Opening Remarks at The Press conference on the EIGHteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Cai Mingzhao Spokesman for the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China -published 2012-11-27
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends and Comrades,
The Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party
of China (CPC) will open at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing at
9 tomorrow morning. The congress will last seven days from November 8
to 14. I am the spokesman for the congress, and I would like to extend
a warm welcome to all the Chinese and foreign reporters who are here to
cover the congress.
The congress will be one of great importance to be held when China is in a crucial stage of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepening reform and opening up, and accelerating the change of the growth model. The congress will hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, and thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development. It will review the Party’s work over the past five years and the experience the Party has gained since its Sixteenth National Congress, and scientifically formulate guidelines and major principles and policies that meet the requirement of our times and the expectation of the people. And it will adopt strategic implementing steps for comprehensively advancing China’s reform, opening up and socialist modernization and the Party’s great new initiative to strengthen itself.
The preparatory meeting of the congress was held this afternoon, during which the agenda of the congress was adopted and its presidium was elected. The congress will proceed under the leadership of the presidium.
Comrade Xi Jinping was appointed secretary-general of the congress at the preparatory meeting. The main items on the agenda of the congress adopted at the preparatory meeting are as follows: to hear and deliberate on the report of the Party’s Seventeenth Central Committee, to deliberate on the work report of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, to deliberate on and adopt the revisions to the Constitution of the Communist Party of China, and to elect the Party’s Eighteenth Central Committee and a new central commission for discipline inspection.
After the preparatory meeting, a meeting of the Credentials Committee was held, and the presidium met for the first time. At its meeting, the presidium adopted the working agenda of the congress and created its standing committee. A secretariat has been set up to handle congress affairs.
The preparations for the congress have now been completed, and now I wish to brief you on them.
Preparations for the congress started under the Party Central Committee after the Resolution on Convening the Eighteenth CPC National Congress was adopted by the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee at its Sixth Plenary Session in October last year. The preparations focused on the following four areas:
First, drafting the political report to the Eighteenth CPC National Congress
The Party Central Committee attached great importance to drafting the report and set up a group for this purpose. The group was headed by Comrade Xi Jinping and was comprised of leading comrades from departments concerned under the central leadership and from the localities as well as experts and scholars. The group worked under the direct leadership of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. General Secretary Hu Jintao heard reports on the drafting work many times and made important instructions on it. The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and the Political Bureau discussed the draft respectively at a number of meetings.
To draft the report, the CPC Central Committee issued a circular to solicit views on the agenda of the congress from the localities and departments. It entrusted 46 organizations with the task of conducting surveys on 15 key topics, and 57 reports were submitted. The drafting group had seven research teams, and they conducted surveys on special topics in 12 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. The drafting group also asked a number of departments concerned to prepare special reports on some issues. All this laid a solid foundation for drafting the report to the congress.
On July 23, 2012, at a seminar of chief leading officials at the provincial and ministerial level, General Secretary Hu Jintao made important remarks on major issues covered by the draft report. Seminar participants made comments and suggestions on these issues.
When the draft was in proper shape, extensive views were sought from 4,511 people who had discussions on it. They include members of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, delegates to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth CPC Congresses, leading Party officials of the departments of the Party, the government and the armed forces under the central leadership and of the people’s organizations, and heads of the Party committees of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government as well as the major military units. General Secretary Hu Jintao chaired seven meetings to hear comments and suggestions from various sources. The drafting group also heard views of some veteran comrades face to face.
The CPC Central Committee also sought suggestions on the draft report from leaders of the central committees of the democratic parties, leaders of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce as well as public figures without party affiliation, and accepted most of their suggestions.
On November 4, 2012, the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee examindeliberated and adopted the draft report at its Seventh Plenary Session and decided to formally submit it to the Eighteenth Party Congress for deliberation.
Second, making revisions to the Party Constitution
Another important task of the Eighteenth Party Congress is to make revisions to the Party Constitution. The current Party Constitution was revised and adopted at the Twelfth CPC National Congress in September 1982. Over the past 30 years, revisions have been made to the Party Constitution to varying degrees by successive national Party congresses, starting with the Thirteenth National Party Congress, in response to new developments and tasks while leaving its basic content unchanged. Practice shows that these revisions have enabled the Party Constitution to better regulate and guide the Party’s work and Party building.
