Comparing the General Programme of the draft Constitution with that of the existing Constitution, we can see many changes, especially in the political sphere. This is understandable. The General Programme in our Party Constitution embodies the Party’s basic political and organizational programme. Now that fundamental changes have taken place in our country’s political situation, fundamental changes have to be made in our current political programme accordingly. As for the political section of the General Programme, I hardly think any more explanation is needed, for you have all heard Comrade Liu Shaoqi’s report. What needs to be elaborated first of all in relation to the General Programme of the draft Constitution is the question of the Party’s mass line.

The question of the mass line is not a new one in the work of our Party. The Party Constitution adopted by the Seventh Congress, and particularly its General Programme, is permeated with the spirit of the mass line. At the same Congress, illuminating explanations of the mass line were given by Comrade Mao Zedong in his political report when he spoke about the Party’s work style, and also by Comrade Liu Shaoqi when he dealt with the General Programme in his report on the revision of the Party Constitution. There are several reasons why the mass line must again be explained with great emphasis: First, the mass line is of fundamental importance in the Party’s organizational work and in the Party Constitution and therefore needs constant reiteration in Party education. It is true that this question was explained at the Seventh Congress, but since the vast majority of our present members have joined the Party after the last Congress and in practice many comrades have failed to consistently adhere to the mass line, it is evident that education on the mass line within the Party can by no means be considered adequate. Second, the experience gained by the Party in the eleven years of struggle since the Seventh Congress has given the mass line a richer and more profound content, which has thus been further elucidated in the draft Party Constitution. The General Programme in the draft Constitution stresses that the Party must unceasingly carry forward the tradition of the mass line in Party work and points out that since the Party is now in power, this task has acquired even greater significance than before.

What is the mass line in Party work? Briefly stated, it has two aspects. First, it maintains that the people must emancipate themselves, that the Party’s entire task is to serve the people heart and soul, and that the Party’s role in leading the masses lies in pointing out to them the correct path of struggle and in encouraging them to work for and build a happy life with their own hands. Therefore, the Party must keep in close contact with the masses and rely on them, under no circumstances losing touch with them or placing itself above them. For the same reason, every Party member must cultivate a work style of serving the people, holding himself responsible to the masses, never failing to consult them, and being ever ready to share their joys and sorrows. Second, the mass line maintains that the Party’s ability to exercise correct leadership hinges on its ability to apply the method of “from the masses, to the masses”. This means-to quote from the Central Committee’s “Decision on Methods of Leadership”, drafted by Comrade Mao Zedong-“take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in such action. Then once again concentrate ideas from the masses and once again go to the masses so that the ideas are persevered in and carried through. And so on, over and over again in an endless spiral, with the ideas becoming more correct, more vital and richer each time.”

The mass line in Party work is of profound theoretical and practical significance. Marxism has always maintained that history, in the final analysis, is made by the people. Only by relying on the strength of its own masses and that of all laboring people will the working class be able to fulfil its historic mission-that of emancipating itself and, at the same time, all laboring people. The greater the awareness, enthusiasm and creativity of the masses become, the more the cause of the working class will flourish. Consequently, a political party of the working class, unlike the political parties of the bourgeoisie, never regards the masses as its tool, but consciously regards itself as their tool for carrying out their given historic mission in a given historical period. The Communist Party is the collective body of the advanced elements among the working class and the laboring people, and there can be no doubt as to its great role in leading the masses. But the Party is able to play its part as vanguard and lead the masses forward precisely and solely because it wholeheartedly serves the masses, represents their will and interests, and works hard to help them organize themselves to fight for their own interests and for the fulfillment of their own will. To affirm this concept of the Party is to affirm that the Party has no right whatsoever to place itself above the masses, that is, it has no right to act towards the masses as if it were dispensing favors, to take everything into its own hands and impose its will “by decree”, or to lord it over the people.

Unless we understand from a correct ideological approach that our Party policy must of necessity be “from the masses”, we shall not be able to really solve the problem of the Party’s relations with the masses. In practice we see that although many people do have the desire to serve the masses, they end up in failure, doing great harm to the masses. This is because they regard themselves as advanced elements or as leaders who know a great deal more than the masses. Therefore, they neither learn from the masses nor consult them when matter arise, with the result that their ideas more often than not prove impracticable. Far from learning from their mistakes and failures, they blame them on the backwardness of the masses or other temporary factors, abuse the Party’s prestige, and willfully and arbitrarily persist in their own ways, thereby aggravating their mistakes and failures. The history of our Party furnishes us with cases of such subjectivists who have caused incalculable losses to the Party, to the Chinese revolution and to the Chinese people. The subjectivists do not understand that only those who really know how to be pupils of the masses can ever become their teachers, and that only by continuing to be pupils can they continue to be teachers. Only by carefully analyzing the experience of the masses and pooling their wisdom can a party and its members point out the correct path and lead the masses forward. We do not tail behind the masses, and we know quite well that opinions coming from the masses cannot all be correct and mature. What we mean by analyzing the experience of the masses and pooling their wisdom is by no means a simple process of accumulation; it requires classification, analysis, critical judgement and synthesis. Yet without investigation and study of the experience and opinions of the masses, no leader, however talented, can provide correct leadership. Mistakes may still occur even after classification, analysis, critical judgement and synthesis, but by constantly consulting the masses and analyzing their practices, the Party will be able to avoid mistakes or to discover them once they are made, and correct them in time to prevent their becoming serious.

The mass line in Party work, therefore, demands that the Party leadership conduct themselves with modesty and prudence. Conceit, arbitrariness, rashness, pretending to be clever, not consulting the masses, forcing one’s opinions on others, and clinging to errors to keep up one’s prestige-all this is utterly incompatible with the Party’s mass line.

Let us look back at the path our Party has traversed since the Seventh Congress. In the War of Liberation, the agrarian reform, the suppression of counter-revolutionaries, the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce, and the development of industry, agriculture and other economic and cultural undertakings-in all these fields our Party has achieved great victories. Yet which of them could have been successful without following the mass line? For example, how were the officers and men of the People’s Liberation Army able to beat the Kuomintang army, which was superior in both numbers and equipment? Is it not chiefly because they upheld the principle of serving the people, established exemplary relations with the people through sacrificing their own interests, crated inside the armed forces a comradeship that brought the initiative of junior officers and the rank and file into full play, relied on the masses, analyzed the experience of each battle, and from battle to battle made continuous progress, both strategic and tactical? Soldiers carrying water for local inhabitants, officers putting blankets over sleeping soldiers, the calling of “collective wisdom meetings” in the trenches, caring for the health and self-respect of the captives and not searching their pockets-all appear to be trivial matters, but they had a good deal to with many a great victory.

Again, how is it that millions upon millions of peasants, oppressed by the landlord class for thousands of years, have become masters of their own fate and are determined to build up their own new life? Is it not because during the agrarian reform, the work teams sent out by our Party really worked among the poor peasants, discovered activities among them, aroused their class consciousness, mobilized the peasants themselves to overthrow the rule of the landlords and parcel out their land, instead of turning the landlords’ land over to the peasants simply by issuing government orders, thus causing the peasants to recognize their own strength and form their own leading core? Why have the peasants joined the agricultural producers’ co-operatives so readily of their own will? Is it not because our Party, proceeding from the masses’ own experience, gave extensive assistance to the peasants in organizing seasonal mutual-aid teams, then year-round mutual-aid teams, then elementary co-operatives, and finally advanced co-operatives, so that the peasants came through practice with a firm belief in the superiority of co-operative transformation?

Let me give another example. How could our country achieve so much with a minimum of mistakes in the movement for suppressing counter-revolutionaries? Is it not because we adopted the correct policy of co-ordinating the work of the government departments concerned with mobilization of the masses? Is it not because we fully mobilized the masses that, under the sharp and watchful eyes of hundreds of millions of people, large numbers of counter-revolutionaries, unable to find hiding places, were forced to hang their heads, admit their guilt, and embrace the opportunity to reform themselves and turn over a new leaf?

Here is yet another example. In less than three years after nationwide liberation, we got rid of the appallingly corrupt social conduct of the old days and fostered new social conduct with fine moral character. How could such results have been obtained without the conscientious and voluntary participation of the masses, without their learning from each other, offering advice to each other and helping each other?

There are more examples. We have emerged victorious in the movement to completely wipe out the evil of opium smoking, in our large-scale patriotic public health movement and in production, construction and other fields of endeavour. Which of these would have been possible if the movement or the task in question had not actually reflected the demands of the masses and been translated into conscientious and voluntary action by them?

