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Xi Jinping's speech at memorial meeting for Comrade Jiang Zemin

China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-07 01:16
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President Xi Jinping delivers the eulogy at the memorial meeting for Jiang Zemin at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. PANG XINGLEI/XINHUA

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech at the memorial meeting for Comrade Jiang Zemin on Tuesday.

The following is the full text of the speech:

Comrades and friends,

Today, with profound grief, we hold a memorial meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mourn our beloved Comrade Jiang Zemin.

At this moment, the people in Party and government organs, business and public institutions, the countryside, schools, military units, and urban neighborhoods across the country, staff with Chinese embassies and consulates as well as institutions stationed abroad, compatriots in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), the Macao SAR and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese, are together with us to cherish the memories of Comrade Jiang Zemin's extraordinary achievements and outstanding qualities and to express our grief.

The whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups are in profound grief for the loss of a great man in the passing of Comrade Jiang Zemin. People all over the world, leaders of other countries and international friends in various fields have also expressed their heartfelt condolences.

Comrade Jiang Zemin was an outstanding leader enjoying high prestige acknowledged by the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, a long-tested communist fighter, and an outstanding leader of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He was the core of the Party's third generation of central collective leadership and the principal founder of the Theory of Three Represents.

We hold Comrade Jiang Zemin in high esteem, and cherish the memory of Comrade Jiang Zemin because he devoted his life to the Chinese people, and worked tirelessly throughout his life to contribute to the cause of national independence and the liberation of the people, and to the prosperity of our country and the well-being of our people. In particular, the great achievements of our Party and the country in the 13 years following the fourth plenary session of the 13th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee are inseparable from Comrade Jiang Zemin's great talent, bold vision, key role, and exceptional art of political leadership. The immortal feats Comrade Jiang Zemin had accomplished for the Party and the people won him the heartfelt love and esteem of the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, as well as the wide acclaim of the international community!

Comrades and friends!

Ever since his adolescent years, Comrade Jiang Zemin had committed himself to seeking truth and actively involved himself in the people's revolutionary movements. He was from Yangzhou City in Jiangsu Province. Born into a patriotic intellectual family in August 1926, he was enlightened by patriotism and the ideas of the democratic revolution from a young age. In the winter of 1943, he took part in patriotic progressive student movements led by underground CPC organizations. In April 1946, he joined the CPC and had since devoted all his life to the Party and the people.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Comrade Jiang Zemin had successively worked at enterprises, scientific research institutions, and state ministries and commissions. He was dedicated, responsible and hardworking at each and every post he was assigned to, and devoted his prime years to the cause of socialist revolution and construction. He did a lot of pioneering work for the endeavor of reform and opening-up. At the 12th CPC National Congress, he was elected member of the CPC Central Committee.

Starting from 1985, Comrade Jiang Zemin served as mayor of Shanghai, deputy secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, and then secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee. He led the work to chart the course for the city's economic development and urban construction, and put forward the goal of building Shanghai into a socialist modern city that is open, multifunctional, industrially well-structured, scientifically and technologically advanced, and culturally advanced by the end of the 20th century. He stressed building Pudong into a world-class new urban area that can serve as a modern international hub. He also pushed for institutional arrangements to address the people's practical concerns. He had made outstanding contributions to helping Shanghai open new ground in reform, opening-up and socialist modernization drive. He was elected member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee. In the late spring and early summer of 1989, a severe political disturbance took place in China. Comrade Jiang Zemin resolutely upheld and implemented the CPC Central Committee's correct decision on taking a clear stand against the turmoil, defending China's socialist state power and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people, and effectively maintained the stability of Shanghai by relying on the solid support of Party members, cadres and the masses.

Comrades and friends!

In June 1989, Comrade Jiang Zemin was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee. In November that year, at the fifth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee, it was decided that he would serve as the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CPC. The Party's third generation of central collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core took shape.

At the time when Comrade Jiang Zemin assumed principal leading posts in the Party and the military, China was at a critical moment, facing both pressure from abroad and difficulties at home. Comrade Jiang Zemin took charge at a challenging time. "For the cause of the Party and the people, I would give my best, give my all, till my heart ceases to beat," Comrade Jiang Zemin had said with a strong resolve.

Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, political disturbances erupted in the international arena and in China. World socialism experienced serious twists and turns. Some Western countries imposed so-called "sanctions" on China. The development of China's socialist cause faced unprecedented difficulties and pressures. At this historical juncture critical to the future and destiny of the Party and the state, Comrade Jiang Zemin led the central collective leadership of the CPC -- which firmly relied on the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups -- in unswervingly taking economic development as the central task, unequivocally upholding the Four Cardinal Principles, adhering to reform and opening-up, resolutely carrying out rectifications and strengthening ideological work in all respects. He also led the leadership in furthering the efforts to improve Party conduct, build clean government and fight corruption, in strengthening the Party's ties with the masses, and in actively carrying out diplomatic struggles and resolutely safeguarding national independence, dignity, security and stability. All these safeguarded the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. After painstaking efforts, the Party and the people successfully stabilized the general situation of reform and development, laying a solid foundation for our country's development.

During the 13 years between the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee and the 16th CPC National Congress, China's reform, opening-up and socialist modernization drive unfolded with great momentum amid a highly volatile international situation.

In a complex environment both abroad and at home, Comrade Jiang Zemin led the central collective leadership of the CPC in holding high the great banners of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, unswervingly adhering to the Party's basic line, and firmly relying on the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Comrade Jiang Zemin put forward the basic principle of seizing opportunities, deepening the reform and opening China wider to the outside world, promoting development and maintaining stability. He expounded on the 12 major relationships that should be properly handled in boosting socialist modernization, which deepened our understanding of the laws that underlie socialist modernization.

Stressing the importance of seizing opportunities without fail, and blazing new trails instead of following the beaten track, he led the formulation and implementation of a raft of principles, policies and major strategies to promote reform, development and stability. He led the establishment of the Party's basic program for the primary stage of socialism, providing strong guidance for upholding and developing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

He led us in defining building a socialist market economy as an objective of reform and setting a basic framework in this regard, and establishing a basic economic system for the primary stage of socialism under which public ownership is the mainstay and diverse forms of ownership develop together, as well as an income distribution system under which distribution according to work is the mainstay while multiple forms of distribution exist alongside. He led efforts to advance economic and political structural reforms as well as reforms in the cultural sector and other fields.

Comrade Jiang Zemin engaged in forward-looking strategic thinking on building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and attaining the third-step strategic objectives for the modernization drive. He pointed out that efforts should be concentrated on fully building a moderately prosperous society of a higher standard for the benefit of well over 1 billion people in the first two decades of the 21st century.

He stressed that confidence is derived from prosperity while backwardness makes a country vulnerable to attack. It is essential for the Party to give top priority to development in governing and rejuvenating the country, and focus wholeheartedly on developing the economy and pursuing development. He proposed a combination of bringing in foreign investments and going global, and the promotion of reform and development through opening-up. He led China in joining the World Trade Organization and reaching a new stage of opening-up.

He led us in developing socialist democracy, implementing the rule of law as a basic strategy, developing advanced socialist culture, realizing the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao, pushing for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reach the 1992 Consensus embodying the one-China principle, and making major moves to fight against separatists and oppose "Taiwan independence."

He remained committed to developing keen insights into the overall trend of the changing global situation with a global vision, and put forward a series of thoughts on diplomacy and international strategies. He actively promoted the building of a multipolar world, pushed for greater democracy in international relations, respected the diversity of the world, pushed for the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and led us in breaking new ground on the diplomatic front.

He stressed that to do a good job of governing the country, we must first do a good job of governing the Party, and that means governing it strictly. He underscored commitment to study, political integrity, and rectitude, and the advancement of the great new project of Party building. He stressed the need to resolve two historical problems, namely improving the Party's performance in leadership and governance, and increasing its ability to resist corruption, prevent degeneration and ward off risks. He stressed the need to unswervingly improve conduct, build integrity, and combat corruption, always maintain the vigor and vitality, dashing spirit and integrity as communists, and always maintain the Party's advanced and pure nature.

He led us in properly handling the relations between reform, development and stability, making impressive and new progress in material, political and cultural-ethical advancement and Party building, and successfully advancing socialism with Chinese characteristics to the 21st century.

Comrade Jiang Zemin had a thorough understanding of the development trend of the new military transformation taking place in the world and led the formulation of the military strategy in a new period. He stressed the necessity of advancing military transformation with Chinese characteristics, unswervingly adhering to a Chinese approach of having fewer but better troops, and making them more revolutionary, modern and standardized. "To put it in a nutshell, the issues that I have concentrated on in recent years are whether the armed forces could fight to win while never degrading in character," he said.

