100 years CPC: The official party line

100 years CPC: The official party line

While the CPC still needs some time till 2049 when she wants to be a world power on par with the USA to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PR China, she has now already the opportunity to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. At the same time the Tiananmen massacre museum gets closed and memorial organisations in Hongkong get banned. As starting point for a discussion about the CPC and its 100th anniversary we want to repost the official party line published by the CPC´s mouthpiece Global Times. It summarizes the history of China and the CPC in a very compact manner and tells a lot about the offical selfundertstanding of the party which started in 1921 in Shanghai with alleged 13 members in a 2-story brick building and became after the Indian BJP the world´s biggest and also one of the most influential parties afterwards. Discussions if a democratic China with KMT model Taiwan won´t be an alternative, about the weaknesses of the Chinese system which becomes more and more an neototalitarian one man dictatorship and other related questions will be discussed at a later date. Of course, the official party line doesn´t explicitly mention all the attrocities commited by the CCP which caused the loss of millions of Chinese lives, more than even Western semicolonialism and Japanese militarism did to the Chinese people which shall not be an excuse for it. And whether the USA really wanted to annihilate the Chinese population by a nuclear war might be exaggerated. However it is true that there have been US and Sovjet plans to get rid of China´s nuclear military facilities in the 60s and early 70s. However the central message of the Global Times editorial is that China has been so successful because it had a strong hard core leadership of the CPC which weathered all storms, corrected its errors and learned from them and thereby was the stable anchor for the long term development to a strong nation. That the concentration of power in a hard core leadership might have exactly caused a lot of trouble and losses of human lives and that it took more than a decade to correct the „errors“, is ignored as well as such a power structure involves the danger of a split in the party and the military top-down each time. . The message is that now under Xi Jinping the hard core leadership is even stronger and therefore stable and the basis for strategic planing and precondition for the peaceful rise of China to a new world power in 2049. There is no mentioning that the collective leadership of the CPC has been replaced by a one man dictatorship for life time and that this could even be a problem. Here is the CPC´s official party line:

Why CPC strong leadership key to leading China China over crucial test, en oute to rejunevation through 100 yearsFirm core essential to ensure victory, prevent failure (Part 1)

Editor’s Note:

With the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) less than a month away, the Global Times will publish a series of reports to decode why the CPC is the destined choice for the Chinese people, why it can rise above challenges and tests in a century, and what is its secret code to success in governing such a vast country and implementing effective economic policies that have created an economic miracle for China and the world.

The current series will be divided into two parts to explore how the CPC withstood storm after storm and overcame crisis after crisis and how firm leadership becomes the key to the CPC’s success. This is the first part of the current series, which focuses on how the CPC has overcome serious challenges and gone through tests one by one in the history. The second part, which will be published on Saturday, will start from the internal and external challenges the Party was faced with in the 1980s.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people are gearing up for grand celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party on July 1 – a truly remarkable milestone for the CPC and the over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Around the world, political parties with more than 100 years‘ history are not rare, but almost none could claim the achievements the CPC has made. Through a series of crucial tests and crises, the CPC has emerged even stronger and more confident, leading a torn-apart, poverty-stricken nation out of its darkest moments to a world-leading power today en route for a great national rejuvenation.

In the past 100 years, the CPC experienced several „darkest hours“ in its centurial journey, including the Kuomintang (KMT)’s massacre of CPC members in the 1920s, the setback caused by the Cultural Revolution from the 1960s to 1970s, and the impact of Western ideology in the late 1980s.

Today, experts and scholars are trying to find out what is the key for the Party to overcome those challenges through wise decision-making and self-correction, to prevent a collapse and failure like other communist parties in some former socialist countries, and make China a powerful, successful and confident country that makes the West, which used to have unshakable confidence and supremacy, more and more anxious.

Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, also called the era of revolution, the CPC also experienced serious crises such as the April 12 Counter-revolutionary Coup (also known as the Shanghai massacre) in 1927 when the KMT regime killed thousands of CPC members, and the failure of the campaign against „encirclement and suppression“ launched by the KMT regime in 1933. In these „darkest hours,“ the CPC almost lost more than half of its strength and even risked almost being completely destroyed by the KMT regime.

