Liu Shaoqi

2nd President of the People's Republic of China (1898–1969)

Liu Shaoqi (Chinese: 刘少奇) (24 November 1898 - 12 November 1969) was a Chinese revolutionary, politician, and theorist. He was Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee from 1954 to 1959, First Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1956 to 1966 and Chairman of the People's Republic of China, the de jure head of state, from 1959 to 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China.

Let us hold still higher the revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism and march forward vigorously to win victory in the struggle for world peace, national independence, democracy, and socialism!

Originally considered as a successor to Mao Zedong, Liu antagonized him in the early 1960s before the Cultural Revolution. From 1966 onward, Liu was criticized and then purged by Mao. In 1968, Liu disappeared from public life and was labelled the "commander of China's bourgeoisie headquarters", China's foremost "capitalist-roader", and a traitor to the revolution. He was purged during the Cultural Revolution, but was posthumously rehabilitated by Deng Xiaoping's government in 1980 and granted a national memorial service.


Though imperialism and the reactionaries still try by all means to undermine this unity, we believe that there is no force in the world which can obstruct and undermine this great revolutionary unity of the Chinese people. Once the 475 million Chinese people who were ridiculed as "a bowl of loose sand" are welded into a unified force under correct leadership, its brilliant rays will shine on the whole world. It will swiftly eliminate all enemy remnants, overcome all difficulties, and transform a backward China into an independent, democratic, peaceful, united, prosperous and strong new China.
Our country has taken her place in the socialist camp, headed by the Soviet Union, which is striving for a lasting peace and for the progress of mankind; she has forged unbreakable ties of friendship and co-operation with the great Soviet Union and the People's Democracies.
  • For the Chinese national revolution to succeed, the participation of the masses of all classes and the building of a united front of all classes are necessary. But among the classes taking part in the national revolution, the working class and the peasantry constitute the main force.
  • We Communists are the most advanced revolutionaries in modern history; to day the changing of society and the world rests upon us and we are the driving force in this change. It is by unremitting struggle against counter-revolutionaries that we Communists change society and the world, and at the same time ourselves.
  • We should of course adopt a correct attitude towards learning from the qualities of the founders of Marxism-Leninism and towards the learning of Marxism-Leninism itself. Otherwise it is impossible to learn anything, let alone to learn it well. In fact, there are different kinds of people in our ranks with different attitudes towards such learning.
  • After all, it is not a bad thing that people turn to the Communist Party, enter it seeking a way out of their predicament and approve of its policy. They are not mistaken in coming to us. We welcome them - everyone except for enemy agents, traitors, careerists and ambitious climbers.
  • The Communist Party, representing the brightest and most progressive aspects of contempory human society, is the bearer and disseminator of Marxism-Leninism, the acme of human thought. The most politically conscious, progressive and developed people in the world, people with the highest sense of morality and justice, are gathered in the communist Parties, fighting unswervingly against all the forces of darkness and for the bright future and final emancipation of mankind.
  • You are advancing under complex conditions, with complicated tasks and duties to perform. To fulfill your tasks on time, you must take advantage of favourable opportunities and co-ordinate various kinds of work without loosing sight of the key link or upsetting the sequence of work. The leadership should assume overall responsibility, while specific work should be carried out through a division of labour.
  • Now is the time to eliminate the remnants of Menshevism in the Party ideologically, politically and in our work, to analyse the historical experience of our Party, especially that of the struggle between the two lines, and to use the results to educate our cadres and Party members. This is the way to learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones, to "cure the sickness and save the patient", to achieve unity and discipline in our ranks, to guarantee continuous and correct leadership in our Party and to lead the Chinese revolution to future victory.
  • We should regard the cities and villages as an integral whole. So far, we have been dealing with rural problems only but the addition of urban problems means we now must attend to the difficulties related to large industries, state-owned enterprises which are socialist in character, state capitalism, the relationship between the cities and the countryside, and so on. In guiding the work of our Party as a whole, we must focus on urban work by keeping these problems in mind and giving them due consideration. We must change the practice of concentrating on just one area at a time or we will make mistakes.
  • For 30 years, the enemies facing the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people have included almost all the imperialist countries in the world and the strong forces of feudalism and of the bureaucratic, comprador, big bourgeoisie of China. These have been most diabolical enemies. They did not give the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people any freedom of action. They dealt out savage slaughter and torture to the Communists, attempting to kill them all off. In the face of such enemies, if the Chinese Communists had not taken up arms and entered on a persistent and unswerving armed struggle against the enemy it would have been impossible to carry on revolutionary activity. Because of this, the Chinese Communists and the revolutionary Chinese people long ago took to arms in the struggle against their enemies, waged four great revolutionary wars over the course of more than 20 years and finally overthrew the rule of these enemies on Chinese soil and achieved the victory for the Chinese revolution. This victory is of great significance in China's history and also in world history.
  • The modern revisionists, donning a cloak of Marxism-Leninism, are actually wantonly adulterating Marxism-Leninism, emasculating Marxism-Leninism of its revolutionary soul, repudiating the historic necessity for proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship in the period of transition from capitalism to communism, negating the leading role of the proletarian Party, substituting hypocritical bourgeois "supra-class" viewpoints for Marxist-Leninist viewpoints of class analysis, and substituting bourgeois pragmatism for dialectical materialism. They are trying their utmost to benumb the revolutionary will of the working class, to tamper with the essential contents of socialism and communism as strictly defined by Marxism-Leninism and in fact to restore or preserve capitalism. Under such circumstances, the militant task of all Marxist-Leninists is not to evade the challenge of modern revisionism, but to unite in defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism, to smash this attack completely, to hold aloft the red banner of revolution, and to show the proletariat and the working people the correct direction for struggle and the road to victory.

