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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 20:16, August 22, 2004
Commemoration & recollection, Deng Xiaoping & People's Daily
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This article is written by People Daily editorial board to mark the 100th birthday of Comrade Deng Xiaoping. Excerpts follow:


Comrade Deng Xiaoping reads People's Daily in his office on April 14, 1988. Photo by Zhang Baozhong
(I)
On the occasion of commemorating the 100th birthday of Comrade Deng Xiaoping, several generations of staff members of People's Daily, as they contemplate the present and recall the past, and cherish the memory of the great man, realize more deeply that Comrade Deng Xiaoping is a great Marxist, the chief architect of China's reform and opening-up program. We recall with deep feeling the cordial solicitude and guidance Comrade Deng Xiaoping gave us in the course of the development of People's Daily, we learn from experience the rich and profound ideological connotations of Deng's important instructions concerning the work of journalism, come to understand his rigorous working style and his lofty spirit and sentiment, in doing so, everyone of us has a surge of infinite thinking, doubly feels inspired and encouraged and summons up their tremendous impetus.

Deng Xiaoping paid high attention to the guiding role played by People's Daily in Party and state work. Statistics show that he had read and amended in succession 106 editorials and articles of People's Daily. Though succinct in words, these revisions are permeated between lines with the wisdom of the statesman and shine forth the brilliance of a Marxist's realistic thinking and beam with his infinite loyalty to the Party and his boundless, deep feeling for the people.

From these revisions, we can deeply feel: Comrade Deng proved himself to be a great statesman, he invariably observed and handled problems from a political perspective, invariably had the general situation in mind, considered things on a long-term basis and thought with great vision and farsightedness.

On June 4, 1954, People's Daily published the editorial titled: "Severely punishing embezzlers". In the manuscript sent for examination before its publication, it was mentioned that some cadres who worked in collusion with profiteering merchants "have degenerated into common enemies of the people, who steal state property", after reading the manuscript, Deng changed "common enemies of the people" into "guilty persons", and added these words "they should be put to public trial". This change made the wording more accurate and the policy clearer.

On June 18, 1954, People's Daily published the editorial titled "All-out efforts to realize 1954 state budget". In the manuscript sent for examination before publication of the editorial, there was this passage: "The principle for budgetary expenditures is to concentrate on the use of capital to construct socialist industry, this fully conforms with the requirement of the general tasks for the transitional period and the fundamental interests of the people of the whole country." While reading the manuscript, Deng added behind the word "industry" the words "Correspondent development of agriculture, handicraft industry, commerce and communication and transportation services". In addition, he also made revisions in several places, which both affirmed the soundness of the budget of that year and also pointed out possible difficulties. He wrote: "The 1954 budget is secure, implementation in the past five months is satisfactory", and "we may possibly encounter some difficulties in the circulation of cash" This demonstrated Deng's grasp of the overall situation regarding economic construction and his thinking on paying attention to the balanced and harmonious development of industry.

On May 30, 1965, the article, entitled "The question concerning diligence and thrifty and improvement of livelihood" the People's Daily carried in the special column "To the Readers", discussed the phenomena of the masses of people "buying bright-colored clothes, going sightseeing and eating in restaurants". While reading the article before its publication, Deng added the sentence: "With regard to people's normal consumption carried out within their capacity, it should not be interfered with and reproached". Such a thesis on the relations between production and consumption Deng made at that time is really admirable.

On August 28, 1978, People's Daily planned to publish on September 8 the editorial "Grasping the improvement of financial and economic discipline as a major battle". When reading the article sent to him, Deng gave a clear-cut instruction, which says that "It's highly necessary", demonstrating the importance he attached to financial and economic work.

From these revisions we can deeply feel: Comrade Deng is an example in seeking truth from facts. He consistently upheld the Party's ideological line of seeking truth from facts, made objective, comprehensive and dialectical analysis of and solution to problems, had the keen insight and theoretical courage of seeing how things will develop from the first small beginnings, discerning contradictions and revealing objective laws, and possessed the unusual daring and political courage to tell the truth

In the manuscript of People's Daily editorial "Strengthening busy-season collection work to guarantee accomplishment of the country's tax-collection task" on October 29, 1953, Deng added this sentence: "Correcting the mistaken view and wrong practice of heeding only task without regard for policy". In the manuscript of People's Daily January 31, 1954 editorial "Vying to buy economic construction bonds" sent to him for examination, Deng also added this sentence: "It's necessary to give earnest consideration to the purchasers' economic abilities". This brief and simple language contains this materialist's ideological charisma.

