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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)

Party Building

Comrades and friends!

The historical experience of the past 60 years can be summed up in one sentence: there must be a Marxist, revolutionary line and a proletarian party capable of formulating and upholding this line. Faced with the gigantic task of socialist modernization centring around economic construction in the new historical period, we are deeply aware that the key to the fulfilment of this task lies in our Party.

Now, the entire people has placed its hopes on our Party, and other peoples of the world are closely watching it. Whether or not we can steer the ship of the Chinese revolution onward through storm and stress in the new historical period, whether or not we can modernize our agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology fairly smoothly, avoid suffering such serious setbacks and paying such a huge price as in the past, and achieve results that will satisfy the people and win the praise of posterity, all depends on the efforts of all comrades in the Party in the next decade or two. We must not let our people down.

With higher political awareness, we must make our Party a solid core which is more mature politically, more unified ideologically and more consolidated organizationally, and more able to unite with all our nationalities and lead them in socialist modernization.

1. All members of the Party must work with selfless devotion for China's socialist modernization and in the service of the people.

We Chinese Communists must always proceed from our basic standpoint with the objective of wholeheartedly serving the people. Serving the people in essence means that our Party must rally the masses round it and, by virtue of its correct guidelines and policies, its close ties with the masses, its members' exemplary role and its propaganda and organizational work, help them to see where their fundamental interests lie and to gel united to strive for them.

The people are the makers of history. Both the people's revolution and the construction of socialism led by our Party are the people's very own cause. At all times Party memoers comprise only a small minority of the population: so we must rely on the people in all our work, have faith in them, draw wisdom from them, set store by their creativeness and subject ourselves to their supervision. Otherwise, we will accomplish nothing, we will fail. Since victory was won in the revolution, the people have become the masters of the country and society. To organize and support them in fulfilling this role and building a new life under socialism is the very essence of the Party's leadership over affairs of state.

For us Communists, serving the people means primarily dedication to the cause of communism and readiness to sacrifice ourselves for the interests of the people. In the years of war, many of our Party members were the first to charge at the enemy and the last to pull back; they remained staunch and unyielding in captivity, dying as martyrs; and they were invariably the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts. What an inspiration and encouragement they were to millions upon millions of our people! Today, in peacetime construction, and particularly after the decade of havoc of the "cultural revolution," we need this revolutionary spirit even more. Although our Party's fine style of work was corroded by the counterrevolutionary cliques of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing, there are still large numbers of fine Party members who have maintained and carried forward this revolutionary spirit, a spirit characterized by readiness to sacrifice one's individual interests and even one's own life, for the interests of the people. They have won high praise from the people, and they have earned it. It is utterly wrong to think and act as though the revolutionary spirit may be discarded in peacetime construction and Party members no longer need to share weal and woe with the masses whose interests they may subordinate to their own. That would be to debase our Party spirit.

The style of work of a party in power vitally affects its very existence. As Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out in 1942, "Once our Party's style of work is put completely right, the people all over the country will learn from our example. Those outside the Party who have the same kind of bad style will, if they are good and honest people, learn from our example and correct their mistakes, and thus the whole nation will be influenced. So long as our Communist ranks are in good order and march in step, so long as our troops are picked troops and our weapons are good weapons, any enemy, however powerful, can be overthrown." Let us firmly resolve to strive to our utmost to restore and carry forward the fine style of work which our Party and Comrade Mao Zedong cultivated, and to lead the whole Chinese nation in building a high level of socialist civilization.

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