Speech at a Ceremony Marking the Centenary of the Communist Party of China
July 1, 2021
Comrades and friends,
Today, the first of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese nation. We gather here to join all Party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the centenary of the Party, looking back on the glorious journey the Party has traveled over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
To begin, let me extend warm congratulations to all Party members on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.
On this special occasion, it is my honor to declare on behalf of the Party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China!
Comrades and friends,
The Chinese nation is a great nation. With a history of more than 5,000 years, China has made indelible contributions to the progress of human civilization. After the Opium War of 1840, however, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.
To save the nation from peril, the Chinese people put up a courageous fight. As noble-minded patriots sought to pull the nation together, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement, the Reform Movement of 1898, the Yihetuan Movement, and the Revolution of 1911 rose one after the other, and a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. China was in urgent need of new ideas to lead the movement to save the nation and a new organization to rally revolutionary forces.
With the salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. Then in 1921, as the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were undergoing a great awakening and Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. The founding of a communist party in China was an epoch-making event, which profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation, and altered the landscape of world development.
Since the very day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. All the struggle, sacrifice, and creation through which the Party has united and led the Chinese people over the past hundred years has been tied together by one ultimate theme—bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution.
Through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation, we fought armed counter-revolution with armed revolution, toppling the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism and establishing the People’s Republic of China, which made the people masters of the country. We thus secured our nation’s independence and liberated our people.
The victory of the new-democratic revolution put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China. It created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation.
Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people had stood up, and that the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.
To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in endeavoring to build a stronger China with a spirit of self-reliance, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction.
By carrying out socialist revolution, we eliminated the exploitative and repressive feudal system that had persisted in China for thousands of years, and established socialism as our basic system. In the process of socialist construction, we overcame subversion, sabotage, and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese nation. This great transformation of China from a poor and backward country in the East with a large population into a socialist country laid down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation.
Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people were capable of not only dismantling the old world, but also building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism could develop China.
To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in freeing the mind and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.
We established the Party’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism, resolutely advanced reform and opening up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, safeguarded, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board. It also enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy, and to make the historic transformation 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. These achievements fueled the push toward national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for rapid development.
Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that by pursuing reform and opening up, a crucial move in making China what it is today, China had caught up with the times in great strides.
To realize national rejuvenation, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance, and innovation, achieving great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. In this new era, we have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, modernized China’s system and capacity for governance, remained committed to exercising rule-based governance over the Party, and developed a sound system of intraparty regulations. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. All the historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative.
Through tenacious struggle, the Party 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, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.
Over the past hundred years, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation, embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote, “Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.” The great path we have pioneered, the great cause we have undertaken, and the great achievements we have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the development of the Chinese nation and of human civilization.