Before the Zunyi Conference in 1935 which confirmed Mao Zedong’s military leadership of the Red Army, the Party didn’t have a strong leadership core, and the revolution suffered setbacks and tragedies. The Zunyi Conference brought a changeover for the CPC, and overturned the failing tendency.

This proved that the Party leadership with a strong core is essential to ensure the victory and prevent failure, said experts.

Analysts and scholars of Party history said that there are some key similarities or lessons that could be highlighted from these crises – some leaders or elites of the Party held wishful thinking and compromised their stance toward the enemies of the Party and the Chinese people; they blindly attached too much hope on the experiences and thoughts from other countries, and heavily relied on foreign advisors without self-developed ideas based on China’s unique national conditions; and the decision-making board was not united and leaders shared no consensus on the path of the revolution and made wrong judgments on China’s national condition.

These problems also occurred from time to time after 1949, and adding the huge external threats and complicated relations with the super powers during and after the Cold War, these problems have also brought some extreme difficulties and risks to the country and the Party after the PRC was established. „How did the CPC go through these ‚darkest hours‘ and overcome the extreme challenges?“ By answering this question, it can allow the foreigners interested in China and some Westerners who failed to understand the CPC decision-making and could not explain China’s development to learn a better way to deal with China and the CPC today, said Chinese experts, adding that this will also help people understand how and why the CPC will handle the challenges in the future.

According to experts on Party history and Chinese politics reached by the Global Times, there is one key reason why the CPC can always overcome those crises and find the correct direction of the path – the Party can always find its proper and strong core leadership to ensure the victories against the enemies and realize self-correction.

Fighting for autonomy

The first major life-and-death moment for the CPC after 1949 was the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976. This incident caused the Party, China and people to suffer the most serious setbacks and losses since the founding of the PRC, and the economy was on the verge of collapse, said Luo Pinghan, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC.

Apart from the internal chaos and difficulties, China was also facing serious external threats from both Soviet Union and the US. According to leaked documents from the Pentagon, in 1958, amid the second Taiwan Straits crisis, the US had planned to launch nuclear strikes against almost every major city in China to not only destroy the military and industrial targets but also to eliminate the Chinese population.

At the same time, the Sino-Soviet split also caused the relationship between China and the Soviet Union to intensify, and both sides even had a military conflict at the border in 1969. After the conflict, the Soviet Union also planned to launch nuclear strikes against China’s major military bases and cities, including the capital city Beijing, according to historical references.

Due to tensions with both the US and Soviet Union, not just being threatened militarily, China’s development faced huge difficulties due to the sanctions and pressure from both superpowers.

To ensure the security and autonomy of China under such a severe situation, the first generation of CPC leaders with Mao as the core had to be tough when dealing with the US and Soviet Union, said Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China.

„In this period, the most important mission for the CPC was to ensure the survival of the PRC, so from the 1950s to 1970s, China was assertive and determined to defend its hard-won independence and autonomy. The CPC needed to prevent the PRC from being controlled or bullied by others at all cost,“ Jin said.

Thanks to the success in developing China’s own nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in the 1960s, also known as the „Two Bombs, One Satellite“ project, as well as the flexible decision-making and diplomatic efforts, and by leveraging the struggle between the US and Soviet Union, China successfully avoided and deterred a nuclear war with the two superpowers amid the Cold War, said experts.

“ The ‚Three World Theory‘ proposed by Mao proved to be relevant. As the core of the CPC and China’s leader at that time, Mao wisely used the confrontation between the US and Soviet Union to expand China’s influence and popularity in the third world,“ Yang Xuedong, a professor of political science at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times.

After a series of diplomatic, political and military efforts, the PRC was recognized as „the only legitimate representative of China to the UN“ in 1971 and also achieved the goal of normalization of China-US ties in 1972. Some analysts said the CPC is really good at seeking opportunity from the crisis, and even turn the crisis into an opportunity.

Inheritance and self-correction

While the danger of war with superpowers was avoided, China’s international influence was growing and in the field of strategic nuclear power, China achieved significant goals, but the internal problem of the Cultural Revolution still remained.

