At a symposium held by the CPC Central Committee to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth, Xi Jinping gave Mao a positive review, calling him ‘a great proletarian revolutionary, strategist and theorist.’ Though acknowledging that Mao made ‘mistakes’, Xi asked people to adopt a ‘correct’ historical view to judge a revolutionary figure, who had changed the face of the nation.
According to the China Daily:
“Mao is a great figure who changed the face of the nation and led the Chinese people to a new destiny,” said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
He pointed out that a correct historical view must be adopted to appraise a historical figure.
“Revolutionary leaders are not gods, but human beings,” Xi said.
‘(We) cannot worship them like gods or refuse to allow people to point out and correct their errors just because they are great; neither can we totally repudiate them and erase their historical feats just because they made mistakes,’ Xi said. ‘(We) should not simply attribute the success in historical favorable circumstances to individuals, nor should we blame individuals for setbacks in adverse situation,’ he said.
‘(We) cannot use today’s conditions and level of development and understanding to judge our predecessors, nor can we expect the predecessors to have done things that only the successors can do,’ he said. Under the new conditions, Party members should adhere to and make good use of the ‘living soul’ of Mao Zedong Thought, namely seeking truth from facts, the ‘mass line’ and independence, Xi said.
The CPC in June initiated a year of campaigning to strengthen the ‘mass line’, a guideline under which the CPC is required to prioritize the interests of the people. Xi said it was not easy to find a correct path. ‘The path decides the nation’s destiny.’
‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics does not just fall from the sky,’ Xi said, adding that it was achieved through the toil and sacrifice of the Party and the people. Without the pros and cons of historical experience learnt from practical exploration before reform and opening up, processes would not have proceeded so smoothly, Xi continued.
To realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the key is with the CPC, Xi said.Xi vowed to ‘seriously treat “illnesses” which harm the nature and purity of the Party and rip out any “malignant tumors” on the healthy bodies of the CPC.’ Persistent effort will enable the CPC to always be at the core of leadership for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi stressed.
CCTV broadcast a clip showing that before the symposium, Xi and the other six top leaders visited Mao’s mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, making three bows in front of the statue of Mao (described as 坐像 in Chinese language reports).
Links and sources:
China Daily: Xi: Holding high banner of Mao forever