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Working for the Happiness of the People: The Scientific Analysis and Demarcation of the Principal Contradiction Facing the Chinese Society by the Communist Party of China
November 14,2021   By:CSHRS
Working for the Happiness of the People: The Scientific Analysis and Demarcation of the Principal Contradiction Facing the Chinese Society by the Communist Party of China
 
ZHU Liyu*
 
Abstract: The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stated an important new definition of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. In a century’s development, the formulation of the CPC’s major strategies, paths, guidelines, and policies is closely related to the Party’s scientific analysis and evaluation of the principal contradiction according to the development stage of Chinese society in different historical periods. This is of great significance for identifying the work focus of the Party and the State and for realizing China’s progress and development. In the course of its striving to solve the principal contradiction facing the Chinese society, the Party has always been unremittingly committed to seeking happiness for the people. From the perspective of localization of the Marxist human rights theory in China, this is the ultimate reason why the Party and the State can make great achievements in various undertakings, including the construction of human rights.
 
Keywords: nature of society · principal contradiction · basic contradiction · human rights
 
At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October 2017, General Secretary Xi Jinping stated that “As socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has become the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.”1 This is a new definition of the principal contradiction in society made by the CPC Central Committee through scientific analysis and plays an extremely important guiding role in the development of China’s human rights cause. On the occasion of commemorating the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, this paper intends to review the important documents of the CPC and the exposition of the leaders, make a scientific analysis and definition of the nature of Chinese society in different historical periods and stages of the Party, especially the main social contradiction, and further interpret them from the perspective of the localization of Marxist theory on human rights in China.
 
I. The Scientific Description of the Socialist Society and the Goals Established by the Party in the Early Days of its Establishment
 
The May 4th Movement, which broke out before the founding of the CPC, promoted the spread of Marxism in China and its combination with the workers' movement, which prepared for the founding of the CPC in terms of ideology and cadres. During the period before and after the founding of the CPC, Li Dazhao and other advanced intellectuals who were in favor of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia and had preliminary communist thoughts played an important role. From the perspective of the sinicization of Marxist human rights theory, many important human rights thoughts can be summed up in the related writings about Li Dazhao, one of the main founders of the CPC.
 
In the course of studying and spreading Marxism before and after the founding of the CPC, Li Dazhao pointed out the inevitable historical and social direction for the development of Chinese society: to establish a socialist and communist society. In his view, this was also the goal of the CPC. Regarding the need to build a socialist society, in March 1921, just before the founding of the Party, Li Dazhao wrote in his article Industry under Socialism, “Therefore, in implementing socialism, China will not worry about the lack of capital, let alone that of labor. Based on that, Chinese industry enjoys huge potential with China's vast land and abundant resources. Moreover, if China does not practice socialism, the bureaucrats will be too powerful, and they are also the ones who hamper industry. There is no one in the Chinese business community who is not subject to the manipulation and oppression of the bureaucrats. After socialism is implemented, it is certainly possible to exterminate those who impede industry in this way. I would like to make a quick prediction: the revitalization of Chinese industry must rely on the implementation of socialism.” 2 Why should China build a socialist society instead of a capitalist system? On July 1, 1922, Li Dazhao gave his answer from the perspective of democracy and equality in his article Populist Politics and Worker Politics — Whether the rich rule the poor, or the poor rule the rich; men rule women, or women rule men; the strong rule the weak, or the weak rule the strong; the old rule the young, or the young rule the old... All these systems of arbitrary use and subjection are not allowed by the socialist spirit.”3 In Li Dazhao's opinion, the spirit of socialism includes the equality of everyone, so China should establish a socialist society. From September 1923 to the first half of 1924, in his long essay Socialism and Social Movement, Li Dazhao continued to explain the purpose of production in a socialist society: “From the economic aspect, it is necessary to make people who work satisfy their desires and reap all the benefits they deserve.”4 On November 7, 1923, Li Dazhao gave a speech entitled Resolving Doubts about Socialism at Shanghai University, in which he clearly defined the mode of production and life in socialist society as follows — “Socialism is to make products increase in a planned manner for perfectly fair distribution, thus upgrading the method of production is necessary. This will enable all of us to live a good spiritual and material life in peace and comfort.”5
 
According to Li Dazhao, if this kind of socialism was established, China would be able to truly respect every worker, his work, and the fruits of his work; China could truly take meeting the ever-increasing material and spiritual needs of the members of society as the goal of social production, and could gradually create necessary social conditions for workers to give play to and develop their abilities. Today, Li Dazhao’s words, whether the “socialist spirit, “to make people who work satisfy their desires and reap all the benefits they deserve”, “revitalization of Chinese industry”, or “all of us to live a good spiritual and material life in peace and comfort”, reflect that he wanted all Chinese people to live what we now call a good life with guaranteed human rights. One of his correct conclusions about this, of course, is that it is only through the Communist Party that a socialist society can be built and that such a vision can be realized.
 
More importantly, Li Dazhao also believed that China could not spontaneously evolve into a socialist society. On January 27, 1921, on the eve of the founding of the Party, he said in his article A Study of Socialism in China and the Methods of Its Implementation that “Many people believe that to carry out socialism, we must first focus on the development of industry to develop the cause of the whole country, and increase our wealth to enable the general people, especially those of the lower class peasants, to become rich. This is considered the safest and best way. But I think the opposite.”6 Why is that? Li Dazhao believed that this was determined by the national conditions or nature of Chinese society at that time. As early as January 1, 1920, he pointed out in his article The Economic Explanation of the Causes of the Changes in Modern Chinese Ideology that “This is the phenomenon of the world’s capitalist class oppressing the world’s proletariat, and this is the phenomenon of the world’s proletariat finding no jobs. The economic changes in Europe and the United States are all due to natural internal developments, while China’s economic changes are the result of external oppression, so the Chinese people have suffered more and sacrificed more.”7 On September 3, 1922, in a speech at the International Youth Day Commemoration of the Socialist Youth League of China, he briefly summarized that “There are two reasons for the special situation in China today: one is foreign oppression, that is, domination by international imperialism and capitalism. The other is the oppression of domestic military warlords. To realize liberation from such a situation, the only way is for us to unite and fight side by side.”8 Therefore, in April 1927, Li Dazhao summed up the goal of the Chinese Communists in his Words from Prison on the eve of his execution. He said, “Outside China, we should unite with nations that treat us as equals and small and weak nations under oppression like us, as well as the majority of people in strong countries. And in China, we should wake up the majority of the Chinese people, and unite under a political agenda that can save the whole nation to fight against the oppression of strong invaders, so as to realize the goal of establishing a country that gets back its independence, protects the rights of its people, and develops its national industries.”9 In other words, Li Dazhao believed that Chinese Communists struggled to strive for sovereignty for the country and human rights for the people.
 