In 1976, the victory in smashing the „Gang of Four“ lifted the Party and the country from the crisis, but the political, ideological, organizational, and economic chaos left over from the Cultural Revolution was still very dire, and it was not easy to get rid of such a predicament and start anew, Luo said.

In 1978, the Party led and supported discussion about „Practice is the sole criterion for testing the truth,“ which was of great significance in bringing the country out of the chaos. The 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC fundamentally broke the binding shackles of the problems of left-leaning theories, corrected the Party’s guiding ideology, re-established the Marxist ideological, political, and organizational line, and eventually realized the Party’s successes since the founding of the PRC.

„This was a great turning point with far-reaching significance in history.“ The Party earnestly corrected major historical wrongs, adopted a series of measures to rectify unjust and erroneous acts, and implemented various policies conducive to strengthening unity, mobilizing all positive elements, Luo noted.

In the transition period between the first generation of CPC leaders with Mao at its core and the second generation with Deng Xiaoping at the center, the CPC has avoided huge internal turbulence like what happened in the Soviet Union after former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s death as Nikita Khrushchev denied the contributions Stalin made to the Soviet Union.

The second generation of leadership inherited the first generation’s achievements and corrected its errors, rather than making no change, or replacing everything, and this remains the key reason why the CPC still exists and leads China in its march forward, while the Communist Party of the Soviet Union collapsed, said some observers.

The 6th Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1981 passed the „Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of our Party since the Founding of the PRC“, which fundamentally denied the Cultural Revolution and its relevant ideals, but the resolution also successfully sought not to deny Mao and Mao Zedong Thought, and confirmed the guiding role of Mao Zedong Thought for the CPC.

„With the changes inside and outside China, it’s increasingly evident that the second generation of the CPC leadership with Deng at its core has political courage and foresight by implementing such correct and significant decisions,“ Luo said.


CPC emerges stronger firmer to original aspiration through the haze of the 80s

Editor’s Note:

With the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) less than a month away, the Global Times will publish a series of reports to decode why the CPC is the destined choice for the Chinese people, why it can rise above challenges and tests in a century, and what is its secret code to success in governing such a vast country and implementing effective economic policies that have created an economic miracle for China and the world.

The current series is divided into two parts to explore how the CPC withstood storm after storm and overcame crisis after crisis, and how firm leadership has been the key to the CPC’s success.

This is the second part of the current series. It will focus on how the CPC rose from a dark period in the late 1980s, when the global environment was clouded by drastic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and a trend of Western ideologies was brewing domestically, and found China’s own steadfast and confident path in a new era of development.

After the self-correction in the late 1970s to heal the country from the damage of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the CPC kicked off reforms and opening-up in 1978. China achieved an enormous economic and social progress and enhanced connections and interactions with the world in all aspects, but in the late 1980s, another „darkest hour“ arrived due to the impact of Western liberalist thought and some problems such as corruption from inside the Party with the ongoing reforms and opening-up.

From the late 1980s to early 1990s, not only China, but the whole socialist bloc including the Soviet Union and many Eastern and Central European countries encountered a huge wave of „liberalization“ or „democratization,“ which in fact was Westernization.

Again, China was at the crossroads of history. The CPC leaders, just like their comrades in Europe, were facing a decision — to insist on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and keep the Party’s original aspiration; or give up socialism like what the European comrades did and embrace Westernization.

Crossroads of history

Because of the Cultural Revolution, China’s development fell behind most other countries of the world. When some Chinese people, officials and intellectuals, engaged with the world and saw the advancement and prosperity of the West through travelling abroad, listening to VOA news, watching Hollywood movies and drinking Coca Cola, they felt shocked, and lost the confidence to keep going on the path of socialism, said some analysts.

„At that time, we believed a complete Westernization, just like what Japan and South Korea did, or maybe just like our Taiwan and Hong Kong regions, will help China solve all problems and catch up with other major powers of the world soon,“ said a Beijing resident who was a student in 1989.

When we saw the gap between the West and our country, we were truly jealous and desperately wanted the change, and we naively believed that there was a „panacea“, a medicine that can cure all illnesses for China – „democratization,“ he said, adding that not only young students, but also a few senior officials of the CPC leadership thought similarly.

