Milestones in the History of the CPC

June 30, 2016
By Ren Huan and Jin HaoEditor: Rong Chen

2016 marks the 95th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the country's founding and ruling political Party. Here is a summary of some of the Party's most significant events throughout its history.

July 23, 1921: 1st CPC National Congress

The CPC held its 1st National Congress to announce the founding of the Party. Proceedings began in Shanghai and later moved on board a boat in South Lake in Jiaxing, east China's Zhejiang Province.

July 16-23, 1922: 2nd CPC National Congress

For the first time in modern China, the congress set forth a program of democratic revolution, opposing imperialism and feudalism, and thus unequivocally stating the tasks and orientation of the Chinese revolution. It also drew up the Constitution of the CPC.

June 12-20, 1923: 3rd CPC National Congress

The congress took place in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, to discuss the establishment of the united revolutionary front based on Kuomintang-Communist Party of China (KMT-CPC) cooperation.

January 11-22, 1925: 4th CPC National Congress

The congress drew attention to the importance of leadership by the proletariat and of the alliance between workers and peasants, pointing out that China's national revolutionary movement could only be victorious with the powerful participation and leadership of the proletariat and that the Chinese revolution needed the wider participation of workers, farmers and urban middle and petty bourgeoisie, of which farmers were "an important part" and the "natural allies of the working class".

August 1, 1927: Nanchang Uprising

The Nanchang Uprising, in southeast China's Jiangxi Province, was the first major KMT-CPC engagement of the Chinese Civil War. It was started by the Communists to counter KMT's anti-communist purges.

August 7, 1927: August Seventh Meeting

As an emergency meeting of the CPC, future Party Chairman Mao Zedong made the oft-quoted statement that "political power is obtained out of the barrel of a gun," and claimed to carry out an agrarian revolution.

October 1927: Jinggangshan and the Rural Revolutionary Base

Chairman Mao led troops to march into Jinggangshan, southeast China's Jiangxi Province. They launched the agrarian revolution and built the first rural revolutionary base there.

December 28-29, 1929: Gutian Meeting

The 9th Congress of Representatives of the CPC in the Fourth Red Army was held in the village of Gutian, Shanghang County, southeast China's Fujian Province. At the conference, it established the fundamental principle of the "Party Leading the Army," which became a milestone in the history of the CPC and the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

November 7-20, 1931: 1st National People's Congress of the Soviet Republic of China

A congress was held in Ruijin, southeast China's Jiangxi Province, during which the Provisional Central Government of the Chinese Soviet Republic was founded.

October 1934: The Long March

The Red Army failed to shatter KMT's Encirclement Campaign, forcing the major forces to withdraw from the base area and begin the Long March (1934-36).

January 1935: Zunyi Meeting

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held an enlarged meeting in Zunyi, southwest China's Guizhou Province, along the route of the Long March. The Zunyi meeting established a new central leadership represented by Mao.

December 17-25, 1935: Wayaobao Meeting

A meeting was held in the village of Wayaobao, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. Representatives at the meeting held discussions over the building of a national united front in fighting against Japanese aggression.

October 1936: Victorious Junction

Three major forces of front armies of the Central Red Army enjoyed a victorious junction in Huining, northwest China's Gansu Province, which was the end point of the Long March.

September 1937: National United Front against Japanese Aggression

The CPC Central Committee called for an alliance between the KMT and the CPC in joint contributions to building a national united front against Japanese aggression.

September 29-November 6, 1938: Localization of Marxism in China

Chairman Mao proposed the concept of the localization of Marxism in China firstly at the Sixth Party Plenum held in Yan'an, a remote mountainous area in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

February 1942: Rectification Movement

The Yan'an Rectification Movement was the first ideological mass movement initiated by the CPC, spanning a period from 1941-1945. The movement took place at the communist base at Yan'an.

May 1942: Forum on Literature and Art

The CPC Central Committee held a forum on literature and art in Yan'an, during which Mao delivered a significant speech, later edited and published as Talks at the Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art, stressing the importance of literature and art in the country.

April 23-June 11, 1945: 7th CPC National Congress

At the congress, the new Party Constitution was adopted, stipulating that "the Communist Party of China takes the Mao Zedong Thought that integrated Marxist-Leninist theory with the practice of the Chinese revolution as the guideline for all its work".

June 26, 1946: Chinese Civil War

Between forces loyal to the KMT-led government of the Republic of China, and forces loyal to the CPC, the Chinese Civil War began in a full-scale across the country in 1946.

January 31, 1949: End of the Chinese Civil War

The war came to an end when the CPC overthrew the KMT and won a great victory in campaigns, including those in Liaoshen, Huaihai and Pingjin, across the country and the city of Beiping (now Beijing) had a peaceful turnover.

March 5-13, 1949: Second Plenary Session of the 7th CPC National Congress

The session took place in the village of Xibaipo, north China's Hebei Province. During the session, Chairman Mao reaffirmed an ancient value in his famous "The Two Musts" dictum, stating "Party members must maintain continuously the (virtuous) style of humility, caution, freedom from pride and freedom from disquietude. Party members must also maintain continuously the style of hard work and struggles." This value along with the transfer of working focus from rural counties to urban cities was present at an occasion just before the founding of the PRC.

September 21-30, 1949: First Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)

The first CPPCC's plenary session was held in Beiping (now Beijing), whilst the CPC Central Committee issued a call proposing the convening of a new political consultative conference to set up a democratic coalition government.