When we speak of the great victories of our Party resulting from following the mass line, we do not mean that all our work in this regard had been excellent. On the contrary, our purpose is to remind the entire Party membership that if correct application of the mass line has brought success, any departure from it will certainly damage our work and the people’s interests. As I have mentioned earlier, the present position of our Party as the party in power throughout the country has greatly increased the danger of our becoming divorced from the masses, and the damage this could do to the masses is also greater than before. Therefore, it is of special significance at present to diligently propagate and carry out the mass line throughout the Party.

Tendencies towards bureaucratism of different shades are growing among many functionaries in Party organizations and state organs. Not a few leading bodies and leading cadres hold themselves aloof and refrain from coming into close contact with the masses; they pay little attention to investigation and study, and are unaware of how things really stand in their work. When they consider their work and make decisions, they very often start not with the objective conditions and what the masses are actually doing, but with inaccurate information or, subjectivity, with their own imagination and wishes. Therefore, although they issue numerous resolutions and instructions, some are not altogether correct and some are even entirely wrong. When they carry out the instructions of higher organizations and the Central Committee, they often fail to consult their subordinates and the masses about the ways and means to be adopted and fail to take into consideration the actual conditions at a given time and place; instead, they just carry out the instructions mechanically and blindly. They often feel satisfied with superficial achievements and ignore the actual results of their work. They see only the bright side of their work, not the seamy side, or else they pursue quantity only and ignore quality. They have no definite ideas about their work, so they constantly vacillate between “Left” and Right thinking, sometimes falling victim to Right conservatism, their ideas lagging behind reality, sometimes rushing ahead impetuously and placing undue emphasis on quantity and speed, in an attempt to go beyond what is actually possible.

Not a few leading comrades in different departments spend most of their time dealing with official papers and telegrams and attending too many unnecessary meetings, so that they very seldom go to the grass-roots organizations and mingle with the masses in order to find out their needs and study their experience, and thus they inevitably fall into a groove of routine and red tape. Not a few leading comrades like to turn their own departments into huge apparatuses. These unwieldy and overlapping organizations, like artificial barriers erected between themselves and the masses, make it impossible for the opinions and needs of the masses to be accurately and promptly brought to their notice and for their own decisions and instructions to be correctly and quickly carried out. Quite a number of leading comrades, when problems calling for immediate solution arise in their work, instead of tackling these problems themselves, pass them on to people on a lower rung of the department ladder, who in turn pass them on to others on a still lower rung, until finally the solution of the problems is again reported from rung to rung in reverse order. In this way, the problems are either mishandled or left unsolved until too late, only to cause losses to work. Even more serious is the fact that some leading comrades are unwilling to come into contact with the masses and are unconcerned about the people’s welfare; instead of trying to solve the problems for which the masses want an immediate solution, they remain aloof and indifferent.

Among some cadres bureaucratism assumes the form of conceit and complacency. These comrades exaggerate the role of the individual and emphasize personal prestige. They lend a willing ear to flattery and praise, but cannot bear criticism or supervision; some persons of bad character even go so far to stifle criticism and resort to reprisals against their critics. Yet another kind of people in our Party reverse the relations between the Party and the people. Instead of serving the people, they abuse their authority over the people and commit all manner of evil deeds in contravention of the law and rules of discipline. This is a most wicked, anti-popular work style, a hangover in our own ranks of the working style characteristic of the ruling classes of the old days. Although such cadres are few in number, the harm they do is very great.

Another fairy widespread form of bureaucratism is authoritarianism. Quite a number of Party organizations and cadres do not consult the masses before they make decisions and issue instructions. Moreover, in the process of carrying out these decisions and instructions they do not try to explain these decisions and instructions to the masses so as to convince them, but simply resort to issuing orders to get things done. Comrades who make such mistakes may wish to do a good job, but actually they do their work very badly. Mistakes of authoritarianism are more glaring among the grass-roots Party organizations and their cadres, but mistakes of this kind in the lower organizations are often inseparable from the subjectivist and bureaucratic methods of leadership employed by the leading bodies above them.

The presence of the mistakes mentioned above shows that the mass line is still far from being thoroughly carried out in our Party. We must constantly combat such manifestations of bureaucratism and isolation from the masses. We must realize also that bureaucratism, being a vestige of the age-long rule of exploiters in the history of mankind, has a deep and far-reaching influence on socio-political life. Therefore, carrying out the mass line and overcoming bureaucratism invariably involve a long-term struggle.

This task is brought out in both the General Programme and all relevant articles of the draft Party Constitution. Of course, these provisions alone cannot solve the problem; we must adopt a series of practical measures. What measures must we take?

First, we must concentrate on expounding the mass line throughout the Party’s educational network, in educational literature for Party members, and in all Party newspapers and periodicals.

Second, we must systematically improve the working methods of leading bodies at all levels so that leaders will have ample time to mingle with the masses, study their condition, their experience and their opinions by investigating typical situations. This should replace the present practice of spending most of their time in offices, handling papers and documents and holding meetings within the leading bodies. The number of staff and of organizational levels of leading bodies should be reduced. The leading bodies should send as many of their surplus working personnel as possible to lower bodies and let the remaining personnel handle practical work themselves, so as to guard against the danger of bureaucratism.

Third, we must see to it that democracy is fully developed in the Party and government so that the lower Party and government organizations have ample guarantee that they can promptly and fearlessly criticize all mistakes and shortcomings in the work of higher bodies, and that all kinds of Party or government meetings, especially Party congresses and people’s congresses at all levels, can serve as forums for the full expression of the opinions of the masses as well as for criticism and debate.

Fourth, we must strengthen supervision by the Party and state, in order to quickly discover and correct all kinds of bureaucratic practices, and mete out due and prompt punishment to people who have contravened the law and rules of discipline or seriously damaged the interests of the masses.

Fifth, Party organizations in all localities and departments must check up on the working style of all Party members at regular intervals through criticism by the masses and through self-criticism, drawing on the experience gained in Party rectification movements of the past and laying stress on the implementation of the mass line.

In carrying out the mass line and combating bureaucratism, it is of vital importance to work in close co-operation with non-Party people, getting as many of them as possible to participate. At present, however, a good many Party comrades, including some in fairly high leading positions, are either reluctant or unaccustomed to co-operating with non-Party people. This, in fact, is a very harmful sectarian tendency, which must be overcome before the Party’s united front policy can be carried out thoroughly.

It must be made clear to such comrades that our Party’s co-operation with the democratic parties and with democrats without party affiliation is a long-term policy which was fixed long ago. Even since the anti-Japanese war our Party has been pursuing a policy of co-operation with democrats outside the Party. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China our co-operation with the democratic parties and democrats having no party affiliation has gone a step further. Experience of the last ten years or so has shown that this kind of co-operation benefits, not harms, our Party’s cause. Many of the democrats who co-operated with us were at first political representatives of the bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie, but in the course of co-operation they have gradually, to varying degrees, shifted their views towards socialism and will continue to do so in this direction. Of course, there are struggles in the process of co-operation, which is inevitable. But the point is that these democrats can provide a kind of supervision over our Party that Party members alone cannot easily provide; they can discover mistakes and shortcomings in our work that may escape our own notice, and give us valuable help in our work. This help is bound to increase, now that socialist transformation has achieved a decisive victory and their views are coming closer than ever to ours. Therefore, it is our task to continue to broaden our co-operation with non-Party people and to enable them to play an ever greater role in our struggle against bureaucratism and in all fields of state affairs.

That is all I have to say about the significance of the mass line and the need for the Party to continue to follow it in its work.

III

Democratic centralism is our Party’s Leninist organizational principle and its fundamental organizational principle; it is also the mass line in Party work applied to the activities of the Party. The General Programme and Chapter Two of the draft Constitution specify more detailed provisions concerning democratic centralism in the Party. These provisions are the result of many years’ experience gained in the organizational activities of our Party.

The Party depends on all its members and organizations to maintain contact with the people. Generally speaking, collecting opinions and experience from the masses, propagating the Party’s views until they become the views of the masses, and organizing the masses to put these views into effect — all this must be done through the efforts of Party members and Party organizations at lower levels. Therefore, with regard to the question of democratic centralism in the Party, of special significance is the correct regulation of relations between the Party organization and its members, between higher and lower Party organizations, and between central and local Party organizations.

Historically, deviations have occurred in relations between higher and lower Party organizations. During the period when “Left” opportunism was dominant in the Party, this deviation took the form of excessive centralization. In those days lower organizations had practically no right to voice opinions to higher organizations. The leaders at higher levels not only showed no interest in the conditions and opinions of the lower organizations, but even attacked those who offered rational opinions, based on actual conditions, that differed from theirs. This kind of mistake was generally overcome after the Central Committee ended the domination of “Left” opportunism in January 1935.

