Chou En-lai (Zhou Enlai)

Report on the Work of the Government

Delivered: January 13, 1975
Source: Documents of the First Session of the Fourth National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China (booklet)
Published: Foreign Languages Press, 1975
Online Version: Zhou Enlai Internet Archive, February 2004
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 Deputies!

In accordance with the decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, I shall make a report on behalf of the State Council to the Fourth National People's Congress on the work of the government.

Since the Third National People's Congress, the most important event in the political life of the people of all nationalities in our country has been the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution personally initiated and led by our great leader Chairman Mao. In essence this is a great political revolution carried out by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes. It destroyed the bourgeois headquarters of Liu Shao-chi and of Lin Piao and smashed their plots to restore capitalism. The current nation-wide movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius is the continuation and deepening of this great revolution. The victory of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has consolidated the dictatorship of the proletariat in our country, promoted socialist construction and ensured that our country would stand on the side of the oppressed people and oppressed nations of the world. The cultural revolution has provided new experience on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat; its historical significance is great and its influence far-reaching.

In the course of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, our people of all nationalities have unfolded a mass movement to study Marxism- Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and thus heightened their awareness of class struggle and the struggle between the two lines, and struggle- criticism-transformation in the superstructure has achieved major successes. The three-in-one revolutionary committees composed of the old, the middle-aged and the young have forged closer links with the masses. Successors to the cause of the proletarian revolution are maturing in large numbers. The proletarian revolution in literature and art exemplified by the model revolutionary theatrical works is developing in depth. The revolution in education and in health work is thriving. The cadres and the workers, peasants, soldiers, students and commercial workers are persevering on the May 7th road. Over a million barefoot doctors are becoming more competent. Nearly ten million school graduates have gone to mountainous and other rural areas. With the participation of workers, peasants and soldiers the Marxist theoretical contingents are expanding. The emergence of all these new things has strengthened the all-round dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie in the realm of the superstructure, and this further helps consolidate and develop the socialist economic base.

We have overfulfilled the Third Five-Year Plan and will successfully fulfil the Fourth Five-Year Plan in 1975. Our country has won good harvests for thirteen years running. The total value of agricultural output for 1974 is estimated to be 51 per cent higher than that for 1964. This fully demonstrates the superiority of the people's commune. While China's population has increased 60 per cent since the liberation of the country, grain output has increased 140 per cent and cotton 470 per cent. In a country like ours with a population of nearly 800 million, we have succeeded in ensuring the people their basic needs in food and clothing. Gross industrial output for 1974 is estimated to be 190 per cent more than 1964, and the output of major products has greatly increased. Steel has increased 120 per cent, coal 91 per cent, petroleum 650 per cent, electric power 200 per cent, chemical fertilizer 330 per cent, tractors 520 per cent, cotton yarn 85 per cent and chemical fibres 330 per cent. Through our own efforts in these ten years we have completed 1,100 big and medium-sized projects, successfully carried out hydrogen bomb tests and launched man-made earth satellites. In contrast to the economic turmoil and inflation in the capitalist world, we have maintained a balance between our national revenue and expenditure and contracted no external or internal debts. Prices have remained stable, the people's livelihood has steadily improved and socialist construction has flourished. Reactionaries at home and abroad asserted that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution would certainly disrupt the development of our national economy, but facts have now given them a strong rebuttal.

Along with the people of other countries, we have won tremendous victories in the struggle against colonialism and imperialism, and in particular against the hegemonism of the superpowers. We have smashed imperialist and social-imperialist encirclement, blockade, aggression and subversion, and have strengthened our unity with the people of all countries, and especially the third world countries. China's seat in the United Nations, of which she had long been illegally deprived, has been restored to her. The number of countries having diplomatic relations with us has increased to nearly 100, and more than 150 countries and regions have economic and trade relations and cultural exchanges with us. Our struggle has won widespread sympathy and support from the people of all countries. We have friends all over the world.

Tempered in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius, our people of all nationalities are more united and our army has grown stronger. Our great motherland is still more consolidated. All our successes are great victories for Marxism- Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and for Chairman Mao's revolutionary line.

