Deng Xiaoping

Speech At the Opening Ceremony of the National Conference On Science


Spoken: March 18, 1978
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine



The successful convocation of this National Conference on Science is a source of great joy for us and for people throughout the country. The very fact that today we are holding this grand gathering, unparalleled in the history of science in China, clearly indicates that the days are gone forever when the Gang of Four — Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao, Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan — could wantonly sabotage the cause of science and persecute intellectuals. Never before have the whole Party and people been so interested in science and technology and given them so much attention. Vast numbers of scientists, technicians, workers, peasants and armymen are actively participating in the movement for scientific experiment. Young people are becoming interested in science and eager to study it. The entire nation is setting out with tremendous enthusiasm on the march towards the modernization of our science and technology. Splendid prospects lie before us.

Among those attending this conference there are outstanding scientists and technicians in various fields, highly able technical innovators, model labourers in scientific farming, and cadres devoted to the Party’s tasks in the scientific field. You have all worked diligently for the progress of science and technology in our socialist motherland and made outstanding contributions in this regard. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, I thank you and salute you.


Our people are undertaking the historic mission of modernizing our agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology within the present century, in order to transform China into a modern and powerful socialist state. We have waged a bitter struggle against the Gang of Four over the question of whether the four modernizations are needed or not. The Gang made the senseless statement that “the day the four modernizations programme is realized will mark the day of capitalist restoration”. Their sabotage brought China’s economy to the brink of collapse and led to a constant widening of the gap between us and the countries with the most advanced science and technology. Did the Gang really want to build socialism and oppose the restoration of capitalism? Not in the least. On the contrary, socialism sustained grave damage wherever their influence was strongest. Their misdeeds, serving as a negative example, make us realize all the more clearly that even though we have a dictatorship of the proletariat, unless we modernize our country, raise our scientific and technological level, develop our productive forces and thus strengthen our country and improve the material and cultural life of our people — unless we do all this, our socialist political and economic system cannot be fully consolidated, and there can be no sure guarantee for the country’s security. The more our agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology are modernized, the stronger we will be in the struggle against forces which sabotage socialism, and the more our people will support the socialist system. Only if we make our country a modern, powerful socialist state can we more effectively consolidate the socialist system and cope with foreign aggression and subversion; only then can we be reasonably certain of gradually creating the material conditions for the advance to our great goal of communism.

The key to the four modernizations is the modernization of science and technology. Without modern science and technology, it is impossible to build modern agriculture, modern industry or modern national defence. Without the rapid development of science and technology, there can be no rapid development of the economy. The Central Committee of the Party decided to call this national science conference in order to bring home to the Party and country the importance of science, to map out a programme, to commend advanced units and individuals and to discuss measures for speeding up the development of science and technology in China. Today, I would like to speak on some pertinent points.

The first point is the necessity of understanding that science and technology are part of the productive forces. The Gang of Four raised a hue and cry over this, confounding right and wrong and sowing much confusion in people’s minds. Marxism has consistently treated science and technology as part of the productive forces. More than a century ago, Marx said that expansion of the use of machinery in production requires the conscious application of natural science. Science too, he said, is among the productive forces.The development of modern science and technology has bound science and production ever more tightly together. It is becoming increasingly clear that science and technology are of tremendous significance as productive forces.

Modern science and technology are now undergoing a great revolution. The advances over the last three decades have not been limited to particular scientific theories or production techniques, nor have they just represented progress and reform in the usual sense. Rather, profound changes have taken place and new leaps have been made in almost all areas. A whole range of new sciences and technologies is continuously emerging. Modern science opens the way for the improvement of production techniques and determines the direction of their development. Many new instruments of production and technical processes first come into being in the laboratory. A series of new industries, including high-polymer synthesis, atomic energy, electronic computers, semi-conductors, astronautics and lasers, have been founded on the basis of newly emerging sciences. Of course both now and in the future there will be many topics of theoretical research for which at the moment no practical application can be seen. But a host of historical facts have proved that once a major breakthrough is achieved in theoretical research, it leads, sooner or later, to enormous progress in production and technology. Contemporary natural science is being applied to production on an unprecedented scale and with unprecedented speed. This has given all fields of material production an entirely new look. In particular, the development of electronic computers, cybernetics and automation technology is rapidly raising the degree of automation in production. With the same manpower and the same number of man-hours, people can turn out scores or hundreds of times more products than before. What has brought about the tremendous advances in the productive forces and the vast increase in labour productivity? Mainly the power of science, the power of technology.

