Open Letter of Chinese Communists

Unofficial translation draft (from Chinese into English, by Pao-yu Ching)

To Party Secretary General Hu Jingtao, Members of the Politburo, and the Delegates to the 17th Party Congress

The opening day of the 17th Party Congress is coming soon. On June 25th you, Hu Jingtao, made a speech in which you raised the issue of strengthening democracy within the Party. You demanded that all comrades in the Party be aware of potential dangers and crisis even if we are in a period of calm. More recently the Central Committee asked the elected delegates to the Party Congress to listen to and gather opinions from party members and the masses. Based on the rights and obligations of party members stated in the Party Charter of the Communist Party and the spirit of our loyalty and responsibility toward the Party’s future, we, therefore, speak openly from the bottom of our hearts and send to the 17th Party Congress the following opinions and suggestions.

I. Our Party and Our Country Are Currently Facing a Critical Moment in History

In the 29 years since the Third Plenary of the 11th Party Congress, our national economy has grown at the average rate of 7.4%. The development of this new stage of the Reform and Opening Up has been based fundamentally on the foundation of what was a relatively independent and complete industrial system and national economy built in the past. This new stage has raised the social productive forces to another level. From 1979 to 2006 the national output increased by 9.7% yearly. Electricity generation, coal production, and steel and chemical fertilizer production reached the first in the world in 1985, 1990, and 2000 respectively. The construction of the railroad between Qinghai and Tibet and the Three Gorges has been completed. In 2006 our country’s production value reached 20.94 trillion RMB – the 4th largest in the world. However, since our population is large, the per capita income is still only 128th in the world. Foreign exchange reserves reached over $1 trillion – the highest in the world. (International Statistics Yearbook, 2006/2007) All of these accomplishments were made through the hard work and struggles of hundreds of millions of people under the leadership of the Party’s Central Committee. However, in the same period, many serious problems have appeared, and these problems require heightened attention and urgent solutions. These problems are as follows:

There is the question of the ownership structure. The National Statistics Bureau has not yet provided accurate statistics on the different types of ownership. According to the statistics in the Analytical Report on the Economic Situation of Privately Owned Businesses during the Tenth Five-Year Plan Period published by the National Association of Industry and Commerce: In 2000, domestic private businesses were 42% of GDP, and businesses owned by foreign capital and capital from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were 12.6% of GDP. The total of both domestic and foreign privately owned businesses accounted for 55% of GDP. In 2005, however, the percentage of domestic private businesses increased to 49.7 % of GDP and the percentage of foreign capital and capital from Hong, Macau and Taiwan increased to 15%-16%. The total of the two accounted for 65% of GDP. In a period of five years private business represented in the GDP increased 10%, or about 2% yearly. According to the report, the definition of private business is "all businesses outside of the State owned or State controlled businesses." This means that the figures given above included collectively owned businesses but excluded the private portions of State controlled businesses. Collectively owned businesses in GDP was 8% and the privately owned portion of the State controlled businesses was 4%. If we make these adjustments, then private businesses were 61% of GDP (65% – 8% + 4%). This leaves public owned businesses only 39% of GDP. If we apply the 2% yearly increase of the share of private businesses to calculate the shares of public and private businesses for 2006, it would be 37% and 63%, respectively. In terms of public and private shares in industrial production only, based on the first national economy census, the total industrial output of State owned businesses accounted for merely 15.3% of the total industrial output. (China Statistical Yearbook, 2006) This share is much lower than 26.2% in 1949. This means that private ownership has replaced public ownership as the dominant form of ownership. Moreover, the share of private ownership continues to rise, and it is expanding into other important sectors of the economy, namely electricity, railroad, postal service, air travel and national defense.

Then there is the problem of income distribution. The structural changes in the above mentioned ownership has necessarily caused the income distribution of our nation to change. The Gini index is used internationally to measure the equality or inequality of income distribution. (An index of zero indicates absolute equality and an index of one indicates absolute inequality.0.4 is considered to be the limit and anything above 0.4 is considered a threat to the safety of a society.) According to the estimates done by scholars in the academy, China’s Gini index was 0.24 in 1985, increased to 0.434 (or 0.445) in 1995, and further increased to 0.458 in 2000. According to the estimate of the World Bank, China’s Gini index reached 0.469 in 2004. In 1995 China’s Gini index was higher than that of India, Indonesia, South Korea, Iran, Egypt and the majority of the developing countries (lower only than Brazil, South Africa and a few other countries). The differences in inequality between China and these countries have also increased since 1995. China’s Gini index is also higher than many developed countries, such as France, Germany, England, United States, and Italy, and it is also above former socialist countries which have openly restored capitalism: Russia and Bulgaria. Furthermore, according to the report – Report on the Income Distribution of Chinese Residents, 2004 – jointly published by the State Development and Reform Committee, the State Statistical Bureau, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences – in today’s China: "10% of the richest families own 45% of the nation’s total assets, as compared to the poorest 10% of the households that own only 1.4% of the total assets." In other words, the ratio of asset ownership between the richest and the poorest households in 2004 was 32:1. This is the result of the rise of a new bourgeoisie and the increasing poverty of the working class. The working class not only has lost its economic status, their political status and social status have also decreased significantly. According to a survey on job preferences conducted with residents in Shanghai, only 1% of those surveyed preferred to be workers. In recent years, income redistribution efforts including measures to assist the poor and other subsidies have helped somewhat to moderate some social contradictions. However, they cannot fundamentally change the polarization of our society, especially when the proportion of private ownership in the economy has continued to rise. This means that our society has already become polarized between the rich and the poor. Now we are not closer but further away from reaching the goal of a society where all people can prosper.

There is also the problem concerning the environment and natural resources. China’s natural resources on a per capita basis are lower than the world’s average, yet our energy consumption per GDP is 20% higher than the average of the 30 OECD developed countries. We don’t have enough resources to meet demand, and we are now importing 50% of the petroleum we need. Among the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 16 are in China. According to an estimate, the cost of environmental pollution in China amounts to 3% to 8% of GDP, and the cost from the destruction of grasslands, wetlands, and forest and soil erosion is another 6% to 7% of GDP. The two together are estimated to be 9% to 15% of GDP. Air and water pollution have seriously affected the quality of our people’s lives and harmed their health. Collective actions taken by people to protest environmental pollution have increased. According to the World Bank, early deaths of our people caused by environmental pollution are estimated to be a yearly average of 750,000. OECD estimated that damage caused by diseases and deaths of our people from environment pollution is as high as 13% of GDP. Also the OECD states that "Although China’s economy is the fourth largest, its environment standards are closer to the poorest nations." All of this indicates that if we subtract the extreme damage done to the environment, GDP growth is not high but low, or could even be negative.

The next problem is China’s external economic relationships with the rest of the world. In the process of increasing foreign trade and foreign investment there are the serious problems of over-dependence on foreign trade, inadequate domestic consumption, over-dependence on foreign technology and the lack of ability to develop China’s own technology. In 2005 China’s foreign trade dependency was estimated to be 64%, which was much higher than the trade dependence of 18% – 20% of the United States and Japan. In the same year our domestic consumption was only 52% of GDP. (If we exclude government consumption, household consumption was merely 38% of GDP.) This ratio was much lower than it was in 1980. In 1980 total domestic consumption was 65.5% of GDP (household consumption accounted for 50.8%). This shows the portion of the GDP pie that went to household consumption shrank. When we compare this figure internationally with other developing countries it is much lower than their average of 72% (household consumption being 58.9%). The low household consumption to GDP ratio is clearly indicative of the big gap between the rich and the poor in our country, as well as the problem of the serious lack of social protection. China’s dependence on foreign technology is as high as 50%, while in developed countries such as the United States and Japan it is only 5%. The policy of "exchanging market for technology" has not met the expected result. The profits from extraordinary export volumes largely went to foreign multinationals. Our workers’ wages are only one fortieth of that of the United States, and yet we are left with serious problems of environmental pollution, resource shortages, and occupational diseases that our workers have suffered. Recently foreign capital has expanded from joint ventures and solely foreign owned enterprises to buy our national enterprises, which possess the best development potential. Foreign capital is poised to acquire the best firms in many industries. According to a report published by the Study Center of the State Council, foreign capital has already gained control of the top five firms in almost all industries. Moreover, among the 28 major industries, foreign capital has gained control over the majority of assets in 21 of them. In the process of foreign capital acquiring our national industries, there has been in many cases a "win-win situation for both foreign capital and corrupt government officials". As many as 500,000 cases of corruption have been investigated in the past ten years and 64% of them were related to international trade and foreign businesses. (Investigation Daily, January 2, 2007) This shows that externally our economy is facing the serious danger of increasing dependency.

Next is the problem of allowing capitalists into the Communist Party. With the private sector developing rapidly, the new bourgeoisie has to propose their own political demands. Before the 16th Party Congress, our Party’s Charter had not allowed capitalists who had not given up exploitation to join the Party. However, even then a process was already in place that allowed Party members to become bosses (capitalists) and the bosses (capitalists) to become Party members. Therefore, many capitalists already joined the Communist Party even before the 16th Congress. Capitalists as percent of total Communist Party members increased from 13.8% in 1993 to 17.1% in 1995, and 19.9% in 2000 and 29.9% in 2001. Then the Party Charter was amended during the 16th Party Congress. The amendment changed the nature of the Party from one vanguard to "two vanguards". The percentage of capitalists in the Party then increased to 33.9% in 2004. (National Association of Industry and Commerce) The percentage of capitalists in the Party thus exceeds the percentage of workers, peasants and intellectuals combined. These numbers are the best proof that the Communist Party has become a party of "two vanguards" and a party of "the whole people".

The positions of workers and peasants have been weakened. Public ownership has lost its dominant importance. In addition, widely spread propaganda says that the "market" can solve all problems. Large numbers of workers have once again become the proletariat who possess nothing but their own labor power. They have endured the worst abuses, exploitation and oppression. Workers have lost their status as the owners of their enterprises. The law stipulates that the relationship between the enterprise and the workers is between those who hire and those who are hired as stated in the labor contract. Workers have indeed become wage labor to be hired and fired at the will of management. Many peasants’ land have been taken without fair compensation. Many peasants have migrated to cities to find work, and they have faced many difficulties in getting jobs. When they have jobs, their working conditions and living conditions are deplorable. Their pay has been squeezed to the lowest level, and it is totally unmatched with the tremendous value they create. Moreover, many capitalists have deliberately found ways to deduct all kinds of fees from their low wages. These capitalists also maliciously delay wage payments and owe back wages. Working class people in China today live in both relative poverty and absolute poverty. Many enterprises disregard State regulations on the maximum number of hours for each workday. Workers in these enterprises are forced to work overtime without overtime pay. Many enterprises neglect workers’ protection and work safety rules, which have resulted in an increasing number of injuries in factories and fatalities in mines. Many enterprises refuse to pay insurance coverage for workers, such as injuries from job, illness, pension or unemployment, especially for those workers who have migrated from the countryside. Managers in many enterprises also behave barbarously and violently toward workers and they deliberately insult workers to injure workers’ dignity. There have been cases of enslaving workers, including the recently exposed slave workers in underground brick factories and cases of "indentured servants" and "sweat shop workers". Many enterprises prohibit workers from forming unions and thus deprive workers of the right to collectively defend themselves. Many administrative and law enforcement agencies ignore their responsibilities to protect the rights of workers, so workers have no place to report the abuses they suffer. Currently under the leadership of the Communist Party, the working class in China lives in worse and more deplorable conditions than the working class in the majority of capitalist countries. All these facts point to the fundamental problem of a party of "two vanguards" and a party "of the whole people".

Then there are the many social problems and the problem of ideology. Twenty-nine years after the establishment of new China, corruption at different levels of government had been eliminated – but now a high volume of unstoppable corruption has reappeared. The problems of prostitution, gambling, drug addiction, cheating and other scams that had been eliminated have reappeared widely and in full force. Many underworld activities have also multiplied and spread. In the past, Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought dominated our ideology, but they are now being marginalized both in the spheres of propaganda and in education. At the same time many facets of bourgeois liberalism, revisionism, self-centered/selfish ideology, money worshipping and all sorts of degenerate and exploitative ideologies have flooded our society.

