mandag 15. november 2021

How power and ideology define Xi’s rise in China

Chinese leader Xi Jinping emerged from a party conclave this week not only more firmly ensconced in power than ever, but also with a stronger ideological and theoretical grasp on the ruling Communist Party’s past, present and future. That lays the groundwork for him to take a third five-year term as party leader at next year’s national congress, elevating to the likes of Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic in 1949, and Deng Xiaoping, who opened up the economy three decades later.

A look at some of the meaning behind the recent developments. Though he is the son of a former high official, a friend to both Mao and Deng, Xi rose to the pinnacle by applying what is now referred to as the hybrid economic theory of “socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.” Though not new, Xi has made it one of his standards, alongside his call for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and the “Chinese dream” of relative prosperity.

Key to realizing those goals are the “two centenaries,” namely building a “relatively prosperous society” by the party’s 2021 centenary, which it claims to have achieved, and a “modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.