Delivered: September 22, 1949
Source: World News and Views October 8, 1949, Vol. 29, No. 41 [A]
Online Version: Liu Shaoqi Internet Archive, July 2005
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Mike B.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
Fellow delegates: The First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference has now opened. Henceforth the history of China has entered an entirely new era—the era of People's Democracy. On behalf of all the members of the Communist Party of China, with a feeling of ardent happiness, I hail the inauguration of the People's Political Consultative Conference, the People's Republic of China that is about to come into being, and its Central People's Government that is about to be established at this Conference.
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is the organisational form of the Chinese Peoples Democratic United Front and the most important concrete method of realising the great revolutionary unity of the people throughout the country. It will continue to exist for a long time in China, and will set up its local organisations in all places wherever necessary.
Through more than one hundred years of hard struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, the Chinese people has deeply understood that a great revolutionary unity of the people throughout the country must be realised before the powerful enemies set over them can be defeated, the fruits of victory consolidated and the New China successfully built after defeating these enemies. In the past, however, owing to obstruction and undermining through various means by imperialism and the reactionaries, the great revolutionary unity of the Chinese people failed to take final shape organisationally, or was destroyed by imperialism and the reactionaries before taking initial shape, but today, because the heroic People's Liberation Army has basically overthrown the rule of imperialism and its lackeys, the Kuomintang reactionaries, and because of the growth of consciousness of the masses of the people, the great revolutionary unity of the Chinese people has taken shape on an entirely new basis.
Though imperialism and the reactionaries still try by all means to undermine this unity, we believe that there is no force in the world which can obstruct and undermine this great revolutionary unity of the Chinese people. Once the 475 million Chinese people who were ridiculed as "a bowl of loose sand" are welded into a unified force under correct leadership, its brilliant rays will shine on the whole world. It will swiftly eliminate all enemy remnants, overcome all difficulties, and transform a backward China into an independent, democratic, peaceful, united, prosperous and strong new China.
Since its founding, the Communist Party of China has struggled for the great revolutionary unity of the Chinese people. It will in the future continue to struggle for this great unity. Therefore, the Communist Party of China will certainly tirelessly strive for the success, development and consolidation of the People's Political Consultative Conference.
The Communist Party of China participates and sincerely cooperates with other democratic parties and groups, people's organisations, national minorities, Overseas Chinese and other patriotic elements on the basis of the common programme of New Democracy, in the People's Political Consultative Conference, as a political party to decide on all the important questions of China. The Communist Party of China will resolutely carry out and struggle to realise thoroughly all the resolutions of the People's Political Consultative Conference which it has taken part in passing. The Communist Party of China will struggle for the highest prestige of the People's Political Consultative Conference, and will not allow anyone to undermine the People's Political Consultative Conference.
The great revolutionary unity of the people throughout the country established today, has its firm political basis. This is the common programme of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which the Preparatory Committee of the Political Consultative Conference will submit for discussion and adoption by the plenary session.
We believe that this common programme is an extremely important document in the history of China. It lays down the government machinery and military system of our country and decides on the economic, cultural, and educational policies, policy towards nationalities, and the foreign policy of our country. It firmly and clearly points out those things that should and must be done, and what should not and are not allowed to be done. It is a people's revolutionary national construction programme, worked out by summing up the experiences of the revolutionary struggle of the Chinese people against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism during the past century, and more especially during the past twenty-odd years. It is the great charter of the people throughout the country for the present time. The Communist Party of China will fully observe all the stipulations of the common programme after it has been discussed and adopted by the Plenary Session of the Political Consultative Conference, and will call on the people throughout the country to struggle for its thorough realisation. The great unity of the people throughout the country and the Political Consultative Conference founded on such a political basis will be matchless in the world.
The Communist Party of China will support the People's Political Consultative Conference, and struggle for the realisation of the common programme. The immediate policy of the Communist Party is to realise completely its minimum programme. Since its minimum programme has been entirely accepted by the People's Political Consultative Conference, it is a matter of course that the Communist Party of China supports the People's Political Consultative Conference and struggles for the realisation of its common programme, but it is known that the Communist Party of China has in addition to its minimum programme, its maximum programme which is not included in the common programme of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. In the course of consultation, some delegates proposed to write the future Socialism of China into the common programme, but we deem this to be out of place, because the taking of considerable serious Socialist steps in China is a thing of the rather far future. If such a goal were put in the common programme, this could very easily cause confusion over the practical steps which have to be taken.
Without doubt, in the future, China will travel towards Socialism and Communism, because the outcome of the industrialisation of China will either lead China to Socialism, or turn her into an imperialist country. The latter alternative will not be allowed by the Chinese people and the peoples of the world.
But these are things of the far future, and they may well be discussed by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in the future. The taking of Socialist steps in China must be based on the actual needs of the social and economic development of China and on the demands of the great majority of the people throughout the country. At that time, the Communist Party of China will certainly consult and make decisions jointly with the democratic parties and groups, people's organisations, national minorities and patriotic democratic persons. The Communist Party of China is, in the future, also willing to enter into Socialism together with all people wilting to do so.
We know that the great revolutionary unity of the peoples throughout the country is necessary for the realisation of Socialism in the future as well as for the realisation of the New Democracy.
[A] This document presents excerpts from a speech given by Liu Shaoqi, as published by World News and Views. According to Selected Works of Liu Shaoqi, Volume I, This speech was "made on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultive Conference."