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Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era
Delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China October 18, 2017
Comrades, On behalf of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, I will now deliver a report to the 19th National Congress. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a meeting of great importance taking place during the decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era.
The theme of the Congress is: Remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission. The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. This original aspiration, this mission, is what inspires Chinese Communists to advance. In our Party, each and every one of us must always breathe the same breath as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them. The aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of our efforts. We must keep on striving with endless energy toward the great goal of national rejuvenation.
Both China and the world are in the midst of profound and complex changes. China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development; the prospects are bright but the challenges are severe. All comrades must aim high and look far, be alert to dangers even in times of calm, have the courage to pursue reform and break new ground, and never become hardened to change or inactive. We will unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them to a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and in the drive to secure the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.
I. The Past Five Years: Our Work and Historic Change
The five years since the 18th National Congress have been a truly remarkable five years in the course of the development of the Party and the country. Outside China, we have been confronted with sluggish global economic recovery, frequent outbreaks of regional conflicts and disturbances, and intensifying global issues. At home, we have encountered profound changes as China has entered a new normal in economic development. We have upheld the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, risen to challenges, pioneered and pushed ahead, and made historic achievements in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.
To put the guiding principles from our 18th National Congress into action, the Party Central Committee has held seven plenary sessions. There, decisions and plans were made on issues of major importance, from reforming the institutions and transforming the functions of government to deepening reform in all areas, advancing law-based governance, formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan, and seeing governance over the Party is exercised fully and with rigor. In the past five years, we have implemented the five-sphere integrated plan1 and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy,2 fulfilled the goals of the 12th Five-Year Plan, and made smooth progress in implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan. On all fronts new advances have been made for the cause of the Party and the country.
We have made major achievements in economic development. We have remained committed to the new development philosophy, adopted the right approach to development, and endeavored to transform the growth model. The result has been a constant improvement in the quality and effect of development. The economy has maintained a medium-high growth rate, making China a leader among the major economies. With the gross domestic product rising from 54 trillion to 80 trillion yuan, China has maintained its position as the world’s second largest economy and contributed more than 30 percent of global economic growth.
Supply-side structural reform has made further headway, bringing a steady improvement in the economic structure. Emerging industries like the digital economy are thriving; the construction of high-speed railways, highways, bridges, ports, airports, and other types of infrastructure has picked up pace.
Agricultural modernization has steadily advanced, with annual grain production reaching 600 million metric tons. The level of urbanization has risen by an annual average of 1.2 percentage points, and more than 80 million people who have moved from rural to urban areas have gained permanent urban residency. Regional development has become more balanced; the Belt and Road Initiative,1 the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt have all made notable progress.
Through devoting great energy to implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, we have seen much accomplished toward making China a country of innovators, with major advances made in science and technology, including the successful launch of Tiangong-2 space lab, the commissioning of the deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong and of the five-hundred-meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) Tianyan, the launch of the dark matter probe satellite Wukong and the quantum science satellite Mozi, and the test flight of the airliner C919. Construction on islands and reefs in the South China Sea has seen steady progress.
The new institutions of the open economy have been steadily improved. China now leads the world in trade, outbound investment, and foreign exchange reserves.
We have made major breakthroughs in deepening reform. We have taken comprehensive steps to deepen reform swiftly but steadily, and worked with resolve to remove institutional barriers in all areas. We have taken moves across the board, achieved breakthroughs in many areas, and made further progress in reform. We have pursued reform in a more systematic, holistic, and coordinated way, increasing its coverage and depth. Thanks to the launch of over 1,500 reform measures, breakthroughs have been made in key areas, and general frameworks for reform have been established in major fields. The system of socialism with Chinese characteristics has been further improved, with notable progress made in modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance. Throughout society, development is full of vitality and is driven by greater creativity.
We have taken major steps in developing democracy and the rule of law. We have actively developed socialist democracy and advanced law-based governance. We have stepped up institution building across the board to make integrated advances in Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance; and we have continuously improved the institutions and mechanisms by which the Party exercises leadership. Steady progress has been made in enhancing socialist democracy; intraparty democracy has been expanded, and socialist consultative democracy is flourishing. The patriotic united front has been consolidated and developed, and new approaches have been adopted for work related to ethnic and religious affairs.
Further progress has been made in ensuring our legislation is sound, law enforcement is strict, the administration of justice is impartial, and the law is observed by everyone. Our efforts to build a country, government, and society based on the rule of law have been mutually reinforcing; the system of distinctively Chinese socialist rule of law has been steadily improved; and public awareness of the rule of law has risen markedly. Good progress has been made in piloting the reform of the national supervision system, and effective measures have been taken to reform the system of government administration and the judicial system, and to develop systems to apply checks and oversight over the exercise of power.
We have made significant advances on the theoretical and cultural fronts. We have strengthened Party leadership over ideological work and explored new ground in advancing Party related theories. The importance of Marxism as a guiding ideology is better appreciated. Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream have been embraced by our people. Core socialist values and fine traditional Chinese culture are alive in the people’s hearts. Initiatives to improve public etiquette and ethical standards have proved successful.
Public cultural services have been improved; art and literature are thriving, and cultural programs and industries are going strong. The development, administration, and functioning of internet services have been enhanced. Fitness-for-All programs and competitive sports have seen extensive development. Our country’s underlying values hold greater appeal than ever before, and the wave of positive energy felt throughout society is building. We, the Chinese people, have greater confidence in our own culture. China’s cultural soft power and the international influence of Chinese culture have increased significantly. There is greater unity in thinking both within the Party and throughout society.
We have steadily improved living standards.Our vision of making development people-centered has been acted on, a whole raft of initiatives to benefit the people has seen implementation, and the people’s sense of fulfillment has grown stronger. Decisive progress has been made in the fight against poverty: more than 60 million people have been lifted out of poverty, and the poverty headcount ratio has dropped from 10.2 percent to less than 4 percent.
