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Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Previous Covers
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)

Let us rise and pay our sincere tribute to the memory of all the revolutionary martyrs: all the revolutionary leaders and cadres, Communists and Communist Youth League members, veteran revolutionaries and young fighters, non-Party comrades-in-arms and foreign friends who laid down their lives for the Chinese people at different stages of the Chinese revolution over the past six decades.

Why do we say that the history of the Chinese Communist Party is one of ever closer integration, through repeated application, of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution?

From the moment of its inception, our Party adopted Marxism-Leninism as its guiding ideology. However, the general principles of Marxism provide no ready-made recipe for revolution in a particular country, especially a big, oriental, semi-feudal and semi-colonial country like China. During its formative years, the 1920s and 1930s, our Party suffered again and again from the "infantile malady" of turning Marxism into a dogma and deifying foreign experience - a malady which could not but leave the Chinese revolution groping in the dark and even lead it into a blind alley. Comrade Mao Zedong's great contribution lies in the fact that, in the course of combating this erroneous tendency and in the struggles waged collectively by the Party and the people, he succeeded in integrating the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution and in summing up freshly gained experiences. In this way Mao Zedong Thought took shape as the guiding scientific ideology conforming to Chinese conditions. It is this scientific ideology that has guided the sweeping advance of the Chinese revolution from one triumph to another.

Mao Zedong Thought, coming into being and developing in the course of the Chinese revolution, is the crystallization of the collective wisdom of our Party and a summing-up of the victories in the gigantic struggles of the Chinese people. Its theories on the new-democratic revolution, on the socialist revolution and socialist construction, on the strategy and tactics of revolutionary struggle, on the building of a revolutionary army, on military strategy, on ideological and political work, on cultural work, and on the building of the Party, as well as its theories concerning scientific modes of thought, work and leadership which will be even more important in guiding all our work in the future, have all added new and original ideas to the treasure house of Marxism. As a theory and as the summing-up of experiences verified in practice, as the application and development of Marxism in China, Mao Zedong Thought has been and will remain the guiding ideology of our Party.

However, Comrade Mao Zedong had his shortcomings and mistakes just like many other outstanding figures in the forefront of the march of history. Chiefly in his later years, having been admired and loved for so long by the whole Party and people, he became overconfident and more and more divorced from reality and the masses and, in particular, from the Party's collective leadership, and often rejected and even suppressed correct opinions that differed from his. Thus, he inevitably made mistakes, including the comprehensive, long-drawn-out and gross blunder of initiating the "cultural revolution"; this was a tremendous misfortune for the Party and the people. Of course, it must be admitted that both before the "cultural revolution" and at the time of its inception, the Party failed to prevent Comrade Mao Zedong's erroneous tendency from growing more serious but, instead, accepted and approved of some of his wrong theses. We veterans who had been working together with him for a long time as his comrades-in-arms, or who had long been following him in revolutionary struggle as his disciples, are keenly aware of our own responsibility in this matter, and we are determined never to forget this lesson.

Although Comrade Mao Zedong made grave mistakes in his later years, it is clear that if we consider his life work as a whole, his contributions to the Chinese revolution far outweigh his errors. He had dedicated himself to the Chinese revolution since his youth and had fought for it all his life. He was one of the founders of our Party and the chief architect of the glorious Chinese People's Liberation Army. At the most trying times in the Chinese revolution, he was the first to discover the correct road for the revolution, work out a correct overall strategy and gradually formulate a whole set of correct theories and tactics, thus guiding the revolution from defeat to victory. After the founding of the People's Republic, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and Comrade Mao Zedong, New China quickly consolidated its position and embarked on the great cause of socialism. Even in the last few years of his life, when his errors had become very serious, Comrade Mao Zedong still remained alert to the nation's independence and security and had a correct grasp of the new developments in the world situation. He led the Party and people in standing up to all pressures from hegemonism and instituted a new pattern for our foreign relations. In the long years of struggle, all comrades in our Party drew wisdom and strength from Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought which nurtured successive generations of our Party's leaders and large numbers of its cadres and educated the whole Chinese people. Comrade Mao Zedong was a great Marxist, a great proletarian revolutionary, theorist and strategist, and the greatest national hero in Chinese history. He made major contributions to the cause of the liberation of the world's oppressed nations and to the cause of human progress. His immense contributions are immortal.

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