Party newspaper praises Mao's role ahead of 120th birthday

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-12-23 15:49:58

The flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday praised Mao Zedong's contributions to China's rejuvenation.

Ahead of Mao's 120th birthday on December 26, the People's Daily in its Monday edition carried an article titled "Mao Zedong and Four Milestones Along the Road to the Chinese Nation's Rejuvenation," which examined Mao's relationship to the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, the founding of the CPC in 1921, the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, and the reform and opening up drive that started in 1978.

The article explained that though Mao died in 1976, he is "closely related" to the reform and opening-up drive in that the latter represents the second "leap forward" achieved by the Chinese Communist Party in the sinicization of Marxism.

The first such "leap forward" happened during the New Democratic Revolution that was led by Mao and resulted in the founding of the People's Republic, the article said.

Written by Leng Rong, head of the CPC Central Committee's Party Literature Research Office, the article quoted late leader Deng Xiaoping as saying that "we are doing work that was put forward by Mao but he did not do. We are also correcting what Mao did incorrectly, and doing work well that Mao did not do well enough."

The article also quoted the report in the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, saying that despite the twists and turns in socialist construction, the first generation of new China's central leadership, with Mao as the core, had made original theoretical results and significant achievements, providing precious experience, preparation and a material basis for a new historical period.

Xi Jinping has explained the connections between Maoism and socialism with Chinese characteristics, the concept put forward by Deng in the early 1980's.

He said socialism with Chinese characteristics was based on the socialist system established beginning in 1949 and the following 20-plus years of socialist construction.

Although principles, policies, and practice in the two periods were very different, they were not irrelevant nor contradictory to one another, Xi said.

The article admitted Mao's faults and mistakes, which led to the ups and downs of New China. However, they detracted nothing from Mao's greatness and his contributions.

Leng Rong said at the end of the article that we admire Mao more after understanding Mao's role in China's rejuvenation.

"His thought and spirit serve as a lighthouse that directs us toward the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said the article.

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