Category: Xi Jinping
Xi Seeking ‘Rich, Democratic, Modernized Socialist China’ – Academic
worker | October 26, 2017 | 8:31 pm | Analysis, China, Communist Party of China, socialism, Xi Jinping | Comments closed

Xi Seeking ‘Rich, Democratic, Modernized Socialist China’ – Academic

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017,

Xi Seeking ‘Rich, Democratic, Modernized Socialist China’ – Academic

© REUTERS/ Aly Song


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While demonstrating commitment to the policy of openness, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) placed emphasis on people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, ecology, deep reforms and law-based governance, Andrei Karneev, deputy head of the Institute of Asia and Africa at Moscow State University, has told Sputnik.

China’s commitment to the “policy of openness” became Beijing’s major message to the world, Andrei Karneev, deputy head of the Institute of Asia and Africa at Moscow State University told Sputnik China, while commenting on the Resolution of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which took place in Beijing between October 18 and 24.

Policy of Openness

“The Chinese leadership will continue to act on the world arena within the framework of openness, regardless of the difficulties [it is facing] in the way of globalization and emerging anti-globalist and protectionist bias in some countries,” Karneev said.

The academic pointed out that being an important participant of the international system, China “contributes to world development through its ability to provide a dynamic pace of economic development while maintaining social-political stability in the country.” He stressed that new phrases such as “great cause,” “great struggle,” “great dream” and “great project” have appeared in the congress’s resolution.

‘Large-Scale Processes Within CPC’

“These formulations indicate that complex and large-scale processes are taking place within the [Chinese Communist] party,” Karneev highlighted. “After Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, he launched an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign. The fight against corruption intended to clear the [CPC] ranks of those who abused their power and authority.”

As a result of Xi’s sweeping anti-corruption efforts about 1.34 million grassroots level officials as well as tens of thousands of high ranking officials have been punished under his presidency. However, the policy was met with criticism by those who argued that the Chinese leader targeted his political opponents, including former security chief Zhou Yongkang, politician Bo Xilai, and Lin Jihua, an aide to former Chinese president Hu Jintao.According to the academic, by solving the corruption problem and improving the executive discipline at all levels, the country’s leadership is seeking to boost the CPC’s ability to manage the increasingly complex Chinese society.

Therefore, one of the 14 points that form the CPC’s basic policy aimed at developing “socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era” is “to uphold absolute Party leadership over the people’s forces.”

Rule of Law

President Xi’s announcement of the establishment of a government group aimed at maintaining the law-based state and the creation of verification mechanisms to ensure that the decisions made by state bodies comply with the country’s constitution. “Apparently, a controlling body — the State committee for supervision — will also be created soon [in China],” the academic suggested.

“We must uphold the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, closely follow the Party’s political line, strictly observe its political discipline and rules, and closely align ourselves with the Central Committee in terms of political stance, direction, principle, and path,” the resolution emphasized.

Karneev stressed that the CPC congress also focused attention on the need to redistribute power between the center and local governments an announced other important initiatives in the sphere of public administration.According to the scholar, they follow the same logic they adhered to during the anti-corruption campaign: to boost the role of the state and to make the management process more efficient and transparent.

“Xi Jinping and his team [are taking these steps] to implement a new package of economic and social reforms which would turn China into a rich, powerful, democratic, harmonious, civilized and modernized socialist state by the middle of the 21st century,” Karneev noted.

Speaking to Sputnik on Thursday, Ding Xueliang, the political analyst and a social science professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, underscored that President Xi is seeking to solidify his power while facing opposition from some CPC members.

‘Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects’

The Russian academic highlighted that the CPC regards “the principal contradiction in Chinese society” as “one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life,” while proclaiming the goal of “building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.”

Previously, the party’s documents put an emphasis on contradictions between the material needs of the people of China and the “relative underdevelopment of the productive forces,” Karneev said. Additionally, the new vision highlights the importance of “harmony between human and nature.”In addition, the document promised the CPC’s adherence to “a people-centered approach.”

“With this, we [China] can be better placed to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of our people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress,” the resolution stated.

According to the Russian scholar, the 19th Congress of the CPC became an important event both for China and its international partners. Most expectations surrounding the forum’s political course and decisions have been met, Karneev noted. Xi’s report both summed up the results of the five-year-long party’s work and formulated new ideas and approaches under the new conditions.

Additionally, the Congress pledged to modernize the country’s military forces making them a world-class army and voiced its commitment to the implementation of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. Following the final day of the congress, Xi introduced five new members of the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC), while evading naming his potential successor.

