BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) — Reading books, watching documentaries, tuning in to APP-based programs — 91 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are diving into the Party's history.
These are the scenes of an educational campaign launched by the Party leadership as part of the events to mark the CPC's centenary in 2021.
The campaign on Party history learning and education is so important that President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended its launch and issued specific requirements.
Why does the study of history matter so much to the world's biggest Marxist ruling party, and what does it mean to do this at the Party's centenary?
'Keeping in Mind Why We Started'
The past, present and future are linked. Looking into the past helps one deal with issues today and be better prepared for the future.
Following the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century, China was laid to waste and the people were plunged into misery by repeated foreign aggressions and internal conflicts.
Since then, rejuvenating the nation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people, for which countless patriots have fought and sacrificed their lives.
When founded in 1921, the CPC made it the Party's founding mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Under the CPC leadership over the course of several decades, the once impoverished country has emerged as the world's second-largest economy and built a well-off society with the world's largest middle-income population.
"No matter how far we have traveled... we shall never forget the past, and never forget why we started our journey in the first place," Xi told his fellow CPC members, urging them, again and again, to stay true to the Party's founding mission.
Confidence Based on Past Experience
In 2021, China announced success in ending extreme poverty and historic achievements in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Looking ahead, the Party aims to lead China in basically realizing socialist modernization by 2035 and further building the country into a modern socialist country by the middle of the 21st century.
Xi said that, by learning the Party's history, CPC members can gain experience and draw lessons from the past, boosting their confidence as they continue the quest.
The CPC is good at finding solutions from past experience to tackle challenges and overcome dangers, said Qu Qingshan, head of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee.
A crucial lesson from past experience is the importance of firming up ideals and convictions, Qu said. This is how the CPC members can endure all sorts of risks and hardships while guarding against corrosive ideological influences.
Another lesson based on experience is maintaining close ties with the people, he added. "From leading the revolution and establishing the people's republic to advancing socialist modernization, everything the Party has done is to strive for the benefit of the people," Qu said.
In order to face future challenges, "we must be better prepared for struggles and raise our ability to fight through the study," Qu said.
Self-Reform to Lead March Forward
History is the best textbook and it shows that the easiest way to capture a fortress is from within.
Over the past century, the CPC has been constantly maintaining its advanced nature and purity against being corrupted or disintegrated.
Party history study will make this even more clear to CPC members, and help maintain the strict self-governance of the Party, observers said.
There are still some mismatches in Party building as the CPC is tasked with leading a great social revolution towards a modern socialist country, Xi said.
He particularly asked his comrades to pay attention to problems undermining the Party's purity, especially those related to Party conduct.
According to the Party's top graft-busting body, in 2020 alone, more than 63,000 people received Party or administrative discipline over practicing bureaucratism or formalities for formalities' sake.
"Once we are not careful enough, (the conduct problems) will resurge again. All our previous gains may be lost," Xi said, adding that launching the educational campaign at this crucial juncture is to follow through on the spirit of thorough revolution, and help the Party maintain a clear mind and lead the great social revolution through self-reform.
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