In the late 1980s, some Chinese people, especially intellectuals and students, who desperately wanted the country to be opened and felt extremely unconfident in the front of mighty Western modern culture and neo-liberalism ideology, started to undermine traditional Chinese culture and crow about the advancement of Western culture.

The documentary „River Elegy“ in 1988 is a typical example, as it immaturely concluded that China’s land-based civilization was inferior to Western maritime culture, and the documentary also tried to undermine patriotism and splendid traditions of the Chinese nation, which angered many Chinese people but also confused the minds of quite a number of the youths at that time.

Jin Canrong, a professor from Renmin University of China, said at that time, those people who preferred to blame Chinese traditional culture and expand the sense of inferiority were truly naive and immature.

„It’s just like a grandson, when he can’t do his job, he blames his grandfather. The Chinese culture is definitely not inferior to any other culture, the reason why the West has advantages over China in the past 100 years is because of industrialization,“ Jin said.

Once China realized full industrialization, „the West had no advantage at all because China’s scale is way bigger than them all. That’s why Western strategists and elites are worried and concerned about our development now,“ Jin noted.

„Luckily, the CPC didn’t make the mistake, otherwise we might have collapsed like the Soviet Union,“ said the anonymous Beijing resident.

If the CPC made the mistake and compromised, China might have had civil wars as well, just like the Chechen War in Russia, or might have been attacked by the West, like what NATO did to former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, or China’s state-owned properties and resources might have been privatized, and Western capitalists would have plundered the prosperity of our people like what the West did to Eastern and Central European countries after the Cold War,“ he said.

Decisive and correct decision

But how could the CPC leaders with Deng Xiaoping at the core at that time have known that it was right to insist upon socialism with Chinese characteristics while most socialist countries in Europe had chosen to give up on socialism?

Because their experiences had told them that complete Westernization wouldn’t work, at least not for China, Chinese experts said, adding that Chinese intellectuals, pioneers in politics, and founding fathers of the CPC and the KMT had grand debates, competitions and struggles before choosing the path for China’s modernization, and eventually it was concluded that the CPC was the answer. At the crossroads of history in the late 1980s, the CPC leaders had the confidence and determination to stay with their original aspiration.

Zhang Weiwei, director of the China Institute of Fudan University in Shanghai, said that „in fact, this was not the first time that China faced the choice of Westernization. From the late Qing Dynasty to the era of the Republic of China, the pioneers and pathfinders of the Chinese nation had tried almost all kinds of Western political systems.“

„Constitutional monarchies, multi-party-systems, democratic elections…we tried them all, but none of them helped China to protect itself from invasions launched by Western colonialist or imperialist countries, and these attempts even caused further splits within China and endless wars between warlords across the country,“ Zhang said.

Finally, in 1949, the CPC brought a system that could help China to realize unification, independence and stability, and also give China the ability to defeat foreign invasions and regain its confidence, so that the whole nation can focus on development, Zhang said, noting that „the CPC and the socialist system are the destined choice of history, and the choice of the Chinese people.“

However, not every communist party is qualified to be the choice of the people. The Soviet Union was also trying to push reform, as Mikhail Gorbachev, then leader of Soviet Union, proposed „new political thinking“ to kick off his reform.

Some people in China at that time also believed the so-called „new thinking“ was more correct than the CPC’s opening-up and reform because it looked more Westernized. But later the facts proved that Gorbachev failed and Deng was right. Some experts said Gorbachev’s reform was like a „political suicide“ for the Soviet Union, and it was just like a gift for the West since the red giant just killed itself and quit the Cold War, then the West declared victory at almost no cost.

The socialist countries worldwide are facing unprecedented ideological threat from the West, and many forces are trying to use the trend to bury red regimes once and for all. The incident that occurred between spring and summer in 1989 was used and hijacked by some foreign forces and domestic extremists, and later escalated into riots. The CPC later made decisive moves to stop the turmoil, end the riot and stabilize domestic situation to restore stability and peace.

Successful development and mature governance of China today is just like the answer – the CPC made the right decision then. Compared with the unfortunate experiences of Russia after the Cold War and the poor destinies of other former socialist countries in Europe who chose other paths in 1989, the Chinese people understand that the CPC made a decisive decision in 1989 that saved the country and its reforms and opening-up. China eventually withstood a looming color revolution.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yegor Ligachyov, former member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, once said „why has our reform caused a super power of the world to collapse, millions of people to suffer from poverty, and thrown Russia into the capitalist camp? While China’s reform can bring the country to the path of construction, progress and improving people’s living standard, and eventually turn China into a major power of the world?“ The first and the most important reason is the leadership of the CPC, he said.