October 1, 1949: Founding of the People's Republic of China

The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949.

October 19, 1950: Chinese People's Volunteer Army

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, in line with North Korea's request and the needs of Chinese security, decided to form the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. Peng Dehuai was appointed commander and political commissar of the Army, with Deng Hua his deputy.

January 1, 1953: China's First Five-Year Plan

China began to launch its first Five-Year Plan (1953-57), to boost the domestic and global economy.

September 15-28, 1954: China's First Constitution

The first plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the country's first constitution and established the fundamental political system of people's congresses.

September 15-27, 1956: 8th CPC National Congress

The first CPC national congress took place. It was pointed out at the congress that, as the socialist system has been basically established in China, the principal contradiction within the country was no longer the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie but the one resulted from the need of the people for rapid economic and cultural development which fell short of their requirements.

The chief task confronting the entire nation was to concentrate all efforts on developing the productive forces, industrializing the country and gradually meeting the people's growing economic and cultural needs.

January 11 – February 7, 1962: Lessons from the Great Leap Forward

The central government, led by the CPC, launched an economic and social campaign in 1958 to rapidly transform China from an agrarian economy into a modern Communist society. The campaign eventually came to an end as it caused imbalances in the national economy, fiscal deficits over consecutive years and great hardship for the people.

May 1966-October 1976: Cultural Revolution

Taking advantage of Chairman Mao's mistakes in his later years, the "Gang of Four" engaged in activities that brought great catastrophe to the country and people.

October 6, 1976: End of the Cultural Revolution

The Cultural Revolution came to an end when the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee crushed the "Gang of Four".

May 11, 1978: National Discussions on Issues of Practice and Truth

Discussion on practice and truth took place across the country following a passage titled as "Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth" released by Guang Ming Daily.

December 18-22, 1978: Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC National Congress

Attendees at the session decided to shift the focus of the Party's work to socialist modernization and set a policy of reform and opening-up to the outside world initiated by Deng Xiaoping.

September 1-11, 1982: 12th CPC National Congress

At the congress, Deng Xiaoping summed up China's recent historical experience and drew a basic conclusion: the universal truth of Marxism must be integrated with the concrete realities of China, and China must blaze a trail of its own, building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

October 25-November 1, 1987: 13th CPC National Congress

The congress systematically expounded the theory about the primary stage of socialism and the basic line of the Party in this stage. Besides, it set forth a "three-step" economic development strategy to accelerate and deepen reforms. Economic restructuring was urged to focus on changing the operational mechanism of enterprises.

October 12-18, 1992: 14th CPC National Congress

The congress made a brilliant exposition of Deng Xiaoping's theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and outlined the major tasks in the reform and economic and social development in the 90s. It declared that the target of China's economic restructuring was to establish a socialist market economic system.

July 1, 1997: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong.

September 12-18, 1997: 15th CPC National Congress

The congress established Deng Xiaoping Theory as one of the Party's guiding ideologies and drew up a cross-century blueprint for China's reform, opening-up and socialist modernization drive for the next century.

December 20, 1999: Macao Special Administrative Region

The Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Macao Special Administrative Region.

November 8-14, 2002: 16th CPC National Congress

The congress acknowledged the important thought of Three Representatives as a guiding ideology of the Party together with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory; it also agreed with the objectives of building a well-off society, stating that the objectives are of great significance for rallying the forces of the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups and speeding up the socialist modernization drive.

October 15-21, 2007: 17th CPC National Congress

The congress incorporated the Scientific Outlook on Development into the Party's constitution.

September 15-18, 2009: Fourth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC National Congress

A draft decision of the CPC Central Committee on major issues concerning "strengthening and improving Party building in the new situation" was deliberated at the four-day session, the schedule of which was decided by a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

November 8-14, 2012: 18th CPC National Congress

The congress elaborated on the socialist system, path and theories with Chinese characteristics. In addition, the "construction of ecological civilization" as a major goal of the Party was written into the Party constitution, an extension from the previous version of the constitution which included economic, political, cultural, and social realms.

November 29, 2012: "Chinese Dream" of the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation

During a visit to the exhibition The Road of Revival, which was held at the National Museum, President Xi Jinping proposed the "Chinese Dream" of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, integrating national and personal aspirations, with the twin goals of reclaiming national pride and achieving personal well-being. It requires sustained economic growth, expanded equality and an infusion of cultural values to balance materialism.

December 4, 2012: Eight-Point Regulations

The Eight-Point Regulations were agreed on at a meeting organized by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, aiming to fight against formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and practice austerity among Party members and bringing the Party closer to the people.

November 9-12, 2013: Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC National Congress

The CPC Central Committee agreed on the paper titled "Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening the Reform”, making an outline of China's development over the next ten years.

October 20-23, 2014: Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC National Congress

The CPC Central Committee examined and approved the Resolution on Certain Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Advancing the Law-Based Governance of China after President Xi had presented an explanation on the draft of this resolution at the session, aiming to optimize judicial functions, improve administrative lawsuits, and advance administration by law.

The restraint of public interest litigation has "led to a lack of effective judicial supervision on illegal administrative acts and is disadvantageous to the promotion of administration by law and enhanced protection of public interests," Xi said.

October 26-28, 2014: Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC National Congress

The session deliberated on and approved the Central Committee's Proposal for Formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2016-20).

(Source: Guang Ming Daily /Translated and edited by Women of China)

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