Constitution of the Communist Party of China
(Revised and adopted at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 24, 2017)
The Communist Party of China is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. It is the leadership core for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and represents the developmental demands of China’s advanced productive forces, the orientation for China’s advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people. The Party’s highest ideal and ultimate goal is the realization of communism.
The Communist Party of China uses Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as its guides to action.
Marxism-Leninism reveals the laws governing the development of the history of human society. Its basic tenets are correct and have tremendous vitality. The highest ideal of communism pursued by Chinese Communists can be realized only when socialist society is fully developed and highly advanced. The development and improvement of the socialist system is a long historical process. By upholding the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism and following the path suited to China’s specific conditions as chosen by the Chinese people, China’s socialist cause will ultimately be victorious.
With Comrade Mao Zedong as their chief representative, Chinese Communists developed Mao Zedong Thought by combining the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism with the actual practice of the Chinese revolution. Mao Zedong Thought is the application and development of Marxism-Leninism in China; it is a body of theoretical principles and a summary of experiences, proven correct in practice, relating to China’s revolution and construction; and it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China. Under the guidance of Mao Zedong Thought, the Communist Party of China led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in the long revolutionary struggle against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism, securing victory in the new democratic revolution and founding the People’s Republic of China, a people’s democratic dictatorship. After the founding of the People’s Republic, the Communist Party of China successfully led the people in carrying out socialist transformation, completing the transition from New Democracy to socialism, establishing the basic socialist system, and developing a socialist economy, politics, and culture.
After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as their chief representative, analyzed both positive and negative experience gained since the founding of the People’s Republic, emancipated the mind, and sought truth from facts. They shifted the focus of the whole Party’s work onto economic development and introduced reform and opening-up, thereby ushering in a new era of development in socialism; they gradually formulated the line, principles, and policies for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, brought clarity to basic questions on building, consolidating, and developing socialism in China, and thus established Deng Xiaoping Theory. Deng Xiaoping Theory is the product of combining Marxism-Leninism’s basic tenets with practice in contemporary China and the particular features of the era; it is a continuation and development of Mao Zedong Thought under new historical conditions; it represents a new stage for the development of Marxism in China; it is the Marxism of contemporary China and a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China; and it guides the continuous progression of China’s socialist modernization.
After the Fourth Plenary Session of the 13th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Jiang Zemin as their chief representative, through developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in practice, deepened their understanding of what socialism is and how to build it, and what kind of party to build and how to build it, and gathered valuable new experience in governing the Party and the country, thus forming the Theory of Three Represents. The Theory of Three Represents, which is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory, reflects new demands that the developments and changes in today’s world and in China have placed on the Party and the government in their work. A powerful theoretical tool for strengthening and improving Party building and promoting the self-improvement and development of China’s socialism, it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that the Party must uphold in the long term. Always ensuring the Theory of Three Represents is practiced is the foundation of the Party’s own development, the cornerstone of governance by the Party, and the source of the Party’s strength.
After the Party’s 16th National Congress, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Hu Jintao as their chief representative, continued to take Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Theory of Three Represents as their guide. On the basis of the new demands of development they forged a deep understanding of and answered major questions, including what kind of development to pursue and how to pursue it in a new situation, thus forming the Scientific Outlook on Development, which puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development. The Scientific Outlook on Development is a scientific theory that continues in congruence with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the Theory of Three Represents, while advancing with the times. It fully embodies the Marxist worldview and methodology on development and represents a major achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. It is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that must be upheld long term in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Since the Party’s 18th National Congress, Chinese Communists, with Comrade Xi Jinping as their chief representative, in response to contemporary developments and by integrating theory with practice, have systematically addressed the major question of our times – what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics the new era requires us to uphold and develop and how we should uphold and develop it, thus giving shape to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. The Thought is a continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, a crystallization of the practical experience and collective wisdom of the Party and the people, an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and a guide to action for the entire Party and all the Chinese people to strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and must be upheld long term and constantly developed. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the Communist Party of China has led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to carry out a great struggle, develop a great project, advance a great cause, and realize a great dream, ushering in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Ultimately, the fundamental reason for all of China’s achievements and progress since reform and opening-up began is that the Party has forged a path, formed a theoretical system, established a system, and developed a culture for socialism with Chinese characteristics. All Party members must cherish deeply, uphold long term, and continue to develop this path, this theoretical system, this socialist system, and this culture, which the Party has developed through great hardship. All Party members must hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, have firm confidence in its path, theory, system, and culture, implement the Party’s basic theory, basic line, and basic policy, and strive to fulfill the three historic tasks of advancing modernization, achieving China’s reunification, and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, achieve the two centenary goals, and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
China is currently in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. This is a stage of history that cannot be bypassed as China, which used to be economically and culturally lagging, makes progress in socialist modernization; it will take over a century. China’s development of socialism must begin from China’s own circumstances and must follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the present stage, the principal contradiction in Chinese society is that between the ever-growing needs of the people for a better life and unbalanced and inadequate development. Owing to both domestic factors and international influences, a certain amount of class struggle will continue to exist for a long time to come, and under certain circumstances may even grow more pronounced, however, it is no longer the principal contradiction. In building socialism in China, the basic tasks are to further release and develop the productive forces and gradually achieve socialist modernization and, to this end, reform those elements and areas within the relations of production and the superstructure that are unsuited to the development of the productive forces.
