BEIJING, July 1 (UPI) -- China's Communist Party observed its 90th anniversary Friday, with President Hu Jintao saying socialism is essential to "decent lives" for China's people.
As grand celebrations marked the event in the country, Hu, speaking in Beijing, listed three major accomplishments in the past 90 years by the party, the world's largest political party with over 80 million members.
Hu, who is also the party's general secretary, said the CPC completed the new-democratic revolution, winning national independence; completed the socialist revolution; and carried out a great new revolution of reform and opening up while developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Founded in July 1921, the party came to power in 1949 after the long civil war which ended in the defeat of the Nationalist Party. Notwithstanding the deadly excesses of the Cultural Revolution during the rule of Chairman Mao Zedong and other disasters, China has since emerged as the world's second-largest economy, with GDP growth in the double digits for years, and has become a major exporter and holder of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves.
Hu said the three major events "irreversibly" ended the misery endured by China in modern times.
"The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only way for China to achieve socialist modernization and create decent lives for its people," Hu said.
The leader said the CPC will intensify efforts to combat corruption, which is crucial in ensuring the CPC's very survival. He stressed the importance of stability without which "nothing could be done, and even the achievements already made could be lost."
Hu said the party must adhere to the fundamental principle of "exercising absolute leadership over the army," while the army should "provide a strong guarantee for upholding China's sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity."
Hu, who also chairs the Central Military Commission, said China should intensify efforts to build a revolutionary, modern, and standardized army in an all-around way.
"It is important to expand and intensify military preparedness and conduct military exercises with information technology applications and raise independent defense- and weaponry-related research and development capabilities," Hu said.