onsdag 10. mars 2021

Professor Minxin Pei: The meaning behind the pageantry of China's Two Sessions

China's Two Sessions -- the annual meeting of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference -- hardly seem worth the pageantry the Chinese government lavishes on them. The weeklong gathering of the NPC, the country's rubber-stamp parliament, merely endorses decisions already made by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, while delegates to the political consultative conference are mostly retired officials, business tycoons and celebrities who fall over themselves to sign the party's praises. Yet, as with all political rituals, the two sessions serve important purposes, and this year will be no different.

As the Communist Party marks its centennial on July 1, the 2021 meetings which end on Friday will highlight the party's achievements in general, and the leadership of its general secretary, Xi Jinping, in particular. We should expect a narrative of the CCP's success in turning China from an impoverished country into the world's second most powerful country in merely seven decades.

Chinese leaders will not waste the occasion to congratulate themselves on containing COVID-19 and use it as evidence of the superiority of China's one-party rule. The center of attention is President Xi.