The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era was written into the Constitution of the Communist Party of China as a new component of the Party’s guide for action, according to a resolution of the 19th CPC National Congress.
The amendment to the Constitution — the CPC’s fundamental document for its more than 89 million members — was unanimously agreed upon by Party delegates.
In response to contemporary developments and by integrating theory with practice, Chinese Communists, with Xi — who is also China’s president — as their chief representative, have given shape to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era since the 18th CPC National Congress, the resolution said.
It has “systematically addressed the major question of our times — what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop and how we should uphold and develop it”, according to the document.
It “must be upheld long term and constantly developed”, said the resolution.
“The Thought is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development,” it said.
“It is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, a crystallization of the practical experience and collective wisdom of the Party and the people.”
The resolution hailed the new era thought as “an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for the entire Party and all the Chinese people to strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.
Under the guidance of Xi’s new era thought, “the CPC has led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to carry out a great struggle, develop a great project, advance a great cause, and realize a great dream, ushering in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics”, it said.
In the resolution, the CPC urged all Party members to use the new era thought to achieve unity in thinking and action and be more purposeful and determined in studying and applying it throughout the drive toward China’s socialist modernization and Party building.
According to the resolution, a wide range of new ideas, thinking and strategies put forward by the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core have also been added to the Constitution, such as giving play to the decisive role of market forces in resource allocation, advancing supply-side structural reform and enhancing the country’s cultural soft power.
Xi’s military thinking and the Party’s “absolute” leadership over the armed forces have also been included in the Constitution.
According to the resolution, the CPC will uphold its absolute leadership over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and other people’s armed forces and implement Xi’s thinking on strengthening the military.
The development of the PLA will be strengthened by enhancing its political loyalty, strengthening it through reform and technology, and running it in accordance with the law, the resolution read.
The CPC will build people’s forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct to ensure that the PLA accomplishes its missions and tasks in the new era, it said.
The inclusion of these statements in the Constitution will “help ensure the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, (and) modernize national defense and the military”, it said.
In addition, the amendment to the CPC Constitution also clarified that the chairperson of the Central Military Commission assumes overall responsibility over the work of the commission and that the CMC is responsible for Party work and political work in the armed forces.
This complies with the realistic requirement to ensure the CMC fulfills its responsibility for Party self-supervision and self-governance after the military reform, the resolution said.
Congress delegates also agreed to write the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the CPC Constitution, along with the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In addition, the amendment included an assessment of the change in the “principal contradiction” facing Chinese society, which serves as an important basis on which the CPC and China formulate major policies and long-term strategies.
The CPC said the contradiction facing Chinese society is “between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing need for a better life”.
Previously the maxim, which had stood for 36 years, was described as one between “the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production”.