Comrades, Now I would like to make a report to the congress on behalf of the Fifteenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC is the first of its kind held by our Party in the new century. It is a very important congress convened by our Party in the new situation in which we have begun to take the third step of the strategic plan for socialist modernization.
The theme of the congress is to hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, fully act on the important thought of Three Represents, carry forward our cause into the future, keep pace with the times, build a well-off society in an all-round way, speed up socialist modernization and work hard to create a new situation in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
As human society entered the 21st century, we started a new phase of development for building a well-off society in an all-round way and speeding up socialist modernization. The international situation is undergoing profound changes. The trends toward world multipolarization and economic globalization are developing amidst twists and turns. Science and technology are advancing rapidly. Competition in overall national strength is becoming increasingly fierce. Given this pressing situation, we must move forward, or we will fall behind. Our Party must stand firm in the forefront of the times and unite with and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in accomplishing the three major historical tasks: to propel the modernization drive, to achieve national reunification and to safeguard world peace and promote common development, and in bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on its road to socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is a grand mission history and the era have entrusted to our Party.
I. Work of the Past Five Years and Basic Experience of 13 Years
The five years since the Fifteenth National Congress of the CPC have been a period in which we have held high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory and kept blazing new trails in a pioneering spirit, and a period in which we have continued to forge ahead triumphantly on the road to socialism with Chinese characteristics in spite of difficulties and risks.
At the Fifteenth National Congress, Deng Xiaoping Theory was established as the Party's guiding ideology, the Party's basic program for the primary stage of socialism was put forward, and the objectives and tasks for China's cross-century development were specified. Acting in the spirit of the congress, the Central Committee held seven plenary sessions at which it made decisions and plans on such major issues as agriculture and rural work, the reform and development of state-owned enterprises, the formulation of the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) and the improvement of the Party's work style. Over the past five years, we have traversed an extraordinary course and scored tremendous achievements in reform, development and stability, domestic and foreign affairs and national defense and in running the Party, state and army.
The national economy has maintained a sustained, rapid and sound development. By pursuing the principle of stimulating domestic demand and adopting the proactive fiscal policy and the sound monetary policy in good time, we overcame the adverse effects the Asian financial crisis and world economic fluctuations had on China, and maintained a relatively rapid economic growth. The strategic adjustment of the economic structure has been crowned with success. The position of agriculture as the foundation of the economy has been strengthened. Traditional industries have been upgraded. High and new technology industries and modern services have gained speed. A large number of infrastructure projects in such areas as water conservancy, transportation, telecommunications, energy and environmental protection have been completed. Significant headway has been made in the large-scale development of China's western region. Economic returns have further improved. National revenue has kept growing. The Ninth Five-Year Plan (1996-2000) was fulfilled and the Tenth Five-Year Plan has seen a good start.
Reform and opening up have yielded substantial results. The socialist market economy has taken shape initially. The public sector of the economy has expanded and steady progress has been made in the reform of state-owned enterprises. Self-employed or private enterprises and other non-public sectors of the economy have developed fairly fast. The work of building up the market system has been in full swing. The macro-control system has improved constantly. The pace of change in government functions has been quickened. Reform in finance, taxation, banking, distribution, housing, government institutions and other areas has continued to deepen. The open economy has developed swiftly. Trade in commodities and services and capital flow have grown markedly. China's foreign exchange reserves have risen considerably. With its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), China has entered a new stage in its opening up.
Notable progress has been registered in improving socialist democracy and spiritual civilization. Continued efforts have been made to improve democracy and the legal system. New steps have been taken in political restructuring. The patriotic united front has grown stronger. Further progress has been made in the work relating to ethnic, religious and overseas Chinese affairs. Fresh progress has been made in keeping public order through comprehensive measures. Science, technology, education, culture, health, sports, family planning and other undertakings have moved ahead. The media and publicity work as well as ideological and moral education have kept improving. The people's cultural life has become increasingly rich and colorful.
New strides have been taken in strengthening national defense and army building. Efforts have been redoubled to make the People's Liberation Army more revolutionary, modernized and regularized. Our national defense capabilities and the army's defense and combat effectiveness have further improved. The army, the armed police and the militia have played an important role in defending and building up our motherland.
On the whole, the people have reached a well-off standard of living. The income of urban and rural residents has gone up steadily. The urban and rural markets have been brisk, and there has been an ample supply of goods. The quality of life of the residents has been on the rise, with considerable improvement in food, clothing, housing, transport and daily necessities. There has been marked progress in building the social security system. The seven-year program to help 80 million people out of poverty has been in the main fulfilled.