All-round progress has been made in the development of education, with remarkable advances made in the central and western regions and in rural areas. Employment has registered steady growth, with an average of over 13 million urban jobs created each year. Growth of urban and rural personal incomes has outpaced economic growth, and the middle-income group has been expanding. A social security system covering both urban and rural residents has taken shape; both public health and medical services have improved markedly. Solid progress has been made in building government-subsidized housing projects to ensure basic needs are met. Social governance systems have been improved; law and order has been maintained; and national security has been fully enhanced.
We have made notable progress in building an ecological civilization. We have devoted serious energy to ecological conservation. As a result, the entire Party and the whole country have become more purposeful and active in pursuing green development, and there has been a clear shift away from the tendency to neglect ecological and environmental protection. Efforts to develop a system for building an ecological civilization have been accelerated; the system of functional zoning has been steadily improved; and progress has been made in piloting the national park system. Across-the-board efforts to conserve resources have seen encouraging progress; the intensity of energy and resource consumption has been significantly reduced. Smooth progress has been made in major ecological conservation and restoration projects; and forest coverage has been increased. Ecological and environmental governance has been significantly strengthened, leading to marked improvements in the environment. Taking a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.
We have initiated a new stage in strengthening and revitalizing the armed forces. With a view to realizing the Chinese Dream and the dream of building a powerful military, we have developed a strategy for the military under new circumstances, and have made every effort to modernize national defense and the armed forces. We convened the Gutian military political work meeting to revive and pass on the proud traditions and fine conduct of our Party and our armed forces, and have seen a strong improvement in the political ecosystem of the people’s forces.
Historic breakthroughs have been made in reforming national defense and the armed forces: a new military structure has been established with the Central Military Commission exercising overall leadership, the theater commands responsible for military operations, and the services focusing on developing capabilities. This represents a revolutionary restructuring of the organization and the services of the people’s armed forces. We have strengthened military training and war preparedness, and undertaken major missions related to the protection of maritime rights, countering terrorism, maintaining stability, disaster rescue and relief, international peacekeeping, escort services in the Gulf of Aden, and humanitarian assistance. We have stepped up weapons and equipment development, and made major progress in enhancing military preparedness. The people’s armed forces have taken solid strides on the path of building a powerful military with Chinese characteristics.
We have made fresh progress in work related to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. We have fully and faithfully implemented the principle of “one country, two systems,” and ensured that the central government exercises its overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao as mandated by China’s Constitution and the basic laws of the two special administrative regions. We have thus boosted exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and the two regions and maintained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao. We have upheld the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, promoted the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, strengthened cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and held a historic meeting between the leaders of the two sides. We have responded as appropriate to the political developments in Taiwan, resolutely opposed and deterred separatist elements advocating “Taiwan independence,” and vigorously safeguarded peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.
We have made further progress in China’s diplomacy on all fronts. We have made all-round efforts in the pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, thus advancing China’s diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel, multifaceted way and creating a favorable external environment for China’s development. We have jointly pursued the Belt and Road Initiative, initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, set up the Silk Road Fund, and hosted the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the G20 2016 Summit in Hangzhou, the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, and the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. China champions the development of a community with a shared future for mankind, and has encouraged the evolution of the global governance system. With this we have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.
We have achieved remarkable outcomes in ensuring full and strict governance over the Party. We have made sweeping efforts to strengthen Party leadership and Party building, and taken strong action to transform lax and weak governance over the Party. We encourage all Party members to hold the Party Constitution in great esteem. We urge them to strengthen their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, and to uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership. We have tightened political discipline and rules to ensure that political responsibility for governance over the Party is fulfilled at each level of the Party organization.
We have committed to “examining ourselves in the mirror, tidying our attire, taking a bath, and treating our ailments,” launched activities to see members command and act on the Party’s mass line, and initiated a campaign for the observance of the Three Stricts and Three Earnests.1 We have regularized and institutionalized the requirement for all Party members to have a solid understanding of the Party Constitution, Party regulations, and related major policy addresses and to meet Party standards. As a result, the ideals and convictions of all Party members have been strengthened and their sense of Party consciousness has deepened.
We have adopted standards fitting for a new era to assess the caliber of officials, and achieved a notable improvement in the way officials are selected and appointed. Further advances have been made in the reform of the institutional framework for Party building, and continuous improvements have been made to the system of Party regulations.
We have given top priority to ensuring compliance with Party discipline, and tackled the prominent problems that prompt the strongest public reaction and that threaten to erode the very foundation of the Party’s governance. We adopted the eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct, have taken tough action against the practice of formalities for formalities’ sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance, and have staunchly opposed privilege seeking. Disciplinary inspections have cut like a blade through corruption and misconduct; they have covered every Party committee in all departments at the central and provincial levels. No place has been out of bounds, no ground left unturned, and no tolerance shown in the fight against corruption. We have taken firm action to “take out tigers,” “swat flies,” and “hunt down foxes.” The goal of creating a deterrent against corruption has been initially attained; the cage of institutions that prevents corruption has been strengthened; and moral defenses against corruption are in the making. The anti-corruption campaign has built into a crushing tide, and is being consolidated and developed.
The achievements of the past five years have touched every area and broken new ground; the changes in China over the past five years have been profound and fundamental. For five years, our Party has demonstrated tremendous political courage and a powerful sense of mission as it has developed new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies, adopted a raft of major principles and policies, launched a host of major initiatives, and pushed ahead with many major tasks. We have solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done. With this, we have prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. These historic changes will have a powerful and far-reaching effect on the development of this cause.
Over the past five years, we have acted with courage to confront major risks and tests facing the Party and to address prominent problems within the Party itself. With firm resolve, we have tightened discipline and improved Party conduct, fought corruption and punished wrongdoing, and removed serious potential dangers in the Party and the country. As a result, both the intraparty political atmosphere and the political ecosystem of the Party have improved markedly. The Party’s ability to innovate, power to unite, and energy to fight have all been significantly strengthened; Party solidarity and unity have been reinforced, and our engagement with the people has been greatly improved. Revolutionary tempering has made our Party stronger and it now radiates with great vitality. With this, efforts to develop the cause of the Party and the country have gained a strong political underpinning.
