5. STRIVE FOR THE SUCCESSFUL CONVOCATION OF THE
EIGHTH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE PARTY
The Central Committee has decided to convene the Eighth National Congress of the Party in the second half of 1956. There will be three items on the agenda: (1) a report on the work of the Central Committee; (2) the revision of the Party Constitution; and (3) the election of a new Central Committee. The election of delegates and the preparation of documents should be completed before July next year. We call for a big step forward within a little over a year in all fields of work: the economy, culture and education, military affairs, the Party, politics and ideology, mass organizations, the united front and the minority nationalities.
In passing, a few words about minority nationality work. We must combat Han chauvinism. Don't get the idea that it is the Han nationality that has been helping the minority nationalities. In fact, the minority nationalities have been helping the Han nationality a great deal. Some comrades like to brag about the help given to the minority nationalities, but they don't realize that we can't do without the minority nationalities. Who is it that inhabits 50 to 60 per cent of our territory, the Hans or the other nationalities? The minority nationalities. Rich resources and hidden wealth abound in these areas. Till now we have given the minority nationalities little help and in some places no help at all, whereas the minority nationalities have rendered help to the Hans. Some minority nationalities, however, must have our help first before they can help us. Politically the minority nationalities have given the Han nationality big help; their participation in the community of the Chinese nation constitutes political help to the Han nationality. The people of the whole country are pleased that the minority nationalities and the Hans are united. So the minority nationalities have been a great help politically, economically and in national defence to the whole country, the whole Chinese nation. It is wrong to think that only the Hans have helped the minority nationalities while the minority nationalities have not helped the Hans, or to swell with pride over the little help given to the minority nationalities.
When we say that a big step forward must be taken in all fields within a year, we mean that the shortcomings and mistakes exposed must be remedied. Don't just make promises at this conference and leave these shortcomings and mistakes intact and uncorrected when
the Eighth Congress is convened next year. What we mean by striving for the convocation of the Eighth Congress is precisely to have our shortcomings and mistakes remedied. For instance, we must make conscientious efforts to do away with extravagance and waste and the big-roof style of architecture. Don't make promises here and the moment you are home, stretch out and go to sleep.
Some people suggest that a conference of this kind should be held either annually or every other year so that there can be mutual supervision among comrades. I think the suggestion is worth considering. Who is to exercise supervision over people like us? Mutual supervision is a good idea, it will promote the rapid progress of the cause of the Party and the state. We need rapid progress, not slow. We haven't had a Party congress for ten years. Of course, in the first five years it would not have been right to call another congress because the war was going on with all its stresses and strains and because the Seventh Congress had met. During the second five years a congress could have been held but it wasn't. Still something was gained by not convening it. It was better to get to the bottom of the case of Kao and Jao before the congress, or otherwise they would have made full use of the Eighth Congress for their own ends. In the meantime, our Five Year Plan is well under way, we have put forward the general line for the transition period and through this conference we have achieved greater unity in thinking, thus paving the way for the Eighth National Congress of the Party. While not every delegate will be required to make a self-criticism at the forthcoming congress, there should be open criticism and self-criticism of shortcomings and mistakes in our work. It is wrong not to apply this Marxist principle.
Criticism should be sharp. I don't find the criticism made by some comrades at this conference very sharp; they seem to be afraid of offending others. If you are not sharp enough, if the sting doesn't reach home, the person criticized will not feel any pain and take any heed. Identify by name the person and the department involved. You have done a poor job and I am not satisfied, and if you feel offended, so be it. Fear of offending others is only fear of losing votes and of an uneasy relationship in work. Will I lose my rice-bowl if you don't vote for me? Nothing of the kind. Actually, if you speak your mind and lay the issues on the table sharply, you'll find it easier to get along with others. Don't draw in your horns. Why does an ox have two horns? They are for fighting, for self-defence and attack. I often ask comrades if they have "horns" on their heads. Comrades, touch and feel if you have
any. I can see some comrades have horns, some have horns but not very sharp ones, and others have no horns at all. In my opinion, it is better to have them, for that goes well with Marxism. One of the tenets of Marxism is criticism and self-criticism.
So to hold meetings at regular intervals for conducting criticism and self-criticism is a good measure for exercising mutual supervision among comrades and promoting the rapid progress of the cause of the Party and the state. I suggest that you comrades of the provincial and municipal Party committees think it over and see if you can do like wise. You want to follow the example of the Central Committee, don't you? I think on this score you can.
Finally, I call on you comrades here and all Party members:
Strive for the successful convocation of the Eighth National Congress of the Party in 1956!
Strive for the successful fulfilment of the First Five-Year Plan!
A Chinese mythological novel with the conflict between the ancient states of Shang and Chou as background.