Speech of General Secretary of the CPC and President of the PRC Xi Jinping on the Centenary of the Communist Party of China

Xi Jinping making the speech at Tiananmen Square, 01st of July 2021

This is a rough transcription based on the live interpretation on CGTN. There are several phrases repeated, mainly for emphasis (I think). There were a few unclear words, marked with [?]. These should not affect the meaning significantly. Some relevant links are included.

Comrades and Friends, today, the 1st of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Nation. We gather here today to join all Party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the Centenary of the Party, looking back at the glorious journey the Party has undertaken over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation. Let me extend warm congratulations on behalf of all members of the CPC Central Committee.

On this special occasion, it is my honour to declare on behalf of the Party and the People that through the continued effort of the whole Party and entire Nation, we have realised the first Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about an historical resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China and we are now marching in confident strides towards the second Centenary Goal of building China into a great, modern Socialist Country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment of the Chinese Nation, for the Chinese People, and for the Communist Party of China. Comrades and Friends, the Chinese Nation is a great one with a history of more than 5000 years. China has made indelible contributions to the progress of human civilisation. However, after the Opium war of 1840, China was gradually reduced to semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before: the country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and Chinese Civilisation was plunged into darkness. Since that time, National Rejuvenation has been the great dream of the Chinese People and Nation.

Dumping Opium in Guangzhou

To save the nation from peril, the Chinese People put up a courageous fight as noble minded patriots sought to pull the nation together. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom movement, the Reform Movement in 1898, the 义和团(Boxer) Movement, and the Revolution of 1911 rose one after another and a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. China was in urgent need of new ideas to lead a movement to save the nation, and a new organisation to rally revolutionary forces. With the salvoes of the Russian October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. Then, in 1921 as the Chinese People and Nation were undergoing a great awakening and profound socio-historical changes were becoming integrated with the Chinese worker’s movement, the CPC was born. The founding of the Communist Party of China was an epoch-defining event which profoundly changed the course of modern Chinese history, transformed the future of the Chinese People and Nation, and altered the landscape of world development. Since the day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese People and rejuvenation for the Chinese Nation its aspiration and mission. All of the struggle, sacrifice, and creation through which the Party has united and led the Chinese people over the past 100 years has been tied together by one ultimate theme — bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

The Storming of the Winter Palace

To realise national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese People in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the New Democratic Revolution through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation. We fought armed counterrevolution with armed revolution, toppling the three mountains of Imperialism, Feudalism, and Bureaucrat Capitalism, establishing the People’s Republic of China, which made the People masters of the Country. By securing our nation’s independence and liberating our people, the victory of the New Democratic Revolution put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all of the Unequal Treaties imposed on our Country by foreign powers and all of the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China; it created the fundamental social conditions for realising national rejuvenation. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and Chinese People showed the World that the Chinese People had stood up and the time that the Chinese Nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.

The Foolish Old Man Who Moved The Mountains (愚公移山)

To realise national rejuvenation, the Party united and lead the Chinese People in endeavouring to build a stronger China with the spirit of self reliance, achieving great success in Socialist Revolution and Construction; by carrying out Socialist Revolution we eliminated the exploitative and oppressive feudal system that had existed in China for thousands of years and established Socialism as our basic system. In a process of Socialist Construction, we overcame subversion, sabotage and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese Nation. The direct transformation of China from a poor and backwards eastern country with a large population into a socialist country laid down the fundamental political conditions and institutional foundations necessary for realising national rejuvenation. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese People showed the world that the Chinese people were capable of not only maintaining the old world, but also of building a new one — that only Socialism could save China and only Socialism with Chinese Characteristics could develop China.

Comrade Mao Zedong

To realise national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in freeing the mind and forging ahead, achieving great success in Reform and Opening Up and in Socialist Modernisation. We established the Party’s basic line for the Primary Stage of Socialism, resolutely advanced Reform and Opening Up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, founded, upheld and safeguarded Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic. This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralised planned economy to a Socialist Market Economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board. It also enabled China to achieve a historical leap from a country with relatively backwards productive forces to the world’s second-largest economy, and to make the historical transformation of raising the living standards of its people from bare sustenance to an overall level of moderate prosperity and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects. These achievements fuel the push towards national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for national development. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and Chinese People showed the world that through pursuing Reform and Opening Up, a crucial move in making China what it is today, China has caught up with the times in great strides.

