Mao Zedong

A woman rides a bicycle along a street in Beijing, China, on 6 April 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Why China's 'peaceful rise' will be particularly difficult

EAI academic Lance Gore notes that China’s “peaceful rise” is a particular hard sell because it involves the rise of a major heterogeneous civilisational power, which is different from the mere transfer of hegemony between states from the same civilisation. Thus China needs to work on gaining acceptance from the international community by conveying the merits of its civilisational traits and avoiding pitfalls such as a reversion to cultural dead wood or failed Marxist orthodoxy.
Students take part in an evacuation drill in a primary school in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, 11 May 2022. (CNS)

China wants to create a new democratic system. Is that possible?

Domestic and external pressures compel China to face the issue of democracy. With growing affluence and diversity in the population, the government needs to find a way to incorporate various views that goes beyond the Mao-era “mass line”. In forging a new path, the Chinese Communist Party is feeling its way around bringing about a socialist neo-democracy, or what has been verbalised as “whole-process people’s democracy”. But what stands in the way of putting thought into action?
People wearing face masks stand in front of a painting of late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong, while waiting in line to enter a flagship merchandise store for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics before it opens, on Wangfujing Street in Beijing, China, 9 February 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Are the Chinese people the true masters of their country?

Lance Gore reflects on what Chinese Communist Party cadres today understand by the phrase “Serve the People”, stating that people in positions of power could either serve the people slavishly or ride roughshod over them. The impetus to do right by the populace is simply not ensured. As the authorities seek to get the people more involved in “whole-process democracy”, they will need to consider how the regime’s affinity with the people may be maintained in the absence of electoral democracy.
The Chinese national flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing, China, on 4 February 2022. (Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP)

Can socialist China change society's value orientation and triumph over the ills of capitalism?

An overhaul in its social value orientation is needed if China is to tackle the pressures on employment and social structures that the digital economy, artificial intelligence and smart automation will bring. Essentially, it should root out casino capitalism and the related social ills of “winner takes all”, “get rich quick”, “lying flat” and envy that have seeped into society. The Chinese Communist Party is making an effort but it will not be easy to abandon a purely material approach and prize other values that will raise the quality of life and elevate a civilisation.
A man takes a photo of a screen broadcasting Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering his New Year speech, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, on 31 December 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Is Chinese socialism superior?

Although the Chinese Communist Party believes in the great future of socialism, the basic contradictions of socialism that caused the demise of the Soviet Union are yet to be fully resolved in China, says Lance Gore. As a matter of fact, President Xi Jinping’s mantra of “returning to the party’s original mission” is inadvertently resurrecting some of the same problems that bedevilled classic communism.
People have their dinner at a restaurant as a screen broadcasts Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering his New Year speech in Beijing, China, on 31 December 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Can Xi Jinping ride the tiger year with success?

A Chinese idiom says: If you ride a tiger, it’s hard to get off! Since being handed the reins by the Communist Party of China a decade ago, Xi Jinping hasn’t experienced “the year of the tiger” according to the Chinese zodiac. He will be riding into the tiger year this crucial year of 2022. Speculations are running high in China as everyone is asking: does Xi know how to get off a tiger?
China Customs officers raise a Chinese flag during a rehearsal for a flag-raising ceremony along the Bund past buildings in the Lujiazui Financial District at sunrise in Shanghai, China, on 4 January 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The Chinese ruling party needs a new pact with the people to forge a more humane and self-confident nation

Lance Gore notes the transitional nature of the third historical resolution passed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) recently. It kept Pandora’s box closed, leaving issues of history unresolved. Will the CPC use a fourth historical resolution to build a pact with the people to forge a vibrant, humane, self-confident nation on the world stage?
Visitors stand near exhibits of rice paddy fields and a screen showing an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 11 November 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Provincial reshuffle: Post-70s generation cadres take up top positions in China

After the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party of China gradually instituted a system of leadership renewal so that the party would not face a “generational break” in the party’s leadership. At the provincial level, party leaders are typically in their 50s and seen to be in the prime of their lives and ready to ascend to even higher positions at the national level. Yu Zeyuan highlights the rising stars in this latest round of provincial movements.
A man stands in front of images of Chinese President Xi Jinping displayed at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 11 November 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Overseas culprits triggered Tiananmen incident; China will advance under Xi Jinping Thought: CPC's third historical resolution

Last week, the Communist Party of China (CPC) passed a resolution on historical issues, the third such resolution in its 100-year history. Analysing the text of the resolution, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at the way the CPC has shaped the narrative of the party’s history and how it has defined the guiding role of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in bringing China to its next lap of development.