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Speech at a Review Meeting on the Campaign Themed "Staying True to Our Original Aspiration and Founding Mission"

Source: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2020-11-09

Speech at a Review Meeting on the Campaign Themed "Staying True to Our Original Aspiration and Founding Mission" 

(January 8, 2020) 



The major decision to launch a Party-wide campaign under the theme of "staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission" was taken at our Party's 19th National Congress. The Central Committee attached great importance to the campaign and made detailed arrangements in preparation. Beginning at the end of May last year, the campaign unfolded from the top down in two stages, and has now basically reached its conclusion. Thanks to the efforts of our organizations at every level, the commitment of all Party members and officials, and the support of the general public, the campaign, which was well-defined, to the point, practical and, in terms of its timeframe, well-conducted, has met our anticipated goals and achieved significant success. 

First, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials have gained a thorough understanding of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and become more aware of the importance of connecting knowledge and beliefs with action. 

All members and officials approached the reading of the original Marxist and Leninist works with a sense of responsibility and an inquiring mind and enhanced their comprehension through core group study sessions, reading workshops, and seminars. As study activities intensified and practical results were yielded, the commitment to ideals and convictions and the sense of mission of our members and officials grew stronger, thereby effectively resolving the problem we have had of members not being thorough in their studies and not effectively applying the results of learning. Our Party members have come to regard these theories as golden keys for improving work and resolving problems—the more we increase our understanding of them, the more confidence and strength we will have. 

Second, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials have refined their political thinking and become more conscious of how to remain true to the Party's original aspiration and shoulder their mission.


President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address at a symposium on the theme of staying true to the Party's founding mission, Beijing, January 8, 2020. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER JU PENG 

This education campaign stressed the importance of both guidance and standards of conduct. All Party members and officials have checked their conduct against the decisions and plans of the Central Committee, the Party Constitution and Party discipline, the new expectations of our people, and role models and leading examples around them to identify shortcomings. They have recognized where they've fallen short of standards and strengthened their faith in Marxism and conviction in socialism with Chinese characteristics. Our members have received a rigorous course of training through intraparty political activities, studying the history of the Party, the People's Republic and the Chinese revolution, reviewing the Party admission oath, their experience of joining the Party, and their original aspiration in doing so, attending meetings for members in leadership positions and regular Party-branch or -group meetings, and carrying out criticism and self-criticism. The education campaign has enabled our members and officials to stand stronger in their faith and fortify their commitment. 

Third, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials have been encouraged to be dedicated, enterprising, and responsible in their work with a view to advancing all endeavors relating to the country's reform, development, and stability. 

Our members and officials have carried out criticism and self-criticism activities with unflinching courage to see that they remain true to the Party's original aspiration, shoulder their mission, share the Party's concerns, fulfill their obligations to the country, and work for the wellbeing of the people. They have acquired a sense of urgency, made full use of their time to press ahead, and risen to each challenge. We have ensured that this campaign was combined with the efforts to implement the decisions and plans of the Central Committee and deal with major problems in reform, development and stability and pressing issues in Party building, and with the activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. As a result, we have furthered supply-side structural reform, intensified the efforts to eradicate poverty, and promoted high-quality economic and social development. 

Fourth, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials have taken the initiative to solve the problems that are of the greatest public concern, thereby strengthening their awareness of the Party's purpose and their caring attitude toward the people. 

Our members and officials have stayed in touch with what is going on at the community level and on the front lines, actively responded to the concerns of the people, and effectively addressed the most practical problems of the greatest and most direct concern to the people, especially inadequate medical services, education, employment, and housing. They have lived up to the people's expectations by making a tangible difference and helped people feel more satisfied, happier, and more secure. Many people have reflected that their voices are now being heard, that they can frequently meet their officials, and that they have people to help them out with difficulties they previously struggled with. 

Fifth, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials have benefited from intensified education in integrity, which has helped cultivate a clean political environment. 

By instructing our members and officials to look back at what we've been through and look to what is ahead, we helped them clearly understand just who they are, for whom they work, and on whom they rely, thereby making them more motivated to be loyal to the Party, clean, and responsible. We gave play to the positive role of role models and stepped up cautionary campaigns that used negative examples to keep Party members and officials on their toes and aware of discipline, underscore the lines not to be crossed, and help them better understand what it is they should hold in awe and veneration. With a strong sense of discipline and rules, members and officials are more aware of the importance of exercising power impartially, with integrity and in accordance with the law. They have developed a closer relationship with the people and improved the political ecosystem within the Party. 

