Constitution of the Communist Party of China
(Revised and adopted at the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China on November 14, 2012)
The Communist Party of China is the vanguard both of the Chinese working class and of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It is the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation of China’s advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. The realization of communism is the highest ideal and ultimate goal of the Party.
The Communist Party of China takes Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development as its guide to action.
Marxism-Leninism brings to light the laws governing the development of the history of human society. Its basic tenets are correct and have tremendous vitality. The highest ideal of communism pursued by the Chinese Communists can be realized only when the socialist society is fully developed and highly advanced. The development and improvement of the socialist system is a long historical process. So long as the Chinese Communists uphold the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and follow the road suited to China’s specific conditions and chosen by the Chinese people of their own accord, the socialist cause in China will be crowned with final victory.
The Chinese Communists, with Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, created Mao Zedong Thought by integrating the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution. Mao Zedong Thought is Marxism-Leninism applied and developed in China; it consists of a body of theoretical principles concerning the revolution and construction in China and a summary of experience therein, both of which have been proved correct by practice; and it represents the crystallized, collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China. Under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, the Communist Party of China led the people of all ethnic groups in the country in their prolonged revolutionary struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, winning victory in the new-democratic revolution and founding the People’s Republic of China, a people’s democratic dictatorship. After the founding of the People’s Republic, it led them in carrying out socialist transformation successfully, completing the transition from New Democracy to socialism, establishing the basic system of socialism and developing socialism economically, politically and culturally.
After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Party Central Committee, the Chinese Communists, with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as their chief representative, analyzed their experience, both positive and negative, gained since the founding of the People’s Republic, emancipated their minds, sought truth from facts, shifted the focus of the work of the whole Party onto economic development and carried out reform and opening to the outside world, ushering in a new era of development in the cause of socialism, gradually formulating the line, principles and policies concerning the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics and expounding the basic questions concerning the building, consolidation and development of socialism in China, and thus creating Deng Xiaoping Theory. Deng Xiaoping Theory is the outcome of the integration of the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of contemporary China and the features of the times, a continuation and development of Mao Zedong Thought under new historical conditions; it represents a new stage of development of Marxism in China, it is Marxism of contemporary China and it is the crystallized, collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China. It is guiding the socialist modernization of China from victory to victory.
After the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Party Central Committee and in the practice of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese Communists, with Comrade Jiang Zemin as their chief representative, acquired a deeper understanding of what socialism is, how to build it and what kind of party to build and how to build it, accumulated new valuable experience in running the Party and state and formed the important thought of Three Represents. The important thought of Three Represents is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory; it reflects new requirements for the work of the Party and state arising from the developments and changes in China and other parts of the world today; it serves as a powerful theoretical weapon for strengthening and improving Party building and for promoting self-improvement and development of socialism in China; and it is the crystallized, collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China. It is a guiding ideology that the Party must uphold for a long time to come. Persistent implementation of the Three Represents is the foundation for building the Party, the cornerstone for its governance and the source of its strength.
Since the Party’s Sixteenth National Congress, the Chinese Communists with Comrade Hu Jintao as their chief representative, following the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, have gained a deep understanding of major questions such as what kind of development China should achieve under new conditions and how it should achieve it to meet new requirements for development and answered these questions, and thus developed the Scientific Outlook on Development that puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. The Scientific Outlook on Development is a scientific theory that is both in keeping with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and is in step with the times. It fully embodies the Marxist worldview on and methodology for development and represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to China’s conditions. It is the crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that must be upheld and applied in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The fundamental reason behind all of China’s achievements and progress since the reform and opening up policy was introduced is, in the final analysis, that the Party has blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, formulated the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and established the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. All Party members must cherish the path, the theories and the socialist system that the Party has explored and created after going through all the hardships; and they must keep to them all the time and continue to develop them. They must hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive to fulfill the three historic tasks of advancing the modernization drive, achieving national reunification, and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.
