The Nature and Guiding Ideology
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the faithful representative of the interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and the core of leadership of the Chinese socialist cause.
After the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the CPC became the ruling party, leading the country in its political life and social activities. The leadership of the CPC over state affairs focuses on political principles, political orientation, decision making on major issues and makes recommendations regarding the appointment of important officials to government bodies. Within the system of the state leadership, the CPC cannot replace the functions and powers of the bodies of state power. What are subject to the discretion of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee should be submitted as Party's proposals or submitted through government to the NPC and its Standing Committee for a decision according to the law. In this way the Party's propositions are changed into the state will and become the codes of conduct to be observed by the whole society. The Party has to act within the scope of the Constitution and laws, guaranteeing that the legislative, judicial and administrative departments of the state as well as economic, cultural and mass organizations work in an active, independent, responsible and coordinated manner.
Guide in Action
The CPC uses Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as the guidance in its action. Since its inception, the Party has considered Marxism and Leninism as its guiding ideology. During the long-term revolutionary struggle, the CPC members represented by Mao Zedong integrated the general theory of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of Chinese revolution and founded Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong Thought is the application and development of Marxism-Leninism in China. It is proven in practice to be the correct theoretic principles and summary of experience concerning China's revolution and construction. It is a product of the collective wisdom of the CPC. After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee which was held at the end of 1978, the CPC represented by Deng Xiaoping, summing up both positive and negative experience accumulated since the founding of the Republic and following the principle of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts, shifted the focus of work to economic construction and introduced the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, bringing China into a new period of socialist construction. During the process, lines, principles and policies of building socialism with Chinese characteristics gradually took shape and basic issues in respect of building, consolidating and developing socialism in China were clarified. As a result, the Deng Xiaoping Theory, a product of the integration of Marxism-Leninism with contemporary Chinese practices and characteristics, was established. It carries on and further develops the Mao Zedong Thought under new historical conditions. As a crystallization of collective wisdom of the CPC, it will correctly guide the Chinese people to successfully achieve socialist modernization.
Establishment and Development
After the October Socialist Revolution in Soviet Union led by Lenin was victorious in 1917, Marxism spread to China. Some advanced Chinese intellectuals realized that Marxism was the true way of guiding the revolution to victory. In 1919, the May 4th Movement against imperialism and feudalism broke out in China. It awoke the Chinese people in an unprecedented way. After the movement, the Chinese working class, as an independent political force, entered the historical arena. A large number of revolutionary intellectuals who believed in Marxism including Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao and Mao Zedong set up communist groups across the country to spread Marxism and organize workers' movements. Marxism was thus integrated with the Chinese workers' movements, laying a foundation for the establishment of the CPC. Between July 23 and 31, 1921, Mao Zedong, He Shuheng, Dong Biwu, Chen Tanqiu, Wang Jinmei, Deng Enming, Li Da, Li Hanjun, Zhang Guotao, Liu Renjing, Chen Gongbo and Zhou Fohai, representing 50-odd members of various communist groups, held the first National Congress of the CPC, and the Communist Party of China was therefore officially founded.
After its establishment, the CPC led Chinese people in unfolding the New-Democratic Revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism (1919-1949). The revolution was divided into four periods: the Northern Expedition (1924-1927) of Kuomintang-Communist cooperation, the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937), the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) and the Chinese People's War of Liberation (1946-1949). With long-term armed struggles and the close coordination of various aspects and various forms of struggles, the CPC finally achieved a victory in 1949 and established the People's Republic of China , which, under the leadership of the working class and based on the workers-peasants alliance, upholds the people's democratic dictatorship.
After the founding of the PRC, the CPC led the nation to make constant progress: triumphing over repeated threats, sabotages and armed provocation of imperialists and hegemonists, safeguarding the nation's independence and security; successfully achieving a great transfer of the Chinese society from new-democratism to socialism, accomplishing, in a general sense, the socialist transformation of the private ownership of the means of production; and launching the large-scale socialist economic construction in a planned way, and enabling Chinese economic and cultural causes to attain unprecedented development.
Beginning in 1979, China introduced reforming policies advocated by Deng Xiaoping and opened its door to the outside world. The "left deviation" errors made during the "cultural revolution" and before were redressed, and the focus of the work was shifted to the modernization drive. Great efforts were made to regulate the proportions within the national economy, reform economic and political systems and gradually establish a road to build socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics. The past two decades have witnessed substantial changes in China. It is the best period that China has ever experienced since 1949 and also the period when the people of China received the most substantial benefits.