Li Yuejun, a former research fellow from the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times that apart from taking decisive action to end the political turmoil, the CPC also showed its capability of learning, reform and governance.

On one hand, the Party used all resources to ensure the fundamental political system of the country was unshakeable and safeguarded the stability of the country to create an ideal environment for reform and development; on the other hand, it learned all kinds of advanced experiences around the globe to improve itself not only in economy, science and technology, but also in governance. Otherwise the Party wouldn’t be able to deliver what the Chinese people need after it decisively ended the turbulence, experts said.

New era

In summary of those cases in the history, the keys for the CPC to overcome serious challenges and go through the „darkest hours“ in the past are the insistence on independence and autonomy; insisting on the methodology of seeking truth from facts, and sticking to a leadership with a strong core that could remain true to the CPC’s original aspiration and keep the founding mission in mind, said analysts.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, in January 2020 called for continued efforts to ensure that the whole Party remains true to its original aspiration and keeps its mission firmly in mind.

In explanation of the CPC’s original aspiration and founding mission, Xi said „All the hard work, struggles and sacrifices the Party has made since its founding are for the happiness of the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.“

Xi also warned that „when we get closer to the national rejuvenation, it won’t be plain sailing; there will be more risks and challenges, and even terrifying waves.“

Some analysts predicted that the „waves“ could be the challenges launched by foreign forces as China’s national rejuvenation will inevitably impact or threaten their existing hegemony, whether China has intentions or not, so the US will not just sit and watch China surpass it.

In order to realize the historic goal of national rejuvenation by the middle of the century, the CPC and China will encounter more difficulties and challenges in the future as the world is experiencing a profound change which has never been seen in the past century, and in this period, a stable and powerful leadership with a strong core for the Party is fundamental for the CPC to lead the country to realize this grand historic goal, experts said.

China has seen many problems with fast economic development in the past decades since the reform and opening-up, such as corruption, uneven development between the eastern and western regions, and the reemerging ideological threat from the West that could once again challenge the country’s fundamental political system.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Party under the new generation of leadership with Xi at the core has launched an unprecedented campaign against corruption, and received remarkable outcomes. The Party’s construction has also been strengthened, and these changes have ensured China will realize goals one by one such as the victory of the campaign against poverty and the goal to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

At present, China is the second largest economy in the world, and it’s just a matter of time before it surpasses the US in the near future, and China also has many world leading unique advantages such as 5G technology, high-speed railway systems and the capability in construction of infrastructure.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s governance and political system have also shown better performance than the Western system. From national leaders to ordinary people, from elites to grassroots, China is now becoming much more united and confident than in the late 1980s, while the West is getting more and more insecure, worried, polarized and divided.

In the trade war launched by the US during the Trump administration, China has never compromised and launched tit-for-tat retaliations, and it proved that Chinese economic development received no major damage while the US is suffering from its wrong strategy.

In the fight against foreign forces‘ interference in Hong Kong, the CPC has also made calm and decisive actions in diplomacy, politics and legislature to successfully restore peace and stability to the city. On the Taiwan question, under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese mainland has also strengthened the preparation for reunification by all means, and increased military pressure to deter secessionists on the island and foreign forces.

When China had limited strength during the Cold War, the CPC never hesitated to defend the hard-won independence and autonomy of China, even as it faced potential wars with other super powers and risks of being attacked by nuclear weapons, so today, the offensives that the US launches against China or the CPC won’t work at all, and it would receive much more powerful counteractions than in the past if it escalates the competition into all-out confrontation, experts said.

As long as the CPC has a leadership with a strong core that can be united, hardworking and set the role model for the whole Party, to remain true to its original aspiration and keep its mission firmly in mind, there would be nothing that can stop the Party from leading China to realize the great national rejuvenation, and now the CPC and China are marching forward to this historic goal, experts said. Major CPC conferences Graphic:GT


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