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China’s Construction of a Modern Global Information Dissemination System

"The National Conference on Publicizing China Overseas concluded on January 5, 2010. This year the conference clearly brought up a number of high priority tasks related to propaganda targeting foreign countries. These included strengthening the development of the institutional mechanism for issuing press releases and building a good system for servicing and managing foreign media reporters and journalists who are in China; strengthening the propaganda and management of Internet information and creating a favorable public opinion environment on the Internet; effectively implementing the campaign of international public opinion in order to safeguard our national security and social stability; organizing foreign cultural exchanges to enhance the influence of Chinese culture; widely carrying out major international public relations activities and boosting news exchange and cooperation with foreign media; enlarging and strengthening the media that publicize China overseas and building a modern dissemination system with extensive coverage and advanced technology; and strengthening and paying great attention to the development of the cadre troops that publicize China overseas."

"The State Council News Office Minister, Wang Chen, said that improving our global dissemination ability complies with global media’s development trend and is a must in order to realize the leap-forward development of China’s media; … (improving our global dissemination) is a must to inform the world about China; is a must in order to actively participate in international cultural competition, and enhance Chinese culture’s soft power; and is must for breaking the Western media’s monopoly and promoting a world information and communication order that is more just and reasonable."

"At present, Xinhua News Agency broadcasts China’s news to the world 24/7 in 7 languages. … CCTV’s international channels in English, Spanish, French and other languages are broadcast in the United States, Great Britain, France, Northern Europe, Africa, Hong Kong, and other countries and regions, and some programs have gotten into their local TV channels. In 2009, we opened two more channels in Arabic and Russian, respectively. Our international radio broadcasts to the world in 59 languages and its influence is continuing to expand. China Daily currently is distributed to more than 150 countries and regions around the world and has a wide impact. Including the journals published by the Chinese Foreign Language Bureau, there are more than 30 journals at the national level that are published in other countries, and more than 200 journals at the regional level. "

"However, China’s current global dissemination power still does not match our national economic and social development. China’s global media resources and international voice are still very limited, and the dissemination power should be improved. It still happens sometimes that Western media misunderstand or even purposely distort China’s image."

"In the meeting celebrating the 50th anniversary of China’s television industry and CCTV, the CCP Central Committee Political Bureau Standing Committee member Li Changchun said, ‘As China’s economy  and society rapidly develop and our international position continues to rise, our dissemination power has yet to meet the requirement of our economic and social development, has yet to meet people’s growing spiritual and cultural needs, has yet to meet the rapid developing situation of modern science, technology and communication, and has yet to meet China’s new international status and influence.’"

"Wang Chen said, ‘There is still a big gap between China’s media and the overseas world-class media. Our voice is still relatively weak in the competition between international public opinions. The situation that more than 80 percent of global news and information comes from major Western media still has not fundamentally changed. Our media coverage does not have enough influence within the Western mainstream. Our passive position within international public opinion has not fundamentally changed.’"

“Yu Guoming, the Associate Dean of the College of Journalism at Renmin University, has offered this interpretation, ‘The key issue that has caused China’s voice to be so weak on the global media stage is that, in the international dissemination field, Western mainstream media have basically established the current rules of the game. These rules shape people’s information consumption appetite, and determine their talking styles in dissemination. This is what our media must face and adapt to when reaching out to the world.’” 

"Shan Bo, Associate Dean of the News and Media College at Wuhan University said, ‘Instead of creating a new rule, China should set the tone for its overseas publiciity on breaking the Western monopoly on discourse that is centered in the United States. We should be clear on this. What we need is to have an equal exchange, understanding, and communication in our cultures, and build a harmonious world.’"

"In addition to newspapers, radio, television and other traditional media, the Internet and mobile media, with many advantages, such as their massive, interactive, and real-time features, are rapidly taking over the frontier development of the media industry. … With this trend, all the countries around the globe are competing to use the Internet as an effective media for publicizing national images, improving their international dissemination power, and trying to occupy the forefront of information dissemination."

"‘With the deepening of media convergence and the growing status of the Internet on revealing, building, leading, and penetrating international opinion, there will soon be a new battlefield in the international war of dissemination. That is, in using social media as a way to achieve penetration, and fighting over young Internet users in target countries, victory will definitely belong to whichever side masters the essential characteristics of this new media, has a clear strategy, and takes quick action,’ said Dr. Deng Jianguo of the College of Journalism, Fudan University. He believes that the effort to build a world-class media is a new opportunity for China to greatly develop global information dissemination."

"In June 2008, when General Secretary Hu Jintao inspected People’s Daily newspaper, he said, ‘The Internet has become the center for ideological and cultural information and the amplifier of public opinion.’ He brought up that, “We must be fully aware of the social influence of the new media forms such as the Internet, pay great attention to the development, use, and management of the Internet, and strive to make the Internet become a frontier for spreading the advanced culture of Socialism, an effective platform for providing public cultural services, and a vast space for promoting the healthy development of people’s cultural lives.’ In December 2009, when Li Changchun attended the launching ceremony of China Network Television (CNTV), he said that, in today’s society, with highly developed information dissemination technologies, it is a general trend for the mainstream media to spread and extend into the Internet and other new media forms. In strengthening the dissemination power of mainstream media, we must enhance the sense of urgency and take the initiative to extend into the Internet, actively explore new media forms, and constantly expand coverage and boost influence."

"He Jiazheng, president of People Daily Online, said, ‘How can we take advantages of the Internet to better publicize China to overseas readers and improve our national image? This has become an issue that all of China’s Internet media must actively think about and deal with.’ He suggested that new media should further strengthen the numbers and intensity of news reporting, which will let China increase its international influence and voice."

"In order for Chinese culture to ‘walk outside’ [go abroad], we must have a global perspective and need to actively explore the influence of Chinese culture as it spreads to the world. Overall, currently most of the Western understanding of Chinese culture is limited to food, Chinese medicine, martial arts, Chinese opera, landscapes, and other similar aspects. It is extremely urgent to introduce the excellent results of contemporary Chinese culture, especially those cultural achievements that have the core value system with Chinese characteristics, to the world. … Each year, there are a large number of excellent academic achievements in China’s Philosophy and Social Sciences fields. However, due to the poor international communication for academic information and language barriers, this precious spiritual wealth rarely gains any attention from the international community. This really is quite unfortunate in today’s cultural communication."

"Dr. Du Huizhen from the School of Journalism and Communication, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, believes that ‘scholar strategy’ has a unique significance in publicizing our national image. She says that scholars’ multiple identities, authoritative status, nature of work, and academic positions all account for the fact that implementing the ‘scholar strategy’ is more diverse than only discussing how to improve media: it can have interpersonal dissemination, organizational dissemination, and media dissemination. Therefore, if we utilize the scholars’ roles well when building our national image, then through their participation in academic activities, we can have a more thorough and lasting impact."

"Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Documentation and Information Center researcher Zhang Shuhua has made several suggestions on ‘walking outside’: establish political confidence and national self-confidence; be good at expressing and not afraid to change our styles and discourse system; actively contribute to writing articles and utilizing our high level ‘think tanks’; form international forums, bring up international topics, and set the global agenda; establish a variety of international academic exchange funds in order to build the bridge of ‘walking outside, and inviting in’; and gather talent, especially good translation teams in all languages."