Sixth, Party organizations at every level and all members and officials conducted an initiative to address serious problems that could undermine the foundations of the Party and hamper its cause. 


President Xi Jinping makes a key speech after visiting the South Lake Revolutionary Memorial Hall, afternoon of October 31, 2017. Joined by CPC Central Committee Political Bureau Standing Committee members Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng, he toured two important sites: the location of the CPC's first meeting in Shanghai, and the Red Boat on the South Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER LAN HONGGUANG 

We regarded this initiative as an important lever for delivering more substantive results during the campaign. Focusing on prominent problems, we launched full-scale examinations and clean-ups to eliminate the malpractices of feigning compliance with the Central Committee's decisions and plans, failing to perform one's duties, violating the Central Committee's Eight Rules for improving Party and government conduct, increasing the burden of local governments, which is a problem at each and every level, and allowing one's spouse, children, or the spouse of one's child to operate businesses in violation of regulations. In addition, we took resolute measures to correct improper conduct that harmed the people's interests, to address the issue of weak and lax primary-level Party organizations, and to put a stop to the practices of condoning or even providing protection for pornography, gambling, drug abuse, and gang activities and of using valuable specialty products and special resources to seek personal gain. We instituted real change by addressing prominent, deep-rooted and commonplace problems within the Party. According to our members, this initiative was specific and effective, fully proving that our Party has the courage to carry out self-reform and made the Party's advanced and wholesome nature more distinctive. 

Through this campaign, we have taken yet further steps to carry out self-reform and ensure full and strict governance over the Party in the new era, and ensured unity of thinking, political solidarity and concerted action in the Party as a whole. The campaign has served as a forceful mobilization of our members, in terms of thinking, politics, organization, and work style, for the Party's leadership of the concerted efforts to carry out our great struggle, develop our great project, advance our great cause, and realize our great dream, and for achieving the two centenary goals. This is of both great immediate significance and far-reaching historical significance.


President Xi Jinping toured Jiangxi Province from May 20 to 22, 2019. During his visit, he chaired a symposium on advancing the rise of the central region and gave a major address. He is pictured here calling upon the home of Sun Guanfa, who is a military veteran and a descendant of Red Army martyrs. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER JU PENG 


During the campaign, we reviewed the previous education campaigns of the Party and explored new approaches and built up new experience in this regard for the new era. 

First, focusing on the campaign theme and the main task 

Considering the Party-building tasks of the new era and the prominent problems in the Party, we chose "staying true to the Party's original aspiration and founding mission" as the theme of the campaign, made study and implementation of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era the main task, and set the general requirements of staying true to our mission, shouldering responsibility, identifying shortcomings, and enforcing implementation. Based on this theme, main task, and these general requirements, we acquired a deep and thorough understanding through study and education; explored strategies and solutions through investigation and research; identified shortcomings in compliance through self-examination; and instituted genuine, pragmatic corrections through rectification. With this approach, we have overcome the disconnect between learning and work, thus ensuring real results were produced during the education campaign. 

Second, having officials take the lead and set a good example 

The Central Committee Political Bureau held a study session and a criticism and self-criticism meeting under the theme of "staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission and promoting self-reform," which helped set a good example for guiding the rest of the Party. Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels assumed primary responsibility, with the members of their leadership bodies, especially principal leaders, taking a lead in all aspects of the campaign, thus ensuring that the "critical few" played an exemplary and leading role for the "broad majority." They carefully planned and organized the campaign and worked to ensure accountability, so that full and proper implementation was achieved. 

Third, advancing with a holistic approach 

One notable feature of the campaign is that we elected not to map out phases or segments but adopted a holistic approach to integrate and advance the campaign's four major aspects—study and education, investigation and research, self-examination, and rectification—throughout its entirety. Combining learning with doing and self-examination with correction, we carried out these four aspects concurrently, with progress being made in a progressive way. We did not set arbitrary time limits or impose an exact sequential order on the four aspects, but concentrated on integrated advancement and coordinated implementation by giving specific emphasis to each aspect while also making interlinked arrangements. In this way, we raised the quality and overall effect of the campaign. 

Fourth, staying problem-focused and undertaking targeted rectification 

Staying problem-oriented, we strived, from the very outset, to resolve problems and make corrections. Rectifications were made to ensure compliance and address problems at source in an open, systemic, and coordinated way, with a focus on prominent problems in eight areas. Rectification was carried out under a check list-based project management model: First, we defined the principal responsibility for each problem, the schedule and timeframe, and the specific measures to be taken; then we listed all problems and crossed them out as each one was resolved. In this way, corrective measures were taken and problems addressed in a methodical fashion. We refused to slacken off or drop a matter until full resolution was achieved to the satisfaction of the public. By hammering away in this manner, we have secured results that will stand up in practice, in the eyes of the people, and over the course of time. 