When the CPC Central Committee solicited opinions in January this year about what should be included on the agenda of the Eighteenth Party Congress, many localities and departments proposed that revisions be made to the Party Constitution at the Eighteenth Party Congress to recognize the Party’s innovations in theory and the progress in its practice, respond to new developments and meet the need to improve the Party’s work and strengthen Party building. On the basis of drawing on these proposals, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee met and decided to make revisions, as appropriate, to the Party Constitution. The following points were stressed by the Political Bureau: In making revisions to the Party Constitution, we must follow the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, fully implement the Scientific Outlook on Development and incorporate into the Party Constitution the important theories and strategic thinking affirmed in the political report to the Eighteenth Party Congress. We must encourage intra-Party democracy and pool the wisdom of the whole Party. We should keep the overall framework of the Party Constitution unchanged and revise only those parts that must be revised in accordance with the consensus reached within the Party. We should ensure that the revised Party Constitution fully embodies the latest achievements in adapting Marxism to China’s conditions, the major strategic thinking developed by the Party Central Committee since the Seventeenth Party Congress and the new experience the Party has gained in its work and Party building so as to meet the new requirements created by new developments and tasks for the Party’s work and Party building.
On September 4, 2012, the draft revisions to the Party Constitution were referred to 4,015 Party members in different regions and departments for comments. They had in-depth discussions of the revisions and reported their proposed changes to them to the Party Central Committee in a timely way. New draft revisions to the Party Constitution were prepared by pooling the wisdom of the whole Party. With the unanimous approval of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee at its Seventh Plenary Session, the draft will be submitted to the Eighteenth Party Congress for deliberation.
Third, electing delegates to the Eighteenth Party Congress
The Party Central Committee issued in October last year the Circular Concerning the Election of Delegates to the Eighteenth Party Congress, specifying the establishment of electoral units, the qualifications and composition of delegates, election procedures, and the distribution of the number of delegates to be elected. During the process of recommendation, nomination and election, the 40 electoral units across the country strictly abided by the Party Constitution and gave full scope to democracy. They followed due procedures, strengthened discipline and oversight, and completed the election of delegates to the Eighteenth Party Congress in keeping with the criterion of putting integrity first, focusing on commitment to the Party’s goal and selecting the best. According to statistics, 98% of Party members in basically all primary Party organizations in the electoral units took part in the election.
A total of 2,270 delegates to the Eighteenth Party Congress were elected by electoral units, and their credentials were confirmed by the Credentials Committee. As two delegates died of illness, 2,268 delegates will attend the Party congress. Representing over 82 million Party members and over four million primary Party organizations, they are exemplary in performance and broadly representative.
The composition of the elected delegates is balanced. Those from the frontline of production account for 30.5% of the total, an increase of 2.1 percentage points over the Seventeenth Party Congress. Workers take up 7.4%, up 5.1 percentage points; and women 23%, up 2.9 percentage points. Ethnic minority delegates take up 11%, representing a moderate increase over the Seventeenth Party Congress. Delegates of no more than 55 years of age account for 64.8% of the total, and those with junior college education or higher account for 93.5% of the total. Delegates who joined the Party after the introduction of the reform and opening up policy account for 72.2% of the total, forming the majority of delegates.
As an established practice, the CPC Central Committee
has decided that some veteran Party members who have left leading positions
will attend the congress as special delegates.
As required by the Party Constitution, a new central committee and a new central commission for discipline inspection will be elected at this congress. A special working group was set up by the Party Central Committee to facilitate these elections. Under the leadership of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, the group had charge of the democratic recommendation, evaluation and nomination of candidates for the new central committee and the new central commission for discipline inspection. On the basis of the work of the group, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee prepared a proposed list of preliminary candidates for the new central committee and the new central commission for discipline inspection, which will be submitted to the presidium of the Eighteenth Party Congress for deliberation.
Upon conclusion of the Party congress, the Party’s Eighteenth Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection will hold their first plenary sessions respectively to elect their new leading bodies.
After the Plenary Session of the Central Committee,
members of the new Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central
Committee will meet Chinese and foreign reporters.
Now I will be happy to take questions from you regarding the Eighteenth Party Congress.