This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme. For 2015 this site introduces a new theme: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory.
This Post includes Part 13, CCP Basic Line-Economic Development. It considers Paragraph 11 of the General Program.
Table of Contents
Part 13, Paragraph 11 of the General Program--CCP Basic Line-Economic Development.
We have been reviewing the initial paragraphs of the CCP Constitution's General Program. The first two paragraphs of the General Program set out the outer framework of two critical aspects of Chinese constitutional theory. The five theories identified in paragraph 2 are the elaborated in paragraphs 3-7. Each, in turn, represents the “crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China” at each successive stage on the road toward communism. And the path itself makes clear that the process of successive crystallization is far from complete. Paragraph 3 elaborated on the place of classical Marxism-Leninism as the first stage of the path of socialism and serves as the foundation for Chinese political and constitutional theory. If the foundations of Chinese political and constitutional theory is built on European and received wisdom--the classical philosophy of Marxism-Leninism—the foundations of classical Chinese political and constitutional theory is built on Mai Zedong Thought.
Paragraph 4 considered Mao Zedong Thought as a necessary bridge between European theory and its transposition within the Chinese context, one that brings Marxism-Leninism forward from out of Europe into Asia, and places that forward evolution within the historical constraints of its time.It expressed the Leninist foundations of Chinese constitutional theory within notions of collective development and its role in establishing the socialist path toward which Mao Zedong Thought points, but which it does not in itself constitute. Paragraph 5 introduces the next stage in the development of Chinese constitutional and political Theory--Deng Xiaoping Theory. If Mao Zedong Thought provided a bridge from revolutionary to governing vanguard party, Deng Xiaoping theory provides the principles through which socialist modernization can be realized. Paragraph 6 introduces the succeeding layer of development of Chinese constitutional and political theory--the Important thought of Three Represents (Sange Daibiao). Paragraph 7 introduces the last of the current layers of theoretical development of Chinese political and constitutional theory--the scientific outlook on development. Paragraph 8 serves to sum up the initial paragraphs and as a bridge to the elaboration of the basic CCP line and working style in the paragraphs that follow. It is directed specifically to cadres and provides an easy conceptual framework within which they can understand their role in socialist modernization. Paragraph 9 the General Program moves from theory to action infused by theory. It considers the first of the three fundamental tasks of the CCP derived from its theory, that is the first operational element of the CCP line. With Paragraph 10 we come to the first full expression of the Communist Party line in the context of the current stage of development of China.
With Paragraph 11, the General Program begins the elaboration of the CCP's basic line, starting with economic development as the central task.
 In leading the cause of socialism, the Communist Party of China must persist in taking economic development as the central task, making all other work subordinate to and serve this central task. The Party must lose no time in speeding up development, implement the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, the strategy of strengthening the nation with trained personnel and the strategy of sustainable development, and give full play to the role of science and technology as the primary productive force. The Party must take advantage of the advancement of science and technology to improve the quality of workers and promote sound and rapid development of the national economy.Paragraph 11 is intended to amplify the CCP's basic line relating to the centrality of economic development within socialist modernization. As a central element of the CCP line, as the core of its work, the CCP is reminded of its obligations to be aggressive in accelerate the opportunities to advance productive forces. To that end, the CCP has rolled out a number of strategies which must be implemented which are referenced in ¶ 11. These strategies become the face of economic development, and the basis from which economic development is understood. These strategies include rejuvenating the country through science and education strategy (实施科 教兴国战略); a human resources development strategy (人才强国战略); and sustainable development strategies (和可持续发展战略). Science and technology strategies are to play a principle role (充分发挥科学技术作为第) as a primary engine of developing productive forces (生产力的作用). Reliance on scientific and technological progress (依靠科技进步) and and the improvement of worker quality (提高劳动者素质) are the key to the promotion of sound and fast economic development (促进国民经济又好又快发展).
 中国共产党在领导社会主义事业中，必须坚持以经济建设为中心，其他各项工作都服从和服务于这个中心。要抓紧时机，加快发展，实施科 教兴国战略、人才强国战略和可持续发展战略，充分发挥科学技术作为第一生产力的作用，依靠科技进步，提高劳动者素质，促进国民经济又好又快发展。
The CCP's basic line, then, refines the general objective of economic development to a set of more detailed operational elements that focus on the development of quite specific productive forces--human talent, science and technology as the drivers of socialist modernization in the current stage of China's development. That provides the framework within which the CCP will assert its leadership role to guide the national People's Congress, the ministries, and CCP cadres in private industry, respecting the choices they make in their decision making. Indeed, paragraph 11 might be most usefully understood as framework or objectives regulations leaving it to administrative units, the state apparatus at all levels, and cadres in their private activities, to implement in accordance with the logic of their own operations. Science and technology are well understood objectives, even in a socialist context--and the methodologies of reaching for that objective fairly well mapped. On the other hand, the development of human productive capacity, the improvement of worker quality, and the human resources strategies around which they may be wrapped are a bit more open ended. What it should trigger are obligations to expend substantial state resources on education and cultural development. What it appears to target are the sort of short term training that produces easily visible results in industry but little long term benefit for attaining the next historical stage of development.
Those longer term objectives become clearer when this direction is read closely together with Sange daibiao (¶ 6). Economic development is understood as the necessary foundation on which socialist democracy and socialist culture can be built. There is thus built into the CCP an ordering of objectives starting with economic development and leading toward political (¶ 15) and cultural (¶ 16) progress. An empty belly makes for poor politics and even poorer cultural expression. At the same time, focusing on economic development as the central task serves as a reminder that economic development is not the exclusive task of CCP leadership. Indeed, economic development is highly dependent on its operational aspect--to develop productive forces. But that development cannot itself create distortions that ultimately inhibit the entire project of socialist modernization. It follows that development fo productive forces must be understood as referencing all productive forces. These include those more narrowly understood as economic in nature, as well as those productive forces that may be more political and cultural in nati8re. Among the most important of the productive forces that must be developed is the CCP itself. A failure to develop the CCP as a productive force makes it impossible for the CCP itself to assert an authentic leadership over the central task of economic development. It would have no basis for leading such development because it itself has failed in its fundamental obligation to develop itself as a central productive force of China. To understand economic development as a central task, then, requires a substantial understanding that centrality here implies leadership rather than privilege, and that centrality implies an obligation to ensure that economic development remains attached to political and cultural development as well. That failure to adhere to this line would produce a fundamental contradiction with the objectives of socialist modernization (¶ 5), the CCP's basic representation obligations (¶ 6) and the overall duty to produce development in a sustainable and scientific manner (¶ 7).