The debate on the criterion of truth paved the way for China's reform and opening-up drive, Chinese scholars said in commemoration of the 1978 debate.
The debate, made possible by the support of Deng Xiaoping and other senior leaders, laid foundations for the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee which marks the beginning of China's 30-year reform and opening-up drive.
The debate concluded that "social practice is the sole criterion for judging truth", whereas previously some people held the view that whatever the leaders said was always true, said Li Jingtian, vice president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, during a symposium marking the 30th anniversary of the debate.
"The 1978 debate shifted the focus of the country to the modernization," Li said.
"The reform and opening-up drive saw the country's economy grow9.88 percent annually during the past 30 years. There is no way China can come this far in its social and economical development without the mind innovation 30 years ago." Yu Yunyao, former vice president of the Party School said on the symposium.
Huang Weiting, former editor-general of the Beijing-based Red Flag Press, also said the debate encouraged democracy as it concludes that everyone is equal in the face of truth, which stipulated innovation among the Chinese people.
"China has accumulated a great amount of experience in its own development over the last 30 years of reform and opening up," said Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
"The country should learn from its previous experiences, and stick to the reform and opening up policy in the future to further improve its governing capacity and promote economic development," Li said.