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Jiang Zemin's speech on Party's 80th anniversary (part I)
( 2001-07-01 14:25) (Xinhua)

Following is the full text of an important speech made by Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), at a grand gathering marking the 80th founding anniversary of the CPC at the Great Hall of the People Sunday.

Comrades and Friends,

We gather ceremoniously here today to celebrate, together with the people of all ethnic groups across the country, the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and along with all people in the world who love peace and pursue progress, look to the bright future of the development of China and the world.

The Communist Party of China had only some 50 members at its birth 80 years ago and what it faced was a calamity-ridden old China. But today, 80 years later, our Party has become a big party that has been in power for more than 50 years and has more than 64 million members and what the Chinese people see is a prosperous socialist motherland. The tremendous change is a historic miracle in the development of the Chinese nation.

Reviewing the course of struggle of the Party and the people in last century, we feel infinitely exultant and proud. Looking into the great journey of the Party and the people ahead in the new century, we are filled with confidence and strength that we are bound to win.

I. Achievements and basic experience of the Communist Party of China in the 80-year struggle

Invariably, the people pioneer their road of advance in the movement of social contradictions; so do they seek, reveal and develop incessantly the truth that guides their advance from practice and by comparison in their historical activities.

Eighty years ago, amidst the torrential anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle of the people of all ethnic groups of China and in the tempestuous movement of the proletarian revolution in the world, the Communist Party of China was founded. This is the inevitable result of the development of social contradictions and deepening struggle of the people in the modern times of China.

After 1840, the invasion by Western imperialist powers reduced China to the status of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society and subjected the Chinese people to twofold repression by imperialism and feudalism. The national crisis and social crisis were unprecedentedly grave. From the Opium Wars, through the Movement of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the 1898 Reform Movement and the Yihetuan Movement, the Chinese people carried out dauntless struggles and numerous people with lofty ideals were trying to explore strenuously for the road of salvaging the country and the nation. But all the attempts ended in failure one after another, although they helped promote progress in China under given historical conditions. The 1911 Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which overthrew the autocratic monarchy that had ruled China for several thousand years, was of great significance in promoting China's social progress. Yes, it did not succeed in altering the semi-colonial and semi-feudal social nature of China and the miserable destiny of the Chinese people, either.

Facts show that neither the self-improvement movements and reformism, the old peasant wars and the democratic revolution led by the revolutionaries of the bourgeoisie that did not touch the foundation of feudalism nor other solutions that ape western capitalism can accomplish the national mission of saving the nation from subjugation and ensuring its survival and the historical tasks against imperialism and feudalism. China was then looking forward to a new social force that could find advanced theories leading to a path of salvaging the country and the nation.

It was exactly at that time, in 1917 and 1919, two major events took place in Russia and China, that is, the October Revolution of Russia and the May 4 movement of China. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought the advanced theory of Marxism-Leninism to China. Starting from the May 4 movement, the Chinese working class began to cut a striking figure as an advanced social force in the country. At the same time, a number of advanced intellectuals held high the banner of democracy and science and opened up a path for disseminating the new ideas and new theories in China. In 1921, the Communist Party of China emerged just as the times called in the process of applying Marxism-Leninism in the Chinese workers' movement.

From then on, the great historical mission of leading the anti- imperialist and anti-feudal revolutionary struggle, winning national independence and people's liberation and invigorating the Chinese nation has fallen upon the shoulders of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese revolution thus entered a brand new period of development.

From the Opium War (1840-1842) to the founding of the Communist Party of China, and from the founding of the Party to the present, China has experienced two completely different periods of 80 years. In the first 80-year period, the feudal rulers surrendered the country's sovereign rights under humiliating terms, the whole society was thrown into utter chaos caused by wars, the country became impoverished and weak and the people lived in hunger and cold. In the second 80-year period, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, have got united and unprecedentedly organized, overcame numerous difficulties and won one victory after another in their revolutionary struggle. Since the founding of New China, the economy and society have developed rapidly; the country has become increasingly prosperous; the people's social status, living standards and cultural and educational level have risen markedly. The comparison of the two periods of 80 years has made the Chinese people and all the patriotic forces of the Chinese nation fully aware that it is precisely the leadership of the Communist Party of China that has enabled the country to materialize the great historical transformation from the most miserable circumstances to a situation that promises a bright future. Without the Communist Party, there would have been no New China. With the Communist Party, China has put on an entirely new look. This is the fundamental and most important conclusion drawn by the Chinese people from their long years of struggle.

The memorable days and glorious achievements of the 80 years of our Party leading the people to fight are like a huge picture scroll unfurled before the people of the world, meandering yet full of power and grandeur, vigorous yet bright and colorful.

We have fulfilled the task of new democratic revolution and realized national independence and the liberation of the people. We founded the People's Republic of China after defeating the Japanese militarist aggression and overthrowing the Kuomintang reactionary rule through the Northern Expedition (1926-1927), the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937), the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) and China's War of Liberation (1945-1949) . The Chinese have since stood up, and the development of the Chinese nation has since ushered in a new era.

We have established a socialist system and realized the most extensive and most profound social transformation in the Chinese history. We have creatively materialized the transformation from new democracy to socialism and established the basic system of socialism in an all-round way, enabling this big country in the orient whose population accounts for a quarter of the world total to enter the socialist society. This is a big leap in China's social change and historical progress, and also serves as a powerful support and impetus to the cause of socialism in the world.

We have created the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and started a correct road to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Marked by the Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC, our country has entered a new period of development of the cause of socialism. Basing ourselves on the long period of socialist construction, we have practiced new policies of reform and opening to the outside world and formulated the basic theory, line and program of our Party in the primary stage of socialism after summing up both the internal and external historical experience and through hard exploration. Even in a situation where world socialism experienced serious twists and turns and domestic and foreign situations changed drastically, our Party steadfastly stood its ground like a firm rock in midstream, and socialism in China has displayed its vigor and vitality.

We have established a state power of people's democratic dictatorship, with the Chinese people being the masters of their own destiny. Though China is an ancient country with a civilization of more than five thousand years, it is only after our Party came to power that the people being the real masters of their country, their society and their own destiny has become a reality. This represents a fundamental change in the social and political status of the Chinese people. It marks China's realization of a great leap from centuries-old feudalistic autocratic politics to people's democratic politics.

We have built an independent and relatively complete national economic system, with our economic power and comprehensive national strength enhanced markedly. It has taken us just a little more than half a century not only to put an end to the backward state of poverty and blankness characteristic of the old China, but also set up a modern industrial system with a complete range of production. The annual gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by 56 times since the founding of New China. The strength of our economy, national defense and science and technology has been markedly enhanced. Our country has edged into the advanced ranks in the world in many areas of industry, agriculture, national defense, science and technology. The 1.2 billion-plus Chinese people have not only solved the problem of food and clothing but also secured in general a relatively comfortable life.

We have consistently promoted the development of socialist culture and the cultural life of the people all over the country is getting richer and more varied. Upholding the guiding role of Marxism, we have educated the people in patriotism, collectivism and socialism and made vigorous efforts to promote progress in socialist culture and ideology. We have persistently carried forward the excellent cultures of all ethnic groups of the country and actively absorbed what is advanced in other civilizations in order to make our socialist culture increasingly flourish. The ideological and ethical standards and the educational, scientific and cultural qualities of the people have kept improving, exhibiting to the world a new mental outlook of the Chinese people.

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