With great pain in our hearts as we face all the conditions mentioned above, we ask: When private ownership has replaced public ownership as the dominant form of ownership and thus has created a polarized society with big gaps between the rich and the poor, does the economic base for our socialism still exist? When a party lets in exploitive capitalists and at the same time renders the working class to a weakened state, can this Party still be the vanguard of the working class? With this current economic base and under the leadership of the current Party can we have a democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the proletariat with an alliance between workers and peasants following the guide of Marxism? If we maintain the current conditions and let them develop, can our construction continue and push forward along the path of socialism? Can our country still maintain its economic and political independence and autonomy?

We need to admit that in the recent past, the Party has made some important accomplishments, at the same time it has made some serious mistakes. Fundamentally speaking, the cause of these mistakes is that in many ways the Party has not been following the line and the direction of the four principles stated in the Party Charter and in the Constitution. These four principles are: persistence in the socialist path, persistence in the people’s democratic dictatorship, persistence in the leadership of the Communist Party, and persistence in Marxism –Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. In this historically critical moment of the 17th Party Congress it is important for the Party to face objective reality and not to cover up contradictions or refuse to recognize the sickness in order to avoid taking the medicine. We strongly suggest the following: The Central Committee of the Party and the 17th Party Congress should firmly follow, uphold, and put into practice the four basic principles. Moreover, the Central Committee and the 17th Party Congress should examine, criticize, and correct everything in words and in deeds that are against the four basic principles and that adhere to bourgeois liberalism and revisionism. The Party should follow its excellent tradition of honesty, criticism and self-criticism, pursuing the truth, and correcting its own mistakes. It also needs to correct its ideology and political line in order to begin the new period of socialist modernization. This is the important historical mission of the 17th Congress.

II. Unite the Party in its Understanding of the Class Struggle during the Socialist Period and the Understanding of the Four Basic Principles as the Basis and the Core to Pursue a Correct Party Ideology and Political Line

The basic principle of Marxism tells us: Based on the social nature of the productive forces, socialism must replace capitalism. Within the capitalist system there is the basic contradiction between the social nature of production and private ownership of the means of production. This contradiction can only be resolved by replacing private ownership with public ownership. However, after the establishment of public ownership and the expropriation of the exploiters, the bourgeoisie puts up a deadly fight. Therefore, the proletariat, which represents the advanced productive forces, must be led by the Communist Party to overturn the political organs of the bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the establishment of the public ownership of the means of production and elimination of the economic base for exploitation, then it is possible to realize distribution according to labor and eliminate polarization, and gradually reach a society of shared wealth until the goal and ideal of communism is eventually reached. All of this can only be accomplished under the direction of the scientific theory of the proletariat – i.e. Marxism. Therefore, the four basic principles are a simple expression of the basic characteristics of socialism.

After the establishment of socialism, the two classes, two roads and two-line struggle continue to exist for a long time. Mao Zedong said as early as 1957 in the famous article "The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People": "Revisionism or Right opportunism is a bourgeois trend of thought that is even more dangerous than dogmatism. The revisionist or Right opportunists pay lip-service to Marxism, and they too attack dogmatism. But what they are really attacking is the quintessence of Marxism. They oppose or distort materialism or dialectics, they oppose or try to weaken the people’s democratic dictatorship and the leading role of the Communist Party, and oppose or try to weaken socialist transformation and socialist construction. Even after the basic victory of the socialist revolution there will still be a number of people in our society who vainly hope to restore capitalism and are sure to fight the working class on every front, including the ideological one. And their right hand men in this struggle are the revisionists." (The Collected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. V, 392, the official English translation, pp. 411-412) Mao also pointed out that the struggle between Marxism and revisionism and the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie are focused on four aspects: Uphold or oppose dialectic materialism; uphold or oppose the people’s democratic dictatorship; uphold or oppose the leadership of the Communist Party; uphold or oppose socialist transformation and socialist construction. All four aspects are the "fundamentals of Marxism". These lessons Mao taught us combined with how they were actually practiced in China demonstrate in essence that it is extremely important to uphold the four basic principles under socialism.

In March 1979 the new period of Reform and Opening Up began, which corrected the over extension of class struggle, yet created the phenomenon of an overflowing of bourgeois ideology. At that time Deng Xiaoping was asked by the Central Party to make the speech on "Upholding the Four Principles". Deng said, "As you know the four basic principles are not something new. Our Party has upheld these principles for a long time". He said, " However, the Central Committee still believes that it is necessary to emphasize and propagate these four basic principles." (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. II, p. 165) Deng’s talk basically expressed the Central Committee’s spirit of emphasizing the four principles. However, we should recognize that Deng’s speech also had serious inadequacies, because he did not point out as clearly as Mao had done that class struggle during the socialist period can be understood by whether it upholds or opposes these four basic principles. Deng emphasized the "special characteristics" of class struggle in the socialist period, yet he did not explain what these "special characteristics" were. Soon after this speech Deng explained that "special characteristics" meant that during the socialist period class struggle only exists in "certain areas." To say that class struggle only exists in "certain areas" is in fact saying that class struggle no longer exists in the socialist period. The difference between the two ("Class struggle no longer exists in the socialist period" and "Class struggle only exists in certain areas") is not fundamental and is only a difference between "50 steps" and "100 steps." This point of view did not recognize that upholding the four basic principles and opposing revisionism or opposing Right opportunism involves class struggle in all spheres (areas). The impact of this point of view invariably weakened the affirmation of the four basic principles, resulting in the problem of "hard on one hand and soft on the other" when dealing with the question. The developments of the following decade (plus other internal and external factors) resulted in the political uproar in the Spring/Summer of 1989 that shook the whole nation.

What lesson can be learned from that political uproar? Deng Xiao-ping said, "The problem was that not enough was done about upholding the four basic principles. The ideology of the four basic principles was not used to educate people or students or the whole body of cadres of Party members." Deng continued, "The mistake was not about the four basic principles. The mistake was not being persistent in upholding the four principles. The work in education and work in the areas of ideology and politics was inadequate." (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. 111, p. 305) In a way his comments were correct. However, they were only limited to the mistakes made in terms of inadequate education. He failed to put the emphasis on examining the mistakes made by Party leaders by allowing high Party cadres and their sons and daughters to engage in activities that involving business and commerce. The result of such activities was transforming Communist Party members into capitalists and creating an opening for the bourgeoisie to enter the Party. This was a serious mistake that violated the four basic principles and rules of the Communist Party Charter. This mistake caused the strong dissatisfaction and protest of the broad masses and was the main internal cause for the political explosion. What had happened provided internal and external reactionary forces the opportunity to oppose the Communist Party and the people’s government.

When faced with such serious and extensive class struggle, Deng Xiaoping still insisted on his mistaken point of view that class struggle during the socialist period only exists "in certain areas." Even though education on upholding the four basic principles was somewhat strengthened for a short period of time after the incident, this was followed by a speech made by Deng during a trip he made to the South. In this speech he disregarded the fact that the thinking of the Rightists was still prevalent and he again emphasized that "China needs to be alerted about forces from the Right. However, the main task is to defend itself against forces from the ‘Left.’ By saying so, he negated what he had said in the past. He had said earlier that in order to defend the four basic principles and oppose bourgeois liberalism, we needed to oppose the "Left" if the threat came from "Left, " and oppose the Right if the threat came from the Right. In the speech he made on this trip he specifically gave the meaning of "Left" by saying, "The ‘Left’ believes we face the main danger of peaceful transformation in the economic sphere." (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. III, p. 375) This was indeed an extraordinary conclusion and it signaled that in the economic sphere opposition should be aimed at the "Left" not the Right. Such a conclusion opened the door for privatization and for allowing Party members into business dealings. On the other hand, this conclusion tied the hands and feet of the proletariat and the working people to prevent them from engaging in struggles against the bourgeoisie. At the same time it opened the door for the bourgeoisie to launch struggle against the proletariat and working people. Therefore, since 1992 there has been a green light for, and with an additional push from others factors, struggles to intensify. By the beginning of the 21st century the flood of bourgeois thinking was worse than it had been in 1989, and the four basic principles were greatly de-emphasized, being put on a pedestal, avoided, distorted and negated. In merely ten years our country has gone through all the shocking economic and political changes mentioned above.

We therefore suggest: The Party should be armed with Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and should be unified in its understanding of the four basic principles in order to turn itself around and liberate itself from the wrong thinking of bourgeois liberalism and revisionism that goes against objective laws and harms the interests of the broad masses. We ask that the central leadership set examples and mobilize cadres of the whole Party to sincerely study the classical works of Marxism, Leninism, and Mao Zedong Thought and to learn the philosophy of Marxism, the theory of socialism, the theory of proletarian party building, and the theory of proletarian dictatorship. At the same time the Party needs to investigate and study the current situation, to seriously evaluate and summarize historical experiences and lessons, to practice criticism and self-criticism, and to unite the Party under the four basic principles. This is the only way to lay the ideological foundation for correcting the Party line, its goal and its policies.

III. Uphold Socialism and Oppose the Restoration of Capitalism

In order to persist on the road to socialism, the 13th Party Congress gave the basic line during the beginning stage of socialism. It said, "To lead and to unite all nationalities in our country to make economic construction the center of our work, to uphold the four basic principles, to persist in reform and opening up, to base ourselves on self–reliance and hard work in order to build a rich, prosperous, democratic and civilized socialist society." We should say that in general the content of this basic line is correct. However, we must point out that the interpretation of "one center and two basic points" by the Central Party leadership was unscientific and one-sided. The four basic principles should be the key link with the rest the rest as items or categories that belong to a lower rank. As early as 1985 Chen Yun pointed out, "The whole Party needs to understand that the work we are doing is for socialism with the ultimate goal of reaching communism. This is a very important point to remember. Under the leadership of the Central Party we are working on economic construction, but it must be socialist economic construction– the economic structure reform has to be socialist economic structure reform. Any Communist must remember in every moment that the four modernizations are socialist modernization, not any other kind of modernization. Whatever we do is for the purpose of building socialism." (Selected Works of Chen Yun, Vol. III, p. 347) In March 1986 on the eve of the 13th Party Congress, Peng Zhen said clearly that the four basic principles were the key link. He said, "At the current time a fundamental question is whether to uphold the four basic principles. The four basic principles are the key link to all things. We need all four basic principles and it will not be all right to miss any one of the four. If we have a good grasp of this key link, our eyes will be brighter and we will be able to see all important problems more clearly." He added, "We have a large country and a lot of people. If we do not have a key link that could unify our thinking, then you do things your way and I do things my way. There will be a lot of confusion and this will cause much suffering." (Peng Zhen in On Socialist Democracy and Laws in This New Period, pp. 306, 351, Central Committee Document Publisher, 1989) It was too bad that the chief leadership of the Central Committee did not adhere to the correct opinions of Chen Yun or Peng Zhen; they did not regard the four basic principles to be the key link. They placed the key link and items that belong to a lower rank on the same level. Or even worse they raised reform and opening up to the level of "overall goal" and almost placed reform and opening up as a priority over the four basic principles. This was the reason that the reform and opening up and other economic construction have moved away from socialism and moved away from the four basic principles. They planted the seeds for the confusion and suffering that followed.

We should understand and carry out the fundamental line correctly. The four basic principles should guide economic construction and reform and opening up. This means that the kind of reform we want can only be socialist that brings improvement and development. We cannot pursue the kind of development that restores capitalism, or the kind of abstract reform that disregards the important distinction between socialism and capitalism. The kind of opening up we want can only be independent and autonomous and an opening that is based on self-reliance. We can never have the kind of opening up that renders us dependent and colonized, nor can we have the kind of opening up that gives the same treatment to "foreign and domestic", nor the kind of opening up that puts the safety of our country at risk. That is the only way we can achieve socialist modernization not "any other kind of modernization."

