September 4, 1989
The Political Bureau of the Central Committee:
I am asking the Central Committee for permission to resign my current post of Chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
As early as 1980 I proposed that the leadership system of the Party and the government be reformed and that the system of life tenure in leading posts be abolished. In recent years many veteran comrades have left their posts in the central leadership. In 1987, before the Party's Thirteenth National Congress was held, to set an example for abolishing the system of life tenure in leading posts, I expressed my wish to retire. At the time, the Central Committee, having considered over and over again my wish and the opinions of both Party and non-Party people, agreed to my resigning the posts of member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, member of the Political Bureau, Chairman of the Central Advisory Commission, member of the Central Committee and member of the Central Advisory Commission. The Central Committee also decided that I should retain the posts of Chairman of the Military Commission of the Party and Chairman of the Military Commission of the state. Ever since then, when the central leading collective has sought my views on major issues, I have consistently respected and supported the opinions of the majority of the comrades in the collective. But I have insisted on not concerning myself with its day-to-day work, and I have been looking forward to being succeeded by younger people as soon as possible so that my wish to leave all leading posts may be fulfilled.
The core leadership headed by Comrade Jiang Zemin, which was elected at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Central Committee of the Party, has been working very efficiently. After careful consideration, I should like to resign my current posts while I am still in good health, so as to realize my long-cherished wish. This will be good for the Party, the state and the army. I sincerely hope the Central Committee will grant my request. I shall also submit to the National People's Congress my request to resign the post of Chairman of the State Military Commission.
Since I am an old citizen and a veteran Party member who has worked for decades for the communist cause and for the independence, reunification, development and reform of the country, my life belongs to the Party and the country. After my retirement I shall continue to be devoted to their cause. The achievements scored by our Party, our country and our army are the result of the hard work of generations. As the reform and opening to the outside world have only just begun, our task is arduous and our road will be long and tortuous. But I am certain that we shall be able to surmount all difficulties and that one generation after another will advance the cause pioneered by the first generation. Since the Chinese people were able to stand up, they will surely be able to stand firm forever among the nations of the world.