Fresh progress has been made in the great cause of national reunification. The Chinese Government has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Macao. The principle of "one country, two systems" has been implemented and the basic laws of Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions have been carried out to the letter. Hong Kong and Macao enjoy social and economic stability. Personnel, economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Straits have kept increasing. The fight against "Taiwan independence" and other attempts to split the country has been going on in depth.
New prospects have been opened up in our external work. In light of the developments and changes in the international situation, we have adhered to the correct foreign policy and related principles. We have carried out both bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities extensively and taken an active part in international exchanges and cooperation. China's international standing has risen still further.
Party building has been strengthened in an all-round way. All the Party members have steadily intensified their study of Deng Xiaoping Theory. We have put forward and expounded the important thought of Three Represents. Good results have been produced in the intensive education in the need to stress study, political awareness and integrity and in the study of the "Three Represents". An all-out endeavor has been made to build up the Party ideologically, organizationally and in work style. Our ideological and political work has been strengthened. New steps have been taken in the reform of the personnel system. The endeavor to build a clean and honest government and combat corruption has been going on in depth and yielding fresh notable results.
Facts prove that the major policy decisions taken by the Central Committee at and since the Fifteenth National Congress are correct and accord with the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. Our achievements are the outcome of the united endeavor of the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups of the country. They provide a more solid foundation for the future development of the cause of the Party and state.
We must be clearly aware that there are still quite a few difficulties and problems in our work. The income of farmers and some urban residents has increased only slowly. The number of the unemployed has gone up. Some people are still badly off. Things have yet to be straightened out in the matter of income distribution. The order of the market economy has to be further rectified and standardized. Public order is poor in some places. Formalism, the bureaucratic style of work, falsification, extravagance and waste are still serious problems among some leading cadres in our Party, and corruption is still conspicuous in some places. The Party's way of leadership and governance does not yet entirely meet the requirements of the new situation and new tasks. Some Party organizations are feeble and lax. We must pay close attention to these problems and continue to take effective measures to solve them.
Our achievements over the past five years have been scored through reform and opening up, especially through our practice since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Central Committee in 1989. These 13 years have witnessed a highly volatile international situation and a magnificent upsurge of China's reform, opening up and modernization. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, there occurred serious political disturbances in China, drastic changes in Eastern Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Socialism in the world suffered serious setbacks. China was faced with unprecedented difficulties and pressure in its efforts to develop the socialist cause. At this crucial historical juncture bearing on the destiny of the Party and state, the Party Central Committee relied firmly on all the comrades in the Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and unswervingly adhered to the line prevailing since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, and thus successfully brought the overall situation of reform and development under control and safeguarded the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. After Comrade Deng Xiaoping made remarks on his tour of the South, the Fourteenth National Congress decided to establish a socialist market economy as the goal of reform, thus ushering in a new stage for reform, opening up and the modernization drive. To develop a market economy under socialism is a great pioneering undertaking never tried before in history. It is a historic contribution of the Chinese Communists to the development of Marxism. It has given expression to our Party's tremendous courage to persist in making theoretical innovation and keeping pace with the times. The shift from the planned economy to the socialist market economy represented a new historic breakthrough in reform and opening up and brought about entirely new prospects for China's economic, political and cultural progress. After the demise of Comrade Deng Xiaoping, we held high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory and made pioneering efforts to advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century in an all-round way.
Over the past 13 years, with clearly defined objectives, we worked with one heart and one mind and scored historic achievements. In 2001, China's GDP reached 9.5933 trillion yuan, almost tripling that of 1989, representing an average annual increase of 9.3 percent. China came up to the sixth place in the world in terms of economic aggregate. On the whole, the people made a historic leap from having only adequate food and clothing to leading a well-off life. As is universally recognized, the 13 years have been a period in which China's overall national strength has risen by a big margin, the people have received more tangible benefits than ever before, and China has enjoyed long-term social stability and solidarity and had a good government and a united people. China's influence in the world has grown notably, and the cohesion of the nation has increased remarkably. The hard work of our Party and people and their great achievements have attracted worldwide attention and will surely go down as a glorious page in the annals of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
A review of these 13 years shows that we have traversed a tortuous course and that our achievements are hard won. We have responded confidently to a series of unexpected international events bearing on China's sovereignty and security. We have surmounted difficulties and risks arising from the political and economic spheres and from nature. We have gone through one trial after another and removed all kinds of obstacles, thus ensuring that our reform, opening up and modernization drive have been forging ahead in the correct direction like a ship braving surging waves. We have attained these successes by relying on the correct guidance of the Party's basic theory, line and program, on the high degree of unity and solidarity of the Party and on the tenacious work of the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups around the country.
