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Full text of "Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping Vol. 2"

DtNG KIAOTINC 



V 



Volume II 
(1975-1982) 

^ THE ARMY NEEDS TO BE CONSOLIDATED 
January 25, 1975 

^ THE WHOLE PARTY SHOULD TAKE THE OVERALL INTEREST INTO ACCOUNT 
AND PUSH THE ECONOMY FORWARD 
March 5, 1975 

SOME PROBLEMS OUTSTANDING IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY 
May 29, 1975 

STRENGTHEN PARTY LEADERSHIP AND RECTIFY THE PARTY'S STYLE OF 

WORK 

July 4, 1975 

V THE TASK OF CONSOLIDATING THE ARMY 
July 14, 1975 

^ ON CONSOLIDATING NATIONAL DEFENCE ENTERPRISES 
August 3, 1975 

^ SOME COMMENTS ON INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT 
August 18, 1975 

^ PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 
September 26, 1975 

j^ THINGS MUST BE PUT IN ORDER IN ALL FIELDS 
September 27 and October 4, 1 975 

^ THE "TWO WHATEVERS" DO NOT ACCORD WITH MARXISM 
May 24, 1977 

^ RESPECT KNOWLEDGE, RESPECT TRAINED PERSONNEL 
May 24, 1977 

MAO ZEDONG THOUGHT MUST BE CORRECTLY UNDERSTOOD AS AN 
.^ INTEGRAL WHOLE 
^ July 21, 1977 

SOME COMMENTS ON WORK IN SCIENCE AND EDUCATION 
Augusts, 1977 

^ THE ARMY SHOULD ATTACH STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE TO EDUCATION AND 
TRAINING 
August 23, 1977 

^ SETTING THINGS RIGHT IN EDUCATION 
September 19, 1977 

^ SPEECH AT A PLENARY MEETING OF THE MILITARY COMMISSION OF THE 
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE CPC 
December 28, 1977 

V SPEECH AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON 
SCIENCE 
March 18, 1978 

^ ADHERE TO THE PRINCIPLE "TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS WORK" 
March 28, 1978 



^ 



V 



^ 



J*- 



SPEECH AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION 
April 22, 1978 

REALIZE THE FOUR MODERNIZATIONS AND NEVER SEEK HEGEMONY 
May 7, 1978 

SPEECH AT THE ALL-ARMY CONFERENCE ON POLITICAL WORK 
June 2, 1978 

HOLD HIGH THE BANNER OF MAO ZEDONG THOUGHT AND ADHERE TO THE 
PRINCIPLE OF SEEKING TRUTH FROM FACTS 
September 16, 1978 

UPDATE ENTERPRISES WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGERIAL 

EXPERTISE 

September 18, 1978 

CARRY OUT THE POLICY OF OPENING TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND LEARN 
ADVANCED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES 
October 10, 1978 

THE WORKING CLASS SHOULD MAKE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO 
THE FOUR MODERNIZATIONS 
October 11, 1978 

EMANCIPATE THE MIND, SEEK TRUTH FROM FACTS AND UNITE AS ONE IN 
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE 
December 13, 1978 

PUT ON THE AGENDA SETTLEMENT OF THE TAIWAN QUESTION FOR THE 
REUNIFICATION OF THE MOTHERLAND 
January 1, 1979 

WE SHOULD MAKE USE OF FOREIGN FUNDS AND LET FORMER CAPITALIST 
INDUSTRIALISTS AND BUSINESSMEN PLAY THEIR ROLE IN DEVELOPING THE 
ECONOMY 
January 17, 1979 

UPHOLD THE FOUR CARDINAL PRINCIPLES 
March 30, 1979 

THE UNITED FRONT AND THE TASKS OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S POLITICAL 
CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE IN THE NEW PERIOD 
June 15, 1979 

NEITHER DEMOCRACY NOR THE LEGAL SYSTEM SHOULD BE WEAKENED 
June 28, 1979 

THE ORGANIZATIONAL LINE GUARANTEES THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 
IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL LINES 
July 29, 1979 

SOME COMMENTS ON ECONOMIC WORK 
October 4, 1979 

ALL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND FEDERATIONS OF INDUSTRY AND 
COMMERCE ARE POLITICAL FORCES SERVING SOCIALISM 
October 19, 1979 

SPEECH GREETING THE FOURTH CONGRESS OF CHINESE WRITERS AND 

ARTISTS 

October 30, 1979 



V 



V SENIOR CADRES SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD IN MAINTAINING AND ENRICHING 
THE PARTY'S FINE TRADITIONS 
November 2, 1979 

j^ WE CAN DEVELOP A MARKET ECONOMY UNDER SOCIALISM 
November 26, 1979 

^ CHINA'S GOAL IS TO ACHIEVE COMPARATIVE PROSPERITY BY THE END OF 
THE CENTURY 
December 6, 1979 

THE PRESENT SITUATION AND THE TASKS BEFORE US 
January 16, 1980 

ADHERE TO THE PARTY LINE AND IMPROVE METHODS OF WORK 
February 29, 1980 

STREAMLINE THE ARMY AND RAISE ITS COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS 
March 12, 1980 

REMARKS ON SUCCESSIVE DRAFTS OF THE "RESOLUTION ON CERTAIN 
QUESTIONS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR PARTY SINCE THE FOUNDING OF THE 
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA" 



March 1980-June 1981 

TO BUILD SOCIALISM WE MUST FIRST DEVELOP THE PRODUCTIVE FORCES 
April-May 1980 



^ ON QUESTIONS OF RURAL POLICY 
May 31, 1980 

AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE FOR HANDLING RELATIONS BETWEEN 
i^ FRATERNAL PARTIES 
^ May 31, 1980 

^ ON THE REFORM OF THE SYSTEM OF PARTY AND STATE LEADERSHIP 
August 18, 1980 

V ANSWERS TO THE ITALIAN JOURNALIST ORIANA FALLACI 
August 21 and 23, 1980 

^ IMPLEMENT THE POLICY OF READJUSTMENT, ENSURE STABILITY AND 
UNITY 
December 25, 1980 

OUR PRINCIPLED POSITION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SINO-U.S. 
\^ RELATIONS 
' January 4, 1981 

^ ON OPPOSING WRONG IDEOLOGICAL TENDENCIES 
March 27, 1981 

^ CLOSING SPEECH AT THE SIXTH PLENARY SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH 
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE CPC 
June 29, 1981 

^ THE PRIMARY TASK OF VETERAN CADRES IS TO SELECT YOUNG AND 
MIDDLE-AGED CADRES FOR PROMOTION 
July 2, 1981 

V CONCERNING PROBLEMS ON THE IDEOLOGICAL FRONT 






July 17, 1981 

BUILD POWERFUL, MODERN AND REGULARIZED REVOLUTIONARY ARMED 

FORCES 

September 19, 1981 

STREAMLINING ORGANIZATIONS CONSTITUTES A REVOLUTION 
January 13, 1982 

COMBAT ECONOMIC CRIME 
April 10, 1982 



^ CHINA'S HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE IN ECONOMIC CONSTRUCTION 
May 6, 1982 

^ SPEECH AT A FORUM OF THE MILITARY COMMISSION OF THE CENTRAL 
COMMITTEE OF THE CPC 
July 4, 1982 

ADVISORY COMMISSIONS WILL BE A TRANSITIONAL MEASURE FOR THE 
JL^ ABOLITION OF LIFE TENURE IN LEADING POSTS 
^ July 30, 1982 

^ CHINA'S FOREIGN POLICY 
August 21, 1982 



THE ARMY NEEDS TO BE CONSOLIDATED 

January 25, 1975 



Our army has fine traditions. Comrade Mao Zedong established an excellent system and a 
fine style of work for it as early as the period of struggle in the Jinggang Mountains. With 
this army of ours, the Party commands the gun, and not vice versa. Through protracted 
struggles against warlordism, the army achieved unity in its own ranks and formed close 
ties with the masses. However, it was thrown into considerable chaos after Lin Biao was 
put in charge of army work in 1959, and especially in the later period under him. Now, 
many fine traditions have been discarded and the army is seriously bloated 
organizationally. The size of the armed forces has increased substantially and military 
expenditures take up a larger proportion of the state budget than before, with a lot of 
money being spent just on food and clothing. What is more important is that an over- 
expanded and inefficient army is not combat-worthy. I think that the overwhelming 
majority of our army comrades are dissatisfied with the present state of affairs. It is for 
this reason that Comrade Mao Zedong has called for the consolidation of the army. We 
must reduce the size of our armed forces, confront the problem of extensive overstaffing 
and restore the army's fine traditions. This will involve a great deal of work. Since the 
Headquarters of the General Staff, the General Political Department and the General 
Logistics Department bear major responsibility, they should be the first to be 
consolidated. 

We must set things right in the armed forces in accordance with Comrade Mao Zedong's 
instructions on stability and unity. In recent years, our army has been confronted with a 
major new problem, factionalism, which is quite serious in some units. It is mainly the 
officers who are involved. The overwhelming majority of our officers are good, but there 
is indeed a small handful who are bent on factionalism. They engage in factional 
activities both inside the army and in the civilian units where they go to work. In order to 
achieve stability and unity, we must eliminate factionalism and enhance Party spirit. In 
the past, during the protracted and scattered guerrilla wars our army fought in the 
countryside, many separate ''mountain strongholds" came into being. After the Red 
Army's arrival in northern Shaanxi in the Long March and during the subsequent War of 
Resistance Against Japan [1937-45], Comrade Mao Zedong set before the whole Party 
and army the task of overcoming the tendency towards the '' mountain-stronghold " 
mentality. After the Yan'an rectification movement, which among other things, opposed 
sectarianism, the whole Party achieved a new level of unity, and this provided the basic 
guarantee for our victories in the War of Resistance and the War of Liberation [1946-49]. 
Recently, factionalism has been reasserting itself; this is something to which we must 
certainly pay attention. Unless factionalism is eliminated, stability and unity cannot be 
achieved and the army's fighting capacity is sure to be weakened. Each cadre is required 
to put Party spirit above everything else. Those who are pleased to engage in factionalism 
should wake up and correct their mistakes. If they do so, everything will be all right. But 
one of the important principles to be observed in the future appointment and promotion of 



army officers is that those who are seriously involved in factional activities or who cling 
stubbornly to factional ways should not be given leading posts. 

Another problem is discipline in the army. Why did Comrade Mao Zedong propose the 
singing of The Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention , with 
special emphasis on the rule ""obey orders in all your actions"? Precisely to stress 
discipline. An army should act like an army. If we want to strengthen the sense of 
discipline, we must start with the general headquarters and units in Beijing. We simply 
cannot allow things to remain as they are. So to consolidate the army we must both 
enhance Party spirit and eliminate factionalism, and strengthen discipline. 

There are other problems which should also be dealt with -- for instance, the 
implementation of Party policies. Many have not yet been carried out. Every unit should 
study this problem conscientiously and carry out Party policies properly, because only 
thus can we help arouse people's enthusiasm and achieve stability and unity. 

The Headquarters of the General Staff is expected and required to advise the Central 
Committee of the Party, its Military Commission, and Chairman Mao, the commander of 
our armed forces. Comrade Mao Zedong used to criticize the Headquarters of the General 
Staff for failing to offer advice. This situation should be changed. A lot needs to be done. 
Problems have piled up. The Headquarters of the General Staff must thoroughly 
straighten things out according to the military line and the principles for building the 
army formulated by Comrade Mao Zedong, so that we can really fulfil our advisory 
function. 

Today I have just come to meet you. We will need to have further discussions on ways to 
improve work in the army. But I think there can be no mistake about the principles I have 
just mentioned, namely, the need to achieve consolidation, stability and unity, and the 
need to ensure implementation of Party policies. To accomplish these tasks, we must 
enhance Party spirit, eliminate factionalism, heighten the sense of discipline and improve 
efficiency. I hope that all cadres in the Headquarters of the General Staff will unite in this 
spirit and that they will do their work well. 

(Speech at a meeting of officers of regimental level and above at the Headquarters of the 
General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Comrade Deng Xiaoping became 
Vice-Chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist 
Party of China and concurrently Chief of the General Staff on January 5, 1975.) 

THE WHOLE PARTY SHOULD TAKE THE 

OVERALL INTEREST INTO ACCOUNT AND 

PUSH THE ECONOMY FORWARD 

March 5, 1975 



The whole Party must now give serious thought to our country's overall interest. What is 
that interest? The Reports on the Work of the Government at the First Sessions of the 
Third and Fourth National People's Congresses both envisaged a two-stage development 
of our economy: The first stage is to build an independent and relatively comprehensive 
industrial and economic system by 1980. The second will be to turn China into a 
powerful socialist country with modern agriculture, industry, national defence and 
science and technology by the end of this century, that is, within the next 25 years. The 
entire Party and nation must strive for the attainment of this great objective. This 
constitutes the overall national interest. 

Chairman Mao has said that it is necessary to make revolution, promote production and 
other work and ensure preparedness in the event of war. I am told that some comrades 
nowadays only dare to make revolution but not to promote production. They say that the 
former is safe but the latter dangerous. This is utterly wrong. What is the actual situation 
in production? Agriculture appears to be doing comparatively well, but the per-capita 
grain yield is only 304.5 kilogrammes, grain reserves are small and the income of the 
peasants is pretty low. As for industry, it deserves our serious attention. Its existing 
capacity is not fully utilized, and its output last year was inadequate. This is the final year 
of the Fourth Five-Year Plan, and if production doesn't increase, we are sure to have 
difficulties in carrying out the Fifth Five-Year Plan. We must foresee that possibility and 
earnestly address this problem. 

How can we give a boost to the economy? Analysis shows that the weak link at the 
moment is the railways. If the problems in railway transport are not solved, our 
production schedules will be disrupted and the entire plan will be nullified. So the Central 
Committee is determined to solve this problem; today we shall issue a ""Decision of the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Improving Railway Work". 

To solve the problems of the railways, it is essential to strengthen centralized and unified 
leadership. The Central Committee has always stressed the importance of such leadership 
in railway work, but in recent years it has been weakened. Although over these years 
there has been an increase in the number of railway personnel, and in rolling stock, track 
and other equipment, yet because centralized and unified leadership has been weakened, 
railway transport has consistently failed to improve. Only a little more than 40,000 
freight cars are loaded per day. According to some comrades, however, given our actual 
loading capacity, we should be able to handle 55,000 cars per day. Therefore the Central 
Committee has decided to reaffirm centralized and unified leadership in accordance with 
the special characteristics of railway work. Of course, this will not reduce the 
responsibility of the localities. The central and regional railway departments cannot 
perform their task well without support from them. So both sides must try to co-ordinate 
their efforts more closely. 

The decision of the Central Committee also covers the formulation of essential rules and 
regulations, and a strengthening of the sense of organization and discipline. The present 
number of railway accidents is alarming. There were 755 major ones last year, some of 
them extremely serious. This is many times greater than the figure of 88 accidents for 



1964, the year with the lowest rate. Many of the accidents were caused by negligence, 
including negligence in maintaining rolling stock. This indicates that there are no proper 
rules and that discipline is poor. It is now time to reimpose some rules and regulations. 
One of the old rules was that engine drivers had to bring their lunch boxes to their 
locomotives and were not allowed to leave the train for meals. There were good reasons 
for this. But now engine drivers go off to eat whenever they like, and this means the 
trains frequently run behind schedule. The long-standing rule prohibiting the 
consumption of alcohol while on duty is not strictly observed now either. If someone gets 
drunk and pulls the wrong switch, he can cause a collision. For these reasons, essential 
rules and regulations must be restored and improved and the sense of organization and 
discipline enhanced. This problem concerns not only the railway departments, but the 
localities and other departments as well. 

The decision of the Central Committee also includes instructions on combating 
factionalism. Factionalism now seriously jeopardizes our overall interest. This question 
must be brought before all personnel and explained to them clearly as a major issue of 
right and wrong. It is no use tackling specific problems unless we have first settled this 
general issue. Persons engaging in factional activities should be re-educated and their 
leaders opposed. Generally speaking, such leaders can be divided into two categories. 
One category consists of persons who are obsessed by factionalism, have engaged in 
factional activities for several years and have lost their sense of right and wrong. For 
them, Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought and the Communist Party have all disappeared. 
They should be educated. If they correct their mistakes, then we will let bygones be 
bygones, but if they refuse to mend their ways, they will be sternly dealt with. The 
second category consists of a few bad elements. They can be found in all lines of work in 
every province and city. They fish in troubled waters by capitalizing on factionalism and 
undermining socialist public order and economic construction. They take advantage of 
the resulting confusion to speculate and profiteer, grabbing power and money. Something 
must be done about such people. Take for instance that ringleader in Xuzhou who has 
been creating disturbances. He is so ""capable" that he exercises a virtual dictatorship 
over the place. If we don't take action against this sort of person now, how much longer 
are we going to wait? As I see it, we should only give him one month, that is, till the end 
of March, to mend his ways. If he fails to do so and stubbornly stands in opposition to the 
proletariat, then his misdeeds will be treated as crimes. 

Factionalists in the railway departments have ties with those in the localities. We must 
cut these ties. Such people know how to seek out vital spots. They obstructed railway 
transport, and this soon came to the attention of Beijing. The trouble that occurred along 
the line under the jurisdiction of the Nanchang Railway Bureau was partly attributable to 
some of the Jiangxi provincial authorities. It is imperative to cut the internal and external 
connections of individuals who engage in factional activities in the railway departments. 
This meeting has decided that the transfer of personnel in these departments will be 
conducted under the unified administration of the Ministry of Railways. The power rests 
with the Ministry. Factional problems in the railways that the local governments are 
unable to handle will be dealt with by the Ministry. Active factionalists must be 
transferred to other posts. Of course, I am referring to the ringleaders. What if a new 



ringleader emerges following the transfer of the previous one? Transfer him too. Do it 
two or three times and the problem will ultimately be solved. And we won't arrest 
anyone, except, of course, counter-revolutionaries. What if a factional ringleader refuses 
to be transferred? Stop paying his wages until he submits. Since his trade is factionalism, 
why should we keep him on our payroll? In short, we need to devise methods for solving 
this problem. 

Which do you think there are more of, people who are in favour of the Central 
Committee's decision or people who are against it? The decision will be carried out 
effectively if it enjoys the support of 80 per cent of the people concerned. I think the 
overwhelming majority supports this decision. The Chinese railway workers are among 
the most advanced and best organized sections of the Chinese working class. Will they 
favour centralized and unified leadership or not? Will they favour organization and 
discipline or not? Will they favour the essential rules and regulations or not? Will they 
oppose factionalism or not? Will they support the transfer of factional ringleaders or not? 
If the pros and cons are clearly explained to them, the overwhelming majority of railway 
personnel will naturally give their support. So the mobilization drive in March should be 
thorough, with the issues made clear to everyone, including the family members of 
railway personnel and the peasants living along the railway lines. 

The experience gained in handling the problems in railway work will be useful to the 
other industrial units. Clear-cut policies should be worked out for tackling existing 
problems. We should bear the overall interest of the country in mind and solve these 
problems without delay. How much longer can this task be put off? How can we afford to 
delay in advancing the cause of socialism? 

(Speech at a meeting of secretaries in charge of industrial affairs from the Party 
committees of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.) 

SOME PROBLEMS OUTSTANDING IN THE 
IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY 

May 29, 1975 



The Central Committee of the Party has added its instructions to the report submitted a 
few days ago to Chairman Mao and the Central Committee by the Ministry of 
Metallurgical Industry. Now the document will be transmitted to the lower levels. In my 
opinion, the prospects for improving our iron and steel production are excellent provided 
the policies and requirements embodied in the Central Committee's instructions are 
followed. 

There are four key problems now confronting the iron and steel industry which must be 
solved. 

First, it is imperative to build a strong leadership. 



Iron and steel production is not increasing at the moment; this refers mainly to the major 
steel complexes at Baotou, Wuhan, Anshan and Taiyuan. In particular, if instead of 
increasing, the output of Anshan Iron and Steel Company falls short by two or three 
thousand tons a day, others will be unable to make up the difference. Of course, some 
medium-sized and small steel plants also fall short. The main cause of our sluggish iron 
and steel production is the leadership, which is weak, lazy and lax. That of the Ministry 
of Metallurgical Industry is weak, though we can't as yet go so far as to say it is lazy and 
lax. But being weak, it needs to be strengthened. The quality of the leading groups varies 
from one factory or enterprise to another. Some are lax, which is a failing related to 
factionalism. One of the major problems with cadres at present is that they are afraid to 
touch thorny issues the way one is afraid to touch a tiger's backside. The leaders of a unit 
or an enterprise must not be so timid. We should try to find and recruit into the leading 
groups cadres who are not afraid of losing their jobs; they will have the support of the 
Central Committee and the provincial Party committees. Unless we do this, things cannot 
be changed for the better. A leading group is like a command post, and efforts to boost 
production, carry on scientific research or combat factionalism are all like military 
operations. If the command post is weak, the operations cannot be effective. The Ministry 
of Metallurgical Industry has not had the strength to conduct effective operations, nor 
have the leading groups of some steel companies and plants. This question of the leading 
groups has a bearing on whether or not the Party line will be implemented. Unless the 
matter is properly handled, it will be difficult even to begin to move, let alone to lead the 
masses forward. That is why we have placed primary emphasis on properly tackling the 
problem of the leading groups. We must strengthen not only the leading group of the 
Ministry of Metallurgical Industry, but also that of every company, factory, mine and 
workshop, as well as the operational units. We must see to it that no leading group is 
weak, lazy or lax. Only then will its opinions be listened to and its directions followed; 
only then will it be truly able to lead. 

Second, it is imperative to struggle against factionalism. 

After the decision of the Central Committee on improving railway work was made 
known to the lower levels, all trades and professions felt its great impact and impetus. 
One clear example is the rapid growth in coal production, which was achieved because 
the leadership was bold and firm in combating factionalism. Production in the Taiyuan 
Iron and Steel Company also improved as soon as the problem of factionalism was 
solved. The railway departments have done an even more remarkable job in this respect, 
and the experience gained in Xuzhou is quite typical. We should all learn from these 
experiences. 

The leadership must be clear-cut and firm in its opposition to factionalism. How long can 
we afford to wait for persons who have wrought havoc with the Party's cause to recognize 
their mistakes? Courage is of primary importance here. Those who cling to factionalism 
should be transferred to other posts, criticized or struggled against whenever necessary. 
We should not drag things out and wait forever. Moreover, we should call on the masses 
to join in the effort against factionalism. Do those who cling to their factionalist ways 
fear the Central Committee or the provincial Party committees? They do not. Still less do 



they fear the city Party committees and the leadership in companies, factories or mines. 
But they do fear the masses, especially when the latter rise in action. So the way to deal 
with these people is to mobilize the masses to struggle against them, and not give an inch. 
What's more, we need to make a show of strength, and we must not be hesitant. We must 
have faith in the masses. We must bring the documents of the Central Committee directly 
to them so that its line is truly made known to every family, including housewives and 
children, and the initiative of the masses against factionalism is thus brought into play. 
Experience in different localities shows that over 95 per cent of the masses support the 
Central Committee's essential points. I certainly don't mean to say that no one is opposed 
to them. My speech last March at the national meeting of Party secretaries in charge of 
industrial work was described by some persons as a ""restorationist programme". 
Individuals who express such views do exist. But don't be afraid of them. If we take a 
clear-cut attitude and have correct policies, the situation will be easy to handle. 

Those who still engage in factional activities are a minority. Among them, some are true 
enemies who capitalize on factionalism to cause serious disruption; others engage in 
factional strife merely for personal gain and fame; still others are obsessed by 
factionalism after having gone through several years of such strife. As the experience of 
the railway departments and of the city of Xuzhou and other areas shows, the number of 
those who should be made targets of attack in the struggle against factionalism is very 
small. Factional activities in Xuzhou were very serious, but in the end only three persons 
were brought under attack. The overwhelming majority, including those who were 
obsessed by factionalism, were redeemable. So the actual result was that the target of 
attack was very narrow and a great many people were helped through education. We 
must be determined to win in our anti-factionalist struggle. 

Third, it is imperative that policies be conscientiously implemented. 

To judge by the experience gained in solving the problems in railway work and in the city 
of Xuzhou, carrying out Party policies is very important. In the campaign to ferret out 
members of the '' May Sixteenth Group ", over 6,000 persons in Xuzhou came under 
attack. This figure is quite shocking. When so many people have been attacked, it is 
essential to implement the policy concerning them; otherwise, how can we arouse the 
enthusiasm of the masses? 

When I say that we must implement the policy concerning these people, I am not talking 
only about the individuals who were labelled this or that, but also about the people 
around them who have been implicated. The treatment of those 6,000 people in Xuzhou 
affects tens of thousands of others, if we count an average of five members in each of 
their families, plus other relatives, friends and social connections. Measures must be 
taken to help them shed their mental burden as soon as possible. 

In implementing the policies, we should also pay attention to other cases. For example, 
although some people were not officially labelled, they were criticized or attacked and 
suffered great mental distress. This sort of thing happened even in areas where there was 



no campaign to uncover members of the ''May Sixteenth Group". All these problems 
should be dealt with appropriately. 

In implementing the relevant Party policies, we should particularly concentrate on 
arousing the enthusiasm of veteran workers, key technicians and veteran model workers. 
Those who should be returned to leading posts ought to be brought back and assigned 
appropriate jobs. Of course, I am not suggesting that all the people I've referred to should 
be put back in their previous posts. 

Fourth, it is imperative to establish essential rules and regulations. 

After the aforementioned matters have been well handled, the next step is to mobilize the 
masses to establish and improve essential rules and regulations. This is also a matter of 
enhancing the sense of organization and discipline. In recent years, there have really been 
no rules and regulations to speak of, and many problems have consequently arisen. Not 
long ago, in a single day the Wuhan Iron and Steel Company had two major accidents in 
which molten steel escaped. It is even difficult to determine who should be held 
accountable for some accidents that have occurred. Therefore, it is imperative to establish 
and improve essential rules and regulations. Discipline in some factories is very lax. The 
personnel may or may not come to work and may or may not observe the regulations. It 
should be clearly stated that although previous instances of this kind may be excused, no 
recurrence will henceforth be tolerated. How can an individual be allowed to casually 
absent himself from work whenever he feels like it? If a man doesn't come to work, cross 
his name off the payroll. If he refuses to work, tell him to leave! Since you're not willing 
to work, why should the state continue to pay you wages as if you were? In enforcing the 
rules and regulations, it is better to be a bit on the strict side; otherwise, they cannot be 
properly established. In the past, some rules and regulations were too complicated, and 
they should be improved. We should sum up both positive and negative experience and 
restore or establish such rules and regulations as are essential. 

In a word, there is a lot to be done to improve the production of iron and steel. In my 
opinion, it is most important to pay special attention to the four points I have discussed. 

(Speech at a forum on the iron and steel industry.) 

STRENGTHEN PARTY LEADERSHIP AND RECTIFY 
THE PARTY'S STYLE OF WORK 

July 4, 1975 



I am glad to meet you today and would like to say a few words. 

Comrade Mao Zedong has recently given us three important instructions. First, study 
theory and combat and prevent revisionism. Second, achieve stability and unity. Third, 
boost the economy. These three instructions, being related to one another, form an 



organic whole and none of them should be left out. They form the key link in our work 
for the present period. Last year Comrade Mao Zedong said that the ""cultural revolution" 
had already gone on for eight years and that it was better to achieve stability. Now that 
another year has passed, making it nine years, we should unite and strive for stability. We 
have a lot to do. There are many aspects of the international struggle that demand 
attention and there is also a lot to do domestically, especially to raise the level of the 
economy. 

In order to achieve stability and unity and to develop the socialist economy, it is essential 
to strengthen the leadership of the Party and to spread and further develop the Party's fine 
style of work. This is a vital question. Comrade Mao Zedong said that our army should be 
consolidated. This also holds true for the entire Party, and especially for the Party 
leadership and the Party's style of work. 

At present, effective Party leadership either has not yet been established or has been 
weakened in quite a number of localities. This problem exists at all levels. How can we 
do without Party leadership? What will happen if what the Party says doesn't carry much 
weight? The key to the solution of this problem is to build effective leadership at the level 
of the provincial Party committees. It is not possible to bring all problems to the Central 
Committee for solution. Many comrades present here work at the provincial level. I hope 
that through your study and work, you will be able to establish effective leadership by the 
provincial Party committees so that their opinions will be heeded and they will be able to 
shoulder the responsibility of leadership and be neither weak, nor lazy, nor lax. Will the 
provincial Party committee leaders make mistakes? That is probable, even certain. It is 
quite possible for this or that comrade to make mistakes. It is unrealistic to ask that the 
provincial Party committees be infallible and totally correct on every matter. They should 
be allowed to make mistakes and to correct them. When they do make mistakes, they 
should be given help. When the Central Committee criticizes them, it is in order to help 
them. We should support the leadership of the provincial Party committees and help them 
build their prestige so that they may exercise effective leadership in all kinds of work — 
in industry, agriculture, commerce, culture, education and military affairs — and in all 
parts of their respective provinces. Once the provincial Party committees become strong 
and do not hesitate to exercise leadership, they will be able to help the Party committees 
at the prefectural and county levels. This is the way for our Party to make its leadership 
effective. In its recent decision on improving railway work and in its instructions on 
striving to fulfil this year's plan for iron and steel production, the Central Committee 
stressed the importance of strengthening Party leadership. The whole Party should take 
up this task. 

When it comes to the Party's style of work, this means the ""three dos and three don'ts" 
put forward by Comrade Mao Zedong; they represent both the Party's principles and its 
style of work. You comrades have all read many books. Nevertheless, you should make a 
careful study of the documents issued during the Yan'an rectification movement and the 
political report to the Seventh National Congress of the Party. In that report. Comrade 
Mao Zedong set forth the three major features of the Party's style of work, namely, 
integrating theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses and practising 



self-criticism. During the Yan'an rectification movement, Comrade Mao Zedong made 
''Reform Our Study", ''Rectify the Party's Style of Work" and other reports. Rectification 
meant correcting the style of study by opposing subjectivism; correcting the style in Party 
relations by combating sectarianism; and correcting the style of writing by opposing 
Party stereotypes. These principles were put forward by Comrade Mao Zedong after he 
had summed up the Party's historical experience. Among them, combating sectarianism — 
that is, combating factionalism and enhancing Party spirit -- is very important. The 
admonition contained in the "three dos and three don'ts" to promote unity and oppose 
splits is in the same spirit as the call for combating sectarianism during the Yan'an 
rectification movement. Communist Party members should act in accordance with the 
Party Constitution and observe Party discipline. They should not engage in sectarianism, 
form "mountain strongholds", or side with one faction or another. Otherwise, our Party 
will be split and lose its fighting capacity. The Yan'an rectification movement was aimed 
at solving these problems in order to forge Party-wide unity on the basis of ideological 
agreement. Without that movement, it would have been impossible to defeat the Japanese 
aggressors and Chiang Kai-shek. The present attempts to solve problems in different 
regions and units should all begin with combating factionalism and enhancing Party 
spirit. During the revolutionary war years, the Red Army on the different fronts and 
cadres from different revolutionary base areas formed various "mountain strongholds"; 
these came into being naturally. But even if the two factions which appeared at the early 
stage of the "cultural revolution" were likewise formed naturally, their perpetuation now 
would be quite a different matter. Comrade Mao Zedong has called for stability and 
unity. How can stability and unity be achieved if a small number of persons are allowed 
to continue making trouble? A few persons in Xuzhou made things so difficult for the 
city Party committee that it had to go "underground". What kind of dictatorship is this? It 
is the dictatorship of factionalism. When this happens, stability and unity are simply out 
of the question. As a matter of fact, those who cling to factionalism are very few in 
number. Over 95 per cent of the people, including those who go along in factional 
activities, detest factionalism. Once things are made clear to the masses and they are 
awakened, once they come to see the true features of those who cling to factionalism, 
they will stop trailing after them. The majority of people engaging in factional activities 
can be educated. We should correct factionalism among the masses according to the 
formula of "unity — criticism — unity" put forward by Comrade Mao Zedong, that is, we 
should start from the desire for unity and arrive at unity through criticism. Of course, this 
involves such struggles as are necessary. 

That is all I have to say today. I have talked mainly about strengthening Party leadership, 
opposing factionalism and developing further the fine style of work established by 
Comrade Mao Zedong. All comrades in the Party, and especially Central Committee 
members and high-ranking cadres, should pay attention to these matters. 

(Speech to members of the fourth class for theoretical study organized by the Central 
Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

THE TASK OF CONSOLIDATING THE ARMY 

July 14, 1975 



I. THE SITUATION IN OUR ARMY 

We should first of all recognize that the general situation in our army is good and that it 
has stood the test both before and after the founding of the People's Republic, right up to 
the present. Our army is the mainstay of the dictatorship of the proletariat in China. 
Without pointing to such major campaigns as the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid 
Korea , we need only mention the minor clashes such as our counter-attacks fought in 
self-defence at Zhenbao Island and the Xisha Islands and along the Sino-Indian borders . 
On each occasion, every regiment, company and squad fulfilled its task. This shows that 
our army has a fine tradition and that it is heroic and skilful in battle. Comrades have told 
me that, with a few individual exceptions, the situation in our army units at regimental 
level and below is not bad. We are all glad of this. 

Today I'm going to talk mainly about the problems remaining in the army. In my opinion, 
we shouldn't talk only about the strong points of our army to the neglect of its 
weaknesses, because it has been praised often enough. Owing to sabotage by Lin Biao 
and his like, there are quite a few problems besetting our army. Many of the comrades 
present here feel this. I've thought these problems over and would like to sum them up in 
five words: bloating, laxity, conceit, extravagance and inertia. Of course, I don't mean 
that these five words present the general picture of the army. However, some or all of 
them do apply to a number of units and comrades. 

First, there is a certain degree of bloating. The reorganization of our army and the 
streamlining of its organizational set-up, which we're going to discuss at this meeting, are 
aimed at solving precisely this problem. We can't say that every division is bloated, but it 
is definitely true to some extent of the army as a whole. 

Second, there is a certain degree of laxity. This is chiefly manifested in factionalism and 
an inadequate sense of organizational discipline. Historically, our army was formed on 
the basis of a number of ''mountain strongholds", with comrades hailing from all corners 
of the country. Organizationally, we had three front armies, each of which was 
established on the basis of many ''mountain strongholds", and this naturally gave rise to a 
" mountain-stronghold " mentality in varying degrees. During the rectification movement 
in Yan'an, Comrade Mao Zedong called on us to combat sectarianism and to solve the 
problem of the "mountain-stronghold" mentality throughout the Party and in different 
places, especially in the army. This problem was solved with three or four years of effort, 
starting from the beginning of the rectification movement in I94I. After the movement, 
cadres in the army and the localities pooled their wisdom and strength, making a single, 
tremendous force, and that is why we were victorious in our revolutionary wars. Since 
that time, the question of combating sectarianism in the army has never arisen again until 
now. Why, then, should we raise it now? Because this problem has reappeared in our 
army in the course of "supporting the Left". In doing this, many persons became 
involved in factional activities, some siding with one faction, some with another. Since 
the army people had great authority, they became the real power behind the different 



factions. Later they brought the same attitudes into the army, and in many of its units this 
led to the rise of two opposing factions. Now, nine years after the outbreak of the 
''cultural revolution", a fairly large number of comrades in our army have yet to shake 
off factionalism. And this has damaged unity within the army. Factionalism in the army is 
very dangerous — to put it more strongly, it cannot, and should not, be tolerated. Now 
there are always a few people in the army who like to build strongholds or set up small 
tight circles of one sort or another; they are partial to persons who flatter and obey them, 
and they practise favouritism when making appointments to posts. In fact, flatterers are 
persons of dubious character. Nonetheless, some of our comrades delight in being 
lavishly praised and flattered. They are unable to work together with people who come 
from different parts of the country or with people who differ with them. That is how 
''mountain strongholds" have come into being without these comrades' being aware of it 
themselves. In some units here in Beijing we have comrades of that sort, including even 
some senior leading cadres, who are bent on building their own factions. Through "hard 
struggle" they engineer the transfer of comrades with differing views, and they organize 
leading groups that consist of persons obedient to them. Isn't this erecting "mountain 
strongholds"? Isn't this indulging in sectarianism? For several years we've been talking 
about carrying out Party policies. Yet many of those policies remain unimplemented, and 
one important reason is factionalism. Factionalism in army units in turn exerts a 
pernicious influence on some civilian units, so that it cannot be eliminated there either. 
Although the army comrades who were sent to "support the Left" have been withdrawn 
from the civilian units, their influence persists. Therefore, we say that the problems in 
civilian units are related to those in the army. 

Many comrades feel that organizational discipline is weak in our army today. 
Subordination of the lower levels to the higher, and of individuals to the organization is 
being neglected. The army used to have a very strong sense of organizational discipline, 
and orders were carried out without the slightest hesitation. But things are different now. 
Sometimes, not only individuals but even whole units act in defiance of orders. The lack 
of a sense of organizational discipline is related to factionalism. Those who disobey 
orders have the interests of their own factions in mind instead of the overall interests of 
the revolution. They place personal and factional interests above everything else. They 
seek fame, gain and position, and when they fail to secure them, they take offence and 
even refuse to obey orders of transfer. Just shifting someone to a new post is rather 
difficult nowadays, because many people prefer to remain in the big cities, especially in 
Beijing. If you want to transfer them to other places it's very hard — what with talk of 
poor health and heart trouble which is certain to recur if they are given jobs elsewhere but 
will disappear if they remain in Beijing. In a word, the excuses are endless. 

It is not only organizational discipline that is weaker than before, so is political discipline. 
For instance, some people stubbornly refuse to implement Party policies as urged by the 
Central Committee. What does this signify? It signifies lack of political discipline. 
Another example is the failure of some comrades in our army to carry out the policy of 
helping the civilian units to uproot factionalism and so promote unity among the masses. 
This question involves both political and organizational discipline. 



Recently, the Central Committee issued a series of documents, all of which made some 
mention of the need to solve the problems of the leading bodies. Weakness, laziness and 
laxity are to be found in the leading military bodies as well as in the civilian units. There 
are quite a few leading military bodies that are lax or lazy, and probably even more that 
are weak. Recently the civilian units have been working well and hastening to solve these 
problems, but the army has been somewhat slower. 

Third, there is a certain amount of conceit. This problem is nothing new in our army. In 
the war years, since the army was making great contributions and enjoyed high prestige, 
some comrades tended to become conceited. After many years of corrective effort, by 
and large the problem was solved. It should be pointed out, however, that a new situation 
developed during the ""cultural revolution". Since the army was given the task of 
""supporting the Left", it wielded great power. Together with other factors, this 
engendered conceit among a number of army comrades, some of whom became arrogant 
and overbearing. Some persons have abandoned the fine tradition of the mass line and 
like to throw their weight around. At present there is not sufficient unity inside the army 
itself, between the army and the government and between the army and the people. In 
some cases, relations between some army units, between the army and the government 
and between the army and the people are rather strained. Formerly, when army comrades 
rode a bus, they would make a point of offering their seats to elderly persons or women 
carrying babies. But now some of them don't bother to do that. I have heard of a case 
where a soldier riding a bus did not offer his seat to a woman with a baby even when it 
began to cry. Seeing this, an old man commented, "" Uncle Lei Feng isn't around any 
more. " This example pinpoints the problem. Our army used to have very good traditions 
in this respect. But now little attention is paid to unity and discipline. The least we can 
say is that the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention are not 
so respected as in the past. Some people, casting aside the tradition of hard work and 
plain living, pursue a bourgeois way of life. Examples of this abound. It would be 
dangerous to underestimate the gravity of these things or to lower our guard against them. 

Fourth, there is a certain degree of extravagance. As I've said, some people pursue a 
bourgeois way of life. Some seek ease and comfort, higher salaries, more housing space 
and indeed top conditions in every respect. Some even treat public property as their own, 
making hardly any distinction between public and private. Some army units entertain 
guests with lavish dinners and give them generous gifts, or erect building, halls and 
guesthouses that are not needed. These phenomena are widespread, they are increasing 
and have so far gone unchecked. In their pursuit of luxuries, the army units concerned 
contravene policy in many ways. Some people take things from the civilian units at will, 
or buy them at reduced prices. Some just take things without even going through any 
formalities. It is commendable that, in compliance with Comrade Mao Zedong's "" May 
7th Directive ", our army has set up many farms and enterprises. But we must remind our 
comrades that they must truly follow the spirit of the ""May 7th Directive". Some army 
farms and enterprises, having made some money, are now spending it carelessly, and 
some leading cadres contend for the power to grant requests made by subordinate units. 
Measures must be taken to change this situation. Army units have taken over too many of 
the buildings and too much of the land belonging to civilian units, and the civilian 



authorities have a lot of complaints about this. We should see to it that whatever should 
be returned is returned. While some of the buildings and land were taken over by the 
army units because they were not being used by the civilian units, in other cases they 
have been forcibly occupied. As for extravagance, I am sure every comrade knows of 
examples in the army, so I need say no more on this point. 

Fifth, there is a certain degree of inertia. It is found not only among individuals but also 
to a varying extent in some organs. Some high-ranking cadres, their revolutionary will 
failing in their later years, seek their own self-interest instead of maintaining their 
revolutionary integrity. Some people with only minor illnesses ask for long recuperation 
leaves as if they were seriously ill, or they moan and groan without being ill at all. And 
they are bureaucratic; they don't put any effort or conscientiousness into their work. They 
don't go down to the grass-roots units. They don't lift a finger themselves, nor do they use 
their minds. They rely on their secretaries to do everything and even ask others to write a 
five-minute speech for them — and then they sometimes read it wrong. This is mental 
indolence. Some people are overcautious in everything. They hold back in their work and 
dare not air their views for fear of being criticized if they say something wrong. Why 
should Communists be so timid? Why don't they dare to speak their minds? Why are they 
afraid of shouldering responsibility? Do they think they will escape blame if they act like 
this? Do they think they can avoid making mistakes if they merely read prepared 
speeches? To say the least, I don't think much of the style of these prepared speeches — 
they're just copies of what has been said in the newspapers. Isn't that stereotyped writing? 
It is not just the ideology of the individuals concerned that is to blame: part of the 
problem is that they haven't received sufficient help and support from the leadership. The 
help I am referring to here includes criticism, because criticism in itself is a form of help. 
The Central Committee of the Party has the responsibility of helping the provinces, and 
its Military Commission has the responsibility of helping the military regions and the 
various services and arms. We should not be afraid to assume responsibilities. Mistakes 
are unavoidable. Mistakes should be criticized, but once they are corrected, that's the end 
of it. 

To sum up, the general situation in our army is good. But bloating, laxity, conceit, 
extravagance and inertia are to be found in certain degrees. We should not overlook these 
problems, even though they exist only in certain units. 

n. THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE THE ARMY 

What are the problems to be solved in consolidating the army? They are the five 
problems listed above. Our present meeting will decide on a new size and organizational 
structure for the army, with a view to making them less unwieldy. But this is not our only 
task. We must also solve the four other problems, all of which have to be handled in 
connection with the first one. If we can do away with bloating, streamline the army 
establishment, and restructure it as a whole, we will pave the way for the proper solution 
of other problems. For instance, the present reorganization involves the restaffing and 
improvement of the leading bodies at different levels. In the course of deciding how these 
things should be done, we must find ways to combat laxity and inertia and also to 



overcome the weakness and laziness which now affect these leading bodies. This time we 
should fix definite limits to the size and structure of the army and, once fixed, they should 
be strictly adhered to. We may say that the size and structure of our army should be as 
rigorously adhered to as state laws are. Anyway, no one should wilfully order soldiers to 
serve him personally as has happened in the past. If only one secretary is assigned to your 
office, you should not use more. It is better to have fewer secretaries because this will 
force you to do more yourself, to be more diligent and to use your mind a bit more. This 
will be much to your advantage! In strengthening the leading bodies at different levels, 
we should take care to choose the right persons, and that means we must learn more 
about them before they are appointed. In the present reorganization, we should do a better 
job of choosing cadres for leading bodies even at the company level — not to mention 
those at the battalion and regimental levels and above. Also, in the course of 
consolidating the army measures should be taken to improve the education of cadres, 
enhance their Party spirit, oppose factionalism, strengthen the sense of discipline and 
carry forward the tradition of hard work. 

III. WORK OF THE MILITARY COMMISSION 

After discussion, comrades of the Standing Committee of the Military Commission have 
agreed that the work of the Commission consists essentially of the two tasks set forth by 
Comrade Mao Zedong: first, to consolidate the army, and second, to prepare for the event 
of war. These are the guidelines for the army's work. After we have decided on the size 
and structure of our army, we should turn our attention to its equipment. The government 
is presently in the midst of considering the next five-year plan and a ten-year plan, and 
there should be a plan for equipping the army as well. Scientific research should be given 
priority. We need research on conventional as well as sophisticated weaponry, and even 
on such questions as how to reduce the load carried by the soldiers. How can a soldier be 
expected to fight when he is required to carry several dozen kilogrammes? There's no 
telling how many non-battle casualties might ensue. This question of a soldier's 
equipment is an important one requiring study; standardization is called for here. The 
General Logistics Department should work out a plan and there should be some persons 
especially in charge of this matter. 

After the size and structure of the army and its equipment, the next question to be tackled 
is strategy. In conducting military operations, we must consider the terrain and the tactics 
appropriate to the specific conditions. We must consider all these questions. Strategy 
involves not only military operations but also training, which should be treated as a 
significant question. Present-day wars are fought by combined armed units, in the air, on 
the ground and on and under the seas. They cannot be conducted by following our old 
formula of millet plus rifles". Nowadays a company commander has to perform his 
duties in a different way than in the past. In the past, a company commander at the front 
could just hold up a Mauser and cry, 'Charge !" Today he must know much more. And 
this is even more true of officers above the company level. In a battle tanks or artillery 
may be assigned to him and he may also have to take charge of ground-to-air 
communications. How is he going to command? What is needed is a higher level of 
command capability; we must not overestimate our existing level. If we overlook military 



training, we are likely to pay for our neglect, at least in the early stages of a war. We 
should also improve our cadres' administrative skills, because they are not adequate now. 
The food in the companies, for instance, is generally unsatisfactory. Much money is spent 
but the meals are poor. This is a matter of administrative competence. Naturally there are 
many more such problems. To improve the officers' ability to command and their 
administrative skills and to increase their scientific knowledge, we must set up schools at 
different levels, including schools run by the general departments and services and arms, 
and we must operate them successfully. In peace-time, in addition to holding military 
manoeuvres, it is useful to set up some schools. 

Many comrades have suggested that we hold a conference on political work. I think this 
is a good suggestion, because we do need to discuss ways to improve Party and political 
work in our army units. We have to strengthen the collective leadership of the Party 
committees in the army, strengthen its political departments and raise their prestige. 
When assigning political cadres, we must ensure their quality, so that they can serve as 
examples. The choice of officers also deserves serious attention. As it is important to 
select officers according to specified criteria, in improving the political departments we 
should make a special effort with departments in charge of officers' affairs. Cadres of the 
political departments, and particularly those handling officers' affairs, should be 
impartial, honest, opposed to undesirable practices, and unafraid of confronting 
offenders. At the same time, they should work patiently, get to know the officers well and 
keep in regular contact with them. We have a long-standing tradition of placing officers' 
affairs in the charge of the political departments. The leading comrades should assess and 
examine officers through the political departments; that is the only procedure consistent 
with our organizational principles. We should carry on this fine tradition. Special efforts 
should be made to improve political work at the company level. Company cadres, and 
political instructors in particular, should know how to work effectively. Perhaps we 
should assign comrades who are somewhat older to the post of company political 
instructor, and keep them in that position somewhat longer than is usual now. It is 
impossible for instructors to accumulate experience and learn how to do ideological work 
if they are transferred to other posts after only two or three years. In addition to what I've 
just said, we are faced with questions of unity within the army, unity between the army 
and the civilian units, and relations between the army and the people, all of which merit 
our study. 

IV. PROBLEMS CONCERNING CADRES 

DURING REORGANIZATION 

There are two problems concerning cadres during the reorganization. One is the 
assignment of officers who have been released from their current posts to new posts 
within the army, and the other is the transfer of cadres to civilian units. Several hundred 
thousand cadres or officers will have to be transferred to civilian units, which will then be 
responsible for their placement. But this also concerns the army, so it should support and 
help the civilian units involved. The civilian units already have many cadres of their own 
so it will not be easy for them to make the necessary arrangements. Thus, some of the 



cadres or officers transferred may complain to their former army units. Everyone should 
be aware of this problem, in which the army should take a supportive attitude towards the 
civilian units. Within the army itself, the question is, who is to be retained and who is to 
be transferred to the civilian units, that is, who is to remain at his present post and who is 
to leave? We have to assign jobs to cadres or officers who have returned from the civilian 
units after the expiry of their task of ''supporting the Left" there, and to those who were 
pushed aside in the early days of the Cultural Revolution. We should take a 
comprehensive approach to this problem. As regards officers at the divisional level and 
above who are retained in the army, there are the following questions: Who will occupy a 
post? Who will not? Who will serve as an adviser? As these questions are not easy to 
handle well and involve an enormous amount of detail, proper arrangements must be 
made. The other problems I've mentioned — laxity, conceit, extravagance and inertia — all 
of which should be solved in connection with the problem of bloating, are also related to 
the cadre problem and therefore should be studied thoroughly. Furthermore, there is the 
question of the reassignment and interchange of personnel. As Comrade Mao Zedong has 
said, in addition to the exchange of commanders among the eight greater military regions, 
there should be an interchange of cadres among the provincial military regions and some 
departments, because it is not good for cadres to function in one place for too long. Since 
some cadres have become involved in factionalism in civilian units to the detriment of the 
work there, it would be best to transfer them elsewhere. Wherever a ''mountain 
stronghold" exists, we must get rid of it — demolish it by transferring the cadres involved 
so that they don't gather in one place. It is also desirable to transfer some people to 
suitable jobs in other places chiefly because this will bring them into contact with more 
people and enable them to broaden their understanding and learn to conduct themselves 
more prudently. To sum up, it is not a good thing to have a cadre work in one place for 
too long. We should educate the cadres concerned and make this clear to them. 

As regards practical steps, I suggest that we first readjust the leading bodies starting from 
the top and working down to the bottom, just as in solving problems in civilian units 
(enterprises included) we should begin by solving the problems of their leading bodies. 
The leading bodies should have authority and "put daring first"; they should be able to 
carry out the Party's principles and policies correctly and perform their work effectively. 
How can we accomplish anything if the central authorities, or the provinces, 
municipalities and autonomous regions, always have to send people to attend to matters 
that should have been dealt with at the lower levels? The same holds for the army. In 
appointing leading cadres, the first thing for us to do is to choose the right persons for the 
two top positions — persons who display exemplary Party spirit and work style and who 
know how to unite with their comrades. It is particularly important that they have the 
habit of working hard, because that can help bring about a change for the better in many 
things. Therefore, in selecting cadres, particularly of high rank, we should pick those who 
are at least relatively hard-working. 

Now let me speak briefly on the question of advisers. The post of adviser has been newly 
created in the army — a wise measure in the current circumstances. There are two 
problems here: which comrades should be appointed as advisers, and how they should act 
in their new capacity. It is impossible to be perfectly fair in the choice of advisers. 



Comrade Mao Zedong has said that people who are elected members of the Central 
Committee of the Party are not necessarily more competent than others who remain 
outside it. All our comrades, especially those serving as advisers, should keep the overall 
interests of the country in mind and accept the organizational arrangements. The 
leadership should be mindful of the material needs of the advisers, and also and 
particularly of their political and ideological needs. It should arrange for them to read 
documents, hear reports and be informed of some of the issues handled by Party 
committees at their corresponding levels. The leader of an advisory group who is not a 
member of the Party committee at the corresponding level may attend its meetings as a 
non-voting participant, so that he can brief other members of the advisory group. Apart 
from diminished access to cars and secretarial services, there will be no change in the 
treatment to which they were entitled while on regular service. It should be made clear to 
them that the change in the use of cars and secretaries is dictated by the reduced 
requirements of their work, not by any lowering of status. For their part, our adviser 
comrades should be stricter with themselves. They should not, for example, ask to be 
treated to meals or banquets on their work inspection tours. Some people want to be 
given a dinner party wherever they go and feel offended if they are not, regarding the 
omission as a sign of disrespect for them as former superiors. This is most improper. 
Inspection tours should be well planned, or they will impose undue burdens on comrades 
at the lower levels. Advisers, too, have their power — the power to make suggestions. 
They should learn how to advise without becoming too involved personally in work. If 
they try to concern themselves with everything, they will only make trouble for the Party 
committee concerned. Problems are bound to crop up with the establishment of advisory 
posts; we will find out what they are by summing up experience in a year or so. 

V. RESPONSIBILITIES OF HIGH-RANKING CADRES 

The responsibility for running the military forces falls, first of all, on comrades attending 
this meeting or, more broadly, on principal leading comrades at the army level and above. 
It will be possible to preserve all the fine traditions of our Party and to have a high degree 
of unity and combat-worthiness in the People's Liberation Army as long as these 
comrades do a good job. But if they don't, the army will be adversely affected and 
existing problems may worsen. At present, certain phenomena demand attention, and we 
older comrades are very concerned about them. For several decades our army has been a 
very good one on the whole. We have exerted some effort to make this so; that is, we 
have made contributions in this respect. At present, whether the undesirable tendencies in 
the PLA can be overcome and whether the fine traditions of so many years can be carried 
forward depend mainly on how much we older comrades can do to help and guide the 
young and middle-aged cadres and pass on our experience to them. In my view, if we all 
set an example by following Comrade Mao Zedong's motto, ''unity, alertness, 
conscientiousness, liveliness", we will find that the problems in our army are not hard to 
solve, and that the line, principles and policies of the Party can be implemented 
effectively. 



To summarize, all the ideas I have presented here are only what Comrade Mao Zedong 
had in mind when he said: " Xarry the revolutionary tradition forward; may you gain still 
greater glory. " 

(Speech at an enlarged meeting of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of 
the Communist Party of China.) 

ON CONSOLIDATING NATIONAL DEFENCE 
ENTERPRISES 

August 3, 1975 



In recent months, the Central Committee of the Party has issued several consecutive 
documents on solving problems in railway work and in iron and steel production. These 
documents have made clear our principles and policies. Since I have been asked to make 
some comments here, I shall repeat some things I have said before. 

First, it is essential to establish bold leadership in every factory and enterprise. 
Apparently this has already been done in most cases. In units beset with long-standing 
difficulties, the basic problem is timid leadership. It is utterly impossible to combat 
factionalism without a leadership which ''puts daring first". And without such leadership, 
there is no possibility of establishing the essential rules and regulations or of 
implementing Party policies. Some people are simply overcautious. That may have been 
a defensible attitude in past years, and we cannot say that everyone who adopted it was a 
bad comrade. But for Communist Party members it was wrong to be overcautious even 
then. Still, they can be forgiven, considering the situation at the time. But if these persons 
are still overcautious now that the central authorities are supporting the localities, and the 
leading bodies at the higher levels are supporting those at the lower levels, they have only 
themselves to blame for their waning revolutionary will and lack of revolutionary drive. 
No other conclusion is possible. As for those leading cadres who ''put fear first", do not 
work, take long recuperation leaves for minor illnesses or moan and groan about 
imaginary illnesses, we may as well ask them to take a good long rest. How can we let 
them hang on to their posts without doing any work? These problems of the leading 
bodies must be solved promptly. We should try to find daring, capable comrades to 
assume responsibility. This matter should be given immediate attention, particularly by 
provincial Party secretaries in charge of industrial affairs. The main thing is to select 
good persons for the two top posts in each enterprise. If these two dare to act, they can 
carry the whole staff along with them. We should select and recruit into the leading 
bodies cadres who have some practical experience and are relatively young, say, in their 
fifties or forties -- or if we can find still younger ones, so much the better. Such people 
are always available. If it is difficult to find them in your own factory, look for them in 
other factories or elsewhere in the region. It is simply inconceivable that no such people 
can be found! We should select capable people and train them well. 



Second, it is essential to give top priority to quality in production. This is a very 
important principle, especially where military products are concerned. An entire military 
operation may be adversely affected if a few shells misfire on the battlefield at a critical 
moment. This problem merits special attention, since today military products mean 
modern weapons. I have read some reports lately which give figures for the output of 
certain national defence factories and which state that over 95 per cent of their products 
are of good or relatively good quality. You should never be satisfied with such figures, 
and in the future we should not merely talk about percentages. It doesn't solve the 
problem to say that most products are of good quality. Sometimes things go wrong 
precisely because of key products and key parts that constitute 1 or even 0.5 per cent of 
total output. The Office of National Defence Industries should keep this problem in mind. 
Airplane accidents are numerous nowadays, and of course some are attributable to the 
poor training of the men, the incompetence of the pilots or the deficiencies of the ground- 
control crews. But sometimes the fault may lie in the quality of the aircraft. A number of 
accidents have been due to defective parts or components that represent only 1 or even 
0.5 per cent of total output. It was that 0.5 per cent which got past quality control without 
being detected. Investigation has shown that the failure of several of our scientific 
research projects was due not to deficiencies in our technology but to that 1 or even 0.5 
per cent of substandard parts, parts which fell just a tiny bit short of the specifications. 
This question of quality is related to rules and regulations. Without the necessary 
responsibility system it will be difficult to ensure quality. We must improve our work in 
this respect. At the same time, comrades in charge of the national defence industries are 
requested to give high priority to scientific research programmes, for there are a number 
of military products which cannot be put into normal production because the technology 
hasn't been perfected. We should encourage scientific and technical personnel to use their 
initiative and we should set up three-in-one combinations. Scientists and technicians 
should not feel downcast. True, they have been called ^' Number Nine ", but Chairman 
Mao says: ''We can't do without Number Nine." That is to say, scientists and technicians 
should be given their proper due. Although they may have shortcomings, we should help 
and encourage them. Better conditions should be created for them so that they can devote 
themselves single-mindedly to their work. This will surely do much to advance our cause. 

Third, it is essential to look after the well-being of the masses. This cannot be 
accomplished by just saying a few words; it requires a lot of down-to-earth work. For 
instance, steel workers do heavy labour, yet they don't get enough meat and vegetables to 
eat. This means that even the basics are not guaranteed. Such problems must be 
concretely studied and solved. Cities with a lot of industry should give them special 
attention. We all know that some cadres like to raise chickens, rabbits and ducks. In my 
opinion, the problems would be easily solved if these cadres showed less enthusiasm for 
bettering their own standard of living and more for raising that of the masses. The 
commercial work connected with factories in the mountainous regions of the '' third line " 
should also be improved. I am from Sichuan, and I am often told by workers from my 
native province that they can't get enough meat and vegetables. This scarcity of non-grain 
foods exists not only in Sichuan but in many other places as well. Remedial measures 
should be adopted. For example, part of the land around Chongqing could be specially 
allocated to the growing of vegetables. Their produce should be supplied first to factory 



workers and then to other city dwellers. In this way, workers would enjoy a somewhat 
better diet and peasants a higher income. This arrangement would also help to improve 
relations between workers and peasants. We are presently considering whether we can 
allocate some grain to the suburbs of a few cities for the raising of pigs. For instance, we 
might allocate 250 million kilogrammes of grain for the raising of five million pigs. This 
grain would not be subject to nationwide distribution but put to special use in pig-raising 
in several selected centres. We could even consider setting up some modern poultry 
farms. This question too should be studied. But we should put the major emphasis on pig- 
raising. Raising more pigs will both increase the cash income of the peasants and provide 
more manure for expanding grain production. Heavy manual labour is still strenuous, and 
it is essential to improve the standard of living of workers. There is a lot of talk among 
the masses about matters concerning their daily life, and we shouldn't take everything 
they say simply as grumbling. Our Party and state must be concerned with the well-being 
of the masses, and it is high time we put this question on our agenda. 

(Speech at a conference on key enterprises of the national defence industries.) 

SOME COMMENTS ON INDUSTRIAL 
DEVELOPMENT 

August 18, 1975 



A good number of questions have been raised in the document drafted by the State 
Planning Commission. This document is necessary. Comrade Mao Zedong has long said 
that we must have regulations. Only through regulations can the Party's principles and 
policies be given substance. The earlier ^' Seventy Articles on Industrial Work " are 
basically sound and should be revised rather than revoked. After revision, they can be 
distributed for discussion before being implemented. Now, I would like to make a few 
comments on questions concerning industrial development. 

1 . We should establish the concept that agriculture is the foundation of the national 
economy and that industry must serve it. A major task for industry is to support 
agriculture and promote its modernization. Industrial regions and cities should help the 
surrounding rural areas to advance, develop small-scale industries and improve 
agricultural production, and this should be included in their plans. Many of the ''third 
line" factories, which are dispersed in the countryside, should also help the local people's 
communes and production brigades and teams with their agricultural production. A big 
factory will be able to help the entire surrounding area. There is another advantage to 
such help: the local commune members will respect the property of the factory concerned 
and will not casually take things away from it. Agricultural modernization is not confined 
to mechanization alone; it also includes the application and development of science and 
technology. Cities could help rural areas set up mechanized poultry or pig farms. On the 
one hand, this would help raise the income of the peasants; on the other it would improve 
the supply of non-grain foods to the cities. If our workers do not have enough meat and 
vegetables to eat, how can industry do well? Industry should support agriculture which. 



in its turn, should support industry. This is a matter of reinforcing the alliance between 
the workers and peasants. I have written a letter to comrades in Sichuan Province telling 
them that the more industry is developed, the more we should adhere to the principle of 
giving first place to agriculture. 

2. We should introduce new technology and equipment from other countries and expand 
imports and exports. Foreign countries all attach great significance to the introduction of 
new technology and equipment from abroad. Take their products apart, and you'll find 
that many parts or components are also made abroad. We should import some of the raw 
and semi-finished materials which for the moment we cannot provide ourselves. If a 
chemical fibre factory cannot go into operation for lack of certain chemical raw materials, 
what else can we do but import them? In order to import, we must export more. This 
involves our export policy. What are we going to export? We should strive to produce 
more petroleum and export some where possible. Traditional exports like art products 
should be increased by every means. We should also consider the export of chemical 
products and coal. In the case of coal, we may consider signing long-term contracts with 
other countries to import their mining technology and equipment and pay them back with 
coal. There are many advantages to such an arrangement: it will enable us, first, to 
expand our exports; second, to bring about the technical transformation of the coal- 
mining industry; and third, to absorb more of the labour force. This is a major policy 
which should be carried out after approval by the central authorities. All in all, we should 
strive to expand exports in exchange for high-grade, high-precision, advanced technology 
and equipment so as to speed up the technical transformation of our industries and to 
raise the productivity of labour. 

3. We should strengthen the scientific research work conducted by enterprise. This is a 
valuable means of developing industry with greater, faster, better and more economical 
results. With the growth of industry, the number of scientific and technical workers in 
enterprises should rise, representing an ever larger proportion of their total personnel. Big 
factories should have their own independent scientific research organs; small ones may 
conduct scientific research either according to unified city-wide plans or through joint 
efforts with other factories. At present, a number of intellectuals have been assigned jobs 
that do not correspond to their training and thus their expertise is largely wasted. We 
must improve our work in this respect. There are many subjects for scientific research. In 
my opinion, even the packaging of export commodities calls for serious study — not to 
mention other matters. We should also study how to lighten the equipment of our troops. 
With regard to some items, this question cannot be tackled by the General Logistics 
Department alone, but must be solved through the concerted efforts of several research 
institutions. 

4. We should bring order to industrial management. It appears that industrial enterprises 
have many problems, two of the commonest being poor management and the poor 
condition of a high proportion of equipment. These problems are especially evident in 
heavy industry. We should consider concentrating our efforts in November and 
December this year on improving industrial management and the maintenance of 
equipment, so as to lay a sound foundation for next year's production. In enterprises 



where equipment is in gross disrepair, the emphasis should be on repair. We must keep 
equipment in good order even at the expense of reduced production. Otherwise, as the 
saying goes, ""More haste, less speed" — the more we are in a hurry, the less production 
will be raised. The waste in some enterprises is appalling. And it is a common 
phenomenon. This situation should be rectified so that the enterprises may hand in more 
profits to the state. Industrial management is a vital issue and it must be handled well. 

5. We should emphasize the quality of products: ""quality first" is an important policy. It 
also involves the varieties and specifications of products. The best way to economize is to 
raise the quality of products. In a certain sense, higher quality means greater quantity. 
Only if quality is improved can more outlets for export be found and exports be 
increased. To be competitive on the world market, we must spare no efforts to improve 
the quality of our products. 

6. We should restore and improve rules and regulations. The key here is to set up a 
responsibility system. In many places now we often find that there is no one who takes 
responsibility for the work, and we have to make special efforts to grapple with this 
problem, since bad old practices die hard. We should enforce rules and regulations more 
strictly. And we must be bold and not be afraid of making mistakes or of being criticized. 
If we aren't strict, we won't be able to restore essential rules and regulations, and 
consequently the chaotic situation in enterprises will not be changed. We have a summary 
of the remarks made by a veteran worker from the Nanjing Radio Factory on the 
necessity of rigorous enforcement of rules and regulations. This material can be 
circulated for you all to read. 

7. We should adhere to the principle, ""to each according to his work", which has always 
been an important one in socialist construction. All of us should give some thought to it. 
Until now, we haven't resorted much to so-called material incentives. But people's 
contributions do differ. Shouldn't there, therefore, be differences in remuneration? All are 
workers, but some people have greater technical competence than others. Shouldn't they 
be upgraded and given a higher wage? Shouldn't the pay for technical personnel be raised 
also? It may appear that all are equal if everyone makes 40 or 50 yuan a month, no matter 
whether his contribution is great or small, his technical competence high or low, his 
ability strong or weak, his job heavy or light. However, in fact this practice does not 
conform to the principle, ""to each according to his work", so how can it encourage 
people's initiative? As I see it, people who work in high temperatures, high above the 
ground or down in the mines, or do jobs involving poisonous materials, should be paid 
differently from those doing ordinary types of work. The issue of wage policy is a very 
complicated one and needs to be studied. 

(Remarks at a State Council meeting to discuss the document ""Some Questions on 
Accelerating Industrial Development" drafted by the State Planning Commission.) 

PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO SCIENTIFIC 

RESEARCH 

September 26, 1975 



I said at a meeting held in Dazhai that a failing agriculture would be an obstruction to 
industrial development. Unless priority is given to scientific research, the economic 
development of the country will be hindered. Scientific research is of great importance, 
so we should discuss it. 

At present, the ranks of scientific researchers have been greatly reduced, and there is an 
age gap in our scientific and technical ranks. We need mature workers doing scientific 
research, and we need young people as well, who have sharp retention and are quick- 
witted. Most students are in their 20s when they graduate from colleges and universities. 
Ten years later, in their 30s, they are at the age during which they should attain academic 
achievements. Presently, some scientific research personnel are involved in factional 
struggles and pay little or no attention to research. A few of them are engaged in research 
privately, as if they were committing crimes. Chen Jingrun is one of them. Shouldn't 
these people, who have achieved academic results, also be judged as politically sound? It 
would be advantageous for China to have one thousand such talented people whose 
authority is generally recognized by the world. But in China, they have been criticized for 
devoting themselves to scientific research alone. As long as they are working in the 
interest of the People's Republic of China, these people are much more valuable than 
those who are engaged in factionalism and thereby obstruct others from working. At this 
time, many people are afraid to talk about political soundness and professional 
competence; actually they dare not talk about professional competence. The Central 
Committee commends these competent professionals and they deserve our support and 
commendation. 

There is an elderly scientist who specializes in semiconductor research. The authorities of 
Beijing University asked him to teach other courses, which he couldn't do well. But the 
academic lecture he delivered at the invitation of the Institute of Semiconductors of the 
Chinese Academy of Sciences was well received. He said that he used his spare time to 
do semiconductor research. There are many people like him who are engaged in a 
profession unrelated to what they studied. We should be giving full play to their 
professional knowledge lest the country suffer a great loss. Although this elderly scientist 
is an academician and well known throughout the country, he has to engage in a 
profession unrelated to what he studied. Why so? If Beijing University could not use him, 
he could be transferred to the Institute of Semiconductors and serve as its head, and we 
could provide him with a Party secretary and personnel in charge of support services. 

Scientific research personnel are truly eager to conduct research. Factionalists are only 
the minority. We believe the current state of affairs in scientific research can be reversed. 

Whether we can do a good job in scientific research depends, in the final analysis, on our 
leadership. If the leadership does not perform well, who will be able to implement 
policies? We should pay special attention to promoting competent individuals to leading 
positions. What reason is there for allowing people to remain in positions of leadership 
who have little professional knowledge or enthusiasm and show a factional bias? Why 



can't those scientific research personnel of higher academic levels and professional 
knowledge be the heads of research institutes? We mainly depend on people in their 40s 
to do this work. Competent people can take charge of Party work or support services. 
Support services are quite important to scientific research in creating favourable 
conditions for the latter, in maintaining machines and instruments, and in preserving data. 
People without devotion to duty or without scientific knowledge cannot do this work 
well. This is the political aspect of scientific research work, which consists of Party work, 
scientific research, and support services. Without support services, we cannot do research 
work well. Scientific research personnel should not be asked to take charge of support 
services. We should place those with a strong Party spirit and good organizational 
capabilities in charge of support services. 

We should put on file our fine and promising scientific and technological personnel. We 
should help them, regardless of seniority, to improve their working and living conditions. 
When I visited the Soviet Union in 1957, Yudin told me that his country's atomic bombs 
were developed by three young researchers in their 30s and 40s. Don't we have such 
talented people in China? In short, we should assist and support promising scientific and 
technological personnel including eccentric individuals by creating favourable conditions 
for them. First of all, we should provide them with housing, and we should also help 
those who have difficulties. 

Education departments are required to provide successors in the field of scientific 
research. What role should colleges and universities play? What kind of personnel should 
they train? Some universities have only an academic level of secondary technical schools, 
so why should we run them as if they were universities? The Chinese Academy of 
Sciences should run the Chinese University of Science and Technology well. They 
should enrol senior middle school graduates with good academic records in mathematics, 
physics and chemistry and no special treatment should be given to cadres' children. If this 
is wrong, I will be the first to make self-criticism. This is not the restoration of the old 
ways. If a person knows nothing about foreign languages, mathematics, physics, or 
chemistry, how can he scale heights in science and technology? Critical challenges will 
occur in education, which could be an obstacle to the drive for modernization. For 
example, we must rely on education if we want to raise the degree of automation in 
factories and have more scientific and technological personnel. Developed countries, no 
matter what their social systems are, have increased the degree of automation and 
decreased the amount of manual labour through education. Shouldn't we classify 
scientific and technological personnel as labourers? Since science and technology are a 
productive force, the scientific and technological personnel should unquestionably be 
considered as labourers. 

Teachers should be given their due status in society. There are several million teachers in 
China. If they are constantly being criticized, how can their enthusiasm be aroused? 
Chairman Mao once said, we should change negative elements into positive ones. 
Therefore, we need to arouse the enthusiasm of those working on the educational front. 



(Remarks made when hearing the outline of a report entitled ''Several Problems 
Concerning Scientific and Technological Work", presented by leading comrades of the 
Chinese Academy of Sciences.) 

THINGS MUST BE PUT IN ORDER 
IN ALL FIELDS 

September 27 and October 4, 1975 



There is at present a need to put things in order in every field. Agriculture and industry 
must be put in order, and the policies on literature and art need to be adjusted. 
Adjustment, in fact, also means putting things in order. By putting things in order, we 
want to solve problems in rural areas, in factories, in science and technology, and in all 
other spheres. At Political Bureau meetings I have discussed the need for doing so in 
several fields, and when I reported to Comrade Mao Zedong, he gave his approval. 

At present, there are a good many problems which we cannot solve without great effort. 
We must be daring and resolute. Over the past six months, I have made many speeches 
focusing on the importance of daring. There was a unit known for its tough and long- 
standing problems. Its leaders were like tigers whose backsides no one dared to touch. 
Later we made up our minds to spank the tigers, no matter who they were and whether 
they were 60, 40, 30 or 20 years old. And that soon produced the desired results. 

The central task in putting things in order is to consolidate the Party. Once this central 
task -- the consolidation of the Party -- has been accomplished, the rest will follow. At 
this forum we should discuss this question of consolidating the Party. Comrade Mao 
Zedong has given his approval. How are we to consolidate the Party? We should 
certainly adopt a different approach from the one used in the past. Every province is 
being asked to draw up a plan in the light of its own characteristics. We should devote 
most of our endeavours to consolidating the leading bodies at different levels, including 
the commune and production brigade levels in rural areas, the workshop level in 
factories, and the department level in scientific research institutes. In this way, the 
problems can be solved relatively quickly. And once the leading bodies are consolidated, 
the problems existing among the rank-and-file Party members will be more readily 
solved. 

Cadres should be selected after the basis for the selection has been laid through Party 
consolidation. In a production brigade, a commune or a county, if the two top men are 
well chosen, the whole leading body will be able to work well. Special consideration 
should be given to the selection of the top leadership at the county Party committee level. 
It is very important to establish strong county Party committees. To be a good secretary 
of a county Party committee isn't easy: you must have broad experience as a leader and 
be able to administer the work all over the county, and in all fields, including Party, 
government, mass organization and military, cultural and educational affairs. The 
responsibilities of the secretary of a county Party committee are quite different from 



those of a factory director, who is only in charge of one factory. Anyone who does a good 
job as secretary of a county Party committee will find working in a prefectural or 
provincial Party committee smooth sailing. Right now, some provinces have difficulty in 
finding even one acceptable candidate for the post of provincial Party committee 
secretary. I don't think this should be so difficult. There are plenty of county and 
prefectural Party committee secretaries. Why, then, is it so hard to find a provincial Party 
committee secretary? I think the problem may lie in the fact that no attention -- or at least 
not enough — has been paid to this matter. Admittedly, some of the candidates are not 
faultless. But, having made self-criticisms for their mistakes, they have gained experience 
and learned something. They must not be neglected, and the loss will be ours if we pass 
them over. In choosing a leading cadre, be he old, young or middle-aged, we have to 
make sure that he is willing to work hard and to set an example in bearing hardships. This 
is the first criterion. Of course, he must have a good head on his shoulders too. Special 
consideration should now be given to the middle-aged cadres. By middle-aged I mean 
those who are in their early forties. They have at least 10 to 20 years of work experience, 
and some have more than 10 years of experience in leadership. Once a good candidate is 
found, he should be promoted step by step. And he need only stay on each step for a short 
period, holding a post for a year or so, let's say, before being promoted. This kind of 
training is good and reflects true concern for the cadres. 

I always feel that there is a big problem we have to solve: How should we spread Mao 
Zedong Thought? Comrade Luo Ronghuan was the first to express his disapproval of Lin 
Biao 's vulgarization of Mao Zedong Thought. He said that when we study Chairman 
Mao's works we must study their essence. At that time, the Secretariat of the Central 
Committee discussed Comrade Luo Ronghuan's views and concurred with them. Lin 
Biao urged people to study only the '' three constantly read articles " (later, after two more 
were added, they became the ''five constantly read articles"). This was a way of 
fragmenting Mao Zedong Thought. Mao Zedong Thought is rich in content and 
constitutes an integral whole. How can one designate only the "three constantly read 
articles" or the "five constantly read articles" as Mao Zedong Thought, while brushing 
aside Comrade Mao's other works? How is it possible to propagate Mao Zedong Thought 
lopsidedly and merely pluck one or two sentences or one or two ideas out of context? The 
problem of fragmenting Mao Zedong Thought actually remains unsolved. Take our 
policies on literature and art for example. Comrade Mao Zedong has said it is necessary 
to make the past serve the present, to make foreign things serve China, to let a hundred 
flowers bloom and to weed through the old to bring forth the new. These policies form an 
integral whole. However, the policy of "letting a hundred flowers bloom" is no longer 
mentioned and has, in fact, been abandoned. This is another example of the fragmentation 
of Mao Zedong Thought. Nowadays students at a good many schools do not study. This 
too is inconsistent with Mao Zedong Thought. What Comrade Mao Zedong opposes is 
divorcing education from reality, from the masses and from labour. What he means is 
definitely not that students need not study but that they should study better. The motto he 
wrote for the children reads, "Study well and make progress every day." Moreover, he 
has talked about the four modernizations and has said that class struggle, the struggle for 
production and scientific experiment are the three basic components of social practice. 
Today, the last component has been dropped and people are even afraid to discuss it, its 



very mention being regarded as a crime. How can this possibly be right? I'm afraid that 
the problem of how to study, propagate and implement Mao Zedong Thought 
systematically exists in quite a few fields. Mao Zedong Thought is closely bound up with 
practice in every sphere, with the principles, policies and methods in every line of work. 
We must study, propagate and implement it in its totality and not base our conclusions on 
a partial understanding or an erroneous interpretation by others. 

(Remarks at a forum on work in the rural areas.) 

THE TWO WHATEVERS" DO NOT 
ACCORD WITH MARXISM 

May 24, 1977 



A few days ago, when two leading comrades of the General Office of the Central 
Committee of the Party came to see me, I told them that the '' two whatevers " are 
unacceptable. If this principle were correct, there could be no justification for my 
rehabilitation, nor could there be any for the statement that the activities of the masses at 
Tiananmen Square in 1976 were reasonable. We cannot mechanically apply what 
Comrade Mao Zedong said about a particular question to another question, what he said 
in a particular place to another place, what he said at a particular time to another time, or 
what he said under particular circumstances to other circumstances. Comrade Mao 
Zedong himself said repeatedly that some of his own statements were wrong. He said that 
no one can avoid making mistakes in his work unless he does none at all. He also said 
that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin had all made mistakes — otherwise why did they 
correct their own manuscripts time and time again? The reason they made these revisions 
was that some of the views they originally expressed were not entirely correct, perfect or 
accurate. Comrade Mao Zedong said that he too had made mistakes and that there had 
never been a person whose statements were all correct or who was always absolutely 
right. He said that if one's work was rated as consisting 70 per cent of achievements and 
30 per cent of mistakes, that would be quite all right, and that he himself would be very 
happy and satisfied if future generations could give him this ''70-30" rating after his 
death. This is an important theoretical question, a question of whether or not we are 
adhering to historical materialism. A thoroughgoing materialist should approach this 
question in the way advocated by Comrade Mao Zedong. Neither Marx nor Engels put 
forward any "whatever" doctrine, nor did Lenin or Stalin, nor did Comrade Mao Zedong 
himself. I told the two leading comrades of the Central Committee's General Office that, 
in my letter of April 10 to the Central Committee, I had proposed that "from generation 
to generation, we should use genuine Mao Zedong Thought taken as an integral whole in 
guiding our Party, our army and our people, so as to advance the cause of the Party and 
socialism in China and the cause of the international communist movement". I also told 
them that I had made this proposal after considerable thought. Mao Zedong Thought is an 
ideological system. Comrade Luo Ronghuan and I struggled against Lin Biao , criticizing 
him for vulgarizing Mao Zedong Thought instead of viewing it as a system. When we say 



we should hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, we mean precisely that we 
should study and apply Mao Zedong Thought as an ideological system. 

(Excerpt from a talk with two leading comrades of the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China.) 

RESPECT KNOWLEDGE, 
RESPECT TRAINED PERSONNEL 

May 24, 1977 



The key to achieving modernization is the development of science and technology. And 
unless we pay special attention to education, it will be impossible to develop science and 
technology. Empty talk will get our modernization programme nowhere; we must have 
knowledge and trained personnel. Without them, how can we develop our science and 
technology? And if we are backward in those areas, how can we advance? We must 
recognize our backwardness, because only such recognition offers hope. Now it appears 
that China is fully 20 years behind the developed countries in science, technology and 
education. So far as scientific research personnel are concerned, the United States has 
1,200,000 and the Soviet Union 900,000, while we have only some 200,000. The figure 
for China includes the old, the weak, the sick and the disabled. There are not too many 
who are really competent and can work regularly. As early as the Meiji Restoration , the 
Japanese began to expend a great deal of effort on science, technology and education. 
The Meiji Restoration was a kind of modernization drive undertaken by the emerging 
Japanese bourgeoisie. As proletarians, we should, and can, do better. 

To promote scientific and technological work, it is necessary to improve education at 
every level simultaneously, from primary to secondary and higher education. I hope that 
we will set about this task now so that we will see initial results within five years, further 
results within 10 years, and major results within 15 to 20 years. To improve education, 
we must walk on two legs, that is, we must raise the standards of education at the same 
time as we make it available to more and more people. It is necessary to establish key 
primary schools, key secondary schools and key colleges and universities. It is necessary 
to bring together, through stiff examinations, the outstanding people in the key secondary 
schools and the key colleges and universities. 

We should select several thousand of our most qualified personnel from within the 
scientific and technological establishment and create conditions that will allow them to 
devote their undivided attention to research. Those who have financial difficulties should 
be given allowances and subsidies. Some now have their children and aged parents living 
with them, earn well under 100 yuan a month, and must spend a lot of time doing 
housework. They can't even find a quiet place to read in the evening. How can this state 
of affairs be allowed to continue? The political requirements set for these people must be 
appropriate: they should love the motherland, love socialism and accept the leadership of 



the Party. If they do their research work well and achieve results, that will be helpful 
politically and will benefit China. 

We must create within the Party an atmosphere of respect for knowledge and respect for 
trained personnel. The erroneous attitude of not respecting intellectuals must be opposed. 
All work, be it mental or manual, is labour. Those who engage in mental work are also 
workers. As time goes by, it will become increasingly hard to differentiate between 
mental and manual labour. In developed capitalist countries, the job of a good number of 
workers is just to stand and press buttons for hours on end. This is intense and 
concentrated mental labour as well as toilsome manual labour. Great importance should 
be attached to knowledge and to those who engage in mental labour, and they should be 
recognized as workers. 

In the army as well, it is necessary to encourage scientific research and education at the 
same time. Without knowledge of modern warfare, how can we fight a modern war? 
Leading army cadres should become knowledgeable and respect knowledge. We should 
establish schools at various levels to enable leading army cadres to master modern 
science, culture and modern warfare in the course of training. At the same time, we 
should lower the average age of our army cadre corps. Sixty-year-olds should not be 
serving as commanders at the army level. 

All trades and professions should promote science, technology and education. Large 
enterprises should all have their own scientific and technological research organs and 
personnel. Every professional department should conduct scientific research. 

(Excerpt from a talk with two leading comrades of the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China.) 

MAO ZEDONG THOUGHT MUST BE CORRECTLY 
UNDERSTOOD AS AN INTEGRAL WHOLE 

July 21, 1977 



Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought constitute the guiding ideology of our 
Party. Mao Zedong Thought has sprung from and developed Marxism-Leninism. But Lin 
Biao negated Mao Zedong Thought by saying that it was fully embodied in the ""three 
constantly read articles ". He even severed Mao Zedong Thought from Marxism- 
Leninism. This was a gross distortion of Mao Zedong Thought and was most detrimental 
to the cause of the Party and socialism in China and to the cause of the international 
communist movement. 

In my letter of April 10 to Comrades Hua Guofeng and Ye Jianying and the Central 
Committee of the Party, I said that we should use genuine Mao Zedong Thought taken as 
an integral whole to guide our Party, our army and our people in order to advance the 
cause of the Party and socialism in China and the cause of the international communist 



movement. In saying that we should use as our guide genuine Mao Zedong Thought 
taken as an integral whole, I mean that we should have a correct and comprehensive 
understanding of Mao Zedong Thought as a system and that we should be proficient at 
studying it, mastering it, and applying it as a guide to our work. Only in this way can we 
be sure that we are not fragmenting Mao Zedong Thought, distorting or debasing it. We 
can then see that what Comrade Mao Zedong said with regard to a specific question at a 
given time and under particular circumstances was correct, and that what he said with 
regard to the same question at a different time and under different circumstances was also 
correct, despite occasional differences in the extent of elaboration, in emphasis and even 
in the formulation of his ideas. So we must acquire a correct understanding of Mao 
Zedong Thought as an integral system instead of just citing a few specific words or 
sentences. But the Gang of Four, and especially their so-called theoretician Zhang 
Chunqiao , distorted and adulterated Mao Zedong Thought. They tried to fool people or 
intimidate them by quoting a phrase or two from Comrade Mao Zedong. We need to have 
a true grasp of Mao Zedong Thought and a correct understanding of it as an integral 
whole, even when dealing with a particular sphere or one aspect of a particular problem. 
Take, for example, the question of the intellectuals, which pertains to a specific sphere. 
Comrade Mao Zedong always attached importance to the role of the intellectuals, at the 
same time stressing that they should earnestly remould their world outlook. He did this 
both for the good of the intellectuals themselves and for the purpose of better mobilizing 
their energies, releasing their talents and enabling them to serve the socialist cause better. 
But the Gang of Four indiscriminately labelled all intellectuals the ''stinking Number 
Nine" and asserted that it was Chairman Mao who so named them. We should admit that 
at one time Comrade Mao Zedong treated the intellectuals as part of the bourgeoisie, but 
we should no longer do so. Comrade Mao Zedong did value the role of the intellectuals in 
the whole process of revolution and construction. To counter the slander spread by the 
Gang of Four, he declared in 1975, ''We can't do without Number Nine." We need a 
correct and systematic understanding of Comrade Mao Zedong's thinking and policy 
regarding intellectuals. Or take another example, the question of the relationship between 
the leaders and the masses. It is a consistent principle of Mao Zedong Thought that the 
people are the force that propels history forward. Being a great Marxist, Comrade Mao 
Zedong repeatedly spoke out against inappropriate and unscientific assessments of 
himself, and on many occasions he taught us what the correct relationship should be 
between the people and leaders. Mao Zedong Thought has developed Marxism-Leninism 
in many spheres, not just in some individual aspects. It constitutes an integral system and 
is a further development of Marxism. For this reason I suggest that in addition to editing 
and publishing the works of Mao Zedong, comrades doing theoretical work should 
endeavour to expound Mao Zedong Thought as a system from various perspectives. We 
should educate our Party in Mao Zedong Thought as a system so that it can continue to 
guide us forward. 

Today I should like to discuss briefly the theory of Party building, which is a component 
part of Mao Zedong Thought. Marx and Engels did not say much on this subject, but 
Lenin had a comprehensive theory concerning it. It was precisely because Lenin built 
such a fine party that the October Revolution triumphed and that the first socialist country 
was created. And it was Comrade Mao Zedong who developed Lenin's theory of Party 



building most comprehensively. Even in the period of revolutionary struggle in the 
Jinggang Mountains, that is, in the period of the formation of the Chinese Red Army, his 
ideas on Party building were already well defined. You can see this by reading the 
resolution adopted at the Ninth Party Congress of the Fourth Army of the Red Army . His 
comprehensive theory on the subject took shape, on the basis of practice, in the Yan'an 
rectification movement. He developed an integral theory on the type of party to be built 
and its guiding ideology and style of work. By creating a comprehensive theory of Party 
building in the Yan'an rectification movement — and by educating the whole Party, army 
and people in this theory — he made it possible for us to build a fine party; that was why 
we were able to win complete victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan [1937-45] 
and in the War of Liberation [1946-49]. After the founding of the People's Republic of 
China our Party continued to be vigorous and dynamic. Later, Comrade Mao Zedong's 
theory of Party building was developed further. In 1957 he summed up our aim as 
follows: ""Our aim is to create 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, and thus to promote our socialist revolution and socialist construction, make it 
easier to overcome difficulties, build a modern industry and modern agriculture more 
rapidly and make our Party and state more secure and better able to weather storm and 
stress." Of course. Comrade Mao Zedong was discussing a political situation that should 
prevail not only in the Party but also in the army and among the people of the whole 
country. To repeat, this kind of political situation should prevail in the whole Party, in the 
whole army and among the whole people. 

Let us recall that it is precisely according to Comrade Mao Zedong's theory of Party 
building that this fine party of ours has been built. After the rectification movement in 
Yan'an, people in both the front and rear areas were active and buoyant, their minds were 
at ease and they were united as one. The Party built by Comrade Mao Zedong was able to 
encourage a broad spirit of democracy and of voluntary observance of discipline among 
those working at the lower levels and, on this basis, it established a high level of 
centralism. Who then would not willingly obey the orders and answer the calls of 
Chairman Mao and the Central Committee? Without this style of work in the Party, how 
could we have defeated an enemy so much stronger than we, and how could we have 
gone on from victory to victory after the founding of the People's Republic? 

The Gang of Four's opposition to Comrade Mao Zedong's theory of Party building had 
disastrous effects on the building of our Party and its style of work. I don't want to go into 
that in detail today. How can we create the political situation advocated by Comrade Mao 
Zedong? By earnestly studying his thinking on Party building. That thinking 
encompasses a great many fundamental principles. These include: combining a high 
degree of democracy with a high degree of centralism; distinguishing between the two 
different types of contradictions [those among the people and those between the people 
and the enemy] and handling each correctly; applying the formula ''unity — criticism — 
unity"; ''learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the illness to save 
the patient"; giving full scope to democracy in order to unite more than 95 per cent of the 
cadres and the masses; following the mass line and trusting the masses; and acting on the 
four-character slogan Comrade Mao Zedong wrote for the Central Party School in 



Yan'an, ''Seek truth from facts." It seems to me that the call for the ''three honests" -- the 
Daqing Oilfield workers' exhortation to be an honest person, honest in word and honest in 
deed — is identical with seeking truth from facts. I think that the principles of following 
the mass line and seeking truth from facts are of fundamental importance in the style of 
work advocated by Comrade Mao Zedong. Of course, the relationships between 
democracy and centralism and between freedom and discipline are also very important. 
But in view of the existing state of affairs in our Party, I believe that following the mass 
line and seeking truth from facts take on special importance. Comrade Mao Zedong was a 
thoroughgoing materialist. He had complete faith in the masses and always opposed any 
act that was not in keeping with trust in the masses and reliance on them. He listened 
particularly to what the masses had to say. Our comrades certainly remember how the 
production campaign was launched in the Yan'an days. What were the reasons for that 
production campaign? One was that we had requisitioned too much grain from the 
masses, so that there were complaints among them, which made many Party members 
unhappy. But Comrade Mao Zedong saw things differently. He said that the complaints 
were justified and were the voice of the masses. He was indeed great and different from 
the rest of us in that he was able to discern the problems behind the complaints of the 
masses and formulate the principles and policies required to deal with them. He paid 
great attention to the opinions, ideas and problems of the masses. 

Why do I say that seeking truth from facts is of such importance at present? Because our 
effort to improve the style of work of the army and among the people at large hinges on 
the improvement of the Party's style of work. The Gang of Four really debased our 
standards of social conduct. For 10 years or even longer, they engaged in disruptive 
activities, acting at the outset in collaboration with Lin Biao. Things reached such a pass 
that many of our Party comrades dared not speak out and, in particular, dared not tell the 
truth but resorted to pretence and deception. Even some of our veteran comrades became 
infected with this bad habit, which was unforgivable. But provided we have full faith in 
the masses, seek truth from facts, ensure democracy and reaffirm and further develop 
Comrade Mao Zedong's theory of Party building and the Party's style of work, we can 
certainly bring about the political situation he envisaged. With such a political situation, 
we shall be able to weather every storm and test. We must create a political situation in 
which the whole Party, army and people are united under the leadership of the Central 
Committee and in which we have "both unity of will and personal ease of mind and 
liveliness", a situation in which we can place all problems on the table for discussion and 
people can criticize the leading comrades when they think it necessary. 

It is essential to consolidate the Party and rectify its style of work. Veteran comrades 
should be involved in this process along with the others. Of course, that doesn't mean that 
everyone will have to pass a severe test. That indiscriminate method won't be used any 
more. But it is still necessary that we voluntarily rectify incorrect styles of work. Let us 
set a good example for the young Party members and cadres, help and guide them and 
pass our experience on to them. Let us effectively help and guide them in applying the 
theory on Party building and on the Party's style of work created by Comrade Mao 
Zedong and tell them about our experience in this regard. If we are successful in this, we 



will be able to surmount any difficulty and endure any storm, and our socialist revolution 
and construction will be able to develop to the full. 

At this time, the political consciousness of the whole Party, army and people has risen 
remarkably, as has their ability to distinguish right from wrong. People are using their 
heads, thinking problems over and showing concern for the state and the Party. When the 
Gang of Four was wrecking the Party, the overwhelming majority of the people -- one 
can say, 99 per cent of our cadres. Party members and people generally — were deeply 
disturbed. We have such fine cadres, such fine Party members and such a fine people, 
with such a high level of political consciousness and such boundless confidence in the 
cause of the Party! It is they who represent the surest guarantee that we can overcome all 
difficulties and win great victories in all fields. It is they who are our country's most 
precious asset. Therefore, I am certain, as are all of you, that under the leadership of the 
Central Committee we shall unite the whole Party, the whole army and all the people of 
our various nationalities, and that, holding high the great banner of Mao Zedong Thought, 
we shall be able to utilize all positive factors to achieve the four modernizations by the 
end of this century. We shall enable our socialist state and the cause of our Party to grow 
and prosper, and we shall further consolidate our dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus we 
shall be able to make still greater contributions to the international communist movement 
and to all mankind. 

(Excerpt from a speech at the Third Plenary Session of the Tenth Central Committee of 
the Communist Party of China.) 

SOME COMMENTS ON WORK IN SCIENCE 
AND EDUCATION 

August 8, 1977 



Our purpose in calling this forum on work in science and education is primarily to hear 
your opinions and learn from you. Such learning is a must when non-professionals lead 
professionals. I have volunteered to take charge of the work in science and education, and 
this has been approved by the Central Committee. China must catch up with the most 
advanced countries in the world. But how shall we go about it? I believe we have to begin 
by tackling science and education. Science, of course, includes the social sciences, 
though, being in a hurry, we have not invited social scientists to the present forum. This 
forum has helped me to learn how things stand in science and education and to 
understand which issues must be addressed first. You may not have brought out all the 
issues and you may not have explained matters fully for lack of time, but fortunately you 
will have other opportunities to express your opinions. I would now like to present a few 
personal views. 

First, how should we evaluate our work in the first 17 years of the People's Republic? 



This is a question of great concern to us all. Basically, it has been answered for scientific 
research, but not for education, and so people are dissatisfied because the question 
demands an answer. 

