Thirty-three years after its founding, the People's Republic of China is starting out anew.
* A simplified, rejuvenated structure of party and state.
* An all-out effort for economic modernization, and cooperation with Western countries and Japan to achieve this aim.
* The primacy of law.
* Rebuilding the party's badly eroded prestige.
* Collective leadership.
These are some of the domestic goals outlined in Chairman Hu Yaobang's 34,000 -character report to the Chinese Communist Party's 12th party congress meeting here in Peking since Sept. 1.
The congress approved the report at its plenary session Sept. 6, and the full text was released the following day.
In foreign policy, China will keep its distance both from the Soviet Union and from the United States.
''Socialist China belongs to the third world,'' Mr. Hu declared flatly.
But despite Hu's attack on ''US hegemonists'' supporting Israeli ''armed aggression against Arab countries,'' there remains a convergence of American and Chinese strategic global interests as long as Moscow remains on its present course and the shape of the post-Brezhnev leadership remains unclear.
Suspicion of a revival of Japanese militarism has also surfaced because of the Japanese Education Ministry's reluctance to speedily correct textbooks that characterize the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s as an ''advance'' rather than as ''aggression.''
The party congress is expected to close around Sept. 10 after electing a new Central Committee, a new advisory commission that will act as a council of elders, and a new Discipline Inspection Commission. The new Central Committee will in turn elect its new Politburo, a new Secretariat, and a new Military Commission.
What is notable about the party congress so far is that no serious opposition seems to have surfaced to the line laid down by Vice-Chairman Deng Xiaoping and his cohorts, party Chairman Hu and Premier Zhao Ziyang.
The congress will be followed in November by the National People's Congress, China's legislature. The legislature will approve a new state constitution to complement the new party constitution adopted by the congress Sept. 6.
Although Deng will retire to the so-called ''second line'' and become a member of the new advisory commission, his voice is expected to remain paramount for a number of years to come. He is likely to remain on the Politburo and its Standing Committee and to be the chairman of both the party's current Military Commission and of the commission that is to be set up under the new state constitution to run the armed forces.
This will give him continued control over the hierarchy-conscious armed forces, where neither Hu nor Zhao have yet achieved the kind of prestige enjoyed by now-aging former military leaders.