Resolution highlights significance of CPC’s 100-year endeavors

BY TANG AIJUN | 12-16-2021
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Photo taken on June 27, 2021, shows Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, capital of China, glittering with a bridge-shaped structure that connects the number 1921, the CPC’s founding year, and 2021 to represent the Party’s 100-year history. Photo: CFP

The membership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has grown from just over 50—when it was founded in 1921—to more than 95 million today. After experiencing 100 years of vicissitudes, it has now become the world’s largest governing party with significant global influence. The recent Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which was held from November 8–11, 2021, and adopted the “Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century” (hereinafter referred to as the Resolution), highlighted the great historical significance of the CPC’s 100 years of endeavors, demonstrating an overarching logic in the following aspects. 
Significance to the Chinese people
According to the Resolution, the Party’s endeavors over the past century have fundamentally transformed the future of the Chinese people. Freed from bullying, oppression, and subjugation, the people have become the masters of the country, of society, and of their own fate, and are now seeing their aspirations for a better life become a reality.
Under the reactionary rule of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism in modern times, China endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to untold misery, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. At that time, China had no alternative but to initiate revolutions.
In the period of the new-democratic revolution, the CPC opposed imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, thereby securing a great victory in national independence and the people’s liberation. The Chinese people stood up, and the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused was gone and would never return. This marked the beginning of a new epoch in China’s development. 
In the socialist revolution and construction period, the CPC realized a transformation from new democracy to socialism and tirelessly worked to lay down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations for national rejuvenation. In the new period of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization, it continuously unleashed and developed productive forces, working hard to lift the people out of poverty and help them become prosperous in the shortest time possible. 
After socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era, the CPC continued to meet people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. Improving people’s lives in all areas, it has realized the first centenary goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarked upon a new journey towards the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects, as well as the lofty goal of rejuvenating the Chinese nation. 
In Marx’s terms, the historical mission of socialism is ultimately to “ensure, together with the greatest expansion of the productive powers of social labor, the most complete development of man.” In the course of building a modern socialist country in all respects, the CPC always regards its uniquely Chinese modernization as all-around modernization centering on the people and with people’s well-rounded development at the core. The Party’s historical mission is to advance the complete development of man and comprehensive social progress while satisfying the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life on the economic, political, cultural, societal, and environmental fronts. 
Significance to the Chinese nation 
According to the Resolution, the CPC’s endeavors over the past century have opened up the right path for achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China has completed a process of industrialization that took developed countries several centuries in the space of mere decades, bringing about the two miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability.
The significance of the Party’s endeavors is manifested by transforming China from an underdeveloped traditional country into a modern nation, in empowering the Chinese civilization to release new vigor in the course of modernization, and in turning the Chinese nation and people from passive to active mentally. The evolution from standing up, to growing prosperous, and to becoming strong, is the core of the three levels. 
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels claimed that the West reconstructed the world order when channeling out its path in world history; “it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, and the East on the West.”
In history, the Chinese nation, which had been leading for a long time in history, gradually declined in modern times and was ensnared by the “three dependencies” system mentioned above. The CPC then led the Chinese people to modernize the Chinese nation, a civilization with a history of more than 5,000 years, in all dimensions, and revitalize it in the modernization process.
The path determines the future. It determines not only the future of the political party, but also that of the nation. Through 100 years of endeavors, the CPC has carved out the right path for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, changing its future radically and embracing the great progression from standing up to growing prosperous to becoming strong. 
Significance to Marxism 
According to the Resolution, the CPC’s endeavors over the past century have demonstrated the strong vitality of Marxism. In China, Marxism has been fully tested as a scientific truth, its people-centered and practical nature has been brought into full play, and its open-ended nature and contemporary relevance have been fully demonstrated.
Whether in theory or practice, Marxism consistently focuses on the future of humanity with the aim to emancipate the proletariat and all mankind. Throughout its history, the CPC has continuously adapted Marxism to the Chinese context and promoted theoretical innovation and practical creation of the thought. 
Marxism doesn’t let China down. It has provided a powerful thought tool as the CPC leads Chinese revolutions, construction, and reforms, enabling the time-honored Eastern nation to create an unprecedented development miracle in human history. Nor has China let Marxism down. Under the guidance of the philosophy’s scientific truth and lofty ideal, the CPC’s endeavors over the past century have brought drastic changes to China, evidencing the tremendous vitality of Marxism. 
Marxism is a developing, open theory. It is always in touch with the times. Chinese Communists have fully recognized that Marxism is not a dogma. Rather, it is a guide to action, and must be developed with changes in practice and in evolution with the times. Over the past century, the CPC has persisted in adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture, keeping abreast of contemporary trends.
Significance to world history 
According to the Resolution, the CPC’s endeavors over the past century have produced a profound influence on the course of world history. The Party has led the people in pioneering a uniquely Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human advancement, and expanding the channels for developing countries to achieve modernization. 
From the perspective of human advancement, the CPC has conformed to general evolutionary trends and the wave of world history over the past century. First, it has contributed to the world pattern’s power shift. In the face of West-led economic globalization along with growing crises and challenges in global governance, the CPC led the Chinese people to create a uniquely Chinese path to modernization in the land of the world’s largest developing country. The global impact is tremendous. 
Moreover, it has actively promoted the building of a community of shared future for humanity, advancing the peaceful development of the world, while pragmatically participating in reforms to the global governance system. As such, it has helped steer the international balance of power to decrease the dominance of the West in more favor of the East and made major changes to the global landscape. 
Second, it has introduced a new model to modernization. The success of China’s unique modernization has broken Western hegemony in modernization practices and discourse. It fully proves that there is no one-size-fits-all model for modernization. The uniquely Chinese modernization path has offered a new option for countries and nations that aspire to accelerate development while preserving their independence.
In addition, the CPC has replied to the question of our age, namely “What has happened to the world, and how should we respond?” which was raised by Chinese President and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017. The CPC is a party committed to seeking happiness for the Chinese people and striving for the progress of human civilization. 
The contemporary world is confronted with challenging global deficits in governance, trust, peace, and development. As a response to the question of our age, the CPC proposes and adheres to the vision of the community of shared future for mankind, offering Chinese wisdom and solutions to worldwide problems with its distinctive outlooks on development, governance, and security.
Significance to proletariat parties
According to the Resolution, the endeavors over the past century have made the CPC a forerunner of the times, and shaped its intellectual tradition with the great founding spirit of the Party as the source. Maintaining its progressiveness and purity, the CPC has constantly enhanced its governance and leadership capacities. 
In a correspondence to August Bebel in Hubertsburg, Engels said, “The movement of the proletariat necessarily passes through different stages of development; at every stage one section of people lags behind and does not join in the further advance.” This is a struggle within proletariat movements. Through 100 years of endeavors, the CPC has resolved this realistic conundrum by leading the people to carry out great social revolutions while reforming itself. The Party is great not because it never makes mistakes, but because it always owns up to its errors, actively engages in criticism and self-criticism, and has the courage to confront problems and reform itself. Self-reform is the recipe for the proletariat and related parties to never lag behind and continuously advance. 
Tang Aijun is an associate professor from the School of Marxism at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC (National Academy of Governance).