Since 1935 relations between higher and lower and central and local Party organizations have been normal on the whole. Before dealing with important questions of a national character, the Central Committee has always done its best to consult comrades working in the various localities and departments and listen to their opinions; in general, free and frequent discussion takes place when differences of opinion occur. As we all know, many important directives of the Central Committee are first sent in draft form to local organizations, which are asked to suggest revisions after they have discussed them and put them tentatively into practice; the directives are issued in official form only after being revised in the light of the opinions received — a process that takes several months, and sometimes even more than a year, to complete. The Central Committee also permits local organizations to make adaptations in the light of local conditions if they really find it impossible to carry out the directives as they are. Not only during the War of Resistance Against Japan and the War of Liberation but also during the first few years after the founding of the People’s Republic, the Central Committee gave local organizations extensive powers to deal with problems independently, and facts have proved that it was perfectly correct to do so. Generally speaking, relations between higher and lower organizations in all localities and departments have been governed by the same principle; the local and lower organizations respect the leadership of the Central Committee and the higher organizations; consequently our policies have in the main been carried out throughout the Party.

However, during this period another kind of deviation developed within the Party, namely, decentralism. Some Party cadres tended to turn their particular department into a little world of their own. They enjoyed acting according to their own ideas on political questions, disliked the Party’s guidance and supervision, and did not respect the decisions of higher organizations and the Central Committee. They did not even ask for prior instructions from higher organizations and the Central Committee on important questions that required a uniform decision by the Central Committee, nor did they submit any report to them afterwards. In this way they acted contrary to Party policy and rules of Party discipline and impaired the unity of the Party. The Central Committee has waged a stern and continuous struggle against this deviation. The Decision on Strengthening the Party Spirit (1941), the Decision on Unifying Leadership in the Anti-Japanese Base Areas (1942), the Directives on Setting Up a System of Reports and on Heightening the Sense of Organization and Discipline (1948), and the Decision on Strengthening the Party Committee System (1948), all issued by the Central Committee, were mainly designed to overcome this tendency towards decentralism. The Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, held in February 1954, dealt a smashing blow to decentralism ideologically, politically and organizationally. Since then this deviation has never survived except in certain isolated cases.

At present the main shortcoming in the relations between higher and lower Party organizations as a whole is still that not enough attention is being paid to bringing into play the initiative and creativity of lower organizations. Undue emphasis on centralization manifests itself not only in the economic, cultural and other administrative work of the state, but also in Party work. Too many rigid regulations are laid down by the higher organizations, many of them formulated without careful study of the conditions and experience of the lower organizations, with the result that the lower organizations find it difficult to implement them. Many higher organizations are not yet used to working among the rank and file, listening to the opinions of the lower organizations and the masses, and solving work problems through consultation with the lower organizations. They are still prone to issue orders from their offices or to try to run the lower organizations themselves. Moreover, some leaders at higher levels like to put on airs and make a great show of their authority. They are wont to lecture and criticize people, and are unwilling to seek advice or listen to criticism from their subordinates or make any self-criticism in their presence. Such cases, though not prevalent, are by no means isolated. If we do not pay attention to this state of affairs and bring about a change, there can be no real democratic centralism in places where such a situation exists.

In the light of the various kinds of experience mentioned above, the draft Constitution makes the following additional provisions with regard to the relationship between higher and lower organizations under democratic centralism:

First, with regard to the basic conditions of democratic centralism, the following provisions have been added: “All leading bodies of the Party must pay constant heed to the views of their lower organizations and the rank-and-file Party members, study their experiences and give prompt help in solving their problems.” “Lower Party organizations must present periodical reports on their work to the Party organizations above them and ask in good time for instructions on questions which need decision by higher Party organizations.”

Second, concerning the functions and powers of the central and local organizations and of the higher and lower Party organizations, the following article has been added: “The functions and powers of the central Party organizations and those of the local Party organizations shall be appropriately divided. All questions of a national character or questions that require a uniform decision for the whole country shall be handled by the central Party organizations so as to contribute to the centralism and unity of the Party. All questions of a local character or questions that need to be decided locally shall be handled by the local Party organizations so as to find solutions appropriate to the local conditions. The functions and powers of higher local Party organizations and those of lower local Party organizations shall be appropriately divided according to the same principle.”

Third, with regard to discussions on questions of policy and the implementation of decisions, the following article has been added: “Before decisions on Party policy are made by leading bodies of the Party, lower Party organizations and members of the Party committees may hold free and practical discussions inside the Party organizations and at Party meetings and submit their proposals to the leading bodies of the Party. However, once a decision is taken by the leading bodies of the Party, it must be accepted. Should a lower Party organization find that a decision made by a higher Party organization does not suit the actual conditions in its locality or in its particular department, it should request the higher Party organization concerned to modify the decision. If the higher Party organization still upholds its decision, then the lower Party organization must carry it out unconditionally.”

Another fundamental question with regard to democratic centralism in the Party is that of collective leadership in Party organizations at all levels. Leninism demands of the Party that all decisions on important questions be made by an appropriate collective body, not by any individual. The Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has thrown a powerful light on the profound significance of adhering to the principle of collective leadership and combatting personality cult, which has produced a tremendous effect not only on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union but also on the Communist Parties of all other countries throughout the world. It is obvious that it runs counter to the Party-building principles of the political parties dedicated to the cause of communism for individuals to make decisions on important questions and is bound to lead to errors. Only through collective leadership, in close touch with the masses, can we conform to the Party’s principle of democratic centralism and reduce the possibility of errors to the minimum.

It has become a long-established tradition in our Party for a collective body of the Party and not any individual to make decisions on important questions. Although violations of the principle of collective leadership have been frequent in our Party, once discovered, they have been criticized and rectified by the Central Committee. In particular, the decision made by the Central Committee in September 1948 on strengthening the Party committee system greatly helped to strengthen collective leadership in the Party. I think it is still useful to refer to it here for the benefit of the whole Party. The decision reads:

“The Party committee system is an important Party institution for ensuring collective leadership and preventing any individual from monopolizing the conduct of affairs. It has recently been found that in some (of course not all) leading bodies it is the habitual practice for one individual to monopolize the conduct of affairs and decide important problems. Solutions to important problems are decided not by Party committee meetings but by one individual, and membership in the Party committee has become nominal. Differences of opinion among committee members cannot be resolved and are left unresolved for a long time. Members of the Party committee maintain only formal, not real, unity among themselves. This situation must be changed. From now on, a sound system of Party committee meetings must be instituted in all leading bodies, from the bureaus of the Central Committee to the prefectural Party committees; from the Party committees of the fronts to the Party committees of brigades and military areas (sub-commissions of the Revolutionary Military Commission or leading groups); and the leading Party members’ groups in government bodies, people’s organizations, the news agency and the newspaper offices. All important problems (of course, not the unimportant, trivial problems, or problems whose solutions have already been decided after discussion at meetings and need only be carried out) must be submitted to the committee for discussion, and the committee members present should express their views fully and reach definite decisions which should then be carried out by the members concerned. The same procedure should be followed by Party committees below the prefectural and brigade levels. In the higher leading bodies there should also be meetings of the leading cadres in the departments (for example, the propaganda department and the organization department), commissions (for example, the labour, women’s and youth commissions), schools (for example, Party schools) and offices (for example, the research offices). Of course, we must see to it that the meetings are not too long or too frequent and they must not get bogged down in discussion of petty matters lest the work be hindered. On important problems which are complicated and on which opinions differ, there must, in addition, be personal consultations before the meeting to enable the members to think things over, lest decisions by the meeting become a mere formality or no decision can be reached. Party committee meetings must be divided into two categories, standing committee meetings and plenary sessions, and the two should not be confused. Furthermore, we must take care that neither collective leadership nor personal responsibility is overemphasized to the neglect of the other. In the army, the person in command has the right to make emergency decisions during battle and when circumstances require.”

This decision was implemented throughout the Party and is still valid to this day.

Of course, the system of collective leadership existed long before this decision was made. The significance of the decision is that it analysed the Party’s successful experience in conscientiously practising collective leadership, urged organizations that exercised nominal collective leadership to rectify their mistake, and extended the application of collective leadership.

As was pointed out in the decision, the system of collective leadership of the Party committee or, to be more exact, the system of division of responsibility among the commanders under the collective leadership of the Party committee, had long been practised in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The PLA’s long years of wartime experience proved the system to be beneficial to army work and by no means a hindrance to the direction of military operations. In the light of the experience of the last few years, the Central Committee has decided to carry out the system of collective leadership of the Party committee in all enterprises as well, i.e., the system of the factory director or manager assuming responsibility under the collective leadership of the Party committee.

