The first visit of the Party's leaders after the 20th CPC National Congress
Full-text translation and some notes
Less than a week after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping led the newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau to visit Yan'an, an old revolutionary base in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Members of the Standing Committee are elected every five years. In 2012, the newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee paid their first trip to an exhibition titled "The Road Toward Rejuvenation." In 2017, the freshly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 19th CPC Central Committee paid their first visit to the site where the first CPC National Congress was held in 1921.
In today's newsletter, GRR offers you a translation of the full account of the latest visit released by Xinhua News Agency on Thursday with some notes to it.
Please kindly note the translation and the notes have no authorization to represent anybody else, as this is only a personal newsletter.
Xi urges efforts to carry forward great founding spirit of CPC and Yan'an Spirit
Less than a week after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, president of the People's Republic of China, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, led the members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau to visit Yan'an, an old revolutionary base in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The members are Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi. They were there to pay tribute to this sacred land of the Chinese revolution, review the eventful days of the Party Central Committee in Yan'an in the years of the revolutionary war, commemorate the great achievements made by revolutionaries of the older generation, and manifest the conviction of the new central leadership to carry forward the Party's revolutionary legacy and fighting spirit and present an excellent answer sheet to the people and posterity with new achievements on the road ahead. Xi stressed that we will carry forward the great founding spirit of the Party, the Yan'an Spirit, and our fighting spirit, remain confident in our history, and exhibit greater historical initiative to strive in unity for the fulfillment of the objectives and tasks set forth at the 20th CPC National Congress. [Note: It reminded Ginger River of what Xi said at a ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC on July 1, 2021 (Downloadable) -- "Though our Party's founding mission is easy to define, ensuring that we stay true to this mission is a more difficult task. By learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. "]
On the morning of October 27, Xi Jinping and the others arrived at the revolutionary site of Yangjialing in northwest Yan'an. In November of 1938, all departments of the CPC Central Committee moved from Fenghuang Hill to Yangjialing, where the CPC held its Seventh National Congress, launched the Yan'an Rectification Movement, and led the Chinese people in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
The first picture is a photo of the Seventh CPC National Congress (from documents), and the second picture was taken on Oct. 27, 2022, at the Yangjialing Revolutionary Site in Yan'an, where the congress was held. (source: Xinhua)
Xi and the others first visited the site of the Seventh CPC National Congress, which was held from April to June in 1945. [Note: The Seventh CPC National Congress was convened at the Central Auditorium in Yangjialing. The meeting was monumental in CPC history. Representing 1.21 million Party members in China, 547 official delegates and 208 alternate delegates attended the congress. It was the first time that CPC held a national congress in a house built on its own. (source: Xinhua) ]
There were only over 50 members when our Party was founded. By the time of the Seventh CPC National Congress, this number had increased to 1.21 million. Xi Jinping walked slowly to pay his tribute to the site, and said that the Seventh CPC National Congress marked a major milestone in the history of our Party, suggesting that our Party was becoming increasingly mature as far as its political direction, ideology and organizational structure were concerned.
Politically, after the Yan'an Rectification Movement, the whole Party was united together under the guidance of Comrade Mao Zedong, realizing unprecedented unity and solidarity within our Party. [Note: The Seventh CPC National Congress in 1945 established Mao Zedong Thought as a guiding thought of the Party and incorporated it into the CPC's Constitution. Later on, the constitution was amended multiple times. The latest version was deliberated and adopted at the 20th CPC National Congress on Oct. 22. GRR has created a document titled "What did the Party do to its Constitution?" with every single change made (compared with the version in 2017) being marked for you to download and share. In addition, https://www.12371.cn/ (the website of CPC members) compiled a summary, collecting different versions of the CPC in chronological order and a very brief takeway of each amendment. ] Ideologically, the Party established the guiding role of Mao Zedong Thought in the whole Party and enshrined it in the Party Constitution. Organizationally, our Party formed a group of time-tested statesmen who held high the banner of Mao Zedong. The Seventh CPC National Congress played an incredibly important role in the history of our Party, pointing out the right direction and charting the correct course for our Party in achieving one victory after another ever since.