Here, on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the people of all our ethnic groups, the democratic parties, people's organizations and patriots from all walks of life, to our compatriots in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese, and to our foreign friends who care about and support China's modernization drive!
The practice of the 13 years has helped us acquire a deeper understanding of what socialism is, how to build it, and what kind of Party to build and how to build it, and we have gained most valuable experience in this regard.
1. Uphold Deng Xiaoping Theory as our guide and constantly bring forth theoretical innovation. Deng Xiaoping Theory is our banner, and the Party's basic line and program are the fundamental guidelines for every field of our work. Whatever difficulties and risks we may come up against, we must unswervingly abide by the Party's basic theory, line and program. We should persist in arming the entire Party membership with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory and using them to educate our people. We should continue to emancipate our minds, seek truth from facts, keep pace with the times and make innovations in a pioneering spirit. We should respect the creativity of the general public and test and develop the Party's theory, line, principles and policies in practice.
2. Keep economic development as the central task and solve problems cropping up on our way forward through development. Development is the fundamental principle. We must seize all opportunities to accelerate development. Development calls for new ideas. We should stick to the principle of expanding domestic demand and implement the strategy of national rejuvenation through science and education and that of sustainable development. While seeking speed, we should pay attention to structure, quality and efficiency, and while propelling economic development, we should take into consideration population, resources and the environment. On the basis of economic growth, we need to promote all-round social progress, constantly better people's lives and ensure that all the people share the fruits of development.
3. Persevere in reform and opening up and keep improving the socialist market economy. Reform and opening up are ways to make China powerful. We must press ahead with the reform in all areas resolutely. The reform must be promoted realistically, comprehensively and progressively with breakthroughs made in key areas and emphasis placed on institutional improvement and innovation. We should follow the orientation of reform toward the socialist market economy and make sure that the market forces playan essential role in the allocation of resources under the state's macroeconomic control. By both "bringing in" and "going out", we should actively participate in international economic and technological cooperation and competition and open wider to the outside world.
4. Adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles (*Note 1) and develop socialist democracy. The Four Cardinal Principles are the very foundation on which we build our country. We must uphold leadership by the CPC and consolidate and improve the state system-a people's democratic dictatorship and the system of political power - the people's congresses. We should uphold and improve the system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party and the system of regional ethnic autonomy. We should promote political restructuring, develop democracy, improve the legal system, rule the country by law, build a socialist state under the rule of law and ensure that the people exercise their rights as the masters of the country.
5. Attach equal importance to both material and spiritual civilization and run the country by combining the rule of law with the rule of virtue. Socialist spiritual civilization is an important attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Basing ourselves on China's realities, we must carry forward the fine tradition of our national culture and absorb the achievements of foreign cultures in building socialist spiritual civilization. We should unceasingly upgrade the ideological and ethical standards as well as the scientific and cultural qualities of the entire people so as to provide a strong motivation and intellectual support for the modernization drive.
6. Ensure stability as a principle of overriding importance and balance reform, development and stability. Stability is a prerequisite for reform and development. We should take into full consideration the momentum of reform, the speed of development and the sustainability of the general public. Continued improvement of people's lives must be regarded as an important link in balancing reform, development and stability. We should press ahead with reform and development amidst social stability and promote social stability through reform and development.
7. Persevere in the Party's absolute leadership over the army and take the road of fewer but better troops with Chinese characteristics. The people's army is a staunch pillar of the people's democratic dictatorship. It should meet the general requirements of being qualified politically and competent militarily and having a fine style of work, strict discipline and adequate logistic support, with a view to enabling itself to win battles and never degenerate, paying attention to strengthening itself through science and technology and building itself into a more revolutionary, modernized and regularized army. We must ensure that the army is forever loyal to the Party, socialism, the motherland and the people.
