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新华网 2021-11-18 09:20


II. Socialist Revolution and Construction

In the period of socialist revolution and construction, the main tasks of the Party were to realize the transformation from new democracy to socialism, carry out socialist revolution, promote socialist construction, and lay down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for national rejuvenation.

After the founding of the People’s Republic, the Party led the people in surmounting a multitude of political, economic, and military challenges. It cleared out bandits and remnant KMT reactionary forces, peacefully liberated Tibet, and unified the entire mainland. It stabilized prices, unified standards for finances and the economy, completed the agrarian reform, and launched democratic reforms in all sectors of society. It introduced the policy of equal rights for men and women, suppressed counter-revolutionaries, and launched movements against the “three evils” of corruption, waste, and bureaucracy and against the “five evils” of bribery, tax evasion, theft of state property, cheating on government contracts, and stealing of economic information. As the stains of the old society were wiped out, China took on a completely new look.
Meanwhile, the Chinese People’s Volunteers marched valiantly across the Yalu River to fight alongside the Korean people and troops. They ultimately defeated a powerful enemy that was armed to the teeth, demonstrating the gallantry of our army and our country, and the unyielding spirit of our people. China’s resounding victory in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea safeguarded the security of the nascent People’s Republic, and testified to its status as a major country. The new China thus gained a firm foothold amid complex domestic and international environments.

Under the Party’s leadership, a government of people’s democratic dictatorship was established and consolidated, which was led by the working class and based on an alliance of workers and peasants. This created the conditions necessary for the country’s rapid development.

In 1949, the Common Program of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was passed at the CPPCC’s first plenary session. In 1953, the Party officially set forth the general line for the transition period, namely gradually realizing the country’s socialist industrialization and socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts, and capitalist industry and commerce over a fairly long period of time. In 1954, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the first session of the First National People’s Congress. In 1956, China basically completed the socialist transformation of private ownership of the means of production, and put into practice public ownership of the means of production and distribution according to work, thus marking the establishment of the socialist economic system.

Under the Party’s leadership, China established the system of people’s congresses, the system of CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation, and the system of regional ethnic autonomy, providing institutional guarantees for ensuring that it is the people who run the country. Under the Party’s leadership, China also forged and strengthened unity among people of all ethnic groups, established and developed socialist ethnic relations based on equality and mutual assistance, and achieved and cemented unity between workers, peasants, intellectuals, and people from other social strata across the country. As a result, a broad united front was consolidated and expanded. The establishment of the socialist system laid the foundation for all of China’s subsequent progress and development.

In light of the domestic situation following socialist transformation, the Party propounded at its Eighth National Congress that the main contradiction in China was no longer the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie, but rather that between the demand of the people for rapid economic and cultural development and the reality that the country’s economy and culture fell short of the needs of the people. Therefore, the major task facing the nation was to concentrate on developing the productive forces and realize industrialization in order to gradually meet the people’s growing material and cultural needs. The Party called on the people to redouble their efforts to build China step by step into a strong socialist country with modern agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology, and it led them in carrying out large-scale socialist construction across the board.

Through the execution of several five-year plans, an independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economic framework were established, the conditions of agricultural production were markedly improved, and impressive progress was made in social programs such as education, science, culture, health, and sports. With continuous breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies, including nuclear weapons, missiles, and satellites, China’s defense industries underwent steady growth after starting from scratch. The People’s Liberation Army continued to grow in strength, expanding from ground forces alone into a composite military force comprised of the navy, air force, and other specialized units. This provided firm support for the People’s Republic to consolidate the newborn people’s government, establish China’s position as a major country, and defend the nation’s dignity.

The Party adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace, championed and upheld the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and firmly defended China’s independence, sovereignty, and dignity. It provided support and assistance for other oppressed nations in seeking liberation, for newly independent countries in their pursuit of development, and for various peoples as they put up just struggles, and stood opposed to imperialism, hegemonism, colonialism, and racism. The humiliating diplomacy of the old China was put to an end.

The Party adjusted its diplomatic strategies in light of evolving circumstances, worked to restore all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, opened up new horizons for China’s diplomacy, and fostered commitment to the one-China principle among the international community. The Party put forward the theory of the differentiation of the three worlds and made the promise that China would never seek hegemony, earning respect and acclaim from the international community and developing countries in particular.

