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Be Prepared for the Great Struggle

Source: Xi Jinping The Governance of China IV Updated: 2023-05-10

Be Prepared for the Great Struggle*

November 11, 2021

We must have a keen sense of responsibility, and build the will and ability to continue the great struggle. An ancient Chinese philosopher observed, “The weak-minded cannot be wise; the dishonest cannot succeed.”

Founded amid domestic turmoil and foreign aggression, our Party has been tempered through numerous tribulations, and grown strong by surmounting difficulties. It does not fear powerful enemies or any risk or challenge; it has the courage to fight and the mettle to win. To fulfill its historic duty to the cause of the Party and the people, it has never flinched before formidable enemies or backed down in the face of severe challenges on its path. It fears no sacrifice or setback.

In the years of the revolutionary war, the Party took on the mission of national independence and people’s liberation, and fought fearlessly in an arduous battle against domestic and foreign enemies. Opposing imperialism and feudalism, it brought the Great Revolution (1924-1927) to a climax. Getting back to its feet after suffering bloody massacres, it launched the armed struggle and the Agrarian Revolution (1927-1937). For the greater good of the nation, the CPC formed a united front with the Kuomintang to resist Japanese aggression. In the subsequent civil war started by Kuomintang reactionaries, it defeated 8 million Kuomintang troops. In its 28 years of struggle, the Party made tremendous self-sacrifices on behalf of the people.

After 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, our Party faced severe tests and challenges from inside and outside its organizations, at home and abroad, both natural and manmade. With a strong sense of mission and great courage, our Party made the correct choices at critical junctures, unflinchingly stood up to all tests, and led the people in a determined struggle to victory. Under its leadership, the Chinese nation has stood up, become better off, and grown in strength.

In the 1950s, under provocation and the threat of force from the imperialist US, the richest and most powerful country in the world, the Party’s central leadership faced a critical choice – whether to send troops to aid Korea. Mao Zedong said it was one of the toughest decisions he had ever made. Determined to “throw one hard punch now to avoid taking a hundred punches in the future”, the central leadership made the historic decision to aid Korea against US aggression and defend the new-born PRC, even though it would hamper domestic reconstruction. By making this necessary move, China stopped the foreign aggressors at its doorstep and secured its national borders.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, during a period of dramatic change in Eastern Europe, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union collapsed and the Soviet Union disintegrated, dealing a severe blow to world socialism. Political disturbance also occurred in our country in the late spring and early summer of 1989. In response, our Party relied on the people and took resolute measures to win a life-and-death battle, showing strong resolve and historic commitment. We withstood the sanctions of the West, and kept to the correct path of reform and development and socialism with Chinese characteristics. Deng Xiaoping said, “So long as socialism does not collapse in China, it will always hold its ground in the world.” I also said, “If CPC leadership and Chinese socialism had collapsed in that domino reaction or for any other reason, socialism would again have stumbled in the dark for a prolonged period, which would certainly have blocked the Chinese nation’s journey towards rejuvenation.”

History is a continuous progression divided into different stages. Each stage creates a particular mission, and each generation has a certain responsibility. Since the Party’s 18th National Congress in 2012, we have been fully aware that upholding and developing Chinese socialism in the new era will be an arduous task but a great social transformation. Hostile forces will not sit back and let us achieve national rejuvenation smoothly. This is why I have repeatedly emphasized that we must carry out the great historic struggle with many new features. We must be prepared to make even greater efforts, and keep guard against and defuse major risks at all times.

Over the past few years, we have adopted proactive and preemptive strategies to deal with risks and challenges, taking resolute measures to tackle those that threaten the Party’s governing status and the stability of state power, or undermine the country’s core interests and the people’s fundamental interests. In defusing the major threats that could have delayed or interrupted China’s rejuvenation process, we have shown great determination and courage, solved many longstanding, complex problems, and accomplished many long-sought and elusive goals. We have undergone these experiences together, which are fully summarized in the resolution adopted at this plenary session.

Our Party has fought to create history, and will continue to fight to win the future. On the new journey, we will only face more daunting tests and unimaginable turbulence in a prolonged struggle to complete the Second Centenary Goal. Confronted by major risks, and powerful opponents, it is unrealistic to think confrontation can be avoided, nor will it help to fear it or evade it.

“Those skilled in warfare make sure they are invincible and miss no chance of overwhelming their enemies.” Meeting challenges head-on is the only way to survive, to develop, and to win dignity. Retreat, compromise or concession will only lead to defeat and humiliation.

We must understand the features of this great historic struggle and be clear on our targets. We must be courageous, stick to the right pathway, maintain the initiative, understand how to fight, and build up the spirit and capacity to do it. We are determined to overcome all difficulties by effectively addressing challenges, defusing risks, removing obstacles, and solving problems on the way forward, and we are resolved to win this great new struggle in the new era.


* Part of the speech at the second full assembly of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)