Keeping up with the times is the most prominent hallmark of the new period. Adhering to the Marxist ideological line, the Party has been constantly seeking answers to major theoretical and practical questions such as what socialism is and how to build it, what kind of party we must build and how to build it, and what kind of development China should achieve and how to achieve it. The Party has been constantly adapting Marxism to conditions in China, and adhering to and enriching its own basic theory, line, program and experience. Socialism and Marxism have shown great vitality on Chinese soil, brought more benefits to the people, and enabled the Chinese nation to catch up with the trend of the times in great strides and see the bright future of national rejuvenation.
Facts have incontrovertibly proved that the decision to begin reform and opening up is vital to the destiny of contemporary China, that reform and opening up are the only way of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and rejuvenating the Chinese nation, that only socialism can save China and that only reform and opening up can develop China, socialism and Marxism.
As a great new revolution, reform and opening up are not to be plain sailing or be accomplished overnight. Essentially they accord with the aspirations of the Party membership and the people and keep up with the trend of the times. The orientation and path of reform and opening up are entirely correct, and their merits and achievements can never be negated. To stop or reverse reform and opening up would only lead to a blind alley.
In the historical course of reform and opening up, the Party has combined adhering to the basic tenets of Marxism with adapting it to Chinese conditions, upholding the Four Cardinal Principles with adhering to the reform and opening up policy, respecting the people's pioneering initiative with strengthening the Party's leadership, adhering to the basic system of socialism with developing the market economy, effecting changes in the economic base with promoting reform of the superstructure, developing the productive forces with improving the cultural and ethical quality of the whole nation, raising efficiency with promoting social equity, pursuing independent development with taking part in economic globalization, promoting reform and development with maintaining social stability, and advancing the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics with making progress in the great new undertaking to build the Party. In this course the Party has gained invaluable experience in eliminating poverty, accelerating modernization, and consolidating and developing socialism in a large developing country of over 1 billion people.
To sum up, the fundamental reason behind all our achievements and progress since the reform and opening up policy was introduced is that we have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and established a system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Essentially, to hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics means to keep to this path and uphold this system.
Taking the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics means we will, under the leadership of the CPC and in light of China's basic conditions, take economic development as the central task, adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles and persevere in reform and opening up, release and develop the productive forces, consolidate and improve the socialist system, develop the socialist market economy, socialist democracy, an advanced socialist culture and a harmonious socialist society, and make China a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country. The main reason this path is completely correct and can lead China to development and progress is that we have adhered to the basic tenets of scientific socialism and in the meantime added to them distinct Chinese characteristics in light of China's conditions and the features of the times. In contemporary China, to stay true to socialism means to keep to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
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, the Party's invaluable political and intellectual asset, and the common ideological foundation for the concerted endeavor of the people of all ethnic groups. 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 in step 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.
There is no end to practice or innovation. All Party members must cherish the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which the Party explored and created after going through all the hardships, keep to the path and uphold the system for a long time to come and constantly develop them. We must continue to emancipate our minds, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times, make bold changes and innovations, stay away from rigidity or stagnation, fear no risks, never be confused by any interference, broaden our path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and ensure that the truth of Marxism of contemporary China shines even more brightly.
III. Thoroughly Applying the Scientific Outlook on Development
To continue to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics at the new stage of development, we must follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development.
The Scientific Outlook on Development is a continuation and development of the important thoughts on development advanced by the previous three generations of central collective leadership of the CPC and a concentrated expression of the Marxist world outlook and methodology with regard to development. It is a scientific theory that is in the same line as Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and keeps up with the times. It is an important guiding principle for China's economic and social development and a major strategic thought that we must uphold and apply in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In light of the basic reality that China is in the primary stage of socialism, the Scientific Outlook on Development has been formulated to meet new requirements of development by analyzing China's own practice and drawing on the experience of other countries in development. At this new stage in the new century, China's development shows a series of new features which are mainly as follows: The economic strength has increased markedly, but the overall productivity remains low, the capacity for independent innovation is weak, and the longstanding structural problems and the extensive mode of growth are yet to be fundamentally addressed. The socialist market economy is basically in place, but there remain structural and institutional obstacles slowing down development, and further reform in difficult areas is confronted with deep-seated problems. A relatively comfortable standard of living has been achieved for the people as a whole, but the trend of a growing gap in income distribution has not been thoroughly reversed, there are still a considerable number of impoverished and low-income people in both urban and rural areas, and it has become more difficult to accommodate the interests of all sides. Efforts to balance development have yielded remarkable results, but the foundation of agriculture remains weak, the rural areas still lag behind in development, and we face an arduous task to narrow the urban-rural and interregional gaps in development and promote balanced economic and social development. Socialist democracy has continued to develop and we have made steady progress in implementing the rule of law as a fundamental principle, but efforts to improve democracy and the legal system fall somewhat short of the need to expand people's democracy and promote economic and social development, and political restructuring has to be deepened. Socialist culture is thriving as never before, but the people have growing cultural needs and have become more independent, selective, changeable and diverse in thinking, setting higher requirements for the development of an advanced socialist culture. Our society has become evidently more dynamic, but profound changes have taken place in the structure of society, in the way society is organized and in the pattern of social interests, and many new issues have emerged in social development and management. China is opening wider to the outside world, but international competition is becoming increasingly acute, pressure in the form of the economic and scientific dominance of developed countries will continue for a long time to come, both predictable and unpredictable risks are increasing, and the need to balance domestic development and opening to the outside world is greater than ever.