But we must be very clear: There are still many inadequacies in our work and many difficulties and challenges to face. The main ones are as follows. Some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions; and the quality and effect of development are not what they should be. China’s ability to innovate needs to be stronger, the real economy awaits improvement, and we have a long way to go in protecting the environment. In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short; and poverty alleviation remains a formidable task. There are still large disparities in development between rural and urban areas, between regions, and in income distribution; and our people face many difficulties in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care. The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement. Social tensions and problems are intertwined, much remains to be done in seeing the country’s governance is based in law, and China’s system and capacity for governance need to be further strengthened. Ideological struggle is still complicated, and in national security we face new developments. Some reform plans and major policies and measures need to be better implemented. Many dimensions of Party building remain weak. These are all problems that demand our full attention to resolve.
The achievements of the past five years are the result of the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee, and, more importantly, the result of all Party members and all the Chinese people pulling together in their pursuit. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, I express our heartfelt thanks to the people of all ethnic groups, to all other political parties, to people’s organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society, to our fellow countrymen and women in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan, to overseas Chinese, and to all our friends from around the world who have shown understanding and support for China’s modernization.
Comrades, In the early days of reform and opening up, the Party made a clarion call for us to take a path of our own and build socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since that time, the Party has united and led all the Chinese people in a tireless struggle, propelling China into a leading position in terms of economic and technological strength, defense capabilities, and composite national strength. China’s international standing has risen as never before. Our Party, our country, our people, our forces, and our nation have changed in ways without precedent. The Chinese nation, with an entirely new posture, now stands tall and firm in the East.
With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. This is a new historic juncture in China’s development.
This is what socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era means: The Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong; it has come to embrace the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.
This new era will be an era of building on past successes to further advance our cause, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country. It will be an era for the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to work together and work hard to create a better life for themselves and ultimately achieve common prosperity for everyone. It will be an era for all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, to strive with one heart to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind.
As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. China has seen the basic needs of over a billion people met, has basically made it possible for people to live decent lives, and will soon bring the building of a moderately prosperous society to a successful completion. The needs to be met for the people to live better lives are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing. At the same time, China’s overall productive forces have significantly improved and in many areas our production capacity leads the world. The more prominent problem is that our development is unbalanced and inadequate. This has become the main constraining factor in meeting the people’s increasing needs for a better life.
We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society represents a historic shift that affects the whole landscape and that creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country. Building on continued efforts to sustain development, we must devote great energy to addressing development’s imbalances and inadequacies, and push hard to improve the quality and effect of development. With this, we will be better placed to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress.
We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society does not change our assessment of the present stage of socialism in China. The basic dimension of the Chinese context—that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism—has not changed. China’s international status as the world’s largest developing country has not changed. The whole Party must be completely clear about this fundamental dimension of our national context, and must base our work on this most important reality—the primary stage of socialism. We must remain fully committed to the Party’s basic line as the source that keeps the Party and the country going and that brings happiness to the people. We must lead and unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in fulfilling the central task of economic development. We must uphold the Four Cardinal Principles,1 continue to reform and open up, be self-reliant, hardworking, and enterprising, and strive to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
Comrades, Chinese socialism’s entrance into a new era is, in the history of the development of the People’s Republic of China and the history of the development of the Chinese nation, of tremendous importance. In the history of the development of international socialism and the history of the development of human society, it is of tremendous importance. Our entire Party should develop unshakeable confidence, work hard and work well to see socialism with Chinese characteristics display even stronger vitality.
II. The New Era: The Historic Mission of the Communist Party of China
A hundred years ago, the salvoes of the October Revolution brought Marxism-Leninism to China. In the scientific truth of Marxism-Leninism, Chinese progressives saw a solution to China’s problems. With the advent of modern times, Chinese society became embroiled in intense upheavals; this was a time of fierce struggle as the Chinese people resisted feudal rule and foreign aggression. It was in the midst of this, in 1921, as Marxism-Leninism was integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, that the Communist Party of China was born. From that moment on, the Chinese people have had in the Party a backbone for their pursuit of national independence and liberation, of a stronger and more prosperous country, and of their own happiness; and the mindset of the Chinese people has changed, from passivity to taking the initiative.
With a history of more than 5,000 years, our nation created a splendid civilization, made remarkable contributions to mankind, and became one of the world’s great nations. But with the Opium War of 1840, China was plunged into the darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression; its people, ravaged by war, saw their homeland torn apart and lived in poverty and despair. With tenacity and heroism, countless dedicated patriots fought, pressed ahead against the odds, and tried every possible means to seek the nation’s salvation. But despite their efforts, they were powerless to change the nature of society in old China and the plight of the Chinese people.
National rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since modern times began. At its founding, the Communist Party of China made realizing Communism its highest ideal and its ultimate goal, and shouldered the historic mission of national rejuvenation. In pursuing this goal, the Party has united the Chinese people and led them through arduous struggles to epic accomplishments.
Our Party was deeply aware that, to achieve national rejuvenation, it was critical to topple the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism that were oppressing the Chinese people, and realize China’s independence, the people’s liberation, national reunification, and social stability. Our Party united the people and led them in embarking on the right revolutionary path, using rural areas to encircle the cities and seizing state power with military force. We completed the New Democratic Revolution through 28 years of painful struggle, and founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, thus marking China’s great transition from a millennia-old feudal autocracy to a people’s democracy.
Our Party was deeply aware that, to achieve national rejuvenation, it was essential to establish an advanced social system that fits China’s reality. It united the people and led them in completing socialist revolution, establishing socialism as China’s basic system, and advancing socialist construction. This completed the broadest and most profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation. It created the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundation for achieving all development and progress in China today. Thus was made a great transition: The Chinese nation reversed its fate from the continuous decline of modern times to steady progress toward prosperity and strength.
