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#PARPCC 21 – Put the PCC back at the center : Xi’s “ideological campaigns”

#PARPCC 21 – Put the PCC back at the center : Xi’s “ideological campaigns”

“Ideological campaigns” are a tool used to disseminate ideological messages and inflections to CCP cadres and beyond. They are a constant in the history of contemporary China. Since Mao's death, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin each led a. Hu Jintao, 2. Xi Jinping… cinq! What are the objectives pursued by Xi with the untimely use of these ideological campaigns??

Pour Michael Mittelstaedt, them 5 Xi Jinping's campaigns are divided into three phases: a first, in 2013, just after coming to power; another from 2015, and a last one between 2019 et 2023.

The first campaign (2013) relegated the problems of the people to the background, for the CCP to discuss…its own organization, and in particular the relationships of Party executives with its leaders. Continuing this “navel-gazing” orientation, the second wave (2015) defined what a “good cadre” of the Party is. She also encouraged her members to review their readings, and in particular the writings and speeches of Xi Jinping. The last wave (3 campaigns, of 2019 et 2023) armed Party members with ideological arguments relating to socialism “with Chinese characteristics”, Xi’s “signature” ideology. The year 2021 was that of a rereading of the history of the PCC, with the aim of changing the perception of the world and the place of China and the Party in it, and thus create an ideological base in support of public policies moving in the direction of the “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.

Xi's campaigns serve three distinct purposes: 1) establish the party as a prescriber unique (« the one and only ») of norms and values, 2) strengthen members’ loyalty to the Party and establish clear and shared rules of conduct 3) make competing discourses circulating within the Party or outside inaudible.

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In doing so, Xi's campaigns bring, selon Mittelstaedt, three breaks with his predecessors in terms of governance. First, the progressive move away from a society-Party dialogue in favor of a society “listening” to the Party. Ensuite, the shrinking of spaces allowing the expression of dissident voices within the CCP. Finally, the instrumentalization of the law, of the economy and education in the service of Party standards.

Reference : Mittelstaedt, Jean-Christopher (2023), «Party-Building Through Ideological Campaigns Under Xi Jinping”, Asian Survey, pp.1-27.

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