In accordance with the unified plan and requirements of the CPC Central Committee, our Party has carried out the Party-wide Education Campaign to Preserve the Advanced Nature of Party Members since January this year, focusing on putting the important thought of Three Represents into practice. This is an important policy decision adopted by the CPC Central Committee after thoroughly and correctly assessing the situation, tasks, and the state of the Party membership in the new period. It is a basic project for strengthening the Party’s governance capacity and an important measure for implementing the guidelines set at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Sixteenth Central Committee.
The International Department of the CPC Central Committee attaches great importance to the policy decision and plan of the Central Committee. We made a lot of ideological and organizational preparations, and carried out a series of warm-up activities. For example, we investigated and got to know the conditions in Party organizations at different levels in our department, strengthened target-oriented management over Party branches and their leaderships by providing training courses to their secretaries, selected model Party organizations, improved our recruitment of new Party members, held democratic meetings of Party officials, conscientiously composited the problems, and solicited opinions from the masses. At the same time, in order to solve the prominent problems of our department and Party officials through the education campaign with specific purposes, we solicited opinions and advice from Party members and officials and other employees of our department and from the Party committees of other departments directly under the Central Committee, and relevant provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government; then we organized forums of various groups: leaders of bureaus and Party branch secretaries, Party officials at the section chief level, retired cadres, and young comrades. To support the education campaign, we also held exhibitions of the Third International Conference of Asian Political Parties and of our department’s history to boost the morale of Party members through the glorious history of the Party’s external work and the present excellent environment. Leaders of the Central Committee gave important directives on how the education campaign should be carried out in our department when they listened to our report on our work plan for 2005. As a department directly under the Central Committee, we must strictly implement its plan, act in accordance with the requirements made by Comrade Wang Gang at the beginning of this year at a conference on Party work for departments directly under the Central Committee, and take effective measures to promote smooth progress in the education campaign with a high sense of political responsibility and concerted efforts, and by making overall arrangements and careful organization.
Focusing on Putting the Important Thought of Three Represents into Practice
The Guidelines of the Party Central Committee on Carrying Out the Party-Wide Education Campaign to Preserve the Advanced Nature of Party Members and the speeches delivered by leaders of the Central Committee have explicitly explained the necessity, importance, guiding ideology, objectives, overall arrangements, methods, organization and leadership of this campaign. General Secretary Hu Jintao emphasized that every locality, department and organization should truly strengthen leadership with due consideration to its work and deepen the campaign by careful organization and arrangements, timely guidance, and intensified supervision and inspection. At a working conference on the Education Campaign to Preserve the Advanced Nature of Party Members held by the Central Committee, Comrade Zeng Qinghong emphasized that the key to implementing the guiding ideology for the education campaign is to keep in mind the general requirements of the “four ones” (keep one concentration – studying and implementing the important thought of Three Represents, hold one theme – preserving the advanced nature of Party members, define one focus– strengthening the Party’s governance capacity, and adhere to one principle – the Party exercises self-discipline and is strict with its members), which permeates the whole education process. We will keep these directives in mind in light of the actual conditions in our department and make every effort to meet the four targets set by the Central Committee that the education campaign should improve the quality of Party members, strengthen primary-level organizations, serve the masses, and promote all our work.
In light of its special conditions, the International Department should carry out the education campaign mainly in the following areas:
I. Unifying our thinking, fortifying our confidence, and deepening our understanding to comprehensively understand and conscientiously carry out the important plan of the Central Committee
1. We should fully understand that the education campaign is an important measure taken by the Central Committee to enhance the Party’s governance capacity, strengthen its position of authority, and accomplish its mission of governance.
General Secretary Hu Jintao pointed out in his speech that the advanced nature is the fundamental feature of Marxist political parties and also what their life hinges on and where their strength comes from. The capacity of a ruling party to preserve its advanced nature is fundamental for strengthening its position of authority. Our department also came to understand this law after studying the experiences and lessons of party building of foreign political parties in our research on the new great project of party building in the new period.
The most fundamental reasons that our Party has been able to prevail in the long struggle against and repeated competition with various types of political forces ever since its founding, develop constantly, and hold nationwide political power for a long duration are that it embodies the theoretical and practical quality of advancing with the times, always stands in the forefront of the times, and always maintains the advanced nature of a Marxist political party. The internal and external environments our Party faces at the new stage in the new period have changed greatly, and they make new demands on preserving the advanced nature of the Party and confront it with new international and domestic challenges and trials in strengthening Party building. Whether the Party can survive these trials depends on whether it can always advance with the times and preserve its advanced nature in the new circumstances.
2. The education campaign is a continuation and deepening of the effort to study and implement the important thought of Three Represents.
The important thought of Three Represents is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory and is the latest theoretical result of the Sinicization of Marxism. To continue deepening our study and implementation of that important thought in the International Department and guide our new practice with Marxism which is in the process of development, we must stand at the apex of the era at the new stage in the new century, scientifically review the historical experience in the Party’s external work, deepen our understanding of the law governing it, continue to explore its features in different periods, and further clarify the basic objectives, specific missions and guiding principles of the Party’s external work in the new circumstances, and constantly open up new phases in its work.