On June 20, 1954, the People's Daily published the editorial "Celebrating the completion of the nation's grass-roots election". In the first draft of the article it was written: "Among the representatives chosen in various localities, the number of women averaged at around 20 percent", "Electors participating in voting reached over 80 percent of the total number of voters." While reading the draft, Comrade Deng, basing himself on relevant statistical data, changed the former figure into "over 17 percent" and the latter figure into "over 85 percent", thus making the figures more specific and accurate. This fully displayed Deng's realistic way of thinking and rigorous style of work.

In 1957 to coordinate the nationwide rectification movement, People's Daily on May 19 published the editorial "Continuing the contention in connection with the rectification". While reading the article sent to him for examination, Deng specially added a passage, emphasizing the need for criticisms from non-Party personages on our Party and state work. He said, "Most of the opinions are correct and helpful. They help us to achieve our aim of demolishing the deep gulf and high wall between Party and non-Party people and enhancing unity among the people and greatly improving our work. Recently, some localities have begun to do so and have achieved desirable results in this respect." This revision manifested our Party's correct attitude toward criticisms, and revealed the truth of obtaining the great unity of the people of the entire country through Party unity.

On October 1, 1962, People's Daily published the editorial "Fight for new victories in China's socialist cause". The manuscript sent for examination before its publication, it was mentioned: "Successive years of serious natural disasters have caused crop failure and brought many difficulties in industrial production and to urban and rural people's livelihood." Deng changed this sentence as: "Successive years of serious natural disasters have caused crop failure, this, plus some shortcomings and mistakes in our work, have brought enormous difficulties in industrial production and to urban and rural people's livelihood." Realistically analyzing the cause of difficulties and strictly checking on mistakes in our work is the valuable quality of Comrade Deng as a great Marxist.

On October 1, 1964, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, People's Daily released the editorial "Long live the general line of going all out, aiming high and building socialist in a more, faster, better and more economical way!" In the first draft of the editorial it was written: "The Chinese people accomplished the main industrial targets for the Second Five-Year Plan two years ahead of schedule, and won great victory in their fight against serious natural calamities for three consecutive years (1959-1961)." On September 28, after reading the draft of the editorial, Deng change this passage into "��and won great victories in their fight against the serious natural calamities for three consecutive years (1959-1961), in the struggle to overcome the difficulties imposed on us externally and in the battle to correct the shortcomings and mistakes in our own work." This change corrected the one-sided view of the original text that purely emphasized natural disasters, pointed out the man-made factors that caused the scourge and guided the whole Party and the people of the whole country to correctly treat and surmount difficulties.

From these revisions we can deeply feel: Comrade Deng always showed concern for the fundamental interests of the broadest section of people. In whatever things that involve the interests of the masses, Deng invariably stressed the need to have an understanding of public feeling and keep the people in mind, and oppose any harm done to public interests; on the question regarding improving Party style of work, he invariably emphasized the need to believe in and rely on the masses, conscientiously listen to their criticisms and opinions and adhere to the Party's mass line.

In 1957, Comrade Deng made important written instructions three times on the manuscripts People's Daily sent to him for examinations, in which he stressed the importance to listening to the opinions of the masses. On September 30 our official newspaper released the editorial "Be determined to rectify working style and improve work". While reading this article before its publication, Deng added behind the sentence "listen to criticisms and opinions of the masses" the words "repeatedly soliciting criticisms and opinions from the masses". On October 21, this leading newspaper published the editorial "Carrying out reform boldly, resolutely and thoroughly" with an aim to coordinate efforts to carry the then rectification campaign to success. While reading this editorial before its publication, Deng added one sentence: "The masses can clearly discern whether the opinions are correct". In light of the situation wherein some people are afraid of the masses voicing their opinions, he wrote: "If the masses are mobilized to make thorough exposure and bold criticisms and engage in serious debate, what is right and wrong can be made clear and problems can be properly solved, then what is there to be afraid of?" the fearless spirit of a thorough materialist unfolded before the world's people. On November 1, on the draft of People's Daily editorial "Nationwide rectification is an important form of socialist democracy", Deng again clearly pointed to the need of approaching the rectification campaign in the form of "mass criticism and self-criticism".

In his lifetime, Comrade Deng had this firm conviction --- closely relying on the people gives one strength and hope and makes one all conquering and ever victorious in one's forward march.