I personally believe that the many instructions Comrade Mao Zedong gave on scientific 
research, culture and education during most of the period preceding the ''cultural 
revolution" were essentially meant to be encouraging and stimulating. They took it for 
granted that the overwhelming majority of the intellectuals were good and were serving, 
or willing to serve, socialism. After 1957 he went overboard in some of his remarks, but 
in the early sixties he endorsed such documents as the '' Fourteen Articles on Scientific 
Work" and the "Sixty Articles on Work in Institutions of Higher Learning" . We must 
clearly explain Comrade Mao Zedong's dominant ideas on education and on intellectuals. 
Mao Zedong Thought is the ideology guiding all our fields of endeavour; therefore, it is 
very important to present the entire system accurately and as an integral whole. How 
should we evaluate China's educational work in the first 17 years? I think the "red line" 
was predominant . It must be affirmed that in those years, under the wise guidance of Mao 
Zedong Thought and the correct leadership of the Party, most intellectuals, whether in 
science or in education, worked assiduously and achieved great successes. People in the 
field of education worked especially hard. In almost every field of endeavour, the 
workers who now form the core contingent are ones whom we trained after the founding 
of the People's Republic and particularly during the first 17 years. If our work in that 
period is not evaluated in this light, how else can we account for our achievements? 

And how should we assess the transformation of the intellectuals' world outlook? A 
person's decision as to which cause he wants to serve is a significant reflection of his 
world outlook. The overwhelming majority of our intellectuals serve socialism of their 
own volition. Those who are opposed to socialism are only a tiny handful, and those who 
are lukewarm about it likewise constitute only a small part of the whole. Of course, 
history keeps moving forward, which means that people must constantly remould their 
thinking. This holds true not only for intellectuals from the old society, but also for those 
trained since the founding of the People's Republic. And if the intellectuals must continue 
to remould their thinking, so must the workers, peasants and Party members. Comrade 
Mao Zedong made that clear a long time ago. 

Second, how shall we mobilize the energies of workers in science and education? 

Now that the question of how to evaluate the first 17 years has been answered, a weight 
should have been lifted from your minds. In view of the present state of affairs, however, 
we must make a special effort to mobilize the energies of educational workers and to 
secure respect for teachers. The progress of scientific research in our country is 
determined by the availability of personnel. We must do well in education because 
scientific research depends on it for the supply of trained people. We should accord 
educational workers a position of equal importance to that of scientific researchers and 
make sure that they are equally valued and respected. A primary school teacher who 
gives his or her all to the cause of education is a precious asset. The labour expended by a 
good primary school teacher is no less than that expended by a college or university 



professor; hence the profession of primary school teacher should be equally honoured. 
Those who devote their lives to the cause of education should be given encouragement. I 
propose that a national conference on education be held next year to exchange experience 
in running schools and to reward college and university and primary and secondary 
school teachers who have distinguished themselves. Quite a few years have passed since 
the last such conference. 

Both scientific researchers and educational workers are working people. Don't we talk 
about mental labour and manual labour? Scientific research and educational work are 
mental labour — and doesn't mental labour count as labour? A scientist has observed that 
the planting of crops in the countryside is regarded as labour, but work in the 
experimental fields of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences is not. This is very curious. 
Many agricultural colleges and schools cultivate new strains and do their own farming. 
Why shouldn't this be regarded as labour? Doing scientific experiments is also labour. 
Does one have to swing a hoe in order for his work to be called labour? Or operate a 
lathe? Automated production involves watching instruments and meters all day long and 
that, too, is labour. Such labour also requires effort, and what's more, it allows of no 
error. Questions of this sort must be clarified as they have a direct bearing on whether or 
not we shall be able to enlist the enthusiasm of the intellectuals. 

Labour must be valued and so must able personnel. Comrade Mao Zedong didn't believe 
in the theory of innate genius, but he was not opposed to cherishing able people. Once he 
evaluated me as ''the kind of able person it is hard to come by". Frankly, I must say he 
overestimated me. However, the remark does bring home the importance of able 
personnel and the fact that Comrade Mao Zedong valued them. You have said in your 
discussions that scientific research institutions must produce results and train able 
personnel. Educational institutions should do so, too. There are also able people — good 
teachers — in primary and secondary schools. We should cherish able people and value 
their labour. They are indeed hard to come by! We must take full advantage of the 
specialized knowledge of intellectuals; it is bad to assign them to posts where they can't 
apply what they have learned. Some comrades have suggested that efforts be made to 
reassign persons who have changed their line of work but who had shown skill and 
promise in their former professions. This is a good suggestion. The Gang of Four labelled 
intellectuals the ''stinking Number Nine ". Being called "Number Nine" is not bad in 
itself. Wasn't the hero Yang Zirong, the "Number Nine" in the opera Taking Tiger 
Mountain by Strategy, a fine fellow? What's wrong here is the epithet "stinking". 
Comrade Mao Zedong once said, "We can't do without Number Nine." Well said! The 
good name of our intellectuals must be restored. 

Some comrades have proposed a system of rewards and penalties. This too is a good 
suggestion, but one point should be added: the emphasis should be on encouragement and 
rewards. There are people who have scored notable achievements in scientific research 
and thus made real contributions to our country. Should such people be encouraged? I 
believe they should. Those who immerse themselves in scientific research and work at it 
doggedly should be encouraged. How can that constitute a "crime"? Such people may 
have shortcomings of one kind or another, and from time to time leaders should talk to 



them heart to heart to help them politically and ideologically. But we should not demand 
perfection. Comrade Mao Zedong once said that we should do away with the 
metaphysical idea that ''gold must be 100 per cent pure and man must be flawless". His 
attitude was that of a Marxist, a thoroughgoing materialist. As for persons who have 
made mistakes, some should be duly penalized, but in a spirit of help, not punishment. 
This should be emphasized and we should offer them friendly help in correcting their 
mistakes and continuing their progress. 

In addition to giving moral support to intellectuals, we should encourage them in other 
ways, including enhancing their material well-being. Educational workers should have 
the same pay as those engaged in scientific research. A scientific researcher who is 
concurrently a teacher should get higher pay, because he is expending greater labour. 
Distribution according to work means just this: the greater the contribution, the higher the 
pay; the less the contribution, the lower the pay; no contribution, no pay. As we move 
from theory to practice in this regard, we will have to thrash out a great many specific 
problems. This matter does not concern scientific and educational circles only; it is a 
major policy issue for the state. 

Third, the question of system and structure. 

This forum has heard strong demands for the creation of an organization to exercise 
unified supervision over scientific work. For education, there is the Ministry of 
Education. For science, you have suggested that the State Science and Technology 
Commission be restored. We should affirm that the former State Science and Technology 
Commission pursued a correct policy, which was approved by Comrade Mao Zedong in 
1963 after he heard Comrade Nie Rongzhen 's report on its work. On that occasion. 
Comrade Mao Zedong said that a battle had to be waged for science and technology, and 
that unless it was won, the country's productive forces could not be further developed. 
The Commission worked out a 12-year programme for the development of science in the 
period 1956-67, which was in the main completed by 1962. And subsequently there was a 
10-year programme. I have a persistent feeling that things are not going well in science 
and education at present and that there should be an organization to unify planning, 
management, arrangements, guidance and co-ordination. I personally favour the idea of 
re-establishing the State Science and Technology Commission. When would be the best 
time to do that? What should its composition be? Should it also supervise the scientific 
research organs in the armed forces? These questions must be studied by the Central 
Committee and by the State Council, so we can't answer them for the moment. But 
whatever organizational form is adopted, there must be unified planning. Such planning 
should determine not only which topics should be researched but also how research 
institutions should be reorganized, that is, which ones should be merged and which 
divided. With regard to areas of study in institutions of higher learning, there should also 
be a unified plan to specify which ones should be merged or divided, where new ones 
should be added or reductions made, and which ones should be abolished. Scientific 
research in the military field should also be brought under a plan. We must admit that the 
number of China's scientific research personnel is still small and cannot compare with 
that in the major developed countries. The United States has 1,200,000 scientific research 



people. The Soviet Union had 900,000 the year before last, and the figure has grown 
since. We have only about 200,000. Nevertheless, as some comrades have pointed out, 
this small number of researchers can undertake more projects and achieve greater 
successes than the same number in capitalist countries, if only we take advantage of the 
superiority of our socialist system and organize our efforts in a unified and rational way. 
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has now drafted an eight-year plan for the 
development of science and technology. This plan probably needs to be fleshed out in 
accordance with your suggestions. Anyway, it is better to have a rough plan than no plan 
at all. The central authorities intend to withhold their approval and not distribute this plan 
for the time being, but the Academy of Sciences can circulate it to lower levels for trial 
implementation. 

Both the scientific research and educational departments face the problem of 
reorganization. I hope the reorganization will be accelerated even if it is imperfect; 
improvements can be made step by step later. The process of reorganization will reveal 
many specific problems that must be dealt with. Of primary importance is the restaffing 
of the leading bodies. I suggest that in every unit there be three well-chosen people. As 
the Party committee is supposed to exercise unified leadership, the Party secretary is 
crucial and we must make sure he is carefully selected. That's the first person. Second is 
the person who will guide scientific research or education; he must be a professional, or 
close to becoming one. Third is the person in charge of support services; he must be 
diligent, conscientious, practical and prepared to be an unsung hero. With such a 
triumvirate, things will be easier; reorganization at lower levels, implementation of the 
relevant plans, and so on, will go more smoothly. 

Institutions of higher learning, particularly the key ones, should serve as an important 
front-line force in scientific research. They must do so because they have the necessary 
facilities and trained personnel. In fact, institutions of higher learning used to undertake a 
good number of scientific research tasks. As they are consolidated and student quality 
improves, their capabilities will gradually increase and they will have to take on more 
such work. In this way, our sciences will progress faster. In every field there are subjects 
requiring research — in science, engineering, agriculture and medicine. In the liberal arts, 
too, there should be theoretical research, which should apply the Marxist approach to the 
study of economics, history, political science, law, philosophy, literature, and so on. Not 
all our institutions of higher learning can as yet increase their scientific research work, 
but the key colleges and universities should do so step by step and take on more research 
assignments from outside. Within a few years, research bodies in colleges and 
universities may have as many workers as the specialized research institutions. But the 
largest contingent of all will probably be in the production departments. Isn't science 
divided into basic and applied? Production departments, though they can also engage in 
basic research, should stress the applied sciences. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and 
the colleges and universities may pay more attention to basic science, but they too should 
work in applied science — particularly those which teach engineering. 

Time must be guaranteed so that researchers can put maximum energy into research. One 
suggestion at the forum was that there be a provision stating that five-sixths of the work 



week be devoted to scientific research. I added ""at least" to the ""five-sixths", and then 
you added ""it is imperative" to the same sentence. Fine! These words should be added 
before the Academy of Sciences distributes the document to the lower levels. I think 
people should be permitted to bury themselves in scientific research. If someone works 
day and night, seven days a week, on a research project, what's wrong with that? 

If we have a more rational system, people will apply themselves more willingly to their 
jobs. We should lose no time in speeding up this reorganization. 

Fourth, the question of the educational system and the quality of education. 

Education still has to ""walk on two legs". In higher education, colleges and universities 
constitute one leg, while work-study universities and spare-time universities constitute 
the other. Efforts should first be concentrated on running a number of key colleges and 
universities well. Not only must there be key institutions of higher learning under the 
Ministry of Education, but provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and even 
certain individual units should have them as well. 

Since students at institutions of higher learning come from secondary schools, whose 
students in turn come from primary schools, primary and secondary education is of the 
greatest importance. We should create a good general atmosphere throughout society — 
that is, a good style of work in the Party and army and among the citizens and students. 
The Party's style of work is crucial. A good style of work in the Party will foster a good 
style of work in education, which in turn will foster a good style of study. Some of our 
young people today have acquired certain bad attitudes. Efforts to remedy this must begin 
in primary school. For quite some time after the founding of the People's Republic, the 
general atmosphere in our society was good, as were public order and discipline. Students 
and pupils willingly observed discipline. Young Pioneers wearing red scarves could 
frequently be seen holding megaphones and helping to direct traffic. Later the general 
atmosphere deteriorated because of the influence of the Gang of Four. If their crimes 
were to be enumerated, one of the biggest would be that they led many teenagers astray. 
If we are to bring about a complete change in the general atmosphere in society as a 
whole, a good atmosphere must be fostered in the schools. Good attitudes and habits 
should be cultivated: love of labour, readiness to observe discipline, the desire to make 
progress, and so on. Teachers are duty-bound to foster such attitudes. They should 
befriend students, keep in touch with their families and co-operate with them so as to 
educate the students well through common effort. Teachers should resume guidance of 
extra-curricular activities so as to enrich the students' knowledge, raise their aspirations 
and promote their all-round growth. Comrade Mao Zedong believed that children should 
be given an all-round education — moral, intellectual and physical. Secondary and 
primary schools should all provide this sort of education. 

We must consider ways to raise the level of the teachers. In recent years they have been 
afraid to teach, and one can't blame them. Now they need no longer be afraid; they should 
teach and teach well. To enable them to do so, teacher training must be intensified. Some 
of the better teachers should be invited to serve as instructors for the others, and college 



and university faculty members should help middle school teachers raise their level. 
Quite a few of you here today have already been doing this, with very good results. 
Teacher training should be included in our plans. Only when teachers teach well can 
students learn well. Of course, teachers and students interact. Some of the problems that 
have now surfaced among the students have multiple causes, both social and familial. 
Our poor teaching and guidance is sometimes one such cause. So efforts should be made 
to raise the level of the teachers — politically, ideologically and professionally — and to 
improve their style of work. 

Many specific problems in the educational system await solution. One is the duration of 
schooling. Should we first restore the system of five years for primary schools and 
another five for secondary schools? Opinions are still divided, and the question will have 
to be studied further. But that doesn't matter too much. The important thing is the 
teaching materials we use. They must reflect the advanced levels of modern science and 
culture, while conforming to the actual conditions of our country. Another question is the 
restoration of vacations. During vacations, a variety of interesting activities should be 
arranged for students. Some students can use their vacations to catch up on their studies. 
We must see to it that teachers have vacations, with time to rest and refresh themselves, 
to think and to sum up their experience. Their vacation periods should not be crammed 
full of other tasks. If a proper balance is struck between work and rest, the quality of 
education will go up, not down. Still another issue is the enrolment of graduates from 
senior middle schools by colleges and universities. This year, we must make up our 
minds to restore the direct enrolment of senior middle school graduates through entrance 
examinations, and to stop the practice of having the masses recommend candidates for 
admission to colleges and universities. I think enrolling students directly from the senior 
middle schools might be a good way to turn out trained people faster and to enable them 
to start productive work sooner. Then there is the question of skipping or repeating a 
grade, but that concerns only a small number of students. I am personally inclined to 
permit skipping — it's another way of speeding up training. It can be tried out in a few 
selected schools. The question of repeating a grade must be handled with caution. Efforts 
should be made to ensure that all students in a class are well taught. If a student fails an 
examination, he can take it again later and should not lightly be kept back. And we 
should also do a good job with those who have to be held back. Students who behave 
outrageously and refuse to mend their ways despite repeated admonitions should be 
expelled. If you don't get rid of hooligans and rowdies who won't study, they'll 
contaminate the general atmosphere of the school. Schools should do as much ideological 
work as possible among the students. More of it should be done among those who do not 
behave well, and care should be taken in dealing with cases of repeated offences against 
discipline. Various ways should be found to turn poor students into good or fairly good 
ones. 

Fifth, the question of the support services. 

The task of the support services is to serve scientific research and educational work, 
providing the conditions under which the scientific research and educational personnel 
can devote all their attention to work. Support services include supply of data, provision 



of good library facilities, procurement of materials and laboratory equipment, 
construction of experimental plants, and also operation of canteens and nurseries. People 
who are engaged in support services must learn to be good ""housekeepers" and get more 
done with less money. Some of these services could easily have been provided, but 
nobody bothered with them when the Gang of Four was riding roughshod. In those days 
scientific researchers had to scour about for equipment and materials, which delayed 
work and wasted time; it was a great loss. We must now assemble a group of support 
service workers, who are ready to be unsung heroes and who are diligent, conscientious 
and devoted to their work. Support services also demand special knowledge that must be 
acquired through study, and persons who work in this field can develop professional 
skills too. But such work must be done painstakingly if it is to be well done. 

We cannot mobilize the energies of scientific and educational workers simply by empty 
talk. We must create proper conditions for them and help them solve their concrete 
problems. You will of course find many such problems and will have to handle them in 
the right order of priority. For instance, we should first deal with the difficulties faced by 
scientific research workers who have the most achievements to their credit and are most 
promising. They include not only old comrades, but also middle-aged and young ones. As 
""in the Changjiang River the waves behind drive on those before", so in scientific 
research young people often surpass their elders, and our old comrades should be glad to 
help their juniors catch up with them. With regard to key personnel who because of their 
different places of work must live in different localities from their spouses, priority 
should be given to reuniting families. Of course, this does not mean all these cases can be 
dealt with right away, for it requires a lot of housing construction; here too there is an 
order of priorities. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that a number of foreign scholars of Chinese 
descent wish to come and settle in China. Comrade Zhou Enlai gave much thought to this 
issue. We must make adequate preparations for the return of such people to China by 
creating proper conditions and building more housing. When they return, they should be 
provided with homes and the necessary facilities for work. Receiving such scholars is a 
concrete measure for developing our science and technology, as is sending people abroad 
for advanced study. We should also invite noted foreign scholars to lecture in China. 
Among foreign scholars friendly to China, a great many are prominent in their fields. It 
would make good sense to invite them here to lecture. Why don't we do it? 

Our country has many concrete problems to contend with, and not all can be solved at 
one stroke. I personally think that funds for scientific research and education should be 
increased, but large increases cannot be expected overnight. The utmost effort should be 
made to function well even under difficult conditions. Where relatively good conditions 
already exist, they should be utilized to the full, so that work can proceed as quickly as 
possible. Where conditions are relatively poor, they should be improved step by step. But 
we should lose no time in tackling those difficulties which can and must be overcome. 

Sixth, the question of the style of study. 



Fostering a good atmosphere depends primarily on two things -- following the mass line 
and seeking truth from facts. Science, in particular, involves the conscientious quest for 
truth and permits of no deceit. As a result of sabotage by the Gang of Four, a number of 
problems in the style of study have arisen in recent years, such as the stifling of 
discussion, refusal to share information, etc. It's not that we have too many debates and 
discussions among persons of different opinions, but too few. Erroneous views may crop 
up during discussions, but that is nothing to be afraid of. We must adhere to the policy of 
''letting a hundred schools of thought contend", and promote debate. Different schools of 
thought should respect and complement each other. Academic exchanges should be 
promoted. No success in research can be the result of the efforts of a single individual: it 
always rests on the achievements of past generations as well as our own. Any new 
scientific theory is a summation of practical experience. How can a new theory be 
evolved if it is not based on a summation of the practical experience of both past and 
present generations of scientists, both Chinese and foreign? Anybody who tries to block 
the flow of information is harming himself as well as others. A person's attitude towards 
the monopolizing of information is a major indicator of whether or not he has remoulded 
his world outlook. Anyone who refuses to share his data shows that his world outlook 
hasn't been adequately remoulded. There are cases in which the technique for making 
certain products has long been available abroad and is known to some Chinese who, 
nonetheless, try to withhold it from their compatriots. This sort of thing cannot be 
allowed to recur. 

Academic publication must be one of our concerns. Problems of publishing and printing 
in the fields of scientific research and education must be solved, and these matters must 
be included in the state plan. While there is now a serious shortage of paper, there is also 
terrible waste. Some things that don't need to be printed are printed in too many copies, 
and some that should be printed are not printed at all. It is vital that rational arrangements 
be made. Comrade Mao Zedong always recommended that Party committees at all levels 
issue as few documents as possible, but that their leaders make more frequent visits to 
lower levels for direct communication. This would save a lot of paper. We should try to 
ensure that academic dissertations and journals of value are printed and published. As 
things are at present, the publication of some good works may be held up for many years. 
This binds us hand and foot. 

There are so many problems pertaining to style of study that I cannot cover them all. My 
point in bringing up this matter is that we must foster a good style of learning and create a 
stimulating atmosphere in which science and education in China can flourish. 

(Speech at a forum on work in science and education.) 

THE ARMY SHOULD ATTACH STRATEGIC 

IMPORTANCE TO EDUCATION 

AND TRAINING 

August 23, 1977 



China's four modernizations include the modernization of national defence. At present, 
there are a number of problems in the People's Liberation Army. Many comrades are 
worried about whether the army can accomplish modernization smoothly. Other 
comrades are worried that unless there is immediate consolidation, the army, which was 
sabotaged for so long by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, might not be able to go into 
battle in the event of an enemy attack. These worries are not groundless. Hence the 
questions: How can we consolidate the army? How can we ensure preparedness in the 
event of war? How can we run the army well? All these questions must be answered if 
we want to modernize national defence. 

Where shall we begin? 

Of course, there should be a readjustment of the leading bodies at various levels, 
including an interchange of cadres, as suggested by Comrade Mao Zedong. Were it not 
for the readjustment in 1975, even more persons would have been involved in factional 
activities, and even more cadres would have been victimized. The 1975 readjustment 
protected part of our cadres. But its scope was too narrow and there were cases where 
readjustment and cadre interchange were not carried out as they should have been. 
Readjustment and cadre interchange were advocated and ordered by Comrade Mao 
Zedong on many occasions, and they should have continued. Nevertheless, they were 
stopped before we could complete them. 

But when I ask where we should begin, I am referring not only to the readjustment of the 
leading bodies but to other problems as well. In my speech at the enlarged meeting of the 
Military Commission of the Central Committee in 1975, 1 proposed the principle that 
peacetime education and training should be considered a matter of strategic importance. 
Historically, our army was tempered and grew through long years of war, and cadres 
were promoted mainly on the basis of the test of the battlefield. But now that we are not 
at war, how are we to test our cadres, raise their level, and improve the quality and 
combat effectiveness of our troops? How else if not through education and training? We 
have to give substance to the principle, adopted by the enlarged meeting of the Military 
Commission, that education and training are of strategic importance. This should be done 
in two ways. 

One way is for the army itself to encourage hard study and training. Because of the past 
period of chaos, discipline in much of the army is lax and the work style poor, and this 
has partly lowered its prestige among the people. At present, army cadres — some of 
them, at least — are not particularly welcome in civilian units. The People's Liberation 
Army should recognize its failings and restore its prestige through its own efforts. It 
should intensify the political education of the troops, strengthen their sense of discipline 
and make sure that they learn the skills required of them through diligent study and 
strenuous training. Its fine tradition and good style of work should be restored and 
cultivated, also through hard training. In order to be able to fight, the army must raise its 
political consciousness and train intensively. Without hard training, skills cannot be 
improved and accidents may occur. Everybody, from soldiers to cadres, should undergo 
such training. All cadres, including leading cadres at all levels, should increase their 



ability as commanders and managers through intensive training. A company political 
instructor, for instance, should learn how to do his job competently. Many accidents can 
thus be forestalled. Without hard training, when problems crop up, a company 
commander or political instructor will not know how to deal with them and may even do 
things that aggravate the contradictions. And how can a company commander or political 
instructor be considered capable if he doesn't know all his men well? How can a 
commander at the army level direct his unit if he doesn't know its various companies? It 
is even more important for cadres at the divisional and regimental levels to understand 
their subordinate units. Therefore, army, divisional and regimental cadres should all do 
short tours of duty periodically as privates in the companies so as to learn what 
conditions are like there. Study of modern warfare and of combined operations by the 
various services and arms should also be included in the training. The quality of cadres at 
different levels can be enhanced through study, camp and field training, and military 
exercises. As for the companies, it is correct for them to learn from the Hard-Boned Sixth 
Company, because its style of work should not be confined to a single company. All 
other companies and even cadres at all levels should study and train as diligently as the 
Hard-Boned Sixth and be imbued with the same kind of political ideology. But it is not 
enough for the troops to learn from the Hard-Boned Sixth. They must also assiduously 
study modern warfare and acquire a lot of other necessary knowledge, political, cultural, 
scientific and technical. What I have been dealing with is the training of troops, which, of 
course, involves many other questions we can discuss. 

The second way to approach the problem of training cadres is through the schools. We 
should not close our eyes to the fact that our cadres at various levels are deficient in the 
ability to direct modern warfare. To admit shortcomings and inadequacies is the starting 
point for solving problems and overcoming weaknesses or failings. For example, if our 
country were to recognize that it is backward in certain respects, there would be much 
hope. We have been held back for some time because we refused to recognize this fact. 
Now we simply have to admit that by international standards, our science and technology 
have a long way to go. We must also admit that our army is not sufficiently capable of 
conducting modern warfare, and that although it is numerically strong, it is of relatively 
poor quality. It was of very good quality during the war years and the War to Resist U.S. 
Aggression and Aid Korea . Indeed, given quality of that kind, our army could fight even 
with its present weapons and could learn to adapt itself to the conditions of modern 
warfare and defeat the powerful imperialists. The point is that because of the interference 
and sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, the quality of our army just isn't as good 
as before. In particular, the cadres at the various levels do not have the requisite ability to 
command and manage. None of us, including the veteran comrades, is sufficiently 
capable of directing modern wars. We must recognize this fact. 

With few exceptions, the former schools should be restored. More cadres should be sent 
to them for training. There are now very few schools for training political cadres, and 
their number should be increased. From the beginning of the War of Resistance Against 
Japan [1937-45], we felt a shortage of political cadres, and we did so again during the 
War of Liberation [1946-49]. It is relatively easy to select military commanders but quite 
hard to select political cadres. At least this was the case with the Second Field Army of 



the People's Liberation Army, and I believe it to be true of our armed forces as a whole. 
A number of intellectuals were recruited during the anti-Japanese war, and later on 
political cadres were selected from this group, the so-called "" 1938 vintage ", as well as 
from among veteran Red Army men. How many qualified company political instructors 
do we have now? Battalion political instructors? Regimental, divisional and army-level 
political commissars? Some comrades say that in the struggle against Lin Biao and the 
Gang of Four, more political cadres were duped — or even ""trapped in the quagmire" — 
than others. If this is true, we must certainly be vigilant. Since the number of political 
cadres at company level and higher almost equals that of military cadres at the 
corresponding levels, more provision should be made for training political cadres. This 
can be accomplished either by using the same schools to train both military and political 
cadres, or else by establishing separate political schools. This is a question worth 
studying. Moreover, the technical and specialized schools of the various services and 
arms should all be reopened. Their numbers can be increased if necessary, and some 
might also be amalgamated. 

How are the various schools to function? I think three things are required of them. First, 
they should train, select and recommend cadres. They should act as a kind of collective 
political department, or collective cadre department. Second, they should help the cadres 
to conscientiously study modern warfare and combined operations involving various 
services and arms. Not only high-level cadres, but also cadres at company and platoon 
levels, should study so that they will all know what modern warfare is. I have said that to 
be a company commander nowadays means much more than just raising a Mauser and 
shouting: ""Charge!" How will you command if you are given tank and artillery support 
and if ground-to-air and other telecommunications contacts are required? Even a single 
company may find itself in this position, not to mention battalions, regiments, divisions 
and armies. Third, our schools should restore our army's traditional style of work. To put 
it briefly, this means working hard, seeking truth from facts, and applying the mass line. 
This style of work must be cultivated in the schools and put into practice in the army 
units. Schools must not be run as they have been in the past few years, but must teach 
something useful. I have suggested three requirements — perhaps there should be 
additional ones. I hope you will give this matter some thought. 

Schools in the army are divided into those at higher, middle and lower levels. Higher- 
level schools include the military academies, political academies and logistics academies. 
The Military and Political College should be split into two institutions, one offering 
military training and the other political. Both the navy and the air force should have 
higher-level schools, as should the various special and technical arms. They should also 
have middle-and lower- level schools. Each division should have a training corps for 
training squad leaders and platoon officers. The greater military regions should take 
charge of training company and battalion cadres, and the higher-level schools should 
train cadres at the regimental level and above. This general division of labour is 
appropriate. 

Our army schools must meet the three requirements I've mentioned. I think that within 
five years or a little longer we will be able to achieve the following objective: the creation 



of a generally better and more capable cadre corps which is also younger in average age - 
- especially in the combat forces — all of whom will have mastered some knowledge of 
modern warfare and have a good style of work. Cadres recommended by army schools 
must have first, a knowledge of modern warfare and the ability to command and 
administer, and second, a sound ideology and style of work. The ranks of our cadres, and 
particularly those of the combat forces, should be renewed basically according to these 
requirements. 

Some preparation is needed before we can establish schools. First, we have to decide 
what kind of schools we are going to establish and where. What if no school buildings are 
available? If schools could be run in the cave dwellings of Yan'an, why can't we now use 
tents or simple houses? Second, we must carefully select school cadres, including 
teachers. This is essential. These cadres are more important than those in other army 
posts. We should select outstanding men who are willing to familiarize themselves with 
actual conditions, work hard and set an example to others by their own deeds. Those in 
charge of the schools must know their students well. Otherwise, how can they 
recommend cadres? How can they act as a collective political or cadre department? 
School cadres must be chosen carefully and if a man is suitable for work in the schools he 
might even be transferred from his current post. Third, we have to draw up teaching 
materials. This is also essential. Teaching materials should be uniform. I have talked with 
comrades from the Academy of Military Sciences and the Military and Political College, 
asking them to take charge of compiling materials. The contents should enable the 
students to learn both about ourselves and about the enemy, to become especially familiar 
with our own combat experience and to understand modern warfare — the use of tanks 
and planes, operations in the air, on the ground, on and under the sea, combined 
operations by the various services and arms, and so on. In short, the teaching materials 
should impart some systematic knowledge. Fourth, it is essential to select students 
carefully. What kind of people should be enrolled? In other words, what kind of cadres 
should be transferred for study? We must select from among the good cadres. There 
should be some slight changes in the composition of the upper-level student bodies. At 
present, those receiving training in the Military and Political College are mainly cadres at 
army and divisional levels, while cadres at regimental level account for only 20 per cent. 
In the future, the proportion of regimental cadres should be increased. I suggest that the 
students of the upper-level schools be mainly regimental cadres plus some outstanding 
cadres at battalion level. At the same time, these schools should train army-level and 
divisional cadres. There are now large numbers of regimental cadres who have had 
combat experience, having served as squad or platoon leaders or company commanders 
during the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea. I'm afraid not many battalion 
cadres have ever fought in a war, but nevertheless there are outstanding cadres at that 
level also. And in the special army units there are quite a few battalion cadres who have 
taken part in combat operations. 

Why am I proposing that the majority of students be regimental cadres? So that we will 
have young or relatively young commanders for the combat forces. I think we can reach 
this goal in five years if we are ready to try our hardest. Political cadres can be older, but 
not by too much — say, three or four years. The year before last, I said that company 



political instructors could be somewhat older, with more accumulated experience and the 
ability to do meticulous ideological work. By the same token, political cadres at various 
levels can be somewhat older than military officers. In general, military commanders 
should be a little younger, but we should not rule out somewhat older individuals if they 
are in good health. Military schools at various levels may devote 70 per cent of their 
teaching hours to military subjects and 30 per cent to political subjects. The students 
should pursue military knowledge earnestly, including knowledge of the types and 
characteristics of planes and tanks and how to combat them, and how to direct combined 
operations by the various services and arms. Political schools may devote 60 per cent of 
their teaching hours to political subjects and 40 per cent to military subjects. Political 
cadres must also study military affairs. Teachers are crucial and should be selected 
carefully. There should be a contingent of good teachers. Leading school cadres can teach 
part time, as can leading comrades of the greater military regions and their subordinate 
departments. 

The schools may recommend those students who have done well in their studies, who 
have good command and administrative abilities, a knowledge of modern warfare and a 
fine style of work, and who are ideologically sound. Battalion cadres meeting these 
requirements can be promoted to the regimental level, and regimental cadres to the 
divisional. Of course, most of the students will have to return to their original posts 
because we have only a fixed number of armies and a fixed number of divisions. After 
working in the units for two years, these outstanding divisional and regimental cadres can 
undergo further training, that is, study for another year mainly to deepen their knowledge 
of modern warfare. Then, good divisional cadres can be promoted to the army level and 
good regimental ones to the divisional level. In this way, inside of five years or a little 
more, we can reduce the average age of cadres in the combat forces. The same approach 
should be followed for the naval and air force commanders. 

(Excerpt from a speech at a forum organized by the Military Commission of the Central 
Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

SETTING THINGS RIGHT IN EDUCATION 

September 19, 1977 



Correspondents of Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) recently interviewed six comrades 
who had taken part in the 1971 National Conference on Education. They wrote a report 
on the way in which the ''Summary of the National Conference on Education" was 
produced, a report that is well worth reading. The summary was revised by Yao Wenyuan 
and finalized by Zhang Chunqiao . Quite a few people disagreed with it at the time. The 
Renmin Ribao report supplies the facts concerning this issue. 

The summary of the National Conference contained the so-called ''two appraisals": the 
first was that during the 17 years prior to the start of the "cultural revolution" the 
bourgeoisie exercised dictatorship over the proletariat in the educational sphere, that is. 



there was 'dictatorship by the proponents of a sinister line"; the second appraisal was 
that the world outlook of the vast majority of intellectuals was basically bourgeois, that 
is, they were bourgeois intellectuals. Really, how should we look at these questions? In 
all spheres of work, including those where intellectuals are concentrated, the line 
represented by Comrade Mao Zedong was dominant during the first 17 years after the 
founding of our People's Republic in 1949. Can it be that your sphere, the educational 
sphere, was the only exception? True, Comrade Mao Zedong read and made a mark of 
endorsement on the summary. But that doesn't mean that it was necessarily correct in 
every respect. We mustn't over-simplify. The 1976 resolution on my case, adopted in 
connection with the Tiananmen Incident, was similarly endorsed by Comrade Mao 
Zedong. In view of the very large numbers of people involved in the Tiananmen Incident, 
it definitely cannot be labelled counter-revolutionary. And I myself was described as the 
''behind-the-scenes boss" of this incident, although as a matter of fact I was cut off from 
any contact with the outside world at the time. Some of Comrade Mao Zedong's 
statements were quoted in the summary, but in many cases they were quoted out of 
context. Furthermore, a lot of the ideas peddled by the Gang of Four were injected into it. 
So we should criticize this summary, distinguishing right from wrong. We should have a 
correct and comprehensive understanding of Mao Zedong Thought as a system. 
Apparently, there are people who object to my posing this issue. It is common knowledge 
that Marxism-Leninism as a system should be understood correctly and comprehensively. 
Shouldn't the same thing apply to Mao Zedong Thought? Of course it should, otherwise 
mistakes will be inevitable. Comrade Mao Zedong wrote the four-word motto "Seek 
truth from facts" for the Central Party School in Yan'an, and these words are the 
quintessence of his philosophical thinking. 

The "two appraisals" in the "Summary of the National Conference on Education" do not 
accord with reality. How can we dismiss nearly 10 million of China's intellectuals at one 
stroke? Weren't most of the professionals now at work trained in the first 17 years after 
1949? China's first atomic bomb was successfully tested in 1964, and its first hydrogen 
bomb was exploded in 1967, but these things were not achieved overnight. The basis for 
them was laid through the implementation, under Comrade Nie Rongzhen 's guidance, of 
the 12-year plan drawn up in 1956 for the development of science. You people in charge 
of educational work have yet to emancipate your minds. Burdened with the weight of the 
"two appraisals", you don't speak out in defence of the masses of intellectuals, and you 
are likely to stumble in your work. Educational workers in general are complaining about 
your Ministry of Education, and you ought to know why. You should speak out boldly. 
My talk on August 8 this year at the forum on scientific and educational work was a bold 
speech, but of course it also made due allowance for current realities. Some people have 
taken exception to what I said, but that's all right. A principle or policy will invariably 
arouse the opposition or disagreement of some people. It's good for them to air their 
views boldly, because then we can talk things out. 

Comrade Zhou Enlai was in a very difficult position at the time of the 1971 National 
Conference on Education. In 1972, talking with an American physicist of Chinese 
descent, he said that college students should be recruited directly from among graduates 
fresh from the senior middle schools. It took some courage to make this point under the 



prevailing conditions. Comrade Zhou Enlai wanted to bring about a sharp change in the 
educational departments, but no such change was made. Why should we enrol students 
directly? The answer is simple: so as not to break the continuity of studies. The best 
period for a person to study is between the ages of 18 and 20. In the past, talking with 
foreign guests, I too stressed the advantages of having secondary school students do 
physical labour for two years after graduation. Facts have shown, however, that after a 
couple of years of labour, the students have forgotten half of what they learned at school. 
This is a waste of time. Direct enrolment of college students doesn't mean discarding 
labour. Labour should be incorporated in the programme of the primary and secondary 
schools. It is good to inculcate the love of labour from an early age. For college students 
the emphasis should be on participation in labour that is related to their studies. They may 
also take some part in agricultural labour, but they should not be required to do too much. 

We should have a correct understanding of Comrade Mao Zedong's '' July 21st 
Directive ". Universities and communist labour universities should be run by the 
provinces themselves, and each should work out its own methods. Also, graduates of 
these universities do not fall under the unified state plan for job assignment. But I'm 
afraid Qinghua and Beijing Universities can't be run along these lines. By no means 
should all colleges and universities follow the example of the Shanghai Machine Tool 
Plant. Comrade Mao Zedong always stressed the necessity of raising scientific and 
cultural standards. He never said that it was unnecessary for universities to ensure the 
quality of the education they offered, unnecessary to increase the students' scientific and 
cultural knowledge or unnecessary to produce trained personnel. 

The Ministry of Education should take the initiative. So far you have not done so, and, at 
the very least, this shows that you are overcautious and afraid of making further 
'"mistakes" by following my advice. Although I realized it would be a tough job to be in 
charge of scientific and educational work, I volunteered for the post. China's four 
modernizations will get nowhere, will become mere empty talk, if we don't make a 
success of such work. But to get a grip on it, we need to have specific policies and 
measures, and we need to solve specific ideological and practical problems. You should 
work freely and boldly, and think independently instead of always looking over your 
shoulder. You should get clear on the problems involved and then do what's necessary. 
You should solve whatever problems you can on your own and report the others to the 
Central Committee of the Party. The problems that have piled up in the educational 
sphere must be sorted out. Now that the masses are full of enthusiasm, the Ministry 
shouldn't stand in their way. The most important thing for the Ministry to do is to achieve 
a consensus. Those comrades who are in favour of the policies of the Central Committee 
should get on with the job, and those who aren't should switch to other lines of work. 

We must improve the organization of the Ministry of Education. We should have a 
number of people about the age of 40 whose duty is to make the rounds of the schools. 
We should have 40 people specializing in this work — or, at the very least, 20. Like 
commanders going down to the companies, they should sit in on classes as '"pupils", 
familiarize themselves with the real situation, supervise the implementation of plans and 
policies, and then report back. This is the only way for them to find out promptly what's 



going on in the schools and to solve problems quickly. A beginning might be made by 
going to the key colleges, universities and secondary and primary schools. These are the 
concrete measures we should take. We can't afford to be satisfied with idle talk. 

The problem of the workers' propaganda teams should be solved, because they can't feel 
comfortable continuing their work in the schools. Armymen sent to carry out the task of 
''supporting the Left" should, without exception, return to their own units. Unless these 
problems are solved, there will be endless wrangling in the schools. 

How many key colleges and universities should there be? Who should be in charge of 
them? And how should they be organized? As I see it, key colleges and universities 
should be under the Ministry of Education. Those directly under the Ministry will, in fact, 
have dual leadership [leadership by the Ministry and by the governments of the provinces 
and municipalities where the schools are located], but the Ministry will provide the 
principal leadership. The Ministry should also take direct charge of a few schools and see 
that they set an example. The number of class hours per week, the maximum number of 
hours for political activities, and so on, should be decided upon, and the Ministry should 
be directly involved in the decisions. The People's University of China should be started 
up again, mainly to train personnel in finance, trade and economic management, as well 
as to train Marxist-Leninist theorists. We should make sure that the teachers' training 
universities fulfil their function well, and the Ministry of Education should regularly send 
people to inspect teachers' training colleges and schools under the provincial and 
municipal administrations. Unless all these institutions are run well, there will be no 
source of teachers. 

A basic consensus has been reached with regard to the length of undergraduate schooling: 
in general, it should be four years, although it may be somewhat longer for students of 
medicine and in certain other specialized fields. Within that four- year period, two or three 
years should probably be spent on basic subjects. It is hard to do scientific research if you 
don't have a sound foundation. I've read your brief reports on the teaching materials used 
in foreign countries. It seems to me that in revising our own materials we must start with 
those for the primary and secondary schools, and that such materials should reflect the 
latest developments in knowledge. We must not, of course, divorce ourselves from the 
actual conditions in China. 

The document you've drafted on the enrolment system is too complicated and hard to 
understand. I've made a few changes in the qualifications required of applicants. So far as 
political requirements are concerned, we should stress the applicant's own political 
conduct. A clear political record, love of socialism and labour, readiness to observe 
discipline and a determination to study for the revolutionary cause — that is all we should 
require. In short, we should have two main criteria for admitting college students: first, 
good conduct; and second, a good academic record. 

For our scientific research institutes, we've decided to adopt a system whereby the 
director assumes overall responsibility under the leadership of the Party committee. 
We've also decided to restore the professional titles of scientific research personnel. 



These are major policy decisions and they have solved many important problems; they 
are bound to shake things up and have an impact on education, industry and other 
spheres. The educational units should try to keep pace with these developments. In 
colleges and universities, the titles of professor, lecturer and assistant should be restored. 
The question of reinstituting the system of professional titles has been on many comrades' 
minds for years. Recently, this question was settled by the Central Committee in its 
circular on the convening of a national conference on scientific work. 

The departments of support services in organizations devoted to scientific research and 
education are indispensable; they have an immense load, and their work directly involves 
the implementation of policies. These departments in our colleges and universities should 
be staffed by people who love their jobs and are ready to work diligently in the service of 
teaching and scientific research. This will make it possible for those engaged in teaching, 
study or research to devote their energies to their professional work instead of running 
around looking for necessary equipment and suitable working conditions. 

We must strengthen our corps of teachers. We may transfer some of the personnel now 
working in scientific research institutions to colleges and universities so that they too can 
contribute to education. Teaching is a glorious task, and we should encourage all those 
engaged in it to work enthusiastically. The Ministry of Education should make proper 
political and material arrangements for those comrades who are released from the 
scientific research institutions to join the ranks of teachers. From now on we should focus 
greater attention on co-ordinating scientific research with education and on effecting a 
regular interchange of people between the two fields. Without this kind of mobility, 
personnel will become rigid in their thinking. Scientific research institutions in foreign 
countries take great pains to revitalize their ranks by regularly bringing in bright, active 
young people. We, too, should gradually institute a system of interchange and renewal of 
personnel. We should be on the look-out for capable persons. At present, the 
achievements of some of our scientific personnel are recognized by foreigners before we 
ourselves know about them. This points up shortcomings in some of our institutions 
which may prevent us from discovering talent. We should try conscientiously to remedy 
this situation. 

Over the next eight to ten years we should bend all our efforts to educational work. For 
my part, I intend to pay close attention to it, keeping an eye on the leading comrades in 
the educational departments and seeing that the right principles are followed. I am also 
going to concern myself with the significant specific policies and measures, because they 
are related to the general principles. The many problems in the field of education can all 
be reduced to this: How can we train qualified personnel and bring about the other 
desired results? 

In a word, the Ministry of Education should emancipate its thinking and take the 
initiative into its own hands. If anything you said in the past was wrong, you can issue a 
new statement correcting it. To set things to rights, the language must be clear-cut. We 
can't afford to be ambiguous — that doesn't solve problems. You must act quickly on 
these matters and not let things drag on. 



(A talk to the principal leading comrades of the Ministry of Education.) 

SPEECH AT A PLENARY MEETING OF 

THE MILITARY COMMISSION OF THE CENTRAL 

COMMITTEE OF THE CPC 

December 28, 1977 



This meeting of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the Party has fully 
confirmed the correctness and importance of the enlarged meeting of the same body in 
1975, which discussed a great many questions, the chief one being the consolidation of 
the army. The assumption at that time was that consolidation should be accomplished by 
first reorganizing and restaffing the leading bodies. After that problem was solved, we 
planned to take up the problem of the army's technical equipment, because we simply 
could not afford to neglect it. Then would come the question of strategy, for without a 
clear-cut strategic orientation many things are difficult to deal with. 

The present meeting has set 10 fighting tasks for the army and will be adopting nine 
documents, comprising decisions and regulations . In terms of the number of problems it 
is to solve and the range and variety of the subjects with which it has to deal, no meeting 
to match it has been held for years. It has prepared rules for almost every aspect of the 
army's work. Some earlier rules which were undermined by Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four have been restored; others have been newly created; all are necessary for 
consolidating the army and preparing for the event of war. With these rules, we shall 
have something to go by and to help us achieve unity in understanding and in action. 

This meeting is of great importance. The guidelines and decisions it adopts should be 
transmitted to different levels of the army and put into effect. When decisions are being 
made, it is easy for everyone to raise his hand in favour, but when it comes to carrying 
them out, things are not so simple. Some matters may be agreed upon in principle, but 
when specific problems arise that's a completely different affair. The key to 
implementing these decisions will be the personal example set by the senior cadres. If 
they go by the rules, it will be easy to persuade the whole army to do likewise. If they 
don't, everything will come to naught and things will go on as before. 

Now let me discuss five points: 

1 . The question of exposing and criticizing the Gang of Four and consolidating the 
leading bodies. 

On the whole, the movement to expose and criticize the Gang of Four is proceeding well 
in the army. In most units it is developing soundly and in depth, but in some it has yet to 
be deepened. In others, it has just begun to reveal the problems. And in still others a 
multitude of problems have been discovered, but their solution is being dragged out. 
There are also units in which no problems are apparent because people are sitting on the 



lid. In short, the movement is proceeding unevenly. In those units where it has not yet 
taken hold, the leading cadres should take the initiative and do everything possible to 
mobilize the masses, instead of curbing them with all kinds of restrictions. How can you 
tell what the problems are before the masses are mobilized? Where the movement is 
already being conducted in depth, the leading cadres should keep calm and be especially 
careful to observe policies. In making decisions about people, we should be cautious, 
distinguish strictly between the two different types of contradictions [those among the 
people and those between the people and their enemies], widen the area of education and 
narrow the scope of attack. We should check up thoroughly on matters and people 
involved in the Gang of Four's plot to usurp Party and state power. The army is the major 
instrument of our proletarian dictatorship. If the work in the army is not done well and its 
cadres are not reliable, we shall suffer much harm. Hence this is a matter of the utmost 
importance to the army. In the case of persons who made mistakes and, in particular, 
grave mistakes, we must expose and criticize their errors while at the same time creating 
the conditions necessary for them to mend their ways. We should help them make the 
necessary self-criticisms, make a clean breast of their mistakes before the masses, and 
secure the latter's forgiveness. Then we should settle their cases in the proper ways. We 
cannot refrain from exposing and criticizing mistakes and let those who made them slip 
away just because their cases fall within the category of contradictions among the people. 
If we do that, we shall leave the deeper sources of disturbance untouched, and there will 
be more '"earthquakes" to come. What's more, that is not really the way to show concern 
for cadres, rather it will do them harm because they won't have learned the necessary 
lessons. We have already seen how some of these people can slide away from one 
mistake after another without learning any lessons. Beyond all doubt, we must crack 
down resolutely on the unrepentant diehards among the sworn followers of the Gang of 
Four. But we should deal leniently with those followers of the Gang and participants in 
its factional activities who are willing to make amends and thoroughly expose the crimes 
of the Gang and its faction — once what they say proves to be true. We should not entrust 
important jobs to persons who have made grave mistakes and whose attitude remains 
bad; they should be deprived of their current ranks and perquisites. 

In the process of reorganizing and restaffing the leading bodies, we should not, of course, 
admit into these bodies anyone who has participated in the plot of the Gang of Four to 
usurp Party and state power. The following types of people should be excluded. Those 
who always sail with the wind, who continually slide away from their mistakes, or who 
cause serious disturbances; those who have made grave mistakes and have a bad attitude; 
and questionable persons whose cases have not been cleared up. There are also others 
whom we should not recruit into leading bodies or place in important posts. They 
include: persons who exercised a fascist dictatorship and acted tyrannically; persons who 
engaged in beating, smashing and looting (these latter, of course, are not likely to be 
among the high-ranking cadres, for the Gang of Four employed lackeys to do such things 
and to act as secret agents or informers within our ranks); persons who serve their own 
interests through trickery and swindling; persons who are adept at mutual flattery and the 
exchange of favours and who are keen on factional activities; skilled political tricksters or 
specialists in ""knifing" people; petty operators who are always manoeuvring; and persons 
whose revolutionary will has waned and who are content to eat three square meals a day 



and do nothing. All this means that when we reorganize the leading bodies at various 
levels, and especially when we choose the cadres who will be first and second in 
command in their units, it is not enough merely to make sure that candidates were not 
involved in the plots of the Gang of Four. For there is another category of persons who 
have little or no connection with the Gang of Four but who are, nevertheless, politically 
unsound and ideologically anti-Marxist, or who have perpetrated many evil deeds which 
have earned them the people's hatred -- persons who are, in fact, bad elements. Not only 
should such types never be admitted into leading bodies, they should not be allowed to 
remain in the army. However, some leading comrades still don't recognize these people 
for what they really are, and we should be aware of this problem. Here I am talking not 
only about the selection of veteran cadres but also, and particularly, about the choice of 
younger ones. We must select the right young cadres, for they will take over from us in 
the future. We have had plenty of sad experience in making the wrong choice. 

We should judge our cadres in an overall way and from a historical perspective. Those 
who gave good service in the long years of revolutionary struggle but made mistakes or 
said wrong things at one time or another should be helped to correct their mistakes 
through proper criticism and self-criticism. By judging cadres from a historical 
perspective we mean that we should take into account not only their earlier records but 
also their showing in the struggles against Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. Some people 
followed first Lin Biao and later the Gang of Four, committing errors and doing evil 
deeds. This, of course, is part of their history. We have many veteran comrades in the 
army and, generally speaking, their common characteristic is that they are very honest 
and upright. Of course, a few of them have changed somewhat. So it isn't easy to judge 
people. If we want to select the right ones, we must understand and judge cadres on the 
basis of their behaviour in practical struggle. 

What kind of people should we select for future leading bodies? We should select serious 
students of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought who can stand the tests of 
struggle; people who are strong in Party spirit and capable of co-operating with others 
and resisting undesirable practices; people who believe in hard work and plain living, 
who seek truth from facts and are upright and honest in word and deed; people who work 
conscientiously, keep in close contact with the masses and are concerned about their 
well-being, and are bold, resolute, experienced and professionally competent. At present, 
our leading cadres are rather elderly. Five years from now there will be few who are 
under 50 and who have had experience in war. So we veteran comrades must attend 
seriously to the selection of successors and we must help and guide the younger cadres 
and pass on our experience to them. 

In 1975, 1 proposed that we should solve the problems of weakness, laziness and laxity in 
the leading bodies. Through two years of practice, especially through the struggle against 
the Gang of Four, it has now become clear that weakness consists in allowing fear to 
override all other considerations, in deviating from principle, and going along with 
undesirable tendencies instead of resisting them; that laziness means a waning 
revolutionary will that is manifested in failure to read books and periodicals, to use one's 
brains or to go down to the grass-roots units — and also in a fondness for eating and 



aversion to work; and that laxity concerning principle consists in contending for power 
and gain, doing things destructive of unity and refusing to co-operate with others for a 
common purpose. Some cadres regard themselves as infallible, foster a new version of 
the "" mountain-stronghold " mentality, and exercise favouritism in making appointments. 
They have their own standards forjudging cadres, try to gather supporters around them 
and elbow other people aside. They are always trying to form a circle of their own, 
thinking that they won't get anything done otherwise. Some people, in recent years, have 
been tainted with these vices of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. We should act without 
delay to consolidate our leading bodies and quickly eliminate the weakness, laziness and 
laxity with which they are afflicted. 

Here I shall also mention the problem of bloating. Some time ago, I summed up the 
problems in the army as bloating, laxity, conceit, extravagance and inertia. So far, we 
have not solved the first problem, that of bloating: we've not yet created a new structure 
for our army. In trying to do so, we have failed to make it sufficiently clear that there 
must be streamlining and no overstaffing. Though ours is a big army, its companies are 
not adequately staffed. On the other hand, various army offices are overstaffed, or 
seriously bloated. It has become the fashion to set up new offices and sign up more 
personnel whenever there is a problem to be solved. This is a bad practice. Some new 
offices are set up by drawing staff members from the basic units. Why can't we use the 
existing offices? Of course, some offices are no longer useful and we should reorganize 
them. If now we cut back in accordance with the newly determined size and structure of 
the army, will we still have more streamlining to do in the future? Yes, we will. But it 
will mostly involve the leading bodies and offices at various levels, starting with those 
directly under the general headquarters and the headquarters of the various services and 
arms, and working down to those under the greater and provincial military regions. Of 
course, after the current streamlining and the fixing of the size of each unit, the whole 
army should remain organizationally stable for a certain period. 

Now that we have carried out the necessary reassignment and interchange of leading 
personnel among the greater military regions and the various services and arms, there 
should be no further changes in leadership for a certain period, except in individual cases. 
After this meeting, we will begin reassignment of cadres at the army and divisional 
levels. We must see to it that, under the leadership of the General Political Department, 
all the greater military regions and all services and arms do well in this work. When we 
refer to the cadres at the army and divisional levels, we include not only those in the 
combat forces but also those in the general headquarters and offices of the different 
services and arms and the greater military regions. In reorganizing the leading bodies at 
these two levels, we should take particular care with the cadre sections of the political 
departments, selecting good comrades who are honest and upright, who resist undesirable 
practices and who dare to think and to speak their minds. During the reorganization, we 
should pay careful attention to selecting the key leaders of these sections so that the latter 
can function properly. 

2. The general situation. 



The domestic situation is very good. However, we must not become complacent, but 
must be aware of the difficulties, problems and shortcomings in our work. In some places 
the problems have piled up. In addition to correct principles, resolute measures and 
effective policies are required, and we must go on solving the problems one by one. This 
holds true in the army, as it does elsewhere. Of course, we are confident that everything 
will go well if we are conscientious. Some comrades have said in the group discussions 
that we may complete the consolidation of the army somewhat ahead of schedule if 
things go smoothly. I believe this too. The army has the advantage of being a highly 
centralized organization which can go into action fast. 

The international situation is also good. It is possible that we may gain some additional 
time free of war. Applying Comrade Mao Zedong's strategy of differentiating the three 
worlds and following his line in foreign affairs, we can contribute our share to the 
international struggle against hegemonism. Moreover, the Soviet Union has not yet 
finished its global strategic deployment. And the global strategy of the United States, 
after its defeat in Southeast Asia, has shifted to the defensive — the United States isn't 
ready to fight a world war yet either. Therefore, it is possible to win a delay in the 
outbreak of war. 

However, I want to emphasize that we are in a race against time. Although the outbreak 
of war may be delayed, we cannot consider only this possibility but should also prepare 
for the possibility that some countries may want to fight a big war, and soon. For the 
hegemonists are desperate, and no one can tell for sure when or where some small 
incident they create may provoke a war. Although a world war may be delayed, 
accidental or local happenings are hard to predict. We should ask ourselves: What if the 
enemy were to invade us now? We ought to be able to answer: We can fight, even today. 
First of all, we should quickly check up on our fortifications. Ammunition should be 
ready; without it we can do nothing if war comes. We used to capture our ammunition 
from the enemy, but where can we capture it if war breaks out now? That's why we must 
have our own rear services. No matter when a war breaks out, now or in future, we must 
have our own fortifications and ammunition. Moreover, we should lose no time in 
training our troops so as to raise their combat effectiveness and their morale. Some 
people abroad say that technology decides everything. Don't place blind faith in that. Of 
course, we cannot afford to neglect technology. However, the notion that electronic 
computers can take over all the command functions is absurd -- then men would have no 
active role at all. Experience shows that, even if the enemy were to come now, we would 
be able to fight him with our present weapons and eventually win the war, provided we 
persevered in people's war. With such a huge population, once our people and army unite 
as one, no enemy can destroy us. Nonetheless, we must strive to gain more time, to 
improve our military equipment and educate and train our army well so as to reduce 
unnecessary losses. If we can gain a relatively long time free of war, that will enable us to 
continue modernizing the army, raising its combat effectiveness and making our 
preparations for defence. Here I would like to say that, even if we can gain 10 or 20 years 
in which to modernize our army's equipment, it will still be inferior to the enemy's. For 
the enemy won't be sleeping while we are advancing. Therefore, if and when war breaks 
out, we will still have to triumph over superior forces with our inferior equipment. This 



basic situation cannot as yet be completely changed. Our experience has always shown 
that we can defeat a superior enemy with inferior equipment, for our wars are just, they 
are people's wars. In this respect, we should be fully confident. 

To sum up, war may break out any day. We must on no account waste time but should 
step up our preparations and, in particular, step up the training of our cadres in the art of 
directing modern warfare. And we must know our limitations in this respect. Our military 
equipment is being modernized, but are our cadres, including the veteran comrades 
present here, capable of directing a modern war? We mustn't think that it's enough for us 
to have fought many brilliant battles in the past and to have received many awards for 
meritorious service. Can we handle the new military equipment? Do we understand it? 
Are we fully capable of directing a war in which it will be used? Even if we ourselves 
have this capacity, what about our subordinates? No one can become capable without 
training. Therefore, great efforts should be put into increasing our cadres' ability to direct 
modern warfare. That's one point. Another point is that the improvement of our army's 
equipment must be speeded up. But we must take note of one condition, namely, that we 
proceed from actual possibilities. The state budget is limited and, moreover, the amount 
of our military expenditures has to be decided with a view to the overall balance. Our 
national defence can be modernized only on the basis of the industrial and agricultural 
development of the country as a whole. However, if we do our work well, we can speed 
up the improvement of our military equipment within the country's present capabilities. 

3. The question of the army's becoming a big school. 

We have made two decisions concerning the education and training of our army, one 
affecting military schools and the other the various units. I won't go deeply into these 
matters here. Our present problem is the need to strengthen education in the army itself, 
to strengthen the training of the cadres. Another problem is that some of our army cadres 
are not made welcome when they are transferred out of the army to civilian work, and 
that they do not, in fact, prove as useful as those who were transferred there in former 
years. We should investigate this problem and solve it. Comrade Mao Zedong said long 
ago that the army should be made into a big school. Under the new circumstances, it is of 
particular importance to stress the necessity of following this directive. Several hundred 
thousand cadres are going to be transferred to civilian jobs. This work was suspended for 
two years owing to interference and sabotage by the Gang of Four. From now on, large 
numbers of army cadres will be shifted to civilian work every year, which means that 
they will be transferred out of the army to the various fronts of socialist construction. 
How can we help them to adapt to the new tasks as quickly as possible? The method is to 
create the conditions that will fit them for work in the civilian units. And one way is to 
add the appropriate content to our army education and training programmes. When we 
say that we should give strategic significance to education and training, we mean that we 
ought to make the army a big school which instructs the cadres not only in modern 
warfare but also in modern science and production, and in methods of doing political and 
administrative work. Thus trained, our cadres will be able to play their role both in 
building up the army and in civilian work, and to fight in the event of war. That is to say, 
they will become cadres able to serve both in the army and in civilian units. 



In the course of their education and training, cadres should study the works of Marx, 
Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Comrade Mao Zedong, learn to know modern warfare, develop 
a fine ideology and style of work, and reach a fair level of command and administrative 
ability. We should also help them acquire some practical knowledge of industry and 
agriculture, and some elements of modern science, history, geography and foreign 
languages. Where possible, they should learn specific skills, such as driving motor 
vehicles and tractors, as well as some related theory. With time more and more army 
comrades will possess varied knowledge as well as specific skills. Army departments in 
charge of education and training should work out plans in this regard and take concrete 
steps to implement them. Comrade Mao Zedong urged that our cadres acquire diversified 
knowledge. For a number of years, owing to the interference and sabotage by Lin Biao 
and the Gang of Four, some of our cadres were left without such knowledge and some of 
them even picked up bad habits so that they were not welcomed in the civilian units. 
Education and training to prepare army cadres to work in civilian units will help to 
advance national construction, army building and preparedness in the event of war. 

A great many cadres are about to be transferred to civilian work. We should run training 
classes for them, arrange visits to some places, invite comrades from civilian units to pass 
on their experience to them, and help them acquire more knowledge of industry, finance, 
trade, political science and law, culture, and education. This applies to all cadres slated 
for transfer to civilian work. 

With about one million soldiers being demobilized each year, we must confront the 
question of how to prepare them to play their part better in civilian work. Through 
education and training we should help them acquire a variety of skills. In addition to 
studying politics, technical skills and military affairs, they should receive some 
instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry, industry, agriculture and foreign 
languages. I don't mean that each soldier should have to study all these subjects. But with 
proper arrangements and organizational work, the acquisition of some knowledge of the 
subjects I have mentioned will prove useful. Comrade Mao Zedong asked the soldiers of 
Unit 8341 to study cultural subjects and make social investigations. A big proportion of 
our soldiers now are middle school graduates. If, during their military service, they can 
raise their overall level through training and cultivate a good style of work, they will be 
able to make significant contributions in civilian units when they are transferred there, 
and consequently will be welcomed by them. 

We should have a bit more diversity in our army. It is not enough to consider only the 
needs of the army itself but also what will be required of our officers and soldiers when 
they return to civilian work. Let's say a regimental cadre is transferred to a factory — even 
a small or medium-sized one, not to mention a big one — can he serve as a competent 
leader there? Not necessarily, it seems. As far as seniority and experience are concerned, 
a man who can command a regiment should be able to function as a leader of a medium- 
sized or small factory or of a workshop in a large factory, provided he has acquired some 
solid knowledge and skills and has really tempered himself. We should create the 
conditions which will allow cadres to do so. Of course, after their transfer to the civilian 
units, they can continue to study or take up political and administrative work. But not all 



ex-army cadres can be assigned to jobs of that kind, if only because there are not enough 
of them to go around. After all, some will have to do technical work, which is why they 
should acquire varied knowledge. We should give our officers and soldiers the necessary 
training so that they can both fight battles and participate in socialist construction. Today, 
many of our cadres don't know how to administer the affairs of the army units, and this 
includes cadres in the companies. Quite a few mishaps result from the intensification of 
contradictions that takes place when cadres are incompetent administrators and don't 
know how to do ideological work or to solve problems directly related to people. We 
have often discussed this problem. And how about cadres at the regimental and divisional 
levels? Many of them don't know how to administer their units either. If they are to do a 
better job, their administrative ability must be raised. To be a good administrator mainly 
means to be skilled at solving people's problems. In the early days after Liberation, a 
large number of cadres in north China went to the South where some of the company 
cadres became secretaries of county Party committees, and they did pretty well. This was 
because they worked hard, kept in contact with the masses, had a good style of work, 
were not boastful, and obeyed orders and directives from above. Therefore, even though 
they didn't have much general education, they were successful in their work. Things are 
different nowadays — some army cadres are quite conceited and have the highest opinion 
of themselves. In 1975 I said, '' Uncle Lei Feng isn't around any more. " For this, the Gang 
of Four wantonly attacked and vilified me, but actually that was only what the masses 
were saying -- 1 didn't invent the expression. In the past, our army was skilled in political 
work, but now some cadres who are transferred to civilian units prove inept. That's why 
army education and training should prepare the cadres to adapt themselves to civilian 
work. Otherwise, they will not be welcomed by the civilian units. Of course, there are 
also units in which no proper arrangements are made to receive them, and the comrades 
in such units should be alert to this. 

4. The question of discipline. 

We have had a special decision on this point, and I would like once again to emphasize 
its importance. 

The army must maintain strict discipline and allow no laxity. Comrade Mao Zedong laid 
special stress on this during his last few years and, as many comrades know, he 
personally led the singing of the army song. The Three Main Rules of Discipline and the 
Eight Points for Attention . The first of the three main rules of discipline is to obey orders 
in all our actions. In those years, when commanders were exchanged among the eight 
greater military regions, all of them reported for work at their now posts within 10 days. 
Comrade Mao Zedong knew the situation in the army very well. The question of 
discipline was raised in 1975 but wasn't resolved then, and it was set aside. Now it is 
necessary to raise it again, because one of the most valuable things we can do in helping 
and guiding the young and middle-aged cadres and passing on our experience to them is 
to make them understand the necessity of observing discipline. Our army has always 
insisted on the importance of obeying orders in all actions and of consciously observing 
revolutionary discipline. Otherwise, how could we have defeated an enemy far stronger 
than ourselves? Otherwise, how can we guarantee the Party's absolute leadership over the 



army and the implementation in it of the Party's line and policies? And otherwise, how 
can we speed up the process of revolutionizing and modernizing the army? Now we have 
some cadres who don't carry out directives or obey orders from above. This is a violation 
of discipline. In some units, there are a few people who have arrogantly practised 
factionalism for a long time. They are like tigers whose backsides no one dares to touch. 
But why shouldn't we dare? When told they are being transferred to another post, some 
cadres simply don't obey the order if it doesn't conform to their personal wishes. In 1975 
one unit planned to transfer a number of people elsewhere. But they just refused to leave, 
on the ground that there had been no "satisfactory explanation'' of what they called the 
rights and wrongs of their transfer. They acted with perfect assurance, thinking that they 
were quite justified in disobeying orders. At all costs, such persons must first be made to 
carry out orders; first they must go where they are told, and other things can be dealt with 
later. They can express their objections; they are entitled to their opinions. But those who 
refuse to go where ordered will be either compelled to do so and possibly demoted or else 
simply expelled from the army, because discipline must be enforced. If our army can't 
even achieve this, how can it be called an army? Of course, the leadership must be careful 
and prudent in making decisions, but that is another matter. At any rate, orders must be 
obeyed. Since there were many factions and factionalism was rife in the past, we must, of 
course, handle each case carefully. But this cannot serve as an excuse forever, and army 
discipline must be rigorously enforced. Another thing: some comrades who formerly 
lived and worked in large cities, especially Beijing, and have been transferred to other 
places, have obstinately refused to move their families despite repeated orders to do so. 
How can we allow this sort of thing? Generally speaking, when one is sent to work in a 
place, his family should move there too. 

To consolidate the army, strict discipline must be enforced. We must firmly implement 
the guidelines and decisions adopted by this meeting. We must encourage everyone to put 
the general interest above everything else. Some things may seem right when viewed 
from a narrow perspective but prove wrong when viewed from a broader perspective — 
and vice versa. In the final analysis, our primary concern must be for the overall interest. 
Army cadres must obey orders, and this should start with veterans who are required to set 
an example in observing discipline. As I said before, one point is obedience to orders in 
all actions, and another the willing observance of discipline. We should strengthen 
education on both these points. 

Of course, there should also be democracy in our army, for without democracy there can 
be no voluntary observance of discipline. Comrade Mao Zedong always held that the 
army should practise democracy in three main areas, the political, the economic and the 
military. In each unit, leadership is exercised by the Party committee which practises both 
centralism and democracy. In the Party committee all important issues must be 
thoroughly discussed, and no one person should have the final say. The committee should 
encourage criticism and self-criticism among its members, and this should be made 
habitual. Our senior cadres should take part in the activities of their Party groups as other 
comrades do. The Party committees should see that they do so, even though the 
committees themselves have their own inner-Party life and can perform the function of 
mutual supervision and encouragement. Party branches at the company level should play 



a good role, and see to it that democratic procedures are followed in the three main areas. 
It goes without saying that political democracy must be given full scope in the army. 
With regard to military democracy, including that in education and training, it is 
necessary to persist in the practice of having officers teach soldiers, soldiers teach 
officers, and soldiers teach each other. In the study of modern science, there are many 
cases where soldiers can teach officers. Soldiers who know more about science than their 
company commanders and political instructors, particularly soldiers in the technical units, 
should be asked to do this. We must also ensure economic democracy. We now have 
some cadres who encroach on the soldiers' interests. This cannot be allowed. The army 
units have economic committees, which should be strengthened so that they can play 
their proper role. This is part of political work. The accounts of each unit should be 
examined and made public every month. In our effort to develop democracy in the three 
main areas, we should begin with the companies and with the Party committees at various 
levels. 

5. The question of unity. 

Comrade Mao Zedong said that we should unite with the great majority, including those 
who had formerly opposed us and had since been proved wrong. We should not bear 
grudges against people who were once "out to get"" us. Instead of harbouring resentment 
against comrades, we should forgive old wrongs. People like us can't be faultless, and we 
should allow others to criticize our shortcomings. We veteran cadres should set a good 
example in this respect. Of course, I'm referring to criticism and not to rumour- 
mongering, slander, abuse and groundless charges, none of which should be tolerated. 
We should unite and join forces against our common enemy and together expose and 
criticize the Gang of Four. That is the only way to implement the correct line regarding 
cadres, which requires that they be appointed on the basis of merit, and to unite with 
comrades who are good but have made mistakes. We must oppose factionalism, 
sectarianism and favouritism. We should give serious attention to the fact that some 
people are now bent on building small circles of supporters. Even after they have been 
transferred to other places, such people still interfere in the work of their original units 
and keep poking their noses into it. Why does this happen? What's the need of it? What's 
the good of it? 

In seeking unity, we must observe the Party's principle of democratic centralism. Some 
people who pay lip-service to unity distort certain differences of opinion within a Party 
committee and leak them to the public; they spread rumours and slanders and try to win 
over groups of people in order to build support for themselves. Others sow discord. All 
these acts are divisive and therefore impermissible. 

Comrade Mao Zedong always emphasized that unity is the guarantee of victory. In order 
to carry out the Party's line, achieve the splendid goal of the four modernizations and 
implement the guidelines laid down by this meeting, we must unite under the banner of 
Mao Zedong Thought and rally around the Central Committee. This is in our overall 
interest, and we should view all things from this broader perspective. 



At this meeting the Military Commission has set us a heavy task, and time is pressing. So 
we must strengthen leadership, plan well and make our best effort to implement the 
relevant decisions. First of all, we must successfully reorganize and restaff the leading 
bodies at various levels. That is the only way to ensure the fulfilment of the various tasks 
facing the army. 

SPEECH AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SCIENCE 

March 18, 1978 



Comrades, 

The successful convocation of this National Conference on Science is a source of great 
joy for us and for people throughout the country. The very fact that today we are holding 
this grand gathering, unparalleled in the history of science in China, clearly indicates that 
the days are gone forever when the Gang of Four — Wang Hongwen , Zhang Chunqiao , 
Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan — could wantonly sabotage the cause of science and 
persecute intellectuals. Never before have the whole Party and people been so interested 
in science and technology and given them so much attention. Vast numbers of scientists, 
technicians, workers, peasants and armymen are actively participating in the movement 
for scientific experiment. Young people are becoming interested in science and eager to 
study it. The entire nation is setting out with tremendous enthusiasm on the march 
towards the modernization of our science and technology. Splendid prospects lie before 
us. 

Among those attending this conference there are outstanding scientists and technicians in 
various fields, highly able technical innovators, model labourers in scientific farming, and 
cadres devoted to the Party's tasks in the scientific field. You have all worked diligently 
for the progress of science and technology in our socialist motherland and made 
outstanding contributions in this regard. On behalf of the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China, I thank you and salute you. 

Comrades, 

Our people are undertaking the historic mission of modernizing our agriculture, industry, 
national defence and science and technology within the present century, in order to 
transform China into a modern and powerful socialist state. We have waged a bitter 
struggle against the Gang of Four over the question of whether the four modernizations 
are needed or not. The Gang made the senseless statement that ''the day the four 
modernizations programme is realized will mark the day of capitalist restoration". Their 
sabotage brought China's economy to the brink of collapse and led to a constant widening 
of the gap between us and the countries with the most advanced science and technology. 
Did the Gang really want to build socialism and oppose the restoration of capitalism? Not 
in the least. On the contrary, socialism sustained grave damage wherever their influence 



was strongest. Their misdeeds, serving as a negative example, make us realize all the 
more clearly that even though we have a dictatorship of the proletariat, unless we 
modernize our country, raise our scientific and technological level, develop our 
productive forces and thus strengthen our country and improve the material and cultural 
life of our people — unless we do all this, our socialist political and economic system 
cannot be fully consolidated, and there can be no sure guarantee for the country's 
security. The more our agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology 
are modernized, the stronger we will be in the struggle against forces which sabotage 
socialism, and the more our people will support the socialist system. Only if we make our 
country a modern, powerful socialist state can we more effectively consolidate the 
socialist system and cope with foreign aggression and subversion; only then can we be 
reasonably certain of gradually creating the material conditions for the advance to our 
great goal of communism. 

The key to the four modernizations is the modernization of science and technology. 
Without modern science and technology, it is impossible to build modern agriculture, 
modern industry or modern national defence. Without the rapid development of science 
and technology, there can be no rapid development of the economy. The Central 
Committee of the Party decided to call this national science conference in order to bring 
home to the Party and country the importance of science, to map out a programme, to 
commend advanced units and individuals and to discuss measures for speeding up the 
development of science and technology in China. Today, I would like to speak on some 
pertinent points. 

The first point is the necessity of understanding that science and technology are part of 
the productive forces. The Gang of Four raised a hue and cry over this, confounding right 
and wrong and sowing much confusion in people's minds. Marxism has consistently 
treated science and technology as part of the productive forces. More than a century ago, 
Marx said that expansion of the use of machinery in production requires the conscious 
application of natural science. Science too, he said, is among the productive forces. The 
development of modern science and technology has bound science and production ever 
more tightly together. It is becoming increasingly clear that science and technology are of 
tremendous significance as productive forces. 

Modern science and technology are now undergoing a great revolution. The advances 
over the last three decades have not been limited to particular scientific theories or 
production techniques, nor have they just represented progress and reform in the usual 
sense. Rather, profound changes have taken place and new leaps have been made in 
almost all areas. A whole range of new sciences and technologies is continuously 
emerging. Modern science opens the way for the improvement of production techniques 
and determines the direction of their development. Many new instruments of production 
and technical processes first come into being in the laboratory. A series of new industries, 
including high-polymer synthesis, atomic energy, electronic computers, semi-conductors, 
astronautics and lasers, have been founded on the basis of newly emerging sciences. Of 
course both now and in the future there will be many topics of theoretical research for 
which at the moment no practical application can be seen. But a host of historical facts 



have proved that once a major breakthrough is achieved in theoretical research, it leads, 
sooner or later, to enormous progress in production and technology. Contemporary 
natural science is being applied to production on an unprecedented scale and with 
unprecedented speed. This has given all fields of material production an entirely new 
look. In particular, the development of electronic computers, cybernetics and automation 
technology is rapidly raising the degree of automation in production. With the same 
manpower and the same number of man-hours, people can turn out scores or hundreds of 
times more products than before. What has brought about the tremendous advances in the 
productive forces and the vast increase in labour productivity? Mainly the power of 
science, the power of technology. 

We all know that the basic factors in the productive forces are the means of production 
and labour power. What is the relationship of science and technology to these two 
factors? Throughout history, the means of production have always been linked with a 
given type of science and technology, and, likewise, labour power has always meant 
labour power armed with a certain degree of knowledge of science and technology. We 
often say that man is the most active productive force. ""Man" here refers to people who 
possess a certain amount of scientific knowledge, experience in production and skill in 
the use of tools to create material wealth. There were vast differences between the 
instruments of production man used, his mastery of scientific knowledge, and his 
production experience and skills in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages and in the 17th, 18th 
and 19th centuries. Today, the rapid progress of science and technology is speeding up 
the introduction of new production equipment and new technological processes. Many 
products are superseded in a matter of a few years by a new generation of products. Only 
by acquiring a higher level of scientific and general knowledge, richer experience in 
production and more advanced skills can the worker expand his role in modern 
production. In our society, the workers have a high degree of political awareness and 
study assiduously for the conscious purpose of raising their level of scientific and general 
knowledge, so they will doubtless be able to achieve a higher productivity of labour than 
that under capitalism. 

The recognition that science and technology are productive forces leads in turn to the 
following question: How should the mental labour involved in scientific research be 
regarded? Now that science and technology are becoming increasingly important 
productive forces, should scientists and technicians be considered as workers or not? 

In societies under the rule of exploiting classes, there are various kinds of mental 
workers. Some are wholly in the service of the reactionary ruling classes and thus stand 
in an antagonistic relationship to manual workers. But even in such a situation, as Lenin 
said, many of the intellectuals engaged in scientific and technical work are themselves 
not capitalists but scholars, even though they are filled with bourgeois prejudices. The 
fruits of their work are used by the exploiters, but in general this is determined by the 
social system and not by their own free choice. They are totally different from those 
politicians who rack their brains for expedients of direct service to the reactionary ruling 
classes. Marx pointed out that ordinary engineers and technicians join in the creation of 
surplus value. That is to say, they, too, are exploited by the capitalists. 



In a socialist society, the mental workers trained by the working class itself are different 
from intellectuals in any exploitative society past or present. Comrade Mao Zedong 
pointed out during the period of socialist transformation in China that intellectuals from 
the old society became faced with the question of which ""skin" to attach themselves to. 
Class contradictions and class struggle continue to exist throughout the historical period 
of socialism, and so throughout this period, intellectuals must decide whether or not they 
will adopt and maintain the stand of the working class. But generally speaking, the 
overwhelming majority of them are already intellectuals serving the working class and 
other working people. It can therefore be said that they are already part of the working 
class itself. They differ from the manual workers only insofar as they perform different 
roles in the social division of labour. Everyone who works, whether with his hands or 
with his brain, is part of the working people in a socialist society. With the advance of 
modern science and technology and with progress in the four modernizations, a great deal 
of heavy manual work will gradually be taken over by machines. Among workers directly 
engaged in production, manual labour will steadily decrease while mental labour will 
constantly increase. Moreover, there will be a growing demand for researchers and for 
scientists and technicians. The Gang of Four distorted the division of labour between 
mental and manual work in our society today, misrepresenting it as a class antagonism. 
Their aim was to attack and persecute intellectuals, undermine the alliance between the 
workers and peasants and the intellectuals, damage the productive forces, and sabotage 
our socialist revolution and construction. 

Science and technology are part of the productive forces. Mental workers who serve 
socialism are part of the working people. A correct understanding of these two facts is 
essential to the rapid development of our scientific enterprises. Once we have accepted 
these premises, it follows that we must make every effort to develop scientific research 
and education in science and to encourage the revolutionary initiative of our scientific, 
technical and educational workers. For this is essential if we are to accomplish the four 
modernizations in the short space of 20-odd years and bring about a gigantic growth in 
our productive forces. 

Our science and technology have made enormous progress since the founding of New 
China and have played a vital role in economic construction and in building up our 
national defence. All this would have been unthinkable in the old China. No one can deny 
this impressive achievement. But we must be clear-sighted and recognize that there is still 
an enormous gap between the level of our science and technology and that of the most 
advanced countries, and that our scientific and technical forces are still too meagre to 
meet the needs of our modernization programme. In particular, we have lost a lot of time 
as a result of the sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. 

Where do we stand in terms of production technology? Several hundred million people 
are occupied in producing food, and the problem of grain has not really been solved yet. 
Labour productivity in our iron and steel industry is only a small percentage of that 
achieved in the advanced countries. The gap is still wider in the newer industries. In the 
latter, a lag of only three to five years — to say nothing of 8 to 10 or 10 to 20 — creates a 
really big gap. 



Comrade Mao Zedong often reminded us that China ought to make a greater contribution 
to humanity. In ancient times, China scored brilliant achievements in science and 
technology; its four great inventions [paper, printing, the compass and gunpowder] 
played a major role in advancing world civilization. We should not rest on our ancestors' 
achievements; rather such achievements should strengthen our resolve to catch up with 
and surpass the countries that are most advanced in science and technology. Our present 
contributions in these fields are far from commensurate with the standing of a socialist 
country such as ours. 

Will people be discouraged if we point out this backwardness as an objective fact? Some 
people, perhaps. But such people don't know the first thing about Marxism. As for us 
proletarian revolutionaries, stating the facts and making a serious analysis of their 
historical and current causes will enable us to plan our strategy and deploy our forces 
correctly and to work harder for rapid change. Only in this way, moreover, can we 
encourage people to learn from others willingly so that China can speedily master the 
world's latest science and technology. 

Backwardness must be recognized before it can be changed. One must learn from those 
who are more advanced before he can catch up with and surpass them. Of course, in order 
to raise China's scientific and technological level we must rely on our own efforts, 
develop our own creativity and persist in the policy of independence and self-reliance. 
But independence does not mean shutting the door on the world, nor does self-reliance 
mean blind opposition to everything foreign. Science and technology are part of the 
wealth created in common by all mankind. Every people or country should learn from the 
advanced science and technology of others. It is not just today, when we are scientifically 
and technologically backward, that we need to learn from others. Even after we catch up 
with the most advanced countries, we shall still have to learn from them in areas where 
they are particularly strong. 

China's revolution exerts an attraction on all the revolutionary people in the world, who 
identify with it. Our drive for socialist modernization has enlisted their interest and 
support and will continue to do so ever more widely. We must endeavour to increase 
international academic exchanges and expand our friendly contacts and co-operation with 
scientific circles in other countries. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all 
friends abroad who have helped us in science and technology. 

That was the first question I wanted to speak about. 

The second question is that of building a large contingent of scientific and technical 
personnel who are both ''red and expert". 

For the modernization of science and technology, we must have a mighty scientific and 
technical force serving the working class, a force which is both ''red and expert" and 
includes a large number of scientists, engineers and technicians who are first rate by 
world standards. It will not be easy for us to build up such a force. 



Here the important thing is to correctly understand what is meant by both ''red and 
expert" and set reasonable standards. 

The Gang of Four made the absurd claim that the more a person knew, the more 
reactionary he would become. They said they preferred labourers without culture and 
they touted an ignorant reactionary clown who handed in a blank examination paper as 
the model of a ''red expert". On the other hand, they vilified as "white and expert" those 
good comrades who studied diligently and contributed to the motherland's science and 
technology. For a time, this reversal of right and wrong and confounding of the people 
with the enemy caused deep confusion in many minds. 

Comrade Mao Zedong urged intellectuals to become both "red and expert" and 
encouraged persons with a bourgeois world outlook to remould it and acquire the 
proletarian world outlook. The basic question as regards world outlook is whom one is to 
serve. If a person loves our socialist motherland and is serving socialism and the workers, 
peasants and soldiers of his own free will and accord, then it should be said that he has 
begun to acquire a proletarian world outlook. In terms of political standards, he cannot be 
considered "white" but should be called "red". Our scientific undertakings are an 
integral part of our socialist cause. Working devotedly for our socialist scientific 
enterprises and making contributions to them is, of course, a sign that one is expert; in a 
sense, it is also a sign that one is "red". 

Imbued with Mao Zedong Thought, our contingent of scientists and technicians has made 
truly rapid progress in the last 28 years. The large majority of them love the Party and 
socialism, are striving to integrate themselves with the workers, peasants and soldiers, 
and work wholeheartedly and successfully at their jobs. Their faith in the Party and in 
socialism never wavered, even when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were persecuting 
and tormenting intellectuals, and they kept on working in their specialities under 
extremely difficult conditions. Many showed a high level of political awareness in the 
struggle against the Gang, and when it was smashed their deep revolutionary enthusiasm 
was released. They fully support the Central Committee of the Party and are working 
harder than ever for the four modernizations. These scientists and technicians are 
invaluable to us. On the whole, they have truly proved that they are both "red and 
expert", that they are the scientific and technical contingent of our working class. 

Naturally this does not mean that these scientists and technicians all have a very high 
level of consciousness politically and ideologically or that there are no mistakes or 
defects in their way of thinking, work style or day-to-day work. It does mean that judged 
by the basic criterion, that of political stand, the overwhelming majority of them are 
revolutionary intellectuals; they take the stand of the working class and constitute a force 
our Party can rely on. Of course, they on their part should not be complacent or cease to 
move forward, but should keep on striving for fresh progress both politically and in their 
own professions. As for their shortcomings and mistakes, these are matters for education 
and assistance, to be overcome through criticism and self-criticism. No one is free from 
shortcomings or exempt from making mistakes. Take people like us, cadres doing 
political work, veteran cadres who have been in the Party for decades. Don't we also have 



shortcomings and make errors of one kind or another? Why should we be more 
demanding of vocational cadres and technical experts than of ourselves? As for scientists 
and technicians who have undesirable family backgrounds, who made mistakes in the 
past or whose families and social connections present some problems, we should judge 
them mainly by their own basic political attitudes, by their actual behaviour and by their 
contributions to socialist revolution and construction. 

There is also a group of scientists and technicians whose bourgeois world outlook has not 
fundamentally changed or who are still deeply influenced by bourgeois ideology. In the 
midst of sharp, intense and complicated class struggle they often waver. But as long as 
they are not opposed to the Party and socialism, we should unite with them and educate 
them, promote their special skills, respect their work, take an interest in their progress 
and give them a warm helping hand. Comrade Mao Zedong consistently held that the 
more people we had in our revolutionary ranks the better, that we should respect those 
who have knowledge and specialized skills or have made contributions, and that our 
attitude towards any person who has made mistakes should be, first, to observe and, 
second, to help him instead of turning away from him. We must earnestly put these 
teachings of Comrade Mao Zedong into practice. 

In our socialist society, everyone should remould himself — not just persons who have 
not changed their basic stand, but everybody. We should all engage in a continued 
process of learning and transforming our thinking. We should all study fresh problems, 
absorb what is new and consciously guard against corrosion by bourgeois ideology. In 
this way, we will be better able to carry out the glorious and arduous task of building a 
modern, powerful socialist country. 

Scientists and technicians should concentrate their energies on their professional work. 
When we say that at least five-sixths of their work time should be left free for 
professional work, this is meant as the minimum requirement. It would be better still if 
more time were made available. If someone works seven days and seven nights a week to 
meet the needs of science or production, it shows his lofty and selfless devotion to the 
cause of socialism. We should commend, encourage and learn from such people. It has 
been demonstrated countless times that only those who devote themselves heart and soul 
to their work, who constantly strive for perfection and fear neither hardship nor 
disappointment can reach the pinnacles of science. We cannot demand that scientists and 
technicians, or at any rate, the overwhelming majority of them, study stacks of books on 
political theory, join in numerous social activities and attend many meetings not related 
to their work. Lin Biao and the Gang of Four frequently attacked scientists and 
technicians, accusing them of being ""divorced from politics" and labelling those who 
studied diligently to enrich their knowledge and improve their skills as ""white and 
expert". ""White" is a political concept. Only those who take a reactionary political stand 
opposed to the Party and socialism can be called ""white". How can one pin the ""white" 
label on a person who studies hard to enrich his knowledge and improve his skills? 
Scientists and technicians who have flaws of one kind or another in their ideology or their 
style of work shouldn't be called ""white" unless they are against the Party and socialism. 
How can our scientists and technicians who work diligently at socialist scientific 



enterprises be accused of being divorced from politics? The cause of socialism calls for a 
division of labour. So long as they keep to the socialist political stand, comrades who 
devote their best efforts to their posts in different trades and professions are not divorced 
from politics at all; on the contrary, their devoted work is a concrete manifestation of 
their socialist consciousness. A few years ago, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were 
making it difficult for workers to do their jobs, for peasants to till the land, for armymen 
to do their military training, for students to study and for scientists and technicians to 
improve their professional skills. This has inflicted heavy losses on the socialist cause. 
Hasn't it been a profound lesson? 

While making full use of the abilities of our present scientists and technicians and trying 
to increase their proficiency, we must also exert ourselves to train new personnel. Owing 
to the sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, there is an age gap in our scientific and 
technical ranks which makes the training of a younger generation of personnel all the 
more urgent. 

We have a vast pool of talent from which to select and train scientists and technicians. 
The recent reform in our system of college enrolment has brought to light many fine 
young people who are both hard-working and talented. We are very happy to see their 
outstanding accomplishments. Though the Gang of Four ran amok for a time, they failed 
to extinguish the young people's enthusiasm for study or to crush the teachers' 
revolutionary determination to educate the next generation for the Party and the people. 
Today the Central Committee is paying close attention to science and education and 
laying heavy stress on the training and selection of talented people. We can foresee that a 
new era will soon open, in which talented people will come to the fore in great numbers 
like a galaxy of brilliant stars. The future of science lies with our youth. The maturing of 
the younger generation holds the best hope for the success of our cause. 

General education is basic to the training of scientific and technical personnel. We must 
carry out the Party's policy on education comprehensively and correctly, put it on the 
right track and introduce appropriate reforms, so as to ensure both quantitative and 
qualitative progress. Education is not just the concern of the educational units; Party 
committees at all levels must treat it as a major issue. Every trade and profession should 
support it and try to establish its own schools. The people's teachers are gardeners 
cultivating our revolutionary successors. Their creative labour should be respected by the 
Party and the people. We must see to it that they have enough time for teaching, and we 
must make proper arrangements for their political life, working conditions and 
professional studies. Teachers who make outstanding contributions in pedagogy should 
be commended and rewarded. 

We must place particular stress on nurturing talent and break with routine ways of 
discovering, selecting and training outstanding people. This was one of the big issues 
about which the Gang of Four spread utter confusion. Scientists, professors and engineers 
distinguished for their contributions were labelled ""bourgeois academic authorities", and 
outstanding young and middle-aged scientists and technicians trained by our Party and 
state were vilified as ""shoots of revisionism". We must eradicate for good the pernicious 



influence of the Gang of Four and take up the major task of producing — as quickly as 
possible — experts in science and technology who are up to the highest international 
standards. Comrade Mao Zedong said in the early period of the War of Resistance 
Against Japan [1937-451 that our Party's fighting capacity would be greatly enhanced and 
Japanese imperialism more quickly defeated if there were one or two hundred comrades 
with a grasp of Marxism-Leninism which was systematic rather than fragmentary, and 
genuine rather than hollow. The revolutionary cause needs outstanding revolutionaries, 
and our scientific undertakings need outstanding scientists. Our working-class scientists 
of outstanding talent are born of the people and serve the people. Only a broad mass base 
can generate the continued flow of talents which can help raise the scientific and cultural 
level of the Chinese nation as a whole. 

The discovery and training of talented people by our scientists and teachers is in itself an 
achievement and a contribution to the country. The history of science shows us the 
tremendous importance of discovering genuinely talented persons. Some of the world's 
scientists look upon the finding and training of new talent as the crowning achievement 
of a lifetime devoted to science. There is much to be said for this view. A number of 
contemporary China's outstanding mathematicians were discovered while still young by 
older mathematicians who helped them mature. Some of the newcomers may have 
surpassed their teachers in scientific achievement, but that only makes the teachers' 
contributions all the more precious. 

The third question I want to discuss is how to introduce, in our scientific and technical 
units, the system whereby directors of the research institutes assume overall 
responsibility for work there under the leadership of the respective Party committees. 

The rapid growth of China's science and technology depends on good Party leadership in 
these fields. Our country has entered a new period of development, and the main focus 
and the style of the Party's work ought both to change correspondingly. Party committees 
at various levels should simultaneously attend to class struggle, the struggle for 
production, and scientific experiment without neglecting any one of them. We should 
encourage scientific experiments by the masses themselves so as to generate steady 
technical progress and new production records. There are several hundred thousand 
industrial enterprises and several hundred thousand agricultural production brigades in 
our country. The extensive application of advanced science and technology to industry 
and agriculture and the greater, faster, better and more economical growth of production 
can be brought about only if every enterprise and every production brigade does its best 
to carry out technical transformation and scientific experimentation. But at the same time, 
we must also try to make the best use of our specialized scientific research institutes. 
Professional researchers are the mainstay of scientific work. Without a strong contingent 
of top-flight professionals, it will be difficult to scale the heights of modern science and 
technology, and also difficult for scientific experimentation by the masses to advance in 
any sustained way. We must try to combine the efforts of the specialists with those of the 
masses. 



The Central Committee has decided that a system of individual responsibility for 
technical work should be established in scientific research organizations, and that the 
directors of institutes should assume overall responsibility under the leadership of the 
Party committees. These organizational measures will be valuable in strengthening the 
leading role of the Party committees while giving full scope to the skills and talents of the 
professionals. 

The basic task of our scientific research organizations is to produce results and train 
talent. They must bring about more and better scientific and technical achievements and 
train scientific and technical personnel who are both ''red and expert". The degree to 
which the organizations fulfil this basic task should be the main criterion forjudging the 
work of their Party committees. Only when they truly fulfil it can we say that they have 
done their duty in helping to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and to build 
socialism. 

Much has to be done to accomplish this basic task, but it is impossible for Party 
committees to handle everything. We must honestly admit that there are still many things 
in scientific and technical work that we do not understand. And even if we did, it would 
still be impossible for the Party committees to handle everything. There must be a 
division of labour with a system of specific individual responsibility for each post, from 
top to bottom. This is the only way to ensure order and efficiency in our work. And it is 
the only way to clearly define each person's duties, to distribute rewards and penalties 
correctly, to avoid procrastination and evasion of responsibility, and to prevent people 
from getting in each other's way. 

The leadership given by Party committees should be primarily political; that is, they 
should ensure the correct political orientation of the work of the units concerned, see to it 
that the Party's line, principles and policies are followed and arouse and mobilize the 
enthusiasm of all concerned. Such leadership should be exercised through planning. 
Good plans for scientific research must be drawn up, personnel must be carefully 
evaluated and properly placed, and all forces must be well organized. For the plans to be 
carried out and for scientific research to advance, it is also necessary to guarantee support 
services for the scientists and technicians, providing them with proper working 
conditions. This too is part of the work of the Party committees. I am willing to be your 
director of support services and to co-operate with the leading comrades of Party 
committees at various levels to do the job properly. 

As far as leadership over scientific and technical work is concerned, we should give the 
directors and deputy directors of the research organizations a free hand. Party committees 
should support both Party and non-Party professionals occupying administrative posts 
and enable them to fulfil their roles by giving them power and responsibility 
commensurate with their positions. These professionals, like us, are cadres of the Party 
and the state and we must never treat them as outsiders. Party committees should be 
acquainted with their work and check up on it, but whould not attempt to take it over. 



