The 18th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the morning of October 9. Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the state including Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi attended the meeting. Cai Qi delivered a speech on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.
The grand auditorium in the Great Hall of the People is permeated with a lively atmosphere. Hanging above the rostrum is a streamer reading "The 18th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions," in the middle of the back curtain is the sparkling ACFTU emblem symbolizing the unity and solidarity of Chinese trade unions and the Chinese working class, on either side of which are five bright red flags. Hanging above on the second floor of the auditorium is a huge streamer reading "Follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, comprehensively implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, organize and mobilize tens of millions of workers to work together and strive for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts!"
Nearly 2,000 delegates to the 18th National Congress of the ACFTU, who are from all walks of life across the country and represent millions of workers, attended the congress with more than 50 specially invited representatives.
At 10 a.m., Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, together with others, stepped into the hall. They were met with a warm round of applause.
Wang Dongming, executive chairman of the presidium, announced the opening of the congress. All stood up and sang the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.
On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Cai Qi delivered a speech titled "Striving to Write a Magnificent Chapter of China's Working Class Participating in Building a Powerful Country and National Rejuvenation", and extended warm congratulations to the convening of the congress and sincere greetings to workers and trade union officials across the country.
Cai Qi said in his speech that the working class in China has rallied closely around the Party under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core since the 18th CPC National Congress. They have striven hard and shouldered great responsibilities, and thereby have made important contributions to the historic achievements and transformations the Party and the country have achieved in pursuing the socialist cause. Since the 17th National Congress of the ACFTU, trade unions at all levels have strengthened Party building, following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They have furthered reform and innovations, and provided better political guidance for the ideological awareness of union members. They have promoted reform on the team-building of industrial workers, performed their duties for the protection of workers’ rights and interests, and for the building of harmonious labor relations. As a result, they have mobilized union members across the country to make contributions to the New Era and embark on the new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects along with the entire Chinese people.
Cai stated that building a great country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization was embraced as our central task at the 20th CPC National Congress. The Party’s central task must be the theme and direction of the Chinese workers' movement and the work of trade unions. The working class should maintain its political nature of being loyal and reliable to the Party, fulfill their mission through their work and creation, present a new outlook that befits our times with sound skills, and carry forward the noble character of the working class through unity and hard work. Trade unions at all levels should thoroughly understand and act upon Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the general secretary's important expositions on the working class and the work of trade unions. They must be loyal to the Party's cause and serve the workers wholeheartedly. They must adhere to the correct political orientation, extensively pool strengths for striving in unity, improve the quality of their services for protecting workers’ rights and interests, effectively play their role as a bridge between the Party and the working class, and ensure that effective results are achieved from the implementation of the CPC Central Committee’s decisions and plans, so as to write a new chapter in the Party’s cause of the workers' movement.
A Dong, first secretary of the Secretariat of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, and Miao Hua, a member of the Central Military Commission and director of the Political Work Department of the commission, delivered congratulatory speeches on behalf of the people’s organizations and the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force, respectively.
On behalf of the 17th Executive Committee of the ACFTU, Wang Dongming delivered a report titled “Organize and Mobilize Tens of Millions of Workers to Strive in Unity for Building a Strong Country and Advancing National Rejuvenation under the Guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”. The report consists of three parts: development of the Chinese workers’ movement in the new era and related work in the past five years; making Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era the overarching guide for trade union work; major work for the next five years.
The Charter of China Trade Unions (amendment) was submittedin written form to the delegates for deliberation at the meeting, and so was the Financial Work Report of the 17th Executive Committee of the ACFTU and Work Report of 17th Fund Review Board of the ACFTU.
Members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, relevant leading officials of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Central Military Commission attended the meeting.
Also present at the meeting were leading officials of the relevant central Party and government departments, people's organizations, relevant units of the military and the Beijing Municipal Government. Leaders of the central committees of the non-CPC parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and representatives of personages without party affiliation, friends from the trade unions of Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and representatives of workers from all walks of life in the capital attended the opening ceremony.