Li Dazhao’s description of China’s national conditions indicates that in the transition from the old democratic revolution to the new democratic revolution, the Chinese Communists had realized the nature of Chinese society formed by external and domestic oppression, which made it impossible for China to implement the capitalist system or establish a socialist society. Therefore, it was necessary to first resolve the contradiction between these different kinds of oppression and China and the Chinese people. This is consistent with Mao Zedong’s scientific analysis about the colonial, semi-colonial, and semi-feudal nature of Chinese society. It is also consistent with Mao’s correct definition that the principal contradiction in Chinese society is the contradiction between imperialism and the Chinese nation, and between feudalism and the people. It was based on the popularization and research of Marxism by Li Dazhao and others that in the First National Congress of the CPC the name of the Party was determined as “the Communist Party of China“, and that the Party’s program was established as “overthrowing the bourgeoisie by the proletarian revolutionary army”, “adopting the dictatorship of the proletariat to achieve the purpose of class struggle — eliminating class”, “abolishing capitalist private ownership” and so on. This shows that from the very beginning of its founding, the Communist Party of China identified socialism and communism as its goals. 10And, through the analysis of China’s economic and political situation, the Declaration of the Second National Congress of the CPC revealed the semi-colonial and semi-feudal nature of Chinese society. Based on analyzing the international and domestic situations and the nature of Chinese society, the Declaration also stated that under the historical conditions at that time, the Party’s goals were to eliminate internal strife, overthrow warlords and build domestic peace;overturn the oppression of international imperialism and achieve the complete independence of the Chinese nation; and unite China to build a truly democratic republic.11
 
It should also be pointed out that from September 1923 to the first half of 1924, in the article The Value of Historical Materialism in Modern Sociology, Li Dazhao summarized the importance of the development of productive forces as follows: “Marxism takes ‘material productive forces’ as the strongest motive. The change from a household economy to a capitalist economy and from a system of small industries to a system of factory organization is determined by changes in the productive forces.”12 The Marxist view on the strongest motive force and reason for the development of human society summarized by Li Dazhao here is also in line with our basic view that the development of human rights depends on the development of social productive forces in the final analysis.
 
In short, from the perspective of the sinicization of Marxist human rights theory, the process in which the Chinese Communists, represented by Li Dazhao, studied and popularized Marxism and explored the new democratic revolution was the early ideological exploration of seeking happiness for the people. Li Dazhao’s views and discussions on opposing, getting rid of, and eliminating the oppression of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism and establishing a new socialist China are also important components and theoretical achievements of the sinicization of Marxism.
 
II. The Scientific Analysis and Definition of the Nature and Main Contradiction of Chinese Society in the Period of the New Democratic Revolution
 
The Chinese Communists, with Mao Zedong as their chief representative, established Mao Zedong Thought by combining the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution. In Mao Zedong Thought, there are also many brilliant Marxist theories on human rights.
 
After the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in China, Mao Zedong made a deeper scientific analysis of the nature of Chinese society in the period of the New Democratic Revolution according to the changes of the situation. In December 1939, Mao Zedong pointed out in his article The Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party of China that “Since the Opium War of 1840, China has gradually turned into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. Since the Incident of September 18, 1931, when the Japanese imperialists started their armed aggression, China has changed further into a colonial, semi-colonial, and semi-feudal society.”13 based on this scientific analysis of the nature of Chinese society at that time, he also correctly concluded the principal contradictions in Chinese society, saying that “the contradictions between imperialism and the Chinese nation, and between feudalism and the people are the principal contradictions in modern Chinese society.”14 In this regard, he put forward the task of the CPC: “Undoubtedly, the main task is to fight these two enemies: the national revolution to overthrow the foreign imperialist oppression and the democratic revolution to overthrow the domestic feudal landlord oppression. And the top priority is the national revolution to overthrow the imperialists.”15 That is to say, the Chinese revolution embraces both the bourgeois democratic revolution (the new democratic revolution) and the proletarian-socialist revolution, i.e., both the present and future stages of the revolution. The leadership in this twofold revolutionary task devolves on the Chinese Communist Party, the party of the proletariat, without whose leadership no revolution can succeed.”16 In his essay On New Democracy published in January 1940, Mao continued to point out that “In other words, not only do we want to change a China that is politically oppressed and economically exploited into a China that is politically free and economically prosperous, we also want to change the China which is being kept ignorant and backward under the sway of the old culture into an enlightened and progressive China under the sway of a new culture.”17 In the view of Mao Zedong and other Chinese Communists, the principal contradiction to be resolved in Chinese society during this period was the national contradiction between Japanese imperialism and the Chinese nation. Without the defeat of Japanese imperialist aggression, the Chinese people would not be liberated and China would not be able to establish a socialist society.
 
On April 24, 1945, just before the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was about to be won, Mao Zedong put forward in his political report On Coalition Government, delivered at the National Congress of the CPC that “The Chinese people, the Communist Party of China and all anti-Japanese democratic parties urgently need a mutually agreed common program to mobilize and unify all the anti-Japanese forces of the Chinese people, wipe out the Japanese aggressors thoroughly, and establish an independent, free, democratic, unified and prosperous new China.”18 “All Communists and sympathizers with communism in China must struggle to achieve the objective of the present stage; they must struggle against foreign and feudal oppression to deliver the Chinese people from their miserable colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal plight and establish a proletarian-led new democratic China whose main task is the liberation of the peasantry, a China of the revolutionary Three People’s Principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a China which is independent, free, democratic, united, prosperous and powerful.”19 Therefore, after the Anti-Japanese War ended in August 1945, the Chinese people were eager to recuperate, develop the economy and heal the wounds of the war. The Communist Party of China put forward the three slogans of peace, democracy, and unity, expressing its willingness to continue to cooperate with the Kuomintang to build a new country. However, the civil war broke out as the Kuomintang army invaded the Communist-led liberated areas. Based on the transformation of the principal contradictions in Chinese society, the Communist Party of China started the Third Domestic Revolutionary War, put forward the great task of “liberating the whole of China”, and won the victory in the whole country except the island of Taiwan.
 
