The coming year 2011 marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC). At this important moment, it is of strategic importance and great relevance to review the Party's history of struggles and reservoir of rich experiences and to summarize the theories and practices of the Party's external work to revive the revolutionary spirit, mobilize people to engage in the great Socialist modernization drive and create a bright future.
The combination of the basic principles of Marxism with China's real conditions is the magic weapon for success.
1. Adhere to the road of revolution and development with Chinese characteristics.
The CPC led the people in the great revolution for a long span of 28 years after its founding. Over 22 years in this period, despite its poor equipment and short supply, it never gave up military struggle against the anti-revolutionary forces which were armed to their teeth. After suffering untold hardships and countless sacrifice, it finally succeeded in overthrowing the counter-revolutionary rule of the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism and establishing a new China where people are their own masters. In the 60-plus years since liberation, on the debris of war, the CPC has led the Chinese people of all ethic groups in upholding the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and in marching on the broad road to a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
What is the source of strength that has enabled us to overcome unimaginable hardships and countless setbacks and to go from one victory to another? My feeling is that among our Party's rich experiences and lessons in both the revolutionary and the construction period, the most fundamental one is that it has always combined the basic principles of Marxism with the realities of China and adhered to the road of revolution and development with Chinese characteristics. This is the magic weapon to overcome difficulties and win victories.
It is by no means an easy task to properly combine the basic principles of Marxism with Chinese realities. The following three most important requirements must be met. First, there must be firm belief in the universal truths of Marxism, thus using its scientific positions, viewpoints, and methodology to understand and transform the world. Second, everything must proceed from China's realities. The successful experience of other countries and parties can serve as references but should never be copied blindly. Third, while the basic tenets and principles of Marxism should be adhered to, it should never be regarded as rigid doctrines. Marxism is the scientific summery of rules governing the objective world and the social practices of mankind. Since both the objective world and social practices keep changing and evolving all the time, Marxism should also be enriched and updated with changes of the situation, calls of the times and experiences in practice. General Secretary Hu Jintao pointed out in his report to the 17th National Congress of the CPC that, "Theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics constitute a system of scientific theories including Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development and other major strategic thoughts. This system represents the Party's adherence to and development of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and embodies the wisdom and hard work of several generations of Chinese Communists leading the people in carrying out tireless explorations and practices. It is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to Chinese conditions." "It is an open system that keeps developing. Practices since the publication of the Communist Manifesto nearly 160 years ago have proved that only when Marxism is integrated with the conditions of a specific country, advances with the times and is tied to the destiny of the people can it demonstrate its strong vitality, creativity and appeal. In contemporary China, to stay true to Marxism means to adhere to the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics."
2. Thoughts on the "Chinese model"
The tremendous achievement in China's development has led to extensive attention to and hot debates on the "Chinese model" in the international community. In May 2004, with the publication of Beijing Consensus, a paper by US political commentator Joshua Cooper Ramo, the topic of "Chinese model" was debated even more. Political commentators, scholars and businessmen from various countries have begun to discuss this topic in different ways and channels. These various views and perspectives have arrived at different definitions such as "authoritarian capitalism", "market influence plus stability by authoritarian rule". At the same time, there were also enthusiastic and objective comments on the "Chinese model" by many a serious politicians, scholars and media people. On May 8, 2010, La Presse, a newspaper in Tunisia, on a reporting tour of a hundred journalists from developing countries to China, commented that "the success of the Chinese model lies in the fact that the Chinese people have created a development model befitting their situation. This model was not introduced from abroad nor is it meant for export"; "The Chinese-style Communism reflects the unique cultural, historical, political, and social marks as well as civilization of the Chinese people, which facilitates the country's development and is supported by a great majority of the Chinese people." Professor David Shambaugh of George Washington University of the US said that the Chinese model is unique in that it is able to flexibly transform the elements it introduced from abroad and then transplant them in various areas to form a unique and all-encompassing system, and this is the real Chinese model.
The discussion of the "Chinese model", in essence, is to find out the basic experiences of our successful development. I personally believe that it is inappropriate to use the word "model" to sum up our basic experiences. First of all, model refers to the standard form or fixed format of a certain thing (A Great Chinese Dictionary, P. 2417), while the theories and practices of China's development keep changing in abreast with the times. Second, we have never wanted to export our experiences. Instead, it is our view that countries should choose and decide their own development models based on their specific conditions. Comrade Jiang Zemin made the point while meeting with a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on May 17, 1994. He said that, as things stand, different Socialist countries vary from one another in their construction and development paths. It is difficult to seek a unified model. Countries have to come up with their development paths in line with their specific situations. On November 27 of the same year, while meeting with a delegation of the Socialist Party of Chile, Comrade Hu Jintao said that "being a science in itself, Socialism should not be rigid doctrines or fixed models. Instead, it should develop and progress with history and the society. It is based on reviewing the experience and lessons of China's revolution and construction that we have come up with the concept of the road of Socialism with Chinese characteristics."