"In the process of gaining the right to speak and the right to lead and enhance dissemination power, philosophy and the social sciences can have a great impact. They will have an irreplaceable role in the timely and powerful dissemination of China’s voice to the world."

[1] Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Feb 2, 2010

“Forum on China’s Internet Media” and a Secure Internet

Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, attended the Ninth Forum on China’s Internet Media and delivered the keynote address, titled "Internet Media Must be Responsible for Internet Security." Wang stressed that "From the stand point of national security, information security, and cultural security, Internet media must adapt to the new requirements and new changes according to the current situation, earnestly implement the central authorities’ important policies and strategies on strengthening Internet development and management, and actively respond to network security challenges based on domestic and international situations. " [3]

Wang Chen said, "China officially connected to the Worldwide Internet in 1994. After 15 years of development, China’s Internet population reached 360 million. The Internet penetration rate is equal to the world average. In recent years, China’s development of the Internet has presented some new features: First, the information form of communication is transforming from text-based to multimedia with audio, video, photos and other forms. It is estimated that currently more than 50% of online communication in China is in the form of audio, video and other multimedia. … Second, the main application area of the Internet is rapidly extending from information communication and consumer entertainment into business services, and e-commerce. The Internet developed rapidly, and has begun to impact the national economy in a deeper and wider way. … Third, the service model is changing from information provider to platform provider. … Fourth, the means of communication is extending from traditional Internet to mobile Internet. With the development of 3G networks, mobile phone Internet is becoming a new trend.

I would like to take this opportunity to make a few comments and suggestions:

1. We need to maintain a sense of responsibility and urgency for effectively enhancing network security. The Internet has become part of our nation’s major infrastructure. On-line information is an important strategic national resource, and is closely related to people’s daily life. Effectively maintaining network security and Internet information flow security is the fundamental requirement for safeguarding national security and people’s fundamental interests, promoting economic development and cultural prosperity, and maintaining social harmony and stability. The more powerful and influential the Internet media communication is, the more security and reliability it requires. … The security of the Internet media information flow not only impacts the image and reputation of the particular media, but also impacts the healthy development of the Internet industry. Maintaining network security is to promote better development of Internet media and the Internet itself.

2. We should earnestly view improving the ability to guide public opinion online as an important measure for maintaining Internet security. China is in a critical period of reform and development, a period when social contradictions are prominent, and various ideas and values are actively interacting. Online public opinion is pluralistic, diverse, and dynamic. Effectively guiding online public opinion is a major means to maintain online information security. It is related to our success and social harmony. In recent years, Internet media has carefully followed the central government’s spirit, firmly grasped the correct orientation, and … effectively assisted the Party and state government’s work. Guiding online public opinion has become a new innovative highlight of the Party’s propaganda and ideological work in the information era.

3. We should effectively treat regulating network communication as a key link in maintaining Internet security. … At present, more than 85% of news and information about current political affairs on China’s Internet is from the central government and local key news websites. Our online news and information communication are standardized and orderly on the whole. … Internet media must carefully implement the "Administrative Regulations of Internet News and Information Services" and other relevant laws and regulations, strictly abide by the news propaganda discipline, and conscientiously improve the information production and dissemination process in order to ensure that the news sources are from legitimate formal sites, and the news content is true and accurate. Relevant authorities should strengthen their supervision over Internet communication according to the law, and severely penalize illegal acts of Internet communication, in order to achieve the timely dissemination of network information flow, while ensuring the security and orderly flow of online information.

4. The effective protection of the physical and mental health of minors must be placed in a prominent position when maintaining Internet security. 

5. We should rely on promoting the online media industry’s self-regulation as an important guarantee for safeguarding Internet security. Internet media practitioners and the majority of Internet users are the main body to maintain Internet security. They are also an important force for safeguarding Internet security. In recent years, with the joint efforts of all parties concerned, the online media industry’s self-regulation has made significant progress, which has played an important role in ensuring Internet security. … First, the Internet industry organizations should play a leading role in building self-regulation, improving the self-regulatory mechanism, expanding the scope of self-discipline, and guiding the industry to build websites, while following the law with integrity and civilization in order to form a safe and orderly business service environment. Second, the Internet operating enterprises and websites must properly undertake their social responsibility to further strengthen network security, consciously accept supervision and guidance from government authorities, improve the internal information security management system, and consciously accept public supervision. Third, we should carry out widespread Internet security education to raise public awareness of network security issues, strengthen their self-defense capability, and form a good trend toward the whole society jointly safeguarding Internet security.

6. We should earnestly view promoting Internet creditability as an important foundation for maintaining Internet security."[4]

Xinhuanet published an article on November 25, 2009, stating that to "establish a ‘sense of social responsibility’ is absolutely an important and indispensable element." "First of all, Internet security needs leadership. It is the Government’s responsibility to improve Internet security management and enhance the Internet security’s defense capability. Since the earlier years, when we ‘crossed the river by feeling the stones,’ we were pleased to see that the Chinese government has been making relentless efforts to build Internet security. The authorities have successively promulgated and implemented a series of rules and regulations, issued laws and regulations related to Internet security, and formed an emergency response system to deal with Internet security emergencies. These are our guidelines for building a secure Internet.

Secondly, as an important foundation for today’s information society, Internet media became the first barrier to ensuring Internet security. The media must assume responsibility for being a "security starting point." … The security of Internet media information flow not only impacts that media’s image and reputation, but it also impacts the healthy development of the Internet industry. Maintaining network security will promote better development of Internet media and the Internet itself.

Finally, another strong Internet participating group, Internet users, is also an important force in safeguarding Internet security. … We need all users to assume social responsibility as public opinion supervisors for Internet media, and to work shoulder to shoulder with the Internet industry." [3]

On November 24, Global Times quoted Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, "In recent years, China’s Internet industry has developed rapidly, and presented many new features in information form, application areas, service models and means of communication, thus raising higher requirements for Internet security. The Internet has brought tremendous changes to social life, while providing a lot of convenience. Internet security issues have become increasingly prominent, especially in the area where pornography and other harmful materials seriously damage the physical and mental health of minors, network hacking, and viruses seriously threaten Internet operation security, and online fraud, theft and other cyber crimes directly endanger the safety of public property. … From the standpoint of national security, information security, and cultural security, Internet media must adapt to the new requirements of the new changes in this situation, earnestly implement the central authorities’ important policies and strategies on strengthening Internet development and management, and actively respond to network security challenges based on domestic and international situations. We should effectively enhance the awareness of Internet security issues, actively develop and strictly manage the Internet according to the law, strengthen self-discipline, and promote honesty. We need to maintain network security while promoting information flow, ensure the security of online information flow, further enhance the influence and credibility of online media, build a healthy, civilized, safe and orderly network environment, and create an Internet development path with Chinese characteristics." [1]