Our Party was deeply aware that, to achieve national rejuvenation, it was imperative to follow the tide of the times, respond to the wishes of the people, and have the courage to reform and open; and this awareness created a powerful force for advancing the cause of the Party and the people. Our Party united the people and led them in launching the great new revolution of reform and opening up, in removing all ideological and institutional barriers to our country and nation’s development, and in embarking on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Thus was China able to stride ahead to catch up with the times.
Over the past 96 years, to accomplish the historic mission of national rejuvenation, whether in times of weakness or strength, whether in times of adversity or smooth sailing, our Party has never forgotten its founding mission, nor wavered in its pursuit. It has united the people and led them in conquering countless challenges, making enormous sacrifices, meeting setbacks squarely, and courageously righting wrongs. Thus we have, time and again, overcome the seemingly insurmountable and created miracle upon miracle.
Comrades, Today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality.
As the Chinese saying goes, the last leg of a journey marks the halfway point. Achieving national rejuvenation will be no walk in the park; it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there. Every one of us in the Party must be prepared to work even harder toward this goal.
Realizing our great dream demands a great struggle. It is in the movement of contradictions that a society advances; where there is contradiction there is struggle. If our Party is to unite and lead the people to effectively respond to major challenges, withstand major risks, overcome major obstacles, and address major conflicts, it must undertake a great struggle with many new contemporary features. All thinking and behavior in the vein of pleasure seeking, inaction and sloth, and problem avoidance are unacceptable.
Every one of us in the Party must do more to uphold Party leadership and the Chinese socialist system, and resolutely oppose all statements and actions that undermine, distort, or negate them. We must do more to protect our people’s interests, and firmly oppose all moves that damage their interests or put distance between the Party and the people. We must do more to channel our energies toward the contemporary current of reform and innovation, and resolvedly address deep-rooted problems. We must do more to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, and staunchly oppose all attempts to split China or undermine its ethnic unity and social harmony and stability. We must do more to guard against all kinds of risks, and work determinedly to prevail over every political, economic, cultural, social, and natural difficulty and challenge. Every Party member must fully appreciate the long-term, complex, and onerous nature of this great struggle; we must be ready to fight, build our ability, and keep striving to secure new victories in this great struggle.
Realizing our great dream demands a great project. This project is the great new project of Party building that is just getting into full swing. As history has shown and will continue to bear witness to, without the leadership of the Communist Party of China, national rejuvenation would be just wishful thinking. To remain the vanguard of the times, the backbone of the nation, and a Marxist governing party, our Party must always hold itself to the highest standards. Every Party member must be more actively involved in enhancing Party consciousness, and demonstrate commitment to Party principles. We must have the courage to face problems squarely, be braced for the pain, act to remove whatever undermines the Party’s purity and advanced nature, and rid ourselves of any virus that erodes the Party’s health. We must keep on strengthening the Party’s ability to lead politically, to guide through theory, to organize the people, and to inspire society, thus ensuring that the Party’s great vitality and strong ability are forever maintained.
Realizing our great dream demands a great cause. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been the focus of all of the Party’s theories and practice since reform and opening up began. It is the fundamental achievement of our Party and our people made through countless hardships at enormous cost.
The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only path to socialist modernization and a better life for the people. The theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the right theory to guide the Party and people to realize national rejuvenation. The system of socialism with Chinese characteristics provides the fundamental institutional guarantee for progress and development in contemporary China. The culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a powerful source of strength that inspires all members of the Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China. Our whole Party must strengthen our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must neither retrace our steps to the rigidity and isolation of the past, nor take the wrong turn by changing our nature and abandoning our system. We must maintain our political orientation, do the good solid work that sees our country thrive, and continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
This great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream are closely connected, flow seamlessly into each other, and are mutually reinforcing. Among them, the great new project of Party building plays the decisive role. All work to advance this project must go hand in hand with that geared toward the struggle, the cause, and the dream. We must see that as history progresses and the world undergoes profound changes, the Party remains always ahead of the times; that as history progresses and we respond to risks and tests at home and abroad, the Party remains always the backbone of the nation; and that as history progresses and we continue to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party remains always a powerful leadership core.
Comrades, Our mission is a call to action; our mission steers the course to the future. We must live up to the trust the people have placed in us and prove ourselves worthy of history’s choice. In the great endeavors of building socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, let us get behind the strong leadership of the Party and engage in a tenacious struggle. Let all of us, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, come together, keep going, and create a mighty force that enables us to realize the Chinese Dream.
III. The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the Basic Policy
Since our 18th National Congress, changes both in and outside China, and the progress made in all areas of China’s endeavors, have presented us with a profound question—the question of an era. Our answer must be a systematic combination of theory and practice and must address what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop, and how we should go about doing it. This involves fundamental issues like the overarching objectives, tasks, plan, and strategy for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era; like the direction, model, and driving force of development, and the strategic steps, external conditions, and political guarantees. As well as this, to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, we should, based on new practice, undertake theoretical analysis and produce policy guidance on the economy, political affairs, rule of law, science and technology, culture, education, the wellbeing of our people, ethnic and religious affairs, social development, ecological conservation, national security, defense and the armed forces, the principle of “one country, two systems” and national reunification, the united front, foreign affairs, and Party building.
In answering this question, our Party has been guided by Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It has continued to free our minds, seek truth from facts, move with the times, and apply a realistic and pragmatic approach. In answering this question, our Party has continued to uphold dialectical and historical materialism; has considered carefully the new conditions of the era and the new requirements of practice; and has adopted an entirely new perspective to deepen its understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a Communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society. It has worked hard to undertake theoretical explorations, and has achieved major theoretical innovations, ultimately giving shape to the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era makes the following things clear: It makes clear that the overarching goal of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernization and national rejuvenation, and, that on the basis of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a two-step approach should be taken to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the century.