He underscored unswervingly upholding the Party's absolute leadership over the people's military, adding that the armed forces should be qualified politically and competent militarily and have fine conduct, strict discipline and guaranteed support. They should preserve their nature, character and fine conduct as the people's armed forces.

Comrade Jiang Zemin stressed placing the focal point of military preparedness on winning local wars in the information age, and speeding up the development of national defense and weaponry and equipment. He made the strategic decision to stop military and armed police units, as well as judicial, procuratorial and public security organs from doing business. Thanks to Comrade Jiang Zemin's leadership and efforts, great achievements had been made in modernizing the national defense and the armed forces.

Committed to emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts, advancing with the times, and respecting the practice and the people, Comrade Jiang Zemin put forward a series of new ideas, viewpoints and judgments on building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and made outstanding contributions to upholding and developing the Party's basic theory, line, program and experience. In particular, by pooling the wisdom of the whole Party, he formulated the Theory of Three Represents, which further answers the questions of what socialism is and how to build it, and creatively addresses what kind of Party to build and how to build it. The Theory of Three Represents has deepened our understanding of rules to advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strengthen Party building in the new conditions. With its new ideas, viewpoints and judgments, it serves as a continuation, enrichment and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory.

In the 13 years following the fourth plenary session of the 13th CPC Central Committee, Comrade Jiang Zemin led us in effectively tackling a series of international emergencies concerning China's sovereignty and security, overcoming difficulties and risks cropping up in the political and economic spheres and those brought by natural disasters, and in particular, successfully coping with the impact of the Asian financial crisis and winning a victory in the disaster relief efforts during the devastating floods in 1998, thus guaranteeing that the great ship of China's reform, opening-up, and socialist modernization forges ahead on the right track.

Comrade Jiang Zemin attached great importance to the major strategic issues that were vital to the cause of the Party and the people. When preparing for the 16th CPC National Congress, he proposed that he would no longer serve in the central leading posts and that he would retire from the CPC Central Committee to facilitate the leadership transition of the Party and the state. The CPC Central Committee accepted his proposal. In 2004, he offered to retire from his posts as chairman of the CMC of the CPC and chairman of the CMC of the PRC, which fully displays his great foresight for the development of the cause of the Party and the state.

After retiring from leadership posts, Comrade Jiang Zemin firmly upheld the work of the CPC Central Committee and gave it his support. He cared for the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and resolutely supported the efforts to improve Party conduct and combat corruption. In 2006, Comrade Jiang Zemin was personally in charge of editing and finalizing the first, second and third volumes of "Selected Works of Jiang Zemin." These works are a major textbook that we can use to advance the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the great new project of Party building.

Comrade Jiang Zemin developed a distinctive revolutionary spirit and demeanor through long years of revolutionary practice. Comrade Jiang Zemin was far-sighted, and could make correct assessments of different situations. He always observed and reflected on issues by taking into consideration the general development trends of China and the world, as well as the overall work of the Party and the state, continuously advancing theoretical innovation and innovation in other fields.

Comrade Jiang Zemin was firm in his convictions and decisive in his actions. He always put the Party and the people first, and unswervingly adhered to the ideals and beliefs of communists. At critical moments, Comrade Jiang Zemin had the great courage to make resolute decisions and theoretical innovation. He valued practice and kept pace with the times. He always grasped the trends and opportunities of the times, summarizing experience and seeking new ways based on the vibrant practice of the Party and the people, thus advancing the work of the Party and the state in a down-to-earth yet enterprising manner.

Comrade Jiang Zemin respected and cared for the people, always paying great attention to their security and well-being, and assessing and advancing work based on the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people. The distinctive revolutionary spirit and demeanor of Comrade Jiang Zemin will remain immortal in our hearts and will always educate and motivate us on the way forward.

The passing of Comrade Jiang Zemin is an inestimable loss to our Party, our military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. The CPC Central Committee calls on the whole Party, the entire military and the people of all ethnic groups to turn grief into strength, carry forward Comrade Jiang Zemin's legacy, mourn his passing with concrete actions, and write new chapters in the development of the cause of the Party and the country on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

-- Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our Party and our country are founded and thrive. The most valuable asset Comrade Jiang Zemin left us is the Theory of Three Represents. He said: "I raised this after a long period of thinking." "The thought of Three Represents didn't spring fully-formed into existence, but had been the result of 13 years of theoretical and practical explorations and trail-blazing." The Theory of Three Represents is a guiding ideology that the Party must adhere to on a long-term basis. On the new journey, we must adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China's specific realities and its fine traditional culture. We must proceed from reality, keep responding to the questions posed by China, by the world, by the people, and by the times, and ensure that Marxism always retains its vigor and vitality.