The Party must uphold and improve the basic economic system whereby public ownership plays a dominant role and economic entities under diverse forms of ownership develop side by side. It must maintain and improve the distribution system whereby distribution according to labor is dominant and a variety of other modes of distribution exist alongside it. It must encourage some areas and some people to become well-off first, gradually eliminate poverty, achieve common prosperity, and on the basis of developing production and social wealth, keep meeting the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life and promote people’s well-rounded development.
Development is the Party’s top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country. The Party must commit to a people-centered philosophy of development and pursue the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. The general starting point and criteria for judging each item of the Party’s work are that it must benefit the development of the socialist productive forces, be conducive to increasing socialist China’s overall strength, and help to improve the people’s living standards. The Party must respect labor, knowledge, talent, and creativity and ensure that development is for the people and relies on the people, and that its fruits are shared among the people.
The beginning of the new century marked China’s entry into a new stage of development in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernization. In accordance with the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party must promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement, and coordinate efforts to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, comprehensively deepen reform, fully advance the law-based governance of China, and strengthen Party self-governance in every respect.
In this new era in the new century, the strategic objectives of economic and social development are to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Party marks its centenary and to build China into a great modern socialist country in every dimension by the time the People’s Republic celebrates its centenary.
The basic line of the Communist Party of China in the primary stage of socialism is to lead all the people of China together in a self-reliant and pioneering effort, making economic development the central task, upholding the Four Cardinal Principles, and remaining committed to reform and opening-up, so as to see China becomes a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
In leading the cause of socialism, the Communist Party of China must continue its commitment to economic development as the central task, and all other work must take an ancillary role and serve this center. The Party shall implement the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the strategy on developing a quality work force, the innovation-driven development strategy, the rural vitalization strategy, the coordinated regional development strategy, the sustainable development strategy, and the military-civilian integration strategy. It shall give full play to the role of science and technology as primary productive forces and the role of innovation as the primary force driving development, draw on advances in science and technology, improve the quality of the country’s workforce, and ensure higher-quality and more efficient, equitable, and sustainable development of the economy.
The Four Cardinal Principles – to keep to the path of socialism, to uphold the people’s democratic dictatorship, to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and to uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought – form the foundation for building the country. Throughout the whole course of socialist modernization, the Party must adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles and oppose bourgeois liberalization.
A continued commitment to reform and opening-up is the path to a stronger China.
Only through reform and opening-up can we develop China, develop socialism, and develop Marxism. The Party must comprehensively deepen reform, improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and modernize China’s system and capacity for governance. The Party must fundamentally reform the economic structure that constrains the development of the productive forces and uphold and improve the socialist market economy; and in congruence with this it must undertake political structural reform and reform in other fields. The Party must uphold the fundamental national policy of making China open to the world and embrace and learn from all achievements of human society. In carrying out reform and opening-up, the Party should be boldly explorative and brave in breaking new ground; the Party should improve the scientific nature of reform-related decision making, pursue reform in a more systematic, holistic, and coordinated way, and pioneer new approaches through practice.
The Communist Party of China shall lead the people in developing the socialist market economy. It shall be firm in consolidating and developing the public sector of the economy and shall remain steadfast in encouraging, supporting, and guiding the development of the non-public sector. It shall give play to the decisive role of market forces in resource allocation and ensure the government plays its role better, and establish a sound system for macroeconomic regulation. The Party shall work to balance urban and rural development, development among regions, economic and social development, relations between humankind and nature, and domestic development and openness to the world. It shall adjust the economic structure, transform the growth model, and advance supply-side structural reform. The Party shall promote the synchronized development of new industrialization, information technology application, urbanization, and agricultural modernization, and shall build a new socialist countryside, take a new path of industrialization with Chinese characteristics, and build China into a country of innovation and a global leader in science and technology.
The Communist Party of China shall lead the people in developing socialist democracy. It shall preserve the organic unity of Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance, follow the Chinese socialist path of political development, expand socialist democracy, develop a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics, and build a socialist rule of law country, thereby consolidating the people’s democratic dictatorship and developing a socialist political civilization. It shall uphold and improve the people’s congress system, the Communist Party-led system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, and the system of public self-governance at the primary level. The Party shall develop a broader, fuller, and more robust people’s democracy, advance extensive, multilevel, and institutionalized development of consultative democracy, and act in earnest to protect the people’s right to manage state and social affairs and to manage economic and cultural matters. It shall respect and safeguard human rights. The Party shall encourage the free expression of views and work to establish sound systems and procedures for democratic elections, decision-making, administration, and oversight. It shall improve the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics and strengthen the implementation of law, to bring all the work of the state under the rule of law.