We must give full play to democracy and follow the mass line, trusting the judgement of 
the scientists and technicians in such matters as the evaluation of scientific papers, the 
assessment of the competence of professional personnel, the elaboration of plans for 
scientific research and the evaluation of research results. When views diverge on 
scholarly questions, we must follow the policy of ""letting a hundred schools of thought 
contend" and encourage free discussion. In scientific and technical work, we must listen 
closely to the opinions of the experts and leave them free to use all their skills and talents 
so as to achieve better results and reduce our errors to the minimum. This is a vital aspect 
of the application of the mass line by the Party committees in scientific research 
organizations. 

Will our insistence on allowing scientists and technicians to concentrate on their 
professional work make our political tasks lighter or less demanding? No, it will not. It 
will require us to raise the level of our political work, improve our methods, discard 
formalism, eliminate the pernicious influence of the Gang of Four and learn 
conscientiously from the fine traditions of political work in the People's Liberation Army. 
We must support all demands and suggestions that will further scientific work in our 
socialist society. And we must criticize and educate those who pursue personal gain, who 
refuse to share their findings or to work in co-operation with others, who try to 
monopolize information, who plagiarize the work of others or whose ideas and styles of 
work are detrimental in any other way. Since we are engaged in socialist modernization 
and are advancing towards the mastery of modern science and technology, a key task in 
our current political work is to ensure that all scientists and technicians understand how 
their work relates to the grand goal of the four modernizations. They must be mobilized 
to collaborate in a revolutionary spirit and with one heart and mind so as to storm the 
citadels of science. 

Although our Party has accumulated some experience in giving leadership to scientific 
and technical work for over 20 years, we must admit that we are still to a large extent in 
the ""kingdom of necessity", that is, prisoners of our ignorance of the work concerned, 
and have much to learn about organizing, managing and guiding it effectively. Until this 
state of affairs changes, it will be difficult for us to score major successes and the 
initiative will not be in our hands. Comrade Mao Zedong taught us that persons who are 
in the dark cannot light the way for others. Leading Party cadres at various levels must 
not be content to remain laymen in science and technology. They must dig in and 
gradually learn the trade. We must apply ourselves to the study of Marxism and raise our 
political level, but at the same time we must try to acquire scientific knowledge, to sum 
up the successes and failures in our work, to study and grasp the objective laws governing 
scientific and technical work and to implement the Party's principles and policies 
correctly without neglecting any aspect of them. Just as our Party was able to lead the 
people in overthrowing the system of exploitation and transforming society, so it will 
most certainly be able to grasp the laws governing scientific and technical work and lead 
the people in conquering the heights of world science. 

What is right and what is wrong in regard to political line has been basically clarified, we 
have mapped out a programme and the measures for carrying it out, and the masses are 



already on the move. The task that now confronts Party organizations at all levels is to 
inspire real enthusiasm in the masses, to find real solutions to problems and to do really 
solid work. In a word, we must put everything on a firm footing. We must put a stop to 
formalism and to the pursuit of appearances without regard for practical results, real 
efficiency, actual speed, quality or cost. Bad habits like empty talk, boasting and lying 
must be stamped out. 

Comrades, 

The Eleventh Party Congress , the First Session of the Fifth National People's Congress 
and the First Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political 
Consultative Conference, which were convened in succession, have fully demonstrated 
the great unity of our Party and the great unity of the people of all our nationalities. This 
National Conference on Science is likewise a demonstration of unity. The unity of the 
Party and the unity of the people — these are the basic guarantees for the triumph of our 
cause. Let us hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought and, under the 
leadership of the Central Committee of the Party, march unswervingly and victoriously 
towards the grand goal of building a modern and powerful socialist country! 

May science flourish and grow! May this conference be a complete success! 

ADHERE TO THE PRINCIPLE TO EACH 
ACCORDING TO HIS WORK" 

March 28, 1978 



I have read the article, ""Implement the Socialist Principle "To Each According to His 
Work' ", drafted by the Office of Research on Political Affairs under the State Council. 
It's a good article, and it explains why the principle discussed is socialist, not capitalist. 
But it still needs some revision to make clear how the principle applies to current 
practical problems. 

We must adhere to this socialist principle which calls for distribution according to the 
quantity and quality of an individual's work. In accordance with this principle, a person's 
grade on the pay scale is determined mainly by his performance on the job, his technical 
level and his actual contribution. Political attitude should also be taken into account, but 
it must be made clear that a good political attitude should find expression mainly in a 
good performance in socialist labour and a greater contribution to society. If, in handling 
distribution, we judged mainly on the basis of a person's politics rather than on the basis 
of his work, that would mean we were following the principle ""to each according to his 
politics" rather than ""to each according to his work". In short, distribution should be 
made only according to a person's work, not according to his politics or his seniority. 

We are following a policy of low pay, and will continue doing so for a considerable time 
to come. At present, the maximum monthly pay for a worker of Grade 8 [the highest 



grade at present] is a little over 100 yuan. In the future, as production expands, there will 
gradually be more promotions to higher grades on the pay scale, and the amount of pay 
accruing to each grade will also be increased. Today, salaries for primary school teachers 
are too low. The work of good primary school teachers is quite onerous, so their salaries 
should be raised. In future, those primary school teachers who have done an excellent job 
may be classified as special-grade on the pay scale. The special-grade system should be 
introduced in all trades and professions so as to encourage people to devote their entire 
lives to one line of work. 

It is imperative to institute a system for the evaluation of work. The evaluations must be 
strict, comprehensive and regular, and they should be made in all trades and professions. 
In the future, promotion on the pay scale will be based on the result of these evaluations. 
Those who reach the required standard will be upgraded and may even jump grades. 
Those who do not won't be promoted. 

We must have rewards and penalties, and the criteria must be perfectly clear. Those 
whose work is evaluated as good should be paid at a different rate from those who have 
done poorly. Our general policy is to place moral encouragement first, material incentives 
second. The awarding of medals and certificates of merit constitutes moral 
encouragement and represents a political honour. This is essential. However, material 
incentives cannot be dispensed with either. All related measures which have proved 
effective in the past should be restored. The bonus system should also be reinstated. 
Money awards should be given to those who have made special contributions, including 
inventors and innovators. As for persons who have scored major achievements in 
scientific research, in addition to being given awards for their inventions or innovations, 
they should be promoted on the pay scale. On the other hand, if a person has no 
achievement to his credit after several years' effort, he should be asked to switch to some 
other occupation. According to a decision recently made in Romania, a somewhat higher 
remuneration will be given to cadres and workers in factories which do good work, while 
those in factories which do poorer work will be docked. This makes a clear distinction 
between reward and penalty. The system of making additional payments to writers and 
artists for articles, etc. should be restored, with some modifications in the light of the new 
situation. 

There is still a lot to be done to implement the principle ''to each according to his work". 
Some problems must be solved step by step, through investigation and study. Some 
former practices should be restored, and some new ones introduced. The point of all this 
is to encourage people to make progress. 

(Excerpt from a talk to leading members of the Office of Research on Political Affairs 
under the State Council.) 

SPEECH AT THE NATIONAL 
CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION 

April 22, 1978 



Comrades, 

There have been many new developments on the educational front since the smashing of 
the Gang of Four and particularly since the college enrolment system was reformed and 
the ""two appraisals" were criticized. These achievements should be fully recognized. 
Still, both in educational circles and in society at large, people are hoping for even faster 
progress in this sphere. There are many problems to be solved and many things to be 
done in this connection. Today, I would like to offer some opinions on the subject. 

First, we must improve the quality of education and raise the level of teaching in the 
sciences, social sciences and humanities so as to serve socialist construction better. 

Our schools are places for the training of competent personnel for socialist construction. 
Are there qualitative standards for such training? Yes, there are. They were stated by 
Comrade Mao Zedong: We should enable everyone who receives an education to develop 
morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker possessed of both socialist 
consciousness and a general education. 

The Gang of Four were opposed to placing strict demands on students in their study of 
the sciences, social sciences and humanities, and to making such studies the main 
concern of the students. They made the ridiculous claim that that would be ""putting 
intellectual education first" and thus ""being divorced from proletarian politics". They 
declared that they would rather have labourers without education and that the more a 
person knew, the more reactionary he would become. What is more, they slandered all 
working people or children of working people who had received some education, calling 
them ""bourgeois intellectuals". Even today, much effort is still needed to eliminate the 
pernicious influence of these absurdities spread by the Gang. 

Lenin emphasized time and again that the workers should not for a minute forget their 
need for knowledge. Without knowledge, he said, they would have no way of defending 
themselves, while with it they would be strong. The importance of this truth stands out 
even more clearly today. We must train workers with a high level of scientific and 
general knowledge and build a vast army of working-class intellectuals who are both 
""red and expert". Only then will we be able to master and advance modern science and 
culture and the new technologies and skills in every trade and profession. Only then will 
we be able to attain a productivity of labour higher than that under capitalism, transform 
China into a modern and powerful socialist country and ultimately defeat bourgeois 
influences in the superstructure. Proletarian politics demands that all these be done. 

Beyond all doubt, schools should always attach first importance to a firm and correct 
political orientation. But this doesn't mean they should devote a great many classroom 
hours to ideological and political teaching. Students must indeed give top priority to a 
firm and correct political orientation, but that by no means implies that they should 
abandon the study of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. On the contrary, the 



higher the students' political consciousness, the more consciously and diligently they will 
apply themselves to the study of these subjects for the sake of the revolution. Hence the 
Gang of Four were not only being utterly ridiculous but were actually negating and 
betraying proletarian politics when they opposed efforts to improve the quality of 
education and to raise the students' scientific and cultural level on the basis of a firm, 
correct political orientation and declared that that was ""putting intellectual education 
first". 

It is not good to put too heavy a load on students, and we should continue to take 
effective measures to prevent this bad practice or remedy it. But it is equally obvious that 
we will not be able to raise the level of our scientific and cultural knowledge substantially 
unless we maintain the work style of the ""three honests and four stricts" , and unless 
demands are exacting and training rigorous. If we are to catch up with and surpass the 
advanced countries in science and technology, we must improve not only the quality of 
our higher education but, first of all, that of our primary and secondary education. In 
other words, the primary and secondary school courses should be enriched with advanced 
scientific knowledge, presented in ways the pupils at these levels can understand. 

Examinations are a necessary way of checking on the performance of students and 
teachers, just as the testing of factory products is a necessary means of quality control. Of 
course, we must not put blind faith in examinations or consider them the only method for 
checking up on study. Conscientious research and experimentation are required to 
improve the form and content of examinations and make them serve their purpose better. 
Students who don't do well on their examinations should be encouraged and helped to 
continue their efforts instead of being subjected to unnecessary psychological pressure. 

Second, our schools must make an effort to strengthen revolutionary order and discipline, 
bring up a new generation with socialist consciousness and help to revolutionize the 
moral tone of our society. 

Not only did the sabotage of education by the Gang of Four cause an alarming decline in 
the quality of scientific and cultural education; it also did grave damage to ideological 
and political education in the schools, undermined school discipline and sapped the 
revolutionary spirit of socialist society. The Gang shouted to high heaven about the 
importance of politics, but in fact their politics were counter-revolutionary and anti- 
socialist. They used the most decadent and reactionary exploiting-class ideas in their 
attempt to poison the minds of our young people and turn them into illiterate hooligans. 
The eradication of the Gang's pernicious influence is a political task which is of the 
utmost importance and which has a direct bearing on the consolidation of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat in China. 

We should foster revolutionary ideals and communist morality in young people from 
childhood. This has always been a fine tradition in our Party's educational work. During 
the years of revolutionary wars, members of the Children's Corps and the Communist 
Youth League performed stirring deeds of heroism. After Liberation, young people were 
encouraged to carry on this fine tradition by the schools, the Young Pioneers and the 



Youth League. For a long time, our children and young people studied well and made 
progress every day. They were filled with love for their motherland, for the people and 
for labour, science and public property, and they struggled heroically and resourcefully 
against bad elements and enemies, setting the tone for a new era. The revolutionary spirit 
in our schools helped foster a revolutionary spirit in our whole society. This spirit was 
unprecedented in Chinese history and won the admiration of people the world over. We 
hope that not only the comrades working in education and related fields but also every 
family in our society will pay close attention to the ideological and political progress of 
our children and young people, so as to revive and enrich the fine revolutionary traditions 
which the Gang of Four undermined. Comrade Mao Zedong once said: '' All departments 
and organizations should shoulder their responsibilities in ideological and political work. 
This applies to the Communist Party, the Youth League, government departments in 
charge of this work, and especially to heads of educational institutions and teachers." The 
responsibility for training young successors for the revolutionary cause rests particularly 
heavily on the primary and secondary school teachers and on kindergarten personnel. We 
should strive to inculcate in our young people the revolutionary style of diligent study, 
observance of discipline, love of labour, pleasure in helping others, defiance of hardships 
and courage in the face of the enemy. In this way they can become fine and competent 
people loyal to the socialist motherland, to the proletarian revolutionary cause and to 
Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Thus, when they finish their schooling 
and take up their jobs, they will be workers imbued with a strong sense of political 
responsibility and collectivism and a firm revolutionary ideology; their style of work will 
be to seek truth from facts and follow the mass line, and they will observe strict discipline 
and work wholeheartedly for the people. 

We hope that everyone will do his best to make progress because, when all is said and 
done, progress depends on individual effort. Collective effort is the sum of individual 
efforts. And individual effort will continue to differ even in communist society. Comrade 
Mao Zedong once said that 10,000 years hence there will still be a gap between the 
advanced and the backward. Therefore, while we encourage and help everyone to do his 
best, we have to recognize that differences in the abilities and character of different 
people will manifest themselves in the course of their development. We must take these 
differences into account and do everything possible to enable each individual, in 
accordance with his particular circumstances, to keep pace with the general movement of 
society towards socialism and communism. At the same time, conscientious efforts must 
be made and strict measures taken to correct and reform those who seriously undermine 
revolutionary order and discipline and refuse to mend their ways after repeated efforts to 
educate them; in no case should we let a handful of such persons harm our schools and 
society as a whole. 

From now on, it is not only the secondary schools and institutions of higher education 
that should examine applicants in an overall way — taking into account their moral and 
intellectual qualities and the state of their health — and admit only those who are best 
qualified. All units should gradually follow suit and recruit only those job applicants who 
are best qualified. This will require that students be enabled to develop morally, 
intellectually and physically and to become workers with both socialist consciousness 



and a general education. Thus the policy put forward by Comrade Mao Zedong to the 
same effect will be thoroughly implemented in all aspects of social life. This system of 
selection will be most useful in raising the political, scientific and cultural levels of our 
working personnel, in meeting the special needs of different trades and professions, and 
in creating, among the young people and throughout our society, a revolutionary 
atmosphere in which everyone is eager to make progress and work hard and is unwilling 
to lag behind. 

Third, education must meet the requirements of our country's economic development. 

To train qualified personnel for socialist construction, we must try to find improved ways 
of combining education with productive labour, ways that are suited to our new 
conditions. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Comrade Mao Zedong all laid great stress on 
combining education with productive labour. They considered this to be one of the most 
powerful means for reforming society under capitalism. They also believed that after the 
seizure of political power by the proletariat, it should be the fundamental way to train a 
new generation that would integrate theory with practice, unite study with practical 
application and develop in an all-round way, and they looked upon it as an essential 
measure for gradually abolishing the distinction between mental and manual labour. As 
early as 80 years ago, Lenin said: "\.. Neither training and education without productive 
labour, nor productive labour without parallel training and education [can] be raised to 
the degree required by the present level of technology and the state of scientific 
knowledge." In our own day, rapid economic and technological progress demands rapid 
improvement in the quality and efficiency of education. This includes steady 
improvement in the methods of combining study with productive labour and of selecting 
the type of labour appropriate for this purpose. 

To this end, educational institutions of all types and levels must make appropriate 
decisions as to what kind of labour the students should engage in, which factories and 
rural areas they should go to and for how long, and how to relate their labour closely to 
their studies. More important still, education as a whole must be in keeping with the 
requirements of our growing economy. If, on the contrary, what the students learn isn't 
suited to the needs of their future jobs, if they study what they aren't going to apply or if 
they can't apply what they study, won't this flatly violate the principle of combining 
education with productive labour? And, if that is so, how can we arouse the students' 
enthusiasm for study and work and how can education meet the enormous demands 
placed on it by the new historical period? 

As our economy develops in a planned and balanced way, we must also carefully plan the 
training of future workers and professionals to meet its needs. We must bear in mind not 
only immediate needs but future ones as well. We must make plans that take into full 
account not only the needs of growing production and construction but also the trends in 
modern science and technology. 

The State Planning Commission, the Ministry of Education and other organizations 
should collaborate in making education an integral component of the national economic 



plan. We should co-ordinate the development of various types and levels of educational 
institutions and, in particular, we should plan to increase the number of agricultural 
secondary schools and vocational and technical secondary schools. We should also 
consider what types of institutions of higher learning to build up, how to readjust the 
specialities offered, how to institute the courses on basic theory and how to improve 
teaching materials. We must take steps to accelerate the development of modern media of 
education, including radio and television. Broadcasting offers an important means of 
developing education with greater, faster, better and more economical results, and we 
should take full advantage of it. We should study and find ways of co-ordinating 
productive labour and scientific experiment and research more effectively in our schools 
so as to better meet the needs of our economic and educational plans. In order to speed up 
the training of qualified personnel and to raise the overall level of education, we must 
consider concentrating our forces and strengthening key colleges and universities and key 
primary and secondary schools, thus raising their level as quickly as possible. 

From now on, the state will be trying to open up new productive enterprises and new 
lines of work so as to serve the four modernizations more effectively. In working out our 
educational plan, we should co-ordinate it with the state plan for the utilization of labour 
and consider how to meet the needs for increased employment. 

Lastly, I would like to say a few words about ensuring respect for the labour of our 
teachers and about improving their qualifications. 

Teachers are the key to a school's success in training personnel suited to the needs of our 
socialist construction, that is, its success in training workers who have both socialist 
consciousness and a good general education and who are highly developed morally, 
intellectually and physically. 

In the past two decades and more, we have built up a contingent of nine million teachers 
devoted to serving the people. The overwhelming majority of teachers and other school 
personnel love the Party and socialism. They work industriously to provide a socialist 
education and so have made great contributions to the nation and the proletariat. 
Educational workers who serve the people are high-minded workers for the revolution. 
We salute this multitude of educational workers for their painstaking efforts and express 
our appreciation to all of them and especially to the primary school teachers, who have 
worked tirelessly under particularly difficult conditions to bring up successors for the 
revolutionary cause. 

We must raise the political and social status of teachers. They should command the 
respect not only of their students but also of the whole community. We urge students to 
respect their teachers and teachers to love their students. Respect and love, with teacher 
and student learning from each other — that is the appropriate comradely, revolutionary 
relationship between teachers and students. Outstanding educational workers should be 
commended, rewarded and widely acclaimed. 



The present pay scale for teachers, especially those in primary and secondary schools, 
should be reviewed. Proper steps should be taken to encourage people to dedicate their 
whole lives to education. Particularly outstanding teachers may be designated ""special- 
grade teachers". Owing to our country's economic limitations, we cannot bring about a 
marked improvement in the material life of teachers and other school personnel for the 
time being, but we must make every effort to create the conditions needed for this. The 
Party committees at all levels and the administrative authorities in charge of education 
should, first of all, do everything possible to provide better collective welfare services. 

All Party committees and Party organizations in the schools should take a warm interest 
in the teachers' ideological and political progress. They should help the teachers to study 
Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought so that more of them will have a firm 
proletarian, communist world outlook. We must make a point of recruiting outstanding 
teachers into the Party. The tasks of education are becoming heavier and heavier. All 
educational units must strive to raise the capabilities of teachers and improve the quality 
of instruction. The Ministry of Education and local educational departments should adopt 
effective measures to train teachers, making full use of radio and television, setting up 
training classes and advanced courses of various kinds, compiling reference material for 
teachers, and so forth. We hope that all teachers will work hard to steadily raise their 
political and professional levels and become increasingly socialist-minded and 
professionally competent. 

Comrades! I hope that some of the major issues in educational work will be fully 
discussed at this conference. We urge you to proceed in the revolutionary spirit of daring 
to think and speak. It doesn't matter if opinions differ. We can compare the different 
proposals. We must follow the mass line in everything we do. Good ideas can be 
produced only if democracy is practised fully within the ranks of the people. Of course, a 
good idea will not turn into reality by itself. Bright prospects remain merely idle talk 
unless we devise practical measures and work hard to implement them. If we are to 
achieve the four modernizations within a reasonable length of time, we must insist on a 
practical, revolutionary style of work that will gradually help us turn lofty ideals into 
reality. 

I believe that if — under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Party — we rely 
on the efforts of the teachers, students, administrators and other school workers, carry 
through to the end the struggle to expose and criticize the Gang of Four, and approach 
our work in a practical way, we will see more and more people of a new type emerge. 
Good news will pour in from the educational front as our work in this domain thrives the 
way it is doing in all others. 

REALIZE THE FOUR MODERNIZATIONS AND 
NEVER SEEK HEGEMONY 

May 7, 1978 



The entire Chinese nation rejoiced over the downfall of the Gang of Four. Things are 
better now and the mood of the people has improved. We are soberly aware that it is an 
arduous task to achieve the four modernizations , but we can manage. First of all, the 
entire Party is united, as are the people of the whole nation. Our people are hard-working 
and have a tradition of hard struggle. Second, we have laid a solid material foundation. 
Third, we have clearly defined principles whereby we shall make use of all the advanced 
technologies and achievements from around the world. The Gang of Four did not allow 
us to do so, calling this a slavish comprador philosophy. Science and technology have no 
class nature; capitalists make them serve capitalism, and socialist countries make them 
serve socialism. Ancient China had four great inventions (paper, printing, gunpowder and 
the compass -- Tr.), which later found their way to countries around the world. Why then 
should we be hesitant about making use of advanced technologies and achievements from 
around the world? We should make advanced technologies and achievements the starting 
point for our development. Finally, we have abundant natural resources. To sum up, the 
tremendous enthusiasm of our people, a substantial material foundation and our 
enormous resources, in addition to the introduction of state-of-the-art technology from 
around the world will make it possible for us to achieve the four modernizations. 
Naturally, the task will be far from easy. The world's advanced technologies continue to 
develop rapidly, with the rate of development no longer calculated in terms of years, but 
in terms of months, and even in terms of days, a trend which we call ''changes coming 
with each passing day". Even when we have realized the four modernizations, our output 
of industrial and agricultural products and our national income will remain relatively low 
when calculated on a per capita basis. Our current principles and policies are clearly 
defined, and our motto is ''less talk, more action". 

At present, we are still a relatively poor nation. It is impossible for us to undertake many 
international proletarian obligations, so our contributions remain small. However, once 
we have accomplished the four modernizations and the national economy has expanded, 
our contributions to mankind, and especially to the Third World, will be greater. As a 
socialist country, China shall always belong to the Third World and shall never seek 
hegemony. This idea is understandable because China is still quite poor, and is therefore 
a Third World country in the real sense of the term. The question is whether or not China 
will practise hegemony when it becomes more developed in the future. My friends, you 
are younger than I, so you will be able to see for yourselves what happens at that time. If 
it remains a socialist country, China will not practise hegemony and it will still belong to 
the Third World. Should China become arrogant, however, act like an overlord and give 
orders to the world, it would no longer be considered a Third World country. Indeed, it 
would cease to be a socialist country. I first addressed these points in a speech delivered 
at the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1974 . The current 
foreign policy, which was formulated by Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, 
will be passed on to our descendants. 

(Excerpt from a talk with an economic and trade delegation of the government of the 
Democratic Republic of Madagascar.) 

SPEECH AT THE ALL- ARMY CONFERENCE 



ON POLITICAL WORK 

June 2, 1978 



Comrades, 

This All-Army Conference on Political Work is another historic meeting, like the 
preceding meeting of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China. 

It has discussed and revised three draft documents: the decision on strengthening political 
work in the army, the regulations for such work and the regulations concerning the 
military service of army cadres. Once these documents are examined and approved by the 
Military Commission, the army will have rules and regulations to go by in its political 
work. 

This conference has focused on the problem of how to carry on the army's fine tradition 
in political work and to improve its combat effectiveness under new historical conditions. 
In line with Mao Zedong Thought and taking into account the army's realities, the 
participants have raised and analysed problems in an effort to solve them. That is very 
good and indeed essential. Having a well-defined central task — a clear-cut subject to deal 
with — they have focused their energies on the main issues, and the conference is 
proceeding more successfully day by day. It is taking place in a healthy, democratic 
atmosphere, with the participants airing their views freely and yet not equivocating on 
issues of principle. This has set a good example for the lower levels. In short, the 
conference has been fully satisfactory so far — a complete success. 

I am going to discuss four points. 

First, about seeking truth from facts. 

If we hold meetings, make reports, adopt resolutions and so on, it is all for the purpose of 
solving problems. Whether or not what we say and do actually solves problems correctly 
depends on our ability to integrate theory with practice, to sum up experience well and to 
base our actions on objective reality by seeking truth from facts and proceeding from the 
actual conditions. Only when we do all this will it be possible for us to solve problems 
more or less correctly. The correctness of the solutions is something which needs to be 
tested in practice. But if we fail to act in the way I've described, then it will surely be 
impossible for us to solve any problem correctly. 

Many comrades in our Party are persistent in their study of Marxism-Leninism and Mao 
Zedong Thought and in their efforts to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism 
with the practice of our revolution. This is very good and should certainly be encouraged. 
There are other comrades, however, who talk about Mao Zedong Thought every day, but 
who often forget, abandon or even oppose Comrade Mao's fundamental Marxist 



viewpoint and his method of seeking truth from facts, of always proceeding from reality 
and of integrating theory with practice. Some people even go further: they maintain that 
those who persist in seeking truth from facts, proceeding from reality and integrating 
theory with practice are guilty of a heinous crime. In essence, their view is that one need 
only parrot what was said by Marx, Lenin and Comrade Mao Zedong — that it is enough 
to reproduce their words mechanically. According to them, to do otherwise is to go 
against Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and against the guidelines of the 
Central Committee. This issue they have raised is no minor one, for it involves our 
general approach to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 

That we must never go against the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism and Mao 
Zedong Thought is beyond doubt. We must, however, integrate them with reality, analyse 
and study actual conditions and solve practical problems. Guidelines for our work must 
be set in conformity with actual conditions. This is a most fundamental approach and 
method of work, which every Communist must cleave to. The principle of seeking truth 
from facts is the point of departure, the fundamental point, in Mao Zedong Thought. This 
is materialism. If we fail to seek truth from facts, all our meetings will be nothing but 
empty talk, and we will never be able to solve any problems. 

Ever since the time Comrade Mao Zedong joined the communist movement and helped 
to found our Party, he always conducted investigations and studies of the objective social 
conditions and urged others to do likewise. He always fought resolutely against the 
erroneous tendency to divorce theory from practice and to act unrealistically, according 
to wishful thinking, or mechanically, according to books and instructions from above 
regardless of the actual conditions. In 1929, in the resolution he drafted for the Gutian 
Meeting, he sharply opposed subjectivism in the guidance of work, pointing out that this 
would ^' inevitably result either in opportunism or in putschism ". In 1930 he wrote the 
essay ""Oppose Book Worship", in which he advanced the scientific thesis, ""no 
investigation, no right to speak". He firmly opposed the misguided mentality of those 
who, in discussions within the Communist Party, could not open their mouths without 
citing a book, as if whatever was written in a book was right. Comrade Mao Zedong said: 
""To carry out a directive of a higher organ blindly, and seemingly without any 
disagreement, is not really to carry it out but is the most artful way of opposing or 
sabotaging it." He also stated: ""When we say Marxism is correct, it is certainly not 
because Marx was a "prophet' but because his theory has been proved correct in our 
practice and in our struggle. We need Marxism in our struggle. In our acceptance of his 
theory no such formalistic or mystical notion as that of "prophecy' ever enters our minds ." 

After the defeat of the ""Left" line of Wang Ming which had caused serious setbacks to 
the Chinese revolution. Comrade Mao Zedong summed up the lessons from this struggle 
and wrote, in 1936 and 1937, a series of immortal works including ""Problems of Strategy 
in China's Revolutionary War", ""On Practice" and ""On Contradiction". In these he laid 
the ideological and theoretical foundation for our Party. He pointed out: ""Marxists hold 
that man's social practice alone is the criterion of the truth of his knowledge of the 
external world.... The dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge places practice in the 
primary position, holding that human knowledge can in no way be separated from 



practice and repudiating all the erroneous theories which deny the importance of practice 
or separate knowledge from practice ." He also said: ""Our dogmatists are lazybones. They 
refuse to undertake any painstaking study of concrete things, they regard general truths as 
emerging out of the void, they turn them into purely abstract unfathomable formulas, and 
thereby completely deny and reverse the normal sequence by which man comes to know 
truth." In discussing the guiding principles for waging war. Comrade Mao Zedong 
pointed out: ""A commander's correct dispositions stem from his correct decisions, his 
correct decisions stem from his correct judgements, and his correct judgements stem from 
a thorough and necessary reconnaissance and from pondering on and piecing together the 
data of various kinds gathered through reconnaissance ." When we fought battles in the 
past, we all understood that failure to study our own situation and that of the enemy, that 
is, failure to know both ourselves and the enemy, meant defeat. 

However, some opponents of Mao Zedong Thought within our Party did not change their 
stand in the light of Comrade Mao's teachings. Therefore, he initiated the great 
rectification movement of 1941-42. Among the main documents guiding that movement 
were his works ""Preface and Postscript to Rural Surveys", ""Reform Our Study", 
""Rectify the Party's Style of Work" and ""Oppose Stereotyped Party Writing". In the 
movement, he repeatedly emphasized the need for the fundamental principle and attitude 
of seeking truth from facts and proceeding from reality. He said: """Facts' are all the 
things that exist objectively, "truth' means their internal relations, that is, the laws 
governing them, and "to seek' means to study. We should proceed from the actual 
conditions inside and outside the country, the province, county or district, and derive 
from them, as our guide to action, laws which are inherent in them and not imaginary, 
that is, we should find the internal relations of the events occurring around us." This 
attitude ""is the manifestation of Party spirit, the Marxist-Leninist style of uniting theory 
and practice. It is the attitude every Communist Party member should have at the very 
least. " Antithetical to this attitude is the subjectivist method which, being contrary to 
science and Marxism-Leninism, ""is a formidable enemy of the Communist Party, the 
working class, the people and the nation; it is a manifestation of impurity in Party spirit". 
Comrade Mao Zedong admonished all comrades in the Party not to ""regard Marxist 
theory as lifeless dogma" or to ""regard odd quotations from Marxist-Leninist works as a 
ready-made panacea which, once acquired, can easily cure all maladies" . For this would 
""impede the development of theory and harm themselves as well as other comrades". He 
declared that ""there is only one kind of true theory in this world, theory that is drawn 
from objective reality and then verified by objective reality". Basing himself on this 
fundamental tenet of Marxism, Comrade Mao Zedong, in his report to the Seventh 
National Congress of the Party, defined integration of theory with practice as the first of 
the three major features of our Party's style of work. 

Comrade Mao Zedong frequently explained this tenet and this style of work on 
subsequent occasions. For instance, in 1953 he said: ""The central leading organ [of the 
Party or government] is a factory which turns out ideas as its products. If it does not 
know what is going on at the lower levels, gets no raw material or has no semi-processed 
products to work on, how can it turn out any products? " In 1956 he said: "" Integration of 
theory with practice is one of the fundamental principles of Marxism. According to 



dialectical materialism, thought must reflect objective reality and must be tested and 
verified in objective practice before it can be taken as truth, otherwise it cannot. " And in 
1958 he said: ''The ideas, opinions, plans and methods of any hero can only be a 
reflection of the objective world. The raw and semi-processed materials that go into them 
can only come from the practice of the people or from his own scientific experiment. His 
brain can only play the part of a processing plant turning out finished products, or else it 
is utterly useless. Whether or not such finished products made by man's brain are useful 
and correct has to be tested by the masses of the people. " In his essay ''Where Do Correct 
Ideas Come from?" written in 1963, Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out that correct ideas 
"come from social practice, and from it alone". He added that "whether or no 
one's. ..ideas (including theories, policies, plans or measures)" — all of which arise from 
social practice — "do correctly reflect the laws of the objective external world is not yet 
proved at this stage [the stage of conceptual knowledge], in which it is not yet possible to 
ascertain whether they are correct or not". Only if man's knowledge is tested by being 
applied in social practice can its correctness or incorrectness be demonstrated, and " there 
is no other way of testing truth ". 

Comrade Mao Zedong always maintained that in raising, analysing and solving problems 
we should adhere to the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint and method. He always 
discussed problems in the context of time, place and conditions. He once said that in 
writing articles he himself seldom quoted from Marx and Lenin, and that he felt uneasy 
when his own words were quoted again and again by the newspapers. People should learn 
to write in their own words. This, of course, does not mean that they should refrain from 
quoting others altogether. Rather, it means they shouldn't quote others all the time. The 
important thing is to adhere to the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method in analysing and 
solving problems. Concrete analysis of concrete conditions is the living soul of Marxism. 
Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought lose their vitality if they are not integrated 
with actual conditions. When we are analysing and solving problems, it is our duty as 
leading cadres to integrate the instructions from higher levels, up to and including the 
Central Committee of the Party, with the actual conditions in our own units. We must not 
just function like a "relay station", simply receiving and transmitting instructions. 

Comrades, let's think it over: Isn't it true that seeking truth from facts, proceeding from 
reality and integrating theory with practice form the fundamental principle of Mao 
Zedong Thought? Is this fundamental principle outdated? Will it ever become outdated? 
How can we be true to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought if we are against 
seeking truth from facts, proceeding from reality and integrating theory with practice? 
Where would that lead us? Obviously, only to idealism and metaphysics, and thus to the 
failure of our work and of our revolution. 

For many years no all-army conference on political work has been called. Now that such 
a conference is being held, what method should we adopt? Obviously, it is the method of 
seeking truth from facts, of proceeding from reality and of integrating theory with 
practice in order to sum up past experience, analyse the new historical conditions, raise 
new problems, set new tasks and lay down new guidelines. Only in this way can this 
conference come to grips with problems and solve them correctly. Comrade Wei 



Guoqing has made a good report. It is good because it analyses the problems posed by the 
new historical conditions and proposes pertinent solutions. It demonstrates that we are 
firmly upholding Mao Zedong Thought in our actions. If, on the contrary, we were just to 
copy past documents word for word, we could not solve a single problem correctly. With 
such an approach, even if we paid constant lip-service to Mao Zedong Thought, we 
would actually be going against it. We must eliminate the poisonous influence of Lin 
Biao and the Gang of Four, set things right and cast off our mental shackles so that we 
can really emancipate our minds. This is without question a most arduous task. 

Second, the new historical conditions. 

What should be the main issue at this conference? If we look at the actual problems and 
conditions in the army, it seems clear that the most important issue is how to restore and 
carry forward the fine traditions of the army's political work under the new historical 
circumstances, so as to improve the army's combat effectiveness. This means studying, 
analysing and solving practical problems in accordance with Comrade Mao Zedong's 
teaching about seeking truth from facts. 

We are historical materialists, and when we study a problem and try to solve it we cannot 
do so in isolation from the given historical conditions. From the time of the democratic 
revolution to the socialist revolution, we experienced more than 20 years of war. Since 
then we have had more than 20 years of peace. This shift from an environment of 
protracted war to one of peace is a very big change in historical conditions. 

So far as our army is concerned, this change is most significant. But the fundamental task 
and the basic content of our political work remain unaltered. And the fine traditions we 
wish to perpetuate are also the same. Nevertheless, times have changed, conditions have 
changed and those to whom our work is directed have changed so that the approaches we 
take must change as well. 

The Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention formulated by 
Comrade Mao Zedong varied in their specific content according to the circumstances. At 
first he laid down Three Rules of Discipline and then Six Points for Attention. Later on, 
some changes were made in the formulation of the Three Rules of Discipline. The rule 
'Mo not take anything from the workers and peasants" became ''do not take a single 
needle or piece of thread from the masses"; the rule "turn in all things taken from local 
bullies" was changed first to "turn in all money raised" and then to "turn in everything 
captured". To the Six Points for Attention were added two more: "do not bathe within 
sight of women" and "do not search the pockets of captives". When the Three Main 
Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention were reissued in 1947, some 
revisions were again made in the content. "Put back the doors you have taken down for 
bed-boards" and "put back the straw you have used for bedding" were replaced by "do 
not hit or swear at people" and "do not damage crops". "Do not bathe within sight of 
women" was changed to "do no take liberties with women", and "do not search the 
pockets of captives" became "do not ill-treat captives". The basic spirit of the Three 
Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention must not be changed and 



indeed remains unchanged. However, we must study how to put them into practice under 
changed conditions. Take the rule ''turn in everything captured" for example. At present 
there can be no question about what to do with captured articles since we are not fighting 
a war. So we have to consider how to act in the spirit of this rule under the new historical 
conditions. 

The principle of maintaining unity between the army and the people cannot be changed. 
But our relations with the people now have different features. In the countryside, the 
individual economy that prevailed in the past has not been replaced by the collective 
economy. And many of our troops, instead of being in the rural areas as before, are now 
in cities and quartered in barracks. These are new conditions. One important way of 
improving the army's relations with the people is for the army to help develop the 
collective economy. Each army-level unit should consider whether it can help one or two 
communes or any nearby factories. We have to take account of the new conditions as we 
try various ways to improve relations between the army and the people, and to properly 
solve the problems involved. 

Within the army, too, there have been many changes. Comrade Wei Guoqing has 
analysed the organizational and ideological conditions in the army in his report. The 
cadres have changed in many ways and the soldiers too have new characteristics. Since 
the people we are trying to educate are now different, we must add new content to our 
educational work. The practice of recalling bitterness in the old society and contrasting it 
with happiness in the new should, of course, continue. But this in itself is no longer 
enough. We must study ways of raising the political consciousness of the troops in our 
new historical circumstances. Furthermore, the relations between officers and men are 
not the same as they were during the war years. So in addition we must study ways of 
maintaining unity between officers and men. 

The logistical departments are also holding a conference at present. They too should 
concentrate on the new conditions and new problems in their work that have arisen in the 
new historical situation. For instance, many new problems have appeared as military 
science and technology have developed and as our military equipment has gradually 
improved. We used to rely on millet plus rifles, which didn't constitute too heavy a 
burden for the logistics department. But things are quite different today. For provisions, 
arms and ammunition and miscellaneous equipment, our army has to rely heavily on 
supplies from the economically strong rear areas. The types of war materiel stockpiled 
are also continually changing. All these questions demand careful and detailed study. 
Furthermore, the material foundations of the army, which used to be rather weak, have 
now been strengthened. Thus the problem of logistics has taken on new dimensions. We 
must work out a whole range of regulations and solutions suited to the new conditions, 
and we must struggle against waste, extravagance and the violation of financial 
regulations. 

The foregoing remarks all concern the new circumstances and new problems that have 
emerged in the new historical period. On the basis of an analysis of the actual state of 
affairs in political work in the army, we are here proposing that the army's fine traditions 



in such work be carried forward under the new historical conditions in order to improve 
its combat effectiveness. By making this proposal we are raising — with the intention of 
solving — the problem of formulating specific guidelines and policies for political work. 
We are doing all this in order to better fulfil the historical tasks of the new period. In 
short, we are following Comrade Mao Zedong's teaching that we should have specific 
guidelines and policies for our work in addition to the general line and general policies. If 
we failed to analyse and solve the new historical problems, we would be unable either to 
restore and carry forward the fine traditions in political work or to improve the army's 
combat effectiveness when no war is going on. 

Our revolutionary teachers Marx, Lenin and Comrade Mao always stressed the 
importance of concrete historical conditions and the need to study those of both the past 
and the present in order to ascertain objective laws to help us guide the revolution. To 
ignore the new historical conditions is to cut things off from their historical context, to 
divorce oneself from reality, and to abandon dialectics for metaphysics. 

Third, the question of destruction and construction. 

When we discuss seeking truth from facts and the new period of development and new 
historical conditions, we should also discuss the question of destruction and construction. 
At present -- and for some time to come -- 'destruction" means exposing and criticizing 
in depth the Gang of Four and, collaterally, Lin Biao, so as to eliminate their pernicious 
influence. ""Construction" means understanding Mao Zedong Thought correctly and as an 
integral whole and restoring and carrying forward, under the new historical conditions, 
the fine traditions and style of work of our Party and army. 

Though the movement to expose and criticize the Gang of Four is not developing evenly, 
it is generally going well in the army, and I won't elaborate on it. We must make this 
movement thorough and deep-going and carry this struggle through to the end. On no 
account should we try to put a lid on it. 

The exposure and criticism of the Gang of Four is the key task at present and will be so 
for some time to come. If it is not carried out effectively, right and wrong cannot be 
clearly differentiated and the lines between political forces cannot be clearly drawn; the 
leading bodies will not be satisfactorily restaffed; our style of work will not improve; 
there will be no proper basis for unity; and our work will not advance. In short, there can 
be no construction without destruction. 

In order to further deepen the exposure and criticism of the Gang of Four, we must 
simultaneously expose and criticize Lin Biao. Lin Biao and the Gang entered into 
collusion very early in their plot to usurp Party and state power. But Lin Biao, who did 
such great harm to the army, has scarcely been criticized, because his crimes were 
covered up by the Gang of Four. They refused to criticize him but instead, on the 
pretence of criticizing Confucius, directed their real attack at Comrades Zhou Enlai and 
Ye Jianying . It is only natural that Lin Biao should be exposed and criticized along with 



the Gang of Four. This is no way means that we are wasting a lot of time settling old 
scores. 

In order to strengthen unity, we must expose and criticize the Gang of Four in depth and 
concurrently expose and criticize Lin Biao. This must be done if we want to distinguish 
right from wrong and to strengthen unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and Mao 
Zedong Thought. Otherwise, we will not be able to unite with the overwhelming 
majority. We should place full confidence in persons who, having erred in siding with 
Lin Biao and his clique, have since made sincere self-criticisms, really mended their 
ways and behaved well politically. Of course, it will be necessary to deal severely with 
those who clung to their errors and followed the Gang of Four in doing evil. Unless we 
do that, it will be impossible to clarify right and wrong, to achieve unity and to straighten 
things out in different fields. 

The exposure and criticism of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four must be related to realities, 
and things must be straightened out in every field. This involves both destruction and 
construction. In the main, it means readjusting the leading bodies and rectifying their 
style of work. 

It is of key importance at present to do a good job in readjusting and consolidating the 
leading bodies. The main reason why problems have piled up and remain unsolved in 
some units is that their leading bodies have not really been properly readjusted. We 
should firmly enforce the stipulations of the Military Commission as to what kinds of 
people can and cannot be placed in leading posts or assigned to important work. We 
should lose no time in the careful selection of cadres and the consolidation of the leading 
bodies at all levels. In 1975 we criticized weakness, laziness and laxity, but some leading 
bodies still have those problems. We should fully mobilize the masses, uncover the 
contradictions, clarify right and wrong, get rid of the factional systems of Lin Biao and 
the Gang of Four and discredit and eliminate factionalism itself. 

The issue of training our successors must be resolved by every available means, because 
it bears directly on the building of our army and our overall national interests in any 
future war against aggression. Young cadres can become worthy successors provided we 
select the right candidates, pass on our experience, help and guide them, and give them 
better training in our schools. We veterans should take the long view in this matter and 
play the key role in selecting and training successors. Unless we have done this well, 
when the time comes for us to go and meet Marx, Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou, we 
won't be able to face them with a clear conscience. 

One important aspect of consolidating the leading bodies is the rectification of their style 
of work. Leaders at all levels must improve their work style, get rid of any bureaucratism 
and familiarize themselves with realities at the grass roots. In every kind of work, we 
must make in-depth investigation and study of actual conditions and solve problems in 
the light of the realities in our own units. 



If the army wants to achieve an exemplary style of work, it must increase efficiency. 
Army units must work hard and expeditiously. Slackness, procrastination, endless 
discussion without decision, and decision without implementation are all impermissible. 
Army units must continue to stress observance of the Three Main Rules of Discipline and 
the Eight Points for Attention; orders must be obeyed in all actions, for it is only when we 
all march in step that victories can be won. 

Straightening things out also includes restoring the functions, position and prestige of the 
political organs of the army. We have often said that within about three years the 
functions, position and prestige of these organs should be restored to the levels that 
obtained in the days of the Red Army, the War of Resistance Against Japan [1937-45] 
and the War of Liberation [1946-49]. If we are to achieve this, we must discard the ways 
of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, reaffirm Comrade Mao Zedong's theory on political 
work, foster the traditional style of work he advocated and enrich both under the new 
conditions. Before this conference opened, I repeated that it should at least restore the 
functions, position and prestige of the political organs. 

Political work is the Party's work, and the political organs in the army are working organs 
of the Party. Higher political organs should guide, supervise and check up on the work of 
Party committees, political commissars and political organs at the lower levels. This is 
one of our long-standing traditions. 

In order to straighten things out, we must have strict standards. We have to take vigorous 
action to consolidate both the leading bodies and the political organs and rectify their 
style of work. In the process, we must conduct a rigorous appraisal of cadres and make it 
a regular practice to do so. 

Fourth, about setting an example. 

This is of great importance. It is essential that leading cadres, senior cadres in particular, 
set an example for others. The rank and file always watch to see if cadres' deeds match 
their words. Company commanders and political instructors cannot train good soldiers if 
they themselves fail to set a good example. Leading cadres will not be able to help create 
a good atmosphere in their units, or to make their troops combat-worthy, if they 
themselves fail to set a good example. 

The stress on setting an example is particularly necessary at present. For instance, when a 
cadre is reassigned, he must change his residence. If senior cadres who are reassigned 
don't show the way, what's going to happen? When an order comes, a cadre must report 
promptly for duty, and senior cadres must set the example. They must also take the lead 
in working hard and living simply. 

Whether work is carried out thoroughly and well depends on whether the leading cadres 
likewise set the example by conducting investigation and study in the basic army units 
and by proceeding from reality to analyse problems and solve them. Recently, the leading 



cadres of many units have started to go down among the rank and file again. This is very 
good. 

When we say we should be strict in running the army, we mean first of all being strict 
with the leading bodies and senior cadres. Senior cadres must be exemplary in acting on 
the fundamental principles of the ''three dos and three don'ts" . They must be exemplary 
in working hard and living simply, and in seeking truth from facts. In a word, they must 
be exemplary in integrating Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought with the 
practice of the revolution. 

Cadres engaged in political work have an even greater obligation to conduct themselves 
in an exemplary way. That's how it was with us during the war years. At that time, if you 
were not brave in battle or if you were not at one with the rank and file and didn't stay in 
contact with reality and with the masses, your political work went unheeded. A cadre 
engaged in political work must not talk in one way and act in another. The regulations 
governing the political work of the Red Army stipulated that in doing their work, ''the 
political instructors should rely solely on their direct contact with the masses and their 
close familiarity with the Red Army fighters", and that "both in the performance of their 
duty and in their personal behaviour, they must be models for all armymen in word and 
deed". In order to revive and carry forward our excellent traditions in political work, we 
must rely on the cadres engaged in it to behave as models. 

Comrades who are attending the conference on logistical work are also present today. I 
would just like to mention that the cadres in charge of logistics, leading ones in 
particular, should behave as models too. They must guard against taking advantage of 
their position to obtain the best of everything and to become, as the saying goes, like the 
"waterfront pavilions which are always the first to enjoy the rising moon". They must be 
honest and upright in performing their duties and become "red managers". They must be 
of scrupulous integrity in financial affairs and combat any violations of the rules, graft 
and all "back-door" deals. 

I would like to point out in particular that the conduct of senior cadres has a great impact 
on others. Unhealthy tendencies are quite widespread at present, and to correct them we 
should begin with the leading cadres who are at fault. All eyes are fixed on them; once 
they correct their mistakes, the lower levels won't present much difficulty. 

Our Comrades Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai set an example by their conduct. Placing 
strict demands upon themselves, they worked hard and lived a simple life for decades. 
They personified the fine traditions and work style of our Party and our army. What an 
immense and far-reaching impact their inspiring deeds have had on the Party, the army 
and the entire people! Not only have they influenced our own generation but they will 
influence generations to come. Our cadres, veteran cadres in particular, should take 
Comrades Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai as their models and pass on their experience and 
help and guide the young and middle-aged. 



This All-Army Conference on Political Work has been a united and successful one. All 
comrades present here are duty-bound to see that its decisions are fully carried out. More 
important, members of all Party committees and all political commissars must strengthen 
their leadership and personally make sure that these decisions are implemented. I for one 
believe that after this conference political work throughout the army is sure to improve 
and that the fine traditions of our Party and army fostered by Comrade Mao Zedong will 
be carried forward. 

HOLD HIGH THE BANNER OF MAO ZEDONG 

THOUGHT AND ADHERE TO THE PRINCIPLE 

OF SEEKING TRUTH FROM FACTS 

September 16, 1978 



How should we hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought? This is a really big 
question. Many people, both inside and outside the Party, and both at home and abroad, 
want the banner to be held high. What does that mean? How are we to do so? As you all 
know, there is a doctrine known as the "" two whatevers ". Hasn't it become famous? 
According to this doctrine, whatever documents Comrade Mao Zedong read and 
endorsed and whatever he did and said must always determine our actions, without the 
slightest deviation. Can this be called holding high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought? 
Certainly not! If this goes on, it will debase Mao Zedong Thought. The fundamental point 
of Mao Zedong Thought is seeking truth from facts and integrating the universal truth of 
Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution. Comrade Mao 
Zedong wrote a four-word motto for the Central Party School in Yan'an: ""Seek truth 
from facts." These four words are the quintessence of Mao Zedong Thought. In the final 
analysis. Comrade Mao's greatness and his success in guiding the Chinese revolution to 
victory rest on just this approach. Marx and Lenin never mentioned the encirclement of 
the cities from the countryside — a strategic principle that had not been formulated 
anywhere in the world in their lifetime. Nonetheless, Comrade Mao Zedong pointed it out 
as the specific road for the revolution in China's concrete conditions. At a time when the 
country was split up into separatist warlord domains, he led the people in the fight to 
establish revolutionary bases in areas where the enemy's control was weak, to encircle the 
cities from the countryside and ultimately to seize political power. Just as the Bolshevik 
Party led by Lenin made its revolution at a weak link in the chain of the imperialist 
world, we made our revolution in areas where the enemy was weak. In principle, the two 
courses were the same. But instead of trying to take the cities first, we began with the 
rural areas, then gradually encircled the cities. If we had not applied the fundamental 
principle of seeking truth from facts, how could we have raised and solved this problem 
of strategy? How could the Chinese revolution have been victorious? 

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Comrade Mao Zedong continued to 
lead us forward by applying the principle of seeking truth from facts. Of course, at that 
time many questions could not be raised because the necessary conditions were absent. If 
we are to hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, we must always proceed from 



current reality when handling questions of principle and policy. Today, as we work to 
achieve China's four modernizations, many conditions are present which were absent in 
Comrade Mao's time. Unless the Central Committee of the Party is prepared to rethink 
issues and is determined to act in the light of present conditions, many questions will 
never be posed or resolved. For example, while Comrade Mao was still living we thought 
about expanding economic and technical exchanges with other countries. We wanted to 
develop economic and trade relations with certain capitalist countries and even to absorb 
foreign capital and undertake joint ventures. But the necessary conditions were not 
present, because at the time an embargo was being imposed on China. And later, the 
Gang of Four branded any attempt at economic relations with other countries as 
''worshipping things foreign and fawning on foreigners" or as ''national betrayal", and so 
sealed China off from the outside world. Comrade Mao Zedong's strategic idea of 
differentiating the three worlds opened up a road for us. We have gone on opposing 
imperialism, hegemonism, colonialism and racism, working to safeguard world peace, 
and actively developing relations, including economic and cultural exchanges, with other 
countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence . After several years 
of effort, we have secured international conditions that are far better than before; they 
enable us to make use of capital from foreign countries and of their advanced technology 
and experience in business management. These conditions did not exist during Comrade 
Mao Zedong's lifetime. Yes, foreigners may still deceive us or take advantage of our 
backwardness. For instance, when we import complete plants, they may edge up the price 
or pass off inferior goods as high-grade ones. But generally speaking, we now have 
favourable conditions which weren't there before. If we were never supposed to do 
anything that Comrade Mao hadn't suggested, we could never have decided on our 
present course of action. What does holding high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought 
mean here? It means proceeding from present realities and making full use of all 
favourable conditions to attain the objective of the four modernizations as defined by 
Comrade Mao Zedong and proclaimed by Comrade Zhou Enlai. If we could only act as 
Comrade Mao suggested, what could we do now? We have to develop Marxism and also 
Mao Zedong Thought. Otherwise, they will become ossified. 

When we say that theory must be tested in practice, this is what we are talking about. 
That the issue is still being argued shows how rigid some people's thinking has become. 
The basic problem is still the one I've mentioned -- that these people's thinking violates 
Comrade Mao Zedong's principle of seeking truth from facts and the principles of 
dialectical and historical materialism. We have here, in fact, a reflection of idealism and 
metaphysics. The world is changing every day, new things are constantly emerging and 
new problems continually arising. We can't afford to lock our doors, refuse to use our 
brains and remain forever backward. In today's world, our country is counted as poor. 
Even within the third world, China still rates as relatively underdeveloped. We are a 
socialist country. The basic expression of the superiority of our socialist system is that it 
allows the productive forces of our society to grow at a rapid rate unknown in old China, 
and that it permits us gradually to satisfy our people's constantly growing material and 
cultural needs. After all, from the historical materialist point of view correct political 
leadership should result in the growth of the productive forces and the improvement of 
the material and cultural life of the people. If the rate of growth of the productive forces 



in a socialist country lags behind that in capitalist countries over an extended historical 
period, how can we talk about the superiority of the socialist system? We should ponder 
the question: What have we really done for the people? We must make use of the 
favourable conditions we now enjoy to accelerate the growth of our productive forces, 
improve the people's material and cultural life and broaden their outlook. 

What does ''hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought" really mean? We need to 
answer this question. The principles and policies now laid down by the Central 
Committee are examples of truly holding the banner high. The best way is to be resolved 
to advance rapidly but at the same time surely. Otherwise one is being false or formalistic 
in ''holding the banner high". 

(Excerpt from remarks made on hearing a work report by members of the Standing 
Committee of the Jilin Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

UPDATE ENTERPRISES WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND 

MANAGERIAL EXPERTISE 

September 18, 1978 



A question which now confronts you is how the Anshan Iron and Steel Company should 
be updated. Whenever foreign technology is introduced, we should first master it and 
then upgrade or renovate it. You have many tasks ahead of you at this point, such as the 
training of workers and cadres. If you fail to do so, then they will not be capable of 
acquiring advanced foreign technology. We had a serious lesson along these lines. It is 
important for us to seize the hour, because our country is going to introduce about 1,000 
projects from other countries. All our technologies and equipment as well as supporting 
facilities should be modern and up to the highest standards of the 1970s. The world is 
advancing. If we do not develop our technology, we cannot catch up with the developed 
countries, let alone surpass them, and we shall be trailing behind at a snail's pace. We 
should take the world's advanced scientific and technological achievements as starting 
points for our country's development. Such a lofty aspiration should be ours. 

It is a good idea for the Anshan Iron and Steel Company to cut down the number of its 
staff members and departments. As for those units to be dissociated from the company, it 
is important that it should not have too many administrators or staff personnel. Large 
numbers of people in a modern and automated enterprise lead only to poor management. 
A steel enterprise with an annual output of six million tons in Japan has only 600 
administrators, whereas the Anshan Iron and Steel Company with the same annual output 
has 23,000 managerial personnel. This is surely unreasonable. When advanced 
technology and equipment are imported, we must run enterprises with advanced 
management and operation techniques and set attainable quotas. In other words, we 
should manage the economy in accordance with the laws governing economic 
development. In a word, we need a revolution instead of just reforming the economy. 



If we want to update enterprises so that their technology and management can reach the 
required level, we must have qualified managerial staff and workers. After technological 
upgrading, large numbers of workers with relatively high educational and technological 
levels should appear, otherwise new technologies and equipment cannot be used. All 
cadres and workers should be evaluated. Those who are unqualified should be designated 
as supernumerary personnel. Their livelihood should be guaranteed, but they cannot 
enjoy the same treatment as assigned personnel. They should be organized to study and 
receive training so as to become qualified for new jobs. We should resolve to accomplish 
this task. 

Qualified managerial staff and workers should enjoy better treatment, so that the 
principle of distribution according to work can be truly carried out. This is not capitalism. 
A worker who has a salary of one or two hundred yuan cannot become a capitalist. But 
will this practice dampen others' initiative? There will be some complaints, but this can 
encourage people to advance. When the economy develops, workers' income should 
increase, which in turn promotes economic development. The same is true with 
agriculture; an increase in peasants' income stimulates agricultural growth and 
consolidates the alliance of workers and peasants. Socialism must demonstrate its 
superiority. Things should not continue as they are: although we have practiced socialism 
for more than 20 years, our country is still very poor. If things continue like this, why 
should we continue under socialism? We must initiate a revolution in technology and 
management so as to expand production and increase the income of workers and staff. 

As you are planning to upgrade the steel enterprise, you also need to give consideration to 
every aspect of the social structure of Anshan. As production grows, the number of 
people directly engaged in production will decrease, and more and more people will 
engage in service trades. Service trades are numerous, such as seed companies and 
building and repair work. Therefore, there are many ways to re-employ the 
supernumerary people. You should see to it that there is a good sized scientific research 
department in your enterprise. All large enterprises in the United States and Japan have 
such institutes. We should strengthen and enlarge the ranks of our scientific researchers. 

We should give more power to local authorities, and to enterprises in particular. 
Enterprises should have the right to make their own decisions and act independently. For 
instance, they should have the right to decide how many people they will employ and 
what should be increased or reduced. They should also have some foreign exchange at 
their disposal so as to be able to place orders and to exchange technology with other 
countries. When something is to be done, an enterprise currently has to submit its plan to 
the authorities of the province, the ministry, and the State Planning Commission for 
approval. This process is too slow. Some of our comrades listen only to what higher 
authorities dictate and are afraid to use their own minds. We should, as Chairman Mao 
put it, "put down our mental burdens and use our own minds". If an enterprise wishes to 
improve its technological and managerial levels, it has to be creative, enjoying decision- 
making power and flexibility. Cadres at all levels should use their own heads and should 
not be mentally lazy or rigid. Of course, this is the result of the system we practised in the 
past. In the future, we should give cadres at enterprises both the power to make their own 



decisions and the authority to assess the efficiency of their own work. We should carry 
out a system of responsibility whereby cadres are compelled to think critically. It is time 
for us to reform the superstructure. 

(Excerpt from remarks made when hearing a report from the leading comrades of the 
Anshan Municipal Party Committee. ) 

CARRY OUT THE POLICY OF OPENING TO THE OUTSIDE 

WORLD 
AND LEARN ADVANCED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FROM 

OTHER COUNTRIES 

October 10, 1978 



China made contributions to the world down through the ages, but for a long time 
conditions have been at a standstill in China and development has been slow. Now it is 
time for us to learn from the advanced countries. 

For a certain period of time, learning advanced science and technology from the 
developed countries was criticized as "blindly worshiping foreign things". We have come 
to understand how stupid this argument is. Therefore, we have sent many people abroad 
to familiarize themselves with the outside world. China cannot develop by closing its 
door, sticking to the beaten track and being self-complacent. 

Due to the interference of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, China's development was held 
up for ten years. In the early 1960s, we were behind the developed countries in science 
and technology, but the gap was not so wide. However, over the past dozen years, the gap 
has widened because the world has been developing with tremendous speed. Compared 
with developed countries, China's economy has fallen behind at least ten years, perhaps 
20, 30, or even 50 years in some areas. What will the world be like in 22 years at the end 
of the century? What will those developed countries, including your country, be like after 
22 years of further development based on the development of the 1970s? It will be quite 
difficult for us to realize the four modernizations so that we can reach your current level 
of development by the end of this century, let alone catch up with your country at that 
time. Therefore, to achieve the four modernizations, we must be adept at learning from 
other countries and we must obtain a great deal of foreign assistance. As a starting point 
in our development, we should introduce advanced technology and equipment from the 
rest of the world. 

You ask us whether it runs counter to our past traditions to implement the policy of 
opening to the outside world. Our approach is to define new policies according to new 
circumstances, while retaining our best traditions. We must stick to that which has proven 
to be effective, and in particular, to our basic systems, that is, the socialist system and 
socialist public ownership, and we must never waver in doing so. We shall not allow a 
new bourgeoisie to come into being. We will introduce advanced technology for the 



purpose of expanding our productive forces and improving the people's living standards. 
This will benefit our socialist country and our socialist system. It is even closer to 
following our socialist system to find ways to achieve greater, better, faster, and more 
economical results in development than not to do so. 

(Excerpt from a talk with a press delegation from the Federal Republic of Germany. ) 

THE WORKING CLASS SHOULD MAKE 

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO 

THE FOUR MODERNIZATIONS 

October 11, 1978 



Comrades, 

This Ninth National Congress of Chinese Trade Unions will play an important part in 
advancing the workers' movement in China and in speeding up the four modernizations . 
On behalf of the Central Committee of the Party and the State Council, I extend warm 
congratulations to the congress and cordially greet all the delegates and all the comrades 
working in various fields. 

The line, principles and tasks set for the workers' movement by the Sixth All-China 
Labour Congress and the Seventh and Eighth National Congresses of Chinese Trade 
Unions72 were correct. Under the Party's leadership, the All-China Federation of Trade 
Unions and the trade unions at all other levels have done much good work, and they have 
played an important role in the successful development of China's socialist revolution and 
construction. Under the Party's leadership and with the help of the trade unions, a 
contingent of model workers and other outstanding revolutionary workers by hand and 
brain from all of China's nationalities has emerged in the various regions and industrial 
sectors. They remain the core around which our unity is built and the examples for us to 
emulate. 

However, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four brought trade union work to a complete halt for 
a number of years. They cultivated a number of bad elements in order to gain control of 
certain workers' organizations and use them as tools in their plot to usurp Party and state 
power. They fanned factionalism and provoked armed clashes among workers in 
factories, mines and other enterprises, incited them to stop work and opposed or even 
brutally persecuted revolutionary cadres, model workers and trade union activists. They 
created anarchy in individual enterprises in industry and in the economy as a whole. They 
opposed socialist planning of the economy, the principle of from each according to his 
ability, to each according to his work", and all rational rules and regulations. And they 
sabotaged labour discipline. All these counter-revolutionary crimes had most serious 
consequences. At the same time, they aroused fierce revolutionary indignation among 
workers all over the country. Everywhere, large numbers of advanced people defied the 
White terror imposed by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and fought them courageously. 



These struggles show that our working class is indeed the steadfast and time-tested 
revolutionary leading class. 

In the two years since the downfall of the Gang of Four, under the leadership of the 
Central Committee we have exposed and criticized them and set things to rights so that 
the situation is constantly improving. However, it is obvious that immense efforts are still 
needed to eliminate the pernicious influence Lin Biao and the Gang had on the workers 
and its disastrous consequences, and it is still necessary for every enterprise to 
consolidate the ranks of its personnel. We must carry the exposure and criticism of the 
Gang through to the end without fail. On the other hand, it is clear that decisive victories 
in this struggle have already been won on a nationwide scale. On the basis thus laid, we 
are now able to tackle our new revolutionary tasks. 

The Eleventh National Congress of the Party and the Fifth National People's Congress 
have set the great nationwide goal of achieving the four socialist modernizations before 
the end of this century. Now the Central Committee and the State Council are urging us 
to quicken the pace of our modernization and have set forth a series of relevant policies 
and organizational measures. The Central Committee points out that this is a great 
revolution in which China's economic and technological backwardness will be overcome 
and the dictatorship of the proletariat further consolidated. Since its goal is to transform 
the present backward state of our productive forces, it inevitably entails many changes in 
the relations of production, the superstructure and the forms of management in industrial 
and agricultural enterprises, as well as changes in the state administration over these 
enterprises so as to meet the needs of modern large-scale production. To accelerate 
economic growth it is essential to increase the degree of specialization of enterprises, to 
raise the technical level of all personnel significantly and train and evaluate them 
carefully, to greatly improve economic accounting in the enterprises, and to raise labour 
productivity and rates of profit to much higher levels. Therefore, it is essential to carry 
out major reforms in the various branches of the economy with respect to their structure 
and organization as well as to their technology. The long-term interests of the whole 
nation hinge on these reforms, without which we cannot overcome the present 
backwardness of our production technology and management. The Central Committee of 
the Party is confident that, in the interests of socialism and the four modernizations, our 
whole working class will play a selfless, model, vanguard role in these reforms. It is also 
confident that the trade unions will make new and outstanding contributions to the cause 
of revolution and construction by conducting deep-going educational and organizational 
work among the masses and thus helping the enterprises to carry out these reforms 
smoothly. One of the main characteristics of the working class is its direct association 
with large-scale production. Consequently it has the highest political consciousness and 
the strongest sense of discipline, and is able to play a leading role in our present-day 
economic, social and political progress. We hope that this congress will have a 
penetrating discussion of the current situation so that, on the basis of complete victory in 
the struggle to expose and criticize the Gang of Four, it can unite all union members to 
undertake the great task before us, that is, the four modernizations. 



Trade unions should educate all their members to recognize the tremendous importance 
of the four modernizations and strive to raise their political, managerial, technical and 
educational levels. The workers should carry forward their glorious traditions of working 
hard and selflessly, maintaining strict discipline, readily accepting work assignments and 
loving their enterprises as they do their own families. They should unite and rid 
themselves of all vestiges of the factionalism and anarchism stirred up by the Gang of 
Four. The working class should do everything possible to master modern technology and 
managerial skills so that they can make outstanding contributions to the four 
modernizations. It is only right and proper that those who make bigger contributions 
should be accorded higher honour and larger rewards by the state and society. The 
Central Committee and the State Council have decided that a national conference of 
model workers will be held next year to greet the 30th anniversary of the People's 
Republic of China and to commend the best workers in industry and transport, capital 
construction, agriculture and forestry, finance and trade, culture and education, and 
science and technology. I hope that working personnel throughout the country will 
achieve outstanding successes with which to welcome the first great gathering of heroes 
and heroines to be held in the course of the new Long March. 

Enterprises should institute the system in which the factory director or manager assumes 
overall responsibility under the leadership of the Party committee, and they should set up 
effective systems for directing production. The trade unions should teach their members 
to support the highly centralized administrative leadership in their enterprises and to help 
maintain the full authority of those who direct production. Only thus can we organize 
production in a normal and orderly fashion and correct the situation, now common in our 
enterprises, in which no one takes responsibility. And only thus can we steadily carry out 
expanded reproduction, increase profits and, at the same time, constantly improve the 
standard of living of the whole labour force, so that the interests of the state, the 
collective and the individual are truly co-ordinated. The unions should encourage their 
members to take an active part in the management of their own enterprises. In order to 
accomplish the four modernizations, all our enterprises, without exception, must adopt 
democratic forms of management, combining them with centralized leadership. 
Henceforth, workshop directors, section chiefs and group leaders in the enterprises 
should be elected by the workers in their respective units. Major issues in an enterprise 
should be discussed at congresses or general meetings of workers and office staff at 
which the leading cadres listen to their opinions and criticism and accept their 
supervision. These congresses and meetings should have the right to suggest to higher 
levels that certain leading or managerial personnel be punished or replaced for serious 
negligence of duty or a bad style of work. The trade union organization of each enterprise 
will function as the executive organ of the congresses and general meetings. Thus they 
will not be superfluous as some people think they are. Whether the unions function well 
or badly affects the extent to which the workers exercise their rights as masters of the 
enterprise. It also affects the quality of management and the efficacy of centralized 
leadership there. That is to say, when an enterprise is well managed, its success is due not 
only to the Party and administrative cadres but also to its workers and its trade union. 



Unions must be active in protecting the workers' welfare. As our country is still 
backward, the workers' conditions cannot be improved overnight, but only gradually on 
the basis of increased production and particularly of higher productivity of labour. But 
this circumstance must not be used by the leadership in enterprises — still less by the 
trade unions -- as a pretext for indifference to the workers' welfare. Even under present 
conditions enterprise leadership can do much in this respect and the unions should do 
even more. They should urge and assist the administrations of enterprises and of localities 
to do everything currently possible to improve the working and living conditions of the 
workers, their canteens and sanitary facilities, and at the same time they should 
encourage various forms of mutual aid among the workers. 

To be successful in each of these types of work, the unions must maintain close ties with 
the workers. They must get the workers to regard them as truly their own organizations, 
which they can trust and which speak for them and work in their interests — not 
organizations whose leaders lie to them, lord it over them or work for their own private 
interests while living off the members' dues. If they are to fight for the democratic rights 
of the workers and oppose bureaucracy in all forms, the unions must themselves be 
models of democracy. And union leaders, if they are to persuade the workers through 
education that they should work hard, be selfless and completely devoted to the public 
interest, observe discipline strictly, accept assignments and love their enterprises as they 
do their own families, must themselves set an example in every one of these respects. So 
long as the unions perform all these duties, they will enjoy high prestige among the 
workers and be able to make important contributions to the four modernizations. In an 
enterprise where exposure and criticism of the Gang of Four have been reasonably 
thorough, it is the duty of the trade union as well as of the Party organization, the 
administration and the Youth League organization to see that they all register significant 
successes. Two years have already passed since the Gang of Four was smashed, so we 
can't continue blaming all the problems in our work on its pernicious influence. If it still 
persists, the fault is ours. If we all place high demands on ourselves, the cause of our 
Party and our state will surely prosper and we shall achieve the great goal of the four 
modernizations ahead of time. 

Comrades! While building our own country, our working class must always keep in mind 
the proletariat and the oppressed people and nations of the world. We must go on 
strengthening our unity with the workers and revolutionary people the world over and 
support their struggles against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism as well as their 
struggles to win or safeguard national independence and to make social progress. We 
must make our contribution to the emancipation of the working class throughout the 
world and to the progress of all mankind. With due modesty about our own 
achievements, our working class must also learn from the experience of working-class 
struggles in other lands and study the science and technology of the advanced countries 
so as to speed up the four modernizations in China. 

Comrades! Our cause is glorious and our future is bright. Let us hold high the great 
banner of Mao Zedong Thought and, under the leadership of the Central Committee of 
the Party, work unremittingly and in concert to fulfil the new historic mission of the 



Chinese working class — to turn Ciiina into a great modern and powerful socialist country 
within this century. 

(Speech at the Ninth National Congress of Chinese Trade Unions.) 

EMANCIPATE THE MIND, SEEK TRUTH 

FROM FACTS AND UNITE AS ONE 

IN LOOKING TO THE FUTURE 

December 13, 1978 



Comrades, 

This conference has lasted over a month and will soon end. The Central Committee has 
put forward the fundamental guiding principle of shifting the focus of all Party work to 
the four modernizations and has solved a host of important problems inherited from the 
past. This will surely strengthen the determination, confidence and unity of the Party, the 
army and the people of all of China's nationalities. Now we can be certain that under the 
correct leadership of the Central Committee, the Party, army and people will achieve 
victory after victory in our new Long March. 

The present conference has been very successful and will have an important place in our 
Party's history. We have not held one like it for many years. There has been lively debate 
here and the Party's democratic tradition has been revived and carried forward. We 
should spread this style of work to the whole Party, army and people. 

At this conference we have discussed and resolved many major issues concerning the 
destinies of our Party and state. The participants have spoken their minds freely and fully 
and have boldly aired their honest opinions. They have laid problems on the table and 
have felt free to criticize things, including the work of the Central Committee. Some 
comrades have criticized themselves to varying degrees. All this represents marked 
progress in our inner-Party life and will give a big impetus to the cause of our Party and 
people. 

Today, I mainly want to discuss one question, namely, how to emancipate our minds, use 
our heads, seek truth from facts and unite as one in looking to the future. 

I. EMANCIPATING THE MIND IS A VITAL 

POLITICAL TASK 

When it comes to emancipating our minds, using our heads, seeking truth from facts and 
uniting as one in looking to the future, the primary task is to emancipate our minds. Only 
then can we, guided as we should be by Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, 
find correct solutions to the emerging as well as inherited problems, fruitfully reform 



those aspects of the relations of production and of the superstructure that do not 
correspond with the rapid development of our productive forces, and chart the specific 
course and formulate the specific policies, methods and measures needed to achieve the 
four modernizations under our actual conditions. 

The emancipation of minds has not been completely achieved among our cadres, 
particularly our leading cadres. Indeed, many comrades have not yet set their brains 
going; in other words, their ideas remain rigid or partly so. That isn't because they are not 
good comrades. It is a result of specific historical conditions. 

First, it is because during the past dozen years Lin Biao and the Gang of Four set up 
ideological taboos or ''forbidden zones" and preached blind faith to confine people's 
minds within the framework of their phoney Marxism. No one was allowed to go beyond 
the limits they prescribed; anyone who did was tracked down, stigmatized and attacked 
politically. In this situation, some people found it safer to stop using their heads and 
thinking questions over. 

Second, it is because democratic centralism was undermined and the Party was afflicted 
with bureaucratism resulting from, among other things, over-concentration of power. 
This kind of bureaucratism often masquerades as 'Tarty leadership", "Party directives", 
"Party interests" and "Party discipline", but actually it is designed to control people, hold 
them in check and oppress them. At that time many important issues were often decided 
by one or two persons. The others could only do what those few ordered. That being so, 
there wasn't much point in thinking things out for yourself. 

Third, it is because no clear distinction was made between right and wrong or between 
merit and demerit, and because rewards and penalties were not meted out as deserved. No 
distinction was made between those who worked well and those who didn't. In some 
cases, even people who worked well were attacked while those who did nothing or just 
played it safe weathered every storm. Under those unwritten laws, people were naturally 
reluctant to use their brains. 

Fourth, it is because people are still subject to the force of habit of the small producer, 
who sticks to old conventions, is content with the status quo and is unwilling to seek 
progress or accept anything new. 

When people's minds aren't yet emancipated and their thinking remains rigid, curious 
phenomena emerge. 

Once people's thinking becomes rigid, they will increasingly act according to fixed 
notions. To cite some examples, strengthening Party leadership is interpreted as the 
Party's monopolizing and interfering in everything. Exercising centralized leadership is 
interpreted as erasing distinctions between the Party and the government, so that the 
former replaces the latter. And maintaining unified leadership by the Central Committee 
is interpreted as "doing everything according to unified standards". We are opposed to 
"home-grown policies" that violate the fundamental principles of those laid down by the 



Central Committee, but there are also ''home-grown policies" that are truly grounded in 
reality and supported by the masses. Yet such correct policies are still often denounced 
for their ''not conforming to the unified standards". 

People whose thinking has become rigid tend to veer with the wind. They are not guided 
by Party spirit and Party principles, but go along with whatever has the backing of the 
authorities and adjust their words and actions according to whichever way the wind is 
blowing. They think that they will thus avoid mistakes. In fact, however, veering with the 
wind is in itself a grave mistake, a contravention of the Party spirit which all Communists 
should cherish. It is true that people who think independently and dare to speak out and 
act can't avoid making mistakes, but their mistakes are out in the open and are therefore 
more easily rectified. 

Once people's thinking becomes rigid, book worship, divorced from reality, becomes a 
grave malady. Those who suffer from it dare not say a word or take a step that isn't 
mentioned in books, documents or the speeches of leaders: everything has to be copied. 
Thus responsibility to the higher authorities is set in opposition to responsibility to the 
people. 

Our drive for the four modernizations will get nowhere unless rigid thinking is broken 
down and the minds of cadres and of the masses are completely emancipated. 

In fact, the current debate about whether practice is the sole criterion for testing truth is 
also a debate about whether people's minds need to be emancipated. Everybody has 
recognized that this debate is highly important and necessary. Its importance is becoming 
clearer all the time. When everything has to be done by the book, when thinking turns 
rigid and blind faith is the fashion, it is impossible for a party or a nation to make 
progress. Its life will cease and that party or nation will perish. Comrade Mao Zedong 
said this time and again during the rectification movements. Only if we emancipate our 
minds, seek truth from facts, proceed from reality in everything and integrate theory with 
practice, can we carry out our socialist modernization programme smoothly, and only 
then can our Party further develop Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. In this 
sense, the debate about the criterion for testing truth is really a debate about ideological 
line, about politics, about the future and the destiny of our Party and nation. 

Seeking truth from facts is the basis of the proletarian world outlook as well as the 
ideological basis of Marxism. Just as in the past we achieved all the victories in our 
revolution by following this principle, so today we must rely on it in our effort to 
accomplish the four modernizations. Comrades in every factory, government office, 
school, shop and production team as well as comrades in Party committees at the central, 
provincial, prefectural, county and commune levels — all should act on this principle, 
emancipate their minds and use their heads in thinking questions through and taking 
action on them. 

The more Party members and other people there are who use their heads and think things 
through, the more our cause will benefit. To make revolution and build socialism we need 



large numbers of pathbreakers who dare to think, explore new ways and generate new 
ideas. Otherwise, we won't be able to rid our country of poverty and backwardness or to 
catch up with — still less surpass — the advanced countries. We hope every Party 
committee and every Party branch will encourage and support people both inside and 
outside the Party to dare to think, explore new paths and put forward new ideas, and that 
they will urge the masses to emancipate their minds and use their heads. 

n. DEMOCRACY IS A MAJOR CONDITION 

FOR EMANCIPATING THE MIND 

One important condition for getting people to emancipate their minds and use their heads 
is genuine practice of the proletarian system of democratic centralism. We need unified 
and centralized leadership, but centralism can be correct only when there is a full 
measure of democracy. 

At present, we must lay particular stress on democracy, because for quite a long time 
democratic centralism was not genuinely practised: centralism was divorced from 
democracy and there was too little democracy. Even today, only a few advanced people 
dare to speak up. There are a good many such people at this conference. But in the Party 
and the country as a whole, there are still many who hesitate to speak their minds. Even 
when they have worthwhile opinions, they hesitate to express them, and they are not bold 
enough in struggling against bad things and bad people. If this doesn't change, how can 
we persuade everyone to emancipate his mind and use his head? And how can we bring 
about the four modernizations? 

We must create the conditions for the practice of democracy, and for this it is essential to 
reaffirm the principle of the ''three don'ts" : don't pick on others for their faults, don't put 
labels on people, and don't use a big stick. In political life within the Party and among the 
people we must use democratic means and not resort to coercion or attack. The rights of 
citizens. Party members and Party committee members are respectively stipulated by the 
Constitution of the People's Republic and the Constitution of the Communist Party. These 
rights must be resolutely defended and no infringement of them must be allowed. 

The recent reversal of the verdict on the Tiananmen Incident has elated the people of all 
of China's nationalities and greatly stimulated mass enthusiasm for socialism. The masses 
should be encouraged to offer criticisms. There is nothing to worry about even if a few 
malcontents take advantage of democracy to make trouble. We should deal with such 
situations appropriately, having faith that the overwhelming majority of the people are 
able to use their own judgement. One thing a revolutionary party does need to worry 
about is its inability to hear the voice of the people. The thing to be feared most is silence. 
Today many rumours — some true, some false — circulate through the grapevine inside 
and outside the Party. This is a kind of punishment for the long-standing lack of political 
democracy. If we had a political situation with both centralism and democracy, both 
discipline and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness, there 
wouldn't be so many rumours and anarchism would be easier to overcome. We believe 



our people are mindful of the overall interests of the country and have a good sense of 
discipline. Our leading cadres at all levels, and especially those of high rank, should for 
their part take care to strictly observe Party discipline and keep Party secrets; they should 
refrain from spreading rumours, circulating handwritten copies of speeches and the like. 

As it is only natural that some opinions expressed by the masses should be correct and 
others not, we should examine them analytically. The Party leadership should be good at 
synthesizing the correct opinions and explaining why the others are incorrect. In dealing 
with ideological problems we must never use coercion but should genuinely carry out the 
policy of ^'letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" . We 
must firmly put a stop to bad practices such as attacking and trying to silence people who 
make critical comments — especially sharp ones -- by ferreting out their political 
backgrounds, tracing political rumours to them and opening ''special case" files on them. 
Comrade Mao Zedong used to say that such actions were really signs of weakness and 
lack of courage. No leading comrades at any level must ever place themselves in 
opposition to the masses. We must never abandon this principle. But of course we must 
not let down our guard against the handful of counter-revolutionaries who still exist in 
our country. 

Now I want to speak at some length about economic democracy. Under our present 
system of economic management, power is over-concentrated, so it is necessary to 
devolve some of it to the lower levels without hesitation but in a planned way. Otherwise 
it will be difficult to give full scope to the initiative of local as well as national authorities 
and to the enterprises and workers, and difficult to practise modern economic 
management and raise the productivity of labour. The various localities, enterprises and 
production teams should be given greater powers of decision regarding both operation 
and management. There are many provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in 
China, and some of our medium-sized provinces are as big as a large European country. 
They must be given greater powers of decision in economic planning, finance and foreign 
trade — always within the framework of a nationwide unity of views, policies, planning, 
guidance and action. 

At present the most pressing need is to expand the decision-making powers of mines, 
factories and other enterprises and of production teams, so as to give full scope to their 
initiative and creativity. Once a production team has been empowered to make decisions 
regarding its own operations, its members and cadres will lie awake at night so long as a 
single piece of land is left unplanted or a single pond unused for aquatic production, and 
they will find ways to remedy the situation. Just imagine the additional wealth that could 
be created if all the people in China's hundreds of thousands of enterprises and millions 
of production teams put their minds to work. As more wealth is created for the state, 
personal income and collective benefits should also be increased somewhat. As far as the 
relatively small number of advanced people is concerned, it won't matter too much if we 
neglect the principle of more pay for more work and fail to stress individual material 
benefits. But when it comes to the masses, that approach can only be used for a short time 
— it won't work in the long run. Revolutionary spirit is a treasure beyond price. Without it 
there would be no revolutionary action. But revolution takes place on the basis of the 



need for material benefit. It would be idealism to emphasize the spirit of sacrifice to the 
neglect of material benefit. 

It is also essential to ensure the democratic rights of the workers and peasants, including 
the rights of democratic election, management and supervision. We must create a 
situation in which not only every workshop director and production team leader but also 
every worker and peasant is aware of his responsibility for production and tries to find 
ways of solving related problems. 

To ensure people's democracy, we must strengthen our legal system. Democracy has to 
be institutionalized and written into law, so as to make sure that institutions and laws do 
not change whenever the leadership changes, or whenever the leaders change their views 
or shift the focus of their attention. The trouble now is that our legal system is 
incomplete, with many laws yet to be enacted. Very often, what leaders say is taken as 
the law and anyone who disagrees is called a law-breaker. That kind of law changes 
whenever a leader's views change. So we must concentrate on enacting criminal and civil 
codes, procedural laws and other necessary laws concerning factories, people's 
communes, forests, grasslands and environmental protection, as well as labour laws and a 
law on investment by foreigners. These laws should be discussed and adopted through 
democratic procedures. Meanwhile, the procuratorial and judicial organs should be 
strengthened. All this will ensure that there are laws to go by, that they are observed and 
strictly enforced, and that violators are brought to book. The relations between one 
enterprise and another, between enterprises and the state, between enterprises and 
individuals, and so on should also be defined by law, and many of the contradictions 
between them should be resolved by law. There is a lot of legislative work to do, and we 
don't have enough trained people. Therefore, legal provisions will have to be less than 
perfect to start with, then be gradually improved upon. Some laws and statutes can be 
tried out in particular localities and later enacted nationally after the experience has been 
evaluated and improvements have been made. Individual legal provisions can be revised 
or supplemented one at a time, as necessary; there is no need to wait for a comprehensive 
revision of an entire body of law. In short, it is better to have some laws than none, and 
better to have them sooner than later. Moreover, we should intensify our study of 
international law. 

Just as the country must have laws, the Party must have rules and regulations. The 
fundamental ones are embodied in the Party Constitution. Without rules and regulations 
in the Party it would be hard to ensure that the laws of the state are enforced. The task of 
the Party's discipline inspection commissions and its organization departments at all 
levels is not only to deal with particular cases but, more important, to uphold the Party's 
rules and regulations and make earnest efforts to improve its style of work. Disciplinary 
measures should be taken against all persons who violate Party discipline, no matter who 
they are, so that clear differentiation is made between merits and demerits, rewards and 
penalties are meted out as deserved, and rectitude prevails and bad tendencies are 
stemmed. 

III. SOLVING OLD PROBLEMS WILL HELP 



PEOPLE LOOK TO THE FUTURE 

This conference has solved some problems left over from the past and distinguished 
clearly between the merits and demerits of some persons, and remedies have been made 
for a number of major cases in which the charges were false or which were unjustly or 
incorrectly dealt with. This is essential for emancipating minds and for ensuring political 
stability and unity. Its purpose is to help us turn our thoughts to the future and smoothly 
shift the focus of the Party's work. 

Our principle is that every wrong should be righted. All wrongs done in the past should 
be corrected. Some questions that cannot be settled right now should be settled after this 
conference. But settlement must be prompt and effective, without leaving any loose ends 
and on the basis of facts. We must solve these problems left over from the past 
thoroughly. It is not good for them to be left unsolved or for comrades who have made 
mistakes to refuse to make self-criticisms, or for us to fail to deal with their cases 
properly. However, we cannot possibly achieve — and should not expect — a perfect 
settlement of every case. We should have the major aspect of each problem in mind and 
solve it in broad outline; to go into every detail is neither possible nor necessary. 

Stability and unity are of prime importance. To strengthen the unity of people of 
whatever nationality, we must first strengthen unity throughout the Party, and especially 
within the central leadership. Our Party's unity is based on Marxism-Leninism and Mao 
Zedong Thought. Inside the Party we should distinguish right from wrong in terms of 
theory and of the Party line, conduct criticism and self-criticism and help and supervise 
each other in correcting wrong ideas. 

Comrades who have made mistakes should be urged to sum up their experience and draw 
the necessary lessons, so that they can recognize those mistakes and correct them. We 
should give them time to think. Once they improve their understanding of cardinal issues 
of right and wrong and conduct self-criticism, we should make them welcome again. In 
dealing with people who have made mistakes, we must weigh each case very carefully. 
Where there is a choice, it is better to err on the side of leniency, but we should be more 
severe if the problems recur. We should be somewhat lenient with rank-and-file Party 
members, but more severe with leading cadres, especially those of high rank. 

From now on we must be very careful in the selection of cadres. We must never assign 
important posts to persons who have engaged in beating, smashing and looting, who have 
been obsessed by factionalist ideas, who have sold their souls by framing innocent 
comrades, or who disregard the Party's vital interests. Nor can we lightly trust persons 
who sail with the wind, curry favour with those in power and ignore the Party's 
principles. We should be wary of such people and at the same time educate them and 
urge them to change their world outlook. 

People both at home and abroad have been greatly concerned recently about how we 
would evaluate Comrade Mao Zedong and the ''cultural revolution". The great 
contributions of Comrade Mao in the course of long revolutionary struggles will never 



fade. If we look back at the years following the failure of the revolution in 1927, it 
appears very likely that without his outstanding leadership the Chinese revolution would 
still not have triumphed even today. In that case, the people of all our nationalities would 
still be suffering under the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat- 
capitalism, and our Party would still be engaged in bitter struggle in the dark. Therefore, 
it is no exaggeration to say that were it not for Chairman Mao there would be no New 
China. Mao Zedong Thought has nurtured our whole generation. All comrades present 
here may be said to have been nourished by Mao Zedong Thought. Without Mao Zedong 
Thought, the Communist Party of China would not exist today, and that is no 
exaggeration either. Mao Zedong Thought will forever remain the greatest intellectual 
treasure of our Party, our army and our people. We must understand the scientific tenets 
of Mao Zedong Thought correctly and as an integral whole and develop them under the 
new historical conditions. Of course Comrade Mao was not infallible or free from 
shortcomings. To demand that of any revolutionary leader would be inconsistent with 
Marxism. We must guide and educate the Party members, the army officers and men and 
the people of all of China's nationalities and help them to see the great services of 
Comrade Mao Zedong scientifically and in historical perspective. 

The ""cultural revolution" should also be viewed scientifically and in historical 
perspective. In initiating it Comrade Mao Zedong was actuated mainly by the desire to 
oppose and prevent revisionism. As for the shortcomings that appeared during the course 
of the ""cultural revolution" and the mistakes that were made then, at an appropriate time 
they should be summed up and lessons should be drawn from them -- that is essential for 
achieving unity of understanding throughout the Party. The ""cultural revolution" has 
become a stage in the course of China's socialist development, hence we must evaluate it. 
However, there is no need to do so hastily. Serious research must be done before we can 
make a scientific appraisal of this historical stage. It may take a rather long time to fully 
understand and assess some of the particular issues involved. We will probably be able to 
make a more correct analysis of this period in history after some time has passed than we 
can right now. 

IV. STUDY THE NEW SITUATION AND TACKLE 

THE NEW PROBLEMS 

In order to look forward, we must study the new situation and tackle the new problems in 
good time; otherwise, there can be no smooth progress. In three fields especially, the new 
situation and new problems demand attention: methods of management, structure of 
management and economic policy. 

So far as methods of management are concerned, we should lay particular stress on 
overcoming bureaucratism. 

Our bureaucracy, which is a result of small-scale production, is utterly incompatible with 
large-scale production. To achieve the four modernizations and shift the technological 
basis of our entire socialist economy to that of large-scale production, it is essential to 



overcome the evils of bureaucracy. Our present economic management is marked by 
overstaffing, organizational overlapping, complicated procedures and extremely low 
efficiency. Everything is often drowned in empty political talk. This is not the fault of 
any group of comrades. The fault lies in the fact that we haven't made reforms in time. 
Our modernization programme and socialist cause will be doomed if we don't make them 
now. 

We must learn to manage the economy by economic means. If we ourselves don't know 
about advanced methods of management, we should learn from those who do, either at 
home or abroad. These methods should be applied not only in the operation of enterprises 
with newly imported technology and equipment, but also in the technical transformation 
of existing enterprises. Pending the introduction of a unified national programme of 
modern management, we can begin with limited spheres, say, a particular region or a 
given trade, and then spread the methods gradually to others. The central government 
departments concerned should encourage such experiments. Contradictions of all kinds 
will crop up in the process and we should discover and overcome them in good time. 
That will speed up our progress. 

Henceforth, now that the question of political line has been settled, the quality of 
leadership given by the Party committee in an economic unit should be judged mainly by 
the unit's adoption of advanced methods of management, by the progress of its technical 
innovation, and by the margins of increase of its productivity of labour, its profits, the 
personal income of its workers and the collective benefits it provides. The quality of 
leadership by Party committees in all fields should be judged by similar criteria. This will 
be of major political importance in the years to come. Without these criteria as its key 
elements, our politics would be empty and divorced from the highest interests of both the 
Party and the people. 

So far as the structure of management is concerned, the most important task at present is 
to strengthen the work responsibility system. 

Right now a big problem in enterprises and institutions across the country and in Party 
and government organs at various levels is that nobody takes responsibility. In theory, 
there is collective responsibility. In fact, this means that no one is responsible. When a 
task is assigned, nobody sees that it is properly fulfilled or cares whether the result is 
satisfactory. So there is an urgent need to establish a strict responsibility system. Lenin 
said, ""To refer to collegiate methods as an excuse for irresponsibility is a most dangerous 
evil." He called it ""an evil which must be halted at all costs as quickly as possible and by 
whatever the means" . 

For every job or construction project it is necessary to specify the work to be done, the 
personnel required to do it, work quotas, standards of quality, and a time schedule. For 
example, in introducing foreign technology and equipment we should specify what items 
are to be imported from where, where they are going, and who is to take charge of the 
work. Whether it is a question of importing foreign equipment or of operating an existing 
enterprise, similar specifications should be made. When problems arise, it doesn't help 



just to blame the planning commissions and Party committees concerned, as we do now - 
- the particular persons responsible must feel the heat. By the same token, rewards also 
should go to specific collectives and persons. In implementing the system according to 
which the factory directors assume overall responsibility under the leadership of the Party 
committees, we must state explicitly who is responsible for each aspect of the work. 

To make the best use of the responsibility system, the following measures are essential. 

First, we must extend the authority of the managerial personnel. Whoever is given 
responsibility should be given authority as well. Whoever it is — a factory director, 
engineer, technician, accountant or cashier — he should have his own area not only of 
responsibility but of authority, which must not be infringed upon by others. The 
responsibility system is bound to fail if there is only responsibility without authority. 

Second, we must select personnel wisely and assign duties according to ability. We 
should seek out existing specialists and train new ones, put them in important positions, 
raise their political status and increase their material benefits. What are the political 
requirements in selecting someone for a job? The major criterion is whether the person 
chosen can work for the good of the people and contribute to the development of the 
productive forces and to the socialist cause as a whole. 

Third, we must have a strict system of evaluation and distinguish clearly between a 
performance that should be rewarded and one that should be penalized. All enterprises, 
schools, research institutes and government offices should set up systems for evaluating 
work and conferring academic, technical and honorary titles. Rewards and penalties, 
promotions and demotions should be based on work performance. And they should be 
linked to increases or reductions in material benefits. 

In short, through strengthening the responsibility system and allotting rewards and 
penalties fairly, we should create an atmosphere of friendly emulation in which people 
vie with one another to become advanced elements, working hard and aiming high. 

In economic policy, I think we should allow some regions and enterprises and some 
workers and peasants to earn more and enjoy more benefits sooner than others, in 
accordance with their hard work and greater contributions to society. If the standard of 
living of some people is raised first, this will inevitably be an impressive example to their 
'"neighbours", and people in other regions and units will want to learn from them. This 
will help the whole national economy to advance wave upon wave and help the people of 
all our nationalities to become prosperous in a comparatively short period. 

Of course, there are still difficulties in production in the Northwest, Southwest and some 
other regions, and the life of the people there is hard. The state should give these places 
many kinds of help, and in particular strong material support. 

These are major policies which can have an effect on the whole national economy and 
push it forward. I suggest that you study them carefully. 



