Monday, October 31, 2016

Core Values

Xi Jinping asserts his Exceptional Presence, furthering the trajectory of Princeling Power. But doubts remain as to whether that presence can fully equate legitimacy

A statement on Thursday at the close of the Central Committee’s meeting urged the party’s 88 million party members to “closely unite around the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core”. But it also stressed collective leadership, saying: “No party organization or individual should suppress or undermine ­intra-party democracy.” ...Tsang said the statement could indicate that while consolidating his position and power at the meeting, Xi failed to get his way completely.

The document that declared Xi’s primacy also emphasized the importance of collective leadership and warned against the deification of the party’s chiefs. “Propaganda about leaders should be factual and avoid flattery,” it emphasized.

The message appeared to have bypassed the denizens of China’s social media, many of whom are thought to be by paid by authorities to lavish praise on the government.

“Resolutely embrace Xi Dada!” said one commenter, using a popular nickname for the leader that some say evokes an air of paternalistic authoritarianism. “With Xi Jinping as the core… we will definitely realize our Chinese dream,” it continued, echoing the leader’s nationalistic call for the “Great Rejuvenation” of the Chinese nation.
(AFP via

Since becoming the party’s general secretary, Xi has excluded political enemies, including former uniformed military executives who supported Jiang and former aides of Hu, to consolidate power. Xi has punished more than 1 million party members... Now that Xi has solidified his base within the party, what he probably is worried about is an increase in public discontent over the slowing economy... 
Veterans have staged demonstrations repeatedly... of an unprecedented scale. Veterans are said to be increasingly concerned about Xi’s plans to reduce military personnel by 300,000... Hardships are becoming more serious for the poorest citizens, including migrant workers, who are in a weaker position than veterans. 
Xi, who has acquired enormous power, has cracked down on human rights lawyers who support the socially weak and forcefully suppresses people who hold different opinions. If he continues to govern in such an authoritarian manner, the unbecomingly deformed condition of the world’s No. 2 economy will become conspicuous.

Mr Xi, meanwhile, has been amassing plenty of power and his take-no-prisoners anti-graft campaign has undeniably changed the political landscape, albeit without empowering institutions that could eradicate the root causes of corruption. And inasmuch as the purpose of his power is to enact difficult economic reforms and cement his status as a “transformational” leader, he has not yet delivered.

As Timothy Heath at the Rand Corporation puts it: “The central leadership under Xi is seeking to overcome resistance [to reforms] and adding titles to build Xi’s political capital is part of the process. Whether they can succeed remains an open question.”

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