20th National Congress of Communist Party of China opens in Beijing, Xi Jinping delivers report to Congress on behalf of 19th CPC Central Committee
Strive in unity to lay out a new blueprint for national rejuvenation; make concerted efforts to create new historic achievements. The highly anticipated 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened on the morning of October 16 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on behalf of the 19th CPC Central Committee, delivered to the Congress a report titled “Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects”. He pointed out, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a meeting of great importance. It takes place at a critical time as the entire Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward the Second Centenary Goal. The theme of the Congress is: holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implementing the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carrying forward the great founding spirit of the Party, staying confident and building strength, upholding fundamental principles and breaking new ground, forging ahead with enterprise and fortitude, and striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.
The Great Hall of the People is majestic and solemn, and the grand auditorium in it is permeated with a lively atmosphere. Hanging above the rostrum is a streamer reading “The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China”, in the middle of the back curtain is the Party emblem composed of a sickle and a hammerhead, on either side of which are five bright red flags. Hanging above on the second and third floor of the auditorium respectively are two streamers reading “Hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carry forward the great founding spirit of the Party, strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts!” and “Long live the great, glorious and correct Communist Party of China!”
Seated at the front row of the rostrum were members of the Standing Committee of the Presidium of the 20th CPC National Congress, including Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng, Ding Xuexiang, Wang Chen, Liu He, Xu Qiliang, Sun Chunlan, Li Xi, Li Qiang, Li Hongzhong, Yang Jiechi, Yang Xiaodu, Zhang Youxia, Chen Xi, Chen Quanguo, Chen Min’er, Hu Chunhua, Guo Shengkun, Huang Kunming, Cai Qi, Hu Jintao, Li Ruihuan, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Song Ping, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun, He Guoqiang, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Gaoli, You Quan and Zhang Qingli.
The opening session was presided over by Comrade Li Keqiang. At 10 a.m., the session began. All rose to their feet and sang the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. Then all stood in silent tribute to the late proletarian revolutionaries of the older generation Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, etc. and the revolutionary martyrs.
Li Keqiang declared, a total of 2,340 of the 2,379 elected (2,296) and specially-invited (83) delegates to the 20th CPC National Congress were present at the opening session. He also extended a warm welcome to the non-CPC personages and other relevant officials who attend the congress as non-voting participants.
The report Xi Jinping delivered to the Congress on behalf of the 19th CPC Central Committee consists of 15 parts: I. The Work of the Past Five Years and the Great Changes in the First Decade of the New Era, II. A New Frontier in Adapting Marxism to the Chinese Context and the Needs of the Times, III. The New Journey of the New Era: Missions and Tasks of the Communist Party of China, IV. Accelerating the Creation of a New Development Pattern and Pursuing High-Quality Development, V. Invigorating China through Science and Education and Developing a Strong Workforce for the Modernization Drive, VI. Advancing Whole-Process People’s Democracy and Ensuring that the People Run the Country, VII. Exercising Law-Based Governance on All Fronts and Advancing the Rule of Law in China, VIII. Building Cultural Confidence and Strength and Securing New Successes in Developing Socialist Culture, IX. Improving the People’s Wellbeing and Raising Quality of Life, X. Pursuing Green Development and Promoting Harmony between Humanity and Nature, XI. Modernizing China’s National Security System and Capacity and Safeguarding National Security and Social Stability, XII. Achieving the Centenary Goal of the People’s Liberation Army and Further Modernizing National Defense and the Military, XIII. Upholding and Improving the Policy of One Country, Two Systems and Promoting National Reunification, XIV. Promoting World Peace and Development and Building a Human Community with a Shared Future, XV. Exercising Full and Rigorous Self-Governance and Advancing the Great New Project of Party Building in the New Era.
Xi pointed out that in the past five years since the 19th CPC National Congress, the Party Central Committee has pursued a strategy of national rejuvenation amid global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and made major strategic plans for advancing the cause of the Party and the country. The central committee has brought together the entire Party, the military, and the Chinese people and led them in effectively responding to grave, intricate international developments and a series of immense risks and challenges. With great effort and determination, we have steadily advanced socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, Xi said. Over the past five years, our Party has rallied the people and led them in solving a great number of problems that had long gone unsolved, securing many accomplishments that hold major future significance, and achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country, Xi said.
Reviewing the Party’s work over the first decade of the new era, Xi noted that the past ten years marked three major events of great immediate importance and profound historical significance for the cause of the Party and the people: We embraced the centenary of the Communist Party of China; we ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and we eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal. These were historic feats—feats accomplished by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people striving in unity, feats that will be forever recorded in the Chinese nation’s history, and feats that will profoundly influence the world, the report was quoted as saying.
Xi said, over the past decade, we have secured historic achievements and seen historic changes in the cause of the Party and the country, and taken China on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects. We have established the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and strengthened Party leadership in all respects. We have achieved moderate prosperity, the millennia-old dream of the Chinese nation. We have developed well-conceived and complete strategic plans for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era, and put forward and applied a new development philosophy. We have comprehensively deepened reform with tremendous political courage, and pursued a more proactive strategy of opening up. We have kept to the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics, and established and upheld a foundational system for ensuring the guiding role of Marxism in the ideological domain. We have implemented a people-centered philosophy of development. We have acted on the idea that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. We have applied a holistic approach to national security. We have set the Party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era. We have fully and faithfully implemented the policy of One Country, Two Systems. We have pursued major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. We have made significant advances in exercising full and rigorous Party self-governance. At the same time, we must not lose sight of the shortcomings in our work and the many difficulties and problems confronting us.
Xi pointed out that the great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People’s Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation. Over the course of a century of endeavor, the CPC has tempered itself through revolution and grown stronger. And as we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party has always remained a strong leadership core. The Chinese people are more inspired than ever to forge ahead, more resolved than ever to work hard, and more confident than ever of securing success. With full confidence, the CPC and the Chinese people are driving the great transformation of the Chinese nation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong.
Xi stressed that it is the solemn historical responsibility of today’s Chinese Communists to continue opening new chapters in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times. To keep advancing theoretical innovation on the basis of practical experience, we must, first of all, gain a good command of the worldview and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and adhere to and make good use of its stances, viewpoints, and methods. We must put the people first, maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, adopt a problem-oriented approach, apply systems thinking, and maintain a global vision.
Referring to the missions and tasks of the CPC on the new journey of the new era, Xi pointed out that from this day forward, the central task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. On the journey ahead, we must firmly adhere to the following major principles: upholding and strengthening the Party’s overall leadership; following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics; applying a people-centered development philosophy; remaining committed to deepening reform and opening up; and carrying forward our fighting spirit.
Xi stressed that we must fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, advance reforms to develop the socialist market economy, adhere to high-standard opening up, and accelerate efforts to foster a new pattern of development that is focused on domestic economy and features positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows. He pledged continuous efforts to build a high-standard socialist market economy, modernize the industrial system, advance rural revitalization across the board, promote coordinated regional development, and promote high-standard opening up.
Xi pointed out that we must regard science and technology as our primary productive force, talent as our primary resource, and innovation as our primary driver of growth. We will fully implement the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the workforce development strategy, and the innovation-driven development strategy. He urged efforts to open up new areas and new arenas in development and steadily foster new growth drivers and new strengths. We must give high priority to the development of education, build China’s self-reliance and strength in science and technology, and rely on talent to pioneer and propel development. We will speed up work to build a strong educational system, greater scientific and technological strength, and a quality workforce, he said.
We must firmly stay on the path of socialist political advancement with Chinese characteristics, uphold the unity between Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance, Xi stressed, adding that we will continue to strengthen the institutions through which the people run the country, fully develop consultative democracy, actively develop democracy at the primary level, and consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic united front.
