Commentary: Xi’s Speech Signals China’s Future Path

China’s President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, addressed the opening session of a meeting in Beijing for provincial and ministerial officials held from July 26 to July 27 in preparation for the 19th National Congress of the CPC.

People’s Daily has provided eight articles in a series since July 31 to interpret each of the key points of President Xi Jinping’s speech. We have arranged these articles and provided a detailed commentary on the eight key points of Xi’s July 26 speech.

Understanding the spirit of Xi’s speech is the current political priority

Xi’s speech at the workshop is regarded as setting the tone for the political, ideological and theoretical foundations of the congress. It has resonated among central departments.

Xi issues a call to brandish the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics

In his speech, Xi called for holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, stressing that socialism with Chinese characteristics had been the theme of all the Party’s theories and practices since the reform and opening up in 1978.

Practice has proven that socialism with Chinese characteristics is the best way to ensure the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. He added that the CPC must explicitly declare what banner to hold, what road to take, in what state of mind, what historic mission to shoulder and what target to achieve.

Xi’s speech outlines historic achievements and reforms

The past five years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have seen an extraordinary development of the CPC and the country. During the period, the central government has shown that it understands the general development trend of China and the world, and made a series of major strategic moves according to the will of the people.

Such great achievements lie fundamentally in the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, as well as the guidance of new ideas, thoughts and strategies of state governance, Party members and officials from the ministries of finance and transport said.

“A firm grasp” is a key prerequisite for the future of the Party and the state

“Firmly grasp the phased characteristics of China’s stage feature and firmly grasp the people’s desire for a better life.” This is the meaning of the “Two firm grasps”.

Based on the will of the people, the CPC will firmly put forward new strategies and measures to gain the initiative in a rapidly changing era.

Xi’s speech underlines a strong commitment to socialism with Chinese characteristics

Xi pointed out that socialism with Chinese characteristics had entered a new development stage.

“In planning and advancing various work of the Party and the state, we must thoroughly analyze and precisely evaluate the national, international and the Party’s conditions under current circumstances,” Xi said.

He also outlined a blueprint for the Party and the state, pointing the direction for future development.

The CPC makes a priority of theoretical construction and guidance

As a Marxist political party, the CPC must carry on its tradition of keeping pace with the times and promote theoretical innovation on the basis of practice, Xi said.

The Party must stick to the basic tenets of Marxism and consider major strategic issues faced by the nation with a broader vision and longer perspective. “Only in this way can we gain initiative in this rapidly changing era.”

New ideas and actions for the “Two centenary goals”

At present, the major task for the CPC is to lead the country to accomplish the goal of building a moderately prosperous society by 2020. The success in building a moderately prosperous society should be recognized by the people and stand the test of history.

After completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, China will usher in the second phase of its two centennial goals, setting out on the journey of building a modern socialist country.

This is the CPC’s solemn promise to the people. And that promise must be kept, as it has been over the past decades.

An all-out effort to enforce strict Party discipline

Xi warned the Party against being self-satisfied and blindly optimistic. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, an anti-corruption campaign has swept across the country, putting at least 240 senior officials under investigation.

The campaign has reinforced people’s confidence in the Party. In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2016, 64 percent of the interviewees believed that corruption would lessen over the next five years. Grassroots Party members and organizations are crucial to the strength of the Party.

The CPC is setting up a better appraisal mechanism to allow more mobility within its organizational structure, so that any capable candidate from its 89 million members has a chance to shine.

The strict rule of the Party is an ongoing cause. Although remarkable results have been achieved, the situation is still arduous and more must be done to root out the scourge that threatens the Party’s very survival.

 

Source: People’s Daily, Xinhua