On Thursday, the auditorium was set as the original setting of the Seventh CPC National Congress. Above the podium hangs the political slogan of the congress, "March successfully under the banner of Mao Zedong" 在毛泽东的旗帜下胜利前进. On the wall of the auditorium hangs the theme of the congress written by Mao, "One heart one mind" 同心同德. (source: Xinhua)
Party leaders including General Secretary Xi Jinping visited the Yan'an Revolutionary Hall for the exhibition Great Journey —— Thirteen years of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in Yan'an on display 《伟大历程——中共中央在延安十三年历史陈列》. (source: Xinhua)
Then, they arrived at the former residences of Mao Zedong and other revolutionaries of the older generation, where they recalled stories of those revolutionaries at Yangjialing and learned about how these revolutionary sites had been protected. During the Yan'an Period (1935-1948), Mao stayed at Yangjialing for the longest time, where the well-known "cave-dwelling conversation" with acclaimed patriot and educationist Huang Yanpei happened. [Note: On the eve of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, two possible routes were in front of China. At the beginning of July 1945, 黄炎培 Huang Yanpei flew to Yan'an from Chongqing for a visit. Though Huang saw the vitality of the CPC in Yan'an, he was also worried about whether this vitality could be maintained for long. His conversation with Mao, later became the famous "窑洞对" Yan'an cave-dwelling conversation. Check GRR's previous post on the conversation: 101st Year Anniversary, Mao's Cave-Dwelling Dialogue, and Historical Cycles] The conversation was mainly about how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall, how to avert the possibility of a government's policies ending with the death of its leader, and ultimately how a political power can maintain long-lasting successful governance. Mao had offered the first answer to the question -- placing the government under the supervision of the people. With the practice of full and rigorous Party self-governance since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has provided the second answer -- carrying out Party's self-reform. Xi noted that the revolutionary sites had witnessed a glorious journey our Party had traveled during the Yan'an Period when it led the Chinese revolution and struggled to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of that era. The revolutionary sites are like a book that is worth reading all the time, said Xi, adding that each time he came here to visit the sites, he was struck with new insight and great inspiration. He urged solid efforts to improve the management of these sites and thoroughly study their revolutionary past so as to better tell the stories of Yangjialing and of the Seventh CPC National Congress in combination with reality.
A docent introduced how people in northern Shaanxi composed the song The East Is Red 《东方红》based on the folksong of Baimadiao《白马调》and sang it for the leaders. Xi pointed it out that the works of literature and art in praise of the Party and Chairman Mao were all voluntarily created by the people, which fully demonstrated that Mao was chosen by the people and supported by the people.
They then traveled to Yan'an Revolutionary Memorial Hall and visited an exhibition titled The Great Journey -- CPC Central Committee's 13 Years in Yan'an.
From 1935 to 1948, the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region centered around Yan'an was where the CPC Central Committee headquartered. It also served as the political guidance center for the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression as well as the general rear area for the Chinese People's War of Liberation. In a comprehensive and systematic manner, the exhibition presented the glorious history of how the CPC Central Committee and revolutionaries of the older generation including Mao Zedong led the Chinese revolution to success from Yan'an through adapting the basic tenets of Marxism to the specific practices of the Chinese revolution. Xi and the others visited the exhibition chapters "the Foothold of the CPC Central Committee and the Red Army during the Long March", "the Center of Political Guidance for the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression", "the Model Pilot Zone of New Democracy", "the Point of Departure for Winning the National Victory", "the Lasting Glory of Yan'an Spirit", and other chapters. Xi would once in a while stop to watch a particular exhibit and reminisce with everyone at presence about the extraordinary years of the CPC Central Committee in Yan'an.
Xi delivered an important speech at the end of the visit. He said that Yan'an is a sacred place of the Chinese revolution and the cradle of New China. The CPC Central Committee and revolutionaries of the older generation, including Mao Zedong, lived and struggled in Yan'an for 13 years from 1935 to 1948. There, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and revolutionaries of the older generation including Mao Zedong, the revolutionary cause developed from its low tide to high tide and realized its historic transition, thus turning the tables when it came to China's future and destiny. The towering Baota Mountain and rolling Yanhe River have witnessed the great endeavors. Yan'an, with all kinds of food grain, nourished the development of the CPC in strength, and supported the victory of the Chinese revolution. Yan'an and its people have made tremendous contribution to the victory of the Chinese revolution, which we should never forget, Xi said.
"I have lived and worked in Yan'an for seven years," Xi said affectionately. "My elder generation also once lived here, and I am quite familiar with the region. When I was sent to northern Shaanxi and worked in the fields as a farmer, every time I got a chance to come to Yan'an, I would visit those revolutionary sites, including the site of the Seventh CPC National Congress, Yangjialing, Zaoyuan and Fenghuang Hill. After working in the CPC Central Committee, I've paid three inspection tours here," he said. "This time, with members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, I come here to manifest that the new central leadership will inherit and carry forward the glorious traditions and fine work styles of the Party cultivated during the Yan'an Period, and carry forward the Yan'an Spirit," Xi said.
