In the past two years, through the deepening struggle to expose and criticize Lin Piao and the "gang of four," many issues of right and wrong in ideology and theory which they turned upside down have been straightened out. However, quite a number of comrades still do not dare to raise questions or deal with them in a straightforward way. This situation came into being under specific historical conditions. The plenary session calls on comrades of the whole Party and the people of the whole country to continue to free themselves from the mental shackles imposed by Lin Piao and the "gang of four" and, at the same time, resolutely overcome the bureaucracy caused by the over-concentration of authority, the failure to reward or punish as deserved and the influence of petty producer mentality so as to help the people emancipate their minds and "start up the machinery."
The session highly evaluated the discussion of whether practice is the sole criterion for testing truth, noting that this is of far-reaching historic significance in encouraging comrades of the whole Party and the people of the whole country to emancipate their thinking and follow the correct ideological line. For a party, a country or a nation, if everything had to be done according to books and thinking became ossified, progress would become impossible, life itself would stop and the Party and country would perish.
The session emphatically points out that the great feats performed by Comrade Mao Tsetung in protracted revolutionary struggle are indelible. Without his outstanding leadership and without Mao Tsetung Thought, it is most likely that the Chinese revolution would not have been victorious up to the present. The Chinese people would still be living under the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and our Party would still be struggling in the dark. Comrade Mao Tsetung was a great Marxist. He always adopted the scientific attitude of "one divides into two" towards everyone, including himself. It would not be Marxist to demand that a revolutionary leader be free of all shortcomings and errors. It also would not conform to Comrade Mao Tsetung's consistent evaluation of himself. The lofty task of the Party Central Committee on the theoretical front is to lead and educate the whole Party and the people of the whole country to recognize Comrade Mao Tsetung's great feats in a historical and scientific perspective, comprehensively and correctly grasp the scientific system of Mao Tsetung Thought and integrate the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought with the concrete practice of socialist modernization and develop it under the new historical conditions.
The session holds that the Great Cultural Revolution should also be viewed historically, scientifically and in a down-to-earth way. Comrade Mao Tsetung initiated this great revolution primarily in the light of the fact that the Soviet Union had turned revisionist and for the purpose of opposing revisionism and preventing its occurrence. As for the shortcomings and mistakes in the actual course of the revolution, they should be summed up at the appropriate time as experience and lessons so as to unify the views of the whole Party and the people of the whole country. However, there should be no haste about this. Shelving this problem will not prevent us from solving all other problems left over from past history in a down-to-earth manner, nor will it affect our concentration of efforts to speed up the four modernizations, the greatest historic task of the time.
Basing itself on the experience and lessons drawn from the history of our Party, the plenary session decided to improve the practice of democratic centralism within the Party, to amplify the Party rules and regulations and to enforce strict discipline in the Party.
At the session Comrade Hua Kuo-feng laid stress on the importance of collective leadership in the Party Central Committee and Party committees at all levels. He proposed that newspapers and publications throughout the country and works of literature and art give more praise to the worker-peasant-soldier masses, the Party and the revolutionaries of the older generation and give less publicity to any individual. The plenary session fully agreed with Comrade Hua Kuo-feng's proposal and evaluated it highly, regarding it as an important sign of improvement in democratic life within the Party. The plenary session reiterated Comrade Mao Tsetung's consistent view that people in the Party should call each other "comrade" and not address each other by their official titles. No personal view by a Party member in a position of responsibility, including leading comrades of the Central Committee, is to be called an "instruction." The session points out that the Party members' right to raise criticism within the Party concerning the leadership at higher levels, up to Members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, must be guaranteed and any practice that does not conform to the Party's democratic centralism and the principle of collective leadership should be resolutely corrected.
The session holds that just as a country has its laws, the Party should have its rules and regulations. Observance of Party discipline by all Party members and Party cadres is a minimum requirement for restoring normal political life in the Party and the state. Leading Party cadres at all levels should take the lead in strictly observing Party discipline. Disciplinary measures should be taken against all violators of Party discipline with no exception, so that there is a clear distinction between merits and faults, awards and punishments, so that honesty prevails and bad tendencies are eliminated.
The plenary session elected a 100-member Central Commission for Inspecting Discipline, headed by Comrade Chen Yun. This is an important measure to guarantee implementation of the Party's political line. The fundamental task of the commission is to enforce Party rules and regulations and develop a good Party style.
The plenary session points out that the efforts made in the two years since the smashing of the "gang of four" have immensely strengthened unity and heightened the political consciousness of the whole Party, the whole army and the people of all China's nationalities. Comrade Hua Kuo-feng's call to "solve the problems while stabilizing the situation" and "further emancipate our minds, be more courageous and resourceful and step up the pace" has found a warm response in the hearts of the people. So long as the whole Party applies itself to the study of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and the know-how needed for socialist modernization, continues to seek truth from facts and uphold the mass line, makes bold innovations and at the same time maintains an attitude of modesty and prudence, makes thorough investigation, gives careful direction and fights no battle ill-prepared or lacking assurance of victory, it can definitely speed up the realization of its general task for the new period, and no difficulty can stop the victorious advance of the Party and the people.
Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of the great People's Republic of China. The Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee issues the following call to all comrades in the Party, to commanders and fighters throughout the army, to workers, peasants and intellectuals of all nationalities throughout the country, to people in all political parties and to non-party democratic patriots: The best contribution to the 30th anniversary of the founding of our People's Republic will be to shift the emphasis of our work to socialist modernization and to achieve the expected success next year. Let us rally even more closely under the banner of Mao Tsetung Thought, rally round the Party Central Committee headed by Comrade Hua Kuo-feng and advance courageously to make a fundamental change in the backward state of our country so that it becomes a great, modern, socialist power.