ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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CHINA-Consensus for Reform and Reforming the Consensus

the Communist Party of China (CPC) which opened on September 12, 1997 was both significant and predictable and both in two respects each. Its significance arises first and foremost from the fact that this was the first Congress, since the epoch-making Third Plenum of 1978 when China changed course, without the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, and it is the deliberations and decisions of this Congress which would be carrying China forward into the next century. Deng's contribution and role, however, was duly recognised, eulogised and enshrined as the guiding ideology of the CPC as 'Deng 'Xiaoping theory'which represents the PRC's orientation and image. This 'theory', as described in general secretary Jiang Zemin's Report is the Marxism of present day China and heralds a new stage of development of Marxism in China, which would help settle the destiny of socialism. The delegates to the Congress some of them at any rate have hailed this Congress as "another milestone in the history of the CPC", the historic parallel being the Seventh National People's Congress of 1945, which established 'Mao Zedong thought' as the guiding ideology, in that both these events, at their respective points in history, sought and succeeded in breaking with "the inclination of dogmatising Marxism-Leninism". Deng Xiaoping thus takes his rightful place in the pantheon the CPCs guide to action is now 'Marxism- Leninism, Mao Zedong thought and Deng Xiaoping theory\ This semantic distinction between 'zhuyi' (specifically used to translate 'ism' but broadly defined as 'ideology'), 'sixiang' (thought) and Milun' (theory), which the Chinese have always made, now requires a significant overhaul in view of the status accorded to Deng's contribution 'Deng Xiaoping lilun'. The essential understanding of 'Mao Zedong sixiang' was clarified in the early fifties and has not undergone any change, notwithstanding "Mao's mistakes" and the 1981 official assessment of his role. The thought of Mao Zedong was described as "one which united the universal truths of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of revolution and construction in China". A distinction was thus made by way of 'pure' ideology, implying universal truths and there fore universally applicable, viz, Marxism-Leninism,and 'practical' ideology, or practice within a certain context, i e, China, hence Mao Zedong thought. With Deng Xiaoping theory, we come to a new category, for at first glance it would seem to encompass elements of both pure and practical ideology; not only did it succeed in breaking away from the stifling effect of dogmatism in an entirely new and transformed objective reality, but also was highly effective in transforming the existing conditions and constituting a critical link between theory and action.

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