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Hu: Deng's legacy still influences China
Updated: 2004-08-22 15:46

China's month-long celebration of the birth centenary of its late leader Deng Xiaoping, chief architect of the country's reform and opening up drive, reached its climax Sunday with a 6,000-people grand gathering at the Great Hall of the People.

A grand ceremony is held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to commemorate the 100th birthday of late leader Deng Xiaoping. [xinhua]
"Comrade Deng Xiaoping is a great man of the world," said Chinese President Hu Jintao at the meeting, "whose remarkable achievements and scientific theories will, as they already did, continue to change and influence China and the world at large."

Such commemorations "will further inspire the whole Party and nation to push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics," said Hu, also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, at the meeting attended by top leaders Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao and Jia Qinglin.

Deng, born to a rural family in Guang'an County in southwest China's Sichuan Province on August 22 of 1904 and passed away in February 1997, had led a distinguished life as "a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, statesman, military strategist and diplomat, and a long-tested Communist fighter, the chief architect of China's socialist reform, opening-up and modernization drive, and founder of Deng Xiaoping Theory," the Chinese President said.

After reviewing Deng's legendary career with "three downs and three ups" during which he never lost hope when wrongly criticized and had no hesitation to stand by what was right for the Party and the nation, Hu said Deng was a man the whole Party should be proud of.

"Whenever the Party and people need him the most and at critical moments in the development of the country, Deng always dare to shoulder heavy burdens, no matter it was during the revolution to build New China, the chaotic period of the 'Cultural Revolution' or in the country's reform, opening-up and modernization drive," Hu said.

President Hu visits an exhibition to mark late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's 100th birthday, which falls on August 22. [Xinhua]
The president especially cited the important role of Deng in handling the political upheavals at home and abroad in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

"Deng, together with other Party veterans, firmly supported the Party and Government to rely on the people to uphold the Four Cardinal Principles, maintain national independence, dignity, security and stability, and unswervingly stick to the central task of economic construction and reform and opening up, thus helping the Party and nation to stand the severe tests and uphold the correct course of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Hu said.

Deng even made great contributions to the nation when he was 88 year old, Hu said, noting that the late leader made a series of important remarks during his inspection tour of south China in 1992, giving an impetus to China's reform, opening up and modernization drive when the nation is bothered by the question where to go after the 1989 disturbances.

Hu also elaborated on many other creative ideas of Deng that shaped China in the past two and half decades:

-- With his deep understanding of Marxism and great political foresight, Deng for the first time gave a systematic answer on how to build, consolidate and further develop socialism in a developing country like China and gave a complete definition of socialism in the preliminary stage.

-- Deng called on the nation to concentrate on development, allow some regions and people to get rich first so they can help others for common prosperity, saying that planning and the market are only means of economic development rather than the symbols of socialism and capitalism.

-- Deng advocated the household responsibility system in agricultural production, which initiated China's reform and lifted millions of Chinese out of poverty.

-- Based on the international situation in the 1980s, Deng reached a major conclusion that peace and development were the two important issues of the contemporary world, which laid a foundation for the Party and government to shift the focus of work to socialist modernization.

-- Deng had long favored the abolishment of cadres' life-long tenure system and he took the lead in practice, playing a decisive role in the smooth transition of the second generation of central collective leadership to the third.

"Deng Xiaoping's blueprint for China 's modernization is gradually being turned into wonderful reality," said Hu.

The goals for the first-step and second-step development have been fulfilled, with people's living standards reaching the level of "xiao kang" (relatively affluent life) in general, said Hu, adding, "We are marching toward the third-step strategic goal with full confidence," which is to raise China's per capita GNP to that of the medium-level developed countries, enable the people to live a fairly affluent life and complete the process of modernization.

"Great progress has been made in the reunification of the motherland, over which Deng had showed great concern, as Hong Kong and Macao have returned to the motherland and maintained prosperity and stability, and we are working for the final settlement of the Taiwan issue," Hu said.

He said the Central Government will stick to the "one country, two systems" policy and seek the reunification of the motherland.

The President called for extensive solidarity of the Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, to oppose and hold back "Taiwan independence" elements and firmly safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We are ready to strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification with our utmost sincerity and utmost efforts, but we are also fully determined and capable of smashing any scheme to separate Taiwan from China," he said.

The president called on the Party and nation to persist in "arming the whole Party and educating the whole nation with Deng Xiaoping Theory and the 'Three Represents' important thought at all time and under all circumstances." The later theory, put forward by Jiang Zemin, core of the third generation leadership ofthe CPC, was reckoned as further development of Deng Xiaoping Theory.

As steps to inherit Deng's political legacy, President Hu underscored the scientific approach to development that focuses on an all-round, balanced and sustainable development on the basis of "putting people first."

To firmly establish and earnestly carry out the scientific approach, he said, the Party and government must work for coordinated development between urban and rural areas, between various regions, between the economy and society, between mankind and nature, and between domestic development and opening to the outside world.

China "must boost the sustained, rapid, balanced and healthy economic growth and ensure the fruit of development benefits all people," he said.

Hu also pledged further development of socialist democracy and the promotion of political reform in an active and steady manner.

"Efforts must be made to develop socialist democracy, improve the socialist legal system, build a socialist country under rule of law, and ensure the people exercise the right to democratic election, democratic policy-making, democratic administration and democratic supervision according to law," he said.

Hu expressed his strong resolution on promoting Party building and pushing forward the fight against corruption at the end of his remark.

The key to successfully handling affairs in China lies in the Communist Party of China and the Party will concentrate on improving its governing capability, combating corruption and guarding against risks, he said.

The Party Central Committee will make unremitting efforts to promote Party building, establish and improve an anti-graft system that fits the socialist market economic system and lays equal emphasis on education, supervision and punishment. "We will unswervingly push forward the fight against corruption," he said.

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