"Declaration of Building a Secure Internet" commitments: Grasp how to guide public opinion in the correct direction. Adhere to positive news reporting and encourage unity and stability. Insist on serving the nation’s interests and the people’s interests; strive to report touching, credible and influential online news with Internet characteristics; and do a solid job in guiding public opinion by pooling people’s wisdom, allaying public confusion, diverting people’s grievances, rallying public opinion and winning people’s hearts. Through reporting and guidance, (we should) ensure that the Internet is dominated by positive and healthy contents and rational and civilized opinions. Adhere to the goal of building a civilized Internet, and strengthen Internet media self-discipline. Always give priority to social benefits, and conscientiously assume social responsibility. Resolutely resist all negative information that damages social stability and the public interest, and resolutely eliminate pornographic and other harmful information. … Conscientiously follow laws and regulations, operate and manage websites according to the law. Raise legal awareness, prevent (the spread of) illegal information, and maintain normal order for online communication. Strengthen the development of website security systems, strictly standardize the security procedure for information production and delivery, and effectively safeguard the security, authority and credibility of Internet media and online information. … Focus on improving the awareness of Internet information security, and vigorously promote internet integrity … and widespread Internet security knowledge, and enhance public self-defense capabilities. … We should provide guidance to netizens so that they form good habits of being honest and trustworthy online. …To enhance the development of Internet media platforms, improve information security. To strengthen technical innovation, management innovation, and operation innovation, enhance the overall power of Internet media, and make Internet media a powerful body and main foundation for maintaining Internet and information security. Strengthen the Internet infrastructure and technology development, actively promote research development and technological progress, optimize Internet structure, improve communication capacity, and provide reliable safeguards for Internet information security.

[1] Global Times, November 24, 2009
[2] Xinhua, November 24, 2009
[3] Xinhua, November 25, 2009
[4] Xinhua, November 24, 2009

Yang Huanning’s Talk at the National Video Teleconference on Political and Legislative Affairs

MPS: Anticipate and Prevent the Enemy’s Actions in China and Overseas; Prevail by Using Preemptive Strikes

The Executive Vice Minister of MPS: Yang Huanning

December 18, 2009

Since the year 2009, we have faced the new situation of China’s economy being deeply impacted by the international financial crisis, and the heavy task of maintaining social stability. We have also faced the new challenge of the complicated situation of struggling against our enemies, and new social security problems. Under the strong leadership of the CCCCP, the State Council, and various levels of local party committees and governments, the nation’s public security authorities have firmly adhered to the requirement of "maintaining growth, maintaining people’s livelihood, and maintaining stability," and focused our work around the main goal of the security tasks for the 60th anniversary of establishing the PRC. With overall coordination and planning, we have put our best effort into strictly guarding against and cracking down on the hostile forces’ sabotage activities both inside and outside of China. We have properly and quickly taken care of major massive unrest triggered by social conflict. We have focused on maintaining the social stability of Urumqi City, of the whole Xinjiang area, of Tibet, and of other Tibetan areas. We have carried out anti-crime, explosives, and gun control public security operations. We have covered more areas carrying out activities of the "Great Visit" [2] and we have comprehensively strengthened and improved social management and services. With all these, we have effectively and persistently safeguarded the country’s overall social stability, and have made new contributions in promoting steady and rapid economic growth and ensuring that people live peacefully and joyfully.

At the same time, we are clearly aware that, at present, the country is at a special historic period of socioeconomic transition and prone to frequent social conflicts. The international financial crisis is still having an effect; the world economic and political structures are undergoing profound changes; and we are still facing various foreseeable and unforeseeable risks and challenges from both inside and outside of China. The main factors that affect national security and social stability include western anti-China forces’ plots to westernize and disintegrate China, conflicts and disputes between countries, the hostile forces disruptive and sabotage activities, increasingly complex and diverse conflicts among the people, and all kinds of traditional and new public security problems. In the new year, the situation for maintaining stability won’t be easy and the pressure won’t be any less. … (We ought to) focus on the following six tasks:

First, firmly grasp the initiative in combat against the enemies.(We should) further enhance our political sensitivity and discernment; do in-depth studies to correctly understand the new changes and characteristics of the enemies; vigorously enhance intelligence work; keenly guard against and crack down on sabotage activities by domestic and foreign hostile forces, ethnic separatist forces, violent and terrorist forces, religious extremist forces, and "Falun Gong"; and strive to predict, prevent, and preempt the enemies’ actions. We should conscientiously carry out the deployment of the CCCCP; properly handle the critical relationship between current and long term issues, domestic and overseas issues, the struggle against the enemy, and conflicts among our own people; comprehensively strengthen the working mechanism and grass-roots infrastructure buildup to maintain the stability of Xinjiang and Tibet; continuously improve the ability to initiate combat, prevent attacks, and handle emergencies; and give our best effort to maintain the social stability of Xinjiang and Tibet.

Second, we must do everything possible to safeguard social stability. 1) We should thoroughly carry out the task of resolving conflicts and disputes. We should resolve problems at the roots, actively participate in the development of a social stability risk assessment system, and the "Great Mediation" [3] system, improve the early-warning mechanism of massive unrest, and focus more on accurately comprehending public opinion and timely collecting intelligence. We need to prevent the occurrence of massive social unrest at the roots. 2) We should establish and improve the mechanism for handling emergent situations. We should enhance the study of the characteristics of handling major emergent incidents and constantly improve an emergency response system that meets our needs in real situations. We should also clearly understand the command jurisdiction and procedure, and on-site processing options and requirements, so as to make sure that whenever major emergencies occur, the key leadership of the local public security authorities is able to arrive at the command position at the earliest time to coordinate available resources and take care of everything in a timely, appropriate, and efficient manner. 3) We should focus on improving on-site handling ability. … Coordinate well the handling of emergencies, taking domestic and international influences into consideration, prevail in both battlefields of the Internet and other forms of mass media, effectively strengthen the work of guiding public opinion, and properly responding to reactions both inside China and overseas. 4) Strengthen the development of support for emergent situations. Vigorously strengthen the development of special forces with a main focus on the special police unit; further enhance the abilities of the police force to provide security safeguards and emergency responses. …

Third, we should fully implement comprehensive management and control measures on public security. 1) Adhere to the “strike hard” policy to harshly crack down on all serious criminal activities. … 2) Follow the unified deployment of the Committee for the Comprehensive Management of Public Security to fix critical security issues and carry out the cleanup of places with poor public security. … 3) Focus on strengthening social security management and control measures; be determined to prevent loopholes in the areas of management and control. … 4) Build a prevention and control network based on a street-level monitoring network and actively advance a dynamic prevention and control system of public security. Promptly institutionalize societal patrols in large and medium-size cities; extend the tentacles of prevention and control to reach farther into the communities and work places, as well as residential areas inside cities, suburban areas, and the junctions of administrative regions; focus on building a dynamic and multi-dimensional prevention and control network of public security that combines manpower, equipment, and technology, and integrates both the Internet and other mass media. Strive for accomplishing the prevention and control system at the provincial, municipal, and county levels within three years, starting next year.

