Deng Xiaoping

Congratulatory Speech Delivered At the Third National Congress of the New-Democratic Youth League of China


Published: May 15, 1957
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine


Dear Deputies and Comrades,

Eight years have passed between the founding of the New-Democratic Youth League of China in 1949 and the convocation of the current Third National Congress. During these years the Youth League, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, has taken an active part in China’s democratic revolution, socialist revolution and great socialist construction. Through its own work the Youth League has proved itself to be a standard bearer of the fine sons and daughters of the motherland and a capable assistant to the Party on all fronts. With the basic completion of socialist transformation, our motherland has now entered a new historic period, and the youth movement will also enter this period. As a symbol of this historic change, the New-Democratic Youth League of China will be renamed the Communist Youth League of China at the present Congress. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, I should like to extend the warmest congratulations to you.

Changing the name to the Communist Youth League for our advanced contingent of the youth not only brings radiant glory to the entire membership of the Youth League but also places an even more arduous task on the shoulders of the Chinese youth. This task is, under the leadership of the Party, to imbue the younger generation with the spirit of communism and unite all the young people to work enthusiastically for socialism in order to turn China into a great industrial socialist country in the shortest possible time and prepare the ground for the realization of communism in the future. Comrades, this will be our task for a long time to come, and it is not a bit easier or lighter than our revolutionary tasks were in the past. We should not fail to recognize that our country has been economically backward, vast numbers of people still live in poverty, we are besieged by imperialist powers and we have numerous other difficulties. Unless we unite the people throughout the country and fully arouse their initiative, unless we work industriously and practise thrift, we cannot succeed in socialist construction. Faced with this arduous task, our Communist Youth League members must be utterly loyal to the motherland and the people, and stand together with the Party at the forefront of this great struggle, keeping close ties with all the people, including the youth, and persevering in a long-term, arduous struggle at their various posts.

Comrades, we cannot create a happy life under socialism without working very hard. We should participate in labour and, in particular, we should take an active part in the manual labour of industrial and agricultural production, because manual labour is the basis for the existence and development of society and is the glorious obligation of the overwhelming majority of people. The despising of manual labour, a vestige of the ideology of the exploiting classes, is an obstacle to the progress of our new society. To prove themselves worthy of the name of advanced Communist fighters, our Youth League members must combat views that belittle labour in general and manual labour in particular. Moreover, with their own exemplary deeds they should urge vast numbers of young people to join them at the forefront of manual labour. They should become a shock brigade on the labour front of socialist construction, one worthy of the people’s trust.

The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party hereby pays tribute to all youths on the industrial and agricultural production front. They are in the daring vanguard in building socialism in our country and creating a happy life for the people. We hope that they will exert great efforts to increase production and practise economy and splendidly accomplish their task. We hope that the youth and students throughout the country will study diligently, preparing to participate in productive labour, primarily in manual labour, for national development. Young people engaged in mental work should also undergo a period of manual labour, which is essential to their all-round development, morally, intellectually and physically. Youth League cadres should not separate themselves from production activities unless it is necessary for them to do so; those who cannot take part in such activities should try to find time to do some manual labour. This is of great benefit in maintaining contact with the masses and tempering oneself.

In order to better fulfil socialist construction under the Party’s leadership, all members of the Chinese Communist Youth League should continually study hard. They should integrate their efforts to build up the country with their diligent study of Marxism-Leninism, enhancement of their understanding of communism, and elimination of the influence of bourgeois ideology and all other erroneous ideas. They should work hard to master various skills and incessantly raise their educational, scientific and technological levels. Youth League members should inspire other young people to respect the older generation and learn all kinds of useful skills from them.

As close assistants to the Chinese Communist Party, members of the Communist Youth League should also learn how to rally the broadest possible masses of youth around them and march forward with them. They should not only know how to unite with advanced youth, but with all patriotic youth, including those not yet in favour of the communist way of looking at the world. Then they can all pull together to work for the cause of socialism in our country. The Communist Youth League should set right any sectarian tendencies in its own ranks that tend to separate it from the masses, and try its best to form a close association with all the patriotic youth of China and become their centre of strength. To attain this goal, it is definitely necessary to encourage modesty and combat conceit and complacency; every Youth League member must try to help others by all possible means, without worrying about his own loss. To be the first to bear hardship and the last to enjoy comfort is our credo.

Comrades, the task confronting you is extremely difficult, but the Chinese Communist Party firmly believes that the Youth League members and the rest of the youth of China will undoubtedly be able to surmount all the obstacles in their path to fulfil their glorious task with flying colours. This is because the youth of China have not only the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the support of the democratic parties and patriots without party affiliation, but also their own glorious revolutionary tradition. The youth of China performed their duties very well in the long years of revolutionary struggle of the past and in construction of recent years. They are not afraid of making sacrifices, they meet difficulty and hardship head-on, they love labour and are well-behaved. Our Communist Youth League members not only need to continue this glorious tradition but also develop it further under new historic circumstances. It should be noted that though the people who have grown up under favourable conditions following victory in the revolution are full of vigour and vitality, this generation also has its weaknesses. Many of them tend to regard things as very easy, try to shirk difficulty and are reluctant to bear hardship or do hard work. They sometimes make excessive and rash demands for better material benefits. The blame for this situation, however, lies not with the youth themselves, but with the Party and the League that have not explained things clearly enough to them. If we can improve ideological education of young people in future, explaining to them clearly the actual conditions of the country and the only way to a bright future, encouraging healthy trends such as enthusiasm for hard work and combatting unhealthy trends such as selfishness, and make every effort to correct the errors of bureaucratism, sectarianism and subjectivism in our work, we shall certainly be able to help the vast numbers of young people to conscientiously overcome their weaknesses so that they will courageously and happily take up their militant tasks.

Comrades, Comrade Mao Zedong once said, “We are now engaged in a great and most glorious cause, never undertaken by our forefathers.” The exemplary action and creative spirit of Youth League members will play an important role in this extremely great and glorious cause. If our youth want a brilliant page to be written for them in the annals of successes for socialist construction, they must be honest and diligent, guard against conceit and rashness, practise economy and industriousness, and unite all forces possible to create a happily life through hard work. We should draw on the advanced experience of the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies and on the strong points of people in countries all over the world. We should join with the people of the socialist countries, headed by the Soviet Union, and with all the other peace-loving people of the world.

Work hard to build up our motherland!

Assiduously study Marxism-Leninism, study science, and acquire more general knowledge!

Long live the great unity of all the youth of China!

Long live the great unity of peace-loving youth all over the world!