The Third Plenum of the 11th CPC Central Committee
Communique of the Third Plenary Session Of the 11th Central Committee of The Communist Party of China
(Adopted on December 22, 1978)
The plenary session unanimously endorsed the policy decision put forward by Comrade Hua Kuo-feng on behalf of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee on shifting the emphasis of our Party's work and the attention of the people of the whole country to socialist modernization.
The session thoroughly discussed questions in agriculture and held that the whole Party should concentrate its main energy and efforts on advancing agriculture as fast as possible. It agreed to distribute to the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions for discussion and trial use the Decisions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Some Questions Concerning the Acceleration of Agricultural Development (Draft) and the Regulations on the Work in the Rural People's Communes (Draft for Trial Use). It discussed arrangements for the national economic plans for 1979 and 1980 and approved them in principle.
The session seriously discussed some major political events which occurred during the Great Cultural Revolution and certain historical questions left over from an earlier period. It decided to cancel the erroneous documents issued by the Central Committee in regard to the movement "to oppose the Right-deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts" and the Tien An Men events and also examined and corrected the erroneous conclusions which had been adopted on Peng Teh-huai, Tao Chu, Po I-po, Yang Shang-kun and other comrades.
The plenary session elected Comrade Chen Yun an additional Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, elected Comrades Teng Ying-chao, Hu Yao-pang and Wang Chen additional Members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, and elected a 100-member Central Commission for Inspecting Discipline headed by Comrade Chen Yun.
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 minds and follow the correct ideological line.
The session emphatically pointed out: Comrade Mao Tsetung was a great Marxist. 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.
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. The Party members' right to make criticisms 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 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held its third plenary session in Peking between December 18 and 22, 1978. It was attended by 169 Members and 112 Alternate Members of the Central Committee. Hua Kuo-feng, Chairman of the C.P.C. Central Committee, and Yeh Chien-ying, Teng Hsiao-ping, Li Hsien-nien, Chen Yun and Wang Tung-hsing, Vice-Chairmen, were present. Comrade Hua Kuo-feng presided over the session and made important speeches.
A central working conference held prior to the session made full preparations for it.
The plenary session decided that, since the work of the Central Committee following its second plenary session had proceeded smoothly and the large-scale nationwide mass movement to expose and criticize Lin Piao and the "gang of four" had in the main been completed victoriously, the stress of the Party's work should shift to socialist modernization as of 1979. The plenary session discussed the international situation and the handling of foreign affairs, reaching the view that the foreign policy of the Party and the government was correct and successful. The plenary session also discussed the question of how to speed the growth of agricultural production and arrangements for the national economic plans for 1979 and 1980 and adopted relevant documents in principle. The plenary session examined and solved a number of important questions left over from history and the question of the contributions and faults, the correctness and incorrectness of some important leaders. In order to meet the needs of socialist modernization, the plenary session decided to strengthen democracy in Party life and in the political life of the state, put forward in explicit terms the Party's ideological line, strengthen the Party's leading organs and set up a Central Commission for Inspecting Discipline. The plenary session elected Comrade Chen Yun an additional Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, and elected Comrades Teng Ying-chao, Hu Yao-pang and Wang Chen additional Members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. In view of the changed situation in Party life since the 11th National Congress of the Party and current urgent needs in Party work, the plenary session decided, in a provisional measure, to add nine Members to the Central Committee - Comrades Huang Ke-cheng, Sung Jen-chiung, Hu Chiao-mu, Hsi Chung-hsun, Wang Jen-chung, Huang Huo-ching, Chen Tsai-tao, Han Kuang and Chou Hui - subject to future confirmation by the 12th National Congress of the Party. The plenary session elected Comrade Chen Yun First Secretary of the Central Commission for Inspecting Discipline, Comrade Teng Ying-chao Second Secretary, Comrade Hu Yao-pang Third Secretary, Comrade Huang Ke-cheng Permanent Secretary, and Wang Ho-shou and other comrades Deputy Secretaries. Permanent members and members of the commission were also elected.