We must give better play to the role of the rule of law in consolidating foundations, ensuring stable expectations, and delivering long-term benefits, Xi noted, adding that work should also be done to strive to build a modern socialist country in all respects under the rule of law. We must improve the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution at its core, steadily advance law-based government administration, ensure strict and impartial administration of justice, and step up efforts to establish the rule of law throughout society.
Xi called for further work in developing a socialist ideology that has the power to unite and inspire the people, urging efforts to extensively apply the core socialist values, enhance civility throughout society, develop cultural programs and the cultural sector, and extend the reach and appeal of Chinese civilization.
Xi noted that we must strive to realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of all our people. To this end, we must do everything within our capacity to resolve the most practical problems that are of the greatest and most direct concern to the people. We will continue to improve the system of income distribution, implement the employment-first strategy, improve the social security system, and advance the Healthy China Initiative.
Xi stressed that we must uphold and act on the principle that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, and we must remember to maintain harmony between humanity and nature when planning our development. He urged efforts to accelerate the transition to a model of green development, intensify pollution prevention and control, enhance diversity, stability, and sustainability in the ecosystems, and work actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality.
Xi noted that we must resolutely pursue a holistic approach to national security and promote national security in all areas and stages of the work of the Party and the country. He said efforts should be made to improve the national security system, strengthen our capacity for safeguarding national security, enhance public safety governance, and improve the social governance system.
Xi said achieving the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027 and more quickly elevating people’s armed forces to world-class standards are strategic tasks for building a modern socialist country in all respects. We will intensify troop training and enhance combat preparedness across the board, he said, noting that efforts will also be made to strengthen all-around military governance, consolidate and enhance integrated national strategies and strategic capabilities.
The policy of One Country, Two Systems is a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said. It has proven to be the best institutional arrangement for ensuring sustained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao after their return to the motherland. This policy must be adhered to over the long term, Xi stressed. We will remain committed to law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao, and ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over the two regions, he said. We will see that Hong Kong and Macao are administered by patriots, he added. He also pledged support to Hong Kong and Macao in better integrating themselves into China’s overall development and playing a greater role in realizing national rejuvenation.
Moreover, Xi vowed to continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but noted that “we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary.” Complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can, without doubt, be realized, Xi said.
According to Xi, today, our world, our times, and history are changing in ways like never before. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace, he said, adding that the country adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries, and remains committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world. The Chinese people are ready to work hand in hand with people across the world to create an even brighter future for humanity, said Xi.
Xi called for the whole Party to bear in mind that full and rigorous self-governance is an unceasing endeavor and that self-reform is a journey to which there is no end. We must never slacken our efforts and never allow ourselves to become weary or beaten, and we must persevere with full and rigorous self-governance, continue to advance the great new project of Party building in the new era, and use our own transformation to steer social transformation, Xi said.
He underlined that we must uphold and strengthen the centralized, unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, enhance cohesion and forge the Party’s soul with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and improve the systems and regulations for the Party’s self-reform. He also urged efforts to cultivate officials capable of shouldering the mission of national rejuvenation, enhance the political and organizational functions of Party organizations, take strict steps to improve Party conduct and enforce Party discipline, and win the tough and protracted battle against corruption.
Xi pointed out that the Party has made spectacular achievements through its great endeavors over the past century, and our new endeavors will surely lead to more spectacular achievements.
Rounds of warm applause rose at intervals as Xi was delivering the report.
Incumbent and former vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) who are not CPC members, incumbent and former non-CPC vice chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), vice chairpersons of the central committees of the other political parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, representatives of personages without party affiliation and those of religious circles, as well as non-CPC personages and religious figures who serve as NPC Standing Committee members or Standing Committee members of the CPPCC National Committee attended the session as guests. Some other leading CPC officials also attended the session as non-voting participants.
Around 2,500 journalists from home and abroad reported the grand opening session.
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