The founding of the People’s Republic of China marked a historic change in which the people became masters of the country. This is also the inevitable result of the Party’s scientific analysis and definition of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. Because, according to the principle of dialectical materialism, among the various contradictions contained in a complex thing itself, each contradiction has its position and plays a different role in the development of things. There are always primary and secondary contradictions, important and unimportant ones, among which there must be a contradiction, in comparison with the others, in the dominant position, playing the decisive role in the development of things. And this contradiction is the principal contradiction. The above exposition of Mao Zedong profoundly summarized the experience and lessons of the Chinese revolution after the Opium War, especially after the founding of the Party. It drew the blueprint of a new democratic society, namely a socialist society, and scientifically analyzed the basic laws of the development of China’s democratic revolution. According to the specific situation and the main contradiction in the period of the new democratic revolution, the strategy and tactics in line with the reality were formulated. Thus a new socialist China was established. At the same time, he also enriched and developed Marxist-Leninist theories about national and colonial revolution, and made a leap in the process of sinicization of Marxism.
 
It should also be noted that Mao also laid out the criteria for the new China to be established through the leadership of the Communist Party of China: “Whether the policies and practices of all political parties in China play a good or bad role among the Chinese people depends, in the final analysis, on whether they are helpful to the development of the Chinese people’s productive forces and to what extent they are helpful, and whether they hamper or liberate them. The elimination of the Japanese invaders, the implementation of land reform, the liberation of the peasants, the development of modern industry, the establishment of an independent, free, democratic, unified, and prosperous New China — only these can liberate the productive forces of Chinese society and are welcomed by the Chinese people.”20 It is fair to say that this standard is still the primary criterion for us to test whether China’s human rights situation is good or not.
 
To be brief, the people suffered under the oppression of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, and had no access to human rights at all. From the perspective of the sinicization of Marxist human rights theory, the above opinion of the Mao Zedong Thought aims to put forward and complete the historical tasks of resisting foreign aggression, striving for national sovereignty and independence, and people’s liberation by scientifically analyzing and defining the social nature and main contradictions of colonial, semi-colonial and semi-feudal China at that time. This also proves that the CPC, in the period of the New Democratic Revolution after its establishment, has always been striving for the well-being of the people as the goal of scientific analysis and definition of the nature and main contradiction of Chinese society. The establishment of the new China began the great process of building an independent, free, democratic, unified, and prosperous socialist country, and brought forth the question of how can CPC continue working for the well-being of the people.
 
III. The Party’s Scientific Analysis and Definition of the Nature, Principal Contradiction, and Basic Contradiction of Chinese Society in the Period of Socialist Revolution and onstruction 
 
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China began to enter the period of socialist revolution and construction.In light of this fundamental change in the nature of Chinese society, the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China adopted a resolution on the Political Report of the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China on September 27, 1956, which clearly stated that “The principal contradiction in China is already the contradiction between the people’s demand for an advanced industrial country and the reality of a backward agricultural country. It is the contradiction between the people’s need for rapid economic and cultural development and the current situation where the economy and culture cannot meet the people’s needs.” Therefore, “the main task for the Party and the people at present is to concentrate on resolving this contradiction and to transform China from a backward agricultural country into an advanced industrial country as soon as possible.”21 It can be said that the scientific analysis and definition of the major social contradictions after the completion of China’s socialist transformation was the most important theoretical contribution of the Eighth CPC National Congress. It also became the consensus of the whole Party and the whole country at that time.
 
After that, Mao Zedong also scientifically analyzed the basic contradictions of Chinese society in this period. On June 19, 1957, People’s Daily published an article, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, which was revised and supplemented from Mao Zedong’s speech at the 11th (Extending) Session of the Supreme State Conference. Mao pointed out in this speech that “In a socialist society, the basic contradictions are still those between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base. However, they are fundamentally different in character and have different features from the contradictions between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base in the old societies. The present social system of our country is far superior to that of the old days. If not, the old system would not have been overthrown and the new system would not have been established. The fact that socialist relations of production are more suitable for the development of the productive forces than those in the old era means that the productive forces are allowed to develop rapidly at a speed that was not possible in the old societies, and thus production continues to expand and the ever-growing needs of the people are thus gradually met.”22 Mao also said that, “In short, socialist relations of production have been established, and they correspond to the development of the productive forces. However, they are yet to be improved. And those unimproved aspects are contradictory to the development of productive forces. In addition to the situation in which the relations of production and the development of the productive forces are both compatible and contradictory, there is also the situation in which the superstructure and the economic base are both compatible and contradictory.” “In the future, we must continue to resolve the above-mentioned contradictions in light of specific circumstances. Of course, after solving these contradictions, there will be new problems, new contradictions. And people need to solve them. For example, there will be the objectively persistent contradiction between social production and social need.”23
 
On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People scientifically analyzes the basic contradictions of socialist society, elaborates a series of major issues in socialist construction, deepens the content of the Political Report of the Eighth CPC National Congress, and adopts the essence of the report on the revision of the Party Constitution, the report on the Second Five-Year Plan (1958-1962) and the discussions at the Congress. It also provides important theoretical guidance for us to better carry on human rights building nowadays. It should be noted that in the above quote, Mao Zedong used the term “basic contradiction”. After analyzing the basic contradictions between the productive forces and the relations of production and between the economic base and the superstructure in socialist society, Mao Zedong believed that objectively there would be “contradictions between social production and social needs” for a long time. This is also the explanation and elucidation of Mao’s judgment on the main contradictions of Chinese society in the Party’s Eighth National Congress from the perspective of a philosophical theory. According to the principle of historical materialism, the basic contradiction of a society is the fundamental driving force of social development. It has important guiding significance for people to inspect social history on the whole and grasp the basic appearance of the whole society and the basic clue of its development and change. These two basic contradictions between the productive forces and the relations of production, and between the economic base and the superstructure, exist in all social forms, define the nature and basic structure of a society, run through the development of human society, and also promote the development of human society from a lower level to a higher one. History has proved that the above conclusions of the Eighth CPC National Congress and Mao Zedong’s viewpoint are correct. Starting from the law of the movement of social basic contradictions, the conclusions and viewpoint scientifically analyze the social nature of China after the completion of socialist transformation and make a correct judgment on the main contradictions of Chinese society. And they accordingly stipulated that the main tasks of the whole Party and the whole people at that time were to protect and develop the productive forces and carry out socialist economic construction. They also set out the goals and direction for China to move forward. This is of the great theoretical value for exploring the law of the development of socialist society, and it has also significantly enriched and developed Marxism.
 
