Celebrations have festooned nationwide for the 90th birthday of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Party officials used the occasion to warn against complacency and urged members to "serve the people wholeheartedly."
In a commentary to be published today, the People's Daily urges all Party members to never forget the principle of serving the people wholeheartedly and to integrate the people's interests into their work.
"All comrades of the Party must always keep in mind that the source of strength for economic development and social progress comes from close dependence on the people, trust in the people, and consideration of the people's fundamental interests," the commentary says.
It warns that the Party should never feel complacent and refuse to make progress in light of the expectations of the people, despite the great strides it has already taken.
The comments came after General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao urged Party committees on Tuesday at various levels to maintain the Party's "advanced nature."
Stressing the ability to manage itself strictly, Hu urged the CPC to improve its governance and enhance its ability to root out corruption among various other risks.
During a visit to London on Monday, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the best way to eradicate "corruption, unfair income distribution and other ills" in China is to "firmly advance political structural reform and build socialist democracy under the rule of law."
A commentary by the Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao newspaper said that these repeated calls for progress to be made in political reform echoed the view of former leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's reform and opening-up.
"Deng had a comprehensive view of China's political reform. He said that the success of other reforms in China, such as economic reform, depends on the result of political reform. All reforms need to have a deadline and cannot be delayed," the newspaper said.
"Wen's reiteration of pushing forward political reform reflected that Deng's vision has not been met, and problems such as corruption and unfair income distribution have made Chinese officials realize that there is no time for delay in political reform," the newspaper added.
The Changjiang Daily said in an editorial that Wen's repeated emphasis on political reform reflected the Party leadership's overall determination on this matter.
"Some officials worry that political reform may bring turbulence and harm the economy. Some others think that as long as the economy is progressing, political reform is unnecessary. They are wrong. Political reform is the foundation for the success of other reforms," the daily said.
Wang Yang, the Party chief of Guangdong Province, said Wednesday during a provincial celebration meeting that the Party needs to foresee the challenges and problems ahead and manage gaps between reality and expectation.
"We should not let flowers and applause drown out public opinion, we should not let achievement figures cover existing problems and we should not let a peaceful and harmonious society numb our awareness of the unexpected," he said.
Zhang Liangui, an international relations professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC, welcomed this cautiousness among Party officials.
"Under the leadership of the CPC, China has achieved greatness in many fields, such as economy and diplomacy. The 90-year anniversary is a milestone for the CPC, but more challenges lie ahead, which will test CPC members' wisdom and courage as the nation's leaders," Zhang told the Global Times.
Meanwhile, Tiananmen Square has been decorated with flower beds, fountains and sculptures. Beijing TV will air a live program today covering celebrations across the city, and evening galas in the past few days have been broadcasted across the country.
One of the major performances is the singing of red songs, which reached its climax Wednesday after the opening of the second round of Chongqing's red song contest.
The contest has drawn more than 100,000 participants, including people from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Cinemas are screening red-themed movies such as Beginning of the Great Revival, which is reportedly targeting 800 million yuan ($123.8 million) in ticket box revenues over the summer.
"We've planned for celebrations since the beginning of this year. We have a red story contest and photo exhibitions," said Liu Ying, a 25-year-old government worker in Shanghai.