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Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Previous Covers> 1980s
UPDATED: July 1, 2011 NO. 28, 1981
Hu Yaobang's Speech
At the meeting in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1, 1981)

Comrades and Friends:

We are gathered here today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. At this moment, we are all deeply aware that our Party and state are in an important historical period, a period in which we are bringing order out of chaos, carrying on our cause and forging ahead.

To bring order out of chaos, carry on our cause and forge ahead, we must undo all the negative consequences of the "cultural revolution," advance the great cause pioneered by the Party under the leadership of Comrade Mao Zedong and other proletarian revolutionaries of the older generation, and pave the way further to socialism and communism for the Chinese people.

Historical Review

The Sixth Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which has just ended, adopted the Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People's Republic of China. The resolution reviews the Party's 60 years of struggle, sums up the basic experience it has gained in the 32 years since the founding of the People's Republic, makes a concrete and realistic evaluation of a whole train of crucial historical events, analyses what was right and what was wrong in the ideology behind these events and the subjective factors and social roots giving rise to them, evaluates Comrade Mao Zedong's role in history and expounds Mao Zedong Thought scientifically, and indicates our way forward more clearly. The plenary session also took decisions on other important matters. History will prove that it too was a meeting of paramount importance for our Party - a new milestone for our Party and state in the course of bringing order out of chaos, carrying on our cause and forging ahead.

Looking back over the path our Party has traversed, we are keenly conscious of the fact that the Chinese revolution has not been smooth sailing. We can say that the 60 years since the founding of the Communist Party of China have been years of unflinching, heroic struggle for the liberation of the Chinese nation and the happiness of the Chinese people, years of ever closer integration, through repeated application, of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, and years when right prevailed over wrong and positive aspects prevailed over negative aspects in the Party. They have been years during which we marched on to a number of victories despite untold hardships and setbacks.

Why do we say that the history of the Chinese Communist Party is one of unflinching, heroic struggle for the liberation of the Chinese nation and the happiness of the Chinese people?

In modern Chinese history, between the Opium War of 1840-42 and the outbreak of the May 4th Movement of 1919, the Chinese people waged protracted, heroic struggles against imperialism and feudalism. The 1911 Revolution led by the great revolutionary Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty monarchy, thus bringing to an end more than 2,000 years of feudal autocracy. However, the way to China's salvation was not discovered through any of these struggles. It was not until the Communist Party of China was born after the October Socialist Revolution in Russia and the May 4th Movement in China that new vistas were opened up for the Chinese revolution, as a result of the integration of Marxism-Leninism with the rising workers' movement in China. and with the help of the international proletariat.

The enemy of the Chinese revolution was formidable and ferocious. But none of the hardships overwhelmed the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China. In a dauntless revolutionary spirit, our Party led the people in rising up to fight the enemy. We Communists and the people depended on each other for survival: we relied closely on the people. and the people had deep faith in us. Our Party steeled itself in the grim struggle and became the most advanced and most powerful leading force in the history of the Chinese revolution and built a new and well-trained people's army. After 28 years of arduous struggle in four great people's revolutionary wars (the Northern Expedition, 1924-27, the Agrarian Revolutionary War. 1927-37, the War of Resistance Against Japan, 1937-45, and the War of Liberation, 1946-49). our Party led the people of all our nationalities in finally overthrowing in 1949 the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and winning the great victory of the new-democratic revolution, a victory which led to the founding of the People's Republic of China, a state of the people's democratic dictatorship.

After the founding of the People's Republic, our Party led the entire people in sustained advance. We thwarted the threats, attempts at subversion, sabotage and armed provocations of the imperialists and hegemonists, and safeguarded the independence and security of our great motherland. Except for Taiwan Province and a few other islands, we have achieved and consolidated the unification of our country. We have achieved and strengthened the great unity of the Chinese people of whatever nationality and of the workers, peasants and intellectuals throughout the country. We have formed and consolidated the broadest possible united front of all socialist workers, patriots who support socialism and other patriots who uphold the reunification of the motherland - a united front led by the Chinese Communist Party in full co-operation with all the democratic parties. And we smoothly effected the decisive transition of our society from new democracy to socialism. Thanks to the arduous struggle of the whole Party and people, we in the main completed the socialist transformation of the private ownership of the means of production and embarked on large-scale, planned socialist economic construction. Thus, our economy and culture registered an advance unparalleled in Chinese history. However numerous the shortcomings and mistakes in our work and however imperfect some aspects of our social system, we have eliminated the system of exploitation and the exploiting classes and have established the socialist system. Hence, with nearly a quarter of the world's population. China has entered upon a socialist society, a brand new society in the history of mankind. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this is the most radical social change in Chinese history. It is a leap of the most far-reaching significance in the progress of mankind and a tremendous victory for and a further development of Marxism.

The change is indeed striking. In the 80 years between the Opium War and the birth of the Chinese Communist Party, the ceaseless struggles of the people had all failed despite their heroism, and their hopes and lofty aspirations were sadly frustrated. The picture has been altogether different in the 60 years since the birth of the Chinese Communist Party. A new epoch in Chinese history was ushered in. The Chinese people have taken their destiny into their own hands; they have stood up in the East. Never again will the Chinese nation be bullied and oppressed.

In celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, we feel with deep emotion that the splendid fruits of the Chinese people's revolution have been truly hard-won. They have been won by the Chinese people in 60 long years of hard struggle under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. They have been nurtured with the blood of millions of Communists and non-Party revolutionaries who died before the firing squad, on the battlefield or at their posts.

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