However, there are still many defects in the application of the system of collective leadership in our Party. In a small number of Party organizations some leading comrades are still prone to exercise exclusive personal control. They seldom call the necessary regular meetings, or when they do call meetings of Party organizations, they reduce such meetings to mere formalities. They neither give the participants a chance to prepare themselves beforehand for the questions to be decided on, nor create an atmosphere conducive to free discussion, so decisions are virtually imposed on the members. This practice of personal arbitrary action under the guise of collective leadership must be resolutely opposed. All questions submitted to the meeting must be discussed and differences of opinion permitted. If in the course of discussion a serious difference of opinion arises, the discussion should be suitably prolonged and conducted between individuals so as to reach real agreement among the great majority, provided this does not affect an urgent matter that needs to be settled immediately. Moreover, nothing should be put to a vote in a hurry, nor should any conclusion be drawn arbitrarily. Similarly, before an election takes place in a Party organization, the necessary exchanges of views and discussion should be carried out among the electors regarding the proposed list of candidates. Only thus can democratic activities within the Party truly be ensured.

Another defect pointed out by the Central Committee in its decision of September 1948 is still found in many organizations: Too many meetings are held and the meetings go on for too long. This not only takes up time that full-time Party workers ought to be spending in getting into close contact with the masses and exercising practical leadership, thus encouraging bureaucratism and red tape, but also affects the work and leisure time of many Party members and non-Party people. This defect is due to lack of planning and preparation and to poor leadership at meetings. It is also due to people misusing meetings by raising a great many questions that do not need to be discussed there. This defect should also resolutely be overcome.

One of the basic requirements of democratic centralism in the Party is that Party congresses at the various levels be held at regular intervals and play their part to the full. More than eleven years has elapsed between the Seventh and Eighth Party Congresses. This interval was, of course, much too long. As for local Party congresses and conferences at the various levels, a few localities and units have kept strictly to the provisions of the Party Constitution, but the majority have held congresses and conferences less often than required. This is a serious defect in the democratic activities of our Party.

However, inner-Party democracy has not been seriously affected by the long and irregular intervals between Party congresses and conferences, because in the years since the Seventh Congress a great number of cadres’ conferences have been held by both central and local Party organizations. These conferences, at which the Party’s policies and all kinds of problems arising in work were discussed in a fully democratic spirit, have to a considerable extent played the role of Party conferences and even Party congresses. For example, since 1949 the Central Committee has called quite a number of conferences that were national in scope: the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, held from March 5 to 13, 1949; the Third (Enlarged) Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, from June 6 to 9, 1950; the National Conference on Financial and Economic Work, from June 13 to August 13, 1953; the National Conference on Grain, from October 10 to 13, 1953; the Fourth (Enlarged) Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, from February 6 to 10, 1954; the National Party Conference, from March 21 to 31, 1955; the Conference of Secretaries of Provincial, Municipal and Autonomous Region Party Committees, from July 31 to August 1, 1955; the Sixth (Enlarged) Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, from October 4 to 11, 1955; the Conference on the Transformation of Capitalist Industry and Commerce, from November 16 to 24, 1955; the Conference on the Question of Intellectuals, from January 14 to 20, 1956; and the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau with the participation of secretaries of provincial, municipal and autonomous region Party committees, from April 25 to 28, 1956. In general, attendance at these conferences numbered over a hundred or a few hundred to over a thousand. To all intents and purposes these conferences played the role of national conferences, solving important problems in Party policy and work through free and practical discussion. Nevertheless, the holding of these conferences cannot legally replace the holding of Party congresses or make up for the defect of not holding regular Party congresses.

To completely remedy this defect and raise democratic activities in the Party to a higher plane, the Central Committee has decided to introduce a fundamental reform in the draft Party Constitution. The national Party congress and the congresses at provincial and county levels are to have a fixed term respectively, somewhat similar to that of the people’s congresses at the various levels. It is laid down in the draft Party Constitution that the national Party congress is to be elected for a term of five years, congresses at provincial level for three years; and congresses at county level for two years. Congresses at all three levels are to be called into session once a year; therefore, the original system of Party conferences at the various levels will no longer be necessary. A system of Party congresses with fixed terms will greatly reduce the burden of electing deputies, and the congresses may be convened at any time during the term of office. Since the congresses will be in session once a year, the occasion need not be an elaborate affair. The greatest merit of a system of fixed terms for the congresses is that it will make the congresses the Party’s highest policy-making and supervisory organs operating with an effectiveness which is hardly possible under the present system whereby congresses are held once in a number of years, with deputies elected afresh each time. Under the new system the Party’s most important decisions can all be brought before the congresses for discussion. The Central Committee and the provincial and county committees must submit annual reports to their respective congresses, listen to their criticisms and answer their questions. Since the deputies are elected for a fixed term and are responsible to the bodies that elected them, they will be in a better position to regularly gather the views and experience of lower organizations, rank-and-file Party members and the masses. Thus they will attend the sessions as true representatives, and when the congresses are not in session, they can also supervise, in whatever way is appropriate, the work of Party organs. For these reasons we feel sure that this reform will greatly help develop inner-Party democracy.

It must be emphasized that the Party is a militant organization. Without centralized, unified command it would be impossible to win any battles. The measures taken for the development of inner-Party democracy are not meant to weaken necessary centralization in the Party, but to supply it with a powerful and vigorous base. This is perfectly clear to every one of us. Our purpose in proposing to improve the system of congresses at all levels is to make it easier for the Party committees at all levels to solicit the opinions of the masses and to work more correctly and effectively. Our purpose in proposing to improve the working relationship between central and local and higher and lower bodies is to enable the central and higher bodies to exercise their leadership in closer conformity with actual conditions, to concentrate their attention on work that needs to be centralized and to improve their inspection and guidance of the work of the local organizations and the lower bodies. We do not advocate strengthening collective leadership in order to reduce the role of the individual. On the contrary, the individual can play his role correctly only through the collective, while collective leadership must be combined with individual responsibility. Without division of labour and individual responsibility we would not be able to perform any complicated tasks and would find ourselves in the woeful predicament of no one being responsible for any particular job. Whatever the organization, we need not only division of labour and individual responsibility, but also somebody assuming overall responsibility. Are we all not well aware that even a small group cannot function without a leader?

Here I should like to say a few words about the role of leaders in the Party. While recognizing that history is made by the people, Marxism never denies the historical role of outstanding individuals; Marxism simply points out that the individual role is, in the final analysis, dependent upon given social conditions. Likewise, Marxism never denies the role of leaders in political parties. In Lenin’s famous words, the leaders are those who are “the most authoritative, influential and experienced”. Undoubtedly, their authority, their influence and their experience are valuable assets to the Party, the working class and the people. We Chinese Communists can fully appreciate this from our own experience. Of course, such leaders emerge naturally out of mass struggle, and cannot be self-appointed. Unlike the leaders of the exploiting classes in the past, the leaders of the working-class party stand not above the masses, but in their midst, not above the Party, but within it. Precisely because of this, they must set an example in maintaining close contact with the masses, obeying Party organizations and observing rules of Party discipline. Love for the leader is essentially an expression of love for the interests of the Party, the working class and the people, and not the deification of an individual. An important achievement of the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union lies in the fact that it showed us what serious consequences can follow from deification of an individual. Our Party has always held that no political parties or individuals are free from flaws and mistakes in their activities, and this has now been written into the General Programme of the draft Party Constitution. For the same reason, our Party abhors the deification of an individual. At the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, held in March 1949 — that is, on the eve of the nationwide victory in the people’s revolution — the Central Committee, at the suggestion of Comrade Mao Zedong, decided to prohibit birthday celebrations for Party leaders and the use of Party leaders’ names to designate places, streets and enterprises. This has helped check the glorification and exaltation of individuals. The Central Committee has always been against sending the leaders messages of greetings or telegrams reporting successes. Likewise, it has been against exaggerating the role of leaders through works of art and literature. Of course, the cult of the individual is a social phenomenon with a long history, and it inevitably finds certain reflections in our Party and public life. It is our task to continue to observe faithfully the Central Committee’s principle of opposition to the elevation and glorification of the individual and to achieve a real consolidation of the ties between the leaders and the masses so that the Party’s democratic principle and its mass line will be carried out in every field of endeavour.

IV

Part of the General Programme of the draft Constitution dwells on Party solidarity and unity. Solidarity and unity are most important questions in Party building. As is pointed out in the General Programme, “Solidarity and unity are the very life of the Party, the source of its strength. It is the sacred duty of every Party member to pay constant attention to the safeguarding of the solidarity of the Party and the consolidation of its unity.”

