No, China did not appoint a “new Mao”: They chose the main target

Written by The Frontier Post

Peter Akopov

In China now has a new leader – called itself the Communist Party Xi Jinping’s helmsman and so titled because only Mao Zedong. By this reduces the reaction of the world press (including the part of Russia) on the ending in Beijingplenum of the CPC Central Committee. The “Central Committee Decisions on the Main Achievements and the Historical Expe-rience of the 100 Years of the Party’s Struggle” adopted at it does not say anything about the helmsman, but at the press conference after the plenum, the responsible officer of the Central Committee did indeed use an epithet in relation to Xi, which can be translated as “helmsman, helmsman” – so it started. And who cares that this word is “zhangoche” and not “doshou” as Mao was called? Why do these little things, if you need confirmation that China has finally returned to autocracy, which is designated as the main threat to democracy?
Fortune telling in the thick of China is a favorite pastime of Western analysts. Recently, there were even leaks that it is more and more difficult for American intelligence to obtain information about Xi’s inner circle, and this makes the White House nervous. Because, as the South China Morning Post writes with reference to sources in American dep-artments, Washington seeks to predict Beijing’s next steps – and cannot. America has already been “taken by surprise by a number of events, including the stren-gthening of Beijing’s control over Hong Kong, the build-up of the Chinese military presence in the South China Sea, restrictions on investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the intensification of hacker attacks against China’s opponents.”
Wow, it has become quite difficult to spy on the Chinese leaders and their entourage (and it’s bad for the Russian ones too), and this China is so unpredi-ctable! The American adm-inistration could be given very simple advice: try to analyze not the struggle for power in the Celestial Empire (and in Russia ), but to look at the root, to understand the interests and goals of the leaderships of these countries. Then it will be easier to predict, especially since China does not hide its interests and plans. Then the question of the composition of the country’s leadership will become much clearer.
Of course, a lot depends on the first person, especially in such huge and complex countries as China. But the fact that Xi came in earnest and for a long time was already clear shortly after his election to the top post in 2012 – and it became Punchinelle’s secret by 2017, that is, by the last congress of the CCP. The restrictions on two terms for the first person, which had existed for a quarter of a century before that, were actually lifted (at the congress, not a single person was elected to the Standing Committee of the Politburo who was potentially suitable for the age of successors), so that any sane specialist on China could say, that Xi Jinping will not leave the post of general secretary in 2022.
A year later, in 2018, the restrictions on the number of terms on the post of chairman of the PRC were also removed. But all the same, all these years the world has continued to discuss when Xi will leave, which factions are fighting among themselves in the Chinese leadership – and other very meaningful disputes. All of this is somewhat reminiscent of the endless discussions about “transfer of power” in Russia – meaningless and far-fetched even before last year’s constitutional amendments that allowed Putin to run in 2024.
Xi Jinping is now 68 years old – and he will lead China for as long as his health allows. This is a deliberate choice of the Chinese leadership, which has almost always been collective. A short period of absence of collective leadership fell on the “cultural revolution” (although even then Mao led through the collective – it was just a collective of upstart leftists) – well, this is how he is perceived as a black page in history. In the course of it, Xi himself suffered, altho-ugh not very much. But he was the son of one of Mao’s associates, the deputy p-rime minister, and survived the expulsion to the village. Now, there is no talk of any new “great helmsman” – Xi’s merits are recognized in the party documents (but his predecessors, Jiang Zemin, who are still alive) are also mentioned there. and Hu Jintao), where his ideas are spoken of as “the correct development on the path of the Sinification of Marxism”:
“Xi Jinping’s ideas about socialism with Chinese characteristics of the new era, which are Marxism of modern China and Marxism of the 21st century, as well as the essence of Chinese culture and Chinese spirit in the modern era, mark a new leap in the Sinification of Marxi-sm. The Chinese Commun-ist Party has defined the role of Comrade Xi Jinping as the leading nucleus of the CPC Central Committe-e and the entire party, affirmed the leading role of Xi Jinping’s ideas on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.”
The term “leading nucleus of the Central Comm-ittee” has been applied to Xi Jinping for a long time – so there is nothing new in the resolution of the plenum here either. China deliberately abandoned the temporary practice of regularly changing the first person, because it realized that it does not help, but hinders progress. Clannishness and corruption are indeed a huge problem for China, but even greater is the power struggle that the former engenders. Regional, service (for joint work), army and other groupings should not be decisive in power, otherwise it can lead to a crisis of the state, confusion and disintegration of the country – this lesson in Chinese history the CCP has learned well.
Xi wants to make sure that the stability of the top power (with the constant change of the entire nomenclature and the work of social elevators) will ensure the fulfillment of strategic tasks and the achievement of the main goal: the transformation of China by 2049 into a “great socialist power in all respects.” Moreover, Xi correctly understands the main problem along this path – and it is not external, but internal:
“To adequately respond to the main contradiction in Chinese society (between the growing material needs of the population and the uneven and unbalanced level of development), the party must focus on enriching the entire population. This is a guarantee of a long-term stay in power.”
This is a quote from Xi’s August speech at a meeting of the CCP’s Central Fina-ncial and Economic Com-mission recently released. This is clearly a defining, programmatic speech – which, by the way, begins with a reference to the days of Deng Xiaoping, to the beginning of market ref-orms, when the party “comprehensively analyzed the positive and negative aspe-cts of its historical experience”:
“We have deeply understood that poverty cannot be socialism. Because of this, the CCP abandoned the planned economy and made it possible for parts of Chinese society and regions to get rich. The liberalization carried out has allowed freeing up and unlocking the potential of the productive forces of society.”
But rapid development has created serious inequalities – and the Chinese leader warns:
“Currently, humanity is facing an acute problem of economic inequality. In a number of countries, the growing gap between the poor and the rich and the crisis of the middle class have led to social divisions, political polarization and populism. This is an important lesson for us. To maintain social harmony and stability in China, we must prevent the polarization of our society and achieve a decent standard of living for every citizen. We must not forget that the problem of unbalanced and underdevelopment is still acute in our country. “
At the same time, Xi proposes concrete measures and ways to combat inequality and defines the goal: “We are striving to create an oval structure of society – with a predominance of the middle class and a small proportion of the very rich and very poor. opportunities for all-round development and enrichment are created for everyone.” The Chinese are, of course, materialists – but their communist leaders understand the meaning of ideals and spirit. Therefore, Xi deciphers “universal enrichment” as the material and spiritual enrichment of each inhabitant.
Previously, the “Chinese miracle” was mainly talked about abroad – but now in Beijing this term is used in official documents when they talk about the great revival of the nation. And not even in the singular:
“In just a few decades, China has traveled the path of industrialization that developed countries have followed for several hundred years, and created two miracles – maintaining dynamic economic growth and maintaining long-term social stability.”
The second miracle for China is even more important than the first, because without it there will be no great country or a great future. Xi Jinping is well aware of this and will do everything to build a just society in China, so as not to let the contradictions generated by the rapid growth (on which external forces are also playing) blow up the country. That is why his country needs him as a helmsman, and not at all because of Mao’s imitation. There is a Chinese lesson in this for Russia, because we really have a lot in common – both plans and threats. And internal threats for the great powers-civilizations are always more dangerous than external ones.

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