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Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Previous Covers> 1980s
UPDATED: July 1, 2011 NO. 36, 1982
12th National Party Congress Opens

The Presidium of the Party Congress

The 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China opened on September 1 in the capital's Great Hall of the People, with 1,545 delegates and 145 alternate delegates attending.

At 9 a.m., Vice-Chairman of the Party Central Committee Deng Xiaoping, the presiding chairman, declared the congress open. The band played The Internationale, after which all present stood in silent tribute to Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De and the other deceased proletarian revolutionaries of the older generation and to all revolutionary martyrs.

In his opening speech at the congress, Deng Xiaoping announced the three main items on the agenda: (1) Consideration of the report of the 11th Central Committee and decision on the Party's programme for striving to create a new situation in all fields of socialist modernization; (2) Consideration and adoption of the new Constitution of the Communist Party of China; and (3) Election of a new Central Committee, a Central Advisory Commission and a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

He said in his speech that a review of the Party's history will show this congress to be a most important meeting since the Seventh National Congress.

He stated: "We have every reason to believe - that the correct programme to be formulated at this congress will create a new situation in all fields of socialist modernization and bring prosperity to our Party, our socialist cause, our country and all our nationalities."

He continued: "In our modernization programme, we must proceed from China's realities. To integrate the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete realities of China, blaze a path of our own and build socialism with Chinese characteristics - this is the basic conclusion we have reached in summing up the long historical experience."

"Independence and self-reliance have always been and will for ever be our basic stand," he stressed. "We Chinese people value our friendship and co-operation with other countries and people. We value even more our hard-won independence and sovereign rights. No foreign country can expect China to be its vassal or expect it to swallow any bitter fruit detrimental to its own interests."

He added: "We will unswervingly follow a policy of opening to the outside world and actively increase exchanges with foreign countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. At the same time, we will keep a clear head, firmly resist corrosion by decadent ideas from abroad and never permit the bourgeois way of life to spread in our country."

"The 1980s will be an important decade in the historical development of our Party and state," he stated. "To intensify socialist modernization, to strive for reunification and particularly for the return of Taiwan to the motherland, and to combat hegemonism and safeguard world peace - these are the three major tasks of our people in the 1980s. Economic construction is at the core of these tasks as it is the basis for the solution of China's external and domestic problems."

He then set forth the four tasks for the whole nation in a long period to come, at least in the 18 years up to the end of this century:

- To restructure the administration and the economic setup and make the ranks of cadres more revolutionary, younger in average age, better educated and more professionally competent;

- To build socialist spiritual civilization;

- To strike at criminal activities in the economic and other fields that undermine socialism;

- To rectify the Party style of work and consolidate the Party organization on the basis of a conscientious study of the new Party Constitution.

"These," he pointed out, "will be the most important guarantees for our adherence to the socialist road and the concentration of our efforts on modernization."

He added: "With the accomplishment of the tasks of this congress, our Party will have a more clear-cut guiding ideology for socialist modernization, the Party will be strengthened in a way more suited to the needs of the new historical period, and in the highest leading organs of the Party there will be co-operation of old and new cadres and succession of the new to the old, thus making these organs a more vigorous command headquarters."

Following Deng Xiaoping's speech, Chairman of the Party Central Committee Hu Yaobang made a report to the congress on behalf of the 11th Party Central Committee, entitled "Create a New Situation in All Fields of Socialist Modernization." (The full text of the report will be published in the coming issues.)

The report is divided into six parts: 1. A historic change and the great new tasks; 2. Bring about an all-round upsurge of the socialist economy; 3. Strive to attain a high level of socialist spiritual civilization; 4. Strive to attain a high level of socialist democracy; 5. Adhere to an independent foreign policy; 6. Build the Party into a firm leading core for the cause of socialist modernization.

Hu Yaobang pointed out in his report that in the coming five years after the congress, efforts will be made to bring about a fundamental turn for the better in the country's financial and economic situation, in the standards of public conduct and in the Party style of work. He also stated that in the 20 years from 1981 to the end of this century, the general objective of China's economic construction is, while steadily working for more and better economic results, to quadruple the gross annual value of industrial and agricultural production.

Communist Party Membership Expands

The membership of the Communist Party of China has increased nine-fold from 4.4 million in 1949 to the current figure of over 39 million, according to the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

More than 4.6 million members have been admitted into the Party in the past four years, accounting for 14 per cent of the total number. Most of them are workers, peasants, cadres, teachers, experts, professors and outstanding minority people with a high level of political consciousness and professional skills. Most of the new Party members are young and middle-aged people.

With a large number of outstanding people joining the CPC, Party members are playing an ever greater role in the socialist modernization drive. Figures from 25 factories, enterprises and schools in Beijing show that 60 per cent of the new members who joined the Party from 1977 to 1980 have been cited as model and advanced workers.

Attention has been attached in the last few years to recruiting Party members from among intellectuals against whom there were prejudices in the past. Large numbers of intellectuals who had applied for Party membership for many years and who have the required qualifications have joined the Party. Among them are well-known scientists and artists.

Since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Party Central Committee in December 1978, the Party has focused its attention on consolidating its organizations and conducting ideological education among its members. Party prestige which was seriously damaged during the "cultural revolution" has been gradually restored and the number of people applying for Party membership has increased. In Qinghua University which has over 7,000 teachers and students, for instance, over 170 people out of about 1,000 who applied for Party membership have since last year been admitted into the Party.

Liao Zhongkai and He Xiangning Commemorated

A rally was held in Beijing on the morning of August 29 to honour the late Mr. Liao Zhong-kai and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of his wife He Xiangning. The meeting was sponsored jointly by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Liao Zhongkai and He Xiang-ning were forerunners of the Chinese democratic revolution. To seek the truth for saving the country and the people, they went to Japan in the early years of this century to join the Tong Meng Hui (Chinese Revolutionary League) founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Liao became a leading member of the League and his wife became the League's first woman member. They followed Dr. Sun and actively helped in overthrowing the feudal monarchy of the Qing Dynasty and founding the Republic in the 1911 Revolution.

The couple helped Dr. Sun Yat-sen formulate the Three Great Policies of alliance with Russia, co-operation with the Communist Party and assistance to the peasants and workers. Faithfully implementing these policies, they helped Dr. Sun reorganize the Kuomintang which brought about the first co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party in the years 1924-27.

Addressing the rally in the Chinese capital, Deng Yingchao, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice-Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, paid tribute to the couple for their contributions to the Chinese revolution. She said that the reunification of the motherland and the realization of the third co-operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party are sacred tasks entrusted by history to the entire Chinese people. Saying that the previous co-operations between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party propelled the advance of Chinese history, she expressed the sincere hope that those who followed Dr. Sun Yat-sen and worked together with Madame Soong Ching Ling, Mr. Liao Zhongkai and Madame He Xiangning would put the interests of the nation above everything else and strive for the third co-operation between the two parties at an early date.

Party and state leaders Deng Xiaoping and Li Xiannian attended the rally.

Also present at the rally were Liao Chengzhi and Liao Meng-xing, son and daughter of Liao Zhongkai and He Xiangning.

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