President Xi Jinping today defended as “totally correct” the ruling Communist Party’s adherence to Karl Marx’s theory of socialism for 97 years, saying it has profoundly changed China from the “sick man of Asia” to the second-largest economy of the world. Marxism has strong influence in China where students begin learning the theories of Marx and Lenin in middle school.
China, the world’s second-largest economy after the US, has seen decades of market-driven growth. “There might be setbacks in the development of socialism in the world, but the overall trend for human society development has never changed, and it will never change,” Xi told a special function here organised to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Marx.
“Marxism has not only profoundly changed the world, but also China,” the President said. Marxism had pointed out the direction forward, offering a brand-new choice for the Chinese people in their struggle to survive, and setting the scene for the birth of the CPC, Xi said.
Since the CPC’s birth, it has combined the fundamental principles of Marxism with the reality of Chinese revolution and construction, transforming the Chinese nation from “the sick man of East Asia” to the one who has stood up by uniting and leading the people through the long-term struggle, he said
“This tremendous transformation serves as cast-iron proof that only through socialism can we save China,” Xi said.
Founded in 1921, the CPC headed by Mao Zedong came to power after a prolonged violent national liberation struggle in 1949 and remained in power since then in a one-party state.
Since the advent of Mao and the CPC, the theories of socialism and communism propounded by Marx underwent rapid changes with radical ideological differences leading to a deep split in the international Communist movement including India.
Skirting the deep divisions prevailing in the international Communist movement for the last several decades, Xi who headed the CPC ideological school for several years before he became the most powerful leader of China, said the reverberations of the October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to China.
In his speech in defence of Marxism, Xi spoke of China’s reform and opening up, while sticking to its ideological fundamentals evolving socialism with Chinese characteristics evolved by Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping.
The CPC has combined the fundamental principles of Marxism with the reality of China’s reform and opening up, and the nation who stood up has grown rich, Xi said.
“This tremendous transformation serves as cast-iron proof that only through socialism with Chinese characteristics can we develop China,” said Xi, who is set to become the ruler for life after Parliament last month removed the two-term limit for the President.
In the new era, the CPC again combined the fundamental principles of Marxism with the reality of China, uniting and leading the people in “undertaking the great struggle, building the great project, advancing the great cause and realising the great dream”, he said.
The Chinese nation has come to embrace a tremendous transformation, as the one who has grown rich now is becoming strong.
“This tremendous transformation serves as cast-iron proof that only by adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics can we realise national rejuvenation.
“It is perfectly right for history and the people to choose Marxism, as well as for the CPC to write Marxism on its own flag, to adhere to the principle of combining the fundamental principles of Marxism with China’s reality, and continuously adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and the times,” Xi said.
As a mark of its respect for Marx, China sent his giant statue to be erected in his birthplace Trier in Germany to celebrate his 200th birth anniversary.
Xi said Marx is the “teacher of revolution for the proletariat and working people all over the world, the main founder of Marxism, creator of Marxist parties, a pathfinder for international communism and the greatest thinker of modern times”.
Xi said Marxism is a scientific theory that reveals the rule of human society development in a creative manner.
Marxism is the first ideology for the liberation of the people themselves, is a theory of the people.
“Marxism, for the first time, explored the path for humanity’s freedom and liberation from the stance of the people, and pointed out the direction, with scientific theory, towards an ideal society with no oppression or exploitation, where every person would enjoy equality and freedom,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.