3. Carrying out the education campaign is a necessary requirement for guaranteeing that the Party’s external work continues to develop.
The Party’s external work is an important component of its cause, as well as an indispensable part of the state’s overall diplomatic work. Gratifying results have been achieved in the new stage in the new century under the correct leadership of the Central Committee and with the active participation of concerned departments. However, to push our work to a new level, and continue to maintain a good momentum of sustained development, while acknowledging the achievements we have made, we must also be aware of our shortcomings and problems. This requires us to thoroughly consider the ongoing work and major strategic issues that have a bearing on the development of the International Department on the basis of the requirements of a scientific outlook on development. It also requires all Party members in the department to play a vanguard and exemplary role at their respective posts, keep up with the times, and work hard with a pioneering and innovative spirit. The education campaign should be carried out to provide strong political, ideological and organizational guarantees for the development of the International Department. This is crucial for continuing to develop the Party’s external work.
II. Making every effort to solve major problems currently existing in building Party membership in the International Department by focusing on key and crucial problems
The key to successfully carrying out the education campaign is identifying problems and solving them. General Secretary Hu Jintao pointed out in his speech that there are some problems currently existing among Party members, such as weak faith in the ideal, lack of a sense of organization and discipline, and failure to serve the people wholeheartedly and have a clear picture of the general trend of national development. How should we view our Party membership? Generally speaking, it is fine. But, we still fall far short of what the important thought of Three Represents and the heavy tasks we are shouldering require of us in terms of ideology, organization and work style, and some problems are rather prominent. We should seize firmly the favorable opportunity of the education campaign and focus on solving the following five problems existing in our Party membership.
First, we need to continue to solve problems of our Party membership concerning the ideal, sense of purpose, world outlook, views on life and values. As the foreign affairs department of the Central Committee, the International Department emphasizes that it is very important that our Party members should hold their ideal firmly, have a clear sense of purpose and unwavering political devotion, be politically sensitive and develop a strong political ability to distinguish between right and wrong on major issues.
Second, we need to continue to solve the Party members’ problems in ideology and state of mind in promoting our work. The duties and responsibilities of our department are performed mainly by Party members and officials. The ideology and state of mind for innovation of our Party members would have direct influence on the work of the International Department. At present, a few Party members, including leaders, in our department have such problems as not being sufficiently free from outworn ideas, being content with the status quo, lacking enthusiasm and initiative in their work, and even panic-stricken about their inadequacy in knowledge or skill. We should, through the education campaign, encourage our Party members to be guided by the important thought of Three Represents, to focus on strengthening the Party’s governance capacity, to always maintain the spirit of keeping pace with the times and working diligently, to eliminate ideas, systems or mechanisms influencing, restricting or hindering the development of the Party’s external work, and to make innovations in theories, systems and work processes, so as to achieve new breakthroughs in the Party’s external work. In this way, the results of the education campaign will have an effect on developing our cause and developing our work in new directions, and we can better meet the new requirements imposed on our department by the new tasks in the new circumstances.
Third, we need to further deal with Party members’ problems with their work style. The focus should be on dealing with the failure of some Party leaders to properly play an exemplary role, their insufficient efforts to reach out to the masses, their simplistic working methodology, overstaffing in some areas, and the inefficiency and dilatory work habits of some individuals, all of which go against the important thought of Three Represents and the requirement of preserving the advanced nature of Party members. We should, through the education program, transform our work style, establish rules and institutions, concentrate on focusing Party work on the public interests and dedicating ourselves to our work, and ensure self-disciplined and incorruptible governance. We should improve our working procedures and rules and make them more scientific, standardized and transparent. We should cultivate correct views on values concerning power, status and interests. We need to correct these problems in our work style so that the public will see that the International Department’s work style has improved and establish a good image of it as preserving the advanced nature of Party members.
Fourth, we need to address the outstanding problems existing in the education and management of our Party members. We should properly investigate and handle their education and management and work out specific criteria for their advanced nature. At the same time, we should conscientiously do research on how to correctly identify and deal with unqualified Party members. We should conscientiously correct the ideology and organizational structure of our department’s Party membership through the education campaign to preserve its advanced and pure nature.
Fifth, we need to carefully deal with weak links in Party building in our department. While fully affirming the key role of Party organizations in our department, we should also notice that some of our branches still do not attach sufficient importance to Party building and have not yet implemented the responsibility system adequately. Party organizations are moribund in some branches that do not adequately supervise, educate or monitor their Party members. Some Party organizations hold activities irregularly, and they are dull, outdated and ineffective. All branches should carefully locate their weak links in Party building, take concrete measures to deal with them, establish and improve rules and regulations in their Party building work, innovate its content and form, and take this education program as an opportunity to promote the building of Party organizations at the primary level.
III. Improving leadership and implementing the education campaign vigorously to ensure it gets real results
This education campaign sets demanding tasks that must be completed in a relatively short period of time. So we must carry forward the International Department’s fine tradition of emphasizing Party building and the education of Party members, strictly adhere to standards and demands, and always vigorously implement the education campaign to ensure it achieves tangible results.