We all know that the basic factors in the productive forces are the means of production and labour power. What is the relationship of science and technology to these two factors? Throughout history, the means of production have always been linked with a given type of science and technology, and, likewise, labour power has always meant labour power armed with a certain degree of knowledge of science and technology. We often say that man is the most active productive force. “Man” here refers to people who possess a certain amount of scientific knowledge, experience in production and skill in the use of tools to create material wealth. There were vast differences between the instruments of production man used, his mastery of scientific knowledge, and his production experience and skills in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages and in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the rapid progress of science and technology is speeding up the introduction of new production equipment and new technological processes. Many products are superseded in a matter of a few years by a new generation of products. Only by acquiring a higher level of scientific and general knowledge, richer experience in production and more advanced skills can the worker expand his role in modern production. In our society, the workers have a high degree of political awareness and study assiduously for the conscious purpose of raising their level of scientific and general knowledge, so they will doubtless be able to achieve a higher productivity of labour than that under capitalism.

The recognition that science and technology are productive forces leads in turn to the following question: How should the mental labour involved in scientific research be regarded? Now that science and technology are becoming increasingly important productive forces, should scientists and technicians be considered as workers or not?

In societies under the rule of exploiting classes, there are various kinds of mental workers. Some are wholly in the service of the reactionary ruling classes and thus stand in an antagonistic relationship to manual workers. But even in such a situation, as Lenin said, many of the intellectuals engaged in scientific and technical work are themselves not capitalists but scholars, even though they are filled with bourgeois prejudices. The fruits of their work are used by the exploiters, but in general this is determined by the social system and not by their own free choice. They are totally different from those politicians who rack their brains for expedients of direct service to the reactionary ruling classes. Marx pointed out that ordinary engineers and technicians join in the creation of surplus value. That is to say, they, too, are exploited by the capitalists.

In a socialist society, the mental workers trained by the working class itself are different from intellectuals in any exploitative society past or present. Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out during the period of socialist transformation in China that intellectuals from the old society became faced with the question of which “skin” to attach themselves to. Class contradictions and class struggle continue to exist throughout the historical period of socialism, and so throughout this period, intellectuals must decide whether or not they will adopt and maintain the stand of the working class. But generally speaking, the overwhelming majority of them are already intellectuals serving the working class and other working people. It can therefore be said that they are already part of the working class itself. They differ from the manual workers only insofar as they perform different roles in the social division of labour. Everyone who works, whether with his hands or with his brain, is part of the working people in a socialist society. With the advance of modern science and technology and with progress in the four modernizations, a great deal of heavy manual work will gradually be taken over by machines. Among workers directly engaged in production, manual labour will steadily decrease while mental labour will constantly increase. Moreover, there will be a growing demand for researchers and for scientists and technicians. The Gang of Four distorted the division of labour between mental and manual work in our society today, misrepresenting it as a class antagonism. Their aim was to attack and persecute intellectuals, undermine the alliance between the workers and peasants and the intellectuals, damage the productive forces, and sabotage our socialist revolution and construction.

Science and technology are part of the productive forces. Mental workers who serve socialism are part of the working people. A correct understanding of these two facts is essential to the rapid development of our scientific enterprises. Once we have accepted these premises, it follows that we must make every effort to develop scientific research and education in science and to encourage the revolutionary initiative of our scientific, technical and educational workers. For this is essential if we are to accomplish the four modernizations in the short space of 20-odd years and bring about a gigantic growth in our productive forces.

Our science and technology have made enormous progress since the founding of New China and have played a vital role in economic construction and in building up our national defence. All this would have been unthinkable in the old China. No one can deny this impressive achievement. But we must be clear-sighted and recognize that there is still an enormous gap between the level of our science and technology and that of the most advanced countries, and that our scientific and technical forces are still too meagre to meet the needs of our modernization programme. In particular, we have lost a lot of time as a result of the sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four.

Where do we stand in terms of production technology? Several hundred million people are occupied in producing food, and the problem of grain has not really been solved yet. Labour productivity in our iron and steel industry is only a small percentage of that achieved in the advanced countries. The gap is still wider in the newer industries. In the latter, a lag of only three to five years — to say nothing of 8 to 10 or 10 to 20 — creates a really big gap.

