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Previous National Congresses
Special> CPC Celebrates 90th Anniversary 1921-2011> Previous National Congresses
UPDATED: April 26, 2011
The 11th National Congress

Report to the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

Delivered on August 12 and adopted on August 18, 1977



The Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China is now declared open.

First, I propose that we all rise in silent tribute:

To the memory of Chairman Mao Tsetung, the founder of our Party, our army and our People's Republic, and the great leader and teacher of the proletariat and the people of all nationalities in our country, who passed away last year;

To the memory of our esteemed and beloved Premier Chou En-lai and Chairman Chu Teh of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, great proletarian revolutionary sons of the Chinese people and Chairman Mao's long-tested, close comrades-in-arms, who passed away last year;

To the memory of Comrade Kang Sheng, Comrade Tung Pi-wu, Comrade Li Fu-chun, Comrade Chen Yi and Comrade Ho Lung, proletarian revolutionaries who rendered outstanding service to the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people and who passed away during the years preceding and following the Tenth Congress; and

To the memory of Members of the Central Committee and all other comrades who made important contributions to the Party and the revolution and who passed away during the same period.

Comrades! It is almost a year since our great leader and teacher Chairman Mao departed from us. For more than half a century, while waging sharp and complex struggles of line against Right and "Left" opportunism within the Party, Chairman Mao led our Party, our army and the people of all nationalities in our country to complete victory in the new-democratic revolution through hard-fought revolutionary wars against imperialism, the landlord class and the comprador-bourgeoisie, and then to our great victories in the socialist revolution and socialist construction through repeated and fierce trials of strength between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Chairman Mao founded and nurtured the great, glorious and correct Chinese Communist Party, created and tempered the heroic People's Liberation Army and founded and built the socialist New China with its proletarian dictatorship. The history of the Chinese revolution over more than half a century demonstrates that all our victories have been due to the leadership of Chairman Mao and the guidance of his revolutionary line. The banner of Chairman Mao is the banner of victory of the Chinese people's revolution.

In the contemporary internationar communist movement, Chairman Mao, with the revolutionary dauntlessness of a thoroughgoing materialist, launched the great struggle against modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist renegade clique as its centre. He thus gave an impetus to the vigorous development of the revolutionary cause of the world proletariat and the cause of the people of all countries in their struggle against imperialism and hegemonism. Consequently he won the respect and love of genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people the world over. The banner of Mao Tsetung Thought is likewise the banner of victory of the revolution of the people of the world.

Chairman Mao was the greatest Marxist of our time. Integrating the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution and the world revolution, he inherited, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism in the realms of philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism. In the period of socialism, Chairman Mao's greatest contribution to Marxism was his systematic theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Mao Tsetung Thought has been and is the Chinese people's beacon light in the new-democratic revolution and in the socialist revolution and socialist construction; it is a powerful ideological weapon for the people of the world in their fight against imperialism, social-imperialism and all reactionaries; it is a powerful ideological weapon for Communists in their fight against revisionism, against dogmatism and empiricism. Mao Tsetung Thought is a new acquisition enriching the treasure house of Marxist-Leninist theory and is Chairman Mao's most precious legacy to our era.

Chairman Mao's monumental contributions to the theory and practice of revolution, made for the benefit of the Chinese people and the proletariat and revolutionary people of the world, are immortal.

We must hold high the great banner of Chairman Mao and resolutely defend it. This is the sacred duty of the whole Party, the whole army and the people of all nationalities in our country, the political basis on which we fight in unity and continue the revolution, and the guarantee for the triumphant advance of our socialist cause and the revolutionary cause of the international proletariat. Not only must we take up this duty ourselves, we must teach the coming generations to do so. We must cherish the great banner of Chairman Mao as our precious heritage and hand it on from generation to generation. Let the glory of the great banner of Chairman Mao illuminate the ages to come!

