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All-round, vigorous development in CPC's ideological, theoretical building
  16:38, October 09, 2007 [Font big medium small] [BBS] [Print] [Close]
Central authorities of the Communist Party of China (CPC) decided to launch a project of studying and building Marxist Theory in early 2004, which made substantial progress in the past three-plus years. The implementation of this project represents a vital measure of the CPC Central Committee with Hu Jintao as its general secretary to step up the Party's ideological, theoretical building. On this issue, People's Daily reporter Yu Jianbin interviewed a leading official of the office of the project at the request of readers on the eve of the imminent 17th CPC National Congress.

Reporter: Could you give an account of what the project has so far achieved as people from all strata of society have been paying great heed to the progress of this project?

Leading official: The project has scored substantial progress since the launch of the project over three years ago with joint efforts of experts and scholars and various departments under the direct leadership of the CPC Central Committee. Its progress is manifested in the ensuing aspects:

First, new progress has been made in the study and interpretation of the latest outcome in sinifying Marxism. Centered on three vital theoretical achievements on this subject and a range of major strategic ideas set forth by the CPC Central Committee in the past five years following the convocation of the 16th National Congress in late 2002, more than 50 key topics have been worked out and experts have released more than 800 theoretical articles (or essays) from their study on practical, ethnical and epochal characteristics of Marxism in the present-day China, providing a powerful, academic reasoning prop for the Party's theoretical innovation.

Second, new progress has been made in the study of major theoretical and practical issues. Centered on such great strategic concepts as the scientific outlook on development and the building of a socialist, harmonious society, a series of theoretical, study-group meetings have been held, which brought forth a batch of theoretical research findings and, centered on some "hot, knotty" issues of concern to the masses of people and officials, serial popular books have been edited as imperative, supplementary reading materials for ordinary people or Party officials. Moreover, the relevant specialists have been organized to study special theses in an effort to provide useful materials for the CPC and government departments in making their policy decisions.

Third, new progress has been made in the compilation and translation of classic Marxist works. To cope with demands of both officials and commoners to study the classic works of Marxism, the recompilation, re-translation and revision have done to the existing versions of the Marxist classic works. To date, the 10-volume Collective Works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and Lenin's Treatise in five volumes have basically undergone the compilation, revisions and checks of the existing translations.

Fourth, new progress has been made in updating a setup for disciplines or branches of learning and the teaching materials setup. With regard to the building of discipline setup, the study of Marxist theories has been taken as the first-class discipline, and the study of ABC Marxist theories, the historical development of Marxism, the sinification of Marxism and the development of Marxism overseas as the second-class discipline. And the Marxist theoretical research discipline setup has initially taken shape with respect to the study of philosophy, political economy, scientific socialism, political science, sociology, media science, historiography, jurisprudence and literature, etc.

Moreover, the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee (PD) and the Ministry of Education (ME) this year again drafted an "overall, essential teaching material editing plan for philosophy and social science at institutions of higher learning under the project of studying and building Marxist Theory. The "overall plan" proposes incorporating a total of 41 varieties of essential teaching materials, involving 10 college disciplines in the plan, which are expected to complete in 2011. At present, the work of editing and compiling the first batch of essential teaching materials is proceeding well and smoothly, and four new books about college ideological, political theories have already been put to use.

Reporter: The implementation of this major project of ideological and theoretical studying and building project also spurs the building (or training) of scientific researching and theoretical ranks.

Leading official: Yes, indeed. Emphasis has been placed on the training of young and middle-aged theorists, so as to accelerate the building of theoretical contingents.

A. Particular heed should be given to the formation of an echelon made up of the relative elders, the middle-aged and young people, and a greater effort be made to draw those doing practical work. Of the 800-strong experts and scholars partaking in the project, over one third comprises the young and middle aged workers.

B. The PD and ME has since 2005 sponsored in the Party School of the CPC Central Committee 16 study sessions for college philosophy and social science teaching, which have taken in more than 1,600 people.

C. Beginning May 2007, PD and ME are expected to jointly hold research and advance study courses for six years in a row for those leading or "core" teachers engaged in college philosophy and social science teaching, with six sessions a year and 100 attendees for each session, and three sessions have been run to a good, obvious effect.

Furthermore, high-level report meetings are organized, experts involving in the research project have been aroused to study China's specific national conditions and ace scholars from overseas invited to hold discussions with their Chinese peers, and some top Chinese experts sent abroad for inspecting special topics so as to imbue them with a deeper understanding of guidelines of central authorities' policies or a better awareness of things about China while acquainting themselves with developments in the outside world.

