An editorial carried Monday in the People's Daily applauds the opening of the 14th national congress of trade unions, hailing it "a major event in the political life of Chinese working class".
"The congress carries great significance in bringing into full play the role of China's working class as a major social force and mobilizing them to work for the building of a well-off society and the national modernization drive," says the editorial.
The congress, from Sept. 22 to 26, will be attended by 1,698 officially elected and 253 specially invited representative, including 34 from Hong Kong and Macao.
The editorial commends the achievements made by trade unions at all levels in the five years since the previous national meeting in fulfilling the national construction targets set forth by the Chinese Communist Party and safeguarding the rights and interest of workers.
"During this year's fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), China's working class fully demonstrated its professional ethics, bravery and selflessness," it says.
The editorial calls on workers to take the lead in the great cause of building a well-off society and making more achievements in future endeavors.
"The first 20 years of this century are a critical period for China's development and to build a well-off society has been set as a strategic target," it says, adding the realization of this target is in the basic interests of the working class and the general public.
"To devote themselves to the cause of building a well-off society has been a glorious mission endowed to the working class by the times," it says.
To fulfill the mission, it points out, the most important thing is to equip themselves with the important thought of the "Three Represents", which calls for the party to 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.
"The workers' movements have always been closely connected with the cause and fate of the party, therefore, the work of trade unions should be guided by the Three Represents in order to better adapt to the development trend of the times," it says.
Trade unions serve as bridges and links between the party and China's massive working class and party committees at all levels should put the work of trade unions at a higher position in order to further consolidate the party's ruling position, says the editorial.