Fourth, we should do well in the security work for the Shanghai World Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games. 1) Fully borrow successful experiences from the Beijing Olympics, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and the 11th National Games. … 2) Under the unified leadership of the CCCCP, relying closely on the local party committees and governments, widely mobilize all social forces, balance and coordinate them together, and form a security structure where the working forces includes the general Chinese people in addition to  special forces. … 3) Focus on overall prevention and control. The public security authorities in Shanghai and Guangdong should fully utilize the integrated effects of manpower, technology, and equipment; make a tight and dense social prevention and control network; strictly control hazardous materials; strictly protect key positions; strictly govern crucial hidden risks; and strictly prevent individual extreme violence, major criminal offences, and major security incidents from happening. Public security authorities in the areas surrounding Shanghai and Guangdong should keep in mind that it is a coordinated effort all over the country as on a “single chess-board,” Be actively supportive and fully cooperative, construct a solid security line of moat-like defense, have strict personal, vehicle, and goods inspections, and give your best effort to filtering out all kinds of insecure factors and blocking them from the outside. … 4) Strengthen the information and intelligence consultation system, perfect all kinds of pre-arranged work planning, improve capabilities of timely detection, proactive attacks, and preemptive strikes on enemies, resolutely prevent hostile forces and elements from creating significant damage and major incidents, resolutely prevent the occurrence of violent terrorist attacks, resolutely prevent the occurrence of major mass incidents that could impact the World Expo and the Asian Games, ensure the absolute safety of security objects and security targets, and ensure the absolute safety of the open park ceremony at the World Expo, the opening and closing ceremonies at the Asian Games, and important contests at the Asian Games. …

Fifth, further promote the “Three Basics” Project [4] and the “Three Developments.” [5] 1) Accelerate the development of information technology in public security authorities. Build a “Grand Intelligence” information system within the public security system and comprehensively promote the second stage of the “Golden Shield Project.” Strive to finish the intelligence information platform at the provincial, municipal, and county levels before the end of next year, and achieve a high degree of information sharing and a high efficiency of information linkage and applications. … 2) Vigorously strengthen the development of standardization of law enforcement procedures. … 3) Strive to build a harmonious relationship between the police and the public. … 4) Further strengthen the grass-roots development of public security work. Continue to deepen the policing strategies in residential communities and rural areas; scientifically and reasonably arrange security manpower and organize police activities; work hard to make the security offices in rural areas be the first line of defense for maintaining stability as well as the first platform for serving the people. …

Sixth, we should further strengthen and improve the public security team. 1) Thoroughly implement the policy of the party’s Fourth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee. … Improve the team’s overall competency and performance in all aspects as well as their capabilities for completing their duties. 2) Further enhance the efforts in education and training. For next year, focus on doing a good job in running the three training classes for directors of municipal police stations, political directors of provincial and municipal public security authorities, and leaders of provincial and municipal information departments of the public security authorities. The provincial and municipal public security authorities shall give extensive training to all grass roots level police station chiefs. … 3) Further intensify supervision and management. …

[1] Heilongjiang Information Net, December 28, 2009
[2] The “Great Visit” is a project launched by the Ministry of Public Security that calls for policemen nationwide to walk into the homes of individual families to solve problems or handle social conflicts. It was initially a temporary project for the period around the Chinese New Year, from the end of 2008 to March 2009. Later the MPS advised the national police force to make it a long-term mechanism. It is believed to be a channel for the MPS to collect grass-root level information from Chinese households while strengthening social control.                                   
[3] The “Great Mediation” system is a societal mediation system that the Communist Party and the central and local administration have implemented. Private individuals, administrative agencies, and judicial organs are used to guide the mediation of social conflicts.                        
[4] The “Three Basics” Project refers to: Focusing on the basic level of police forces, improving the basic infrastructure of police work, and training every policeman in basic skills.
[5] The “Three Developments” refers to: Development of information technology in the public security system; development of standard law enforcement procedures; development of a harmonious relationship between the police and the public.

Eight-Episode TV Documentary Series: Preparing for Danger in Times of Safety, Episode Eight

{Editor’s Note: In June 2006, Beijing released an eight-episode TV documentary series: Preparing For Danger In Times Of Safety – Historic Lessons Learned from the Demise of Soviet Communism. It was a research project conducted by the government think tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Science. Afterwards, the Chinese Communist Party instructed party members across the nation to watch the series and launch serious discussions. The script of the prelude of the documentary quotes Hu Jintao’s words, “There are multiple factors contributing to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a very important one being Khrushchev throwing away Stalin’s knife and Gorbachev’s open betrayal of Marxism-Leninism.” The full text of the narratives has been translated. What follows is the eighth episode.}

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Air Force Colonel Dai Xu on the Chinese Air Force at Its 60th Anniversary

How the Chinese Air Force Ranks at the End of the Second Tier in the World

Moderator: First question, what is our Air Force’s position among the countries with strong air forces in the world? Compared to the United States and other developed countries, what are the gaps? About how long will it take in the future (for the Chinese Air Force) to be able to equal the U.S. Air Force?

Dai Xu: First, our Air Force’s position among the air forces in the world: Among the countries with great and strong air forces, we are basically between the second tier and the third. There is only one country in the first tier; obviously it is the United States. A country’s air force power represents its overall power. Whatever kind of power a nation has, it has that kind of air force. European countries and Russia belong to the second tier; Brazil and India belong to the third tier. We are now in between the second and third tier, at the end of the second tier and at the front of the third tier.

Second, our gaps with the United States and other developed countries: There is a big gap with the second tier, and an even a larger gap with the first tier, the United States. This is mainly reflected in several aspects. The first is the gap in the overall air force shapes and systems. The United States (Air Force) has a considerable amount of space elements and it is one body with space and air. Air forces in European countries and the Russian Air Force are partially one body with space and air. And we only just established the ideology for such a concept. The gap is here, the overall shape and system gap. We are two to three decades behind the United States. It would take us eight to ten years to equip ourselves.  From starting to equip to having combat capabilities, to forming a mass scale, it would still take a long period of time, so in general it should be 20 to 30 years. It is probably such a long time gap.

… I think that when our national industrial strength and technological power match that of the United States, our Air Force will match its (Air Force). When we have our own aviation industry, like Boeing, we can expect to own something such as the F22 that the United States has.

Moderator: The second question, Teacher Dai Xu, you have proposed that the Chinese Air Force should have the ability to intercept the enemy 4,000 kilometers away. Do you think we now have this capability? In other words, is the Chinese Air Force capable of defending China’s territorial airspace from invasion? Which parts need to be improved?

Dai Xu: In the Global Times and other series of media, I proposed that the new Chinese Air Force in the future should be able to conduct a war of interception 4,000 kilometers away from our shoreline. This is considered based on the national geographic situation and economic layout. Coastal areas account for only 10% of our country (territory), but produce 70% of our country’s GDP. That is, our country’s economic center and lifeblood are in the coastal areas. But we do not have an in depth defense that makes our coastal areas safe enough. Because our country has pursued a non-aligned foreign policy, we do not have any naval or air bases abroad, and therefore cannot provide our coastal defense from a wide range and great depth. We do not have any aircraft carriers, or any diving defense, so the Air Force must have a remote deterrence. … So I think that a war should not happen in our airspace and territory, because of our cities, and because our coastal zones cannot afford a war. War may happen in the public space, or over the invader’s land or airspace, but must not break out on our soil.

As to the second question, we currently do not have the ability. The Air Force’s future ability that I propose refers to the plane dimension. We also need three-dimensional vertical defense capabilities. Contemporary air forces in a lot of big countries already have the capacity to wage war from space. We advocate peaceful use of space. But we should also have the capability of anti-space warfare, just as we oppose the use of nuclear weapons, but possess nuclear weapons. … The Chinese Air Force can now defend our airspace, but must never engage war in our airspace. We pursue a defensive policy and we are not going to invade any country. However, we must not allow a war to come closer to us. … There is a need to enhance our capacities; one is to strengthen the development of our entire system. We should enhance our long-range strike capability in the vertical direction and with planes.