Fifth, ensuring strict supervision and effective guidance from within and from outside the Party 

The campaign's central leading group and its office intensified policy research and guidance, and worked to ensure that the campaign proceeded at different levels on a category-specific basis, and that all responsibilities were performed in earnest. The guiding groups and inspection teams at every level dealt with situations on the ground with a pragmatic approach; they were courageous in sticking to principles, took strong action against tough problems, and conveyed the guiding principles of the Central Committee with the right amount of pressure and motivation. All localities and departments have taken an open-door stance, encouraging public participation, supervision, and comment, and acting promptly to review and take remedial measures for problems causing public dissatisfaction. The use of positive publicity and oversight through public opinion helped foster a favorable environment for the campaign. 

Sixth, rejecting empty accomplishments and striving for real results 

We have given high priority to combatting pointless formalities and bureaucratism. We refrained from replacing self-study and study-sessions with expert lectures and theoretical tutorials; chose local historical sites for carrying out education in early CPC history; forwent any requirement to make reading notes and summaries; prohibited show and prefabricated-type investigations and research; strictly controlled the number of briefings; and did not make the presence or absence of leaders' comments, conference bulletins and briefings, lists, records, or work notes criteria for assessing the performance of the work. Linking the campaign with this year's initiative to ease burdens on community-level organizations, we summarized and promoted a collection of useful experiences and effective methods for rectifying pointless formalities and bureaucratic practices and reducing burdens on local organizations, and openly criticized a number of typical cases in this respect. With these efforts, we have helped release our primary-level officials from the fetters of pointless formalities and given full rein to their drive, and by stressing substance over form, we have made our campaign both pragmatic and effective. 

While affirming our achievements, we must be keenly aware of existing problems. The main ones are as follows: Some leading officials do not engage in in-depth, thorough, and systematic study, or align what they learn with what they are doing, and therefore, they are not adequately capable of applying the Party's new theories in their work. There are issues that have not yet been fully rectified, and some deeply rooted problems and challenges that have yet to be tackled on a fundamental level. Some primary-level Party organizations are still weak and lack sound and fluid mechanisms for engaging with and serving the people. Pointless formalities and bureaucratic practices persist in some localities, where a preoccupation with quick results and instant benefits puts a heavy burden on local organizations. 

The public's greatest worry is that this campaign will turn out to have been just a short-lived spell of activity that fails to go far beyond the surface. Their greatest hope is that such campaigns will become the norm and continue to produce positive results long term. It is important that we start well but also end well, do good work and deliver good results, and achieve effective implementation of the requirement for full and strict governance over the Party. 


With over 90 million members and more than 4.6 million primary-level organizations, our Party is the long-term governing party of a vast country with a population of 1.4 billion and the strong leadership core of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Our Party's self-improvement has always been an important matter with a decisive bearing on the overall situation. 

While today's world is undergoing profound changes of a kind unseen in a century, our country is in a critical stage of national rejuvenation, and our Party is leading the people through a great struggle with many new contemporary features. The speed of these changes, the formidable nature of reform, development, and stability tasks, and the numerous problems, risks, and challenges before us pose an unprecedented test for our Party's governance of the country. For our Party, a large political Party with a hundred year history, to always enjoy the support of the people and keep achieving things into the future, it must always bear in mind its original aspiration and founding mission, clear out anything that undermines its advanced and wholesome nature, remove any malignant growth that threatens its health, and resolutely guard against any danger that goes against our aspiration and mission or that could shake the Party's foundations. 


President Xi Jinping toured Henan Province from September 16 to 18, 2019. He is pictured here, afternoon of the 16th, chatting with the innkeeper at a family-run inn in Tianpu Township, Xinxian County, Xinyang. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER XIE HUANCHI 

Whereof what's past is prologue. Our entire Party should take this educational campaign as a new starting point for furthering self-reform and ensuring all members stay true to the Party's original aspiration and founding mission. Here, I want to highlight a number of issues: 

First, we must make Party building an eternal theme for all our members and officials. 

