The great unity of the Chinese people must be maintained on the new journey to create a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said on Thursday.
Xi, who is also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed the need to strengthen the united front among the people, in his speech at a grand gathering at Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing celebrating the CPC centenary.
"In the course of our struggles over the past century, the Party has always placed the united front in a position of importance," he said, adding that it has brought together all available forces and mobilized all positive factors to pool strength for collective endeavors.
The patriotic united front is an important means for the Party to unite all the sons and daughters of China, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation, he added.
Xi said that efforts should be made on the journey ahead to ensure solidarity and unity and to balance commonality and diversity. "We should strengthen theoretical and political guidance, build broad consensus, bring together the brightest minds, and expand common ground and the convergence of interests, so that all Chinese people, both at home and overseas, can focus their ingenuity and energy on the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation," he said.
A congratulatory message－jointly issued by eight other political parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and personages without party affiliation－was read out at the ceremony by Wan Exiang, chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang.
Under China's system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation, in addition to the CPC, there are eight other political parties and prominent individuals without party affiliation who participate in the administration of State affairs under the leadership of the CPC.
"More than 70 years ago we voluntarily accepted the leadership of the CPC," Wan said. "With the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese nation will surely overcome risks and challenges on its way forward.
"As participants, practitioners and defenders of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we have always stayed true to our original aspiration of cooperation, thinking, standing and working together with the CPC," he said. "As good advisers, helpers and colleagues of the CPC, we will make greater contributions to achieving victories in building a modern socialist country in all respects and realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation."
Zhu Lijia, a professor of public administration at the National Academy of Governance, said Xi's remarks reflected the recognition of the significance of the united front in the CPC's history and were also an inspiration for it to play a bigger role as the CPC begins its second centenary.
As the CPC leads the country on a new journey toward a higher goal, the other political parties and all sectors of society will play positive roles in building consensus and strength, Zhu said.