Moderator: Regarding the air force aircraft engine. We all know that the most advanced Taihang engines have appeared in the picture. Teacher Dai Xu, please introduce the Taihang engine and its significance to our Internet readers.

Dai Xu: In the aviation industry, the engine has always been our worry and also a heart disease for our Air Force. So far, our own people have not developed the engines of our main fighters, and we do not have a single self-developed engine. So this is the direction the Air Force as well as our aviation industry have been working toward. For the time being, we are vigorously doing research and development, and are vigorously catching up. However, by now, this technology cannot be said to be fully mature. It still cannot completely replace the imported ones and some features still need to be further improved. But I believe, with the development of our future aviation industry, we will definitely have our own engines, not only the fighter’s engine, but also large aircraft engines.

Moderator: The Taiwan Air Force is used to claim that it has a quality advantage compared to the mainland. Although cross-strait relations are at ease, the mainland Air Force is undoubtedly the imaginary enemy for the Taiwan Air Force. How do you compare the cross-strait air forces?

Dai Xu: I think we should not focus our energy on the other side of the Strait. The Taiwan issue is a very complex and comprehensive problem. To resolve the Taiwan issue requires superb strategic wisdom, and we should not stare at Taiwan. … We should not limit our development goals and strategic vision to the limited number of specific issues at hand. So I recommend that our vision should jump out of the Taiwan Strait. Look at the world, and pay attention to the world.

Moderator: What kind of concept is the so-called strategic air force? What does it refer to? We have repeatedly proposed to have the Air Force become a strategic air force? Why do we think this way? What is the purpose?

Dai Xu: The so-called strategic air force I understand is to look at the Air Force from the height of our national strategy, rather than to understand the meaning of the Air Force from the military services. The strategic Air Force is to position the Air Force from the height of world war. That is that the Air Force is no longer the Air Force of a type of military service. The so-called military service means that the Air Force is to support the army and navy operations, or accomplish the fight alone. That limits its space within the war. In fact the strategic Air Force should be on national grand strategy to a high degree. That is, the Air Force also involves the country’s relief operations in peacetime, a number of humanitarian relief operations, some anti-terrorism activities, new missions, and other concerns.

It can also play a strategic deterrence capability, which positions the Air Force from the height of our national strategy, instead of understanding the Air Force as a type of military service. Why do we propose a strategic air force at this stage? It mainly considers the current situation of the Air Force. Since our country’s industry and technology have fallen behind and the homeland defense strategy has been implemented for many years, the Air Force’s development has been greatly affected and has basically been a homeland defense type of Air Force, which is different from the nature of the world’s air forces. Therefore, based on this reality and the country’s needs, not only must the Air Force change its equipment, but it must also reconstruct its theory and strategic thinking. So this is one of the reasons why we have recently proposed to build a strategic air force. Its purpose is to enable us to understand the Air Force’s natural attributes ideologically, recognize the security challenges that our country faces, and understand the Air Force’s mission in the future of our national security and development. (Let’s) do our best to use out thoughts, actions and equipment to build a space-air-one-body air force with offensive and defensive capabilities.


With China’s Rising Power, Japan’s Ability to Interfere with Taiwan Has Weakened

For a long time, Japan has been the second largest external interference factor on the Taiwan issue, next to the United States. Now due to significant changes in a number of factors, Japan’s influence on the Taiwan issue has already begun, and will continue to weaken. The emergence and development of this trend will help reduce Japan’s interference on the Taiwan issue, and thus, in turn, will help Sino-Japanese relations toward a healthy and sustainable direction.

"The Japan-Taiwan relationship" is the basis of Japan’s influence on the Taiwan issue. Since Ma Ying-jeou took the presidency in May 2008, the Japan-Taiwan relationship has undergone the most significant changes in the past decades. The change may even be a turning point. In September 1972, China and Japan established diplomatic relations, while Japan and Taiwan terminated diplomatic ties; this was a turning point in the Japan-Taiwan relationship. However, this turning point might not be as significant and profound as the changes that occurred after May 2008. It is well known that, since Chiang Kai-shek and his son retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the Japan-Taiwan relationship has always been very close. Although Japan, unlike the United States, never publicly protected and supported Taiwan, Japan and the Taiwan authorities kept quiet but close military, political, economic, and cultural contacts over the years. Japan also had close contact with people of all circles in Taiwan. During the two decades when Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian were presidents, the Japan-Taiwan relationship was in some ways even closer than the relationship between Taiwan and the United States.

However, the post May 2008 Japan-Taiwan relationship has been very different. In the past more than a year, although Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly proclaimed that he valued the importance of the Japan-Taiwan relationship, and that Japan and Taiwan have a "special partnership," the fact is that the Japan-Taiwan relationship has materially declined. The most important facts are: the Japan and Taiwan conflict worsened over the Senkaku Islands issue; the Japanese Representative in Taiwan openly declared that "Taiwan’s status is undetermined," which caused strong opposition from Ma Ying-jeou; Taiwan strongly opposed Japan’s dispatch of Self Defense Forces stationed in Yonaguni Island. It is clear that the Japanese government strongly distrusts Ma Ying-jeou and has taken repeated measures to pressure him, while Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly responded strongly. This indicates that the Japan-Taiwan relationship has seriously declined, reaching the lowest level since 1949.

It is widely believed that Ma Ying-jeou’s "anti-Japanese" attitude led to the serious decline of the relationship. Ma Ying-jeou is the leader of the Taiwan region. His philosophy and position will significantly influence Taiwan’s policies. However, the major and profound change in the Japan-Taiwan relationship is obviously due not only to the change of leadership in Taiwan, or to their individual ideas, positions and policies. The turning-point change in the Japan-Taiwan relationship is the result of a number of combined factors. Ma Ying-jeou’s taking office accelerated and amplified the changes.

From Taiwan’s perspective, while there may have been some "historical connections" between Japan and Lee Teng-hui, there was only pure mutual interest between Chen Shui-bian and Japan. The interest based relationship between Chen Shui-bian and Japan was extremely unequal. Japan fully regards Taiwan as a bargaining chip in its policy toward China, while Chen Shui-bian tried to use Japan as another external protector and supporter for his "Taiwan independence" and separatism. Therefore, during the eight years when Chen Shui-bian was in office, the "Japan-Taiwan relationship" seemed to be "close," but actually it was Chen Shui-bian that was groveling and pleasing Japan at the expense of Taiwan’s core interests. After eight years of Chen Shui-bian’s presidency, the Japan-Taiwan relationship had become a model that Taiwan was totally dependent on Japan’s interests and policies. After Ma Ying-jeou took office, in fact, he has not had any anti-Japanese attitude or policy, but instead has been trying to more effectively protect Taiwan’s interests in the Japan-Taiwan relationship.