In order to pursue the socialist path, to solidify and to strengthen the socialist economic base, the regulations in our Party Charter and in our Constitution state: "In the initial stage of socialism, the nation’s basic economic system for development must be dominated by public ownership co-existing with other kinds of ownership, and the distribution system must be dominated by distribution according to labor contributed together with other kinds of distribution systems." These regulations are consistent with the basic principles of Marxism and our realistic conditions at the current stage. At the current time and for some time to come in the future our country is and will be in the stage of not fully developed (or less developed) socialism – or the initial stage of socialism. Under the pre-condition of dominated public ownership it would be helpful to allow the development of some private ownership to improve people’s living conditions. However, private ownership means capitalist private ownership. This kind of economy has in itself the inherent nature of exploitation of working people and there exists the basic contradiction between private ownership and socialized production. It is for this reason that private ownership can only be supplementary and it can never become dominant. Private ownership cannot be the economic base for socialism. The reason for the existence of private ownership and its limited development in the initial stage of socialism is that it helps develop productive forces and thus create conditions for the final elimination of private ownership – a system that exploits people. This point of view regarding private ownership is very clear and there should not be any doubt about it. In the Party Charter and in the Constitution before the statement on the basic economic system and distribution, it was clearly stated: "The base for the socialist economic system and distribution system for the Peoples Republic of China is socialist public ownership including the ownership of the whole people and collective ownership. Socialist public ownership eliminates the system of people exploiting people, and distribution is based on the principle of from each according to his (her) ability and to each according to his (her) labor."

Regrettably these regulations clearly stated in the Party Charter and

Constitution have been violated, changed and rendered meaningless. The economic management reform has been altered to become the "enterprise structural reform, " which in fact pushed for changes in ownership or the privatization of these enterprises. The result is that private ownership has become dominant in our national economy. It caused the basic economic system as stated in the Party Charter and the Constitution to collapse! The relations of production determine the social nature of a country. We can see it clearly by what has happened when public ownership lost as the dominant form of ownership! There must be determination to firmly overturn the capitalist reform of privatization. There must be determination to firmly take steps in order to reverse the reform that went wrong.

We, therefore, suggest:

  1. We should follow the Constitution and Party Charter for the construction of our country’s basic economic system during the initial stage of socialism and to restore public ownership to its dominant position, to demonstrate the superiority of the socialist system, and to develop the social productive forces according to plan. This is critically important because it concerns the life or death of our socialist system. No matter how difficult it will be and how big the opposing forces are, it must go forward firmly without wavering. Of course, careful consideration is needed when concrete steps are taken in order to avoid big shocks and the destruction of productive forces. We suggest that the restoration of public ownership to its dominant position and the consolidation of the socialist system in the economic base be placed with high priority in the resolutions of the 17th Party Congress. After the 17th Party Congress the Central Committee of the Communist Party should work quickly to draft a Decision on Upholding the Constitution and the Reconstruction of the Economic System in the Initial Stage of Socialism. The draft would then be handed over to the Standing Committee of the National Peoples’ Representatives for investigation and passage and then to be immediately carried out. The content of this draft should include: the immediate cessation of selling State owned enterprises, the immediately examination of current laws and regulations and abolishment any laws/regulations that go against the reconstruction, and the upholding of the basic economic system. One example of these laws/regulations is the Opinions On Encouraging, Supporting, and Guiding the Development of Private and Other Non-Public Enterprises (also known as "the non-public 36") announced by the State Council in 2005. There are also others. The State Statistics Bureau should be given the responsibility to survey and give periodic reports to the Central Committee and to the public on the amount of capital and the number of employees of enterprises of all types of ownership, and the Gini index as an indicator of inequality of income distribution. There should be agencies that are held responsible for reporting to the Central Party and the People’s Congress in detail the amount of money receive from selling State owned enterprises and whether these receipts are handed over to the State Treasury and how these receipts are used. We need to uphold with determination this principle stated in the Constitution: "The public property of socialism is sacred and cannot be violated." The Constitution also states: "All organizations and all individuals are prohibited to occupy or to destroy properties of the State and the Collectives." "All the losses of State and Collective properties" need to be investigated. Despite "whatever means those properties" were obtained, the State and the Collectives have to be properly compensated. Several laws, such as the Basic Economic System Law, State Owned Economic Law, Collectively Owned Economic Law, Law for Private Business, and Law on Foreign Business should be legislated and then carried out. (Drafts of these laws need to be published first to solicit responses before they become laws.) The State Owned economy should be expanded in a planned manner to guarantee its dominant position. Various forms of economic cooperatives both in cities and in rural areas should be greatly developed. Individual private enterprises should be guided to join the collective sector. Public economy should be given assistance in obtaining financing, technology, information and personnel. The problem of unemployment should be solved through developing the State owned economy and especially the collective economy. The management of the State owned enterprises should be seriously improved according to the principles of socialism and concrete current conditions. The goal should be relying whole-heartedly on the working class. The State owned enterprises should adopt and implement the "Anshan Constitution" ("two participations, one reform and three unifications") to fully arouse workers’ enthusiastic spirit and hard work so that the superiority of State owned enterprises can be developed to the fullest extent. Among private enterprises and foreign enterprises, the focus should be on those that were built up by means of a close collaboration between businessmen and government officials by exchanging power and money between them. Those enterprises should be cleaned up and re-organized according to law. Individuals who violate the law in these dealings should be severely punished. All other private enterprises and foreign enterprises will be allowed to operate and develop, but they will be placed under necessary and appropriate restrictions in several areas including their operation, taxing policy, market price, working conditions, etc. Law abiding education and supervision of the private enterprises should be strengthened, including supervision by workers and the masses. The expansion of private business into new areas (including the formation of monopolies) should be stopped. Those small and medium size enterprises that are highly polluting yet are not equipped to reduce pollution should be closed down. Private enterprises should be encouraged on a voluntary basis to allow the State to purchase shares or to control shares or to allow workers to hold shares so they can gradually become collectively owned. In the "Decision" (see top of p. 12) there should be concrete steps to reconstruct the basic economic system and to accomplish the mission within a specific time period. This difficult and enormous mission can be accomplished by coordinating mass mobilization and adherence to established policy and legal procedures.
  2. According to the Constitution and the Party Charter, distribution according to labor contributed should be the main method of distribution and can be complemented by other methods of distribution. Resolute changes are needed to reduce the big gaps between the rich and the poor and to reduce the polarization in our society. Such changes can be carried out gradually in a step-by-step fashion in order for us to actually have a society where all people share the wealth. The reconstruction of public ownership to the dominant position is the precondition to restore distribution according to labor to its dominant position. In order to restore distribution according to labor, attention is needed to correct the huge gap between high and middle level management and direct labor (including skilled labor) in many State owned enterprises. In the private sector, distribution is determined by the rule of surplus value, but the government should place strict limits through legislation in order to restrict over-exploitation and by encouraging negotiations between labor and capital. Income redistribution measures (through government taxation and spending) can also be used to adjust household income and reduce the gaps between the rich and the poor. The government’s effort in income redistribution has been strengthened in more recent years, but it is far from enough. (For example, government spending on education has not yet reached the 4% GDP world average.) The government needs on the one hand to increase taxes on inheritance, taxes on luxury consumption, and taxes on environmental protection, etc., in order to restrict the unreasonable growth of high incomes. On the other hand the government should do all it can to increase spending on social welfare, social insurance, and social subsidies, so that serious progress can be made in solving the most urgent problems that put the broad masses in dire conditions – the problems of medical care, education, housing, and unemployment. We suggest in the resolution of the 17th Party Congress that in addition to greatly developing the productive forces, the content must include how to change the existing large gap between the rich and the poor in order to achieve a society of shared wealth. After the meeting there should be an in depth study on how to gradually reduce the high Gini index to a more appropriate level. The resolution should be clear on the concrete steps and should specify the time needed to reach this goal of shared wealth.
  3. The new rural village that we want to build has to be socialist and has to be based on the economics of cooperation (collective economy). Small-scale family operated agriculture, which is currently scattered all over our countryside has made it impossible for farms to operate at the appropriate scale or to adopt advanced technology to raise production. It has also invariably created polarization. Under these conditions it is impossible for villages to develop on a shared wealth basis. It has been proven that the several thousand collectively operated villages, such as the Huaxi cun in Jiang-su, Nanjie Cun in Henan, and Hancunhe in Beijing, have been able to greatly raise their output, and to a certain extent villagers have enjoyed a better life with shared wealth. In these villages there is no polarization, nor is there bribery or corruption, nor is there prostitution. Moreover, education, medical care and housing have been provided for the residents in these villages. Cadres in Xiaogang Cun, the village that became famous when it led the way in the Rural Reform that divided up the land, were very impressed by what have been accomplished by these villages, which have remained collective. They said that they would like to learn from the experiences of these collectively operated villages. We suggest that the central government praise these successful villages that have persisted in their collective operation and to spread the news of these good models. The government can help residents in many villages by demonstrating the model of collective villages, by government assistance, protective legislation, and concrete policies to gradually establish and develop various economic cooperative organizations according to the concrete conditions of each village and the wishes of peasants in each village. Not only productive cooperatives can be organized, cooperatives that engage in commerce and consumer cooperatives can also be organized. Cooperatives can be organized on the basis of agriculture and also on a broader level that encompasses a whole community. Cooperatives can be organized at the basic level, and according to need can also be organized by linking basic units together. It is also possible on the basis of mutual benefit for State owned enterprises to lead and help the development of the cooperative economy. The current widely promoted model of "company plus farm household" is not a good model to follow. The company is privately owned and its purpose is to maximize its own profits. Many problems have been created when the company deals from a position of strength with the unorganized and weak individual farm households. As long as we have the determination, the small farm households that are scattered in China’s vast countryside can be organized to follow the path of cooperation, and it is only then we can build socialist, not capitalist, new villages. Only then can the "san nong" problems – the problem of agriculture, peasants, and rural villages – be resolved. This is the way for our agriculture to develop, for peasants to share wealth, to strengthen the worker-peasant alliance, and to solidify the economic base of socialist system.
  4. Any talk about a scientific development model or building a harmonious society needs to be guided by the four basic principles and to be carried out in concrete steps. Only under socialist public ownership and the people’s democratic dictatorship is it possible to have a humane society and to realize an overall well coordinated, balanced, and sustainable development, thus reaching a harmonious society (A harmonious society can only be built after the elimination of the exploiting class.) The harmony between humanity and nature is based on the harmony amongst people. There is no harmony to speak of in the kind of system that allows the exploitation of workers by the capitalists and a system that, for the purpose of maximizing personal profit, pollutes the environment and squanders natural resources. This capitalist system is fundamentally contradictory to harmony amongst the people and is also fundamentally contradictory to harmony between humanity and nature. Any development that strays away from the four basic principles, any development model that does not persist in socialist public ownership and the democratic dictatorship of the people is not based on Marx’s historical materialism, and is instead based on a bourgeois idealist view of history.
  5. As far as building a society of "moderate wealth" is concerned, it should be carried out according to the four basic principles as a goal in a certain stage of socialism. It cannot be separated from the overall goal of constructing socialist modernization. Therefore, it is not enough just to raise the per capita national output. It is also necessary to solidify and raise socialist public ownership and distribution according to labor to their dominant positions. It is also necessary to solidify and strengthen the people’s democratic dictatorship. A society that is dominated by private ownership, a society that has big gaps between the rich and the poor, and a society that weakens the status of the working class all point to a society that is moving in the opposite direction of achieving a society of moderate wealth under the goal of socialist modernization.
  6. The protection of the environment and the conservation of natural resources have to be greatly strengthened. The State needs to enforce its macro economic adjustment and control. Under the direction of State planning, market mechanisms can be utilized to achieve positive results. Within the period of the 11th Five-year plan, targets for energy conservation and pollution reduction as regulated by the State have to be met. It is also necessary to hold municipal Party Committees of the Chinese Communist Party in the most polluted cities responsible for cleaning up the pollution. Moreover, it is necessary to clean up the air in the most polluted 16 cities (out of a total of 20) in the world that are located in China before the 18th Party Congress at the latest and to improve our environment so it will erase the shame of our environment being "closer to the poorest countries in the world." State planning should be strengthened in order to play its appropriate role, while market mechanisms can be utilized for adjustment. Effective macro adjustment and control should be enhanced in order to achieve coordinated and sustainable development on an overall scale. All these changes are necessary to fundamentally reverse the kind of development that focuses on high GDP growth and high profit rates for some enterprises at the cost of polluting the environment and wasting our resources. This kind of high GDP growth and high profits to a large extent are not real and the gain can hardly be compensated by the loss!
  7. When we deal with the rest of the world it must be on the basis of mutual benefit and we must maintain our independence, self-determination, and self-reliance. Foreign purchases of our country’s State owned enterprises have to be stopped immediately. Work on legislating foreign economic relations and economic security is urgent and should be given high priority. Corrections are needed for some individuals and departments in our government that are infected by "worshipping foreign capital" and "starving for foreign capital" syndromes. On the basis of rebuilding public ownership and distribution according to labor to their dominant positions and on the basis of enhancing income redistribution to address the problem of inequality, measures can be taken to gradually reduce our dependence on foreign trade so that the spending structure of GDP can be changed to make domestic consumption, especially household consumption, its major component. We have to be determined to reverse the dangerous situation of increasing dependency in our foreign economic relations. Only when we have economic independence can we be assured of our political independence.