During the drive to realize the four modernizations, we are bound to encounter many new 
and unexpected situations and problems with which we are unfamiliar. In particular, the 
reforms in the relations of production and in the superstructure will not be easy to 
introduce. They touch on a wide range of issues and concern the immediate interests of 
large numbers of people, so they are bound to give rise to complications and problems 
and to meet with numerous obstacles. In the reorganization of enterprises, for example, 
there will be the problem of deciding who will stay on and who will leave, while in that 
of government departments, a good many people will be transferred to other jobs, and 
some may complain. And so on. Since we will have to confront such problems soon, we 
must be mentally prepared for them. We must teach Party members and the masses to 
give top priority to the overall situation and the overall interests of the Party and the state. 
We should be full of confidence. We will be able to solve any problem and surmount any 
obstacle so long as we have faith in the masses, follow the mass line and explain the 
situation and problems to them. There can be no doubt that as the economy grows, more 
and more possibilities will open up and each person will be able to make his contribution 
to society. 

The four modernizations represent a great and profound revolution in which we are 
moving forward by resolving one new contradiction after another. Therefore, all Party 
comrades must learn well and always keep on learning. 

On the eve of nationwide victory in the Chinese revolution. Comrade Mao Zedong called 
on the whole Party to start learning afresh. We did that pretty well and consequently, 
after entering the cities, we were able to rehabilitate the economy very quickly and then 
to accomplish the socialist transformation . But we must admit that we have not learned 
well enough in the subsequent years. Expending our main efforts on political campaigns, 
we did not master the skills needed to build our country. Our socialist construction failed 
to progress satisfactorily and we experienced grave setbacks politically. Now that our 
task is to achieve modernization, our lack of the necessary knowledge is even more 
obvious. So the whole Party must start learning again. 

What shall we learn? Basically, we should study Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong 
Thought and try to integrate the universal principles of Marxism with the concrete 
practice of our modernization drive. At present most of our cadres need also to apply 
themselves to three subjects: economics, science and technology, and management. Only 
if we study these well will we be able to carry out socialist modernization rapidly and 
efficiently. We should learn in different ways — through practice, from books and from 
the experience, both positive and negative, of others as well as our own. Conservatism 
and book worship should be overcome. The several hundred members and alternate 
members of the Central Committee and the thousands of senior cadres at the central and 
local levels should take the lead in making an in-depth study of modern economic 
development. 

So long as we unite as one, work in concert, emancipate our minds, use our heads and try 
to learn what we did not know before, there is no doubt that we will be able to quicken 
the pace of our new Long March. Under the leadership of the Central Committee and the 



State Council, let us advance courageously to change the backward condition of our 
country and turn it into a modem and powerful socialist state. 

(Speech at the closing session of the Central Working Conference which made 
preparations for the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the 
Chinese Communist Party that immediately followed. In essence, this speech served as 
the keynote address for the Third Plenary Session.) 

PUT ON THE AGENDA SETTLEMENT OF THE 

TAIWAN QUESTION FOR THE REUNIFICATION 

OF THE MOTHERLAND 

January 1, 1979 



Today is New Year's Day 1979, an extraordinary day. It is extraordinary because it is 
different from other New Year's Days in three ways. First, the focus of the work in the 
whole country has been shifted onto the four modernizations . Second, relations between 
China and the United States have been normalized. Third, we have put on the agenda the 
return of Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of China. Therefore, on this New 
Year's Day we are very happy. These three things show that since the smashing of the 
Gang of Four, we have scored substantial achievements in both domestic work and 
international affairs. 

Last year, production in our country was satisfactory, much better than expected. This is 
inseparable from our efforts to conscientiously expose and criticize Lin Biao and the 
Gang of Four and eliminate their pernicious influence. What is even more gratifying is 
that since the downfall of the Gang of Four, the people throughout the country have come 
to enjoy ease of mind and have been united as one. Last year, the political situation 
characterized by both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity 
of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness, as advocated by Chairman Mao as early 
as 1957, gradually came into being. This was most clearly reflected at the working 
conference of the Central Committee and the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh 
Central Committee our Party just held. To sum up, this general mood and situation is a 
political situation of liveliness. We should maintain this general mood and situation 
throughout the country — in the Party, in the government and in the army, and among the 
people. This constitutes the political basis for realizing the four modernizations. Without 
this political situation, it will be impossible for us to achieve the four modernizations. 
Over a fairly long period of time, we failed to properly deal with the relationship of 
democracy to centralism, and we did not have much democracy. Therefore, we should 
promote democracy even more. 

Last year we scored many significant achievements in international affairs, which were 
represented by the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between China and 
Japan and the normalization of relations between China and the United States. We were 
able to put on the agenda the return of Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of 



China just because we had scored significant achievements in domestic work and 
international affairs. On this extraordinary day, we should also be soberly aware that it is 
an arduous task to realize the four modernizations. There are many things we do not yet 
understand, and we are inexperienced. Therefore, we should study and work hard. We 
should also recognize that we shall inevitably make mistakes in certain matters and 
encounter difficulties in some areas. However, as long as the people throughout the 
country work with one heart and one mind, are eager to learn, consolidate and maintain 
the situation of stability and unity and uphold democratic centralism, our cause will be 
vigorously furthered. 

The fundamental policies we followed in handling international affairs last year were 
formulated by Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou, but they died before they could 
implement those policies. We have fulfilled some of their desires. The signing of the 
Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between China and Japan and the normalization of 
relations between China and the United States are beneficial to peace and stability in the 
world and to the international fight against hegemony. Now as we still face many 
problems, we must continue to work hard. In international affairs we should continue to 
consolidate and develop the gratifying situation we have created. I am convinced that 
every member present here is joyful and optimistic about the current situation and will be 
happy to make his or her own contribution to it. 

(Speech delivered at the forum on the ''Message of the Standing Committee of the 
National People's Congress to the Taiwan Compatriots" held by the Chinese People's 
Political Consultative Conference.) 

WE SHOULD MAKE USE OF FOREIGN FUNDS AND 

LET FORMER CAPITALIST INDUSTRIALISTS 

AND BUSINESSMEN PLAY THEIR ROLE IN 

DEVELOPING THE ECONOMY 

January 17, 1979 



We are very pleased to hear that you have excellent suggestions as to how to develop the 
economy. Today I should like to talk on this topic. 

Now that we are developing the economy on a large scale, we have come to understand 
that we do not have adequate knowledge or funds. At the Third Plenary Session of the 
Eleventh Central Committee, the Party decided to shift the focus of its work onto socialist 
modernization. As we have wasted a lot of time, we now have to develop rapidly. But 
how can we do this without repeating the mistakes we made in 1958 ? This is a problem 
we must solve. At present, it is necessary to develop the economy in many ways. For 
example, we can utilize foreign funds and technology, and overseas Chinese and foreign 
citizens of Chinese origin should be allowed to establish factories in China. In order to 
absorb foreign capital, we may either use compensatory trade or establish Sino-foreign 



joint ventures, beginning with enterprises where the turnover of capital is quick. Of 
course, we must not use more foreign capital than we can repay. 

We should allow former capitalist industrialists and businessmen to play a role, using 
those who are well-trained and appointing capable individuals as cadres. Since you are 
familiar with them, you will be able to persuade them to assume appropriate positions. 
Take tourism for example, you can recommend capable industrialists and businessmen to 
serve as managers of tourist companies; some of them can serve first as advisors. I also 
hope that you will recommend industrialists and businessmen with knowledge of 
techniques as well as managerial expertise to manage enterprises, especially those 
enterprises comprising new trades in China. We should utilize Chinese people, both at 
home and abroad, as long as they are patriotic, devoted to work and capable. 

We should implement our policies concerning the above-mentioned industrialists and 
businessmen and their descendants. These people stopped receiving a fixed rate of 
interest long ago. As long as they no longer exploit others, we have no reason to continue 
to label them '"capitalists". After we have implemented these policies, these people will 
retain some of their money. They should be allowed to set up factories or invest in 
tourism in order to earn foreign capital. It is better for them to use their money to do 
something rather than keeping it idle. Industrialists and businessmen should choose a few 
projects in which they are willing to invest. In short, both industrialists and businessmen 
and their money should be utilized. 

Comrade Rong Yiren , I hope that you will concentrate on economic work and on opening 
to the outside world in any way that you see fit. You should follow this rule: accept only 
those tasks which you consider reasonable and refuse any unreasonable ones which the 
government assigns to you; you have full powers to deal with corporate affairs. You will 
not be blamed should you deal with some affairs wrongly. You should manage the 
economy according to economic principles. When signing contracts, you should judge 
from commercial perspectives, signing only those contracts which will bring about profit 
and foreign exchange. You should proceed regardless of administrative interference. The 
full powers mentioned above include the power to employ personnel. You should not 
hesitate to do anything conducive to socialist economic development. 

(Excerpt from a talk with Hu Juewen, Hu Zi'ang, Rong Yiren and other leaders of 
industrial and commercial circles.) 

UPHOLD THE FOUR CARDINAL PRINCIPLES 

March 30, 1979 



Comrades, 



This forum on the principles for the Party's theoretical work has been in session for some 
time. With the meeting drawing to an end, the Central Committee has asked me to set 
forth a few views on the subject. 

I. THE PRESENT SITUATION AND OUR TASKS 

This meeting is being held in accordance with a decision of the Third Plenary Session of 
the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. That session and the 
Central Working Conference prior to it confirmed the important work of the Central 
Committee since the smashing of the Gang of Four. Those two meetings decided that the 
nationwide mass movement to expose and criticize Lin Biao and the Gang of Four could 
be considered successfully completed and that, beginning from this year, the Party must 
shift the focus of its work to socialist modernization. The Third Plenary Session solved a 
series of major problems left over from the recent history of the Party in order to rally the 
whole Party and army and our people of all nationalities to march forward towards the 
grand objective — the four modernizations . Both meetings were of great significance in 
the history of the Party. At this forum on the principles for theoretical work convened 
after the Third Plenary Session, the participants have spoken frankly and put forward a 
number of questions deserving our attention and study. On the whole, the meeting has 
been fruitful. As I said at the Central Working Conference, it is essential that we 
emancipate our minds, use our heads, seek truth from facts and unite as one and look to 
the future. We must continue to follow these principles unswervingly. The important 
thing now is to go a step further in popularizing and applying them by proceeding from 
reality and linking them closely with the present situation and our tasks. 

We need to make an adequate assessment of all aspects of the situation since the toppling 
of the Gang of Four, and particularly since the Third Plenary Session. In the two and a 
half years since the overthrow of the Gang, we have destroyed most of its counter- 
revolutionary political forces and readjusted and strengthened our leading bodies at 
various levels. Leadership in the Party, the government and the army is now mainly in the 
hands of cadres worthy of the people's trust, and most of the work in these three spheres 
has returned to normal. This is a momentous, hard-won achievement. We have freed 
ourselves from the effects of the decade of turmoil created by Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four and secured a political situation marked by stability and unity; this situation is both 
a prerequisite and a guarantee for our socialist modernization. All of us present here, all 
members of our Party, and especially those in leading posts, should treasure this political 
situation and lay great stress on preserving it. Stability and unity, of course, must be 
based on principle. As regards our ideological and political orientation, it can be said that 
through our exposure and criticism of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and, in particular, 
through our discussions of ideological and theoretical problems at the Central Working 
Conference and the Third Plenary Session of the Central Committee this past winter, we 
have basically returned to the correct path of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong 
Thought, which we mean to follow at all times. China's economy has taken a turn for the 
better and production has been rapidly restored in all sectors. This political and economic 
situation has made it possible for the whole Party to begin shifting the focus of its work 
to socialist modernization this year. This is a great turning point in China's history. 



Although we have been engaged in socialist construction for many years, we have good 
reason to consider this the beginning of a new phase of historical development. Events of 
the past three months have proved conclusively that the guiding principles laid down at 
the Third Plenary Session are correct and enjoy the firm support of the whole Party and 
people. Throughout the country, stability and unity are being consolidated and a buoyant 
democratic life is developing both inside and outside the Party. Our Party's fine traditions 
have been largely revived, much progress has been made in emancipating thinking inside 
and outside the Party and the work style of seeking truth from facts is becoming ever 
more widespread. Furthermore, the implementation of the Party's policies has aroused the 
enthusiasm of millions upon millions of people both inside and outside its ranks, and in 
the rural areas the two documents on agriculture adopted at the Third Plenary Session 
have been warmly received by the cadres and the masses of peasants. The victory in our 
counter-attack waged in self-defence on Viet Nam has immensely heightened China's 
prestige in the international struggle against hegemonism as well as the prestige of the 
army among our own people. This counter-attack has demonstrated that our army still 
deserves to be called the valiant and battle-tested People's Liberation Army, and that it 
remains the Great Wall of defence of our socialist modernization. 

Furthermore, it must be stressed that we have done a lot of diplomatic work in the past 
two years and have secured an excellent international environment for the realization of 
China's four modernizations. Judging from the international reaction to our defensive 
counter-attack on Viet Nam, we have the genuine sympathy of the vast majority of 
people. It is now even clearer to everyone how brilliant and far-sighted was the strategy 
of differentiating the three worlds formulated by Comrade Mao Zedong in the evening of 
his life. It is also clearer how brilliant and far-sighted were his policy decisions on this 
issue, namely, that China should side with the third-world countries and strengthen its 
unity with them, try to win over the second-world countries for a concerted effort against 
hegemonism, and establish normal diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan. 
This strategic principle and these policies have been invaluable in rallying the world's 
people to oppose hegemonism, changing the world political balance, frustrating the 
Soviet hegemonists' arrogant plan to isolate China internationally, improving China's 
international environment, and heightening its international prestige. 

In short, if we compare the country today with what it was at the time when Lin Biao and 
the Gang of Four ran riot, we see that radical changes have taken place in every respect. 
Under the correct leadership of the Central Committee, the Party, the army and the people 
are once again filled with confident hope for the future of our great socialist motherland. 
Anyone who fails to recognize that is bound to make major errors. 

But at the same time we are confronted with some rather serious difficulties, and failure 
to recognize that too will likewise lead to major errors. First of all, we must make a sober 
appraisal of our country's economy, which has long suffered damage from Lin Biao and 
the Gang of Four, and reach a common view of the subject. In the past decade we have 
failed to rid the economy of the serious imbalances which have made it impossible to 
achieve a steady and reliable high rate of growth. It appears that in the general process of 
advance, our economy — that is, our agriculture, industry, capital construction, transport 



services, domestic and foreign trade, and banking and finance — needs a period of 
readjustment in order to change from varying degrees of imbalance to relative balance. 
The present readjustment is different from that of the early 1960s. Being made at a time 
when the economy is growing, it aims to lay a solid foundation for the four 
modernizations. However, it is necessary to make a partial retreat. Some unrealistically 
high targets, which it would do more harm than good to aim at, must be resolutely 
lowered, and some ill-managed enterprises which run at a heavy loss must be 
consolidated within a certain time span or even temporarily shut down so that 
consolidation can be carried out. We must take one step back in order to take two steps 
forward. At the same time, in order to achieve the four modernizations, we must be 
earnest in solving a variety of problems related to our economic structure, and this too 
involves an extensive and complex readjustment. If we can smoothly carry out our tasks 
for 1979, the first year of readjustment, we will have made a big advance, a good 
beginning in shifting the focus of our work. 

When there are disproportions in the economy, correct readjustment must be made in 
order for it to make steady progress; this fact is borne out by our historical experience in 
the economic readjustments of the years immediately following Liberation and of the 
early 1960s . We must therefore tell the people throughout China that no headway can be 
made unless such a readjustment is carried out, and that while the process is going on 
everyone must have full confidence in, and comply with, the arrangements made by the 
Party and the government. It should be recognized that, compared with the readjustment 
in the early sixties, the current one has many more conditions in its favour, but that it also 
faces some difficulties. During the readjustment of the sixties, the leadership at all levels 
and the sense of organization and discipline both inside and outside the Party were better 
than now, when there are certain elements of political and ideological instability. At 
present the various localities face the enormous task of clearing away the problems left 
behind by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four after their decade of trouble-making. Their 
poisonous influence — reflected particularly in factionalism and anarchism — has begun 
to spread again among a small section of people, along with doubts about socialism, the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, the Party's leadership and Marxism-Leninism and Mao 
Zedong Thought. And some of our cadres, faced with entirely new historical tasks, have 
not sufficiently freed themselves from old ideas, nor are they good at studying the new 
situations and solving the new problems. Moreover, we are still plagued by the force of 
habit of the small producer and by the habits of bureaucracy. It is quite obvious that 
under these circumstances extensive readjustment may be accompanied by small or big 
disturbances. We can avoid them only if we have strong, centralized leadership and a 
strict sense of organization and discipline, only if we strengthen our efforts to maintain 
public and political order and to educate people in this regard, and only if we firmly 
improve the style of work in the Party and take further steps to restore its fine traditions 
of seeking truth from facts, following the mass line and working hard. Otherwise, these 
disturbances could become serious obstacles to our modernization programme at its very 
outset. The Central Committee has now decided to set up a Financial and Economic 
Commission, headed by Comrades Chen Yun and Li Xiannian , which will give unified 
direction to financial and economic work and to the current readjustment. The Central 
Committee, the State Council and the leading bodies in various localities have taken, and 



will continue to take, measures to strengthen public order, consolidate socialist legality 
and ensure stability and unity while resolutely promoting democracy. Discipline 
inspection commissions have been established by the Central Committee and local 
organizations of the Party. Their main task is to help the Central Committee and the local 
Party committees to improve their style of work. We have full confidence in our ability to 
surmount the temporary obstacles to our advance and to lead the Party and people to 
victory in our modernization drive. 

What is our main task at present and for a fairly long time to come? To put it briefly, it is 
to carry out the modernization programme. The destiny of our country and people hinges 
on its success. Given our present conditions, it will be precisely by succeeding in the four 
modernizations that we will be adhering to Marxism and holding high the great banner of 
Mao Zedong Thought. And if we fail to proceed from this reality and to concentrate on 
the four modernizations, it will mean that we are departing from Marxism while 
indulging in empty talk about it. At the present time, socialist modernization is of 
supreme political importance for us, because it represents the most fundamental interest 
of our people. Today every member of the Communist Party and the Communist Youth 
League and every patriotic citizen must devote all his energies to the modernization drive 
and do all he can to overcome every difficulty under the unified leadership of the Party 
and government. 

II. THE NECESSITY OF UPHOLDING THE FOUR 

CARDINAL PRINCIPLES IN THE DRIVE FOR 

THE FOUR MODERNIZATIONS 

To achieve the four modernizations and make China a powerful socialist country before 
the end of this century will be a gigantic task. 

In our democratic revolution, we had to act in accordance with China's specific situation 
and follow the path discovered by Comrade Mao Zedong of encircling the cities from the 
rural areas. Now, in our national construction, we must likewise act in accordance with 
our own situation and find a Chinese path to modernization. 

At least two important features of our situation must be taken into account in order to 
carry out the four modernizations in China. 

First, we are starting from a weak base. The damage inflicted over a long period by the 
forces of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism reduced China to a state of 
poverty and backwardness. However, since the founding of the People's Republic we 
have achieved signal successes in economic construction, established a fairly 
comprehensive industrial system and trained a body of technical personnel. From 
Liberation to last year, the average annual rate of growth in our industry and agriculture 
was fairly high by world standards. Nonetheless, because of our low starting point, China 
is still one of the world's poor countries. Our scientific and technological forces are far 



from adequate. Generally speaking, we are 20 to 30 years behind the advanced countries 
in the development of science and technology. In the past three decades our economy has 
gone through reversals. The havoc wrought by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four in the 
decade 1966-76 has had particularly grave consequences. Our present readjustment is 
aimed precisely at eliminating those consequences. 

Second, we have a large population but not enough arable land. Of China's population of 
more than 900 million, 80 per cent are peasants. While there are advantages to having a 
large population, there are disadvantages as well. When production is insufficiently 
developed, it poses serious problems with regard to food, education and employment. We 
must greatly increase our efforts in family planning; but even if the population does not 
grow for a number of years, we will still have a population problem for a certain period. 
Our vast territory and rich natural resources are big assets. But many of these resources 
have not yet been surveyed and exploited, so they do not constitute actual means of 
production. Despite China's vast territory, the amount of arable land is limited, and 
neither this fact nor the fact that we have a large, mostly peasant population can be easily 
changed. This is a distinctive characteristic which we must take into account in carrying 
out our modernization programme. 

To accomplish modernization of a Chinese type, we must proceed from China's special 
characteristics. For example, modern production requires only a small number of people, 
while our population is enormous. How shall we reconcile these two facts? Unless we 
take all factors into account, we shall be faced for a long time with the social problem of 
insufficient employment. There are many problems in this connection which Party 
comrades doing practical and theoretical work must study together. We can surely find 
ways of solving these problems. But I am not going to discuss them today. 

What I want to talk about now is ideological and political questions. The Central 
Committee maintains that, to carry out China's four modernizations, we must uphold the 
Four Cardinal Principles ideologically and politically. This is the basic prerequisite for 
achieving modernization. The four principles are: 

1. We must keep to the socialist road. 

2. We must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

3. We must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party. 

4. We must uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 

As we all know, far from being new, these Four Cardinal Principles have long been 
upheld by our Party. The Central Committee has been adhering to these principles in all 
its guidelines and policies adopted since the smashing of the Gang of Four, and especially 
since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee. 



We have criticized, on both a theoretical and a practical level, the phoney, ultra-Left 
socialism pushed by the Gang of Four, which boils down to universal poverty. We have 
always followed the principles of socialist public ownership and distribution according to 
work. We have always followed the policy of developing socialist economic construction 
mainly through self-reliance-supplemented by foreign aid-and through the study and 
acquisition of advanced technology from abroad. We have tried to act in accordance with 
objective economic laws. In other words, we have adhered to scientific socialism. 

We have smashed the feudal fascism of the Gang of Four, redressed many injustices, 
solved many problems left over from the past, consolidated the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, and restored and extended socialist democracy. And particularly since the 
Third Plenary Session, we have created a lively political situation of the type Comrade 
Mao Zedong had long looked forward to in his lifetime. 

We have restored the three major features of the Party's style of work , which had been 
trampled upon, improved the system of democratic centralism in the Party, and reinforced 
unity throughout the Party and between the Party and the masses. All this has enormously 
enhanced the Party's prestige and strengthened its leadership of the state and society. 

We have broken the mental shackles forged by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and have 
insisted that leaders should be regarded as human beings, not demigods. We have always 
tried to understand Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought correctly and as an 
integral, scientific system, and have always proceeded from reality and sought truth from 
facts. In other words, we have restored the original features of Mao Zedong Thought and 
defended the eminence of Comrade Mao Zedong as a great figure in the history of the 
Chinese revolution and of world revolution. 

Nevertheless, the Central Committee believes that today there is still a tremendous need 
to stress propaganda on the four principles. This need continues because some Party 
comrades have not yet freed themselves from the evil influence of the ultra-Left ideology 
of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. A handful have gone so far as to spread rumors and 
calumnies, attacking the principles and policies adopted by the Central Committee since 
the toppling of the Gang of Four and particularly since the Third Plenary Session as 
running counter to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. It is necessary to 
continue emphasizing the Four Cardinal Principles also because a handful of people in 
society at large are spreading ideas which are against them or at least cast doubt on them, 
and because individual Party comrades, instead of recognizing the danger of such ideas, 
have given them a certain degree of direct or indirect support. Although the number of 
such persons both inside and outside the Party is very small, we must not overlook their 
impact on that account. Facts show that they can do great damage to our cause and that 
they have already done so. Therefore, it is not enough for us to keep on resolutely 
eliminating the pernicious influence of the Gang of Four, helping those comrades who 
have been misled by it to come to their senses, and rebutting the reactionary statements of 
those who slander the Central Committee. While continuing to do all these things, we 
must also struggle unremittingly against currents of thought which throw doubt on the 
Four Cardinal Principles. Both the ultra-Left and Right currents of thought run counter to 



Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and obstruct our advance towards 
modernization. We have conducted massive criticism of the ultra-Left thinking spread by 
Lin Biao and the Gang of Four (there is no question that this thinking too is in opposition 
to the four cardinal principles, only it is opposition from the "Left"), and we will go on 
criticizing it relentlessly. But what I want to emphasize now is criticism of a trend of 
thought which is sceptical of, or opposed to, our Four Cardinal Principles, but which 
comes from the Right. 

First, we must keep to the socialist road. Some people are now openly saying that 
socialism in inferior to capitalism. We must demolish this contention. In the first place, 
socialism and socialism alone can save China — this is the unshakable historical 
conclusion that the Chinese people have drawn from their own experience in the 60 years 
since the May 4th Movement [1919]. Deviate from socialism and China will inevitably 
retrogress to semi-feudalism and semi-colonialism. The overwhelming majority of the 
Chinese people will never allow such a retrogression. In the second place, although it is a 
fact that socialist China lags behind the developed capitalist countries in its economy, 
technology and culture, this is not due to the socialist system but basically to China's 
historical development before Liberation; it is the result of imperialism and feudalism. 
The socialist revolution has greatly narrowed the gap in economic development between 
China and the advanced capitalist countries. Despite our errors, in the past three decades 
we have made progress on a scale which old China could not achieve in hundreds or even 
thousands of years. Our economy has attained a fairly high rate of growth. Now that we 
have summed up experience and corrected errors, it will undoubtedly develop more 
rapidly than the economy of any capitalist country, and the development will be steady 
and sustained. Of course, it will take a considerable period of time for the value of our 
national output per capita to catch up with and surpass that of the developed capitalist 
countries. In the third place, let's ask: Which is better, the socialist system or the capitalist 
system? Of course the socialist system is better. In certain circumstances, a socialist 
country may make serious errors, and even experience such major setbacks as the havoc 
created by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. Naturally, this has its subjective causes, but 
basically it is due to influences inherited from the old society with its long history, 
influences that cannot be swept away overnight. Capitalist countries with a long feudal 
history — such as Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy — all experienced major 
setbacks and reversals at different times (counter-revolutionary restorations occurred in 
Britain and France while Germany, Japan and Italy had periods of fascist rule). But 
relying on the socialist system and our own strength, we toppled Lin Biao and the Gang 
of Four without too much difficulty and quickly set our country back on the road to 
stability, unity and healthy development. The socialist economy is based on public 
ownership, and socialist production is designed to meet the material and cultural needs of 
the people to the maximum extent possible — not to exploit them. These characteristics of 
the socialist system make it possible for the people of our country to share common 
political, economic and social ideals and moral standards. All this can never happen in a 
capitalist society. There is no way by which capitalism can ever eliminate the extraction 
of super-profits by its millionaires or ever get rid of exploitation, plundering and 
economic crises. It can never generate common ideals and moral standards or free itself 
from appalling crimes, moral degradation and despair. On the other hand, capitalism 



already has a history of several hundred years, and we have to learn from the peoples of 
the capitalist countries. We must make use of the science and technology they have 
developed and of those elements in their accumulated knowledge and experience which 
can be adapted to our use. While we will import advanced technology and other things 
useful to us from the capitalist countries — selectively and according to plan — we will 
never learn from or import the capitalist system itself, nor anything repellent or decadent. 
If the developed capitalist countries were to rid themselves of the capitalist system, their 
economy and culture would certainly make greater progress. That is why the progressive 
political forces in the capitalist countries are trying to study and propagate socialism and 
are fighting to eliminate the injustices and irrational phenomena endemic in capitalist 
society and to carry out socialist revolution. We should introduce to our people, and 
particularly to our youth, whatever is progressive and useful in the capitalist countries, 
and we should criticize whatever is reactionary and decadent. 

Second, we must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat. We have conducted a lot of 
propaganda explaining that the dictatorship of the proletariat means socialist democracy 
for the people, democracy enjoyed by the workers, peasants, intellectuals and other 
working people, the broadest democracy that has ever existed in history. In the past, we 
did not practise democracy enough and we made mistakes. Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four, while boosting their so-called ""all-round dictatorship", exercised a feudal fascist 
dictatorship over the people. We have smashed this dictatorship, which had nothing in 
common with the dictatorship of the proletariat but was its diametric opposite. Now we 
have corrected the past mistakes and adopted many measures to constantly expand 
democracy in the Party and among the people. Without democracy there can be no 
socialism and no socialist modernization. Of course, democratization, like modernization, 
must advance step by step. The more socialism develops, the more must democracy 
develop. This is beyond all doubt. However, the development of socialist democracy in 
no way means that we can dispense with the proletarian dictatorship over forces hostile to 
socialism. We are opposed to broadening the scope of class struggle. We do not believe 
that there is a bourgeoisie within the Party, nor do we believe that under the socialist 
system a bourgeoisie or any other exploiting class will re-emerge after exploiting classes 
and the conditions of exploitation have really been eliminated. But we must recognize 
that in our socialist society there are still counter-revolutionaries, enemy agents, criminals 
and other bad elements of all kinds who undermine socialist public order, as well as new 
exploiters who engage in corruption, embezzlement, speculation and profiteering. And 
we must also recognize that such phenomena cannot be all eliminated for a long time to 
come. The struggle against these individuals is different from the struggle of one class 
against another, which occurred in the past (these individuals cannot form a cohesive and 
overt class). However, it is still a special form of class struggle or a special form of the 
leftover, under socialist conditions, of the class struggles of past history. It is still 
necessary to exercise dictatorship over all these anti-socialist elements, and socialist 
democracy is impossible without it. This dictatorship is an internal struggle and in some 
cases an international struggle as well; in fact, the two aspects are inseparable. Therefore, 
so long as class struggle exists and so long as imperialism and hegemonism exist, it is 
inconceivable that the dictatorial function of the state should wither away, that the 
standing army, public security organs, courts and prisons should wither away. Their 



existence is not in contradiction with the democratization of the socialist state, for their 
correct and effective work ensures, rather than hampers, such democratization. The fact 
of the matter is that socialism cannot be defended or built up without the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. 

Third, we must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party. Since the inception of the 
international communist movement, it has been demonstrated that its survival is 
impossible without the political parties of the proletariat. Moreover, since the October 
Revolution it has been clear that without the leadership of a Communist Party, the 
socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist construction would all 
be impossible. Lenin said: ''The dictatorship of the proletariat is a persistent struggle -- 
bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and 
administrative — against the forces and traditions of the old society.... Without an iron 
party tempered in the struggle, without a party enjoying the confidence of all that is 
honest in the given class, without a party capable of watching and influencing the mood 
of the masses, it is impossible to conduct such a struggle successfully. " This truth 
enunciated by Lenin remains valid today. In our country, in the 60 years since the May 
4th Movement, no political party other than the Communist Party of China has integrated 
itself with the masses of the working people in the way described by Lenin. Without the 
Chinese Communist Party there would be no socialist new China. The misdeeds of Lin 
Biao and the Gang of Four aroused the resolute opposition of the whole Chinese people 
as well as of the whole Party precisely because Lin Biao and the Gang cast aside the 
Chinese Communist Party, the long-tested leading force that maintains flesh-and-blood 
ties with the masses. And if the Party's prestige among the people throughout the country 
has been enhanced since the downfall of the Gang of Four, and particularly since the 
Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, it is precisely because the 
entire nation pins all its hopes for the future on leadership by the Party. Although the 
mass movement of 1976 that culminated in the incident at Tiananmen Square where the 
people gathered to mourn Premier Zhou Enlai was not led by the Party organizationally, 
it staunchly supported the Party's leadership and opposed the Gang of Four. The 
revolutionary consciousness of the masses in that movement was inseparable from the 
education given by the Party over the years, and it was precisely members of the Party 
and the Communist Youth League who were the principal activists among them. Hence 
we must on no account consider the mass movement at Tiananmen Square to have been a 
purely spontaneous one like the May 4th Movement, which had no connection with Party 
leadership. In reality, without the Chinese Communist Party, who would organize the 
socialist economy, politics, military affairs and culture of China, and who would organize 
the four modernizations? In the China of today we can never dispense with leadership by 
the Party and extol the spontaneity of the masses. Party leadership, of course, is not 
infallible, and the problem of how the Party can maintain close links with the masses and 
exercise correct and effective leadership is still one that we must seriously study and try 
to solve. But this can never be made a pretext for demanding the weakening or 
liquidation of the Party's leadership. Our Party has made many errors, but each time the 
errors were corrected by relying on the Party organization, not by discarding it. The 
present Central Committee is persistent in promoting democracy in the Party and among 
the people and is determined to correct past errors. Under these circumstances, it would 



be all the more intolerable to the masses of our people to demand the liquidation or even 
the weakening of leadership by the Party. In fact, bowing to this demand would only lead 
to anarchism and the disruption and ruin of the socialist cause. Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four, as they put it, kicked aside the Party committees to ''make revolution", and it is 
clear to all what kind of revolution they made. If today we tried to achieve democracy by 
kicking aside the Party committees, isn't it equally clear what kind of democracy we 
would produce? In 1966 the Chinese economy, having gone through a few years of 
readjustment, was in a position to develop rapidly. But Lin Biao and the Gang of Four did 
it grave damage. Only now, under the leadership of the Central Committee and of the 
State Council, has our economy returned to the road of sound growth. If a handful of 
people are again allowed to kick aside the Party committees and make trouble, the four 
modernizations will vanish into thin air. This is not an exaggerated statement I am 
making to scare people; it is the objective truth corroborated by a wealth of facts. 

Fourth, we must uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. One of the key 
points of our struggle against Lin Biao and the Gang of Four was opposition to their 
falsification, doctoring and fragmenting of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 
Since the smashing of the Gang, we have restored the scientific character of Marxism- 
Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and have guided ourselves by them. This is a 
resounding victory for the whole Party and people. But a few individuals think otherwise. 
Either they openly oppose the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism, or else they uphold 
Marxism-Leninism in word only while in deed opposing Mao Zedong Thought, which 
represents the integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of 
the Chinese revolution. We must oppose these erroneous trends of thought. Some 
comrades say that we should uphold ''correct Mao Zedong Thought", but not "erroneous 
Mao Zedong Thought". This kind of statement is also wrong. What we consistently take 
as our guide to action are the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong 
Thought or, to put it another way, the scientific system formed by these tenets. When it 
comes to individual theses, neither Marx and Lenin nor Comrade Mao could be immune 
from misjudgements of one sort or another. But these do not belong to the scientific 
system formed by the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 

Now I want to talk at some length about Mao Zedong Thought. China's anti-imperialist 
and anti-feudal revolution went through innumerable cruel defeats. Was it not Mao 
Zedong Thought which enabled the Chinese people — about a quarter of the world's 
population — to find the correct road for their revolution, achieve nationwide liberation in 
1949, and basically accomplish socialist transformation by 1956? This succession of 
splendid victories changed not only China's destiny but the world situation as well. From 
the international point of view, Mao Zedong Thought is inseparably linked with the 
struggle against hegemonism; and the practice of hegemonism under the banner of 
socialism is a most obvious betrayal of socialist principles on the part of a Marxist- 
Leninist party after it has come to power. As I have already mentioned, in the evening of 
his life Comrade Mao Zedong formulated the strategy of differentiating the three worlds 
and personally ushered in a new stage in Sino-American and Sino-Japanese relations. By 
so doing he created new conditions for the development of the worldwide struggle 
against hegemonism and for the future of world politics. While conducting our 



modernization programme in the present international environment, we cannot help 
recalling Comrade Mao's contributions. Comrade Mao, like any other man, had his 
defects and made errors. But how can these errors in his illustrious life be put on a par 
with his immortal contributions to the people? In analysing his defects and errors, we 
certainly should recognize his personal responsibility, but what is more important is to 
analyse their complicated historical background. That is the only just and scientific — that 
is, Marxist — way to assess history and historical figures. Anyone who departs from 
Marxism on so serious a question will be censured by the Party and the masses. Isn't that 
natural? 

Mao Zedong Thought has been the banner of the Chinese revolution. It is and always will 
be the banner of China's socialist cause and of the anti-hegemonist cause. In our forward 
march we will always hold the banner of Mao Zedong Thought high. 

The cause and the thought of Comrade Mao Zedong are not his alone: they are likewise 
those of his comrades-in-arms, the Party and the people. His thought is the crystallization 
of the experience of the Chinese people's revolutionary struggle over half a century. The 
case of Karl Marx was similar. In his estimation of Marx, Frederick Engels said that it 
was only thanks to Marx that the contemporary proletariat became conscious for the first 
time of its own position and demands and of the conditions necessary for its own 
liberation. Does this mean that history is made by any one individual? History is made by 
the people, but this does not preclude the people from respecting an outstanding 
individual. Of course, this respect must not turn into blind worship. No man should be 
looked upon as a demigod. 

To sum up, in order to achieve the four modernizations we must keep to the socialist 
road, uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat, uphold the leadership of the Communist 
Party, and uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. The Central Committee 
considers that we must now repeatedly emphasize the necessity of upholding these four 
cardinal principles, because certain people (even if only a handful) are attempting to 
undermine them. In no way can such attempts be tolerated. No Party member and, 
needless to say, no Party ideological or theoretical worker, must ever waver in the 
slightest on this basic stand. To undermine any of the four cardinal principles is to 
undermine the whole cause of socialism in China, the whole cause of modernization. 

Is the Central Committee making a mountain out of a molehill when it takes this view of 
the matter? No, it is not. In the light of current developments the Party has no choice. 

In the recent period a small number of persons have provoked incidents in some places. 
Instead of accepting the guidance, advice, and explanations of leading officials of the 
Party and government, certain bad elements have raised sundry demands that cannot be 
met at present or are altogether unreasonable. They have provoked or tricked some of the 
masses into raiding Party and government organizations, occupying offices, holding sit- 
down and hunger strikes and obstructing traffic, thereby seriously disrupting production, 
other work and public order. 



Moreover, they have raised such sensational slogans as ""Oppose hunger" and ""Give us 
human rights", inciting people to hold demonstrations and deliberately trying to get 
foreigners to give worldwide publicity to their words and deeds. There is a so-called 
China Human Rights Group which has gone so far as to put up big-character posters 
requesting the President of the United States to ""show concern" for human rights in 
China. Can we permit such an open call for intervention in China's internal affairs? There 
is also a so-called Thaw Society which has issued a declaration openly opposing the 
dictatorship of the proletariat on the ground that it ""divides mankind". Can we tolerate 
this kind of freedom of speech which flagrantly contravenes the principles of our 
Constitution? 

In Shanghai there is a so-called Democracy Forum. Some of its members have slandered 
Comrade Mao Zedong and put up big counter-revolutionary posters proclaiming that 
""proletarian dictatorship is the source of all evils" and that it is necessary to ""resolutely 
and thoroughly criticize the Communist Party of China". They allege that capitalism is 
better than socialism and that, therefore, instead of carrying out the four modernizations 
China should introduce what they call ""social reform", by which they mean that it should 
turn to capitalism. They publicly declare that their task is to settle accounts with those 
whom the Gang of Four called the capitalist roaders but whom it had failed to deal with. 
Some of them have asked to go abroad to seek political asylum, and some have even 
made clandestine contact with the Kuomintang secret service, plotting sabotage. 

It is obvious that these people are out to use any and all means to disrupt our effort to 
shift the focus of our work to the achievement of modernization. If we ignored these 
grave problems, our Party and government organs at various levels would be so harassed 
that they would find it impossible to function. How, then, could we concentrate on the 
four modernizations? 

It is true that there are very few such incidents and that the overwhelming majority of our 
people disapprove of them. Nevertheless, they merit our serious attention. First, these 
trouble-makers generally say they speak in the name of democracy, a claim by which 
people are easily misled. Second, taking advantage of social problems left over from the 
time when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four held sway, they may deceive some people who 
have difficulties which the government cannot help to clear up at the moment. Third, the 
trouble-makers have begun to form all kinds of secret or semi-secret organizations which 
seek to establish contact with each other on a nationwide scale and at the same time to 
collaborate with political forces in Taiwan and abroad. Fourth, some of these people 
work hand in glove with gangster organizations and followers of the Gang of Four, trying 
to expand the scope of their sabotage. Fifth, they do all they can to use as a pretext — or 
as a shield — indiscreet statements of one sort or another made by some of our comrades. 
All this shows that the struggle against these individuals is no simple matter that can be 
settled quickly. We must strive to clearly distinguish between people (many of them 
innocent young people) and the counter-revolutionaries and bad elements who have 
hoodwinked them, and whom we must deal with sternly and according to law. At the 
same time, we must educate comrades throughout the Party about the necessity of 
sharpening their vigilance, bearing in mind the interests of the country as a whole and 



uniting as one under the leadership of the Central Committee. We must encourage them 
to continue the emancipation of their minds and consistently promote democracy so that 
they can mobilize all positive forces while at the same time endeavouring to clear up the 
ideological confusion among a small section of the people, especially young people. 

We must make a special effort to explain the question of democracy clearly to the people, 
and to our youth in particular. The socialist road, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the 
leadership of the Communist Party and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought — 
all these are tied up with democracy. What kind of democracy do the Chinese people 
need today? It can only be socialist democracy, people's democracy, and not bourgeois 
democracy, individualist democracy. People's democracy is inseparable from dictatorship 
over the enemy and from centralism based on democracy. We practise democratic 
centralism, which is the integration of centralism based on democracy with democracy 
under the guidance of centralism. Democratic centralism is an integral part of the socialist 
system. Under this system, personal interests must be subordinated to collective ones, the 
interests of the part to those of the whole, and immediate to long-term interests. In other 
words, limited interests must be subordinated to overall interests, and minor interests to 
major ones. Our advocacy and practice of these principles in no way means that we can 
ignore personal, local or immediate interests. In the final analysis, under the socialist 
system there is a unity of personal interests and collective interests, of the interests of the 
part and those of the whole, and of immediate and long-term interests. We must adjust 
the relations between these various types of interests in accordance with the principle of 
taking them all into proper consideration. Were we to do the opposite and pursue 
personal, local or immediate interests at the expense of the others, both sets of interests 
would inevitably suffer. In the final analysis, the relations between democracy and 
centralism and between rights and duties are the political and legal expressions of the 
relations between these diverse interests. This is precisely why Comrade Mao Zedong 
said that our aim is to create 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. That is the political situation which exists when there is true socialist 
democracy — the situation we must strive to create today and in the years to come. 

We have not propagated and practised democracy enough, and our systems and 
institutions leave much to be desired. The constant promotion of democracy is therefore a 
firm, long-term Party objective. However, while propagating democracy, we must strictly 
distinguish between socialist democracy on the one hand and bourgeois, individualist 
democracy on the other. We must link democracy for the people with dictatorship over 
the enemy, and with centralism, legality, discipline and the leadership by the Communist 
Party. At present when we are confronted with manifold difficulties in our economic life 
which can be overcome only by a series of readjustments and by consolidation and 
reorganization, it is particularly necessary to stress publicly the importance of 
subordinating personal interests to collective ones, interests of the part to those of the 
whole, and immediate to long-term interests. Only when everyone — whether inside or 
outside the Party, in a leading position or among the rank and file — is concerned for the 
overall interests shall we be able to overcome our difficulties and ensure a bright future 
for the four modernizations. Conversely, departure from the four cardinal principles and 



talk about democracy in the abstract will inevitably lead to the unchecked spread of ultra- 
democracy and anarchism, to the complete disruption of political stability and unity, and 
to the total failure of our modernization programme. If this happens, the decade of 
struggle against Lin Biao and the Gang of Four will have been in vain, China will once 
again be plunged into chaos, division, retrogression and darkness, and the Chinese people 
will be deprived of all hope. This is a matter of deep concern not only for the Chinese 
people of whatever nationality but also for all people abroad who wish to see China 
strong, and even for those who merely wish to expand trade with China. 

Here I would like to raise the question of standards of social conduct. Thanks to the 
correct leadership of the Party and government, these standards were quite sound in our 
country for a decade or more after the founding of the People's Republic. Most of the 
young people who grew up under the Party's education had high ideals, ardently loved the 
socialist motherland, responded actively to the calls of the Party and government, 
defended the people's interests, helped safeguard public order, and generally displayed a 
fine spirit of dedication and discipline. This type of conduct on the part of young people 
had a good influence on the conduct of other members of society, and vice versa. And 
this won the praise of foreigners as well as of our own people. However, in the decade of 
the Cultural Revolution, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four plunged our Party, government 
and society into chaos, poisoned the minds of many young people and did grave damage 
to socialist moral standards. The situation has improved considerably since the downfall 
of the Gang of Four, but we must not underestimate the residue of their pernicious 
influence in certain spheres. The present state of affairs is entirely incompatible with the 
requirements of the shift of focus in the Party's work. We encourage normal contact 
between Chinese and foreigners, because it is essential to the growth of understanding 
and friendship between our people and other peoples and to the acquisition of foreign 
technology and funds. There will be a vast increase in such contact in the future. 
However, some unhealthy phenomena have emerged among a small number of young 
people, because we have not adequately educated or guided them. Some young men and 
women blindly admire the capitalist countries, and some even show a blatant disregard 
for both national and personal dignity in their contact with foreigners. This is a matter 
requiring our serious attention. It is imperative that we educate our younger generation, 
take effective measures in all spheres to raise the standards of social conduct and deal 
sternly with offensive behaviour which seriously lowers them. 

To raise the standards of social conduct, we must first of all improve the Party's work 
style, and in particular this requires that leading Party comrades at all levels set a good 
example. The Party is a model for our entire society, and the leading Party comrades at 
all levels are models for our entire Party. If the Party organization ignores the views and 
interests of the masses, how can it expect to win their trust and their support for its 
leadership? If leading cadres in the Party do not set strict standards for themselves and 
observe Party discipline and the laws of the state, how can they be expected to help 
reform the standards of social conduct? How can they do so if, in violation of Party 
principles, they engage in factionalism, use their positions to obtain personal privileges, 
seize advantages through connections or influence, indulge in extravagance and waste, 
and seek personal gain at the expense of the public interest? How can they do so if they 



fail to share the joys and sorrows of the masses, refuse to be the first to bear hardships 
and the last to enjoy comforts, disobey the decisions of the Party organization and reject 
supervision by the masses or even retaliate against those who criticize them? In the 
present period of historical change, when problems have piled up and a thousand things 
wait to be done, it is crucial for us to strengthen the leadership of the Party and correct its 
work style. Comrade Mao Zedong said: ""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. " Only if we improve the Party's style of work can the standards of social 
conduct be improved and the four cardinal principles be upheld. 

Is anything I have said here out of keeping with the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of 
the Party's Eleventh Central Committee? No, everything I have said relates to measures 
that must be taken to carry out the principles and policies laid down at that session. Let 
me repeat: If we fail to adopt these measures, these principles and policies will come to 
naught. So will our effort to shift the focus of our work, so will our modernization 
programme, and so will the promotion of democracy inside and outside the Party. 
Therefore, it is entirely wrong to say, as some have said, that the Central Committee has 
decided on a ""tightening up" policy, or that it has changed its policy of promoting 
democracy. Only by upholding the four cardinal principles to which our Party has always 
adhered, and by firmly correcting the unhealthy tendencies which hamper the 
implementation of the principles and policies set forth at the Third Plenary Session can 
we advance steadfastly and victoriously towards our great objective. 

III. TASKS OF OUR IDEOLOGICAL AND 

THEORETICAL WORKERS 

At the forums organized by the Central Committee and the various provinces, 
municipalities and autonomous regions to discuss the principles for the Party's theoretical 
work, many questions have been raised. I cannot address them all now. But today I would 
like to discuss two matters related to the tasks of our ideological and theoretical workers. 
Since I am not thoroughly familiar with the situation, and particularly with local 
conditions, I ask you to decide whether what I say is entirely correct or not. 

First, about the requirements of our present ideological and theoretical work. 

Marxist ideological and theoretical work cannot be divorced from current politics. By 
politics here I mean the overall situation in the domestic and international class struggle 
and the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the people of the world in 
current struggles. It is inconceivable that anyone can become a Marxist thinker or theorist 
if he is divorced from the overall political situation, if he doesn't study it, if he doesn't 
assess the actual development of the revolutionary struggle. If this is not so, what was the 
point of our devoting more than six months last year to discussions about practice being 
the criterion for testing truth? Scientific socialism develops in the course of actual 



struggle, and so do Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. We will not, of course, 
backtrack from scientific socialism to Utopian socialism, nor will we allow Marxism to 
remain arrested at the level of the particular theses arrived at as long as a century ago. 
This is why we have often repeated that it is necessary to emancipate our minds, that is, 
to study new situations and solve new problems by applying the basic tenets of Marxism- 
Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 

What is the most important new problem in the new situation of China today? It is, of 
course, the realization of the four modernizations, or as I said before, the realization of a 
Chinese type of modernization. We have said that by studying in depth the new 
conditions and new problems encountered in realizing the four modernizations, and by 
working out solutions to those problems — solutions that will serve as guidelines for our 
action — our ideological and theoretical workers will be making a major contribution to 
Marxism and a genuine effort to hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought. Of 
course, this does not imply that we should neglect to make serious in-depth studies of 
ideological and theoretical problems not directly related to the four modernizations. We 
must on no account overlook the study of basic theories in philosophy and the social 
sciences any more than in the natural sciences, because such study is indispensable to 
major advances in all these spheres. 

In the second part of my speech, I talked about the four cardinal principles which we 
must uphold in order to accomplish the four modernizations. Although, as I said, these 
principles are nothing new, they have taken on fresh significance in the new situation 
before us, and so we should make new and convincing expositions of them based on the 
wealth of new facts. Only in this way can we educate the people of the whole country, 
including our youth, the workers and all the officers and men of the People's Liberation 
Army, and convince people abroad who look to present-day China for the truth. This is a 
momentous theoretical and political task, and it certainly cannot be accomplished just by 
rehashing the same old arguments copied from a book. It is honourable, creative and 
scientific work which places great demands on our revolutionary theorists. Because of the 
decade of troubles generated by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, so much ideological 
nonsense has been spread for so long that people have lost confidence in many cadres and 
teachers engaged in political and educational work. This is not the fault of these cadres 
and teachers. They too are deeply disturbed, as are many parents, old workers and veteran 
fighters. This is another significant circumstance exploited by the handful of hostile 
trouble-makers. Our comrades on the ideological and theoretical front must quickly 
organize their forces and draw up plans to fill the vacuum in the shortest possible time by 
publishing a series of articles and books, including readers and textbooks, new in content 
and ideas and presented in fresh language — in other words, works that will carry weight. 
I suggest that the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee take charge of this 
task. I also suggest that the authors of really good books and articles be awarded 
monetary prizes by the Party and government, so that the work in this sphere, which is 
seemingly routine but actually very demanding, is given due recognition. 

Realizing the four modernizations is a many-sided, complex and difficult undertaking. 
The task of the ideological and theoretical workers cannot be confined to discussion of 



the basic principles. We are confronted with many questions of economic theory, 
including both basic theory and theory applied to particular spheres such as industry, 
agriculture, commerce and management. Lenin called for more talk about economics and 
less about politics. In my opinion, his words are still applicable with regard to the 
proportion of effort that should be devoted to theoretical work in these two spheres. I am 
not saying, of course, that there are no more questions to be studied in the political field. 
For many years we have neglected the study of political science, law, sociology and 
world politics, and now we must hurry to make up our deficiencies in these subjects. 
Most of our ideological and theoretical workers should dig into one or more specialized 
subjects. All those who can do so should learn foreign languages, so as to be able to read 
important foreign works on the social sciences without difficulty. We have admitted that 
we lag behind many countries in our study of the natural sciences. Now we should admit 
that we also lag behind in our study of the social sciences, insofar as they are comparable 
in China and abroad. Our level is very low, and for years we haven't even had adequate 
statistical data in the social sciences, a lack that is naturally a great obstacle to any serious 
study. So our ideological and theoretical workers must make up their minds to catch up. 
They must concentrate on specialized fields, carry on investigations and studies of actual 
situations, familiarize themselves thoroughly with their subjects and guard against empty 
talk. Empty talk is of no help whatever to our modernization programme. Also, our 
ideological and theoretical workers should always guard against self-satisfaction, narrow- 
minded conservatism and ignorant boasting, failings which Comrade Mao Zedong 
warned us against. Only by admitting our backwardness can we overcome it. It should be 
pointed out that the responsibility for our present state of backwardness lies in the first 
place with the Central Committee and the Party committees at other levels, because they 
have not used the proper methods in guiding ideological and theoretical work, have set up 
too many forbidden zones, and have failed to give adequate attention or support to such 
work. Today, at this meeting, I make this self-criticism on behalf of the Central 
Committee. From now on. Party committees at all levels, from the Central Committee 
down, will be required to give the correct orientation to ideological and theoretical work 
and to recognize its importance. Ours is a big Marxist party. If we don't stress the study 
of Marxism, if we don't advance Marxism in step with the development of practice, how 
can we do our other work well? In that case, won't our call to hold high the banner of 
Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought be so many empty words? 

Second, about my views on some theoretical questions. 

A lot of questions have been raised in the discussions among theoretical workers in the 
last few months. Many of them need continued study. Here I would like to express my 
views on a few of the more pressing ones. 

1 . On the basic contradictions of socialist society and the principal contradiction in the 
current period. In regard to basic contradictions, I think it is still best to put the question 
the way Comrade Mao Zedong did in his ''On the Correct Handling of Contradictions 
Among the People". He wrote: ''In socialist society the basic contradictions are still those 
between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the 
superstructure and the economic base ." He made a long statement in this connection 



which I shall not repeat here. Of course, pointing out the basic contradictions does not 
automatically solve the problem, and deep-going, concrete study is still required. But 
judging from practice over the past 20 years or so, Comrade Mao's formulation is more 
accurate than others. As for the question of what is the principal contradiction in the 
current period — what is the main issue or central task confronting the Party and the 
people in the current period — actually this question was answered by the decision of the 
Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee to shift the focus of our work 
to socialist modernization. The level of our productive forces is very low and is far from 
meeting the needs of our people and country. This is the principal contradiction in the 
current period, and to resolve it is our central task. 

2. On class struggle in socialist society. I touched on this question earlier when discussing 
the dictatorship of the proletariat. Class struggle exists objectively in socialist society. It 
should be neither underestimated nor exaggerated. Otherwise, as practice has shown, we 
shall make serious mistakes. The problem of whether or not class struggle of one kind or 
another always exists throughout the entire historical period of socialism involves many 
complicated and difficult questions both of theory and practice, and they cannot be 
answered merely by quoting from books by our predecessors. We should continue to 
study these questions. But, to put it briefly, the class struggle in socialist society at 
present is, and will continue to be, clearly different from that in historical class societies. 
This, too, is an objective fact we cannot deny if we want to avoid serious mistakes. 

3. On continued revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Practice has proved 
that this formulation is wrong if it is construed — as it was when it was advanced — to 
mean ""seizing power from the capitalist roaders", or making revolution by kicking aside 
the Party committees and toppling everything. As for making a new interpretation, that is 
something we can continue to study within the Party. 

4. On whether there can be further discussion of certain formulations involving the line of 
the Party's Eleventh Congress. The Party's line, like its resolutions, should always be 
tested in practice. This is a principle repeatedly expounded by Comrade Mao Zedong. It 
should never be said that once a formulation has been adopted by a Party congress, there 
can be no further discussion of its correctness. If that were so, how could new 
formulations be put forward at a subsequent Party congress? It often happens that 
because of a change in the actual situation, the Central Committee has to amend the 
resolution of one Party congress before the next. Owing to the changes in the actual 
situation and in our own understanding of it, the line formulated by the Party's Eleventh 
Congress underwent necessary readjustment at the successive plenary sessions of the 
Central Committee, and particularly at the Third Plenary Session. Further readjustments 
may also be required in the future. This is entirely normal. But according to Party 
discipline, discussion of formulations involving the line of the Eleventh Congress (except 
for those on which the Central Committee has made formal decisions) should be confined 
to appropriate Party meetings. 

However, in the study and discussion of ideological and theoretical questions, we must 
always resolutely follow the policy of ""letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred 



schools of thought contend" , the principle of the ''three don'ts" (don't pick on others for 
their faults, don't put labels on people, and don't use a big stick), and the principle of 
emancipating our minds, abandoning blind faith and proceeding from reality in 
everything. All this was decided upon by the Third Plenary Session, and we reaffirm 
them here. We cannot allow the slightest deviation from these principles. 

Comrades ! The current period represents a momentous turning point in the history of our 
Party and state. The Party has led the Chinese people in surmounting the many 
difficulties created by the Gang of Four and in transforming a country that had been 
reduced to chaos into one of order and rapid progress. The magnificent prospect of the 
accomplishment of the four modernizations is inspiring our Party, army and people, and 
drawing them forward. Our cadres and masses are vying with one another to contribute to 
the realization of this bright future. In this period our ideological and theoretical workers 
have a particularly heavy responsibility. They have scored major successes since the 
downfall of the Gang of Four and significant achievements since the Third Plenary 
Session. It would be wrong to underestimate their achievements. However, the situation 
is developing very rapidly and our work must keep pace with it. I hope that this important 
meeting will help the Party's ideological and theoretical workers to a better understanding 
of the current situation and our tasks, of the Party's principles and policies and of their 
own work. I hope that it will inspire them to rally more closely around the Central 
Committee, and that they in turn, through their effective work, will inspire the whole 
people to rally more closely around the Communist Party. Let us work with one heart and 
one mind to firmly implement the principles of the Third Plenary Session of the Central 
Committee, to shift the focus of the Party's work and to surmount all difficulties so as to 
win great victories in China's four modernizations. 

(A speech at a forum on the principles for the Party's theoretical work.) 

THE UNITED FRONT AND THE TASKS OF THE 

CHINESE PEOPLE'S POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE 

CONFERENCE IN THE NEW PERIOD 

June 15, 1979 



Fellow Committee Members and Comrades, 

The Second Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political 
Consultative Conference is now open. 

It is convening after the decision by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of 
China to shift the focus of the work of our Party and state to socialist modernization. 
Accordingly, its goal is to further mobilize and unite the people of all nationalities in 
China and all patriotic forces in our country so as to promote socialist modernization. 



This year marks the 30th anniversary of the founding both of the great People's Republic 
of China and of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. China has now 
entered a new historical period in which the central task is to achieve the four 
modernizations . Our revolutionary united front has likewise entered a new historical 
period in its development. 

During these three decades, the class situation in Chinese society has changed 
fundamentally. The position of our working class has been enormously strengthened, and 
our peasants have been members of collectives for more than 20 years. The worker- 
peasant alliance will be further consolidated and developed on the new basis of socialist 
modernization. Chinese intellectuals, including the overwhelming majority of the old 
intellectuals from pre-Liberation society, have become part of the working class and now 
serve the cause of socialism consciously and actively. 

Through democratic reform and socialist transformation , all fraternal nationalities in 
China one after another have long since taken the socialist road, and they have formed a 
new, socialist type of relationship among themselves — a relationship of unity, fraternity, 
mutual assistance and co-operation. China's patriots, whatever their nationality and 
religion, have made considerable progress along this road. In the course of bringing about 
the four modernizations, the nationalities will achieve an even greater degree of socialist 
unanimity and their unity will become stronger and stronger. 

The means of production formerly owned by the Chinese capitalist class came under state 
control long ago, and the payment of a fixed rate of interest ended 13 years ago. The 
overwhelming majority of the capitalists with the capacity to work have transformed 
themselves into working people who earn their own living in our socialist society. Our 
successful completion of the socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce 
is one of the most brilliant victories in the history of socialism in China and indeed in the 
world. It was won because the Chinese Communist Party led our country's working class 
in implementing the Marxist policies formulated by Comrade Mao Zedong in the light of 
China's specific conditions, and because most members of the capitalist class, especially 
the progressives among them, played a positive, co-operative role in accepting this 
transformation. Today, as working people, they are contributing their share to our 
socialist modernization. 

China's democratic parties have a glorious history in the democratic revolution and they 
also performed notable services during the socialist transformation. This the Chinese 
people will never forget. Now all these parties have become political alliances of those 
socialist working people and those patriots supporting socialism with whom these parties 
are respectively linked. All are political forces that serve socialism under the leadership 
of the Chinese Communist Party. 

The thoughts of our compatriots in Taiwan, Xianggang (Hong Kong) and Aomen 
(Macao) and of Chinese nationals overseas turn with longing to the motherland, and their 
sense of patriotism has grown constantly stronger. They are playing an increasingly 
important and positive part in the effort to achieve the great goal of reunifying our 



motherland, in supporting the country's modernization and in strengthening the 
international struggle against hegemonism. 

All these changes demonstrate that China's united front has become a broad alliance of 
socialist working people and patriots supporting socialism, led by the working class and 
based on the worker-peasant alliance. The tasks of the united front and of the CPPCC in 
the new period are to mobilize all positive forces, strive to transform all negative forces 
into positive ones, and unite with all the forces that can be united so that all can work in 
harmony to maintain and strengthen political stability and unity in China and make it a 
modern, powerful socialist country. 

To realize the four modernizations, it is essential to promote socialist democracy and 
strengthen the socialist legal system. The CPPCC is an important organization for 
promoting people's democracy and maintaining contacts with people in different walks of 
life. To achieve China's socialist modernization it continues to be necessary for the 
participants in the CPPCC to hold consultations and discussions on the nation's general 
principles, its political life and the social and economic questions related to 
modernization. It is still necessary for them to exercise supervision over each other and 
over the enforcement of the Constitution and law. We must give scope to the free airing 
of views and make full use of all talents. We must uphold the principle of the ''three 
don'ts" : don't pick on others for their faults, don't put labels on people, and don't use a big 
stick. And we must encourage the full expression of opinions, demands, criticisms and 
suggestions from all quarters, so that the government can benefit from them, promptly 
discover and correct its own shortcomings and mistakes and push forward all phases of 
our work. 

To achieve the four modernizations, it is essential that we strengthen the ideological and 
political education of the whole people, while maintaining the proletarian dictatorship 
over the handful of anti-socialist elements. The CPPCC will undoubtedly continue to 
perform a very useful role in this work. The united front and the CPPCC should carry 
forward the tradition of self-education and self-remoulding, continue ideological 
remoulding in accordance with the formula ''unity — criticism — unity", and help the 
masses and prominent individuals in various spheres to constantly strengthen unity and 
make new progress on the common basis of service to socialism. 

The current situation, both international and domestic, is very favourable to the great 
cause of the reunification of our country. The Chinese Government has clearly 
proclaimed the general principles concerning Taiwan's return to the motherland. The 
CPPCC should take an active part in promoting the patriotic united front and working for 
Taiwan's early return, so as to accomplish national reunification. At the same time, it 
should actively expand people-to-people diplomacy, promote amicable exchanges with 
foreign friends and make its contribution to the growth of the international united front 
against aggression and expansionism. 

In this new historical period, the CPPCC has a glorious task to fulfil, and it can do a great 
deal in its capacity as a united front organization. Let us unite under the banner of 



Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and, led by the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party, march forward along the socialist road towards the magnificent goal of 
the four modernizations. 

May this session enjoy complete success! 

(Opening speech at the Second Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese 
People's Political Consultative Conference.) 

NEITHER DEMOCRACY NOR THE LEGAL SYSTEM 
SHOULD BE WEAKENED 

June 28, 1979 



We must strengthen both democracy and the legal system because they have been 
ineffective. In order to strengthen our democracy, we have to improve our legal system. 
Nothing can be accomplished without an extensive democracy and a sound legal system. 
We have suffered a great deal from disorder and turmoil. Not long ago some leading 
administrative organs in Shanghai were violated, and this type of offence cannot be 
allowed to happen again. In fact, it reflected an ideological system which urges beating, 
smashing, looting and violence, as was advocated by the Gang of Four. 

We really have had no laws and no legal system to follow for many years now. At this 
session of the National People's Congress, we formulated seven laws. Some of these laws 
contained articles which revised the Constitution. For example, we restored our former 
administrative structure by disbanding the revolutionary committees. This was a 
necessary precondition for creating a political situation of stability, unity and liveliness. If 
we do not establish such a political situation, the four modernizations cannot be realized. 
Following this session, we shall formulate a series of laws. We lack many necessary civil 
laws. We also need to enact many laws governing economic development, such as those 
pertaining to factories. The laws that we have made are too few. We need about one 
hundred of laws which we do not presently have. Therefore, we have much work to do 
and this is just the beginning. We must promote our democracy and our legal system. 
They are like a person's two hands; if either one is weak, the person will not be able to 
accomplish anything. 

(Excerpt from a talk with the eighth delegation for visiting China of the Komei Party of 
Japan headed by Yoshikatsu Takeiri, the Chairman of the Party's Central Executive 
Committee.) 

THE ORGANIZATIONAL LINE GUARANTEES 

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IDEOLOGICAL 

AND POLITICAL LINES 

July 29, 1979 



Taking the country as a whole and considering the major issues, we can say that the 
debate over the thesis that practice — as opposed to the "" two whatevers " — is the sole 
criterion for testing truth has pretty definitely settled the question of what our ideological 
line should be. It has restored and developed the ideological line advocated by Comrade 
Mao Zedong, that is, to seek truth from facts, to integrate theory with practice and to 
proceed from reality in everything. This is very important. The article on the criterion of 
truth in the daily Guangming Ribao had immediate and strong repercussions. When some 
people said that its author was ""chopping down the banner" [of Mao Zedong Thought], 
my interest and attention were further aroused. Lin Biao was the first to cause confusion 
about our Party's ideological line. The Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong which he 
launched vulgarized and fragmented Mao Zedong Thought instead of helping people to 
study and apply it correctly and as an integral whole in considering problems, raising 
them for discussion and solving them. I disapprove of the ""two whatevers" because they 
don't represent Marxism-Leninism or Mao Zedong Thought. That is why I proposed that 
Mao Zedong Thought should be studied correctly and as an integral whole and later 
elaborated on how this should be done. At the outset, quite a few people opposed the 
view that practice is the only criterion for testing truth, but now it is gradually being 
accepted by most of the cadres and masses throughout the country. The debate is still 
going on, and it is highly significant that the Navy is beginning to pay more attention to 
the question. The discussion on the criterion of truth is a fundamental one, for it is 
impossible to establish a correct political line — let alone carry it out — unless we clarify 
our ideological line and emancipate people's minds. Our political line is to achieve the 
socialist modernization of our country. The Gang of Four came up with the idea, rather 
an impoverished socialism than a rich capitalism. But socialism cannot endure if it 
remains poor. If we want to uphold Marxism and socialism in the international class 
struggle, we have to demonstrate that the Marxist system of thought is superior to all 
others, and that the socialist system is superior to the capitalist. Without emancipating our 
minds, seeking truth from facts, proceeding from reality and integrating theory with 
practice, it would have been impossible for us to work out our present set of general and 
specific policies and thus arouse the people's enthusiasm; and we could not possibly 
succeed in modernizing and in demonstrating the superiority of our socialist system. 
Yesterday some comrades from Shandong Province said that in one of their counties 
which used to be very backward, the people have overcome their long-standing 
difficulties and made notable progress by emancipating their minds and developing 
production in accordance with local conditions. Our ideological line is important because 
it serves as the basis for working out our political line. Whether a correct political line 
can be implemented depends primarily on whether we have a correct ideological line. 
Therefore, we should not belittle the importance of the discussion about practice being 
the sole criterion for testing truth. This discussion is of tremendous significance, for the 
essential question it involves is whether or not we shall adhere to Marxism-Leninism and 
Mao Zedong Thought. 

Despite the fact that some people still have reservations, the Party's ideological line and 
political line have been established. What question remains to be settled, then? The 



extremely important question of organizational line. Once a political line has been set, it 
has to be concretely implemented by people, and the results will vary depending on who 
does the implementing, those who are in favour, those who are against, or the middle-of- 
the-roaders. This raises the question of what kind of people should be our successors. 

Since the overthrow of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, and especially in the past year, we 
have made remedies with regard to cases in which the charges were false or which were 
dealt with unjustly or incorrectly. Many veteran cadres have returned to their previous 
posts or to similar ones. All this was necessary. But now the average age of members of 
our leading bodies is too high and their level of energy is too low. That is true in the army 
as well. The task that now faces the veteran comrades is to select healthy young people to 
take over from us. We should try to solve this problem while we are still around, because 
it will be hard for others to do so after we've left the scene. We are pretty clear now about 
the thinking and political stand of different people and we can tell who supports the 
Party's line, has strong Party spirit and steers clear of factionalism. Party spirit includes 
keeping in contact with the masses, working hard and living simply, and seeking truth 
from facts. We have several criteria for selecting cadres, but two of them are most 
important. One is support for the political and ideological lines established by the Third 
Plenary Session of the Party's Eleventh Central Committee, and the other is strength of 
Party spirit and avoidance of factionalism. 

We must take note of the fact that a fair number of people are still opposed to the Party's 
current political and ideological lines. The system of ideas they cling to is, generally 
speaking, that of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, according to which the present policies 
of the Central Committee are retrograde and Right opportunist. On the pretext of 
supporting Comrade Mao Zedong, they are following the principle of the ''two 
whatevers". In fact, they are merely peddling the old stock in trade of Lin Biao and the 
Gang of Four in new guise. Most of them were promoted during the ''cultural revolution" 
and they have their own vested interests. They yearn for the past, because the present 
policies do not yield much advantage to them. Through effort on our part, some of them 
may change their attitude, but perhaps not all can do so. If we entrust power to those who 
have not changed, how can we expect them to listen to the Party? They'll stir up trouble 
whenever there's a chance. When I took charge of the work of the Central Committee in 
1975, Wang Hongwen said, "Let's wait and see how things stand 10 years from now!" 
Some people still take that wait-and-see attitude. We mustn't be so naive as to 
underestimate the influence of Lin Biao and the Gang. We must take the long view and 
select competent successors for our cause while we are still around. We should enlist 
those comrades who have given a good account of themselves, give them a few years of 
training and personally watch them mature, and if we find we've chosen the wrong people 
we can still change them for others. The biggest, most difficult and most pressing 
problem in our organizational line is to select the proper successors. Of course, the 
organizational line also involves other problems, such as how to reduce overstaffing and 
establish a retirement system. The temple isn't big enough for too many deities. Clearly, 
unless the old withdraw, there will be no room for the young. So the veteran comrades 
should deliberately make way. We should have an overall point of view and subordinate 
minor interests to major ones. We shouldn't get upset when our concrete personal 



interests are affected. A retirement system will be worked out. But what is most 
important is to select and train our successors. In some places, because the leading bodies 
are still wedded to seniority, they do not give full play to the ability of newly recruited 
young members. We have a lot of talented people. The key thing is to emancipate our 
minds and break away from convention. If we boldly promote these younger people and 
give them a free hand at their new posts, within one or two years they'll be able to handle 
things. I have often reminded people that during our advance into southwestern China in 
the War of Liberation [1946-49], when there weren't enough local cadres some of our 
platoon leaders, company political instructors and battalion and regimental cadres had to 
serve as secretaries of county Party committees. Tempered through several years of work, 
those platoon and company cadres (all of whom were good to begin with, of course) 
became as competent as those of battalion and regimental rank, and they made very good 
county secretaries. 

A correct organizational line guarantees that a political line will be put into effect. The 
organizational line is now on our agenda. We'll be ashamed to go to face Marx if we fail 
to solve this problem well. It is a comparatively easy one to solve while veteran comrades 
are still around. But there will be total chaos if it remains unsolved when we have gone. 
Don't think that there can be no more chaos in China: those who belong to the factional 
systems of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four are deaf to the Party's directives and would 
like nothing better then nationwide confusion. We must guarantee China's stability and 
the realization of the four modernizations by following the correct organizational line and 
by choosing successors who truly uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought 
and have strong Party spirit. 

(Talk to comrades attending an enlarged meeting of the standing committee of the 
Chinese Communist Party committee of the Navy.) 

SOME COMMENTS ON ECONOMIC WORK 

October 4, 1979 



At this forum we shall mainly discuss economic work. I should like to air some ideas on 
current and future economic work. 

1 . Economic work is a political task of prime importance and the economic question is an 
overriding political question. I think that we must concentrate on economic work for a 
long time to come. 

By the political task, we are referring to the four modernizations . We used to have the 
ambitious goal of realizing the four modernizations by the end of the century. Later we 
changed the goal the 'Xhinese-style" modernizations, intending to lower the standard a 
little. We did this because our per capita GNP will not actually grow very high. 
According to statistics from Australia, the per capita GNP in the United States was more 
than US $8,700 in 1977, ranking fifth place in the world. That of Kuwait was more than 



$1 1,000, ranking first place; that of Switzerland was $10,000, ranking second place; that 
of Sweden was more than $9,400, ranking third place; and that of Norway was more than 
$8,800, ranking fourth place. Will China's per capita GNP reach $1,000 by the end of the 
century? Not long ago, I said that when our per capita GNP reached that figure we will be 
in a much better position and able to provide more support to the poor countries of the 
Third World. We cannot do so now. China's per capita GNP is probably below $300, so it 
is hard for us to increase it even 200 or 300 per cent. We shall have to work as hard as we 
did before. Even lowering the previous goal and fulfilling the lower targets, we shall still 
spare no effort to promote economic development and we will do every aspect of our 
work effectively. It is impossible for us to accomplish the four modernizations by empty 
talk. Economic development should be the central task of Party committees at all levels. 

In addition to economic work, the Party committees perform many other kinds of work, 
but many issues involve economic affairs. For instance, the question of ideological line 
requires thorough discussion. Instead of conducting campaigns, such endeavours should 
be accomplished through routine and chiefly economic work. If we combine discussions 
concerning the criterion forjudging truth with practical work, we shall achieve better 
results and avoid formalism. For example, a production team should discuss how to 
improve productivity by making full use of every hill, water surface, plot and corner. A 
factory should discuss how to expand production, increase variety, improve the quality of 
its products, reform administration, open up markets, solve the workers' and staffs 
problems, and help eliminate the practice of anyone taking advantage of social 
connections to secure special privileges. If we discuss those questions and emancipate 
our minds, we shall achieve better results. We should advocate a method of work that 
encourages every production team, factory, and school to solve their own problems. 
Some movements which we carried out, learning theory for example, failed to combine 
with actual practice. As a result, people became fed up. Of course, I am not saying that 
political work is no longer necessary. Some people think that closure of the political 
departments means that political work is not necessary. What are the Party, the trade 
unions, the Communist Youth League, and the women's federations doing? They are 
doing political work. We need to do this work earnestly. However, political work should 
be carried out through economic work and a political problem should be settled from an 
economic angle. For example, the issues of implementation of the Party's policies, of 
employment, and of the return to our cities of educated urban young people who work in 
the countryside and in mountainous areas are all social and political problems that should 
be solved mainly from an economic perspective. If the economy does not develop, these 
problems can never be solved. The above-mentioned policies are primarily policies 
concerning the economy. To create more jobs, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai are 
practising collective ownership. They are using economic policies to settle political 
problems. In solving such problems, we should have a broad outlook and adopt flexible 
policies. In a word, we should use economic methods to solve political and social 
problems. We should open all possible avenues and try all possible means to settle 
problems that arise. Now that we have set a high goal, we must realize it and not indulge 
in empty talk. As I said before, our economic work should be done more carefully. 



2. 1 favour the idea that we should encourage people. But I must stress that we need true, 
not false encouragement. That is to say, our efforts should produce practical results. 
Scientifically speaking, we should act according to realistic principles. Economic work 
should be done in accordance with economic law. We must follow scientific methods 
without practising fraud or chanting empty slogans. 

If we want to do our work according to economic law, we should train people to act 
accordingly. We need specialists. There are so many people who are jacks-of-all-trades 
and masters of none serving as cadres. We have 18 million cadres but lack technical 
cadres, technicians, managerial staff, and other professionals. If we can increase by 1 
million our judicial cadres, employ an additional 2 million qualified teachers, and utilize 
5 million scientific researchers and 2 million capable businessmen and businesswomen, 
progress will be much easier. Our present personnel structure is irrational and it will take 
a long time to change it, so we need to set about this now. Otherwise we shall not be able 
to operate excellent machinery and equipment. We should be confident that we can train 
such people. Comrade Fang Yi related to me that we have fine directors in the 
departments and bureaus of the Ministry of the Metallurgical Industry. These intellectuals 
are between 40 and 50 years old and graduated from universities and colleges in the 
1950s or 1960s. They are very energetic, conversant in professional knowledge and good 
at negotiating with foreigners. I believe that such people can be found in all departments. 
Why aren't they promoted? What are the obstacles to this? We must eliminate these 
obstacles. Of course, this is easy to say but it must be accomplished step by step. If we 
fail in this endeavour, our goals will be slow to achieve and may become hopeless. 
Organizational line is a major question. We do have talented people who have been 
stifled. With regard to the personnel system, which is connected with the promotion of 
talented people, we should establish a retirement system. All departments and units in the 
country should establish special sections to minister to those who are retired and who can 
serve as advisors. These sections should also take charge of their political treatment and 
welfare. If we properly resolve the question of retirement, we can easily utilize talented 
people. It requires much effort, but we have to do this now. 

Giving real encouragement also requires us to do our work in a correct manner. For 
instance, our targets should not be exaggerated and our products should be up to standard 
and marketable. If your products are not in demand, why should you manufacture so 
many? If there are no raw materials, how can you plan to manufacture products? If 
materials are not up to standard, what will you be able to do with your products? By true 
encouragement I mean that we should emancipate our minds and solve problems in a 
realistic manner. When we improved the railway system in 1975, there was a problem: it 
was difficult for railway workers, especially engine drivers, to take a bath. The workers 
got dirty during their work and needed to take a bath. Was it that difficult for such a large 
enterprise to produce a few shower nozzles? Nothing was done. I think that such is the 
case throughout the country. Solutions depend on human effort. If someone acts, results 
will follow. When there are many problems, people often simply give up trying to solve 
them. Consequently, nothing is accomplished. 



3. 1 should like to talk about economic readjustment. The essence of the eight-character 
policy is readjustment. What is the purpose of readjustment? As I see it, it is to create 
conditions so as to ensure a better and faster growth rate during and especially after 
economic readjustment. During a recent discussion about the growth rate, we considered 
whether to increase the total value of industrial and agricultural output by 8 or by 6 per 
cent over the next two years. In my opinion, it does not matter whether the growth rate is 
higher or lower. The increase by 6 per cent is all right, provided that this is a realistic and 
not an inflated figure. During the ''cultural revolution", the figures published were 
falsified. There were duplicate calculations, products were not marketable, and their 
quality was very poor. It is good for us to consider the history when we ponder current 
issues. In the future, the growth rate figures must be genuine and not be exaggerated, and 
our products must be of high quality. In this way, the true level of our economic 
development will be reflected. If we can accomplish this, other methods of work can be 
altered, our managerial and technological levels can be raised, and many more benefits 
can be secured. We should also realize that we cannot count on achieving this unless we 
quicken our pace in 1982 and 1983. Therefore, we have to make preparations in advance. 
The current economic readjustment should thus include preparatory work. If we do not 
start it now, there will be no new production capacity. It takes five or six years to open a 
mine and about five years to build a power plant. Some projects require funding not at the 
beginning, but after two or three years. If we do not make preparations now, worry later 
will be useless. There are many examples of this. It will be too late if we do not begin to 
upgrade and renovate enterprises, apply new technologies and train key technical staff. 
We should look both backward and forward and take a long-range view. It is not enough 
for us to project our economic work to 1982. Starting in 1983, we should have a 
reasonable growth rate, which cannot be achieved at the last minute. We should start the 
work now, including specific projects. This requires that in making plans and considering 
questions, we should have a broad outlook, for example, plans to be implemented three 
years down the road. 

4. 1 am proposing that we thoroughly research how to use foreign capital. I agree with the 
analysis made by Comrade Chen Yun that foreign capital falls under two categories: 
invested foreign currency and loans for equipment. No matter what category foreign 
capital belongs to, we should utilize it, because the chance to do so does not arise often 
and it is a great pity if we do not make use of this opportunity. After World War II, some 
countries devastated by war, including a few European countries and Japan, developed by 
using loans, but mainly by importing technology and patents. If we can make good use of 
this opportunity, we may attract even more foreign capital. The cardinal issues are how to 
make efficient use of foreign capital, how to make every project bring about economic 
returns as quickly as possible, and how to solve the problem of repayment. It is a very 
important policy to use foreign capital, and I think that we should adhere to this policy. 
As for the methodology, we should focus mainly on establishing joint ventures as well as 
conducting compensatory trade and allowing foreign entrepreneurs to set up factories in 
China. When I visited Singapore, I discovered how the country used foreign capital. 
Singapore enjoys three benefits from its foreign-funded factories. First, 35 per cent of the 
profits from foreign-funded enterprises were turned over to the government as taxes. 
Second, workers received earnings for their labour. Third, foreign-funded enterprises 



encouraged the development of other services and trades and brought about more income 
for Singapore. We should weigh the advantages and disadvantages, do our accounting 
and be determined to use foreign capital even if we suffer some losses. In any case, 
foreign-funded enterprises create new productive capacities in China and help some of 
our enterprises to expand. I think that in studying financial and economic questions, we 
should concentrate on and take advantage of expertise in using foreign capital. If this is 
not done, it will be a great pity. At present, we are experiencing circumstances which 
allow us to do this. The reason why foreigners come to invest in China is that they judge 
that China really is solvent. China has rare metals and all kinds of mineral resources, so 
foreigners know they can make profits here. If we were not solvent, no one would invest 
in China. We must demonstrate solvency in every project introduced from abroad. We 
should launch new projects in order to gain more experience. Comrade Chen Yun has 
proposed that we research project one by one, and I agree with his view. Foreign 
entrepreneurs invest here in order to make a profit, so we should ensure that they can 
make more profits from investments in China than they can make through investments in 
other countries. In this way, our country will be more competitive. We have inexpensive 
labour, which is to our advantage. However, we should not suffer enormous losses. So 
long as we continue to launch projects, we can gradually learn how to attract foreign 
investments. In addition, projects introduced from abroad must help our enterprises to 
expand. In other words, we can and should provide much equipment and many services 
for projects introduced from abroad. In the case of some machines and equipment, we can 
utilize drawings and specifications provided by foreign entrepreneurs and produce them 
ourselves. In this way, a project introduced from abroad will help some of our industries 
to develop. After we master imported technologies, we can use them in other fields. 

5. 1 should like to talk about our system. Is our financial system centralized or 
decentralized? I think that it is inadequately centralized as well as inadequately 
decentralized. Since the central authorities control only limited revenue, can this really be 
called a centralized system? On the whole, our financial system is comparatively 
centralized. We need to delegate some financial resources to local authorities so that the 
latter have more financial power and more room for manoeuvre. This is the general 
financial principle we should establish. However, our financial system is inadequately 
centralized. I am unable to make concrete proposals concerning specific aspects of 
finance which should be more centralized and what financial control should be delegated 
to local authorities. Therefore, you should discuss this. I assure you that, in any case, we 
should continue to give enterprises more decision-making power, because this helps us to 
expand production. In the past, we exercised a too centralized management of the 
economy; this impeded economic development. Our system also exercised a too rigorous 
control over some sectors, in particular, foreign trade. Too many regulations are not 
conducive to the development of foreign trade or an increase in foreign earning. For 
example, the iron and steel products of the Wuhan Iron and Steel Company are in 
demand in foreign markets. However, according to the current international price for iron 
and steel, for every ton exported, we suffer a 40 yuan loss. Why can't our government 
provide a subsidy of 40 yuan for every ton exported, which will then bring in more 
foreign currency? Many countries subsidize exports. So this problem involves the 
superstructure, our system, and policies. We should encourage the export of products 



which are in demand, because this is very advantageous and brings in foreign currency. 
There are many complaints about our finance departments and banks. Some feasible 
projects need only an investment of several hundred thousand yuan and can bring in 
profits very quickly. However, these projects cannot be launched because of limitations 
imposed by the financial and banking systems. I am afraid that this situation occurs often. 
If we exercise a too rigorous control over the economy and there is no room for 
manoeuvre, we shall be stifled. Of course, we must act prudently with projects that 
require investments of up to tens of millions of yuan. Some of these projects can bring us 
quick profits, therefore, the finance departments and banks should support them. In this 
way, the economy will thrive. This is not simply a problem of financial centralization or 
decentralization. We must truly operate our banks on a commercial basis. Why have so 
many unmarketable products been stockpiling in every province and city? One reason for 
this is that under our present financial system we allocate funds rather than grant loans by 
banks. This system must be reformed. Any company that wants to purchase materials 
should obtain loans from banks, repaying them with interest. 

Local authorities may not have a full understanding of some of these matters. I think that 
most of the suggestions made by comrades from various localities are good. But I should 
like to emphasize one point. If the central authorities do not have at their disposal a 
certain amount of funds, many undertakings that should be initiated but would require 
investments beyond the financial capability of local authorities will not be initiated. Some 
key projects that can only be invested in by the central authorities may be affected. Most 
enterprises in China, including some major enterprises, have been placed under the 
authority of the localities, so the central authorities have only a limited amount of income 
from the enterprises which remain under their control. This problem needs to be studied. 
At present, people often say that the central authorities centralize too much power and 
delegate too little to local authorities, and that they do not reflect on the issue of what 
should and must be centralized. However, the central authorities must ensure that some 
power be centralized. 

Naturally, people have differing opinions about economic problems. Since our country is 
very big and our aspirations are very lofty, all of us should pool our wisdom in order to 
settle the question of how to develop the economy smoothly, withstand risks, overcome 
difficulties and barriers, and seek rapid economic development. Therefore, at this meeting 
you should fully raise any pertinent issues. I propose holding a lively face-to-face debate 
and avoid any covert politics. Truth prevails following debate. Some comrades have 
proposed that the central authorities and comrades from all provinces and municipalities 
reveal their tentative plans. At this meeting, not all of their problems can be solved. After 
problems are posed, we should sort them out, weigh the advantages and disadvantages 
and decide what to do. We should never think that our solutions and ideas are completely 
correct. Comrades from the various localities have made many suggestions to the central 
authorities, some of which are very acute. This should give no cause for criticism, 
because it is quite right for them to consider one matter or problem from a certain angle 
and in light of the conditions existing in their respective provinces and municipalities. 
From the perspective of considering the country as a whole, it may be impossible to solve 
their problem. At present, we should strive for consensus and take the overall situation 



into account. At this meeting, problems will be posed first, and then the central 
authorities, in particular, the Financial and Economic Commission, will sort them out and 
derive fairly workable solutions to them. The reason I say this is that solutions should be 
practical. It is impossible for solutions to be completely correct. We cannot find panaceas 
and our solutions must be tested through practice in the days to come. Practice should be 
our criterion forjudging truth. We should improve on these solutions after a couple of 
years. However, this will not work if we cannot reach a consensus, in which case it will 
be very difficult to solve problems. Consequently, since cadres spend days merely 
drawing circles around their names on documents submitted for approval and await the 
decisions of others, matters that should be handled rapidly are handled slowly and 
problems that should be solved cannot be solved. At present, we need to reach a common 
understanding. If we reach a consensus, we can make concerted efforts. 

6. We should lose no time in increasing production and economizing. If we do this, our 
economic growth rate could be more than 6 per cent. We should increase production and 
economize as much as possible. This is not a short-term goal for only this year or next 
year, but extends far in the future. Over the last two years, we have increased our 
production capability through capital construction. However, more importantly, we 
should make good use of our existing production capability. We should stress practical 
results and do solid work to improve the variety of products and their quality, particularly 
the latter. Improving the quality of products is the most important issue facing economic 
readjustment. If we accomplish this, we shall gain more benefits and lay a more solid 
foundation than ever in our work. 

(Excerpt from a talk at a forum of the first secretaries of the provincial, municipal and 
autonomous regional committees of the Communist Party of China.) 

ALL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES AND FEDERATIONS OF INDUSTRY 

AND COMMERCE 
ARE POLITICAL FORCES SERVING SOCIALISM 

October 19, 1979 



During this new historical period, China's patriotic revolutionary united front also enters 
a new stage of historical development. The united front is still a magic weapon. It should 
not be weakened but must be strengthened, and it should not be diminished but should be 
expanded. It has become the broadest alliance of all our socialist labourers and patriots 
who support socialism and the reunification of the motherland. The task facing the united 
front during this new period is to bring every positive factor into play, unite with all 
forces we can unite with, make concerted efforts to build China into a modern, powerful 
socialist country by the end of the century, and promote and accomplish the return of 
Taiwan to the motherland for the reunification of China. 

All of the democratic parties as well as the federations of industry and commerce are 
important components of China's patriotic revolutionary united front. They have been 



cooperating with our Party for a long time and also fighting side by side with it, and they 
are its close allies. In the struggle to succeed in the new-democratic revolution and to 
found the People's Republic of China, all the democratic parties played an important role. 
Since the founding of the People's Republic, all the democratic parties as well as the 
federations of industry and commerce have made valuable contributions in urging and 
helping their members and people with whom they have affiliation to accept socialist 
transformation and to participate in socialist construction and in the fight against enemies 
at home and abroad. During the ten years when the vicious Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four ran rampant, all the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce 
had to cease their activities and many of their members were subjected to cruel 
persecution. However, most of them have withstood this severe political test with firm 
faith in the leadership of the Communist Party and unequivocal resolve to embark on the 
socialist road. This is commendable. The democratic parties and the federations of 
industry and commerce have become political unions and mass organizations, consisting 
in part of socialist labourers with whom they have contact, patriots supporting socialism, 
and other political forces aimed at furthering socialism. Construction and development of 
socialism has become the common interest and aspiration of all democratic parties, 
federations of industry and commerce, and our Party. During this new historical period, 
the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce continue to play an 
important role that cannot be ignored. We believe that in the future the democratic parties 
and federations of industry and commerce will make even greater contributions to 
consolidating and developing the political situation of stability and unity, accelerating the 
socialist modernization drive, promoting democracy, strengthening the legal system, 
conducting self-education and striving for the reunification of the motherland. 

Many of the members of the democratic parties and the federations of industry and 
commerce, and the people with whom they have affiliation are intellectuals of a 
comparatively high cultural and scientific level who have a wealth of experience gained 
in practice and are specialists. All of them are indispensable forces needed in the 
modernization drive. Since many former capitalist industrialists and businessmen are 
very experienced in managing and running enterprises and doing economic work, they 
can play a positive role in readjusting China's economy and promoting modernization. 
Also, the former Kuomintang military and governmental personnel and other patriots can 
use their special knowledge and social connections to facilitate useful contributions to the 
modernization programme and the effort to reunify Taiwan with the motherland. At 
present, there are still many problems in arousing and giving play to the initiative of 
intellectuals, specialists, and other people from all walks of life. These people are 
experiencing difficult conditions in their life and work. We should make inquiries, study 
these problems, and then take effective measures to solve them gradually. We hope that 
all democratic parties will cooperate with the Party and the government so that we can 
make a concerted effort to improve the living and working conditions of these people. 

Multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party ensues 
from specific historical conditions and the realities in our country, and is also a 
characteristic of and an advantage to our political system. In 1956, when the socialist 
system was basically established in our country, the Party Central Committee and 



Comrade Mao Zedong put forward the principle of long-term coexistence and mutual 
supervision" towards all democratic parties, which has been a consistent policy for a long 
time now. During the current new Long March, to consolidate and safeguard the political 
situation of stability and unity and handle state affairs, it is very important to exercise 
mutual supervision, fully develop socialist democracy and strengthen the socialist legal 
system under the guidance of the Four Cardinal Principles. Since the Chinese Communist 
Party plays a leading role in the country's political activities and all undertakings, the 
correctitude of the Party's line, principles and policies, and whether or not we can do our 
work successfully have a direct bearing on the future of the country and the success or 
failure of the socialist cause. Meanwhile, since our Party is the party in power, some of 
our comrades are prone to be tainted with subjectivism, bureaucracy or sectarianism. 
Therefore, there is a great need for our Party to listen to opinions from all quarters, 
including different views from all the democratic parties and accept criticism and 
supervision by all quarters so as to pool the wisdom of the masses, compensate for each 
other's deficiencies, overcome our shortcomings and avoid making mistakes. We 
sincerely hope that all the democratic parties and federations of industry and commerce 
will act as the masters of the country, concern themselves with state affairs and devote 
themselves to the socialist cause. We also hope that they will bravely and conscientiously 
air opinions on major state policies and all aspects of work, making suggestions and 
criticisms, and thereby become our Party's allies, who can give forthright counsel and 
assist in handling state affairs smoothly. 

Accomplishing the return of Taiwan to the motherland for national reunification is a 
common aspiration of the Chinese people, including our compatriots in Taiwan, and is a 
glorious and sacred task facing our patriotic revolutionary united front. The major 
policies which the Chinese government has announced concerning the return of Taiwan 
to the motherland give full consideration to the circumstances, interests and future of the 
Taiwan people and authorities, and are therefore completely fair and reasonable. All 
Chinese patriots belong to one big family. Those who promote the reunification of the 
motherland render valuable service to the nation and to the Chinese people. We 
cooperated with the Kuomintang two times in history. The great cause of the 
reunification of the motherland is an important issue that conforms to the historical trend 
of the times and satisfies the needs of the Chinese people. We hope to work together with 
the Taiwan authorities in this respect. Since the compatriots in Taiwan have been 
patriotic for a long time, they will certainly make valuable contributions to the cause of 
the reunification of the motherland. The democratic parties and federations of industry 
and commerce maintain extensive links with and have great influence among our 
compatriots in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and among the Chinese residing abroad, so 
we hope that you will help bring Taiwan back to the motherland. 

We are in a great era serving as a link between the past and the future and are undertaking 
a great cause that has not been undertaken by our predecessors. As we advance, we shall 
encounter difficulties and resistance. However, so long as we adhere to the Four Cardinal 
Principles, strengthen the great unity among all China's nationalities and continue to 
develop the revolutionary patriotic united front, no difficulties can prevent us from 
progressing and all obstacles will be overcome. Our cause must succeed, and we shall 



unquestionably attain our goals. Let us, under the great banner of Marxism-Leninism and 
Mao Zedong Thought, help emancipate people's minds, maintain the political situation of 
stability and unity, achieve the four modernizations and accomplish the reunification of 
the motherland. Let us work together to build China into a powerful modern socialist 
country. 

(Excerpt from a speech at a banquet given by the National Committee of the Chinese 
People's Political Consultative Conference and the United Front Work Department of the 
CPC Central Committee to the delegates attending the conference of all democratic 
parties and the conference of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.) 

SPEECH GREETING THE FOURTH CONGRESS 
OF CHINESE WRITERS AND ARTISTS 

October 30, 1979 



Delegates and Comrades, 

Today, delegates representing our writers, dramatists, artists, musicians, performing 
artists, motion picture personnel and other workers in literature and art are gathered here 
to sum up their basic experience over the past 30 years and to discuss ways of building on 
their successes, overcoming shortcomings and thus making literature and art flourish in 
the new historical period. This is a happy and historic occasion and on behalf of the 
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council, I am pleased 
to greet you warmly. 