Fellow Deputies!

The Tenth National Congress of our Party again elucidated the Party's basic line and policies formulated by Chairman Mao for the entire historical period of socialism, and pointed out even more clearly the orientation for continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee headed by Chairman Mao, the people of all our nationalities should unite still more closely, adhere to the Party's basic line and policies, endeavour to fulfil the various fighting tasks set forth by the Party's Tenth Congress, consolidate and enhance the victories of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and strive for new victories in socialist revolution and socialist construction.

Our primary task is to continue to broaden, deepen and persevere in the movement to criticize Lin Piao and Confucius. The struggle between the two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the two roads, the socialist and the capitalist, and between the two lines, the Marxist and the revisionist, is long and tortuous and at times even becomes very acute. We must never relax our criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius because of the big successes already achieved in this movement. We should go on deepening the criticism of Lin Piao's revisionist line and the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius, and in line with the principle of making the past serve the present, sum up the historical experience of the struggle between the Confucian and the Legalist schools and of class struggle as a whole, build up a vast Marxist theoretical force in the course of struggle and use Marxism to occupy all spheres in the superstructure. The key to the fulfilment of this task is for the cadres and the masses to study works by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and by Chairman Mao assiduously in order to arm themselves with the basic theories of Marxism. Through the criticism of Lin Piao and Confucius, we should further advance the revolution in literature and art, in education and in health work, promote struggle-criticism-transformation on various fronts and support all the new things so as the better to keep to the socialist orientation.

Under the leadership of the Party, we should strengthen revolutionary committees at all levels. Leading bodies at all levels should become more conscious of the need to implement Chairman Mao's revolutionary line and should maintain closer ties with the masses. We should make active efforts to train young cadres, women cadres and minority nationality cadres, and make a point of selecting outstanding workers and poor and lower- middle peasants for leading posts. We should have better staff and simpler administration with fewer levels. New and veteran cadres should learn from each other and strengthen their unity, and they should be ready to work at any post, high or low, persist in collective productive labour and whole-heartedly serve the people.

We should strictly distinguish between the two different types of contradictions and handle them correctly, implement the Party's policies conscientiously and ensure that the task of consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat is fulfilled right through to the grass-roots level. We should rely on the broad masses to deal steady, accurate and hard blows at the handful of class enemies, with the emphasis on accuracy. We should earnestly strive to do well in resolving contradictions among the people with democratic methods in accordance with the principle of unity — criticism and self-criticism — unity, and thus give full play to the masses' enthusiasm for socialism.

The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities — these are the basic guarantees of the sure triumph of our cause. We should strengthen the great unity of the people of all our nationalities. We should wholeheartedly rely on the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants, unite with the other working people and the many intellectuals and further develop the revolutionary united front which, led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance, includes the patriotic democratic parties, patriotic personages, patriotic overseas Chinese and our compatriots in Hongkong and Macao. We should unite over 95 per cent of the cadres and the masses and unite with all the forces that can be united with in a joint effort to build our great socialist motherland.

Socialist revolution is the powerful engine for developing the social productive forces. We must adhere to the principle of grasping revolution, promoting production and other work and preparedness against war, and with revolution in command, work hard to increase production and speed up socialist construction so that our socialist system will have a more solid material foundation.

On Chairman Mao's instructions, it was suggested in the report on the work of the government to the Third National People's Congress that we might envisage the development of our national economy in two stages beginning from the Third Five-Year Plan: The first stage is to build an independent and relatively comprehensive industrial and economic system in 15 years, that is, before 1980; the second stage is to accomplish the comprehensive modernization of agriculture, industry, national defence and science and technology before the end of the century, so that our national economy will be advancing in the front ranks of the world.

We should fulfil or overfulfil the Fourth Five- Year Plan in 1975 in order to reinforce the foundations for completing the first stage before 1980 as envisaged above. In the light of the situation at home and abroad, the next ten years are crucial for accomplishing what has been envisaged for the two stages. In this period we shall not only build an independent and relatively comprehensive industrial and economic system, but march towards the splendid goal set for the second stage. With this objective in mind, the State Council will draw up a long-range ten-year plan, five-year plans and annual plans. The ministries and commissions under the State Council and the local revolutionary committees at all levels down to the industrial and mining enterprises and production teams and other grass-roots units should all arouse the masses to work out their plans through full discussion and strive to attain our splendid goal ahead of time.

In order to keep on expanding our socialist economy, we must persist in the general line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism and continue to apply the policy of taking agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor and the series of policies of walking on two legs. We should work out the national economic plan in this order of priorities: agriculture, light industry, heavy industry. We should give full play to the initiative of both central and local authorities under the state's unified planning. We should implement the Charter of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company still better and deepen the mass movements — In industry, learn from Taching and In agriculture, learn from Tachai. While tackling economic tasks, our leading comrades at all levels must pay close attention to the socialist revolution in the realm of the superstructure and keep a firm grasp on class struggle and the struggle between the two lines. Only when we do well in revolution is it possible to do well in production. We should thoroughly criticize revisionism, criticize capitalist tendencies and criticize such erroneous ideas and styles of work as servility to things foreign, the doctrine of trailing behind at a snail's pace, and extravagance and waste.

Chairman Mao points out, "Rely mainly on our own efforts while making external assistance subsidiary, break down blind faith, go in for industry, agriculture and technical and cultural revolutions independently, do away with slavishness, bury dogmatism, learn from the good experience of other countries conscientiously and be sure to study their bad experience too, so as to draw lessons from it. This is our line." This line has enabled us to break the imperialist blockade and withstand social-imperialist pressure, and the progress of our economy has been sound and vigorous all along, regardless of economic fluctuations and crises in the capitalist world. We must always adhere to this line.

Fellow Deputies!

The present international situation is still characterized by great disorder under heaven, a disorder which is growing greater and greater. The capitalist world is facing the most serious economic crisis since the war, and all the basic contradictions in the world are sharpening. On the one hand, the trend of revolution by the people of the world is actively developing; countries want independence, nations want liberation, and the people want revolution — this has become an irresistible historical current. On the other hand, the contention for world hegemony between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, is becoming more and more intense. Their contention has extended to every corner of the world, the focus of their contention being Europe. Soviet social-imperialism "makes a feint to the east while attacking in the west." The two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, are the biggest international oppressors and exploiters today, and they are the source of a new world war. Their fierce contention is bound to lead to world war some day. The people of all countries must get prepared. Detente and peace are being talked about everywhere in the world; it is precisely this that shows there is no detente, let alone lasting peace, in this world. At present, the factors for both revolution and war are increasing. Whether war gives rise to revolution or revolution prevents war, in either case the international situation will develop in a direction favourable to the people and the future of the world will be bright.

We should continue to implement Chairman Mao's revolutionary line in foreign affairs, always keep the people in mind, place our hopes on them and do our external work better. We should uphold proletarian internationalism and strengthen our unity with the socialist countries and all the oppressed people and oppressed nations of the world, with each supporting the other. We should ally ourselves with all the forces in the world that can be allied with to combat colonialism, imperialism and above all superpower hegemonism. We are ready to establish or develop relations with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

The third world is the main force in combating colonialism, imperialism and hegemonism. China is a developing socialist country belonging to the third world. We should enhance our unity with the countries and people of Asia, Africa and Latin America and resolutely support them in their struggle to win or safeguard national independence, defend their state sovereignty, protect their national resources and develop their national economy. We firmly support the just struggles of the people of Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Palestine and the Arab countries as well as countries in southern Africa. We support the countries and people of the second world in their struggle against superpower control, threats and bullying. We support the efforts of West European countries to get united in this struggle. We are ready to work together with the Japanese Government and people to promote friendly and good-neighbourly relations between the two countries on the basis of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement.

There exist fundamental differences between China and the United States. Owing to the joint efforts of both sides the relations between the two countries have improved to some extent in the last three years, and contacts between the two peoples have developed. The relations between the two countries will continue to improve so long as the principles of the Sino-American Shanghai Communique are carried out in earnest.

The Soviet leading clique have betrayed Marxism-Leninism, and our debate with them on matters of principle will go on for a long time. However, we have always held that this debate should not obstruct the maintenance of normal state relations between China and the Soviet Union. The Soviet leadership have taken a series of steps to worsen the relations between the two countries, conducted subversive activities against our country and even provoked armed conflicts on the border. In violation of the understanding reached between the Premiers of China and the Soviet Union as early as 1969, they refuse to sign the agreement on the maintenance of the status quo on the border, the prevention of armed conflicts and the disengagement of the armed forces of the two sides in the disputed areas on the border, an agreement which includes the non-use of force against each other and mutual non-aggression. Hence the negotiations on the Sino-Soviet boundary question have so far yielded no results. They even deny the existence of the disputed areas on the Sino-Soviet border, and they even refuse to do anything about such matters as the disengagement of the armed forces of the two sides in the disputed areas on the border and the prevention of armed conflicts; instead they talk profusely about empty treaties on the non-use of force against each other and mutual non-aggression. So what can their real intention be if not to deceive the Soviet people and world public opinion? We wish to advise the Soviet leadership to sit down and negotiate honestly, do something to solve a bit of the problem and stop playing such deceitful tricks.

Chairman Mao teaches us, "Dig tunnels deep, store grain everywhere, and never seek hegemony." "Be prepared against war, be prepared against natural disasters, and do everything for the people." We should maintain vigilance, strengthen our defence and be prepared against war. The heroic People's Liberation Army shoulders the glorious task of defending the motherland. The whole army should resolutely implement Chairman Mao's line for army building to strengthen the army and enhance preparedness against war. We should build the people's militia conscientiously and well. Together with the people of all our nationalities, the People's Liberation Army and the masses of the people's militia should be ready at all times to wipe out any enemy that dares intrude.

We are determined to liberate Taiwan! Fellow countrymen in Taiwan and people of the whole country, unite and work together to achieve the noble aim of liberating Taiwan and unifying the motherland!

Fellow Deputies!

In the excellent situation prevailing at home and abroad, we should first of all run China's affairs well and strive to make a greater contribution to humanity.

We must bear firmly in mind Chairman Mao's teachings and grasp major issues, grasp the line, and adhere to these fundamental principles, "Practise Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don't split; be open and aboveboard, and don't intrigue and conspire."

We must resolutely support the centralized leadership of the Party. Of the seven sectors — industry, agriculture, commerce, culture and education, the Army, the government and the Party — it is the Party that exercises overall leadership. We must put all fields of work under the unified leadership of the Party committees at various levels.

We must carry forward the glorious tradition of observing discipline, conscientiously practise democratic centralism, and, on the basis of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, achieve unity in thinking, policy, plan, command and action.

We must persist in the mass line: From the masses, to the masses; we must have unshakable faith in the vast majority of the masses and firmly rely on them. Both in revolution and in construction, we should boldly arouse the people and unfold vigorous mass movements.

We must work hard, build the country and run all undertakings with diligence and thrift. We should maintain the same vigour, the same revolutionary enthusiasm and the same daring death-defying spirit we displayed in the years of revolutionary war, and carry on our revolutionary work to the end.

We must uphold proletarian internationalism, and get rid of great-power chauvinism resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely. We will never seek hegemony; we will never be a superpower; we will always stand with the oppressed people and oppressed nations throughout the world.

Under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Party headed by Chairman Mao, the Chinese people have worked energetically, surmounted all difficulties and hazards, and turned a poverty-stricken and backward country into a socialist one with the beginnings of prosperity in only twenty years and more. We can certainly build China into a powerful modern socialist country in another twenty years and more before the end of the century. We should continue to work hard, carry forward our achievements and overcome our shortcomings, be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and continue our triumphant advance. Under the guidance of Chairman Mao's revolutionary line, let us unite to win still greater victories!

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