-- The leadership of the CPC is the fundamental guarantee for the cause of the Party and the people to go forward in spite of all difficulties. Comrade Jiang Zemin once said, "as a veteran CPC member, I sincerely hope that all CPC members, especially comrades in the central leadership, always put the Party first and always consciously uphold and maintain the CPC leadership in various fields of work. This is where the hope of the Party and the country lies." On the new journey, we must always stay sober and determined. We must enhance the Four Consciousnesses, reinforce the Four-Sphere Confidence, and ensure the Two Upholds. We must carry forward the great founding spirit of the Party, stay true to our founding mission, have the courage to advance self-reform, and see that the Party always serves as the strong leadership core in the course of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

-- The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics will allow China to catch up with the times in great strides and play a leading role. In 2001, at the ceremony marking the Party's 80th anniversary, Comrade Jiang Zemin emphasized in his speech that the practice over the past 80 years had taught us we must unswervingly adhere to our own path, which was the most fundamental experience we gain from summarizing the Party's history. On the new journey, we must stick to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhere to the Party's basic theory, basic line, and basic policy, stay confident and build strength, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. We must keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the right path that we have chosen for ourselves, and advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.

-- The people are the fundamental force that determines the future of our Party and our country. Comrade Jiang Zemin was utterly loyal to the people, and had always put the people in his heart. He put forward the idea of putting the people first, and repeatedly stressed that it is a basic viewpoint of Marxism to consider the interests of the overwhelming majority of the people as the most critical and decisive factor, and that we must realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people. On the new journey, we must put the people front and center, serve the people wholeheartedly, apply a people-centered development philosophy, develop whole-process people's democracy, and maintain close ties with the people. We must breathe the same air as the people, share the same future, stay truly connected to them, and make more notable and substantive progress toward achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all.

-- Reform and opening-up is a crucial move in determining the future and destiny of contemporary China. "We should promote institutional innovation, technological innovation, cultural innovation and innovation in other aspects through theoretical innovation, and make explorations and advances amid practices, without ever getting complacent or slackening our efforts. That is the way of governing the Party and the state that entails long-term adherence," Comrade Jiang Zemin stressed. On the new journey, we must accurately identify changes, adeptly respond to them, and work to steer them in our favor. We must apply the new development philosophy, create a new pattern of development, and promote high-quality development. We must comprehensively promote reform and opening-up, constantly improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and advance the modernization of the state governance system and capacity so as to gain the edge, seize the initiative and embrace a good future.

-- China cannot develop without the rest of the world, and the world needs China for prosperity. Comrade Jiang Zemin stressed that we must adjust ourselves to the historical trends, promote the establishment of a new international political and economic order that is just and reasonable, strive for a long-term peaceful international environment, comprehensively safeguard our national security and interests, and constantly make new and greater contributions to the noble cause of humankind's peace and development. On the new journey, we must always keep global well-being in mind, holding high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and promoting the common values shared by humankind. Efforts should be made to jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, facilitate the establishment of a new type of international relations, push forward the building of a community of shared future for humankind, and join hands and press ahead with all the progressive forces in the world.

-- Having the courage to fight and the mettle to win is an invincible source of inspiration for the CPC and the Chinese people. Comrade Jiang Zemin stressed, "Our Party is leading the people in conducting a great struggle of developing socialist modernization, which will be inevitably confronted with many complications. The grave situations both outside and inside the country, and the confrontations and conflicts between different social systems and ideological systems frequently pose challenges to every Party member." "We must have the heroic bravery to defeat all the enemies." "One cannot bow his or her noble head." On the new journey, it is imperative for us to race against time and keep striving forward, uphold a fighting spirit to rise to difficulties and grasp the historical initiative. We must foster a firmer sense of purpose, fortitude, and self-belief in the whole Party and among the Chinese people of all ethnic groups so that we cannot be swayed by fallacies, deterred by intimidation, or cowed by pressure, and thus dig deep to surmount the difficulties and challenges on the road ahead.

Comrades and friends!

Comrade Jiang Zemin has parted from us forever. But, his name and reputation, deeds of merit, thoughts and outstanding qualities will go down the annals of history and remain immortal in the hearts of the people from generation to generation. The whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups must rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee, forge ahead with enterprise and fortitude, and strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.

Eternal glory to Comrade Jiang Zemin!

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