Why was the people’s revolution, led by our Party, successful? First of all, of course, it was because our Party’s policy was correct and represented the interests of the people. But a correct policy alone could not have enabled us to defeat a powerful enemy and emerge victorious. Our Party also kept in close touch with the people and, moreover, rallied them into a united force. But if our Party itself had not been united, how could it have rallied the people?

Again, after victory in the people’s revolution in our country, on what did we depend to overcome tremendous difficulties and obstacles, rapidly achieve national unity, quickly rehabilitate and develop our national economy, embark on the socialist transformation of our national economy and complete it for the most part? Beyond all doubt, we could not have led the people and accomplished these complicated tasks in such a short time without Party unity.

Our Party has now assumed the leading role in all state affairs and public activities. It is obvious that our Party in its present condition is exercising a more direct and extensive influence on national life than ever before. It is for the benefit of not only the Party but also the people that we cement Party solidarity and preserve its unity.

The Party is the highest form of class organization. It is particularly important to point this out today when our Party has assumed the leading role in state affairs. Of course, this does not mean that the Party should be directly in command of the work of state organs or discuss questions of a purely administrative nature at Party meetings, thus overstepping the necessary line of demarcation between Party work and the work of state organs. It means, first, that Party members in state organs, particularly the leading Party members’ groups formed by those in leading positions in such organs, should follow the unified leadership of the Party. Second, the Party must regularly discuss and decide on questions relating to guiding principles, policies and important organizational matters in state affairs, and the leading Party members’ groups in the state organs must see to it that these decisions are put into effect with the harmonious co-operation of non-Party people. Third, the Party must conscientiously and systematically study the work and problems of the state organs so as to be able to make correct, practical and specific proposals concerning state affairs or revise these proposals promptly in the light of actual practice, and it must also exercise constant supervision over the work of state organs. Some comrades working in state organs do not respect the leadership of the Party, saying that their work is of a special nature, and attempt to turn their own departments into “independent kingdoms”. This is a dangerous tendency that must be overcome. At the same time, some Party organizations unjustifiably interfere with the administrative work of state organs, while still others, without investigation and study, are content to offer vague, generalized leadership or leadership based on personal impressions. This is another tendency that must be overcome.

The points I have mentioned about the relationship between the Party and the state organs in their work also apply in general to the relationship between the Party and the various people’s organizations. But since democracy in these organizations is much broader than in state organs, the Party should take this special feature into consideration when exercising leadership over the leading Party members’ groups in these organizations.

In order to strengthen solidarity and unity within its own ranks and correctly play its role as leader and nucleus, the Party has waged an uncompromising struggle against all sorts of erroneous deviations in this regard. The Party’s long-term existence in widely scattered rural areas, the strong influence that feudal, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas and work styles still have in our society, and the deepening of class struggle for a certain period of time during the socialist revolution are all inevitably reflected in Party activities. Therefore, Party solidarity and unity are inseparable from inner-Party struggle of varying degrees.

As we all know, the most serious inner-Party struggle during the interval between the Seventh and Eighth Congresses was the fight against the anti-Party alliance of Gao Gang and Rao Shushi. A detailed report on this struggle was given and was followed by discussion at the National Party Conference held in March 1955.

The essence of this anti-Party alliance was its attempt to seize supreme Party and state power through conspiracy on an extensive scale and in utter disregard of principle. This alliance intended to maintain exclusive control over certain areas and departments and use them as its “capital” to oppose the Central Committee and usurp its authority; for this purpose it attempted to arouse resentment against the Central Committee in various areas and among the People’s Liberation Army. These conspiratorial activities were completely counter to the interests of the Party and the people and could only benefit the enemies of the Chinese people. That was why the National Party Conference held in March 1955 unanimously endorsed the measures taken in this connection by the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, held in February 1954, and by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee following the session.

Since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee and the National Party Conference, the Party’s solidarity and unity have been strengthened immensely, and the political awareness of all Party members and the fighting capacity of the Party organizations have increased greatly. The enemies of the Party and the people gained nothing from this struggle.

The Central Committee decided to expel Gao Gang and Rao Shushi from the Party, because their conduct gravely imperilled the interests of the Party and the people and they showed no signs of repentance for their activities or desire to mend their ways in spite of repeated warnings given by the Party over a long period of time before and after the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee. At the National Conference on Financial and Economic Work in the summer of 1953 and again at the National Conference on Organizational Work in September and October of the same year, the Central Committee stressed the need for all Party members to strengthen Party solidarity and oppose any actions that might undermine it, but the conspirators, bent on splitting the Party and seizing power, turned a deaf ear to these warnings.

The resolution adopted at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee states, “As for those who take a stand against the Party, stubbornly refuse to correct their errors, or even carry on sectarian, splitting or other malignant activities within the Party”, the Party “must wage relentless struggle against them and subject them to severe disciplinary measures or even expel them from the Party if necessary. Only by so doing can Party unity be maintained and the interests of the revolution and the people be defended.”

However, this is only one side of the Party’s policy towards Party members who have made mistakes. The same resolution points out, “Every comrade may have shortcomings or make mistakes, and every comrade needs other people’s help; the purpose of Party unity is precisely to develop this kind of comradely mutual help. In dealing with the shortcomings or errors of Party members, the policy adopted should vary according to different circumstances.” It adds, “To comrades whose shortcomings or errors are comparatively unimportant or those who, though their shortcomings or errors are serious or comparatively serious, can still be helped through criticism and education to place the interests of the Party above their own and are willing to mend their ways and actually do so, the principle of curing the sickness to save the patient should be applied. Serious criticism must be made and the necessary struggle waged against their shortcomings or errors in the light of the circumstances, but such criticism or struggle should start from unity and aim to reach unity through this criticism or struggle. The comrades concerned should not be deprived of the chance to do better. Still less should their occasional, partial, temporary, or relatively unimportant shortcomings or errors be deliberately exaggerated into systematic, serious ones; this is not starting from unity, and unity cannot be attained in this way. Therefore, it is not in the interest of the Party.”

The principles mentioned above for dealing with the mistakes of Party members, as set forth in the resolution of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, have now been written into the General Programme of the draft Constitution.

As we all know, since 1935 the Central Committee, in dealing with Party members who have made mistakes, has always acted upon the principle of treating each case on its own merits. Practice has shown that it is correct to adhere to this principle, that the unity of the Party benefits from it and that the Party’s cause prospers because of it. The Central Committee believes that under ordinary circumstances the aim of correcting the mistakes of Party members is to draw lessons, improve their work and educate all Party members; in other words, to “learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones” and “cure the sickness to save the patient”. The aim is not to take such members to task so severely as to make it impossible for them to continue to work in the Party. Therefore, in dealing with such members, the emphasis should be on dispassionately analyzing the root and essence of their errors, raising their ideological consciousness and drawing the correct lesson for other comrades or the entire Party, but not on the disciplinary action taken by the Party organization; solutions to the problem must not be sought through “putting labels” on such members or simply resorting to punishment. Unduly severe or widespread punishment is especially to be avoided, for it would create tension and cause fear in the Party, and this is detrimental to the Party’s strength. When our Party was dominated by “Left” opportunists, inner-Party struggle was pushed to the extreme. A policy of excessively harsh struggle and wanton punishment (the so-called “ruthless struggle” and “merciless blows”) was carried on within the Party. As a result, Party unity, inner-Party democracy and the initiative of rank-and-file Party members all suffered severe damage and the advance of the Party’s cause was seriously hindered. Such wrong treatment of comrades’ shortcomings and mistakes is no longer a dominant feature of Party life, but it still exists in some organizations, and we must pay attention to rectifying it.

On the other hand, there is another tendency in the Party which also deserves attention: that of being over tolerant and overindulgent towards comrades who have made mistakes, not giving them the punishment they deserve or waging any ideological struggle against them. This is a tendency towards liberalism, which must also be resolutely opposed.

In order to maintain Party solidarity and unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and help comrades overcome their shortcomings and correct their mistakes in time, it is necessary to greatly intensify criticism and self-criticism within the Party. Encouraging and supporting criticism from below and prohibiting the suppression of criticism are of decisive importance for the development of criticism in the Party. On many occasions in the past few years the Central Committee has organized Party-wide campaigns of criticism and self-criticism in the form of “rectification movement”, which have yielded remarkably good results. When calling lower-rank comrades to meetings or in talking to them, leading comrades of the Central Committee have of their own accord asked them to criticize the Central Committee’s work, listened patiently to their criticisms, and promptly taken necessary and practical measures to correct the shortcomings and mistakes pointed out, with the result that inner-Party criticism from below has been greatly encouraged. The Central Committee has carried out a sharp struggle against the suppression of criticism and applied disciplinary measures to some leading personnel who arbitrarily stifled criticism from below. However, it must be admitted that even now quite a few leading comrades in Party organizations and quite a few Party members who hold leading positions in state organs and people’s organizations still do not encourage and support criticism from below. Some even despicably resort to attacks and reprisals against their critics. This is also a grave sign that the germs of bureaucratism are attacking our Party. Every true Communist must fight to root out this evil.