On the great achievements made during the period of socialist revolution and construction, the Preamble to the Constitution of 1982 states: “Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese society has gradually realized the transition from New Democracy to Socialism. The socialist transformation of the private ownership of the means of production has been completed, the system of exploitation of man by man abolished and the socialist system established. The people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants, which is, in essence, the dictatorship of the proletariat, has been consolidated and developed. The Chinese people and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have defeated imperialist and hegemonist aggression, sabotage, and armed provocations and have thereby safeguarded China’s national independence and security and strengthened its national defense. Major successes have been achieved in economic development. An independent and relatively comprehensive socialist system of industry has been established. Significant advances have been made in educational, scientific, and cultural undertakings, while education in socialist ideology has produced noteworthy results. The living standards of the people have improved considerably.” Interpreted from the perspective of sinicization of Marxist human rights theory, this has also fully affirmed the great achievements made by new China in safeguarding national sovereignty and building human rights in this period.
 
To sum up, in the period of socialist revolution and construction, the Chinese Communists with Mao Zedong as the core leadership, carried out scientific analysis and correct definition of the main contradictions in Chinese society according to Marxism. Because, “material productivity is the material premise of all social life, and the sum of production relations corresponding to a certain stage of productivity development constitutes the economic basis of society. Productivity is the most active and revolutionary factor that promotes social progress. ” “The mutual interactions and constraints between the forces and relations of production and between the economic foundation and the superstructure govern the whole course of social development. Unlocking and developing the productive forces is the essential requirement of socialism and a major issue that the Chinese Communists have been trying to solve.”24 From the perspective of the sinicization of Marxist human rights theory, the development of productive forces is the fundamental driving force for the progress of human rights, while the contradictory movement between productive forces and relations of production, economic base, and superstructure is the fundamental reason for the progress and development of human society and human rights.
 
IV. The Party’s Scientific Analysis and Definition of the Nature, Principal Contradiction, and Basic Contradiction of the Chinese Society in the New Era of Socialist Construction and Reform and Opening-up
 
The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee held on December 18, 1978, marked a great turning point of far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China and ushered in the great journey of reform, opening-up and socialist modernization. After entering the new period of socialist construction, how to understand and build socialism has become the primary and basic problem that must be solved after the second generation of the Party’s leading collective with Deng Xiaoping as the core took office.
 
In his speech Upholding the Four Cardinal Principles at the Party’s Theoretical Work Symposium on October 30, 1979, Deng Xiaoping talked about the first of several theoretical problems that urgently need to be solved, that is, the basic contradiction in socialist society and the principal contradiction in the present period, and pointed out that “With regard to the basic contradictions, I think it is better now to follow Comrade Mao Zedong’s statement in his article On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. Comrade Mao Zedong said, ‘In a socialist society, the basic contradictions remain those between the relations of production and the productive forces, and between the superstructure and the economic foundation.’ He has made a long statement here, which I will not repeat now. Of course, pointing out the basic contradictions does not automatically solve the problem. A deepgoing,concrete study is still required. But judging from the practice of more than 20 years, this formulation is more appropriate than some others. As for what constitutes the principal contradiction of the present period, that is, the main problem or the central task that must be resolved by the whole Party and all the people in the present period, the decision of the Third Plenary Session to shift the focus of our work to socialist modernization has, in fact, already resolved. The level of our productive forces is very low and is far from meeting the needs of our people and country. This is the principal contradiction in the current period, and resolving it is our central task. In a socialist society, the basic contradictions are still those between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base. However, they are fundamentally different in character and have different features from the contradictions between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base in the old societies.”25
 
Deng Xiaoping’s speech referred to the “basic contradiction” and “main contradiction” of Chinese society in the new period respectively. In Chinese, the word “basic” means “main, fundamental” and so on. The word “principal” has the meaning of being the most relevant or decisive among the major things. So, “basic” and “primary” have similar meanings and overlapping meanings. According to the principles of historical materialism and dialectical materialism, in some things, the principal contradiction and the basic contradiction are the same, running through the whole process of the development of things. In some things, the principal contradiction and the basic contradiction are not exactly the same. It may be one of the basic contradictions, or it may be the synthesis of some of the basic contradictions. In this case, the principal contradiction will change with the development of the contradiction movement in the whole process of the development of things. Therefore, according to Deng Xiaoping’s point of view, since the principal contradiction is in the dominant position among all kinds of contradictions and plays a decisive role in the development of things, it is necessary to find out and grasp the principal contradiction from the basic contradictions, and accordingly propose the fundamental tasks that the Party needs to accomplish in the new socialist period, so as to grasp the central link of all work. Therefore, according to Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping put forward that the main contradictions in the new period of socialist construction should be analyzed and defined scientifically.
 
The Resolution on Some Historical Issues of the Party Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, adopted at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1981, is hereinafter referred to as the Historical Resolution. According to Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Historical Resolution expressed the main contradictions in the new period of socialism in China in a standard way — “After the socialist transformation is basically completed, the principal contradiction that China must resolve is that between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production. The focus of the Party and the State’s work must shift to socialist modernization, with economic development as the central task, and greatly develop the productive forces. On this basis, we should gradually improve the material and cultural life of the people.”26 Although the 12th National Congress of the Party did not make a judgment on the principal contradiction in socialist society, it did point out that “the fundamental purpose of socialist production and construction is to continuously meet the evergrowing material and cultural needs of the people.”27 This is completely consistent with the statement in the Historical Resolution on the principal contradiction in the new period of socialist construction, that is, it points out the fundamental purpose of social production is to solve this contradiction. Moreover, the construction of socialist material and spiritual civilization proposed at the 12th National Congress is, in fact, the work of continuously satisfying the ever-growing cultural needs of the people.
 
Since the Party’s Historical Resolution pointed out for the first time that “China’s socialist system is still in the primary stage”, Deng Xiaoping emphasized and reiterated that China is currently in the primary stage of socialism. In other words, the nature of our society is socialism, but it is in the underdeveloped stage. On June 30, 1984, in a talk on Building Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, he said, “What is socialism and what is Marxism? We were not entirely clear about the problem in the past. Marxism attaches utmost importance to developing productive forces. We have said that socialism is the primary stage of communism and that at the advanced stage the principle of from each according to his ability and each according to his needs will be applied. This calls for highly developed productive forces and an overwhelming abundance of material wealth. Therefore, the fundamental task of the socialist stage is to develop productive forces. In the final analysis, the superiority of socialism lies in the fact that the productive forces can develop faster and reach higher than those of capitalism, and that based on this development, the material and cultural life of the people can be continuously improved.”28 Later, in a speech on June 29, 1985, he said, “Reform and opening-up is a great experiment”, he further pointed out, “To build socialism, the central task is to develop the productive forces. We will adopt all means conducive to the development of productive forces, including the use of foreign capital and the introduction of advanced technology.”29 On August 29, 1987, just before the 13th National Congress of the CPC, Deng Xiaoping also said in his talk Proceed from the Reality of the Primary Stage of Socialism that “The 13th National Congress of the Party needs to explain what stage China’s socialism is at, that is, it is at the primary stage. It is socialism at the primary stage. Socialism itself is the primary stage of communism, and China is still in the primary stage of socialism. In other words, an underdeveloped stage. In everything we do, we must proceed from this reality and make plans according to this reality.”30 Therefore, the report to the 13th National Congress of the Party held later clearly stated, “The principal contradiction we are facing at the present stage is the contradiction between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backward social production.”31 This is in full agreement with the statement in the Historical Resolution.
 
