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The 13th National Congress

Date: October 25-November 1, 1987

Place: Beijing

Number of delegates: 1,936 full delegates and 61 specially invited delegates

Party membership: 46 million

The Thirteenth National Congress of the CPC expounded systematically the theory of the primary stage of socialism and the basic line of the Party. By summing up experiences, the Party embarked on a correct path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Under the guidance of the line, the principle and the policy formulated since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC, China concentrated on socialist economic construction, and gradually reformed and improved the structures of socialist economy and politics, as well as the structures of education, and science and technology. It strengthened the building of socialist democratic politics and an advanced culture and ideology.

By the 1980s the historical tasks of the mind emancipation movement were to emancipate the thinking of the whole Party from the personality cult of Mao Zedong, and extricate the people from the trammels of dogmatizing and deifying his directives and policy-decisions. The thesis expounded at the CPC's 13th Congress held in 1987 on China's primary stage of socialism was the result of emancipation of the mind since 1978 and should be a new starting point for further emancipation of the mind.

The congress systematically expounded the theory about the primary stage of socialism and the basic line of the Party in this stage. It pointed out that a correct understanding of the present historic stage of Chinese society was of primary importance for building socialism with Chinese characteristics, that it was the essential basis on which to formulate and implement correct lines and policies.

The congress set forth a "three-step" economic development strategy: First, to double the 1980 GNP to solve food and clothing shortages; second, to quadruple the 1980 GNP by the end of the century to achieve a relatively good standard of life for the people; and third, to basically complete the nation's modernization, raise the per capita GNP to that of intermediate-level developed countries and improve people's standard of living. The central task outlined at the meeting was to accelerate and deepen reforms. Economic restructuring was urged to focus on changing the operational mechanism of enterprises. Various supportive reforms in terms of planning, investment, materials and goods, finance, banking and foreign trade should be carried out in stages in order to gradually establish a framework for a new system of commodity economy in a planned way.

At the congress, 175 members and 110 alternate members were elected to form the 13th Central Committee. The newly elected Central Advisory Commission comprised 200 members and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection consisted of 69 members. The First Plenary Session of the 13th CPC Central Committee elected Zhao Ziyang, Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Hu Qili and Yao Yilin to form the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. It elected Zhao Ziyang general secretary of the Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping chairman of the Central Military Commission. The session also approved Chen Yun as chairman of the CPC Central Advisory Commission and Qiao Shi as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

China accelerated the economic development from 1984 to 1988, showing a vigorous picture of mutual promotion between agriculture and industry, between rural areas and cities, and between reform and social development. While the scale of the national economy attained a new height, some problems appeared, such as the fluctuation of commodity prices and duplicated construction. The CPC Central Committee decided to spend a certain period on improving the economic environment and rectifying the economic order to create a more favorable environment so that the reform would go smoothly.

According to Chin'as official account " A political disturbance occurred in late spring and early summer of 1989. The Party and the government, taking a clear-cut stand against the turmoil, depended on the Chinese people to quell the anti-revolutionary rebellion. It defended the socialist regime, safeguarded the basic interests of the people and guaranteed further reform and opening. Meanwhile, the CPC Central Committee declared that the Party's basic line and decisions made on the Thirteenth National Congress would not change."

The Fourth Plenary Session of the Thirteenth Central Committee elected the new collective leadership. After the fourth and the fifth plenary sessions of the Thirteenth Central Committee, the second generation of the collective leadership with Deng Xiaoping at the core transferred the power gradually to the third generation of the collective leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core. The Central Committee extensively persevered in the Party's basic line and continued focusing on economic development while attaching equal importance to both tasks of economic growth and ethical and cultural progress. They also strengthened the ideological, political and organizational work.

The CPC Central Committee observed the radical international changes sober-mindedly and dealt with the challenge calmly. China concentrated on handling its own affairs well. The CPC Central Committee made successive decisions on strengthening the anti-corruption drive, improving the economic environment and rectifying the economic order, deepening the reform, reinforcing the close ties between the Party and the people, and opening Shanghai's Pudong New Area. They also drew up the Eighth Five-Year Plan and the Ten-Year Program for the National Economic and Social Development. Furthermore, they tried to do well on state-owned large and medium-sized enterprises and further strengthen agriculture and work in rural areas.

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Page last modified: 28-12-2017 18:37:13 ZULU