That the “defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China” is an important judgment of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and its inclusion in the Constitution will honor the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CPC and Xi’s thought, as well as enrich the Constitution.
As the fundamental statute, the Constitution has the important mission of stipulating China’s fundamental system, ultimate tasks, core leadership, guiding thought, development path and the objectives of the nation’s struggle. In China, the CPC is the highest force for political leadership in all aspects, and it is essential for the Constitution to establish the Party’s leadership status. This has already been stipulated in the preamble to the Constitution.
The CPC Central Committee has suggested that “the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC” should be incorporated into the Constitution, as it reflects the organic unity between the Party’s leadership and socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the application and development of a Marxist party’s construction theories, as well as the deepening insights into the Party’s governance capability and socialist construction.
That the Paris Commune lasted only two months, because it lacked a Marxist party’s leadership, prompted Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to write that the leadership of the working class should be a fundamental principle of scientific socialism.
A socialist country should be run by the people, and led by a political party that doesn’t nurture any selfish interests and, instead, fully represents the interests of the people. The CPC has always represented the fundamental interests of the people, making unswerving efforts to build a strong socialist country where the Party’s leadership and the future of the people and socialism are closely interconnected. The Party has not allowed any phenomenon to shake its leadership status, in accordance with the emphasis of late leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping that the Party’s core leadership must be unshakable.
The Soviet Union, the world’s first socialist country, collapsed because it wavered on this principle, by canceling the leading status of its governing party in its constitution. The Soviet Union’s experience taught the CPC to continuously strengthen its leadership and to reinforce the CPC’s core leadership status no matter how the Constitution is amended.
“The defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China”, which CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping said highlights the organic unity between the Party’s leadership and socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is the fruit of theoretical innovation achieved through the unification of the basic principles of scientific socialism and the practical conditions of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Incorporating this innovative theoretical outcome into the Constitution is vitally important to understanding the nature of the Party’s leadership.
The Constitution has developed along with the changes of the times. Four versions of the Constitution have been promulgated since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. And the preamble to each version reflects the Party’s achievements in leading the Chinese people in the revolution and socialist construction, thus asserting the Party’s leadership status.
A basic conclusion is that the leading role of the CPC is not self-proclaimed or imposed on the nation. Instead, it is a choice of the people and history.
The current Constitution came into force in 1982, a few years after China started its reform and opening-up. Since then China has witnessed fundamental changes under the Party’s leadership. And since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, historic changes have taken place as China ushers in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The experiences of reform and opening-up indicate that the fate and happiness of the country and the people rest with the Party’s leadership, and that without it, China would not have seen the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The Chinese nation has achieved tremendous transformation under the Party’s leadership: it has stood up, grown rich and become strong. Without the Party’s leadership, it will be impossible for China to strive for the success of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the national rejuvenation will be a fantasy, as only the Party’s leadership can make sure China overcomes the obstacles and difficulties before realizing national rejuvenation by the middle of this century.
Therefore, writing “the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China” into the Constitution is conducive to implementing the Party’s leadership in every aspect of the country’s political and social life, unifying the people in thought, politics and actions, and keeping the progress of socialism with Chinese characteristics on the right track.
Reform is a process of self-improvement for the socialist system, which ensures the modernization and strengthening of State governance, and upgrading of the institutions and practices that have supported the operations of the institutions of the Party and the State. As such, the Party’s core leadership status has been fully demonstrated in all these institutions and systems.
The Party’s leadership has become the institutional strength of State governance and for maintaining social harmony. It is absolutely necessary to write “adhering to the Party’s leadership” into the Constitution, upgrading the Party’s leadership from a concrete institutional system to a fundamental national system. Giving the Party’s leadership more legally binding power can better facilitate the Party’s leadership in all fields, links and aspects of State governance.
The Constitutional amendment can further reinforce the Party’s leadership and the authority of law, and will make people more determined to champion the Party’s leadership, and become powerful deterrent to hostile forces that seek to overthrow the Party’s leadership.