CPC opens 19th National Congress, declaring ‘new era’ of Chinese socialism

President Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping

BEIJING. — The Communist Party of China (CPC) has unveiled the “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” as the latest step on the journey to building a “great modern socialist country” as its 19th National Congress opened on Wednesday. Addressing the opening session, Xi Jinping outlined a two-step approach to becoming a great modern socialist country once building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is completed by 2020.Hailing achievements in reform, opening up and socialist modernisation during the past five years, Xi said socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. “This is a new historic juncture in China’s development.” According to Xi, socialist modernisation will be basically realised from 2020 to 2035. From 2035 to the middle of the century, China will become a great socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.

By then, China will be a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence. Prosperity for everyone will be basically achieved, Xi told about 2 300 delegates attending the country’s most important political meeting in five years. The goal exceeds the Party’s previous plans to “basically realise modernisation” by the middle of the 21st century. It also sets a higher target for China’s modernization in terms of material, political, cultural and ethical, social and ecological development.

The two-step approach is an important component of the new Thought, a long-term guide for action. The Thought builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, Xi said.

Xi listed 14 points that underpin the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. The principal contradiction facing Chinese society is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, Xi said.

The people’s desire to live a better life is increasingly broad. Not only have material and cultural needs grown, but demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security and a better environment are increasing, Xi said. The report outlines the development of a modernised economy and socialist democracy, stronger cultural confidence and improved social wellbeing.

Xi called on the Party’s 89 million members to regard as their goal “the people’s aspirations to live a better life.” The CPC is the highest force for political leadership, Xi said, stressing strict governance over the Party and improvement of the Party’s ability to govern and lead. Having gained overwhelming momentum in its fight against corruption, the Party is determined to secure a “sweeping victory” over “the greatest threat” to the Party. The congress, held in the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing and presided over by Li Keqiang, will deliberate an amendment to the CPC Constitution. Delegates will elect a new CPC Central Committee and a new CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. — Xinhua.

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