First National People's Congress

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The First National People's Congress opened on September 15, 1954 in Beijing. Chairman Mao Zedong made an opening speech in which he said: "Our task is to unite the Chinese people and win support from all over the world to build a great socialist country, safeguard world peace and promote the development of mankind." He added that "the core power behind our great cause is the Communist Party of China and its theoretical basis is Marxism-Leninism."

The conference passed the "Constitution of the People's Republic of China" and elected Mao Zedong as the chairman of China, Zhu De as vice chairman, Liu Shaoqi as chairman of the first Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and Zhou Enlai as premier of the State Council. The conference also voted to establish a National Defense Commission and a Ministry of Defense, and appointed Mao Zedong chairman of the National Defense Commission, Vice Premier of the State Council Peng Dehuai concurrently as minister of defense.