The Party fully foresaw the new challenges it would face after assuming power over the whole country. As early as at the second plenary session of its Seventh Central Committee which was held shortly before nationwide victory was attained in the War of Liberation, the Party called on all members to remain modest, prudent, and free from arrogance and rashness in their work, and to preserve the style of plain living and hard struggle. After the founding of the People’s Republic, the Party focused on the major issue of Party building in the context of governing, and worked to strengthen the Party and consolidate Party leadership ideologically, organizationally, and in terms of conduct. The Party bolstered efforts to encourage officials to study theory and increase their knowledge, improved its capacity for exercising leadership, and demanded that all members, especially high-ranking officials, act with a greater sense of purpose to safeguard Party unity and solidarity. Rectification campaigns were carried out throughout the Party to strengthen education within the Party, consolidate primary-level organizations, raise membership requirements, and oppose bureaucratism, commandism, graft, and waste. The Party was on high alert against corruption, worked hard to prevent degeneracy among officials, and responded to corruption with firm punishment. These important measures strengthened the integrity of the Party and the solidarity of all Party members, built closer ties between the Party and the people, and accumulated essential starting experience for building a governing party.

During this period, Comrade Mao Zedong proposed a second round of efforts to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with China’s realities. Chinese communists, with Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, enriched and developed Mao Zedong Thought by taking stock of new realities, and put forward a series of important theories for socialist construction. These included recognizing that socialist society was a long historical period; strictly differentiating between two types of contradictions, namely those between the people and the enemy and those among the people, and properly dealing with these contradictions; handling the ten major relationships in China’s socialist construction appropriately; finding a path to industrialization suited to China’s realities; respecting the law of value; implementing the principle of long-term coexistence and mutual oversight between the Communist Party and other political parties; and applying the principle of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend to scientific and cultural work. These creative theoretical achievements maintain important guiding significance to this day.

Mao Zedong Thought represents a creative application and advancement of Marxism-Leninism in China. It is a summation of theories, principles, and experience on China’s revolution and construction that has been proven correct through practice, and its establishment marked the first historic step in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. The living soul of Mao Zedong Thought is the positions, viewpoints, and methods embodied in its constituent parts, which are reflected in three basic points—seeking truth from facts, following the mass line, and staying independent. These have provided sound guidance for developing the cause of the Party and the people.

Regrettably, the correct line adopted at the Party’s Eighth National Congress was not fully upheld. Mistakes were made such as the Great Leap Forward and the people’s commune movement, and the scope of the struggle against Rightists was also made far too broad. Confronted with a grave and complex external environment at the time, the Party was extremely concerned about consolidating China’s socialist state power, and made a wide range of efforts in this regard. However, Comrade Mao Zedong’s theoretical and practical errors concerning class struggle in a socialist society became increasingly serious, and the Central Committee failed to rectify these mistakes in good time. Under a completely erroneous appraisal of the prevailing class relations and the political situation in the Party and the country, Comrade Mao Zedong launched and led the Cultural Revolution. The counter-revolutionary cliques of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing took advantage of Comrade Mao Zedong’s mistakes, and committed many crimes that brought disaster to the country and the people, resulting in ten years of domestic turmoil which caused the Party, the country, and the people to suffer the most serious losses and setbacks since the founding of the People’s Republic. This was an extremely bitter lesson. Acting on the will of the Party and the people, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee resolutely smashed the Gang of Four in October 1976, putting an end to the catastrophic Cultural Revolution.

From the founding of the People’s Republic to the eve of reform and opening up, the Party led the people in completing the socialist revolution, eliminating all systems of exploitation, and bringing about the most extensive and profound social change in the history of the Chinese nation and a great transformation from a poor and backward Eastern country with a large population to a socialist country. Despite the serious setbacks it encountered in the process of exploration, the Party made creative theoretical achievements and great progress in socialist revolution and construction, which provided valuable experience, theoretical preparation, and material foundations for launching socialism with Chinese characteristics into a new historical period.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the people showed the world that the Chinese people were not only capable of dismantling the old world, but also of building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism could develop China.

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