English excerpt of Xi’s speech at the 20th National Congress of the CPC

On October 16, last Sunday, the Congress successfully opened, and General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening session. Here is an English excerpt of his speech. Hope it will help you learn more about this important Congress.

20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China opens in
Beijing, Xi Jinping delivers a report to Congress on behalf of 19th
CPC Central Committee

Strive in unity to lay out a new blueprint for national rejuvenation; make
concerted efforts to create new historic achievements. The highly anticipated
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened on the
morning of October 16 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on behalf of the
19th CPC Central Committee, delivered to the Congress a report titled “Hold
High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in
Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects”. He pointed out, the
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a meeting of great
importance. It takes place at a critical time as the entire Party and the Chinese
people of all ethnic groups embark on a new journey to build China into a
modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward the Second
Centenary Goal. The theme of the Congress is: holding high the great banner
of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implementing the Thought on
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carrying forward the
the great founding spirit of the Party, staying confident and building strength,
upholding fundamental principles and breaking new ground, forging ahead with
enterprise and fortitude, and striving in unity to build a modern socialist country
in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in all
The Great Hall of the People is majestic and solemn, and the grand auditorium
in it is permeated with a lively atmosphere. Hanging above the rostrum is a
streamer reading “The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of
China”, in the middle of the back curtain is the Party emblem composed of a
sickle and a hammerhead, on either side of which are five bright red flags.
Hanging above on the second and third floor of the auditorium respectively are
two streamers reading “Hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese
characteristics, comprehensively implement Xi Jinping Thoughts on Socialism
with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carrying forward the great founding
spirit of the Party, strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all
respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts!”
and “Long live the great, glorious, and correct Communist Party of China!”
Seated at the front row of the rostrum were members of the Standing
Committee of the Presidium of the 20th CPC National Congress, including Xi
Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han
Zheng, Ding Xuexiang, Wang Chen, Liu He, Xu Qiliang, Sun Chunlan, Li Xi, Li
Qiang, Li Hongzhong, Yang Jiechi, Yang Xiaodu, Zhang Youxia, Chen Xi, Chen
Quanguo, Chen Min’er, Hu Chunhua, Guo Shengkun, Huang Kunming, Cai Qi,
Hu Jintao, Li Ruihuan, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng,
Song Ping, Li Lanqing, Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun, He
Guoqiang, Liu Yunshan, Zhang Gaoli, You Quan, and Zhang Qingli.
The opening session was presided over by Comrade Li Keqiang. At 10 a.m.,
the session began. All rose to their feet and sang the national anthem of the
The people’s Republic of China. Then all stood in silent tribute to the late proletarian
revolutionaries of the older generation Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi,
Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, etc., and the revolutionary martyrs.
Li Keqiang declared, a total of 2,340 of the 2,379 elected (2,296) and speciallyinvited (83) delegates to the 20th CPC National Congress were present at the
opening session. He also extended a warm welcome to the non-CPC
personages and other relevant officials who attend the congress as non-voting
The report Xi Jinping delivered to the Congress on behalf of the 19th CPC
Central Committee consists of 15 parts: I. The Work of the Past Five Years and
the Great Changes in the First Decade of the New Era, II. A New Frontier in
Adapting Marxism to the Chinese Context and the Needs of the Times, III. The
New Journey of the New Era: Missions and Tasks of the Communist Party of
China, IV. Accelerating the Creation of a New Development Pattern and
Pursuing High-Quality Development, V. Invigorating China through Science
and Education and Developing a Strong Workforce for the Modernization Drive,
VI. Advancing Whole-Process People’s Democracy and Ensuring that the
People Run the Country, VII. Exercising Law-Based Governance on All Fronts
and Advancing the Rule of Law in China, VIII. Building Cultural Confidence and
Strength and Securing New Successes in Developing Socialist Culture, IX.
Improving the People’s well-being and Raising Quality of Life, X. Pursuing
Green Development and Promoting Harmony between Humanity and Nature,
XI. Modernizing China’s National Security System and Capacity and
Safeguarding National Security and Social Stability, XII. Achieving the
Centenary Goal of the People’s Liberation Army and Further Modernizing
National Defense and the Military, XIII. Upholding and Improving the Policy of
One Country, Two Systems and Promoting National Reunification, XIV.
Promoting World Peace and Development and Building a Human Community
with a Shared Future, XV. Exercising Full and Rigorous Self-Governance and
Advancing the Great New Project of Party Building in the New Era.
Xi pointed out that in the past five years since the 19th CPC National Congress,
the Party Central Committee has pursued a strategy of national rejuvenation
amid global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and made major
strategic plans for advancing the cause of the Party and the country. The central
the committee has brought together the entire Party, the military, and the Chinese
people and led them in effectively responding to the grave, intricate international
developments and a series of immense risks and challenges. With great effort
and determination, we have steadily advanced socialism with the Chinese
characteristics in the new era, Xi said. Over the past five years, our Party has
rallied the people and led them in solving a great number of problems that had
long gone unsolved, securing many accomplishments that hold major future