Reporter: As a vital, crucial outcome scored by the project of studying and building Marxist Theory, new teaching materials concerning the political, ideological theory for the institutions of higher learning have been put into use nationwide. Then, could you brief us on the situation in this regard?

Leading official: new teaching materials on the political, ideological theory for use in colleges and universities, such as the Fundamentals of Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and "Three Represents" Important Thought, an Introduction to China's Modern History, a Survey of Ideological, Moral Cultivation & Legal Basis, and the Basic Tenets of Marxism, constitute the important outcome for the project of studying and building Marxist Theory. These books have been put into extensive use since September 2006 and are well received by both the faculties and students in institutions of higher learning across China.

Those teachers and students have commended that these new teaching materials embody the latest outcome in sinifying Marxism and indicate the most up-to-date progress in the study of Marxism, a relatively greater innovation in both contents and the setup, and hence become the worthy, ideal books for the ideological, political and theoretical course in colleges and universities, since they are very scientific and authoritative and with a high ideological level.

When these new teaching materials are put to use, college students are contented, and interest themselves even more in the course of ideological, political theory, with a growing number of them taking an active part in classroom discussions and their classroom order and discipline improving noticeably. Moreover, college students unanimously deem that the new teaching materials proceed from specific circumstances they face and integrate the advanced ideology and politics, and thus turn more knowledgeable and applicable. So they think such teaching materials favorable for improving their comprehensive qualities.

In order to further reflect the new outcome of the Party's theoretical innovation and solicit ideas and suggestions from among teachers and students in the course of using these teaching materials, the office of the project organizes experts concerned to make additional revision to these books. Experts have been organized to revise a Survey of Ideological and Moral Cultivation and Legal Basis this year and, its revised edition has already come off press for use.

Reporter: What impact has the project produced to propel the Party's ideological and theoretical building and spur the prosperity and boom of philosophy and social sciences?

Leading official: Along with its continuous advancement, the Project has increasingly brought its No. 1 or "chieftain" role, its basic role and its promotion role, which are shown chiefly in the following aspects:

First, the Project serves as a "bridge" or a "pivot" for the CPC to contact the theoretical circle. Its implementation has greatly enhanced the Party's ties with the theoretical circle, so that experts and scholars learn more directly the spirit or essential guidelines of CPC central authorities and submit their research findings accordingly to the Party and government institutions and give scope to their role as a "think tank".

Second, the Project prompts the philosophy and social sciences circle to "sound" or keep up to the central theme of Marxism. Spurred by the project, Marxist research institutions have kept improving and staffed researchers' teams well; the Marxist theorists have apparently heightened their sense of confidence, responsibility, pride and identity.

Third, the Project prompts consensus on major theoretical issues. A series of report meetings, seminars, study-group meetings or discussions, or idea solicitations have increased exchanges among experts and scholars of varies academic spheres and reached their consensus or common understanding on major issues of vital importance.

Fourth, the Project stimulates the prosperity and development of philosophy and social sciences. Due to the implementation of the project, new outcome has been obtained on a number of vital frontier science issues in various branches of learning, and their capacity for academic innovation will go on progressing. With a greater heed the Party and government departments pay to the growth of philosophy and social sciences, a good social atmosphere in which greater importance is attached to philosophy and social sciences will take shape more soundly.

Fifth, the Project opens an important "showcase" for external academic exchanges. Top Chinese experts and scholars are organized "to go abroad" on "special topic" inspection tours, and ace scholars from overseas are "invited in" for theoretical exchanges with their Chinese peers, so as to broaden and raise the latter' international vision for theoretical researches. Furthermore, it also helps to acquaint those overseas scholars with both socialist theory and practice alive with Chinese characteristics.

Sixth, the Project facilitates to unite with and cohere the theorists' contingent. The elites or "backbone" forces from varies disciplines and systems across China will be converge together through their joint endeavor to compile theoretical teaching materials and do researches on major issues, so that their ranks will unify and be integrated or straightened out.

Meanwhile, it should also be soberly acknowledged that what the project has so far attained is merely initial, representing only achievements of one phase, however. Furthermore, some weak points in the project are yet to be overcome and beefed up. So a sense of accountability or urgency has to be further enhanced so as to do all sorts of work relating to the Project better still in stroct compliance with the spirit of seeking truth and substantiality.

By People's Daily Online
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