Deng Xiaoping had always believed that economic problems were the most important and the biggest problems and that economic construction was the most fundamental part of the modernization drive. He even equated economic construction with modernization on different occasions. For example, as early as January 16, 1980, he addressed a meeting of cadres convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in a speech entitled the Present Situation and Tanks, pointing out that “the four modernizations, when taken together, are economic development. We cannot build our national defense without a sound economic foundation. Science and technology mainly serve economic construction.”32 “Modernization is a multi-faceted task, and all aspects need to be balanced in an integrated way. We cannot focus on one aspect and leave others alone. But in the final analysis, economic development is the pivot. If we leave the central task of economic construction, we are in danger of losing our material base. All other tasks must be subordinate to and centered on this center, and must never interfere with or impinge upon it.”33 In Deng Xiaoping’s view, the modernization drive involves many tasks, but the primary task is to develop the productive forces. Only in this way can we gradually improve the people’s material and cultural standards of life and solve the principal contradiction in society. Therefore, we must take economic construction as the center. To this end, Deng Xiaoping also conceived and planned the construction of a well-off society.
 
It should be pointed out that Deng Xiaoping also always believed that the policy of liberating and developing the productive forces must adhere to the standard of taking public ownership as the main body and eliminating polarization, and should unify the two aspects. To test the merits of all the work in building socialism and welloff society, as early as October 30, 1979, Deng Xiaoping deepened and specified the saying “practice is the sole criterion for testing truth” in the social field. In his Speech at the Fourth Congress of Chinese Literary and Art Workers, he pointed out, “Whether it is beneficial or harmful to the realization of the four modernizations should become the most fundamental standard of right and wrong to measure all work.”34 On January 12, 1983, in a talk entitled All our work should contribute to the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Deng Xiaoping further stated, “In short, all work should be conducive to the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the criterion for judging whether it is right or wrong is whether it contributes to the prosperity and happiness of the people and the prosperity of the country.”35 During his talks in South China in 1992, Deng Xiaoping again systematized this criterion into the well-known “Three Favorables”, namely, “The criterion for judging this should be mainly based on whether it is favorable for the development of the productive forces in a socialist society, whether it is favorable for increasing the overall national strength of a socialist country, and whether it is favorable for bringing about better living standards.”36 According to Deng Xiaoping Theory, fundamentally speaking, all the work in our country, including the building of human rights, should be conducive to the development of productive forces when judging whether they are right or wrong, good or bad. We must consider whether it is conducive to enhancing China’s comprehensive national strength and improving people’s living standards. Therefore, no matter how many mistakes socialism has made in its practice, and no matter how different people’s understanding of socialism may be, the most attractive and striking feature of socialism in China is its consistent commitment to economic development, common prosperity, and social equity. This is where the most vital values regarding human rights lie in China’s socialism.
 
On March 29, 1993, the First Session of the Eighth National People’s Congress adopted an amendment to the Constitution, which amended the last two sentences of the seventh paragraph of the “Preamble” to the Constitution to read, “China is in the primary stage of socialism. The basic task of the nation is to concentrate its effort on socialist modernization in accordance with the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
 
To sum up, in the new period of socialist construction, and in the process of deepening the understanding of socialism, the Chinese Communists with Deng Xiaoping as the core leadership proposed to shift the focus of the work of the Party and the State to the socialist modernization construction, and gradually established the theory and basic line of the primary stage of socialism centering on economic construction. According to Deng Xiaoping Theory, Chinese society will remain in an underdeveloped socialist stage for a long time to come. To solve the principal contradiction at this stage is a long-term process of social development in which economic construction is the central task, the socialist road is adhered to, the essential requirements of socialism are continuously fulfilled and people’s living standards are generally improved. This is also the deepening process of the thought that the Party always seeks happiness for the people. That is because, only by developing the productive forces, including the development of science and technology as the primary productive forces, and persisting with reform and opening-up, can we realize and guarantee the people’s rights to life and development, gradually improve their material and spiritual lives, and build a well-off socialist society in which human rights are guaranteed.
 
V. The Enrichment and Expansion of the Ever-growing Material and Cultural Needs of the People in the Stage of Building a Well-off Society in an All-round Way
 
After the 13th National Congress of the CPC reiterated that the principal contradiction facing China in the primary stage of socialism is “the contradiction between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production”, the reports of the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th National Congress of the CPC continued to use and reiterate this scientific definition.37
 
Centered on the goal of building a prosperous, strong, democratic, and culturally advanced modern socialist country, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 15th CPC Central Committee held in October 2000 put forward the historical task of “building a welloff society in an all-round way.” In 2001, Jiang Zemin pointed out in his speech celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, “China has entered a new stage of development in building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and accelerating socialist modernization.”38 During the period of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way at the turn of the century, the Chinese Communists enriched and expanded the construction fields related to State and social development in accordance with the connotation and extension of continuously meeting “the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people” based on the scientific analysis and definition of the principal contradiction in society.
 
