PUT ON THE AGENDA SETTLEMENT OF THE
TAIWAN QUESTION FOR THE REUNIFICATION
OF THE MOTHERLAND
January 1, 1979
Today is New Year’s Day 1979, an extraordinary day. It is extraordinary because it is different from other New Year’s Days in three ways. First, the focus of the work in the whole country has been shifted onto the four modernizations. Second, relations between China and the United States have been normalized. Third, we have put on the agenda the return of Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of China. Therefore, on this New Year’s Day we are very happy. These three things show that since the smashing of the Gang of Four, we have scored substantial achievements in both domestic work and international affairs.
Last year, production in our country was satisfactory, much better than expected. This is inseparable from our efforts to conscientiously expose and criticize Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and eliminate their pernicious influence. What is even more gratifying is that since the downfall of the Gang of Four, the people throughout the country have come to enjoy ease of mind and have been united as one. Last year, the political situation characterized by both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness, as advocated by Chairman Mao as early as 1957, gradually came into being. This was most clearly reflected at the working conference of the Central Committee and the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee our Party just held. To sum up, this general mood and situation is a political situation of liveliness. We should maintain this general mood and situation throughout the country — in the Party, in the government and in the army, and among the people. This constitutes the political basis for realizing the four modernizations. Without this political situation, it will be impossible for us to achieve the four modernizations. Over a fairly long period of time, we failed to properly deal with the relationship of democracy to centralism, and we did not have much democracy. Therefore, we should promote democracy even more.
Last year we scored many significant achievements in international affairs, which were represented by the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between China and Japan and the normalization of relations between China and the United States. We were able to put on the agenda the return of Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of China just because we had scored significant achievements in domestic work and international affairs. On this extraordinary day, we should also be soberly aware that it is an arduous task to realize the four modernizations. There are many things we do not yet understand, and we are inexperienced. Therefore, we should study and work hard. We should also recognize that we shall inevitably make mistakes in certain matters and encounter difficulties in some areas. However, as long as the people throughout the country work with one heart and one mind, are eager to learn, consolidate and maintain the situation of stability and unity and uphold democratic centralism, our cause will be vigorously furthered.
The fundamental policies we followed in handling international affairs last year were formulated by Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou, but they died before they could implement those policies. We have fulfilled some of their desires. The signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between China and Japan and the normalization of relations between China and the United States are beneficial to peace and stability in the world and to the international fight against hegemony. Now as we still face many problems, we must continue to work hard. In international affairs we should continue to consolidate and develop the gratifying situation we have created. I am convinced that every member present here is joyful and optimistic about the current situation and will be happy to make his or her own contribution to it.
(Speech delivered at the forum on the “Message of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to the Taiwan Compatriots” held by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.)