The defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which has been rightfully written into the country’s Constitution as the nation steps into the new era.
The leadership of the Party is the right historical choice made by China and its people, which has been reflected not only in the hard times of war, but also in New China’s painstaking exploration for socialism, which began in 1949 and its socialist modernization since implementation of reform and opening-up in 1978.
In nearly one century of its leadership, the Party has served as a basic political guarantee and a strong power for the Chinese people to achieve one victory after another.
As a new historical stage of China’s social development, the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a critical period linking the past to the future, throughout which the Party will continue to play its powerful, essential leadership role.
This is closely related to not only the historical contribution of the CPC to the Chinese nation and people, but also associated with the leadership quality and governance capability the CPC has acquired in its long struggle to meet the fundamental needs for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
On the basis of its military struggles during the period of war and arduous explorations in the 29 years before the reform and opening-up, and through its efforts to build socialism with Chinese characteristics over the past four decades, the Party has accumulated rich experiences in China’s governance.
On the macro level, the Party’s governance experiences include innovatively advancing its guiding ideology with the times and constructing major systems, such as the evolution and upgrading of the socialist theories with Chinese characteristics and the optimization of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
On the medium level, the Party’s governance experiences include important perceptions and methods of governance in various fields, as indicated by the report General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered to the 19th CPC National Congress, which stresses 14 “adheres to”.
And on the micro level, the Party has never stopped devising concrete methods of work based on the changing situations, such as the targeted poverty alleviation measures.
These governance experiences are marked by not only distinct development features and national characteristics, but also the essential characteristics of socialism. They reflect China’s particularity, as well as its ability to develop features that are applicable to other developing countries.
With 89 million members, the CPC is the world’s largest political party, and through its arduous and painstaking struggles, it has built unbreakable ties with the Chinese people. By adhering to the Party Constitution — as a basic principle — and democratic centralism, the CPC has formed a set of strict, resilient and adaptable Party governance systems.
The source of the Party’s power lies in its army of self-disciplined and united Party members.
In the different historical situations and missions, the Party members have performed with high efficiency to fulfill the tasks entrusted to them by the Chinese people. So during the intensified efforts to advance the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese people should be fully confident that the Party will meet their expectations.
Another source of the Party’s strength is the establishment of a powerful leadership and leadership core.
Deng Xiaoping, the core of the second-generation Party leadership, said the possession of a leadership and leadership core is a “key issue to China”, “the Party and Chinese people need such a leadership”, and “any leadership should have a core, otherwise it would be undependable”.
Since the 18th Party Congress in late 2012, the CPC has formed a new leadership with Xi Jinping as the core, which, with its strong theoretical courage, governance capability and political wisdom, has consolidated China’s foundation and opened up a new landscape for the cause of the Party and the nation.
The Party and its powerful leadership core are the most important guarantee for the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The Party also attaches great importance to combining theories and practice, and using practice to examine the theories, which has helped raise the scientific quality of its guiding ideology.
The set of Party principles, from Mao Zedong Thought to Deng Xiaoping Theory, from the Theory of Three Represents to the Scientific Outlook on Development and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, show the CPC’s guiding ideology has advanced with the times and developed based on practices.
Among them, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, presented at the 19th Party Congress, is the latest Marxist principles applicable to China and the crystallization of practical experiences of the Party, the Chinese people and collective wisdom.
Xi Jinping Thought is an action guide for the entire Party and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to struggle for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Under the guidance of the scientific ideology, the Party has continuously demonstrated its pioneering and innovative spirit. In his Spring Festival address, President Xi Jinping said that helping the people fulfill their pursuit of a better life is the goal of our work.
He also said we should stay true to our original commitment, keep in mind our mission, and continue to cut a path through the mountains and build a bridge across the rapid currents. Such remarks reflect the Party’s spirit of struggle.
Thanks to its long-term reform and construction, the CPC has built a strict scientific institutional system, which has laid an important institutional foundation for the leadership core to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The CPC’s institutional system adheres to democratic centralism, which guarantees democracy for Party members, and takes into account the efficiency of the Party’s work. It also resolutely safeguards the Party’s solidarity and unity.
The Party Constitution clearly stipulates that individual Party members must obey the Party organization, the minority is subordinate to the majority, the lower-level organizations are subordinates to higher-level ones, and all Party organizations and members should obey the Party Central Committee. It also demands self-governance, self-improvement and self-purification.
Stricter self-governance is the Party’s long-cherished tradition. In recent years, the Party has further strengthened institution building to prevent officials from indulging in corruption, in a bid to rid the Party of destructive factors, and offer an important institutional guarantee for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a great cause pioneered by the CPC, and the development of the cause has greatly enhanced the Party’s overall capability and expanded its development space.
Hence socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Party are mutually driving, mutually optimizing and mutually enabling powers.