On February 25, 2000, during a visit to Guangdong Province, Jiang Zemin said, “Since our Party represents the orientation of advanced culture, all comrades in the Party must always adhere to the guidance of Marxism, strive to inherit and carry forward all the fine cultural traditions of the Chinese nation, study and absorb all the fine cultural achievements of foreign countries, so as to constantly create and promote a socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, coordinate the development of socialist material civilization and spiritual civilization, and achieve social progress in an allround way.”39 In his speech celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Jiang Zemin also pointed out that “In all our endeavors to build socialism with Chinese characteristics, we should not only focus on meeting the people’s practical material and cultural needs, but also focus on improving the quality of the people. In other words, efforts should be made to promote the all-around development of people. This is the essential requirement of Marxism for building a new socialist society. Based on developing socialist material and spiritual civilization, we must constantly promote the all-around development of people.”40 On December 28, 2001, at the Seventh National Congress of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC) and the Sixth National Congress of Chinese Writers Association (CWA), Jiang Zemin analyzed and emphasized in his speech Literature and Art are the Torch of National Spirit that “Only by building a national, scientific and popular advanced socialist culture that is oriented to modernization, the world, and the future can the people’s ever-growing spiritual and cultural needs be met, constantly improve the ideological and ethical standards of the people as well as their scientific and cultural standards, and can we guide the right direction and provide strong intellectual support for the development of the economy and advanced productive forces.”41
 
On March 14, 2004, the Amendment to the Constitution adopted by the Second Session of the 10th National People’s Congress added in the seventh paragraph of the “Preamble” the phrase “to promote the coordinated development of material, political and spiritual civilizations, which has expanded the overall plan of socialism with Chinese characteristics into the “three-in-one plan” of socialist economic, political and cultural development.
 
According to Jiang Zemin’s discussion that the CPC represents the forward direction of advanced culture, the concept of culture can be summarized as the following. First, culture is regarded as the sum of material wealth and spiritual wealth created by human beings in practice, including habits, norms, and systems. This is culture in its broadest sense. Second, culture equals the spiritual wealth, habits, norms, and systems created by human beings in practice. This is the concept of culture including the ideology and the normative form of culture. Third, culture is regarded as the sum of spiritual wealth, that is, spiritual culture occurring and developing based on a certain material production mode. This is the cultural concept in the form of ideology. Fourth, culture is regarded as and used together with literature and art. Or. it is equated with education and used together with education. This is a cultural concept in a particular sense. “From the perspective of social conditionality, Marxism regards culture as the spiritual product of ideologies and norms determined by the mode of social production. This spiritual product must exist in a certain social relationship,and must use a certain form to make it materialized and objective so that it can be perceived, understood and accepted by people.”42 That is to say, although culture can be ideological, it has a material carrier. Because culture does not exist only in people’s minds, it also exists more realistically in the material world, including people’s activities to create spiritual wealth. What the latter two relatively narrow cultural concepts have in common is that culture is limited to the field of human spiritual activities and that culture is believed to be the result of ideology including philosophy, religion, science, technology, literature, art, education, moral customs and so on. Therefore, the latter two cultural concepts can be understood from the difference and connection between culture, economy, and politics according to the historical materialist view of social structure. In other words, the construction of these two cultures is in parallel with the construction of thre economy and politics.
 
Civilization is a concept that is close to and related to culture. In China, civilization is usually understood as the achievements of human beings’ transformation of the objective and subjective world. This is consistent with the first and broadest concept of culture. At the same time, for a long time, China has divided civilization into material civilization and spiritual civilization. For example, the report to the 12th CPC National Congress pointed out, “The objective world includes both nature and society. The result of reforming society is the establishment and development of new relations of production and a new social and political system. The material achievement of the transformation of nature is material civilization, which manifests itself as the progress of people’s material production and the improvement of their material life. With the transformation of the objective world, people’s subjective world has also been transformed, and the spiritual production and spiritual life of society have developed. The fruit of all this is spiritual civilization, which is manifested in the development of education, science, and cultural knowledge and the improvement of people’s ideological, political, and moral levels. The transformation of the society and the progress of the social system are ultimately manifested as the development of material civilization and spiritual civilization.”43 The spiritual civilization mentioned here is consistent with the second cultural concept, which includes ideologies and normative forms. If some of the political transformation and progress of the social system made by human beings are abstracted from the above material and spiritual civilizations and classified as a single category, it can be regarded as political civilization. In this sense, it is in parallel with material civilization and spiritual civilization. Therefore, the amendment of the Preamble to the Constitution puts forward the need “to promote the coordinated development of material civilization, political civilization, and spiritual civilization.”
 
To sum up, in the stage of building a well-off society in an all-around way, the Chinese Communists with Jiang Zemin as the core have enriched and expanded the connotation and extension of constantly meeting the “people’s ever-growing material and cultural needs”. According to the important thought of “Three Represents,” advanced culture is the spiritual support for China’s economic and social development, and an important force to guide, rally, and inspire the people of all ethnic groups in China to revitalize the country. Advanced culture reveals the essential relationship between man and man, between man and society, and between man and nature in socialist society from the ideological and moral level, and establishes a moral ideology and code of conduct with serving the people as the core, collectivism as the principle and integrity as the focus. It provides the necessary conditions for properly coordinating and dealing with people’s interpersonal relations, social relations, and interest relations, promoting social unity and stability, and advancing economic and social development. More and more facts show that today, the development of advanced culture has become an important indicator of social progress and important content of the construction of human rights cause in China.
 
In the stage of continuing to build a well-off society in an all-around way, Hu Jintao pointed out in his report to the 17th National Congress of the CPC on October 15, 2007, “Social harmony is the essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Scientific development and social harmony are intrinsically unified. Without scientific development, there will be no social harmony, and without social harmony, it will be difficult to achieve scientific development. Building a harmonious socialist society is a historical mission throughout the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, as well as a historical process and the social outcome of correctly handling various social problems based on development. It is through development that we will increase the material wealth of society and constantly improve people’s lives, and it is again through development that we will guarantee social equity and justice and constantly promote social harmony. To realize social equity and justice is the Chinese Communists’ consistent position and a major task of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. In accordance with the general requirements of democracy and the rule of law, fairness and justice, sincerity and fraternity, dynamism, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature, as well as the principle of common construction and common enjoyment, we should strive to solve the most immediate and practical problems of greatest concern to the people. Efforts should be made to create a situation in which all the people do their best, find their place, and live in harmony to provide a sound social environment for development.”44
 
According to Marxism, society is “the product of human interaction.”45 And the production of materials is the basic condition for the existence of society, which is also the fundamental difference between society and animal groups. Society consists of an economic base and a superstructure. The economic basis of a society is the sum of the relations of production formed in the course of production and corresponding to a certain level of development of productive forces. Social systems and social relations such as politics, law, and culture, as well as social ideologies such as morality, culture, art, and religion, which are generated from and adapted to the economic base, belong to the superstructure of society. Therefore, human activities, systems, and relationships in the fields of economy, politics, and culture can also be abstracted from the broad social concept to form the concept of society in the narrow sense, which is a community of human life in which people interact, have relations and carry out activities in fields other than the economy, politics, and culture. Therefore, social construction can also be understood in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, social construction refers to the integrity of factors including economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction, and social construction in a narrow sense. It is the social construction with the broadest scope, the most complex structure, and the most diverse content.46 Social construction in a narrow sense refers to the social construction that is parallel with economic construction, political construction, and cultural construction. It is a constituent part of social construction in a broad sense and is independent to a certain extent.
 