The plenary session holds that this session and the earlier central working conference are of great importance in our Party's history. Throughout the two meetings, the participants emancipated their thinking on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and spoke freely. They fully revived and brought into full play inner-Party democracy and the Party's fine styles of seeking truth from facts, the mass line, and criticism and self-criticism, and enhanced their unity. The meetings truly brought about "a political situation in which we have both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness," as Comrade Mao Tsetung advocated. The plenary session decided to spread this atmosphere throughout the Party and the army and among the people of all nationalities in our country.
The plenary session expresses satisfaction with the work of the Central Committee in the past ten months since the second plenary session. There has been great victory in the momentous nationwide political revolution to expose and repudiate Lin Piao and the "gang of four"; there has been additional restoration and growth of the national economy; there is political stability and unity throughout the country; and significant progress has been made with regard to our foreign policy. All this provides good conditions for the whole Party to shift the emphasis of its work to socialist modernization.
The session points out that our country has achieved new and important successes in developing the international united front against hegemonism and in developing friendly relations with countries in all parts of the world. The visits made by our state leaders this year to Korea, Romania, Yugoslavia, Kampuchea, Iran, Burma Nepal, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and many other countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, the conclusion of the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty and the completion of the negotiations for the normalization of relations between China and the United States are important contributions to peace in Asia and the world as a whole. But the grave danger of war still exists. We must strengthen our national defence, and be prepared to repulse at any moment aggressors from any direction. The plenary session holds that the normalization of relations between China and the United States further places before us the prospect of the return of our sacred territory Taiwan to the embrace of our motherland and the accomplishment of the great cause of reunification. The plenary session expresses welcome to Taiwan compatriots, compatriots in Hongkong and Macao and overseas Chinese, as patriots belonging to one family, to continue making joint and positive contributions to the reunification and construction of their motherland.
In the early years after the founding of the People's Republic, especially after the socialist transformation was in the main completed, Comrade Mao Tsetung instructed the whole Party time and again to shift the focus of our work to the field of the economy and technical revolution. Under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tsetung and Comrade Chou En-lai, our Party did a great deal for socialist modernization and scored important achievements. But the work was later interrupted and sabotaged by Lin Piao and the "gang of four." Besides, we had some shortcomings and mistakes in our leading work because we lacked experience in socialist construction, and this also hampered the transition in the focus of our Party's work. Since the nationwide mass movement to expose and criticize Lin Piao and the "gang of four" has fundamentally come to a successful conclusion, though in a small number of places and departments the movement is less developed, still needs some time to catch up and so cannot end simultaneously, on the whole there is every condition needed for that transition. Therefore the plenary session unanimously endorsed the policy decision put forward by Comrade Hua Kuo-feng on behalf of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee that, to meet the developments at home and abroad, now is an appropriate time to take the decision to close the large-scale nationwide mass movement to expose and criticize Lin Piao and the "gang of four" and to shift the emphasis of our Party's work and the attention of the people of the whole country to socialist modernization. This is of major significance for fulfilment of the three-year and eight-year programmes for the development of the national economy and the outline for 23 years, for the modernization of agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology and for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country. The general task put forward by our Party for the new period reflects the demands of history and the people's aspirations and represents their fundamental interests. Whether or not we can carry this general task to completion, speed socialist modernization and on the basis of a rapid growth in production improve the people's living standards significantly and strengthen national defence - this is a major issue which is of paramount concern to all our people and of great significance to the cause of world peace and progress. Carrying out the four modernizations requires great growth in the productive forces, which in turn requires diverse changes in those aspects of the relations of production and the superstructure not in harmony with the growth of the productive forces, and requires changes in all methods of management, actions and thinking which stand in the way of such growth. Socialist modernization is therefore a profound and extensive revolution. There is still in our country today a small handful of counter-revolutionary elements and criminals who hate our socialist modernization and try to undermine it. We must not relax our class struggle against them, nor can we weaken the dictatorship of the proletariat. But as Comrade Mao Tsetung pointed out, the large-scale turbulent class struggles of a mass character have in the main come to an end. Class struggle in socialist society should be carried out on the principle of strictly differentiating the two different types of contradictions and correctly handling them in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the Constitution and the law. It is impermissible to confuse the two different types of contradictions and damage the political stability and unity required for socialist modernization. The plenary session calls on the whole Party, the whole army and the people of all our nationalities to work with one heart and one mind, enhance political stability and unity, mobilize themselves immediately to go all out, pool their wisdom and efforts and carry out the new Long March to make China a modern, powerful socialist country before the end of this century.
