ALL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND FEDERATIONS OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE
ARE POLITICAL FORCES SERVING SOCIALISM
October 19, 1979
During this new historical period, China’s patriotic revolutionary united front also enters a new stage of historical development. The united front is still a magic weapon. It should not be weakened but must be strengthened, and it should not be diminished but should be expanded. It has become the broadest alliance of all our socialist labourers and patriots who support socialism and the reunification of the motherland. The task facing the united front during this new period is to bring every positive factor into play, unite with all forces we can unite with, make concerted efforts to build China into a modern, powerful socialist country by the end of the century, and promote and accomplish the return of Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of China.
All of the democratic parties as well as the federations of industry and commerce are important components of China’s patriotic revolutionary united front. They have been cooperating with our Party for a long time and also fighting side by side with it, and they are its close allies. In the struggle to succeed in the new-democratic revolution and to found the People’s Republic of China, all the democratic parties played an important role. Since the founding of the People’s Republic, all the democratic parties as well as the federations of industry and commerce have made valuable contributions in urging and helping their members and people with whom they have affiliation to accept socialist transformation and to participate in socialist construction and in the fight against enemies at home and abroad. During the ten years when the vicious Lin Biao and the Gang of Four ran rampant, all the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce had to cease their activities and many of their members were subjected to cruel persecution. However, most of them have withstood this severe political test with firm faith in the leadership of the Communist Party and unequivocal resolve to embark on the socialist road. This is commendable. The democratic parties and the federations of industry and commerce have become political unions and mass organizations, consisting in part of socialist labourers with whom they have contact, patriots supporting socialism, and other political forces aimed at furthering socialism. Construction and development of socialism has become the common interest and aspiration of all democratic parties, federations of industry and commerce, and our Party. During this new historical period, the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce continue to play an important role that cannot be ignored. We believe that in the future the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce will make even greater contributions to consolidating and developing the political situation of stability and unity, accelerating the socialist modernization drive, promoting democracy, strengthening the legal system, conducting self-education and striving for the reunification of the motherland.
Many of the members of the democratic parties and the federations of industry and commerce, and the people with whom they have affiliation are intellectuals of a comparatively high cultural and scientific level who have a wealth of experience gained in practice and are specialists. All of them are indispensable forces needed in the modernization drive. Since many former capitalist industrialists and businessmen are very experienced in managing and running enterprises and doing economic work, they can play a positive role in readjusting China’s economy and promoting modernization. Also, the former Kuomintang military and governmental personnel and other patriots can use their special knowledge and social connections to facilitate useful contributions to the modernization programme and the effort to reunify Taiwan with the motherland. At present, there are still many problems in arousing and giving play to the initiative of intellectuals, specialists, and other people from all walks of life. These people are experiencing difficult conditions in their life and work. We should make inquiries, study these problems, and then take effective measures to solve them gradually. We hope that all democratic parties will cooperate with the Party and the government so that we can make a concerted effort to improve the living and working conditions of these people.
Multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party ensues from specific historical conditions and the realities in our country, and is also a characteristic of and an advantage to our political system. In 1956, when the socialist system was basically established in our country, the Party Central Committee and Comrade Mao Zedong put forward the principle of “long-term coexistence and mutual supervision” towards all democratic parties, which has been a consistent policy for a long time now. During the current new Long March, to consolidate and safeguard the political situation of stability and unity and handle state affairs, it is very important to exercise mutual supervision, fully develop socialist democracy and strengthen the socialist legal system under the guidance of the Four Cardinal Principles. Since the Chinese Communist Party plays a leading role in the country’s political activities and all undertakings, the correctitude of the Party’s line, principles and policies, and whether or not we can do our work successfully have a direct bearing on the future of the country and the success or failure of the socialist cause. Meanwhile, since our Party is the party in power, some of our comrades are prone to be tainted with subjectivism, bureaucracy or sectarianism. Therefore, there is a great need for our Party to listen to opinions from all quarters, including different views from all the democratic parties and accept criticism and supervision by all quarters so as to pool the wisdom of the masses, compensate for each other’s deficiencies, overcome our shortcomings and avoid making mistakes. We sincerely hope that all the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce will act as the masters of the country, concern themselves with state affairs and devote themselves to the socialist cause. We also hope that they will bravely and conscientiously air opinions on major state policies and all aspects of work, making suggestions and criticisms, and thereby become our Party’s allies, who can give forthright counsel and assist in handling state affairs smoothly.
Accomplishing the return of Taiwan to the motherland for national reunification is a common aspiration of the Chinese people, including our compatriots in Taiwan, and is a glorious and sacred task facing our patriotic revolutionary united front. The major policies which the Chinese government has announced concerning the return of Taiwan to the motherland give full consideration to the circumstances, interests and future of the Taiwan people and authorities, and are therefore completely fair and reasonable. All Chinese patriots belong to one big family. Those who promote the reunification of the motherland render valuable service to the nation and to the Chinese people. We cooperated with the Kuomintang two times in history. The great cause of the reunification of the motherland is an important issue that conforms to the historical trend of the times and satisfies the needs of the Chinese people. We hope to work together with the Taiwan authorities in this respect. Since the compatriots in Taiwan have been patriotic for a long time, they will certainly make valuable contributions to the cause of the reunification of the motherland. The democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce maintain extensive links with and have great influence among our compatriots in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and among the Chinese residing abroad, so we hope that you will help bring Taiwan back to the motherland.
We are in a great era serving as a link between the past and the future and are undertaking a great cause that has not been undertaken by our predecessors. As we advance, we shall encounter difficulties and resistance. However, so long as we adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, strengthen the great unity among all China’s nationalities and continue to develop the revolutionary patriotic united front, no difficulties can prevent us from progressing and all obstacles will be overcome. Our cause must succeed, and we shall unquestionably attain our goals. Let us, under the great banner of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, help emancipate people’s minds, maintain the political situation of stability and unity, achieve the four modernizations and accomplish the reunification of the motherland. Let us work together to build China into a powerful modern socialist country.
(Excerpt from a speech at a banquet given by the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee to the delegates attending the conference of all democratic parties and the conference of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.)