For both a person and a political party, what is truly priceless is an unchanging commitment to one's original aspiration and fundamental values in the face of all the vicissitudes of life. Our Party's original aspiration and founding mission are the manifestation of its nature, purpose, ideals, convictions, and goals. These are what motivate us to stand fast and march forward. From Shikumen on Xingye Road (site of the CPC's founding, Shanghai) to Tiananmen on Fuxing Road (Chang'an Avenue, Beijing), all the efforts, struggles and sacrifices our Party has made over nearly one hundred years have been for the happiness of the people and national rejuvenation. It is adherence to our original aspiration and founding mission that has allowed the Party to develop and grow stronger amid extreme difficulties, break out of seemingly hopeless situations, and rise up even when it was weakened by adversity. If our original aspiration and founding mission are disregarded by our members, our Party's nature and color will be altered and it will lose the support of the people and risk the future. 

Any nation or party that forgets where it comes from will find itself without a path for advancement and prospects for the future. It is important to understand that in the course of our Party's long-term governance, factors undermining the Party's advanced and wholesome nature always exist, and threats to our original aspiration, founding mission, and the Party's foundations are ubiquitous, while pronounced problems in thinking, politics, organization, and style of work have not yet been fully resolved. 

The advanced and wholesome nature of a Marxist Party will not be naturally preserved as time goes by, nor will members' Party consciousness automatically strengthen with their length of service or job advancement. Our original aspiration will not inevitably stay as it always was. If we neglect it or fail to nourish it, there is a risk that it will fade and disappear. As we march forward, it is all too easy to forget why we set out and where we are heading, and to stray off course and lose our way. The fundamental reason why corrupt officials slipped into the trap of indiscipline and illegal activity is that they abandoned their original aspiration and founding mission. Staying true to the Party's founding mission is a lifelong pursuit rather than a passing concern. All Party members must constantly engage in ideological and political self-examination and reflection to remove any impurities or viruses. 

I often stress that Party members and officials should reread the Party Constitution, their oath of admission to the Party, and the letters written by revolutionary martyrs to their families. We should keep the Party Constitution by our side to check ourselves against it and see if our actions measure up to its standards and our original aspiration, just the same as we should regularly tidy our rooms and polish our mirrors to keep them neat and clean. We must guide all Party organizations, Party members and officials to regularly check their thinking and actions against the requirements of the Central Committee, the Party's Constitution and regulations, the new expectations of the people, and the deeds of role models and the revolutionaries and martyrs of the older generation. We must continuously remind ourselves of our original aspiration and adhere firmly to it, and hold fast to carrying through our Party's founding mission. We should nourish and guide our original aspiration and founding mission with innovative thinking, allow them to motivate us by reviewing the remarkable history of our Party, and build up our understanding of them by conducting intra-Party political activities in earnest, so that they become a driving force for us to forge ahead, break new ground, and work hard. 

Second, we must use the latest achievements in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context to unify our thinking, will, and action. 

The advanced nature of a Marxist party is first and foremost embodied in its advanced theories. The emphasis the Party puts on ideological and theoretical training is one of our Party's distinctive features and fine traditions. Mao Zedong once said: "Ideological education is the key link to be grasped in uniting the whole Party for great political struggles." The original aspiration of Communists comes not only from their natural affection for the people and their pursuit of the truth but from the scientific theory of Marxism. Only by improving Party members' ideological and theoretical understanding can we stay true to our original aspiration and shoulder our founding mission more firmly. 


President Xi Jinping toured Shanxi Province from May 11 to 12, 2020. He is pictured here on the morning of the 12th at the government services center in the Shanxi Transformation and Comprehensive Reform Demonstration Zone learning how the area is driving development through reform and innovation. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER XIE HUANCHI 

Complacency is the greatest enemy of study. If we want to make achievements in learning, we can never become self-satisfied. At present, some Party members and officials undervalue theoretical study and spend little time on it; some are inconsistent and only learn when the mood strikes them; some have turned learning into a show and are satisfied with only a superficial understanding; and some are engaged in fragmented and unsystematic learning, only choosing what interests them while disregarding the rest. Quite a few young officials have thus failed to acquire a solid theoretical grounding and are not firm enough in their ideals and convictions. We must make redoubled efforts to earnestly study, understand, and trust in these theories, and put them to good use. 

I have noted on more than one occasion that Chinese Communists have relied on learning to get to where we are today, and this will inevitably continue to be the case going forward. All Party members must keep pace with the times and make sure that they reflect our entry into a new era in their actions and also in their thinking, letting go of all outdated ideas and methods for analyzing problems, making decisions, and advancing work. Otherwise, they will be left behind the times and fail in their duties; they will miss good opportunities and cause delays. This issue demands the full attention of all members, especially leading officials at every level. Advancing with the times must not be considered just a slogan; rather, it must be embodied in our thinking and action. Our Party members must not become those living in the legendary Peach Garden who shut themselves off from the outside world. 