Taking part in this congress are veteran writers and artists who participated in the new 
cultural movement at the time of the May 4th Movement [1919], others who contributed 
to the cause of the people's liberation during later revolutionary periods, others who grew 
up after the founding of the People's Republic [1949], and still others who emerged in the 
struggle against Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. Also present are writers and artists from 
among our compatriots in Taiwan, Xianggang (Hongkong) and Aomen (Macao). This 
congress reflects the unprecedented unity of writers and artists throughout the country. 

In the 17 years before the Cultural Revolution, our line in literature and art was in the 
main correct and there were remarkable achievements. The allegation that our literature 
and art were then under the " dictatorship by the proponents of a sinister line " was 
nothing but slander on the part of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. During the 10 years 
when they ran riot, many outstanding works were proscribed, and many writers and 
artists framed and persecuted. A great number of our comrades and friends in literary and 
art circles resisted or fought against Lin Biao and the Gang with dignity and honour. Our 
writers and artists made admirable, lasting contributions in the struggle of the Party and 
the people to overthrow Lin Biao and the Gang. I salute them all. 



Since the Gang was smashed, the Party's policy concerning intellectuals has been 
implemented in literary and art circles under the guidance of the Central Committee of 
the Party. A great many literary and art works that were popular in the past are once more 
available to the public. Writers and artists, with their minds at ease, are again enthusiastic 
and creative. In the few years since the criticism of the crimes and absurdities of Lin Biao 
and the Gang, many excellent novels, poems, plays, films, works of balladry, reportage 
pieces, musical compositions, dances, photographs and works of fine art have been 
produced. They have helped to break the mental shackles imposed by Lin Biao and the 
Gang and to eliminate their pernicious influence. They have helped to emancipate 
people's thinking , stimulate their enthusiasm and inspire them to march towards the goal 
of the four modernizations with one heart and one mind. Looking back over the last three 
years, I think that our writers and artists, like workers in other fields, have scored 
considerable achievements. They should enjoy the respect, trust and love of our Party and 
people. Through the ordeal of struggle, by and large our writers and artists have proved 
good, and the Party and people rejoice in this. 

Delegates and Comrades, 

Our country has entered a new period, a period of socialist modernization. Alongside the 
expansion of our productive forces, we should also reform and improve our socialist 
economic and political structures, build a highly-developed socialist democracy and 
perfect the socialist legal system. While working for a socialist civilization which is 
materially advanced, we should build one which is culturally and ideologically advanced 
by raising the scientific and cultural level of the whole nation and promoting a rich and 
diversified cultural life inspired by high ideals. 

The overriding nationwide task for a considerable time to come will be to work single- 
mindedly for the four modernizations. This is a great enterprise which will determine our 
country's destiny for generations to come. The masses and cadres in all fields of 
endeavour should promote the emancipation of the mind, foster stability and unity, 
support the reunification of the motherland, and strive for the four modernizations. The 
basic standard forjudging all our work is whether it helps or hinders our effort to 
modernize. The writers and artists, together with the educators, theorists, journalists, 
political workers and other comrades concerned, should carry out a protracted and 
effective struggle in the ideological sphere against all ideas and habits that obstruct the 
four modernizations. They should criticize the ideology of the exploiting classes and the 
conservative, narrow-minded mentality characteristic of small producers, criticize 
anarchism and ultra-individualism, and overcome bureaucracy. They should revive and 
carry forward the revolutionary traditions of our Party and people, cultivate fine morals 
and customs, and contribute to the building of a socialist civilization with a high cultural 
and ideological level. 

In the pursuit of this noble cause, writers and artists find broad prospects opening before 
them. They are assuming important tasks, which they alone can perform, in order to meet 
the people's varied cultural needs, help bring up a new socialist generation, and raise the 
ideological, cultural and moral levels of our society. 



Our literature and art belong to the people. Our people are hardworking, brave, 
indomitable and resourceful, and full of ideals. They love the motherland and socialism. 
They have the interests of the whole nation at heart and their sense of discipline is strong. 
For thousands of years, and especially in the half century since the May 4th Movement, 
they have struggled arduously and confidently, overcoming all obstacles in their way and 
writing many brilliant chapters in our annals. No enemy, however strong, has subdued 
them and no difficulties, however great, have stopped their advance. Our literary and 
artistic creations must give expression to our people's outstanding qualities and celebrate 
their triumphs in revolution, in construction and in struggles against all kinds of enemies 
and hardships. 

Our writers and artists should try harder to portray and help foster the new socialist man 
and achieve greater successes in doing so. We must portray the new features of the 
pioneers in the modernization drive, their revolutionary ideals and scientific approach, 
their lofty sentiments and creative ability, and their broad and realistic vision. Through 
images of this new man, we must stimulate the enthusiasm of the masses for socialism 
and inspire their creative activities, which are of historic significance in the pursuit of the 
four modernizations. 

Our socialist writers and artists should create vivid, inspiring flesh-and-blood characters. 
Through them they should truthfully depict our rich social life and the inner qualities of 
our people as shown in their social relations, and give expression to the trend of historical 
development and to the demands of our progressive era. They should endeavour to 
educate the people in socialist ideology and imbue them with the drive and spirit 
necessary to build national strength and prosperity. 

China has a long history, a vast territory, and a huge population. Our people are of many 
nationalities and of different professions, ages, experience and educational levels, and 
they have varied customs and cultural traditions and varied preferences in literature and 
art. All creative works — whether epic or cameo, serious or humorous, lyrical or 
philosophical -- should have their place in our garden of literature and art, so long as they 
help to educate and enlighten the people while providing them with entertainment and 
aesthetic pleasure. The deeds of heroes, the labour, struggles, joys and sorrows, partings 
and reunions of ordinary people, and the life of our contemporaries and of our 
predecessors — all these should be depicted in our works of literature and art. We should 
draw on and learn from all that is progressive and advanced in the literature, art and 
performing arts of old China, and of other countries as well. 

We must adhere to the principle put forward by Comrade Mao Zedong -- that literature 
and art should serve the broadest masses and, first of all, the workers, peasants and 
soldiers. We must always uphold the principles of letting a hundred flowers bloom", 
''weeding through the old to bring forth the new" and ''making the past serve the present 
and foreign things serve China". We should encourage the unhampered development of 
different forms and styles in literature and art, as well as the free discussion of theories of 
literature and art among exponents of different views and schools of thought. Lenin once 
said that in literature "greater scope must undoubtedly be allowed for personal initiative. 



individual inclination, thought and fantasy, form and content" . With the four 
modernizations as our common objective, the road before literature and art should 
become broader and broader. Guided by the correct principles for creative work, writers 
and artists should deal with an ever wider range of themes, increasingly vary their means 
of expression, and dare to blaze new trails. We must guard against or overcome the 
tendency to be formulistic and abstract, which produces monotonous, stiff, mechanical 
and stereotyped works. 

Writers and artists who are responsible to the people should always keep their faces 
turned towards the masses and constantly improve their skills, doing their best to avoid 
slipshod work, seriously considering the likely impact of their works on society and 
trying to provide the people with the best mental nourishment. Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four corrupted people's minds and poisoned the social atmosphere with reactionary and 
decadent exploiting-class ideology. Our revolutionary traditions and fine customs were 
seriously undermined as a result. Our writers and artists should use their creative works 
to broaden the people's mental horizons, and continue to fight resolutely against the 
pernicious influence of Lin Biao and the Gang. They should remain clear-headed when 
confronted by the proponents of erroneous tendencies, whether from the '"Left" or from 
the Right, who are always attempting by one way or another to create disturbances and 
sabotage stability and unity, against the interests and wishes of the overwhelming 
majority of the people. Through literary and artistic creation and in close co-ordination 
with other ideological workers, they should help to raise the people's consciousness, 
make them understand the harmfulness of these erroneous tendencies and arouse strong 
public opinion against them, so that all society will unite to condemn and oppose them. 

Writers and artists should conscientiously study Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong 
Thought so as to enhance their own ability to understand and analyse life and to see 
through appearances to the essence. We hope that more and more comrades in their ranks 
will become real ''engineers of the human soul". In order to educate the people, one must 
first be educated himself; in order to give nourishment to the people, one must first 
absorb nourishment himself. And who is to educate and nourish our writers and artists? 
According to Marxism, the answer can only be: the people. It is the people who nurture 
our writers and artists. The creative life of all progressive writers and artists is rooted in 
their intimate ties with the people. Creativity withers when these ties are forgotten, 
neglected or severed. The people need art, but art needs the people even more. Writers 
and artists should consciously draw source material, themes, plots, language and poetic 
and artistic inspiration from the life of the people and be nourished by the dynamic spirit 
of the people, who make history. Fundamentally, this is the road which our socialist 
literature and art must take if it is to flourish. We believe that our writers and artists will 
march forward along this road steadily and unswervingly. 

Writers and artists also need to constantly improve their professional skills. They should 
earnestly study, assimilate and expand upon all that is best in the literary and artistic 
techniques of every land and every age and perfect art forms with the distinctive features 
of our own nation and our own time. Only those writers and artists who defy difficulties, 



who study and practise diligently, and who dare to explore new ground can scale the 
artistic heights. 

We sincerely hope that our writers and artists will unite more closely and expand their 
ranks. Whether professional or amateur, all socialist and patriotic writers and artists and 
all those who support the reunification of our motherland should try harder to help and 
learn from each other and to concentrate their energies on literary and artistic creation, 
study and criticism. It is for the people to judge the ideological and artistic value of a 
work. Listening with an open mind to criticism from different quarters and accepting 
useful advice are the key to constant progress and improvement. In literary and art circles 
we should encourage comradely, friendly discussions in which facts are presented and 
things are reasoned out. Such discussions should take place between creators who belong 
to different schools or work in different forms, between creators and critics, and between 
creators and their audiences. In the process, both criticism and counter-criticism should 
be permitted, the truth should be upheld and mistakes corrected. 

Writers and artists of the older generation bear an important responsibility for discovering 
and training young people of talent. Our young writers and artists are vigorous and 
perceptive and in them lies the future of our literature and art. We should help them 
eagerly and also make strict demands on them, so that they will not become divorced 
from life but will make steady progress both ideologically and in their art. As for the 
middle-aged generation, they are the mainstay of our literary and art work, and we should 
make it possible for them to contribute all they can. 

Special stress must be laid on the training of talented writers and artists. For a country as 
big as ours, with a population of over 900 million, we really have too few who are 
outstanding. This is quite out of keeping with the demands of our times. Through 
improved ideological and administrative work, we should create the necessary conditions 
for persons of outstanding talent to emerge and mature. 

Party committees at all levels should give good leadership to literary and art work. 
Leadership doesn't mean handing out administrative orders and demanding that literature 
and art serve immediate, short-range political goals. It means understanding the special 
characteristics of literature and art and the laws of their development and creating 
conditions for them to flourish. That is, it means creating conditions that help writers and 
artists to improve their skills and to produce fine works and performances truly worthy of 
our great people and era. At present, it is particularly important to help writers and artists 
to continue emancipating their minds, to break the mental shackles fastened on them by 
Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and to keep to the correct political orientation. We must 
do everything — including providing appropriate material conditions — to ensure that our 
writers and artists can give full expression to their insight and talent. We maintain that 
leaders should exchange views with them as equals, and that those among them who are 
Party members should set an example through their own creations and unite with their 
non-Party colleagues so that all can advance together. The bureaucratic style of work 
must be dropped. There must be no more issuing of administrative orders regarding the 
creation and criticism of literature and art. To think that such a practice upholds Party 



leadership can only produce results opposite to those intended. It is essential to adhere to 
the ideological line of dialectical materialism, and to analyse both positive and negative 
experience in the development of our literature and art over the past 30 years. We must 
get rid of all stereotypes and conventions and study new situations and solve new 
problems in conformity with the characteristics of the new historical period China is in. 
The preposterous ways of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four undermined the Party's 
leadership in literature and art and destroyed their vitality. In the production of literature 
and art, which involves complex mental labour, it is essential that writers and artists 
follow their own creative spirit. What subjects they should choose for their creative work 
and how they should deal with those subjects are questions that writers and artists 
themselves must examine and gradually resolve through practice. There should be no 
arbitrary meddling in this process. 

Delegates and Comrades, 

At the time of the founding of our People's Republic, Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out 
that "" an upsurge in economic construction is bound to be followed by an upsurge of 
construction in the cultural sphere ". After waging bitter struggles and overcoming many 
difficulties, we have smashed the Gang of Four and thus removed our biggest stumbling 
block. We can now say with full assurance that this upsurge will not take long to appear 
and that the conditions are daily ripening that will enable us genuinely to put into practice 
the Marxist policy of ""letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought 
contend" . Thanks to the hard work of the masses of writers and artists, a new period of 
flourishing literature and art will unfold before us. 

The present congress is the first gathering of writers and artists from all over the country 
in this period of our new Long March. You comrades have been invited to it on the 
strength of your already considerable successes. We are sure that after the congress you 
will produce more and better works of literature and art to offer to the motherland and the 
people. 

I wish this congress complete success! 

SENIOR CADRES SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD IN MAINTAINING 
AND ENRICHING THE PARTY'S FINE TRADITIONS 

November 2, 1979 



Today I wish to speak to our senior cadres on a number of questions. 

I. MATERIAL BENEFITS FOR SENIOR CADRES 

The document ""Some Regulations Concerning the Material Benefits for Senior Cadres", 
which is about to be circulated by the Party's Central Committee and the State Council, 
was drafted mainly by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection with the 



participation of some other departments concerned. Necessary revisions will be made 
according to the views expressed in your discussions. I have read the record and am very 
pleased because not only are you all in favour of adopting these regulations but you have 
asked that they be made stricter and more specific. This shows that the overwhelming 
majority of our senior cadres are concerned for the overall interests of our Party and state 
and understand the general situation. After review and endorsement by the Political 
Bureau, the document will be distributed to the units concerned for trial application 
before it is formally promulgated. Basically, these regulations reaffirm the provisions in 
force before the Cultural Revolution. There aren't many new ones, and some are not so 
strict as before. Those that concern housing are an instance. Although the document 
prescribes that each person may have only one residence, it may vary in size. But a few 
people now have two or three residences! And they are not all senior cadres, some are at 
lower levels. The document stipulates that whatever the size of the residence, the 
occupants must pay rent for all rooms except those used for offices and reception. This is 
unchanged from before the Cultural Revolution, when we all paid for living space. Many 
other provisions remain the same — for example, the one regarding payment for the use of 
official cars for private purposes. In fact, by and large we have now restored our old 
regulations without adding many new or stricter ones. I think these rules will work, 
because they did before the Cultural Revolution. 

Their introduction is somewhat overdue, as we have been too busy to attend to it before. 
But if we delay further, we'll find it hard to justify ourselves before the people. As you 
know, one of the chief subjects of conversation among the masses recently has been 
precisely the pursuit of personal privileges by cadres. This, I am afraid, pertains mainly to 
senior cadres. Of course, I'm not saying that all senior cadres are like that. Many, in fact, 
live very simply. However, there are indeed some whose addiction to personal privileges 
is rather serious. That is also true of some cadres at middle and lower levels, such as 
certain secretaries of commune and county Party committees and certain comrades in 
factories, mines and other enterprises. We must realize that this is not only a problem 
relating to the style of the Party. It has become a general tendency in our society — a 
social problem. To overcome it we must start now by establishing regulations with regard 
to the material benefits for senior cadres and then, step by step, introduce similar 
regulations for cadres at other levels. If our senior cadres take the lead, the problem will 
be easier to solve. Both the masses and the cadres at the grass roots are against privilege- 
seeking, especially by cadres at the higher levels but also by those in the middle and 
lower ranks. The people resent it greatly when cadres seek privileges. 

At present, the people at large are most worried by three problems, namely, rising prices, 
privilege-seeking by cadres and the housing shortage. Some people have tried to exploit 
for ulterior motives the widespread dissatisfaction among the masses (including Party 
members and cadres) over privilege-seeking (including ""back-door" dealings). This is 
true of certain persons who use the "" Xidan Wall " as well as of some bad elements among 
the people coming from different localities to lodge appeals with the central authorities. 
You have to stop and think for a minute, for some really outrageous things are happening. 
For example, some persons have an insatiable desire for a life of ease and comfort and 
are always making their homes bigger, better and more beautiful. Others violate rules and 



regulations in various ways for their own convenience. This sort of wrongdoing alienates 
us from the masses and the cadres and debases social morality. People are very sensitive 
to it. 

We must revive and develop further the Party's fine traditions of hard work, simple living 
and close ties with the masses. All of us grew up the hard way and went through many 
bitter times in the Agrarian Revolutionary War [1927-37], the War of Resistance Against 
Japan [1937-45] and the War of Liberation [1946-49]. Life was very tough, too, during 
the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea [1950-53]. How is it that we were able 
to overcome all those difficulties and hardships? Basically it's because our cadres and 
Party members shared the hardships with the masses. Just look back at the years 1958 and 
1959, when we made '"Left" errors so grave that the economy suffered a major setback 
and we had to slash the investment in capital construction from nearly 30 billion yuan to 
a little over 5 billion, transfer 20 million workers and office staff from cities to the 
countryside and shut down a number of factories. How is it that we were able to manage 
all that? Why was it then possible for us to readjust the economy rather smoothly? 
Because our Party maintained close ties with the masses and its prestige was high among 
them. We told the people the difficulties, explained issues clearly, and did a lot of work. 
Transferring 20 million people to the countryside was itself no easy job. If not for the 
high prestige enjoyed by the Party and the government, it couldn't have been done. 
Besides, the general social conduct then was different from that today, and our cadres 
were in closer touch with the masses. All that made it possible for us to overcome the 
difficulties quickly. Material conditions today are somewhat better than they were then 
and except for housing, our people's standard of living has improved. So why do the 
masses still have so many complaints against us? It has a lot to do with the fact that some 
of us, especially the higher-level cadres, are divorced from the masses. Of course, it also 
has something to do with our not having done enough work in certain areas, including 
propaganda and education. We haven't put the problems plainly before the masses, 
reached a common understanding with them and discussed and solved those problems 
together with them. 

One important cause of our divorce from the masses is privilege-seeking by cadres. A 
cadre who pursues personal privileges inevitably divorces himself from the masses. 
When comrades pay too much attention to their personal or family interests, they don't 
have much time and energy left to devote to the masses, and at best they attend 
perfunctorily to matters they can't dodge. We have a few people now who act like 
overlords, and some of their behaviour is truly shocking. They divorce themselves from 
the masses and lower-ranking cadres, and their subordinates follow suit, which results in 
deterioration of the general standard of social conduct. At what time in the past did a 
Party committee secretary — a secretary of a county or commune Party committee, say — 
have as much power as he has today? Never! And there are a few people now who abuse 
this power and encroach upon the interests of the masses, pursue a privileged life-style 
for themselves and even act tyrannically and outrageously. What's more, they seem to 
think it's natural to behave that way. Recently many people have come to the capital to 
appeal to the central authorities for help. It's true that there are a few bad elements among 
them. There are also some whose complaints, though wholly or partly justified, are hard 



for us to deal with for the time being, limited as we are by the present conditions. But 
most of the complaints are about problems which can and should be solved in line with 
the present Party and government policies. Yet a small number of comrades take a 
bureaucratic, apathetic attitude towards these problems and put off taking any action. And 
a handful, violating law and Party discipline, have gone so far as to retaliate against 
people who come with grievances. This is absolutely wrong and intolerable. If our senior 
cadres can first solve problems in their own attitude and behaviour such as those I have 
mentioned above, then they can tackle similar ones in other spheres throughout the 
country with justice on their side. If we fail to solve our own problems, we'll have no 
right to say anything about the conduct of others, for people will simply retort, ''What 
about you?" In short, it is high time to establish the regulations I've been talking about. 

I would also like to say that privilege-seeking by some of our senior cadres has affected 
their relatives and children, leading them astray. A small number of comrades are in bad 
repute both in their own units and elsewhere mostly because of their children's misdeeds. 
For instance, before the Cultural Revolution, Party and state secrets were kept pretty well 
and rarely leaked out. Today, some cadres' children have free access to classified 
documents and spread their contents at will. There have even been individual cases in 
which the sons or daughters of cadres have sold or given secret information to foreigners. 
This is one of the main reasons why many of our secrets can't be kept now. Incidentally, 
some current practices simply must be changed. We used to have a rule that classified 
documents were not to be taken out of the office and that the persons responsible for 
secret documents must travel in pairs when conveying them from place to place. 
Nowadays, some people just stuff classified documents into their briefcases and carry 
them wherever they please. Documents belonging in confidential files are entrusted to 
individuals who keep them wherever they like. This simply won't do. Regulations are 
needed. As there are no office rules at present, some senior cadres are accustomed to 
working on public business at home. I'm not saying that those few comrades who are 
aging and in poor health may not do so. But generally speaking, it should be avoided. 
Many things can be settled by discussion in the office. Why, then, do we just route 
documents around so that people can read them and check off their names? Isn't this 
bureaucracy? Some papers circulate for as long as six months without any decision being 
made. Nobody knows whether those who checked off their names approve or disapprove 
of the content. 

To rectify the Party's style of work and improve social conduct, we should start with the 
senior cadres. Implementing ''Some Regulations Concerning the Material Benefits for 
Senior Cadres" will have many good effects. First and foremost, it will naturally help to 
reduce bureaucracy. Of course, we may find our lives a bit less comfortable, but they'll 
still be far more comfortable than those of ordinary cadres and the masses. The 
regulations may sometimes cause us inconvenience. For example, if we call a car to go to 
the movies, we'll have to pay for the transportation. But if you don't want to spend the 
money, you can just stay home. What's so terrible about that? Once this document is 
promulgated by the Central Committee and the State Council, it will have the force of 
law — you'll have to abide by it, like it or not. 



Before the Cultural Revolution, we did attend to the problem of how to narrow the gap in 
living standards between the senior cadres on the one hand and the lower-level cadres and 
the masses on the other. We lowered the salary scales of senior cadres three times and 
explicitly stipulated that there should be no more increases. It was decided that with the 
expansion of production, only workers and office staff and lower-level cadres would get 
gradual pay raises, and the standard of living of the masses should be improved 
gradually. Considering certain needs of senior cadres that arise from the nature of their 
work, we have decided that their salary scales should not be lowered further, nor should 
there be any widening of the gap between their pay and living standards and those of 
lower cadres, workers and office staff and others. Senior cadres should cease to enjoy 
privileges which frequently exceed their salaries in value. Our present problem is not that 
our senior cadres are too highly paid but that they have too many privileges. This is liable 
to alienate them from the masses and the lower-ranking cadres, and even to corrupt their 
family members, debase the general standard of social conduct and make it impossible to 
overcome bureaucracy. Therefore, all of us, including comrades in the Political Bureau, 
must be fully prepared mentally for the enforcement of these regulations. We have to put 
up with inconveniences. Only then will we have the right to speak. 

Although the document has not yet been formally discussed and endorsed by the Political 
Bureau, the Central Committee is determined to solve this problem. It was not easy for us 
to make up our minds to do this, because we knew we would offend some people. A 
small number will not agree with our decisions, and they will be the first ones we'll have 
to offend. And while most of us will favour this document in principle, when it is actually 
enforced and directly affects us individually, some of us will feel resentful. We must 
straighten out our thinking on this issue. Not only should we conscientiously observe the 
regulations ourselves, but we should convince our family members and other persons 
concerned that they are correct. We should all think back and realize how much better our 
life is now than before! 

II. SELECTING SUCCESSORS 

The problem of cadres' material benefits affects the senior cadres first of all. Another 
problem, the selection of successors, is even more directly related to them. 

The line and principles adopted for the modernization programme are correct, but the 
problem — and it is a serious one — is lack of trained personnel necessary to carry them 
out. The reason is simple: everything has to be done by people. Without a great many 
qualified people, we will not achieve our goal. So we urgently need to train and promote 
large numbers of them for our modernization programme. The selection of successors is a 
new task and a responsibility for our veteran comrades and high-level cadres. Most of 
them are around 60 years old now, or even older. Their energy is, after all, running out. 
Otherwise, why do some work at home? Why can't they put in eight hours a day at the 
office? Certainly some of the comrades here are able to work eight hours a day in the 
office, but I doubt if even half of you can do it. We veterans have rich experience, but we 
should know our own limitations in energy. Take me. I have much less energy than I used 
to. I can manage two activities a day — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — but 



arrange another in the evening and it's too much. This is a law of nature and it can't be 
helped. Since the smashing of the Gang of Four, we have rehabilitated our veteran 
comrades one after another and reinstated nearly all of them in their original posts or 
equivalent ones. Thus, the number of our cadres has increased. To reinstate our veteran 
comrades is necessary and correct. But the problem we face is the shortage of younger, 
professionally competent cadres. Without them it will be impossible to carry out the 
programme of modernization. We veteran comrades should be soberly aware that the 
selection of successors can't be delayed any longer. Otherwise, the drive for the four 
modernizations will become a pipe dream. I believe you comrades have heard and seen 
plenty of things that prove this. 

We veteran cadres have the responsibility of making earnest efforts to select successors. 
During my recent inspection tour, I spoke of this wherever I went. So did Comrade Ye 
Jianying in his National Day address [1979]. Veteran and high-level cadres should attend 
to this personally; they should make investigations, talk to others, listen to the views of 
the masses and get ready to hand over their responsibilities. Today, the criterion for 
judging if an old comrade or higher cadre measures up to the requirements for a Party 
member or a cadre is whether he makes a serious effort to select qualified successors. We 
are asking that the replacement or reappointment of the top three comrades in leading 
groups at all levels (including Party branches) be completed within about three years. In 
the higher-level organs we should consider, as the first step, promoting younger comrades 
to the second and third senior posts, while the veteran comrades remain in overall charge 
for some time. In the organs at lower levels, if promising young comrades are available 
they can be directly chosen to serve even in the top post. If we don't solve this problem at 
all levels within the next three years or so, it will be even more difficult later. We should 
make a concrete assessment of younger people. A small number of them were so 
poisoned by the ideas of the Gang of Four that even today they are still unable to 
recognize their errors; on no account can we choose such persons as our successors. If we 
don't give due attention to this now, by the time we have all died or become too old to 
work many such people may be climbing up to succeed us, and that would be a disaster 
for our Party and our state. Haven't we reversed many wrong verdicts pronounced during 
the period when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were running rampant? If such persons 
are allowed to succeed us and hold power, they will certainly change those verdicts back 
again. 

Today we have a favourable condition for choosing successors, namely, we know where 
people stand politically. In his National Day speech. Comrade Ye Jianying put forward 
three requirements for successors: first, they must resolutely support the Party's political 
and ideological lines; second, they must be selfless, abide strictly by the law and 
discipline, uphold Party spirit and be completely free of factionalism; and third, they 
must be deeply committed to the revolutionary cause, have a strong sense of political 
responsibility and be professionally competent. In addition, they must be energetic 
enough to work eight hours a day. We must never neglect this point. You can't do 
valuable work in the modernization drive if you have no professional knowledge, no 
enthusiasm for work or no energy. No matter how brilliant your ideas may be, it's hard to 
work well without enough energy. We must realize that the careful selection of fine 



successors is of strategic importance and will have profound consequences for the long- 
term interests of our Party and our state. If we don't solve the problem properly in the 
next three years or so, who knows what will happen in 10 years' time? All of us should be 
concerned about the future of our country, people and Party. We must realize that this is a 
matter of fundamental importance. We now have correct ideological and political lines, 
but if we don't do good organizational work, it will be impossible to ensure that the 
correct political line is carried out. In that case we will have failed the Party and the 
people. 

Our senior cadres must assume personal responsibility for selecting as our successors 
cadres who meet the three requirements. We should first straighten out our own thinking 
so that we attend to this task actively and on our own initiative. We mustn't rely solely on 
the Organization Department of the Central Committee, because they don't know all the 
different lines of work, and they don't know all the cadres well. Successors should be 
chosen promptly, the sooner the better. The real mainstays of our cause today are around 
40 years old, and only very few of them are around 30. We should not hesitate to promote 
people of these age groups. When you comrades assumed important responsibilities as 
regimental, divisional or army-level commanders, you were very young, just in your 
twenties. Can it be that young people today aren't as smart as they were then? Not at all! 
But they are overshadowed by us its the old custom of promoting by seniority that has 
prevented the young people from coming up. Many comrades who may not appear to be 
fully qualified for leading posts before they assume them will in fact quickly prove to be 
so if they are promoted and given some help. 

It is also necessary to pick younger officers for the higher organs of the armed forces, 
those of the greater military regions for instance. Because of the special characteristics of 
our armed forces, officers should still be promoted grade by grade. Nevertheless, some 
old conventions need to be broken. Government institutions and production enterprises 
are different from the army, and schools and scientific research institutions are even more 
so. In such units, rules can be overridden to select and promote talented people. Some 
provincial, municipal or autonomous-region Party committees have promoted one or two 
relatively young cadres who, although they are already in their forties or early fifties, are 
still called ""young" and whose names always appear at the bottom of the list of leading 
cadres. This shows the old conventions have not yet been completely discarded. Another 
problem is the overstaffing of the leading bodies— the standing committee of a Party 
committee tends to have 15 to 18 members or even more. What we should do now is to 
thoughtfully select young and competent comrades for the top and second posts in 
leading organs at the middle and lower levels, and for the second and third posts in the 
higher organs. And we should prepare to let them take over the top posts at all these 
levels after, say, two, three or five years. If it turns out that we've chosen the wrong 
person, we can always replace him. We still have time. 

With regard to training and promotion in schools and scientific research institutions, as I 
said yesterday at the meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese 
Academy of Sciences, we should establish a system of academic degrees and titles and of 
titles for different technical personnel. Now that we have several young scientists who 



have won fame both at home and abroad, why can't they be promoted to the rank of 
professor or research fellow? In intellectual work whoever has made contributions should 
be given a corresponding title regardless of seniority. In factories too, we should always 
select directors those who have the greatest technical or managerial competence, 
regardless of age or seniority. Let me tell you something. The system of picking 
workshop chiefs and group leaders by democratic election, which we introduced into 
some factories as an experiment, has proved very effective. The important thing is to link 
the good operation of an enterprise with the workers' own vital interests, so that the 
people the workers elect to run an enterprise are those they believe will run it well, 
because a well-run enterprise means bonuses for the workers as well as greater 
contributions to the state. So far we have solved only the problem of electing workshop 
chiefs and group leaders; we shall have to study the question of how to choose factory 
directors and managers. 

To sum up, we can succeed in our modernization programme only if we work harder to 
train and promote able people. In colleges and universities faculty members should have 
the title of professor (of the first, second or third grade), associate professor, lecturer or 
teaching assistant. In scientific research institutions, there should be research fellows (of 
the first, second or third grade), associate researchers, assistant researchers and research 
trainees. In the enterprises, there should be senior engineers and engineers, senior 
accountants and accountants, and so on. Whoever meets the requirements should get the 
corresponding title and pay. Salaries may still be fixed rather low at present, but they 
shouldn't be too low. We must do away with equalitarianism and the practice of ""sharing 
food from the same big pot". The salary of an outstanding research fellow may be more 
than that of the head of the institute, while in a college or university, a prominent 
professor may be paid more than the president. Only then will people be encouraged to 
improve their qualifications and will capable persons come to the fore. We must establish 
a system under which people with specialized knowledge and in the prime of life are 
placed in posts which give full scope to their talents. I would like to mention here that in 
general, scientists should not be bothered with administrative matters but should be 
enabled to concentrate as much as possible on their own specialities so as to do the best 
possible research. 

We should make a special effort to seek out and promote middle-aged cadres. In perhaps 
five years' time a number of able people will emerge from among our college or 
university graduates. They will all be under 30, and we should make a point of promoting 
them. In the present circumstances, however, the emphasis should be on promoting the 
middle-aged and selecting those who meet the three requirements to take over leading 
positions. The veteran comrades should make way for them. In seeking out able 
personnel, we should break out of the old routine ways. We must bear in mind that this 
task is a ""project of century-long significance". But let's not talk about 100 years, let's 
just talk about the next 10. This whole matter was on my mind back in 1975, when 
Chairman Mao asked me to take charge of the Central Committee's work. Wang 
Hongwen ran off to Shanghai, where he told people to wait and see how things stood in 
10 years' time. I talked with Comrade Li Xiannian about what would happen to people 
like us in 10 years. As far as age is concerned, they had the advantage of us, as they do of 



the comrades present here. If people who cling to the ideology of the Gang of Four were 
to take power one day, you wouldn't be able to overcome them. How much longer can 
you expect to live? And even if you are still around at that time, your minds won't be too 
clear. That is a law of nature. 

We say that capitalist society is bad, but it doesn't hesitate to discover and utilize talent. 
One of its traits is that it makes use of anyone who is qualified, regardless of seniority, 
and this is considered natural. In this respect, our system of selecting cadres is outmoded. 
The seniority system represents a force of habit and is backward. 

Our cause will have a bright future if we can select the right people for the right jobs. The 
reason is self-evident: it is not enough just to formulate correct ideological and political 
lines and define the objectives of the four modernizations; there must be people to do the 
work. Who is to undertake the job? It's no good for us just to sit in the office checking 
our names off papers that are routed to us — there's no hope in that. It's the younger 
people who are doing the real work today. Since that is so, why not promote them to 
leading posts? Some people say the younger comrades don't have enough prestige and 
authority to keep things in hand. Well then, help them out. What's more, we have too 
many ""temples" now. Recently we have been considering whether it is good to have so 
many ministries and commissions under the State Council. Do we need so many 
departments and bureaus under each ministry or commission? Or so many branches in the 
army? Can't we carry out some kind of reform? In my view, we simply can't have 
government organs and military commands that are so swollen and unwieldy. The 
damaging effects of bureaucracy in our organizational structure and work methods are 
visible on every side. There are too many ""temples" and each has too many ""deities". 
Veteran comrades stand in the way and younger people have no chance to come forward. 
Therefore, we must reform the present cadre system and establish one that facilitates the 
promotion of younger cadres. 

A couple of years ago I proposed setting up a system of advisorships. It wasn't 
completely successful, however, because many people didn't want to become advisors. 
Now it is clear that the advisor system alone won't solve the problem and that the 
important thing is to have a retirement system. This question deeply concerns each one of 
us, and I ask you to think it over carefully. Unless this system is established, it will be 
impossible to reduce overstaffing, to make organizations less unwieldy and to give 
younger people an opportunity to move up. When we have regulations explicitly stating 
the retirement age for cadres of different levels and departments, everyone will know 
when he is supposed to retire. Before the ""cultural revolution", we did consider creating 
such a system. But it didn't seem very pressing then, because most of the comrades 
present here today were only in their late forties. It is now 13 years since 1966, and most 
of you are around 60. So the problem has become urgent and must be solved soon. Will a 
retirement system mean that some comrades will be slighted? It's not a question of 
slighting anybody, but of addressing a major problem that affects the prosperity and 
vitality of our Party and our state. It seems that the advisor system is one way out and that 
it should therefore be maintained. But what is more important is to establish a retirement 



system. Many comrades have made this suggestion, but we have not discussed it formally 
yet. Today I'm just stating my views in advance. 

The old comrades have many responsibilities now. What is the most important? To select 
successors well. When the right successors are chosen, we will have fulfilled our 
obligations and our life's work will be more or less complete. For us, the day-to-day work 
comes second, third, fourth, fifth or even sixth. Our first priority should be a good choice 
of successors. 

What I am talking about today may not be very pleasant for senior cadres. You may say, 
""Just look, we veteran cadres are in for hard times now. There are regulations that 
restrict our material benefits. Special prerogatives are out. And now comes this talk about 
retirement, and about "deities' in temples giving way to new ones, and so on. Isn't all this 
directed at us older comrades?" I don't think that's the right way to look at it. We 
ourselves should be conscious of these necessities. As for me, I'd like to retire right now 
if the Party would let me. I really mean it. That's the truth. But in the interest of our cause 
as a whole I can't retire yet, nor do I think you would agree to my doing so. I feel keenly 
that the question brought up today is of overriding importance. We must look to the 
future, for our cause will affect generations to come. The matters I've been talking about 
are very important and they will surely affect some of us — and possibly all of us — at 
some time in the next 10 years. Suppose we think further ahead, say, 20 years. What 
problems may be encountered then, and what may happen? How many of the comrades 
present will still be around 20 years from now? Of course, I would like to see you all 
enjoy long lives, but the laws of nature are inexorable. If we don't look further ahead, if 
we don't consider this question from the point of view of the fundamental interests of our 
Party and state, we can't arrive at the correct conclusions, and we will find it difficult to 
make decisions on many issues or to handle things properly. 

III. LOOKING AFTER THE PEOPLE'S WELL-BEING 

Our Party used to have excellent relations with the people. Keeping close ties with the 
masses is a fine tradition of our Party, but Lin Biao and the Gang of Four nearly 
destroyed it. Still, it wouldn't be in keeping with reality to put all the blame for our 
present alienation from the people on Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, for we have our 
own share of responsibility. Some of the things that alienate us from the people, including 
preferential treatment, existed before the ""cultural revolution", though to a far less 
serious extent than today. At that time, cadres had self-discipline and were concerned 
about the people. Now things are different. In the past, when a leading comrade inspected 
a place, he would first go and see the condition of the kitchen, toilets and bathing 
facilities. There are still comrades like that, but not many. Quite a few simply don't get in 
touch with the people. Some school leaders don't talk to students and don't even have 
much contact with the teachers. Our past experience tells us that we should be especially 
concerned for the people in times of adversity. So long as we are concerned for them, 
identify ourselves with them and share their lot instead of seeking privileges, all problems 
can be readily solved and all difficulties overcome. 



In passing I would like to mention our propaganda and educational work. It is highly 
important and has yielded very good results, but recently our propaganda on some issues 
has been rather one-sided and not well thought out. As a result, comrades working at the 
grass-roots level have run into difficulties. For instance, Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) 
published two articles within a short interval about the people coming from different 
localities to appeal to the central authorities for help . When the first article appeared on 
September 17, people began streaming into Beijing. The second article, which came out 
on October 22, clarified things and the number of such people soon dropped. What does 
this show? It shows the tremendous influence newspapers alone can exert. If comrades in 
different organizations really explain to the people the problems facing our country, or 
even compare the difficulties of today with those of 1962, and if they explain to them the 
measures we are taking to overcome the difficulties, the people are sure to feel and react 
differently. So long as we maintain close ties with the people and explain things to them 
patiently, we will have their sympathy and understanding and will be able to surmount 
any difficulties, however great. 

The problems that are arising now show that we have been quite alienated from the 
people for a considerable time. We should do painstaking ideological work among them, 
including those who are always putting up big-character posters and making public 
speeches at the ''Xidan Wall". Of course, it is necessary to crack down on the handful of 
bad elements. But we should adopt dual tactics in dealing with these elements and place 
the emphasis on educating them and splitting their ranks. Further, we were completely 
right to establish the policy of economic readjustment, restructuring, consolidation and 
improvement, and it is increasingly clear that readjustment in particular is necessary. 
However, since in our propaganda and educational work we have failed to keep up with 
developments, a fair number of people have wrongly found this policy demoralizing. 
This, together with the rise in prices, has led them to feel there is no hope for the four 
modernizations. So our educational work, including work through the mass media, must 
catch up with policy changes. Whenever a problem comes up, every locality and every 
institution should take on the task of educating the masses by explaining the issue to them 
properly. It is essential that we heed the voice of the masses, discuss the conduct of 
affairs with them and work with them to overcome difficulties. Students in some schools 
have complained about their living conditions, saying that no one is paying attention to 
the way their kitchens are run, that spinach, after one rough cut, is thrown into the pot 
with the dirt still on it. It shouldn't be too hard to wash spinach clean and cut it into small 
pieces, and it wouldn't add to the cost. However, it will be difficult to solve even simple 
problems like this without proper educational work and close contact with the masses and 
cadres at lower levels. More often than not, it has been our failure to do our work well 
and promptly that has given rise to the existing problems and that has caused so many 
petitioners to come from different localities to seek help from the central authorities. Of 
course, some of them are bad people who break the law and regulations, and that cannot 
be attributed to shortcomings in our work. 

At present cadres throughout the country, and first of all the senior cadres, should set an 
example and take the lead in reviving and enriching our Party's traditions of working 
hard, living simply and maintaining close ties with the masses. We will run into a variety 



of difficulties in our effort to achieve the four modernizations because we lack experience 
in such matters. For one thing, we are short of managerial and technical personnel. For 
another, technical transformation of an enterprise reduces the size of the work force 
needed, and this creates the difficult problem of how best to employ the extra workers. 
Furthermore, we are going to establish a retirement system. This is undoubtedly correct, 
but many people won't like the idea, so we will run into difficulties there too. In the final 
analysis, these problems can be solved only if we have faith in the masses, rely on them 
and stick closely to the mass line. It is up to the veteran cadres to take the lead in further 
developing our Party's tradition of maintaining close ties with the masses. Younger 
cadres should be selected and promoted to leading positions at different levels. The 
veteran cadres should pass on their experience to them, help and guide them and set a 
good example for them so that they will inherit and develop the Party's fine traditions of 
hard work and plain living and closeness to the masses. They should be taught that to 
solve problems it is not enough merely to be young and to possess professional 
knowledge. It is essential to have a good style of work. But what is most important is to 
maintain close ties with the masses. We should not be overlords and should guard against 
the arbitrary and bureaucratic ways of high officials in the yamen [government offices in 
feudal China]. These are some of the fundamental views of Comrade Mao Zedong, and 
we should still act in accordance with them. 

Comrades, our senior cadres are all long-tested veterans nurtured and educated by the 
Party over a long period. The overwhelming majority of you have always obeyed the 
Party and acted in the spirit of its directives. You struggled against Lin Biao and the 
Gang of Four. You work for the cause of the Party and the people faithfully and 
wholeheartedly, and you have maintained our Party's fine traditions and style. We are 
confident that under the new historical conditions and in the course of the new Long 
March towards the four modernizations, you will all respond eagerly to the Party's call, 
set an example for others and take the lead in further developing the Party's fine traditions 
of hard work and plain living and of closeness to the masses. We are confident that you 
will conscientiously follow the regulations, oppose the pursuit of personal privileges and 
check all unhealthy trends, and that you will strive to seek out and train successors, 
gradually handing over your responsibilities and thus completing your glorious mission. 

(Speech at a meeting of cadres of the rank of vice-minister and above from the central 
Party, government and army organizations.) 

WE CAN DEVELOP A MARKET ECONOMY 
UNDER SOCIALISM 

November 26, 1979 



Gibney: Over a fairly long period of time China has remained closed off from the United 
States. For such a country as China, it is really a big challenge to achieve rapid 
modernization. It seems that China has to carry out a new revolution. 



Deng Xiaoping: Modernization does represent a great new revolution. The aim of our 
revolution is to liberate and expand the productive forces. Without expanding the 
productive forces, making our country prosperous and powerful, and improving the living 
standards of the people, our revolution is just empty talk. We oppose the old society and 
the old system because they oppressed the people and fettered the productive forces. We 
are clear about this problem now. The Gang of Four said it was better to be poor under 
socialism than to be rich under capitalism. This is absurd. 

Of course, we do not want capitalism, but neither do we want to be poor under socialism. 
What we want is socialism in which the productive forces are developed and the country 
is prosperous and powerful. We believe that socialism is superior to capitalism. This 
superiority should be demonstrated in that socialism provides more favourable conditions 
for expanding the productive forces than capitalism does. This superiority should have 
become evident, but owing to our differing understanding of it, the development of the 
productive forces has been delayed, especially during the past ten-year period up to 1976. 
In the early 1960s, China was behind the developed countries, but the gap was not as 
wide as it is now. Over the past 1 1 or 12 years, from the end of the 1960s through the 
1970s, the gap has widened because other countries have been vigorously developing 
their economies, science and technology, with the rate of development no longer being 
calculated in terms of years, not even in terms of months, but in terms of days. For a 
fairly long period of time since the founding of the People's Republic, we have been 
isolated from the rest of the world. For many years this isolation was not attributable to 
us; on the contrary, the international anti-Chinese and anti-socialist forces confined us to 
a state of isolation. However, in the 1960s when opportunities to increase contact and 
cooperation with other countries presented themselves to us, we isolated ourselves. At 
last, we have learned to make use of favourable international conditions. 

We must realize the four modernizations . To attain this objective, we must rely on our 
own efforts, on correct principles and policies, and on specific effective measures. Some 
people doubt whether we can accomplish the modernization drive and ask us on what 
basis we can achieve the four modernizations. We enjoy four favourable conditions for 
attaining the goal of modernization as follows. 

First, we have abundant natural resources. China is a country with vast territory and 
abundant energy and mineral resources, including almost all the ferrous, nonferrous and 
rare metals. If these resources are exploited, they will produce great economic power. 

Second, over the past 30 years, regardless of the follies that we have committed, we have 
laid a preliminary material foundation for industry, agriculture, science and technology, 
thus creating a basis for achieving the four modernizations. We now have over 2 million 
machine tools, and produce more than 100 million tons of oil, over 600 million tons of 
coal, and more than 30 million tons of steel annually. In short, we have laid the material 
foundation for realizing the four modernizations. 

Third, we believe that the Chinese people are apt. For about ten years, the mental 
shackles imposed by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four fettered people's thinking and 



restrained them from bringing their wisdom and creativity into full play. But now we are 
encouraging people to emancipate their minds and reiterating the policy of letting a 
hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend", as was proposed by 
Chairman Mao Zedong, so as to create the necessary conditions for arousing the Chinese 
people's initiative and bringing their intelligence and wisdom into full play. We are 
strengthening and promoting democracy for the same purpose. But some people mistake 
our expanding democracy for advocating anarchy. In fact, anarchy was practised in the 
days of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. Development is out of the question under 
anarchy. If you had come to China in the 1950s or in the early 1960s, you would have 
found that our social conduct was good. During those hard times, people observed 
discipline, took the overall situation into consideration, combined personal interest with 
the overall interests of the collective, the state and society, and conscientiously overcame 
difficulties with the government. It was in this way that we passed through the three years 
of economic difficulties beginning in 1959. However, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four 
completely corrupted this good social conduct. Now, the ^' Xidan Wall " in Beijing has for 
some time been a place where those people, who do not work, often create disturbances. 
They are perniciously influenced by the ideology of the Gang of Four and gather to make 
trouble and even to engage in espionage. Although a few of them are well-intentioned, 
actually they are imbued with the ideology of the Gang of Four. They practise ultra- 
individualism and anarchy. Although these young people are few in number, they have 
enormous influence. We have adopted a serious attitude towards them for the purpose of 
educating the younger generation. Therefore, we maintain that while strengthening 
democracy, we should improve the socialist legal system. We should emancipate our 
minds and restore the good social conduct that prevailed for a long time. We shall try to 
fully arouse the initiative of the people in order to accomplish the four modernizations, 
but we have a precondition, that is, we need to create a political situation characterized by 
social stability and unity. Meanwhile, we should also pay attention to training personnel. 
For many years, we have neglected scientific research and education, resulting in great 
losses in this area. Therefore, we must strengthen science and education, discover capable 
personnel and make good use of them. To sum up, we should arouse the initiative of our 
people. As long as we put to use the wisdom and intelligence of the people, China has 
high hopes. 

Fourth, to realize the four modernizations, we must follow the correct foreign policy of 
opening to the outside world. Although we rely primarily on our own efforts, on our own 
resources and on our own foundations to realize the four modernizations, it would be 
impossible for us to achieve this objective without international cooperation. We should 
make full use of advanced scientific and technological achievements from around the 
world and also of potential funding from abroad so that we can accelerate the four 
modernizations. This opportunity did not exist for us in the past. Later, when conditions 
changed, we failed to make use of them for some time. It is high time that we learn to 
utilize this opportunity. 

The principles and objectives of the four modernizations were formulated by Chairman 
Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, but owing to the interference of the Gang of Four, 
we could not actually implement them. After the downfall of the Gang of Four, we made 



great efforts to solve the numerous problems they had caused. It was not until last year 
that we began to shift our focus onto the drive for modernization. 

What is the most significant political task for China? It is the achievement of the four 
modernizations. During the drive for modernization we are bound to solve complicated 
problems and encounter difficulties. For instance, our departments are overstaffed. Also, 
we must master modern science and technology, but we do not yet have enough 
competent personnel. We need the political situation of stability and unity that we have 
basically already created, but still, many problems remain to be solved. We participate in 
international cooperation, but still we need experience in learning to absorb advanced 
foreign science and technology and foreign capital. However, despite various difficulties 
and problems, I am convinced that we have taken the correct road towards 
modernization. We are confident that we can gradually remove the obstacles and 
overcome our difficulties and shortcomings. Perhaps we shall not score any notable 
achievements in two or three years, but a great change will take place in a few more 
years. Although some people still doubt whether we can achieve the four modernizations, 
the Chinese leaders and the majority of the Chinese people are convinced that we shall 
succeed in our modernization programme. 

Gibney: The United States made a big mistake when it interpreted the socialism of China 
as a copy of that of the Soviet Union. Could China have been so ideologically confused 
initially as to have completely imitated and adopted the socialist style of the Soviet 
Union, failing to make it into a Chinese-style socialist road? 

Deng: The socialist road of China is not the same as that of the Soviet Union. They were 
different from each other from the very start in that China's socialism had its own 
characteristics ever since the founding of the People's Republic. For instance, we adopted 
the policy of redemption instead of that of deprivation in our socialist transformation of 
capitalist enterprises. As a result, we succeeded in abolishing the bourgeoisie and 
carrying out the socialist transformation without affecting the national economy. Besides, 
the political situation characterized by both centralism and democracy, both discipline 
and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness, as advocated by 
Chairman Mao Zedong, is not similar to that of the Soviet Union. However, some of our 
economic systems, especially enterprise management and organization, have been greatly 
influenced by the Soviet Union. For this reason, it is advantageous that we inherit the 
advanced methods of operation, management, and scientific development from advanced 
capitalist countries. We are still having many difficulties reforming these aspects of our 
economy. 

Gibney: It is wonderful that the initiative of the Chinese people is being aroused. But 
someday in the future, with China remaining a socialist country and operating within the 
limits of socialism, will China develop some kind of market economy? 

Deng: Market economy involves only the foreign-funded enterprises. Taking the country 
as a whole, this is not a problem. The state-owned sector and collectively owned sector 
are still the mainstay of our economy. Although in our economy there may be some 



investment from overseas Chinese which might be in the form of capitalism, it is 
different from regular foreign investment because the majority of these overseas Chinese 
come to China with reverence, hoping to develop their socialist motherland. Some people 
are afraid that China will take the capitalist road if it tries to achieve the four 
modernizations with the help of foreign investment. No, we will not take the capitalist 
road. The bourgeoisie no longer exist in China. There are still former capitalists, but their 
class status has changed. Although foreign investment, which belongs to the capitalist 
economy, occupies a place in our economy, it accounts for only a small portion of it and 
thus will not change China's social system. Achievement of common prosperity 
characterizes socialism, which cannot produce an exploiting class. 

Paul T. K. Lin: China made a mistake when it placed restrictions on its socialist market 
economy too early and too rapidly. Because of this, do you think China needs to make its 
socialist market economy play a bigger role under the guidance of a planned socialist 
economy. 

Deng: It is wrong to maintain that a market economy exists only in capitalist society and 
that there is only '"capitalist" market economy. Why can't we develop a market economy 
under socialism? Developing a market economy does not mean practising capitalism. 
While maintaining a planned economy as the mainstay of our economic system, we are 
also introducing a market economy. But it is a socialist market economy. Although a 
socialist market economy is similar to a capitalist one in method, there are also 
differences between them. The socialist market economy mainly regulates interrelations 
between state-owned enterprises, between collectively owned enterprises and even 
between foreign capitalist enterprises. But in the final analysis, this is all done under 
socialism in a socialist society. We cannot say that market economy exists only under 
capitalism. Market economy was in its embryonic stages as early as feudalist society. We 
can surely develop it under socialism. Similarly, taking advantage of the useful aspects of 
capitalist countries, including their methods of operation and management, does not mean 
that we will adopt capitalism. Instead, we use those methods in order to develop the 
productive forces under socialism. As long as learning from capitalism is regarded as no 
more than a means to an end, it will not change the structure of socialism or bring China 
back to capitalism. 

(Excerpt from a talk with Frank B. Gibney, Vice-Chairman of the Compilation 
Committee of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. of the United States, Paul T. K. Lin, 
Director of the Institute of East Asia at McGill University of Canada, and others.) 

CHINA'S GOAL IS TO ACHIEVE COMPARATIVE 
PROSPERITY BY THE END OF THE CENTURY 

December 6, 1979 



The objective of achieving the four modernizations was set by Chairman Mao and 
Premier Zhou Enlai. By achieving the four modernizations, we mean shaking off China's 



poverty and backwardness, gradually improving the people's living standards, restoring a 
position for China in international affairs commensurate with its current status, and 
enabling China to contribute more to mankind. Backwardness will leave us vulnerable to 
bullying. 

The four modernizations we are striving to achieve are modernizations with Chinese 
characteristics. Our concept of the four modernizations is different from yours. By 
achieving the four modernizations, we mean achieving a comparative prosperity. Even if 
we realize the four modernizations by the end of this century, our per capita GNP will 
still be very low. If we want to reach the level of a relatively wealthy country of the Third 
World with a per capita GNP US $1,000 for example, we have to make an immense 
effort. Even if we reach that level, we will still be a backward nation compared to 
Western countries. However, at that point China will be a country with a comparative 
prosperity and our people will enjoy a much higher standard of living than they do now. 
At that time, we could offer more assistance to the poor countries of the Third World. By 
that time, China's domestic markets will be larger and, accordingly, its trade and other 
economic exchanges with other countries will expand. 

Some people are worried that if China becomes richer, it will be too competitive in world 
markets. Since China will be a country with only a comparative prosperity by that time, 
this will not be the case. To be frank, the mainland's volume of foreign trade is less than 
that of Taiwan. Even if the per capita GNP on the mainland reaches the present level of 
Taiwan, the mainland will not be a threat to world markets, because by that time there 
will be a greater demand for supply at home. 

(Excerpt from a talk with Masayoshi Ohira, Prime Minister of Japan.) 

THE PRESENT SITUATION AND THE TASKS BEFORE US 

January 16, 1980 



Comrades, 

On New Year's Day I spoke for about 15 minutes at a meeting of the Chinese People's 
Political Consultative Conference. Later, Comrade Hu Yaobang and others asked me to 
speak to more comrades about our expectations for their work in the coming year. At 
present there are some problems within the Party and among the people which call for 
solution. Of course, it is impossible for me to cover them all in my speech today, and the 
comments I am going to make on some of them may not be adequate. But since you want 
me to speak, I will do so. 

I would like to discuss the following three topics: first, the three major tasks for us in the 
1980s and the situation — mainly the domestic one — as we enter the new decade; second, 
the four essential problems to be solved, or the four prerequisites for achieving the four 
modernizations ; and third, upholding and improving leadership by the Communist Party. 



The first topic, then, is the three major tasks we have to perform in the 1980s and the 
domestic situation as we enter this decade. 

Let me begin by defining our tasks. The three major ones are as follows: 

First, in international affairs we must continue to oppose hegemonism and strive to 
preserve world peace. There is a consensus throughout the world that the 1980s will be a 
dangerous decade. So the task of opposing hegemonism will be on our daily agenda. The 
1980s are off to a bad start, what with the Afghanistan affair and the Iranian affair , not to 
mention the Vietnamese and Middle Eastern questions which came up earlier. There may 
be many similar problems in the future. In a word, the struggle against hegemonism is a 
grave task constantly confronting our country. 

Second, we must work for the return of Taiwan to the motherland, for China's 
reunification. We will endeavour to attain this goal in the 1980s; it will be an ever-present 
and important issue on our agenda, though there may be twists and turns in the course of 
its development. 

Third, we must step up economic construction; that is, we will step up the drive for 
China's four modernizations. To put the matter in a nutshell, the four modernizations 
mean economic construction. Without sound economic foundations, it will be impossible 
to modernize our national defence, and science and technology should primarily serve 
economic construction. 

Modernization is at the core of all these three major tasks, because it is the essential 
condition for solving both our domestic and our external problems. Everything depends 
on our doing the work in our own country well. The role we play in international affairs 
is determined by the extent of our economic growth. If our country becomes more 
developed and prosperous, we will be in a position to play a greater role in international 
affairs. Already our international role is not insignificant. With a stronger material base, 
we will be able to enhance it. In the final analysis, the return of Taiwan to motherland — 
the reunification of the country — also depends on our running our affairs at home well. 
We are superior to Taiwan politically and in terms of economic system, but we must 
surpass Taiwan, at least to a certain extent, in economic development as well. Nothing 
less will do. With the success of the four modernizations and more economic growth, we 
will be in a better position to accomplish reunification. Therefore, in the final analysis, 
the two tasks of opposing hegemonism and reunifying the country by achieving the return 
of Taiwan to the motherland both require that we do well in our economic development. 
Of course, we have to handle our many other affairs well too, but economic development 
is primary. 

Today is January 16, 1980, the 16th day of the new decade. The 1980s will be a very 
important decade both for China and for the world as a whole. It is hard to predict what 
may happen internationally, but the 1980s are likely to be a decade of great turbulence 
and crises. We believe, of course, that world war can be put off and peace maintained for 
a longer time if the struggle against hegemonism is carried on effectively. This is 



possible, and it is precisely what we are working for. Like the people of the rest of the 
world, we really need a peaceful environment, and thus, for the interest of our own 
country the goal of our foreign policy is a peaceful environment for achieving the four 
modernizations. These are sincere words, not just empty rhetoric. This is a vital matter 
which conforms to the interests not only of the Chinese people but also of the people in 
the rest of the world. 

We want to achieve the four modernizations by the end of this century, which means that 
counting from this New Year's Day, there are only 20 years left -- the 1980s and the 
1990s. Failure to achieve decisive successes in our four modernizations during the 1980s 
would be tantamount to a setback. Therefore, this is a decade of great importance — 
indeed, a crucial decade — to China's development. So long as we lay solid foundations 
during this decade and continue our efforts to build on them in the next, we can count on 
achieving modernization of a Chinese type within the next 20 years. There is real hope. 
Although a period of 20 years sounds quite long, the time will slip by very quickly. From 
the very first year of the 1980s, we must devote our full attention to achieving the four 
modernizations and not waste a single day; since this general task is now before us 
nothing should be allowed to divert our energies. 

What is our domestic situation as we enter the 1980s? With our goal and tasks now set, 
we should take stock of the context in which we have to work. Some of the masses and 
some Party members — even some of our cadres — are not quite clear about what we have 
accomplished since we smashed the Gang of Four [in 1976]. They are not satisfied with 
the progress, thinking it much too slow. Because of their dissatisfaction, they are 
uncertain whether our political line and the four modernizations can be carried through. 
Of course, there are still some people hostile towards our current ideological, political 
and organizational lines, but I am not talking about them. I just want to make a few 
comments with regard to those comrades who are not very optimistic or who are not 
sufficiently convinced that our future is bright. 

It should be pointed out that the situation is very favourable. First of all, in the three years 
and three months since the overthrow of the Gang of Four, and especially in the year 
since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, events have moved 
very rapidly nationwide — even faster than the Party expected. A lot of work was done in 
the first two years. Without the preparations during those years, it would have been 
impossible to lay down the Party's ideological and political lines so explicitly at the Third 
Plenary Session; so it should be clearly stated that the work done in those two years 
paved the way for the Third Plenary Session. That session solved not only problems of 
the 10-year Cultural Revolution, but also, to a great extent, problems accumulated over 
the whole period since 1957. We should all think back; has there or has there not been a 
fundamental change in the Party thanks to the efforts of the last three years? Has there or 
has there not been a fundamental change in the leading bodies and in the ideological line? 
I don't mean to suggest that all problems have been solved. But a fundamental change has 
indeed taken place, and that is what counts most. Of course there are still a great many 
problems to be solved. In point of fact, we are solving them step by step and will 
continue to do so. But all in all, there cannot be the slightest doubt about this fundamental 



change, because in the last three years much work has been done to set things to rights, 
and our achievements have been enormous. It is wrong to underestimate them. 

Let us review here the major work we've done in the political, economic and diplomatic 
spheres. 

On what grounds can we say that a fundamental change has taken place in the political 
situation? First of all, we have settled accounts with the Gang of Four and launched a 
nationwide campaign to uncover their factional set-up and to expose and criticize their 
crimes; basically we have consolidated our leading bodies at all levels. That was the 
political prerequisite for all our other achievements in the last three years. Second, the 
democratic life of the Party and the country has begun to get back on the track. The 
democratic system has been strengthened and extended year by year. Although a good 
number of important problems still call for deeper study and continued efforts should be 
made to promote what is beneficial and get rid of what is harmful, we must recognize 
what is really predominant and essential. For the 29 years since the founding of New 
China we have had no criminal law. Though we tried repeatedly to draw up such a code 
and it went through more than 30 drafts, nothing ever came of the project. Now a code of 
criminal law and a code of criminal procedure have been adopted and promulgated and 
are being implemented. The whole nation sees in them the hope for a strictly enforced 
socialist legal system. This is no small achievement. Third, in these three years, and 
particularly in the past year, a great number of individual cases in which the charges were 
false or which were unjustly or incorrectly dealt with have been re-examined at the 
central level and in different localities and the verdicts reversed. According to incomplete 
statistics, 2.9 million people have been rehabilitated, as have an even greater number 
whose cases were not included among those needing special inquiries. We have reversed 
the judgement on the Tiananmen Incident and remedies have been made for the cases of a 
large number of comrades, including Peng Dehuai, Zhang Wentian, Tao Zhu, Bo Yibo, 
Peng Zhen, Xi Zhongxun, Wang Renzhong , Huang Kecheng , Yang Shangkun , Lu Dingyi 
and Zhou Yang, in which the charges were false or which were unjustly or incorrectly 
dealt with. And very soon we will clear the name of Comrade Liu Shaoqi. Moreover, we 
have nullified the wrong designation, dating from 1957, of large numbers of people as 
bourgeois Rightists. Here I would like to mention in passing that the anti-Rightist 
struggle of 1957 100 was necessary and correct. Our comrades can well recall the 
situation in 1957. In eight years, between 1949 and 1957, we had basically completed the 
socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce, 
and thus entered the stage of socialism. At that point an ideological current appeared, the 
essence of which was opposition to socialism and to leadership by the Communist Party. 
And some people were making vicious attacks. It would not have been right for us to 
refrain from striking back. What, then, was wrong with the anti-Rightist struggle? The 
problem was that, as it developed, the scope and targets of the attack were unduly 
broadened, and the blows were much too heavy. Large numbers of people were punished 
inappropriately or too severely. Wronged for many years, they were unable to apply their 
intelligence and talents for the benefit of the people, and this was a loss not only to them 
personally but to the country as a whole. Therefore, it is a very necessary and important 
political measure to remove the label ''bourgeois Rightist" from all of them, to nullify the 



wrong designation of the great majority of them and to assign appropriate jobs to all 
concerned. Nevertheless, it does not follow that the anti-socialist ideological current did 
not exist in 1957 or that the counter-blow against it was unwarranted. To sum up, the 
anti-Rightist struggle was not wrong in itself; the problem was that its scope was unduly 
broadened. Fourth, we have removed the label ''stinking Number Nine " from the 
intellectuals as well as the labels ''landlord", "rich peasant" and "capitalist" from the 
overwhelming majority of persons formerly in those categories. Isn't this a major political 
event involving the whole nation? Fifth, we have by and large summed up the experience 
and lessons of the past 30 years, including the lessons of the Cultural Revolution, and 
have cleared the name and restored the traditions of the Party's Eighth National Congress . 
The 1979 National Day speech made by Comrade Ye Jianying on behalf of the Central 
Committee not only summed up in a sense the Cultural Revolution but in fact 
summarized the experience and lessons of the 30 years since the founding of the People's 
Republic. The history of our Party probably ought to be written in the same vein; it may 
not be appropriate to dig into minute details. Haven't we been saying that we should 
tackle historical issues in broad outline and not 

go into too much detail? The same approach should be followed in future. In evaluating 
public figures and history, we hold that one should look at things scientifically from all 
sides and guard against being one-sided or swayed by emotions. This is the only attitude 
that conforms to Marxism and to the interests and wishes of the nation. We will probably 
work out a formal resolution on certain historical questions this year. Sixth, in the last 
three years we have correctly interpreted Mao Zedong Thought and restored its original 
features. This is known to all. Through the discussions of the thesis that practice is the 
sole criterion for testing truth, we have established the Party's ideological line, or rather 
we have restored the ideological line of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. 
As a result, we are properly implementing the policy of correctly differentiating and 
handling the two different types of contradictions [those among the people and those 
between the people and the enemy], the policy of "letting a hundred flowers bloom, a 
hundred schools of thought contend" , and the principle of the "three don'ts " — all 
advocated by Comrade Mao Zedong over the years. Seventh, our work in education, 
science and culture has begun to return to normal. Eighth, the work of our public security, 
procuratorial and judicial departments, the work among our nationalities, the united front 
work, the work of our trade unions. Youth League and women's federations, and in other 
areas are all being brought back onto the right track. I have cited just a few examples, 
which are by no means exhaustive. It was not easy to solve so many problems in such a 
short time; three years ago it would have been inconceivable. The solution of these 
problems has brought about a change in the outlook of the Party and of the Party and of 
the country and has brought stability, unity and liveliness to the political situation. These 
changes have made it possible for us to shift the focus of our work and, with our minds at 
ease, concentrate our efforts on socialist modernization. Without such changes, this 
would have been absolutely impossible. The facts confirm that we have done much hard 
work and achieved tremendous successes in the political sphere in the last three years. 

In the economic sphere also the last three years have witnessed significant achievements. 
We often say that our economic work suffered from 10 years of interference and sabotage 



by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, and it was already quite chaotic before then. That 
these three years of effort have restored our economy to the present level is in itself a 
major accomplishment. In the 20-odd years since 1957, the focus of our work was never 
really shifted to economic development, so there are many accumulated problems. Some 
people are now critical of our past economic work. In fact we were inexperienced in 
many areas, and what good experience we gained was never systematized and 
institutionalized. Many problems have not been satisfactorily solved. Especially during 
the decade-long Cultural Revolution when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were running 
amuck, everything was thrown into chaos. It is therefore fair to say that the economic 
departments should not be the first to be blamed for the past failures in our economic 
work, and that apart from the sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, the primary 
responsibility rests with the Central Committee of the Party. The economic departments 
of course also had their shortcomings and should sum up their experience. But now we 
should all look ahead, make positive suggestions and not get bogged down in 
complaining or assessing blame. It must be noted that the leading comrades of our 
economic departments at all levels have done a lot of work in the last three years. On the 
other hand, a good number of comrades who were shunted aside for many years and 
haven't been back in their original posts very long, have lost touch with the situation; 
even those who stayed at their posts all through are confronted with new problems they 
find hard to grasp immediately. Inevitably there are shortcomings in their work because 
they don't have a very good understanding of either domestic or international 
developments. So long as they study the new situation and new problems with an open 
mind, their performance will improve. 

After more than two years of effort, we have formulated the general policy of readjusting, 
restructuring, consolidating and improving China's economy. This policy was not arrived 
at haphazardly but was based on a summing-up of past experience and an analysis of the 
present situation, and it was formulated with a view to doing our work better and with 
quicker results. It has become increasingly clear that it is absolutely necessary and correct 
to establish this general policy. 

As regards work in rural areas, the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central 
Committee of the Party took two decisions , drew up a series of policies and measures 
concerning work in rural areas and decided to raise the government purchase price of 
grains and other farm products. Since the session we have increased the wages and 
salaries of workers and other employees. Great strides have been made in providing job 
opportunities through various channels; last year alone more than seven million people 
were provided with employment, and the effort will be continued this year. The textile 
and other light industries have been strengthened and capital construction has been scaled 
down. We are experimenting with the granting of greater decision-making power to 
enterprises. While the financial structure is being reformed step by step, experimental 
measures have been decided on for the gradual introduction of other reforms in the 
economic structure. We have many more problems to solve and must continue our efforts 
to readjust and restructure the economy. However, we should recognize that we have 
scored great achievements in the economic field in the last three year, and especially in 
1979. Let us consider the situation in the rural areas. One characteristic of China is that 



80 per cent of its population still lives in the countryside. The overwhelming majority of 
China's villages have taken on a new look, and the peasants' minds are quite at ease. 
Doesn't this show that the policies of our Party and state are effective? Things are fairly 
complicated in the urban areas and, in particular, some confusion has arisen in the matter 
of commodity prices. But production in most factories and other enterprises is now much 
more orderly, and the people's standard of living has begun to improve gradually as a 
result of the increases in wages, employment and housing. All these accomplishments are 
attributable to our recent exertions. 

In economic development, we are searching for a road that both conforms to China's 
actual conditions and enables us to proceed more quickly and economically. We are 
experimenting with such things as expanding democratic management and the decision- 
making power of enterprises, increasing specialization and co-operation, combining 
planned regulation with market regulation , integrating advanced technologies with 
existing intermediate technologies, using foreign funds and expertise in a rational way, 
and so on. While learning from all this, we have ''paid tuition fees" and suffered some 
losses, but the important thing is that we are accumulating experience, which is beginning 
to show results. What is necessary now is to sum up this experience so as to do things 
faster and better, and to formulate both the guiding principles for the economic structural 
reform and a long-term programme for the development of the economy as a whole. 
These tasks are vital and we cannot afford either to approach them too hastily or to 
postpone them. The Central Committee hopes that comrades engaged in practical and 
theoretical work on the economic front will unite, co-operate closely and learn from each 
other. We hope they will not just indulge in empty talk but conduct investigations and 
studies and repeated discussions so that within the year they can submit to the Central 
Committee several feasible plans for the reform and a long-term programme for 
economic development. 

In foreign affairs, in the past three years we have established diplomatic relations with the 
United States, concluded a treaty of peace and friendship with Japan and made state visits 
to them. Comrade Hua Guofeng has visited Korea, Romania, Yugoslavia and four other 
European countries. Comrade Li Xiannian and I have visited a number of Asian and 
African countries. Many other delegations at various levels have been sent to scores of 
countries throughout the world. Almost all the vice-premiers and most vice-chairmen of 
the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress have made trips abroad. In the 
past three years, and particularly last year, we organized an unprecedented number of 
visits to different parts of the world, and we received leaders of some foreign countries 
almost every month. These activities have initiated a new diplomatic pattern for our 
country, provided us with rather favourable international conditions for our four 
modernizations and expanded the ranks of the international forces ranged against 
hegemonism. Our co-operation with the third-world countries has continued to grow. Our 
self-defensive counter-attack on Viet Nam has brought us victories both military and 
political, and has been a major, long-term factor both in stabilizing the situation in 
Southeast Asia and in carrying on the worldwide struggle against hegemonism. 



I have described in broad outline what we have done in the political, economic and 
diplomatic spheres in the past three years, focusing on the year following the Third 
Plenary Session. We must not lose sight of our achievements. We must recognize that our 
efforts in these years have built a sound foundation for the 1980s in the political, 
economic and other spheres at home and in our foreign relations. 

In short, the situation as we begin the 1980s is excellent. We have paved the way for 
victorious advance in all spheres and so are entering the new decade full of confidence. It 
is groundless and utterly wrong to be sceptical about the domestic situation and the future 
of the four modernizations. Of course, it is understandable that for a time some of the 
masses may be somewhat disappointed in the Party and socialism: their minds were 
poisoned during the decade when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were riding high, and 
they don't understand many things because we haven't conducted enough education 
among them. With patience and confidence, we should be able gradually to change their 
state of mind. But our cadres, particularly the higher ones, must have a high political 
consciousness and remain absolutely firm on the fundamental issues. Only in this way 
can we unite and educate our whole Party and people so that all can enter the 1980s with 
full confidence. 

My second topic is the four essential problems to be solved or, to put it another way, the 
four prerequisites for achieving the four modernizations. 

These four prerequisites, which were first put forth at the meeting of the Chinese People's 
Political Consultative Conference and were generally well received, are as follows: (1) a 
firm and consistent political line; (2) political stability and unity; (3) hard struggle and a 
pioneering spirit; and (4) a contingent of cadres with an unswerving socialist orientation 
and with professional knowledge and competence. These four points do not, of course, 
cover everything, but they sum up the main things we should do and indicate the proper 
direction for our current endeavours. 

First, it is essential to follow a firm and consistent political line. 

We now have such a line. In his speech at the meeting in celebration of the 30th 
anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, Comrade Ye Jianying formulated 
the general task — or, if you will, the general line — as follows: Unite the people of all our 
nationalities and bring all positive forces into play so that we can work with one heart and 
one mind, go all out, aim high and achieve greater, faster, better and more economical 
results in building a modern, powerful socialist country. That was the first fairly 
comprehensive statement of our present general line. This general line is of immense 
political importance today — how can it be otherwise? It represents our long-term task. If 
a massive war breaks out and we have to fight, we will have to suspend our efforts to 
fulfil this task, but otherwise, we must keep at it consistently and devotedly. Having 
experienced many twists and turns in our work during the past 30 years, we have never 
really been able to shift its focus to socialist construction. Consequently, the superiority 
of socialism has not been displayed fully, the productive forces have not developed in a 
rapid, steady, balanced way, and the people's standard of living has not improved much. 



The decade of the ""cuhural revolution" brought catastrophe upon us and caused profound 
suffering. Except in the event of a massive war, we must steel ourselves to carry out this 
task with constancy and devotion; we must make it our central task and allow nothing to 
interfere with its fulfilment. Even if there is a large-scale war, afterwards we will either 
pick up where we left off or start over. The whole Party and people should form this high 
resolve and keep to it without faltering. Had it not been for the '"Left" interference, the 
reversals of 1958 and especially of the ""cultural revolution", significant progress would 
certainly have been achieved in our industrial and agricultural production and in science 
and education, and the people's standard of living would certainly have improved to a fair 
extent. We could have accomplished these things simply by working conscientiously and 
methodically, even without applying the experience of the advanced countries and having 
the high resolve we have today. Take steel for instance. If there had been steady 
development, by now we could have been producing at least 50 to 60 million tons of 
usable steel a year. Today we enjoy very favourable international conditions and we can 
be fully confident that our future will be bright as long as the whole Party and people, 
with one heart and mind, resolutely follow the political line formulated by the Central 
Committee. 

The tasks to be performed in building a modern, powerful socialist country are numerous. 
They are also interdependent: economic development cannot be separated from 
educational and scientific undertakings or from political and legal work, and none of 
them should be emphasized to the neglect of the others. For many years, one serious 
shortcoming in our planning has been the failure to balance development in the various 
fields. There have been imbalances between agriculture and industry; among farming, 
forestry, animal husbandry, side occupations and fishery; between light and heavy 
industry; between the coal, power, petroleum and transportation industries on the one 
hand and other industries on the other; between the ""bones" and the ""flesh" (that is, 
between industry on the one hand and housing, transportation and other urban 
development, commerce and service trades on the other); and between accumulation and 
consumption. This year's planning is a little better, but it takes a tremendous effort to 
bring about a fundamental change. There is one additional important imbalance: the one 
between economic development and the development of education, science, culture and 
public health services. State expenditures for the latter are too limited and out of 
proportion to those for the former. Even some of the other third-world countries pay far 
greater attention to these areas than we do. India, for example, spends more money on 
education. Egypt has a population of only 40 million, but its educational spending per 
capita is several times ours. In short, we must be determined to substantially increase 
state expenditures for education, science, culture and public health services. Owing to 
financial difficulties this year, we can only take care of key projects in these areas, but 
beginning next year, or at the latest the year after, state expenditures must be increased 
annually without fail; otherwise, our efforts to modernize will get nowhere. Since our 
modernization programme covers many fields, it calls for an overall balance and we 
cannot stress one to the neglect of the others. But when all is said and done, economic 
development is the pivot. Any deviation from this pivotal task endangers our material 
base. All other tasks must revolve around the pivot and must absolutely not interfere with 
or upset it. In the 20-odd years since 1957 we have learned bitter lessons in this respect. 



At present some people, especially young people, are sceptical about the socialist system, 
alleging that socialism is not as good as capitalism. Such ideas must be firmly corrected. 
The socialist system is one thing, and the specific way of building socialism another. 
Counting from the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union has been engaged in 
building socialism for 63 years, but it is still in no position to boast about how to do it. It 
is true that we don't have enough experience either, and perhaps it is only now that we 
have begun in earnest to search for a better road. Nevertheless, the superiority of the 
socialist system has already been proved, even though it still needs to be displayed in 
more, better and more convincing ways. In the future, we must -- and certainly will -- 
have abundant facts with which to demonstrate that the socialist system is superior to the 
capitalist system. This superiority should manifest itself in many ways, but first and 
foremost it must be revealed in the rate of economic growth and in economic efficiency. 
Otherwise, there will be no point in our trying to blow our own horn. And to achieve a 
high rate of growth and high efficiency, it is essential to carry out our political line 
consistently and unfalteringly. 

Second, it is essential to maintain political stability and unity. 

Without political stability and unity, it would be impossible for us to settle down to 
construction. This has been borne out by our experience in the more than 20 years since 
1957, and especially by last year's. Now we have achieved — or basically achieved — 
political stability and unity. This situation has not been easy to bring about, and with 
destabilizing factors still existing in different quarters, it is far from consolidated. 
Comrades at various posts must jointly take responsibility for preserving and developing 
it. 

In addition to stability and unity, we must maintain liveliness. Liveliness has not come 
easily either, but it has grown along with stability and unity. Under the socialist system 
both aspects form a unified whole and are not — ought not to be — fundamentally 
contradictory. But what if, at a certain time and with regard to certain questions, 
liveliness comes into conflict with stability and unity? Then what should we do? We 
should try to achieve liveliness on condition that stability and unity are not adversely 
affected. Some comrades today are a bit confused on this question; it seems they have 
forgotten all the grief we have been through. After our success in socialist transformation, 
we launched one political movement after another, each time delaying our progress in 
many things and dealing unjustly with many people. In the final analysis, to take 
advantage of the superiority of socialism means to substantially develop the productive 
forces and gradually improve the people's material and cultural life. Without political 
stability and unity none of that will be possible — and there will be no liveliness either. 

There are now certain ideological trends in our society, particularly among some young 
people, which merit serious attention. For instance, could some of the posters that 
appeared on the ^' Xidan Wall " last year be considered a contribution to liveliness? What 
would have happened if we had continued to allow such posters to be put up without 
restraint? There have been many similar cases in China and elsewhere in the world. One 
must not take such things lightly, thinking that they won't cause disturbances. Even a 



handful of persons could undermine our great undertaking. Therefore, if we are to make 
progress in an orderly way, when liveliness clashes with stability and unity, we can never 
pursue the former at the expense of the latter. The experience of the ''cultural revolution" 
has already proved that chaos leads only to retrogression, not to progress, and that there 
must be good order if we are to move forward. Under China's present circumstances it is 
clear that without stability and unity we have nothing. In their absence, democracy and 
the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" — 
among other things — are out of the question. Since our people have just been through a 
decade of suffering, they cannot afford further chaos and will not permit it to recur. 
Conversely, with socialist stability and unity, we will be able to accomplish step by step 
and in a planned fashion everything that can possibly be accomplished and to meet the 
people's demands to the fullest possible extent. 

As I said earlier, destabilizing factors still exist. The residual influence of the Gang of 
Four is still being felt in the organizational and ideological fields, and we must not 
underestimate its harmfulness or we are likely to make mistakes. There are still 
factionalists around as well as newly emerging elements who engage in beating, 
smashing and looting. There are also hooligan gangs, criminals and counter- 
revolutionaries who carry on underground activities in collusion with foreign forces and 
the kuomintang secret service. Nor can we take too lightly the so-called democrats and 
other persons with ulterior motives who flagrantly oppose the socialist system and 
Communist Party leadership. Their position is clear. Although they sometimes claim to 
support Chairman Mao and the Party, they are essentially opposed to Party leadership and 
socialism. In reality, these people think that capitalism is better than socialism and that 
Taiwan is better than the mainland. Of course, they don't really know what capitalism 
means or what the realities on Taiwan are. Many of them have simply been led astray and 
should be educated and brought back to the right path. But we must fully recognize the 
general tendency and the real aim of these ''democrats" and not be too naive about them. 
In addition, there are anarchists, ultra-individualists and so on, who disrupt public order. 
All these constitute destabilizing factors. Although each is different in nature, it is 
entirely possible under certain circumstances for these people to coalesce into a 
destructive force which can cause us considerable trouble and losses. That is just what 
happened last year, and it could happen again. Some people ask, "Since the exploiting 
classes have been abolished, how can there still be class struggle?" We can see that both 
these things are objective facts. Our present struggles against the various kinds of 
counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs, criminals and criminal gangs guilty of serious 
offences do not all constitute class struggle, but they contain elements of class struggle. 
Naturally we must make a clear distinction between the two different types of 
contradictions. We should educate the overwhelming majority of persons who disrupt 
public order — all those who can be educated — and take stern legal steps against those 
who are beyond education or who prove incorrigible. Towards the latter, we must not be 
tender-hearted. A small number of comrades, including leaders in some localities, are still 
soft on such persons. In some places, the measures taken against them are far from 
effective or stern. The people will resent it if we tolerate these remnants of the Gang of 
Four, counter-revolutionaries and other criminals. We have recently taken measures to 
crack down on them, with only preliminary results. We must continue to strike resolutely 



at various kinds of criminals, so as to ensure and consolidate a sound, secure public order. 
We must learn to wield the weapon of law effectively. Being soft on criminals only 
endangers the interests of the vast majority of the people and the overall interests of our 
modernization drive. 

In this struggle against crime all Party members and cadres, and the higher ones in 
particular, must take a firm, clear-cut stand. It is absolutely impermissible to propagate 
freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of association in ways implying that 
counter-revolutionaries may also enjoy them, and it is absolutely impermissible to make 
contacts with counter-revolutionaries and other criminals unbeknownst to the Party 
organization. I am referring to sympathetic contacts and naturally do not include those 
made for the purpose of dissuading these persons from evil-doing. There really are some 
comrades whose contacts with such people are sympathetic. For instance, some 
clandestine publications are beautifully produced. Well, where did the paper come from? 
And which printing house did the job for them? It's not likely that they have their own 
presses. Aren't there Party members in the printing houses that turn these things out? 
Among their supporters there must be some Party members or even cadres holding fairly 
high posts. We must make it clear to these Party members that their stand is very 
mistaken, very dangerous, and that unless they correct their mistakes immediately and 
thoroughly, they will be subjected to Party disciplinary measures. To sum up. Party 
organizations at all levels down to the branches must be firm and show no hesitation or 
ambiguity about fighting counter-revolutionaries, saboteurs and all other kinds of 
criminals. 

Some people may ask whether we are following a ""tightening up" policy again. But since 
we have never pursued a ""loosening up" policy on such matters, naturally there is no 
question of ""tightening up" now. When did we ever say that we would tolerate the 
activities of counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs? When did we ever say that the 
dictatorship of the proletariat was to be abolished? There is no question that those 
activities should now be dealt with severely, because they are becoming outrageous. The 
state simply cannot afford to sit back and do nothing. Only by taking stern legal measures 
against these criminals can we bring a number of misguided young people around to the 
right road. We must publicize the legal system and make everyone really understand the 
law, so that more and more people will not only refrain from breaking it but actively 
uphold it. By dealing sternly with these criminals now, we will be giving some kind of 
education not only to the overwhelming majority of offenders, but to the whole Party and 
people. Throughout the country we must resolutely implement the following principles: 
the law must be observed; law enforcement must be strict; law-breakers must be dealt 
with accordingly; and all persons are equal before the law. 

If we are really going to consolidate stability and unity, we must of course rely primarily 
on measures that are positive and fundamental, on economic growth and the development 
of education and, at the same time, on the perfecting of the legal system. When our 
economic and educational work is proceeding satisfactorily and our legal system and 
judicial work are improved, the orderly progress of society as a whole can largely be 
guaranteed. But the legal system will be improved only gradually in the course of 



practice, and we can't wait for that. When we fail to mete out stern punishment to so 
many criminals, can we even speak of having a legal system? All those who undermine 
stability and unity in any way must be dealt with sternly, according to the merits of each 
case. 

In order to maintain stability and unity, comrades working in the fields of propaganda, 
education, theoretical studies and literature and art must join in a common effort. There is 
not the slightest doubt that successful work in all these fields can play a significant role in 
ensuring, maintaining and extending political stability and unity, but by the same token a 
serious deviation from the policies set for them can foster the growth of destabilizing 
factors. We hope newspapers and magazines will carry more ideological and theoretical 
explanations of the need for stability and unity, and that they will publicize the 
superiority of socialism, the correctness of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, 
the strength of Party leadership and the unity between Party and people, the tremendous 
achievements and bright future of socialist China, and the idea that to work hard for that 
future is the highest mission and honour for the youth of our time. In short, we must turn 
the Party's newspapers and magazines into ideological centres for promoting nationwide 
stability and unity. Newspapers and periodicals and the radio and television services 
should all consider it their regular, fundamental task to promote stability and unity and 
raise the socialist consciousness of young people. Comrades working in the media have 
achieved significant successes in the past three years, and are doing well on the whole, 
but their work also has shortcomings. They must listen to differing opinions from various 
quarters and analyse and improve their work. The literary and art circles have just 
convened their national congress. We have stated that there should be no arbitrary 
intervention concerning what to write about and how to write it. This actually places 
heavier responsibility and higher demands on the writers and artists themselves. We will 
adhere to the policy of ''letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought 
contend" and the ''three don'ts", and we will drop the slogan that literature and art are 
subordinate to politics, because it is too easily used as a theoretical pretext for arbitrary 
intervention in literary and art work. Long practice has proved that this slogan has done 
more harm than good to the development of literature and art. Of course this doesn't 
mean that they can be divorced from politics. That is impossible. Every progressive and 
revolutionary writer or artist has to take into account the social effects of his works and 
the interests of the people, the state and the Party. The fostering of a new socialist man 
means politics. The new socialist man will of course work hard for the interests of the 
people, defend the honour of the socialist motherland and dedicate himself to her future. 
Literature and art can have an enormous impact on ideological trends among the people, 
particularly among young people, as well as on social stability and unity. We sincerely 
hope that all comrades in literary and art circles and those engaged in education, 
journalism, theoretical and other ideological work will constantly bear in mind the 
country's overall interests and try to raise the socialist consciousness of the people and in 
particular of the youth. 

Will the maintenance of stability and unity hinder the policy of "letting a hundred 
flowers bloom"? Not in the least. We will always persist in the policy of "letting a 
hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend". But this doesn't mean the 



policy can be implemented in ways detrimental to the overall interests of stability and 
unity. If anyone thinks it can be implemented in disregard of stability and unity, he is 
misinterpreting and abusing it. We are practising socialist, not capitalist, democracy. So 
the upholding of stability and unity and of the four cardinal principles is entirely in line 
with our adherence to that policy. Some people claim that the Third Plenary Session of 
the Eleventh Central Committee adopted a ''loosening up" policy whereas the four 
cardinal principles represent a ''tightening up" policy. This is sheer distortion that a Party 
member not only must not tolerate, but must firmly oppose. The four cardinal principles 
require us first and foremost to uphold socialism. Can we ever stop upholding socialism? 
How can there be any stability, unity, or socialist modernization if we don't uphold 
socialism? The Third Plenary Session has called for the achievement of stability and 
unity — for carrying out a programme of socialist modernization on the basis of stability 
and unity. That represents the highest interest of the whole people. The policy of "letting 
a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" must, of course, serve 
this interest; it absolutely must not run counter to it. 

It is the firm policy of our Party to persistently expand democracy and develop the legal 
system. But as with China's modernization, democracy and the legal system cannot be put 
into practice by the method of the Great Leap Forward or the method of "speaking out 
freely and airing one's views fully". That is to say, we must do things methodically and 
under proper leadership. Otherwise, we will only foster turmoil, hold back the four 
modernizations and impair democracy and the legal system. The si da — that is, speaking 
out freely, airing one's views fully, writing big-character posters and holding great 
debates -- have been written into the Constitution. But when we sum up our historical 
experience, we have to recognize that, taken as a whole, these practices have never 
played a positive role. The masses should have the full right and opportunity to express 
responsible criticisms to their leaders and to make constructive suggestions, but 
"speaking out freely and airing one's views fully" is evidently not the proper way to do 
that. Therefore, in the light of long practice and in accordance with the opinion of the 
great majority of the cadres and masses, the Central Committee is going to submit to the 
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the coming session of the 
NPC a proposal that the si da provision be deleted from the Constitution. 

Third, we must work hard and with a pioneering spirit. 

This spirit is essential if we are to achieve the four modernizations. The fact that China is 
poor, has weak economic foundations and is backward in education, science and culture 
means that we have to go through a hard struggle. A few small low-wage countries and 
regions have found it relatively easy, for a limited time, to penetrate the world market 
with cheap products, because certain large developed countries, acting in their own 
interests, have assisted them with funds and technology. In these situations the capitalists 
have released a small part of their huge profits to the workers in these places, whose 
standard of living has apparently improved quite rapidly. For a large socialist country like 
China, however, no such short cut is possible. We want to make use of foreign funds and 
technology and to actively expand our foreign trade, but we must rely primarily on our 
own efforts. We are opposed to those absurd, reactionary concepts of "impoverished 



socialism", ''transition in poverty to a higher stage", and ''making revolution in poverty" 
touted by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. But we are also opposed to the idea of turning 
China into a so-called welfare state right now because that's impossible. We can only 
improve our standard of living gradually, on the basis of expanded production. It is 
wrong to expand production without raising the people's standard of living; but it is 
likewise wrong — in fact impossible — to raise the people's standard of living without 
expanding production. 

We stand for the principle, "to each according to his work", and we favour public 
citations and material rewards for those individuals and organizations that have made 
outstanding contributions. We are also in favour of allowing a part of the population or 
certain localities to become well-off first through hard work which earns them greater 
income. This is our firm position. But we should also note the tendency of some 
individuals and organizations to pay attention only to earning more for themselves 
without taking into account the interests of others. Some have gone so far as to ignore the 
interests of the country as a whole and to flout discipline. For example, because we were 
somewhat negligent in our work last year, bonuses were issued indiscriminately to the 
tune of over five billion yuan. While many such bonuses were distributed legitimately, a 
considerable proportion of the total, amounting to a sizable sum, was not. Bonuses were 
issued even by some units which failed to fulfil their quotas of production and profit. 
Indiscriminate price rises for some commodities were often directly related to the pursuit 
of bonuses by certain enterprises. In many places, workers' real income was doubled as a 
result of excessive bonuses. On the other hand, many people, particularly those in 
educational and scientific research institutions, government departments and the army, 
received no bonus at all. This unreasonable disparity in remuneration gave rise to new 
social problems. If two billion of the yuan paid out in bonuses last year had been held in 
reserve, everyone would have fared better this year and it would have been unnecessary 
to discontinue many capital construction projects. While the issuing of excessive bonuses 
may have served to improve the standard of living of a minority, it has also created many 
difficulties for the nation as a whole. In passing, I would like to say that the decision to 
raise the state purchase prices for farm products was entirely correct and has played a 
tremendous role in stimulating agricultural production. However, a summing-up of our 
latest experience in this regard may show that if we had raised the purchase prices in two 
steps, it would have had a less adverse effect on finances and prices. Similar problems 
may crop up in our future work. Therefore, we must once again bring home to the cadres 
and the rank and file the idea that because ours is a poor, big country, we must work hard 
with a pioneering spirit. The gradual raising of the people's income and standard of living 
must be tied to the expansion of production. While we will follow the principle of "more 
work, more pay", every comrade must take into account the interests of the whole country 
and of other people. In handling such matters, we must act judiciously and give good 
guidance to the masses; under no circumstances should we irresponsibly try to arouse 
their enthusiasm by making loose promises. For instance, a recent report describes how a 
certain plant in Beijing, which manufactured 20,000 9-inch black-and-white TV sets last 
year — that is, an average of over 50 sets a day — recently introduced a Japanese 
production line for the 12-inch type with a designed capacity of 600 sets per day and is 
now turning out some 400 a day. So some of the personnel began to talk about getting 



more bonuses. However, we cannot afford to issue bonuses in exact proportion to the 
growth of labour productivity. As masters of the country, the working people should 
create more profits for it and thus increase state revenues, so that the state may in turn use 
these revenues for other purposes, such as expanded reproduction and capital 
construction to speed up our economic development. Those who work harder should 
indeed earn more, but one must take society as a whole into account. Look at that TV 
plant for example. Although only one production line is involved, the interests of the 
other workshops must also be considered. We are now confronted with a constantly 
increasing number of such practical problems to which everyone must give some thought. 

We must have a clear understanding of the need to work hard and develop a pioneering 
spirit. Because China has such weak economic foundations, such a huge population and 
so little arable land, we cannot greatly increase our labour productivity, revenues and 
expenditures and volume of exports and imports overnight; nor can our national income 
grow very rapidly. Therefore, in some of my talks with foreigners, I have said that our 
four modernizations are of a Chinese type. Not long ago, during a discussion with a 
foreign guest I was asked: ""What do those four modernizations of yours really mean?" I 
told him they mean that we will try to reach a per-capita GNP of US$1,000 by the end of 
this century, and that we can then say our society is fairly well-off. That answer was not 
precise, of course, but neither was it given casually. At present, our per-capita GNP only 
comes to a little more than US$200; to reach $1,000 the present figure has to be 
quadrupled. In Singapore and Hong Kong, per-capita GNP is more than $3,000. It is not 
easy for us to reach that level, because conditions in our country, with its vast expanse of 
land and huge population, are quite different. But it should be said that if our per-capita 
GNP really reaches $1,000, life in China will be far more comfortable than it is in places 
where the per-capita GNP is $2,000. Why? Because in China there is no exploiting class 
or system of exploitation, and so the national income is entirely used for the good of 
society as a whole, a large portion of it being directly distributed among the people. In 
those other places, however, there is a great disparity between rich and poor, and the 
larger part of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the capitalists. 