Comrades! Our present congress is convened ahead of time in circumstances in which our Party has lost our great leader and teacher Chairman Mao and a big victory has been won in the struggle to smash the anti-Party clique of Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan. The Third Plenary Session of the Tenth Central Committee in July this year was a meeting of unity, a meeting of victory. It adopted four resolutions which are of signal importance in the annals of our Party, consolidated and expanded our great victory in smashing the "gang of four" and made full preparations politically, ideologically and organizationally for convening the present congress.

We are now at an important juncture of history. Our present congress is charged with a historic task. It is to hold high the great banner of Chairman Mao and carry out his behests, sum up the experience of our struggle against the Wang-Chang-Chiang-Yao "gang of four," adhere to the Party's basic line, persevere in continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, bring into play all positive factors inside and outside the Party and at home and abroad, unite with all the forces that can be united, and strive to implement the strategic decision, "grasp the key link of class struggle and bring about great order across the land," and make China a great, powerful and modern socialist country before the end of this century.

The 11th Struggle Between the Two Lines in Our Party

The struggle between our Party and the Wang-Chang-Chiang-Yao anti-Party "gang of four" is the eleventh major struggle between the two lines in our Party's history. It is a life-and-death struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and on its outcome hinges the future and destiny of our Party and country. The tremendous victory won in this two-line struggle should be ascribed to our great leader Chairman Mao, to the greatness of Mao Tsetung Thought, to Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and to our great Party, army and people.

Four years ago, our great leader Chairman Mao presided over the Tenth National Congress of our Party. The line of the Tenth Congress has been correct both politically and organizationally. Early in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the "gang of four" were already colluding with the Lin Piao anti-Party clique to undermine it. After the Tenth Congress, the "gang of four" pushed an ultra-Right counter-revolutionary revisionist line opposed to that of the congress. They are a counter-revolutionary cabal. They went in for revisionism, splittism and conspiracy in diametrical opposition to the basic principles - "Practise Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don't split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire." They exploited every political movement launched by Chairman Mao to do something different, vainly hoping to divert the course of each movement and plunge the Party, the army and the country into chaos. They used all sorts of underhand methods to oppose Chairman Mao, the Central Committee headed by him and his revolutionary line, in their attempt to usurp supreme power in the Party and state, turn the Marxist Communist Party of China into a revisionist party, turn our dictatorship of the proletariat into a fascist dictatorship by the bourgeoisie and reduce socialist China to its former status as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country.

Our wise and great Chairman Mao became aware of the anti-Party activities of the "gang of four" long ago. He sternly criticized and admonished them on many occasions and took it upon himself to lead the Party in repeated struggles against them.

In January 1974, behind Chairman Mao's back and without prior discussion in the Political Bureau, the "gang of four" smuggled the criticism of "entering by the back door" into the campaign to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius. They let off three arrows at the same time in a surprise attack aimed at wrecking Chairman Mao's strategic plan for that campaign. Chairman Mao gave the "gang of four" a timely reprimand, saying "metaphysics is rampant," and he signed a document for distribution throughout the Party in order to correct their error. Defying this reprimand, the "gang of four" did not criticize Lin Piao, only pretended to criticize Confucius and ran wild in criticizing "the Duke of Chou," "the big Confucian of our time" and "Confucius' present-day disciples." And they were busy trying to "kindle a prairie fire" in our army. In all this their spearhead was directed at Premier Chou En-lai, Vice-Chairman Yeh Chien-ying and many other leading comrades in the Party, the government and the army at the central and local levels.

On July 17, 1974, at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, Chairman Mao sharply criticized Chiang Ching, saying, "Stop running those two factories, one the iron and steel factory and the other the hat factory. Stop slapping big hats on others at will." "It is hard for you to mend your ways." In criticizing the "Shanghai gang" Chairman Mao said, "She (meaning Chiang Ching) can be counted one of the Shanghai gang! You'd better be careful. Don't you turn into a small faction of four." Time and again he made it clear, "She doesn't speak for me, she speaks only for herself." "In a word, she represents herself." In this way, Chairman Mao brought into the open the sectarian anti-Party activities of Wang Hung-wen, Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan and gave them a harsh warning in the presence of all the comrades of the Political Bureau then in Peking (except those unable to attend because of illness).