V

Now I should like to make some explanations of the provisions for Party membership in the draft Constitution. As compared with the Constitution adopted at the Seventh Congress, a number of important changes have been made in the draft Party Constitution. This is because conditions of the Party and its membership are now quite different from what they were at the time of the Seventh Congress. These revisions make higher demands on the members and at the same time extend their rights.

The most significant change for the Party is that it is now in the position of leadership throughout the country. The Party’s programme for a democratic revolution has been carried out in nearly all parts of the country, and its programme for a socialist revolution has in the main been successfully carried out. The Party’s present task is to complete the socialist revolution and bring about, in not too long a period, the country’s socialist industrialization, turning China into a powerful socialist industrial country. Organizationally, the Party has changed greatly both in numerical strength and in the social status of its members. According to figures provided by the Organization Department of the Central Committee, at the end of June 1956 the Party had a total membership of 10,734,384, which is 1.74 per cent of the total population. Of these, 1,502,814, or 14 per cent of the total membership, are workers; 7,417,459, or 69.1 per cent, are peasants; 1,255,923, or 11.7 per cent, are intellectuals; 558,188, or 5.2 per cent, are of other social status. Women constitute about 10 per cent of the total membership.

The triumph of the Party’s cause, the increasing weight of its responsibility for the people, and the rise of its prestige among the masses all demand that our Party set higher standards for its members. Moreover, in the past a person’s decision to join our Party generally meant that he was determined to fight, at the risk of personal freedom and even his very life, for the interests of the masses and the supreme ideal of human society. Nowadays, however, it is easy to find people who have joined the Party for the sake of fame and position and who do not safeguard the interests of the masses, but harm them. To be sure, such people are very few in our Party, but we cannot overlook their existence. Working hard to raise the standards of Party membership is one of the Party’s important political tasks at the present time.

For this purpose, the draft Constitution contains new provisions regarding qualifications for Party membership.

In the first place, the draft demands that Party members be people who work and do not exploit the labour of others. In our era only that which is the result of labour can bring honour, and to exploit the labour of others instead of working oneself is an infinite disgrace in the eyes of the people. With the development of socialist transformation, living off the fruits of other people’s labour is dying out in our country. However, in present-day Chinese society there are still exploiters, overt and covert practices of exploitation, and ideas of the exploiting class. We must not allow such people, practices, or ideas to find their way into the ranks of the Party, and we must see to it that every Party member draws a clear line between labour and exploitation.

As compared with the relevant articles of the existing Constitution, the draft contains many new provisions concerning the duties of Party members.

In the draft Party Constitution it is listed as a duty of Party members to “safeguard the Party’s solidarity and consolidate its unity”. The reason for such a provision is obvious. Solidarity and unity are the very life of the Party, and it is unthinkable that the Party should have any need for members who do not care for its life.

It is provided in the draft that Party members must energetically fulfil the tasks assigned them by the Party, because this is the concrete guarantee for the carrying out of Party policies and decisions.

The draft Party Constitution requires that every Party member, without exception and regardless of his position or prior service rendered, strictly observe the Party Constitution and state laws and behave in accordance with communist ethics. The Central Committee considers it of special importance today to stipulate very clearly that no Party member, regardless of his position or prior service rendered, is allowed any privilege to act against the Party Constitution, state laws, or communist ethics. Some Party members who have rendered meritorious service and hold leading positions think it is their “prerogative” to act as they please. Some Party organizations have even given tacit consent to this view. In actual fact, anyone who entertains or supports this view is helping the enemy corrode our Party. People who conduct themselves like “overlords” tend to think they are indispensable to the Party, but the truth is quite to the contrary. Our Party, far from having any use for such persons, does not permit the presence in its ranks of any “overlords” who behave differently from ordinary members in fulfilling the duties of a Party member. Respect is due to good record and position only if the person possessing them does not become conceited or consider them something entitling him to “privileges” but, instead, becomes more modest, prudent and conscious of his responsibility to set a good example. If he does not do this, his conceit and insolence will be his downfall. The Party will never tolerate such people at the risk of isolating itself from the masses.

The draft Party Constitution stipulates that it is the duty of every Party member to practise criticism and self-criticism, expose shortcomings and mistakes in work and try hard to overcome and correct them, and that it is his duty to report such shortcomings and mistakes to the leading Party bodies, up to and including the Central Committee. Without doubt this provision in the draft will help stimulate the political enthusiasm of all Party members, promote inner-Party criticism and facilitate the exposure and elimination of shortcomings and mistakes in Party work.

The draft Party Constitution provides that Party members be truthful and honest with the Party and not conceal or distort the truth. This is a principle of great significance in Party activities. To proceed from reality and seek truth from facts is our fundamental stand as materialists. Any distortion or concealment of the truth from the Party can only harm the Party, and in the end will only harm the very person who distorts the facts or conceals them from the Party.

The draft Constitution also requires Party members to be constantly on the alert against the intrigues of the enemy and to guard Party and state secrets.

All these new provisions concerning the duties of Party members indicate that the Party is making more exacting demands on its members than in the past.

Extensive and thorough education in the duties of Party members needs to be conducted among the membership and among activists who want to join the Party. When a Party member fails to fulfil his duties, the Party organization should promptly criticize and educate him. Many Party members, especially new members, have failed in their duties because they do not really know what their duties are or because they have read, but did not understand the real meaning of, the relevant articles in the Party Constitution. Therefore, when a Party member fails in his duties for the first time, timely criticism and education are often sufficient to help him avoid making similar or bigger mistakes in future. In cases of this kind it is wrong to rashly take disciplinary measures.

Education by itself, however, will not ensure strict observation of the duties by all Party members. The draft Party Constitution provides that any serious infraction of these duties, undermining of Party unity, breaking of state laws, violation of Party decisions, damaging of Party interests, or deception towards the Party constitutes a violation of the rules of Party discipline, and disciplinary action shall be taken against the Party member concerned.

Every applicant for Party membership must undergo the admission procedure individually. The draft Constitution stipulates that an applicant be recommended by two full Party members; after being accepted at a general membership meeting of a Party branch and approved by the next higher Party committee, he is then admitted as a probationary member. The probationary period is one year, following which he may become a full Party member.

In the draft the term “probationary period” has been adopted in place of the long-employed “candidature”, and the term “probationary member” in place of “candidate member”, since “probationary” is more accurate in this case. This change, which we have accepted, was suggested by a non-Party person.

During discussion of the draft many comrades asked, “If it is our purpose to raise the standards of Party membership, why have we discarded the original provisions about different admission procedures for applicants of different social status? Might this not affect the purity of the Party?”

The distinction hitherto made in admitting new members has been removed because former classifications of social status have lost or are losing their original meaning. Both before the Seventh Congress and for a considerable period afterwards it was essential to have different admission procedures for applicants of different social status; this served a very good purpose then. In recent years, however, the situation has basically changed. The difference between workers and office employees is now only a matter of division of labour within the same class. Coolies and farm labourers have disappeared. Poor and middle peasants have all become members of agricultural producers’ co-operatives, and before long the distinction between them will become merely a matter of historical interest. With the introduction of the conscription system, revolutionary soldiers no longer constitute an independent social stratum. The vast majority of intellectuals have now come over politically to the side of the working class, and a rapid change is taking place in their family background. The conditions under which the urban poor and professional people existed as independent social strata have virtually been eliminated. Every year large numbers of peasants and students become workers, large numbers of workers, peasants and their sons and daughters join the ranks of intellectuals and office workers, large numbers of peasants, students, workers and office workers join the army and become revolutionary soldiers, while large numbers of revolutionary soldiers return to civilian life as peasants, students, workers or office workers. What is the point, then, of classifying these social strata into two different categories? Even if we were to try to devise a classification, how could we make it clear and unambiguous?

It has already been stated that only those who work and do not exploit the labour of others and are qualified to be Party members can be admitted to the Party. Therefore, the question of different admission procedures for applicants of different social status has ceased to exist.

Practice has shown that the chief measures needed for keeping the Party ranks pure are to maintain strict supervision over the work of recruiting new members; to see that the general membership meeting of the Party branch and the Party committee at the next higher level carefully check applicants for admission and probationary members at the end of their probationary period; to subject probationary members to careful observation and educate them during their probationary period; to give timely education to Party members who are not fully up to standard; and to expel any bad elements who have wormed themselves into the Party. Purity does not depend on the number of Party members required for recommending different types of applicants, the length of Party standing of such members or the length of the probationary period.