The CPC now has over 58 million members. It requires its members, being self-disciplined and having the spirit of making personal sacrifices, to set a good example for the masses in production, work, study and social lives.
The Basic Line at Present Stage and the Basic Stand in International Affairs
China will be at the primary stage of socialism for a long period of time.
The basic line of the CPC at this stage is to unite the people of all ethnic groups to, with economic construction at the core, adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, adhere to reform and opening-up, and in a spirit of self-reliance and hard struggle, to build China into a prosperous, democratic and civilized modern socialist country. The Four Cardinal Principles -- adhering to the socialist road, adhering to the people's democratic dictatorship, adhering to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and adhering to the leadership of the Communist Party of China -- have been established by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China as the basis to maintain the nation.
The Chinese Communist Party stands for positively developing foreign relations in order to win over a favorable international environment for China's reform and opening-up drive as well as the modernization construction. In international affairs, it adheres to an independent foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and safeguards China's independence and sovereignty. It opposes hegemonism and power politics, safeguards world peace, and promotes the progress of mankind. It stands for the development of state relations with other countries on the basis of the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. It insists on developing good-neighborly relations with surrounding countries and strengthening unity and cooperation with developing countries. It develops relations with Communist parties and other political parties of other countries on the principle of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
The Communist Party of China is an integral body organized under its program and constitution, on the principles of democratic centralism. The basic principles of democratic centralism are: a) Individual Party members are subordinate to the Party organizations, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower Party organizations are subordinate to the higher Party organizations, and all the constituent organizations and members of the Party are subordinate to the National Congress and the Central Committee of the Party; b) The Party's leading organizations at all levels, except the representative offices sent out by them and the Party organizations in non-CPC organizations, will be produced through election; c) The highest leading body of the CPC is the National Congress and the Central Committee it creates. The local Party leading bodies at various levels are the local Party congress at various levels and the committees they create. The Party's committees at various levels are responsible and report their work to the Party's congress at the same level; d) The Party's organizations at higher level should often listen to the opinions of their subordinates as well as of Party members and the masses and solve their problems in time. The Party organizations at lower level should not only ask for instructions from and report their work to their superiors but also independently solve the problems within their own jurisdiction. The Party organizations at different levels should exchange information, supports and supervision. They should enable Party members to understand and participate more in Party's affairs; e) Party's committees at various levels practice a system of integrating the collective leadership with individual responsibility. All major issues shall be decided upon by the Party committees after democratic discussion. Members of the Party committees shall perform their duties according to the decisions of the committees and the division of labor; and f) The Party forbids all forms of personality cult. It should be guaranteed that the activities of Party leaders are under the supervision of the Party and the people, and meanwhile that the prestige of all leaders who represent the interests of the Party and people are safeguarded.
The delegates to the CPC congress at various levels and committees are elected by the Party members and their representatives by secret ballot. The voters have the right to learn about the candidates, require the change of candidates, vote against all candidates, and to vote for others. No organization or individual shall force voters to vote for or against a certain candidate by any means. If there is a case of violating the Party's Constitution during the election of various local Party congresses and grass-roots congresses, the Party committee at the higher lever, upon investigation and verification, shall make the decision to declare the ballot invalid and adopt corrective measures, and then report to its superior for examination and approval. The execution of the decision shall be officially announced upon its approval.
The Central Organizations
The Central CPC organizations include the National Congress of the Party and the Central Committee it creates, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee, the Secretariat, the Central Military Commission and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
-- National Congress of the CPC. The National Congress of the CPC, which is held every five years, is the highest leading organ of the CPC. Its functions and powers include: to hear and examine the reports from the Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection; to discuss and decide the major issues of the Party; to revise the Party's Constitution; to elect a new Central Committee and a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
-- Central Committee. It is the highest leading body of the CPC when the National Congress of the Party is not in session. Members and alternate members of the Central Committee must have been the Party members for at least five years. The plenary session of the Central Committee shall be held at least once a year. When the National Congress is not in session, the Central Committee implements the decisions of the National Congress, exercises leadership over all work of the Party and represents the Communist Party of China when dealing in foreign affairs.
-- Political Bureau. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee and its Standing Committee are elected by the Plenary Session of the Central Committee. They exercise the functions and powers of the Central Committee when the latter is not in session. The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee is the core of leadership over all the routine work of the Party.