IV. Affirm the People’s Democratic Dictatorship and Oppose the Bourgeoisie’s Seizure of Power and the Erosion it Brings both Internally and Externally

The people’s democratic dictatorship was built in new China under the leadership of the proletariat based on the close alliance between workers and peasants (the concrete form of dictatorship of the proletariat as carried out in China). From the beginning the People’s Republic was under furious attacks launched by the bourgeoisie in the form of "sugar coated bullets" or in other forms. In order to protect the newly established Republic, the Central Committee of the Communist Party immediately mobilized the masses and started the "Three Anti’s" and "Five Anti’s" movements. These movements were able to investigate problems within and outside of the new government and beat back these attacks from the bourgeoisie. At the end of these movements government officials were free from corruption and the social order was stable and well. There was rarely any big case of embezzlement or corruption and the crime rate was very low. Such an achievement was never possible throughout China’s long history nor is it possible in Western countries that practice bourgeoisie democracy. These conditions lasted about 30 years. There is no doubt that this newly born and inexperienced government had various shortcomings and made mistakes now and then, and therefore continued improvement was needed. However, it was a government devoted to serving the people and for that it won the enthusiastic and sincere support of broad masses.

At the current time the people’s democratic dictatorship is, more than ever before, under the furious attacks of the bourgeoisie both from within and outside of the government. The people’s democratic dictatorship can only be strengthened when these attacks are defeated. Only after the defeat of these attacks can we avoid the seizing of power by the bourgeoisie and the erosion they cause. This is the only way to guarantee the basic nature of the people’s democratic dictatorship.

The bourgeoisie launched their attacks externally by holding conferences such as the "Conference on the Civil Amendment of the Constitution" and the "New Xi-shan (western mountain) Conference" and through some media (for example, Yanhuang Cunqiu") that under their control. What they want is to create a "color revolution" in our country and to establish the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, advocating that we:

  1. Eliminate the leadership of the Communist Party. They even claim that the Communist Party is an illegal organization because it is "not registered". China should establish the multi-party system after the model of Taiwan or Sweden.
  2. Eliminate the People’s Assembly. They falsely claim that the People’s Assembly is an organization outside of the law." Establish a tri-level power system like the Western style parliament.
  3. Eliminate the Communist Party’s leadership in the military, or "expropriate the military power of the Communist Party" and institute a "military under national control".
  4. Institute bourgeois personal freedom – granting "real freedom" to those who oppose socialism and those who oppose the four basic principles. At the same time they advocate that there should be "no debate" on these issues. This means taking the right of upholding the four basic principles from the masses and eliminating the freedom of the masses to oppose what they say and how they behave.

Internally the bourgeoisie launched their attacks by targeting government officials with "sugar coated bullets", and they used money in exchange for the power these officials possess. Furthermore, a close connection was formed between the officials and the businessmen, and now government officials and businessmen have become one and the same. Following the example of high-level government officials, other officials at different levels of government have also become very corrupt. These officials have used their power to enrich themselves by accumulating wealth under the names of their wives. This kind of corruption has invariably led to fundamental changes in the nature of the regime. As early as 1985 when all of this corruption was just beginning to appear, Chen Yun seriously pointed out, " As soon as the opening to the outside world and implementing more flexible policy domestically were announced, some cadres in the Party, in the government, and in the military together with their sons and daughters went into business in a big hurry. According to a dozen or more investigations of cities and provinces, from the 4th quarter of last year there have been more than twenty thousand businesses set up. The majority of these twenty thousand businesses were set up by the connections between these officials and illegal businesses both domestic and foreign. They used the loopholes of reform to do all kinds of illegal dealings including illegal buying and selling, bribing and accepting bribes, payments under the table, falsifying records, tax evasion, manufacturing and selling fake medicines and fake wine, murder, selling and showing pornography, and luring women into prostitution. All of these ugly and evil things have happened. The ‘only money matters’ degenerate capitalist ideology is seriously eroding our party and our society. We want to build socialism and we have to be determined to block and to root out these ugly and evil thoughts and behaviors. We must mobilize and organize our party and all the social forces to struggle against these phenomena with utmost determination." (Collected Works of Chen Yun, Vol. III, pp. 355, 356)

Since then twenty years have passed and during these twenty years the Party Central and the Central Disciplinary Committee have issued many documents and have arrested and punished quite a large numbers of corrupt officials, but what is the result? Compared to the situation of twenty years ago, all the above-mentioned crimes have not decreased at all but have actually increased. Moreover, these criminal cases are now much more serious than before. Why is it that at the beginning of the Republic, after Liu Qingshan and Zhang Zeshan had been executed, during the "Three Anti’s" movement there were no more serious cases of corruption or bribes for thirty years? And now even after so many more were arrested and executed, even more cases of corruption and bribery have continued to appear? Like "cutting chives", more grow back after each one is cut. The root cause is that the soil and the conditions that breed corruption and crimes have not been eliminated and the close connections between government officials and the different interest groups are still intact. When the root cause is not dealt with, it is not possible to eliminate government corruption.

There is no doubt that there are still many clean and fair government officials in our governments who work hard to serve the people. However, the numerous cases of corruption, bribery, and other illegal dealings are very serious. In some organizations the fundamental nature of the government has changed. The recently exposed case of the illegal brick factor in Shanxi Province is not an isolated or accidental case. Many similar places have existed for a long time. When workers in these places lived and worked in such terrible conditions (like hell on earth) and were treated worse than animals, where was the Party organization? Where was the government? Where was the Public Security Department? Where were the law enforcement agencies? Before the media reported this case, not only did these people in the Party and in the government not rescue those brutally oppressed slaves, they actually silently approved of or even covered up the crimes of these capitalists. This kind of government and this kind of officials are the tools of the dictatorship of which class?

The bourgeoisie launched their attacks on the people’s democratic dictatorship both from within and from outside. The internal attack is most dangerous. As it is said: "The easiest way to attack and seize a castle is from the inside." If we do not eliminate the vested interest groups based on the close network between government officials and the businessmen, there is no way we can fundamentally solve the problems of bribery and corruption, thus causing the great dissatisfaction of the masses and scattering all the forces that we could unite, or even allowing those forces to be used by our opposition. Objectively speaking, the result will end up helping the bourgeoisie’s attacks from outside and to achieve their "color revolution". We had the experience and should not forget the lessons of the political turmoil in the Spring/Summer of 1989.

Therefore, we suggest:

  1. Immediately establish a system where the leading cadres of our Party and of the administration at different levels are required to report their and their children’s assets on a regular basis. These cadres need to be supervised by various entities. This will be the starting point to break into the close connections between government officials and the different interest groups, and to sweep clean the soil that is breeding corruption. Leading government officials in Western countries are required to publicly declare their assets. Since we are a socialist country, there are more reasons for us to require this. Moreover, since the connection between government officials and businessmen has already become a very serious problem, and since there are many concrete cases where "the father possesses big power and son possesses big wealth", we need to require not only those highest leading cadres but also the leading cadres at different levels of the government to report their and their family’s (spouse’s and children’s) property. These reports should be examined and supervised by the appropriate agencies and by the general public. This work has to be combined with the Party ratification work stated earlier and to "restore the Party as the vanguard of the dictatorship of the proletariat" and ensure that no Party member is allowed to engage in any exploitative activities. This system needs to be protected by appropriate legislation for it to persist in the long run. Using this as a starting point and only by relying on and mobilizing the broad masses, will it be possible to get rid of the vested interest groups within the government that are formed between government officials and capitalists. This is the only way to sweep clean the soil that breeds corruption and to assure the fundamental nature of the people’s democratic dictatorship from changing. This is a very important policy and is the key to strengthen and to uphold our people’s democratic dictatorship. When this policy is carried out with determination, the broad masses will support it with great enthusiasm so that our people’s democratic dictatorship can be strengthened. At the same time we must be alert to prevent anti-Marxist and anti-Mao Zedong Thought forces and those who stubbornly persist in their bourgeois and revisionist ideology to seize leadership at various levels within the Party. We have to be determined to expose and sweep clean from the bottom these parasites in our society.
    Cadres at different levels and especially those at the high level have to set strict standards for themselves and for their families. Mao Zedong had warned us long ago when he said, "We do not represent the exploiting class. We represent the proletariat and the working class. If we do not pay attention and set strict standards for our children, they will change. It is possible that they will engage in restoring the power of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie will confiscate the property and seize the power that belong to the proletariat." (April 12, 1967)
  2. In the people’s government we must persist in the "two necessary rules". (One is that we must maintain modesty and not to be arrogant and the other is that we must maintain hard work and struggle.) We need to carry out the principles of the Paris Commune so that cadres at all levels share good times as well as bad times with the working class people. In 1781 when Marx mentioned the principles of the Paris Commune by summing up its experiences, he clearly pointed out that in order to prevent the government from transforming from the servant of the people to the master of the people, officials in the government should only receive salaries that are equivalent to that of the skilled workers. We should also gradually reform the salary structure of our government officials according to this principle – like the salary structure for government officials in Cuba today. This reform can be made on the basis of further development in production, and the wages of workers can be gradually raised. Only when leaders in the government can share both the good times and the bad times with the people can the nature of the people’s government be assured. All the Communist members who serve in the government should inherit and raise the glorious tradition of our party to "endure hardship before the people and enjoy comfort after the people".
  3. We need to improve the organization of the People’s representatives and to strengthen democratic supervision, to get rid of bureaucratic style, and to raise productivity. Among the members of the People’s Assembly we need to greatly reduce the percentage of those who are government officials and to greatly increase the percentage of base level working people. The supervisory departments in the State Council should take direct responsibilities delegated by the People’s Assembly. Governments at the local and provincial levels should do the same. Party branches and governments at different levels should practice conservation instead of extravagant and wasteful spending. All organizations should cut the number of personnel and cut much of their bloated budgets. They should raise the productivity and seriously serve the people.
  4. We call for relying closely on workers, peasants and the intellectuals and to bring together all the forces possible to unite and strengthen the patriotic united front. During the past years when privatization has been carried out and when the capitalists have been admitted into the Party, the patriotic united front has been weakened, not strengthened. The reason is that these policies have weakened the fundamental force behind the patriotic united front, which is the unity between the Party and workers, peasants, and the intellectuals. Therefore, it has becomes harder to unite other patriotic forces. According to a survey, in 2001 capitalists accounted for 29.9% of the total Communist Party members and members of other democratic parties accounted only 5.4% of the total – the former is more than five times the latter. If we exclude those capitalist Party members who had been in the publicly owned enterprises (that are now privatized) and only count those capitalists who individually joined the Party after they had opened their businesses, the percentage is still 6.4%, which is still higher than those of the other democratic parties. According to another survey, among the capitalists, 10.8% would like to join the Communist Party and only 5.1% would like to join other democratic parties. Among the representatives of privately owned businesses who attended the 9th People’s Assembly, there were more Communist Party members than members of other democratic political parties. (China Private Business Yearbook, 2002, 363,393) These all show the political disorder and the confusion! We believe that the capitalists should not be allowed to join the Communist Party, but that they can raise their demands by joining other democratic political parties and the Association of Industry and Commerce. Some of them can also be elected according to law to become committee members of the Political Consultative Conference or representatives of the People’s Assembly. This is not to weaken the united front but to develop the united front in a healthy way under the correct leadership of the Communist Party. By doing so, members of the different democratic parties, people in the Association of Industry and Commerce, and people who do not belong to any political party can play a positive role in both the People’s Political Consultative Conference and the People’s Assembly. We can thus unite the patriotic and lawful capitalists and all other forces that are possible to unite.
    If we honestly admit that class contradictions and class struggles continue to exist in socialist society, then we especially need to have correct handling of the contradictions among the people in order to avoid these contradictions turning into antagonistic contradictions. Mao Zedong pointed out, "The contradiction between the national bourgeoisie and the working class is one between exploiter and exploited, and is by nature antagonistic. But in the concrete conditions of China, this antagonistic contradiction between the two classes, if properly handled, can be transformed into a non-antagonistic one and be resolved by peaceful methods. ("On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, " Selected Works of Mao Zedong, vol. V, p. 365, Official English Translation, p. 386)
  5. We need to persist in maintaining our independence and self-determination and pursue a peaceful foreign policy in order to foster a favorable international environment for our development. We should strive for world peace and the advancement of the humanity. We firmly oppose hegemony and power politics. We have to positively give support to the oppressed nations and people in their struggle for independence, freedom and liberation. We cannot just be so appeasing to our adversaries. It has been proven that doing so cannot fool our enemies but only fooling ourselves. It has also alienated socialist China from the oppressed nations and people. Recently Bush shouted loudly that he wants to destroy communism, terrorism and all evil forces. As a socialist country, why do we not dare to even utter a response? We should clearly see that the basic nature of imperialism has not changed and that it will never be changed. The only thing that has changed is its tactics of aggression and its method of penetration. In the past the main form of aggression was "military, " today it is both "military" and "non-military", and the emphasis is on "non-military (including political, economic, and cultural). They especially place great emphasis on promoting "peaceful transformation" and inciting "color revolutions". We need to use revolution to fight the counter-revolution of the imperialists, especially the counter-revolution of US imperialism. Our strategy of struggle should be skillfully coordinated with the internationalism of the proletariat to promote world peace and advance humanity.