From these revisions we can deeply feel: Comrade Deng is a great Marxist and a great patriot. On the question relating to national dignity and state interest, he adhered to principle, dared to and was good at struggle, vividly showing the mental outlook of a great patriot.

On November 25, 1961, US President John F. Kennedy had a talk with the then editor-in-chief of Soviet Izvestia, in which he raised a series of absurd demands and conditions under the pretense of seeking improvement of US-Soviet relations. On December 8 People's Daily published the observer commentary "Kennedy's 'wishful thinking'", the first draft of the article began with this wording: "This is an important talk; it's important because��." After reading the draft, Deng changed the word "important" appeared in two places into "merit attention"; the article mentioned "Kennedy further raised the condition for 20 years of peace", which Deng changed into "Kennedy further raised what he called '20 years peace condition'", Deng's despise of this huge creature is visible.

On January 29, 1964, this official newspaper published the editorial "Congratulate the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations". The draft of this article sent to Deng for examination before its publication, it was written among others: "US imperialism tries by every possible means in its attempt to isolate China", "US imperialism thinks if it does not recognize China, China would become isolated, this is sheer delusion." In the former sentence Deng deleted the word "attempt" and changed the latter sentence into "US imperialism considers itself a formidable creature that stands head and shoulders above others, if only it refuses to recognize China, then China would become isolated, this is sheer delusion." The article also mentioned, "around the time of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, US journals recklessly claimed that China had 'relaxed' its attitude against 'two Chinas' and the establishment of China-France diplomatic ties would 'open the gate' for 'two Chinas', this is completely an ill-intentioned distortion." At the end of this passage, Deng added the words "this is daydreaming as well". This revision expressed the Chinese people's just stand and their firm determination to safeguard the "one China" principle, showed Deng's principled firmness and tactical flexibility in international struggle, and demonstrated the fearless spirit of the Chinese people who have stood up.

(II)
Comrade Deng devoted all his energy and wisdom to development of People's Daily over a course of several dozen years. For this, staff of People's Daily cherish the memory of him, they remember him not only because he is the Party leader, but also he is an eminent leader of the Party's journalist work, as well as an amiable and respectable teacher and friend of People's Daily.

Comrade Deng always showed great concern for paid high attention to the publicity and reporting of People's Daily. In the early period of reform and opening up, he clearly pointed out: The fundamental task of modern China is to concentrate on the drive for socialist modernization. But, "without a political situation of stability and unity, it is impossible to set our minds on construction." He clearly noted: "It is hoped that journals will give more ideological and theoretical explanations on the necessity of stability and unity��In short, it is necessary to make nationwide stability and unity an ideological center."

The year 1979 was the first year after the convocation of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Party Central Committee, the whole Party, acting upon the principle of "seeking truth from facts, and correcting mistakes whenever they are discovered", began to redress unjust, false and wrong cases occurred in all previous political movements. But due to the fact that at the time "the two whatever's" (we firmly uphold whatever policy-decisions Chairman Mao made, and we unswervingly adhere to whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave) had not been thoroughly broken through, many policies had not been materialized, as a result, some contradictions had emerged and many masses came to Beijing to appeal to the higher authorities for help. So, the central authorities immediately transferred cadres to help local departments concerned to solve this problem. At the same time, the central authorities also made severe criticisms of some staff members with departments in charge of letters and visits from the masses. Under such circumstances, People's Daily on September 17 published a commentator's article titled "Solving the problem of people's appeal in real earnestness". Because some inappropriate wording was used in the article, so after its publication, visitors appealing for help, taking this as the basis, streamed into Beijing, and there even emerged the situation of making sit-in appeals at Xinhuamen gate of Zhongnanhai (the Party and government headquarters), which exerted adverse effects on social stability.

In light of this situation, People's Daily on October 22 again published a commentator article entitled "Taking a correct attitude toward the question of appealing for help". The article first affirmed the important significance of the work of properly handling letters and visitors from the masses, and then it pointed out the need to make concrete analysis of concrete matters concerning visitors appealing for help. This commentary overcame the one-sided view expressed in the previous article, it both spoke for the visitors appealing for help and clearly expounded related policies, thus producing very good publicity results and social effects.

On November 2, 1979, Comrade Deng made a report at the conference of cadres at and above vice-ministerial level from Party, government and army institutions, he mentioned the above incidence while speaking of "being earnestly concerned with the people's livelihood". Deng's talks on the importance of publicity and education and the major influence of the media will be engraved in the hearts of the staff members of People's Daily.

