That goal is intertwined with another one: retaining a hold on power. The party keeps a tight grip by censoring the digital space, controlling the news media and locking up those who publicly challenge its line. But it also tries to woo the public by stoking national pride in the country’s growing global clout to justify its continued rule after more than 70 years at the helm.
“By enabling the Chinese nation to make another giant stride toward rejuvenation, the (Communist Party) Central Committee has delivered impressive results that our people are happy with and that will go down in history,” Li Zhanshu, the party’s No. 3 official, told lawmakers this week.
Rejuvenation is repeated like a mantra, even woven into a sprawling exhibit at the national art museum marking the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. The exhibit’s introduction invokes the diligent ox and credits party leader and head-of-state Xi Jinping for deepening “the understanding of the great striving of the Chinese nation.”