V. Persistence in the Leadership of the Communist Party. Oppose Changing the Nature of Communist Party from Being the Vanguard of the Proletariat.

The day when the Communist Manifesto was published it clearly declared that the Communist Party is the political party of the proletariat. "In the different stages of struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the Communist Party always represents the interests of the whole movement." "The Communists are always the most firm and always the forces from the beginning to the end to push the movement forward." Historically the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie was often reflected by the struggle within the Party. The representatives of the bourgeoisie within the Party always attempted to change the nature of the Party from being the vanguard of the proletariat. In a paper published in1879 the ancestor of social democrats, Bernstein, said that the well educated and the bourgeoisie should be allowed into the Party. The "reason" given was that the party should not become "a one sided Party for workers only, " and it should be "a ’well rounded Party’ to include all people who have a loving spirit." He added, "In order not to chase these people away, we should not abandon our principles but we should delay putting them into effect." Marx and Engels severely criticized Bernstein and others and pointed out, "If they meant what they said, they should then withdraw from the Party or at least quit their leadership positions in the Party. If they do not do so, it means that they want to use their positions to oppose the proletarian nature of our Party. Therefore, if the Party continues to let them occupy important positions, then the Party is selling itself out." (Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Vol. III, pp. 679-680)

From its founding, the Chinese Communist Party has always persisted in Marx’s principles on party building and opposed the wrong ideas of the social democrats and revisionists. For those who came from the exploitative class, they must have first revolted against their own class background, abandoned exploitation, and met the standards of the Party both in political thinking and in practice before they were permitted to join the Party. On June 9, 1952 a document published by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party about Party membership stated, "Members of the Communist Party are not allowed to exploit other people (whether it is feudal exploitation or capitalist exploitation)." "If they are not willing to abandon exploitation and continue to engage in exploitation as a rich peasant or in other forms, then they should be unconditionally excluded from the Party." (Selected Documents Since the Establishment of the Republic, Vol. III, p. 204) On September 16, 1956, Deng Xiaoping as Party delegate for the Central Committee on the Report to Amend the Party Charter at the 8th Party Congress, said, "Communist Party Members must engage in labor and not exploit other’s labor." He continued, "In our country there still exists the exploiter, exploitative behavior, exploitation, and exploitative ideology hidden in various forms. We must not allow these elements, these behaviors, and this thinking to penetrate our Party, and for each Party member we must firmly draw a clear line between laboring and exploitation." (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. I, pp. 242, 243) On August 28, 1989, the Central Committee of the Communist Party in its Announcement on Strengthening Party Construction pointed out, "The relationship between the entrepreneurs of private businesses and workers is based on exploitation and being exploited. Therefore, the entrepreneurs of private businesses should not be allowed into the Party." And it emphasized, "The Party is the vanguard of the proletariat and it is not a Party for the whole people. We cannot be unclear about the nature of the Party." And "We cannot allow Western bourgeois political theory and party building theory to reform our Party." On August 21 of the same year, at the conference that discussed the drafting of this announcement, Party Secretary General Jiang Zemin also expressed his opinion, "I agree with what is being said in this announcement, that private entrepreneurs should not be allowed into the Party. Our Party is the vanguard of the proletariat. If we allow people who are unwilling to give up their exploitation and still live on exploitation to join, then what kind of Party are we building?" (See Selected Documents on Party Building in the New Era, p. 442, People’s Publishing Company, 1991)

However, the 16th Party Congress changed the nature of the Party to become: "The vanguard of the proletariat and at the same time the vanguard of the Chinese people and Chinese nation." Therefore, the party became "a party for all people" (including all classes of Chinese people). According to this new regulation the Party allows capitalists who are not willing to give up exploitation as "progressive people of other social classes" into the Party. This was a 180-degree turn and thus fundamentally changed the nature of our Party and the standards for admission into the Party set at the founding of our Party. How did this big turn around come about? How should we deal with it? We must be clear on the background and understand the causes for this change.

  1. With the rising of the new bourgeoisie, they want (demand) to join the party in power. The development of the private economy means the formation and the development of the new bourgeoisie. During the ten years between 1995 and 2005, private entrepreneurs (capitalists) increased from 660,000 to 4.3 million, a five fold increase; employees in these enterprises increased from 8.22 million to 47.15 million, a 4.7 fold increase. Capital in these enterprises increased from 226.2 billion RMB to 6.131 trillion RMB, a 26 fold increase. Compare the new bourgeoisie in 2005 with the national bourgeoisie in 1956 before they had been transformed: The number of enterprises in 1956 had only been 160,000, and in 2005 it was 26.8 times as large. In terms of the number of workers employed, there were 2.5 million in 1956 and 18.8 times as many in 2005; in terms of the amount of capital it was 2.4 billion RMB in 1956 but by 2005 the amount of capital was 639 times more (in constant value of RMB). Basic class nature determines that the new bourgeoisie would demand that China be turned into a capitalist system. In order to realize this demand and under the current conditions, the easiest way and fastest way is to join the Communist Party, so that they can work internally and turn the Party from its goal of socialism.
  2. There have been many very powerful Party members who have already become capitalists but have still retained their Party membership. Such practices have thrown out the fundamental principle of not allowing "the exploiters" into the Party and it was a serious destruction of our Party Charter for the first time. During the reform, those who were in charge (the managers) of the State owned enterprises were allowed to purchase State property (the so-called management buy-out, MBO), which resulted in "turning public property into private property and turning Party members into bosses." Large numbers of government officials and their sons, daughters, other relatives, and those who worked under them became capitalists. They are the most powerful group among the new bourgeoisie. According to the principles of our Party since founding, those who have become exploiters should be "excluded from the Party unconditionally." Following the policy of the Party, these Party members have earnestly pursued reform to become "get rich first". Many of them were sons, daughters, and other relatives of the high ranking or highest-ranking cadres. They were not only most powerful but also had the strongest backing from these officials. Then in 1989 the Central Committee made a very important retreat, and in a related document the Central Committee required these Party members to "strictly obey the policies and the laws of the State, treat workers fairly, and use their profits to develop production or to develop enterprises that improve social welfare. If they meet these requirements, they will be allowed to maintain their Party membership. It is very obvious that these requirements should be standards for law abiding capitalists but not at all standards for Communist Party members. This regulation means that it silently approved the policy that even people who have not given up exploitation are allowed to join the Party. It violated what was in our Party Charter concerning the nature of our Party and the standards for Party members – and in this regard openly degraded? our Party Charter. This regulation paved the way for "Party members to turn into capitalists" and also paved the way for "capitalists to turn into Party members."
  3. The Party Charter was degraded for the second time when not only could Party members become capitalists, but capitalists could become Party members. We stated earlier that the percentage of Party members that are capitalists increased from 13.1% in 1993 to 29.9% in 2001. According to a survey of the different elements of Party members/capitalists, 78.6% of them belong to Party members turning into capitalists (purchasing State or collectively owned enterprises by "high level officials" accounted for 43.4%, and sons and daughters of government officials and other party member running businesses accounted for 35.2%). On the other hand capitalists who became party members were 21.4% of the total. (Study on the Current Private Business Owners and Survey and Report on China’s Private Business, 1999, Survey and Report on China’s Private Business, 2002). All of this was accomplished when the Party Charter still prohibited capitalists from becoming Party members!
  4. The Party Charter was destroyed for the third time when the new "fundamentals of the Party" were announced to openly negate Marx’s theory on class struggle, and also when opposing points of view were barbarously suppressed. The number of capitalists in the Party has increased and this is an apparent violation of the Party Charter. Therefore, in order to justify the change, a key leader in the Party made public the "important thought" of the "three representatives" and proclaimed that these three representatives were the "base of the Party, the foundation of the regime, and the source of energy." This was an attempt to use a personal speech to replace what had been the foundation of the Party stated in the Party Charter. Not long after that, this core leader again raised two big theories at the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1, 2001. One theory is that the heads of the new private enterprises belong to a "new social stratum" but not the new bourgeoisie, thus fundamentally negating Marx’s theory on classes and on class struggle. His second big theory was to say that Marx’s theory of value (and the theory of surplus value) can only explain "the capitalist mode of production during Marx’s time, " and it can no longer explain the capitalist mode of production at the current time, and especially cannot explain the current Chinese capitalist mode of production. This big theory took the bourgeoisie "hats" off the heads of China’s private enterprise owners, and took off the exploiter "hats" off their heads as well. As a result these capitalists could then shamelessly enter into the Party as "common labor." This core leader organized a group of "theoretical elitists" and used propaganda to say that "the July 1st talk" was a "big breakthrough" in the Marxist theory of Party building and was a model that "progresses with time." Subsequently, they used administrative means to suppress opposition from many sides. First, they put political pressure on the old cadres and old soldiers, who raised their opposition by letters. Some of their freedom of mobility was restricted. Second, they warned those at the provincial level who opposed allowing capitalists into the Party. These cadres were warned that unless they supported the Central Party (in fact it was a certain leader) their positions would be "adjusted. " Third, they banned the publication of two magazines – Zhenli De Zhuiqiu and Zhongliu –without going through normal procedures, because these two magazines opposed allowing capitalists into the Party. They did this as a way to "warn hundreds by punishing one, " thus sending a chill through all of the mainstream media. What they did not only was against the Party Charter (thus degrading the validity of the Party Charter), it was also in violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Constitution. All of these actions clearly show that they knew they did not have any reasonable ground to stand on.
  5. They went against the will of the Party to half-secretly bring capitalists into the solemn conference hall where the 16th Party Congress was held. This was the degradation of our Party Charter for the fourth time. The mainstream newspapers did not report on how the capitalists participated in the 16th Party Congress. The reporting work was left to the lesser media. For example, The China Youth News reported on October 28, 2002, "There will be delegates from private entrepreneurs in the 16th Party Congress" and the paper also listed the names of four capitalists and the enterprises they owned. It also said, "Forbes magazine just published the names of the wealthiest individuals in China among the 100 wealthiest individuals in the world. Three of them are delegates to the 16th Party Congress." The paper praised the Party and said, " The Chinese Communist Party as the party in power was able to break through the traditional labor theory of value and unite and organize the new social forces in a timely manner." This core leader used unlawful means to raise the status of the capitalists in order to show that allowing capitalists into the Party had become an "indisputable fact"! The Party Charter thus became a piece of waste paper!