If someone insists on using the "Chinese model" to summarize the basic experiences of China's development, it can best be summarized as "a road of Socialism with Chinese characteristics under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory".
We arrive at this theoretical system and development road based on Chinese conditions. Of course, the particularity and universality of everything is a dialectical unity, with universality lying beneath the particularities. The theories and practice of our development have demonstrated vividly one universal truth, that is, the combination of the basic tenets of Marxism with the specific realities of different countries. While developing relations with foreign political parties, we introduced to them our successful experiences in an objective way, with specific examples. This enables the international community and people of all walks of life to have a right understanding of us, which is of far-reaching and realistic significance in increasing mutual understanding and enhancing mutual trust and friendly cooperation.
3. The fine style of work of the Party is an important guarantee for choosing the right way.
The 90 years of the CPC's leadership in the great practice of our revolution and construction shows that without the fine style of work of the Party, it would have been impossible to find the right road to development in line with China's realties.
The following important prerequisites must be met to find the right road to development.
First of all, there must be perseverance in learning so as to grasp scientific theories, namely, the positions, viewpoints and methodologies of Marxism, and then use them to rightly understand and deeply analyze the complex realities.
Second, any road, line and principle can only be proven right after countless practices. Otherwise, they will remain empty talk. Practice is the sole criteria for testing truth.
Third, social practices in the real sense cannot be separated from the participation of the people. People are creators of history. One will always remain a groundless theorist and accomplish nothing if he keeps a distance from the people, fails to understand their demands and thoughts or summarize their experiences from practice.
Fourth, revolution and development are demanding tasks, which could not always run smoothly. Setbacks are inevitable. If one fails to learn from failures and mistakes and to make reflections and summarize lessons with an unyielding spirit, he will not find truth and march forward.
Meeting these requirements depends on the Party's fine style of work. Our party has always attached great importance to improving its style of work, regarding it an important part of party-building. From April 23 to June 11, 1945, on the eve of winning the final victories of the war against Japanese aggression, the 7th National Congress of the CPC was held in Yan'an. Based on systematic review of past experiences, the Congress stressed the great significance of combining theory with practice, forging close ties with the masses, as well as criticism and self-criticism. Since then our party has always adhered to and advocated these three aspects of the Party's work style while giving them new meaning in light of development of the situation and features of our times, thus ensuring our Party to go from victory to victory on the right road in keeping with the times.
Create New Prospects of Party Diplomacy by Carrying forward the Party's Fine Style of Work
1. The CPC's external work is an indispensable part of the Party's work.
Nearly a century's struggles and practice of the CPC since its founding have demonstrated that its external work is an integral part of its overall work. It is not only by chance. First of all, it is determined by the Party's nature and strategic tasks. Ever since its founding, it has maintained close relations with the International Communist Movement. Throughout the whole process of revolution, we had always received valuable sympathy and support from international proletarians and progressive forces.
After the People's Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949 and the CPC became the ruling party, the CPC's international reputation was greatly boosted and it began to have increasing exchanges with foreign political parties and progressive organizations. In order to enhance the external work of the Party, the CPC central leadership decided to set up the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC in short) in 1951 and appointed Comrade Wang Jiaxiang as its minister on January 16, which was later set as the founding date of the IDCPC. On January 24 of the same year, notifications on the establishment of the IDCPC were sent out to various central bureaus and sub-bureaus by the Central Committee.
With development of the situation and readjustments of the CPC's policies on foreign exchanges and in light of China's tremendous achievement over the past 30-plus years since the reform and opening up, the international influence of the CPC has been rapidly expanding and its foreign exchanges have increased greatly. By May 2010, the CPC has established relations or maintained various forms of contact with over 570 political parties and organizations of various types in over 160 countries and regions. Party diplomacy has become part and parcel of overall state diplomacy and is playing an increasingly important role.
2. Base the Department's work on the tradition of research and study
Comrade Wang Jiaxiang, a proletarian revolutionary, had attached great importance to research and study since his appointment as IDCPC's first minister. At the inauguration of the Department, he stressed to list them high on the agenda. He proposed the guiding principle of having a good knowledge of the parties and countries one deals with, encouraged the staff to do their work through extensive reading and listening to the radio, and requested every cadre to submit research and study reports of at least 500 words on a daily basis. The submitted materials should include updates of the targeted countries, political parties and people's movements in the forms of translation notes, synopsis or cards, most preferably briefings. Some retired cadres recalled this assignment and said, "At first many thought it too demanding, but later everyone worked hard to finish the task". It is through this tough mission that many cadres distinguished themselves out.