Xi Jinping Declares Era of ‘National Rejuvenation’ in China
worker | October 19, 2017 | 8:59 pm | China, Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping | Comments closed

Xi Jinping Declares Era of ‘National Rejuvenation’ in China

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John Wight
Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s opening speech at the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was the most bullish and assertive by a Chinese leader since the era of Mao, no doubt drawing parallels with President Obama’s controversial “pivot to Asia” speech in 2011 as Beijing’s long overdue riposte.

The Chinese miracle of sustained hyper economic growth, lasting over three decades, has under Xi Jinping’s leadership since 2012 been joined by a robust foreign policy with the purpose of solidifying and increasing China’s ability to repel Washington’s hegemonic objectives in the region.

During the course of a marathon speech lasting over three hours, in which “national rejuvenation” was the overarching theme, Xi outlined an ambitious vision of China’s economic, cultural, military, and geopolitical development over the coming decade. In the process of doing so, he left no doubt that rather than relinquish or in any way weaken its hand on the levers of power, the Chinese Communist Party will remain in full command as the ballast of cohesion within and the pillar of strength required to navigate the rapids of an ever-changing world without.

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017,
© REUTERS/ Aly Song
China’s President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017,

After decades of “tireless struggle,” Xi Jinping told delegates, China “stood tall and firm in the east,” before further on proclaiming:

“The Chinese nation… has stood up, grown rich, and become strong — and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation… It will be an era that sees China moving closer to centre stage and making greater contributions to mankind.”

Since assuming coming to power back in 2012, Xi Jinping has led China down an unapologetically nationalist path, determined to assert a dominant regional position, especially in relation to Japan, while, as mentioned, acquiring the military means and ability to deter Washington’s attempt to place a cordon sanitaire around it.

What has consistently been underestimated in the West is the antipathy in which Beijing holds Japan, rooted in historical factors but which also has a contemporary context with the ongoing territorial dispute between both countries with respect to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands in China) in the East China Sea.

Anti-Japan feeling in China extends way beyond the country’s political leadership and nomenklatura. In his 2017 book, Everything Under the Heavens, Howard French points out that to “turn on the television in China is to be inundated with war-themed movies, which overwhelmingly focus on Japanese villainy. More than two hundred anti-Japanese films were produced in 2012 alone, with one scholar estimating that 70 percent of Chinese TV dramas involve Japan-related plots.”

Those familiar with the brutal history of Japanese imperialism, and the unresolved issues stemming from Japan’s occupation of China in the 1930s and 40s, will appreciate why Chinese nationalism and anti-Japan sentiment walk hand in hand in 2017.

Fueling this sentiment further is the perception of Japan as a cat’s paw of Washington in the region, most obviously with regard to China’s other territorial dispute over the strategically important Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Multiple nations in the region claim sovereignty over this small group of islands, which have been claimed by Beijing. The US supports those rival claims with Tokyo’s support.

The controversy over China’s enlargement of the islands through an extensive dredging operation, establishing military installations to leave no doubt of its seriousness in defending them, is a key source of tension between Beijing and Washington in the current period.

This being said, and despite China prioritizing the upgrading, modernization and expansion its military capability, Beijing’s strength remains rooted in its remarkable economic growth and development. It is here where the country continues to astound a Washington Consensus underpinned by a neoliberal model that the 2008 financial and economic crash exposed as a corpse. In contrast, China’s statist mixed market alternative has been responsible lifting 500 million of its people out of extreme poverty over the past three decades, to the point where urban poverty has now been completely eradicated.

This of course is not to suggest that China — the world’s most populace country at over 1.3 billion people — has succeeded in surmounting the contradictions sown by such a phenomenal rate of economic growth. On the contrary, inequality and corruption remain serious problems within Chinese society, both of which Xi Jinping addressed in his speech. But when related to the state of underdevelopment the country was floundering in prior to it opening up in the late 1970s, its successes and achievements outweigh its weaknesses and failures by a considerable margin.

This brings us to the role of the Communist Party in China. The main critique of China in the West concerns its lack of democracy and liberal democratic political institutions — though here we discern the usual Orientalist rendering of non-Western polities, the starting point of which is that the world exists on a blank sheet of paper in which context in the form of a country and region’s specific historical, cultural, geopolitical specificities are conveniently and purposely abstracted.

Martin Jacques makes the pertinent point that democracy “should not be regarded as some abstract ideal, applicable in all situations, whatever the conditions, irrespective of history and culture, for if the circumstances are not appropriate it will never work properly, and may even prove disastrous.”

Jacques, a respected China expert, is absolutely right. Of more importance than democracy in developing countries, he further points out, is economic growth and social cohesion, both of which are inextricably linked to security and stability.

For those who hanker for a world underpinned by multipolarity rather than the unipolarity over which Washington has presided these past few decades, Xi Jinping’s speech will have sounded a welcome note of assertion and strength. Among neocons it will have induced the dread associated with impending irrelevancy.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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