Peking called on the Chinese people today to devote the next three years to achieving an eight-point plan of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng for a strengthened leadership, economy and army.

The program was carried in an official editorial of the Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, and was described as "a summing up of the latest instruction given by Chairman Hua." The editorial said the country was recovering from economic difficulties and "a new leap forward is taking shape."

Although it betrayed a distinctly more cautious attitude toward economic development than that of Chairman Mao Tse-tung's "Great Leap Forward" in the late 1950's, the editorial said China must "rectify and build our party," "build our party's leading bodies at all levels," "develop the economy in a planned way," and "develop socialist science and culture."

It re-emphasized the recent call for modernization of the army: "We must effectively strengthen preparedness against war and military training, learn military skills, raise combat strength, and seriously carry out Chairman Mao's instruction on having 'not only a powerful army but also a powerful air force and navy'."

The editorial shed little light on some key issues in Peking - the state of the drought-ridden economy and the move to bring former Vice Premiier Teng Hsiao-ping back to power. Instead, the editorial seemed designed to reaffirm and applaud the leadership of Hua six months after his rise to the chairmanship and to lay out a concise statement of his achievements and program for the immediate future.

"Chairman Hua . . . has given us a magnificent blueprint for grasping the key link in running the country well . . . by giving us these eight points," the editorial said. "By following this strategic policy decision and grand plan mapped out by Chairman Hua, we can certainly administer China's affairs well and build China, this base area of the world revolution, into a still more powerful country."

"The whole party, the whole army and the people of all nationalities throughout the country should rally closely round the party Central Committee headed by Chairman Hua, make common efforts and work energetically to implement this strategic policy decision in an all-round way and strive for initial success within this year and great success in three years' time," the editorial concluded.