The 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened its sixth plenary session in Beĳing from November 8 to 11, 2021.
A total of 197 members and 151 alternate members of the Central Committee attended the session. Members of the Standing Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and leading officials of other relevant departments were present at the meeting in a non-voting capacity. Some of the colleagues working at the primary level who were delegates to the 19th National Party Congress, along with a number of experts and scholars, also attended the meeting in a non-voting capacity.
The Political Bureau of the Central Committee presided over the meeting. General Secretary of the Central Committee Xi Jinping delivered an important address.
At the session, the Central Committee heard and discussed the report on the work of the Political Bureau, presented by Xi Jinping on behalf of the Political Bureau, and considered and adopted the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century and the Resolution on the Convocation of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Xi Jinping delivered explanatory remarks on the draft Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century.
At the session, the Central Committee fully affirmed the work that its Political Bureau has carried out since the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee. It was unanimously agreed that the external environment has grown increasingly complex and grave over the past year under the combined impact of worldwide changes of a scale unseen in a century and the global coronavirus pandemic, while China has faced extremely arduous tasks in Covid-19 prevention and control as well as economic and social development at home. The Political Bureau has held high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics; followed the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; and fully implemented the guiding principles of the 19th National Party Congress and the second, third, fourth, and fifth plenary sessions of the 19th Central Committee.
The Political Bureau has given full consideration to both domestic and international imperatives, coordinated the Covid-19 response with economic and social development, and placed equal emphasis on development and security. It has continued to follow the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, fully applied the new development philosophy, and accelerated efforts to foster a new pattern of development. The economy has maintained good momentum, positive advances have been made in building up China’s scientific and technological self-reliance, and further progress has been achieved in reform and opening up. A complete victory has been secured in the fight against poverty as scheduled, the people’s wellbeing has been further improved, social stability has been maintained, steady progress was made in modernizing national defense and the armed forces, and China’s major-country diplomacy has advanced on all fronts. The campaign on studying the Party’s history has produced solid results, and severe natural disasters of multiple categories have been dealt with effectively. Through these efforts, signiﬁcant progress has been made in all areas of the Party and country’s endeavors.
A series of celebrations have been held to mark the centenary of the Party. In his speech on July 1, General Secretary Xi Jinping announced that China has achieved the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and he encouraged all Party members and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to set out on a new journey toward the Second Centenary Goal in confident strides.
At the session, the Central Committee explained that a review of the Party’s major achievements and historical experience over the past century was necessary for the following purposes:
—starting a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects in the historical context of the Party’s centenary;
—upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era;
—strengthening our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership;
—enhancing our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics;
—resolutely upholding Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and upholding the Central Committee authority and its centralized, unified leadership to ensure that all Party members act in unison;
—advancing the Party’s self-reform, building our fighting strength, strengthening our capacity to respond to risks and challenges, and maintaining our vigor and vitality; and
—uniting and leading the people in making continued efforts to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
All Party members should uphold historical materialism and adopt a rational outlook on the Party’s history. Looking back on the Party’s endeavors over the past century, we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and a stronger sense of purpose in staying true to our Party’s founding mission, and that we more effectively uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
It was highlighted at the session that the Party has had a glorious journey over the past hundred years. Since its founding in 1921, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its mission. Staying committed to communist ideals and socialist convictions, it united and led the Chinese people in working tirelessly to achieve national independence and the liberation of the people and then to make our country prosperous and strong and bring happiness to the people. The endeavors of the Party and the people over the past century represent the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation.
It was stated at the session that the major tasks of the Party in the period of the new-democratic revolution were to oppose imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, seek national independence and the people’s liberation, and create the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation. In the course of the revolutionary struggle, Chinese communists, with Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, adapted the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism to China’s specific realities and developed a theoretical synthesis of China’s unique experience which came from painstaking trials and great sacrifices. They blazed the right revolutionary path of encircling cities from the countryside and seizing state power with military force. They established Mao Zedong Thought, which charted the correct course for securing victory in the new-democratic revolution. The Party led the people in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution, establishing the People’s Republic of China, and achieving national independence and the people’s liberation. This put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the rule of a handful of exploiters over the working people, to the state of total disunity that existed in the old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed on our land, marking the country’s great transformation from a millennia-old feudal autocracy to a people’s democracy. This also reshaped the world political landscape and offered enormous inspiration for oppressed nations and peoples struggling for national liberation around the world. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the people showed the world that the Chinese people had stood up and the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone and would never return. This marked the beginning of a new epoch in China’s development.
It was stated at the session that the major tasks of the Party in the period of socialist revolution and construction were to realize the transformation from new democracy to socialism, carry out socialist revolution, promote socialist construction, and lay down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for national rejuvenation. In this period, Chinese communists, with Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, put forward a series of important theories for socialist construction. Mao Zedong Thought represents a creative application and advancement of Marxism-Leninism in China. It is a summation of theories, principles, and experience on China’s revolution and construction that has been proven correct through practice, and its establishment marked the first historic step in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context.
Under the Party’s leadership, the people worked diligently for a stronger China with a spirit of self-reliance, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction. This brought about the most extensive and profound social change in the history of the Chinese nation and a great transformation from a poor and backward Eastern country with a large population to a socialist country. Moreover, an independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economic framework were established, the conditions of agricultural production were markedly improved, and impressive progress was made in social programs such as education, science, culture, health, and sports. The People’s Liberation Army continued to grow in strength, and the humiliating diplomacy of the old China was put to an end. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the people showed the world that the Chinese people were not only capable of dismantling the old world, but also of building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism could develop China.
It was stated at the session that the major tasks of the Party during the new period of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization were to continue exploring the right path for building socialism in China, unleash and develop the productive forces, lift the people out of poverty and help them become prosperous in the shortest time possible, and fuel the push toward national rejuvenation by providing new, dynamic institutional guarantees as well as the material conditions for rapid development.
After the third plenary session of the 11th Central Committee, Chinese communists, with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as their chief representative, united and led the whole Party and the entire nation in conducting a thorough review of the experience gained and the lessons learnt since the founding of the People’s Republic. On this basis, and by focusing on the fundamental questions of what socialism is and how to build it and drawing lessons from the history of world socialism, they established Deng Xiaoping Theory, and devoted their efforts to freeing minds and seeking truth from facts. The historic decision was made to shift the focus of the Party and the country’s work onto economic development and to launch the reform and opening up drive. Chinese communists brought the essence of socialism to light, set the basic line for the primary stage of socialism, and made it clear that China would follow its own path and build socialism with Chinese characteristics. They provided sound answers to a series of basic questions on building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and formulated a development strategy for basically achieving socialist modernization by the middle of the 21st century through a three-step approach. They thus succeeded in founding socialism with Chinese characteristics.
It was stated at the session that after the fourth plenary session of the 13th Central Committee, Chinese communists, with Comrade Jiang Zemin as their chief representative, united and led the whole Party and the entire nation in upholding the Party’s basic theory and line, deepening their understanding of what socialism is and how to build it, and what kind of Party to build and how to build it. On this basis, they formed the Theory of Three Represents. In the face of complex domestic and international situations and serious setbacks confronting world socialism, they safeguarded socialism with Chinese characteristics, defined building a socialist market economy as an objective of reform and set a basic framework in this regard, and established a basic economic system for the primary stage of socialism under which public ownership is the mainstay and diverse forms of ownership develop together, as well as an income distribution system under which distribution according to work is the mainstay while multiple forms of distribution exist alongside it. They opened up new horizons for reform and opening up across all fronts and advanced the great new project of Party building. All these efforts helped to successfully launch socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century.
It was stated at the session that after the 16th National Party Congress, Chinese communists, with Comrade Hu Jintao as their chief representative, united and led the whole Party and the entire nation in advancing practical, theoretical, and institutional innovation during the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. They gained a deep understanding of major questions such as what kind of development to pursue and how to pursue it under new circumstances, and provided clear answers to these questions, thus forming the Scientific Outlook on Development. Taking advantage of an important period of strategic opportunity, they focused their energy on development, with emphasis on pursuing comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development that put the people first. They worked hard to ensure and improve people’s wellbeing, promote social fairness and justice, bolster the Party’s governance capacity, and maintain its advanced nature. In doing so, they succeeded in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics under new circumstances.
It was stressed at the session that in this period, the Party upheld and developed Marxism in light of new practices and the features of the times, and effectively answered a series of basic questions regarding socialism with Chinese characteristics, including development path, stage of development, fundamental tasks, development drivers, development strategies, political guarantee, national reunification, diplomacy and international strategy, leadership, and forces to rely on, thereby forming the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics and achieving a new breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. The Party led the people in freeing their minds and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization. China achieved the historic transformations from a highly centralized planned economy into a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated into one that is open to the outside world across the board; it achieved the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy; and it achieved the historic strides of raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to an overall level of moderate prosperity and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects. All these achievements marked the tremendous advance of the Chinese nation from standing up to growing prosperous. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the people showed the world that reform and opening up was a crucial move in making China what it is today, that socialism with Chinese characteristics is the correct road that has led the country toward development and prosperity, and that China has caught up with the times in great strides.
It was stated at the session that following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. The major tasks facing the Party in this period are to fulfill the First Centenary Goal, embark on the new journey to achieve the Second Centenary Goal, and continue striving toward the great goal of national rejuvenation. The Party has led the people in bolstering self-confidence and self-reliance and in innovating on the basis of what has worked in the past, thereby bringing about great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
It was stressed at the session that Chinese communists, with Comrade Xi Jinping as their chief representative, have established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era on the basis of adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture, upholding Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, thoroughly reviewing and fully applying the historical experience gained since the founding of the Party, and proceeding from new realities. Comrade Xi Jinping, through meticulous assessment and deep reflection on a number of major theoretical and practical questions regarding the cause of the Party and the country in the new era, has set forth a series of original new ideas, thoughts, and strategies on national governance revolving around the major questions of our times: what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics we should uphold and develop in this new era, what kind of great modern socialist country we should build, and what kind of Marxist party exercising long-term governance we should develop, as well as how we should go about achieving these tasks. He is thus the principal founder of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This is the Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century. It embodies the best of the Chinese culture and ethos in our times and represents a new breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. The Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and is of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and for driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation.
It was stated at the session that the Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has demonstrated great historical initiative, tremendous political courage, and a powerful sense of mission. Keeping in mind both domestic and international imperatives, the Central Committee has implemented the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy and provided unified leadership for advancing our great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream. Acting on the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, it has introduced a raft of major principles and policies, launched a host of major initiatives, pushed ahead with many major tasks, and overcome a number of major risks and challenges. It has solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done. With this, it has prompted historic achievements and historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country.
It was stressed at the session that since the Party’s 18th National Congress, with regard to upholding the Party’s overall leadership, the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership have remained robust, the Party’s leadership systems have improved, and the way in which the Party exercises its leadership has become more refined. There is greater unity among all Party members in terms of thinking, political resolve, and action, and the Party has significantly boosted its capacity to provide political leadership, give guidance through theory, organize the people, and inspire society.
With regard to full and rigorous self-governance, the Party’s ability to improve and reform itself and maintain its integrity has been significantly strengthened, and the problem of lax and weak governance over Party organizations has been addressed at the fundamental level. An overwhelming victory has been achieved in the fight against corruption, and this has been consolidated across the board. Through revolutionary tempering, our Party has grown stronger.
With regard to the economy, our economic development has become much more balanced, coordinated, and sustainable. China’s economic strength, scientific and technological clout, and composite national strength have reached new heights. Our economy is now on a path of higher-quality development that is more efficient, equitable, sustainable, and secure.
With regard to reform and opening up, the Party has consistently promoted broader and deeper reform across the board. The system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now more mature and well-defined, and the modernization of China’s system and capacity for governance has reached a higher level. The cause of the Party and the country now radiates with fresh vitality.
With regard to political work, we have actively developed whole-process people’s democracy, made comprehensive efforts to improve the institutions, standards, and procedures of China’s socialist democracy, and given better play to the strengths of the Chinese socialist political system in an effort to consolidate and develop political stability, unity, and dynamism.
With regard to comprehensively advancing law-based governance, the system of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics has constantly been improved, solid progress has been made in building China into a rule of law country, and the Party’s ability to lead and govern the country through law-based methods has been notably enhanced.
With regard to cultural advancement, we have seen a sweeping and fundamental shift in the ideological domain, a notable boost in confidence in our culture among all Party members and all Chinese people, and a major increase in cohesiveness throughout society. All of this has provided solid ideological guarantees and powerful inspiration for opening up new horizons for the cause of the Party and the country in the new era.
With regard to social development, the people’s lives have improved in all aspects. Public participation in social governance is growing; social governance is smarter, more law-based, and more specialized. We have continued to develop a sound atmosphere in which people are able to live and work in peace and contentment and social stability and order prevail. As a result, China’s miracle of long-term social stability has continued.
With regard to eco-environmental advancement, the Central Committee has devoted greater efforts than ever before to ecological conservation and made significant progress in building a Beautiful China. Our environmental protection endeavors have seen sweeping, historic, and transformative changes.
With regard to national defense and the armed forces, the people’s military has been through an all-around revolutionary restructuring in preparation for the next stage, while our defense capabilities have grown in step with our economic strength. Our people’s military, firmly carrying out the missions of the new era, has taken concrete actions to safeguard our national sovereignty, security, and development interests with an indomitable fighting spirit.
With regard to national security, we have enhanced security on all fronts and withstood the many political, economic, ideological, and natural risks, challenges, and trials. This has helped ensure that the Party and the country thrive and enjoy lasting stability.
With regard to upholding the policy of One Country, Two Systems and promoting national reunification, the Central Committee has adopted a series of measures to address both symptoms and root causes of relevant issues and resolutely implemented the principle that Hong Kong and Macao should be governed by patriots. These moves have helped to restore order in Hong Kong and ensure a turn for the better in the region. All this has laid a solid foundation for advancing law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao and for securing steady and continued success of the One Country, Two Systems policy. We uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus. We firmly oppose separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence.” We firmly oppose foreign interference. We have maintained the initiative and ability to steer cross-Strait relations.
With regard to foreign affairs, we have advanced major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. The concept of a human community with a shared future has become a banner leading trends of the times and human progress. China has broken new ground in its diplomatic endeavors amid profound global changes and turned crises into opportunities amid complex situations on the international stage. These efforts have resulted in a marked increase in China’s international influence, appeal, and power to shape. Through tenacious struggle, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people have shown the world that the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong.
At the session, the historical significance of the Party’s endeavors over the past century was highlighted as follows:
They have fundamentally transformed the future of the Chinese people, who have been freed from bullying, oppression, and subjugation, become the masters of the country, of society, and of their own fate, and are now seeing their aspirations for a better life become a reality.
They have opened up the right path for achieving rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, enabling China to complete a process of industrialization that took developed countries several centuries in the space of mere decades, and bringing about the two miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability.
They have demonstrated the strong vitality of Marxism. In China, Marxism has been fully tested as a scientific truth, its people-centered and practical nature has been fully implemented, and its open-ended nature and contemporary relevance have been fully demonstrated.
They have produced a profound influence on the course of world history. The Party has led the people in pioneering a uniquely Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human advancement, and expanding the channels for developing countries to achieve modernization.