In preparing for the great task of socialist modernization, the session reviewed the experience and lessons of economic construction since the founding of the People's Republic. The session holds that the fundamental policy put forth in the report On the Ten Major Relationships which Comrade Mao Tsetung made in 1956, summing up China's experience in economic construction, is an objective reflection of economic law and also an important guarantee for the political stability of society. This report still is significant for guidance today. It has been shown in practice that whenever we maintain the society's necessary political stability and work according to objective economic law, our national economy advances steadily and at a high speed; otherwise, our national economy develops slowly or even stagnates and falls back. While we have achieved political stability and unity and are restoring and adhering to the economic policies that proved effective over a long time, we are now, in the light of the new historical conditions and practical experience, adopting a number of major new economic measures, conscientiously transforming the system and methods of economic management, actively expanding economic co-operation on terms of equality and mutual benefit with other countries on the basis of self-reliance, striving to adopt the world's advanced technologies and equipment and greatly strengthening scientific and educational work to meet the needs of modernization. Therefore, there can be no doubt that our country's economic construction is bound to advance rapidly and steadily once again.
The plenary session discussed arrangements for the national economic plans for 1979 and 1980 and approved them in principle, and proposed that the State Council submit them after revisions to the Second Session of the National People's Congress to be held next year for discussion and adoption. The session feels that these arrangements are both forward-looking and feasible. The session points out that the restoration and development of our national economy since the downfall of the "gang of four" has been very rapid, and that there have been marked increases in total industrial and agricultural output value and revenue in 1978. But it has to be noted that due to sabotage by Lin Piao and the "gang of four" over a long period there are still quite a few problems in the national economy, some major imbalances have not been completely changed and some disorder in production, construction, circulation and distribution has not been fully eliminated. A series of problems left hanging for years as regards the people's livelihood in town and country must be appropriately solved. We must conscientiously solve these problems step by step in the next few years and effectively achieve a comprehensive balance, so as to lay a solid foundation for rapid development. We must make concentrated efforts within the limits of our capabilities to carry out capital construction actively and steadily and not rush things, wasting manpower and material.
The session points out that one of the serious shortcomings in the structure of economic management in our country is the over-concentration of authority, and it is necessary boldly to shift it under guidance from the leadership to lower levels so that the local authorities and industrial and agricultural enterprises will have greater power of decision in management under the guidance of unified state planning; big efforts should be made to simplify bodies at various levels charged with economic administration and transfer most of their functions to such enterprises as specialized companies or complexes; it is necessary to act firmly in line with economic law, attach importance to the role of the law of value, consciously combine ideological and political work with economic methods and give full play to the enthusiasm of cadres and workers for production; it is necessary, under the centralized leadership of the Party, to tackle conscientiously the failure to make a distinction between the Party, the government and the enterprise and to put a stop to the substitution of Party for government and the substitution of government for enterprise administration, to institute a division of responsibilities among different levels, types of work and individuals, increase the authority and responsibility of administrative bodies and managerial personnel, reduce the number of meetings and amount of paper work to raise work efficiency, and conscientiously adopt the practices of examination, reward and punishment, promotion and demotion. These measures will bring into full play the initiative, enthusiasm and creativeness of four levels, the central departments, the local authorities, the enterprises and the workers, and invigorate all branches and links of the socialist economy.
The session discussed in detail questions in agriculture, and agreed to distribute to the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions for discussion and trial use the Decisions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Some Questions Concerning the Acceleration of Agricultural Development (Draft) and the Regulations on the Work in the Rural People's Communes (Draft for Trial Use).