Deng Xiaoping in Shenzhen

To realise national rejuvenation, the Party has united and led the Chinese People in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance and innovation achieving great success for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era. Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has entered a New Era. In this New Era, we have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five sphere integrated plan, and the four pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, modernised China’s system and capacity for governance, remained committed to exercising law-based governance over the Party and develop a sound system of inter-party relations. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first Centenary Goal, and set up strategic steps for achieving the Second Centenary Goal; all the historical achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the Country have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative. Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese People have shown the world that the Chinese Nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become an historical inevitability.

Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping at a meeting of the CMC during the 18th National Congress of the CPC

Over the past 100 years, the Party has led the Chinese People in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia long history of the Chinese Nation embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote that “Our minds grow stronger for the martyr’s sacrifice”, daring to make the sun and moon shine in the new sky — the Great Road we have pioneered, the great cause we have undertaken and the great achievements we have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the development of the Chinese Nation and human civilisation.

Comrades and Friends. 100 years ago, the pioneers of Communism in China established the Communist Party of China and developed the great founding spirit of the Party which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength. Over the past 100 years, the Party has carried forward this great founding spirit; through its protracted struggles it has developed a long line of inspiring principles for Chinese Communists and tempered a distinct political character. As history has kept moving forward, the spirit of the Party has been passed on from generation to generation, [and] we will continue to promote our glorious tradition and sustain our revolutionary legacy so that the great founding spirit of the Party will always be kept alive and carried forward.

Yangtze River Crossing Campaign

Comrades and Friends. We owe all that we have achieved over the past 100 years to the concerted efforts of the Chinese Communists, People, and Nation. Chinese Communists with Comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao as their chief representatives have made tremendous and historic contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation — to them we express our highest respect. Let us take this moment to cherish the memory of Comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veteran revolutionaries who contributed greatly to China’s revolution, construction and reform, and to the founding, consolidation, and development of the Communist Party of China. Let us cherish the memory of the revolutionary martyrs who bravely laid down their lives to establish, defend, and develop the People’s Republic; let us cherish the memory of those who dedicated their lives to Reform and Opening Up and Socialist Modernisation; let us cherish the memory of all of the men and women who fought tenaciously for national independence and the liberation of people in modern times. Their great contributions to our motherland and our nation will be immortalised in the annals of history and their noble spirits will live on forever in the hearts of the Chinese People.

The People are the true heroes for it is they who create history. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respect to workers, farmers, and intellectuals across the country, to other political parties, public figures without party affiliation, people’s organisations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society, to all members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force and Public Security Police, and the Fire and Rescue services, to all socialist working people, and to all members of the United Front! I would like to extend my sincere greetings to Compatriots in Hong Kong and Macau SARs, in Taiwan, as well as Overseas Chinese. And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to friends all around the world who have shown friendship to the Chinese People and understanding and support for China’s endeavours in revolution, development, and reform.

PLA soldiers on parade

Comrades and Friends. Though our Party’s founding mission is easy to define, ensuring that we stay true to this mission is more difficult. By learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. Looking back on the Party’s 100 year history we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and purpose in staying true to our founding mission and pursuing a better future on a new journey that lies before us. We must uphold the firm leadership of the CPC. China’s success hinges on the Party. The more than 180 year long modern history of the Chinese Nation, the 100 year long history of the Party, and the more than 70 year long history of the People’s Republic of China all provide evidence that without the Communist Party of China there would be No New China and no national rejuvenation. The Party was chosen by history and the people. The leadership of the CPC is the defining feature of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and constitutes the greatest strength of the system; it is the foundation and lifeblood of the Party and the Country, and the crux upon which the interest and wellbeing of all Chinese People depend. On the journey ahead we must uphold the Party’s overall leadership and continue to enhance its leadership. We must be deeply conscious of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. We must stay confident in the past [?] theoretical system and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. We must uphold the core position of the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and centralise unified leadership.

As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create the bright future, we must bear the following in mind. We must unite and lead the Chinese People in working sincerely for a better life. As a country is its people and the people are the country, as we have fought to establish and consolidate our leadership of the country, we have in fact been fighting to earn and keep the people’s support. The Party has in the people its roots, its lifeblood and source of strength. The CPC has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese People, extends with them through thick and thin and shares a common fate with them. The Party has no special interest of its own. It has never represented any individual interest group, power group or privileged stratum. Any attempt to separate the Party from the Chinese People or to set the People against the Party is bound to fail. The more than 95 million Party Members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese People will never allow such a scenario to come to pass.

