The Communist Party of China is making the third self innovation - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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(I translated an article by Dr. Li Shimo, a Chinese political scholar, which can help foreign friends better understand the reasons and goals of the CPC's various policy-making in recent years. )

No matter what doubts people have about the CPC and China's political system, it is difficult to deny the success of the CPC.
In 1949, China was still a poor semi colonial country, with an average life expectancy of 35 years. Today, China has been regarded by the powerful G7 as a competitor that can not be ignored.
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This huge change was fully realized by the CPC in a huge country with a population of 1.4 billion. This achievement can be called great, but can the CPC maintain this achievement? How long can it last?
I think the CPC is currently implementing a major self-renewal project to combine the party with 100 years old history and Chinese young people in pursuit of advancement. The rest countries of the world may not have noticed this important development.
To be in power for a long time in the world's most populous country, the CPC relies on two characteristics - self realization and self innovation. Self realization is the goal, and self innovation is the means to achieve the goal.
The ultimate self realization of the CPC is centered on its original mission. In current words, it is around its "beginner's mind". At the beginning of its founding, the CPC established two main goals, socialism and national rejuvenation, so that China can get rid of the humiliating fate of repeated foreign aggression, poverty and weakness since modern times, build a prosperous and strong socialist society, and restore China's due status as a world power. Everything the CPC has done in the past and will do in the future is to achieve this goal.
The second characteristic of "self innovation" is the "killer application" of the CPC. After all, the CPC has accurately planned two times historic innovations, and is currently making the third times.
The first innovation of the CPC was from a revolutionary party to a ruling party after 1949; The second was a series of reforms by Deng Xiaoping in 1979, which transformed China's extremely closed planned economy into a huge market economy deeply integrated with the global economy. This helped the CPC avoid the fate of the CPSU. At the end of the cold war, many people predicted with confidence that China would embark on the same road as the Soviet Union.
In the past five to ten years, another innovation has quietly arrived, bringing opportunities and challenges to the Communist Party of China. How to carry it out will have a far-reaching impact.
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From the perspective of China's own development, the most important event in this innovation is the 19th National Congress of the CPC held in 2017. It was at that conference that China "officially announced" a paradigm shift. The goal changed from the single-minded pursuit of economic development to the pursuit of "balanced development" and "common prosperity". In Chinese political vocabulary, this means redistribution of wealth.
This turning point is the result of economic and social development over the years. Since Deng Xiaoping started the reform and opening up, China has made great achievements in economic growth in the past 30 to 40 years. But new challenges have emerged, including political corruption, wealth inequality and environmental degradation. After the 18th National Congress in 2012, the CPC began to take severe measures to combat political corruption, and the anti-corruption struggle continues today. Since 2017, the CPC has begun to seriously solve two other problems.
What keeps pace with this innovation is the major trend of Chinese society, especially the trend of young groups. These people born in the 1990s and 2000s (that is, the so-called post-90s and post-00s) are fundamentally different from previous generations. The number of these young people is nearly 400 million, which is the backbone of China's future. They received a good education and grew up in an increasingly prosperous and powerful China. The main concern of the older generation is how poor China is, so they all focus on the market economy; The post-90s and post-00s believe that the main challenge they and Chinese society face is inequality problem in essence.
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There are clear signs that Chinese young people's views on capital and the market have turned negative, and their support for socialism and communism has increased significantly. For example, on BiliBili, China's main video social media for young people, the content about communism, Marxism, capital and labor in 2020 is the most popular. The data of these videos has increased more than any others. Even in the highly entrepreneurial tech industry, the voices of young people against excessive exploitation are becoming higher and higher, including the exploitation of low-income couriers and high-income technicians and professionals who work too long overtime.
In the previous innovation, the CPC changed its role from a planned economy manager to a ruling alliance based on market economy. Now, by bringing building a fair society into the political goal, the CPC is turning to re affirmation of socialism and redistribution of wealth.