significance, and achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and
the country, Xi said.
Reviewing the Party’s work over the first decade of the new era, Xi noted that
the past ten years marked three major events of great immediate importance
and profound historical significance for the cause of the Party and the people:
We embraced the centenary of the Communist Party of China; we ushered in
a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and we eradicated absolute
poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects,
thus completing the First Centenary Goal. These were historic feats—feats
accomplished by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people striving
for unity, feats that will be forever recorded in the Chinese nation’s history, and
feats that will profoundly influence the world, the report was quoted as saying.
Xi said, over the past decade, we have secured historic achievements and seen
historic changes in the cause of the Party and the country, and taken China on
a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects. We
have established the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a
New Era and strengthened Party leadership in all respects. We have achieved
moderate prosperity, the millennia-old dream of the Chinese nation. We have
developed well-conceived and complete strategic plans for advancing the
cause of the Party and the country in the new era, and put forward and applied
a new development philosophy. We have comprehensively deepened reform
with tremendous political courage and pursued a more proactive strategy of
opening up. We have kept to the path of socialist political advancement with
Chinese characteristics, and established and upheld a foundational system for
ensuring the guiding role of Marxism in the ideological domain. We have
implemented a people-centered philosophy of development. We have acted on
the idea that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. We have
applied a holistic approach to national security. We have set the Party’s goal of
building a strong military in the new era. We have fully and faithfully
implemented the policy of One Country, Two Systems. We have pursued major-
country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. We have made
significant advances in exercising full and rigorous Party self-governance. At
the same time, we must not lose sight of the shortcomings in our work and the
many difficulties and problems confronting us.
Xi pointed out that the great transformation over the past 10 years of the new
era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People’s Republic of
China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the
development of the Chinese nation. Over the course of a century of endeavor,
the CPC has tempered itself through revolution and grown stronger. And as we
have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Party
has always remained a strong leadership core. The Chinese people are more
inspired than ever to forge ahead, more resolved than ever to work hard, and
more confident than ever of securing success. With full confidence, the CPC
and the Chinese people are driving the great transformation of the Chinese
nation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong.
Xi stressed that it is the solemn historical responsibility of today’s Chinese
Communists to continue opening new chapters in adapting Marxism to the
Chinese context and the needs of the times. To keep advancing theoretical
innovation on the basis of practical experience, we must, first of all, gain a good
command of the worldview and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with
Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and adhere to and make good use of its
stances, viewpoints, and methods. We must put the people first, maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet, uphold fundamental principles and break
new ground, adopt a problem-oriented approach, apply systems thinking, and
maintain a global vision.
Referring to the missions and tasks of the CPC on the new journey of the new
era, Xi pointed out that from this day forward, the central task of the CPC will
be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize
the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist
country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation
on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. On the journey ahead,
we must firmly adhere to the following major principles: upholding and
strengthening the Party’s overall leadership; following the path of socialism with
Chinese characteristics; applying a people-centered development philosophy;
remaining committed to deepening reform and opening up; and carrying
forward our fighting spirit.
Xi stressed that we must fully and faithfully apply the new development
philosophy on all fronts, advance reforms to develop the socialist market
economy, adhere to high-standard opening up, and accelerate efforts to foster
a new pattern of development that is focused on the domestic economy and
features positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows.
He pledged continuous efforts to build a high-standard socialist market
economy, modernize the industrial system, advance rural revitalization across
the board, promote coordinated regional development, and promote high-standard opening up.
Xi pointed out that we must regard science and technology as our primary
productive force, talent as our primary resource, and innovation as our primary
driver of growth. We will fully implement the strategy for invigorating China
through science and education, the workforce development strategy, and the
innovation-driven development strategy. He urged efforts to open up new areas
and new arenas in development and steadily foster new growth drivers and new
strengths. We must give high priority to the development of education, build
China’s self-reliance and strength in science and technology, and rely on talent
to pioneer and propel development. We will speed up work to build a strong
educational system, greater scientific and technological strength, and a quality
workforce, he said.
We must firmly stay on the path of socialist political advancement with the Chinese
characteristics, uphold the unity between Party leadership, the running of the
country by the people, and law-based governance, Xi stressed, adding that we
will continue to strengthen the institutions through which the people run the
country, fully develop consultative democracy, actively develop democracy at
the primary level, and consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic
united front.