It makes clear that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. We must therefore continue commitment to our people-centered philosophy of development, and work to promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone.
It makes clear that the overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the five-sphere integrated plan, and the overall strategy is the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. It highlights the importance of fostering stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It makes clear that the overall goal of deepening reform in every field is to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernize China’s system and capacity for governance.
It makes clear that the overall goal of comprehensively advancing law-based governance is to establish a system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics and build a country of socialist rule of law. It makes clear that the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era is to build the people’s forces into world-class forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct. It makes clear that major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
It makes clear that the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China; the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China; the Party is the highest force for political leadership. It sets forth the general requirements for Party building in the new era and underlines the importance of political work in Party building.
The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and encapsulates the practical experience and collective wisdom of our Party and the people. It is an important component of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for all our members and all the Chinese people as we strive to achieve national rejuvenation. This Thought must be adhered to and steadily developed on a long-term basis.
Everyone in the Party should develop a good grasp of the essence and rich implications of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and fully and faithfully apply it in all our work.
1. Ensuring Party leadership over all work
The Party exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in every part of the country. We must strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment. We must work harder to uphold the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee, and closely follow the Central Committee in terms of our thinking, political orientation, and actions. We must improve the institutions and mechanisms for upholding Party leadership, remain committed to the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, and ensure coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. We must strengthen the Party’s ability and resolve to chart our course, craft overall plans, design policy, and promote reform; and we must ensure the Party always provides overall leadership and coordinates the efforts of all involved.
2. Committing to a people-centered approach The people are the creators of history; they are the fundamental force that determines our Party and country’s future. We must ensure the principal status of the people, and adhere to the Party’s commitment to serving the public good and exercising power in the interests of the people. We must observe the Party’s fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people, and put into practice the Party’s mass line in all aspects of governance. We must regard as our goal the people’s aspirations to live a better life, and rely on the people to move history forward.
3. Continuing to comprehensively deepen reform Only with socialism can we save China; only with reform and opening can we develop China, develop socialism, and develop Marxism. We must uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and continue to modernize China’s system and capacity for governance. We must have the determination to get rid of all outdated thinking and ideas and all institutional ailments, and to break through the blockades of vested interests. We should draw on the achievements of other civilizations, develop a set of institutions that are well conceived, fully built, procedure based, and efficiently functioning, and do full justice to the strengths of China’s socialist system.
4. Adopting a new vision for development Development is the underpinning and the key for solving all our country’s problems; our development must be sound development. We must pursue with firmness of purpose the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. We must uphold and improve China’s basic socialist economic system and socialist distribution system. There must be no irresolution about working to consolidate and develop the public sector; and there must be no irresolution about working to encourage, support, and guide the development of the non-public sector. We must see that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation, the government plays its role better, and new industrialization, IT application, urbanization, and agricultural modernization go hand in hand. We must actively participate in and promote economic globalization, develop an open economy of higher standards, and continue to increase China’s economic power and composite strength.
5. Seeing that the people run the country
Commitment to the organic unity of Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance is a natural element of socialist political advancement. We must keep to the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics; uphold and improve the system of people’s congresses, the system of Party-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of community-level self-governance; and consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic united front. We should develop socialist consultative democracy, improve our democratic institutions, diversify our forms of democracy, and establish more democratic channels. We must see to it that the principle of the people running the country is put into practice in China’s political and social activities.
6. Ensuring every dimension of governance is law-based Law-based governance is an essential requirement and important guarantee for socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must exercise Party leadership at every point in the process and over every dimension of law-based governance, and be fully committed to promoting socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics. We must improve the Chinese socialist system of laws, at the heart of which is the Constitution; establish a Chinese system of socialist rule of law; build a socialist country based on the rule of law; and develop Chinese socialist rule of law theory. We must pursue coordinated progress in law-based governance, law-based exercise of state power, and law-based government administration, and promote the integrated development of rule of law for the country, the government, and society. We must continue to promote a combination of rule of law and rule of virtue, and combine law-based governance of the country and rule-based governance over the Party. We must further the reform of the judicial system, and strengthen rule of law awareness among all our people while also enhancing their moral integrity.
7. Upholding core socialist values Cultural confidence represents a fundamental and profound force that sustains the development of a country and a nation. We must uphold Marxism, firm up and further build the ideal of Communism and a shared ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and nurture and practice core socialist values, while making continued and greater efforts to maintain the initiative and ensure we have our say in the realm of ideology. We must promote the creative evolution and development of fine traditional Chinese culture, see our revolutionary culture remains alive and strong, and develop an advanced socialist culture. We should cherish our cultural roots, draw on other cultures, and be forward-thinking. We should do more to foster a Chinese spirit, Chinese values, and Chinese strength to provide a source of cultural and moral guidance for our people.
8. Ensuring and improving living standards through development The wellbeing of the people is the fundamental goal of development. We must do more to improve the lives and address the concerns of the people, and use development to strengthen areas of weakness and promote social fairness and justice. We should make steady progress in ensuring people’s access to childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance. We will intensify poverty alleviation, see that all our people have a greater sense of fulfillment as they contribute to and gain from development, and continue to promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone. We will continue the Peaceful China initiative, strengthen and develop new forms of social governance, and ensure social harmony and stability. We must work hard to see that our country enjoys enduring peace and stability and our people live and work in contentment.
9. Ensuring harmony between human and nature Building an ecological civilization is vital to sustain the Chinese nation’s development. We must realize that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and act on this understanding, implement our fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives. We will adopt a holistic approach to conserving our mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, and grasslands, implement the strictest possible systems for environmental protection, and develop eco-friendly growth models and ways of life. We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems. We must continue the Beautiful China initiative to create good working and living environments for our people and play our part in ensuring global ecological security.
