Why did Xi Jinping mention the word “people” so many times in his report made on behalf of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to the 19th CPC National Congress?
Why did Xi declare in his report that “the original aspiration and mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation”?
Empowerment of the people is the foundation of the CPC’s governance of China, and serving the people wholeheartedly is the fundamental purpose of the CPC as a ruling party.
Since its inception, the CPC has mobilized the people extensively, especially those at the grassroots level, to achieve the goals of socialism and communism. Seeking happiness for all people is one essential feature of the goal.
The goal of the CPC during the New Democratic Revolution (1919-1949) was to help the Chinese people suffering under oppression of the “Three Mountains” (imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism) stand up. The goal of the CPC during the early period of reform and opening up was to enable Chinese plagued by comparatively backward production methods to become rich. As the country ushers in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the goal of the CPC has shifted to strengthening the Chinese people who have made remarkable development achievements.
The Party comes from the people and remains rooted in the people, so it has always stood side by side with the people and stayed dedicated to benefiting the people. Chairman Mao Zedong ever greeted the people with “Long Live the People”; Deng Xiaoping ever called himself the “son of the people”; Xi Jinping has markedly put the people first and sought happiness for them over the past five years since he was elected as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. In 2012 when meeting the media during the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping emotionally proclaimed, “The people’s wish for a happy life is our mission.” His words moved countless people and placed high expectations on the new leadership.
Over the past five years, the Chinese people have witnessed the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core focusing the Party on the principle of “people first” and firm commitment to affairs closely and directly concerning people’s livelihood such as education, employment, income distribution, social security and healthcare, solving issues one at a time, year in and year out. Unremitting efforts have ensured access to employment, housing, education, medical services, and senior care.
Over the past five years, Xi Jinping has traveled around the country, stayed close to the people and concerned about their interests. He stressed on many occasions that “the focus of reform should be on what concerns the people and what they expect.” Other notable quotes include: “We will not rest as long as the basic livelihood problems of a single family or even one person have not been resolved”; “I am saddened upon seeing people live in poverty, and feel happy when I see their lives improve”; and “We must always think like the people and share their destiny, and we must diligently work together with them for the public good to meet the expectations of both history and the people.” Such words testify to the CPC leader’s determination to serve the people.
Excerpts from a book of Xi Jinping’s comments and writings on the construction of socialist society published by the Central Party Literature Press also demonstrate how Xi always puts the people’s interests above all else: “The people’s dream of a better life is our goal”; “Promote social fairness and justice and enable the people to share the fruits of reform and development”; “Constantly ensure achievements in educational development can be enjoyed by all the people in a fair way”; “Keep employment high on the agenda and create jobs via multiple channels”; “Build a social security system that is fairer and more sustainable”; “Accelerate the construction of a ‘Healthy China’”; “Strengthen and innovate social governance and improve the social governance system for socialism with Chinese characteristics”; “Take concrete measures to safeguard public security and social stability and strive to build a ‘Safe China’”; and “Implement a comprehensive national security program and establish a national security system with Chinese characteristics.” Such instructions and remarks concerning the people’s well-being are rooted in Xi’s experience and philosophies, which serve as important guidelines for work concerning people’s livelihood.
On October 18, 2017, the 19th CPC National Congress opened in Beijing. In the report he made on behalf of the 18th CPC Central Committee to the Congress, Xi mentioned the word “people” many times: “The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation”; “To lead the people to a better life is our Party’s abiding goal. We must put the people’s interests above all else, see that the gains of reform and development benefit all our people in a fair way, and strive to achieve shared prosperity for everyone”; “The future of a political party or a government is determined by whether it enjoys public support. We must guard against and correct with resolve the practices the people oppose and resent”; “Our Party comes from the people, has its roots among the people, and is dedicated to serving the people. Once the Party becomes disengaged from the people, it will lose its vitality.”
How did the CPC lead the Chinese people to make such remarkable achievements during reform and opening up? How does the CPC govern a country with a population of 1.3 billion so successfully? The international community is curious about such enigmas. A meticulous look at what the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core has done, focused on, and talked about will show the answer: A ruling party with the people’s interests in mind and striving with one heart alongside the people can definitely create unprecedented miracles.
The author is editor-in-chief of China Pictorial.