Comrade Mao Zedong often reminded us that China ought to make a greater contribution to humanity. In ancient times, China scored brilliant achievements in science and technology; its four great inventions [paper, printing, the compass and gunpowder] played a major role in advancing world civilization. We should not rest on our ancestors’ achievements; rather such achievements should strengthen our resolve to catch up with and surpass the countries that are most advanced in science and technology. Our present contributions in these fields are far from commensurate with the standing of a socialist country such as ours.

Will people be discouraged if we point out this backwardness as an objective fact? Some people, perhaps. But such people don’t know the first thing about Marxism. As for us proletarian revolutionaries, stating the facts and making a serious analysis of their historical and current causes will enable us to plan our strategy and deploy our forces correctly and to work harder for rapid change. Only in this way, moreover, can we encourage people to learn from others willingly so that China can speedily master the world’s latest science and technology.

Backwardness must be recognized before it can be changed. One must learn from those who are more advanced before he can catch up with and surpass them. Of course, in order to raise China’s scientific and technological level we must rely on our own efforts, develop our own creativity and persist in the policy of independence and self-reliance. But independence does not mean shutting the door on the world, nor does self-reliance mean blind opposition to everything foreign. Science and technology are part of the wealth created in common by all mankind. Every people or country should learn from the advanced science and technology of others. It is not just today, when we are scientifically and technologically backward, that we need to learn from others. Even after we catch up with the most advanced countries, we shall still have to learn from them in areas where they are particularly strong.

China’s revolution exerts an attraction on all the revolutionary people in the world, who identify with it. Our drive for socialist modernization has enlisted their interest and support and will continue to do so ever more widely. We must endeavour to increase international academic exchanges and expand our friendly contacts and co-operation with scientific circles in other countries. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all friends abroad who have helped us in science and technology.

That was the first question I wanted to speak about.

The second question is that of building a large contingent of scientific and technical personnel who are both “red and expert”.

For the modernization of science and technology, we must have a mighty scientific and technical force serving the working class, a force which is both “red and expert” and includes a large number of scientists, engineers and technicians who are first rate by world standards. It will not be easy for us to build up such a force.

Here the important thing is to correctly understand what is meant by both “red and expert” and set reasonable standards.

The Gang of Four made the absurd claim that the more a person knew, the more reactionary he would become. They said they preferred labourers without culture and they touted an ignorant reactionary clown who handed in a blank examination paper as the model of a “red expert”. On the other hand, they vilified as “white and expert” those good comrades who studied diligently and contributed to the motherland’s science and technology. For a time, this reversal of right and wrong and confounding of the people with the enemy caused deep confusion in many minds.

Comrade Mao Zedong urged intellectuals to become both “red and expert” and encouraged persons with a bourgeois world outlook to remould it and acquire the proletarian world outlook. The basic question as regards world outlook is whom one is to serve. If a person loves our socialist motherland and is serving socialism and the workers, peasants and soldiers of his own free will and accord, then it should be said that he has begun to acquire a proletarian world outlook. In terms of political standards, he cannot be considered “white” but should be called “red”. Our scientific undertakings are an integral part of our socialist cause. Working devotedly for our socialist scientific enterprises and making contributions to them is, of course, a sign that one is expert; in a sense, it is also a sign that one is “red”.

Imbued with Mao Zedong Thought, our contingent of scientists and technicians has made truly rapid progress in the last 28 years. The large majority of them love the Party and socialism, are striving to integrate themselves with the workers, peasants and soldiers, and work wholeheartedly and successfully at their jobs. Their faith in the Party and in socialism never wavered, even when Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were persecuting and tormenting intellectuals, and they kept on working in their specialities under extremely difficult conditions. Many showed a high level of political awareness in the struggle against the Gang, and when it was smashed their deep revolutionary enthusiasm was released. They fully support the Central Committee of the Party and are working harder than ever for the four modernizations. These scientists and technicians are invaluable to us. On the whole, they have truly proved that they are both “red and expert”, that they are the scientific and technical contingent of our working class.