On the journey ahead we must rely closely on the People to create history, upholding the Party’s fundamental purpose, of wholeheartedly Serving the People, we will stand firmly with the people to implement the Party’s Mass Line, respect the People’s creativity and practice a People-centred philosophy of development. We will develop whole process People’s Democracy, safeguard social fairness and justice, and resolve the imbalances and inadequacies in development, as well as the most pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people, in doing so we will make more notable and substantive progress towards achieving well rounded human development and a common prosperity for all.

We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese Context. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our Party and Country are founded. It is the very soul of our Party and the banner to which it strives. The Communist Party of China upholds the basic tenets of Marxism and the principle of “Seeking Truth from Facts”; based on China’s reality we have developed keen insights into the trends of initiative, seized initiative in history, and have made painstaking investigations. We have thus been able to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and to guide the Chinese People in advancing our great Social Revolution. At the fundamental level, the capability of the Communist Party of China and the strengths of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works! On the journey ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement [Xi Jinping] Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era. We must continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific reality and its fine traditional culture. We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China in the 21st century.

Karl Marx

We must uphold and develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. We must follow our own path. This is the bedrock that underpins the theories and practice of our Party. More than that, it is the historical conclusion that our Party has drawn from its struggles over the past century. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is a fundamental achievement of the Party and the People. Forged through innumerable hardships and great sacrifice — it is the right path for us to achieve national rejuvenation. As we have upheld and develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernisation and created a new model for human advancement. On the journey ahead, we must adhere to the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy and implement the five sphere integrated plan and the four pronged comprehensive strategy. We must deepen Reform and Opening Up across the board, ground our work in this new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy and foster a new pattern of development. We must promote high quality development and build up our country’s strength, in science and technology. We must ensure that it is our people who run the country, continue to govern based on the rule of law, and uphold the Core Socialist Values. We must ensure and enhance public wellbeing in the cores of development, promote harmony between humanity and nature, and take a well coordinated stance towards making our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful. The Chinese Nation has fostered a splendid civilisation over more than 5000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavours over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not however accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us!

The Party and Chinese People will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves and we will make sure that the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands. We must accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces. A strong country must have a strong military as only then can it guarantee the security of the Nation; at the point that it was engaged in valiant struggle, the Party came to grasp the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a People’s Army of its own. The People’s Military has made indelible achievements on behalf of the Party and the People. It is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond.

Mao Zedong “Problems of War and Strategy”, quoted above.

On the journey ahead, we must fully implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military in the New Era. As well as our military strategy for the New Era, maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the People’s Army and follow a Chinese path to military development. We will take comprehensive measures to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, to strengthen through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and run them in accordance with the law. We will elevate our People’s Army to world class standards so that we are equipped with greater capability and more reliable means for safeguarding our national security, sovereignty, and development interests.

We must continue working to promote the building of a Human Community with a Shared Future. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas that the Chinese Nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5000 years. The Chinese Nation does not carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes. The Party cares about the future of humanity and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development and to preserve international order. On the journey ahead, we will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit. [We will remain committed] to an independent foreign policy of peace and to the path of peaceful development, we will work to build a new type of international relations, and a Human Community with a Shared Future, promote high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities. The Party will continue to work with all peace loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling towards bright horizons. We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so would find themselves on a collision course with a Great Wall of Steel, forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese People!

We must carry out a great struggle with many contemporary features. Having the courage to fight and the fortitude to win is what has made our Party invincible. Realising our great dream will require hard work and persistence. Today we are closer, more confident and more capable than every before to making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. But we must be prepared to work harder than ever to get there. On the journey ahead, we must demonstrate stronger vigilance and always be prepared for potential danger even in times of calm. We must adopt a holistic approach to national security that balances development and national security imperatives and implement the national rejuvenation strategy within the wider context of the once in a century changes taking place in the world. We need to acquire a full understanding of the new features and requirements arising from the change to the principal contradiction in Chinese society and the new issues and challenges stemming from a complicated international environment. We must be both brave and adept in carrying out our struggle, working new paths and building new bridges wherever necessary to take us past old risks and challenges.