We must always bear in mind that ours is a big country with a huge population and weak 
economic foundations. Only through long, hard struggle can we catch up with the 
developed countries. Take coal output for example. In 1978 the total amount of 
marketable coal mined in the United States was in excess of 599 million tons, and the 
output of raw coal in the Soviet Union was 724 million tons. Our raw coal output last 
year was more than 630 million tons, which seems not bad by comparison. If reckoned 
per capita, however, ours is lower by far. Take steel for another example. In Japan the 
figure is almost one ton per person while in the United States and the Soviet Union, it is 
one ton to every two persons. In many European countries, such as France, Great Britain 
and West Germany, it is also roughly one ton to every two persons. If we wanted to reach 
the level of one ton of steel to every two Chinese by the end of this century, it would take 
600 million tons — assuming that our population reaches only 1.2 to 1.3 billion. That is 
neither possible nor necessary. If our steel production reaches 100 million or 200 million 
tons, it will be one ton to every twelve or six persons. To sum up, because of various 
favourable conditions that we enjoy, there is no doubt that we will be able to catch up 



with the advanced countries. But we should also be aware that in order to narrow and 
eventually eliminate the gap created over two or three centuries, or at least over one 
century, we must be determined to work hard with a pioneering spirit for a long period of 
time. We have no alternative. 

In this arduous task we must first of all call on our Communist Party members and 
cadres, and particularly senior cadres, to take the lead. Aren't we opposed to the pursuit 
of personal privilege? To put a stop to it will take a serious struggle. It is not only a 
number of senior cadres who seek personal privileges but also some at all levels and in all 
departments. In short, some of our cadres have become overlords. Our Party members, 
cadres, and particularly senior cadres must try to revive the glorious Yan'an tradition and 
to learn from Comrade Zhou Enlai and others to set examples of hard work and the 
pioneering spirit. The Central Committee has already worked out some relevant 
regulations and will follow with more and stricter ones. We must make an earnest effort 
to educate Party members and cadres who have violated these regulations, and we should 
take organizational measures or even disciplinary sanctions against those who fail to 
respond. 

The problem of combating the pursuit of personal privilege is only one of many we face 
in promoting hard work and a pioneering spirit. The biggest problems are to put a stop to 
the various forms of waste, to raise labour productivity, to reduce the proportion of goods 
unwanted by society and the number of factory rejects, lower production costs, and 
increase the utilization rate of our funds. We must make everyone realize that neither 
money nor products grow on trees and that waste in any form is a crime. As production 
grows, we must ensure further expansion, carry out capital construction, achieve an 
overall balance in the economy and undertake long-overdue projects. For instance, urban 
development projects — construction of sewage systems, housing, transportation and the 
setting up of schools. Our teachers and scientists are faced with many difficulties in their 
living conditions, which urgently need to be overcome. Many intellectuals who are very 
capable earn well under 100 yuan a month. Given slightly better working and living 
conditions, they would be able to solve many more problems for the state and the people 
and create immense additional wealth. I could cite many other examples. Thus, even the 
slightest degree of extravagance, whether before, during or after production and 
construction, is impermissible. It is gratifying that significant progress was made last year 
in increasing production and practising economy, but there is still a lot of waste. The 
responsibility for this waste, including the issuing of excessive bonuses mentioned 
earlier, rests primarily with the cadres. The relevant departments under the State Council 
have recently worked out new regulations on bonuses, which will be formally passed 
down to the units at lower levels and should be strictly implemented. The four 
modernizations will get nowhere if each unit insists on going its own way, as so often 
happens now. 

Fourth, there must be a contingent of cadres who have an unswerving socialist orientation 
together with professional knowledge and competence. 



In order to achieve the four modernizations under China's socialist system, our cadres 
must of course keep to the socialist road, master the basic principles of Marxism- 
Leninism and abide by Party and state discipline. I should point out that some infiltration 
of bourgeois ideology is inevitable because of the non-socialist ideas that already exist in 
our Party and country, the 10-year rampage of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, and the 
fact that we maintain and are developing diplomatic and trade relations with capitalist 
countries, among other factors. That is why it is necessary to stress repeatedly that our 
cadres must keep to the socialist road. It is particularly important to reaffirm this point 
today. When we study the technology and management experience of capitalist society, 
we must never allow ourselves to worship capitalist countries, to succumb to corrosive 
capitalist influences or to lose the national pride and self-confidence of socialist China. A 
foreign scholar of Chinese descent recently stated that he hopes that China will under no 
circumstances take the road followed by Taiwan or go about modernization the way 
Taiwan has, because Taiwan's economy is virtually dominated by the United States. In 
selecting and promoting cadres, we must make sure they keep to the socialist road, and 
we must strengthen education among those who don't meet this requirement, or when 
necessary transfer them to other, less important posts. With proper leadership and 
planning, we must vigor"iously promote — throughout the Party and country — socialist 
morality, love for the socialist motherland and a sense of national dignity. Moreover, we 
should inculcate the revolutionary qualities that inspire people to keep to the socialist 
road and combat corrosive capitalist influences. There is a tendency now among some 
young people to neglect politics. The whole Party must be aware of the seriousness of 
this problem, analyse its causes and apply itself earnestly to solving it. 

However, the four modernizations cannot be achieved merely by keeping to the socialist 
road; we must also master professional knowledge and skills. No matter what job a 
person has, he must acquire the specialized knowledge it entails and become 
professionally competent; those who fall short of this standard must study. 

Some should continue their studies, but others, who are really unable or unwilling to 
learn, should be transferred to other posts. We must reorganize the leading bodies at all 
levels according to professional standards, take full advantage of the ability of specialized 
personnel and encourage the masses to study and work in accordance with the demands 
of their jobs. 

Here I would like to say a few words on the relationship between the terms '"red" and 
'"expert". Being '"expert" does not necessarily mean one is ''red", but being "red" means 
one must strive to be "expert". No matter what one's line of work, if he does not possess 
expertise, if he does not know his own job but issues arbitrary orders, harming the 
interests of the people and holding up production and construction, he cannot be 
considered "red". Unless this problem is solved, we cannot possibly achieve the four 
modernizations. There is a widespread feeling, both at home and abroad, that 
overstaffing, bureaucracy and a dilatory style of work have become prevalent among us. 
Quite a few people just muddle along, sitting through meetings and checking off their 
names on documents, while many problems that could be solved by a single telephone 
call remain unsolved for half a year or longer. How can we possibly achieve the four 



modernizations this way? Many foreigners say that the four modernizations will get 
nowhere if China goes about them in this fashion. Our own people at home sometimes 
say the same thing. They are right. Then what is the solution? It is to change this situation 
in which cadres lack professional knowledge and competence. Are there too many cadres 
in China? In a vast country like ours, 18 million cadres are not too many in terms of 
absolute numbers to run the various trades and professions. The problem is that the 
composition of our cadre force is irrational: there are too many people who are not 
professionally competent and too few who are. For example, we now need at least one 
million additional cadres for the administration of justice, including judges, lawyers, 
procurators and specialized police. There are very few cadres who have studied law or 
are familiar with the law, who would be fair in enforcing it, who have the required 
political and moral integrity, and who are qualified in all these ways to be lawyers and 
judges. Or take the case of teachers. Even if we had two or three million more college 
and primary and secondary school teachers who were really qualified for their jobs, there 
would still not be enough. There are large numbers of children in primary and secondary 
schools, but very few college and university students; on-campus college students 
number only one million. In the United States, 10 million out of its population of 220 
million are college students, averaging one for every 22 persons. If our on-campus 
college students were to reach even two or three million, we would have a good number 
of trained, specialized personnel. But this would require an increase in the number of 
both college faculty members and professional college administrators. We do not have 
enough primary and secondary school teachers either, and many of those we do have are 
overburdened, so that educational standards are lowered. In addition, we need a great 
many school administrators, who should also be trained professionals. Should the leader 
of a school Party committee, for instance, be a professional? Yes, he should. Although he 
may not be on the teaching staff, he should at least know something about education, 
have training as an administrator and know how to manage his particular type of school. 
The current problem, in a nutshell, is not that we have too many cadres but that their 
training does not match their work, and that too few of them have specialized training in 
their particular field of endeavour. The solution lies in education. One way is to open 
schools and training courses for cadres, another is self-education. It is essential for 
everyone to devote serious effort to study. Whatever one's age, one should try to master 
the knowledge in one's own field. As for those who are unable or unwilling to learn, the 
only alternative is to have them transferred; otherwise they will hold up the advance of 
our cause. In selecting cadres in future, we should attach particular importance to the 
mastery of professional knowledge. For a long time we have failed to pay proper 
attention to this qualification, and if we continue to neglect it we shall find it impossible 
to carry out our modernization programme. A person may have ardour for socialist 
construction, but if he doesn't master professional skills and study conscientiously, he 
will not be able to make the contribution he should to that construction or play his proper 
part in it; on the contrary, he may even play a negative role. Times have changed. For a 
long time we copied the experience of the army in the war years. In fact, if we really 
made a careful study of the army's experience during those years, we might find that it 
too shows the primary importance of being both '"red" and '"expert". A good many 
comrades who are present here joined the revolution during the war years. Is there any 
one of you who was not specialized to one degree or another in military affairs? Unless 



you were, you couldn't have done anything useful. Of course, in fighting a war we need a 
variety of skills, including those related to logistics. Logistics is an essential part of 
warfare. At that time the two qualities '"red" and '"expert" were inseparable, and it was 
not too hard to be both. Now things are different. Economic construction involves a large 
number of trades and fields of expertise, each one requiring specialized knowledge and 
the constant accumulation of new knowledge. Even the armed forces are different today. 
Our armed forces used to rely on ""millet plus rifles"; so long as you know how to shoot, 
use a bayonet and throw a hand-grenade, you could go to the front. Today our navy has 
sophisticated technical knowledge to master and so does our air force. The work of staff 
officers has also changed; they must have a much wider range of knowledge today. So 
the armed forces can no longer rely solely on past experience either — and this is 
precisely the problem we have to solve. Whether it's a question of economic construction, 
education, science, public security and legal work or anything else, we suffer from an 
acute shortage of specialized personnel. Therefore, we need to build up a huge contingent 
of cadres who combine an unswerving socialist orientation with professional knowledge 
and competence. 

Does our need for an increasing number of specialized personnel mean that we now have 
none? No. The problem is that our Party committees at different levels, and especially 
some veteran comrades, haven't paid enough attention to the matter and have failed to 
make a conscious effort to look for, select and train specialized personnel and help them 
in their work. A few days ago, a symposium on particle physics held in Guangzhou came 
out with some very gratifying news: so far as theoretical work in this field is concerned, 
we are quite close to the level of the most advanced countries — in other words, our level 
is pretty high. Moreover, some of our young people educated here have achieved success 
in this field, though far fewer than in the advanced countries. This shows that we are not 
devoid of talented scientists. The problem is that many of them go undiscovered, and that 
they cannot do what they are capable of because their working conditions are too poor 
and their incomes too low. We veteran comrades should not look down on young people 
or think they are invariably less competent than we are. In fact, at what age did we 
ourselves begin our careers? Didn't we start doing significant work in our early twenties? 
Are young people nowadays less intelligent than we were then? I think we ought to be 
more open-minded and consider the overall interests and the future of our cause. We 
should make a real effort to discover capable persons and, having found them, give them 
earnest help. We should make sure that the leadership of professional organizations at 
different levels, including the leadership of their Party committees, is gradually taken 
over by people with professional skills. At present, particular attention should be paid to 
promoting cadres from among persons who are about 40 years old. What's the 
significance of this age group? In general, they are comrades who entered university 
during the 1950s. It is now 30 years since the founding of the People's Republic. If these 
people graduated from university between 1961 and 1966 at the age of about 25, they are 
now some 40 to 45 years old. Of course, the cadres we select should also include those 
who are around 50. People in these age groups are an important asset for us. I am afraid 
few of the comrades present here belong to them and that's too bad. If the day comes 
when comrades around 40 predominate at meetings like this, it will be a sign that our 
cause is vigorous and flourishing. We should not console ourselves with the thought that 



we ourselves can still muddle along all right but should keep in mind the future of our 
cause. China has only a limited number of competent personnel to begin with, so we 
simply cannot continue to waste talent: we can't afford it. The primary task -- that of first 
importance — now facing our veteran comrades is to promote younger cadres. Even if it 
means we have to skimp on some of our other work, so long as we do this job well, we'll 
have something to say for ourselves when we go to meet Marx. Otherwise, we'll have 
nothing to say. 

The third topic I want to talk about is upholding and improving Party leadership. 

To accomplish the three major tasks I have outlined for the 1980s and to ensure the four 
prerequisites for modernization will take strenuous effort. But I believe it can be done, 
provided we uphold and improve Party leadership and make that leadership the driving 
force behind all work. Upholding the Four Cardinal Principles means upholding 
socialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong 
Thought, and Party leadership. The crucial thing is to uphold Party leadership. Ours is a 
party rooted in Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought; it is the core force which 
leads in the struggle for the cause of socialism and in the exercise of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat; it is the advanced contingent of the proletariat, possessing socialist and 
communist consciousness and revolutionary discipline. Our Party's ties with the masses 
and its leadership in the struggle for the cause of socialism in China have been 
established over a period of 60 years. The Party cannot do without the people and the 
people cannot do without the Party — and no force on earth can alter this fact. It is true 
that there is some ideological confusion on this question at present. Some young people 
have developed a blind faith in the so-called democracy of capitalist society. In 1957 
there was a demand for ''rotating the leadership". Now the ''democrats" and some people 
who put up big-character posters on "Xidan Wall" are harping on the same theme. So we 
have to clarify this issue. In the final analysis, without Party leadership, it would be 
impossible to achieve anything in contemporary China, and naturally it would be out of 
the question to accomplish the three major tasks or to ensure the four prerequisites I have 
specified. Without Party leadership, there would be no correct political line, no political 
stability and unity, no hard struggle or pioneering spirit, and no way of forming a 
contingent of truly "red" and "expert" personnel, personnel who have in particular 
professional knowledge and competence. Thus, there would be no force in China capable 
of leading our drive for socialist modernization, our effort to reunify the motherland or 
our struggle against hegemonism. This is an objective fact no one can deny. Those naive 
young people who for the moment doubt this fact will eventually come to recognize it. 

Let us glance back at the road we have travelled. Without the Communist Party of China, 
would the Chinese revolution have been victorious? Never. One should not belittle our 
Party. I read an article recently which said that at its Fourth National Congress our Party 
had only between 900 and 1,000 members. Yet it succeeded in bringing about co- 
operation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party and in pushing forward the 
Northern Expedition [1924-27]. Later when the revolution suffered defeats, only a party 
such as ours was able to survive 10 years of bloody terror, the "encirclement and 
suppression" campaigns by armies a million strong, and the 25,000-li Long March. 



Thanks to the Party's leadership and their own bitter struggles, the Chinese people finally 
succeeded in founding the People's Republic of China. Our Party has also made serious 
mistakes, but they have been corrected by the Party itself not by any extraneous force. 
Even the overthrow of the Gang of Four was brought about by the Party, representing the 
interests and demands of the people. China always used to be described as ""a heap of 
loose sand". But when our Party came to power and rallied the whole country around it, 
the disunity resulting from the partitioning of the country by various forces was brought 
to an end. So long as the Party exercises correct leadership, it can rally not only its whole 
membership but also the whole nation to accomplish any mighty undertaking. After all, 
what is the good of the multi-party system in capitalist countries? That system came into 
being as a result of strife and competition among different sections of the bourgeoisie, 
and none of the parties represents the interests of the masses of working people. The 
people in capitalist countries do not, and cannot possibly, share any common ideal; many 
of them simply don't have any ideals at all. This state of affairs is not the strong point of 
these countries but their weakness: it prevents them from concentrating all their forces, 
many of which hamstring and work against each other. While there are also many parties 
in our country, our non-Communist parties serve the cause of socialism on the basis of 
their recognition of leadership by the Communist Party. The whole Chinese nation shares 
common basic interests and a common lofty ideal, namely, to build and develop 
socialism and ultimately realize communism. Therefore, we can unite as one under the 
leadership of the Communist Party. While the principle of long-term coexistence and 
mutual supervision between our Party and all other parties must be upheld, China and 
China's drive for socialist modernization must be led by the Communist Party. This is an 
unshakable principle. In its absence China would retrogress into division and chaos, and 
modernization would become impossible. 

At the same time, it should be recognized that in order to uphold Party leadership, we 
must strive to improve it. Lin Biao and the Gang of Four inflicted great damage on our 
Party, and we should realize that its prestige among the people has therefore fallen. In the 
past when we were faced with a difficulty, any call by the Party or any directive from the 
Central Committee would draw an immediate response and the whole nation would rise 
to meet the challenge. The difficulty would then be overcome. Under the Party's unified 
leadership, the serious difficulties we encountered in 1959, 1960 and 1961 were rapidly 
surmounted. These are things worth remembering. When more than 20 million workers 
and office staff were transferred to the countryside in those years, they didn't even 
grumble, because we followed the mass line and clearly explained to them the reasons 
why the move was necessary. It would not be so easy to do such a thing now. Why? 
Because when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were in power, they ruled as a clique, 
kicking aside Party committees to ''make revolution" and throwing the Party into 
disorder. The urgent problem now confronting us is to restore the Party's fighting 
capacity. As the vanguard of the proletariat, the Party should be a united fighting force 
with a high level of political consciousness and discipline. Only when the Party is 
restored to that state will it possess fighting capacity. 

Several questions are involved here. First, a number of our Party members do not 
measure up to standards. Some of the new members who joined the Party during the 



""cultural revolution" are not qualified because, never having received Party education, 
they cannot set an example to the masses. Some veteran members who used to be 
qualified over many years in the past don't quite measure up any more either, because 
they no longer set an example. We advocate Party spirit and oppose factionalism. Some 
people still obdurately cling to their factions, and a fair number of Party members, 
including some veterans, hold factionalism higher than Party spirit. How can we consider 
them still qualified? Why was our Party so powerful in the past? In the war years we 
often said that if Party members made up 30 per cent of an army company, that company 
must be very good and have a strong fighting capacity. Why? Because Party members 
were invariably the first to charge and the last to withdraw on the battlefield, the first to 
bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts in daily life. Therefore, they became models 
for the masses and the core of their units. That is a simple truth. And it was not easy to be 
a Party member then. If you were a Party cadre, a company commander or a platoon 
leader, you often had to carry two or three rifles on the march [one for yourself, the 
others for comrades]. Now some Party members are different. They join the Party in 
order to be the first to enjoy comforts and the last to bear hardships. When we talk about 
opposing privilege-seeking, in fact we have in mind the conduct of some Party members 
and cadres. That's why we say that as we go about restoring our Party's fine traditions and 
style of work, we face a problem about the qualifications of Party members. The question 
of whether a Communist meets the requirements for Party membership applies not only 
to new Party members but also to a number of veterans. So our Party really does need 
consolidation. At present we have a total of 38 million members. If each and every one of 
us measured up to the standard, what a mighty force we would have! The problem now is 
that a number of Party members don't measure up, so we must consolidate the Party 
through education. The Central Committee is considering revising the Party Constitution. 
The Constitutions adopted at the Ninth and Tenth National Party Congress es were 
actually inadequate documents. They didn't properly set forth the rights and duties of 
Party members or specify the requirements for membership of state what should be done 
with those who fail to meet them. So they need to be revised. The requirements for Party 
membership must be strict. We should educate all members by discussing the draft of the 
revised Constitution before it is formally adopted at the Twelfth National Party Congress. 

To improve Party leadership, it is necessary to improve its present state and the system 
under which it functions, in addition to making changes in the Party's organization. This 
is a complicated question. As we all know, shortly after we took over the cities. Chairman 
Mao said that we would soon put aside some of the things we knew well and be 
confronted with things with which we were unfamiliar. This problem has now become all 
the more pressing and serious because we have failed to really come to grips with it for 
so long. Leading the work in a region, department, factory, school or army unit has now 
become much more complicated and difficult than ever before. Take our economic work 
for example. It is true that we have quite a number of accomplishments to our credit, but 
have we really learned systematically how to develop a planned socialist economy? 
Developing a planned socialist economy on a nationwide scale is quite different from 
planning the economic work of the former Liberated Areas. Moreover, economic work 
today is much more complex than it was in the 1950s. The conditions are different and 
the tasks before us are different too. Now that there are new developments in science and 



technology and in international exchanges of personnel and information, our economy 
should be measured by world standards and must become competitive internationally. 
Faced with the new problems that are constantly emerging, our Party -- we Communists - 
- and the rest of the Chinese people should always be learning. We cannot reconcile 
ourselves to lagging behind others; if we do, we will not survive. But how many of our 
Party members, and particularly our leading cadres, have mastered professional 
knowledge? Can we go on in this way? Of course, even when Party members have 
mastered professional knowledge, the Party must not substitute itself for all other 
organizations and monopolize everything; still less can it afford to do so now. The Party 
should assume leadership, but these problems must be conscientiously studied and 
solved. I think the Party must make preparations now to discuss the problems I have been 
talking about, and they should figure prominently on the agenda of our next national 
congress. We should solve them earnestly and systematically. 

Many problems concerning the improvement of Party leadership remain to be solved. For 
instance, we have said all along that in a factory the director should assume overall 
responsibility under the leadership of the Party committee, in an army unit the senior 
officers should do so, and in a school the principal. If these systems are to be continued in 
future, is it necessary for the committees of general Party branches to lead work in the 
workshops and for Party branches or groups to lead the work teams and groups in 
factories? Likewise, is it necessary for the committees of general Party branches to lead 
the individual university departments? Is this form of leadership beneficial to the 
functioning of factories and universities? Can it give substance to the Party's role of 
leadership? If these questions are not properly settled. Party leadership will not be 
strengthened; on the contrary, it may be harmed or weakened. How should the 
Communist Party exercise leadership? Should it do so through the organizational forms I 
have just described? Or through other means, such as having Party members set the 
example by, for instance, studying assiduously to acquire professional knowledge and 
become experts in particular spheres, bearing hardships first and enjoying comforts last, 
and carrying heavier work loads than others do? The Party committee of a factory should 
always see to it that the production plans are met in terms of quantity, quality and 
production costs, that their factory is technologically advanced and scientifically and 
democratically managed, that the managerial personnel have authority commensurate 
with their posts and can function efficiently and methodically, that the workers and office 
staff enjoy democratic rights and suitable working and living conditions and facilities for 
study, that talented persons are trained and promoted through election or otherwise, and 
that all capable persons — whether Party members or not — have the opportunity to put 
their skills to the best use. When all these things are ensured. Party leadership can be 
judged effective and competent. With this way of working, which is far better than 
having a finger in every pie, the Party's prestige will naturally grow. 

To sum up, we are now confronted with the important problem of how to improve Party 
leadership. If we don't study and solve it. Party leadership cannot be upheld and the 
Party's prestige cannot be enhanced. 



In order to uphold and improve Party leadership, Party discipline must be strengthened. 
During the ""cultural revolution", Party discipline was lax, and even now it has not yet 
been fully restored. This is one important reason why the Party is unable to play its 
proper role. Because of lax discipline, many Party members simply do as they please, 
without implementing — or fully implementing — the Party's line, principles, policies and 
decisions or performing their assigned tasks. If a party allowed each member to speak 
and act freely according to his own will, naturally it would have no unity of will and no 
power to fulfil its tasks. Thus, in order to uphold and improve Party leadership, it is 
essential to strictly uphold and greatly strengthen Party discipline. Individual Party 
members must be subordinate to the Party organization, the minority to the majority, the 
lower Party organizations to the higher, and all Party constituent organizations and 
members must be subordinate to the Central Committee. These principles must be strictly 
observed. Otherwise, the Party will not form a fighting collective and will not be 
qualified to serve as the vanguard of the proletariat. 

Here I would say that of all these principles the most important is that all Party 
constituent organizations and members must be subordinate to the Central Committee. 
Though it has made mistakes, the Central Committee has itself corrected them. It is 
impermissible for anyone to use these mistakes as an excuse for resisting the leadership 
of the Central Committee. Only when all the constituent organizations and members are 
strictly subordinate to the Central Committee can the Party lead the entire membership 
and the whole nation in accomplishing the great task of modernization. Party 
organizations and the commissions for discipline inspection at different levels must take 
stern disciplinary measures against anyone who seriously violates this principle, because 
it embodies the highest interests of the Party and of the nation. We must take pains to 
ensure and develop Party democracy. When a Party member disagrees with a Party 
decision, he may express his views and reservations through organizational channels or 
even to the Central Committee directly. Party organizations at all levels up to and 
including the Central Committee should give such views serious consideration. Until 
such time as any changes are made by the Party, however, the member concerned must 
obey the original decisions of the Central Committee and other Party organizations. His 
public statements must be in accordance with Party decisions, and he must not wilfully 
spread misgivings, discontent or opposition concerning the line, principles and policies of 
the Central Committee. Party newspapers and journals must in all circumstances 
publicize the Party's views. Of course Party members are entitled to criticize 
shortcomings and mistakes in Party work, but the criticism should be constructive and 
should include suggestions for improvement. Isn't it often said nowadays that this or that 
question is open to discussion? Yes, certainly there can be discussion, but it should be 
conducted within the scope and in the forms allowed by Party principles and decisions. If 
this were not the case, that is, if everyone went his own way without acting on the Central 
Committee's principles, policies and decisions, the Party would be sapped of its strength 
and could never achieve unity or have fighting capacity. Therefore, we must resolutely 
eradicate the trend towards anarchism that was introduced into the Party by the Gang of 
Four as well as the trend towards various kinds of bourgeois liberalism that is emerging 
within the Party. Only when the Party's unity and fighting capacity are fully guaranteed 
can the tasks we have outlined today be accomplished. 



In the final analysis, the major tasks and the essential principles I have mentioned all 
relate to the necessity of building a Party worthy to lead. We have always said that the 
Communist Party of China is a great, glorious and correct party. While there have been 
gaps in our work because of our historical setbacks, they have basically been filled in 
through our efforts over the past three years or are being filled in now. In the future, we 
will try to do our work correctly, in other words, to make fewer mistakes and avoid major 
mistakes and reversals. When mistakes are made, we will rectify them as soon as 
possible. We are fully confident that the Party and the Central Committee can achieve 
their objectives. China needs our Party to accomplish modernization. Similarly, China's 
prominent position in the international struggle against hegemonism and for human 
progress presupposes the existence of our Party. We must uphold and improve Party 
leadership and strengthen the Party's discipline and fighting capacity so as to measure up 
to our responsibility, the enormous responsibility of leading our country and the people of 
all its nationalities. 

(Speech at a meeting of cadres called by the Central Committee of the Communist Party 
of China.) 

ADHERE TO THE PARTY LINE AND IMPROVE METHODS OF 

WORK 

February 29, 1980 



Today I want to discuss three subjects: first, this session itself; second, the political, 
ideological and organizational lines of the Party; and third, methods of work. 

First, about this session. It is a highly important one and has been very successful, as 
successful as the Third and Fourth Plenary Sessions of the Eleventh Central Committee 
of the Party. The political life of the Party is more spirited now than it has been for many 
years. This session, at which everyone has spoken his mind freely, has given genuine 
expression to the collective wisdom and leadership of the Central Committee, and has set 
a good example for our inner-Party life which should be emulated in the Party's leading 
organs at all other levels. 

The issues resolved at this session are all significant ones, namely: the strengthening and 
improvement of the Party's leadership, including leadership by the Standing Committee 
of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee; the re-establishment of the Secretariat 
of the Central Committee; the drafting of a revised Party Constitution, and the 
formulation of the ''Guiding Principles for Inner-Party Political Life". Ours is a party in 
power. It must be admitted that the Party's leadership has been impaired for a fairly long 
period. To restore the position and role of our Party among our own people of whatever 
nationality and on the international scene is a vital task for us. I think the decisions and 
documents adopted by the present session with a view to accomplishing this task are all 
correct. This session genuinely embodies our Party's work style, namely, that of seeking 
truth from facts. The rehabilitation of Comrade Liu Shaoqi is a major matter and we have 



handled it very well. Could it have been settled earlier? I think not. But we would 
probably be making a mistake if we didn't settle it now. The session has also decided to 
propose to the National People's Congress the deletion of the provision in Article 45 of 
the Constitution concerning the si da , that is, speaking out freely, airing one's views fully, 
writing big-character posters and holding great debates. This action will be of great value 
in ensuring stability in the country's political life. In short, the questions discussed at this 
session are very important ones and have been well handled. 

The news of this session and its documents can be expected to evoke widespread and 
favourable response not only inside our Party and among the whole Chinese people but 
also in the rest of the world. For some time, people abroad have been saying that though 
the line and policies of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China 
may be correct, their continuity and stability are in some doubt. The documents of this 
session and the series of political and organizational measures it has adopted provide a 
good answer to this sort of talk. I believe that our entire Party and our people of all 
nationalities will be satisfied with our decisions. Internationally, they will certainly help 
strengthen the confidence reposed in us by foreign comrades and friends and by others 
who co-operate with us in varying degrees. This will help both in China's struggle to 
achieve the four modernizations and in the international struggle against hegemonism. 

Second, the question of adhering to the Party's political, ideological and organizational 
lines, which I want to speak about at greater length. 

Our political line for the present stage has gradually taken shape since the Eleventh 
National Congress , and especially since the Third and Fourth Plenary Sessions of the 
Eleventh Central Committee. The Third Plenary Session formulated or, one might say, 
reaffirmed the Party's ideological line. Subsequently the Central Committee came to feel 
that it would be impossible to ensure the carrying out of the Party's political and 
ideological lines without going on to settle the question of organizational line. Indeed 
settling it is one of the main tasks of our present session. Of course, the Central 
Committee had started to deal with it after the smashing of the Gang of Four, and much 
has been done already. For instance, a group of people, including me, have re-emerged to 
work. But it is only since the Third Plenary Session that the issue has been raised more 
explicitly. This shows that we have made much progress in our work since then. 

In sum, the political line of the Party at the present stage is to work with one heart and 
one mind for our country's four modernizations. This should be done resolutely and 
wholeheartedly despite all interference. Without the four modernizations, many problems 
are incapable of solution. The growth of the economy, increasing the national income, 
gradually improving the people's standard of living, and the corresponding consolidation 
and strengthening of our national defence — all these hinge on the success of the four 
modernizations. The present plenary session has discussed the draft of the revised Party 
Constitution. The purpose of this revision is to further clarify the position and role of the 
Party in carrying out modernization. What should a party in power be like? What should 
a member of such a party be like if he is to be worthy of the name? How are we to judge 
whether its leadership is competent? Comrades taking part in the discussion of the draft 



revised Constitution think it gives satisfactory answers to these questions as no previous 
document has done. This does not mean that the draft is already perfect. It may have to 
undergo several more revisions before it can be really satisfactory. As for the formulation 
of the political line, the draft of the revised Party Constitution has made it more 
comprehensive by adding a new point -- that China should be transformed into a 
culturally and ideologically advanced and highly democratic socialist country. But the 
relevant sentence is a bit too long and should be made more concise so that it can be 
easily remembered. No matter how the Party's political line is formulated, however, the 
essence is to work for the four modernizations, and our most important tasks are 
economic construction and the development of the economy and the productive forces. 
We must stick doggedly to this undertaking and not delay its fulfilment by a single day. 
Although our comrades have a multitude of other matters to deal with, I hope they will 
pay constant attention to economic work. 

While working with complete dedication for the four modernizations, we must, with 
equal dedication, preserve and develop a political situation marked by stability, unity and 
liveliness. This is a most significant task for us at all times. And it is with this task in 
mind that we are proposing the deletion of the provision on the si da from the 
Constitution. We are doing so not because we are against socialist democracy, but 
because practice over the years has shown that the si da are not a good method of 
promoting either stability or democracy. Promoting socialist democracy and improving 
the socialist legal system are two aspects of a single whole. Democracy can be promoted 
through many channels. For instance, the document ''Guiding Principles for Inner-Party 
Political Life" stipulates that every Party member should speak the truth and place all his 
ideas on the table for discussion. At our present session, everyone has spoken his mind 
freely and if anyone, including members of the Standing Committee of the Political 
Bureau, has said anything inappropriate, others have been able to correct that person. 
This is very good. How can anyone be faultless in what he says? How can every remark 
one makes in impromptu discussion be perfectly correct? Our session has proceeded in a 
very good atmosphere, and the spread of this democratic atmosphere will help to preserve 
and develop a political situation marked by stability, unity and liveliness. That can never 
be achieved through the si da. 

To bring about such a political situation, we must solve problems inherited from the past 
and distinguish between right and wrong on major issues. We have already solved many 
such problems, but quite a few others still await solution. Our purpose in solving them is, 
as stated in the Third Plenary Session documents, to become united as one and look to the 
future. We want everybody to be concerned with, and work for, the four modernizations, 
rather than waste a lot of time settling old scores. If we can't unite people and get them to 
look forward, it will just show that we haven't done our job well. That is why we often 
say that it is better to solve the major historical problems in broad outline than to go into 
too much detail. Here I am referring not to any specific case but to general historical 
problems — the sort of problems we will have to deal with when we draft the resolution 
on certain questions in the history of the Party. It will not be appropriate for us to go into 
too much detail. 



The resolution on the rehabilitation of Comrade Liu Shaoqi states that our Party made 
some mistakes before the Cultural Revolution and that Liu Shaoqi did so too like a 
number of other comrades. I think this formulation is fair and conforms to reality. We 
must not give the impression that only one particular individual made mistakes while all 
the others were correct. I am qualified to say this, because I too made mistakes. We were 
among the activists in the anti-Rightist struggle of 1957,100 and I share the responsibility 
for broadening the scope of the struggle — wasn't I General Secretary of the Central 
Committee then? We also let ourselves get carried away in the Great Leap Forward of 
1958,76 and I think quite a few of the older comrades present here did too. So these aren't 
just the problems of one individual. We should admit that no one is exempt from making 
mistakes. Speaking personally, if I am given an assessment of 60 per cent for good deeds 
and 40 per cent for those which were not so good, I'll be quite satisfied, because there 
will be more good than not so good. Since we maintain that even Comrade Mao Zedong 
made mistakes, how was it possible for Comrade Liu Shaoqi not to have made any? And 
how was it possible for other comrades not to have done so too? The assessment of 
Comrade Liu Shaoqi in the resolution on his rehabilitation will enable people both inside 
and outside the Party and both at home and abroad to see still more clearly that the 
Chinese Communist Party is a party which seeks truth from facts and which dares to face 
up to reality and tell the truth. Any other assessment of Comrade Liu Shaoqi would not 
correspond to reality. There is no one who never makes mistakes; the only difference lies 
in the gravity of the mistakes people make. 

We must continue to solve problems left over by history. Take the question of Comrade 
Qu Qiubai , who was mentioned at this session. It was unjust to call him a renegade, and 
that assessment must be corrected. But when handling such historical problems, we 
should ask people to look forward rather than get bogged down in minor issues. Some 
comrades whose problems have in fact been solved should not ask the Central Committee 
to issue more documents concerning them. It isn't good to issue too many documents. 

Next, I would like to say something about the ideological line. The Third Plenary Session 
laid down -- or more precisely, reaffirmed — the Party's Marxist ideological line. Marx 
and Engels propounded the ideological line of dialectical and historical materialism, a 
line which Comrade Mao Zedong summarized in the four Chinese characters ""Seek truth 
from facts". To seek truth from facts, we must proceed from reality in all things, link 
theory with practice and hold practice to be the touchstone of truth — that is the 
ideological line of our Party. When we say this line has been reaffirmed, we mean it has 
been restored. It was abandoned for a period to the great detriment of the Party's cause, 
the country and the image of the Party and the state. But still, it must be remembered that 
this ideological line was laid down by Comrade Mao Zedong, and that he adhered to it 
through most of the years during which he led the Chinese revolution. In implementing 
this ideological line, we must oppose dogmatism and revisionism and stick to the four 
cardinal principles. 181 If we deviate from the four cardinal principles, we will lose the 
essence, lose our bearings, and then it will be impossible to implement the Party's 
ideological line. The principle we advocate — seeking truth from facts — is a basic 
component of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Therefore, our advocacy of 
it can in no way be construed to mean that we can separate ourselves from the basic 



tenets of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, or that we can neglect the great 
contribution Comrade Mao Zedong made in formulating this principle. We must never 
sully the glorious image of Comrade Mao Zedong in the entire history of the Chinese 
revolution, and never waver on the principle of holding high the banner of Mao Zedong 
Thought. We should understand this and bear it in mind. For it serves the interests not 
only of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese nation but also of the international 
communist movement. 

The importance of the discussion of practice as the criterion of truth is becoming clearer 
all the time. This discussion has been launched to counter the '" two-whatevers " viewpoint 
and is intended to prevent Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought from turning 
into dogma. At the Third Plenary Session, this notion was expressed in the phrase 
""studying new situations and solving new problems". We said last year that this 
discussion should be related to reality and that problems should be solved in the light of 
concrete conditions. That is to say, in adhering to the Party's ideological line, we must 
also look forward rather than back. All problems should be handled in such a way as to 
focus the attention of the whole Party and people on how to restore and raise the Party's 
prestige and strengthen and improve the Party's leadership, and how to solve our new 
problems at home and in foreign relations. 

It is impossible to achieve the four modernizations without using our brains and 
emancipating our minds. What does emancipating our minds mean? It means that, guided 
by Marxism, we should break the fetters of habit, subjectivism and prejudice, and study 
new situations and solve new problems. In emancipating our minds, we should never 
deviate from the four cardinal principles or impair the political situation marked by 
stability, unity and liveliness. The whole Party should be united in its understanding of 
this question. If, like some of the people who put up big-character posters on the "" Xidan 
Wall ", a person ""emancipates his mind" by departing from the four cardinal principles, 
he is actually placing himself in opposition to the Party and the people. 

Emancipation of the mind should be accompanied by really solving problems. We have 
not a few ideological sluggards who indulge in empty talk or stereotyped phrases. We 
don't yet have many comrades who carefully study fresh situations and solve fresh 
problems and who really use their minds to think out ways of accelerating our advance, 
the development of the productive forces and the rise in national income or of improving 
the work of the leading bodies. For instance, right now, we are badly in need of qualified 
personnel. So we urgently need to think over carefully such questions as just why some 
outstanding people cannot be promoted at present, and how we can remove the obstacles 
in their path. And we should adopt some effective measures. If we older comrades, 
myself included, fail to do this well, we won't be able to hold our heads up. Some local 
authorities act only on instructions from above; without them they daren't make a move. 
Can we call this having emancipated minds? We've often said that people in production 
teams too should emancipate their minds, use their brains, and solve their own concrete 
problems. I think that if, when faced with concrete problems, a Party organization in a 
production team, factory, workshop or section can follow the mass line, consult the rank 
and file, offer good advice, call on the Party members to lead by example and so really 



solve the problems, such a Party organization is making valuable contributions to the four 
modernizations. 

This session has made a series of highly important policy decisions with regard to 
organizational line. However, in the Party as a whole, a number of vital questions have 
yet to be settled, and that is a fact we must soberly recognize. For example, our present 
institutions are far from suited to the needs of the four modernizations. But the crucial 
task before us remains the selection of worthy successors. Party committees at all levels 
from the Central Committee down, and especially our older comrades, should never 
forget to confront this issue seriously and take on this solemn responsibility. Time is 
pressing and we must solve this problem properly and as soon as possible. In 1975, Wang 
Hongwen said that they [the Gang of Four] would wait and see how things stood in 10 
years' time. I talked about this with Li Xiannian and some other comrades. I was then 
already 71. In terms of life expectancy we were no match for the Gang. So already at that 
time we felt that we really must promote younger comrades to leading positions. This is a 
very practical and pressing issue. When we hold a plenary session of the Central 
Committee five years from now, quite a few of us here today will no longer be able to 
work, and by then it will be too late to consider the question of successors. 

There are two sides to the present situation. On the one hand, there are still a number of 
factionalists who stick to the ideological system of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, people 
who used to engage in beating, smashing and looting, and who were so ferocious that, as 
the saying goes, they had ''horns on their heads and spikes on their backs". They are a 
major destabilizing factor. In the course of implementing the Party's line, principles and 
policies we will always find some of these obstructive people who may bring things to a 
halt at any moment. We shall be making a grave mistake if we are soft on the remnants of 
the Lin Biao clique and the Gang of Four — especially on those who reject education and 
refuse to change their stand — and if we let such persons remain in important positions. 
On the other hand, we do have a number of fine young people. And in the fields of 
economic construction, science and technology, culture and education and so on, there 
are many people who are professionally competent, have managerial ability and really 
know how to do their work. People who are politically and ideologically sound, strong in 
Party spirit, thoughtful and vocationally skilled are to be found in large numbers in all 
departments and localities. So, on the one hand, we must deal sternly with the factionalist 
elements and, on the other, we must select successors from among comrades who are 
young, healthy and have a good all-round record. The prospects for our cause will 
become more and more promising if we can solve this major problem within three to five 
years. 

I would like to ask the comrades present here to consider whether we can elect as 
members of the next Central Committee 50 people who are under 50 years old. And a fair 
number of delegates to the next National Congress of the Party should also be under 50. 
If we can't achieve these two things, our next Party Congress cannot be reckoned a 
success. Later on, the average age of Party Congress delegates and members of the 
Central Committee should continue to fall. This will be one of the chief signs that our 
cause continues to flourish. 



At present, our Party really needs to be consolidated. Although this question we raised 
back in 1975, it has yet to be resolved. A significant portion of the 38 million Party 
members are not up to standard. After this session, we should conduct Party-wide 
education in conjunction with the discussion of the draft of the revised Party Constitution 
and with the implementation of the ''Guiding Principles for Inner-Party Political Life". 
All veteran cadres should join in. It would also be good to have a small-scale 
rectification, which simply means seeing whether or not we measure up to the standards 
set in the relevant Party documents. If a Party member can meet 90 or even 70 to 80 per 
cent of the requirements, that will be very good. Of course, there are a great many Party 
members who are 100 per cent qualified. Criticism and self-criticism will be needed in 
the case of those members who don't meet the standards, and we should require them to 
change for the better. 

The third subject I want to discuss today is our methods of work and ways to overcome 
bureaucracy. This is another urgent problem facing us. In order to overcome bureaucracy, 
we must first of all study the question of structural reform. Of course, we have to improve 
our methods of work as well. We can't just sit and wait for the various structures to be 
reformed. Our methods of work should meet the needs of the four modernizations, and 
we should improve them more quickly. 

We should promote democracy, but at the same time we need centralism. Now and 
perhaps for a rather long time to come, we will have to stress centralization where it is 
really required, so as to increase efficiency. We stress collective leadership, and when we 
discuss succession nowadays we mean collective succession; this is very good and very 
important. However, we must at the same time establish a system of division of labour 
with individual responsibility. There should be collective leadership in settling major 
issues. But when it comes to particular jobs or to decisions affecting a particular sphere, 
individual responsibility must be clearly defined and each person should be held 
responsible for the work entrusted to him. I think it is fair to say that the former 
Secretariat of the Central Committee was quite efficient, partly because once the relevant 
decisions were made, specific tasks were assigned to particular persons, who were given 
broad powers and allowed to handle matters independently. But now we only tick off 
documents [indicating that we have read them] and no one is responsible for any thing in 
particular. Consequently, the solution of a simple problem can be delayed for six months 
or a year or even indefinitely, vanishing without a trace in red tape. The people are 
dissatisfied with our low level of efficiency. How can we achieve the four modernizations 
this way? I hope that once the Secretariat is re-established, the members of the Central 
Committee and the State Council will set an example by solving problems collectively 
and stop the practice of just ticking off documents in their separate offices. It isn't 
necessary for all members of the Secretariat or the State Council to take part in settling 
every question — sometimes it is enough for a few persons to discuss and decide on them. 
Some matters can be acted on as they are being reported to the Political Bureau and its 
Standing Committee. Those which require discussion by the higher bodies can wait, but 
not those which only need to be reported for the record. Collective leadership with 
division of labour and individual responsibility should be practised at all levels. Take the 
case of a factory in which the director assumes overall responsibility under the leadership 



of the Party committee. The committee need only handle important political matters and 
questions of principle, while all matters relating to production and administration should 
be left to overall management by the director. On no account should the Party committee 
monopolize responsibility for all matters, great and small. The director and deputy 
directors should each bear specific responsibility for one area or another — technology, 
scientific research, financial affairs, support services and the like — though they can, of 
course, discuss and decide matters together when necessary. People working at all levels 
should be efficiency-minded. Naturally, under this system it may be difficult to avoid 
mistakes, but that is still a better situation — and easier to rectify — than one in which 
there are discussions without decisions, decisions without implementation, and endless 
procrastination and delays in solving problems. 

Meetings should be small and short, and they should not be held at all unless the 
participants have prepared. People should speak briefly and to the point. Give your 
opinions on the question under discussion, say what you are for or against and state your 
reasons concisely. If you don't have anything to say, save your breath. Don't hold 
meetings which are marathons of empty talk, and don't stray from the subject at hand. It 
will be disastrous if even after we have shifted to short meetings and the collective 
solution of problems we still go on talking things to death. To sum up: the only reason to 
hold meetings and to speak at them is to solve problems. 

This session has been quite efficient: we have solved a lot of problems quite satisfactorily 
within a few days. Our plenum has set a good example, and I find that very encouraging 
for the future of our cause. 

(Speech at the third meeting of the Fifth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central 
Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

STREAMLINE THE ARMY AND RAISE ITS COMBAT 

EFFECTIVENESS 

March 12, 1980 



The problems of the army which I have recently discussed with some comrades include 
four main ones: First, reducing '"bloatedness"; second, reforming structure; third, 
improving training; and fourth, strengthening political and ideological work. 

First, I'll discuss the question of reducing ""bloatedness". 

This old question is the chief topic of the present meeting. Can our army fight? Can it 
deal with any emergency? I don't mean an emergency like the self-defensive counter- 
attack on Viet Nam. That kind of incident is easy to cope with. What I mean is: If we 
should be confronted with a more powerful adversary than Viet Nam, how reliable would 
our fighting ability be? Of course, we still have many disadvantages. For example, many 
of our cadres lack experience in directing operations because they have never seen action, 



our equipment is relatively backward, and so on. The battles against Viet Nam, however, 
showed that our troops are brave. That's fine. In a war, we may suffer some reverses to 
start with. But things will change after a period of time since, being brave, our men can 
learn to fight skilfully. We are confident of that. However, we must soberly recognize 
that one of our main problems now is that the army is over-manned. If a war really breaks 
out, we will find it difficult even to disperse our forces, let alone direct operations. The 
current proposal for reducing '"bloatedness" is primarily designed to solve such problems 
as organizational overlapping and overstaffing with the consequent inefficiency of 
command at various levels. We first made this suggestion in 1975 and some work was 
done, with noticeable improvement. But later this work ran into complications and was 
halted. In the last few years, army organizations at various levels have again been 
expanded, leading to a revival of bureaucracy. Today it's very difficult to solve problems 
and many have remained unsolved for a long time. Therefore, unless we reduce 
""bloatedness", we won't be able to raise the army's combat effectiveness and work 
efficiency. In addition, our current military expenditures are rather high, to the detriment 
of national construction. The fact that the armed forces are over-manned also makes it 
harder to modernize their equipment. Our policy is to reduce manpower and use the 
money thus saved to renew equipment. If some of the savings can be used for economic 
construction, so much the better. After calmly assessing the international situation, we 
have concluded that it is possible to gain a longer period free from war than we had 
thought earlier. During this time, we should try our best to cut down military spending so 
as to strengthen national construction. In short, it is necessary to reduce ""bloatedness" if 
we want to carry out the four modernizations or to streamline the army and raise its 
combat effectiveness. 

The main purpose of our present streamlining is to reduce the number of unnecessary 
non-combatants and of personnel in leading and commanding organs — mainly cadres. 
The measures now adopted go a step further than those of 1975. For example, the number 
of commanders who are to remain at various levels will be smaller. Many comrades have 
suggested that in a regiment, in addition to the commander and political commissar, two 
deputy commanders and one deputy political commissar are sufficient. This is a good 
idea. It should be applied to the divisions as well. The present leading bodies are really 
too big. If the problem is not dealt with firmly, I don't know what things will be like in a 
few years. Let's compare 1975 with 1979. In 1975, the army already had to look after a 
fairly large number of cadres. Now, more than four years later, it has to look after still 
more, including those who should be retired. If we don't make up our minds to do 
something about the problem now, it will snowball and be much harder to deal with in a 
few years. So we can't afford to be indecisive. We must particularly take note of the ages 
of the cadres at the military-region, army and divisional levels. All of them are pretty 
much the same age — rather old. In a few years, they will all be elderly. Not only will 
they be unable to work at the army or divisional level, but they'll find it difficult to work 
in the military-region commands or the general headquarters. This is a matter of a law of 
nature. How old will you comrades here be in five years? I'm afraid most of you, though 
not all, will find it hard to keep on working. Seven or eight years from now, you'll be past 
70. How could you see things through on the battlefield? If war should really break out, 
could you fight for three days and nights without sleep? The current move to reduce 



""bloatedness" will also help to renew the ranks of our cadres. The reason the lower-level 
cadres could not be promoted is that older ones have stood in their way. The same is true 
in civilian units. Today, key posts can only be held by veteran comrades — in a few years 
we'll really be in a fix! So our current streamlining should trim the top layers, including 
those at the regimental, battalion and company levels, and create the necessary conditions 
for promoting new cadres. 

I suggest that training courses of various kinds be run for those cadres whose posts are 
eliminated. What kind of training? To prepare them for the professions and trades they 
will enter. If the localities have no buildings to house classes, army barracks can be used 
and the localities can provide the teachers. The army can consult the relevant ministries 
under the State Council as to where these cadres should be placed after training. Or they 
can be employed in some civilian trades and professions in the localities. For instance, 
large numbers of cadres are needed by the public security and legal organs, where the 
skills required are pretty close to those of the army cadres. Right now we don't have 
enough policemen — especially police officers. There is also a shortage of presiding and 
ordinary judges in the courts and of lawyers and procurators. Generally speaking, 
capitalist countries are quite strict about requirements for law-court and police personnel. 
We should be even stricter. Apart from being well versed in laws, policies, regulations, 
procedures and precedents and relevant social data, such persons must be particularly 
public-minded, honest and upright. As we know, army cadres should be fairly well 
qualified in these respects. So the army can provide a large number of cadres for work in 
these fields. Also, we are short of teachers and can arrange for a number of demobilized 
cadres to teach. Of course, very few can serve as university instructors, but many could 
teach in secondary or primary schools. We should persuade such comrades to become 
teachers. A number of comrades have suggested that colleges and universities should 
employ military sports instructors, but only a limited number are needed. China has only 
a few hundred institutions of higher education. Supposing each one were to employ 10 
people, only several thousand — ten thousand at most — could get such jobs. But the 
demand is much greater for secondary and primary school teachers. If we train qualified 
teachers, all of them can be employed by the localities. Also, there is a shortage of 
administrators in various fields. After training, army cadres who are qualified can take 
jobs of that sort. Commanding troops is a kind of administration; so army cadres do know 
something about it. Why is it that in foreign countries ex-officers are welcome in various 
fields? Because they have administrative skills in addition to a relatively high level of 
scientific knowledge and education. Only a few of our demobilized cadres know how to 
administer enterprises, but they have all administered army units. All they need is to have 
some training and to learn something about the trade in which they will be employed. For 
some the training should last six months, for others a year or 18 months. Afterwards, it 
should be comparatively easy for the localities to find them jobs. It used to be that when a 
man was transferred out of the army to a civilian unit, if he wasn't appointed director of a 
political department he was assigned some routine job. Now there's a surplus of people 
for such jobs. So we have to train cadres through special classes or crash courses to meet 
the civilian needs. This is one of the measures we should take to prepare them for 
demobilization as the army is streamlined. 



Second, on reforming structure. 

In fact, the reform of structure and the reduction of '"bloatedness" are two aspects of a 
single issue. Without the former, it is impossible to effect the latter. The structure of our 
army is now beset with problems. For example, why should the three general 
departments, the Headquarters of the General Staff, the General Political Department and 
the General Logistics Department, all have such big establishments? In the past, 
whenever there was a new task to be done, new offices and new staff were added; no one 
ever talked about reducing personnel. You people have many complaints about official 
documents being endlessly routed around and about the length of time it takes to solve 
problems — all that is connected with administrative structure. 

One of the important questions relating to structure and systems is the establishment of a 
system of military service and of retirement for officers. In the fifties regulations were 
drawn up to govern the military service of officers, but they didn't work and were later 
dropped. Actually, they were good on the whole and reflected the correct approach. If 
they had been applied, we wouldn't have the difficulties we are facing now. After this 
meeting has ended, we should devote some study to this question. We must have a 
retirement system. Not only the army but also the civilian units should work one out. The 
State Council should see to this. Since the army has to fight, the retirement age for 
military cadres should be lower than that for civilians. Of course, the regulations must be 
practicable. The vitality of our whole state will be affected if it fails to establish a 
retirement system. And the same applies to the army. With such a system, everyone will 
know when he is to retire, and the necessary arrangements can be made more easily. 
Otherwise, the problems have to be handled case by case and everything becomes 
difficult. To accommodate retired veterans, the army should build the necessary housing 
and then hand it over to the civilian units. This is the only way now, because the civilian 
units are not in a position to accommodate all the former army cadres right away. 
Another idea is to change the personnel in some sections of the army into non-military, 
non-uniformed employees. This can also be done with quite a number of teachers at 
military colleges and schools; they don't all have to be in the army. Why do people who 
teach mathematics, physics and chemistry have to belong to the army? If they're 
professors or lecturers, then let them be just that. Army hospitals, too, can have civilian 
medical personnel with professional titles. What's the point of having so many 
administrative posts? All these solutions should be institutionalized, which will put an 
end to overstaffing in the army. Where only one person is required, there will be just one. 
Where several are needed, we'll have only that many. In short, necessary rules and 
regulations should be established, and we should assign people to make a special study of 
the matter to this end. 

As part of the current streamlining we have drawn up a plan for modifying the size of the 
army, but both size and structure need further study. Some comrades have made good 
suggestions which merit our con"isideration. One is that some combined armies and 
divisions should be organized in accordance with the characteristics of the various war 
zones and with the constant improvement of military equipment. This would facilitate 
training in combined operations and help the officers learn to command special branches. 



thus gearing peace-time training to wartime needs and making it easier to conduct 
combined operations in emergencies. These questions should all be seen as concerning 
the systems of administration and structure and should be studied further. In the course of 
such studies, we may come upon other problems of organization and structure. 

Third, on improving training. 

In 1975 we proposed that training should be considered of strategic importance because, 
in the absence of war, it is the only way to improve the army's quality. Since then we 
have done much work on this question, but we still haven't settled it properly. Now I raise 
it again so that it may be settled and systematic measures adopted. 

If we had to fight a war now we couldn't afford to have our officers ignorant of modern 
warfare. To be a company commander today isn't what it used to be. The same is true of a 
regimental commander. Today they must have knowledge — knowledge about warfare in 
the air, on the ground, under the ground, and under water, including communications and 
liaison. In terms of system, we must consider educating all officers, from platoon leaders 
up, in officers' training schools. Platoon or company officers should be graduates of 
junior infantry schools. Those who graduate with distinction can be put in command of 
companies, and the others of platoons. Battalion and regimental cadres should go through 
intermediate officers' training schools. Outstanding platoon and company commanders 
should be selected for these schools and be appointed to battalion or regimental command 
only after a set period of study. Likewise, leading cadres at the army or divisional level 
should be appointed only after they have attended senior officers' training schools. We 
should regularize all this. Present conditions allow us to do so. In the past, we conducted 
training and study while fighting; that was the most effective kind of education. But now, 
even if a war were going on, you couldn't become competent without education in 
schools because military equipment is different from what it was, and many kinds of 
knowledge are needed to direct present-day operations. If a man doesn't even know how 
to use maps, what good is he? But what matters now is not just knowing how to read 
maps — that's easy to learn. Modern warfare is very complex, and even maintaining 
communications and liaison is by no means simple. How would you command a 
company equipped with tanks and artillery? Company commanders have to know how to 
do that. So they must study. The promotion of officers should also be systematized. At 
each step, a man should be promoted only after he has been through a period of study and 
increased his knowledge of modern warfare. This applies to the special arms too. Every 
time he speaks. Comrade Xu Xiangqian suggests that we open more schools. This is a 
very good suggestion and quite correct. We should run schools well and enrol more 
students, even if it means cutting down the number of troops on active duty and at desk 
jobs. 

We are paying attention to training troops under peace-time conditions, and that's very 
necessary. But the training has to go beyond marksmanship, bayonet practice and 
grenade-throwing. Because that's no longer enough. Every soldier must learn how to deal 
with tanks, aircraft and so on. We should also learn how to co-ordinate air and ground 
operations. When I suggested earlier that combined armies be organized, I meant 



combining the different units step by step so that, through peace-time training, our men 
can acquire such knowledge and skills. 

Finally, let me discuss the strengthening of political and ideological work. 

You comrades have touched on this in your speeches. Some have said that it is difficult 
nowadays to lead soldiers, particularly those from the cities. Some cities may send young 
people who aren't amenable to discipline into the army, and this problem should be kept 
in mind in future conscription. In any case, political and ideological work in the army 
must be strengthened. At present, it has been considerably weakened, and our political 
personnel don't know how to do their job. Actually, all military and political personnel in 
the army should engage in it. This morning I read a report from Qinghua University. It 
raised a vital issue, namely, that political and ideological work has to be done among the 
students from their very first day there, and that Party and Youth League organizations 
and all teachers should join in. Qinghua's practice has proved quite effective, and the 
general atmosphere there is pretty good now. Qinghua's experience should draw 
nationwide attention. ""Red and expert" — on no account must the ""red" aspect be 
discarded. If it's important for a school to strengthen its political and ideological work, it's 
even more important for the army to do so. Attention should be paid to this question from 
a recruit's first day in the ranks. 

(Speech at an enlarged meeting of the Standing Committee of the Military Commission 
of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

REMARKS ON SUCCESSIVE DRAFTS OF THE 
RESOLUTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN THE 
HISTORY OF OUR PARTY SINCE THE FOUNDING 
OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA" 

March 1980-June 1981 



(The ""Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of 
the People's Republic of China" was drafted under the guidance of the Political Bureau of 
the Central Committee and of its Secretariat, with Comrades Deng Xiaoping and Hu 
Yaobang presiding over the work. A drafting group was set up, with Comrade Hu 
Qiaomu as its principal leader. On a number of occasions between March 1980 and the 
Sixth Plenary Session of the Party's Eleventh Central Committee in June 1981, Comrade 
Deng Xiaoping gave his opinions on the drafting and revision of the resolution. Here are 
excerpts from nine of his talks.) 

I 

I have gone over the outline of the resolution prepared by the drafting group, and my 
impression is that it is over-extended. We should avoid the narrative method and make 



the writing more succinct. There should be expositions of important questions, and a bit 
more expository language generally. And of course we have to be accurate. 

The document should cover three main points: 

First, affirmation of the historical role of Comrade Mao Zedong and explanation of the 
necessity to uphold and develop Mao Zedong Thought. This is the most essential point. 
We must hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought not only today but in the future. 
There has been considerable ideological confusion among a number of people ever since 
the decision of the Fifth Plenary Session of the Party's Eleventh Central Committee on 
the rehabilitation of Comrade Liu Shaoqi was transmitted to the lower levels. Some 
people disagree with the decision, believing that it contravenes Mao Zedong Thought. 
Others think that the rehabilitation of Comrade Liu Shaoqi shows that Mao Zedong 
Thought is wrong. Both views are incorrect, and all such confused thinking must be 
clarified. The appraisal of Comrade Mao and of Mao Zedong Thought is a matter of great 
concern both inside and outside the Party, both at home and abroad. Not only all our 
Party comrades but also our friends in various quarters are concerned about what we have 
to say on this question. 

The history of Mao Zedong Thought — its origins and development — should be written 
into the document. It can be said that Mao Zedong Thought assumed relatively complete 
form during the Yan'an period. The theories on the new-democratic revolution, including 
those on Party building and the principles on the handling of inner-Party relations, all 
essentially took shape around the time of the rectification movement [of the early forties] 
in Yan'an. The resolution on certain questions in the history of our Party adopted [in 
April 1945] by the [enlarged] Seventh Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee in 
the main criticized the three 'Xeft" lines in contrast to the correct line represented by 
Comrade Mao Zedong. But it did not systematically expound the entire content of Mao 
Zedong Thought. This time, as we intend to give a correct evaluation of Mao Zedong 
Thought and scientifically establish its guiding role, we have to expound its main 
contents in general terms, especially those elements which we shall continue to 
implement in the future. Comrade Mao Zedong made mistakes during the decade of the 
''cultural revolution" [1966-76]. In our appraisal of him and of Mao Zedong Thought, we 
must analyse those mistakes in the spirit of seeking truth from facts. 

The second main point should be an analysis, in the same spirit, of the rights and wrongs 
in the major events of the 30 years since the founding of New China, including a fair 
evaluation of the merits and demerits of some leading comrades. 

Third, there should be a basic summary of our past work. As I said before, it is better to 
write it in broad outline and not go into too much detail. The purpose of summing up the 
past is to encourage people to close ranks and look to the future. We should try to ensure 
that when this resolution is adopted, the thinking of Party members and non-Party people 
alike will be clarified, common views will be reached and, by and large, debate on the 
major historical questions will come to an end. Of course, it will be difficult to avoid 
debates over the past completely. However, such discussions may be conducted in 



connection with the ongoing work in each period in the future. For the present, we should 
work with one heart and one mind for China's four modernizations, and all of us should 
unite as one and look forward. But that's not so easy to achieve. We must do our best to 
work out a good resolution so that we can reach a consensus and not let major differences 
arise again. Then, even if the past is brought up, people won't differ significantly in their 
views. They will stick to talking over the content of the resolution and the lessons to be 
learned from past experience. 

These three points constitute the general requirements or principles or guidelines for this 
resolution. The first is the most important, the most fundamental, the most crucial. 

In the past, we often talked about 10 struggles between two opposing lines. How should 
we regard them now? 

The struggle against Comrade Peng Dehuai cannot be viewed as a struggle between two 
lines. Nor can the struggle against Comrade Liu Shaoqi . That makes two such struggles 
less. Lin Biao and Jiang Qing formed counter-revolutionary cliques. Chen Duxiu and 
Comrades Qu Qiubai and Li Lisan did not engage in conspiracies. Luo Zhanglong tried to 
split the Party by setting up another central committee. Zhang Guotao engaged in 
conspiracy, and so did Gao Gang . And, of course, so did Lin Biao and Jiang Qing. 

It was correct to expose Gao Gang and Rao Shushi . Whether this struggle can be 
regarded as one between two lines is something that can be looked into further. I am quite 
clear on the whole story. After Comrade Mao Zedong proposed at the end of 1953 that 
the work of the Central Committee be divided into a ''front line" and a ''second line", 
Gao Gang became very active. He first gained the support of Lin Biao, which was what 
emboldened him to go ahead full steam. At the time, he was in charge in northeast China, 
while Lin Biao was in charge in central-south China and Rao Shushi in east China. So far 
as southwest China was concerned, he tried to win me over and had serious talks with me 
in which he said that Comrade Liu Shaoqi was immature. He was trying to persuade me 
to join in his effort to topple Comrade Liu Shaoqi. I made my attitude clear, saying that 
Comrade Liu's position in the Party was the outcome of historical development, that he 
was a good comrade on the whole, and that it was inappropriate to try to oust him from 
such a position. Gao Gang also approached Comrade Chen Yun and told him that a few 
more vice-chairmanships should be instituted, with himself and Chen each holding one of 
them. At this point, Comrade Chen Yun and I realized the gravity of the matter and 
immediately brought it to Comrade Mao Zedong's attention. It was highly irregular for 
Gao Gang to engage in behind-the-scene deals and conspiracies in his attempt to bring 
Comrade Liu Shaoqi down. Therefore, we should reaffirm that it was correct to struggle 
against Gao Gang. The Gao-Rao case was handled rather leniently. Hardly anyone was 
hurt. In fact, care was taken to protect a number of cadres. All in all, we had no choice 
but to expose Gao Gang and Rao Shushi and deal with their case as we did. Our handling 
of it was correct from the present perspective as well. But so far as Gao Gang's real line is 
concerned, actually, I can't see that he had one, so it's hard to say whether we should call 
it a struggle between two lines. Please discuss this further. 



The necessity for the anti-Rightist struggle of 1957 should be reaffirmed. After the 
completion of the socialist transformation , there was indeed a force — a trend of thought - 
- in the country that was bourgeois in nature and opposed to socialism. It was imperative 
to counter this trend. I've said on many occasions that some people really were making 
vicious attacks at the time, trying to negate the leadership of the Communist Party and 
change the socialist orientation of our country. If we hadn't thwarted their attempt, we 
would not have been able to advance. Our mistake lay in broadening the scope of the 
struggle. The United Front Work Department wrote a report to the Central Committee 
suggesting that in all cases of persons wrongly labelled as Rightists, the judgements 
should be corrected, but that where the labels had been correct, the judgements should be 
allowed to stand. However, in the case of figures formerly prominent in the democratic 
parties who were correctly labelled Rightists, it should be written into the judgements on 
their cases that they had performed good deeds before the anti-Rightist struggle, and 
especially during the period of the democratic revolution. Their family members should 
not be discriminated against but should be properly looked after politically and in terms 
of their daily life and work. 

The several points about our experience mentioned towards the end of your outline are 
well written, but I suggest you consider adding one or two more. 

To sum up, historical questions should be expounded only in broad or general outline, 
and not in too much detail. As for the erroneous opinions of some of our comrades on a 
number of questions, you should brace yourselves and resist them. On the major issues, 
further exposition is needed. I suggest that you work out the draft as soon as possible. 

(Talk with some leading comrades of the Central Committee, March 19, 1980) 

II 

Generally speaking, Comrade Mao Zedong's leadership was correct before 1957, but he 
made more and more mistakes after the anti-Rightist struggle of that year. ''On the Ten 
Major Relationships" is a fine speech. So is ''On the Correct Handling of Contradictions 
Among the People". In his article "The Situation in the Summer of 1957", Comrade Mao 
said that we must build a modern industrial and agricultural base in China and that only 
with its achievement could our socialist economic and political system be said to have 
obtained a fairly adequate material base. He said that to build socialism the working class 
must have its own army of technical cadres and of professors, teachers, scientists, 
journalists, writers, artists and Marxist theorists, and it must be a vast army, as a few 
would not suffice. He said that we should create a political situation in which we had 
both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity of will and 
personal ease of mind and liveliness. The two Zhengzhou Meetings were most timely. In 
the first half of 1959 we were correcting "Left" mistakes. And the early stage of the 
Lushan Meeting was devoted to economic work. With the issuing of Comrade Peng 
Dehuai's letter, however, there was a change of direction. Comrade Peng's views were 
correct, and it was normal for him as a member of the Political Bureau to write to the 
Chairman. Although he had his shortcomings, the way his case was handled was totally 



wrong. After that came the period of economic difficulties. In 1961, the Secretariat of the 
Central Committee presided over the drafting of the ^' Seventy Articles on Industrial 
Work" and of a resolution on industrial questions. At the time Comrade Mao Zedong was 
quite satisfied with these articles and spoke highly of them. He said that we had finally 
managed to work out some guiding rules for industrial work. Earlier, we had drawn up 
the '^ Twelve Articles on Agricultural Work" and the ''Sixty Articles on the Work of the 
People's Communes" . It seemed that Comrade Mao Zedong was then earnestly correcting 
the ''Left" mistakes. His address at the conference attended by 7,000 comrades in early 
1962 was also fine. At the Beidaihe Meeting of July- August that year, however, he 
reversed direction again, laying renewed and even greater stress on class struggle. Of 
course. Comrade Mao Zedong did say in his speech at the Tenth Plenary Session of the 
Eighth Central Committee that the renewed emphasis on class struggle should not 
interfere with the economic readjustment then in progress. That speech had a positive 
effect. But after that session, he personally focused on class struggle by initiating the 
movement of the " four clean-ups ". Later he wrote the two instructions on literary and art 
work, and Jiang Qing's stuff began to surface. Towards the end of 1964 and the beginning 
of 1965, in the discussions on the "four clean-ups" movement, Chairman Mao held not 
only that there were capitalist roaders in power but that there were two "independent 
kingdoms" in Beijing. Judging from the developments between 1961 and 1966, we can 
see that the economic readjustment had obtained good results, that the economic and 
political situation was favourable, and that public order was good. In a word, in the 17 
years following the founding of the People's Republic, our work was basically correct, 
although there were setbacks and mistakes. We carried out the socialist revolution well, 
and Comrade Mao Zedong wrote good articles and put forth good ideas after we shifted 
our attention to socialist construction. When we talk about mistakes, we should not speak 
only of Comrade Mao, for many other leading comrades in the Central Committee made 
mistakes too. Comrade Mao got carried away when we launched the Great Leap 
Forward,76 but didn't the rest of us go along with him? Neither Comrade Liu Shaoqi nor 
Comrade Zhou Enlai nor I for that matter objected to it, and Comrade Chen Yun didn't 
say anything either. We must be fair on these questions and not give the impression that 
only one individual made mistakes while everybody else was correct, because it doesn't 
tally with the facts. When the Central Committee makes a mistake, it is the collective 
rather than a particular individual that bears the responsibility. We should analyse these 
matters by combining Marxism-Leninism with our practice so that we can make new 
contributions and push things forward. 

The several points in the outline concerning our experience are good. The question is 
where to place them. 

As far as the general organization is concerned, we should consider whether there should 
be a foreword containing a brief history of the new-democratic revolution prior to the 
founding of the People's Republic, followed by a section covering the first 17 years of 
New China, a section about the "Cultural Revolution", a section about Mao Zedong 
Thought and, finally, the concluding remarks. These concluding remarks should make it 
clear that, when all is said and done, our Party is a great party with the courage to face up 
to, and correct, its own mistakes. The most essential, the most fundamental, point in the 



resolution is that we must adhere to and develop Mao Zedong Thought. People inside and 
outside the Party and at home and abroad all expect us to expound and elucidate this issue 
and make some relevant generalizations. 

(Talk with some leading comrades of the Central Committee, April 1, 1980) 

III 

I have gone over the draft of the resolution. It is no good and needs rewriting. We 
stressed at the very beginning that the historical role of Comrade Mao Zedong must be 
affirmed and that Mao Zedong Thought must be adhered to and developed. The draft 
doesn't reflect this intention adequately. The passages dealing with the events before 
1957 are all right as to the facts, but the way they are presented — the sequence and 
especially the tone of presentation — should be reconsidered and altered. We have to give 
a clear account of Comrade Mao Zedong's contributions to China's socialist revolution 
and construction. Mao Zedong Thought is still in the process of development. We should 
restore and adhere to Mao Zedong Thought and go on developing it further. Comrade 
Mao laid a foundation for us in all these respects, and the resolution should fully reflect 
his ideas. It should cite some of his important articles and speeches in the period of 
socialist revolution and construction, such as ''On the Ten Major Relationships", ''On the 
Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People" and "The Situation in the 
Summer of 1957". They contain the ideas which we must continue to adhere to and 
develop today. We must give people a clear understanding of what specific ideas we have 
in mind when we say we will hold high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought and adhere to 
Mao Zedong Thought. 

The tone of the draft as a whole is too depressing — it doesn't read like a resolution. It 
seems it will have to be revised, which will take a lot of work. The emphasis should be on 
what Mao Zedong Thought actually is and what Comrade Mao Zedong's correct ideas 
were. Criticism of mistakes is necessary but it must be appropriate. Criticizing Comrade 
Mao's personal mistakes alone will not solve problems. What is most important is the 
question of systems and institutions. Comrade Mao made many correct statements, but 
the faulty systems and institutions of the past pushed him in the opposite direction. The 
mistakes Comrade Mao made in both theory and practice in his later years should be 
mentioned, but they should be dealt with properly and only in general outline. The main 
thing is to concentrate on the aspects in which he was correct, because that conforms to 
historical reality. Shouldn't the concluding section include a passage about our 
determination to go on developing Mao Zedong Thought? We should also criticize the 
" two whatevers ". Comrade Mao Zedong's mistakes consisted in violations of his own 
correct ideas. According to the "two-whatevers" viewpoint, we should adhere, without 
the slightest change, to Comrade Mao's erroneous views in his later years. The slogan 
" Act according to the principles laid down " meant to act in accordance with the 
erroneous principles Comrade Mao laid down in the evening of his life. The resolution 
should also discuss the influence of the vestiges of feudalism, but again in a proper way. 
Comrade Mao said on numerous occasions that he was against adulation of anyone, and 
he proposed that no places or enterprises should be named after leaders and that there 



should be no celebration of their birthdays and no presentation of gifts. It is precisely 
Mao Zedong Thought that the present Central Committee upholds, only we have given it 
concrete content. 

(Talk with some leading comrades of the Central Committee, June 27, 1980) 

IV 

The inner-Party discussions, in which 4,000 comrades are participating, are still going on. 
I have read some summaries. The comrades have been airing their ideas freely and 
putting forward different views, some of which are very good. I think the draft of the 
resolution being discussed is still too long and needs to be condensed. Delete what is 
dispensable and give more prominence to the essentials. Many discussion groups want a 
section in the draft to be devoted to the period following the smashing of the Gang of 
Four. It seems we shall have to write one. 

One most important question is whether the resolution should include an appraisal of the 
merits and demerits of Comrade Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong Thought. If so, how 
should they be appraised? I talked to some comrades from the Guards Bureau under the 
General Office of the Central Committee; they told me they had read to their soldiers the 
transcript of my recent interview with the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci and had 
organized some discussions on it. All the officers and men felt that what I had said was 
appropriate and acceptable. If we don't mention Mao Zedong Thought and don't make an 
appropriate evaluation of Comrade Mao's merits and demerits, the old workers will not 
feel satisfied, nor will the poor and lower-middle peasants of the period of land reform, 
nor the many cadres who have close ties with them. On no account can we discard the 
banner of Mao Zedong Thought. To do so would, in fact, be to negate the glorious history 
of our Party. On the whole, the Party's history is glorious. Our Party has also made big 
mistakes in the course of its history, including some in the three decades since the 
founding of New China, not least, so gross a mistake as the 'Cultural Revolution". But 
after all, we did triumph in the revolution. It is since the birth of the People's Republic 
that China's status in the world has been so greatly enhanced. It is since the founding of 
the People's Republic that our great country, with nearly a quarter of the world's 
population, has stood up — and stood firm — in the community of nations. That's how 
Comrade Mao Zedong put it: The Chinese people have now stood up. Our people at 
home and Chinese nationals abroad all felt this change deeply and strongly. It is also 
since the founding of thePeople's Republic that the country (excepting Taiwan) has been 
truly reunified. In old China, there was no national reunification in the true sense under 
the rule of the Kuomintang, much less in the previous years of constant fighting among 
warlords. Provinces like Shanxi, Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan could not be 
considered as being really united with the rest of China. Our country would still be in its 
old plight were it not for our Communist Party, our new-democratic revolution, our 
socialist revolution and the establishment of our socialist system. What we have achieved 
cannot be separated from the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and Comrade 
Mao Zedong. It is precisely this point that many of our young people don't sufficiently 
appreciate. 



The appraisal of Comrade Mao Zedong and the exposition of Mao Zedong Thought relate 
not only to Comrade Mao personally but also to the entire history of our Party and our 
country. We must keep this overall judgement in mind. We have emphasized it 
repeatedly ever since we started drafting this resolution. It must contain a section 
expounding Mao Zedong Thought. It's not merely a theoretical question that is involved 
but also and especially a political question of great domestic and international 
significance. If we don't have this section, or if it is badly written, it would be better to 
have no resolution at all. As to how to write it, we should of course give serious 
consideration to the suggestions made by the comrades. 

It is right not to say that Mao Zedong Thought is a development of Marxism-Leninism in 
all its aspects or that it represents a new stage of Marxism. But we ought to recognize that 
Mao Zedong Thought is the application and development of Marxism-Leninism in China. 
In the course of applying it to the solution of China's practical problems, our Party has 
indeed developed Marxism-Leninism in many respects. This is an objective reality and a 
historical fact. The draft resolution, however it is written, should also contain a clear 
exposition of the merits and demerits of Comrade Mao, the content of Mao Zedong 
Thought and its guiding role in our work both at present and for the future. Since the 
Third Plenary Session, we have been restoring the correct things advocated by Comrade 
Mao Zedong; we have been studying and applying Mao Zedong Thought correctly and as 
an integral whole. The basic points of Mao Zedong Thought are still those we have 
enumerated. In many respects, we are doing things Comrade Mao suggested but failed to 
do himself, setting right his erroneous opposition to certain things and accomplishing 
some things that he did not. All this we shall continue to do for a fairly long time. Of 
course, we have developed Mao Zedong Thought and will go on developing it. 

Mao Zedong Thought was set as the guiding thought for our whole Party at its Seventh 
National Congress . The Party educated an entire generation in Mao Zedong Thought, and 
that is what enabled us to win the revolutionary war and found the People's Republic of 
China. The ""Cultural Revolution" was really a gross error. However, our Party was able 
to smash the counter-revolutionary cliques of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four and put an 
end to the "Cultural Revolution" and it has continued to advance ever since. Who 
achieved all this? Is it not the generation educated in Mao Zedong Thought? Now, when 
we speak of setting things right, we mean that we should undo the damage done by Lin 
Biao and the Gang of Four, criticize the mistakes Comrade Mao Zedong made in his later 
years, and put things back on the right track of Mao Zedong Thought. In short, if we fail 
to include in the resolution a section concerning Mao Zedong Thought, which, since it 
has been proved correct in practice, ought to serve as the guideline for our future work, 
we will diminish the practical and historical significance of the revolution and 
construction we have engaged in and will continue to engage in. It would be a grave 
historical mistake not to expound Mao Zedong Thought in the resolution or to cease to 
adhere to it. 

Today, some comrades attribute many problems to the personal qualities of Comrade 
Mao Zedong. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few problems that cannot be explained 
in that way. Mistakes are unavoidable under some circumstances even for people of fine 



quality. During the period of the Red Army, a campaign was mounted against the A-B 
r^'Anti-Bolshevik'l Group in the Central Revolutionary Base Area. Can it be said that all 
the participants in the campaign were bad people? At first, Comrade Mao Zedong also 
took part in this struggle, but he came to see what was wrong with it earlier than others 
and drew the necessary lessons. Later, in Yan'an, he put forward the principle of killing 
none and arresting few ". In the exceptionally tense wartime conditions that then 
prevailed, when bad elements were discovered within our ranks, it was necessary to 
heighten our vigilance. However, when we failed to act soberly and make clear analyses 
but simply believed in confessions by the accused, it was hard to avoid mistakes. 
Objectively, the situation then was really tense but subjectively, of course, there was also 
the problem of our lack of experience. 

And, in the 'Cultural Revolution", Comrade Mao Zedong did not intend to overthrow all 
the veteran cadres. For instance, from the very beginning Lin Biao was bent on 
persecuting Comrade He Long , but Comrade Mao Zedong wanted to protect him. Despite 
the fact that Comrade Mao wanted to '"rectify" anyone who disobeyed him, he still gave 
some consideration to how far he should go. We cannot say that he bore no responsibility 
for the intensified persecution of veteran cadres that occurred later, but he was not the 
only one to blame. In some instances, persecutions had already been carried out by Lin 
Biao and the Gang of Four, while in others they took place behind Comrade Mao's back. 
This notwithstanding, it must be said that the overthrow of a large number of cadres was 
one of the biggest tragedies of Comrade Mao Zedong's later years. 

In those years, Comrade Mao Zedong was in fact not so consistent in his thinking as he 
previously had been, and some of his statements were mutually contradictory. For 
instance, in appraising the "'Cultural Revolution", he said that its mistakes amounted to 
only 30 per cent and its achievements to 70 per cent. And when he referred to the 30 per 
cent of mistakes, he meant ''overthrowing all" and waging a "full-scale civil war". How 
can anyone reconcile this with the idea of 70 per cent achievements? 

We should unequivocally criticize mistakes, including those by Comrade Mao Zedong. 
But we must seek truth from facts and analyse the different situations -- and not attribute 
everything to the personal qualities of particular individuals. Comrade Mao Zedong was 
not an isolated individual, he was the leader of our Party until the moment of his death. 
When we write about his mistakes, we should not exaggerate, for otherwise we shall be 
discrediting Comrade Mao Zedong, and this would mean discrediting our Party and state. 
Any exaggeration of his mistakes would be at variance with the historical facts. 

(Talk with some leading comrades of the Central Committee, October 25, 1980) 



I think we can settle for this outline of the draft resolution. 

We all agree that much was achieved during the first seven years of the People's 
Republic. China's socialist transformation was a success — a truly remarkable success 



and it represented a major contribution by Comrade Mao Zedong to Marxism-Leninism. 
Even today, we need to elaborate upon it in terms of theory. Of course there were 
shortcomings. Sometimes, in certain spheres, we were a bit too impetuous in our work. 

Our work in the 10 years before the ""Cultural Revolution" should be assessed as 
generally good; in the main, it proceeded along the right road. We suffered setbacks and 
made mistakes during that period, but the achievements were the main thing. The Party 
was then close in feeling to the masses and its prestige among them was high. The 
general atmosphere in society was fine, and the cadres and the people in general were in 
high spirits. Therefore, when we met with difficulties, we were able to get through them 
quite smoothly. There were some problems in the economy, but on the whole it made 
progress. While fully affirming our achievements, the resolution must also discuss the 
mistakes we made in the anti-Rightist struggle, in the Great Leap Forward and at the 
Lushan Meeting. In general, these mistakes were due to our inexperience and, of course, 
to the fact that success went to our heads. Naturally, Comrade Mao Zedong bore the chief 
responsibility for them, for which he criticized himself and assumed the blame. When all 
these matters are clearly set forth, we can move on to discuss how the ""Left" ideology 
developed and how it eventually led to the outbreak of the ""Cultural Revolution". 

The section dealing with the ""Cultural Revolution" should be written in broad outline. I 
agree with Comrade Hu Qiaomu's views. Compared with the mistakes made in the 
preceding 17 years, the ""Cultural Revolution" was an error of particular gravity, one 
affecting the overall situation. Its consequences were so serious that they are still being 
felt today. We say that the ""Cultural Revolution" wasted the talents of a whole 
generation of our people. In fact, it didn't stop with just one generation. It opened the 
floodgates to anarchism and ultra-individualism, and seriously debased standards of 
social conduct. However, there were also some healthy phenomena even in that decade. 
The so-called February adverse current was not adverse at all; rather, it was a good 
current of repeated struggles against Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. 

Comrade Hu Yaobang has suggested that after the draft is completed we take it to some 
veteran cadres and statesmen, including Comrades Huang Kecheng and Li Weihan , and 
hear what they have to say. This is a good suggestion and I am in favour of it. 

(Talk with leading comrades of the drafting group for the ""Resolution on Certain 
Questions in the History of Our Party", March 18, 1981) 

VI 

I went to see Comrade Chen Yun the day before yesterday. He made two more 
suggestions for the revision of the draft resolution. One is that we should add a section 
reviewing the entire history of the Party in the 60 years since its founding, including the 
years before Liberation. With this 60-year review, he said, it will be possible to make a 
more comprehensive summary of Comrade Mao Zedong's merits and contributions, and 
we will have an adequate basis for affirming Comrade Mao Zedong's historical role and 
the necessity of adhering to and developing Mao Zedong Thought. This is a fine 



suggestion. Please convey it to the other members of the drafting group. The other 
suggestion by Comrade Chen Yun is that the Central Committee should encourage people 
to study, principally to study Marxist philosophy, with the emphasis on Comrade Mao 
Zedong's philosophical works. Comrade Chen Yun says that he has benefited a lot from 
studying them. Comrade Mao told him on three occasions that he must study philosophy. 
While in Yan'an, he read Comrade Mao's writings attentively, and that had a great 
influence on his own later work. Many of our cadres still don't understand philosophy and 
very much need to improve their way of thinking and work. We should select and publish 
in one book such articles as ''On Practice", ''On Contradiction", "On Protracted War", 
"Problems of War and Strategy" and "On Coalition Government". We should also select 
some works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin for study. In a word, it is essential to 
study Marxist philosophy and a little history as well. Young people don't know Chinese 
history, especially the history of the Chinese revolution and of the Chinese Communist 
Party. Please report these suggestions to Comrade Hu Yaobang. The resolution should 
contain a richer and more substantial exposition of Comrade Mao Zedong's contribution 
to Marxist philosophy. The conclusion should include some remarks encouraging people 
to study. 

(Talk with a leading comrade of the drafting group for the "Resolution on Certain 
Questions in the History of Our Party", March 26, 1981) 

VII 

There have been several rounds of discussion of the draft resolution. Many good 
suggestions have been made that should be accepted. However, there have also been 
some suggestions that are unacceptable. For instance, some people have suggested we 
declare that the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee and the Ninth 
Party Congress were not legitimate. But to deny their legitimacy would pull the rug out 
from under us when we say that during the "Cultural Revolution" the Party was still 
functioning and the State Council and the People's Liberation Army were still able to do 
much of their essential work. Comrade Zhou Enlai gave an explanation at the Twelfth 
Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee, saying that 10 members of the Central 
Committee had died by then and that the vacancies had all been filled by alternate 
members. Thus 50 members of the Central Committee, or more than half the total, were 
present at the session. That means the session was legitimate. So it's not right to say that 
neither the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee nor the Ninth Party 
Congress was legitimate. This is clear if we take into consideration Comrade Mao 
Zedong's policy decision (a wise one) in Yan'an concerning the legitimacy of the 
provisional central leadership set up in Shanghai in 1931 and of the Fifth Plenary Session 
of the Sixth Central Committee that it later convened. Some comrades have argued that 
the Party ceased to exist during the "Cultural Revolution". We can't say that. Though the 
Party's regular activities stopped for a period, it did in fact exist. If it didn't, how could we 
have smashed the Gang of Four without firing a single shot or shedding a single drop of 
blood? The Party did exist during the "Cultural Revolution". To deny the legitimacy of 
the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee or of the Ninth Party 



Congress would be tantamount to saying that the Party ceased to exist for a period of 
time. This is not in accord with the facts. 

During the ""Cultural Revolution" great successes were achieved in our work in foreign 
affairs. Despite the domestic turmoil, internationally China's status as a great nation was 
recognized and its stature rose. Kissinger visited China in July 1971, and in October of 
that year more than two-thirds of the member states of the United Nations voted to 
restore the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in that organization, an event 
that greatly discomfited the United States. In February 1972, Nixon visited China, and the 
""Shanghai Joint Communique" was signed. In September of that year, China and Japan 
restored diplomatic relations. In April 1974, 1 attended the Sixth Special Session of the 
UN General Assembly , where I spoke on behalf of the Chinese Government and was 
accorded a warm welcome. After my speech, delegates from many countries came up to 
shake hands with me. All these are facts. 

(Talk with leading comrades of the drafting group for the ""Resolution on Certain 
Questions in the History of Our Party", April 7, 1981) 

VIII 

We have spent more than a year writing this document, and it has gone through I don't 
know how many drafts. In October 1980, it was discussed by 4,000 comrades, who made 
many good and important suggestions. On the basis of their discussion and the more 
recent one by more than 40 comrades, it was again revised several times. More than 20 
comrades, who worked really hard on it, have now produced the present draft. 

Some comrades have said that perhaps we shouldn't be in such a rush to write this 
resolution. But that's wrong because people are waiting for it. In China, people both 
inside and outside the Party are waiting. If we don't come out with something, there can 
be no unity of views on major issues. The world is waiting, too. People are watching 
events in China with some doubts about its stability and unity. And one of their doubts is 
about whether we can produce this document, and if so, when. So we can't take any 
longer because further delay will be unfavourable. Of course, we want the draft to be 
good. In my estimation, the present draft can at least serve as a good basis. It has been 
prepared in conformity with the three basic requirements set down at the beginning, and 
it has fulfilled them. 

If we are to get this document out soon, we cannot — and need not — hold another round 
of discussion by the 4,000 comrades. They have already aired their opinions, which have 
been fully incorporated in the revised draft. Our present method is to hold this enlarged 
meeting of the Political Bureau attended by more than 70 comrades, who will spend some 
time and energy scrutinizing the draft so as to further improve and finalize it. Once it is 
finalized it will be submitted to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Central Committee. We 
plan to publish it on the 60th anniversary [July 1, 1981] of the founding of our Party. 
There's no need to write much else to mark the anniversary. We should, of course, do 
something to commemorate it, and publishing this document will be the main thing. 



In my opinion, a defect of this draft is that it is a bit too long. We tried to condense it to 
no more than 20,000 characters but finally set the limit at 25,000. Now it runs to 28,000. 
My view now is that an excess of three to five thousand characters doesn't matter and that 
it needn't be cut further if that proves difficult. Of course, it would be better if, through 
discussion, you could condense it in some places. 

This draft was revised on the basis of the discussion by 4,000 comrades and the recent 
discussion by more than 40 comrades. Many good suggestions have been incorporated. 
For instance. Comrade Chen Yun suggested that the resolution begin with a review of the 
Party's history in the 28 years before the founding of the People's Republic. That was a 
very valuable suggestion, and we now have this review at the beginning of the draft. 
There were many other valuable suggestions, and a reading of the draft will reveal the 
corresponding changes. Of course, some suggestions were rejected. 

In short, there are two key questions. First, with regard to Comrade Mao Zedong: Which 
were primary, his achievements or his mistakes? Second, in the last 32 years, and 
especially the 10 years before the ""Cultural Revolution", were our achievements or our 
mistakes primary? Was the situation in those years all dark, or was its bright side 
dominant? There is also a third question: Should we blame Comrade Mao Zedong alone 
for all the mistakes of the past, or should others also take some responsibility? This draft 
says in more than one place that the Central Committee of the Party should be held 
responsible for those mistakes and that other comrades should share the blame. I think 
that, relatively speaking, this conforms to reality. The fourth point is that although 
Comrade Mao Zedong made mistakes, after all they are the mistakes of a great 
revolutionary, a great Marxist. 

(Speech at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, May 
19, 1981) 

IX 

On the whole, this is a good resolution and a good draft. From the beginning we have 
intended that this resolution should hold high the great banner of Mao Zedong Thought 
and make a balanced appraisal of the ""Cultural Revolution" and of Comrade Mao 
Zedong's merits and demerits, his achievements and mistakes, an appraisal based on 
facts. In this way the document can perform the same function as the 1945 resolution on 
the history of our Party, that is, to sum up experience, unify thinking and unite all our 
comrades as one in looking to the future. I think this draft meets these requirements. 

Drafting this resolution has taken more than a year, during which time it was discussed 
by 4,000 comrades and then by several dozen more and by an enlarged meeting of the 
Political Bureau. Our discussion at this preparatory meeting for the Sixth Plenary 
Session, then, is the fourth round. I think we have been rather careful and conscientious 
in this matter. 



The central issue remains how to assess Comrade Mao Zedong, and the draft deals with it 
in a well-measured way. For instance, whether or not to categorize his errors as errors of 
line is a question that has to be handled judiciously. We have decided not to refer to them 
by that term because in the past the formulations ''struggle between two lines" and ''error 
of Party line" were used inaccurately, indiscriminately and too often. Formerly we used to 
talk about several two-line struggles in the Party's history, but from our present point of 
view it seems clear that at least two such designations cannot stand and ought to be 
reversed once for all. I am referring to the case of Liu Shaoqi, Peng Zhen, Luo Ruiqing, 
Lu Dingyi and Yang Shangkun and the case of Peng Dehuai, Huang Kecheng, Zhang 
Wentian and Zhou Xiaozhou . The basic verdict on the case of Gao Gang and Rao Shushi 
remains unchanged, but it too can hardly be categorized as a struggle between two lines. 
Luo Zhanglong was said to have committed errors of Party line, but frankly I think that 
this categorization missed the mark. What Luo Zhanglong actually did was to engage in 
factional strife, split the Party and form another central committee. The case of Gao Gang 
and Rao Shushi was of a similar nature though, of course, they did not form a separate 
central committee. Qu Qiubai's errors lasted less than half a year and Li Lisan's only three 
months. In the past, certain struggles in the Party's history were inaccurately categorized 
as two-line struggles, and that's one reason why we don't favour using this term. Another 
reason is that, for a long period, whenever differing views arose in the Party, they were 
dubbed differences of line and criticized as errors of line. So we must approach this issue 
very seriously, as it has to do with the improvement of our Party's style of work. We 
shouldn't refer to the Party's Eleventh National Congress as having made errors of line. 
Neither should we describe the "Cultural Revolution" as an error of line; we should 
analyse its essence and see it for what it really was. As a matter of fact, the present 
analysis of the mistakes of the "Cultural Revolution" goes beyond the old concept of 
"error of line". Of course, the fact that we don't use the term "two-line struggle" doesn't 
mean that the word "line" should never be used again in any context. For instance, we 
used it to say that the Third Plenary Session established a correct ideological line, a 
correct political line and a correct organizational line, and we may use such formulations 
again in future. Not only the word "line" but also the term "general line" can still be 
employed. We use it now when we say that the four modernizations constitute our 
general line-in the new period. We have used the word "line"in our current draft 
resolution, too, so it isn't a matter of always avoiding it. In certain contexts, it reads quite 
smoothly and naturally, and the meaning is clear. However, so far as inner-Party 
struggles are concerned, we should judge their nature and the errors involved in each on 
their own merits. We should make their content clear and, in principle, should no longer 
present them as "struggles between two lines". In this respect, our resolution can be seen 
as a precedent to be followed in the future. This is the first point I want to make. 

Second, why are we now stressing that assessments must be balanced? Because certain 
recent remarks about some of Comrade Mao Zedong's mistakes have gone too far. These 
excesses should be corrected so that, generally speaking, the assessment will conform to 
reality and enhance the image of the country and the Party as a whole. Part of the 
responsibility for some past mistakes should be borne collectively, though the chief 
responsibility, of course, lay with Comrade Mao. We hold that systems and institutions 
are the decisive factor, and we all know what they were in those days. At the time, we 



used to credit everything to one person. It is true that there were certain things which we 
failed to oppose and for which we should be held partly responsible. Of course, in the 
circumstances, it was really difficult to express any opposition. However, we cannot 
evade our own responsibility. It does us no harm to accept our share of the blame. On the 
contrary, we will benefit by drawing lessons from the experience. I am talking here about 
the matter insofar as the Central Committee is concerned. The local leaders bore no 
responsibility. Comrade Chen Yun and I were members of the Standing Committee of the 
Political Bureau then, so at least we two should be held responsible. But other leading 
comrades in the Central Committee should also bear some responsibility. Does this 
conform to the reality? Yes, it does. This is a tenable approach and will do us much good. 
It is what we meant when we originally said the assessment of Comrade Mao Zedong 
should be balanced and, moreover, based on facts. 