To sum up, the construction of a harmonious socialist society proposed by the Chinese Communists with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary has expanded the overall arrangement of socialism with Chinese characteristics from the “three-in-one layout” including socialist economic, political and cultural construction to the “fourin-one layout” including socialist economic, political, cultural and social construction. According to the Scientific Outlook on Development, a harmonious socialist society is an organic part of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and its construction also includes education, medical treatment, health, housing, employment, food and drug safety, labor security, social security, social governance, social relief, and many other fields. At the same time, the Scientific Outlook on Development also puts forward the requirements and construction of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. Therefore, the Scientific Outlook on Development also enriches and expands the connotation and extension of constantly meeting “the people’s evergrowing material and cultural needs” according to the development and changes of the main social contradictions in China, making the construction of a harmonious socialist society one of the important fields of construction including the cause of human rights in China.
 
VI. CPC’s Scientific Analysis and Definition of the Transformation of the Major Social Contradictions in the New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
 
As mentioned above, the reports of the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th National Congress of the CPC all follow and reiterate the statements of the 13th National Congress on the principal contradiction in the primary stage of socialism in China. During this period, some have proposed to revise the expression of the principal contradiction in Chinese society. This issue had not been decided because the time was not ripe, During the research for the drafting of the report to the 19th National Congress, almost all the feedback agreed that the time was ripe to redefine the principal contradiction in Chinese society, but there was disagreement on how to define it. General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping urged not to rush to conclusions but to conduct an in-depth investigation and make careful thinking. In accordance with this requirement, the relevant departments conducted indepth research, listened to the opinions of various parties and conducted extensive discussions, and finally reached a consensus on the principal contradiction in Chinese society today. This process of scientific and prudent understanding is the portrayal of intra-Party democracy and integration of the wisdom of people from inside and outside the Party in the process of report drafting.47
 
Since entering the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi Jinping has explained why it is necessary to make the major statement that the principal contradiction in Chinese society has turned into the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. He said, “China has steadily solved the problem of food and clothing for more than one billion people, and has generally achieved a moderately prosperous society, and will soon complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The people’s needs for a better life are increasingly extensive, which not only raise higher requirements for material and cultural life, but also increasingly call for democracy, the rule of law, fairness, justice, security, and environmental progress, among many others. At the same time, China’s productive forces, on the whole, have risen significantly, and in many areas, China ranks among the top in the world. The more salient problem is that China’s development is unbalanced and inadequate, which has become a major constraint to meet the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” As to the great significance of this statement, Xi Jinping pointed out that “We must be aware that the change in the principal contradiction facing Chinese society is a historic change that bears on the overall situation and puts forward many new requirements for the work of the Party and the State. Building on continued efforts to sustain development, we must devote great energy to addressing development’s imbalances and inadequacies, and push hard to improve the quality and effect of development. With this, we can be better placed to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-around social progress.”48
 
Based on these important conclusions in the report of the 19th CPC National Congress, the seventh paragraph of the Preamble to the Amendment to the Constitution, adopted at the First Session of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 11, 2018, adds and revises the content concerning ecological progress. The old statement “We should promote coordinated development of material, political and spiritual civilizations and turn China into a prosperous, strong, democratic and culturally advanced socialist country” was replaced by the new statement that “We should promote coordinated development of material, political, spiritual, social, and ecological progress, turn China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful, and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” As far as promoting ecological progress is concerned, it is related to the well-being of the Chinese people, the longterm development of China, and the future of the Chinese nation. The ecological environment is the people’s environmental rights, and the environment is the main content of ecology. The environment, according to the definition of China’s Environmental Protection Law, refers to the total amount of all kinds of natural and artificially transformed natural factors affecting human survival and development; including both natural environment and artificial environment, and including living and working environment and ecological environment. Therefore, environmental rights also belong to human rights. The Constitution includes the promotion of ecological progress in the overall strategy of national development, together with material civilization, political civilization, spiritual civilization, and social civilization, which reflects China’s legal response to the destruction of the ecological balance and the waste of natural resources.
 
The above additions and amendments to the Preamble to the Constitution also expand the overall layout of socialism with Chinese characteristics from the “fourin-one layout” to the “five-in-one layout”, including ecological progress. This shows that the Party and the state have a more comprehensive and scientific understanding of human civilization and its development. It also plays a strategic, guiding, and leading role in solving the principal contradiction in Chinese society, promoting the coordinated development of all aspects of modernization construction, and promoting the coordinated development of productive forces and relations of production, economic base, and superstructure. It also has a major role in pursuing the value of human rights. At the same time, the Constitution takes “harmony” as the goal of China, which includes not only the harmony between man and nature but also that between man and man, that is, to build a harmonious society and a harmonious China. This is a harmonious society built and shared by all the people under the leadership of the Party on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is the general requirement of democracy and the rule of law, fairness and justice, integrity and fraternity, vitality, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature. Focusing on solving the most immediate and practical problems of the greatest concern to the people, we will work hard to develop social programs, promote social equity and justice, build a culture of harmony, improve social management, enhance social creativity, and pursue common prosperity. The Constitution takes “beautiful” as the goal of China, that is, to build a beautiful China. As General Secretary Xi Jinping puts it, “The modernization we seek is one in which man and nature live in harmony. We need to create more material and spiritual wealth to meet the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, and we need to provide more quality ecological products to meet their ever-growing needs for a beautiful environment.”49 This not only clarifies the important value orientation of China’s pursuit of long-term sustainable development but also enriches the beautiful blueprint of human rights for the Chinese Dream.
 
Of course, Xi Jinping also pointed out in his report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC that “We must recognize that the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society does not change our assessment of the present stage of socialism in China. The basic dimension of the Chinese context — that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism — has not changed. China’s international status as the world’s largest developing country has not changed. The whole Party must firmly grasp the basic national condition that China is at the primary stage of socialism, firmly base itself on the greatest reality of the primary stage of socialism, and firmly adhere to the Party’s basic path, which is the lifeline of the Party and the nation, as well as the key to the happiness of the people. We should lead and unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups with economic development as the central task, adhere to the Four Cardinal Principles and reform and opening up, be self-reliant and work hard for our cause, and strive to turn China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.”50 Therefore, the major judgment of the 19th CPC National Congress on the principal contradiction in Chinese society can also be interpreted from the perspective of the sinicization of Marxist human rights theory. The report changes one of the principal contradictions in Chinese society, namely, the need to meet the people’s ever-growing material and cultural needs, into the need to meet the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. While calling for a more comprehensive scope of human rights protection in China, it has also set forth new major and arduous tasks in this regard. The report changes another aspect of China’s main social contradiction, which is the backward social production, into “striving to solve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development”. This move truly captures the key and major aspect of the construction of China’s human rights cause. Therefore, we must, in the light of our basic national conditions and the greatest reality, make every effort to resolve the contradiction between the two. In other words, we must solve the principal contradiction in Chinese society that restricts the satisfaction of the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. It is also required that Chinese Communists should stay true to their original aspiration and continue to work tirelessly for the well-being of the people.
 