However, the "gang of four" were not in the least repentant. Prior to the Second Plenary Session of the Tenth Central Committee and the Fourth National People's Congress, they stepped up their factional activities in order to usurp Party power and plotted to set up their own cabinet and seize state power. After intense and furtive scheming and without the knowledge of the Political Bureau, they sent Wang Hung-wen to Changsha on October 17, 1974 to make false charges to Chairman Mao against Premier Chou and other leading comrades of the Central Committee, for which he was given a summary dressing-down by the Chairman. Their first ruse having failed, they tried another. Chiang Ching took the field and wrote to Chairman Mao. On November 12, he made the following comment on her letter: "Don't flaunt yourself in public. Don't write instructions on documents. Don't take it upon yourself to organize the cabinet (as the boss behind the scenes). You've already got too many complaints against you. Unite with the majority. See that you act accordingly." But Chiang Ching turned a deaf ear to this admonition and had the audacity to ask others to forward her proposal to Chairman Mao that Wang Hung-wen be made Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Chairman Mao went straight to the heart of the matter when he pointed out, "Chiang Ching has wild ambitions. She actually wants Wang Hung-wen to be Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and herself to be Party Chairman." On December 23, Chairman Mao again pointed out, "Chiang Ching has wild ambitions, hasn't she? My view is she has." On the 24th, Chairman Mao rebuked them once more, "Don't carry on factional activities. Those who do will take a tumble." Chairman Mao also criticized Wang Hung-wen to his face: "Stop carrying on with your gang of four." Chairman Mao decided that Premier Chou should be responsible for the arrangement of personnel for the Fourth National People's Congress and the State Council. He also proposed that Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping be Vice-Chairman of the Party Central Committee, Vice-Premier of the State Council, Vice-Chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee and concurrently Chief of the General Staff and later entrusted him with the responsibility of presiding over the day-to-day work of the Central Committee during Premier Chou's grave illness. And so the plot of the "gang of four" to organize their own cabinet and seize state power was thwarted.

The "gang of four" were not reconciled to their defeat. In March and April 1975, going against Chairman Mao's significant directive concerning the study of the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat and against his teaching that revisionism is the main danger at present, they raised a din about empiricism being the main current danger, in an effort to label veteran cadres as "empiricists" and strike at Premier Chou and other leading comrades of the Central Committee. Chang Chun-chiao brazenly advocated making the fight against empiricism the "key link." Chiang Ching advertised empiricism as the "arch enemy at present" wherever she went. Yao Wen-yuan published an article flagrantly distorting Chairman Mao's directive and spreading the rumour that in the past ten years or so Chairman Mao had reiterated that "empiricism is the main danger." He smuggled something about criticizing empiricism into a plan for propaganda work, hoping to secure Chairman Mao's approval by this subterfuge. Chairman Mao saw through the scheme. On April 23, he wrote an important comment on this plan, criticizing the mistake of the "gang of four." He pointed out, "It seems the formulation should mention opposition to revisionism, including opposition to empiricism and to dogmatism, both being revisions of Marxism-Leninism. Don't mention one and omit the other." And he added, "Not many people in our Party really understand Marxism-Leninism. Some think they do, but in fact they know very little. They consider themselves always in the right and are only too ready to lecture others. This is in itself a manifestation of lack of knowledge of Marxism-Leninism."

On May 3, 1975, at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, Chairman Mao once again criticized the "gang of four" for their sectarian activities against the Party. He gave them a strong warning: "Practise Marxism-Leninism, and not revisionism; unite, and don't split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire. Don't function as a gang of four. Stop doing that any more. Why do you keep on doing so? Why don't you unite with the more than 200 Members of the Central Committee of the Party? A few banding together is no good, never any good." As revisionism, splittism and conspiracy were the quintessence of the "gang of four," Chairman Mao repeatedly stressed the principles of the "three do's and three don'ts." He excoriated them, saying that they "don't believe in the three principles, nor do they listen to me. They have forgotten the three principles which were stressed at the Ninth and Tenth Congresses. I suggest all present discuss these principles again." Chairman Mao explicitly instructed the Political Bureau to discuss this matter and emphasized that the question of the "gang of four" "should be settled in the second half of the year, if not in the first. If not this year, then next. Or if not next year, the year after." This clearly indicates that Chairman Mao was determined to settle the question of the "gang of four."