Comrade Wang also pointed out the situation updates should be "new, timely, brief, sharp, profound and wide-ranging". Thus it required all cadres of patience and perseverance. It is through his strict requirements and being a role model himself, the Department had formed a good working atmosphere of seeking truth from facts, and trained many generations of loyal and hardworking talents. Many cadres resolved to quietly doing elementary work that had made precious contribution to improving the quality of work and consolidating the foundation of inter-party diplomacy.
3. Unify obeying party rules and innovation
As the functional body of the Party's external work, the International Department abides by the principle of "there's nothing trivial in diplomatic work" and political disciplines. But this is no reason to pursue dogmatism. On the contrary, in order to be the Central Committee's good assistant and consultant for external work, we are required to provide innovative suggestions based on in-depth research and study that combines actual situation with Central Committee's guiding principles. Comrades Wang Jiaxiang, Geng Biao, Ji Pengfei, Li Yimeng, former leaders of the Department, had all been role models themselves.
With the conclusion of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee followed by Rectifying Right and Wrong, the guiding principles for the Party's external work underwent profound readjustment. In September, 1982, the Twelfth CPC Central Committee formally proposed to "develop relations with communist parties and parties of the working class based on the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs". In October 1987, the Party's Thirteenth Central Committee decided to apply the Four Principles Guiding Inter-party Exchanges to other political parties besides communist parties.
Prior to that, Asian, African and Latin American political parties and particularly several ruling parties of nationalist Sub-Saharan African countries had asked to establish relations in multiple forms with the CPC. In response, the Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly proposed to establish contacts with these parties and got the approval by the Central Committee.
From December 4, 1979 to February 7, 1980, then IDCPC Vice Minister Wu Xueqian headed a CPC delegation to visit ten African countries, namely Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, Zaire, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal, at the invitations of the ruling parties of these countries. I was a member of the delegation and attended all the activities. This was the first visiting delegation in the name of CPC at the invitations of ruling parties of nationalist Sub-Saharan African countries.
The ten parties were very pleased and satisfied with the Party's visit at their invitations. They deemed it great support to them and crucial to promoting friendly cooperation between the two sides. They all broke protocol to honor the delegation. Eight out of ten presidents met with the delegation. The delegation also held twenty political meetings with party leaderships of the ten countries. The delegation had contacts with 135 leaders above the Central Committee and ministerial level. The Political Bureau of the Senegal Socialist Party discussed for twice the reception of this delegation. Top leaders such as Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema and Sierra Leone President Stevens even set out the itineraries of the delegation themselves. Newspapers, radio programs and televisions of most countries reported the delegation's activities as important events.
In line with the inter-party exchanges with these Sub-Saharan African parties and particularly with the establishment of the Four Principles Guiding Inter-party Relations which transcend ideological lines, our Party gradually established wide-ranging contacts with legitimate political parties, both ruling and in opposition, of Asian and Latin American developing countries.
With the approval by the Central Committee, the Party also unfolded exchanges with socialist parties of Europe at the suggestion of the International Department. In February, 1981, Francois Mitterrand, leader of the Socialist Party of France (PS), headed a delegation to visit China at the invitation of the CPC. The PS was the first socialist party of Western Europe to establish ties with the CPC. Francois Mitterrand was PS's presidential candidate at that time. Three months after his visit, he won the election to become French President. Not long after, the CPC established ties with major socialist parties of Western Europe and started formal exchanges with the Socialist International in February, 1983.
In late August, 1977, Comrades Geng Biao and Li Yimeng suggested to resume relations with the Communist Alliance of Yugoslavia and was approved by the Central Committee on the eve of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito's visit to China. Meanwhile, the CPC resumed ties with some socialist parties and workers' parties established before 1960s. In May 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev visited China. When meeting with him, Comrade Deng Xiaoping proposed the two sides to "end the past and open up the future", which brought the normalization of relations between the CPC and the Soviet Communist Party. Unity of the Party's principles with the innovation spirit led the Party's external work to a new phase of development.
4. Be truth-seeking, pragmatic and outspoken
We value the work spirits of seeking truth from facts, proceeding from actual situations and innovation. Yet to put them into practice, we must encourage cadres to be outspoken and also be prepared for the potential consequences. Comrade Wang Jiaxiang is our role model in this regard.