All this shows that through the unremitting efforts we have made since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, particularly since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy, China has scored achievements in development that have captured world attention, and experienced far-reaching changes in the productive forces and the relations of production, as well as in the economic base and the superstructure. However, the basic reality that China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come has not changed, nor has Chinese society's principal contradiction-the one between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the low level of social production. The current features of development in China are a concrete manifestation of that basic reality at this new stage in the new century. Stressing recognition of the basic reality is not meant to belittle ourselves, wallow in backwardness, or encourage unrealistic pursuit of quick results. Rather, such recognition will serve as the basis of our endeavor to advance reform and plan for development. We must always remain sober-minded, base our efforts on the most significant reality that China is in the primary stage of socialism, scientifically analyze the new opportunities and challenges arising from China's full involvement in economic globalization, fully understand the new situation and tasks in China's advance toward an industrialized, information-based, urbanized, market-oriented and internationalized country, have a good grasp of the new issues and problems we face in development, follow more conscientiously the path of scientific development, and strive to open up a broader vista for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The Scientific Outlook on Development takes development as its essence, putting people first as its core, comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development as its basic requirement, and overall consideration as its fundamental approach.
--We must regard development as the top priority of the Party in governing and rejuvenating the country. Development is of decisive significance for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and speeding up socialist modernization. We must firmly commit ourselves to the central task of economic development, concentrate on construction and development, and keep releasing and developing the productive forces. We must better implement the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, the strategy of strengthening the nation with trained personnel and the strategy of sustainable development. We must grasp the law of development, make innovations in our thinking, transform the mode of development, crack hard issues and raise quality and efficiency to achieve sound and rapid development, so that we can lay a solid foundation for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must strive for scientific development by putting people first and making it comprehensive, balanced and sustainable; we must strive for harmonious development by integrating all undertakings and promoting unity and amity among all members of society; and we must strive for peaceful development in the course of which China develops itself by safeguarding world peace and contributes to world peace by developing itself.
--We must always put people first. Serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental purpose of the Party, and its every endeavor is for the well-being of the people. We must always make sure that the aim and outcome of all the work of the Party and the state are to realize, safeguard and expand the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. We must respect the principal position of the people in the country's political life, give play to their creativity, protect their rights and interests, take the path of prosperity for all and promote their all-round development, to ensure that development is for the people, by the people and with the people sharing in its fruits.
--We must pursue comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. In accordance with the overall arrangements for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we will promote all-round economic, political, cultural and social development, coordinate all links and aspects of our modernization drive, and balance the relations of production with the productive forces and the superstructure with the economic base. We must adopt an enlightened approach to development that results in expanded production, a better life and sound ecological and environmental conditions, and build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society that coordinates growth rate with the economic structure, quality and efficiency, and harmonizes economic growth with the population, resources and the environment, so that our people will live and work under sound ecological and environmental conditions and our economy and society will develop in a sustainable way.
--We must persist in overall consideration. We need to correctly understand and handle the major relationships in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and balance urban and rural development, development among regions, economic and social development, relations between man and nature, and domestic development and opening to the outside world. We must take into overall consideration the relationships between the central and local authorities, between personal and collective interests, between interests of the part and those of the whole, and between immediate and long-term interests, so as to fully arouse the initiative of all sides. We must take both the domestic and international situations into consideration, develop a global and strategic perspective, be good at seizing opportunities for development and coping with risks and challenges in a changing world, and work for a favorable international environment. While planning our work from an overall perspective, we need to work hard to make breakthroughs on the key issues that affect the overall situation and on the major problems that affect public interests.
To thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, we must always adhere to the Party's basic line of taking economic development as the central task and upholding the Four Cardinal Principles and the reform and opening up policy, known as "one central task and two basic points." As the lifeblood of the Party and the country, this basic line provides the political guarantee for scientific development. Taking economic development as the central task is vital to invigorating our nation and is the fundamental requirement for the robust growth and lasting stability of the Party and the nation. The Four Cardinal Principles are the very foundation for building our country and the political cornerstone for the survival and development of the Party and the nation. Reform and opening up are the path to a stronger China and the source of vitality for the Party and the nation in development and progress. We will continue to apply the line of "one central task and two basic points" in its entirety in our great endeavor to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics; we will never deviate from this line.
To thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, we must work energetically to build a harmonious socialist society. Social harmony is an essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Scientific development and social harmony are integral to each other and neither is possible without the other. Building a harmonious socialist society is a historical mission throughout the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, as well as a historical process and the social outcome of correctly handling various social problems on the basis of development. It is through development that we will increase the material wealth of society and constantly improve people's lives, and it is again through development that we will guarantee social equity and justice and constantly promote social harmony. To realize social equity and justice is the Chinese Communists' consistent position and a major task of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. In accordance with the general requirements for democracy and the rule of law, equity and justice, honesty and fraternity, vigor and vitality, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature and the principle of all the people building and sharing a harmonious socialist society, we will spare no effort to solve the most specific problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people and strive to create a situation in which all people do their best, find their proper places in society and live together in harmony, so as to provide a favorable social environment for development.
To thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, we must continue to deepen reform and opening up. We need to incorporate the spirit of reform and innovation into all links of governance, unswervingly adhere to the orientation of reform, and have more scientific decision-making and better coordinated measures for reform. We will improve the socialist market economy, promote institutional reform and innovation in various sectors, accelerate reform in important fields and crucial links, improve opening up in all respects and make our systems and mechanisms full of vigor, highly efficient, more open and conducive to scientific development, so as to provide a powerful driving force and an institutional guarantee for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. We will always take improving people's lives as a pivotal task in balancing reform, development and stability and ensure that our reform always has the endorsement and support of the people.