China is in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. This is a historical stage which cannot be skipped in socialist modernization in China which is backward economically and culturally. It will last for over a hundred years. In socialist construction the Party must proceed from China’s specific conditions and take the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the present stage, the principal contradiction in Chinese society is one between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the low level of production. Owing to both domestic circumstances and foreign influences, class struggle will continue to exist within a certain scope for a long time and may possibly grow acute under certain conditions, but it is no longer the principal contradiction. In building socialism, the basic task is to further release and develop the productive forces and achieve socialist modernization step by step by carrying out reform in those aspects and links of the production relations and the superstructure that do not conform to the development of the productive forces. The Party must uphold and improve the basic economic system, with public ownership playing a dominant role and different economic sectors developing side by side, as well as the system of distribution under which distribution according to work is dominant and a variety of modes of distribution coexist, encourage some areas and some people to become rich first, gradually eliminate poverty, achieve common prosperity, continuously meet the people’s ever-growing material and cultural needs on the basis of the growth of production and social wealth and promote people’s all-around development. Development is the Party’s top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country. The general starting point and criterion for judging all the Party’s work should be how it benefits development of the productive forces in China’s socialist society, adds to the overall strength of socialist China and improves the people’s living standards. The Party must respect work, knowledge, talent and creation and ensure that development is for the people, by the people and with the people sharing in its fruits. The beginning of the new century marks China’s entry into the new stage of development of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernization. The Party must promote all-around economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress in accordance with the overall plan for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The strategic objectives of economic and social development at this new stage in the new century are to consolidate and develop the relatively comfortable life initially attained, bring China into a moderately prosperous society of a higher level to the benefit of well over one billion people by the time of the Party’s centenary and bring the per capita GDP up to the level of moderately developed countries and realize modernization in the main by the time of the centenary of the People’s Republic of China.
The basic line of the Communist Party of China in the primary stage of socialism is to lead the people of all ethnic groups in a concerted, self-reliant and pioneering effort to turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country by making economic development the central task while upholding the Four Cardinal Principles and the reform and opening up policy.
In leading the cause of socialism, the Communist Party of China must persist in taking economic development as the central task, making all other work subordinate to and serve this central task. The Party must lose no time in speeding up development, implement the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, the strategy of strengthening the nation with trained personnel and the strategy of sustainable development, and give full play to the role of science and technology as the primary productive force. The Party must take advantage of the advancement of science and technology to improve the quality of workers and promote sound and rapid development of the national economy.
The Four Cardinal Principles - to keep to the socialist road and to uphold the people’s democratic dictatorship, leadership by the Communist Party of China, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought - are the foundation on which to build the country. Throughout the course of socialist modernization the Party must adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles and combat bourgeois liberalization.
Reform and opening up are the path to a stronger China. Only reform and opening up can enable China, socialism and Marxism to develop themselves. The Party must carry out fundamental reform of the economic structure that hampers the development of the productive forces, and keep to and improve the socialist market economy; it must also carry out corresponding political restructuring and reform in other fields. The Party must adhere to the basic state policy of opening up and assimilate and exploit the achievements of all other cultures. It must be bold in making explorations and breaking new ground in reform and opening up, make its reform decisions more scientific, better coordinate its reform measures and blaze new trails in practice.
The Communist Party of China leads the people in developing the socialist market economy. It unwaveringly consolidates and develops the public sector of the economy and unswervingly encourages, supports and guides the development of the non-public sector. It gives play to the basic role of market forces in allocating resources and works to set up a sound system of macroeconomic regulation. The Party works to balance urban and rural development, development among regions, economic and social development, relations between man and nature, and domestic development and opening to the outside world; adjust the economic structure, and transform the growth model. It is dedicated to promoting harmonized development of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization, building a new socialist countryside, taking a new path of industrialization with Chinese characteristics, and making China an innovative country.
The Communist Party of China leads the people in promoting socialist democracy. It integrates its leadership, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law, takes the path of political development under socialism with Chinese characteristics, expands socialist democracy, improves the socialist legal system, builds a socialist country under the rule of law, consolidates the people’s democratic dictatorship, and builds socialist political civilization. It upholds and improves the system of people’s congresses, the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation under its leadership, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of self-governance at the primary level of society. It makes people’s democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice. It takes effective measures to protect the people’s right to manage state and social affairs as well as economic and cultural programs. It respects and safeguards human rights. It encourages the free airing of views and works to establish sound systems and procedures of democratic election, decision-making, administration and oversight. It improves the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics and strengthens law enforcement, so as to bring all work of the state under the rule of law.
The Communist Party of China leads the people in developing an advanced socialist culture. It promotes socialist cultural and ethical progress, combines the rule of law and the rule of virtue in running the country and works to raise the ideological and moral standards and scientific and educational levels of the entire nation so as to provide a powerful ideological guarantee, motivation and intellectual support for reform, opening up and socialist modernization, and develop a strong socialist culture in China. It promotes core socialist values, adheres to Marxism as its guiding ideology, fosters the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, promotes patriotism-centered national spirit and the spirit of the times centering on reform and innovation and advocates the socialist maxims of honor and disgrace. It works to enhance the people’s sense of national dignity, self-confidence and self-reliance, resist corrosion by decadent capitalist and feudal ideas and wipe out all social evils so that the people will have high ideals, moral integrity, a good education and a strong sense of discipline. It also needs to imbue its members with the lofty ideal of communism. The Party strives to develop educational, scientific and cultural programs, carry forward the fine traditional culture of the Chinese nation, and develop a thriving socialist culture.