The plenary session holds that the whole Party should concentrate its main energy and efforts on advancing agriculture as fast as possible because agriculture, the foundation of the national economy, has been seriously damaged in recent years and remains very weak on the whole. The rapid development of the national economy as a whole and the steady improvement in the living standards of the people of the whole country depends on the vigorous restoration and speeding up of farm production, on resolutely and fully implementing the policy of simultaneous development of farming, forestry, animal husbandry, side-occupations and fisheries, the policy of taking grain as the key link and ensuring an all-round development, the policy of adaptation to local conditions and appropriate concentration of certain crops in certain areas, and gradual modernization of farm work. This requires first of all releasing the socialist enthusiasm of our country's several hundred million peasants, paying full attention to their material well-being economically and giving effective protection to their democratic rights politically. Taking this as the guideline, the plenary session set forth a series of policies and economic measures aimed at raising present agricultural production. The most important are as follows: The right of ownership by the people's communes, production brigades and production teams and their power of decision must be protected effectively by the laws of the state; it is not permitted to commandeer the manpower, funds, products and material of any production team; the economic organizations at various levels of the people's commune must conscientiously implement the socialist principle of "to each according to his work," work out payment in accordance with the amount and quality of work done, and overcome equalitarianism; small plots of land for private use by commune members, their domestic side-occupations, and village fairs are necessary adjuncts of the socialist economy, and must not be interfered with; the people's communes must resolutely implement the system of three levels of ownership with the production team as the basic accounting unit, and this should remain unchanged. Organizations at various levels of the people's commune must firmly carry out democratic management and election of cadres and make public their accounts. The session holds that, for a fairly long period to come, the national figures for the agricultural tax and the state purchase of grain will continue to be based on the five-year quotas 1971-75 and that grain purchase must never be excessive. To reduce the disparity in prices between industrial and agricultural products, the plenery session suggests that the State Council make a decision to raise the grain purchase price by 20 per cent, starting in 1979 when the summer grain is marketed, and the price for the amount purchased above the quota by an additional 50 per cent, and also raise the purchase price for cotton, oil-bearing and sugar crops, animal by-products, aquatic and forestry products and other farm and side-line products step by step, depending on the concrete conditions. The factory price and the market price of farm machinery, chemical fertilizer, insecticides, plastics and other manufactured goods for farm use will be cut by 10 to 15 per cent in 1979 and 1980 on the basis of reduced cost of production, and these benefits will in general be passed on to the peasants. After the purchase price of farm produce is raised, the urban workers must be guaranteed against a fall in their living standards. The market price of all food grain will remain unchanged, and the selling price of other farm products needed for daily life must also be kept stable; if some prices have to be raised, appropriate subsidies will be given to the consumers. The plenary session also discussed the strengthening of education in agricultural science, the drafting of regional programmes for developing agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry, the establishment of modern farming, forestry, livestock-breeding and fishing centres, the active expansion of rural industry and side-occupations run by people's communes and production brigades and other important questions, and decided upon relevant measures.
The plenary session points out that it is imperative to improve the livelihood of the people in town and country step by step on the basis of the growth of production. The bureaucratic attitude of paying no attention at all to urgent problems in the people's livelihood must be resolutely opposed. On the other hand, since our economy is still very backward at present, it is impossible to improve the peoples livelihood very rapidly and it is essential to keep the people informed on the relevant state of affairs and to intensify education in the revolutionary ideas of self-reliance and hard struggle among the youth and other sectors of the people, and leading comrades at all levels must make themselves exemplars in this regard.
The session had a serious discussion on some major political events which occurred during the Great Cultural Revolution and certain historical questions left over from an earlier period. It holds that satisfactory settlement of these questions is very necessary for consolidating stability and unity, facilitating the shift in the focus of the work of the whole Party and getting the whole Party, the whole army and the people of all our nationalities to unite as one and to look forward so as to mobilize all positive factors to work for the four modernizations.
