The transformation of China’s economy from high-speed growth to high-quality development is an important strategy made by the Communist Party of China （CPC） in the New Era. But what is the thought evolution basis for this major strategy and what is the transformation logic of this evolution? This question is extremely important for the understanding of the theoretical connotation and practice path of China’s high-quality development. However, relevant researches mainly focus on the decisive role of the objective law of material production on the proposal of high-quality development, while ignoring the key role of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development, which needs systematic analysis and in-depth study.
Therefore, based on the 100-year timeframe since the founding of the CPC, this paper systematically combs the exploration thread of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development, and deeply analyzes the evolution logic of this thought. The research shows that the CPC has always concerned about the quality of economic development since its founding and experienced the following transformation of thought focuses: methodology perspective （1921–1949） – production relations perspective （1949–1978） – productive forces perspective （1978–2012） – production mode perspective （2012–）. The above evolution follows the Marxist logic of “the mutual interaction between productive forces and production relations, economic base and superstructure”, the socialist logic of “taking people’s interests as the fundamental value orientation”, and the Chinese special logic that “the CPC’s ideology has strong consciousness and high adaptability”. Therefore, it can be concluded that the proposal of high-quality development in the New Era not only follows the objective law of material production, but also inherits and breaks through the continuous exploration of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development, and is also driven by the goal orientation of people’s interests in the New Era and the self-conscious change of ideology, all of which constitute the special connotation of China’s high-quality development.
The academic value of this paper could be concluded in three aspects: First, it combs the exploration of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development in different periods, which enriches the academic research on the CPC’s economic development thought. Second, it clarifies the transformation logic of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development, which is conducive to deepen the scientific understanding of the theoretical connotation and formation logic of the CPC’s thought on high-quality development. Third, it analyzes the characteristics of the transformation of the CPC’s thought on the quality of economic development, such as regularity, strong consciousness, high adaptability and consistent value orientation, which will strengthen the study on the advantages of both the CPC’s leadership and the Socialist System with Chinese characteristics.