-- The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. The General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee is the highest leading position within the CPC Central Committee. It is elected from members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau by the Plenary Session of the CPC Central Committee. The Party General Secretary is responsible for convening the meetings of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and its Standing Committee, and directs the work of the Secretariat of the Central Committee.
-- Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee The Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee is an administrative body of the Political Bureau and its Standing Committee. Its members are nominated by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and approved by the Plenary Session of the CPC Central Committee.
-- The Central Military Commission. It is the highest military leading body of the Party under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee. The commission members are decided by the CPC Central Committee. The Party's organizational system and institutions in the armed forces are decided by the Central Military Commission.
-- The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. As the highest body of the Party for discipline inspection, the commission carries out its work under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee. Its Standing Committee, Secretary and Deputy-Secretary elected at its plenary session must be reported to the CPC Central Committee for approval.
Leaders of all CPC central committees
-- Chen Duxiu, secretary of the CPC Central Bureau, was elected at the first CPC National Congress in July 1921.
-- Chen Duxiu, chairman of the CPC Central Executive Committee, was elected at the second CPC National Congress in July 1922.
-- Chen Duxiu, chairman of the CPC Central Executive Committee, was elected at the third CPC National Congress in June 1923.
-- Chen Duxiu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the fourth CPC National Congress in January 1925.
-- Chen Duxiu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the fifth CPC National Congress from April to May 1927.
-- Xiang Zhongfa, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the sixth CPC National Congress from June to July 1928. (Wang Ming replaced Xiang as the acting general secretary of the CPC Central Committee after Xiang was arrested by the Kuomintang regime in 1931)
-- Bogu (Qin Bangxian) became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the fifth plenary meeting of the sixth CPC Central Committee in January 1934.
-- Zhang Wentian (Luofu), general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the extended meeting of the CPC Central Committee Politburo in January 1935 in Zunyi, Guizhou Province.
-- Mao Zedong began to act as chairman of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary meeting of the seventh CPC Central Committee in June 1945.
-- Mao Zedong, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the eighth CPC Central Committee in September 1956.
-- Mao Zedong, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the ninth CPC Central Committee in April 1969.
-- Mao Zedong, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the tenth CPC Central Committee in August 1973.
-- Hua Guofeng, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was nominated and approved at the meeting of the CPC Central Committee Politburo in October 1976, and endorsed at the third plenary meeting of the tenth CPC Central Committee in July 1977.
-- Hua Guofeng, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the 11th CPC Central Committee in August 1977.
-- Hu Yaobang, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the fifth plenary meeting of the 11th CPC Central Committee in February 1980.
-- Hu Yaobang, chairman of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the sixth plenary meeting of the 11th CPC Central Committee in June 1981.
-- Hu Yaobang, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the 12th CPC Central Committee in September 1982.
-- Zhao Ziyang became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary meeting of the 13th CPC Central Committee in November 1987.
-- Jiang Zemin became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the fourth plenary meeting of the 13th CPC Central Committee in June 1989.
-- Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the 14th CPC Central Committee in October 1992.
-- Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the 15th CPC Central Committee in September 1997.
-- Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, was elected at the first plenary meeting of the 16th CPC Central Committee in November 2002.
CPC in Brief
The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the most important political event in China this year, is to open in Beijing on Monday.
Following are some key facts about the CPC:
-- The Communist Party of China was founded in July 1921. A total of 12 delegates representing about 50 CPC members nationwide secretly convened at the first CPC national congress in late July in Shanghai. July 1 was later designated as anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
-- The CPC had only about 50 members in mid-1921. By June 2007, the number had grown to 73.363 million.
-- The CPC says in its Constitution it is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It is the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.
-- The CPC Constitution also stipulates that the Party takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as its guide.
-- Under the principle of democratic centralism, the election of Party congress delegates and Party committee members at all levels should reflect the will of voters. The minority should be subordinate to the majority when making decisions on any matter.
-- The National Congress of the Party is held every five years and convened by the Central Committee. It may be convened before the normally scheduled date if the Central Committee deems it necessary or if more than one third of the Party organizations at the provincial level so request. Except under extraordinary circumstances, the Congress may not be postponed.
The Political Bureau, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Party are elected by the Central Committee in plenary sessions. The general secretary of the Central Committee must be a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau.
(China.org.cn, 17thcongress.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2007)