The session points out that in 1975, in the period when Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping was entrusted by Comrade Mao Tsetung with the responsibility of presiding over the work of the Central Committee, there were great achievements in all fields of work, with which the whole Party, the whole army and the people throughout the country were satisfied. In accordance with Comrade Mao Tsetung's instructions, Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping and other leading comrades of the Central Committee waged tit-for-tat struggles against interference and sabotage by the "gang of four." The gang arbitrarily described the political line and the achievements of 1975 as a "Right-deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts." This reversal of history must be reversed again. The session points out that the Tien An Men events of April 5, 1976; were entirely revolutionary actions. The great revolutionary mass movement, which unfolded around the Tien An Men events and in which millions upon millions of people in all parts of the country expressed deep mourning for Comrade Chou En-lai and indignantly condemned the "gang of four," provided the mass base for our Party's success in smashing the "gang of four." The plenary session decided to cancel the erroneous documents issued by the Central Committee in regard to the movement "to oppose the Right-deviationist wind to reverse correct verdicts" and the Tien An Men events.
The session examined and corrected the erroneous conclusions which had been adopted on Peng Teh-huai, Tao Chu, Po I-po, Yang Shang-kun and other comrades, and affirmed their contributions to the Party and the people. It points out that historical questions must be settled in accordance with the principle consistently advocated by Comrade Mao Tsetung, that is, seeking truth from facts and correcting mistakes whenever discovered. Only by firmly rejecting false charges, correcting wrong sentences and rehabilitating the victims of frame-ups can the unity of the Party and the people be consolidated and the high prestige of the Party and Comrade Mao Tsetung upheld. This task must be fulfilled resolutely without any relaxation after the mass movement to expose and criticize the "gang of four" ends. The session unanimously agrees that the adoption of these steps is in itself an example of grasping the scientific system of Mao Tsetung Thought comprehensively and accurately and holding high the banner of Chairman Mao.
The session holds that the past practice of setting up special-case groups to examine cadres without Party and mass supervision had great disadvantages and must be abolished once and for all.
The session held a serious discussion on the question of democracy and the legal system. It holds that socialist modernization requires centralized leadership and strict implementation of various rules and regulations and observance of labour discipline. Bourgeois factionalism and anarchism must be firmly opposed. But the correct concentration of ideas is possible only when there is full democracy. Since for a period in the past democratic centralism was not carried out in the true sense, centralism being divorced from democracy and there being too little democracy, it is necessary to lay particular emphasis on democracy at present, and on the dialectical relationship between democracy and centralism, so as to make the mass line the foundation of the Party's centralized leadership and the effective direction of the organizations of production. In ideological and political life among the ranks of the people, only democracy is permissible and not suppression or persecution. It is essential to reiterate the "principle of three nots": not seizing on others' faults, not putting labels on people and not using the big stick. Leadership at all levels should be good at concentrating the correct ideas of the masses and making appropriate explanation and persuasion in dealing with incorrect ideas. The constitutional rights of citizens must be resolutely protected and no one has the right to infringe upon them.
In order to safeguard people's democracy, it is imperative to strengthen the socialist legal system so that democracy is systematized and written into law in such a way as to ensure the stability, continuity and full authority of this democratic system and these laws; there must be laws for people to follow, these laws must be observed, their enforcement must be strict and law breakers must be dealt with. From now on, legislative work should have an important place on the agenda of the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee. Procuratorial and judicial organizations must maintain their independence as is appropriate; they must faithfully abide by the laws, rules and regulations, serve the people's interests, keep to the facts; guarantee the equality of all people before the people's laws and deny anyone the privilege of being above the law.
The session had a thoroughgoing discussion on continuing to inherit and bring into full play the Marxist style of study advocated by Comrade Mao Tsetung, that is, upholding a materialist ideological line. The session unanimously agrees that only if comrades of the whole Party and the people of the whole country, under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, emancipate their thinking, dedicate themselves to the study of new circumstances, things and questions, and uphold the principle of seeking truth from facts, of proceeding from reality and of linking theory with practice can our Party smoothly shift the focus of its work, correctly work out the concrete path, policies, methods and measures for carrying out the four modernizations and correctly transform those aspects of the relations of production and the superstructure that do not correspond with the swiftly developing productive forces.
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.
(NO. 52 DECEMBER 29, 1978)