The Party yesterday enshrined the Scientific Outlook on Development and other strategic thoughts into its constitution at the closing meeting of its 17th congress.
The move signals the Party's determination to promote more coordinated development based on social harmony, environmental protection and energy conservation in addition to economic expansion.
The Scientific Outlook on Development takes development as its essence, puts people first as its core and takes comprehensive, balanced and sustainable growth as its basic requirement and overall consideration as its fundamental approach, CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao has said.
It was proposed in 2003 by the 16th CPC Central Committee against the backdrop of rapid economic growth in the country coupled with a series of problems including excessive consumption of resources, damage to the environment and a widening gap between the rich and the poor.
In addition, the CPC incorporated the "path of socialism with Chinese characteristics" and the "theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics" into its constitution, according to a resolution on the amendment to the Party Constitution, which was unanimously passed by more than 2,200 delegates to the congress yesterday.
The congress also approved the objective of the Party's basic line in the constitution as "turning China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country".
Building a "harmonious" country is for the first time mentioned in the constitution as the Party's objective.
And the first time in its history, the CPC mentioned the word "religion" in an amendment to its constitution.
Incorporating the CPC's guiding principles and policies on religious work in the Party Constitution is conducive to their full implementation, a resolution on the amendment to the constitution said.
It said the insertion has been made to meet the demands posed by the new situation and new tasks.
The CPC is atheist but allows freedom of religious belief. China is home to 100 million religious faithful, largely Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, Catholics and Muslims.
"I learned of the amendment on the Internet and was inspired," said Living Buddha Dainzin Qoizha in Shannan Prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Daizin Qoizha is a government employee in the prefecture and more than half of his colleagues are CPC members.
"I'm on very good terms with them," he said. "As a non-Communist, I'm in charge of ethnic and religious work. The prefecture's Party committee is very supportive."
Hao Peng, deputy Party chief in Tibet, described the relations between the Party and the religious faithful as "cooperative and mutually respectful".
The amendments to the Party constitution also include overall economic, political, cultural and social development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
This is the fifth amendment to the current edition of the Party Constitution, adopted at the 12th Party congress in 1982.
Delegates consider the amendment of the Party constitution as a landmark in the history of the CPC as it leads the Chinese people in building a harmonious, well-off society.
(China Daily 10/22/2007 page1)