Chinese Communist Party to bolster Xi’s command in rare ‘historic resolution’ – 11/07/2021 – World

The Chinese Communist Party plenary is a recurrent event: there are seven per government cycle. This legislature, in government since 2017, kicks off this Monday (8) its sixth executive meeting of its kind. The meeting brings together around 200 members of the party with the right to vote, plus around 170 non-voters, to discuss the direction of the country.

But two words drew special attention to this year’s event: the announcement that the plenary will discuss a “historic resolution”.

That’s because on just two occasions in 100 years of existence, the party, which commands one of the most powerful countries in the world, has approved something with that name — even though the meetings have taken relevant decisions, such as the one that, in 2015, abolished the policy of only child.

In the first historic resolution, in 1945, in the midst of the war against Japan, the legend moved away from dissident ideological currents and defined that it would guide itself under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung.

On Monday, in 1981, under Deng Xiaoping, the plenary decided that it would condemn Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which persecuted dissidents, banned everything it saw as related to the bourgeoisie, and plunged the country into chaos.

It is not trivial that the third resolution of its kind, discussed in the coming days under the command of Xi Jinping, comes after two passed during the regimes of the most important names in the country’s modern history: Mao, who implemented the communist system, and Deng, that promoted the trade opening that would lead China to the status of today’s economic power.

Now Xi also wants to review the story in his favor — and look to the future. A review that “explains how the Chinese CP has played a positive role in the last 100 years and that can elevate Thought Xi Jinping [doutrina teórica do atual líder] to ideology status [oficial] of the country,” says Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the University of London.

Out there

The landmark resolution “sets an official view of historical development and will further embody Xi’s personal leadership and political agenda,” explains analyst Neil Thomas, China expert at US political consultancy Eurasia Group.

A year away from the 20th Communist Party Congress, the idea is to pave the way for the regime’s strongest leader since Mao to a third presidential term, after the country abolished limits on re-election in 2018.

“In Chinese cultural history, a ‘strong leader’ is very important in the development trajectory, both politically and economically and socially,” says political scientist Li Xing, a professor at Aalborg University in Denmark.

That’s why Mao, Deng and Xi were the most powerful men of their era and they wanted to make that clear. And the current boss has been legitimized: even opinion polls conducted by Western bodies indicate that the Chinese communist regime under him has the highest levels of approval among the population, Xing points out.

Although there is already a draft ready to be approved, according to Xinhua, the official news agency, the text of the historic resolution should only be made public at the end of the plenary, on Thursday (11).

According to the agency, the party’s Central Committee organized a symposium with non-affiliated individuals and market representatives — such as All-China, the federation of industry and commerce — whose “visions and suggestions were absorbed into the document”.

An official statement released after the symposium, however, gives suggestions on what the final text of the plenary should bring. There’s all the rhetoric of the Xi government’s recent years, which has raised the bar against Western powers, in what some analysts say could lead to something of a new Cold War. The statement says, for example, that “Chinese people who have been subjugated and victimized by bullying have risen up in modern times” and “advanced towards modernization”.

The text quotes former regime leaders, including Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, as saying that the Communists have led “people of all ethnic groups to achieve vital progress” — a major regime squelch from an international perspective is the repression of the minority of the Uighurs in the west of the country. In another reference, the communiqué says that “the party must always mobilize and lead people of all ethnic groups to work tirelessly to realize their aspirations for a better life”.

China, land in the middle

At the meeting that helped draft the resolution, the party urged members “to show more vigilance and always be prepared for potential danger, even in calm times.”

Military tensions between China and its military rivals have escalated to unprecedented levels, with Taiwan’s autonomy at the heart of the issue — Communists consider the island a rebel province, but in practice it has independence from the mainland, albeit without international recognition.

There is no lack of military exercises on the one hand and demonstrations of support from Western rivals on the other. Although this is probably not the main focus of the plenary, it is likely that the subject will come up for discussion, according to Neil Thomas.

“The third landmark resolution will likely reaffirm the Communist Party’s historic mission to achieve ‘unification’ with Taiwan and cite the changing international environment, with the US becoming increasingly hostile to China, as one of the reasons why the party needs to keep a strong leader like Xi,” he says.

It is in this context that the current leader’s efforts to nail his doctrine to the foundations of the People’s Republic of China, reinforce his authority and guarantee the third term are inserted.

For Chinese journalist Deng Yuwen, former editor of a party newspaper and now critical of the regime, passing a landmark new resolution could be a risky move for Xi. In an article published by the Chinese version of Deutsche Welle, the dissident argues that the movement could reveal the leader’s insecurities and, if unsuccessful, “may undermine [sua força] among more skeptical supporters, who are not few, even at the highest levels.”

In the same vein, Thomas claims that “as powerful as he is, Xi still needs to play the political game and keep his allies on his side, because he operates within the organizational structure of the party.”

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