In the future, if Ma Ying-jeou and other KMT members continue to "govern," the Japan-Taiwan relationship will definitely not return to the situation of the past two decades. However, if Japan changes its tough measures toward Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan relationship will ease and improve. The ruling of the Democratic Party in Japan provides a realistic possibility. If the Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) again took office in Taiwan, it is still uncertain whether it would repeat Chen Shui-bian’s policy in the Japan-Taiwan relationship. We must point out that Chen Shui-bian’s pro-Japan policy is part of the "Taiwan independence" policy. If the DPP continues its "Taiwan independence" policy, it is bound to be pro-Japan, and they will certainly end up having the same fate as Chen Shui-bian.

Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue is the main driver behind Japan’s influence on the Taiwan issue. The greater the ability is, the greater its impact on Taiwan, and vice versa. Fundamentally and in the long run, Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue depends on the Sino-Japanese comprehensive national power, and the rise and fall of the two nations.

Over the sixty years since 1949, Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue, has experienced a process of going from weak to strong, and from strong to weak. In fact, this is precisely the change in Japan’s impact on Taiwan. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Japan-Taiwan relationship was very close. Japan was a strong supporter of Taiwan, second only to the U.S. However, Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue was not outstanding. First of all, Japan had not yet completely come out of the shadow of being a defeated country. Not only was its ability to interfere with the Taiwan issue limited, but it was also hard for Japan to publicly conduct many activities. For example, Japan could only send military advisors to Taiwan in a secret and unofficial way. Second, at that time Japan was totally affiliated with the United States politically, militarily and diplomatically. Without its own independent policy, Japan completely followed the United States on the Taiwan issue. These two factors determined that Japan didn’t have outstanding abilities to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue at the time.

During the seventies and eighties of the last century, due to the establishment of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations and subsequent significant improvement of the relationship, Japan’s interference with Taiwan was generally measured and limited, albeit never discontinued. As a result, its intervention and interference did not come under the spotlight.

The important changes started in the mid-nineties of the last century, and continued to May 2008. Since the end of the Cold War, Japan has regarded China as its main competitor for dominance in Asia. The Taiwan issue has become one of its key strategic tools to contain China. This led to an unprecedented, strong attempt to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue by investing increased resources. Since the Cold War, U.S. policy toward China has been constantly adjusted between two ends. Japan thus attempted to take advantage of the inconsistency in the U.S.’s China policy to up its intervention and interference in the Taiwan issue, in order to achieve a strategic advantage over China. One of the important manifestations was trying to include Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait into the scope of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan. Because the anti-"Taiwan independence" and anti-separatist struggles intensified cross-strait relations for a long period, the room for Japan to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue expanded. Thus the relationship between Japan and Taiwan became close again, with the former’s influence in Taiwan significantly enhanced. These changes have led to clearly stronger abilities for Japan to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue than during the fifties or sixties of the last century.

We believe that Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with Taiwan is decreasing. This is the inevitable result of the long-term and determinant factor that China has a comparatively stronger comprehensive national power. Although starting from the late last century, China had an advantage in comprehensive national power over Japan, it was not prominent due to Japan’s being ahead of China in the economy, science, and technology. This was the deep-seated cause behind Japan’s increased intervention and interference in the Taiwan issue. Entering into the 21st century, as China’s economy, science, and technology have maintained a fast development momentum since 1978, China’s total GDP is close to Japan’s, and will possibly exceed Japan. Therefore, comparing their comprehensive national powers, China already has an obvious and ever enlarging advantage over Japan. As a result, enhancing Sino-Japanese mutual trust and developing Sino-Japanese friendship and cooperation is bound to be a focus of Japan’s external strategies and policies. Reducing and avoiding the negative impact of the Taiwan issue in the Sino-Japanese relationship will inevitably be Japan’s Democratic Party’s policy toward China and Taiwan. It can be expected in the future for quite a long period of time, that, although Japan will not completely stop intervening and interfering with the Taiwan issue, its intensity will be substantially reduced. Correspondingly, Japan’s ability to intervene and interfere with the Taiwan issue will also show a weakening trend.

Some Japanese have attempted to make a "deal" with China, using the Taiwan issue in the Sino-Japanese relationship. They seem to recognize the importance of the Taiwan issue, but actually do not understand the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue in the Sino-Japanese relationship. China will never make any "deal" with Japan on the Taiwan issue. Currently and in the future, Japan’s weakened influence on the Taiwan issue is obviously beneficial to the improvement and development of the Sino-Japanese relationship.

The fact that Japan’s influence on the Taiwan issue has weakened will prompt people to calmly and clearly realize that, as external disturbance factors, the impact on the Taiwan issue from Japan, and from the United States, is not only limited, but also will entirely possibly be weaker.  Therefore, no matter under what circumstances, we should not over emphasize these external factors. The most important thing is, in any case, that we must enhance our comprehensive national power, and focus on the formulation and implementation of correct and mature Taiwan policies and strategies.

[1] Global Times, November 22, 2009

The Opportunities and Challenges Faced by the Former World Socialist Movement

The international financial crisis triggered a rethinking of capitalism. The non-western developmental model has received attention. The left wing forces have manifested vitality during the crisis. The world socialist movement is facing a new opportunity. On the other hand, the left wing’s “right to speak” has been stifled. Some left-wing political parties find it hard for their ideologies and operational capacity to cope with the new situation. The world socialist movement is facing a major challenge.

The international financial crisis has had a profound impact on the current and future international political and economic structure and on socio-political ideas, prompting a new round of growth and decline of the world forces. The world socialist movement is facing a new opportunity for development and a new challenge.

The Opportunity

The new liberalism has lost its previous aura. The ruling parties in the world’s governments are adjusting their developmental ideologies. The socialist moral values are receiving renewed attention. After the dramatic changes in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Europe countries, the new liberalism’s economic policies’ disadvantages have failed to achieve widespread prosperity and have instead been exposed. People are reflecting upon capitalism and paying attention to socialist values. While the superiority of and confidence in capitalism have been suffering setbacks, socialism is gaining the upper hand in terms of ideology and morality. Some politicians and scholars in capitalist countries think that the financial crisis highlights the importance and necessity of reform and the upgrade of capitalism. They advocate a combination of multi-systems and multi-targets in capitalism. They hope to reform capitalism using political, financial, legal, and ideological approaches. The thinking and exploration into developmental models in the international community has not only stimulated the enthusiasm of the left-wing to pursue socialism, but has also forced many countries to adopt more government intervention and to increase social security. The shift in international opinion and the measures to cope with the crisis have, once again, proved the rationality of socialism, enhanced the attractiveness of socialist theories, and provided a good ideological and public opinion environment for the development of the world socialist movement.

Throughout the financial crisis, the communist parties have reinforced the faith in socialism and adopted corresponding measures to speed up its development. For non-ruling communist parties, the international financial crisis has created a beneficial social environment. Many Communist parties have advocated their policies through the use of rallies, parades, and open statements. The French Communist Party called on all party members to “gather all forces to cope with the crisis and build up a new world,” to initiate a series of activities such as “protecting public schools,” “opposing the government’s manipulation and support of the privatization of the post offices,” etc. It proposed that the government stop providing financial support to speculators, reduce unemployment, fight for housing rights, and improve purchase power. The left-wing party in Europe in its 2nd Congress put forward the “New Policy”, in contrast to the new liberalism, calling for a strengthened alliance and coordination among the left-wing parties in Europe, including the communist parties. The goal was to change the current situation in Europe through uniting with other social movements such as the labor unions in Europe, achieving their replacement by the left-wing. The alliance of left-wing parties at the regional and international levels will not only enhance their ideological communication, but also maintain cooperation and mutual support in operations, strengthening the left-wing as a whole body. Overall, the majority of the communist parties are grasping this rare opportunity, uniting with all kinds of new anti-capitalist social movements, and proactively engaging in activities to continuously advance the world socialist movement.