Under these conditions the 16th Party Congress amended the Party Charter and changed the nature of the Party and came to the resolution that allows capitalists into the Party.

From the process stated above it is clear that the change originated in the privatization of the economy. When the economic base changed, sooner or later the superstructure was bound to change. There are two large groups in the new bourgeoisie. One group includes those who rose to become capitalists outside of the Party, and the other group is those in power within the Party who want to take the capitalist road (the bourgeois reformers). These two big groups are integrated but the latter group has played the key role. They possess controlling power, and they ignored the Party Charter and Party Regulations. They took advantage of the weakness of our Party for lacking a system of democratic supervision, and proceeded to destroy the basic principles of our Party building in a step-by-step fashion. When the Party changed its basic nature of being the vanguard of the proletariat, its theory, its line, and its goal, its policies had to change as well. The basic nature of the problem remains the same in spite of how they package themselves. There have been large numbers of Party members, especially worker and peasant Party members, who are determined to uphold socialism. There are also large numbers of Party cadres, especially those old Party cadres, who are determined to uphold socialism and have under very difficult conditions used all possible means to wage relentless struggle against the bourgeois reformers. However, in order to reverse the march along the capitalist road, we must insist on restoring the nature of the Party as the vanguard of the proletariat. Otherwise, not only can our Party not lead our broad masses to the road of socialism for long, the Party will become the tool for the bourgeoisie to further their capitalist restoration, and the tool to even more brutally exploit, oppress and squeeze the broad masses of workers and peasants! This is absolutely not allowed.

Therefore, we believe that the 17th Party Congress must treat restoring the Party to its position as the vanguard of the proletariat as the utmost important goal. We have to clear the way and to return our Party to its original goal. We have the following concrete suggestions.

  1. The Party Central should immediately make a decision that the delegates of the bourgeoisie will not be allowed to be present at the 17th Party Congress. The Committee which examines the qualifications of delegates should be charged with the serious duty of disqualifying the delegates of the bourgeoisie and disallow them from participating. Also, no members of the bourgeoisie should be elected as new Central Committee Members, Central Committee Members on waiting list, or Central Disciplinary Committee members. If somehow they get in by mistake, the Politburo has the authority to delete their names from the list and then refer it to the whole Central Committee for approval. As far as their Party membership is concerned, this should be handled according to the amended Party Charter of the 17th Party Congress.
    The 17th Party Congress should resolve and delete from the Party Charter the mistake made by the 16th Party Congress in regards to the "two vanguards, " and also delete from the Party Charter the decision to allow the bourgeoisie into the Party as "other progressive strata." The Party Charter should be restored to what it had been at the 15th Party Congress regarding the nature of the Communist Party and the standards for being admitted into the Party. After the statement "The Chinese Communist Party member always is a member of the common working people, " add the regulation saying, " and is not allowed to participate in any exploitation."
  2. After the completion of careful political work, the bourgeoisie who had been admitted into the Party will be given their free choice. They can give up their exploitation and remain in the Party or they can continue their exploitation and voluntarily withdraw from the Party. If they decide to leave, they can become those to be united in our united front. They can be educated to operate their businesses lawfully and make contributions toward the construction of our country. At the conclusion of the 17th Party Congress, work on Party ratification should begin immediately. The whole Party should be organized to seriously study Marxist theory on Party building, and to proceed with the work of clarifying the status of Party members in a step-by-step fashion.
  3. Strengthen democratic centralism and democratic supervision within the Party. Permanent members of the Central Politburo and the General Secretary should be elected directly by the whole Party delegates or be elected directly by the Party Central Committee. Also we should have "cha-e" election.Party members should be allowed to talk and to participate in debates, and ideological struggle within the Party should not be suppressed by dictatorial methods. Mao Zedong once said, " If we allow others to talk, the sky won’t fall and we won’t collapse. What if you don’t allow others to speak? It would be difficult to avoid our own collapse one day." (Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. VIII, p. 310)
  4. Practice criticism and self-criticism. Uphold and study Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought, and engage in investigation and study in order for our work to be grounded in reality. Oppose inconsistencies between what one says and what one does. Oppose the tendency to neglect principles just to achieve harmony. Oppose Party members seeking to enrich themselves and all other behaviors that alienate the masses for the sake of their self-interest. Raise Communist Party consciousness, trust and rely on the masses, practice the model of being a vanguard, and raise the fighting power of Party organization.

VI. Uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Oppose various forms of Bourgeoisie Ideology and Revisionism

We want to raise high the great flags of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. We persist in holding Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought as our guiding principles. We are determined to uphold this fundamental principle to the end. This principle can never be abandoned or altered.

Marxism-Leninism is "the most correct and most revolutionary scientific thinking of the world’s proletariat." It has pointed the path and the goal of the liberation of the proletariat and humanity. From the founding of our Party Marxism-Leninism has always been the guide for action and the great flag that we have hold up. There is no doubt that the victory of our Party and our people were won under its guide.

However, at the current time we have the serious problem that the great flag of Marxism-Leninism has been de-emphasized, been put on a pedestal, avoided and even distorted and negated. For example, the Party Charter passed by the 16th Party congress deleted without any explanation what had been in the Party Charter of the 15th Party Congress that said, "Marxism illustrates the overall rule of the historical development of human society, analyzes the basic and unconquerable contradictions of capitalism, points out that socialism must replace capitalism and in the end will develop into communism. One hundred years after the Communist Manifesto was written, history has proven that the theory of scientific socialism is correct, and socialism has a very strong life force." Some leaders of our Party propagate the idea that "reaching Communism is quite impossible." They avoid or negate the scientific theory that says socialism is the lower stage of communism. They also negate the public ownership of means of production, the elimination of exploitation, and that the laboring class are the masters of the country. They negate the principle that "selflessness and serving the people" are communist morals and these communist elements are already being realized in real life under socialism. In fact, with every advance we have made in socialism, we are one step closer to communism. For example, there are leaders who only mention "uphold Deng Xiaoping’s Theory and the important thinking of the ‘three representatives’" as guiding principles. They no longer mention Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought as guiding principles. There are also other Communist Party members who are "elitist scholars, " who have gone out of their way to maliciously alter and distort the original work of Marxism-Leninism. They have said that Marx and Engels in their later years abandoned Communism and the theory of public ownership, and that Marx and Engels actually praised and spread Bernstein’s and other revisionists’ theory that social democracy was "the real scientific theory" and that "only social democracy can save China." We must critique and correct this anti-Marxist thinking and these tendencies.

Mao Zedong Thought is built on the integration of the theory of Marxist-Leninism with China’s revolution and social construction. Mao Zedong Thought practiced and developed Marxism-Leninism, and it has been proven by concrete experiences that it is the correct principle for Chinese revolution and socialist construction and is also an analysis of that experience. Mao Zedong Thought has been adopted as the guiding principle and the great flag of our Party since the 7th Party Congress.

However, there is currently the same serious problem that Mao Zedong Thought, together with Marxism-Leninism, has been de-emphasized, been put on a pedestal, avoided, distorted, and negated. Some Party leaders no longer mention Marxism or Mao Zedong Thought when they talk about the guiding thinking of our Party. Other leaders talked about Mao Zedong Thought but they did not talk about what Mao Zedong said about class struggle under socialism and his theory of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. As a result they put Mao Zedong Thought on a pedestal in order to distort it. Mao Zedong pointed out in "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People: " "…there are still remnants of the overthrown landlord and comprador classes, there is still a bourgeoisie, and the remolding of the pretty bourgeoisie has only just started. The class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between the various political forces, and the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the ideological field will be protracted and tortuous and at times even very sharp. The proletariat seeks to transform the world according to its own world outlook, and so does the bourgeoisie. In this respect, the question of which will win out, socialism or capitalism, is not really settled yet." (Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. V, p. 389, Official English Translation, p.409) Later on, Mao Zedong developed the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the theory that instructs the Party to continue the political struggle, the economic struggle, and the ideological struggle. He especially warned us that in order to assure that socialist development be continuingly be solidified, we have to be alert to prevent the bourgeoisie from seizing power and to prevent them from pushing forward their "peaceful transformation." The scientific nature of this theory has been proven by the historical developments in Eastern European countries and in the Soviet Union where socialism changed its nature and eventually collapsed. It has also been proven correct by the many events that have happened and are still happening in our country. In recent years, our structure of ownership and our class structure have gone through unprecedented changes. Doesn’t that prove that class struggle "continues to exist for a long time, " that the question of "who wins and who loses" has not yet been resolved, and that "continuing revolution" cannot be avoided? We raise the flag of Mao Zedong Thought high and we can never abandon its core and its soul. Otherwise, we only pretend that we are raising the flag but in fact we do the opposite.

How should we treat Deng Xiaoping’s Theory? Can it be the guiding principle of our Party? We need to seriously analyze this. In the speeches he made after the Party’s 11th Plenary session, there are correct parts as well as incorrect parts. These parts are all mixed together and they are often self-contradictory. Therefore, they cannot be systemized to become theory. Actually Deng Xiaoping himself never claimed that there was a "Deng Xiaoping Theory."

For example, on the one hand, when Deng Xiaoping was asked by the Central Committee to speak on the four basic principles, he did say the four basic principles were important. On the other hand he denied that the question of whether to persist or not persist in the four basic principles was in fact part of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Thus, he in fact said that class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has ceased to exist. Moreover, on the one hand he said that we must persist in public ownership in the initial stage of socialism, and prosperity must be shared by all of the people, and that if polarization appears, it means that we have failed. However, on the other hand, he suggested that a few people can get rich first. He used this as a "big policy" and allowed the sons and daughters of some cadres (most of them were Communist Party members) to run businesses, and allowed Communist Party members to become capitalists and to exploit labor. Moreover, in the speech he made during his trip to the South, he stated, on the one hand, that there was the need to prevent "peaceful transformation" and the need to oppose liberalism for twenty years. On the other hand, he insisted that the main task should be opposing the "Left" for a long period to come, and he said that the "Left", not the Right, should be opposed in the sphere of economics, thus paving the way to privatization. There are countless examples in the statements he made that were self-contradictory. The reason for the confusion was his method of thinking, such as his statement, "It does not matter whether the cat is white or black. As long as the cat can catch the mouse, it is a good cat." This statement reflected his thinking — the utilitarianism of the bourgeoisie (equating usefulness to good). He confused utilitarianism with Marxism, which scientifically uses practice to verify the soundness of theory. When we sum it up, the mistakes made in Deng Xiaoping’s thinking are likely to be more. These mistakes in thinking paved the way for China to restore capitalism. We need to take time to study and to evaluate what Deng said and what he did.

As far as the "three representatives" are concerned, we think it is revisionism packaged in confusing words and terms. As we said earlier in the section on persistence in the leadership of the Communist Party, the purpose of promoting the "three representatives" was to change the nature of the Party from being the vanguard of the proletariat to allowing capitalists into the Party. This "important thinking" threw out the advanced relations of production and only talked about the advanced productive forces; it threw out Marxist ideology and only talked about advanced culture; and it threw out class analysis and only talked about the fundamental interests of the broad population. The foundation of the theory of the three "throw outs" is the three negations. The first is to negate the theory of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. The core leader emphasized again and again that the new group of private entrepreneurs belong to a "new social stratum" and denied that they are in fact the new bourgeoisie. Secondly, it negated the theory of value and the theory of surplus value and openly declared that Marx’s theory was outdated and obsolete. At the 16th Party Congress, the phrase that socialism has to "eliminate exploitation" was deleted from Party Charter without any explanation. From that time on, concepts that are basic to the fundamentals of Marxism, such as "class", "surplus value", and "exploitation" no longer appeared in the official documents of the Chinese Communist Party. However in order to hide the truth from the masses, he continued to claim that all of these said are meant "to inherit and to develop" Marxism-Leninism. It is very obvious that he "developed" Marxist’s political economy by negating the labor theory of value and the theory of surplus value. He "developed" Marxist historical materialism by negating the theory of class struggle. He "developed" Marxist scientific socialism by negating the necessity of eliminating exploitation and classes. What kind of "development" was that? It was a total negation and betrayal of Marxist theory!