Naturally this does not mean that these scientists and technicians all have a very high level of consciousness politically and ideologically or that there are no mistakes or defects in their way of thinking, work style or day-to-day work. It does mean that judged by the basic criterion, that of political stand, the overwhelming majority of them are revolutionary intellectuals; they take the stand of the working class and constitute a force our Party can rely on. Of course, they on their part should not be complacent or cease to move forward, but should keep on striving for fresh progress both politically and in their own professions. As for their shortcomings and mistakes, these are matters for education and assistance, to be overcome through criticism and self-criticism. No one is free from shortcomings or exempt from making mistakes. Take people like us, cadres doing political work, veteran cadres who have been in the Party for decades. Don’t we also have shortcomings and make errors of one kind or another? Why should we be more demanding of vocational cadres and technical experts than of ourselves? As for scientists and technicians who have undesirable family backgrounds, who made mistakes in the past or whose families and social connections present some problems, we should judge them mainly by their own basic political attitudes, by their actual behaviour and by their contributions to socialist revolution and construction.

There is also a group of scientists and technicians whose bourgeois world outlook has not fundamentally changed or who are still deeply influenced by bourgeois ideology. In the midst of sharp, intense and complicated class struggle they often waver. But as long as they are not opposed to the Party and socialism, we should unite with them and educate them, promote their special skills, respect their work, take an interest in their progress and give them a warm helping hand. Comrade Mao Zedong consistently held that the more people we had in our revolutionary ranks the better, that we should respect those who have knowledge and specialized skills or have made contributions, and that our attitude towards any person who has made mistakes should be, first, to observe and, second, to help him instead of turning away from him. We must earnestly put these teachings of Comrade Mao Zedong into practice.

In our socialist society, everyone should remould himself — not just persons who have not changed their basic stand, but everybody. We should all engage in a continued process of learning and transforming our thinking. We should all study fresh problems, absorb what is new and consciously guard against corrosion by bourgeois ideology. In this way, we will be better able to carry out the glorious and arduous task of building a modern, powerful socialist country.

Scientists and technicians should concentrate their energies on their professional work. When we say that at least five-sixths of their work time should be left free for professional work, this is meant as the minimum requirement. It would be better still if more time were made available. If someone works seven days and seven nights a week to meet the needs of science or production, it shows his lofty and selfless devotion to the cause of socialism. We should commend, encourage and learn from such people. It has been demonstrated countless times that only those who devote themselves heart and soul to their work, who constantly strive for perfection and fear neither hardship nor disappointment can reach the pinnacles of science. We cannot demand that scientists and technicians, or at any rate, the overwhelming majority of them, study stacks of books on political theory, join in numerous social activities and attend many meetings not related to their work. Lin Biao and the Gang of Four frequently attacked scientists and technicians, accusing them of being “divorced from politics” and labelling those who studied diligently to enrich their knowledge and improve their skills as “white and expert”. “White” is a political concept. Only those who take a reactionary political stand opposed to the Party and socialism can be called “white”. How can one pin the “white” label on a person who studies hard to enrich his knowledge and improve his skills? Scientists and technicians who have flaws of one kind or another in their ideology or their style of work shouldn’t be called “white” unless they are against the Party and socialism. How can our scientists and technicians who work diligently at socialist scientific enterprises be accused of being divorced from politics? The cause of socialism calls for a division of labour. So long as they keep to the socialist political stand, comrades who devote their best efforts to their posts in different trades and professions are not divorced from politics at all; on the contrary, their devoted work is a concrete manifestation of their socialist consciousness. A few years ago, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four were making it difficult for workers to do their jobs, for peasants to till the land, for armymen to do their military training, for students to study and for scientists and technicians to improve their professional skills. This has inflicted heavy losses on the socialist cause. Hasn’t it been a profound lesson?

While making full use of the abilities of our present scientists and technicians and trying to increase their proficiency, we must also exert ourselves to train new personnel. Owing to the sabotage by Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, there is an age gap in our scientific and technical ranks which makes the training of a younger generation of personnel all the more urgent.

We have a vast pool of talent from which to select and train scientists and technicians. The recent reform in our system of college enrolment has brought to light many fine young people who are both hard-working and talented. We are very happy to see their outstanding accomplishments. Though the Gang of Four ran amok for a time, they failed to extinguish the young people’s enthusiasm for study or to crush the teachers’ revolutionary determination to educate the next generation for the Party and the people. Today the Central Committee is paying close attention to science and education and laying heavy stress on the training and selection of talented people. We can foresee that a new era will soon open, in which talented people will come to the fore in great numbers like a galaxy of brilliant stars. The future of science lies with our youth. The maturing of the younger generation holds the best hope for the success of our cause.

