China criticizes U.S. democracy while promoting Xi’s growing power

Books by and about Chinese language President Xi Jinping fill a show on the Museum of the Communist Occasion of China in Beijing on November 11, 2021.

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Photographs

BEIJING — A high Chinese language official issued a uncommon criticism of the U.S. and Western democracy throughout a high-profile political press convention Friday.

The night time earlier than, Chinese language President Xi Jinping joined the ranks of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping and have become the nation’s third chief to supervise the adoption of a “historic decision” on the shut of a widely-watched assembly of the Chinese language Communist Occasion, the sixth plenum of the social gathering’s Central Committee.

Mao led China for many years after the founding of the Chinese Communist Party a century ago. Deng spearheaded sweeping financial reforms 4 many years in the past that diminished the state’s position within the financial system and allowed international companies into China.

Chinese language officers at Friday’s press convention emphasised how the nation would now observe Xi and his imaginative and prescient for a powerful CCP-dominated system.

And for greater than 5 minutes, Jiang Jinqua, director of the coverage analysis workplace of the social gathering’s central committee, criticized the U.S. and Western international locations for attempting to impose their thought of democracy on China.

The electoral democracy of Western international locations are literally democracy dominated by the capital, and they’re a recreation of the wealthy, not actual democracy.

Jiang Jinqua

director, coverage analysis workplace of the CCP’s central committee

“Democracy is just not an unique patent of Western international locations and even much less ought to or not it’s outlined or dictated by Western international locations,” Jiang mentioned in Mandarin, in response to an official translation.

“The electoral democracy of Western international locations are literally democracy dominated by the capital, and they’re a recreation of the wealthy, not actual democracy,” he mentioned.

Whereas China’s international diplomats and propaganda arms have made related criticisms up to now, Jiang’s remarks stood out as a result of high-profile political context of the press occasion, and their particular point out of the U.S.

The U.S. plan to carry a “Summit for Democracy” in December is “an try to revitalize Western democracy,” Jiang mentioned. “To convene such a summit in opposition to [a] backdrop of a great deal of issues in Western democracy, … the intention is nothing however bashing different international locations and dividing the world.”

He additionally pointed to public opinion polls exhibiting widespread worries within the U.S. about American democracy, in contrast with overwhelming Chinese language confidence in their very own authorities.

A Pew Research study released Nov. 1 discovered that 72% of Individuals say U.S. democracy was an excellent instance for others to observe, however has not been not too long ago. A research led by York College professor Cary Wu discovered local satisfaction with how the Chinese government handled the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Chinese language continuously assault democracies as being not actually consultant of the folks however quite a canopy for elites to maintain management,” mentioned Scott Kennedy is senior advisor and Trustee Chair in Chinese language Enterprise and Economics on the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

“Actually there are plenty of Individuals disenchanted with our political system,” Kennedy mentioned, with out referring to a selected ballot. “The irony is that Individuals are free to criticize their authorities. In China, expressing such an opinion may make you a dissident and get you locked up.”

Xi’s new plan for financial growth

Whereas criticizing Western political techniques, Chinese language officers on Friday promoted their nation’s personal agenda and emphasised new fashions below Xi.

“Xi is utilizing the previous to serve the current and declare the longer term, by developing a historic narrative that justifies his private management and coverage preferences as he appears to be like to safe a norm-defying third time period as chief on the twentieth Occasion Congress subsequent fall,” Neil Thomas, analyst for China and Northeast Asia at Eurasia Group, wrote in a be aware.

Since Xi rose to the highest of central authorities energy in 2012, he has promoted his personal state-centric political ideology, generally often called “Xi Thought.”

The official report on this week’s “historic decision” cemented Xi’s political management by calling him the “principal founding father of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese language Traits for a New Period.”

Financial growth has been “entrance and middle” for the CCP, mentioned Han Wenxiu, govt vice minister on the finance and financial affairs workplace of the social gathering’s central committee. He referred to a gathering held in 1978, simply as Deng was starting to permit international companies into China.

“As socialism with Chinese language traits enters a brand new period, growth has been given new meanings,” Han mentioned.

“We must always forged apart the outdated growth path,” he mentioned, noting that high-quality growth is now extra vital — like recognizing that “inexperienced and luxurious mountains are invaluable property.” Han maintained that Beijing would nonetheless prefer to “open up” and stay a part of the worldwide financial system.

China’s plan for companies

Many foreign investors and businesses have been caught off-guard this year by Beijing’s crackdown on web know-how firms, after-school tutoring companies and actual property builders.

Tech giants have subsequently tried to show they are in line with Beijing’s effort to pursue “common prosperity,” and give attention to reasonable wealth for all, quite than for just some. Which means addressing social issues resembling excessive dwelling prices and an impending labor scarcity from a quickly getting old inhabitants.

Xi’s view is that “ideological challenges are threats to nationwide safety,” the Economist Intelligence Unit mentioned in an announcement. That may “point out extra assertive efforts to form ‘ideological schooling’ throughout the nation, in ways in which could undertake an anti-Western tone. Financial reform, nevertheless, was barely talked about, suggesting that the present tilt towards [regulatory] intervention will proceed.”

Learn extra about China from CNBC Professional

Chinese language officers on Friday didn’t immediately reply to questions on how coverage objectives may be affected by slowing financial progress.

Han from the financial affairs workplace mentioned “entrepreneurs have a number of methods and means to contribute to widespread prosperity, probably the most primary of which is to function lawfully and truthfully.” Han mentioned stealing from the wealthy to assist the poor in a “Robinhood” strategy of forcing donations “would run counter to the unique notion of widespread prosperity.”

He additionally mentioned that the “proper option to contribute to widespread prosperity” consists of paying taxes, performing “social obligations,” and treating workers and prospects effectively.

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