Chairman Xi – the Old Normal Cult

“How did one man come to embody China’s destiny?”, asks the BBC‘s China correspondent, Carrie Gracie. Part of the answer lies in the way the BBC designs her article – The Thoughts of Chairman Xi. Opening it, you feel as if you enter that Yan’an “cave” museum yourself. And as this is a global village, the design also resembles CCTV’s doxology.

Editors and designers – click picture above for CCTV webpage

Now, what made Xi Jingping the man who “embody’s China’s destiny”?

I’m forever a son of the yellow earth,

Gracie quotes Xi.

But the real explanation is much more simple. Xi is his father’s son. That’s not just one aspect of the story – it’s the one that really matters. The rest is useful flattery, written by the man’s hand-picked propagandists.

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Related

How yellow was my Hometown, Febr 14, 2015
How safe will he be in 2023, Dec 13, 2014
Towering, March 18, 2013
Cross-legged on the kang, Jan 13, 2013
How they cried, Dec 24, 2012
Outgoing and incoming dictators, Jan 6, 2012

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Upates

No heir apparent, BBC News, Oct 25. 2017

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8 Comments to “Chairman Xi – the Old Normal Cult”

  1. So: Xi – powerful, or not powerful?

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  2. Powerful – from what I can see, he’s been powerful from day one, because he’s been styled that way from day one. I was sure in 2012 that Chinese totalitarianism would grow, and I think I didn’t underestimate Hu Jintao’s willingness to make Xi look strong, but I doubt – at hindsight – that Hu’s faction would have had any chance to oppose Xi’s comprehensive powers anyway.

    Shouldn’t surprise me if we’d see a one-man dictatorship by 2023, and beyond.

    Here’s a FP article that seeks explanations (haven’t read it completely yet).

    Your take?

    Like

  3. Agreed on all points. The only thing I would add is I count the growth of CCP totalitarianism as starting in 2007, and that it did not begin with Xi’s assumption of power even though it may have accelerated then.

    Brezhnev ruled until he was 76 years old (though he is now not the longest-reigning post-Stalin Russian leader, as Putin has now ruled longer than Brezhnev). Xi will be 76 in 2029 – I see nothing in the CCP that will prevent him ruling until then.

    Apparently Hu Jintao has dedicated himself entirely to Chinese medicine and is no longer involved in politics, which is probably wise in his situation.

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  4. I count the growth of CCP totalitarianism as starting in 2007
    Which indicators do you see there, in 2007?

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  5. Mostly the tightening up of internet censorship around that time, plus there had been the idea that Hu might start a process of political liberalisation once he was secure in his position but by ’07 that clearly wasn’t going to happen, and people were realising that it wasn’t going to happen. ’08 then saw the Tibetan uprising and the nationalism around the Olympics.

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  6. ’08 then saw the Tibetan uprising and the nationalism around the Olympics.
    Do you think of the CCP’s tightening grip around that time as a sudden opportunity, provided to them by a spontaneous public nationalistic and anti-Western mood, or as a mood systematically scheduled by the CCP / its media?

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  7. “Do you think of the CCP’s tightening grip around that time as a sudden opportunity, provided to them by a spontaneous public nationalistic and anti-Western mood, or as a mood systematically scheduled by the CCP / its media?”

    Hard to say. My (wild-assed) guess is that the CCP had just got better at exploiting outbursts of nationalist sentiment. They had seen how it was possible to crank this kind of hysteria up in ’05 with the Anti-Japanese demonstrations, but that had a down-side in that it affected public stability when it started to look like it was getting out of control.

    ’08 was different in that it wasn’t (within China, outside Tibet) a street-protest phenomenon but largely online and in the media. The Olympics were a long-scheduled event, but the overseas protests against the torch-relay likely weren’t expected. When they came probably a lot of the outrage from people within China was genuine, but the way in which this outrage was directed against the foreign press was government-sanctioned, and indeed far more useful to the CCP than the silly threats to boycott Carrefour or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lets get serious. Xi may be the Philosopher King, El Jefe and the Maximun Leader all rolled into one, but he will die a disappointed man.

    China will never produce a world class football team.

    Liked by 1 person

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