mandag 2. august 2021

China: Glaring omissions in the history of the communist party

Celebrated with great fanfare, the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial and Xi Jinping’s “important speech” left behind a wealth of clues to be picked over in the coming weeks, helping to answer the question: What core values define Xi Jinping’s CCP in the 21st century?

Beyond the general secretary’s July 1 speech, however, one document that has received less attention is “Major Events in 100 Years of the Chinese Communist Party” (中国共产党一百年大事记), a chronicle of the Party’s most important milestones over the past century, organized by year and date, that was published in the People’s Daily on June 28. The document, featured on the newspaper’s front page, sprawled through several interior pages.

“Major Events” is the most important recent official text we have on the CCP’s contemporary view of its history. And several omissions from that history should be noted as glaring signs of shifting priorities. How can we know there have been omissions? When the Party commemorated its 90th anniversary back in 2011, a similar list of major dates and developments was compiled and published in the Party’s flagship newspaper. This year’s document is more than just an update that brings the chronicle up through June 2021. It is also a revision of the previous chronicle.