The Communist Party of China leads the people in building a harmonious socialist society. In accordance with the general requirements for democracy and the rule of law, equity and justice, honesty and fraternity, vigor and vitality, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature and the principle of all the people building and sharing a harmonious socialist society, the Party focuses its efforts on ensuring and improving the people’s wellbeing by solving the most specific problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people, works to enable all the people to share in more fruits of development in a more equitable way, and strives to create a situation in which all people do their best, find their proper places in society and live together in harmony. The Party strengthens and makes innovations in social management. It strictly distinguishes between the two different types of contradictions - those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people - and works to handle them correctly. It will strengthen comprehensive measures to maintain law and order, and resolutely combat criminal activities that endanger national security and interests, social stability and economic development and bring criminals to justice in accordance with the law, so as to maintain lasting social stability.
The Communist Party of China leads the people in promoting socialist ecological progress. It raises its ecological awareness of the need to respect, accommodate to and protect nature; follows the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment and the principle of giving high priority to conserving resources, protecting the environment and promoting its natural restoration; and pursues sound development that leads to increased production, affluence and a good ecosystem. The Party strives to build a resource-conserving, environmentally friendly society; and preserves China’s geographical space and improves its industrial structure and mode of production and the Chinese way of life in the interest of conserving resources and protecting the environment. All this is aimed at creating a good working and living environment for the people and ensuring lasting and sustainable development of the Chinese nation.
The Communist Party of China persists in its leadership over the People’s Liberation Army and other armed forces of the people, builds up the strength of the People’s Liberation Army, ensures that it accomplishes its historic missions at this new stage in the new century, and gives full play to its role in consolidating national defense, defending the motherland and participating in the socialist modernization drive.
The Communist Party of China upholds and promotes socialist ethnic relations based on equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony, actively trains and promotes cadres from among ethnic minorities, helps ethnic minorities and ethnic autonomous areas with their economic, cultural and social development, and ensures that all ethnic groups work together for common prosperity and development. The Party strives to fully implement its basic principle for its work related to religious affairs, and rallies religious believers in making contributions to economic and social development.
The Communist Party of China rallies all workers, farmers and intellectuals, and all the democratic parties, personages without party affiliation and the patriotic forces of all ethnic groups in China in further expanding and fortifying the broadest possible patriotic united front embracing all socialist workers, all builders of the cause of socialism and all patriots who support socialism or who support the reunification of the motherland. The Party will constantly strengthen the unity of all the Chinese people, including the compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. It will promote long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao and complete the great cause of reunifying the motherland in conformity with the principle of “one country, two systems.”
The Communist Party of China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, follows the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening up, takes both the domestic and international situations into consideration, and vigorously develops relations with other countries in order to bring about a favorable international environment for China’s reform, opening up and modernization. In international affairs, it safeguards China’s independence and sovereignty, opposes hegemonism and power politics, defends world peace, promotes human progress, and pushes for the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. It develops relations between China and other countries on the basis of the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. It strives for the constant development of good-neighborly relations between China and the surrounding countries and for the strengthening of the unity and cooperation between China and other developing countries. The Communist Party of China develops relations with communist parties and other political parties in other countries in accordance with the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs.
