President Xi Jinping told the Wednesday gathering Mao's thoughts can guide China forward.
"The road decides the fate. It is difficult to find the right road. Socialism with Chinese characteristics did not fall from the sky. It was achieved by the Party and the people after [they] experienced all kinds of hardships and paid a high price," he said.
Xi, other senior officials and many civilians also visited Mao's mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, crienglish.com reported.
"My peers grew up under Mao Zedong Thoughts. We have deep feelings for Mao Zedong. So I come to the mausoleum every year," said Jia Zhengyu, a civilian who visited the mausoleum Wednesday.