Recently, a few communist and socialist parties have been emphasizing their characteristics by showing a trend toward “returning” or “turning left.” To curb the momentum of their waning influence, some communist and socialist parties have been reflecting upon and readjusting their policies. In recent years, the communist party in South Africa has advocated for independence (from the government) on policies and has emphasized the characteristics of the communist party. On development strategies, it asked for more radical policies to protect the interests of the poor, giving equality a higher priority. In a multi-party system, the social democratic parties still belong to the left-wing camp. After the onset of the financial crisis, the socialist parties took advantage of the people’s feeling of dissatisfaction to attack the right-wing government, declaring, “Save free-market capitalism using social democracy,” and “Return to social democracy.” To regain power, some socialist parties, one by one, have grasped the current advantageous opportunity to engage in a good battle with the right-wing. The European socialist party again raised the flag of “Socialist Europe” that was once coldly received as the “New Keynesianism.” It proposed the “European Economic Management Model” which advocates a balanced development of the economy, society, and the environment. Most socialist parties have reflected on their economic and social reforms, and have put more emphasis on policies such as government intervention, the development of small and medium sized businesses, improving people’s livelihood, and ensuring labor rights. The French socialist party has crafted a directive policy document for 2008-2011. It strongly supports protecting the right to work for the working class, raises a new development model, and formulates a practical policy based on the left-wing standpoint.

Those in the Latin American left-wing forces have improved their political environment and consolidated their ruling position. With the background of the international financial crisis, the Obama administration expressed friendship toward them during the Summit of the Americas, relaxed the sanctions against Cuba, and improved the relationship with Chavez. These moves are conducive to further establishing the political environment of the leftist forces in Latin America, and are especially reflected in the fact that some left-wing parties won in recent elections and continue to be the ruling party. Their domestic political status was further stabilized, and the structure of “strong left and weak right” was further enhanced. Socialism has become an ideal goal for many countries in Latin America.

Because of China’s development and its outstanding performance during this crisis, many countries are attracted by and paying great attention to “the China model.” Through reform and opening up, socialist countries will win advantages comparable to the capitalist countries and become more attractive. Deng Xiaoping once said that “as long as China does not fall, a fifth of the world’s population will adhere to socialism.” “When China becomes stable and realizes its goals of development, socialism will manifest it advantages.” The success of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the development and growth of the socialist countries during the reform and opening up will contribute to the revival and development of world socialism. It also shows that the history of socialism will not terminate.


The ruling right-wing parties in western countries have taken advantage of the opportunities of coping with the crisis and continuously suppressed the left wing’s voice and activity space. After the onset of the financial crisis, the developed capitalist countries, such as the U.S., U.K., and France, adopted measures different from previous governance rationale by enhancing financial supervision and enhancing the government’s interference in the economy. The ruling right-wing parties now consider the policies that the left-wing parties promoted in the past to be effective medicine. When facing the crisis, the left-wing was even at a loss for words and could not propose better methods to cope with the crisis. To show that they are different from the right-wing, some left-wing parties have advocated radical ideologies. Their extremist left-wing opinions are not at all practical, and the majority can hardly accept them. Because the traditional left-wing vocal advantage cannot function when the right-wing loudly voices their ideas, the activity space for the left-wing will surely be suppressed. The ruling left-wing parties face the major issue of maintaining stable economic development, while also realizing social equity and equality. These are hard to resolve within a short period of time.

There are many conflicts and problems in the left-wing parties. After the drastic changes in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, some Communist parties moved toward social democracy in their theories and policies, under the banner of reform, so as to distance themselves from the color of the communist party. Some of them bowed to the major ruling party in order to maintain their status while participating in administrative affairs. They do not have a clear standing and have become attached to the major ruling party. This short-sighted behavior finally cost them their traditional supporters. Due to the lack of support, their decline is inevitable. The abandonment of democratic centralism in many Communist parties has resulted in a loose organization in which multiple fractions fight with each other endlessly and do not have the power to fight with others. The promotion of ideological pluralism has caused differences and disagreements inside the party, ever changing policies, and inadequate theoretical preparations. The majority of the party members are not clear about the direction and gist of the party and do not know which way to follow. Some parties have rigid thoughts and hold an incomplete picture of the financial crisis and capitalism. Their extreme behavior has also interfered with the healthy development of the left-wing forces. Traditional conflicts and new problems are challenging the resilience of the left-wing parties. The lag in subjective conditions will be a major obstacle to the future development of world socialism.

There are still very strong anti-communist and anti-socialist forces in the international community. The situation of “strong capitalism and weak socialism” still prevails. Although the international financial crisis had a severe impact on capitalism, the capitalist system and the existing world structure will not dissolve as a result. The powerful status of capitalism will not change within a short time frame. At the beginning of the 21st century, although the left-wing forces in some countries have become stronger, overall, international socialism is still at a disadvantage. The U.S. and other western countries will not live with the fact that the communist and other left-wing forces have become stronger. They will not change their hostility and suppressive policies toward socialist countries. At present, under the leadership of the U.S., the western countries are speeding up global democratic reform and frequently promote “color revolution” in countries that lean toward the left. With the advancement of modern technology, the Internet and cell phones have become indispensable tools for daily life. The fast spread and magnifying effect of the Internet has made the “color revolution” digital and instant. That poses a new threat and challenge to the governance security of the left-wing parties. From now on, the left-wing forces will still be suppressed by all sorts of western forces. The world socialist movement will make its headway in a harsh environment.

[1] Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, October 22, 2009

Xi Jinping: Some Thoughts about Building a Learning-oriented Marxist Party

I.  The main reason and the great significance of building a learning-oriented Marxist political Party
First, building a learning-oriented Marxist political Party is the essential requirement to maintain the CCP’s vanguard nature in theory and practice. … The vanguard nature in both theory and practice is the most distinctive nature that differentiates a Marxist political Party from all other political parties. The CCP should always adhere to Marxism as the fundamental guiding ideology, as the spiritual symbol that keeps our Party unified and moving forward, and as the powerful ideological weapon that transforms the objective and subjective world. In order to maintain and develop the Party’s vanguard nature in theory, we must focus on learning and be good at learning. This is because Marxism was generated based on critique and absorbing all existing human knowledge. It has been enriched and has developed with the times, with practice and with science. It is by far the most advanced theoretical system developed by human beings. … We must always lead China’s development progress, work hard to master and apply all scientific ideas, new knowledge, and new experiences, and strive to become a learning-oriented political Party.

Second, building a learning-oriented Marxist political Party is an inevitable requirement to inherit and carry forward the Party’s fine traditions and political advantages in the new historic conditions. Such a requirement has a sufficient historical basis. The Communist Party of China has always attached importance to learning and been good at learning. The Party history of leading the Chinese revolution, development and reform is a creative learning history. … In the past 88 years, our Party has always had a strong vitality. The cause of the Party’s leadership has been able to continue to achieve new success. The fundamental reason is that we have the advanced theoretical guidance of Marxism, and we continue to enrich and improve ourselves with advanced culture and knowledge.

