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CPC Members Called on to Freshen Mindset for Breakthrough in Theory & Practice
( 2002-06-28 13:49) (chinadaily)

The whole Party must keep a spirit of "advancing with the times" to deal with the challenges coming with new changes at home and in the world, said one front page commentary in Wednesday's People's Daily.

"To follow an ideological line of emancipating our mind and seeking truth out of facts, and advocate and practice the spirit of advancing with the times is the decisive factor for a ruling party to maintain its progressiveness and creativity," the commentary quoted Chinese President Jiang Zemin as saying.

"The prospective development and fate of China is directly tied to whether we can for all the time make it."

Jiang, also the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), made the remarks on May 31 while addressing a graduation ceremony for a batch of provincial leaders trained in Beijing-based Central CPC School, a cradle of the Party's elite and high-ranking administrative cadres.

He is calling on all CPC members to re-freshen their mindset to get ideologically ready for the 16th CPC national congress scheduled in this Autumn, which reportedly is to draw a new profile of CPC's leadership and re-set the country's economic and diplomatic policies and political thinking.

A voice with a distant echo

Only one man has ever voiced a political note at a pitch comparable to Jiang's over the past 25 years, a time span dubbed as the country's reforming and opening-up period.

He is the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, widely acclaimed as the general architect of China's reforming and opening-up strivings.

In his famous speech "Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts and Unite as One in Looking to the Future", Deng said: "When it comes to emancipating our minds, using our heads, seeking truth from facts and uniting as one in looking to the future, the primary task is to emancipate our minds. Only then can we, guided as we should be by Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, find correct solutions to the emerging as well as inherited problems ... "

He then quoted Mao Zedong in the 1940s when he was leading his Party in Yan'an of Shannxi Province to fight against the invasive Japanese and await chances to overturn the regime of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Party.

"A party, or a country and a nation at large, would stop progressing, drain off its vitality and eventually perish if it ossify its thinking, let superstition rampage and know nothing but repeating dogma in books," Deng quoted Mao as saying.

Deng's speech turned out to be the keynote of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee held four days later on December 18, 1978, which is the starting point of all changes taking place in China during the past 25 years.

What's new?

Then, what is Jiang trying to convey by calling for an emancipation of mind?

"The whole Party must completely carry forward the 'Three Represents' thinking and push forward the great cause of building a socialism with Chinese characteristics," the commentary said.

"Three Represents" - the Party must, to maintain its progressiveness, represent the development trend of China's advanced social productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of China - was first mentioned by Jiang in early 2001.

He then elaborated it in his speech memorizing the 80th anniversary of CPC's birth in July 1, 2001.

After his "May 31" talk in the Central CPC School, a nationwide heat to study the "Three Represents" thinking among the Party members and cadres is now riding a tide.

"What's most important while carrying forward the spirit of 'advancing with the times' is to adhere to a continuous progress of the Party's theory," said the commentary expounding Jiang's "Three Represents".

"We must develop Marxism to a new level to make breakthrough in the ongoing reforming efforts."

Apart from the widely-discussed leadership reshuffle of the CPC Central Committee, one of the main tasks of the 16th CPC national congress is to launch an in-depth research of some significant issues in the socialist theory and practice, according to the Outlook, a weekly sponsored by Xinhua News Agency.

Domestic political scientists are also attaching Jiang's "Three Represents" to the list of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping's Theory, saying the "Three Represents" originates in the former three parts and has further developed them, therefore is a breakthrough of the traditional Marxism.

During his inspection to China's south provinces in early 1992, Deng Xiaoping redefined the meaning of socialism, and put forward his famous "three favorables": Whether it promotes the growth of the productive forces in a socialist society, increases of the overall strength of the socialist state and raises the people's living standards.

Deng's new socialism definition and the "three favorables" yardstick silenced the once-heated and confusing debate on which way to take - socialism or capitalism, which has dispelled the uncertainty in the political air following 1989, and ensured a market-oriented economic reform finally clinched in the 14th CPC national congress in October 1992.

If so, there also seems to be something to expect in Jiang's "Three Represents" and the 16th CPC national congress.

(People Daily)

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