Present Party membership is nine times what it was at the time of the Seventh Congress. How were these new members admitted into the Party? Are they really qualified for Party membership? Judging from the results of Party rectification movements over past years, the overwhelming majority of members were admitted according to the procedures specified in the Party Constitution and are qualified for Party membership. On the whole, the Party organizations have grown up in the course of mass revolutionary struggles, admitting activists among the masses who have stood the test of struggle — this provides the chief guarantee for the quality of the Party membership. But mistakes were made on many occasions in admitting new members. During the War of Liberation new members were recruited in the rural districts of some liberated areas by means of so-called “campaigns to join the Party” or through a process of so-called “self-recommendation, public discussion, and approval by the Party organization”. In the two years just before and after nationwide liberation, Party membership grew with undue speed; in certain areas it grew practically without guidance or plan, while Party organizations in some areas even went about recruiting new members in large numbers and setting up Party branches before the masses were aroused. The result was that certain Party organizations were at one time highly impure. At the same time, the mistake of “closed-doorism” was also made in admitting new members. At one time the Party failed to attach importance to recruiting new members from among industrial workers; at another time it neglected to recruit new members from among revolutionary intellectuals; in certain rural areas the Party organizations neglected to recruit activists among youth and women.

Anyway, it is a clear fact that 90 per cent of the present 10,730,000 members have joined our Party since the Seventh Congress. Experience has shown time and again that many members, although they have joined the Party organizationally, have not or not fully joined ideologically. It is therefore the task of Party organizations at all levels to conscientiously educate the vast numbers of new members more effectively, taking practical measures to organize and guide their study of Marxism-Leninism, Comrade Mao Zedong’s writings and the history and policy of our Party and to strengthen their education in proletarian internationalism, so as to raise the level of their political awareness and enable them to become truly qualified ideologically as Party members.

The ranks of the Party have expanded rapidly, but among certain sections of the people, in certain enterprises, government offices and educational institutions, in certain villages and among certain nationalities, Party members are still very few in number. At the same time, more and more activists are coming to the fore and asking to join our fighting ranks. Therefore, apart from working to improve the quality of the membership, the Party should, in the time to come, continue in a planned way to admit those who apply for membership and are fully qualified for it. It should also do more work among women and pay special attention to recruiting the more advanced among them.

While trying to raise the standards of its members, the Party should pay attention to the protection and extension of members’ democratic rights. The draft Constitution contains some new, important provisions concerning members’ rights.

The draft Party Constitutions states that Party members enjoy the right of giving full play to their creative ability in work. This has the significance of a principle. It will greatly stimulate vast numbers of Party members to endeavor to the fullest extent possible within the rules of Party discipline, to bring together the wisdom of the masses, to think independently and to solve problems in a practical and creative way. It will also effect a change in the work style of leading personnel who are stuck in a groove and disregard the creative ability of rank-and-file Party members; this, too will help promote inner-Party democracy.

The draft gives the Party member the right to ask to attend in person the meeting at which a Party organization is to decide to take disciplinary action against him or make an appraisal of his character and work. This means that the Party organization will have the opportunity to listen to the member’s own statement so that decisions made on the basis of incorrect or one-sided reports can be avoided. This procedure has generally been adopted in the Party, but certain Party organizations have not yet put it into effect. Without any reason whatsoever, these organizations have often failed to inform members of their intention to take disciplinary measures against them until the decision has already been made. Of course, there are special cases in which it is impossible for the Party member concerned to attend in person the meeting at which such a decision is to be made by a Party organization. Such cases, however, should be regarded as an exception. And even in such cases, the member concerned still has the right to ask to attend the meeting in person beforehand and the right to appeal afterwards if he disagrees with the decision made by the Party organization.

The draft Party Constitution gives Party members the right to reserve their opinions of submit them to a leading body of the Party, in case they disagree with any Party decision, which, in the meantime, they must carry out unconditionally. Everyone knows that the Party is an organization based ideological unity and that the ideological unity of the membership is the foundation of Party solidarity and unity, but this does not mean that a Party member may not hold different opinions about Party decisions. This would be impossible. The unity that the Party demands is an ideological unity on all questions concerning the Party’s basic principles, and unity of action on all practical issues. Concerning day-to-day work, it is permissible, even unavoidable, for Party members to hold differing views to some extent. In order to solve various practical problems, the Party membership must act according to the principle that the individual is subordinated to the organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower level is subordinate to the higher level, and all constituent Party organizations in the country are subordinate to the Central Committee. In this connection, it is entirely correct and necessary for the Party to demand that members who hold different views unconditionally carry out Party decisions in their actions. Yet these members still have the right to reserve their own opinions and, moreover, the right to submit them to the Party organizations to which they belong and to higher bodies, and the Party organizations, on their part, should not compel them to give up their opinions by force of discipline. Far from harming the Party, these provisions can have a good effect. If the Party’s decisions are correct and the Party members holding different opinions are willing to bow before the truth, they will eventually be glad to acknowledge the Party’s correctness and admit their own mistakes. If, however, truth eventually turns out to be on the side of the minority, then protection of the right of the minority will help the Party ascertain the truth more easily.

Compared to corresponding articles in the existing Constitution, the draft Party Constitution expands on the provisions regarding the right of members to participate in free and substantial discussion at Party meetings or in the Party press on theoretical and practical questions relating to Party policy, to criticize any Party organization or any functionary at Party meetings, and to address any statement, appeal or complaint to any Party organization, up to and including the Central Committee.

The draft stipulates in particular that infringement of the rights of Party members constitutes a violation of the rules of Party discipline, and disciplinary action shall be taken against it. This is an effective guarantee of the rights of Party members.

With regard to commendatory and disciplinary measures within the Party, the draft Constitution contains the following important changes: First, the former provisions regarding commendation have been taken out; second, the provisions concerning disciplinary measures applicable to Party organizations have also been taken out; and third, the provisions concerning disciplinary measures applicable to Party members have been simplified.

Real life has shown that it is not appropriate to regard “admonition” as a disciplinary measure and that it is inconvenient to divide warnings into private and public warnings. It is entirely feasible to replace provisions regarding disciplinary measures against an entire Party organization with those regarding disciplinary measures against individual members.

Some comrades ask, “Why have the provisions for commendation been left out?” This, again, is what we have learned from the reality of everyday life. Although provisions regarding commendation were made in the Party Constitution adopted by the Seventh Congress, our experience over the past eleven years has proved them to be unnecessary. Certainly this does not mean that the Party has taken no notice of the excellent work done by many of its finest members. It has publicized their achievements and experience and promoted them to important posts according to their personal qualities and abilities. All this represents the commendation the Party has given to these members. But there is a more important reason for removing the provisions about commendation. Fundamentally speaking, we Communists do not work in order to be commended. We work in the interests of the people. When we Communist Party members have worked diligently and properly, consequently winning the confidence of the people, we are receiving the highest reward possible.

Here I feel it necessary to speak about the question of Party cadres. If we make strict demands on every rank-and-file Party member, we need, indeed, to make still stricter demands on Party cadres. Since the backbone members in the Party organizations at all levels enjoy greater confidence from the Party and the people, then obviously they have a greater responsibility to the Party and the people than the rank-and-file members. According to rough statistics, there are altogether over 300,000 Party cadres serving as county Party committee members and above. These cadres, more than other Party members, should learn never to become separated from the masses, become complacent, or fear difficulties; they should always readily accept criticism from below, ceaselessly improve their work, and patiently educate those working under their leadership through their personal example.

It would be superfluous to note that since the Seventh Congress, especially since 1949, the number of Party cadres has increased enormously. Nevertheless, there is a universal feeling that there are still not enough. This shows there are still serious defects in the process of selecting and promoting cadres. Chief among these is that even today many comrades only use “seniority” as the criterion for selection. Older Party members with a rich store of experience are undoubtedly a valuable asset to the Party. But we should be making a very serious mistake if we set store by this asset to the exclusion of everything else, because our revolutionary cause is developing all the time and the number of cadres required is constantly increasing, while the number of old Party members is inevitably on the decrease. Given this fact, if we do not resolutely employ and put our trust in carefully selected new cadres, it would only bring harm to the cause of the Party and the people.

