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Hot Terms in China's Reform
    2008-10-31 17:04:16     CRIENGLISH.com

1, Gang of Four: The term was reportedly given by Chairman Mao Zedong, founder of New China -- the People's Republic of China. The Four includes Jiang Qing, the most notable member as shes the widow of Mao. The others were Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, and Zhang Chunqiao.

During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the Gang of Four directed the persecution of thousands of veteran Communist Party officials and intellectuals, and wrecked Chinas economy, pushing it to the brink of collapse. The violence of the Cultural Revolution pitted neighbor against neighbor, traumatized the nation, and forced a generation of intellectuals to work in the countryside. A month after Mao's death in 1976, members of the Gang of Four were arrested, marking the end of the Cultural Revolution.

They were imprisoned in 1976, and sentenced a few years later. Their detention was instrumental in bringing to the fore Deng Xiaoping who shortly afterward set in motion the reform and opening up which had led to the economic miracle China is now experiencing.

2, The "Two Whatevers" Policy: The term means, literally, "China should uphold whatever policies Mao Zedong has adopted and abide by whatever instructions the late chairman has given."

It was initiated by Hua Guofeng, Chinaman Mao's designated leader of the Communist part of China and the People's Republic of China. Hua became Communist Party chairman in September 1976. He pursued the notion that whatever policy decisions Mao had made must be firmly upheld and whatever instructions he had given must be followed unswervingly.

The remarks, however, were replaced by the more pragmatic slogan given by Deng Xiaoping that ''it doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice''.

3, Set Things Right or Bring order out of Chaos: The term refers to a process during which the Communist Party of China managed to abandon the policies during the Cultural Revolution.

The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC in 1978 decisively discarded the slogan "Take class struggle as the key link" , and made the strategic decision to concentrate instead on socialist modernization. A series of new policies were mapped out to bring order out of chaos: the entrance examination of higher education institutes, which had been suspended during the Cultural Revolution, was resumed; the good name of Chinese intellectuals forced to work in the countryside were restored; and most importantly, the country decided to take economic development as its central task. In addition, it decided to open the country up to the outside world.

4, Emancipate the Mind: This is a general term but often used to refer to a special period around the convening of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC in 1978. Chairman Mao Zedong died in 1976, and the Cultural Revolution was officially declared to be ended. However, in ideology nothing seems to change much, as evidenced by the "Two Whatevers" theory.

On May 11th, 1978, the Guangming Daily carried an article titled "Practice is the only Criterion for Judging the Truth". The article argued that for all forms of knowledge, including Marxism, their nature of truth must be judged and proved by practice. This paper was widely read and provoked lively discussions throughout China. Numerous papers and books were dedicated to such a topic. The whole nation sank into a hot discussion about what was truth. In the end, the nation agrees that Chinese people should emancipate the mind and seek truth from the facts. As a result, the "Two Whatevers" were finally discarded and eclipsed by Deng Xiaoping's "black cat and white cat" argument. Two years later, China embarked on the road of reform and opening up.

5: Household Contract Responsibility System: The system, giving farmers the right to make independent decisions on using a small piece of contracted land, was created by Chinese farmers in the 1970s. Against the background of bringing order out of chaos and concentrating on the economic development after the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese central authorities respected the willingness of the farmers and actively supported the tryouts and then introduced the experience to the whole country within a couple of years.

As a result, the 800 million farmers have gained the decision-making power on farmland management. The household contract responsibility system helped Chinas agriculture step out of the long-term predicament. The agricultural economy grew fast toward specialization, commercialization and socialization. The thriving of township enterprises was another great achievement made by the Chinese farmers. The enterprises, making surplus rural labor shift from farming, blazed a new trail on enriching rural people and stimulating the industry and the whole economic restructuring as well.

7, Reform and Opening up: China's reform and opening up started from the convening of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1978. The Party decided to focus on economic development following a decade of chaos during the Cultural Revolution.

The new period features the reform and open-up. The drive of reform and opening up began from China's rural areas to urban areas, from reform of the economic structure to restructuring on various aspects and from invigorating the domestic economy to opening China to the outside world. Today, China has grown into one the largest economies in the world.

8, Four Cardinal Principles: The principles were first put forward by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to ensure the continuation of the reform and opening up. They are: the principle of upholding the socialist path; the principle of upholding the people's democratic dictatorship; the principle of upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the principle of upholding Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong thought.