In order to force the "three representatives" and the "Party of the whole people" upon the 16th Party Congress, this core leader, in addition to the degradation of the Party Charter and the different tactics used to suppress the opposition mentioned earlier, used two more tactics. One was for the various administrative units to issue Work Rules on the Selection and Appointing Party and Administrative Cadres. In this document, "seriously carrying out work according to the "’important thinking’ of the ‘three representatives’" was made a basic condition for selecting and appointing cadres. This means that if you dare to ignore the "three representatives" and carry out your work accordingly, then you may lose your "official title" or your "job." The second tactic came from some important cadres in the Central Committee. They made an announcement in the media that "Party members who do not give positive support to the ‘important thinking’ of ‘three representatives’" are not to be elected to be delegates to the 16th Party Congress. This organizational tactic guaranteed the passage of the "three representatives" during the 16th Party Congress. We want to point out that all of this was done before the Party Congress approved the "three representatives" and before it was written into the Party Charter. This is the degradation of the Party Charter one more time! It was through these illegal manipulations that the "three representatives" as the guiding thinking of the Party was written into the Party Charter.

What is the result of practicing the "three representatives" thinking? The first was throwing out the advanced relations of production and only talking about the advanced productive forces, thus pushing private ownership to replace public ownership as the dominant form f ownership. The second was throwing out the ideology of Marxism and only talking about advanced culture. The result has been the flooding of bourgeois ideology of various kinds, including money worship and extreme individualism. The third was throwing out class analysis and only talking about representing the benefits of the broad population. This resulted in a big gap between the rich and the poor and a polarized society, as well as a society where the new bourgeoisie is rising and the broad masses of workers and peasants have become weakened groups. All these results mean that the "three representatives" thinking has helped to restore capitalism in our country.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, wrote a personal account of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In it he said when Gorbachev talked about the "new thinking" and pointed out, "If there is to be change, the most important would be Marx’s Theory on class struggle." "If the Soviet leaders really throw out this point of view, then it does not matter whether they continue to declare their thinking to be ‘Marxism’, because that would be a different society and different kind of ‘Marxism’. We have no problem accepting this different kind of society." How amazingly similar history has turned out to be!

To conclude, the purpose of the "three representatives" is the "three throw outs", the "three negations" and the "three results." It is thoroughly revisionist from top to bottom and it is revisionism that has serious consequences.

This bourgeois ideology comes in many different forms. For quite a while these "elitist scholars" have propagated mainly Western neo-liberalism. This neo-liberal ideology has been very helpful to the practice of the "three representatives." However, with privatization and the striking phenomena of polarization, this kind of bourgeois ideology (neo-liberalism) met increasingly stronger opposition. Then, this bourgeois ideology changed into another form. It distorted and altered Marxism and made Bernstein, the well-known revisionist, and his social democracy their model. However, they again met with very strong critiques as soon as they propagated the model of social democracy. When they saw that the situation was unfavorable, they changed to the third form – hiding under the guise of Marxism. Using "Leftism" and "dogmatism" as pretence, they attacked the most fundamental elements in Marxism, or they propagated the general validity of "democracy" and "freedom" without making any distinction between socialism and capitalism. Marxism pointed out the two fundamentals in the scientific theory of socialism. One is that the private ownership of the means of production must be eliminated and in its place public ownership has to be built; the second is that we must persist in the dictatorship of the proletariat (the people’s democratic dictatorship). These two fundamentals are the mirror to test whether ideas are real or false Marxism. It does not matter who and it does not matter how they dressed their ideas in Marxism "clothing", this mirror can tell immediately the false from the real. Once false Marxism is exposed, it has no place to hide.

We suggest:

  1. The Party must persist in upholding Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought as its guide. Raise the great flag of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Restore the Party Charter to what it was before the 14th Party Congress – the correct guiding thinking of the Party. Combine the reality of China and put this guide in the Party’s line, goal, and policies. Oppose and prevent the de-emphasis, putting on a pedestal, avoidance, distortion and negation of Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought.
  2. Delete Deng Xiaoping’s Theory as the guiding thinking from the Party Charter. If the points of view proposed by Deng Xiaoping pass the test through practice, then they should be treated just as other correct points of view proposed by the old generation of proletarian revolutionaries and treated as an enrichment of Mao Zedong Thought. However, any wrong points of view proposed by Deng should be treated just other wrong ideas proposed by other cadres within the Party.
  3. Delete from the Party Charter the erroneous statement: the "three representatives" are the guiding thinking of the Party, and also delete from the Party Charter comrade Jiang Zemin’s statement that the "three representatives" is "the basis of the Party, the foundation of the regime and the source of energy, " and that "it needs to persist for a long time, " and "to be followed from the beginning to the end." Furthermore, there is a need to criticize in depth the wrong thinking of the "three representatives" and to expose its revisionist nature and its ill impact on capitalist restoration, thus getting rid of its bad influence.
  4. Restore and re-enforce in the Party Charter the clear and simple explanation of communism and socialism. The statement on communism that had been in the Party Charter needs to be restored and enriched. The statement needs to explain the basic nature of communism and the future development of socialism as the lower stage of communism, pointing out that the two classes and two-line struggle exist in socialist society and that is why we must persist in continuing revolution in order to prevent the restoration of capitalism. These statements will raise the consciousness and confidence in communism of our Party members, critique the thinking that communism is unreachable and that class struggle has ended. In this way we will raise the fighting spirit of our Party.
  5. Summarize lessons learned from history and rethink the meaning of "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Socialism with Chinese characteristics actually means the integration of scientific socialism with China’s reality. However, the kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics that has been promoted is based on Deng Xiaoping’s theory and the theory of the "three representatives." As we said earlier, there are correct as well as incorrect elements in Deng Xiaoping’s thinking. However, the thinking behind the "three representatives" is totally false. These wrong points of view violate the fundamental theory of scientific socialism. They have resulted in losing public ownership as the dominant form of ownership, and have changed the nature of our Party. The broad masses of workers and peasants are keenly aware of these changes when they experience the big gap between the rich and the poor and the polarization in our society. They say, "This is capitalism under the leadership of the Communist Party, " or "This is capitalism with Chinese characteristics." Statistics published by international organizations show that the gap between the rich and the poor in China has surpassed the rich and poor gaps in other capitalist countries, and thus prove the indisputable fact that China is a capitalist country. We suggest that the Central Committee seriously sum up this historical lesson, and through the process of in depth study and democratic discussion, integrate the basic theory of scientific socialism and the reality of China. Thereafter it would be possible to give socialism with Chinese characteristics its content and its new and correct meaning.
  6. Go all out to restore and strengthen the leading position of Marxism in the sphere of ideology. Have a campaign to mobilize Party members to seriously study Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. Party members should systematically study the Communist Manifesto, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Anti-Duhring, Critique of the Gotha Programme, Imperialism, On the Correct Handling the Contradictions Among the People, and other classic works. The good habit of reading these classic works should be restored and continued among all Party members who can read. This is an effort to change the practice of reading books that attempt to alter Marxism in the place of these original classic works during the past many years. When we learn from these original works and understand this theory, we will have theory as a weapon in our hands. We will be able to use "Marxism as the weapon for the reality in China" to really integrate theory and practice. We should encourage and support more publications of magazines and books that propagate Marxism. The first order of things is to restore the legal publishing rights of two magazines that were banned – Zhenli de Zhuijiu and Zhong Liu. (See footnote 8) Party publications at different levels should be the center to propagate Marxism. In order to sweep clean the wrong ideas and confusion caused by revisionist propaganda in the past many years, there should be a campaign of basic education on Marxism among the broad worker and peasant Party members. We should open a discussion on such basic questions as: "Who is providing for whom?" (together with the theory of surplus value) and "Who is the master of history?" (together with historical materialism). This is the way that we can sweep clean the mistakes and confusion created by so many years of revisionist propaganda. We should educate Communist Party members to have a communist world-view, a communist view on life and on values. They should be educated to construct a communist morality based on selflessly serving the people, and be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of communism. This is the only way we can effectively defend against selfishness, extreme individualism, consumerism, and money worshipping capitalist morality. It is also the only way we can prevent the corruption and degeneration of our Party members and keep the Party clean. During our study and critiquing sessions we need to be patient and moderate, and we need to adopt the method of discussion among equals. We can discuss different opinions and follow the principles of "not throwing hats around, not using force, and not purposely trying to pin someone down." We should use the facts and explain things with reason in order to clarify what is true from what is false. Thus, we will be able to unite our Party on the basis of Marxism.

VII. The Urgent and Extremely Important Task

The four basic principles are an indivisible whole. We must persist in them as a whole and not neglect any one of the four. At different times, however, we can put more emphasis on some. At the current time, we should emphasize first restoring the Party to the vanguard of the proletariat. We should also emphasize rebuilding the public ownership to its dominant position. Only when the Party becomes the vanguard of the proletariat will it be possible to affirm the leadership of the Party and to persist in the people’s democratic dictatorship. (The proletariat exercises its leadership through the Communist Party.) Only when public ownership becomes the dominant form of ownership, can we persist in building the socialist system. In the process of carrying out these principles, Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought can play a crucial role in directing out work so that it can be assured that they will not be altered. This means if we can hold up the two extremely important links, the chain will be whole and up and running. Then the modernization of our country can go forward along the socialist path.

We are currently at a critical historical moment and we are left with only two choices. The first choice is to resolutely reverse the situation and restore the Party as the vanguard of the proletariat, and to rebuild socialist public ownership to its dominant position and defend the four basic principles to begin an era where the people are the masters of our country. Then we will have clean politics, economic development, and improving living standards, and we will move forward toward a new page in our socialist modernization where prosperity will be shared by all. The second choice is continuing down the wrong road of a "whole people’s Party" and privatization, throwing out and violating the four basic principles, resulting in an even more polarized society and even bigger gap between the rich and the poor, rendering even worse suffering for the broad masses, and rendering China to become dependent on imperialism and a semi-colonial country. The first choice brings us the shining path, although we will face many difficulties. However it is not too late yet to repair the barnyard after the sheep are gone. The second choice is a hopeless road with a dead end. No matter whether one uses the red flag to wrap a white package or actually raises the white flag, the only road ahead can be to repeat the experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, leading to the demise of the Party and the country.

In order for the 17th Party Congress to make the correct choice and become a united and victorious meeting guided by Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, we suggest that the Central Committee borrow the helpful experiences of our fraternal parties to make public the draft of the political report and the draft of the Party Charter amendment of the Central Committee to allow time for discussion among Party members and to solicit opinions of the masses. This way correct opinions regarding the report can be gathered for further changes and enrichment and then handed back to the 17th Party Congress. This way we can achieve centralism on the basis of democratic practice and it will create favorable conditions for democratic and scientific decisions. In order to give Party members adequate time for discussion, consideration could be given to delay the opening of the 17th Party Congress to a later date.

When you, Hu Jintao, first became Party General Secretary, you led the whole body of the Politburo to study the Constitution and emphasized that the country should be ruled according to law. Later you emphasized learning the Party Charter. You also said, "Under all conditions we must uphold the great flag of Mao Zedong Thought." We think that the Party Charter made the four basic principles the basis of our country and the core of the Constitution. We earnestly ask and anxiously expect that the Central Committee and all the delegates of the 17th Party Congress under the leadership of Hu Jintao, guided by Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, will sum up both the positive and the negative experiences of the past. Persist in truth and correct the mistakes. Practice the four basic principles in the spheres of ideology, politics, economics and society. Open up a new era where we can move forward to the healthy development of socialist modernization.