On the Party (1945)


"On the Party"

The General Programme of the Constitution begins by pointing out that our Party is the organized vanguard of the Chinese working class and the highest form of its class organization.
  • The reason why our Party has been able to achieve these tremendous successes is that from the very beginning it had been a proletarian party of an entirely new type — a party dedicated whole-heartedly to serving the Chinese people and built upon the very solid theoretical foundation of sinified Marxism-Leninism.
  • The General Programme of the Constitution begins by pointing out that our Party is the organized vanguard of the Chinese working class and the highest form of its class organization. It represents the interests of the Chinese nation and people. At the present stage it is striving for new democracy in China and its ultimate aim is the realization of communism in China. Is this character of our Party questionable? I think not.
  • The nature of the Chinese society, the fact that the basic motive forces of the Chinese revolution is the proletarian-led masses who's main force is the peasantry, the existence of the powerful Chinese Communist Party and the prevailing international situation are all factors which have come together to determine that Chinese revolution can be neither a bourgeois-democratic revolution of the old type nor a proletarian-socialist revolution of the newest type, but that it must be a bourgeois-democratic revolution of a new type. In this revolution, though the basic motive forces are the proletariat, the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie, other classes may join the revolution, and we also have numerous allies both at home and abroad.
  • We fully understand the decisive role which the vanguard of the masses can play throughout the people’s struggle for emancipation. The complete emancipation of the people is possible only when they have a vanguard of their own, such as our Party. Otherwise they would be without revolutionary leadership, and the people’s revolution would consequently meet with failure. Only under the firm and correct leadership of our Party and only by carrying on the struggle along the political orientation given by our Party can the Chinese people achieve their complete emancipation.
  • What does it mean when we say that Party centralism is centralism based on democracy? It means that the leading bodies of the Party are elected by the membership on a democratic basis and enjoy their confidence. It means that the resolutions and policies of the Party are the crystallization of the ideas of the rank and file as expressed on a democratic basis, that they are decided on by the rank and file as expressed on a democratic basis, that they are decided upon by the rank and file or its representatives and that they are then adhered to and carried out by the leadership in conjunction with the rank and file.

Internationalism and Nationalism (1952)


"Internationalism and Nationalism"

And this crime, the most monstrous in world history, is committed by the bourgeoisie under the banner of “nationalism.”
  • When several imperialist powers seek to plunder the weaker nations of the world, the result is an imperialist world war for the redistribution of colonies. And this crime, the most monstrous in world history, is committed by the bourgeoisie under the banner of “nationalism.”
  • In China, it was the party of the Chinese proletariat, and not the party of the bourgeoisie or the petty-bourgeoisie, that first raised a clear-cut programme for fighting against imperialism and for national independence. Our Communist Party of China has always been the leader and organiser of the anti-imperialist national united front of the Chinese people. The scale of this national united front embraces workers, peasants, intellectuals, the petty-bourgeoisie, the national bourgeoisie and even the progressive gentry. This revolutionary national liberation movement is not in contradiction to proletarian internationalism, but it is entirely consistent with it. It constitutes an extremely integral part of the movement of proletarian internationalism, constituting its broadest direct ally. The victory of this national liberation movement is a great step forward along the path of the proletarian internationalist cause, for it gives great aid and impetus to the socialist revolution of the proletariat throughout the world.
  • The liberated peoples already exceed one-fourth of the population of the globe. This signifies a regeneration of the world and bears testimony to the scope and level that mankind has already attained in its struggle for emancipation. Undoubtedly the number of the liberated peoples from now on will grow day by day. It will not be long before the whole of mankind will be freed from imperialist domination. No matter what setbacks the struggle may sustain, its general trend toward liberation is an inevitable and irresistible law of history.
  • That is to say: in directing the national liberation movements and proletarian socialist movements of the world today, the Communists and the peoples of all countries must base themselves on proletarian internationalism, must discard bourgeois nationalism, and must closely link together the national democratic revolution of the oppressed nations and the socialist revolution of the proletariat, before these two kinds of revolution can both win victory, before we can liberate every nation of the world, and before we can solve all national questions of the world today. Otherwise, not only will we be unable to win any socialist victory, we will also not be able to win real victory in any national liberation movement.
  • Marxism-Leninism considers all questions in their historical settings. Marxism-Leninists view bourgeois nationalism under the given historical conditions. Drawing a distinction between its different objective roles, they decide what different attitudes the proletariat should take toward it. In the early period of capitalism, the national movement led by the bourgeoisie had as its objective the struggle against oppression by other nations and the creation of a national state. This national movement was historically progressive, and the proletariat supported it. In the present period, such bourgeois nationalism still exists in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. This variety of nationalism also has a certain objective progressive historical significance.
  • Genuine patriotism means fervent love or one’ s own fatherland, its people, language, culture, literature and best traditions, behind which lie thousands of years and generations of historical development. This kind of patriotism has no connection whatsoever with self-centred, selfish, and anti-foreign bourgeois nationalism, nor with such national prejudices as narrow-minded exclusivism, isolationism, sectarianism and provincialism, which reflect the sentiments of the small peasant and backward patriarchal system

Quotes about Liu Shaoqi

  • Liu was a great Marxist and a great Proletarian revo-statesman and Proletarian theorist, one of the main leaders of the Party and the country, one of the founders of the state, and an important member of the first generation of the Party's leading group.
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