We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people. In the course of our struggles over the past century, the party has always placed the United Front in a position of importance. We have constantly consolidated and developed the broadest possible United Front, united all the forces that can be united with, mobilised all possible positive factors that can be mobilised, and pulled as much strength as possible for collective endeavours. The patriotic United Front is an important means for the Party to unite all the sons and daughters of the Chinese Nation, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation. On the journey ahead, we must ensure great unity and solidarity and a balance or commonality and diversity. We should strengthen theoretical and political guidance with broad consensus and bring together the brightest months [?] and expand the common ground and the convergence of interests so that all Chinese people both at home and overseas can focus their ingenuity and energy around the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realising national rejuvenation.

We must continue to advance the great new project of Party-building. A hallmark that distinguishes the Communist Party of China from other parties is its courage in undertaking self-reform. An important reason why the Party remains so lively and vibrant despite having undergone so many trials and tribulations is that it practises active self-supervision and full and rigorous self-governance. It has thus been able to respond appropriately to the risks and tasks of different historical periods. To ensure that it always remains at the forefront of the times, even as profound changes sweep the global landscape and to stand firm as the backbone of the nation throughout the process of meeting various risks and challenges, at home and abroad. On the journey ahead, we must keep firmly in mind the old adage that it takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. We must demonstrate greater political awareness of the fact that full and rigorous self governance is a never-ending journey. With strengthening the Party politically as per over-arching principle, we must continue in advancing the great new project of Party-building in the New Era. We must tighten the Party’s organisational system, work hard to train high-calibre officials who have both moral integrity and professional competence, remain committed to improving party conduct, upholding integrity, and combatting corruption, and root out any element that may harm the Party’s advanced nature and purity and any verses [?] that would erode its health. We must ensure that the Party preserves its essence, colour, and character, and see that it always serves as the strong leadership core in the cause of upholding and developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era.

Comrades and Friends. We will stay true to the letter and the spirit of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong and the people of Macau administer Macau, both with a high degree of autonomy, [we] will ensure that the Central Government exercises overall jurisdiction over HK and Macau and implement the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the two SARs to safeguard National Security- while protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interest, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macau and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two SARs. Resolving the Taiwan issue and realising China’s complete reunification is an historic mission and an unshakeable commitment of the Communist Party of China, it is also a shared aspiration of all of the sons and daughters of the Chinese Nation. We will uphold the One Country principle and the 1992 consensus and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any move towards Taiwan independence and walk together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No-one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Comrades and Friends. The future belongs to the young and our hopes also rest with them. A century ago, a group of young progressives held aloft the torch of Marxism and searched assiduously in those dark years for ways to rejuvenate the Chinese Nation. Since then, under the banner of the Communist Party of China, generation after generation of young Chinese have devoted their youths to the cause of the Party and the People and remain in the vanguard of the drive to rejuvenate the nation. In the New Era, our young people should make it their mission to contribute to national rejuvenation and aspire to become more proud, confident, and assured in their identity as Chinese people so that they can live up to the promise of their youth and to the expectations of our times, our Party, and our People.

Comrades and Friends. A century ago, at the time of its founding, the Communist Party of China had just over 50 members. Today, with more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people, it is the largest governing party in the world and enjoys tremendous international influence. A century ago, China was in decline and withering away in the eyes of the world. Today, the image it presents to the world is one of a striving nation that is advancing with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation. Over the past century, the Communist Party of China has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the People. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese People on a new journey towards realising the second centenary goal.

To all Party Members: The Central Committee calls on every one of you to stay true to our Party’s founding mission and stand firm in your ideals and convictions, acting on the purpose of the Party. You should always maintain close ties with the People, emphasise and work with them, stand with them, through good times and bad, and continue working tirelessly to realise their aspirations for a better life, and to bring still greater glory to the Party and to the People.

Comrades and Friends. Today, 100 years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime and remains determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Looking back on the past we have travelled and forwards to the journey that lies ahead it is certain that with the firm leadership of the Party and the great unity of the Chinese People of all ethnic groups we will achieve the goal of achieving a great modern socialist country and fulfil the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Long live our great, glorious and correct Party!

Long live our great, glorious and heroic People!

没有共产党就没有新中国