NOTES


The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held from December 18 to 22, 1978. The central question discussed was the shifting of the focus of the Party's work. The Committee criticized the erroneous notion of the "two whatevers" (see note 9) and affirmed the need to have a correct understanding of Mao Zedong Thought as an integral whole and a scientific system. It recognized the great importance of the public debate that had been going on about whether practice was the sole criterion for testing truth and decided on the guiding principle of emancipating minds, seeking truth from facts and uniting as one in looking to the future. It discarded the slogan "Take class struggle as the key link", which had become unsuitable in a

socialist society, and made the strategic decision to concentrate instead on socialist modernization. It decided to speed up agricultural development and set the task of improving socialist democracy and the socialist legal system. It examined a large number of cases in the history of the Party in which the charges made against people had been false or exaggerated, or which had been dealt with incorrectly, and redressed the injustices that had been done. It also settled the controversy over the achievements and mistakes of some prominent Party leaders, determining which of their actions had been right and which wrong. At this session the Central Committee also elected new members of the Party's central leading organs. These momentous changes indicated that the Party had reestablished the correct line of Marxism ideologically, politically and organizationally. The session was a great turning point in the Party's history after the founding of the People's Republic.