The Communist Party of China (CPC) published on Thursday its newly amended Party constitution, revealing for the first time many landmark changes in its major political, economic and social guidelines and policies.
Scientific Outlook on Development, a new theoretical development of the Party in the past five years, as well as policies to boost democracy at intra-Party and government sphere and expand democracy, are enshrined in the constitution adopted by the CPC national congress on Oct. 21.
The amendment is designed to reflect the latest achievement of the localization of Marxism and latest experience of the Party, and meet "objective needs" in strengthening Party building and "adapting the Party to new trends and tasks", a spokesman of the Secretariat of the once-in-five-years congress said in an interview with Xinhua.
The amendment, guided by "the Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the Three Represents", embodied a series of major strategic thoughts put forward by the CPC Central Committee since the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, including the Scientific Outlook on Development", the spokesman said.
The revisions had gone through broad discussion among Party members in order to benefit from collective wisdom, which is a democratic process inside the Party, he said.
"We've made proper, not major, revisions to the Party constitution," he said, despite the following sweeping changes:
-- The Scientific Outlook on Development is enshrined in the general program of the Party Constitution, which defines it as "a scientific theory that is in the same line as Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents".
The Outlook can also be traced in many specific chapters on economic, political, cultural and social development and Party building.
"To study and implement the Scientific Outlook on Development" becomes a major duty to the 73 million Party members and all the Party organizations, the constitution says.
The word "harmonious" is added to the Party's basic line. The revised version reads, "turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country".
The amendment also enshrines the building of a "harmonious socialist society" into the general program the Party constitution, adding it as a fourth part of the overall arrangements for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, besides previous economic, political and cultural development and elaborating it with a whole paragraph.
-- A new paragraph started with "The CPC leads the people in developing the socialist market economy" is added into the general program of the amended Party constitution, emphasizing "it unwaveringly consolidates and develops the public sector of the economy and unswervingly encourages, supports and guides the development of the non-public sector."
It demonstrates the "Scientific Outlook on Development" as saying "the Party works to balance urban and rural development, development among regions, economic and social development, relations between man and nature, and domestic development and opening to the outside world, adjust the economic structure, and transform the pattern of economic development".
"It is dedicated to building a new socialist countryside, taking a new path of industrialization with Chinese characteristics, and making China an innovative country and a resource-conserving, environment-friendly society," reads the amendment.
-- In the paragraph of promoting socialist democracy, the Party "respects and safeguards human rights. It (CPC) encourages the free airing of views and works to establish sound systems and procedures of democratic election, decision-making, administration and oversight," and the Party upholds "the system of self-governance at the primary level of society" are newly added.
-- "The Party helps ethnic minorities and ethnic autonomous areas with their economic, cultural and social development, and ensures that all ethnic groups work together for common prosperity and development" is added into the amended version.
"The Party strives to fully implement its basic principle for work related to religious affairs, and rally religious believers in making contributions to economic and social development" is forthe first time included in the Party constitution.
"All builders of the cause of socialism" is added as part of the patriotic united front besides "all socialist workers" and "all patriots who support socialism or who support the reunification of the motherland" in previous version.
"It will promote long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao" is added.
-- Referring to the Party's foreign affairs stance, the Party constitution includes that the CPC "adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, follows the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening up," and pushes for the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity".
-- "The Party ensures the People's Liberation Army accomplishes its historical missions at this new stage in the new century, and gives full play to its role in consolidating national defense, defending the motherland and participating in the socialist modernization drive" is added into the Party constitution.
-- The general program of the amended Party constitution puts forward new requirements on strengthening and improving the leadership by the Party and Party building.
"The Party should thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development" and "persist in scientific, democratic and law-based governance" are newly added.
-- The new constitution raises new requirements for the Party members and cadres.
"To study the Scientific Outlook on Development" and "legal knowledge", and "To take the lead in putting into practice the socialist maxims of honor and disgrace" are added as Party members' duties.
"To take the lead in applying the Scientific Outlook on Development", "to foster a correct view on evaluating their performances", and "to improve their moral standards" are added as requirements for leading Party cadres.
-- Concerning the Party organization system, "Party organizations at all levels should increase transparency in Party affairs in accordance with regulations to keep Party members better informed of these affairs and to provide them with more opportunities to participate in them" is newly added.
"A tenure system is adopted for delegates to Party congresses at all levels" is for the first time included in the constitution. The spokesman explained that this addition is designed to empower delegate to supervise the Party committees at all levels.
"The Party's Central Committee and committees of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government implement the system of inspection tours" is newly added to advance the anti-corruption work.
In order to promote inner-Party democracy and strengthen inner-Party supervision, "the Political Bureau reports its work to the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and accepts their oversight" and "the standing committees of the local Party committees at all levels regularly report their work to plenary sessions of local Party committees and accept their oversight" are added into the new version.
-- New requirements are also raised for grassroots Party organizations.
"To serve" Party members is added as one of their main tasks, besides "to educate, manage and oversee" the members. It's a requirement in accordance with the newly added stipulation of "to organize Party members to conscientiously study the Scientific Outlook on Development".
It also adds "to improve management of Party members among the floating population" into the amendment.
(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2007)