10. Pursuing a holistic approach to national security We should ensure both development and security and be ever ready to protect against potential dangers in time of peace. This is a major principle underlying the Party’s governance. We must put national interests first, take protecting our people’s security as our mission and safeguarding political security as a fundamental task, and ensure both internal and external security, homeland and public security, traditional and non-traditional security, and China’s own and common security. We will improve our systems and institutions and enhance capacity-building for national security, and resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.
11. Upholding absolute Party leadership over the people’s armed forces Building people’s forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct is strategically important to achieving the two centenary goals1 and national rejuvenation. To realize the Party’s goal of building a powerful military in the new era, we must fully implement the fundamental principles and systems of Party leadership over the military, and see that Party strategy on strengthening military capabilities for the new era guides work to build national defense and the armed forces. We must continue to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, strengthen them through reform and technology, and run them in accordance with law. We must place greater focus on combat, encourage innovation, build systems, increase efficacy and efficiency, and further military-civilian integration.
12. Upholding the principle of “one country, two systems” and promoting national reunification Maintaining lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao and achieving China’s full reunification are essential to realizing national rejuvenation. We must ensure both the central government’s overall jurisdiction over the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and a high degree of autonomy in the two regions. We should ensure that the principle of “one country, two systems” remains unchanged, is unwaveringly upheld, and in practice is not bent or distorted. We must uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, deepen economic cooperation and cultural exchange between the two sides of the Straits, and encourage fellow Chinese on both sides to oppose all separatist activities and work together to realize Chinese national rejuvenation.
13. Promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankindThe dream of the Chinese people is closely connected with the dreams of the peoples of other countries; the Chinese Dream can be realized only in a peaceful international environment and under a stable international order. We must keep in mind both our internal and international imperatives, stay on the path of peaceful development, and continue to pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. We will uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, and will foster new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. We will pursue open, innovative, and inclusive development that benefits everyone; boost cross-cultural exchanges characterized by harmony within diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual learning; and cultivate ecosystems based on respect for nature and green development. China will continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order.
14. Exercising full and rigorous governance over the Party To have the courage to carry out self-reform and conduct strict self-governance: this is the most distinctive part of our Party’s character. We must uphold the Party Constitution as our fundamental rules, give top priority to the political work of the Party, combine efforts on ideological work and institution building, and strengthen Party competence in all respects. We must focus on oversight over the “key few,” by which we mean leading officials, and see that the principle of Three Stricts and Three Earnests are observed. We must uphold democratic centralism, ensure that intraparty political activities are carried out in earnest, impose strict Party discipline, and strengthen internal oversight. We must develop a positive and healthy political culture in the Party and improve the Party’s political ecosystem, resolutely correct misconduct in all its forms, and show zero tolerance for corruption. We will continue to strengthen the Party’s ability to purify, improve, and reform itself, and forever maintain its close ties with the people.
The above 14 points form the basic policy that underpins our endeavors to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. All our members must fully implement the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy so as to better steer the development of the Party and people’s cause.
Just as there are no bounds to practice, there is no end to theoretical exploration. The world is changing with every second, every moment; and China, too, is changing with every second, every moment. We must ensure our theory evolves with the times, deepen our appreciation of objective laws, and advance our theoretical, practical, institutional, cultural, and other explorations.
Comrades, The era is the mother of thought; practice is the fount of theory. If we respond to the call of our times and have the courage to uphold truth and correct errors, the Marxism of 21st century China will, without a doubt, emanate more mighty, more compelling power of truth.
IV. Securing a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Embarking on a Journey to Fully Build a Modern Socialist China
After adopting the policy of reform and opening up, our Party laid out three strategic goals for achieving socialist modernization in China. The first two—ensuring that people’s basic needs are met and that their lives are generally decent—have been accomplished ahead of time. Building on this, our Party then developed the vision that by the time we celebrate our centenary, we will have developed our society into a moderately prosperous one with a stronger economy, greater democracy, more advanced science and education, thriving culture, greater social harmony, and a better quality of life. After this, with another 30 years of work, and by the time we celebrate the centenary of the People’s Republic of China, we will have basically achieved modernization and turned China into a modern socialist country.
The period between now and 2020 will be decisive in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We must follow the requirements on building this society set out at our 16th, 17th, and 18th National Congresses, act in response to the evolution of the principal contradiction in Chinese society, and promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement. We must show firm resolve in implementing the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the strategy on developing a quality workforce, the innovation-driven development strategy, the rural vitalization strategy, the coordinated regional development strategy, the sustainable development strategy, and the military-civilian integration strategy.
We must focus on priorities, address inadequacies, and shore up points of weakness. In this regard, I want to stress that we must take tough steps to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, and prevent and control pollution, so that the moderately prosperous society we build earns the people’s approval and stands the test of time.
The period between the 19th and the 20th National Congress is the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. In this period, not only must we finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the first centenary goal; we must also build on this achievement to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country.
Based on a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China’s development, we have drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century.
In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. The vision is that by the end of this stage, the following goals will have been met:
China’s economic and technological strength has increased significantly. China has become a global leader in innovation. The rights of the people to participate and to develop as equals are adequately protected. The rule of law for the country, the government, and society is basically in place. Institutions in all fields are further improved; the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance is basically achieved.
Social etiquette and civility are significantly enhanced. China’s cultural soft power has grown much stronger; Chinese culture has greater appeal. People are leading more comfortable lives, and the size of the middle-income group has grown considerably. Disparities in urban-rural development, in development between regions, and in living standards are significantly reduced; equitable access to basic public services is basically ensured; and solid progress has been made toward prosperity for everyone.
A modern social governance system has basically taken shape, and society is full of vitality, harmonious, and orderly. There is a fundamental improvement in the environment; the goal of building a Beautiful China is basically attained. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. By the end of this stage, the following goals will have been met:
New heights are reached in every dimension of material, political, cultural and ethical, social, and ecological advancement. Modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance is achieved. China has become a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence. Common prosperity for everyone is basically achieved. The Chinese people enjoy happier, safer, and healthier lives. The Chinese nation will become a proud and active member of the community of nations.