First, we need to strengthen organization and leadership. We learned that some leaders of the Central Committee have rescheduled their foreign visits because of this education campaign. Members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee have set a good example by taking the lead in participating in a series of important activities in the education campaign. Officials at all levels in our department should prepare for the education campaign carefully, organize it thoroughly, provide guidance over it conscientiously, participate in it with a high sense of political responsibility, and firmly oppose formalism and perfunctoriness. Leaders of our department should do a good job of supervising the education campaign in their bureaus of responsibility and personally reach out to the people in them. As the first person in charge of the education campaign in the whole International Department, I should lead by example. At the same time, all leaders should take part in this education campaign as ordinary Party members and really take the lead in discussing their understanding of what it means to put the important thought of Three Represents into practice and preserve the advanced nature of Party members. They should also take the lead in giving lectures on Party-related knowledge, participating in courses held by their Party branches, carrying out self-analysis, criticism and self-criticism, correctly identifying problems, formulating and implementing measures to solve them, and voluntarily fulfilling the requirements set forth by the important thought of Three Represents.
Second, we need to improve the ideology of Party members and mobilize them throughout the education campaign. In the education campaign, we must constantly strive to deepen Party members’ understanding of its importance and necessity. In particular, we need to carefully deal with the vague understanding and incorrect ideas of some Party members. One problem is that since we have already carried out the education campaign to stress the need to study, to be political-minded and to be honest and upright, some Party members do not see the necessity to launch the campaign to preserve the advanced nature of Party members. Another problem is that they think that this education campaign is only a formality and will not change anything. A third problem is that as they think their external contact and research workload is already heavy, they are worried that the education campaign will affect or delay their primary tasks.
Third, we need to intensify positive education and self-education. This is a significant ideological guarantee against just going through the motions. Throughout this education campaign, we must focus on positive education and self-education, always educate Party members and equip their minds with the important thought of Three Represents, and increase Party members’ awareness of and the effectiveness of self-education, self-improvement and self-enhancement. At the education campaign’s stage of study and training, Party members should be organized to study the documents required for study by the Central Committee and extensively discuss the specific requirements for preserving the advanced nature of Party members to make them clearly understand what they should do to preserve their advanced nature. At the stage of analysis and evaluation, Party members should be guided to sincerely solicit and listen to opinions from the public, undertake self-analysis and introspection to identify existing problems in light of the criterion of progressiveness and the views of the public, and decide how to address them. At the stage of rectification and improvement, Party members should be actively guided to formulate and implement a plan for rectification and improvement and get more education during the process. After the intensive education basically comes to an end, rectification and improvement should be consolidated and expanded.
Fourth, work and the education campaign are integrated and promote each other and neither can be neglected. This principle must pervade the whole process of our work, and the campaign must promote every aspect of our work. This is the principal criterion for measuring the effectiveness of the campaign. On the basis of the requirements on handling the relationship between the education campaign and all our work set forth by Comrade Zeng Qinghong at a working conference on this campaign, we should take the conditions at the International Department into consideration, and endeavor to integrate carrying out the education campaign with promoting the Party’s external work and improving staff competence, and we should improve the Party’s capability in external work and promote new developments in this work. In our external activities, we should follow the overall arrangements for the state’s foreign work, further emphasize the purpose, orientation and effect of our work, and focus on high-level exchanges, foreign relations involving Taiwan, our relations with neighboring countries, and training officials for other developing countries, so as to raise our ability to serve the Central Committee to a new level. Our research should closely focus on four objectives: helping increase the Party’s governance capacity and carrying out a scientific outlook on development, helping build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, helping improve our Party’s ability to respond to international situations and handle international affairs, and offering intellectual support to the Central Committee. We should carefully plan our research to emphasize our distinctive features and constantly make fresh achievements. Our research on the mode of development and the experience of foreign political parties in their governance and political activities is a concrete embodiment of practicing the scientific outlook on development. Our research on the course of development of world socialism enables us to consolidate our confidence in building socialism and our ideal and our belief in finally achieving communism. All these embody the integration of our work with the education campaign and their mutual reinforcement. The same thing is true of our coordination work, publicity work directed to foreign countries, Party building, executive work and support services. Only if we can apply the effects of the education campaign to doing all our work better and solving outstanding problems and measure and test the results of the education campaign in terms of the real results achieved in carrying out all our work, can we, through solid and effective work, improve the quality and level of our service to the Central Committee and truly carry forward the various work of our department by improving the theoretical level, ideal and belief of our Party members. This is not only a fresh attempt to exploit our features in the education campaign and review our new experience but also a new contribution we are making to our Party’s external work in the new period.
Placing ourselves under the oversight and guidance of the Oversight and Guidance Team of the Central Committee and acting in accordance with its plan and requirements, we must do a good job in the education campaign with firm leadership, a pragmatic manner and thorough organizational efforts and down-to-earth work. We must successfully complete the various tasks assigned to us by the Central Committee and continually expand and develop the external work of the Party by carefully understanding the goals of foreign relations work set by the Central Committee in the new situation and continually improving the quality of our Party members.
Source: The March 2005 issue of Party Building at Departments Directly Under the CPC Central Committee.