The Communist Party of China shall lead the people in developing advanced socialist culture. It shall promote socialist cultural-ethical progress, ensure the practice of the rule of law in combination with the rule of virtue, and work to strengthen the thinking and morality as well as the knowledge of science and culture of the whole nation to provide powerful ideological guarantees, motivation, and intellectual support for reform, opening-up, and socialist modernization, and develop a strong socialist culture in China. It shall strengthen the system of core socialist values, uphold Marxism as its guiding ideology, foster the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, promote a national spirit to which patriotism is central and a spirit of the times centered on reform and innovation, cultivate and practice core socialist values, and champion the socialist concept of honor and disgrace. It shall work to strengthen the people’s sense of national dignity, self-confidence, and self-reliance, protect against the corroding influence of decadent capitalist and feudal ideas, and eliminate all social ills, endeavoring to see that the people of China are people of high ideals and moral integrity and are cultured and disciplined. It must better educate its members of the great ideal of communism. The Party shall strive to develop educational, scientific, and cultural undertakings, promote the creative evolution and innovative development of fine traditional Chinese culture, carry forward our revolutionary culture, develop an advanced socialist culture, and enhance our country’s cultural soft power. The Party shall hold firmly the leading position in ideological work, constantly consolidate the guiding position of Marxism in the realm of ideology, and cement the common ideological foundation which underpins the concerted endeavor of the entire Party and all the Chinese people.
The Communist Party of China shall lead the people in building a harmonious socialist society. In accord with the overall demands of democracy and the rule of law, equity and justice, honesty and fraternity, vigor and vitality, stability and order, and harmony between humankind and nature, and in line with the principle of building together and sharing together such a society, the Party shall work to solve problems of the greatest, most immediate, and most practical concern to the people. In doing this, it shall focus on ensuring and improving living standards. It shall work to ensure the fruits of development are of greater and more equitable benefit to the people, help them gain an increasingly stronger sense of fulfillment, and strive to see that all people realize their potential, find their proper place in society, and live together in harmony. The Party shall strengthen and develop new approaches to social governance. It shall strictly distinguish between and properly handle contradictions between us and enemies and contradictions among the people, these two different types of contradiction. It shall strengthen comprehensive measures to maintain law and order, and work with firm resolve and in accordance with the law to combat criminal activities that endanger national security and national interests, or threaten social stability or economic development, and will bring criminals to justice, maintaining lasting social stability. The Party shall pursue a holistic approach to national security and resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.
The Communist Party of China shall lead the people in building a socialist ecological civilization. It shall strengthen the philosophy underlying ecological civilization that nature should be respected, adapted to, and protected; fully understand that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets; follow the fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment; uphold the principle of prioritizing resource conservation and environmental protection and letting nature restore itself; and take a positive path to development that ensures increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems. The Party shall strive to build a resource-conserving, environmentally friendly society, implement the strictest possible environmental protection systems, and work to shape spatial layouts, industrial structures, modes of production, and ways of life that are conducive to resource conservation and environmental protection, creating good working and living environments for the people, and ensuring sustainable development for the Chinese nation.
The Communist Party of China shall uphold its absolute leadership over the People’s Liberation Army and other people’s armed forces; implement Xi Jinping’s thinking on strengthening the military; strengthen the development of the People’s Liberation Army by enhancing its political loyalty, strengthening it through reform and technology, and running it in accordance with the law; build people's forces that obey the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintain excellent conduct; ensure that the People’s Liberation Army accomplishes its missions and tasks in the new era; and give full play to the role of the People’s Liberation Army in consolidating national defense, defending the motherland, and participating in socialist modernization.
The Communist Party of China shall preserve and develop socialist relations among ethnic groups based on equality, solidarity, mutual assistance, and harmony; work proactively to train and select officials from ethnic minorities; help ethnic minorities and areas with concentrations of ethnic minorities with economic, cultural, and social development; foster a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation; and ensure that all ethnic groups work together for common development and prosperity. The Party shall fully implement its basic policy on religion, and encourage religious believers to contribute to economic and social development.
The Communist Party of China shall urge all workers, farmers, and intellectuals, and all other political parties, persons without party affiliation, and the patriotic forces of all ethnic groups in China to further develop and expand the broadest possible patriotic united front embracing all socialist workers, all those working for the socialist cause, all patriots who support socialism, all patriots who support the reunification of the motherland, and all patriots who are dedicated to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Party shall work continuously to strengthen the unity of all the Chinese people, including compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. It shall promote long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao and achieve the reunification of the motherland in conformity with the principle of “one country, two systems.”
The Communist Party of China shall uphold an independent foreign policy of peace, follow a path of peaceful development, continue with the win-win opening-up strategy, consider both domestic and international situations, and actively foster relations with other countries, endeavoring to develop a favorable international environment for China’s reform, opening-up, and modernization. In international affairs, it shall uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, safeguard China’s independence and sovereignty, oppose hegemonism and power politics, defend world peace, promote human progress, work to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and advance the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. It shall develop relations between China and other countries on the basis of the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, mutual noninterference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. The Party shall constantly work to develop good neighborly relations between China and its surrounding countries and work to strengthen unity and cooperation between China and other developing countries. It shall follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and pursue the Belt and Road Initiative. The Communist Party of China shall develop relations with the Communist parties and other political parties of other countries in accordance with the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect, and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs.