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Welcoming 1966 — The First Year of China’s Third Five-Year Plan

— New Year's Day Message —

[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #1, Jan. 1, 1966, pp. 5-9.]

NINETEEN SIXTY-SIX, the first year of China’s great Third Five-Year Plan, has arrived. Full of boundless joy, the Chinese people of all nationalities are determined to make still greater achievements in the socialist revolution and socialist construction in the new year, to make the new Five-Year Plan a success from the very start.

The Third-Five Year Plan

The Third Five-Year Plan is a magnificent plan of the Chinese people to develop their national economy. During the period of the Third Five-Year Plan, we must hold aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, continue to carry out, in a deep-going way, the three great revolutionary movements of class struggle, the struggle for production, and scientific experiment. We will carry out the socialist education movement in the countryside and cities on a still wider scale. We will strive to increase agricultural production year by year, and implement still more effectively the National Programme for Agricultural Development. While bringing into full play the latent capacities of present industrial enterprises and transport and communications services on the basis of constant technical innovations and a constant rise in labour productivity, great efforts will be made to build a number of new enterprises, strengthen national defence, strengthen basic industries, communications and transport, and further improve the distribution of industry in the country; corresponding efforts will be made to expand light industry and improve the people’s livelihood step by step on the basis of the development of production—to do all this in order to build up an independent, fairly comprehensive industrial system and national economy. We will make strenuous efforts in order to catch up with and surpass advanced world levels in science and technology and build China into a strong socialist country with modern agriculture, modern industry, modern national defence and modern science and technology within twenty to thirty years.

Most Favourable Conditions

Since liberation, there have never been such favourable conditions for the national economy as now, when China’s Third Five-Year Plan is being launched.

Since liberation, China has gone through a period of two Five-Year Plans, after the period of the rehabilitation of the national economy. The First Five-Year Plan was overfulfilled by 1957. The Second Five-Year Plan, which was launched in 1958, was basically fulfilled in 1960, two years ahead of schedule. In the five years from then to the present, we made an overall readjustment of the national economy in the first three years and, in the following two years, we organized a new upsurge in the national economy, creating in every respect sound and adequate foundations for implementing the Third Five-Year Plan. From 1959 to 1961, China was hit by three successive years of natural calamities and there were some shortcomings and mistakes in our work; moreover, the Khrushchov revisionist clique perfidiously and suddenly attacked China by tearing up several hundred agreements and contracts, cutting off the supply of important items of equipment and technical data and withdrawing all Soviet experts working in China, thus adding to our economic difficulties. But all these serious difficulties did not overwhelm us. Through the efforts of the whole Party and the whole people, these big difficulties were turned into very good things.

In the past several years, under the brilliant leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, we have made progress in learning how to apply Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking in understanding things, analysing situations and grasping and solving problems. We found in good time ways of overcoming difficulties and ways of bringing about a great leap forward in a certain historical period. We have learnt methods of implementing the mass line more effectively. By relying on and bringing into play the strength of the masses, not only did we overcome our difficulties but we have brought about an all-round upsurge in the national economy. The Khrushchov revisionist clique’s betrayal strengthened our determination to exert greater efforts to implement the policy of self-reliance and to break down the notion of relying on others and having blind faith in them. This has greatly increased the material forces for building the country by our own efforts, and enabled us to find the correct road and a whole set of concrete measures for carrying out the socialist revolution and socialist construction in conformity with objective laws and the specific conditions of China. We have seriously summed up the experience and lessons of our work and learnt how to more comprehensively implement the general line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism. Facts have fully confirmed that our experience has become richer and our strength greater.

Socialist Education Movement

Class Struggle. It should be particularly pointed out that based on Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s teaching that classes and class struggle should always be borne in mind, we have taken class struggle in the past few years as the key to all our work, unfolded the socialist education movement in the countryside and the cities, and re-educated Communist Party members, cadres and the masses with the spirit of uninterrupted and thoroughgoing revolution, of carrying the socialist revolution through to the end. We have consolidated and expanded the position of socialism in the political, economic, ideological and organizational spheres and dealt a heavy blow to the noxious influences of capitalism. This greatly invigorated the outlook of the people throughout the country and their revolutionary enthusiasm is rising higher and higher. The struggle against Khrushchov revisionism has greatly raised the Marxist-Leninist ideological level and proletarian internationalism of the cadres and the masses. This is of far-reaching historic significance in preventing the restoration of capitalism and in promoting the advance of socialism in China and of world revolution.

Cultural Revolution. The cultural revolution has been developed in depth; a series of great debates and reforms have been carried out in philosophy, history, literature, art and education, spreading Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, repudiating revisionism, upholding proletarian thinking and uprooting the ideas of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class. Many of those working in the social science field have gained a deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung’s thinking. Many writers and artists have more clearly recognized their direction of serving proletarian politics, serving the workers, peasants and soldiers and serving the economic base of socialism. While continuing to reform the full-time schools, educational workers started to put the system of part-farming, part-study and part-work, part-study into practice experimentally. The intellectuals have gone to rural areas, factories and army units to integrate themselves with the workers, peasants and soldiers; this has helped them to remould their thinking and greatly heighten their socialist consciousness.

Mass Movement to Study Mao Tse-tung’s Thinking. The study of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking by people all over the country has developed on an unprecedented mass scale. A vast number of people and cadres have creatively studied and used Mao Tse-tung’s works and their socialist consciousness has been raised to an all-time high. Reading Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s books, following his teachings and working in accordance with his guidance have become conscious acts of the masses of people. Mao Tse-tung’s teaching has become a powerful ideological weapon which is being used by tens of millions of people with increasing consciousness, and a great motivating force for progress in all fields of work. Learning from the People’s Liberation Army, from the Tachai Production Brigade and from the Taching Oilfield has become a nationwide campaign. The revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and hard struggle is taking root, blossoming and bearing fruit in different trades and occupations. Learning from Lei Feng and Wang Chieh and from all advanced people has grown into a movement of self-education for the broad masses. The revolutionary style of doing everything in the interest of others, disregarding one’s own interests, fearlessness in the face of trials or death and wholehearted devotion to the revolution have become new lofty moral trends in our society. All this encourages the masses of people to make greater contributions to the socialist revolution and construction, since the spirit it engenders is transformed into a material force.

Most Powerful Material and Technical Basis Ever

The material and technical basis of our country has never been so powerful as now, when we are embarking on the great Third Five-Year Plan.

In the past few years, under the guidance and inspiration of the general line for building socialism, we have had great success in carrying out the general policy of developing the national economy with agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor.

Agricultural Production. Agricultural production has made tremendous advances and remarkable results have been achieved in steadily increasing output. The system of rural people’s communes has been further consolidated and its superiority has been brought into fuller play.

The work of building water conservancy projects and improving farmland has been very fruitful. In agriculture, the Tachai Production Brigade has come forward as a brilliant pace-setter. Rural areas all over the country made great efforts to learn from Tachai. Many outstanding farming units have emerged in the style of Tachai. In 1965, there were good harvests for the fourth year running. Grain, cotton, sugar-bearing crops and tobacco output rose considerably.

Industrial Production. There was new progress in industrial production, with a new leap forward in the increased number of varieties and improved quality. Many weak links in industry were greatly strengthened. Many gaps were filled in. The petroleum industry in particular made an important breakthrough and has made China virtually self-sufficient. Communications and transport also made great advances. The Taching Oilfield rose up as an illustrious pace-setter on the industrial, communications and transport front. Various places in the country are making great efforts to learn from Taching. As a result, many outstanding industrial enterprises have emerged in the style of the Taching Oilfield. Industrial production last year registered considerable increases, with higher labour productivity and lower costs. Many construction projects made fairly rapid progress; the quality of construction work improved, and investments yielded rather substantial results.

The supply of commodities on the market increased steadily, in line with the development of industrial and agricultural production. In 1965, there was a big increase in the supply of pork, edible oil, sugar and cotton cloth; commodity prices remained stable and the market was brisk.

A Country That Owes No Foreign Debt. In the past few years state revenue and expenditures were balanced and the foreign trade plan was well fulfilled. All foreign debts were repaid and China has become a country that owes no debt to any country. The capital and interest on government bonds have been repaid on time, and in two or three years China will be a country without any domestic debt.

In the past few years, great achievements have been made in culture, education, public health and physical culture work; research in science and technology in particular advanced by leaps and bounds. All departments in the national economy made significant gains in the use of new designs, new techniques, new technological processes, new materials and new equipment. The successful explosion of two atomic bombs showed in a concentrated way that China has made a big leap forward in its efforts to catch up with and surpass the world’s advanced scientific and technical levels.

China’s National Defence Strength Has Become Unprecedentedly Great. It is especially noteworthy that in the past few years the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, public security forces and the militia, troops who are the sons and brothers of our people, have creatively studied and used Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, given prominence to politics, persisted in carrying out the “four firsts”1 and “three-eight” working style.2 They have made great strides in their advance to revolutionization and modernization and have won important victories in the defence of our territorial air and waters and our border areas and in strengthening public security. China’s national defence strength has become unprecedentedly great.

All this has provided a solid ideological base and a powerful material basis for our country to carry out the Third Five-Year Plan. Our people have never been so high in spirit and so strong in morale as at present. Our country has never before been so prosperous.

1966—A Good Beginning

Nineteen sixty-six is the first year of the Third Five-Year Plan. We must fight the battle of the first year well so as to make a good start in bringing about the smooth realization of this grand plan.

Central Task for 1966. In the coming year, we shall continue the socialist education movement thoroughly and effectively, carrying it out by stages and by groups. We shall continue to implement in an all-round way the Party’s General Line of going all out, aiming high and achieving greater, faster, better and more economical results in building socialism. We shall launch a solid nationwide movement to increase production and practise economy. We shall put great effort into the development of agriculture. All Communist Party committees at provincial, regional, county and people’s commune levels should place agriculture first. They should increase grain and cotton production, develop a diversified economy and work energetically to resist and take precautions against natural calamities. We shall carry forward the movement for technical innovations and the technological revolution so as to give full play to the existing potentialities in the fields of industry and communications and transport; at the same time we shall have to speed the construction of new projects by way of “waging a war of annihilation with concentrated forces” in order to enable them to go into early operation. We shall redouble our effort to increase the production of raw materials and other materials, fuels, electricity and major machinery and electrical equipment. We shall give agriculture vigorous support by turning out more products suited to the needs of the countryside. We shall organize the circulation of commodities rationally and raise the standard of the trading services so as to better serve production and the people. We shall take further steps in directing our work towards the rural areas in the fields of culture, education and health in order to push forward the cultural revolution. We must also work hard to strengthen national defence, the People’s Liberation Army and the militia.

The Viewpoint of One Dividing Into Two. We should always bear in mind Mao Tse-tung’s teaching that we should apply the viewpoint of one dividing into two in dealing with our work. The more successful our work and the greater our achievements, the more attention we must devote to the difficulties that will arise along the road of advance as well as to the shortcomings and mistakes that exist in our work. For example, our agriculture is still not strong enough to withstand the natural calamities which always affect some parts of the country every year. There are still quite a number of weak links in our industry, communications and capital construction. And quite a number of our departments still have a considerable gap to bridge before they reach advanced world scientific and technical levels.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung taught us: “Even if we have achieved extremely great successes, there is no reason whatever to be conceited or complacent. Modesty helps a person to make progress whereas conceit makes him lag behind. This is a truth we must always bear in mind.” All areas, departments and units must, in accordance with the teachings of the Party’s Central Committee and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, constantly sum up their experience, improve their work, make discoveries and inventions, and keep on creating and advancing.

Politics in Command. Politics is the supreme commander, the very soul of our work. It is necessary to put ideological and political work above all other work. The key in striving to accomplish and overfulfil the tasks for 1966 is to strengthen the Party’s leadership, give prominence to politics, put Mao Tse-tung’s thinking in command, and accelerate the revolutionization of man’s ideology. Practice has proved that the more prominence we give to politics and the higher we hold the red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, the more fully does the superiority of the socialist system show itself and the more assured is the victory of the cause of revolution and construction. In order to achieve still greater successes, we must follow the road of engaging energetically in revolution so as to promote production and construction.

In the new year, we must do still better in leading and organizing the cadres and the masses in studying Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s works, and in particular do our best to apply his thinking to practice. In all fields of work, we should carry out the mass line still better and bring the initiative of all people into fuller play. We should persist in effectively combining revolutionary spirit with scientific approach, work with great vigour and advance in steady steps, and do things in a careful and thoroughgoing manner. We should be proficient at summing up and popularizing the experience of the people and units that have become pace-setters. We should be good at discovering, supporting and fostering the new things that continually appear. We must go further in learning from the People’s Liberation Army, the Tachai Production Brigade and the Taching Oilfield by developing the mass movement to “compare with, learn from, catch up with and surpass the advanced and help the less advanced.” We should carry forward and develop the fine tradition of self-reliance, working assiduously and with vigour to make China strong, and building the country by thrift and diligence. In this way, we shall certainly be able to accomplish and overfulfil the great tasks for 1966.

Never Forget the International Class Struggle

Be Prepared for Early and Large-Scale War by U.S. Imperialism. While we carry out socialist revolution and socialist construction, we must never for a moment forget the international class struggle. U.S. imperialism regards as the biggest obstacle to carrying out its policies of aggression and war the increasingly powerful China which holds aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism, the banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking and the banner of proletarian internationalism, and which resolutely supports the revolutionary struggles of all countries. U.S. imperialism constantly carries out all kinds of wild provocations against China and wants to have another trial of strength with it. Many facts show that the focus of the counter-revolutionary global strategy of the United States is being shifted from Europe to Asia. U.S. imperialism is extending its war of aggression against Vietnam and plotting to impose war upon the Chinese people. We must maintain sharp vigilance and arrange all our work on the basis of coping with the eventuality that U.S. imperialism will launch an early and large-scale war. If the U.S. aggressors should dare to invade our country, we shall wipe them out resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely.

Resolute Support for Revolutionary Struggles of the Peoples of the World. U.S. Imperialism is the common enemy of the people of the whole world. The people of all countries support each other in the struggle against U.S. imperialism. We must never confine our view to China only, but should see the world as a whole. We are engaging in production and construction not only for the Chinese revolution and in the service of the Chinese people but also for the world revolution and in the service of the people of the whole world. Comrade Mao Tse-tung told us: “The people who have triumphed in their revolution should help the struggle of those who are still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty.” In order to fulfil this great duty, we must spare no effort in resolutely supporting the Vietnamese people, who are in the forefront of the anti-U.S. struggle, and the people of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the rest of the world in their struggles to overthrow U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.

Combat Khrushchov Revisionism to the End. The Khrushchov revisionists are following a line, diametrically opposed to ours. They betray Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, regard U.S. imperialism as their closest friend, dream of world domination through U.S.-Soviet collaboration, and work in every conceivable way to sell out the revolutionary interests of the people of all countries. We must carry through the struggle against Khrushchov revisionism to the very end. More than 90 per cent of the people of the world want revolution. We stand firmly on their side, and we shall never be isolated. The ones who are isolated are the handful of imperialists, revisionists and reactionaries who are hostile to the masses, and these are bound to become more and more isolated as time goes on. For 16 years the U.S. imperialists have been pursuing their policy of isolating China, and for a number of years the Khrushchov revisionists have done the same. But the result in both cases is that they have lifted a rock only to crush their own feet. China’s prestige is rising higher and higher and its revolutionary influence is growing greater and greater. We have friends all over the world.

International United Front. We shall unite still more firmly with the people of the countries in the socialist camp, with the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with the people of all countries in the world, including the American people, and with all peace-loving countries and all forces opposed to U.S. imperialism, to form a broad international united front and struggle to the very end for the defeat of U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.

In the new year let us hold still higher the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking, have the country in our hearts and a world view in our minds, and forge ahead to win new, great victories.


1 The “four firsts” are: First place must be given to man in handling the relationship between man and weapons; to political work in handling the relationship between political and other work; to ideological work in relation to the other aspects of political work; and to living ideas in ideological work

2 The “three-eight” working style (which in Chinese is written in three phrases and eight additional characters) means firm and correct political orientation; a plain, hard-working style; flexibility in strategy and tactics; and unity, alertness, earnestness and liveliness

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