In order to lead the people of all ethnic groups in China in attaining the great goal of socialist modernization, the Communist Party of China must adhere to its basic line, strengthen its governance capability, advanced nature and purity and comprehensively carry forward the great new undertaking to build itself in a spirit of reform and innovation. The Party must make all-around efforts to strengthen itself ideologically and organizationally and improve its conduct; and it must become better able to combat corruption and uphold Party integrity and improve Party rules and regulations, thus making Party building more scientific in all respects. It must steadfastly build itself for public interests, exercise governance for the people, practice self-discipline, be strict with its members, and carry forward its fine traditions and style of work. It must constantly improve its art of leadership and governance, raise its ability to resist corruption, prevent degeneration and withstand risks, constantly strengthen its class foundation, expand its mass base and enhance its creativity, cohesion and combat effectiveness, and build itself into a learning, service-oriented and innovative Marxist governing party, so that it will stand forever in the forefront of the times and make itself a strong nucleus that can lead all the Chinese people in the unceasing march along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In building itself, the Party must be determined to meet the following four essential requirements:
First, adhering to the Party’s basic line. The whole Party must achieve unity in thinking and action with Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and the Party’s basic line, and persevere in doing so for a long time to come. The Party must integrate the reform and opening up policy with the Four Cardinal Principles, carry out its basic line in all fields of endeavor, implement in an all-around way its basic program for the primary stage of socialism and combat all “Left” and Right erroneous tendencies, maintaining vigilance against Right tendencies, primarily against “Left” tendencies. The Party must intensify the building of leading bodies at all levels, selecting and promoting cadres who have scored outstanding achievements in their public service and have won the trust of the masses in reform, opening up and the modernization drive, and train and cultivate millions upon millions of successors to the cause of socialism, thus ensuring organizationally the implementation of the Party’s basic theory, line, program and experience.
Second, persevering in emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts, keeping up with the times, and being realistic and pragmatic. The Party’s ideological line is to proceed from reality in handling all matters, to integrate theory with practice, to seek truth from facts, and to verify and develop the truth through practice. All Party members must adhere to this ideological line, explore new ways, boldly experiment with new methods, go in for innovation, work creatively, constantly study new situations, review new experience and solve new problems, enrich and develop Marxism in practice, and advance the endeavor to adapt Marxism to Chinese conditions.
Third, persevering in serving the people wholeheartedly. The Party has no special interests of its own apart from the interests of the working class and the broadest masses of the people. At all times the Party gives top priority to the interests of the people, shares weal and woe with them, maintains the closest possible ties with them, and persists in exercising power for them, showing concern for them and working for their interests, and it does not allow any member to become divorced from the masses or place himself or herself above them. The Party follows the mass line in its work, doing everything for the masses, relying on them in every task, carrying out the principle of “from the masses, to the masses,” and translating its correct views into action by the masses of their own accord. The biggest political advantage of the Party lies in its close ties with the masses while the biggest potential danger for it as a governing party comes from its divorce from them. The Party’s style of work and its maintenance of ties with the masses of the people are a matter of vital importance to the Party. The Party will establish a sound system for punishing and preventing corruption by fighting it in a comprehensive way, addressing both its symptoms and root cause and combining punishment with prevention, with the emphasis on prevention. The Party will persistently oppose corruption and step up efforts to improve its style of work and uphold integrity.
Fourth, upholding democratic centralism. Democratic centralism is a combination of centralism on the basis of democracy and democracy under centralized guidance. It is the fundamental organizational principle of the Party and is also the mass line applied in the Party’s political activities. The Party must fully expand intra-Party democracy, respect the principal position of its members, safeguard their democratic rights, and give play to the initiative and creativity of Party organizations at all levels as well as its members. Correct centralism must be practiced so as to ensure the solidarity, unity and concerted action in the whole Party and prompt and effective implementation of its decisions. The sense of organization and discipline must be strengthened, and all members are equal before Party discipline. Oversight of leading Party organs and of Party members holding leading positions, particularly principal leading cadres, must be strengthened and the system of intra-Party oversight constantly improved. In its internal political activities, the Party conducts criticism and self-criticism in the correct way, waging ideological struggles over matters of principle, upholding truth and rectifying mistakes. Diligent efforts must be made to create a political situation in which there are both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness.
Leadership by the Party means mainly political, ideological and organizational leadership. The Party must meet the requirements of reform, opening up and socialist modernization, persist in scientific, democratic and law-based governance, and strengthen and improve its leadership. Acting on the principle that the Party commands the overall situation and coordinates the efforts of all quarters, the Party must play the role as the core of leadership among all other organizations at the corresponding levels. It must concentrate on leading economic development, organize and coordinate all forces in a concerted effort to focus on economic development and promote all-around economic and social development. The Party must practice democratic and scientific decision-making; formulate and implement the correct line, principles and policies; do its organizational, publicity and educational work well and make sure that all Party members play an exemplary and vanguard role. The Party must conduct its activities within the framework of the Constitution and laws of the country. It must see to it that the legislative, judicial and administrative organs of the state and the economic, cultural and people’s organizations work with initiative and independent responsibility and in unison. The Party must strengthen its leadership over trade unions, the Communist Youth League, women’s federations and other mass organizations, and give full scope to their roles. The Party must adapt itself to the march of events and changing circumstances, improving its system and style of leadership and raising its governance capability. Party members must work in close cooperation with non-Party persons in the common endeavor to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.