Deng's concern and support for the work of People's Daily are also expressed in his unfailing help to People's Daily in solving problems when the solutions of which were most needed in this leading newspaper.

Deng wrote inscriptions four times for the People's Daily. The first time happened on the occasion of the first publication of People's Daily on May 15, 1946. Deng wrote the characters "Serve the People", the call issued by Chairman Mao, and presented it to the press, pointing out the purpose for the operation of People's Daily. The second time happened in the first anniversary of the publication of the People's Daily when Deng wrote this inscriptions: "Concentrate our will to defeat Chiang Kai-shek with might and main and to win final victory in the cause of national liberation and the emancipation of the people! And congratulate the first anniversary of People's Daily". The third time occurred on the occasion of the publication of the Overseas Edition of People's Daily on July 1, 1985, when Deng wrote the inscriptions "Giving our regards to overseas friends". The fourth time happened on June 15, 1988, the 40th anniversary of the publication of this newspaper, the inscriptions "The 40th anniversary of People's Daily" he wrote expressed his deep love for and expectations of People's Daily.

Comrade Deng had repeatedly helped People's Daily in solving specific problems and concrete difficulties. In 1956, China's socialist transformation was crowned with decisive victory, and People's Daily had entered into a new stage of development. On July 1 that year, Comrade Deng then serving as vice-premier of the State Council approved the expansion of People's Daily from four pages into eight pages. Due to the expansion of pages and increase in the number of staff members, there arose the problem of accommodations, to deal with the problem, Comrade Deng approved People's Daily of its purchase or temporary renting of 150 houses, thus meeting the press' pressing needs. In 1963, the distribution volume of People's Daily grew from the planned 1.35 million copies to 1.5 million copies, in light of this situation, Comrade Deng approved People's Daily to further increase its distribution volume by 10 percent to 1.65 million copies from the 1964 figure, instructed the departments concerned to try their best to satisfy the press' need for paper.

Comrade Deng both set strict demand on and showed concern and care for People's Daily. On March 5, 1953, Stalin passed away. On March 8, when People's Daily published the Soviet Union's conference resolution, it made a mistake in putting the names of the members of the presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in order. For this, Comrade Deng Tuo, then editor-in-chief of the newspaper, wrote to Comrade Deng on March 9, which says: "This is tantamount to our arbitrary change in the order of names", "I shall bear full responsibility for the matter", "I request giving me due punishment". In his March 10 reply to Deng Tuo's letter, Comrade Deng Xiaoping gave the written instruction: "A lesson can be learned from this matter, and no punishment is necessary." This instruction both required the drawing of a lesson to eliminate the occurrence of similar events, and insisted on a realistic attitude, demonstrating Deng Xiaoping's concern and care for cadres.

In 1957, Comrade Deng Xiaoping made an important speech in relation to People's Daily mistakes in work. He pointed out: In People's Daily eight years of work, achievements are the main things; but there are also shortcomings and errors. The main shortcoming in People's Daily work is its lack of quick reaction to some major political events and change in the new situation. There are also drawbacks in its typesetting which is not vivid and lively. This speech, grave and earnest, to date still gives us profound education and enlightenment in correctly approaching and making timely correction of our mistakes in work, and further improving the publicity and reporting work of People's Daily.

The great man has passed away, but his elegance remains forever

Comrade Deng Xiaoping has parted from us, but the spirit wealth he left behind to us will survive forever together with rivers. The series of his important directions on the Party's journalist work are an important component of Deng Xiaoping Theory; his guidance to the theoretical and practical activities of People's Daily is a precious asset. Staff of People's will forever keep Comrade Deng's teachings firmly in mind, always uphold Deng Xiaoping Theory and the "three represents" important thought as the guidance, and are determined, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the general secretary, to persist in being subordinated to and serving the Party's central work, and being subordinated to and serving the overall situation of reform, development and stability, strive to integrate the expression of the Party's will and the reflection of the people's aspirations and integrate the enhancement of guidance and authority and the enhancement of knowledge and readability, constantly raise political awareness and the sense of responsibility and overall situation, get close to reality, life and the masses, live up to the expectations of Comrade Deng and, with the new achievements gained in People's Daily's reform and development and in the new look of People's Daily as the organ of the Party Central Committee, make due contribution to the great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.



The clean proof of People's Daily editorial Comrade Deng personally revises and finalizes.
By People's Daily Online

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