He stressed, the glorious traditions and fine conduct of the CPC cultivated and carried forward during the years in Yan'an, and the Yan'an Spirit characterized by firm and correct political direction, ideological line of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts, the principle of serving the people wholeheartedly, and the style of self-reliance and hard work, are an invaluable source of inspiration for the Party, and should be passed down from generation to generation.
Xi noted, the firm and correct political direction was the essence of the Yan'an Spirit. In 1938, when replying to the question "What should be learned at the Military and Political University of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Yan'an", Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out, "First and foremost, we need to learn about a political direction". All Party members must adhere to the correct political direction, resolutely implement the Party's basic theory, line, and policy, thoroughly implement the Party Central Committee's decisions and plans, so as to further advance the great cause pioneered by revolutionaries of the older generation.
Xi Jinping delivers an important speech after visiting the exhibition on the 13 years of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in Yan'an. (source: Xinhua)
Xi stressed, during the Yan'an Period, our Party put forward the fundamental principle of serving the people wholeheartedly and wrote it into the Party Constitution, emphasizing that "the contingent of the CPC was established for the liberation of the people and always stood ready to work for their interests", and requiring all Party officials to "stand firmly at the side of ordinary people", and thus bringing about a vivid picture in which "officials were all public servants in people's eyes". All Party members must stand firmly with the people, act on the Party's purpose, put into practice the mass line, maintain close ties with the people, take the initiative to apply the people-centered development philosophy to all work, and achieve solid progress in promoting common prosperity, so that the people share more fully and fairly in the gains of modernization.
Xi noted, after settling down in Yan'an, the Party Central Committee and the Red Army faced extremely tough conditions due to the enemy's military encirclement and economic blockade. Soldiers and civilians in Yan'an had enthusiastically responded to Comrade Mao Zedong's call of "drawing on our own labor to supply ourselves with adequate food and clothing" and started an enthusiastic production campaign, which provided crucial support for the frontline in the war against Japanese aggression. Each and every Party member must carry forward the spirit of self-reliance and hard work, which shall never be repudiated no matter how well-off we become in the future, and they should also work hard in a down-to-earth and practical manner to concentrate on managing our own affairs well and support the development of our country and our nation with our own strength.
Xi stressed that, back in the days in Yan'an, Comrade Mao Zedong and other revolutionaries of the older generation lived in cave-dwellings, eating coarse grain for meals and wearing rough clothes. This "Yan'an conduct" defeated the "Xi'an conduct." All Party members should carry forward the glorious traditions and fine conduct of revolutionaries of the older generation and Chinese Communists, advance the Party's self-reform with courage, resolutely exercise full and rigorous self-governance of the Party, and always maintain our Party's advanced nature and integrity, enabling our Party to always remain the strong leadership core in the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Xi pointed out that during the Yan'an Period, the Party, with tenacious fighting spirit and exceptional fighting ability, had effectively carried out struggles against Japanese militarist aggression, and effectively responded to a series of major challenges such as the Xi'an Incident, the July Seventh Incident and the Chongqing Negotiations. Also, the Party had effectively led and commanded the revolutionary struggles nationwide and effectively tackled the targeted attacks by the Kuomintang-led forces on the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region. With merely "millet plus rifles," the Party had opened up new prospect for the Chinese revolution. The whole Party should carry forward such fighting spirit, improve fighting ability, resolutely surmount all difficulties and challenges on the road ahead and harness our indomitable fighting spirit to open up new horizons for our cause.
Xi stressed that the Party's 20th National Congress had set forth major principles and policies for the Party and the country at present and for some time to come, and drawn up a splendid blueprint of promoting national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. Let us embark on the new journey, and set out toward our new goal! [Note: GRR collected many essential official documents from the 20th CPC National Congress, including the report of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC which was adopted at the recently concluded 20th CPC National Congress, in a previous post. You can click the links in the post to download or read them.]
Before he left, Xi had cordial talks with some veterans of the Red Army and the Eighth Route Army, descendants of revolutionary martyrs, local Party School and cadre college teachers and staff members of the memorial. He encouraged them to promote revolutionary spirit, tell well stories of the Party, so as to inspire people to steadfastly follow the Party and its guidance, and strive unremittingly to realize the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation. Lasting and loud applause rose at the site.
Liu Guozhong, Chen Xi, and leading officials of relevant central authorities and Shaanxi Province took part in the activities.
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