Fatal flaws in the Soviet system, or the Stalin curse, led to the eventual demise of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. These systemic flaws had different manifestations at different levels of the system. The current CCP leadership is aware of these problems and has tried hard to avoid travelling down the same path of the Soviet Union, but tinkering with the same Leninist vanguard party is not going to ensure its survival. Instead, a new model of party building is needed to break the Stalin curse.
Heightened gestures of corporate social responsibility and outright donations from major companies have been declared since the Chinese government’s recent push for “common prosperity”. Are these simply knee-jerk reactions to the government’s stance? Can companies be encouraged to be more socially responsible in the long term? China is all abuzz with talk on ways to achieve common prosperity.
Based on the experience of the Cold War, the US can see merit in letting the enemy undo itself in its strategy against China. For the Soviet Union, it was the ills of Stalinist socialism and the failure of the command economy. For China, will its inherent contradictions lead to its own unravelling?
The Chinese authorities’ recent moves to regulate industries from internet platforms to tutoring to gaming have prompted fears of a new Cultural Revolution. Despite benign intentions expressed and a clear line drawn in the sand on history, what are people so afraid of? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong ponders the question.
China has set itself the goal of achieving "common prosperity" in the coming years, after realising its goal of "building a moderately prosperous society in all respects". Chinese academic Luo Zhiheng describes this ideal society which is the opposite of a society plagued by a serious wealth gap — people should look forward to improving their quality of life and not worry about their basic needs; social safety nets should also provide basic livelihood protection for the disadvantaged groups. He outlines how China can realise this ideal by harnessing the strength of all who are able and who have "gotten rich first" during the reform and opening up process.
The sixth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the penultimate one before the end of the current term, will be held this November. The CPC has historically focused on issues of ideology and party building during such plenary sessions. Analysts believe the meeting will summarise the achievements of the CPC particularly during President Xi Jinping's era and point the way to future development. However, will there be reflections of previous mistakes and lessons, including a reassessment of the June Fourth incident?
While Marxism failed 30 years ago in the case of the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist Party of today claims that it owes its success to the “theoretical advantage” of Marxism. However, rather than hanging on to ideological orthodoxy, a revolution of ideologies is needed to steer the building of an inclusive and harmonious society undergoing the fourth industrialisation. In the new paradigm, much thought will need to go into thinking through knotty issues such as the role of the market in socialism, the value of labour in a hi-tech economy and the role that entrepreneurs can play as builders of socialism.
With the appointment of Shi Xiaolin as Chengdu party secretary making her the youngest top provincial official, the higher-ups in the Chinese Communist Party seem to be paving the way for the rise of a younger batch of leaders in their 50s and a wider slate of women in leadership roles. Will this position be sustained?
The Chinese Ministry of Education has announced that Xi Jinping Thought will be integrated into the school curriculum from primary to university level. What does this mean for students, and what is the aim of the authorities? Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong takes a closer look.