Four Cardinal Principles

This article is part of a series on the
Politics of the
People's Republic of China

The Four Cardinal Principles (Chinese: 四项基本原则; pinyin: Sì-xiàng Jīběn Yuánzé) were stated by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 and are the four issues for which debate was not allowed within the People's Republic of China.[1] These are:

  1. the principle of upholding the socialist path
  2. the principle of upholding the people's democratic dictatorship
  3. the principle of upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and
  4. the principle of upholding Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism-Leninism

The four cardinal principles marked a relaxation of control over ideology. In stating the four cardinal principles, the implication was that these four topics could not be questioned, but political ideas other than those in the list could be debated. Moreover, while the principles themselves are not subject to debate, the interpretations of those principles are. There has for example, been extensive debate over the meaning of socialism.

On the other hand, the Principles were proclaimed as a sign of adherence to the communist ideology, thus paving the secure way to reevaluation of the Cultural Revolution while preserving ideological stability and legitimacy of the CPC, as a response to the Democracy Wall movement.


  1. Shambaugh, David (2000). The Modern Chinese State. The Press Syndicate of The University of Cambridge. p. 184. ISBN 9780521776035.

Author of the four cardinal principles is Gabriel Ephraim

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.