We must give better play to the role of the rule of law in consolidating
foundations, ensuring stable expectations and delivering long-term benefits, Xi
noted, adding that work should also be done to strive to build a modern socialist
country in all respects under the rule of law. We must improve the socialist legal
a system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution at its core, steadily
advance law-based government administration, ensure strict and impartial
administration of justice, and step up efforts to establish the rule of law
throughout society.
Xi called for further work in developing a socialist ideology that has the power
to unite and inspire the people, urging efforts to extensively apply the core
socialist values, enhance civility throughout society, develop cultural programs
and the cultural sector, and extend the reach and appeal of Chinese civilization.
Xi noted that we must strive to realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental
interests of all our people. To this end, we must do everything within our
capacity to resolve the most practical problems that are of the greatest and
most direct concern to the people. We will continue to improve the system of
the income distribution, implement the employment-first strategy, improve the
social security system, and advance the Healthy China Initiative.
Xi stressed that we must uphold and act on the principle that lucid waters and
lush mountains are invaluable assets, and we must remember to maintain
harmony between humanity and nature when planning our development. He
urged efforts to accelerate the transition to a model of green development,
intensify pollution prevention and control, enhance diversity, stability, and
sustainability in the ecosystems, and work actively and prudently toward the
goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality.
Xi noted that we must resolutely pursue a holistic approach to national security
and promote national security in all areas and stages of the work of the Party
and the country. He said efforts should be made to improve the national security
the system, strengthen our capacity for safeguarding national security, enhance
public safety governance, and improve the social governance system.
Xi said achieving the goals for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in
2027 and more quickly elevating people’s armed forces to world-class
standards are strategic tasks for building a modern socialist country in all
respects. We will intensify troop training and enhance combat preparedness
across the board, he said, noting that efforts will also be made to strengthen
all-around military governance, consolidate and enhance integrated national
strategies and strategic capabilities.
The policy of One Country, Two Systems is a great innovation of socialism with
Chinese characteristics, Xi said. It has proven to be the best institutional
arrangement for ensuring sustained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and
Macao after their return to the motherland. This policy must be adhered to over
the long term, Xi stressed. We will remain committed to law-based governance
in Hong Kong and Macao, and ensure that the central government exercises
overall jurisdiction over the two regions, he said. We will see that Hong Kong
and Macao are administered by patriots, he added. He also pledged support to
Hong Kong and Macao in better integrating themselves into China’s overall
development and playing a greater role in realizing national rejuvenation.
Moreover, Xi vowed to continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the
greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but noted that “we reserve the option of
taking all measures necessary.” Complete reunification of our country must be
realized, and it can, without doubt, be realized, Xi said.
According to Xi, today, our world, our times, and history are changing in ways
like never before. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy
of peace, he said, adding that the country adheres to the Five Principles of
Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other
countries, and remains committed to its fundamental national policy of opening
to the outside world. The Chinese people are ready to work hand in hand with
people across the world to create an even brighter future for humanity, said Xi.
Xi called for the whole Party to bear in mind that full and rigorous self-governance is an unceasing endeavor and that self-reform is a journey to which
there is no end. We must never slacken our efforts and never allow ourselves
to become weary or beaten, and we must persevere with full and rigorous self-governance, continue to advance the great new project of Party building in the
new era, and use our own transformation to steer social transformation, Xi said.
He underlined that we must uphold and strengthen the centralized, unified
the leadership of the Party Central Committee, enhance cohesion, and forge the
Party’s soul with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a
New Era, and improve the systems and regulations for the Party’s self-reform.
He also urged efforts to cultivate officials capable of shouldering the mission of
national rejuvenation, enhance the political and organizational functions of
Party organizations, take strict steps to improve Party conduct and enforce
Party discipline, and win the tough and protracted battle against corruption.
Xi pointed out that the Party has made spectacular achievements through its
great endeavors over the past century, and our new endeavors will surely lead
to more spectacular achievements.
Rounds of warm applause rose at intervals as Xi was delivering the report.
Incumbent and former vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the
National People’s Congress (NPC) who are not CPC members, incumbents and
former non-CPC vice chairpersons of the National Committee of the Chinese
People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), vice chairpersons of the
central committees of the other political parties and the All-China Federation of
Industry and Commerce, representatives of personages without party affiliation
and those of religious circles, as well as non-CPC personages and religious
figures who serve as NPC Standing Committee members or Standing
Committee members of the CPPCC National Committee attended the session
as guests. Some other leading CPC officials also attended the session as non-voting participants.

Around 2,500 journalists from home and abroad reported the grand opening


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