We are very pleased to publish the full text of the speech given on May 10th 2022 by President Xi Jinping marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China.
In his comprehensive exposition, President Xi outlines how the youth have always stood in the forefront of the struggles and striving of the Chinese people and nation. The May Fourth Movement of the youth and students in 1919, “promoted the spread of Marxism in China, ushered in the new-democratic revolution, and marked the beginning of the youth’s role as the pioneers advancing social changes in China… As Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. Since the day of its founding, the Party has paid particular attention to the youth and placed the hopes of revolution on them.”
He further outlined the indispensable role of the Communist Youth League and young people generally in the periods of the new-democratic revolution, socialist revolution and construction, reform, opening up and socialist modernisation, and the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
“Inspired by ideals and convictions,” Xi pointed out, “the Communist Youth League has organised and united young people with firm belief and scientific thinking. The first national congress of the League defined building a communist society as its ultimate ideal and made clear its banner of socialism, which has lit the beacon of ideals and convictions among generations of young people. This is the most fundamental and enduring cohesion of the League. History tells us that only by holding high the banner of communism and socialism, can the Communist Youth League form the most solid unity, forge the most effective organisation, and ensure that the youth are united under the banner of the Party’s ideals and convictions.”
Expressing the hope that the League would continue to play its vanguard role, President Xi noted that: “Young people are the most vigorous, enterprising, and least conservative group in society, who possess infinite power to improve the objective world and promote social progress,” adding:
“Revolutionaries are always young. Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Quoting from Engels, Lenin once said, ‘We are the party of the future, and the future belongs to the youth. We are a party of innovators, and it is always the youth that most eagerly follows the innovators. We are a party that is waging a self-sacrificing struggle against the old rottenness, and youth is always the first to undertake a self-sacrificing struggle.’ Both history and reality have shown that the Communist Party of China is a party that always preserves its youthful features and a party that is worthy of the young people’s trust and worth following.”
Party organisations, the Chinese President said, “must attach great importance to the training and recruitment of outstanding young people and should particularly focus on cultivating and admitting outstanding League members into the Party, so as to ensure our socialist country never changes its nature.”
Members of the Communist Youth League of China (League), young friends, and comrades,
Youth gives rise to infinite hope, and young people are the creators of a bright future. A nation can thrive and prosper only when it places hopes on its youth and maintains its youthful vigor.
Today, we are gathered here at the ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China to encourage League members and young people to forge ahead on the new journey toward realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Continue reading Xi Jinping’s speech marking the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China
The following review was written by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett.
The Battle at Lake Changjin, directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam, premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival on 21 September 2021 and was released in China on 30 September. As part of its international distribution, it has been showing at selected cinemas in Britain, Ireland, the USA and Canada since 19 November and in Australia since 2 December. With a budget of some US$200 million, it is the most expensive Chinese film ever made. However, the acclaim with which it has been received has also made it the highest grossing film of 2021, the highest grossing film in Chinese history and the highest grossing non-English language film.
At just two minutes under three hours in length, the film is a revolutionary epic, with the main action centred around the Changjin Lake area of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the bitterly cold winter of 1950, shortly after the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPVA) had entered the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. Confronted with the harshest natural and climatic conditions, forced to survive on starvation rations, and faced with an enemy that was better trained, better equipped, better fed, better armed and with complete mastery of the skies, the Chinese troops “fearing neither hardship nor death”, to use the well-known Chinese expression, continue to forge ahead in the most courageous and ingenious of ways. Armed with the element of surprise, and although making the ultimate sacrifice, by successfully blowing up the Shuimen Bridge, they score the most decisive victory ultimately ensuring the achievement of China’s objectives in the war.
Continue reading Film review: The Battle at Lake Changjin
Friends of Socialist China are pleased to offer a rare opportunity to watch the film 1921.
- Date: Saturday 2 October 2021
- Time: 7pm Britain / 2pm US Eastern / 11am US Pacific
- Registration: Eventbrite
‘1921’ is a full length feature film produced to mark this year’s centenary of the Communist Party of China. It is set against the background of the intense class struggle waged by the young Chinese working class in Shanghai in particular. The action also takes us to Moscow, Paris and elsewhere. Key early Chinese communists like Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping all feature in this not to be missed film. As gripping as any Hollywood blockbuster, it is also an education and an inspiration.
A review by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett can be read online.
Please note the film is in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.
Who is organising the screening?
This event is organised by Friends of Socialist China, in coordination with Trinity Cine Asia. It is co-sponsored by the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, the Morning Star, the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, the International Manifesto Group, and Qiao Collective.
How does the online screening work?
At the start time (7pm Britain, 2pm US Eastern, 11am US Pacific), registered users will receive (by email) a link to stream the film. They will then have a three-hour window in which to watch it.
Why are we charging for this event?
Please note that Friends of Socialist China are not making any money from the showing; our purpose in arranging it is to ensure that its important political and cultural content reaches a wider audience. However, Trinity Cine Asia, with whom we are partnering to organise the screening, have paid the costs of distribution and marketing; therefore all proceeds go to them.
Review written by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett
The 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China has been the occasion for many grand and impressive events throughout July. 1921, which has also been playing in selected cinemas in Britain and Ireland, and doubtless elsewhere, is the film for the centenary.
A feature film, with special effects worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster, it also features some documentary footage, skilfully heightening the sense of both drama and realism.
Whilst 1921 is focused on that momentous year, it deploys flashbacks as far as the 1850s, showing China’s degradation to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruined nation and then at its conclusion a potted but vivid historical reconstruction of subsequent years, which culminates in Chairman Mao proclaiming the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1st 1949, as well as Young Pioneers visiting the restored site of the first party congress 100 years later.
A similar historical technique is deployed to depict aspects of some of the key characters, including such pioneering Chinese communists as Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu, Li Da and, of course, Mao Zedong. Particularly moving is the depiction of the tragic and heroic fates of some of the key early martyrs of Chinese communism, including Yang Kaihui, Mao’s first wife and great love. This provides a raw and poignant contrast to the youthful idealism, frenetic activity and infectious optimism of many of the key characters as they throw themselves into the preparations for the founding of the party whilst simultaneously immersing themselves in the surging movement of the young but extremely militant Chinese working class along with the youth and students. Shanghai, in particular, where the party was founded, is accurately depicted as a playground for wealthy Chinese and above all for foreign overlords, but as a living hell for the masses of Chinese people.
Continue reading Film review: 1921 – A vivid panorama of revolution