8. Continue to unite with all forces that can be united with and increase the cohesion of the Chinese nation. We should hold high the banners of patriotism and socialism, strengthen the great solidarity of the people of all ethnic groups, and consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic united front. We need to strengthen our solidarity with the democratic parties and personages without party affiliation. We should handle well the work relating to ethnic minorities, religions and overseas Chinese. We should adhere to the principle of "one country, two systems" and bring into full play every positive factor in a common endeavor to accomplish the grand cause of national reunification and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
9. Pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, safeguard world peace and promote common development. We will, as always, attach paramount importance to our state sovereignty and security. We will develop friendly relations and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We will oppose hegemonism and power politics and promote the establishment of a fair and rational new international political and economic order. In handling international affairs, we should observe and cope with the situation cool-headedly, adhere to the principle of mutual respect and seek common ground while shelving differences. We need to respect the diversity of the world, promote democracy in international relations and strive for a peaceful international environment and a good climate in areas around China.
10. Strengthen and improve the Party's leadership and propel the new great project of Party building. To run the state well, we must run the Party well first. To do this, we must be strict with the Party members. We must maintain the Party's nature and purposes, strengthen and improve Party building in the spirit of reform, enhance the Party's art of leadership and governance, increase its capability of fighting corruption and guarding against degeneration and risks and make unremitting efforts to combat corruption. The Party must keep its flesh-and-blood ties with the people as well as its progressiveness, purity, solidarity and unity.
The above-mentioned ten principles constitute the basic experience the Party must follow as it leads the people in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. This experience and the historical experience gained by the Party since its founding can be summarized as follows: Our Party must always represent the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people. They are the inexorable requirements for maintaining and developing socialism and the logical conclusion our Party has reached through hard exploration and great practice.
II. Implement the Important Thought of Three Represents in an All-Round Way
To open up new prospects for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we must hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory and implement the important thought of Three Represents. As a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, this important thought reflects new requirements for the work of the Party and state arising from the changes in China and other parts of the world today. It is a powerful theoretical weapon for strengthening and improving Party building and promoting self-improvement and development of socialism in China. It is the crystallization of the Party's collective wisdom and a guiding ideology the Party must follow for a long time to come. Persistent implementation of the "Three Represents" is the foundation for building our Party, the cornerstone for its governance and the source of its strength.
The important thought of Three Represents has been put forward on the basis of a scientific judgment of the Party's historical position. Having gone through the revolution, reconstruction and reform, our Party has evolved from a party that led the people in fighting for state power to a party that has led the people in exercising the power and has long remained in power. It has developed from a party that led national reconstruction under external blockade and a planned economy to a party that is leading national development while the country is opening to the outside world and developing a socialist market economy. Keeping in mind the past, present and future of China and other parts of the world, we must accurately comprehend the characteristics of the times and the Party's tasks, scientifically formulate and correctly implement the Party's line, principles and policies, and study and settle questions concerning the promotion of China's social progress and the improvement of Party building. We should neither approach questions out of their historical context nor lose our bearings, and we should neither fall behind the times nor skip the stages, so as to ensure that our cause will advance from victory to victory.
The implementation of the important thought of Three Represents is, in essence, to keep pace with the times, maintain the Party's progressiveness and exercise the state power in the interest of the people. All Party members must be keenly aware of this basic requirement and become more conscious and determined in implementing this important thought.
1. To carry out the important thought of Three Represents, the whole Party must maintain the spirit of keeping pace with the times and blaze new trails for the development of the Marxist theory. Upholding the Party's ideological line, emancipating the mind, seeking truth from facts and keeping pace with the times are decisive factors for our Party to retain its progressiveness and enhance its creativity. Keeping pace with the times means that all the theory and work of the Party must conform to the times, follow the law of development and display great creativity. Whether we can persist in doing this bears on the future and destiny of the Party and state.
Innovation sustains the progress of a nation. It is an inexhaustible motive force for the prosperity of a country and the source of the eternal vitality of a political party. The world is changing, China's reform, opening up and modernization drive are advancing and our people's great practice is progressing. All this urgently requires our Party to sum up new experience from practice, draw on the achievements of modern human civilization, broaden its fields of vision in theory and come up with new theses with the courage of the theory of Marxism. Only thus can our Party's ideology and theory guide the whole Party and the entire people forward and inspire them to push ahead the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Theoretical innovation based on practice precedes social development and changes. Bringing forth new ideas in institutions, science and technology, culture and other fields through theoretical innovation, exploring the way forward in practice, never becoming conceited and never slackening our effort - these are the ways of running the Party and state, which we should follow for a long time to come.