Though the Gang of Four was toppled, Deng's reform and opening up policy was under attack by people from the left. They criticized the economic reforms and opening up, basically, as capitalist practice, running counter to Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. On the right, some people saw the disastrous outcome of the Cultural Revolution and started doubting the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

By insisting on the Four Cardinal Principles, Deng Xiaoping aimed at fending off the attacks from the left, which is, in Deng's words,  "phony, ultra-Left socialism pushed by the Gang of Four, which boils down to universal poverty," and also from the right that was opposed to the Four Cardinal Principles.

9, Special Economic Zones, or SEZ: China set up a group of Special Economic Zones in 1980 with the model of export processing zones in mind. The countrys first four SEZs are: Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou in Guangdong province, Xiamen in Fujian province. As the Special Economic Zones, the cities enjoy some preferential economic policies compared with the national economic laws.

Shenzhen, a previously small fishing village and now a glittering city, has been the most successful Special Economic Zone in China. The establishment of Special Economic Zones has been considered as significant measures for China to attract overseas investment and learn advanced technology and management from foreign countries.

10, Southern Tour Talks by Deng Xiaoping: In early 1992, Deng Xiaoping paid a visit to a few southern cities, including Shenzhen, the most successful Special Economic Zone. During the tour, he criticized those who harbored doubts of the reform and open-up policy and stressed the importance of economic development. Deng urged the Chinese people to further emancipate their minds, be bolder and develop faster than before in conducting reform and opening to the outside world. This is also called the Second Movement to Emancipate Minds".

During the tour, Deng also creatively solved the major problems which had troubled the Chinese people, especially the relationship between socialism and market economy. He famously noted that market economy does not equal capitalism and there's market even in socialism.

Deng's talks, which helped bring the Chinese reform back on track, are considered to have far-reaching historic significance in China's economic development.

11, Three Represents Theory: "Three Represents" refers to what the Communist Party of China (CPC) currently stands for: it represents the development trends of advanced productive forces; it represents the orientations of an advanced culture; it represents the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of China. It was put forward by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin in 2000.

Jiang's "Three Represents" theory is regarded as a new summary of the nature, purpose and historical tasks of the CPC, a new development in the Marxist Party-building theory and a new demand on CPC organizations at all levels and on its members under new circumstances.

12, The Scientific Outlook on Development: The Scientific Outlook on Development, which puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development, is a major strategic concept introduced by the Communist Party of China after taking into account the overall development of the causes of the Party and the nation in this new stage of the new century. It is a major guiding concept to be adhered to for a long time to come in promoting economic and social development and accelerating socialist modernization in China.

The most important aspect of the Scientific Outlook on Development is development; putting people first is its core; and its basic requirement is comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. These three aspects are interconnected and form an organic whole whose nature is to achieve rapid and sound economic and social development.

The Scientific Outlook on Development and other strategic thoughts were enshrined into the Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the 17th National Congress of CPC in October 2007.

The scientific outlook on development is described as a continuation and development of the important thoughts on development advanced by the three generations of the Party's central collective leadership and a concentrated expression of the Marxist world outlook and methodology with regard to development. The Party says it is a scientific theory that is in the same line as Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and keeps up with the times.

13, Harmonious Society: A harmonious socialist society is one that is democratic and law-based, fair and just, sincere and friendly, full of vitality, and stable and orderly, and enjoys harmony between man and nature. A democratic and law-based society fully promotes socialist democracy, implements the general plan for governing the country in accordance with the law and extensively mobilizes all positive factors. A fair and just society is one that properly balances the interests of all sides, correctly handles conflicts among the people and other types of social discord, and truly realizes and safeguards fairness and justice in society. A sincere and friendly society is one in which people help each other, are honest and trustworthy, treat each other as equals and friends, and live in harmony. A society that is full of vitality respects all creative desires conducive to social progress, supports creative activities, fully utilizes creative talent and recognizes the fruits of creativity. A stable and orderly society is one that is well organized, effectively managed and enjoys good public order, one in which people live and work in peace, and one that is stable and unified. A society that enjoys harmony between man and nature is characterized by increased production, better lives for the people and an excellent ecosystem. These basic characteristics of a harmonious socialist society are all interconnected and each affects the others. They provide concrete requirements for a harmonious socialist society that need to be incorporated in the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

According to the CPC, building a harmonious socialist society is an important goal in promoting economic and social development and an objective requirement for socialist modernization. It is also the common desire of the masses and is extremely important for continuously developing the causes of the Party and the people and ensuring lasting stability in the Party and the country.

The building of a Harmonious Socialist Society was adopted at the conclusion of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on October 11, 2006.

----- The End ------

 
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