Comrades, This is our strategic vision for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era: Finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, move on to basically realizing modernization, and then turn to making China a great modern socialist country in every dimension. We must work with resolve and tenacity and strive to write a brilliant chapter on our new journey to socialist modernization.
V. Applying a New Vision of Development and Developing a Modernized Economy
To deliver on the two centenary goals, realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and steadily improve our people’s lives, we must continue to pursue development as the Party’s top priority in governance; we must unleash and develop productive forces, continue reforms to develop the socialist market economy, and promote sustained and sound economic growth.
China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. This is a pivotal stage for transforming our growth model, improving our economic structure, and fostering new drivers of growth. It is imperative that we develop a modernized economy. This is both an urgent requirement for getting us smoothly through this critical transition and a strategic goal for China’s development.
We must put quality first and give priority to performance. We should pursue supply-side structural reform as our main task, and work hard for better quality, higher efficiency, and more robust drivers of economic growth through reform. We need to raise total factor productivity and accelerate the building of an industrial system that promotes coordinated development of the real economy with technological innovation, modern finance, and human resources. We should endeavor to develop an economy with more effective market mechanisms, dynamic micro-entities, and sound macro-regulation. This will steadily strengthen the innovation capacity and competitiveness of China’s economy.
1. Furthering supply-side structural reform In developing a modernized economy, we must focus on the real economy, give priority to improving the quality of the supply system, and enhance our economy’s strength in terms of quality. We will work faster to build China into a manufacturer of quality and develop advanced manufacturing, promote further integration of the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real economy, and foster new growth areas and drivers of growth in medium-high end consumption, innovation-driven development, the green and low-carbon economy, the sharing economy, modern supply chains, and human capital services. We will support traditional industries in upgrading themselves and accelerate development of modern service industries to elevate them to international standards. We will move Chinese industries up to the medium-high end of the global value chain, and foster a number of world-class advanced manufacturing clusters.
We will strengthen infrastructure networks for water conservancy, railways, highways, waterways, aviation, pipelines, power grids, information, and logistics. We will continue efforts to cut overcapacity, reduce excess inventory, deleverage, lower costs, and strengthen areas of weakness, and work to achieve a dynamic balance between supply and demand by improving the allocation of available resources and increasing high-quality supply. We will inspire and protect entrepreneurship, and encourage more entities to make innovations and start businesses. We will build an educated, skilled, and innovative workforce, foster respect for model workers, promote quality workmanship, and see that taking pride in labor becomes a social norm and seeking excellence is valued as a good work ethic.
2. Making China a country of innovators Innovation is the primary driving force behind development; it is the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy. We should aim for the frontiers of science and technology, strengthen basic research, and make major breakthroughs in pioneering basic research and groundbreaking and original innovations. We will strengthen basic research in applied sciences, launch major national science and technology projects, and prioritize innovation in key generic technologies, cutting-edge frontier technologies, modern engineering technologies, and disruptive technologies. These efforts will provide powerful support for building China’s strength in science and technology, product quality, aerospace, cyberspace, and transportation; and for building a digital China and a smart society.
We will improve our national innovation system and boost our strategic scientific and technological strength. We will further reform the management system for science and technology, and develop a market-oriented system for technological innovation in which enterprises are the main players and synergy is created through the joint efforts of enterprises, universities, and research institutes. We will support innovation by small and medium-sized enterprises and encourage the application of advances in science and technology. We will foster a culture of innovation, and strengthen the creation, protection, and application of intellectual property. We should cultivate a large number of world-class scientists and technologists in strategically important fields, scientific and technological leaders, and young scientists and engineers, as well as high-performing innovation teams.
3. Pursuing a rural vitalization strategy Issues relating to agriculture, rural areas, and rural people are fundamental to China as they directly concern our country’s stability and our people’s wellbeing. Addressing these issues should have a central place on the work agenda of the Party, and we must prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas. To build rural areas with thriving businesses, pleasant living environments, social etiquette and civility, effective governance, and prosperity, we need to put in place sound systems, mechanisms, and policies for promoting integrated urban-rural development, and speed up the modernization of agriculture and rural areas.
We will consolidate and improve the basic rural operation system, advance reform of the rural land system, and improve the system for separating the ownership rights, contract rights, and management rights for contracted rural land. Rural land contracting practices will remain stable and unchanged on a long-term basis; the current round of contracts will be extended for another 30 years upon expiration. We will press ahead with reform of the rural collective property rights system, safeguard the property rights and interests of rural people, and strengthen the collective economy.
We must ensure China’s food security so that we always have control over our own food supply. We will establish industrial, production, and business operation systems for modern agriculture, and improve the systems for supporting and protecting agriculture. We will develop appropriately scaled agricultural operations of various forms, cultivate new types of agribusiness, improve specialized agricultural services, and encourage small household farmers to become involved in modern agriculture. We will promote the integrated development of the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in rural areas, support and encourage employment and business startups there, and open up more channels to increase rural incomes. We will strengthen basic services in rural communities, and improve the rural governance model which combines self-governance, rule of law, and rule of virtue. We will train professional rural service personnel who have a good knowledge of agriculture, love our rural areas, and care about rural people.
4. Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy We will devote more energy to speeding up the development of old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas, and poor areas. We will strengthen measures to reach a new stage in the large-scale development of the western region; deepen reform to accelerate the revitalization of old industrial bases in the northeast and other parts of the country; help the central region rise by tapping into local strengths; and support the eastern region in taking the lead in pursuing optimal development through innovation. To this end, we need to put in place new, effective mechanisms to ensure coordinated development of different regions.
We will create networks of cities and towns based on city clusters, enabling the coordinated development of cities of different sizes and small towns, and speed up work on granting permanent urban residency to people who move from rural to urban areas. We will relieve Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the capital and use this effort to drive the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region; and we will develop forward-looking plans and adopt high standards for building the Xiongan New Area. We will facilitate the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt by promoting well-coordinated environmental conservation and avoiding excessive development. Support will be given to resource-depleted areas in their economic transformation. We will accelerate development in the border areas, and ensure their stability and security. We will pursue coordinated land and marine development, and step up efforts to build China into a strong maritime country.
