Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and his ideas, better known as Marxism, had a great influence on the founding of the People's Republic of China and its governing body. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth and the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up.
In 1927, Mao Zedong, a senior leader of the Communist Party of China, led the Red Army into Jinggangshan, east China's Jiangxi Province. He chose the area as the starting point to influence China's rural people.
At that time, nearly 85 percent of people in China were peasants. Mao recognized the importance for the government to mobilize these people. And the key to their mobilization was fulfilling their demands to own land and property.
“In this phase, we can see the clear difference between the Chinese Revolution and the Russian Revolution. We can see the significance of Marxism, because classical Marxism...focuses more on the urban area, focuses more on the urban riot,” said Xia Lu, assistant professor from the School of Marxism Studies, Renmin University of China.
The period from 1949 to 1978, is regarded as the socialist construction period in the country. At the outset, China's Communist Party didn't have enough experience to run the national economy. So the new government simply followed the former Soviet Union's model, but with the priority on upgrading people's living standards, namely providing enough food and housing for its people.
Since 1978 when China starting pursuing a "reform and opening-up" policy, the Communist Party of China continued sticking to Marxist theory, with more efforts on exploring a new way of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since then, China has made greater efforts to develop the economy in accordance with its real conditions.
“From the reform period until now, the most critical contribution of the Chinese Communist Party to Marxism, is the creation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This is the combination of the previous practical and theoretical contribution to Marxism. That is to stick to the principle of Marxism, however, while still focusing on the Chinese situation," said Xia.
Two centuries on, despite huge and profound societal changes, Karl Marx is still respected all over the world.
President Xi said, in the new era, Chinese Communists still need to learn from Marx, study and practice Marxism to keep the great ship of national rejuvenation sailing in the right direction.