Innovation requires emancipating our minds, seeking truth from facts and keeping pace with the times. There is no limit to practice nor to innovation. We will surpass our predecessors, and future generations will certainly surpass us. This is an inexorable law governing social advancement. We must adapt ourselves to the progress of practice and test all things in practice. We must conscientiously free our minds from the shackles of the outdated notions, practices and systems, from the erroneous and dogmatic interpretations of Marxism and from the fetters of subjectivism and metaphysics. While upholding the basic tenets of Marxism, we must add new chapters of theory to it. While carrying forward the revolutionary tradition, we must acquire new experience. We should be good at seeking unity in thinking through the emancipation of our minds and guiding our new practice with the developing Marxism.
2. To carry out the important thought of Three Represents, it is essential for the Party to give top priority to development in governing and rejuvenating the country and open up new prospects for the modernization drive. A Marxist ruling party must attach great importance to the liberation and development of the productive forces. Without development, it would be impossible to maintain the progressiveness of the Party, give play to the superiority of the socialist system and make the people rich and the country strong. The progressiveness of the Party is concrete and historical, and it must be judged by whether the Party promotes the development of the advanced productive forces and culture in present-day China and works to safeguard and realize the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. In the final analysis, it must be judged by the Party's role in propelling history forward.
In China, a large developing country with a backward economy and culture, where our Party is leading the people in the modernization drive, a good solution to the problem of development has a direct bearing on the trend of popular sentiment and the success of our cause. Shouldering the historical responsibility to propel the Chinese society, the Party must always keep a firm grip on development -- the top priority for its governance and rejuvenation of the country. It must maintain its progressiveness and give play to the superiority of the socialist system by developing the advanced productive forces and culture and realizing the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people, speeding up all-round social progress and promoting the all-round development of people. So long as the Party firmly grasps this point, it will have thoroughly understood the aspirations of the people and the essence of the socialist modernization drive, and thus it will be able to keep implementing the important thought of Three Represents and consolidating its position as the ruling party and meet the requirement of making the country strong and the people rich.
Development requires that we always concentrate on economic growth, base ourselves on China's realities, conform to the trend of the times and continue to explore new ways to promote the progress of the advanced productive forces and culture. Development requires that we uphold and deepen the reform. It requires that we do away with all notions which hinder development, change all practices and regulations which impede it and get rid of all the drawbacks of the systems which adversely affect it. Development requires that we trust and rely on the people who are the motive force for pushing forward the advance of history. We will pool the wisdom and strength of the people of the whole country and concentrate on construction and development.
3. To carry out the important thought of Three Represents, it is essential to bring all positive factors into full play and bring new forces to the great cause of rejuvenating the Chinese nation. The interests of the overwhelming majority of the people and the initiative and creativity of the whole society and the entire nation are always the most decisive factors for advancing the cause of the Party and state. In the process of profound social changes in our country and the rapid development of the cause of the Party and state, it is vitally important to properly balance the interests of all quarters and fully mobilize and rally all positive factors.
With the deepening of reform and opening up and economic and cultural development, the working class in China has expanded steadily and its quality improved. The working class, with the intellectuals as part of it, and the farmers are always the basic forces for promoting the development of the advanced productive forces and all-round social progress in our country. Emerging in the process of social changes, entrepreneurs and technical personnel employed by non-public scientific and technological enterprises, managerial and technical staff employed by overseas-funded enterprises, the self-employed, private entrepreneurs, employees in intermediaries, free-lance professionals and members of other social strata are all builders of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We should unite with the people of all social strata who help to make the motherland prosperous and strong, encouraging their pioneering spirit, protecting their legitimate rights and interests and commending the outstanding ones in an effort to create a situation in which all people are well positioned, do their best and live in harmony.
We must respect work, knowledge, competent people and creation. This should be an important policy of the Party and state to be conscientiously implemented in society at large. We need to respect and protect all work that is good for the people and society. All work that contributes to the socialist modernization drive in China, physical or mental and simple or complicated, is glorious and should be acknowledged and respected. All investors at home or from overseas should be encouraged to carry out business activities in China's development. All legitimate income, from work or not, should be protected. It is improper to judge whether people are politically progressive or backward simply by whether they own property or how much property they own. But rather, we should judge them mainly by their political awareness, state of mind and performance, by how they have acquired and used their property, and by how they have contributed to the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics through their work. It is necessary to foster notions and form a business mechanism in conformity with the basic economic system in the primary stage of socialism and create a social environment in which people are encouraged to achieve something and helped to make a success of their career, so as to unleash all the vitality contained in work, knowledge, technology, management and capital and give full play to all sources of social wealth for the benefit of the people.