In the early 1960s, China's domestic economy was confronted with extreme difficulties while facing new challenges in diplomatic work. Despite the rising leftist trends, Comrade Wang, who held interests of the Party and the people as most important, submitted frankly four suggestions to the Central leadership in the spring of 1962. The four suggestions were: first, issue an announcement of our diplomatic work that correctly illustrates our foreign policy being a peaceful one; second, diplomatic efforts should aim at smoothening rather than intensifying situations; third, in international struggles, be careful about tactics and highly vigilant to attempts aimed at isolating and splitting China; fourth, assistance to other countries should be provided based on our national conditions within our capabilities.
However, his keen insights were condemned rather than approved due to the leftist political atmosphere. The suggestions were defined as "reconciliations to imperialism, reactionaries and modern revisionism" and "inadequate support for revolutions". During the Cultural Revolution, Kang Sheng even attacked them as "surrenders to imperialism, reactionaries and modern revisionism" and "discouraging revolutions". Consequently, Comrade Wang suffered all sorts of unjust treatments including both physical and mental tortures. Even under such circumstances, he blamed no one but called on his staff to "have faith in the Party and Chairman Mao", "believe that China is full of hope" and remained loyal to the Party. It was not until 1979 that all unjustifiable accusations against him were withdrawn. This incident taught us profound lessons.
5. Strengthen Cadre Building with the Working Ethic Codes of Loyalty, Dedication, Truth-Seeking and Innovation
Successive leaders of the International Department have all attached great importance to cadres' political awareness and moralities. On October 10, 1996, the Sixth Plenary Session of the Fourteenth CPC Central Committee approved the Resolution to Strengthen Socialist Civilization Construction. The Resolution stressed that while striving for greater construction of material aspect of civilization, to place the construction of civilization to a higher level. The problem of unbalanced development between the two aspects must be solved and the principle of balanced development between the two must be adhered to. Back then, the Department had entered busy season, yet we decided to resolutely implement the instructions of the Central Committee.
I held a series of meetings on how to make arrangement based on our situation. Many cadres suggested that the codes of International Department can derive from our traditional working ethics. Also, the codes can serve as a strategic point to make breakthroughs in the construction of civilization. Thus, a team headed by leaders of the Department was formed. We stressed on fully motivating all the staffs into the discussion of defining the working ethic codes that best represent the Department. This could cultivate a sense of mission and responsibility as well as the love for the Department among staffs.
Based on discussion, Department leaders decided to hold a seminar consisting of leaders of ministerial, bureau and division levels from 4th to 6th March 1997. The first task was to form a unanimous agreement among these leaders; then these leaders would implement the plans.
With careful discussion and broad consultation, the fourteenth ministerial meeting in 1997 laid down the working ethic codes and their interpretations. They were formally announced on June 9th, 1997.
The working ethic codes of the International Department are: Loyalty, Dedication, Truth-Seeking and Innovation.
Loyalty: Be loyal to the Party, the country and the people; resolutely safeguard the interests and dignity of the Party, the country and the people; individual interests must be subordinated to the interests of the Party, the country and the people; be honest and willing to contribute.
Dedication: Love the Party's external work and have a good sense of dedication and responsibility; accurately carry out the tasks assigned and accomplish them in an efficient and high-quality manner.
Truth-seeking: Adhere to the principles of seeking truth from facts and proceeding from actual situations; pay attention to research, study and efficiency; be open to criticism and self-criticism, stick to truth and rectify mistakes.
Innovation: Work with passion and creativity; draw experiences from previous work, study and innovate.
After these working ethic codes were laid down, large-scale and multifaceted publicity work was done to promote them. One such example was: on April 22, 2010, the International Department Committee of the Communist Youth League held a contest on the Department's history. Contestants from 22 bureau-level units were divided into four teams, each named by one of the working ethic codes. The contest served as a good function to promote the Department's history, the working ethic codes and dedication to our careers.
We also combine the education of our working ethic codes with the campaign to maintain the advanced nature of the CPC. From 1997 to 2009, advanced units and individuals stood out year after year. In general, the Department's working ethic codes have gradually evolved into all cadres' common aspiration and moral ethics through education. At present, the Party's external work is faced with precious opportunities never seen before. Yet at the same time, the intertwining of complex international situations and ideologies pose new challenges to our work. Under such circumstance, the current leadership of the Department with Comrade Wang Jiarui as the Minister attaches great importance to the construction of spiritual aspect of civilization and cadre building. The leadership calls on all cadres of the Department to live up to the requirements set by the working ethic codes and work hard to create new prospects for inter-party diplomacy, thus to embrace the 90th anniversary of the CPC as well as the 60th anniversary of the International Department of the CPC with remarkable progress at work.
Source: News of the Communist Party of China