torsdag 1. juli 2021

«Making China great again»: pomp and propaganda as CCP marks centenary

In the summer of 1921, 13 young men severely disillusioned by China’s post-imperial development gathered in Shanghai to form a communist party. On 23 July, they convened in Shanghai’s French Concession and held the first “national congress”. None of them would have thought that in 30 years’ time the organisation they had founded would rule the nation, or that in 100 years’ time it would be the world’s largest political party, with nearly 92 million members – today also an enigma to many outsiders. On 1 July, as China celebrates the centenary, the political organisation that rules nearly every aspect of life inside the country has an ambition to reshape the postwar world order.

In January, China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is also the general secretary of the Communist party, told his cadres that regardless of the upheaval in the world, China was “invincible”.

“Judging from how this pandemic is being handled by different leaderships and [political] systems around the world, [we can] clearly see who has done better,” Xi told a meeting at the central party school on 11 January, five days after an angry mob stormed Capitol Hill in Washington. “Time and history are on our side, and this is where our conviction and resilience lie, and why we are so determined and confident.”