In building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the fundamental interests of the people of the whole country are identical, on the basis of which concrete interest relations and internal contradictions can be adjusted. In the formulation and implementation of the Party's principles and policies, a basic point of departure is that we should represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people, and correctly reflect and take into account the interests of different groups of people, enabling the whole people to advance steadily toward the goal of common prosperity. We should protect the vitality for further growth of the developed regions, strong industries and people who have become rich first through hard work and lawful business operations and encouraging them to create social wealth. More importantly, we must pay great attention to less developed areas and the industries and people in straitened circumstances and show concern for them. In particular, we must see to it that the people in financial difficulties have subsistence allowances, and we must take effective measures to help them find jobs and improve their living conditions so that they will truly feel the warmth of our socialist society.
4. To carry out the important thought of Three Represents, it is essential to push forward Party building in a spirit of reform and instill new vitality in the Party. Attaching vital importance to and strengthening Party building is a magic weapon with which our Party has grown from a small and weak force to a large and strong one, risen in spite of setbacks and matured gradually in surmounting difficulties. As the historical experience of the Party over the past 80 years and more shows, the most important point is that we must build up the Party according to its political line, central task and general goal for building it with a view to enhancing its creativity, cohesion and fighting capacity.
Persisting in self-examination in compliance with the requirements of the times and pursuing self-improvement in a spirit of reform are the fundamental guarantee that our Party will always remain a Marxist party, will never be divorced from the people and will be full of vitality. We must be good at both reviewing our useful experience and learning lessons from our mistakes. We must be good at both leading the people ahead by putting forward and implementing the correct theory and line and acquiring the motivation for progress from the people's creations in practice and their desire for development. We must be good at both understanding and changing the objective world and organizing and guiding cadres and other Party members to strengthen their efforts to change their subjective world in practice. Bearing these requirements in mind, we must integrate adherence to the basic tenets of Marxism with efforts for theoretical innovation, maintenance of the fine tradition of the Party with promotion of the spirit of the times, and consolidation of the Party's class base with expansion of its mass base so that the Party serves as a strong core of leadership that is consolidated ideologically, politically and organizationally and always stands in the forefront of the times leading the people forward in solidarity.
All in all, the important thought of Three Represents is always in a process of development and progress. The whole Party must continue to emancipate the mind, come up with new ideas in respect of theory and create something new in practice. It must carry out the important thought of Three Represents in all endeavors of the socialist modernization drive and in all aspects of Party building so that it always advances with the times and shares weal and woe with the people.
III. Objectives of Building a Well-off Society in an All-Round Way
Thanks to the joint efforts of the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups, we have attained the objectives of the first two steps of the three-step strategy for China's modernization drive, and by and large, the people have become well-off. This is a great victory for the socialist system and a new milestone in the history of the development of the Chinese nation.
We must be aware that China is in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. The well-off life we are leading is still at a low level; it is not all-inclusive and is very uneven. The principal contradiction in our society is still one between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production. Our productive forces, science, technology and education are still relatively backward, so there is still a long way to go before we achieve industrialization and modernization. The dual structure in urban and rural economy has not yet been changed, the gap between regions is still widening and there are still quite a large number of impoverished people. China's population continues to grow, the proportion of the aged is getting larger, and the pressure on employment and social security is mounting. The contradiction between the ecological environment and natural resources on the one hand and economic and social development on the other is becoming increasingly conspicuous. We still feel pressure from developed countries as they have the upper hand in such fields as the economy, science and technology. The economic structure and managerial systems in other fields remain to be perfected. There are still some problems we cannot afford to overlook in improving democracy and the legal system as well as the ideological and ethical standards. We need to work hard over a long period of time to consolidate and uplift our current well-off standard of living.
An overview of the situation shows that for our country, the first two decades of the 21st century are a period of important strategic opportunities, which we must seize tightly and which offers bright prospects. In accordance with the development objectives up to 2010, the centenary of the Party and that of New China, as proposed at the Fifteenth National Congress, we need to concentrate on building a well-off society of a higher standard in an all-round way to the benefit of well over one billion people in this period. We will further develop the economy, improve democracy, advance science and education, enrich culture, foster social harmony and upgrade the texture of life for the people. The two decades of development will serve as an inevitable connecting link for attainting the third-step strategic objectives for our modernization drive as well as a key stage for improving the socialist market economy and opening wider to the outside world. Building on what is achieved at this stage and continuing to work for several more decades, we will have in the main accomplished the modernization program and turned China into a strong, prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced socialist country by the middle of this century.