Now the third point. The discussion of the draft touched on the problems in the first two 
years after the downfall of the Gang of Four. Some comrades asked whether Comrade 
Hua Guofeng should be mentioned by name. After careful consideration, we decided that 
it wouldn't do not to name him. In this regard, the resolution should tally with the circular 
on the Political Bureau meetings held last November . But the wording relating to him in 
our present draft resolution is much milder on many points and sounds more moderate or 
less severe than the language of the circular. I think that's better. Why? Because this is to 
be a resolution on certain questions in the history of our Party since the founding of the 
People's Republic, while the other was a decision of the Political Bureau. The resolution 
is a document that will enter the historical record. So, of course, will the documents of 
the Political Bureau, but the resolution is more weighty. I think, therefore, it does us no 
harm to word the resolution in more measured terms. However, Comrade Hua Guofeng's 
name must be mentioned, because that is in keeping with reality. If he were not 
mentioned by name, there could be no apparent reason for changing his post. That is the 
primary question. Was the decision of the Political Bureau correct and should Comrade 
Hua Guofeng's post have been changed? We must answer this question. Furthermore, it is 
necessary to do so in the light of current political developments. You all know what 
banner is being waved by the remnants of the Gang of Four and others who have ulterior 
motives. They used to wave the banner of the Gang of Four. What about now? Now it's 
the banner of Hua Guofeng, that is, they support Hua Guofeng. This trend merits serious 
attention. Of course, we should say — and I have said so to many comrades — that 
Comrade Hua Guofeng himself is not responsible for any of this, for he himself is not 
involved in any of these activities. Still, this trend in society warrants our attention. So it 
is beneficial to the Party and people that this resolution should mention Comrade Hua 
Guofeng by name and point out his mistakes. It is also most beneficial to Comrade Hua 
Guofeng himself. 

There are some other questions. For instance, when we analyse the causes of the 
""Cultural Revolution", should we mention the influence of petty-bourgeois ideology? I 
think it does no harm to omit that reference. If and when it becomes necessary to counter 
the influence of petty-bourgeois ideology, we can deal with it in future documents. There 
is no hurry. That is not the question involved here. What should be criticized here is 
something else, to wit, the misunderstanding, dogmatic interpretation and erroneous 



application of Lenin's statement that small production engenders capitalism and the 
bourgeoisie daily, hourly, and on a mass scale. In analysing the causes of the ""Cultural 
Revolution" this time, we need not refer to the petty bourgeoisie, neither need we copy 
the past formula that every mistake must necessarily have three causes, social, ideological 
and historical. We have used a new formulation this time, and that too is a good thing. 

(Speech during the preparatory meeting for the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh 
Central Committee, June 22, 1981) 

TO BUILD SOCIALISM WE MUST FIRST DEVELOP THE 
PRODUCTIVE FORCES 

April-May 1980 



I 

Revolution means carrying out class struggle, but it does not merely mean that. The 
development of the productive forces is also a kind of revolution — a very important one. 
It is the most fundamental revolution from the viewpoint of historical development. 

(Talk with some leading comrades of the Central Committee, April 1, 1980) 

II 

Over the past 30 years since the founding of the People's Republic, we have laid the basic 
socialist foundation in agriculture, industry, and other areas. But we have a major 
problem, that is, we have wasted some time and our productive forces have developed too 
slowly. All revolution is designed to remove obstacles to the development of the 
productive forces. 

Since socialism is superior to capitalism, socialist countries should be able to develop 
their economies more rapidly than capitalist countries, improving their people's living 
standards gradually and becoming more powerful. We have suffered some setbacks in 
this respect. 

The objective of achieving the four modernizations was actually put forth by Chairman 
Mao and announced by Premier Zhou in his report on government work. But how did the 
Gang of Four respond? They said that it was better to be poor under socialism than to be 
rich under capitalism. It seemed to them that socialism meant pauperism. Marxists have 
always held that socialism is superior to capitalism and that socialist countries should be 
able to develop their productive forces more rapidly than capitalist countries. Lin Biao 
and the Gang of Four totally deviated from the cardinal principles of Marxism-Leninism 
and Mao Zedong Thought. 



Being a large country, China should play a more important role in the world, but owing to 
its limited strength, it cannot play a greater role. In the final analysis, what we should do 
is try to promote China's development. It is not enough just to say we are poor, and 
actually, we are very poor. Such a status quo is far from being commensurate with the 
standing of a great nation such as ours. Therefore, starting last year, we shifted our focus 
onto economic development. We should unequivocally continue to do so. Developing the 
economy is a new endeavour for us, for which we must pay a price. We are exploring 
ways to develop the economy more rapidly and we have confidence that we can do so. 
We must emancipate our minds and we should do so even in answering the question as to 
what socialism is. If the economy remains stagnant and the people's living standards 
remain at a very low level for a long period of time, we cannot say that we are building 
socialism. 

(Talk with Kenneth David Kaunda, President of the Republic of Zambia, April 12, 1980) 

III 

We should research earnestly how to carry out socialist development. At this time, we are 
reviewing the experience gained in the past three 

decades since the founding of the People's Republic. To sum up, it is as follows. First, we 
should not adopt "Leftist" policies by divorcing ourselves from reality or skipping over 
necessary stages. Otherwise, the task of building socialism will not be accomplished. We 
have suffered losses from "Leftist" policies. Second, whatever we do must contribute to 
developing the productive forces. In our effort to do this, we should stress economic 
results. Unless we develop the productive forces, we cannot gradually increase people's 
incomes. We have suffered a great deal in this respect, especially during the ten years of 
the "cultural revolution". We should research why so many African countries which have 
been developing socialism have become poorer and poorer. We should not consider it to 
be glorious merely to call our nation socialist, nor should we be content with this. 

(Talk with the delegation from the Party of the National Liberation Front of the 
Democratic People's Republic of Algeria, April 21, 1980) 

IV 

"Socialism" is a good term, but if we fail to have a correct understanding of it and adopt 
correct policies for establishing it, we will not be able to demonstrate its essence. We 
believe the socialist road is the correct one. While carrying out reforms, we still adhere to 
the Four Cardinal Principles, one of which is to keep to the socialist road. In building 
socialism, each country should adopt policies commensurate with its particular 
conditions. As for a big country such as ours, we must give due consideration to the 
specific conditions in each area. For instance, we encountered the problem that some 
areas which were self-sufficient in grain had become grain-deficient. Of course, the 
growth of the urban population is one of the reasons for this change, but it is a minor one. 
The main reason lies in the fact that these areas proceeded without giving due 



consideration to the actual state of economic development, and that they did not act in 
accordance with the laws governing economic development. Policies formulated on this 
basis cannot arouse the people's initiative. In the past one or two years, we have 
emphasized that measures should be suited to local conditions and in rural areas we have 
improved the system of responsibility by which the fixing of output quotas is based on 
individual households and production teams. Consequently, conspicuous results have 
been achieved and output has doubled. 

The greatest contribution Chairman Mao Zedong made in building socialism was his 
integration of the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete practice of the Chinese 
revolution. We were particularly successful in carrying out the socialist transformation . 
At the time, in our effort to transform agriculture, we advocated establishing mutual aid 
teams and small cooperatives. Since they were small and distribution among the peasants 
was equitable, the output of grain increased and peasants' enthusiasm for production was 
enhanced. In order to transform capitalist industry and commerce, we adopted the policy 
of redemption. While changing private ownership into public ownership, the 
development of the national economy was not affected. We have allowed individual 
handicrafts to exist for a long time now, and organized most of the handicraftsmen into 
collectively owned cooperatives according to the principle of voluntary participation. 
Because we did all this in light of the country's specific conditions, we suffered almost no 
setbacks. Production kept on increasing, no unemployment resulted, and there were 
ample products. But in 1958 we made a mistake by initiating the Great Leap Forward76. 
We neglected the laws governing economic development and consequently production 
dropped. Thanks to the three years of readjustment of the economy, the national economy 
resumed a fairly smooth development. But then came the "cultural revolution", a disaster 
for the nation, causing economic chaos. For this reason, we have to take a few years to 
readjust the economy during our modernization drive. In short, we must act in accordance 
with economic laws. 

According to our experience, in order to build socialism we must first of all develop the 
productive forces, which is our main task. This is the only way to demonstrate the 
superiority of socialism. Whether the socialist economic policies we are pursuing are 
correct or not depends, in the final analysis, on whether the productive forces develop and 
people's incomes increase. This is the most important criterion. We cannot build 
socialism with just empty talk. The people will not believe it. 

(Talk with Aimed Ceca Toure, President of the Republic of Guinea, May 5, 1980) 

ON QUESTIONS OF RURAL POLICY 

May 31, 1980 



Now that more flexible policies have been introduced in the rural areas, the practice of 
fixing farm output quotas on a household basis has been adopted in some localities where 
it is suitable. It has proved quite effective and changed things rapidly for the better. 



Fixing output quotas on a household basis has been adopted in most of the production 
teams in Feixi County, Anhui Province, and there have been big increases in production. 
Nearly all the production teams in the same province's Fengyang County, which 
incidentally is the locale of the ''Fengyang Flower-Drum" Opera, have been practising an 
all-round contract system, which inside of a year has resulted in an upswing in production 
that has transformed the county's prospects. Some comrades are worried that this practice 
may have an adverse effect on the collective economy. I think their fears are 
unwarranted. Development of the collective economy continues to be our general 
objective. Where farm output quotas are fixed by household, the production teams still 
constitute the main economic units. What does the future hold for these places? It is 
certain that as long as production expands, division of labour increases and the 
commodity economy develops, lower forms of collectivization in the countryside will 
develop into higher forms and the collective economy will acquire a firmer basis. The 
key task is to expand the productive forces and thereby create conditions for the further 
development of collectivization. To be specific, the following four conditions should be 
realized: First, a higher level of mechanization, one which is relatively well suited to 
local natural and economic conditions and welcomed by the people (here I mean 
mechanization in a broad sense, not merely mechanized ploughing, sowing and 
harvesting). Second, a higher level of management, combining accumulated experience 
and a contingent of cadres with fairly strong management abilities. Third, a developed 
diversified economy that leads to the establishment of a variety of specialized groups or 
teams, which in turn leads to the large-scale expansion of the commodity economy in the 
rural areas. Fourth, an increase in the income of the collective, both in absolute terms and 
in relation to the total income of the economic unit involved. If these four conditions are 
realized, the localities that now fix output quotas on a household basis will develop new 
forms of collectivization. This sort of development won't come from above as the result 
of administrative decree, but will be an inevitable response to the demands of growing 
production. 

Some comrades say that the pace of socialist transformation had been too rapid. I think 
there is some ground for this view. For example, in the co-operative transformation of 
agriculture, there was an upsurge every year or two, with one kind of organizational form 
being quickly replaced by another before the first one had time to be consolidated. The 
rapid, large-scale transition from elementary co-operatives to advanced co-operatives was 
a case in point. If the transformation had advanced step by step, with a period of 
consolidation followed by further development, the result might have been better. Again, 
during the Great Leap Forward in 1958 , before co-operatives of the advanced type had 
been consolidated, people's communes were set up on a large scale. As a result, we had to 
take a step back in the early sixties and again make production teams the basic 
accounting units of the collective economy. During the rural socialist education 
movement , production teams of an appropriate size were arbitrarily divided into very 
small ones in some localities, while in others they were amalgamated into teams that 
were too large. Practice has shown this to be bad. 

Generally speaking, the main problem in rural work is still that people's thinking is not 
sufficiently emancipated. This problem manifests itself not only in the matter of 



determining the organizational forms of collectivization. It also is apparent when it comes 
to developing production suited to local conditions. The latter means developing what is 
appropriate for a specific locality and not arbitrarily attempting what is unsuitable. For 
instance, many areas in northwest China should concentrate on growing forage grass in 
order to expand animal husbandry. Some cadres currently give little thought to planning 
new undertakings that would be suitable to local conditions and would produce economic 
gains and benefit the masses. Far from emancipating their thinking, these cadres still act 
according to fixed patterns. Thus there is still much work to do, even now that flexible 
policies have been adopted. 

It is extremely important for us to proceed from concrete local conditions and take into 
account the wishes of the people. We must not propagate one method and require all 
localities to adopt it. In publicizing typical examples, we must explain how and under 
what conditions people in these localities achieved success. We should not describe them 
as perfect or as having solved all problems; and we should certainly not require people in 
other places to copy them mechanically in disregard of their own specific conditions. 

(Excerpt from a talk with some senior officials under the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China.) 

AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE FOR HANDLING 
RELATIONS BETWEEN FRATERNAL PARTIES 

May 31, 1980 



When a Communist Party comments on the actions of a foreign fraternal Party, it may 
often judge them according to some rigid formula or established pattern. Facts have 
shown that this approach gets one nowhere. Conditions vary greatly from country to 
country, the level of political awareness varies from people to people, and the class 
relations and the alignment of class forces in one country are vastly different from those 
in another. How can a fixed formula be applied mechanically despite all these 
differences? Even though you use a Marxist formula, it is hard to avoid mistakes if you 
don't integrate your formula with the reality in the country concerned. The Chinese 
revolution was carried out not by adopting the model of the Russian October Revolution 
but by proceeding from the realities in China, by using the rural areas to encircle the 
cities and seize power with armed force. Since the Chinese revolution succeeded by 
integrating the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of 
China, we should not demand that other developing countries, let alone the developed 
capitalist countries, adopt our model in making revolution. Of course, one cannot demand 
that they all adopt the Russian model, either. 

The correctness of the domestic principles and line of a Party in a given country should 
be judged by that Party itself and by the people of that country. After all, it is the 
comrades in a particular country who know its specific conditions best. However, if a 
Party and the country which it leads pursue a foreign policy of interference in the internal 



affairs of other countries, or invasion or subversion of them, then any other Party is 
entitled to make its stand known and express its criticism. We have always opposed the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union acting like a patriarchal party and displaying great- 
power chauvinism. It pursues a hegemonist line and policy in foreign relations. 

Similarly, the correctness of Eurocommunism should not be judged by outsiders: it is not 
for others to write articles affirming or denying it. It should be judged by the European 
Parties and peoples themselves, and in the final analysis their own practice will provide 
the answer. We can't criticize people when they conduct experiments in line with their 
own conditions. Even if they are wrong, it is up to them to sum up their own experience 
and try a different path. 

On the whole, we know how we should handle our relations with other Parties. Looking 
back, however, we can see that we haven't always acted correctly. Some time ago, talking 
with Comrade Enrico Berlinguer, General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party, I 
said that we had previously expressed some incorrect opinions concerning his Party. He 
replied that they hadn't always acted correctly either. So I said that the past controversies 
between the two Parties should be forgotten altogether. 

To sum up: we must respect the way the Parties and peoples of different countries deal 
with their own affairs. They should be left to find their own paths by themselves and 
explore ways to solve their own problems. No Party should act like a patriarchal party 
and issue orders to others. We object to being ordered about and we, for our part, will 
never issue orders to others. This should be regarded as an important principle. 

(Excerpt from a talk with some senior officials under the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of China.) 

ON THE REFORM OF THE SYSTEM OF PARTY 
AND STATE LEADERSHIP 

August 18, 1980 



Comrades, 

The main task of this enlarged meeting is to discuss the reform of the system of Party and 
state leadership and some related questions. 

I 

Changing the leadership of the State Council will be a major item on the agenda of the 
forthcoming Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress. The proposed 
changes will include the following: Comrade Hua Guofeng will no longer hold the 
concurrent post of Premier, which will be assumed by Comrade Zhao Ziyang ; Comrades 
Li Xiannian , Chen Yun , Xu Xiangqian , Wang Zhen and I will cease to serve concurrently 



as Vice-Premiers so that more energetic comrades can take over; Comrade Wang 
Renzhong will cease to serve concurrently as Vice-Premier, so that he can concentrate on 
his important job in the Party; and Comrade Chen Yonggui has asked to be relieved of his 
post of Vice-Premier and the Central Committee of the Party has decided to endorse his 
request. Moreover, following consultations with the organizations concerned, we are 
proposing some personnel changes for the posts of Vice-Chairmen of the Standing 
Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice-Chairmen of the National 
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. These changes 
have been repeatedly discussed by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 
Central Committee, and they will be incorporated into formal proposals which the 
Central Committee will submit to the forthcoming sessions of the NPC and the CPPCC 
for discussion and decision. 

Why is the Central Committee proposing the above changes in the leadership of the State 
Council? 

First of all, it is not good to have an over-concentration of power. It hinders the practice 
of socialist democracy and of the Party's democratic centralism, impedes the progress of 
socialist construction and prevents us from taking full advantage of collective wisdom. 
Over-concentration of power is liable to give rise to arbitrary rule by individuals at the 
expense of collective leadership, and it is an important cause of bureaucracy under the 
present circumstances. 

Second, it is not good to have too many people holding two or more posts concurrently or 
to have too many deputy posts. There is a limit to anyone's knowledge, experience and 
energy. If a person holds too many posts at the same time, he will find it difficult to come 
to grips with the problems in his work and, more important, he will block the way for 
other more suitable comrades to take up leading posts. Having too many deputy posts 
leads to low efficiency and contributes to bureaucracy and formalism. 

Third, it is time for us to distinguish between the responsibilities of the Party and those of 
the government and to stop substituting the former for the latter. Those principal leading 
comrades of the Central Committee who are to be relieved of their concurrent 
government posts can concentrate their energies on our Party work, on matters 
concerning the Party's line, guiding principles and policies. This will help strengthen and 
improve the unified leadership of the Central Committee, facilitate the establishment of 
an effective work system at the various levels of government from top to bottom, and 
promote a better exercise of government functions and powers. 

Fourth, we must take the long-term interest into account and solve the problem of the 
succession in leadership. As precious assets of the Party and state, the older comrades 
shoulder heavy responsibilities. Their primary task now is to help the Party organizations 
find worthy successors to work for our cause. This is a solemn duty. It is of great 
strategic importance for us to ensure the continuity and stability of the correct leadership 
of our Party and state by having younger comrades take the '"front-line" posts while the 
older comrades give them the necessary advice and support. 



These considerations are put forth by the Central Committee with a view to carrying out 
the necessary reform of the system of Party and state leadership. The Central Committee 
has already taken the first step so far as Party leadership is concerned by deciding at its 
Fifth Plenary Session [in February 1980] to re-establish the Secretariat. This Secretariat 
has done a remarkable job ever since its re-establishment. Now the proposed changes in 
the leadership of the State Council represent a first step in improving the system of 
government leadership. In order to meet the requirements of socialist modernization and 
of the democratization of the political life of the Party and state, to promote what is 
beneficial and eliminate what is harmful, many aspects of our system of Party and state 
leadership and of our other systems need to be reformed. We should regularly sum up 
historical experience, carry out intensive surveys and studies and synthesize the correct 
views so as to continue the reform vigorously and systematically, step by step from the 
central level on down. 

II 

The purpose of reforming the system of Party and state leadership and other systems is to 
take full advantage of the superiority of socialism and speed up China's modernization. 

To take full advantage of the superiority of socialism, we should work hard, now and for 
some time to come, to achieve the following three major objectives: (1) In the economic 
sphere, to rapidly develop the productive forces and gradually improve the people's 
material and cultural life. (2) In the political sphere, to practise people's democracy to the 
full, ensuring that through various effective forms, all the people truly enjoy the right to 
manage state affairs and particularly state organs at the grass-roots level and to run 
enterprises and institutions, and that they truly enjoy all the other rights of citizens; to 
perfect the revolutionary legal system; to handle contradictions among the people 
correctly; to crack down on all hostile forces and criminal activities; and to arouse the 
enthusiasm of the people and consolidate and develop a political situation marked by 
stability, unity and liveliness. (3) In the organizational sphere, if we are to achieve these 
objectives, there is an urgent need to discover, train, employ and promote a large number 
of younger cadres for socialist modernization, cadres who adhere to the Four Cardinal 
Principles and have professional knowledge. 

In the drive for socialist modernization, our objectives are: economically, to catch up 
with the developed capitalist countries; and politically, to create a higher level of 
democracy with more substance than that of capitalist countries. We also aim to produce 
more and better-trained professionals than they do. It may take us different lengths of 
time to attain these three objectives. But as a vast socialist country, we can and must 
attain them. The merits of our Party and state institutions should be judged on the basis of 
whether or not they help us advance towards our objectives. 

I would now like to discuss at some length the question of making the best use 
organizationally of the superiority of socialism and of consciously renewing the 
leadership in Party and government organs at the different levels so as to bring increasing 
numbers of younger and professionally more competent persons into leading positions. 



We should have freely promoted and used younger comrades with both professional 
knowledge and practical experience, on the condition that we bore in mind the four 
cardinal principles. For years, however, we failed to do so. Then, during the ""cultural 
revolution", a great many of our cadres were persecuted by Lin Biao and the Gang of 
Four, and our cadre work suffered seriously. That's one of the reasons why most of our 
present leaders at various levels are too old. The question of qualified personnel is mainly 
one of organizational line. We need to turn out large numbers of trained people, and our 
major task at present is to discover and promote fine young and middle-aged cadres, even 
if we have to bypass certain regulations. This is not just the whim of a few veteran 
comrades: it is an objective and pressing need of our modernization drive. 

Some comrades worry that in promoting young and middle-aged cadres we might select 
some factionalists or even some individuals who engaged in beating, smashing and 
looting during the ""cultural revolution". Their concern is not entirely groundless, because 
the leading bodies in some localities and departments have yet to be well consolidated 
and factionalists might seize upon the promotion of young and middle-aged cadres as an 
opportunity to upgrade their own followers. As I said in my speech of January 6 this year, 
we must not underestimate the residual influence of the Gang of Four in the 
organizational and ideological fields, and we must be clear-headed on this point. Those 
who rose to prominence by following Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and their like in ""rebellion", 
those who are strongly factionalist in their ideas and those who engaged in beating, 
smashing and looting must never be promoted — not a single one of them. And any who 
are already in leading posts must be removed without the slightest hesitation. They could 
do untold harm if, relaxing our vigilance, we allowed even a few to occupy leading posts, 
engage in further double-dealing, gang up with each other and conceal themselves in our 
ranks. 

Some comrades argue that it is better to promote cadres one step at a time. In fact, I said 
so too in 1975 when expressing my disapproval of the erroneous practices during the 
""cultural revolution". We shall never repeat the mistake of elevating cadres so quickly 
that they soar like a rocket or a helicopter. Generally speaking, promoting cadres step by 
step means that they should go through the process of learning their profession, 
tempering themselves, working among the masses, and accumulating experience. But we 
can't stick to the old concept of a ""staircase" forever. In promoting cadres we can't limit 
ourselves to having them step up from the district to the county level, then to the 
prefectural and provincial levels, as the present system in the Party and government 
requires. All trades and professions should have their own ""staircases" as well as their 
own job categories and professional titles. With the advance of our socialist construction, 
we shall work out new requirements and new methods for the promotion of cadres and 
the use of trained personnel in the trades and professions. In future, many positions will 
be filled and titles granted solely on the basis of examinations. Only by doing away with 
the outdated concept of the ""staircase", or by creating new staircases suited to the new 
situation and tasks, can we boldly break through the conventions in promoting cadres. 
But whether the staircases are new or old, we must not just pay lip-service to the 
necessity of promoting young and middle-aged cadres. We must see to it that the really 
outstanding ones are indeed promoted, and promoted in good time. We must not be too 



hasty in this matter, but if we are too slow we will retard our modernization programme. 
Hasn't it already been delayed long enough? Exceptional candidates should be provided 
with a sort of light ladder so they can come up more quickly, skipping some rungs. It is to 
make room for the young and middle-aged cadres that we have proposed reducing 
concurrent posts and eliminating over-concentration of power. How can they come up the 
staircase if all the steps are occupied, or if they aren't allowed to occupy the empty ones? 

Some comrades worry that the young people may be too inexperienced and not equal to 
the tasks. As I see it, there's no need for worry. When we say a person is experienced or 
inexperienced, we are only talking in relative terms. To be frank, isn't it true that even old 
cadres may lack experience in dealing with the new problems in our modernization drive 
and may make mistakes on that account? Yes, younger people generally have less 
experience. But if you think back, many of us were in our twenties or thirties when we 
became higher cadres and were given rather important tasks. We should admit that some 
of the young and middle-aged comrades of today are no less knowledgeable than we were 
then. It is owing to objective conditions that they have not been adequately tested in 
struggle and have not gained sufficient experience as leaders. After all, if it's not your 
job, you don't worry about it. Give young and middle-aged comrades the job and they 
will gradually become competent. Most of the seven to eight million people graduated 
from universities, colleges and vocational secondary schools since Liberation are of 
worker or peasant origin and have gone through more than 10 years of tempering. 
Despite their lack of college or vocational secondary education, some young and middle- 
aged cadres do have practical experience. Their level of general knowledge is relatively 
low, but surely many of them can become ''red and expert", provided they are given 
systematic training and education. Furthermore, there are many young and middle-aged 
people who have become qualified through diligent independent study. And among the 
educated youth who have settled in the rural areas, quite a few have acquired special 
skills by sharing the life of the masses and studying hard on their own. As a matter of 
fact, many young and middle-aged cadres have already become the mainstay in various 
fields of work. They understand the masses and the actual situation better than those 
cadres who are far removed from the grass roots. In much of our work, it is mainly these 
young and middle-aged cadres that we rely on. However, they have no power to make 
decisions, because they have not been duly promoted. So they have no choice but to keep 
asking for instructions from above. This has become a major cause of our bureaucratism. 
To sum up, we must never underestimate this large contingent of young and middle-aged 
cadres. Many of them are politically sound and are not involved in factionalism; their 
thinking is on the right track and they possess a fair amount of professional knowledge. 
So why shouldn't we select and use them, bypassing the conventional rules? In some 
enterprises and other units, cadres who volunteered for leading posts or were elected to 
them by the masses have achieved much in little time and proved more capable than 
cadres appointed from above. Doesn't that give us food for thought? Qualified young and 
middle-aged cadres are to be found everywhere. For years they disapproved of the evil- 
doings of Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and their ilk in the ''cultural revolution" and carried on 
active or passive resistance. They have conducted themselves well politically and are 
professionally competent and willing to work hard. Such people can be found in all 
trades, professions and units. The problem is that we have failed to discover and promote 



them. As for those people who are well trained but who, for a time, were misled by Lin 
Biao, Jiang Qing and the like and so made some mistakes, we should not discard them if 
they have really become conscious of their mistakes and changed their attitude. More 
than a few of our comrades limit their vision to the people around them and invariably 
pick for promotion people they happen to know, instead of selecting the best by going 
deep among the masses. This, too, is bureaucracy of a sort. 

We must draw lessons from the ''cultural revolution". At the same time, we must be 
soberly aware of the enormous task of modernization confronting our country and of the 
fact that a great many of our cadres are not up to its requirements. We must endeavour to 
overcome short-sightedness and to take the long-term view. Now that we are equipped 
with correct ideological, political and organizational lines, we can certainly promote to 
leading positions a large number of fine young and middle-aged people so that our cause 
will be assured of successors who are, if possible, better than their predecessors. We can 
do so provided we work boldly yet carefully, conduct thorough investigation and study, 
and ask as many people as possible for their opinions. 

Comrade Chen Yun said that in selecting cadres we should stress political integrity and 
professional competence. By political integrity he meant principally keeping to the 
socialist road and upholding leadership by the Party. With this as a prerequisite, he 
added, we should see to it that our cadres are younger on the average, better educated and 
better qualified professionally. Comrade Chen Yun said, moreover, that the employment 
and promotion of such cadres should be institutionalized. These ideas of his are very 
good. Many comrades pay scant attention not only to the problem of lowering the 
average age level of our cadres, but also to the problem of their becoming better educated 
and acquiring professional knowledge. This is yet another evil result of the long period of 
''Left" thinking about the question of intellectuals. 

The problem facing us is that, in addition to the way of thinking of quite a few cadres, the 
existing organizational system also works against the selection and use of the trained 
persons who are so badly needed for China's four modernizations. We hope that Party 
committees and organizational departments at all levels will make major changes in this 
area, resolutely emancipate their minds, overcome all obstacles, break with old 
conventions and have the courage to reform outmoded organizational and personnel 
systems. We also hope that they will try hard to discover, train and employ excellent, 
qualified persons by bypassing the conventional rules and that they will firmly oppose 
any move to keep such people down or to waste their talent. After the many tests of the 
past dozen years the political attitudes of our young and middle-aged comrades are 
basically clear to both the leadership and the rank and file. With veteran comrades still 
around, we should be able to select the right cadres if we combine the efforts of the 
leaders and the masses. We should, of course, proceed with this work methodically but 
not too slowly. If we fail to seize the present opportunity and leave the solution of this 
problem until the veterans are all gone, we'll have waited too long and it will be much 
more difficult. We old comrades will have made a major historical mistake. 

Ill 



Some of our current systems and institutions in the Party and state are plagued by 
problems which seriously impede the full realization of the superiority of socialism. 
Unless they are conscientiously reformed, we can hardly expect to meet the urgent needs 
of modernization and we are liable to become seriously alienated from the masses. 

As far as the leadership and cadre systems of our Party and state are concerned, the major 
problems are bureaucracy, over-concentration of power, patriarchal methods, life tenure 
in leading posts and privileges of various kinds. 

Bureaucracy remains a major and widespread problem in the political life of our Party 
and state. Its harmful manifestations include the following: standing high above the 
masses; abusing power; divorcing oneself from reality and the masses; spending a lot of 
time and effort to put up an impressive front; indulging in empty talk; sticking to a rigid 
way of thinking; being hidebound by convention; overstaffing administrative organs; 
being dilatory, inefficient and irresponsible; failing to keep one's word; circulating 
documents endlessly without solving problems; shifting responsibility to others; and even 
assuming the airs of a mandarin, reprimanding other people at every turn, vindictively 
attacking others, suppressing democracy, deceiving superiors and subordinates, being 
arbitrary and despotic, practising favouritism, offering bribes, participating in corrupt 
practices in violation of the law, and so on. Such things have reached intolerable 
dimensions both in our domestic affairs and in our contacts with other countries. 

Bureaucracy is an age-old and complex historical phenomenon. In addition to sharing 
some common characteristics with past types of bureaucracy, Chinese bureaucracy in its 
present form has characteristics of its own. That is, it differs from both the bureaucracy of 
old China and that prevailing in the capitalist countries. It is closely connected with our 
highly centralized management in the economic, political, cultural and social fields, 
which we have long regarded as essential for the socialist system and for planning. Our 
leading organs at various levels have taken charge of many matters which they should not 
and cannot handle, or cannot handle efficiently. These matters could have been easily 
handled by the enterprises, institutions and communities at the grass-roots level, provided 
we had proper rules and regulations and they acted according to the principles of 
democratic centralism. Difficulties have arisen from the custom of referring all these 
things to the leading organs and central departments of the Party and government: no one 
is so versatile that he can take on any number of complex and unfamiliar jobs. This can 
be said to be one of the main causes of the bureaucracy peculiar to us today. Another 
cause of our bureaucracy is that for a long time we have had no strict administrative rules 
and regulations and no system of personal responsibility from top to bottom in the 
leading bodies of our Party and government organizations and of our enterprises and 
institutions. We also lack strict and explicit terms of reference for each organization and 
post so that there are no rules to go by and most people are often unable to handle 
independently and responsibly the matters, big or small, which they should handle. They 
can only keep busy all day long making reports to higher levels, seeking instructions 
from them, writing comments on documents and passing them around. Some people are 
seriously afflicted with selfish departmentalism: they are always ducking responsibility, 
jockeying for power and wrangling with others, thinking only of the interests of their own 



unit. What is more, we have no regular methods for recruiting, rewarding and punishing 
cadres or for their retirement, resignation or removal. Whether they do their work well or 
poorly, they have ''iron rice bowls". They can be employed but not dismissed, promoted 
but not demoted. These things inevitably result in overstaffing and in too many 
administrative levels and deputy and nominal posts, all of which, in turn, foster the 
proliferation of bureaucracy. Hence the necessity for radical reform of these systems. Of 
course, bureaucracy is also connected with ways of thinking, but these cannot be changed 
without first reforming the relevant systems. That is why we have made so little headway 
in our repeated attempts to reduce bureaucracy. Much work, including education and 
ideological struggle, has to be done to solve the problems I have mentioned in the various 
systems. But it must be done, or it will be impossible for us to make substantial progress 
in our economic and other work. 

Over-concentration of power means inappropriate and indiscriminate concentration of all 
power in Party committees in the name of strengthening centralized Party leadership. 
Moreover, the power of the Party committees themselves is often in the hands of a few 
secretaries, especially the first secretaries, who direct and decide everything. Thus 
''centralized Party leadership" often turns into leadership by individuals. This problem 
exists, in varying degrees, in leading bodies at all levels throughout the country. Over- 
concentration of power in the hands of an individual or of a few people means that most 
functionaries have no decision-making power at all, while the few who do are 
overburdened. This inevitably leads to bureaucratism and various mistakes, and it 
inevitably impairs the democratic life, collective leadership, democratic centralism and 
division of labour with individual responsibility in the Party and government 
organizations at all levels. This phenomenon is connected to the influence of feudal 
autocracy in China's own history and also to the tradition of a high degree of 
concentration of power in the hands of individual leaders of the Communist Parties of 
various countries at the time of the Communist International. Historically, we ourselves 
have repeatedly placed too much emphasis on ensuring centralism and unification by the 
Party, and on combating decentralism and any assertion of independence. And we have 
placed too little emphasis on ensuring the necessary degree of decentralization, 
delegating necessary decision-making power to the lower organizations and opposing the 
over-concentration of power in the hands of individuals. We have tried several times to 
divide power between the central and local authorities, but we never defined the scope of 
the functions and powers of the Party organizations as distinct from those of the 
government and of economic and mass organizations. I don't mean that there is no need 
to emphasize centralism and unification by the Party, or that it is wrong to emphasize 
them under any circumstances, or that there is never any need to oppose decentralism or 
the assertion of independence. The problem is that we have gone too far in these respects, 
and we have even failed to clarify what we mean by decentralism and assertion of 
independence in the first place. Now that ours has become the ruling party in the whole 
country, and especially since we have basically completed the socialist transformation of 
the ownership of the means of production, the Party's central task is different from what it 
was in the past. Now that we are engaged in the extremely difficult and complicated task 
of socialist construction, over-concentration of power is becoming more and more 
incompatible with the development of our socialist cause. The long-standing failure to 



understand this adequately was one important cause of the 'Cultural Revolution", and we 
paid a heavy price for it. There should be no further delay in finding a solution to this 
problem. 

Besides leading to over-concentration of power in the hands of individuals, patriarchal 
ways within the revolutionary ranks place individuals above the organization, which then 
becomes a tool in their hands. Patriarchal ways are an antiquated social phenomenon 
which has existed from time immemorial and has had a very damaging influence on the 
Party. Chen Duxiu , Wang Ming and Zhang Guotao were all patriarchal in their ways. 
During the period from the Zunyi Meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central 
Committee [in 1935] to the socialist transformation [in the mid-50s], the Central 
Committee and Comrade Mao Zedong invariably paid due attention to collective 
leadership and democratic centralism, so that democratic life within our Party was quite 
normal. Unfortunately, this fine tradition has not been upheld, nor has it been 
incorporated into a strict and perfected system. For example, when major issues are 
discussed inside the Party, very often there is insufficient democratic deliberation. Hasty 
decisions are made by one or a few individuals and votes are seldom taken, as they 
should be under the principle of majority rule. This shows that democratic centralism has 
not yet become a strictly applied system. After the criticism of the opposition to rash 
advance in 1958 and the campaign against ''Right deviation" in 1959, democratic life in 
the Party and state gradually ceased to function normally. There was a constant growth of 
such patriarchal ways as letting only one person have the say and make important 
decisions, practising the cult of personality and placing individuals above the 
organization. Lin Biaol propagated the ''peak theory", saying that Chairman Mao's 
words were supreme instructions. This theory was widespread throughout the Party, army 
and country. After the smashing of the Gang of Four, the personality cult continued for a 
period of time. Commemorative activities in honour of some other leaders also 
sometimes smacked of the cult of personality. Recently, the Central Committee issued a 
directive insisting that there should be less publicity for individuals. It pointed out, 
among other things, that improper commemorative methods not only mean extravagance 
and waste and lead to divorce from the masses, but also imply that history is made by a 
few individuals — a notion which is detrimental to education in Marxism inside and 
outside the Party and to the elimination of feudal and bourgeois ideological influences. 
This directive, which contained some regulations designed to correct undesirable 
practices, is a very significant document. Here I must also mention that after 1958 
residential quarters were built in many places for Comrade Mao Zedong and some other 
comrades on the Central Committee, and that after the downfall of the Gang of Four work 
still continued on some such building projects in Zhongnanhai . All this had a very bad 
influence and entailed much waste. Furthermore, to this day a few high-ranking cadres 
are still given welcoming and farewell banquets, and traffic is held up and great publicity 
made wherever they go. This is most improper. All the practices I have mentioned, which 
seriously alienate us from the masses, must be banned at all levels from the top down. 

Many places and units have their patriarchal personages with unlimited power. Everyone 
else has to be absolutely obedient and even personally attached to them. One of our 
organizational principles is subordination of the lower Party organizations to the higher. 



which means that a lower organization must implement the decisions and instructions 
from the higher one. This does not, however, preclude relations of equality among Party 
comrades. All Party members, those who take on leadership work as well as the rank and 
file, should treat each other as equals, equally enjoy all rights to which they are entitled 
and fulfil all the duties they are expected to perform. Comrades at the higher levels 
should not imperiously order about those at lower levels, and they certainly must not 
make them do anything in violation of the Party Constitution or the country's laws. No 
one should fawn on his superiors or be obedient and '"loyal" to them in an unprincipled 
way. The relationship between a superior and a subordinate must not be the one 
repeatedly criticized by Comrade Mao Zedong, the relationship between cat and mouse. 
Nor should it be like the relations in the old society between monarch and subject, or 
father and son, or the leader of a faction and his followers. The patriarchal ways I have 
described are partly responsible for the grave mistakes some comrades make. Even the 
formation of the counter-revolutionary cliques of Lin Biao and Jiang Qing was 
inseparable from the patriarchal ways surviving inside the Party. In a word, unless such 
ways are eliminated once for all, the practice of inner-Party democracy in particular and 
of socialist democracy in general is out of the question. 

Tenure for life in leading posts is linked both to feudal influences and to the continued 
absence of proper regulations in the Party for the retirement and dismissal of cadres. The 
question of retirement did not arise during the period of revolutionary wars when we 
were all still young, nor in the fifties when we were all in the prime of life, but it was 
unwise of us not to have solved the problem later. Still, it should be acknowledged that it 
could not have been solved, or at least not completely, under the conditions then 
prevailing. In the draft of the revised Party Constitution discussed at the Fifth Plenary 
Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, it was proposed that life tenure in leading 
posts be abolished. As we see it now, this provision needs to be further revised and 
supplemented. What is essential is to improve the systems of election, recruitment, 
appointment, removal, assessment, impeachment and rotation of cadres and, in the light 
of specific conditions, to work out appropriate and explicit regulations for the terms of 
office and retirement of leading cadres of all categories and at all levels (including those 
elected, appointed or invited). No leading cadre should hold any office indefinitely. 

During the 'Cultural Revolution", Lin Biao and the Gang of Four did everything to 
procure a privileged life style for themselves and inflicted great suffering upon the 
masses. At present there are still some cadres who, regarding themselves as masters 
rather than servants of the people, use their positions to seek personal privileges. This 
practice has aroused strong mass resentment and tarnished the Party's prestige. Unless it 
is firmly corrected, it is bound to corrupt our cadres. The privileges we are opposed to 
today are political and economic prerogatives not provided for by law or the existing 
regulations. The appetite for personal privilege shows that there are still lingering feudal 
influences. From old China we inherited a strong tradition of feudal autocracy and a weak 
tradition of democratic legality. Moreover, in the post-Liberation years we did not 
consciously draw up systematic rules and regulations to safeguard the people's 
democratic rights. Our legal system is far from perfect and has not received anywhere 
near the attention it deserves. Privileges are sometimes restricted, criticized and attacked. 



but at other times they are allowed to proliferate again. To eradicate privilege, we must 
solve both the ideological problems involved and problems relating to rules and 
regulations. All citizens are equal before the law and the existing rules and regulations, 
and all Party members are equal before the Party Constitution and regulations on Party 
discipline. Everyone has equal rights and duties prescribed by law, and no one may gain 
advantages at others' expense or violate the law. Whoever does violate the law must be 
subjected to investigation by the public security organs and brought to justice by the 
judicial organs according to law. No one is allowed to interfere with law enforcement, 
and no one who breaks the law should go unpunished. No one may violate the Party 
Constitution or discipline, and anyone who does must be subjected to disciplinary action. 
No one is allowed to interfere with the enforcement of Party discipline, and no one who 
does should be allowed to escape disciplinary sanctions. Only when these principles are 
implemented resolutely can such problems as the pursuit of privilege and the violation of 
law and discipline be eliminated for good. There must be a system of mass supervision so 
that the masses at large and the Party rank and file can supervise the cadres, especially 
the leading cadres. The people have the right to expose, accuse, impeach, replace and 
recall, according to law, all those who seek personal privileges and refuse to change their 
ways despite criticism and education. The people have the right to demand that these 
persons pay for what they have unlawfully taken and that they be punished according to 
law or through disciplinary measures. Regulations must be worked out governing the 
scope of powers attached to particular posts and the political seniority and material 
benefits of cadres at all levels. Here, the most important thing is to have definite 
organizations to exercise impartial supervision. 

It is true that the errors we made in the past were partly attributable to the way of thinking 
and style of work of some leaders. But they were even more attributable to the problems 
in our organizational and working systems. If these systems are sound, they can place 
restraints on the actions of bad people; if they are unsound, they may hamper the efforts 
of good people or indeed, in certain cases, may push them in the wrong direction. Even 
so great a man as Comrade Mao Zedong was influenced to a serious degree by certain 
unsound systems and institutions, which resulted in grave misfortunes for the Party, the 
state and himself. If even now we still don't improve the way our socialist system 
functions, people will ask why it cannot solve some problems which the capitalist system 
can. Such comparisons may be one-sided, but we must not just dismiss them on that 
account. Stalin gravely damaged socialist legality, doing things which Comrade Mao 
Zedong once said would have been impossible in Western countries like Britain, France 
and the United States. Yet although Comrade Mao was aware of this, he did not in 
practice solve the problems in our system of leadership. Together with other factors, this 
led to the decade of catastrophe known as the 'Cultural Revolution". There is a most 
profound lesson to be learned from this. I do not mean that the individuals concerned 
should not bear their share of responsibility, but rather that the problems in the leadership 
and organizational systems are more fundamental, widespread and long-lasting, and that 
they have a greater effect on the overall interests of our country. This is a question that 
has a close bearing on whether our Party and state will change political colour and should 
therefore command the attention of the entire Party. 



Some serious problems which appeared in the past may arise again if the defects in our 
present systems are not eliminated. Only when these defects are resolutely removed 
through planned, systematic, and thorough reforms will the people trust our leadership, 
our Party and socialism. Then our cause will truly have a future of boundless promise. 

We cannot discuss the defects in our system of Party and state leadership without 
touching upon Comrade Mao Zedong's mistakes in his later years. The resolution on 
certain questions in the history of our Party since the founding of the People's Republic of 
China, a document now being drafted, will include a systematic exposition of Mao 
Zedong Thought and a reasonably comprehensive assessment of Comrade Mao's own 
merits and demerits, including criticism of his mistakes during the 'Cultural Revolution". 
As thoroughgoing materialists, we Communists cannot but accept what should be 
accepted and reject what should be rejected, basing our judgement strictly on facts. 
Comrade Mao rendered immortal service to our Party, our country and our people 
throughout his life. His contributions are primary and his mistakes secondary. But to 
avoid mentioning his mistakes because of his contributions would not be a materialist 
approach. Neither is it a materialist approach to deny his contributions because of his 
mistakes. The ""Cultural Revolution" was a blunder and a failure because it ran 
completely counter to the scientific tenets of Mao Zedong Thought. These tenets, which 
have been tested and proved correct through long years of practice, not only guided us to 
victory in the past but will remain our guiding ideology in the years of struggle ahead. It 
is incorrect and against the fundamental interests of the Chinese people to have any doubt 
or to waver to any degree on this important principle of our Party. 

IV 

Now I come to the question of eliminating the influence of feudalism and of bourgeois 
thinking. 

All the defects I have just described bear the stamp of feudalism to one degree or another. 
Of course, surviving feudal influences are not manifested only in such defects. They are 
also to be seen in, for example, a lingering clan mentality and hierarchy in social 
relations, in certain instances of assumed inequality of status in the relations between 
leading comrades and their subordinates and between cadres and the masses, in a weak 
sense of the rights and duties of citizens, and in certain ""mandarin" systems and high- 
handed work styles in industry, commerce and agriculture. In addition, there is excessive 
emphasis on regional and departmental jurisdictions in the management of economic 
work, which has led to compartmentalization and the tendency to profit at the expense of 
others. This has sometimes created unnecessary difficulties between two socialist 
enterprises or regions. The surviving influences of feudalism are also manifest in the 
autocratic style of work of some persons in the cultural sphere, in the failure to recognize 
how vital science and education are to socialism and how impossible it is to build 
socialism without them, in a closed-door policy and ignorant chauvinism in foreign 
relations, and so on and so forth. And let's look at clannish practices. During the 
""cultural revolution", when someone got to the top, even his dogs and chickens got there 
too; likewise, when someone got into trouble, even his distant relatives were dragged 



down with him. This situation became very serious. Even now, the abominable practice 
of appointing people through favouritism and factionalism continues unchecked in some 
regions, departments and units. There are quite a few instances where cadres abuse their 
power so as to enable their friends and relations to move to the cities or to obtain jobs or 
promotions. It is thus clear that the residual influences of clannishness must not be 
underestimated. We need to exert ourselves if these problems are to be solved. 

Through 28 years of new-democratic revolution we succeeded in overthrowing once for 
all the reactionary feudal regime and the feudal system of landownership. However, we 
did not complete the task of eliminating the surviving feudal influences in the ideological 
and political fields, because we underestimated their importance and because we quickly 
proceeded to the socialist revolution. Now it is essential to state clearly that we must 
continue to labour at this task and that we must carry out a series of effective reforms in 
our institutions. Otherwise, our country and people will suffer further losses. 

To accomplish this task we must adopt the scientific approach of seeking truth from facts 
and apply Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought in making a concrete and 
accurate analysis of the manifestations of the lingering influences of feudalism. First and 
foremost, we must draw a clear line of demarcation between socialism and feudalism and 
never allow anyone to oppose socialism under the pretext of opposing feudalism or to use 
the kind of phoney socialism advocated by the Gang of Four to promote feudalism. 
Second, we must carefully distinguish between the democratic values in our cultural 
heritage and the feudal dross, and between the lingering feudal influences and certain 
unscientific methods and unsound procedures in our work resulting from lack of 
experience. We should guard against raising yet another storm and indiscriminately 
labelling everything '' feudal". 

For most of the cadres and the masses, the process of eliminating surviving feudal 
influences is a kind of self-education and self-remoulding, which will enable them to free 
themselves from such influences, emancipate their minds, raise their political awareness, 
adapt themselves to the needs of our modernization programme and thus make 
contributions to the people, society and mankind. In endeavouring to eliminate these 
influences, we must stress the need to effectively restructure and improve the systems of 
the Party and state in such a way as to ensure institutionally the practice of democracy in 
political life, in economic management and in all other aspects of social activity and thus 
to promote the smooth progress of modernization. To this end we must conduct 
conscientious investigations and studies, compare the experience of other countries and 
work out realistic plans and measures by drawing on collective wisdom. We should not 
think that we have only to ''put destruction first" and construction will follow 
automatically. It must be made very clear that no anti-feudal political movement or 
propaganda campaign should be launched. There should be no political criticism of the 
kind that has been directed at some individuals in the past, and still less should there be 
struggles directed against either the cadres or the masses. Historical experience has 
shown that no problem of mass ideological education was ever solved by launching a 
mass movement instead of organizing exhaustive persuasion and calm discussion, and 
that no currently functioning systems were ever reformed or new ones established by 



substituting a mass movement for solid, systematic measures. This is true because solving 
the ideological problems of the masses and concrete problems in the organizational and 
work systems in a socialist society is, in principle, fundamentally different from cracking 
down on counter-revolutionaries and destroying the reactionary system in the period of 
revolution. 

While working to eliminate feudal influence in the political and ideological fields, we 
must not in the least neglect or slacken criticism of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois 
ideologies, of ultra-individualism and anarchism. Which of the two influences — feudal or 
bourgeois — is more serious? There can never be one answer to this question, because the 
extent of the influence may vary greatly, depending on the geographical region or the 
sector of work involved, the particular issue under consideration, and the ages, personal 
experience and cultural backgrounds of the persons affected. Furthermore, in our society, 
which was a semi-feudal and semi-colonial one for more than a century, feudal ideology 
is in some cases intermingled with bourgeois ideology and the slavish colonial mentality, 
and the three are sometimes inseparable. With the increasing international contacts of 
recent years, instances of worshipping things foreign, or fawning on foreigners have 
begun to appear, owing to the influence of the decadent ideology, work style and way of 
life of the bourgeoisie abroad. And such phenomena may increase in the future. This is a 
by no means trivial problem, and we must take it seriously and solve it. 

China may be backward in economic and cultural development, but it is not necessarily 
backward in everything. Some foreign countries may be advanced in technology and 
management, but they are not necessarily advanced in everything. Our Party and people 
established a socialist system after long years of bloody struggle. After all, although our 
socialist system is still imperfect and has suffered disruption, it is much better than the 
capitalist system based on the law of the jungle and the principle of getting ahead" at 
the expense of others. Our system will improve more and more with the passage of time. 
By absorbing the progressive elements of other countries, it will become the best in the 
world. Capitalism can never achieve this. It is absolutely wrong to lose faith in socialism 
and think that it is inferior to capitalism just because we have made mistakes in our 
practice of socialist revolution and construction. It is also absolutely wrong to think that 
in trying to eliminate surviving feudal influences we may spread capitalist ideology. We 
must firmly repudiate these wrong ideas and check their spread. By upholding the 
principle ''to each according to his work" and by recognizing material interests we intend 
to increase the material well-being of the entire people. Everyone is bound to have 
material interests, but this in no sense means that we encourage people to work solely for 
their personal material interests without regard for the interests of the state, the collective 
and other people, or that we encourage people to put money above all else. If we did that, 
what would be the difference between socialism and capitalism? We have maintained all 
along that in a socialist society there is a basic community of interests between the state, 
the collective and the individual. If they clash, it is the individual interests which should 
be subordinated to those of the state and the collective. Where necessary, all people with 
a high level of revolutionary consciousness should sacrifice their personal interests for 
those of the state, the collective and the people. We should make more efforts to 
disseminate this noble outlook among our people, especially the young people. 



We have some young people now, including children of cadres, and even some cadres 
themselves, who have violated the law and regulations, accepted bribes and engaged in 
smuggling, speculation and profiteering so as to make money or to find a way to go 
abroad -- at the expense of their own moral integrity, the dignity of our state and national 
self-respect. This is despicable. In the last couple of years, some pornographic, obscene, 
filthy and repulsive photographs, films, publications and the like have been smuggled 
into our country through different channels. These things have tended to debase the 
standards of social conduct and corrupt some young people and cadres. If we allow this 
plague to spread unchecked, it will affect many weak-willed persons and bring about 
their moral and mental degradation. Organizations at all levels should pay earnest 
attention to this problem and take firm and effective measures to ban and destroy this 
decadent rubbish and make sure that no more of it is allowed to enter China. 
Furthermore, in our domestic economic work, increasing numbers of individuals, groups 
and even enterprises and other units are engaging in illegal practices by distorting our 
economic policies and taking advantage of loopholes in our system of economic 
management. We must be constantly on guard against such illegal, anti-socialist activities 
and struggle against people who engage in them. 

To sum up, elimination of surviving feudal influences must be combined with the 
criticism of decadent bourgeois ideas, such as the notion of putting profit above 
everything else and trying to ""get ahead" at the expense of others. 

Naturally, we should adopt a scientific approach towards capitalism and towards 
bourgeois ideas. Not long ago, in order to educate people in the revolutionary outlook, 
some localities again raised the slogan, ""Foster proletarian ideology and eliminate 
bourgeois ideology". I read the relevant documents and didn't find anything wrong at the 
time. As I see it now, however, this old slogan is neither comprehensive nor precise 
enough. For lack of sufficient investigation and analysis, certain comrades have criticized 
as ""capitalism" some of our current reforms, which are useful to the development of 
production and the socialist cause as a whole. They are wrong in this. We need to make 
further studies and correctly specify just what are the bourgeois ideas that should be 
sternly criticized and prevented from spreading, what are the capitalist tendencies in our 
economic life that should be firmly resisted and overcome, and what is the correct 
method of criticism. We must do this if we don't want to repeat past mistakes. 



The Central Committee of the Party has repeatedly examined the question of reforming 
our system of Party and state leadership. Some reform measures were initiated following 
the Fifth Plenary Session of the Central Committee, others will be put forward at the 
Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress, and still others will be adopted 
when conditions are ripe. In addition to the reforms I have already referred to, we are 
planning to gradually introduce the following major changes: 

First, the Central Committee will submit proposals for revising the Constitution of the 
People's Republic of China to the Third Session of the Fifth National People's Congress. 



Our Constitution should be made more complete and precise so as to really ensure the 
people's right to manage the state organs at all levels as well as the various enterprises 
and institutions, to guarantee to our people the full enjoyment of their rights as citizens, 
to enable the areas inhabited by minority nationalities to exercise genuine regional 
autonomy, to improve the system of people's congresses, and so on. The principle of 
preventing the over-concentration of power will also be reflected in the revised 
Constitution. 

Second, the Central Committee has already set up its Commission for Discipline 
Inspection, and is now considering the establishment of an advisory commission (which 
may be given a different name). Together with the Central Committee itself, these 
commissions are to be elected by the National Congress of the Party, and their respective 
functions and powers are to be specified. In this way, a great many veteran comrades who 
have been working in the Central Committee and the State Council will be able to put 
their experience to full use by giving guidance, advice and supervision. At the same time, 
the regular executive bodies of the Central Committee and the State Council will become 
more compact and efficient and the average age of their personnel will gradually go 
down. 

Third, a truly effective work system will be set up for the State Council and the various 
levels of local government. From now on, all matters within the competence of the 
government will be discussed and decided upon, and the relevant documents issued, by 
the State Council and the local governments concerned. The Central Committee and local 
committees of the Party will no longer issue directives or take decisions on such matters. 
Of course, the work of the government will continue to be carried out under the political 
leadership of the Party. Strengthening government work means strengthening the Party's 
leadership. 

Fourth, step by step and in a planned manner we should reform the system under which 
the factory director or manager assumes responsibility under the leadership of the Party 
committee. We should first experiment with this reform in selected units, then gradually 
introduce it into more units, instituting a system under which factory directors and 
managers assume responsibility under the leadership and supervision of the factory 
management committee, the board of directors of the company, and the joint committee 
of united economic entities. We should also consider reforming the system under which 
university and college presidents and heads of research institutes assume responsibility 
under the leadership of the Party committee. Through our experience over a long period 
of time, the old system of factory management has proven unfavourable to the 
modernization of both factory management and the industrial management system, and 
also to improvement of Party's work in factories. These reforms are designed to free the 
Party committees of routine matters, enabling them to concentrate on conducting 
ideological and political work and to take charge of organization and supervision. This 
does not weaken but improves and strengthens the leadership of the Party. The 
administrators of various units should conscientiously study the relevant managerial and 
technical skills, but they should not be engrossed in meetings for too long a period of 
time, remaining always laymen. If this were the case, we could never accomplish the goal 



of modernization. Most of these administrators are Party members. When the 
management system is reformed, the directors and managers should accept the leadership 
of higher-level administrative departments, the political leadership of higher-level Party 
organizations, and supervision by Party organizations at the same levels. The 
responsibilities of Party organizations at the same levels will not be diminished, rather. 
Party work will truly be strengthened. The Party organizations in factories, companies, 
colleges, schools and research institutes should educate all Party members well, do solid 
mass work and encourage Party members to play exemplary vanguard roles at their posts. 
The Party organizations should truly become the backbone of all enterprises and 
institutions and educate and supervise all Party members, so as to ensure the 
implementation of the Party's political line and the accomplishment of all tasks. 
Considering that this reform has a great impact on a large number of primary Party 
organizations throughout the country, we should continue to solicit opinions from all 
walks of life before making the decision to introduce this reform when conditions are 
ripe. 

Fifth, congresses or conferences of representatives of workers and office staff will be 
introduced in all enterprises and institutions. That was decided long ago. The question 
now is how to popularize and perfect the system. These congresses or conferences have 
the right to discuss and take decisions on major questions of concern to their respective 
units, to propose to the higher organizations the recall of incompetent administrators, and 
to introduce — gradually and within appropriate limits — the practice of electing their 
leaders. 

Sixth, Party committees at all levels are genuinely to apply the principle of combining 
collective leadership and division of labour with individual responsibility. It should be 
made clear which matters call for collective discussion and which fall within the 
competence of individuals. Major issues must certainly be discussed and decided upon by 
the collective. In the process of taking decisions, it is essential to observe strictly the 
principle of majority rule and the principle of one-man-one-vote, a Party secretary being 
entitled only to his single vote. That is, the first secretary must not take decisions by 
himself. Once a collective decision is taken, it should be carried out by all members, each 
taking his own share of responsibility. No buck-passing should be allowed on any 
account, and those who neglect their duties should be penalized. As the top person in the 
collective leadership, the first secretary of a Party committee must assume chief 
responsibility for its day-to-day work, while among its other members the stress should 
be on individual responsibility according to the division of labour. We should encourage 
leading cadres to shoulder responsibility boldly, but this is totally different from making 
arbitrary personal decisions. The two should never be confused. 

I ask the comrades to study and discuss these six points carefully and to freely express 
their opinions, including divergent ones. With regard to some matters, after the central 
authorities have decided on general principles, experiments will have to be carried out in 
order to gain experience and pool collective wisdom. We will try to solve one specific 
problem after another when the necessary conditions are ripe. The central authorities will 
make a formal decision on each of them and then draw up realistic, well-thought-out. 



practicable and lasting rules and regulations which should be systematically applied. 
Until such time as these are formulated and promulgated by the central authorities, work 
in various fields should continue to be carried out under the regulations now in force. 

The purpose of reforming the system of Party and state leadership is precisely to maintain 
and further strengthen Party leadership and discipline, and not to weaken or relax them. 
In a big country like ours, it is inconceivable that unity of thinking could be achieved 
among our several hundred million people or that their efforts could be pooled to build 
socialism in the absence of a Party whose members have a spirit of sacrifice and a high 
level of political awareness and discipline, a Party that truly represents and unites the 
masses of people and exercises unified leadership. Without such a Party, our country 
would split up and accomplish nothing. The people of all our nationalities have come to a 
deep understanding of this truth through long years of struggle. The unity of the people, 
social stability, the promotion of democracy and the reunification of our country all 
depend on Party leadership. The core of the Four Cardinal Principles is to uphold 
leadership by the Party. The point is that the Party must provide good leadership; only 
through constant improvement can its leadership be strengthened. 

We have before us the extremely arduous and complex task of socialist modernization. 
While many old problems still remain to be solved, many new ones are emerging. Only 
by consistently relying on the masses, maintaining close ties with them, listening to what 
they have to say, understanding their feelings and always representing their interests can 
the Party become a powerful force capable of smoothly accomplishing its tasks. At 
present, there are many ideological problems, both among the masses and in the Party, 
that call for solution. We must give priority to ideological and political work and 
earnestly endeavour to do it well, never slackening our efforts. This work should be 
performed by Party committees and leading cadres at all levels, as well as by all other 
Party members. It should be done painstakingly and thoroughly, with a clear objective in 
mind and in a way acceptable to the masses. Here the decisive condition for success is 
that all Party members, especially those in leading positions, be the first to do what they 
expect the masses to do. Thus, for our ideological and political work to be successful, it is 
necessary to improve the leadership provided by the Party and to improve its leadership 
system. 

Comrades ! The reform and improvement of the various Party and state systems is a long- 
term and difficult task, and the key to its accomplishment is the reform and improvement 
of the system of Party and state leadership. We must thoroughly understand this. 
Comrade Mao Zedong and the other veteran revolutionaries who have already passed 
away left us without being able to complete this task, so it has fallen on our shoulders. 
All Party members, especially veteran comrades, should devote their efforts to it. We 
have done a good deal, solved many problems and accomplished much that reflects credit 
on us since the Third Plenary Session of the Party's Eleventh Central Committee. So we 
have a solid position from which to proceed further. The time and conditions are now ripe 
for us to undertake the task of reforming and improving the system of Party and state 
leadership so as to meet the needs of our modernization drive. While our generation may 
not be able to finish this work, at least we have the responsibility of laying a firm 



foundation and establishing a correct orientation for its accomplishment. This much, I 
believe, we can do. 

(This speech to an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of 
the Communist Party of China was discussed and endorsed by the Political Bureau on 
August 31, 1980.) 

ANSWERS TO THE ITALIAN JOURNALIST ORIANA FALLACI 

August 21 and 23, 1980 



Oriana Fallaci: Will Chairman Mao's portrait above Tiananmen Gate be kept there? 

Deng Xiaoping: It will, forever. In the past there were too many portraits of Chairman 
Mao. They were hung everywhere. That was not proper and it didn't really show respect 
for Chairman Mao. It's true that he made mistakes in a certain period, but he was after all 
a principal founder of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China. 
In evaluating his merits and mistakes, we hold that his mistakes were only secondary. 
What he did for the Chinese people can never be erased. In our hearts we Chinese will 
always cherish him as a founder of our Party and our state. 

Question: We Westerners find a lot of things hard to understand. The Gang of Four are 
blamed for all the faults. I'm told that when the Chinese talk about the Gang of Four, 
many of them hold up five fingers. 

Answer: We must make a clear distinction between the nature of Chairman Mao's 
mistakes and the crimes of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. For most of his life. Chairman 
Mao did very good things. Many times he saved the Party and the state from crises. 
Without him the Chinese people would, at the very least, have spent much more time 
groping in the dark. Chairman Mao's greatest contribution was that he applied the 
principles of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution, 
pointing the way to victory. It should be said that before the sixties or the late fifties 
many of his ideas brought us victories, and the fundamental principles he advanced were 
quite correct. He creatively applied Marxism-Leninism to every aspect of the Chinese 
revolution, and he had creative views on philosophy, political science, military science, 
literature and art, and so on. Unfortunately, in the evening of his life, particularly during 
the 'Cultural Revolution", he made mistakes — and they were not minor ones — which 
brought many misfortunes upon our Party, our state and our people. As you know, during 
the Yan'an days our Party summed up Chairman Mao's thinking in various fields as Mao 
Zedong Thought, and we made it our guiding ideology. We won great victories for the 
revolution precisely because we adhered to Mao Zedong Thought. Of course, Mao 
Zedong Thought was not created by Comrade Mao alone — other revolutionaries of the 
older generation played a part in forming and developing it — but primarily it embodies 
Comrade Mao's thinking. Nevertheless, victory made him less prudent, so that in his later 
years some unsound features and unsound ideas, chiefly ""Left" ones, began to emerge. In 



quite a number of instances he went counter to his own ideas, counter to the fine and 
correct propositions he had previously put forward, and counter to the style of work he 
himself had advocated. At this time he increasingly lost touch with reality. He didn't 
maintain a good style of work. He did not consistently practise democratic centralism and 
the mass line, for instance, and he failed to institutionalize them during his lifetime. This 
was not the fault of Comrade Mao Zedong alone. Other revolutionaries of the older 
generation, including me, should also be held responsible. Some abnormalities appeared 
in the political life of our Party and state — patriarchal ways or styles of work developed, 
and glorification of the individual was rife; political life in general wasn't too healthy. 
Eventually these things led to the 'Cultural Revolution", which was a mistake. 

Question: You mentioned that in his last years. Chairman Mao was in poor health. But at 
the time of Liu Shaoqi's arrest and his subsequent death in prison Mao's health wasn't so 
bad. And there are other mistakes to be accounted for. Wasn't the Great Leap Forward a 
mistake? Wasn't copying the Soviet model a mistake? And what did Chairman Mao 
really want with the 'Cultural Revolution"? 

Answer: Mistakes began to occur in the late fifties — the Great Leap Forward, for 
instance. But that wasn't solely Chairman Mao's fault either. The people around him got 
carried away too. We acted in direct contravention of objective laws, attempting to boost 
the economy all at once. As our subjective wishes went against objective laws, losses 
were inevitable. Still, it is Chairman Mao who should be held primarily responsible for 
the Great Leap Forward. But it didn't take him long — just a few months -- to recognize 
his mistake, and he did so before the rest of us and proposed corrections. And in 962, 
when because of some other factors those corrections had not been fully carried out, he 
made a self-criticism. But the lessons were not fully drawn, and as a result the 'Cultural 
Revolution" erupted. So far as Chairman Mao's own hopes were concerned, he initiated 
the ''Cultural Revolution" in order to avert the restoration of capitalism, but he had made 
an erroneous assessment of China's actual situation. In the first place, the targets of the 
revolution were wrongly defined, which led to the effort to ferret out "'capitalist roaders 
in power in the Party". Blows were dealt at leading cadres at all levels who had made 
contributions to the revolution and had practical experience, including Comrade Liu 
Shaoqi. In the last couple of years before Chairman Mao's death he said that the 
"Cultural Revolution" had been wrong on two counts: one was "overthrowing all", and 
the other was waging a "full-scale civil war". These two counts alone show that the 
"Cultural Revolution" cannot be called correct. Chairman Mao's mistake was a political 
mistake, and not a small one. On the other hand, it was taken advantage of by the two 
counter-revolutionary cliques headed by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, who schemed to 
usurp power. Therefore, we should draw a line between Chairman Mao's mistakes and 
the crimes of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four. 

Question: But we all know that it was Chairman Mao himself who chose Lin Biaol as his 
successor, much in the same way as an emperor chooses his heir. 



Answer: This is what I've just referred to as an incorrect way of doing things. For a leader 
to pick his own successor is a feudal practice. It is an illustration of the imperfections in 
our institutions which I referred to a moment ago. 

Question: To what extent will Chairman Mao be involved when you hold your next Party 
congress? 

Answer: We will make an objective assessment of Chairman Mao's contributions and his 
mistakes. We will reaffirm that his contributions are primary and his mistakes secondary. 
We will adopt a realistic approach towards the mistakes he made late in life. We will 
continue to adhere to Mao Zedong Thought, which represents the correct part of 
Chairman Mao's life. Not only did Mao Zedong Thought lead us to victory in the 
revolution in the past; it is — and will continue to be — a treasured possession of the 
Chinese Communist Party and of our country. That is why we will forever keep 
Chairman Mao's portrait on Tiananmen Gate as a symbol of our country, and we will 
always remember him as a founder of our Party and state. Moreover, we will adhere to 
Mao Zedong Thought. We will not do to Chairman Mao what Khrushchov did to Stalin . 

Question: Do you mean to say that the name of Chairman Mao will inevitably come up 
when the Gang of Four is brought to trial as well as when you have your next Party 
congress? 

Answer: His name will be mentioned. Not only at the next Party congress but also on 
other occasions. But the trial of the Gang of Four will not detract from Chairman Mao's 
prestige. Of course, he was responsible for putting them in their positions. Nevertheless, 
the crimes the Gang of Four themselves committed are more than sufficient to justify 
whatever sentences may be passed on them. 

Question: I have heard that Chairman Mao frequently complained that you didn't listen to 
him enough, and that he didn't like you. Is it true? 

Answer: Yes, Chairman Mao did say I didn't listen to him. But this wasn't directed only 
at me. It happened to other leaders as well. It reflects some unhealthy ideas in his twilight 
years, that is, patriarchal ways which are feudal in nature. He did not readily listen to 
differing opinions. We can't say that all his criticisms were wrong. But neither was he 
ready to listen to many correct opinions put forward not only by me but by other 
comrades. Democratic centralism was impaired, and so was collective leadership. 
Otherwise, it would be hard to explain how the 'Cultural Revolution" broke out. 

Question: There was one personage in China who always went unscathed, and that was 
Premier Zhou Enlai. How do you explain this fact? 

Answer: Premier Zhou was a man who worked hard and uncomplainingly all his life. He 
worked 12 hours a day, and sometimes 16 hours or more, throughout his life. We got to 
know each other quite early, that is, when we were in France on a work-study programme 
during the 1920s. I have always looked upon him as my elder brother. We took the 



revolutionary road at about the same time. He was much respected by his comrades and 
all the people. Fortunately he survived during the 'Cultural Revolution" when we were 
knocked down. He was in an extremely difficult position then, and he said and did many 
things that he would have wished not to. But the people forgave him because, had he not 
done and said those things, he himself would not have been able to survive and play the 
neutralizing role he did, which reduced losses. He succeeded in protecting quite a number 
of people. 

Question: I don't see how terrible things like the 'Cultural Revolution" can be avoided or 
prevented from recurring. 

Answer: This issue has to be addressed by tackling the problems in our institutions. Some 
of those we established in the past were, in fact, tainted by feudalism, as manifested in 
such things as the personality cult, the patriarchal ways or styles of work, and the life 
tenure of cadres in leading posts. We are now looking into ways to prevent such things 
from recurring and are preparing to start with the restructuring of our institutions. Our 
country has a history of thousands of years of feudalism and is still lacking in socialist 
democracy and socialist legality. We are now working earnestly to cultivate socialist 
democracy and socialist legality. Only in this way can we solve the problem. 

Question: Are you sure that things will proceed more smoothly from now on? Can you 
attain the goal you have set yourselves? I hear that the so-called Maoists are still around. 
By '"Maoists" I mean those who backed the 'Cultural Revolution". 

Answer: The influence of the Gang of Four should not be underrated, but it should be 
noted that 97 or 98 per cent of the population hate them intensely for their crimes. This 
was shown by the mass movement against the Gang of Four which erupted at Tiananmen 
Square on April 5, 1976 , when the Gang were still riding high. Chairman Mao was 
critically ill and Premier Zhou had passed away. Since the Gang's overthrow [in 1976], 
and particularly in the past two years, the will and demands of the people have been 
given expression in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Plenary Sessions of the Central 
Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. We are considering ways of resolving our 
problems by improving our institutions. Many issues have already been raised now. 
Particular emphasis is being laid on working single-mindedly for the four 
modernizations , and this is winning the hearts of the people. They want political stability 
and unity. They are fed up with large-scale movements. Such movements invariably 
ended up hurting a number — and not a small number — of people. Incessant movements 
make it practically impossible to concentrate on national construction. Therefore, we can 
say for sure that given the correctness of our present course, the people will support us 
and such phenomena as the ""Cultural Revolution" will not happen again. 

Question: The Gang of Four could only have been arrested after the death of Chairman 
Mao. Who engineered their arrest? Who initiated the idea? 

Answer: It was collective effort. First of all, I think, it had a mass base laid by the April 
5th Movement [of 1976]. The term ""Gang of Four" was coined by Chairman Mao a 



couple of years before his death. We waged struggles against the Gang for two years, in 
1974 and 1975. By then people clearly saw them for what they were. Although Chairman 
Mao had designated his successor, the Gang of Four refused to accept this. After 
Chairman Mao's death, the Gang took the opportunity to try and get all power into their 
own hands, and the situation demanded action from us. They were rampant at that time, 
trying to overthrow the new leadership. Under these circumstances, the great majority of 
the comrades of the Political Bureau were agreed that measures had to be taken to deal 
with the Gang. The efforts of one of two individuals would not have sufficed for this 
purpose. 

It should be pointed out that some of the things done after the arrest of the Gang of Four 
were inconsistent with Chairman Mao's wishes, for instance, the construction of the 
Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. He had proposed in the fifties that we should all be 
cremated when we died and that only our ashes be kept, that no remains should be 
preserved and no tombs built. Chairman Mao was the first to sign his name, and we all 
followed suit. Nearly all senior cadres at the central level and across the country signed. 
We still have that book of signatures. What was done in the matter after the smashing of 
the Gang of Four was prompted by the desire to achieve a relative stability. 

Question: Does this mean that the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall will soon be 
demolished? 

Answer: I am not in favour of changing it. Now that it is there, it would not be 
appropriate to remove it. It wasn't appropriate to build it in the first place, but to change it 
would give rise to all kinds of talk. Many people are now speculating whether we will 
demolish the Memorial Hall. We have no such idea. 

Question: It is said that you are giving up the post of Vice-Premier. 

Answer: I will not be the only one to resign. All other comrades of the older generation 
are giving up their concurrent posts. Chairman Hua Guofeng will no longer serve 
concurrently as Premier of the State Council. The Central Committee of the Party has 
recommended Comrade Zhao Ziyang as candidate for that post. If we old comrades 
remain at our posts, newcomers will be inhibited in their work. We face the problem of 
gradually reducing the average age of leaders at all levels. We have to take the lead. 

There were previously no relevant rules. In fact, however, there was life tenure in leading 
posts. This does not facilitate the renewal of leadership or the promotion of younger 
people. It is an institutional defect which was not evident in the sixties because we were 
then in the prime of life. This issue involves not just individuals but all the relevant 
institutions. It has an even greater bearing on our general policy and on whether our four 
modernizations can be achieved. Therefore, we say it would be better for us old comrades 
to take an enlightened attitude and set an example in this respect. 

Question: I have seen other portraits in China. At Tiananmen I've seen portraits of Marx, 
Engels and Lenin and particularly of Stalin. Do you intend to keep them there? 



Answer: Before the 'Cultural Revolution" they were put up only on important holidays. 
The practice was changed during the ""Cultural Revolution", when they were displayed 
permanently. Now we are going back to the former way. 

Question: The four modernizations will bring foreign capital into China, and this will 
inevitably give rise to private investment. Won't this lead to a miniaturized capitalism? 

Answer: In the final analysis, the general principle for our economic development is still 
that formulated by Chairman Mao, that is, to rely mainly on our own efforts with external 
assistance subsidiary. No matter to what degree we open up to the outside world and 
admit foreign capital, its relative magnitude will be small and it can't affect our system of 
socialist public ownership of the means of production. Absorbing foreign capital and 
technology and even allowing foreigners to construct plants in China can only play a 
complementary role to our effort to develop the productive forces in a socialist society. 
Of course, this will bring some decadent capitalist influences into China. We are aware of 
this possibility; it's nothing to be afraid of. 

Question: Does it mean that not all in capitalism is so bad? 

Answer: It depends on how you define capitalism. Any capitalism is superior to 
feudalism. And we cannot say that everything developed in capitalist countries is of a 
capitalist nature. For instance, technology, science — even advanced production 
management is also a sort of science — will be useful in any society or country. We 
intend to acquire advanced technology, science and management skills to serve our 
socialist production. And these things as such have no class character. 

Question: I remember that several years ago, when talking about private plots in rural 
areas, you acknowledged that man needs some personal interest to produce. Doesn't this 
mean to put in discussion communism itself? 

Answer: According to Marx, socialism is the first stage of communism and it covers a 
very long historical period in which we must practise the principle ""to each according to 
his work" and combine the interests of the state, the collective and the individual, for only 
thus can we arouse people's enthusiasm for labour and develop socialist production. At 
the higher stage of communism, when the productive forces will be greatly developed 
and the principle ""from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" will 
be practised, personal interests will be acknowledged still more and more personal needs 
will be satisfied. 

Question: You mentioned that there are others who made contributions to Mao Zedong 
Thought. Who were they? 

Answer: Other revolutionaries of the older generation, for example Premier Zhou Enlai, 
Comrades Liu Shaoqi and Zhu De — and many others. Many senior cadres are creative 
and original in their thinking. 



Question: Why did you leave your own name out? 

Answer: I am quite insignificant. Of course, I too have done some work. Otherwise, I 
wouldn't be counted as a revolutionary. 

Question: What we did not understand was: If the Gang of Four was, as you said, a 
minority with all the country against them, how could it happen that they were holding 
the whole country, including the veteran leaders? Was it because one of the four was the 
wife of Mao Zedong and the ties between Mao Zedong and her were so profound that no 
one dared to touch her? 

Answer: This was one of the factors. As I've said, Chairman Mao made mistakes, one of 
which was using the Gang, letting them come to power. Also, the Gang had their own 
factional set-up and they built a clique of some size — particularly they made use of 
ignorant young people as a front, so they had a fair-sized base. 

Question: Was Mao Zedong blinded by her so that he wouldn't see what she was doing? 
And was she an adventuress like the Empress Dowager Yehonala ? 

Answer: Jiang Qing did evil things by flaunting the banner of Chairman Mao. But 
Chairman Mao and Jiang Qing lived separately for years. 

Question: We didn't know that. 

Answer: Jiang Qing did what she did by flaunting the banner of Chairman Mao, but he 
failed to intervene effectively. For this he should be held responsible. Jiang Qing is rotten 
through and through. Whatever sentence is passed on the Gang of Four won't be 
excessive. They brought harm to millions upon millions of people. 

Question: How would you assess Jiang Qing? What score would you give her? 

Answer: Below zero. A thousand points below zero. 

Question: How would you assess yourself? 

Answer: I would be quite content if I myself could be rated fifty-fifty in merits and 
demerits. But one thing I can say for myself: I have had a clear conscience all my life. 
Please mark my words: I have made quite a few mistakes, and I have my own share of 
responsibility for some of the mistakes made by Comrade Mao Zedong. But it can be said 
that I made my mistake with good intentions. There is nobody who doesn't make 
mistakes. We should not lay all past mistakes on Chairman Mao. So we must be very 
objective in assessing him. His contributions were primary, his mistakes secondary. We 
will inherit the many good things in Chairman Mao's thinking while at the same time 
explaining clearly the mistakes he made. 



(Excerpts concerning domestic issues taken from the Chinese transcript of a two-part 
interview.) 

IMPLEMENT THE POLICY OF READJUSTMENT, 
ENSURE STABILITY AND UNITY 

December 25, 1980 



I 

I fully agree with Comrade Chen Yun 's speech. He correctly summed up our experience 
in handling a series of problems in economic work over the past 3 1 years and the lessons 
we have drawn from it. His statement will serve as our guide in this field for a long time. 

I also fully endorse the arrangements with regard to the plan for 1981 approved by the 
Group for Financial and Economic Affairs under the Central Committee of the Party. 

After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in December 1978, 
Comrade Chen Yun took charge of financial and economic work and proposed the policy 
of readjustment, which was adopted by the Central Working Conference in April last 
year. The policy was not effectively implemented, however, because Party members did 
not have a profound or unanimous understanding of the issues involved. A change in this 
situation took place only very recently and the current readjustment is in conformity with 
that policy. 

As Comrade Chen Yun said, this readjustment is a sound and sober one. In carrying it 
out, we will curtail some of our construction projects, making adequate cutbacks in 
certain areas while striving for continued growth in others. This latter category will 
include agriculture, light industry and the production of daily necessities, along with 
development of energy resources and transportation and undertakings in science, 
education, public health and culture. In all of these areas conscientious efforts should be 
made for consolidation through improving management, upgrading the professional and 
technical skills of production workers and office staff, increasing productivity and 
efficiency, encouraging initiative and inventiveness and reducing waste. 

Why should we carry out the necessary readjustment and curtailment in some fields 
during the four modernizations ? Because if we don't, we will be unable to ensure the 
steady growth of the economy. Our economy has all along been plagued with serious 
disproportions stemming from the historical conditions before Liberation and our 
protracted over-ambitious drive for success after the First Five- Year Plan [1953-57]. In 
addition, there was the damage wrought over 10 years by the ""cultural revolution" and, 
then, our failure in the first two years after the smashing of the Gang of Four to assess the 
situation realistically. By the time of the Third Plenary Session of the Central Committee, 
all this had created imbalances in finance, credit and material supplies as well as between 
foreign exchange receipts and payments. Changing this situation conforms fully to the 



general policy, set by the Third Plenary Session, of correcting '"Left" errors and 
proceeding from reality in all things. It is also a necessary condition for the success of our 
modernization programme. However, because the readjustment was not carried out 
efficiently in the last two years, large financial deficits have accrued, too much currency 
has been issued and prices have steadily risen. Unless we now make a genuine effort at 
readjustment, we shall be unable to carry out the modernization programme smoothly. 
Only by making sufficient cuts in some fields will we be able to gain the initiative and 
achieve overall stability and thus ensure the healthy growth of the economy. 

By sufficient cuts in certain fields we mean mainly that capital construction must be 
appropriately cut back and enterprises without adequate production conditions should 
either cut production, switch to other products, be amalgamated with others, suspend 
operations or simply close down. Administrative expenses (including those of the defence 
establishment and of all enterprises and institutions) should be cut back to achieve 
balance between financial revenues and expenditures, and between credit receipts and 
payments. Production and construction, the building of administrative facilities and the 
raising of the people's living standard should all be kept within the limits of financial 
capability so that expenditures remain equal to revenues. This is a realistic approach. Our 
resolve to proceed this way shows that we have really emancipated our minds and shaken 
off the fetters of erroneous 'Xeft" policies that have hampered our work over the years. 

Since in the past two years it has been difficult to reach a consensus on this issue even 
within the Party, it is obvious that a lot of work has to be done before the people in the 
whole country can achieve unity of understanding. We must make clear to them why 
further readjustment is imperative, what problems may arise in the process and what we 
hope to achieve by it. This way, the people will understand the necessity of further 
readjustment, believe that the Party and government really have their fundamental 
interests in mind and come to realize that the purpose of the readjustment is to ensure the 
success of the modernization drive. Then they will give us their support. It is therefore 
very important that we do a good job in this respect. We must never expect to get things 
done simply by issuing curt orders. 

Our economic readjustment is of far-reaching importance. It necessitates some changes in 
the plan and budget for 1981 adopted by this year's session of the National People's 
Congress and will affect the work and life of the whole people. We suggest, therefore, 
that the State Council consider making a report to the NPC Standing Committee at an 
early date. Once this report is made public, it can serve as a basis for publicizing the 
economic readjustment and explaining it to the people. 

The readjustment we are now undertaking is designed to lay a firm base for steady 
progress so that we can be surer of realizing the four modernizations and be in a more 
favourable position to attain their specific goals. As for the road to be followed and the 
measures to be taken, we should continue trying to break away from stereotypes, whether 
old or new, and gain a clear and accurate understanding of China's actual conditions as 
well as the interrelation among various factors in our economic activity. On this basis, we 
should work out the guiding principles for a long-term programme and then draw up a 



realistic Sixth Five-Year Plan [1981-85]. Provided the country is united from top to 
bottom and our advance is orderly and steady, we can be confident of building a 
moderately developed modern economy in two decades and then going on to a higher 
level of modernization. 

It is true that in the 3 1 years since the founding of the People's Republic we have made 
quite a few mistakes, including some serious ones, and suffered repeated setbacks that 
adversely affected the life of the people and retarded the progress of socialist 
construction. Nevertheless, through our endeavours over these years the number of 
industrial and transport enterprises has grown to nearly 400,000, and the value of the 
fixed assets of state enterprises has increased nearly 21 times compared with the early 
post-Liberation days. We have trained large numbers of skilled workers and nearly 10 
million specialists and established a fairly comprehensive industrial system and economic 
system. The life of the whole people is far better than it was before Liberation. Compared 
with some major developing countries, China has achieved greater progress and a faster 
rate of growth. Over the past few years and at this conference in particular, we have 
reviewed our previous shortcomings and mistakes and correctly summed up our 
experiences both positive and negative, so that we could work out an overall programme 
of construction on a sound and realistic basis. We are sure to make steady progress 
towards our modernization goals provided we do the following: take advantage of the 
material conditions I have mentioned, heed the principles laid down for economic work, 
continue to strengthen and improve the Party's leadership, bring into play the superiority 
of the socialist system and the people's initiative and creativity, utilize our abundant 
natural resources more rationally, make our work conform increasingly to actual 
conditions, constantly sum up new experience, avoid new shortcomings and errors and, if 
any should occur, correct them in good time. Our future is bright. In this sense, the 
readjustment we are carrying out means a step forward, not backward. 

II 

The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee called on all Party 
members to emancipate their minds, use their heads, seek truth from facts, unite in 
looking ahead, study new situations and solve new problems. With this as our guideline 
over the past two years, we have worked out a series of policies and carried out many 
reforms with marked success. In April last year we laid down the policy of readjusting 
the economy, while at the same time calling for its restructuring, consolidation and 
improvement. The masses and cadres sincerely support these correct Party policies, but 
they are also afraid that they will change some day. Their fear of reversals and upheavals 
is fully understandable. 

So, does this readjustment mean changes in the principles and policies formulated since 
the Third Plenary Session? Absolutely not. As I have said, the current readjustment 
means the continuation and development of these correct principles and policies, and the 
further implementation of the Third Plenary Session's guideline, that is, seeking truth 
from facts and correcting '"Left" errors. If there are to be any changes, they can only 
consist of overcoming remaining defects in our work that are incompatible with the spirit 



of the Third Plenary Session, and of resolutely casting away unrealistic ideas and 
subjectively fixed over-ambitious targets. This is exactly what the Third Plenary Session 
line requires of us. 

To ensure the smooth progress of this readjustment, we must continue to firmly carry out 
all the principles, policies and measures that have proved effective since the Third 
Plenary Session. 

We must firmly maintain the Four Cardinal Principles — namely, keeping to the socialist 
road, upholding the people's democratic dictatorship (that is, the dictatorship of the 
proletariat), upholding leadership by the Communist Party and upholding Marxism- 
Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. No one should be allowed to undermine these 
principles, and they should be codified in an appropriate form. 

The core of these four cardinal principles is upholding leadership by the Communist 
Party. We have said many times that without leadership by the Party a big country like 
China would be torn by strife and incapable of accomplishing anything. Whether inside 
or outside the Party, all tendencies towards weakening, breaking away from, opposing or 
liquidating leadership by the Party must be criticized. The individuals involved should be 
educated or, if necessary, struggles should be waged against them. Leadership by the 
Party is the key to the success of the four modernizations and of the current readjustment. 

To uphold the Party's leadership, it is imperative to improve that leadership and to refine 
the Party's style of work. The Party's work among the masses is now weaker than before 
the ''cultural revolution" and some of the methods are cruder. This has impaired the ties 
between the Party and the masses. Only if these ties are greatly strengthened and deep- 
going political and ideological work is done among the masses will it be easy for us to 
overcome the many difficulties involved in economic readjustment. The unhealthy 
tendencies encountered among a handful of Party members and cadres are most harmful 
to our effort to restore the Party's prestige among the people. I share Comrade Chen 
Yun's view that the work style of a political party in power has a direct bearing upon its 
very survival. We must strictly implement the ''Guiding Principles for Inner-Party 
Political Life" and strive unremittingly to correct all bad trends. In particular, we must 
consistently oppose the erroneous, two-faced attitude of those who feign compliance with 
the line, principles and policies of the Central Committee while actually opposing them. 

Reform of the system of Party and state leadership must be carried out prudently and in 
an orderly way. In short, we must see to it that those comrades who are still able to work 
for the Party can continue to do so. As for reforms in the system of leadership in the 
grass-roots units, experiments should be carried out first at a few chosen points. Pending 
the drafting and promulgation of relevant rules and regulations, the current ones should 
continue to apply to all other units. This is the general policy previously set by the 
Central Committee. During the economic readjustment enterprises and other units at the 
grass-roots level will have to do hard ideological, political, economic and organizational 
work. In order to gradually harmonize the proportions between the different sectors of the 
economy and subordinate the interests of the part to those of the whole, certain 



construction projects must be discontinued, and some enterprises should either cut 
production, switch to other products, be amalgamated with others, suspend operations or 
simply close down. People in such units should be given systematic training and 
arrangements should be made for their well-being. To do all this well will not be at all 
easy. We hope that comrades at all levels, and at the grass-roots level in particular, will 
carry forward our glorious traditions, unite as one, work hard and uncomplainingly, share 
the burdens of the Party, the state and the people, and never slacken their efforts. The 
difficulties we are facing are one more test for Party members and cadres at all levels, 
especially the veteran comrades, who are faithful to the Party, stand fast at their posts and 
are devoted to their work. The Central Committee is confident that they will prove 
worthy of the great trust placed in them by the Party and the people. 

We should continue to develop socialist democracy and improve the socialist legal 
system. This is a basic, consistent policy that has been carried out by the Central 
Committee ever since its Third Plenary Session, and there must be no wavering in its 
enforcement in future. There are still inadequacies in our democratic system, so it is 
necessary to draw up a whole series of laws, decrees and regulations to institutionalize 
democracy and give it legal sanction. Socialist democracy and socialist legality are 
inseparable. Democracy without socialist legality, without the Party's leadership and 
without discipline and order is definitely not socialist democracy. On the contrary, that 
sort of democracy would only plunge our country once again into anarchy and make it 
harder to truly democratize the life of the country, develop the economy and raise the 
people's standard of living. 

Democratic centralism and collective leadership should be genuinely practised in inner- 
Party life as well as in the country's political life. Determined efforts should be made to 
rectify such bad practices as decision-making by a single person who alone has the final 
say in all things, or the refusal of a minority of cadres to implement collective decisions. 
Under present circumstances, it is particularly necessary to reaffirm the principle that 
individual Party members are subordinate to the Party organization, the minority to the 
majority, the lower Party organizations to the higher and all constituent organizations and 
Party members to the Central Committee. It is also essential to take firm action against all 
violations of discipline in the Party, army and government organizations. 

Education in discipline and legality must be intensified in Party and government 
organizations, in the army, in enterprises and schools as well as among the people as a 
whole. Immediate steps should be taken to work out rules of discipline where none exist 
and to improve existing ones where they are imperfect or irrational. Students in colleges 
and in secondary and primary schools, workers in offices and factories and soldiers 
should learn and observe the disciplinary rules of their respective units from the day they 
are registered or enrolled. Anarchism and violations of law and discipline must be 
resolutely opposed and checked. Otherwise it will be impossible for us to build socialism 
and modernize the country. Rational discipline does not conflict with socialist 
democracy. On the contrary, the two are dependent on each other. 



Further efforts should be made to correct the over-concentration of power. Systematic 
measures should be adopted to institute a retirement system for cadres and abolish what is 
virtually a system of life tenure for leading cadres. Appropriate arrangements should be 
made for the political status of retired cadres, for their material benefits and so on. 

In the past year the Central Committee has repeatedly emphasized that veteran cadres 
should make the selection and training of middle-aged and young cadres their first and 
most solemn duty. If we fail to do other work well, naturally we ought to make self- 
criticisms; but if we fail to do this work well, we will have made a mistake of historic 
magnitude. Our success in this area will ensure the smooth progress of our cause, and 
once again our veteran cadres will have made a great contribution to the Party and the 
people. I hope that they will all be most conscientious in this regard. 

While making sure that we select cadres who will keep to the socialist road, we must 
reduce their average age and raise the level of their education and professional 
competence. The cadre system should be gradually improved to ensure this. Of course, 
cadres must be revolutionary. This requirement takes precedence over considerations of 
age, education and professional competence. That is why we say adherence to the 
socialist road is the primary qualification for a cadre. This doesn't mean, however, that 
comrades who have political integrity and the ability to work, who know how to study 
and are in good health but who do not meet all three requirements concerning age, 
education and professional competence, should leave their posts. The age requirement 
should not be too rigid, if only because without our present contingent of cadres we could 
fulfil none of our tasks — including the task of reducing the average age of cadres. But we 
should recognize that these three requirements are of strategic importance. We should, 
after all, have cadres who are younger, better educated and professionally more 
competent. For historical and practical reasons, some of our comrades do not yet fully 
understand how important this is. Extensive publicity should be given to this need, and it 
should be explained accurately, patiently and meticulously. Meanwhile, appropriate 
measures should be taken to reduce the average age of our cadres and raise the level of 
their education and professional competence. 

At present many units are overstaffed. And during the current economic readjustment 
some enterprises may cease operation partly or wholly. The localities and units concerned 
should arrange for cadres and workers in such organizations to engage on a rotating basis 
in some kind of productive labour — tree planting, road repair, water conservancy and 
urban development projects or the building of sanitation facilities. What is more 
important, however, is to be serious about giving them planned and regular training so as 
to raise their political awareness and professional competence and, by examinations, to 
discover and select from among them persons of outstanding ability. Economic 
readjustment is a positive step in achieving modernization, and training programmes are 
one of its important aspects. We often talk about increasing our investment in intellectual 
resources. If we take this opportunity to give planned and regular training to large 
numbers of cadres and workers in order to raise their political, cultural, technical and 
managerial levels, we will be making a fruitful investment. We should get all cadres and 



workers to understand fully the great importance of these training programmes, which 
should gradually be developed into a regular system applicable to all. 

Good progress has been made in the reform of our economic structure and mechanisms. 
We should consolidate the gains already made, sum up our experience and analyse and 
solve new problems that have emerged in the process of reform. I fully agree with 
Comrades Chen Yun that for a time we should make readjustment our main job, with 
reform subordinate to readjustment so as to serve it and not impede it. The pace of reform 
should be slowed a little, but that doesn't mean a change in direction. 

The Third Plenary Session's decisions on agriculture and the instructions issued this year 
by the Central Committee concerning the further strengthening and improving of the 
responsibility system in agricultural production have produced good effects and should 
continue to be implemented in earnest. We should pay attention to solving problems that 
may arise in the process. In modernizing China's agriculture we should not copy the 
Western countries or countries like the Soviet Union but should proceed along our own 
path, in keeping with the specific conditions in socialist China. 

This year the number of industrial enterprises experimenting with extended decision- 
making powers has risen to more than 6,000, with an aggregate output value representing 
some 60 per cent of the national total. We have begun to find better ways of integrating 
the interests of the state, the enterprises and the production and office workers, 
stimulating the initiative of all. We shall not increase the number of enterprises engaged 
in such experiments next year, but rather concentrate on summing up their experience and 
consolidating and improving the results gained. 

