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Xinhua Insight: CPC Constitution enshrines Scientific Outlook on Development as part of action guide   2012-11-14 17:08:53            

By Xinhua writers Cheng Yunjie, Cui Qingxin and Meng Na

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) amended its Constitution on Wednesday to enshrine the Scientific Outlook on Development as the part of its guide for action.

Unanimously agreed by delegates to the 18th CPC National Congress, the amendment juxtaposes the Scientific Outlook on Development along with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, according to a resolution passed by the Party congress.

Hu Angang, a professor with the Tsinghua University and a delegate to the congress, said, "The amendment has pinpointed the historical position of the Scientific Outlook on Development, and enriched the connotation of the Party's action guide to reflect the governing philosophy of Chinese leaders of several generations."

A fundamental law of the CPC, the Constitution enjoys the highest authority within the Party and has supreme binding power to all Party members.

According to the amendment, the Scientific Outlook on Development is a long-term guiding ideology the Party must adhere to.

Despite the double-digit annual growth rate for about three decades, the Chinese economy is now strained by a shortage of energy and resources, the wealth gap, inequitable income distribution, corruption and environmental woes.

Facilitating economic expansion but failing to cure social ills is a prevalent concern of the public.

Massive protests in Sichuan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces over environmental disputes this year have revealed the brutal truth that the Scientific Outlook on Development has not been seriously considered, let alone well implemented.

By elevating the Outlook into part of the action guide, analysts said, the world's largest Party will be able to cement consensus among its 82 million members.


Since the current Constitution was endorsed in 1982, the Party has made six revisions in accordance with the country's changing conditions and the Party's latest achievements in adapting Marxism to China's practical situation.

In 1997, Deng Xiaoping Theory was written into the Constitution as a manifestation of the Party's judgment that China would remain in the primary stage of socialism for a long period of time, and should make economic development as the central task.

Five years later, the important thought of Three Represents was incorporated into the Constitution to clarify what socialism is and how China should build socialism.

Following the outbreak of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003, the Scientific Outlook on Development was put forward in October that year at the Third Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee to facilitate overall, coordinated and sustainable development.

"By proposing and formulating the Scientific Outlook on Development, the Party clarifies the definition of scientific development, enhances its governing capacity and consolidates its governing position and legitimacy," said professor Dai Yanjun of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

The 18th Party congress also endorsed the inclusion of the socialist system, path and theories with Chinese characteristics into the CPC Constitution, to help the Party deepen its understanding of the socialist path China has embarked on and fully grasp its nature, the resolution said.

Liu Jingbei, director of China Executive Leadership Academy-Pudong in Shanghai, said this move has rejected the distractive ideological trends in recent years, reaffirming the Party's stance of neither going back to rigidity nor attempting to abandon socialism or take an erroneous path.


Another noteworthy amendment to the Constitution, Hu Angang said, is the detailed explanation on the strategic position of ecological progress in China's overall development plans.

"Previously, there were only a few words stating that the Party would build a resource-efficient and environmentally friendly society," said Hu, referring to the amended Constitution in 2007.

"It is no exaggeration to call the amendment (at the 18th Party congress) a declaration of the Party's stance on building ecological civilization. It is a landmark move for political parties across the world," he said.

Shi Zhihong, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, said that by promoting ecological progress, the Party will not only benefit contemporary Chinese and nature, but also create a better environment for future generations.

With the nation at a crucial stage of reforms which involve the tackling of deep-rooted problems, the Party has amended its Constitution to hail reform and opening up as "the path to a stronger China", and the "salient feature" of a new period in the country.

"Only reform and opening up can enable China, socialism and Marxism to develop themselves," according to the resolution.

The CPC Constitution serves as the Party's basic law and its spirit will be carried forward in the long run, said Ye Duchu, professor of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

"The challenges facing the CPC will sharpen its foresight and take whatever has been accomplished as a new starting point," said Ye.

(Xu Lingui, Xu Xiaoqing and Zhao Renwei contributed to the reporting.)

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