BEIJING, July 1, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), delivers a speech at a rally marking the 95th anniversary of the founding of the CPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, July 1, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday called on his comrades to "stay true to the mission" taken up by the CPC 95 years ago.
"One who wants to stride ahead should not forget the path that was trodden. No matter how far we will travel and how bright a future we will have, we should not forget what we have experienced and why we set out," said Xi, at an event marking the 95th founding anniversary of the CPC in Beijing.
In the speech, Xi lauded past CPC leaders including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun, those who died for New China, and outstanding CPC members.
He called on CPC members to "uphold the fighting spirit" of the Party's founding members and their commitment to the people.
The CPC was founded amid a time of upheaval. It set out to liberate the country from foreign invasion and domestic chaotic situation.
In its 95-year history, the Party and the country have overcome numerous difficulties thanks to the three generations of the CPC leadership -- Mao, Deng and Jiang Zemin as "the core" -- as well as the CPC Central Committee led by Hu Jintao as the general secretary.p Without the leadership of a committed Party armed with advanced theories, the Chinese people would not have been able to change their fate and the country would not have become united and prosperous, he said.
China should, therefore, "adhere to and never stray from the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics," according to Xi.
Xi's call to "stay true to the mission" resonated with Qin Lan, curator of a memorial park in Guangdong that honors the late general Ye Ting. "One reason why some cadres fall nowadays is that they have lost their faith and forgot what motivated them to join the CPC in the first place," said Qin.
CONFIDENCE IN CHINA PATH
Xi stressed the Party's continued devotion to Marxism. "If we deviated from or abandoned Marxism -- the fundamental guiding theory for both the Party and the country -- our Party would lose its soul and direction," he said.
However, he noted, the CPC should adapt Marxist principles to the current realities in China, and be innovative in theory and practice.
"The changes in the times and the range and depth of China's development are far beyond the imagination of writers of Marxist classics," he said.
Xi urged the whole Party to strengthen confidence in "the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics."
Socialism with Chinese characteristics should be evaluated not by "people with tainted glasses," but by the Chinese, based on facts, he said.
"CPC members and the Chinese people are confident in providing a Chinese solution to mankind's exploration of better social systems," he said.
Xu Yaotong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said Xi's speech displayed self-confidence and self-reflection, adding the "confidence in culture" showed that the CPC leadership is committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
By mentioning the Party's contribution to mankind, President Xi is signaling that the Party is preparing for issues that may be of great importance in the future, Xu said.
FIRM COMMITMENT TO REFORM, OPENING UP
"Reform and opening up is key to deciding the fate of modern China," Xi said.
The general objective of reform is to improve the socialist system and modernize and improve governance. The main focus is reform of the economic system, followed by political, cultural, social, environmental and Party building reforms, he said.
Authorities should dare to "conduct surgeries for chronic, stubborn diseases," "break the shelters of vested interests" and "sweep out obstacles hampering development," according to Xi.
In his speech, Xi stressed the Party's commitment to the rule of law and improvement of people's wellbeing.
CHALLENGE FROM CORRUPTION
The biggest threat to the CPC as the ruling party is corruption, Xi warned.
The CPC must keep improving itself if it is to remain in power, he said.
"If we can not manage the Party and govern it strictly -- leaving prominent problems within the Party unsettled -- our Party will sooner or later [...] be consigned to history," warned Xi in his speech.
He demanded that Party members conform with the politics of the CPC Central Committee, and act with integrity, starting from senior leaders.
Praising the progress of China's anti-corruption drive in the past three years, Xi vowed to keep the pressure and maintain zero-tolerance of corruption.
Xi's speech shows the CPC's unprecedented determination to fight corruption and sends a clear message that rather than stepping off the gas it intends to maintain, or even accelerate, the momentum, said Zheng Changzhong, an expert on Party building at Shanghai-based Fudan University.
By referring to the Constitution and law, Xi has shown the CPC is committed to steering the Party clear of "rule of man," toward rule of law, which will be the foundation for the CPC's rule, Zheng noted.
CHINESE WISDOM FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
Xi pledged in his speech that China will actively participate in the building of global governance system and strive to offer Chinese wisdom to help improve global governance.
The world order should be decided not by one country or a few, but by broad international agreement, he said.
China will always follow a path of peaceful development and an opening up policy featuring mutual benefit and win-win deals, he said. "We are not building our back garden, but a public garden for all countries."
China opposes imposing one's will on others, interfering with other countries' domestic affairs and the strong bullying the weak.
"China will never give up our lawful rights. Chinese people do not believe in fallacy nor are we afraid of evil forces. Chinese people do not make trouble, but we are not cowards when involved in trouble," said Xi.
China will not resort to the threat of force at will, nor will it "flaunt its military power on others' doorsteps at the drop of a hat," he said. "Flaunting power everywhere will not reflect strength nor will it scare anyone."
Before Xi's speech, Liu Yunshan read a decision from the CPC Central Committee to honor some outstanding Party members and organizations.
In total, 300 local-level Party organizations and 100 CPC members from all walks of life were commended for their deeds. In addition, the contributions to Party building by 100 Party affairs workers were also lauded.
Liu urged all Party members and organizations to learn from those who were commended and contribute more so that the Chinese dream is realized.