General education is basic to the training of scientific and technical personnel. We must carry out the Party’s policy on education comprehensively and correctly, put it on the right track and introduce appropriate reforms, so as to ensure both quantitative and qualitative progress. Education is not just the concern of the educational units; Party committees at all levels must treat it as a major issue. Every trade and profession should support it and try to establish its own schools. The people’s teachers are gardeners cultivating our revolutionary successors. Their creative labour should be respected by the Party and the people. We must see to it that they have enough time for teaching, and we must make proper arrangements for their political life, working conditions and professional studies. Teachers who make outstanding contributions in pedagogy should be commended and rewarded.

We must place particular stress on nurturing talent and break with routine ways of discovering, selecting and training outstanding people. This was one of the big issues about which the Gang of Four spread utter confusion. Scientists, professors and engineers distinguished for their contributions were labelled “bourgeois academic authorities”, and outstanding young and middle-aged scientists and technicians trained by our Party and state were vilified as “shoots of revisionism”. We must eradicate for good the pernicious influence of the Gang of Four and take up the major task of producing — as quickly as possible — experts in science and technology who are up to the highest international standards. Comrade Mao Zedong said in the early period of the War of Resistance Against Japan [1937-45] that our Party’s fighting capacity would be greatly enhanced and Japanese imperialism more quickly defeated if there were one or two hundred comrades with a grasp of Marxism-Leninism which was systematic rather than fragmentary, and genuine rather than hollow. The revolutionary cause needs outstanding revolutionaries, and our scientific undertakings need outstanding scientists. Our working-class scientists of outstanding talent are born of the people and serve the people. Only a broad mass base can generate the continued flow of talents which can help raise the scientific and cultural level of the Chinese nation as a whole.

The discovery and training of talented people by our scientists and teachers is in itself an achievement and a contribution to the country. The history of science shows us the tremendous importance of discovering genuinely talented persons. Some of the world’s scientists look upon the finding and training of new talent as the crowning achievement of a lifetime devoted to science. There is much to be said for this view. A number of contemporary China’s outstanding mathematicians were discovered while still young by older mathematicians who helped them mature. Some of the newcomers may have surpassed their teachers in scientific achievement, but that only makes the teachers’ contributions all the more precious.

The third question I want to discuss is how to introduce, in our scientific and technical units, the system whereby directors of the research institutes assume overall responsibility for work there under the leadership of the respective Party committees.

The rapid growth of China’s science and technology depends on good Party leadership in these fields. Our country has entered a new period of development, and the main focus and the style of the Party’s work ought both to change correspondingly. Party committees at various levels should simultaneously attend to class struggle, the struggle for production, and scientific experiment without neglecting any one of them. We should encourage scientific experiments by the masses themselves so as to generate steady technical progress and new production records. There are several hundred thousand industrial enterprises and several hundred thousand agricultural production brigades in our country. The extensive application of advanced science and technology to industry and agriculture and the greater, faster, better and more economical growth of production can be brought about only if every enterprise and every production brigade does its best to carry out technical transformation and scientific experimentation. But at the same time, we must also try to make the best use of our specialized scientific research institutes. Professional researchers are the mainstay of scientific work. Without a strong contingent of top-flight professionals, it will be difficult to scale the heights of modern science and technology, and also difficult for scientific experimentation by the masses to advance in any sustained way. We must try to combine the efforts of the specialists with those of the masses.

The Central Committee has decided that a system of individual responsibility for technical work should be established in scientific research organizations, and that the directors of institutes should assume overall responsibility under the leadership of the Party committees. These organizational measures will be valuable in strengthening the leading role of the Party committees while giving full scope to the skills and talents of the professionals.

The basic task of our scientific research organizations is to produce results and train talent. They must bring about more and better scientific and technical achievements and train scientific and technical personnel who are both “red and expert”. The degree to which the organizations fulfil this basic task should be the main criterion for judging the work of their Party committees. Only when they truly fulfil it can we say that they have done their duty in helping to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and to build socialism.

Much has to be done to accomplish this basic task, but it is impossible for Party committees to handle everything. We must honestly admit that there are still many things in scientific and technical work that we do not understand. And even if we did, it would still be impossible for the Party committees to handle everything. There must be a division of labour with a system of specific individual responsibility for each post, from top to bottom. This is the only way to ensure order and efficiency in our work. And it is the only way to clearly define each person’s duties, to distribute rewards and penalties correctly, to avoid procrastination and evasion of responsibility, and to prevent people from getting in each other’s way.

