WA China Watch Digest Special!

News/Interpretation: Xi Jinping got his own “Thought” at 19th Party Congress, and what is it?

Xi Jinping at 19th Party Congress. Source: Baidu screenshotBy Wen Liu   Oct. 21, 2017

It is never easy to follow the Communist-Party-Speak, even if you read Chinese, with all the jargons, clichés, vagueness, and mouthful phrases. It got even harder this past week, on Oct. 18th, when General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping gave his 3.5-hour report, as highlighted by Xinhua news agency, to the 19th Party Congress going on in Beijing till Oct. 24, with 2280 party delegates in attendance as well as millions of Chinese citizens watching live all over the country.

But one thing that has become clear since is that Xi’s speech was the unveiling of the Communist Party’s new “creation” it now calls the “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”

How did this “Thought” come about? Xinhua explains: "The Thought builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context."

In other words, in plain English, it means that of the five generations of the Communist Party leadership, Xi Jinping is second only to Mao with his own Thought, while Deng Xiaoping got only a Theory, Jiang Zemin didn’t get his name attached to his “Theory of Three Represents”, neither did Hu Jintao with his name on his “Scientific Outlook.” That alone tells Xi Jinping’s status and power now and in years to come.

But what is Xi Jinping Thought all about?

Banner: Birth of Xi Jinping Thought. Source: Baidu screenshotWe are lucky that we don’t have to comb through the full text of Xi Jinping’s report. There is Xinhua again come to the rescue with a summary of the main points in the form of “Eight Clears and Fourteen Adheres,” adding to a large, existing archive of numbered policy slogans.

Here are the “Eight Clears” in WCWDigestible bite-size interpretations:

1. It’s clear that China’s main task now is to modernize in two stages, 2020-2035, moderately prosperous, 2035 to mid-century, powerful and modern;
2. It’s clear that China's main problem now is that between people’s growing needs for better life and imbalanced development, or rich and poor;
3. It’s clear that China shall be confident of its own path, theories, system and culture;
4. It’s clear that China shall modernize its governance;
5. It’s clear that China shall build a system and society of rule of law with Chinese characteristics;
6. It’s clear that China shall build a strong military that will obey the Communist Party;
7. It’s clear that China shall foster a new type of major country diplomacy and international relations;
8. It’s clear that Communist Party leadership is the most essential element and biggest advantage of China’s socialism.

Banner: 19th Party Congress opens. Source: Baidu screenshotAnd, of course, the “Fourteen Adheres,” also in WCWDigestibles:

1. Adhere to Communist Party leadership in all work and all areas;
2. Adhere to people-centered development;
3. Adhere to deepening comprehensive reforms;
4. Adhere to new vision of development, with science, innovation, green energy, etc.;
5. Adhere to multiparty cooperation and consultation under Communist Party;
6. Adhere to ruling the country with law under Communist Party;
7. Adhere to core Chinese values of socialism;
8. Adhere to improving people’s living standards;
9. Adhere to harmonious development between human and nature;
10. Adhere to comprehensive national security;
11. Adhere to absolute Communist Party leadership over the military;
12. Adhere to “one country, two systems” and national unification for Hong Kong and Taiwan;
13. Adhere to shared future, shared dreams of the world with Chinese dreams;
14. Adhere to disciplinary governance of Communist Party.

Got it? Now you know your Xi Jinping Thought. :-)

(For more information on major events in Washington state-China relations, go to WA China Chronicle.)