We have made 26 suggestions based on the four basic principles. Please review and accept them. If there is anything in this letter that is not appropriate, please point them out and criticize them.

Signatories of the Letter:

Li Chengrui (former Head of State Statistical Bureau, currently visiting Professor of many universities)

Han Xiya (former Secretary of National Labor Union)

Cheng Tanqiang (former Vice Chief Editor of Guang Ming Daily News)

Ma Bing (former Consultant of State Council Development Study Center)

Zhou Guangcun (former Head of Consultant Committee of Guang-xi Zhuan National Autonomy Region)

Qing Zhongda (former Head of Chemical Industry Ministry)

Huang Qingpo (former Qinghai Province Party Secretary and Governor)

Liu Zhonghou (former Jiangxi Province Vice-Party Secretary

Han Shuying (former Vice Principal of Chinese Communist Party Central Party School)

Zheng Tian-xiang (former Head of People’s Supreme Court)

Hong Ge (retired Cadre of State Development and Reform Committee, son in law of Cai Heseng and Xiang Jingyu)

Wang Heren (retired Cadre of National Security Department, former Special Secretary of Chairman Mao)

Liu Yunguang (former Party Secretary of North East School of Engineer, Party Delegates to the 17th Party Congress)

Dang Xiang-min (Yun-nan Province Study Center for Yanan Spirit, equivalent to Vice-provincial level)

Tan Ronghua (Vice Party Secretary of the Political Division of the 11th army former old soldier in the Red Army)

Ma Ning (former Commander of the Air Force, national hero, participant of The First National Political Consulting Conference)

Chen Shulian (Mrs. Ma Ning, retire Cadre of Beijing Construction Material Department)

Xu Chengzhi (former Party Secretary of Railroad Military, Head of Political Department)

Long Guilin (former Party Secretary of Railroad Military, Chief Consultant)

Zhang Rui (retired Cadre of Railroad Military)

Zheng Xiyan (former vice vice-Dean of Study at National Defense University)

Lin Poye (former Head of Marxism Study Center of National Defense University, military post)

Li Feng (retired Cadre of former National Defense University, military post)

Duan Haoran (retired Cadre of former National Defense University, military post)

Xu Xuecheng (retired Cadre of former National Defense University, military post)

Zang Naiguang (former Vice-president of the Central Branch of the Bank of China)

Song Xinzhong (former head of the Budget Office, the Treasury Ministry)

Hui Renxiang (former vice-head of Core Intelligence Center, Delegates to the 4th Party Congress)

Chen Xiao (former vice-chair of Political Division of air force soldier of the Navy)

Du Huanmin (former Head of the Navy Military Court)

Wang Xinmin (former Vice-director, Mass Work, Department, Political Division Of Navy)

Ren Xiusheng (former Party Secretary, Air Force Equipment Division of Navy)

Qin Yun (Mrs. Ren Xiusheng, retired cadre of China’s Academy of Science)

Xiao Yiping (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, old soldier of the Red Army)

Wei Chenxu (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, old soldier of the Red Army, former)

Wu Xiongcheng (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, former Head of Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism Center)

Wu Jian (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Zhou Wenqi (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Yang Shenqing (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wang Ruhua (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wang Defu (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Zhang Hulin (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Zhang Weiping (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Tan Neizhang (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Sun Qianzhang (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

You Dongshan (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, former Director of Advanced Study Department)

Jiang Baojian (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, former Vice Director of Policy Study Center)

Ma Xun (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor, former Vice-Director of Philosophy Study Center)

Zhang Yun (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Yan Shulin (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Kuo Yifeng (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Xie Shirong (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Shi Weiguo (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Kang Jinyong (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Dai Qianxiang (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wang Yu (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wang Rongguang (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Ai Shaoyang (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wu Zibi (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Ouyang Mu (Chinese Communist Party Central Party School Professor)

Wang Zhong (former cadre Chinese Communist Party Central Party School)

Yang Youwu (former Vice-Party Secretary, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Zhang Haitao (Research Associate, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Zou Da-pei (Research Associate, Chinese Academy of Social Science, Professor)

Lu Aiguo (Research Associate, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Huang Rutong (Research Associate, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Sun Xuewen (Research Associate, Contemporary Study, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Mo Mingzhe (Editor, Contemporary Study, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Jiang Yongqin (former Vice-chair of National Federation of Labor)

Chen Xin (retired Cadre of former National Federation of Labor)

Xu Feiguang (retire Cadre, Chinese Propaganda Department)

Yan Dengjia (retired cadre of Geology Department, old soldier of the Red Army)

Zhao Guishan (retired cadre, Agricultural Department)

Wong Mingyu (former vice Party Secretary of China’s Chinese Medicine Research Institute, Xiyuan Hospital)

Li Chunlin (Prominent Journalist of China’s Wealth Magazine)

Wu Bingyuan (Railroad Party School Professor)

Su Tie-shan (former vice Chief Secretary of Chinese Historical Institute)

Li Dingkai (Qinghua University Professor)

Chen Fei (retired Cadre, Beijing Teachers’ University)

Zhang Hongliang (National Minzu University Professor)

Han Deqiang (Associate Professor, Beijing Aeronautic University)

Li Shu-quan (retire Cadre, Beijing College of Education)

Liao Dong-he (Professor, Beijing University)

Yang Rong (retired Associate Professor, China Political Law University)

Xu Fei (retired Associate Professor, China Media University)

Wang Ruojun (Vice-Party Secretary, former Graduate School of China Metallic Science)

Lin Yang (former Vice-Party Secretary of Beijing Party School)

Fang Ting (retired cadre of Beijing City Party Committee)

Ai Shan (retired cadre of Beijing City Party Committee)

He Zhao (retired cadre of Beijing City Party Committee)

Tien Gensheng (retired cadre of Beijing City Party Committee)

Zhao Xuide (retired cadre of Beijing City Party Committee)

Shen Tingfang (retired cadre of Beijing City Government)

Cuo Zheng (retired cadre of Beijing City Government System)

Wang Jia (retired cadre of Beijing City Government System)

Liu Pin-xian (retired cadre of Beijing City Government System)

Nan Guo-xing (retired cadre of Beijing City Government, Dong Xin (First Chairman of Beijing Tonzhou Taxi Driver Union)

Zhou Yongkang (High Ranking Journalist, Shanghai Branch, China Xinhua News Agency, Member of Shanghai Political Consultant Committee)

Dong Lepu (Manager of Shanghai Dajiang Book Company, old solider of the New Fourth Army)

Wang Jinghua (Retired cadre of Shanghai City government)

Zhang Zhaoyong (former Chairman of Shangdong Province Party History Office)

Qu Yi (former Vice-Chairman of Shangdong Province Party History Office)

Zhang Gongnu (Special Guest Research Associate, Chinese Academy of Social Science, Shangdong branch)

Zang Jialun (former Head and Consultant of Cultural Bureau, in Jinan City, Shangdong Province)

Jiang Junxuan (former Vice-Bureau Head, Political Propaganda Bureau, Jinnan Military Zone)

Ma Maozong (former Head of the Political Division at the 69th Artillery

Jiang Zhifang (retired cadre at the Art Institute in Shangdong Province)

Zhao Zeguang (former Head of Construction Committee, Dalian City)

Yu Ting (former Party Secretary at Bicycle Company, Dalian City)

Wang Wei (former Party Secretary of Far Sea Company, Dalian City)

Qian Leifen (former Party Secretary of Diesel Fuel Engine Company, Dalian City)

Han Shiyou (former Head of Dailian City Branch of Liaonin Province Construction Department)

Zhang Tao (Secretary of People’s Assembly in Tailian City)

Yan Shicheng (retired cadre of Food Foreign Trade Company, the Liaonin Branch)

Jin Zhongjie (retired cadre of Dalian City Court)

Yang Peiyu (retired cadre of Dalian City Bus Company)

Chen Wenlin (retired cadre Machinery Group of Dalian City)

Li Guihua (retired cadre of Chinese Medicine Hospital in Dalian City)

Zhao Ying (Vice-chief of Earthquake Bureau of Dalian City)

Wu Yingjie (retired cadre of Dalian City Residents Committee)

Liu kejian (retired cadre of Dalian City Food and Drink Company)

Sun zhen (retired cadre Dalian City Economic Committee)

Shen peng (retired cadre of Dalian Sea Transporting Company)

Cong Guisheng (retired cadre of Dalian Sea Transporting Company)

Du Zhilian (retired cadre Dalian City Economic Committee)

Zhao Diange (retired cadre Army Cadre Retirement Administration in Dalian City)

Sun Huaijin (retired cadre Army Cadre Retirement Administration in Dalian City)

Tan Qizhang (retired cadre Air Force Cadre Retirement Administration in Dalian City)

Zhang Fenqi (retired cadre Air Force Cadre Retirement Administration in Dalian City)

Tian Cuihua (retired cadre of Dalian Printing Company)

Li Zhenbao (retired cadre Dalian Food Company)

Yu Changshui (retired cadre of Dalian City Government)

Wang Guihua (retired cadre of China’s First Automobile Company, Dalian Branch)

Hu Yumin (retired cadre of China’s First Automobile Company, Dalian Branch)

Feng Huanjiang (former Public Security Bureau Chief, Dalian City)

Zhu Tianliang (former Public Security Bureau Chief, Dalian City)

Sai Zewei (former Public Security Bureau Chief, Dalian City)

Diao Zeliang (retired cadre of Quality Control Bureau of Dalian City)

Ge Shengpu (former Chief of Military Police Department of Dalian City)

Wen Haiyan (Unemployed worker of 201 Hospital in Dalian)

Xi Zhaoyong (Professor, School of Commerce, Nanking University)

Liu Xiaoduo (Professor, Nankai University)

Sun Cunzhen (Professor, Nankai University)

Gu Zhenghua (retired cadre Hubei Daily News, old solider of the New Fourth Army)

Zhang Jiancheng (former Party Secretary, Wuhan University

Liu Yingfa (Engineer, Railroad Car Factory, Railroad Department, Wuchang City)

Jiang Zhaoqing (former Advanced Level Engineer, Wuhan University)

Sun Zhihe (former President of Judicial School of Wuhan City)

Lin Zezhong (retired worker Wuhan Ship Building Factory)

Xu Siguang (former Vice-President of Zhejiang Province Joint Association of Social Sciences)

Si Chengjia (former Vice Party Secretary of Zhejiang Engineer University)

Pin Ding (former Vice Party Secretary, former Hangzhou Postal & Telegraph Communication Equipment, Eastern Telecom)

Zhang Yimin (retired cadre Zhejiang Provincial Party School)

Yu Banchi (retired cadre Yannan Military Zone)

Jin Yixia (former Dean of Study, Minde High School in Kuanmin City)

Bao Yafang (former Head and Party Secretary of the Federation of Women, Yunnan Province)

Ji Zhenhua (former Regional Party Secretary, Dali Bazhu Autonomous Region)

Yang Renmin (former cadre of Dali Transportation Group of Yunnan Provincial Transportation Department)

Mong Guofu (cadre of Finance Department of Dali City, Yunnan Province)

Yang Tiren (cadre of Cultural and Education Bureau, Dali City, Yunnan Province)

Yang Shanggu (cadre, Engineer Department of Yunnan Highway Transportation Bureau)

Bao Jinyong (Technical Cadre, Yunnan Radio)

Li Xiang (former cadre of Transportation Team of Public Security Department, Kunmin City)

Chen Zhongxiang (former Chief of Technical Support for National Defense, Yunnan Province)

Yang Qian (cadre, Metallic Machinery, Kunmin City)

Liu Fengxi (cadre, Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, Yunnan Province)

Mu Qingchun (cadre of National Land and Natural Resources, Xishan (Western Mountain Region, Kunmin City)

Ma Chaoqun (cadre, Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, Yunnan Province)

Ni Chengxiang (cadre, Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, Yunnan Province)

Coordinator: Li Chengrui

September 17, 2007

Originally published in Huayue Forum