CPC does not shun mistakes in new book on its history

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"An intensive and truthful presentation of both achievements and mistakes" has been the general impression among Chinese experts about the newly-published history of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which focuses on the 1949-1978 period.

After 16 years being compiled, the second book of a series on the CPC history came off the press on Jan. 11, 20 years after the first book, which documented the history from the birth of the CPC in 1921 to the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.

The new book documents CPC history from the founding of the New China to the holding of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, which is regarded as a watershed in China's reform and opening up drive.

The book aroused special concerns from the general public regarding the attitude the CPC would adopt in presenting the history in this period, during which the country was put to severe tests, including the 10-year turmoil during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

"The new book faithfully depicts the Party's mistakes and their aftermath with no evasion or romancing," said Feng Xianzhi, an expert on CPC history, at a seminar devoted to the new history book Friday.

"For the mistakes the Party had committed, the book gives an overall analysis, instead of general and over-simplified criticism," said Feng, also former director of the Party Literature Research Center of the CPC Central Committee.

"It also gives a fairly truthful appraisal on important past figures, by pointing out both their contributions and mistakes," he said.

The new book, which is a gift meant to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC in July this year, was compiled by the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee.

With the title, "The turmoil of the Cultural Revolution and the collapse of the counter-revolutionary cliques of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing," an entire chapter, which is about one-fifth, or more than 200 pages of the 1,074-page book, was devoted to the history of the Cultural Revolution.

"As long as we learn the grave lessons from the Cultural Revolution, it can well be a valuable spiritual legacy that pushes China's history forward," the book reads.

Qu Qingshan, deputy director of the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee, said at the same seminar that "It's just because the CPC drew lessons from its own experiences, especially from that of the Cultural Revolution, that it can launch a new era of reform and opening up in the country."

The CPC has consistently attached great importance on the compilation of the Party history.

The CPC Central Committee held its first-ever, high-level national conference on the work concerning Party history last year.

At the event, Vice President Xi Jinping said the Party history is a "lively and vivid textbook," which should be well-studied, and research results should be used to "educate Party members, officials and the masses, especially the youth."

When the book was published Tuesday, the Party History Research Center and the organizational and publicity departments of the CPC Central Committee said, in a joint statement, that the book is "an authoritative work on CPC history that correctly sums up the party's historical experience."

They called on Party members and officials to study the book earnestly so that they would not repeat mistakes made in the past.

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