In order to keep up with the rapid development of this cause, one of the Party’s important tasks is to train and promote large numbers of new cadres and help them familiarize themselves with their work and build a comradely relationship with the older cadres, a relationship of unity and solidarity and of learning from one another. The party must pay particular attention to training cadres to master production techniques and various branches of professional knowledge, because cadres with such qualifications are the basic force for the building of socialism. In all localities our Party must train native cadres who are familiar with local conditions and have close ties with the people. In minority nationality areas the Party must do its utmost to train cadres belonging to the nationalities there. It should firmly resolve to train and promote women cadres, helping and encouraging them to continuously advance, since women form one of the greatest reservoirs of Party cadres.

In the Party’s administration of cadres an important improvement in the last few years has been the division of administration according to rank and department, which co-ordinates administration with political and professional inspection and supervision. The Party should try to further improve its administration work in this direction, so that cadres at all posts and in all departments will be under the careful supervision of the Party and receive concrete help from it and they will keep improving themselves. This is also an essential prerequisite for a steady rise in the quality of all Party members.

VI

With regard to the organizational structure of the Party, the draft Party Constitution besides giving the Party congresses from county level upwards a fixed term of office and abolishing the Party conferences which were provided for at all levels under the existing Constitution, contains a number of other new provisions. These provisions concern the central organizations, local organizations, primary organizations, control organs, and the Party’s relationship with the Communist Youth League. In connection with these provisions, only a few brief explanations are needed.

In the section dealing with the central organizations, the draft provides that the Central Committee, which elects the Political Bureau, shall also elect a Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, which shall take over the role formerly filled by the Secretariat, a role that has proved both necessary and expedient by the long experience of our Party. The Central Committee will also elect the Secretariat, which in future will attend to the day-to-day work of the Central Committee under the direction of the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee. The pressure of Party and government work has proved too much for the existing central organs. Hence the Central Committee finds it essential to set up an additional central organ. It further finds it necessary to have a number of vice-chairmen and a general secretary; the chairman and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee will concurrently be the chairman and vice-chairmen of the Political Bureau.

In the section dealing with local Party organizations, the draft spells out the system to be followed for Party organizations of the province, autonomous region, municipality directly under the central authority, autonomous chou, county, autonomous county and municipality. In view of the increasingly complicated work of the leading bodies of local Party organizations, the draft provides that a standing committee and a secretariat be set up under the Party committee of each of these organizations. In order to reduce the number of organizational levels, the draft provides that regional committees may be established to serve as the representative bodies of provincial or autonomous region committees and that district committees may be established to serve as the representative bodies of the Party committees for municipalities directly under the central authority, other municipalities, counties or autonomous counties. Actually, in certain provinces some of the regional committees and district committees in rural areas have already been abolished.

The membership in the primary Party organizations ranges from a minimum of three to a total of almost ten thousand, making it necessary to allow the greatest flexibility in their organizational structure. The draft divides primary Party organizations into three categories: one, primary organizations each with a hundred or more Party members, which may set up primary Party committees, each with a number of general branches or branches under them; two, primary organizations each with fifty or more members, which may set up general branch committees, each with a number of branches under them; and three, primary organizations each with fewer than fifty members, which may set up branch committees. In addition, the draft contains certain other provisions conducive to flexibility. In the course of implementation, the three forms mentioned above may not be found entirely suitable for some situations, and in such circumstances the competent Party committees can regard these as special cases and deal with them as they see fit.

With regard to the tasks of the primary organizations, fairly comprehensive provisions are made to suit current conditions. The draft stipulates that primary Party organizations in enterprises, villages, schools and army units should guide and supervise the work of the administrative bodies and mass organizations in their respective units. It points out that primary Party organizations in public institutions and organizations should keep watch over the ideology of all Party members in the said institutions and organizations and that they should report without delay any shortcomings in the work to the administrative chiefs of the given units and to higher Party organizations. Up to now, however, many primary Party organizations have failed to carry out these tasks.

Inasmuch as primary organizations form the basic links between the Party and the masses, an important political task of the Party’s leading bodies is to constantly check and help improve their work. In both urban and rural areas, however, there are many leading bodies that busy themselves assigning one task after another to primary organizations but seldom check up on how these organizations are doing their work or give Party members of these organizations any concrete explanations or help. All Party committees directly responsible for leading primary organizations should, in accordance with the Constitution, carry out extensive education among these organizations and at the same time draw the necessary conclusions as to how to improve their leadership over them.

To set up and strengthen the control organs of the Party at different levels is a matter of great importance for the struggle against unhealthy tendencies within the Party. Although it was only after the National Party Conference in March 1955that the Central Control Commission and local control commissions at different levels were established on the basis of the former discipline inspection commissions, the work of these control commissions has already proved effective. The draft defines the tasks of the control organs and the relationship between higher and lower control commissions. The control commissions should not confine themselves to dealing with individual cases as they arise, but should work actively to find out how the Party Constitution, Party discipline, communist ethics and state laws and decrees are being observed by Party members. To this end, the Party committees at different levels must ensure that the control commissions are adequately staffed and must give them constant and vigorous support.

Ever since its establishment the Communist Youth League has shown that it is the Party’s reliable reserve force as well as its capable assistant. When the League organization was restored in 1949, it was known as the China New-Democratic Youth League. Since then its membership has grown to 20,000,000, and the League’s enthusiastic activities can be seen on all fronts. In view of the progress of socialist transformation in our country and the spread of communist education among the youth of China, the Central Committee of the Youth League has decided to suggest to the League’s forthcoming national congress that it be renamed the Communist Youth League of China. The Party Central Committee believes this is a correct decision. The draft Party Constitution sets forth the relationship between the Party and the Youth League, requiring Party organizations at all levels to pay close attention to the League’s ideological and organizational work, to guide the League in imbuing all its members with communist spirit and educating them in Marxist-Leninist theory, to see that close contact is maintained between the League and the masses of young people, and to pay constant attention to selecting members for the League’s leading core. The youth represent our future; it is they who will carry on all our undertakings. We therefore believe that Party organizations at all levels will spare no effort in carrying out these tasks.

* * *

In the foregoing I have made some necessary remarks about the draft Party Constitution proposed by the Central Committee. The Central Committee believes that it suits our Party’s present conditions and tasks.

The Central Committee also believes that the draft Party Constitution, after being discussed and adopted by the Eighth National Party Congress, will become a powerful instrument through which we shall be able to further raise the quality of the Party, broaden the scope of inner-Party democracy, bring into full play the political initiative of the Party membership, improve the Party’s organizational work, and strengthen its solidarity and unity as well as increase its fighting capacity.

As I have said above, the draft Party Constitution does not differ in fundamental principle from the Constitution adopted by the Seventh Congress, and furthermore, it must be said that the fundamental spirit of the draft Constitution is just the logical development of the various principles laid down by the Seventh Congress to govern the Party’s work. After thorough discussion the Seventh Congress made the correct decisions on such issues as the Party’s mass line, democratic centralism, Party solidarity and unity, and the need to raise the standards of Party membership and protect members’ rights. Thanks to these decisions our Party has become more dynamic and thriving in both its organizational work and political struggles since the Seventh Congress. The Party’s organizational work ensured the fulfillment of its political tasks. In the eleven years between the Seventh and Eighth Congresses our Party’s organizational strength has grown rapidly, its ties with the masses have been greatly extended and strengthened, inner-Party activities have become increasingly energetic, the Party’s ranks have become more closely united than ever before and, consequently, the Party’s cause has scored greater achievements than ever before.

We have made some mistakes and encountered danger in our work, and there are still shortcomings and difficulties to be overcome, but none has been, or ever will be, cause for alarm in our Party. On the contrary, our Party maintains boundless confidence in itself and the courage to correct mistakes, overcome danger, remove shortcomings, surmount difficulties and work for greater victories.

Our Party owes its victories, first and foremost, to the people’s trust and support as well as to the perseverance of the entire Party membership. We shall cherish with everlasting gratitude the memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the Party’s cause.

Our Party also owes its victories to the leading cadres of Party organizations at all levels, particularly to the leader of our Party, Comrade Mao Zedong.

Now our Party is confronted with new and formidable tasks. We must accomplish the great task of socialist transformation, fulfill the First Five-Year Plan for the development of our national economy ahead of schedule and then surpass it, and actively prepare to carry out the Second Five-Year Plan, in order to bring about a great advance in the development of industry, agriculture, communications, transport and commerce, promote scientific and cultural work, and raise the living standards of the people to a new level. We must liberate Taiwan. We must actively contribute to the preserving of world peace. To be ready for such great tasks, we must do our utmost to further consolidate our Party and cement the ties between our Party and the people.

The Communist Party of China, which is built and developed on Marxist-Leninist principles and which has ceaselessly improved its organization and work through practice and strengthened its ties with the masses, will certainly be able to accomplish, in solidarity and unity, the glorious tasks the people have entrusted to it.

(Report made at the Eighth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.)

 

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