The opening ceremony of the congress (LIU JIANGUO)
Zhao Ziyang, acting general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said the central task of the 13th CPC National Congress was to accelerate and deepen China's reform. "Reform is the only process through which China can be revitalized. It is a process which is irreversible and which accords with the will of the people and the general trend of events."
Zhao made these remarks while delivering a report of the CPC Central Committee to the congress, which opened on October 25 in Beijing.
Zhao told the delegates that the congress would analyse experience; uphold and develop the line followed since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee held in 1978; define the basic policies for future economic development, economic structural reform and political structural reform; and decide on basic principles for strengthening Party building as China carries out reform and the open policy.
The congress, held from October 25 to November 1, was attended by 1,936 delegates. The CPC had 46,011,951 members, including 2,410,831 probationary members, at the end of 1986.
From October 26 to 31, the congress delegates were divided into groups to discuss the Central Committee report and candidates for the Party Central Committee, the Central Advisory Commission and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Deng Xiaoping, chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the CPC, presided at the October 25 meeting.
Zhao said profound changes have taken place in the country in the past nine years from the time of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee.
He noted that sustained, stable growth has been brought about in the national economy. During the nine years, China's gross national product (GNP), state revenue and the average income of both urban and rural residents, roughly speaking, have all doubled.
He outlined the country's major achievements in social and economic development as follows:
- The overwhelming majority of China's 1 billion people has secured a life with enough food and clothing. People in some areas are beginning to become well-off.
- China has created job opportunities for 70 million urban residents. In the countryside, 80 million peasants have now shifted wholly or part time from farming to industry.
- Market supplies have improved greatly. China has basically put an end to the situation in which there were acute and long-lasting shortages of consumer goods.
- There has been marked improvement in the situation of serious imbalance between major sectors of the national economy, which has gradually been set on a course of more or less coordinated development.
All these achievements in economic development over the past nine years, Zhao stressed, are inseparable from the resolute efforts China made to advance the all-round reform and the open policy after it restored things to order.
He said that marked successes have also been scored in the political, diplomatic and other fields. After speaking about the solution of the Hong Kong and Macao issues, Zhao stressed that China will strive to achieve a peaceful settlement of the question of Taiwan in accordance with the same principle of "one country, two systems."
He pointed out that nine years' practice has proved that the line followed since the Third Plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee is a correct, Marxist line.
This line is the crystallization of the wisdom of the Party and the people, he said.