Every step in theoretical advancement must be followed by understanding of and arming oneself with the theory. In education campaigns within the Party, theoretical education has always been carried out first to deal with problems of superficial study, disunity in thinking, and lack of timely action. Consistent and focused education promotes political solidarity throughout the Party and unity in the thinking and actions of members. We should prioritize the study and application of theoretical innovations in training and education, and combine these activities with the study of the basic tenets of Marxism and the history of the CPC, the People's Republic of China, reform and opening up, and socialist development, as well as with our efforts to carry out our great struggle, develop our great project, advance our great cause, and realize our great dream. We should strive to fully understand and effectively apply our latest theories, achieve unity in thinking by freeing our minds, and improve our awareness by deepening understanding of our theories, so that we apply them willingly. 

Third, we must promote self-reform with the courage to confront our problems squarely and the willingness to cut to their very core in fixing them. 

Confucius once said, "The gentleman's errors are like the eclipses of the sun and the moon. When he errs, all men see him do so; when he reforms, all men look up to him." Having the courage to confront problems and correct errors is one of our Party's most notable features and strengths. Lenin once wrote, "Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions that have led up to it, and thrashing out the means of its rectification—that is the hallmark of a serious party." A strong party is forged through self-reform. Looking back at our Party's history, while it led social reform, it always retained the courage to reform itself, to uphold truth and correct errors, to confront problems directly and overcome shortcomings, and to go through the painful process of removing the rot to heal quickly. Because our Party has done these things, it has always been able to turn around desperate situations, correct mistakes to prevent chaos, and grow into an invulnerable Marxist party. 

At present, a small number of Party members and officials lack the will for self-reform and are content to take things as they are. Some are losing the ability to find problems and are more concerned with counting gains and losses and hiding their mistakes for fear of censure; some are unwilling to criticize, and attempt to play it safe by remaining mute; and some are arrogant, excessively wasteful and corrupt—they ignore or even intentionally defy Party discipline, and continue to violate the Eight Rules on improving Party and government conduct despite repeated warnings. As an ancient Chinese scholar said, "The most difficult thing is to control one's thoughts, while the easiest is to indulge in one's desires." Once we slacken our efforts, the will to reform ourselves will wane to the point of going against our original aspiration, abandoning our founding mission, and violating Party discipline and even the law. 

To take an oath is easy; to live up to it is difficult. All Party members must uphold our lofty ideals, maintain high morale, use the tools of criticism and self-criticism to good effect, and make persistent efforts to maintain Party conduct, tighten discipline, and fight corruption. We should constantly strengthen the Party's capacity to remain wholesome and to improve, renew, and surpass itself, resolutely fight against anything prone to shake the Party's foundations and hinder its cause, and clear away anything undesirable in the Party, so as to make it even stronger.


President Xi Jinping toured Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from June 8 to 10, 2020. He is pictured here on the afternoon of the 8th conversing with community volunteers at the CPC public activity and service center in the Jinhuayuan residential community in Litong District, Wuzhong. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER JU PENG 

Fourth, we must foster a fighting spirit and boldly assume our responsibilities and perform our duties. 

Our Party came into being at a time of national crisis when our country was beset by domestic turmoil and foreign aggression. From its birth, it shouldered the historic mission of national struggle. It had to battle hard to survive, develop, and win victories. The closer we come to national rejuvenation, the more obstructions, risks, and challenges we will encounter. To stay true to our original aspiration and founding mission, we must be mindful of potential danger in times of peace, chaos in times of stability, and the possibility of destruction at all times. We must maintain constant vigilance, boost our morale, and prepare ourselves for a great struggle with many new contemporary features. 

When we speak of fighting, we do not mean fighting for fighting's sake or for our own interests. Rather, we mean bravely shouldering heavy responsibilities, working hard and effectively, and overcoming all difficulties to realize the people's aspirations for a better life and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. To gauge the fighting spirit and responsibility of Party members and officials, we must see if they have the courage to take a clear stand on major issues of principle, to tackle challenges head-on, to come forward in times of crisis, to accept their share of responsibility for mistakes, and to resolutely fight against unhealthy practices. 