VII. Conclusion: Important Construction Guidance and Value Orientation for the Development of Human Rights in China
 
Under the background that fully respecting and protecting human rights has become a lofty ideal pursued by all mankind, scientific and correct human rights theory has become an important guide for ensuring the healthy development of human rights. Since entering the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Chinese Communists with Xi Jinping as the core leadership have actively responded to the real concerns about how to build a modern powerful socialist country with more fully guaranteed human rights in terms of solving the principal contradictions in Chinese society. According to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, first of all, in the light of China’s reality, we should always adhere to the new concept of people-centered development, give top priority to the people’s rights to life and development, and promote human rights in an allround way in the sound interaction between development and stability. Second, we should strengthen the legislative and judicial protection of human rights, constantly improve people’s well-being, strive to promote the comprehensive and coordinated development of economic, social, and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights, improve the protection of people’s rights to life and development, and blaze a path of human rights development that suits China’s national conditions. Third, the new concept of people-centered development demonstrates China’s position and principles on human rights, deeply demonstrates the great importance China attaches to the development of human rights and the responsibility it takes to fulfill its responsibilities and embodies the profound value orientation of human rights.
 
Xi Jinping said during a symposium marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “the happiness of the people is the greatest human right.” From the very day of its birth, the Communist Party of China has set seeking happiness for the people and development for mankind as its goal.”51 Accordingly, the above review and interpretation of this article can be briefly summarized as follows. In one century’s development, the formulation of major strategies, lines, guidelines, and policies is closely related to the Party’s scientific analysis and definition of the nature, stages of development, and major contradictions of Chinese society in different periods. It is of great significance to determine the major work of the Party and the State, to solve the major social problems in the historical stage, and to realize the development of China. This is also an important reason why the Party has made great achievements in seeking happiness for the people and is a major achievement in adapting the Marxist theory of human rights to China’s realities. Therefore, we need to “continue to meet the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, promote social equity and justice, foster effective social governance and sound public order, and make the people’s sense of gain, happiness, and security more substantial, secure, and sustainable.”52
 
(Translated by CHEN Feng)
 
* ZHU Liyu ( 朱力宇 ), Secretary General of the Academic Committee of the Human Rights Center, Professor of Law School, Renmin University of China. This paper is one of the periodic achievements of “History of Human Rights in China”, a major planning project of Renmin University of China (20XNLG02).
 
1.Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, vol. 3 (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 9.
 
2. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, Vol.3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 354.
 
3. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, Vol.4 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 107.
 
4. Ibid., 245.
 
5. Ibid., 457.
 
6. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, vol.3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 328.
 
7. Ibid., 189.
 
8. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, vol.4 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 112-113.
 
9. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, vol. 5 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 298.
 
10. Party History Research Office of the Communist Party of China, The Ninety Years of the New Democratic Revolution of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Party History Press, Party Construction Reading Press,2016), 36-37.
 
11. Ibid., 43-44.
 
12. Li Dazhao, The Complete Works of Li Dazhao, vol.4 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2013), 439.
 
13. Mao Zedong, Selected Works of Mao Zedong, vol. 2 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1991), 626.
 
14. Ibid., 631.
 
15. Ibid., 636-637.
 
16. Ibid., 651.
 
17. Ibid., 663.
 
18. Mao Zedong, Selected Works of Mao Zedong, vol. 3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1991), 1055.
 
19. Ibid., 1059.
 
20. Ibid., 1079.
 
21. The State Archives Administration of the People’s Republic of China and Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Significant Works since the Founding of the CPC (1921-1949), vol. 9 (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2011), 293.
 
22. Mao Zedong, Collected Works of Mao Zedong, vol. 7 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1999), 214.
 
23. Ibid., 215.
 
24. Xi Jinping, “Speech at the Meeting to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Marx’s Birth,” People’s Daily, May 5, 2018.
 
25. Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, vol. 2 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1994), 181-182.
 
26. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 3rd Plenary Session, vol. 2 (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2011), 168.
 
27. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, vol. 1 (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House,2011), 16.
 
28. Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, vol.3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1993), 63.
 
29. Ibid., 130.
 
30. Ibid., 252.
 
31. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, vol. 1 (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House,2011), 16.
 
32. Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. 2 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1994), 240.
 
33. Ibid., 250.
 
34. Ibid., 209.
 
35. Deng Xiaoping, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, vol.3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1993), 23.
 
36. Ibid., 372.
 
37. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2011),9. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2011),14; Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2011),14; Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House, 2009),11; Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing: Central Literature Press, 2014), 12.
 
38. Jiang Zemin, Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, vol.3 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2006), 292.
 
39. Ibid., 2.
 
40. Ibid., 294.
 
41. Ibid., 400.
 
42. Zhu liyu, ed., On Law-based Governance of a Country (Beijing: China Renmin University Press, 2004), 137-138.
 
43. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Important Documents since the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, vol. 1 (Beijing: Central Literature Publishing House,2011), 22.
 
44. Hu Jintao, Selected Works of Hu Jintao, vol. 2 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2016), 625-626.
 
45. Marx and Engels, Selected Works of Marx and Engels, vol. 4 (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2012),408.
 
46. Gu Hailiang, ed., From the Important Thought of Three Represents to the Scientific Outlook on Development:New Progress in the Sinicization of Marxism in the 21st Century (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2007),157.
 
47. Xinhua, “Political Declaration and Program of Action for the New Era: The Birth of the Report to the 19th CPC National Congress,” People’s Daily, October 28, 2017.
 
48. Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, vol. 3 (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 9.
 
49. Ibid., 39.
 
50. Ibid., 10.
 
51. Xi Jinping, “Adhere to the Human Rights Development Path Conforming to China’s National Conditions and Promote the All-round Development of People,” People’s Daily, December 11, 2018.
 
52. Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, vol. 3 (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2020), 35.
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