Constitution of the Communist Party of China
(Revised and adopted at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 24, 2017)
The Communist Party of China is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. It is the leadership core for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the developmental demands of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation for China’s advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people. The Party’s highest ideal and ultimate goal is the realization of communism.
The Communist Party of China uses Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guides to action.
Marxism-Leninism reveals the laws governing the development of the history of human society. Its basic tenets are correct and have tremendous vitality. The highest ideal of communism pursued by Chinese Communists can be realized only when socialist society is fully developed and highly advanced. The development and improvement of the socialist system is a long historical process. By upholding the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and following the path suited to China’s specific conditions as chosen by the Chinese people, China’s socialist cause will ultimately be victorious.
With Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, Chinese Communists developed Mao Zedong Thought by combining the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninismwith the actual practice of the Chinese revolution. Mao Zedong Thought is the application and development of Marxism-Leninism in China; it is a body of theoretical principles and a summary of experiences, proven correct in practice, relating to China’s revolution and construction; and it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China. Under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, the Communist Party of China led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in the long revolutionary struggle against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism, securing victory in the new democratic revolution and founding the People’s Republic of China, a people’s democratic dictatorship. After the founding of the People’s Republic, the Communist Party of China successfully led the people in carrying out socialist transformation, completing the transition from New Democracy to socialism, establishing the basic socialist system, and developing a socialist economy, politics, and culture.
After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as their chief representative, analyzed both positive and negative experience gained since the founding of the People’s Republic, emancipated the mind, and sought truth from facts. They shifted the focus of the whole Party’s work onto economic development and introduced reform and opening up, thereby ushering in a new era of development in socialism; they gradually formulated the line, principles, and policies for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, brought clarity to basic questions on building, consolidating, and developing socialism in China, and thus established Deng Xiaoping Theory. Deng Xiaoping Theory is the product of combining Marxism-Leninism’s basic tenets with practice in contemporary China and the particular features of the era; it is a continuation and development of Mao Zedong Thought under new historical conditions; it represents a new stage for the development of Marxism in China; it is the Marxism of contemporary China and a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China; and it guides the continuous progression of China’s socialist modernization.
After the Fourth Plenary Session of the 13th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Jiang Zemin as their chief representative, through developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in practice, deepened their understanding of what socialism is and how to build it, and what kind of party to build and how to build it, and gathered valuable new experience in governing the Party and the country, thus forming the Theory of Three Represents. The Theory of Three Represents, which is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory, reflects new demands that the developments and changes in today’s world and in China have placed on the Party and the government in their work. A powerful theoretical tool for strengthening and improving Party building and promoting the self-improvement and development of China’s socialism, it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that the Party must uphold in the long term. Always ensuring the Theory of Three Represents is practiced is the foundation of the Party’s own development, the cornerstone of governance by the Party, and the source of the Party’s strength.
After the Party’s 16th National Congress, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Hu Jintao as their chief representative, continued to take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Theory of Three Represents as their guide. On the basis of the new demands of development they forged a deep understanding of and answered major questions, including what kind of development to pursue and how to pursue it in a new situation, thus forming the Scientific Outlook on Development, which puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development. The Scientific Outlook on Development is a scientific theory that continues in congruence with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the Theory of Three Represents, while advancing with the times. It fully embodies the Marxist worldview and methodology on development and represents a major achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. It is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that must be upheld long term in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Since the Party’s 18th National Congress, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Xi Jinping as their chief representative, in response to contemporary developments and by integrating theory with practice, have 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, thus giving shape to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. 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 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, 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, and must be upheld long term and constantly developed. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the Communist Party of China 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.
Ultimately, the fundamental reason for all of China’s achievements and progress since reform and opening-up began is that the Party has forged a path, formed a theoretical system, established a system, and developed a culture for socialism with Chinese characteristics. All Party members must cherish deeply, uphold long term, and continue to develop this path, this theoretical system, this socialist system, and this culture, which the Party has developed through great hardship. All Party members must hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, have firm confidence in its path, theory, system, and culture, implement the Party’s basic theory, basic line, and basic policy, and strive to fulfill the three historic tasks of advancing modernization, achieving China’s reunification, and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, achieve the two centenary goals, and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
China is currently in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. This is a stage of history that cannot be bypassed as China, which used to be economically and culturally lagging, makes progress in socialist modernization; it will take over a century. China’s development of socialism must begin from China’s own circumstances and must follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the present stage, the principal contradiction in Chinese society is that between the ever-growing needs of the people for a better life and unbalanced and inadequate development. Owing to both domestic factors and international influences, a certain amount of class struggle will continue to exist for a long time to come, and under certain circumstances may even grow more pronounced, however, it is no longer the principal contradiction. In building socialism in China, the basic tasks are to further release and develop the productive forces and gradually achieve socialist modernization and, to this end, reform those elements and areas within the relations of production and the superstructure that are unsuited to the development of the productive forces.
The Party must uphold and improve the basic economic system whereby public ownership plays a dominant role and economic entities under diverse forms of ownership develop side by side. It must maintain and improve the distribution system whereby distribution according to labor is dominant and a variety of other modes of distribution exist alongside it. It must encourage some areas and some people to become well-off first, gradually eliminate poverty, achieve common prosperity, and on the basis of developing production and social wealth, keep meeting the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life and promote people’s well-rounded development.
Development is the Party’s top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country. The Party must commit to a people-centered philosophy of development and pursue the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. The general starting point and criteria for judging each item of the Party’s work are that it must benefit the development of the socialist productive forces, be conducive to increasing socialist China’s overall strength, and help to improve the people’s living standards. The Party must respect labor, knowledge, talent, and creativity and ensure that development is for the people and relies on the people, and that its fruits are shared among the people.
The beginning of the new century marked China’s entry into a new stage of development in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernization. In accordance with the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party must promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement, and coordinate efforts to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, comprehensively deepen reform, fully advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-governance in every respect.
In this new era in the new century, the strategic objectives of economic and social development are to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Party marks its centenary and to build China into a great modern socialist country in every dimension by the time the People’s Republic celebrates its centenary.
The basic line of the Communist Party of China in the primary stage of socialism is to lead all the people of China together in a self-reliant and pioneering effort, making economic development the central task, upholding the Four Cardinal Principles, and remaining committed to reform and opening-up, so as to see China becomes a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.