Some Party members and officials are unwilling, afraid, or unable to take responsibility. Some go to great rounds to avoid causing offense, evade accountability, and remain sitting on the fence. They worry that "the more dishes you wash, the more you break." They believe in "having more friends than enemies as long as they don't bother you with their troubles," in "doing nothing in case something might go wrong," and in "claiming credit for success but evading responsibility for problems." Some are like clay statues built inside temples that cannot stand in a storm—they fall to pieces whenever they encounter problems and difficulties. This is not the conduct of a Communist. Party members and officials who fail to fulfill their duties or refuse to take responsibility will be unable to accomplish anything of significance, and will bring nothing but problems or even disasters. 

A tree cannot grow to towering heights in a greenhouse, nor can a great cause be accomplished by idlers. Party members and officials must go out into the world and brave the storm to improve their skills and strength of character. They should develop the hardness, the mettle, and the aptitude to assume responsibility and perform their duties. They must be daring and willing to lead the charge and make accomplishments when responding to major challenges, risks, obstacles, and problems. 

Fifth, we must improve and develop intra-Party systems and create permanent mechanisms. 

Systemic strengths are the greatest advantage of a political party and a country. Deng Xiaoping once said that "if systems are sound, they can place restraints on the actions of bad people, and if they are unsound, they may hamper the efforts of good people or indeed, in certain cases, may push them in the wrong direction." We have suffered losses in the past because of the weaknesses in our systems. Since the 18th National Congress, the Central Committee has governed the CPC based on its systems and regulations, and worked to build a complete, well-conceived, well-regulated, and effective set of systems in order to raise full and strict governance over the Party to a new level. 

The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee proposed to establish a system for staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission. Regulations and systems should be developed with a systematic and dialectic approach and an awareness of inviolable lines, so as to be instructive, targeted, and workable. The system we establish must be capable of solving problems, but also simple and easy to use, allowing for pragmatic and effective measures that cut to the crux of problems. We should combine a target-driven orientation with a fact-based approach to balance the Central Committee's requirements, practical needs, and expectations at the primary level. We should stress both innovation and coordination, and embed the system into our regulations and institutions, while clarifying what should be upheld, improved, established, and implemented. In developing this system, we must get the size and scope right—it should not be so general as to fail in achieving any purpose, nor should it be overly prescriptive. 

Rules and regulations are meant to be observed and enforced. The whole Party must heighten its awareness of our rules and regulations, consciously adhere to and respect them, strictly implement them, and resolutely safeguard them. We should establish an authoritative, efficient enforcement mechanism and step up oversight to promote the implementation of the system for staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission. We should prevent any attempt to stretch, bend, or partially implement the system, and stay on our guard against rigid restrictions becoming lax and long-term mechanisms growing ineffective. 

Sixth, we must have leading bodies and officials take the lead. 

Leading bodies are major organs in the country's governance system, while leading officials are the "critical few" when it comes to advancing the cause of our Party and country. They play the role of weathervane for the entire Party and society. Confucius said, "A man of virtue is like the wind, while a petty man is like the grass. Once the wind blows, the grass is sure to bend." Leading by example is far more effective than ordering or pushing people into action. This means leading bodies and officials must set a good example in staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission. 

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "Only by taking the lead and setting a good example can we make others follow and trust us." Leading bodies and officials setting a good example is the key to our Party's success. During the revolutionary war period, there was a world of difference between the orders "charge with me" and "you go and charge." Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, outstanding Party members such as Jiao Yulu, Gu Wenchang, Yang Shanzhou, and Zhang Fuqing have served as pioneers and models. This is why our Party is able to unite the people and lead them in achieving new progress in every field. Leading bodies and officials must be fully aware of their responsibilities, stay on full alert, and regularly examine themselves and reflect on their conduct. 

This is the final year for securing moderate prosperity, winning the fight against poverty, and completing the 13th Five-Year Plan. Unfavorable factors in the external environment are mounting, downward pressure on China's economy is growing, and the tasks related to reform, development, and stability are formidable. The more challenging and complex the situation is, the more leading bodies and officials must maintain their resolve and forge ahead; the more formidable the tasks are, the more leading bodies and officials should lead the way, do solid work, and assume responsibility. Leading bodies and officials at all levels must take the lead in boosting awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the central leadership core, and keep in alignment, in strengthening confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and in resolutely upholding the General Secretary's core position on the CPC Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and in resolutely upholding the CPC Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. We should unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups in overcoming all difficulties and obstacles that we meet on our way forward, prepare for tough tests, and deliver results that will satisfy both the Party and the people. 

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 13, 2020)