THE UNITED FRONT AND THE TASKS OF THE
CHINESE PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE
CONFERENCE IN THE NEW PERIOD
June 15, 1979
Fellow Committee Members and Comrades,
The Second Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is now open.
It is convening after the decision by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to shift the focus of the work of our Party and state to socialist modernization. Accordingly, its goal is to further mobilize and unite the people of all nationalities in China and all patriotic forces in our country so as to promote socialist modernization.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the founding both of the great People’s Republic of China and of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. China has now entered a new historical period in which the central task is to achieve the four modernizations. Our revolutionary united front has likewise entered a new historical period in its development.
During these three decades, the class situation in Chinese society has changed fundamentally. The position of our working class has been enormously strengthened, and our peasants have been members of collectives for more than 20 years. The worker-peasant alliance will be further consolidated and developed on the new basis of socialist modernization. Chinese intellectuals, including the overwhelming majority of the old intellectuals from pre-Liberation society, have become part of the working class and now serve the cause of socialism consciously and actively.
Through democratic reform and socialist transformation, all fraternal nationalities in China one after another have long since taken the socialist road, and they have formed a new, socialist type of relationship among themselves — a relationship of unity, fraternity, mutual assistance and co-operation. China’s patriots, whatever their nationality and religion, have made considerable progress along this road. In the course of bringing about the four modernizations, the nationalities will achieve an even greater degree of socialist unanimity and their unity will become stronger and stronger.
The means of production formerly owned by the Chinese capitalist class came under state control long ago, and the payment of a fixed rate of interest ended 13 years ago. The overwhelming majority of the capitalists with the capacity to work have transformed themselves into working people who earn their own living in our socialist society. Our successful completion of the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce is one of the most brilliant victories in the history of socialism in China and indeed in the world. It was won because the Chinese Communist Party led our country’s working class in implementing the Marxist policies formulated by Comrade Mao Zedong in the light of China’s specific conditions, and because most members of the capitalist class, especially the progressives among them, played a positive, co-operative role in accepting this transformation. Today, as working people, they are contributing their share to our socialist modernization.
China’s democratic parties have a glorious history in the democratic revolution and they also performed notable services during the socialist transformation. This the Chinese people will never forget. Now all these parties have become political alliances of those socialist working people and those patriots supporting socialism with whom these parties are respectively linked. All are political forces that serve socialism under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
The thoughts of our compatriots in Taiwan, Xianggang (Hong Kong) and Aomen (Macao) and of Chinese nationals overseas turn with longing to the motherland, and their sense of patriotism has grown constantly stronger. They are playing an increasingly important and positive part in the effort to achieve the great goal of reunifying our motherland, in supporting the country’s modernization and in strengthening the international struggle against hegemonism.
All these changes demonstrate that China’s united front has become a broad alliance of socialist working people and patriots supporting socialism, led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. The tasks of the united front and of the CPPCC in the new period are to mobilize all positive forces, strive to transform all negative forces into positive ones, and unite with all the forces that can be united so that all can work in harmony to maintain and strengthen political stability and unity in China and make it a modern, powerful socialist country.
To realize the four modernizations, it is essential to promote socialist democracy and strengthen the socialist legal system. The CPPCC is an important organization for promoting people’s democracy and maintaining contacts with people in different walks of life. To achieve China’s socialist modernization it continues to be necessary for the participants in the CPPCC to hold consultations and discussions on the nation’s general principles, its political life and the social and economic questions related to modernization. It is still necessary for them to exercise supervision over each other and over the enforcement of the Constitution and law. We must give scope to the free airing of views and make full use of all talents. We must uphold the principle of the “three don’ts”: don’t pick on others for their faults, don’t put labels on people, and don’t use a big stick. And we must encourage the full expression of opinions, demands, criticisms and suggestions from all quarters, so that the government can benefit from them, promptly discover and correct its own shortcomings and mistakes and push forward all phases of our work.
To achieve the four modernizations, it is essential that we strengthen the ideological and political education of the whole people, while maintaining the proletarian dictatorship over the handful of anti-socialist elements. The CPPCC will undoubtedly continue to perform a very useful role in this work. The united front and the CPPCC should carry forward the tradition of self-education and self-remoulding, continue ideological remoulding in accordance with the formula “unity — criticism — unity”, and help the masses and prominent individuals in various spheres to constantly strengthen unity and make new progress on the common basis of service to socialism.
The current situation, both international and domestic, is very favourable to the great cause of the reunification of our country. The Chinese Government has clearly proclaimed the general principles concerning Taiwan’s return to the motherland. The CPPCC should take an active part in promoting the patriotic united front and working for Taiwan’s early return, so as to accomplish national reunification. At the same time, it should actively expand people-to-people diplomacy, promote amicable exchanges with foreign friends and make its contribution to the growth of the international united front against aggression and expansionism.
In this new historical period, the CPPCC has a glorious task to fulfil, and it can do a great deal in its capacity as a united front organization. Let us unite under the banner of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and, led by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, march forward along the socialist road towards the magnificent goal of the four modernizations.
May this session enjoy complete success!
(Opening speech at the Second Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.)