Third, building a learning-oriented Marxist political Party is a new requirement of our Party’s development under the new situation and tasks. It has a sufficient practical basis. … At present, China is in a period of working on the hard parts of reform, a key period of development, a period when conflicts become prominent. China’s development presents a new series of features. The ruling party is facing tests on its governance ability, on reform and opening up and on the market economy. The tests from the external environment are long-term, complex and serious. When facing profound changes in world conditions, national conditions, and the Party situation, and when facing the enormity, complexity and onerous nature of reform, opening up and socialist modernization, our Party must pay more attention to learning, be good at learning, never be complacent and stagnant, and continuously improve our governance and leadership level, in order to ensure the party’s vanguard nature in the profoundly changing historical process. This way our Party can become the backbone of the Chinese people when facing a variety of risks and tests at home and abroad, and a strong core leadership in the historical process of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

II. The basic requirements of building a learning-oriented Marxist political Party

The learning-oriented Marxist political Party we want to build should be one that holds high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adheres to developing Sinicization of Marxism, and uses Marxism as its guide.

First, it is necessary to implement and embody the requirements of arming ourselves with scientific theory. … The fundamental basis for building a learning-oriented Marxist political party must always be ideological and theoretical development. Our goal should be enhancing all party members’ Marxist theory level. We should organize party members and officials to do in-depth study and practice Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, in particular Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of "Three Represents," the scientific outlook on development, and other major strategic thinking. We must fully implement and embody the requirements for arming the whole Party with scientific theory.

Second, it is necessary to embody a global vision. … We should be soberly aware that China is facing pressure from developed countries with their long-term economic and technological superiority. Competition in comprehensive national strength is more intense in the international arena. For socialism with Chinese characteristics to win the advantages over capitalism in comparison, we must firmly grasp the initiative to accelerate the development of our country. We must boldly absorb and learn from all civilization’s achievements created by human society, and absorb and learn from all advanced management methods, reflecting modern social productive rules from all countries including the developed capitalist countries in the world.

Third, it is necessary to implement and embody the requirement of being good at grasping the rules. … In order to build a learning-oriented Marxist party, we must focus on major issues such as what is Marxism and how to deal with Marxism, what is socialism and how to build socialism, what kind of party we want to build and how to build such a party, and what kind of development we want to realize and how to develop. We must focus on long-term governance of our party in a complex environment. We must scientifically summarize successful and failed governance experiences by various political parties in power in the world, especially the practice of other Marxist ruling parties. We must scientifically summarizing our Party’s valuable experience from the past 60 years in power, recognize the law of development from these experiences and apply them in our practice, so that the Party’s theories and work conform to the times, follow the law of development, and display great creativity.

Fourth, it is necessary to implement and embody the requirement of having innovative aspirations. … With the profound changes in China’s economic system, social structure, interest groups patterns and mainstream thoughts and ideas, we have to face a large number of new issues to solve, new challenges to deal with, and new risks to resolve.
III. The important focal points for building a learning-oriented Marxist political party

First, we must persistently advance the Sinicization, modernization and popularization of Marxism. The Sinicization of Marxism means to combine the basic principles of Marxism with China’s specific reality, to study in depth and solve the practical problems in different historical periods of the Chinese revolution, development and reform, and to sum up China’s unique experience in forming Marxism with Chinese style and characteristics. The modernization of Marxism means to combine Marxism and contemporary features for it to keep up with the pace of the times, constantly absorb the contents of a new era, and to scientifically solve the topics of the times. The popularization of Marxism means to explain Marxist theory in simple plain language and in a way loved by the people, and to have the broad masses of Party members and people find it more understandable and acceptable. Among the Sinicization, modernization and popularization of Marxism, the core is the Sinicization of Marxism.

Second, we must be persistent in arming the whole Party with the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics. The socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics is a scientific theory system that includes Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the "Three Represents," and the scientific outlook on development. … In today’s China, adhering to the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics is to really adhere to Marxism. In order to build a learning-oriented Marxist political Party, a strategic task is to organize and promote the Party members and cadres to strengthen systematic study of the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics. We must ensure that our members truly study, understand, believe and use the theory. … The scientific outlook on development is the most up-to-date development in the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics. It is an important guideline for China’s economic and social development. According to the arrangement made at the 17th National Congress of the CPC Central Committee, starting from September 2008, we must spend a year and a half or so to implement the in-depth study and practice of the scientific outlook on development from the top to the bottom of our Party members in three steps. This is an important measure to arm the whole Party with the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics.

Third, we must continue the study and education of the socialist core value system. … The socialist core value system is the essence of socialist ideology. Its basic elements include the guiding ideology of Marxism, the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, patriotism as the core national spirit, the spirit of the times with reform and innovation as the core, and the socialist value with the "Eight Honors and Disgraces" as the main contents. … The Decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee and Comrade Hu Jintao’s important speech at the plenary session pointed out that among the main existing problems in the Party, ideals and beliefs have the top priority. Therefore, we must treat the education of ideals and beliefs as the top of all top priorities for the study and education of the socialist core value system. … We must guide party members and cadres to enhance their political sensitivity and discernment, build a strong mental defense, and consciously draw a clear line between the "four major black and white border-lines," that is:

One: Marxism vs. anti-Marxism,
Two: the basic economic system dominated by socialism state-ownership supplemented with diverse forms of ownership vs. private ownership or simple state-ownership,
Three: socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics vs. Western capitalism democracy,
Four: socialist ideological culture vs. feudalist or capitalist decadent ideas and cultural.

Fourth, we must build a learning-oriented Party. Our Party organization is the solid foundation for smooth progress and effective implementation of all our Party’s works. Our Party is a whole body consisting of the Central Committee to all levels of local grass-roots organizations. In order to build a learning-oriented Marxist political Party, we must take building learning-oriented all level Party organizations as basic engineering and an organizational guarantee. We must do a good job at this.

IV. Provide strong support for building a learning-oriented Marxist political party
First, we must strengthen the organization, guidance, and services for learning. The Party must manage the Party itself strictly. … This requires all levels of Party committees to promote the development of a learning-oriented Marxist political party and party organization as an important task.

Second, the Party leaders at all levels must be good exemplary role models.

Third, we must establish and improve a long-term mechanism to promote and ensure learning. … We must further strengthen and improve the central group study system for Party committees (groups). … We should establish and perfect a normalized and diversified study and training system for Party members and cadres. … We should focus on strengthening the study system development for attendance, archives, reporting and supervision. … We must enhance the study assessment and utilization of examination results. … We must use the study evaluation results as an important basis for leadership assessment, leading cadres’ selection and appointment.

Fourth, in building a learning-oriented Marxist political party, various types of Party cadres training organizations, including the Party school, must further play important roles. … As an important frontier in training senior leadership cadres for the Party, the Central Party School must do its best to fulfill its duties and responsibilities in the process of building a learning-oriented political Party, and further lead the process of building a learning-oriented society.

[1] Study Times, November 16, 2009