The leadership given by Party committees should be primarily political; that is, they should ensure the correct political orientation of the work of the units concerned, see to it that the Party’s line, principles and policies are followed and arouse and mobilize the enthusiasm of all concerned. Such leadership should be exercised through planning. Good plans for scientific research must be drawn up, personnel must be carefully evaluated and properly placed, and all forces must be well organized. For the plans to be carried out and for scientific research to advance, it is also necessary to guarantee support services for the scientists and technicians, providing them with proper working conditions. This too is part of the work of the Party committees. I am willing to be your director of support services and to co-operate with the leading comrades of Party committees at various levels to do the job properly.

As far as leadership over scientific and technical work is concerned, we should give the directors and deputy directors of the research organizations a free hand. Party committees should support both Party and non-Party professionals occupying administrative posts and enable them to fulfil their roles by giving them power and responsibility commensurate with their positions. These professionals, like us, are cadres of the Party and the state and we must never treat them as outsiders. Party committees should be acquainted with their work and check up on it, but whould not attempt to take it over.

We must give full play to democracy and follow the mass line, trusting the judgement of the scientists and technicians in such matters as the evaluation of scientific papers, the assessment of the competence of professional personnel, the elaboration of plans for scientific research and the evaluation of research results. When views diverge on scholarly questions, we must follow the policy of “letting a hundred schools of thought contend” and encourage free discussion. In scientific and technical work, we must listen closely to the opinions of the experts and leave them free to use all their skills and talents so as to achieve better results and reduce our errors to the minimum. This is a vital aspect of the application of the mass line by the Party committees in scientific research organizations.

Will our insistence on allowing scientists and technicians to concentrate on their professional work make our political tasks lighter or less demanding? No, it will not. It will require us to raise the level of our political work, improve our methods, discard formalism, eliminate the pernicious influence of the Gang of Four and learn conscientiously from the fine traditions of political work in the People’s Liberation Army. We must support all demands and suggestions that will further scientific work in our socialist society. And we must criticize and educate those who pursue personal gain, who refuse to share their findings or to work in co-operation with others, who try to monopolize information, who plagiarize the work of others or whose ideas and styles of work are detrimental in any other way. Since we are engaged in socialist modernization and are advancing towards the mastery of modern science and technology, a key task in our current political work is to ensure that all scientists and technicians understand how their work relates to the grand goal of the four modernizations. They must be mobilized to collaborate in a revolutionary spirit and with one heart and mind so as to storm the citadels of science.

Although our Party has accumulated some experience in giving leadership to scientific and technical work for over 20 years, we must admit that we are still to a large extent in the “kingdom of necessity”, that is, prisoners of our ignorance of the work concerned, and have much to learn about organizing, managing and guiding it effectively. Until this state of affairs changes, it will be difficult for us to score major successes and the initiative will not be in our hands. Comrade Mao Zedong taught us that persons who are in the dark cannot light the way for others. Leading Party cadres at various levels must not be content to remain laymen in science and technology. They must dig in and gradually learn the trade. We must apply ourselves to the study of Marxism and raise our political level, but at the same time we must try to acquire scientific knowledge, to sum up the successes and failures in our work, to study and grasp the objective laws governing scientific and technical work and to implement the Party’s principles and policies correctly without neglecting any aspect of them. Just as our Party was able to lead the people in overthrowing the system of exploitation and transforming society, so it will most certainly be able to grasp the laws governing scientific and technical work and lead the people in conquering the heights of world science.

What is right and what is wrong in regard to political line has been basically clarified, we have mapped out a programme and the measures for carrying it out, and the masses are already on the move. The task that now confronts Party organizations at all levels is to inspire real enthusiasm in the masses, to find real solutions to problems and to do really solid work. In a word, we must put everything on a firm footing. We must put a stop to formalism and to the pursuit of appearances without regard for practical results, real efficiency, actual speed, quality or cost. Bad habits like empty talk, boasting and lying must be stamped out.


The Eleventh Party Congress, the First Session of the Fifth National People’s Congress and the First Session of the Fifth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which were convened in succession, have fully demonstrated the great unity of our Party and the great unity of the people of all our nationalities. This National Conference on Science is likewise a demonstration of unity. The unity of the Party and the unity of the people — these are the basic guarantees for the triumph of our cause. Let us hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong Thought and, under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Party, march unswervingly and victoriously towards the grand goal of building a modern and powerful socialist country!

May science flourish and grow! May this conference be a complete success!