It is absolutely necessary to have a high degree of centralism and unification during the 
readjustment. But we should continue to enforce those reform measures that have proved 
effective and should not backtrack. We should continue to stimulate the economy and to 
mobilize the initiative of the localities and enterprises, and of production and office 
workers as well. Meanwhile, we should guard against unthinking action, and particularly 
against the spontaneous and destructive tendency to seek gains for oneself or one's unit at 
the expense of the state and the people. In this connection, detailed laws and decrees 
should be drafted to prevent misinterpretation or abuse of decision-making power. 

We should continue to open new avenues of employment for as many jobless persons as 
possible, mainly through the different forms of collective and individual economy. And 
we should fully protect the legitimate interests of workers in collectively-owned 
enterprises and of those who are self-employed, improve management of industry and 
trade and prevent unlawful activities. 

We should continue to implement the decision to establish several special economic 
zones in Guangdong and Fujian provinces , but the steps taken and methods used should 
be subordinated to the current readjustment and the pace should perhaps be slowed 
somewhat. 



We should continue to carry out — on the premise of national independence and self- 
reliance — the series of economic policies for opening to the outside world that have 
already been adopted, and we should sum up our experience in order to improve them. 
We have paid dearly in this connection, because for many years we kept our door closed 
to the outside world and so we lacked experience. The main responsibility for that lies 
with the Central Committee, and I am also responsible personally. 

We should continue to carry out our foreign policy of opposing hegemonism and working 
to safeguard world peace. Its successful application will enable us to secure a peaceful 
environment in which to carry on our construction for a relatively long period. 

Fairly favourable conditions have been created for the present economic readjustment, 
thanks to the principles and policies implemented since the Third Plenary Session. So 
long as we persist in following these correct principles and policies, we are sure to 
achieve the readjustment goals. 

Ill 

Comrade Chen Yun has said that our economic work and our propaganda have an 
important bearing on whether our economic and political situation can steadily improve. 
He mentioned propaganda because he wants us to make a sober appraisal of our 
achievements and shortcomings in that work and to ensure that in future it is adapted to 
the requirements of the economic and political situation so that it helps rather than 
hinders the readjustment. 

In fact, our propaganda includes all the Party's ideological and political work. Economic 
readjustment is a very difficult and complex task. We have already discovered quite a 
few attendant problems and will certainly encounter others we cannot now foresee. To 
fulfil our task and ensure unity of thought and action among all Party members, we must 
try to strengthen and improve the ideological and political work of the Party. 

The discussion of the criterion for testing truth has done much to facilitate the successive 
political, economic and organizational reforms of recent years and has helped us to 
achieve notable successes on various fronts. Together with Party cadres at all levels, 
people working in the fields of theory, propaganda, journalism, education, literature and 
art have all achieved much in recent years and made great contributions to our cause. 
This should be fully recognized. For the most part our ideological work has been 
successful. That is the main thing to be said about it. 

Emancipating our minds means making our thinking conform to reality -- making the 
subjective conform to the objective — and that means seeking truth from facts. If we want 
to be practical and realistic in all our work, we must continue to emancipate our minds. It 
is obviously wrong to believe that we have done all we should in this regard, let alone 
that we have gone too far. 



We must point out that there are still serious shortcomings in our propaganda work. Chief 
among these is our failure to propagate the four cardinal principles actively, confidently 
and with good results, and to combat effectively the fallacious ideas opposed to them. 
Indeed, there is ideological confusion among some of our comrades. For example, some 
hold that adherence to the four cardinal principles hampers the emancipation of the mind, 
that the strengthening of the socialist legal system hinders socialist democracy, and that 
well-founded criticism of wrong ideas is at variance with the policy of ""letting a hundred 
flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" . 

Of course, there are definite social and historical reasons for this ideological confusion, 
and it cannot be dealt with in a crude way. But that doesn't mean that it should be allowed 
to continue. It should be cleared up practically and effectively. There is no denying that 
such confusion has provided favourable conditions for those who are always looking for 
a chance to stir up trouble. What is more serious is that, in our newspapers and magazines 
and inside the Party, very few people are bold enough to wage firm struggle against the 
erroneous views and ideological trends I have referred to, even when these are clearly in 
flagrant opposition to Party leadership and to socialism. Recently, people associated with 
illegal organizations have been especially active. They have seized on all kinds of 
pretexts to make unrestrained anti-Party and anti-socialist statements. These are danger 
signals that should put the whole Party, all our youth and the entire people on the alert. 

It has become extremely important for the whole Party to strengthen ideological and 
political work and improve propaganda, because this will ensure that the current 
readjustment is carried out smoothly and that political stability and unity are 
consolidated. 

Improving leadership by the Party means, primarily, strengthening our ideological and 
political work. The Central Committee holds that in principle Party organizations at all 
levels should leave as much as possible of the vast amount of routine administrative and 
professional work to government and professional units. Comrades in leading Party 
organs, in addition to seeing that the Party's general and specific policies are carried out 
and deciding on the assignment of important cadres, should devote most of their time and 
energy to ideological and political work, to mass work and to helping solve problems 
directly related to people. If all this cannot be fully realized at the present time, we must 
at least give ideological and political work an important place. Otherwise, the Party's 
leadership cannot be improved or strengthened. 

In order to enhance this work, it is important to give proper attention to the following: 

In our appraisal of the Party's record since the founding of the People's Republic, the 
tremendous achievements of the past 3 1 years must be fully affirmed. Shortcomings and 
mistakes should be seriously criticized, but we must never paint a picture that is all black. 
Even when it comes to such serious mistakes as the ""Cultural Revolution", which was 
exploited by counter-revolutionary cliques, the historical episode as a whole should not 
be summarily dismissed as ""counter-revolutionary". We must unswervingly adhere to 
this position of seeking truth from facts. 



Similarly, in our appraisal of Comrade Mao Zedong we should regard his contributions as 
primary and his mistakes as secondary. This is in accord with the facts, and it cannot be 
doubted or denied. And his mistakes absolutely cannot be attributed to his personal 
character. To do that is non-Marxist and at variance with historical materialism. 
Obviously, to exaggerate under the sway of emotion Comrade Mao's mistakes can only 
mar the image of our Party and country, impair the prestige of the Party and the socialist 
system and undermine the unity of the Party, the army and our people of all nationalities. 

Mao Zedong Thought, which has been proved correct through practice, remains our 
guiding ideology. We must adhere to it and develop it in the light of specific conditions, 
and we must disseminate it with full confidence, permitting no slackening of effort. Mao 
Zedong Thought should be differentiated from Comrade Mao's mistakes in his later years 
so that there is no confusion. Of course, this does not mean that in the evening of his life 
Comrade Mao never put forth any correct ideas. 

Unhealthy tendencies do exist within the Party and a small number of leading cadres have 
exploited their positions to gain personal privileges. The Central Committee is 
determined to act on problems such as these and has started to solve them step by step. 
We should affirm that newspapers can play a useful role by publishing valid criticisms, 
but we must take care not to regard certain isolated phenomena as universal or to 
exaggerate limited problems and make them appear to be general ones. It is definitely 
untrue that all or the majority of our Party members have succumbed to unhealthy 
tendencies or that all or the majority of our leading cadres seek personal privilege. There 
is absolutely no ""class of bureaucrats". It is impossible for such a class to exist in our 
country. In our propaganda, we should avoid creating any false impressions. 

The sense of organization and discipline of all Party members should be strengthened 
through ideological and political work. As required by the Party Constitution, the Party's 
organizations at all levels and all members should act in conformity with decisions taken 
by higher organizations and, in particular, identify themselves politically with the Central 
Committee. This is of special importance now. The Party should take disciplinary 
measures against anyone violating this principle, and this should be the focus of its 
discipline inspection work at present. 

We should educate all Party members so that they will act selflessly, put overall interests 
first, work hard, perform their official duties honestly and uphold communist ideas and 
morality. The socialist China we are building should have a civilization with a high 
cultural and ideological level as well as a high material level. When I speak of a 
civilization with a high cultural and ideological level, I refer not only to education, 
science and culture (which are of course indispensable) but also to communist thinking, 
ideals, beliefs, morality and discipline, as well as a revolutionary stand and revolutionary 
principles, comradely relations among people, and so on. Acquiring and cultivating a 
revolutionary spirit does not necessarily require a high level of development materially or 
a very high level of education. Haven't we always worked for the revolution by 
employing the scientific theory of Marxism and maintaining a revolutionary spirit? From 
the Yan'an days to the founding of New China, was it not this precious revolutionary 



spirit — in addition to a correct political orientation -- that enabled us to win the support 
of the entire Chinese people and of foreign friends? How can we build socialism without 
a high cultural and ideological level, without communist thinking and morality? The 
more firmly the Party and government carry out the policies of reforming the economy 
and opening to the outside world, the more must the Party members, and senior leading 
cadres in particular, cherish communist ideology and morality and act according to them. 
How can we educate the younger generation and lead our country and people in building 
socialism if we ourselves are unarmed ideologically? As far back as the period of the 
new-democratic revolution, we took communist ideology as a guide in all our work, 
calling on Party members and other progressive people to act and speak within the 
bounds of communist morality, commending and trying to spread the spirit of such 
slogans as ""Serve the people whole-heartedly", ""The individual is subordinate to the 
organization", ""Be selfless", ""Utter devotion to others without any thought of self, and 
""Fear neither hardship nor death". We have now entered the socialist period, yet some 
people have had the audacity to criticize these high-minded revolutionary slogans. What 
is worse, this preposterous criticism, which should have been rejected, has found 
sympathy and support among some people in our own ranks. How can a Communist 
imbued with Party and revolutionary spirit tolerate such things? 

Comrade Mao Zedong said that a man needs to have some revolutionary spirit. During 
the long years of revolutionary war our political orientation was correct and we based our 
actions on analyses of the actual situation. We promoted the revolutionary spirit, which 
inspires people to work tirelessly, observe strict discipline, make sacrifices, act selflessly 
and put the interests of others first, the spirit that gives people revolutionary optimism 
and the determination to overwhelm all enemies and surmount all difficulties in order to 
win victory. And we did win great victories. In our effort to build socialism and achieve 
the four modernizations under the correct leadership of the Central Committee, we need 
to encourage this same revolutionary spirit. A Party member who lacks this spirit is not 
fit to be a Communist. But that is not all: we must call on members of the Party to foster 
this spirit among all our people, particularly our young people, through exemplary deeds, 
so that it becomes the main pillar of a culturally and ideologically advanced civilization 
in the People's Republic of China. Our country will then be looked up to by all 
revolutionary- and progressive-minded people in the world and admired by all who feel 
frustrated and suffer from spiritual emptiness for lack of purpose in their lives. 

We must work hard to strengthen ties between the Party's organizations and its members 
on the one hand and the masses on the other. We should regularly and truthfully inform 
the people about our country's situation, including the difficulties we face and the policies 
and activities of the Party. We must strongly criticize and correct errors such as being 
divorced from the masses and being indifferent to their welfare. The masses are the 
source of our strength and the mass viewpoint and the mass line are our cherished 
traditions. The Party's organizations, its rank-and-file members and cadres must identify 
with the masses and never stand against them. Any Party organization that deplorably 
loses touch with the masses and doesn't mend its ways is forfeiting the source of its 
strength and will invariably fail and be rejected by the people. Party comrades, cadres at 



different levels and particularly leading cadres must always bear this in mind and 
measure all their words and deeds against this criterion. 

We must do what we can to help the masses overcome every solvable problem. When 
difficulties cannot be resolved for the time being, we should explain the reasons patiently 
and honestly. 

We must continue to criticize and oppose surviving feudal influences on ideology and 
politics both inside and outside the Party, and we must continue to formulate and improve 
laws and regulations based on socialist principles in order to eliminate those influences. 
At the same time, we should criticize and oppose the tendency to worship capitalism and 
to advocate bourgeois liberalization. We should criticize and oppose the decadent 
bourgeois ideas of doing everything solely for profit, seeking advantage at the expense of 
others and always putting money first. We should criticize and oppose anarchism and 
ultra-individualism. We shall continue to promote exchanges with friendly Western 
countries and to learn whatever is useful to us from capitalist countries. But we must 
carry this struggle in the ideological and political spheres through to the end. We must 
encourage patriotism and a sense of national dignity and self-confidence. Otherwise we 
will not be able to build socialism but instead will ourselves be corrupted by capitalist 
influences. 

Education in politics, current affairs and ideology, including moral values and world 
outlook, should be strengthened in schools at all levels. 

We must endeavour to strengthen the work of the trade unions, the women's federations, 
the Youth League, the Young Pioneers and the student associations. We must see to it 
that our teenagers and other young people are imbued with high ideals and moral 
integrity, that they are armed with knowledge, are physically fit and determined to make 
contributions to our people, to our country and mankind. We must make sure that from 
childhood on they cultivate good habits such as respecting discipline, observing good 
manners and safeguarding the public interest. 

We should increase the confidence of all Party comrades in our ability to make China a 
powerful modern socialist country. Through the exemplary deeds of Party members at 
different posts we should influence the masses and draw them still nearer to us so that we 
can close ranks, inspire revolutionary enthusiasm, labour with single-minded devotion, 
and advance steadily towards our great goal. We must revive, enrich and propagate the 
spirit of Yan'an, the spirit of the early post-Liberation days, the spirit that enabled us to 
overcome our difficulties in the early 1960s. But we ourselves must be fully confident 
before we can educate the masses, unite with them and raise their confidence. 

IV 

The consolidation of political stability and unity is crucial to the success of the current 
economic readjustment. If stability and unity are disrupted, readjustment will be out of 
the question. 



It has come to our attention that in some places a handful of trouble-makers are using 
methods employed during the 'Cultural Revolution" to carry on agitation and create 
disturbances; some are even clamouring for a second ""Cultural Revolution". A few 
young people in the frontier regions have been influenced by bad elements and have 
made trouble. A few ringleaders who control illegal organizations and publications are 
working hand in glove with each other. Anti-Party and anti-socialist statements have been 
published, reactionary leaflets have been distributed and political rumours have been 
spread. Remnants of the Gang of Four are still active. Serious crimes such as homicide, 
arson, dynamiting, robbery, burglary and rape (including gang rape) are being committed. 
Other criminal activities — smuggling, tax evasion, speculation and profiteering, the 
offering and taking of bribes, embezzlement and circumvention of law — have increased. 
There have also been other serious violations of law and discipline, such as divulging and 
trading in state secrets, wilfully giving out excessive bonuses in defiance of regulations, 
and illegally raising prices and disrupting the market. We must never cease to be on the 
alert against all such practices. Some are the acts of counter-revolutionaries, others are 
counter-attacks by remnants of the Lin Biao clique and the Gang of Four, some are 
sabotage by people who want chaos in the country, others are carried out by surviving 
elements of the exploiting classes, and still others stem from serious corrosion by feudal 
or capitalist ideas and corresponding life-styles. Depending on their nature, some may be 
categorized as contradictions between ourselves and the enemy, while others are a form 
of class struggle reflected, in varying degrees, among the people. This shows us that 
although class struggle is no longer the principal contradiction in our society, it still exists 
and cannot be neglected. If these problems — which differ in nature — are not handled 
promptly and unhesitatingly as required in each individual case but instead are allowed to 
spread and then converge, our stability and unity will be seriously undermined. Some of 
our comrades do not yet understand the gravity of these problems and fail to deal with 
them resolutely. Sometimes they even ignore them. 

Therefore, we must strengthen the state apparatus of the people's democratic dictatorship. 
We must attack and split up those forces which are inimical to political stability and 
unity, and especially the remnants of the Lin Biao and Jiang Qing counter-revolutionary 
cliques. We must take strong action to curb or prevent every kind of criminal activity. 

It is the universal desire of our people to consolidate and develop political stability and 
unity. Sound ideological and political work is needed to mobilize and organize the 
masses to carry out, energetically and voluntarily, an effective struggle against all forces 
hostile to political stability and unity. We should not mount a political movement to 
accomplish this, as we have done in the past. We should abide by the principles of 
socialist legality. To this end, I suggest that in addition to the relevant inner-Party 
instructions, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State 
Council should formulate and promulgate appropriate regulations and decrees. If 
accompanied by Party-wide ideological and political work, propaganda through the mass 
media and education in the schools, these regulations and decrees can form a common 
code of conduct for the whole Party, the army and the people. This will bring about a 
gradual lessening of the disorder now obtaining in some places. 



To ensure stability and unity, I suggest that state organizations adopt appropriate laws 
and decrees calling for mediation in order to avoid strikes by workers or students. These 
documents should also rule out marches and demonstrations unless they are held by 
permission and at a designated time and place, forbid different units and localities from 
clubbing together for harmful purposes, and proscribe the activities of illegal 
organizations and the printing and distribution of illegal publications. 

This is a political struggle, but it must be carried out within the framework of the law. It 
should be conducted actively but there must be sufficient preparation, and the measures 
adopted must be well-considered and within proper limits. Strong action should be taken 
— and repeated where necessary — against serious sabotage. In fighting anti-Party and 
anti-socialist forces and miscellaneous criminals all Party members and cadres should act 
according to the Constitution and within the bounds of laws and decrees. They should 
learn to use legal means (including economic penalties such as fines and heavy taxation). 
This is a new method that we must learn as quickly as possible in order to develop 
socialist democracy and improve the socialist legal system. 

Great effort should be made to strengthen the public security, procuratorial and judicial 
departments, improve their work and enhance the political quality and professional 
competence of their personnel. 

A number of good workers and cadres in the field of capital construction and a number of 
ex-servicemen should be trained to reinforce the public security, procuratorial and 
judicial departments. 

After careful consideration and arrangements and with approval through specific 
procedures, martial law can be proclaimed if really necessary in certain places where 
serious disturbances have occurred. Specially trained troops may then be called in to 
restore and maintain public order and order in production and other work. The necessary 
legal training should be given to all officers and men. 

All Party committees should strengthen their leadership and organize the units concerned 
to work out a comprehensive plan for ensuring political stability and unity and take 
resolute but appropriate measures to implement it, mobilizing people in all sectors. 

Some may argue that by doing this we are trying to ''tighten up" instead of continuing to 
''loosen up", that we will be exercising dictatorship without democracy, and that the 
policies laid down by the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee are 
no longer operable. These views are altogether wrong. The Central Committee stated 
long ago that we will never "loosen up" with regard to the activities of counter- 
revolutionaries, anti-Party and anti-socialist elements and criminals, that we will always 
be against letting them act with impunity. Ever since the founding of the People's 
Republic — with the exception of the "Cultural Revolution" which was a decade of 
domestic turmoil — we have persisted in exercising dictatorship over all kinds of hostile 
forces, counter-revolutionaries, and criminals who seriously jeopardize public order. We 
have never shown them any mercy. 



This brings us to the question of how to understand and exercise the people's democratic 
dictatorship. Comrade Mao Zedong once said that people's democratic dictatorship means 
the combination of democracy among the people with dictatorship over the reactionaries. 
This, in essence, is the dictatorship of the proletariat. But in our country the term 
''people's democratic dictatorship" is more suited to the reality. The democratic rights of 
the people were trampled upon when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were in power. 
Since the downfall of the Gang of Four, and especially since the Third Plenary Session of 
the Eleventh Central Committee, we have been endeavouring to promote democracy. But 
much remains to be done and we should continue our efforts. As I mentioned earlier, we 
should be firm in systematically pushing forward the reform of our various political and 
economic systems. The general objective of these reforms is to ensure democracy and 
develop it both inside the Party and among the people. 

While persisting in our effort to develop socialist democracy, we call on all our Party 
members and all our people to maintain strict vigilance against anti-Party, anti-socialist 
and criminal activities and to take firm action against them. Otherwise, not only will it be 
well-nigh impossible to carry out the economic readjustment, but the people's democratic 
rights — even their right to survival — will be endangered. If in some places criminals are 
allowed to make trouble with impunity, the democratic rights of the great majority there 
will be violated once again, just as they were during the ''Cultural Revolution". If that 
happened, it would be impossible to maintain, much less to consolidate and develop, 
nationwide stability, unity and liveliness. The excellent political and economic situation 
we have already created — a situation rarely equalled since the founding of the People's 
Republic — would be jeopardized. Whatever improvements we have achieved in the 
people's standard of living would be forfeited. The sufferings inflicted upon the great 
majority of the people, Party members and cadres during the "Cultural Revolution" are 
still fresh in our memory. How can we allow those "rebels" who so closely followed Lin 
Biao and the Gang of Four, or the handful of ringleaders who have persisted in following 
their evil course, to launch a second "Cultural Revolution"? We must never let them have 
their way in a single locality, department or unit, let alone in the country as a whole. The 
fact is, however, that they are already making trouble in a few units and localities, and 
people there are very indignant. This being so, how can we sit back and decline to take 
strong action to protect the people's interests? 

Marxist theory and objective reality have taught us again and again that only when the 
people, who form the overwhelming majority, enjoy a high degree of democracy can 
dictatorship be effectively exercised over the tiny minority who are our enemies. We 
have also learned that only when dictatorship is exercised over this tiny hostile minority 
can the democratic rights of the overwhelming majority — of all the people — be fully 
guaranteed. Under the present circumstances, therefore, it is in complete conformity with 
the desire of the people and the needs of socialist modernization to use the repressive 
power of the state apparatus to attack the counter-revolutionary saboteurs, anti-Party and 
anti-socialist elements and criminals guilty of serious offences and to split their ranks in 
the interests of social stability. 



To sum up, our purpose in further readjusting the economy and in achieving greater 
political stability is to implement the consistent policies laid down since the Third 
Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee. By carrying out these policies we 
will surely achieve victory for our cause. 

(Speech at a Central Working Conference.) 

OUR PRINCIPLED POSITION ON THE 
DEVELOPMENT OF SINO-U.S. RELATIONS 

January 4, 1981 



We hope that after assuming the presidency, Mr. Ronald Reagan will make new 
contributions to the development of Sino-U.S. relations. It was the Republican Party that 
turned a new page in Sino-U.S. relations during the administration of Mr. Richard Nixon 
and Henry Kissinger . We will always remember it was Mr. Nixon who was determined to 
improve Sino-U.S. relations during his presidency. When Jimmy Carter served as 
President, Sino-U.S. relations witnessed new development. However, in the latter period 
of President Carter's term, there was the Taiwan Relations Act . On our part, we hope that 
Sino-U.S. relations will continue to develop. Frankly speaking, however, we were really 
disturbed by certain statements Mr. Reagan made in his election platform. When George 
Bush visited China, we said to him that we understood that statements made in election 
campaigns in his country might not necessarily be put into practice and that we would 
pay close attention to what actions Mr. Reagan takes after assuming office. When China 
and the United States established diplomatic relations in 1979, they settled the main 
question, the Taiwan question, and the United States recognized Taiwan as part of China. 
Only by settling this question could the two countries establish new relations and 
continue to develop them. The Taiwan question should be considered an issue of the past, 
but now it has been brought up again. We asked Mr. Bush to pass on to Mr. Reagan our 
clear-cut position on this question. 

We have noticed that the American media and the statements of some people convey four 
viewpoints concerning this question. These viewpoints, if not clarified, are likely to cause 
regression in Sino-U.S. relations. 

According to the first viewpoint, China is a very weak and poor country and has 
backward equipment, so it is a country that is of little importance and not worth a great 
deal of attention. This is by no means a minor issue, but a matter of judgment about the 
world's balance of power. We have always admitted that we are a weak and poor country. 
Nevertheless, China has its own advantages, that is, a vast territory and a large 
population. However, it is true that China is poor and has backward equipment. But we 
do have a sober estimate of our strength. We enjoy the advantages of being a vast country 
with a large population and we refuse to be misled by fallacies. The Chinese people have 
always acted in accordance with their own views. It is clear to all that the People's 
Republic of China was built through self-reliance. Even in times of great difficulty, we 



dared to face reality and confronted powerful forces with our limited strength. Poor and 
weak as it may be, China dares to face reality to handle its own affairs. Therefore, those 
who misjudge China's position in world politics will not have a correct international 
strategy. 

According to the second viewpoint, China now looks to the United States for help, but 
not vice versa. Such a view has been expressed in the U.S. media on more than one 
occasion. Over the past two years, we did something undesirable, thereby causing some 
people's misconception. Due to a lack of proper control, quite a few Chinese delegations 
went to the United States. Worse still, some members of the delegations were imprudent 
in their words and deeds. Visits are a good rather than a bad thing, but they have created a 
false impression among some people that China must look to others for help. This is true 
not only in the United States but probably in European countries as well. From now on, 
we shall control the number of delegations sent abroad. Of course, this does not mean 
that there will be no more normal exchanges. Recently, we have been conducting 
economic readjustment. The fact that we published the amount of our deficits 
demonstrates that we still have some sort of self-confidence. Through readjustment, we 
can balance revenue with expenditure this year. Our Japanese friends say they do not 
believe that a balance between revenue and expenditure can be achieved by means of 
control. We, however, shall manage to do so. Furthermore, we affirm that in its drive for 
modernization, China must adhere to the principle of self-reliance. It is true that China is 
poor, but it has a strong point: it is relatively highly capable of surviving without outside 
help. Moreover, the Chinese are accustomed to being poor. The most typical example is 
that of the days of Yan'an when we did not have adequate food or clothing. We survived 
under extremely difficult circumstances in the anti-Japanese base areas at that time. 
Today, even if all connections with other countries were severed, China would continue 
to exist. Even if major turmoil and unexpected changes occurred in the world, China 
would endure. Therefore, the judgment that China has to look to others for help will lead 
to erroneous policy decisions. 

According to the third viewpoint, if the U.S. government adopts a hard-line policy 
towards the Soviet Union, China must in turn set aside questions such as the one 
concerning Taiwan. However, we simply cannot and will not do that. Should this really 
be the case, that is, should the Taiwan question force a regression in Sino-U.S. relations, 
China will definitely not give way. Instead, China will certainly make an appropriate 
response. We maintain that stagnation in Sino-U.S. relations is undesirable and that 
regression is even more undesirable. However, if something forces a regression in 
relations, we cannot but face reality squarely. As to what degree relations may regress, 
that depends on the cause of the regression. While it is improper to dwell too much upon 
this matter, we must be clear that if the Taiwan question causes a regression in Sino-U.S. 
relations, China cannot but face reality and take an approach quite contrary to what some 
Americans have declared. China will not simply set aside the Taiwan question out of 
consideration of its strategy against the Soviet Union. 

Recently, an event occurred in the Netherlands, reportedly concerning a Dutch company 
which was prepared to sign a contract with Taiwan to manufacture two submarines. The 



Dutch government intervened in order to stop this. However, some members of the Dutch 
government were in favour of this business deal and had support from Dutch citizens. We 
are currently focusing seriously on this matter. If the Netherlands refuses to alter its 
decision, Sino-Dutch relations will definitely suffer a setback. Of course, we shall make 
some effort in the hope that the Netherlands will change its position, because we are 
aware that the Dutch parliament adopted the decision by only a narrow majority. 
Therefore, it is not completely impossible to reverse it. If our efforts fail, we shall then 
adopt further measures. We hope similar events will not occur between China and the 
United States. Since Sino-U.S. and Sino-Japanese relations were normalized after settling 
the issue of recognizing Taiwan as part of China's territory, this remains the key issue 
determining whether or not Sino-U.S. relations, Sino-Japanese relations and China's ties 
with other countries will continue to develop. 

We have noted that some people say that Mr. Reagan will send a private representative to 
Taiwan. Today I shall put it frankly that if this does take place, we shall not interpret this 
as a matter of sending a private representative, but rather as the establishment of a formal 
intergovernmental relationship. If this or similar events occur, we shall definitely 
consider it a policy decision of the U.S. government, that it has deviated from the 
principles as defined in the Communique on the Establishment of Sino-U.S. Diplomatic 
Relations and the Shanghai Communique. The nature of such events will mean not only a 
stagnation but also a regression in Sino-U.S. relations. 

According to the fourth viewpoint, the ideology the Chinese government follows is 
designed to destroy governments such as that of the United States. This concept is neither 
of the 1970s nor of the 1980s, but rather a viewpoint prevalent prior to the 1960s. 

I reiterate that we sincerely hope Sino-U.S. relations will not stagnate, but will continue 
to develop. We pay close attention to the speeches given by a President both during the 
election campaign and prior to his assumption of office, and we formulate a certain 
understanding according to these speeches. However, we shall attach great importance to 
the actions taken by a new administration after it assumes office. What I have just said 
represents the official position of the Chinese government. I deem it highly important and 
necessary to let our American friends clearly understand the position of the Chinese 
government. 

(Excerpt from a talk with Theodore Fulton Stevens, a Republican and assistant leader of 
the U.S. Senate, and Anna Chennault, Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Export 
Committee.) 

ON OPPOSING WRONG IDEOLOGICAL TENDENCIES 

March 27, 1981 



First, the core of our current work should be implementing the guidelines laid down by 
the Central Working Conference of December 1980. Our work should be carried out in 



accordance with the views expressed at that conference by the four comrades of the 
Standing Committee of the Political Bureau , with the decisions of the Central Committee 
on the policies for current press and radio publicity, and with its directives on the 
handling of illegal publications and organizations and related problems. 

Second, we should intensify propaganda and education concerning adherence to the Four 
Cardinal Principles, and write more articles on the subject. We should criticize wrong 
ideologies whether they are "Xeft" or Right. 

Emancipation of the mind, too, means opposing both 'Xeft" and Right ideologies. The 
call by the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee for emancipating 
our minds was directed at the "" two whatevers ", and the emphasis was on correcting 
""Left" errors. Later a Right deviation emerged that must, of course, also be corrected. 

The 1980 Central Working Conference made all this clear. The point now is to do more 
to publicize the necessity of adhering to the Four Cardinal Principles. We should not 
overlook the wrong, ""Left" ideology, for it is deep-rooted. Stress should be put on 
rectifying any ""Left" tendency in our guiding ideology, but that is not enough. We must 
at the same time correct the Right tendency. 

Comrade Huang Kecheng said that we should oppose ""Left" ideology wherever it exists 
and also oppose Right ideology. I agree. And we should make a concrete analysis of what 
is ""Left" and of what is Right. 

Jiefangjun Bao (Liberation Army Daily) is run quite well, and I hope the comrades 
concerned will continue their efforts. More articles should be written to explain, both 
ideologically and theoretically, the importance of adhering to the Four Cardinal 
Principles. Opposition to these principles and negation of them come from both the 
""Left" and the Right, and we should take both into consideration when writing articles. 

Third, we have always said that it is necessary to stick to the principles of seeking truth 
from facts, integrating theory with practice and proceeding from reality in all things. 

In drafting the ""Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the 
Founding of the People's Republic of China", we should seek truth from facts and 
conscientiously draw lessons from the ""Left" mistakes. As regards the anti-Rightist 
struggle of 1957, 1 have said more than once that there really were some persons then 
who made vicious attacks, but that we for our part over-reacted and unduly broadened the 
scope of the struggle. Of course, it cannot be said that all those who were criticized were 
completely correct, or that they had made no mistakes. In my opinion the anti-Rightist 
struggle can still be summed up as follows: It was necessary, but it was broadened too 
much. When the Great Leap Forward started, was there anyone who opposed it? But 
later, some comrades, including Comrade Mao Zedong himself, found that there was 
something wrong with it. The two meetings Comrade Mao convened in Zhengzhou were 
precisely for the purpose of rectifying the ""Left" errors in the Great Leap Forward. 
During the 17 years preceding the ""cultural revolution" our work, in the main, proceeded 



along a correct path, though there were twists and turns and mistakes. Comrade Mao 
Zedong should not be held solely responsible for everything; we ourselves should share 
the responsibility. We should sum up historical experience and draw the necessary 
lessons in accordance with the principle of seeking truth from facts. 

To solve ideological problems in the army, we also need to seek truth from facts. 
Ideological work should be carried out according to the particular circumstances of each 
unit and each individual. 

Fourth, we should not overlook the lingering "Xeft" influence in the army. Influenced by 
'"Left" ideology, quite a number of people between 30 and 40 tend to look at things from 
a 'Xeft" angle. Some army cadres, including a number with long service behind them, 
haven't understood the policies applied since the Third Plenary Session of the Central 
Committee, which they regard as capitalist. This is mainly because they have been 
influenced by '"Left" ideology. However, it cannot be said that the army is free from the 
influence of decadent bourgeois ideas. Some people, for example, welcome decadent 
music and approve of certain undesirable forms of social behaviour. 

As for the ''three supports and two military's", I suggest you give them some study. It's 
no good to say only one thing about them, that is, to simply heap praise on them. We 
must say two things. First, that at the time it was correct for the army to go to the civilian 
units and deal with the situations there, which were otherwise uncontrollable. So the 
''three supports and two military's" did prove useful. But second, they also did great harm 
to the army, for in their wake they brought many bad things that greatly detracted from 
the army's prestige. Among other things, they were responsible for much of the 
factionalism and some "Left" notions and practices. 

In recent years, the army has done a lot of educational work. It has paid great attention to 
education concerning line, principles and policies, which has led to a positive change in 
the cadres' thinking. The overwhelming majority of our cadres are good. We have only to 
do some educational work to change their thinking for the better. And we should do 
more. 

Fifth, in rectifying "Left" and Right tendencies, we should not arbitrarily raise the matter 
to the level of a principle or launch a movement and have everyone make a self-criticism. 
If everyone had to do so, we would soon have another movement on our hands. Of 
course, the fact that we aren't going to launch a movement doesn't mean that our political 
work can be without orientation or that we don't need to build momentum behind our 
effort. 

We will still need a rectification campaign at the proper time. Without it some problems 
may be difficult to solve. 

Sixth, Comrade Chen Yun suggested that we encourage study -- mainly of philosophy 
and such philosophical works of Comrade Mao Zedong's as "On Practice", "On 
Contradiction", "Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War", "Problems of 



Strategy in Guerrilla War Against Japan" and ''On Protracted War". That's a fine 
suggestion. I think we should launch a movement to study the works of Marx, Lenin and 
Comrade Mao Zedong. This study should be integrated with study of the history of the 
Chinese revolution so as to help people understand how the Party led the revolution, how 
Comrade Mao contributed to it and how it succeeded. After the adoption of the 
''Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the 
People's Republicof China", we should organize people to study it carefully and then 
encourage them to do further reading in books. 

Comrade Chen Yun said that when he came back to Yan'an from Moscow at the initial 
stage of the War of Resistance Against Japan [1937-45], Comrade Mao Zedong advised 
him on three occasions to study philosophy, emphasizing in particular the need to seek 
truth from facts. Comrade Chen Yun said he benefited greatly from that study. Today we 
have some people who express an opinion on a question after only a cursory examination. 
The reason for this is that they are not well grounded in either theory or practice. Only 
when we have become well grounded in both will we really be able to correct our 
mistakes, both "Left" and Right. The reason the rectification movement back in the 
Yan'an days was directed against subjectivism, sectarianism and stereotyped Party 
writing was that it aimed to solve fundamental problems rather than side issues. 

Seventh, there is one thing we have done very well recently, and that is to emphasize the 
importance of building a civilization with a high cultural and ideological level. This 
educational work, which has already proved so fruitful, should continue. The slogan of 
" four haves, three stresses and two defy's " raised by the General Political Department is 
very good. It should be applied in the army and widely disseminated. 

Eighth, it is necessary to criticize the film script Unrequited Love because the issue 
involved is the upholding of the Four Cardinal Principles. Of course, when engaging in 
criticism we should present facts, reason things out and guard against being one-sided. 

(Summary of a talk with leading comrades of the General Political Department of the 
Chinese People's Liberation Army.) 

CLOSING SPEECH AT THE SIXTH PLENARY SESSION 

OF THE ELEVENTH CENTRAL COMMITTEE 

OF THE CPC 

June 29, 1981 



I believe that this plenary session has settled two questions very well indeed. First, it has 
adopted the "Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the 
Founding of the People's Republic of China", which really lives up to our original 
requirements. It will be immensely important in unifying thinking inside the Party. Of 
course, as Comrade Hu Yaobang said, it will still take another year's work to really 
achieve that unity. But in any event we have a unified standard that from now on can 



serve as a guide to every Party member when making statements. Even if one has not yet 
straightened out his own thinking in this respect, in deference to organizational discipline 
he should take the resolution as a guide. We believe that it will stand the test of history. 

The second question concerns personnel. At this session, we have elected Comrade Hu 
Yaobang Chairman of the Central Committee, and he has just made a brief speech that I 
think proves our choice was correct. And Comrade Zhao Ziyang has also been promoted 
to a higher position in the Party. 

So, in settling these two important questions, the session has taken major policy decisions 
and made major choices. We believe that both decisions and choices are correct. Hence, 
our session is of great significance. This is clear from our communique. We have 
definitely accomplished our mission. 

Have you anything more to say. Comrades? If not, let us declare that the Sixth Plenary 
Session of the Eleventh Central Committee has successfully completed its work. 

THE PRIMARY TASK OF VETERAN CADRES IS TO 

SELECT YOUNG AND MIDDLE-AGED 

CADRES FOR PROMOTION 

July 2, 1981 



My original intention in coming today was only to listen to what our comrades had to 
say. But the question of selecting and training young and middle-aged cadres is extremely 
important, so I have decided to say a few words about it myself. We constantly stress that 
it is a question of strategic importance on which the very destiny of our Party depends. It 
has now become extremely urgent to resolve this issue. If we don't resolve it within three 
to five years, we shall be faced with catastrophe. Foreigners have described our recent 
Sixth Plenary Session of the Central Committee as having arranged for the transfer of 
leadership and settled the question of top personnel without friction, and they have 
praised us for having dealt with these matters in an orderly way. Nevertheless, if we don't 
solve the problem of succession on a nationwide scale within three to five years, chaos 
may ensue. Some veteran cadres are no longer with us and others are no longer able to 
work, while new cadres cannot be promoted, or if they are, there is always some kind of 
objection. Many veteran cadres think the only good cadres are those who support them, 
and this seems to be a widespread phenomenon in the Party. To put it bluntly, the 
question of whether people are appointed on their merits or by favouritism has not been 
settled satisfactorily. I don't mean that this applies to all veteran comrades, but it does 
apply to a considerable number. I suggest we learn from Comrade Liu Lanbo , who was 
mentioned at this meeting today. He personally recommended a younger comrade to 
succeed him as Minister of Electric Power. Why have you all been asked to stay on at the 
end of the Sixth Plenary Session for this two-day meeting to discuss Comrade Chen 
Yun's proposals for promoting and training young and middle-aged cadres and for 
retiring old ones? It's because this question is very urgent, very important. Comrades 



from the army may recall that I brought up the question of lowering the average age of 
army cadres at a conference on political work convened in 1964 . That was 17 or 18 years 
ago. Although the question was not yet very urgent then, it had already surfaced. I also 
said at that conference that wisdom increases with age. But that was in the early sixties, 
and the situation today is completely different. In short, we have become more and more 
aware of the urgency of the matter. Therefore, the Central Committee has recently been 
considering the establishment of two central commissions under the new [Twelfth] 
Central Committee, an advisory commission and a commission for discipline inspection, 
to absorb a number of veteran comrades. The members of the Central Committee would 
be somewhat younger, which would be good for the future. We veteran comrades should 
have an enlightened attitude and take the lead in solving this major problem of reducing 
the cadres' average age. Otherwise, it will be impossible to solve. If the veteran comrades 
don't take the lead, the others will hesitate to select younger cadres. And even if you issue 
orders that younger cadres are to be selected, there is no certainty that the right persons 
will be chosen, for some comrades will still be considering which persons support them 
personally. We must be cautious, because the hard-core elements of the Gang of Four and 
those who engaged in beating, smashing and looting during the ""cultural revolution" are 
clever and opportunistic, and they know how to brag about themselves and flatter other 
people. Our veteran comrades are liable to be taken in by them. Therefore, the crux of the 
matter is that veterans should take the lead, really be selfless and keep the overall 
situation in mind. 

After the Central Working Conference last December, Comrade Chen Yun put this 
question more sharply than before. He stated it well, and I agree with him. We had been 
rather timid at first, but on that occasion he suggested that it was not scores or hundreds 
of young and middle-aged cadres who should be selected for promotion but thousands 
and tens of thousands. And what he really meant was ""tens of thousands" — the 
""thousands" was just thrown in for rhetorical effect. Some of those we select now will be 
removed from office when it becomes clear that they are not the right choices. For the 
present we may begin by selecting, say, 50,000. They should be recruited into the leading 
bodies after three to five, or perhaps seven to eight, years of work. That is, they will be 
prepared as successors to comrades now working at the provincial, municipal and 
ministerial levels (or at corresponding levels in large factories, mines and other 
enterprises), and the outstanding ones should be brought into the central organizations. 
Those who are now around 40 will then be 47 or 48 — not so young any more. If they are 
now around 50, they will be pushing 60. 1 am afraid that only a few comrades present 
here today are still young; generally speaking, all of us must be at least 60, and the great 
majority over 60. What about seven to eight years from now, when we are all close to 70 
or even older? You can see that this is a matter we have to take very seriously. 

Are the persons we need available? In my opinion, we should be able to find one or two 
hundred thousand. The question is whether we can make up our minds to look for them, 
whether we are ready to make a proper search by conducting the necessary investigations. 
What are the criteria? We need chiefly persons who graduated from college or university 
in the sixties. There should be 600,000 from the pre-" "cultural revolution" years 1961-66, 
assuming there were 100,000 graduates a year. And if we include graduates from the 



vocational secondary schools, the total is nearly two million. These people are relatively 
well trained professionally. There are ample data to show that the great majority of the 
college and university graduates of those years have done pretty well. These people are 
now around 40. The deputy director I met in the No. 2 Motor Works graduated from 
college immediately before the ''cultural revolution", and he is now 39. Although some 
of these people behaved badly during the ''cultural revolution", most were " bystanders ". 
Take, for example, the comrade I have just mentioned. He disapproved of the "cultural 
revolution" and was attacked in its early days. Having been attacked during the "cultural 
revolution" is a measure of political merit. Are people like him qualified? He is now 
already a deputy director of a big motor works. Why could he not be given further 
training and sent to a Party school or assigned to some other post where he could be 
further tempered? People of his type are easy to find if only we keep our eyes open. In 
general, though, they are thought to be too inexperienced or, as people sometimes say, 
too "conceited". I have my doubts about their being "conceited". An enthusiastic and 
capable person is always self-confident and has ideas of his own. The more ideas you 
have, the more self-confident you are. There's nothing bad about that. If the person really 
is a bit conceited, he will learn modesty when assigned to an appropriate post, for 
otherwise he will find it hard to work there. When I say we can find capable people, I 
mean there may be 150,000, not just 50,000. Among those with professional knowledge - 

- apart from graduates of universities, colleges and vocational secondary schools — we 
have the numerous people who have educated themselves through independent study. 
The right people are on hand; the question is whether we select them or not. When 
Comrade Chen Yun spoke, one of the things he suggested was that the Organization 
Department under the Central Committee should establish an office to take charge of 
affairs relating to young and middle-aged cadres. That is an important proposal. 

What is essential is that once we have decided on the task of selecting young and middle- 
aged cadres for promotion, we should set about doing so. The work requires a defined 
objective. I would like to ask you to discuss whether we should draw up a five-year plan 
for it. The best thing would be a four-year plan ending in 1985 [to coincide with the end 
for the Sixth Five- Year Plan]. But I propose that we draw up two plans on this cadre 
question — a five-year and a 10-year plan. In the first five years we should select, say, 
50,000 people and assign them to appropriate posts where they can be tempered. We 
should decide what percentage of leaders at the ministerial, departmental and bureau 
levels and at the provincial, municipal and autonomous-region levels should be around 50 
and what percentage should be around 40, and then try to reach those percentages 
gradually within the next five years. For the second five years, we should set age limits 
for leaders at certain levels (for example, the provincial, municipal and autonomous- 
region and ministerial levels), which will apply with only certain special exceptions. 
Please discuss whether these proposals are feasible. I have been talking about details. The 
army has drafted some guidelines that it is now trying to apply. It has suggested age 
limits for regimental, divisional and army-level cadres of around 30, 40 and 50, 
respectively. Some units have complied with these regulations quite well; others have 
not. In the future, systems relating to civilian cadres — the retirement system, for instance 

— should also have specific age regulations. Other countries have retirement systems. For 
example, army officers in most countries retire at the age of 60, though they can take up 



civilian jobs afterwards. As for civilian officials, Japanese diplomats, for example, are 
expected to retire at 65, while some countries set even lower retirement ages. It seems to 
me that we too should have some age limits. Perhaps we cannot put such limits into effect 
in the first five years. But couldn't we set it as an objective for the second five-year plan? 
In addition to limits on cadres' ages, there should be limits on their number in a given 
unit. For example, aren't one minister and two to four vice-ministers enough for a 
ministry? Why do we need more than a dozen vice-ministers for each ministry when it is 
the departments directly subordinate to it that are in charge of professional work? Here I 
am talking about the need for a major reform. It is partly because of this overstaffing at 
the top that we have the problem of bureaucracy and so many things just don't get done. 
It is enough for a ministry to have four vice-ministers at the most and for a department or 
bureau to have still fewer deputy heads. Why should a department or bureau have so 
many deputy leaders? Two at most are enough. Our grave propensity to bureaucracy is 
inseparable from the current overstaffing of our organizations. Of course, in the first five 
years there will be the question of replacing the old cadres by the young, and there will be 
a five- to ten-year period of transition. The central issue is whether in the first five years 
we can select about 50,000 cadres some of whom are just under 50, some around 40 and 
some even younger. And there should be a proper ratio of cadres in these different age 
groups. Then we can take up the question of how to rationalize our cadre system and 
administrative structure, a question which should be solved in a comprehensive way 
during the second five years. The first five years are the most important. During that 
period, comrades present here will have to take the responsibility. But by the second five 
years how many of us will still be around? How many will still be able to work as usual? 
It's hard to say. Five years from now, those who are now 65 will be 70. Time flies. 
Therefore, I raise both hands in support of Comrade Chen Yun's proposal. It remains to 
discuss the concrete measures to turn his proposal into reality. We have to be sensible in 
this matter. I have had a heart-to-heart talk with Comrade Chen Yun. Frankly, so far as 
the two of us are concerned, we would really be very happy to retire now. But of course 
we can't do that yet. What is our most important job, then? Naturally we have to concern 
ourselves with state policies and the Party's principles, but what is of the utmost 
importance is to settle the question of selecting young and middle-aged cadres for 
promotion. This is the principal task for the two of us. I hope that all comrades here who 
are more than 60 will also make settling this question their primary task. It's too 
important for us to neglect. That is all I want to say today. 

(Speech at a forum of secretaries of Party committees of provinces, municipalities and 
autonomous regions.) 

CONCERNING PROBLEMS 
ON THE IDEOLOGICAL FRONT 

July 17, 1981 



A short time ago I told Comrade Hu Yaobang that I wanted to talk with the propaganda 
departments about problems on the ideological front, especially those in literature and art. 



The Party's leadership on this front -- including literature and art — has achieved 
noteworthy success. This should be affirmed. But certain tendencies towards a crude 
approach and over-simplification cannot be ignored or denied. However, a more 
important problem at present, I think, is laxity and weakness and a fear of criticizing 
wrong trends. As soon as you criticize something, you are accused of brandishing a big 
stick. It is very hard nowadays for us to carry out criticism, let alone self-criticism. Self- 
criticism is one of the three major features of our Party's style of work, one of the chief 
characteristics distinguishing our Party from other political parties. For quite a number of 
our people, however, it now seems difficult to practise. 

Prior to the Sixth Plenary Session of the Central Committee [late June 1981], the General 
Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army raised the question of 
criticizing the film script Unrequited Love. I have been taken aback by some other things 
I've read recently too. A young poet made an irresponsible speech at Beijing Normal 
University. Some students commented that although the Party organization had done a lot 
of ideological and political work among the students, that speech blew it all away. The 
university Party committee was aware of this matter but took no measures. It was a 
woman student who wrote a letter to the Party committee criticizing our weak ideological 
work. Recently in Urumqi, Xinjiang, a person in charge of the preparatory group for the 
formation of the local federation of writers and artists talked a lot of nonsense. Many of 
his views went far beyond certain wrong, anti-socialist statements criticized during the 
anti-Rightist struggle of 1957. There are many other examples. To put it in a nutshell, 
these people want to abandon the road of socialism, break away from Party leadership 
and promote bourgeois liberalization. Let us recall the 1957 experience. It was incorrect 
then to broaden the scope of the anti-Rightist struggle, but it was necessary to oppose the 
Rightists. You will certainly all remember how aggressive some Rightists were. So are 
some people today. We are not going to launch an anti-Rightist campaign again. But on 
no account should we give up serious criticism of erroneous trends. This type of problem 
has arisen not only in literary and art circles but elsewhere as well. Some persons are not 
on the right track ideologically. They make statements contrary to Party principles and 
are neither honest nor upright. Yet there are other people who admire them and eagerly 
publish their articles. This is quite wrong. Some Party members don't act in accordance 
with Party spirit but persist in factionalism. They must not be allowed to influence others, 
let alone to become leaders. Some persons now fancy themselves as heroes. Before they 
were criticized, they didn't attract much attention. But once they were criticized, they 
began to be sought after. This is an abnormal phenom"ienon and we must work seriously 
to eradicate it. Its social and historical background can be traced mainly to the 10-year 
turmoil of the ""cultural revolution"; it is also connected with corrosion by bourgeois 
ideology from abroad. We must analyse each case concretely. At present, the main 
problem is not so much the existence of this phenomenon as the fact that we are too soft 
in handling it. There is laxity and weakness. Of course, in solving current problems, we 
should learn from past experience and refrain from launching a movement. We must 
analyse each case on its merits and treat each person who has made errors appropriately, 
according to the nature and seriousness of the mistakes. Methods of criticism must be 
studied. Arguments must hit the nail on the head. We must not resort to converging 
attacks and movements. But there must be ideological work, criticism and self-criticism. 



We must not lay aside the weapon of criticism. After that young poet delivered his speech 
at Beijing Normal University, some students said that if we allowed things to go on this 
way, our country would be ruined. He took a position opposite to ours. I have seen the 
movie Sun and Man, which follows the script of Unrequited Love. Whatever the author's 
motives, the movie gives the impression that the Communist Party and the socialist 
system are bad. It vilifies the latter to such an extent that one wonders what has happened 
to the author's Party spirit. Some say the movie achieves a fairly high artistic standard, 
but that only makes it all the more harmful. In fact, a work of this sort has the same effect 
as the views of the so-called democrats. 

The essence of the Four Cardinal Principles is to uphold Communist Party leadership. 
Without Party leadership there definitely will be nationwide disorder and China would 
fall apart. History has shown us this. Chiang Kai-shek was never able to unify China. The 
keystone of bourgeois liberalization is opposition to Party leadership. But without Party 
leadership there will be no socialist system. In confronting these problems, we must not 
take the old path and resort to political movements. We must, however, make appropriate 
use of the weapon of criticism. 

It was right for Jiefangjun Bao (Liberation Army Daily) to criticize Unrequited Love. The 
criticism was necessary, which must be affirmed. But the articles were not always 
entirely reasonable, and some of their tactics and arguments were not carefully thought 
out. Wenyi Bao (Literary Gazette) should publish several articles of high quality to 
comment on both Unrequited Love and related problems. We can't declare that a criticism 
is incorrect just because the methods used are not good enough. 

Some young people are discontented with certain social conditions today. There is 
nothing strange about this and it is nothing to be afraid of. But we must guide such young 
people or they may go astray. It is good that many young writers have emerged in recent 
years. They have written a number of fine works. But we must admit that among them — 
and among some middle-aged writers too — there are also bad tendencies that have an 
adverse influence on some young readers, listeners and viewers. Our veteran writers who 
stick to the socialist position have the responsibility to unite and give proper guidance to 
the new generation. Otherwise, it won't be able to advance along the right path. If we 
don't do a good job in this respect, contradictions may intensify and result in major 
disruptions. In a word, we must uphold Party leadership and the socialist system. They 
must be improved, but that doesn't mean we can have bourgeois liberalization or anarchy. 
Just imagine what sort of influence Sun and Man would have if shown to the public. 
Someone has said that not loving socialism isn't equivalent to not loving one's 
motherland. Is the motherland something abstract? If you don't love socialist New China 
led by the Communist Party, what motherland do you love? We do not ask all our 
patriotic compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao and in Taiwan and abroad to support 
socialism, but at the least, they should not oppose socialist New China. Otherwise, how 
can they be called patriotic? Of every citizen — and every young person — living under 
the leadership of the government in the People's Republic of China, however, we demand 
more. Above all, we demand that writers, artists and ideological and theoretical workers 
in the Communist Party observe Party discipline. Yet today many of our problems stem 



from inside the Party. If the Party can't discipline its own members, how can it lead the 
masses? We insist on the policy of ""letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools 
of thought contend" , and on handling contradictions among the people correctly. This 
will remain unchanged. True, the ""Left" tendency still exists in the guidance of our 
ideological and cultural work, and we must resolutely guard against it and correct it. But 
that certainly doesn't mean we should stop practising criticism and self-criticism. The 
main way to correctly handle contradictions among the people is to start from the desire 
for unity, carry out criticism and self-criticism and arrive at a new unity. The policy of 
""letting a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" cannot be 
separated from the practice of criticism and self-criticism. In criticizing, we must be 
democratic and reason things out, but criticism should never be dismissed offhand as 
using the ""big stick". We must get clear on this whole question of criticism and self- 
criticism, for it is important in bringing along the next generation. I have mentioned a few 
works and views that need to be criticized. There are other works containing similar 
views. There also are certain tendencies towards bourgeois liberalization among theorists, 
but I am not going to elaborate on them here. Why is it the Unrequited Love and the 
speech by the young poet have the support of some people? That is something our 
comrades on the ideological front should ponder. 

Since we began stressing the need to uphold the Four Cardinal Principles, comrades in 
our ideological circles have become clearer in their thinking. Because of this and also 
because of the resolute steps taken to get rid of illegal organizations and publications, the 
situation has improved. But we must remain on the alert. Some people are raising a 
banner in support of Comrade Hua Guofeng , while actually trying to overthrow you 
know who. Watch out! This shows how complicated the present struggle is, and how 
necessary it is to sharpen our vigilance. 

It is no longer necessary for Jiefangjun Bao to continue its criticism of Unrequited Love. 
Wenyi Bao should publish some first-class articles on the subject, and they should be 
reprinted in Renmin Ribao (People's Daily). 

To sum up, our entire Party, army and people should unite as one, march in step, and 
work hard to achieve further success on the ideological, literary, art and other fronts 
under the firm leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and on the 
basis of the ""Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the 
Founding of the People's Republic of China", adopted at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 
Central Committee. 

(Summary of a talk with leading comrades of the central propaganda departments.) 

BUILD POWERFUL, MODERN AND REGULARIZED 
REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES 

September 19, 1981 



Comrade officers and men, 

You have successfully performed your task in these military exercises. On behalf of the 
Central Committee of the Party, the State Council, and the Military Commission of the 
Central Committee, I want to express our warm greetings and congratulations. 

These exercises have given us an opportunity to assess our achievements in building 
modern, regularized armed forces, and have simulated modern warfare fairly well. They 
represent part of our effort to explore combined operations by the various services and 
arms under modern conditions, and have enhanced the political consciousness and 
military capability of our army, especially its capacity to fight actual battles. This will 
give a great impetus to our efforts to build up the armed forces, train them and make them 
ready in the event of war. The exercises have achieved the anticipated results and have 
been a success. They have fully demonstrated that our people's forces, created by the 
Party and armed with Mao Zedong Thought, are politically and militarily sound, that they 
possess a fine style of combat and a strict sense of organization and discipline, and that 
they are combat-worthy. We are convinced that with such a fine army and with the 
support of the masses, we can defeat any aggressor. 

At present our country is passing through a significant period in its history as we strive to 
carry forward the revolutionary cause and open up new vistas for it. Thanks to the 
vigorous implementation of the Party's correct line, principles and policies, political 
stability and unity have been enhanced throughout the Party and army and among our 
people of all nationalities, and the situation in all fields is steadily improving. On the 
international scene, the struggle against hegemonism has grown and the hegemonists are 
increasingly isolated. But we must recognize that the intensified rivalry between the 
superpowers and the quickened pace of global strategic deployment by the Soviet 
hegemonists present a serious threat to world peace and to our own national security. We 
must be constantly alert to this danger. 

As a strong pillar of our people's democratic dictatorship, the army is entrusted with the 
glorious mission of defending our socialist motherland and China's four modernizations. 
We must therefore make it a powerful, modern and regularized revolutionary army. 

We must adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles, strengthen political and ideological 
work, and try to make the armed forces a model so far as carrying out the Party's line, 
principles and policies is concerned. 

On the basis of our steadily expanding economy, we must improve the army's weapons 
and equipment and speed up the modernization of our national defence. 

We must further cement the army's relations with the civil authorities and the people, 
enhance unity inside the army, improve our work in building the people's militia and 
carry forward the glorious traditions of an army of the people. 



We must intensify the army's military and political training and further enhance its 
political consciousness and military capability. We must work hard to improve its ability 
to conduct combined operations involving the various services and arms under modern 
conditions. 

We must be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness and further 
promote the '' four haves, three stresses and two defy's ". We must make greater efforts to 
cultivate a fine style of work and to foster a strict sense of organization and discipline in 
the armed forces. 

We must make solid preparations to resist wars of aggression, make new contributions to 
the safeguarding of world peace and the territorial integrity of our country, and work for 
the early return of Taiwan to the motherland so as to achieve the sacred goal of national 
reunification. 

(Speech on reviewing the People's Liberation Army units taking part in military exercises 
in north China. Comrade Deng Xiaoping was elected Chairman of the Military 
Commission of the Central Committee at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh 
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in June 1981.) 

STREAMLINING ORGANIZATIONS CONSTITUTES 

A REVOLUTION 

January 13, 1982 



I'll make a few points. 

First, streamlining organizations is a matter of great importance. In fact it constitutes a 
revolution. If we fail to carry out this revolution, if we let the present overstaffed and 
overlapping Party and state organizations stay as they are — without clearly defined 
duties and with many incompetent, irresponsible, lethargic, under-educated and 
inefficient staff members — we ourselves will not feel satisfied and we will not have the 
support of the lower cadres, much less of the people. This situation cannot continue. It 
has become unbearable and will not be tolerated by the people or the Party. How can we 
permit its continuation if we want to keep to the socialist road and go on working for the 
four modernizations ? All our veteran comrades should understand that the promotion of 
cadres who are more revolutionary, younger, better educated and more competent 
professionally is a strategic need for the revolution and construction. For us old cadres it 
is a most honourable and sacred obligation. It will be our last historical contribution to 
the Party and will put the Party spirit of each one of us to a severe test. So this matter 
must be resolved. It should have been resolved earlier, but unfortunately conditions have 
not been favourable. Today, having smashed the Gang of Four and held the Third through 
the Sixth Plenary Sessions of the Eleventh Central Committee, we have created such 
conditions. It is high time this matter was placed on our agenda. Can we afford to put it 
off a little longer? The longer we wait the harder it will be, because the problem will 



become worse, difficulties will multiply and every year more people will be involved. 
Besides, this is something that concerns many old comrades. Many politically conscious 
old comrades are still with us; they can set a good example and clear away obstacles. 
Here too we have a favourable condition. If we can reach a consensus of opinion, we can 
solve the problem more easily. There must be no further delay. In short, streamlining 
organizations constitutes a revolution. Of course, it is not our intention to overthrow 
anyone but to transform the organizational structure of our Party and state. If we don't 
carry out this revolution but let the old and ailing stand in the way of young people who 
are energetic and able, not only will the four modernizations fail but the Party and state 
will face a mortal trial and perhaps perish. No matter how correct all the other policies 
and principles of the Party and government and no matter how great our achievements, 
without this revolution the Party and government organizations will continue to lack 
vigour and efficiency, and they will be unable to implement our policies and principles 
fully and to score greater successes. How will the people be able to excuse us in that 
case? How can we ourselves have any peace of mind? We can't just dwell on our past 
achievements. We have to see the many problems surfacing every day. 

My second point is that this problem concerns several million people. We are going to 
reduce our personnel not just by one million but by several. At the central level, we want 
to cut staff by one-third. At the lower levels, I think more than one-third should be 
trimmed. If we were to cut only one-fourth, that would still be five million people. Of 
course, they are not all cadres. Some will be ordinary working personnel including 
service workers. Each department or unit should determine its appropriate size and 
structure. Some persons should stay at their posts while others are taken out in rotation 
for training. After passing examinations, these trainees will return to their work and 
another group will go to be trained. Generally speaking, this plan will affect several 
million cadres at the higher, middle and lower levels. If we include enterprises and 
institutions that are also to be streamlined, even more people will be involved. In Party, 
government and mass organizations alone they will number four to five million. This is a 
big problem calling for a careful approach. But determination is of the first importance; 
meticulousness comes second. No matter how meticulous we are, we are bound to 
overlook something. That's inevitable. I must say this beforehand. Time is pressing 
because we plan to finish this revolution in two years, so strong will is required. Once the 
Political Bureau has approved the plans, we must stand firm and brook no interference. 
Some foreigners are saying we will fail. Our cadres at lower levels likewise feel it will be 
very hard. Let me repeat: Difficulties there will be, but if we make up our minds and 
stand firm, I don't believe we will fail. Don't we always have to be confident of final 
victory? In my view, we must proceed with complete confidence. There is no alternative. 
We can't waver. We can't compromise. We can't give up halfway. We can expect some 
trouble, including demonstrations. But don't just agree in principle and then hesitate when 
personal interests are involved. Don't be afraid of the possibility of marches and 
demonstrations and of the appearance of big-character posters in the process of our 
organizational streamlining. This process will inevitably affect a number of persons who 
belong to one faction or another, triggering their factionalism and causing complications. 
But come what may, we must stick to our guns in this revolution, standing staunch and 
unshakable. A little trouble is nothing to worry about; it can't frighten us. 



Thirdly, I suggest that the Political Bureau approve in principle the streamlining 
programme for the central state organs. But the programme for Party organs directly 
under the Central Committee isn't concrete enough. Perhaps the cuts are still too small. 
Let me be blunt: there may not be enough revolutionary spirit in the programme. I don't 
mean that we should dismantle the ''big temple" of the organs directly under the Central 
Committee, but there are too many ''small temples". What's more, there are too many 
deities in each. So there's a lot to be done. Don't think there isn't much to deal with. Take 
the mass organizations for example. The trade union, youth and women's organizations 
can take this opportunity to draw up plans for trimming their staffs and establishing 
compact, efficient structures, setting a good example. They used to have small staffs and 
organizational structures, but now they are quite big. Institutions which are not 
enterprises can also be streamlined. If the organizations under the State Council can 
reduce their staffs by a little more than 30 per cent, I'm afraid it won't do for the central 
Party and mass organizations to trim by only a few per cent. We can also approve in 
principle the programme for organs directly under the Central Committee, then 
investigate further. Don't think there is no more room for improvement. Taken as a 
whole, this programme is not revolutionary enough. 

Although the army is just beginning to consider this problem, we are determined to 
reduce its size. 

Once the streamlining programmes have been approved, they can get under way. First we 
can study the organizational structure and size of one or two departments. Take the State 
Council for instance. How many Vice-Premiers are needed? Some comrades at this 
meeting have proposed two. We may think in terms of two, but that may not be enough. 
Of course if two will do, I will approve. We can also have a few State Councillors. Their 
rank is equivalent to that of a Vice-Premier and as such they can pay state visits. But the 
State Councillors can be flexible in their functions, and the Premier can assign them a 
variety of tasks. With State Councillors we might be able to do with fewer Vice-Premiers. 
Please discuss this. Ministries and commissions can start trimming now. We'd better 
begin with one or two so as to gain experience and see the reactions and problems. 
Everybody will see what happens, and the other ministries and commissions will be more 
confident and do better. In brief, we'll spend half a year on streamlining at the central 
level. That should be enough to get things into shape. How we deal with the persons who 
are no longer needed is another problem. It will take longer to complete that job. But so 
far as organizational structure is concerned, there should be preliminary results within six 
months. I think that's enough time to work out the size and structure of each ministry and 
commission. If it's really insufficient, we can take nine months, but no more. Of course, 
the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions can start carrying out their 
programmes after the central organizations have been doing so for a period. They don't 
have to wait until the central organs have finished. After programmes have been decided 
on and a few pilot units have gained experience, the local organizations can start their 
paring down. At the central level, we can take one or two units — The Ministry of Foreign 
Trade, for instance — to test our plan in practice. Again, couldn't we combine the 
Ministry of Water Conservancy and the Ministry of Electric Power? It shouldn't be hard 
to merge them. We'll watch to see what problems arise. There may be different reactions 



and questions raised from various angles. The streamlining programmes can't be perfect 
right away. If they are all right on the whole, that will do. We must be strict on matters of 
principle because it is only too easy to go soft. This time we must be strict and not ease 
up. For example, after we fix the quota for vice-ministers — that there will be so many 
and no more -- although the incumbents may change in the future, the number cannot. 
This will facilitate replacements. Otherwise, there will be too many leaders. We'll arrange 
things so that it won't be easy to add even a single person. Thus the way can be paved for 
younger cadres to come up. With the number of personnel fixed, everyone will really 
have to do his job; there will be no room for nominal or semi-nominal posts. Some 
comrades say they are still up to their jobs, but if full responsibility really fell on them, 
could they handle it? They will have to take the test. If you were to ask me to work eight 
hours a day at my age, I'm sure I couldn't do it. 

To sum up, we may approve these two programmes in principle today, and then we 
should move to implement them. We are going to spend a month or two trying them out 
in a couple of units, deciding on their structure and size, defining the duties of each unit 
and each person, assigning specific jobs to individuals and watching for problems. 

My fourth and last point is that in this revolution we must pay attention not only to 
cutting back staff but also to promoting people. I have just said that we have to cut staff 
by several million and that this matter must be handled well. But promotion is the 
primary issue. Selecting and promoting the right people to the leadership of ministries 
and their departments and bureaus is the most important thing. This is also true for the 
army. Promotion is primary, cutbacks are secondary. We must make the best choices, 
""selecting the virtuous and appointing the able", as the saying goes. This embraces the 
three qualifications of political quality, competence and experience. ""Virtuous" means of 
good political quality, while ""able" means having professional knowledge, a good 
education, practical experience and a physical constitution up to the demands of the job. 
This time we are asking supernumerary and ailing old comrades to retire or to transfer to 
more suitable positions (I mean honorary positions). Who will replace them? The best 
candidates must be found. As I've said before, we must stick to the points Comrade Chen 
Yun discussed. There are a few types of persons who can never be considered. We have 
plenty of people. In promotions, the key is to select younger people. Of course, there will 
probably be a transition period: For a year or two, especially right after the streamlining, 
elderly comrades will continue to serve as ministers. The reason is easy to understand. 
When the size of the State Council is reduced, the ministries and commissions will have 
more power and will in turn allow enterprises and institutions under them to have more 
authority. This too is part of setting things right. We should do our best to choose 
younger persons as vice-ministers and department and bureau chiefs. When we founded 
the People's Republic, all our ministers were young, almost all of them in their thirties or 
forties. Many persons who are now our mainstays in different professions graduated from 
universities in the fifties and sixties and have much more knowledge than our former 
ministers had. Streamlining is a revolution. So is ""selecting the virtuous and appointing 
the able". We must do a good job of organizational trimming and — even more important 
— we must do a good job of promoting cadres. We must complete both these tasks at the 
same time and not leave them for some future campaign. The present streamlining can be 



seen as a small-scale campaign. We have said we will not launch any big campaigns. But 
this is just a small one and the methods are completely different from any we have used 
in the past. 

That's all I want to say on my four points. 

(Remarks at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese 
Communist Party concerning the streamlining of the central organizations.) 

COMBAT ECONOMIC CRIME 

April 10, 1982 



In my opinion, this is an important document. Although it deals with the struggle against 
criminal activities in the economic sphere, it should in fact be regarded as of greater 
significance. 

What is the current situation? A number of cadres have been corrupted in the brief year or 
two since we adopted the policy of opening to the outside world and stimulating the 
economy. Quite a few are involved in economic crimes. Their misdeeds are more serious 
than the crimes exposed in the days of the movements against the '' three evils " and the 
'' five evils ". At that time, people who had embezzled 1,000 yuan or more were rated 
"small tigers" and those who had embezzled 10,000 or more, "big tigers". Today, we 
have many cases of very big tigers. According to press reports, an offender who had 
embezzled 6,000 yuan was given lenient treatment, and another who had embezzled 
50,000-60,000 yuan was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. There are many appalling 
cases of embezzlement or other damage to the national interest running to sums far in 
excess of 10,000 yuan. Some involve individuals, some involve groups. According to 
data supplied by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, large amounts of 
silver and gold were smuggled into Hong Kong in the last couple of years, causing the 
country heavy losses in foreign exchange. A lot of money has gone to line the pockets of 
certain individuals and groups. The sum would be even larger if we counted theft of 
public property and the like. We must not underestimate the gravity of all this. It is an ill 
wind and a strong one. Indeed, unless we take it seriously and firmly stop it, the question 
of whether our Party will change its nature may arise. This is not just alarmist talk. 

We should enhance our understanding of the struggle against economic crime. At present, 
we have not reached a consensus on this matter. Some comrades are soft and hesitate to 
take action against offenders. Why? Ideologically, because they have not realized the 
gravity of the problem and treat it as an ordinary one. It's not as though the problem 
hadn't been raised before. We have been talking about it for a couple of years at the very 
least, and yet some comrades are still irresolute. Now we must not only issue the 
document but take determined action. Within these two months, each province should 
deal with some major cases. This is a different struggle from that against the Right 
deviation [in 1959], when it was easy to become confused and make mistakes because it 



was often difficult to distinguish Right deviations from 'Xeft" ones. The theft of state 
property, embezzlement and bribe-taking all involve materials and money. This is very 
clear and it shouldn't be hard to avoid mistakes. If we want to break the force of this ill 
wind, we're going to have to take prompt, strict and stern measures. At present we think 
that we should not be too severe. But the ultimate penalty must be meted out in 
accordance with the law to some persons whose crimes are particularly grave. I assure 
you that it is impossible to stop this ill wind without a show of strength. We must get a 
firm grip on this problem now and deal with it in earnest. All cases must be handled 
promptly and in general severely. We cannot afford to take them lightly and be too 
lenient. 

Another thing: Although we have said that we will not launch a movement against 
economic crime, we must make it clear that this is going to be a constant and protracted 
struggle. In my opinion, it will last at least until the day the four modernizations are 
achieved. If that means the end of the century, the struggle will have to be waged daily 
for 18 years. I think the process of socialist modernization will be accompanied by toil 
and struggle in four areas. These four areas, which may be called the four essential 
guarantees of our keeping to the socialist road, are: first, introducing structural reform; 
second, building a socialist civilization with a high cultural and ideological level; third, 
combating economic crime; and fourth, rectifying the Party's style of work and 
consolidating its organization, including upholding and improving leadership by the 
Party. The first three tasks have been placed on our agenda, but not as yet the fourth. Of 
course, the first three also have to do with the question of the Party's style of work. One 
way of consolidating the Party is to expel those members who are guilty of serious 
misdeeds and to discharge them from public employment. Embezzlers of very large sums 
must be expelled from the Party, no matter how much leniency is shown them because 
they have confessed their crimes; and if they are in military service, they must be 
expelled from the army. We cannot be so lenient as to allow them to remain in the Party 
or the army, much less be promoted. There is no way to justify that degree of leniency. 
They should be expelled from the Party, from the army and from public employment. The 
struggle against economic crime is one way of ensuring that we keep to the socialist road 
and realize the four modernizations. It is an ongoing struggle, a regular item of work. If 
we don't make it so, how can we talk about keeping to the socialist road? Without this 
struggle, the four modernizations and the policy of opening to the outside world and 
stimulating the economy will end in failure. So we must employ dual tactics. That is, we 
must unswervingly pursue the policy of opening to the outside world and stimulating the 
economy and, at the same time, wage a resolute struggle against economic crime. There 
is no question that without such a struggle the overall policy will fail. With it, the policy 
of opening to the outside world and stimulating the economy will have a correct 
orientation. Of course, other problems may arise and we may also make other mistakes, 
but they will not be very serious. The struggle against economic crime is just beginning, 
and it is not a task for this year alone. It should start with a show of strength so that at 
least some people, including those who give themselves up, can be turned back from the 
wrong path. If instead of starting with such a show of determination we hesitate and 
delay, many more people may go astray, including some veteran cadres. 



Let me say a few words in passing about Party consolidation. We must pay particular 
attention to the recent event in Feixiang County . I would ask the Secretariat of the Central 
Committee to discuss it carefully and use it as a typical example of the kind of problems 
to be dealt with in the campaign to consolidate the Party. The present leading body of the 
county Party committee should be dissolved and a new one set up. Many other localities 
should pay attention to such matters. 

(Speech at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC, which 
discussed the document, ''Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of 
China and the State Council on Combating Serious Economic Crime".) 

CHINA'S HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE IN ECONOMIC 

CONSTRUCTION 

May 6, 1982 



China has not given much help to its third-world friends. That is because our country, 
although vast in territory, is very poor and still faces many difficulties. Since the 
founding of our People's Republic [in 1949], we have essentially solved the problems of 
food and clothing and have become self-sufficient in grain. That in itself is quite 
remarkable, because these problems remained unsolved for so long in old China. In 
industry, we have laid a comparatively sound foundation, and although we are still very 
backward in this regard, the present industrial base is much better than before. We are 
now devoting all our efforts to construction and the rather rapid development of our 
economy. When we have succeeded, we shall be able to do more for our friends in the 
third world. Our per-capita GNP is now only US$250-260. Yours isn't high either, but 
our country has a great many more people, so if we are to increase the GNP by 100 
dollars per capita, that means an additional 100 billion dollars. A large population brings 
its own difficulties and many problems that aren't easy to solve. A small country has 
some special advantages, as does a small population. Since your country is small in 
population and rich in natural resources, your affairs are easier to handle than ours. 

Our country is now implementing an economic policy of opening to the outside world 
and using funds and advanced technology from abroad to help our economic 
development. This policy has already shown some positive results. However, it isn't easy 
to get funds and advanced technology from the developed countries. There are still some 
people around who are wedded to the ideas of the old-line colonialists; they are reluctant 
to see the poor countries develop, and attempt to throttle them. Therefore, while pursuing 
the policy of opening to the outside world, we must stick to the principle of relying 
mainly on our own efforts, a principle consistently advocated by Chairman Mao Zedong 
since the founding of our People's Republic. We must seek outside help on the basis of 
self-reliance, depending mainly on our own hard work. 

You would like to know about China's experience. The most important thing we have 
learned is to rely mainly on our own efforts. We have done many things on our own. The 



Soviet Union under Stalin gave us some assistance. But it began to take a hostile attitude 
towards us when Khrushchev came to power. It not only stopped helping us but stationed 
a million troops along the Sino-Soviet border to threaten us. The United States also was 
hostile to us for a long time until 1972, after which things changed somewhat. From the 
mid-50s to the 70s — that is, for more than 20 of the 32 years since the founding of our 
People's Republic — we had no outside help, or virtually none, and had to rely mainly on 
our own efforts. Having no outside help also had its positive side, because we were 
forced to exert ourselves. In the spirit of self-reliance we managed to make atomic 
bombs, hydrogen bombs and missiles and to launch man-made satellites. Thus the 
primary thing that we've learned from our experience and that we would like to propose 
to our third-world friends is self-reliance. Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't seek 
outside help, but the main thing is to rely on our own efforts. Through self-reliance we 
can unite the people, inspire the whole country to work hard for prosperity, and thus 
make it easier to overcome the many difficulties in the way. 

Another thing we have learned from experience is the importance of developing 
agriculture. As long as the people are well fed, everything else is easy, no matter what 
may happen in the world. 

Industrial undertakings should not be on too large a scale. It is better to build medium- 
and small-sized projects. Conditions in your country are different from ours. With its vast 
territory and huge population, our country can't get along without some large key 
industries. But our experience shows that one shouldn't try to move ahead too fast or too 
rashly. We used to be in too much of a hurry, and we made some mistakes — 'Xeft" 
mistakes, as we call them. That is to say, we made some decisions that, contrary to our 
expectations, resulted in a slowing down of economic growth. In our current economic 
development, we intend to continue to rely mainly on our own efforts and to act 
according to our true capability. We are working out our Sixth Five-Year Plan [1981-85] 
and have some tentative ideas regarding the Seventh [1986-90]. China's economic growth 
will not be very rapid in the next decade because we have to tackle many problems left 
over from the past, including the imbalances between the different branches of the 
economy. For the next five or ten years, our rate of growth can probably average only 4 
per cent annually; 5 per cent would be wonderful. We hope to have a higher rate of 
economic growth in the following 10 years, the last decade of this century. 

This is just a brief summary of China's experience in economic construction during the 
last three decades. 

(Remarks at a meeting with the Liberian Head of State, Samuel Kanyon Doe.) 

SPEECH AT A FORUM OF THE MILITARY 

COMMISSION OF THE CENTRAL 

COMMITTEE OF THE CPC 

July 4, 1982 



This forum has held useful discussions on problems in the army. I agree with the way 
these problems have been handled, though the results haven't been fully satisfactory in all 
cases. At the moment, we can't expect too much. 

Comrade Yang Shangkun has already talked about structural reform, so I'm not going to 
say much about that. I just want to make one point: the importance of that reform. 
Recently, I have spoken twice about the four guarantees of our adherence to the socialist 
system and of our success in the modernization drive. The first guarantee is to undertake 
structural reform, including the organizational streamlining we are now carrying out. The 
second is to build a socialist civilization with a high cultural and ideological level, so as 
to inculcate ideals, morality, knowledge and discipline in all our people. Of course, there 
are also '' the five things to stress and the four things to beautify ", and in the army the 
'' four haves, three stresses and two defy's ". All these calls are in the same spirit, and they 
are all correct. The army, of course, has its own characteristics. I have talked to some of 
our theorists about why we need to emphasize discipline. They agreed that it is essential. 
We simply must have discipline. Without it, we would find it impossible to work together 
with one heart and one mind for the realization of our goals. The Chinese revolution has 
always depended on discipline, especially voluntary observance of it. This has been the 
best tradition of the Chinese Communist Party since its founding. The third guarantee is a 
firm crackdown on economic crime. The fourth is Party building, the consolidation of the 
Party's organization and the rectification of its work style. These are what we mean by 
the four guarantees. Until the four modernizations are completed we will need these four 
guarantees at every step. For instance, why must we crack down on economic crime? 
Well, to carry out socialist modernization, we must adopt the policy of opening to the 
outside world and stimulating the economy. As we open to the outside world, corrupt 
capitalist things from abroad will find their way into China. And it is quite a problem to 
decide how far we should go in stimulating the economy. We are determined to open up 
and to stimulate the economy. But in order to ensure that this policy really benefits our 
modernization and does not take us off the socialist path, we must at the same time fight 
economic crime. Otherwise things will get out of hand. Already quite a few problems 
have arisen. Economic crimes are very serious and many cases are difficult to handle. 
Serious crimes and major criminals are to be found not only in the economic but in the 
political and cultural fields as well. In sum, we cannot attain the four guarantees all at 
once; We must keep working for them for a long time. We won't launch any mass 
movements, but we must continue our efforts in this regard throughout the course of the 
four modernizations. We must not forget the four guarantees for a single day. We must 
make their realization part of our daily work and struggle. Not all the problems related to 
the four guarantees are in the nature of class struggle, but there is class struggle in some 
cases. 

As for organizational streamlining, we have taken the first step. The Party and the 
government got started a little earlier than the army. On the whole we are going ahead 
smoothly. In the course of this forum you have come to a unified view. Now that you are 
all in agreement, it will be easier to get things done in the army. It now appears possible 
that the army, which is known for quick action, will complete the first stage in a 
somewhat shorter time than our other institutions. At present, all the streamlining that is 



being done in the Party, the government and the army is only a first step. Structural 
reform requires the elaboration of complete rules, regulations, work methods and 
methods of leadership. It is impossible to accomplish all these things at once. There are 
many rules and regulations to be instituted. For instance, in establishing the responsibility 
system, we must define various duties and assign them to departments and persons. 
Everything must be clear. Now that so many ministries and commissions under the State 
Council have been amalgamated, our old methods will no longer work. The number of 
Vice-Premiers has been reduced to two. This means that, as the streamlining proceeds, 
we must strengthen the ministries and commissions, increase their responsibilities and 
enhance their ability to handle problems. They in their turn should do likewise with 
regard to their subordinate departments and bureaus. By the same token, heavier 
responsibility should devolve on factories, mines and some corporations. We just can't 
afford not to streamline. 

The army faces this problem too. The Military Commission and the various general 
departments should be streamlined. It's not yet completely clear how that should be done. 
But the present structure, method of leadership and organization of work in the army are 
not very satisfactory; they are too complicated. We have the Military Commission, its 
Standing Committee, its regular working conferences and then the several general 
departments. The fact is, we should increase the responsibilities of the General Staff 
Headquarters, the General Political Department and the General Logistics Department, 
and have only a small co-ordinating organization above them. With too many leaders, not 
only do the comrades at lower levels find it hard to get things done, but we ourselves 
have trouble circulating papers for approval. When we fought in the past, a field army 
had only a few leaders, as did an army group, an army-level unit or a division. In some 
divisions the commander was also the political commissar. He was assisted by one or two 
deputy political commissars, and they all co-operated very well. Peng Dehuai was both 
commander and political commissar of the First Field Army , as was Chen Yi of the 
Third. Each of the other field armies had two leaders. That arrangement was very 
efficient. Today, however, there are too many leaders in each high-level group. We are 
taking only the first step in organizational streamlining. We must keep at it. We'll do 
things one at a time as conditions become ripe. When conditions are not ripe, it is better 
to go a little slower. In the current streamlining, the army is moving rather slowly, but 
that's necessary. The more thorough the preparations and the more unanimous the 
thinking of the people concerned, the more easily problems will be solved. 

Comrade Yang Shangkun has discussed four points relating to structural reform in the 
army. Today I'll concentrate on two. First, we must raise efficiency. This means 
increasing combat effectiveness and efficiency in general. Second, structural reform will 
make it possible for us to select more capable people for promotion — this is one of its 
important features. With the bloated organization we've had, it has been virtually 
impossible to train and promote able people. For years we've been talking about the need 
for younger cadres in the army and about promoting outstanding young cadres faster. But 
we have to admit that our work in this respect has been far from ideal. If the problem isn't 
solved, we will have failed in our duty. Is there anyone sitting here who's under 60? I 
doubt it. Each year that we put this off, the heavier our responsibility becomes. If this 



goes on for another five years, what then? Promoting younger cadres must be a key aim 
of our structural reform, whether in the army, in civilian organizations, in the Party or the 
government. We should choose a number of politically sound and relatively young cadres 
and promote them step by step. It's not easy to identify able persons. Our old comrades 
generally can't see beyond their own age group. Whenever we talk about promoting 
cadres, they select them from within their own circle. When it comes to the army, it's 
even difficult for comrades of the ^' 1938 vintage " to get promoted. The old tradition of 
seniority is also a problem in the army. A large group of old Red Army men, including 
me, are sitting at the top. This problem must be resolved. Comrade Nie Rongzhen has 
said that we must go forward on a solid footing. I agree. He has made a good suggestion: 
that we combine the efforts of the old with those of the young, because it wouldn't work 
for the old just to drop everything suddenly. They should combine their efforts with those 
of the young and middle-aged. In the army as a whole, cadres at and under the regimental 
level are relatively young, while those at and above the divisional level are rather old. 
The working conference of the Military Commission has prepared for your comments a 
draft document, ''Regulations Concerning the Military Service of Army Officers". Please 
discuss it carefully. We must have such a document. It's absolutely essential. 

There are capable people around, but it's hard for us to identify them, not only because of 
our conventional ways of thinking, but because we have too little contact with comrades 
at the lower levels. The year before last, when I visited the No. 2 Motor Works with 
Comrade Chen Pixian , one of the deputy directors showed us around. I was very 
impressed with him. He was one of the principal technicians in this big factory and was 
really on top of his job. He was then 38 years old, now he's 40. More important, during 
the ''cultural revolution" he was attacked for his opposition to beating, smashing and 
looting. And his conduct has always been good since, including his attitude towards the 
movement to "counter the Right deviationist trend to reverse correct verdicts". Such 
people are really valuable. There are plenty of them and it's easy to see their worth. In 
choosing persons for promotion, political qualifications should come first. This is a 
problem in the army. Comrade Yang Shangkun has said that the thinking and political 
viewpoints of some regimental, battalion and company cadres are not good. We should 
be aware of this. We should also be able to identify the better cadres. I have suggested 
that leading comrades in the Military Commission and the general departments -- and 
here I include you "big mandarins" from the various regions — each draw up a list of a 
dozen persons. There are more than 60 comrades sitting here, so you should be able to 
come up with nearly a thousand names. As for political qualifications, we must exclude 
people of the following three types: those who rose to prominence by following Lin Biao , 
Jiang Qing and their like in "rebellion"; those who are seriously factionalist in their 
thinking; and those who engaged in beating, smashing and looting. It should be said that 
the great majority of those who were the so-called bystanders during the "cultural 
revolution" are good people; they should be trained and promoted step by step — but more 
quickly. 

To sum up, besides combating bureaucratism and overcoming organizational bloatedness, 
overstaffing and inefficiency in the course of structural reform, it is important to select 
competent persons and promote good younger cadres to leading posts sooner so that they 



will be able to take over. This matter should be constantly on our agenda. We have talked 
about it for years, and everybody considers it a major task. It's difficult to accomplish. 
But if this matter of promoting capable people isn't settled, we won't be able to hand over 
the reins, and history will count that against us. We have been slow in doing many things. 
We can't afford further delays. These are my views on structural reform. 

ADVISORY COMMISSIONS WILL BE A 

TRANSITIONAL MEASURE FOR THE ABOLITION 

OF LIFE TENURE IN LEADING POSTS 

July 30, 1982 



I did not intend to speak at this meeting. We are preparing two documents for submission 
to the Seventh Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee. Much effort has gone 
into the drafting and, in my opinion, both documents are fairly well thought out. Of 
course, some parts need further deliberation. As Comrade Hu Qiaomu has just said, it is 
impossible to meet the requirement in Article 1 8 of the draft revised Party Constitution 
that the main documents of a Party congress be distributed for discussion by the whole 
Party one month in advance. Some other requirements are difficult to meet too, such as 
the stipulation that delegates to a Party congress should be notified of its convening three 
months in advance. In short, we shouldn't commit ourselves on paper to do what cannot 
be done. A Party Constitution doesn't have to go into so much detail anyway. Generally 
speaking, the two documents are fairly well prepared. 

There are some problems that have not been fully solved in the present draft of the 
revised Constitution. For instance, it mentions the problem of life tenure in leading posts 
without providing a definitive solution. The same is true with setting up a retirement 
system. Establishing advisory commissions may serve as a transitional measure. In view 
of the present situation in the Party — which is that the average age of our cadres is too 
high but that old comrades are still the mainstay — we must not deal with this issue too 
hastily; hasty measures won't work. Another thing is that over the years we haven't 
promoted enough young and middle-aged cadres to leading posts. We simply haven't paid 
enough attention to this matter. But we should also admit that there really are obstacles, a 
number of which, though not all, are created wittingly. Thus we need advisory 
commissions to facilitate the transition from the system of life tenure in leading posts to a 
retirement system. We adopt this measure to make the transition comparatively smooth. 
The commissions will probably be abolished three Party congresses from now. If they 
were to be abolished after two Party congresses — that is, in 10 years' time — how many 
of us here today would still be around? Those who are now 60 will be 70 then, those now 
70 will be 80, and those now 80 will be 90. That is why we say the advisory commissions 
are a transitional measure — and a necessary one. We have chosen this unprecedented 
form as a result of our Party's actual situation. But even during this transitional stage we 
must endeavour to reduce the average age of cadres and to create conditions for 
abolishing life tenure and setting up a retirement system. There are many young and 
middle-aged cadres. The trouble is that for a long time our veteran comrades have paid no 



attention to them when selecting successors. They have always drawn from within the 
circle of their own acquaintances. Thus the problem was never solved. It is especially 
serious in the army, and it's harder to solve there than in civilian units, where the situation 
is now somewhat better. This has a bearing on army building. The State Council and the 
organs directly under the Central Committee have done quite well in the current 
organizational readjustment, but the army has lagged behind. If we really want to choose 
the right cadres, they can be found. Of course, the problem of transition is present to 
some degree under all circumstances, and we will have to work out whatever measures 
are necessary. But if this generation of ours can't solve the issue, it will count against us. 
A group has recently been set up to study the question of recruiting more young and 
middle-aged cadres into the next Central Committee. After some discussion this group 
has proposed an average age roughly the same as that at the inception of the Eleventh 
Central Committee. We were young when we first became members of the Central 
Committee. Comrade Chen Yun and I were both 52 at the time of the Eighth National 
Congress, which elected a Central Committee with a fairly low average age. As it is now, 
the average age of the Central Committee members is higher than that of those elected at 
the Ninth, the Tenth, and the Eleventh National Congresses. Of course, those who rose to 
prominence through ''rebellion" and became Central Committee members during the 
''cultural revolution" were young. But that was abnormal. The transitional form we have 
now chosen is appropriate. However, during the transition period — which may last, say, 
10 years (the combined tenure of two Central Committees) -- we must make a real effort 
to lower the average age of members of the Central Committee. 

(Excerpt from a speech at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central 
Committee of the Communist Party of China.) 

CHINA'S FOREIGN POLICY 

August 21, 1982 



China is aware of its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council of 
the United Nations. Everyone can trust China in two respects. First, China adheres to 
principles. Second, China means what it says. We do not play political games, nor do we 
engage in the play of words. I personally love to play bridge, but China does not like to 
play political cards. This is not only the case today, but was also the case during the 
period since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong 
and Premier Zhou Enlai were leading the country. This is why so many friends around 
the world trust us. We understand the circumstances in many countries, particularly Third 
World countries. China's foreign policy is consistent and can be summed up in three 
sentences. First, we oppose hegemonism. Second, we safeguard world peace. Third, we 
are eager to strengthen unity and cooperation, or what might be termed 'union and 
cooperation', with other Third World countries. The reason I lay special emphasis on the 
Third World is that opposition to hegemonism and safeguarding world peace are of 
special significance to the Third World. Who are the victims of hegemonism? Is it the 
United States or the Soviet Union? No, it is the United States and the Soviet Union that 



practise hegemonism, so they are not the victims. Neither are developed countries such as 
Japan, Canada, and countries in Europe and Oceania the victims. Eastern Europe suffers a 
little. If world peace is disrupted, who will be the first to become victims? Actually, there 
has been no peace since the end of World War II. Although no major wars have been 
fought, minor ones have continued. Where are the minor wars fought? In the Third 
World! It is the superpowers that practise hegemonism and sow discord. They are the 
ones with their hands in that arena! For many years, the superpowers have cashed in on 
conflicts between Third World countries in order to achieve their objectives. Although 
the Third World itself faces various problems, it is the Third World countries and their 
peoples that become the real victims. For this reason it must be the Third World that is 
the genuine and primary force for safeguarding world peace and opposing hegemonism, 
because this concern immediately affects Third World countries. This follows necessarily 
because of the position and immediate interests of the Third World itself. 

We are by no means pessimists. We simply want to point out that the danger of war 
exists. We have said that while the factors bringing about war have increased, the factors 
for preventing war are also growing. With reference to the United Nations, we can see 
that after World War n, a positive factor in international politics has been the rise of the 
Third World. The Third World member countries in the United Nations have increased. 
The importance of this change must be recognized. Hegemony may continue to run 
rampant. However, the days are gone when hegemonists wilfully decided the destiny of 
people all over the world. Although the Third World is poor, its international political 
influence has increased considerably. This cannot be overlooked. Of course, coordination 
between Third World countries is far from ideal. The matter is very complicated; so 
much work remains to be done in this regard. As for China, our strength is limited, as is 
our role. Many people contend that China holds a special position in the Third World. We 
say that China is just another member of the Third World, and as such, should discharge 
its own responsibilities. Many friends claim that China is the leader of the Third World. 
However, we say that China cannot be the leader, because acting as the leader will breed 
adversity. Those who practise hegemonism are discredited, so serving as the leader of the 
Third World would earn us a bad reputation. These are not words of modesty. I say this 
out of genuine political consideration. 

We have always believed that disarmament talks would be of no avail, but we are in 
favour of attempting negotiations. Some people have alleged that China is bellicose, but 
in fact China hopes for peace more than anything else. China hopes that there will be no 
war for the rest of the century. We need to develop the country and shake off 
backwardness. The primary task we have set as the initial goal for the realization of 
modernization is to create comparative prosperity by the end of this century. If we can 
accomplish this goal, we will be in a much better position. More importantly, we shall 
achieve a new starting point. Within the ensuing 30 to 50 years, we shall approach the 
level of developed countries. We do not mean to catch up with, still less do we say to 
surpass, but only to approach the level of developed countries. Therefore, we cherish the 
hope for a peaceful international environment. Should war break out, our plan would be 
thwarted, and in that case we could not but postpone the plan. During the period up to the 
end of the century and extending decades into the future, we hope that there will be 



peace. Our proposals for safeguarding world peace are by no means empty talk, but 
instead are based on our own needs. Of course, this also meets the needs of people all 
over the world, particularly the needs of people in the Third World. Therefore, opposing 
hegemonism and safeguarding world peace are our established policies and are the 
foundation of our foreign policy. Some people around the world wonder whether China's 
policy will change once the country's current leaders are gone. I have just answered the 
question. Our policy should not be altered; China must continue to pursue this policy if it 
hopes to develop, and no one should willfully change the policy. However, China alone 
cannot guarantee that it will be successful in carrying out this policy. Should some nation 
impose war on us, we are not afraid and our plans will simply be postponed for a number 
of years. But we shall resume economic construction after the war ends. At present, our 
domestic situation is fairly good. The Chinese people are wholeheartedly concentrating 
on economic development. Our foreign policy coincides with this magnificent goal. 
Although this objective may seem modest to some people, we hail it as a magnificent 
achievement. 

(Excerpt from a talk with Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United 
Nations. )