The two sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) being held in Beijing are, on the whole, routine affairs, consistently reflecting their role as authoritarian ornaments like “vases”. But if we carefully examine some of the documents and speeches of the “two sessions”, we can still find something that may be of analytical value. This is the reason why the “two sessions” are generally considered to be a joke, but still attract attention every year.
In this year’s session, of course, the issues of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the change of Hong Kong‘s electoral system are of more concern to the outside world. However, I also noticed in the reports that the official language of the two sessions of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has expressed some noteworthy new statements.
The first is the “new concept of development,” a term that has been appearing in the official Chinese media for the past year and has gained more prominence in this session. In terms of content, the so-called “new concept of development” is not very different from “Xi Jinping‘s theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” but rather a new name for a set of clichés. In my opinion, this reflects that although the name “Xi Jinping’s Theory of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” has been written into the party constitution, Xi Jinping is not satisfied with it, because although the word “Xi Jinping” is set in front of it, “socialism with Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is a term that was introduced in the 1980s and has no new meaning. Xi Jinping needs a more individual and distinctive name to sum up his so-called “ideas”, and the “new development concept” is likely to be such a substitute. This is also part of Xi’s search for his own “historical positioning.
The second is “cultural identity”, which Xi Jinping raised in his speech at the Inner Mongolia delegation. When he spoke to the Inner Mongolian delegation, it was clear that he wanted to make his own statement on what the Chinese Communist Party calls the “ethnic issue,” and “cultural identity” is one such relatively new reference. As the name implies, “cultural identity” means to strengthen the ethnic regions’ identification with Han Chinese Culture from a cultural perspective. In this regard, Xi Jinping bluntly pointed out that one of the specific ways to build “cultural identity” is to “fully implement the use of national textbooks”. This confirms that the forced reform of primary and secondary school textbooks in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which began last year and has aroused strong opposition from the local people, comes from the established policy at the highest level of the Communist Party of China, which is to eliminate the centrifugal tendencies that have emerged by re-establishing a new “cultural identity” in ethnic areas. We can predict from Xi’s tone that such a “cultural identity” campaign for ethnic areas will continue to intensify in the future.
The third is the so-called “Chinese style of democracy. This is certainly not a new concept, but as soon as the “two sessions” began, the official media, such as the People’s Daily, devoted a large part of its editorial to this concept, and quoted some scholars from Japan and the United States to compare the concept of “Chinese-style democracy” with This is obviously the result of a deliberate propaganda arrangement. It has been a long Time since the Chinese Communist Party has specifically addressed the issue of “democracy,” and the introduction of the concept of “Chinese-style democracy” at the “two sessions” should be related to the global Epidemic that has been going on for a year. It reflects that the Chinese Communist Party, which thinks it has successfully solved and controlled the epidemic, seems to be seeking the right to interpret the concept of “democracy” while the European and American countries are still caught in the plight of the epidemic. The editorial in the People’s Daily, which argues boldly that Chinese democracy may be the solution to the ills of Western democracy, also reflects the CCP’s attempts to expand its influence in the global ideological arena. They seek to show that there are different forms of democracy in the world, Western democracy and Chinese democracy, and that the world should now understand democracy in terms of “Chinese democracy. In the future, this will also be a focus of the CCP’s foreign propaganda.
The above three statements are not the latest creations, but they are noteworthy when reintroduced for emphasis.