China criticizes American democracy while promoting Xi Jinping’s growing power

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On November 11, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s books are on display at the Chinese Communist Party Museum in Beijing.

Noel Sellis | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – During a high-profile political press conference on Friday, a senior Chinese official made a rare criticism of democracy in the United States and the West.

The night before, Chinese President Xi Jinping joined the ranks of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, becoming the third leader in the country to oversee the passage of a “historical resolution” at the conclusion of the much-watched sixth meeting of the Chinese Communist Party. The Plenary Session of the Party Central Committee.

After the founding of the Communist Party of China a century ago, Mao Zedong led China for decades. Four years ago, Deng Xiaoping took the lead in carrying out comprehensive economic reforms, which weakened the role of the state in the economy and allowed foreign companies to enter China.

At a press conference on Friday, Chinese officials emphasized how China will now follow Xi Jinping and his vision for a powerful CCP-led system.

In more than five minutes, Jiang Jinkua, director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, criticized the United States and Western countries Try to impose their democratic ideals on China.

Electoral democracy in Western countries is actually a democracy ruled by capital, a game of the rich, not a real democracy.

Jiang Jinqua

Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee

“Democracy is not the patent of Western countries, nor should it be defined or dominated by Western countries,” according to the official translation, Jiang said in Mandarin.

“The electoral democracy in Western countries is actually a democracy ruled by capital, a game of the rich, not a real democracy,” he said.

Although Chinese diplomats and propaganda departments have made similar criticisms in the past, Jiang Zemin’s remarks are eye-catching due to the high-profile political background of the press conference and their specific references to the United States.

Jiang said that the United States plans to hold a “Democracy Summit” in December, which is “an attempt to revitalize Western democracy.” “To hold such a summit, oppose [a] Against the background of many problems in Western democracy,… its purpose is nothing more than to criticize other countries and divide the world. “

He also pointed out that opinion polls show that compared with the overwhelming confidence of the Chinese in their government, Americans are generally worried about American democracy.

A study published by the Pew Research Center on November 1 found that 72% of Americans said that American democracy used to be a good example for others to follow, but that has not been the case recently. A study led by York University professor Cary Wu found that the local area is satisfied with the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott Kennedy, China Business and Economic Senior Advisor and Trustee Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said: “The Chinese continue to criticize democracies for not truly representing the people, but as a cover for the elite to maintain control.”

“Of course there are many Americans who have no illusions about our political system,” Kennedy said, but did not mention specific polls. “The irony is that Americans are free to criticize their government. In China, expressing such views may make you a dissident and locked up.”

Xi Jinping’s new economic development plan

On Friday, while criticizing the Western political system, Chinese officials promoted their country’s own agenda and emphasized the new model under Xi Jinping’s leadership.

“Xi Jinping is using the past to serve the present, and claims that in the future, he will justify his personal leadership and policy preferences by constructing a historical narrative, because he hopes to obtain violations of the norms at the party’s 20th Congress next fall. The third term of leadership,” Eurasia Group China and Northeast Asia analyst Neil Thomas wrote in a report.

Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, he has promoted his own state-centered political ideology, commonly known as “Xi Thought.”

The official report on this week’s “historical resolution” called him “the main founder of Xi Jinping’s thoughts on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era” and consolidated Xi Jinping’s political leadership.

Han Wenxiu, executive vice minister of the Central Financial Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China, said that economic development has always been the “front and center” of the Communist Party. He mentioned a meeting held in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping began to allow foreign companies to enter China.

“As socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, development has been given new connotations,” Han said.

“We should abandon the old development path,” he said, noting that high-quality development is now more important-just like recognizing that “green mountains and green waters are priceless treasures.” Han insisted that Beijing is still willing to “open up” and continue to participate in the global economy.

China’s business plan

This year, Beijing’s crackdown on Internet technology companies, tutoring companies, and real estate developers caught many foreign investors and companies by surprise.

The tech giants then tried to show that they were in line with Beijing’s pursuit of “shared prosperity” and focused on the moderate wealth of all people, not just a few. This means solving social problems such as the high cost of living and imminent labor shortages in a rapidly aging population.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said in a statement that Xi Jinping’s view is that “ideological challenges are a threat to national security.”This will “show that there is greater effort in shaping’ideological education’ across the country, and may adopt an anti-Western tone. However, there is almost no mention of economic reforms, which shows that the current tendency [regulatory] The intervention will continue. “

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

Chinese officials did not directly answer questions on Friday that policy targets may be affected by the slowdown in economic growth.

Han of the Economic Affairs Office said, “Entrepreneurs have many ways to contribute to common prosperity, the most basic of which is to operate in good faith in accordance with the law.” Han said that he stole money from the rich to help the poor by forcibly donating money from the “Robin Hood”. People “will run counter to the original idea of ​​common prosperity.”

He also stated that “the right way to contribute to shared prosperity” includes paying taxes, fulfilling “social responsibility”, and treating employees and customers well.

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