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Why Xi Jinping Thought Is a Threat to China's Future

August 14, 2018 in Economics

By James A. Dorn

James A. Dorn

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s opening to the
outside world in 1978. Following the disastrous Cultural Revolution
and Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, economic development, not class
struggle, became the primary aim of the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP). Deng Xiaoping allowed experimentation with market-based
alternatives to central planning, and for a while it appeared that
economic liberalization would help create a free market in ideas
with greater debate on political as well as economic issues. That
hope is rapidly disappearing with the rising power of China’s
president for life, Xi Jinping.

A new “little red” book, Thirty Chapters about Xi Jinping
Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New
Era,
compiled by the Publicity Department of the CCP’s Central
Committee, presents the politically correct view on Chinese-style
socialism. The book is being widely distributed within China, but
there is little room for serious debate. As the China
Daily
notes, the book “explains that Xi Jinping Thought is the
guiding thought that the Party and the country must follow
in the long run.”

Xi Jinping Thought is a 14-point manifesto to ensure CCP
“leadership over all forms of work.” It promises “continuation of
‘comprehensive deepening of reforms’ ”; propagates the long-held
myth that under “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” the
“people” are “the masters of the country”; asserts that China
should be governed by “the rule of law”; reinforces the post-Maoist
idea that “the primary goal of development” is to improve “people’s
livelihood and well-being”; and advocates creating “a peaceful
international environment.”

In March 2018, the National People’s Congress, by a vote of
2,958 to 2 (with 3 abstentions), added “Xi Jinping Thought” to the
Preamble of the PRC’s Constitution, alongside “Marxism-Leninism,
Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory.” At the same time,
the NPC amended Article 1 by adding: “The defining feature of
socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the
Communist Party of China.”

China’s institutional
infrastructure is weaker than it might appear at first
glance.

If President Xi actually allowed the common people to be
“masters of the country,” adopted a genuine rule of law to limit
the power of government and safeguard persons and property —
including freedom of thought — then he would truly transform
China. Yet his actions and growing power do not instill much
confidence that the Middle Kingdom will couple economic freedom
with limited government and protect basic human rights. Indeed,
since Xi took over as paramount leader, economic reform has stalled
or even regressed, and suppression of human rights has
worsened.

Liu Xiaobo’s dream for “a future free China” looks dim. As a
signatory to Charter 08, he was imprisoned …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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