The most striking practical action is to promote poverty eradication with unprecedented efforts throughout the country. This work began in 2012 and accelerated in 2015; It took eight years to help the last 99 million people below the poverty line out of poverty - for the first time in Chinese history. In order to accomplish this hard task, millions of Party members and cadres went to the front line of poverty reduction in remote rural areas and mountainous areas.
At the same time, the government began to make great efforts to restrict monopoly enterprises. The most famous example is that Alibaba's Ant Financial Service was disqualified at the last minute of its upcoming listing. It has become the norm for the government to enforce the anti-monopoly law more strictly. Its goal is to protect the public interest, especially the interests of ordinary people, from the infringement of large platform companies controlled by private capital. In the party's own words, the purpose is to "prevent the disorderly expansion of capital."
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This paradigm shift has also brought significant challenges and risks. China's younger generation hopes to solve the problems of inequality, but also hopes to enjoy economic opportunities and continue to improve their living standards. The latter is impossible if the economy cannot develop sustainably. If the state's redistribution measures are not properly guided, they may stifle the entrepreneurial incentive mechanism crucial to growth. The CPC needs to successfully control the trend, make a series of policies avoid falling into populist impulse, and become practical policies conducive to building a fair and efficient society.
Another paradigm shift takes place among Chinese youth, which is how China views the world and its relationship with the world, especially with the West. The trump era shows the Chinese a new America, which is quite different from their impression for decades. Those who looked up to the United States and felt that "today of the United States is China's tomorrow" were caught off guard. In the eyes of the new generation of Chinese people, the governance level of the United States and Europe is low, the problem of inequality is more prominent than that of China, and shows political disability, social polarization and internal hostility.
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Compared with previous generations of Chinese people, the post-90s and post-00s have more confidence and patriotism in the country. They naturally responded to the party's call and had more confidence in the Chinese road. Two recent events have reinforced this change.
First, COVID-19 epidemic, China's rapid control of the epidemic, has been in sharp contrast to the repeated waves of waves with other countries. The other is the rising hostility of the west to China.
For a long time, the Chinese people have been accustomed to all kinds of Western criticism of China, whether it is corruption or human rights. In fact, this kind of criticism can often get a certain degree of resonance and even support among the Chinese people, especially the business and intellectual elites.
However, the current wave of demonizing China in western political and media is generally considered too extreme by the Chinese people. The Chinese people believe that these "criticisms" that simply discredit China are only an attempt to curb China's further development.
Especially Chinese young people, they find that the China in western depiction does not accord with the actual situation in their life. So many people have doubts and anger about the West. The vast majority of Chinese people, especially young people, are on the side of Beijing on the two issues most frequently attacked by the west - Xinjiang and Hong Kong. This is why young Chinese netizens often call for a boycott of Western brands and celebrities on the Internet.
In fact, Chinese young people are becoming the strongest supporters of the long-term goal of the CPC, that is, "Taking China's own development path".
According to the latest data from the Edelman Trust Barometer, the Chinese public's satisfaction with government leadership has reached an amazing 90%. A recent survey by the University of California, San Diego, showed that young respondents had the largest increase in government support. In 2019, more than 80% of new CPC members are under the age of 35, and the number is close to 1.9 million. Nearly 80% of college students expressed their willingness to join the CPC.
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All this may surprise Western readers. However, since the aspirations of Chinese young people are so highly consistent with the reason for the existence of the party, that is, "beginner's mind", the key point in the future lies in how the CPC, a centennial party, should adapt to the new situation yo serve (and lead) young people.
The CPC needs to guide the energy and ideals of Chinese young people to constructive socialism and avoid falling into excessive populism; Guide healthy patriotism and avoid narrow nationalism. If the CPC can do this, it will meet the material aspirations and spiritual ideals of the new generation of Chinese young people, and therefore continue to be in power for a long time in the future.
Success is certainly not guaranteed, but I won't bet on their failure.

Here is the link to the original article:
http://www.cifu.fudan.edu.cn/d8/6b/c413a383083/page.htm

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