They have made the Party a forerunner of the times. The Party has developed a long line of inspiring principles originating from its great founding spirit, preserved its advanced nature and integrity, and kept improving its governance and leadership capacity. The Party has proved to be a great, glorious, and correct party.
It was stated at the session that the Party has led the people in great endeavors and accumulated valuable historical experience over the past century. This covers the following ten aspects: upholding the Party’s leadership, putting the people first, advancing theoretical innovation, staying independent, following the Chinese path, maintaining a global vision, breaking new ground, standing up for ourselves, promoting the united front, and remaining committed to self-reform. These ten points represent valuable practical experience gained over long term and intellectual treasures created through the joint efforts of the Party and the people. All of us must cherish them, uphold them over the long term, and continue to enrich and develop them in practice in the new era.
It was stated at the session that to accomplish the Party’s mission, we should never forget why we started. The Communist Party of China remains focused on achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation, and a hundred years on from its founding, the Party is still in its prime. Over the past century, the Party has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey to realize the Second Centenary Goal.
Every Party member should bear in mind what the Party is and what its mission is—these are issues of fundamental importance that we must never lose sight of. We must have a precise grasp of historical trends, stand firm in our ideals and convictions, and stay true to our Party’s founding mission. We must remain modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and work hard. We must not be intimidated by any risks or led astray by any distractions, and we must be absolutely certain that we make no catastrophic mistakes on fundamental issues. With the determination to never let up until we reach our goals and the attitude that the last leg of the journey marks the halfway point only, we must make unremitting efforts to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
It was stressed at the session that the whole Party must uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development and fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must use Marxist positions, viewpoints, and methods to observe, understand, and steer the trends of the times, and constantly deepen our understanding of the laws underlying governance by a communist party, the building of socialism, and the development of human society.
We must adhere to the basic theory, line, and policy of the Party; strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and uphold Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership.
We should continue to apply systems thinking and ensure coordinated implementation of the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy. We need to ground our work in this new stage of development, apply the new development philosophy, foster a new pattern of development, and promote high-quality development. We should deepen reform and opening up across the board, promote common prosperity for all, and build up our country’s strength in science and technology. We should develop whole-process people’s democracy and ensure it is the people who run the country. We should continue to advance law-based governance in all respects, uphold the core socialist values, ensure and enhance people’s wellbeing in the course of development, and promote harmony between humanity and nature. We need to balance development and security imperatives, move faster to modernize national defense and the armed forces, and take well-coordinated steps toward making our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful.
It was stressed at the session that the entire Party must forever maintain close ties with the people and act in line with the people-centered philosophy of development, so as to better realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people, and unite and lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. All Party members must keep in mind that one thrives in adversity and perishes in laxity, see things from a long-term, strategic perspective, and always remain mindful of potential dangers. We will continue to advance the great new project of Party building in the new era, exercise full and rigorous self-governance, and remain committed to improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption. We must be able to overcome all difficulties and withstand all pressures, and steer the great ship of socialism with Chinese characteristics to cleave the waves and sail ahead with unstoppable momentum.
The Central Committee decided at the session that the Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing in the second half of 2022, and stated that this congress, which is to be held at an important time when the Party has embarked on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and to realize the Second Centenary Goal, will be a highly important meeting and an event of great political significance for both the Party and the country. The entire Party must unite and lead the Chinese people in surmounting difficulties and forging ahead so as to make new and greater contributions toward building a modern socialist country in all respects, securing great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, and to ensure that excellent results are achieved by the time the 20th National Congress is convened.
The Central Committee calls upon the entire Party, the military, and all Chinese people to rally more closely around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, to fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and to champion the great founding spirit of the Party. We will always remember the glories and hardships of yesterday, rise to the mission of today, and live up to the great dream of tomorrow. We will learn from history, work hard, forge ahead for a better future, and make tireless efforts to realize the Second Centenary Goal and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
We are convinced that the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people will build upon the great glories and victories of the past hundred years with even greater glories and victories on the new journey that lies before us in the new era.