5. Accelerating efforts to improve the socialist market economy In our economic reforms, we must concentrate on improving the property rights system and ensuring the market-based allocation of factors of production, so that property rights act as effective incentives. We should ensure free flows of factors, flexible prices, fair and orderly competition, and that business survival is determined by competition. We will improve the systems for managing different types of state assets, and reform the system of authorized operation of state capital. In the state-owned sector, we will step up improved distribution, structural adjustment, and strategic reorganization. We will work to see that state assets maintain and increase their value; we will support state capital in becoming stronger, doing better, and growing bigger, and take effective measures to prevent the loss of state assets.
We will further reform of state-owned enterprises, develop mixed-ownership economic entities, and turn Chinese enterprises into world-class, globally competitive firms. We will introduce a negative list for market access nationwide, sort through and do away with regulations and practices that impede the development of a unified market and fair competition, support the growth of private businesses, and stimulate the vitality of various market entities.
We will deepen reforms in the business sector, break administrative monopolies, preclude the forming of market monopolies, speed up the reform of market-based pricing of factors of production, relax control over market access in the service sector, and improve market oversight mechanisms. We will develop new methods to improve macro-regulation, give full play to the strategic guidance of national development plans, and improve mechanisms for coordinating fiscal, monetary, industrial, regional, and other economic policies.
We will improve systems and mechanisms for stimulating consumer spending, and leverage the fundamental role of consumption in promoting economic growth. We will deepen reform of the investment and financing systems, and enable investment to play a crucial role in improving the supply structure. We will expedite the creation of a modern public finance system, and establish a fiscal relationship between the central and local governments built upon clearly defined powers and responsibilities, appropriate financial resource allocation, and greater balance between regions.
We will put in place a comprehensive, procedure-based, transparent budget system that uses well-conceived standards and imposes effective constraints; and we will implement performance-based management nationwide. We will deepen reform of the taxation system, and improve the local tax system. We will deepen institutional reform in the financial sector, make it better serve the real economy, increase the proportion of direct financing, and promote the healthy development of a multilevel capital market. We will improve the framework of regulation underpinned by monetary policy and macro-prudential policy, and see that interest rates and exchange rates become more market-based. We will improve the financial regulatory system to forestall systemic financial risks.
6. Making new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts Openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind. China will not close its door to the world; we will only become more and more open. We should pursue the Belt and Road Initiative as a priority, give equal emphasis to ”bringing in” and “going global,” follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and increase openness and cooperation in building innovation capacity. With these efforts, we hope to make new ground in opening China further through links running eastward and westward, across land and over sea. We will expand foreign trade, develop new models and new forms of trade, and turn China into a trader of quality.
We will adopt policies to promote high-standard liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment; we will implement the system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list across the board, significantly ease market access, further open the service sector, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. All businesses registered in China will be treated equally.
We will improve the balance in opening our different regions, and open the western region wider. We will grant more powers to pilot free trade zones to conduct reform, and explore the opening of free trade ports. We will develop new ways of making outbound investments, promote international cooperation on production capacity, form globally-oriented networks of trade, investment and financing, production, and services, and build up our strengths for international economic cooperation and competition.
Comrades, Unlocking and developing the productive forces is a fundamental task of socialism. We must inspire creativity and vitality throughout society, and strive to achieve better quality, more efficient, fairer, and more sustainable development.
VI. Improving the System of Institutions through Which the People Run the Country and Developing Socialist Democracy
China is a socialist country of people’s democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the working class based on an alliance of workers and farmers; it is a country where all power of the state belongs to the people. China’s socialist democracy is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective democracy to safeguard the fundamental interests of the people. The very purpose of developing socialist democracy is to give full expression to the will of the people, protect their rights and interests, spark their creativity, and provide systemic and institutional guarantees to ensure the people run the country.
The path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics is the logical outcome of the evolution of history, theory, and practice as the Chinese people have long engaged in struggles since the advent of modern times. It is a requisite for maintaining the very nature of the Party and fulfilling its fundamental purpose. No two political systems are entirely the same, and a political system cannot be judged in abstraction without regard for its social and political context, its history, and its cultural traditions. No one political system should be regarded as the only choice; and we should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries.
We must uphold long term and steadily strengthen China’s socialist democracy, make active and prudent efforts to advance the reform of the political system, and improve the institutions, standards, and procedures of socialist democracy. We should ensure that people participate, in accordance with law and in various ways and forms, in the management of state, economic, cultural, and social affairs, and consolidate and enhance political stability, unity, and vitality.
1. Upholding the unity of Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance
Party leadership is the fundamental guarantee for ensuring that the people run the country and governance in China is law-based; that the people run the country is an essential feature of socialist democracy; and law-based governance is the basic way for the Party to lead the people in governing the country. These three elements are integral components of socialist democracy.
In China’s political life, our Party exercises leadership. Strengthening the centralized, unified leadership of the Party on the one hand and, on the other, supporting the people’s congresses, governments, committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), courts, and procuratorates in performing their functions and playing their roles in accordance with the law and their charters, form a unified pair.
We will improve the way the Party exercises leadership and governance to ensure that it leads the people in effectively governing the country. We will expand the people’s orderly political participation to see that in accordance with law they engage in democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management, and oversight. We should uphold the unity, sanctity, and authority of China’s legal system, and strengthen legal protection for human rights to ensure that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law. We should both consolidate government and improve the institutions of democracy at the primary level to ensure the people’s rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard, and to oversee.
We will improve mechanisms for law-based decision-making, and put in place mechanisms for the exercise of power that ensure sound decision-making, resolute execution, and effective oversight. Officials at all levels must deepen their understanding of democracy, be democratic in their conduct, willingly accept public oversight, and perform as they should in their role as public servants.