Following is the full text of the keynote speech made by Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), at a grand gathering marking the 90th founding anniversary of the CPC at the Great Hall of the People Friday.
SPEECH AT A MEETING COMMEMORATING THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA
July 1, 2011
Comrades and Friends,
Today, together with the entire Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China, we are holding this grand meeting here to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and also to review the great course of China's development and progress and look ahead at the bright future of development and prosperity for the country.
The CPC was founded 90 years ago today, which was an epoch-making event in the history of the Chinese nation. From then on, the Chinese people embarked on the bright road of striving for independence and liberation and began the glorious pursuit of prosperity and strength for the country and themselves.
Over the past 90 years, Chinese Communists and the people of all ethnic groups in China have, through indomitable struggles, achieved major successes in revolution, development and reform. Today, a vibrant socialist China has emerged in the East, and the 1.3 billion Chinese people are forging ahead full of confidence under the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Comrades and Friends,
In the 170 plus years since the Opium War of 1840, our great country has weathered untold hardships, our great nation has waged earthshaking struggles, and our great people have scored splendid achievements in the annals of history.
Following the Opium War, China gradually became a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, and foreign powers stepped up their aggression against China. The feudal rule became increasingly corrupt, the country was devastated by incessant wars and turbulence, and the Chinese people suffered from hunger, cold, and oppression. To salvage China from subjugation was an urgent mission for the Chinese nation. And the Chinese people faced the historic tasks of winning independence and liberation, and making China strong and prosperous.
In those dark years, in order to change the destiny of the Chinese nation, the Chinese people, led by many leading figures with lofty ideals, waged unyielding struggles to explore a new future against great odds. Not resigned to fate, the Chinese people launched one struggle after another, such as the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement, the Reform Movement of 1898, and the Yihetuan Movement, but all these struggles ended in failure. The Revolution of 1911 led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen put an end to the autocratic rule that had existed in China for several thousand years. This revolution greatly boosted China's social progress, but it did not change the country's nature as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society or end the misery of the Chinese people.
Facts have shown that neither the mission of striving for national survival nor the historic task of fighting imperialism and feudalism could be accomplished by reformist self-improvement movements which did not touch the foundation of feudal rule, old-style peasant wars, revolutions led by bourgeois revolutionaries, or other attempts to copy Western capitalism. To find a way of achieving China's development and progress, one must, first of all, find an advanced theory that can guide the Chinese people in their revolution against imperialism and feudalism, and an advanced social force must rise that can lead social changes in China.