In accordance with Chairman Mao's instructions the Political Bureau, with Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping in charge, severely criticized the "gang of four." Both earlier and later, the Political Bureau issued a number of documents with Chairman Mao's approval to counter interference and sabotage by the "gang of four," strengthen the Party's leadership in all branches of work and implement Chairman Mao's revolutionary line.

In July 1975, Chairman Mao made two significant statements about the readjustment of the Party's policy on literature and art. On the 25th he wrote an important comment on Pioneers, a good film depicting the revolutionary spirit of the Taching oil workers. As the "gang of four" were against the slogan "In industry, learn from Taching," they cooked up ten charges and tried to kill Pioneers with one blow. Chairman Mao wrote on a letter from the screen-writer of Pioneers, "There is nothing seriously wrong with this film. I suggest that it be approved for release. We shouldn't demand perfection. And to bring as many as ten charges against it is really going too far. This hampers the readjustment of the Party's policy on literature and art." Chairman Mao's instruction was a sharp denunciation of the "gang of four" for undermining this policy.

After having been severely criticized by Chairman Mao on many occasions, the "gang of four" kept constantly on the lookout for new openings, biding their time for a counterattack. In August 1975 Chairman Mao commented penetratingly on the novel Water Margin. Thinking this gave them an opportunity, the "gang of four" maliciously distorted his comments and launched a vicious propaganda drive to smear the Chairman and split the Central Committee. At the First National Conference on Learning From Tachai in Agriculture, convened in September, the agenda approved by Chairman Mao was about the whole nation learning from Tachai and about the need to build Tachai-type counties across the country. However, right there in Tachai Chiang Ching ranted at length that in Water Margin "the crucial point is that Sung Chiang makes Chao Kai a figurehead," attacking Premier Chou and Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping by innuendo. What was more, she came out with a preposterous demand that her taped talk be relayed and the text printed and distributed at the conference. When informed of this, Chairman Mao was infuriated, dismissing her talk as "Shit. Wide of the mark." His unequivocal instructions were: "Don't distribute the text, don't play the recording, don't print the text." Thus was the arrogance of the reactionary "gang of four" deflated.

Prior to the death of our esteemed and beloved Premier Chou and in the days following it, the "gang of four" ran amuck again. They made unbridled attacks on Premier Chou and suppressed and persecuted vast numbers of cadres and people who mourned him. Defying Chairman Mao's instructions and going their own way, they attacked Comrade Teng Hsiao-ping and brought false charges against him. Their cohorts in Shanghai put up wall posters demanding that Chang Chun-chiao be made premier. Wang Hung-wen had a speech secretly prepared which he planned to deliver upon taking charge of the work of the Central Committee. Our Chairman Mao was most emphatic and resolute. He just wouldn't brook any of the "gang of four" assuming the premiership or taking charge of the day-to-day work of the Central Committee. On January 21 and 28, 1976, upon the personal proposal of Chairman Mao and its adoption by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, decisions were made on the arrangement of personnel concerning the acting premiership of the State Council and responsibility for the day-to-day work of the Central. Committee. On February 2, Chairman Mao signed and issued a Central Committee document concerning the decision on the choice of the Acting Premier of the State Council. On April 7, again upon the personal proposal of Chairman Mao and its adoption by the Political Bureau, a decision was made on the choice of the First Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee and Premier of the State Council. It was unprecedented in the annals of our Party for the Central Committee to set up the post of first vice-chairman. This was a major strategic decision of Chairman Mao's which ensured that the Party and state leadership would not fall into the hands of the "gang of four" even when he was critically ill or after he passed away. All these important directives and wise decisions of Chairman Mao's were telling blows at the plot of the "gang of four" to usurp Party and state power; they laid the groundwork for our subsequent settlement of the question of the "gang of four."

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