Xi Jinping: “Immeasurable Splendor, many Tribulations”

The following is an excerpt from Xi Jinping’s acceptance speech on March 13 after his “re-election” as State Chairman of the PRC.

It starts with some pseudo-history: Xi doesn’t explicitly place “semi-colonialism” and “semi-feudalism” into the same number of years or centuries, but whoever would like to take away the impression that everything that went wrong in China was the fault of foreign imperialists is free to do so.

20230313_xi_jinping_on_his_way
Oh-so honored

This has become part of building narratives in Chinese propaganda; Xi took a similar approach when “retelling” the history of the Korean War. in 2020. The guise of innocence in international relations isn’t as much about openly lying, but to leave any aspects out of the stories that might be inconvenient.

Main Link: Speech at the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (在第十四届全国人民代表大会第一次会议上的讲话)

Delegates!
各位代表:

This assembly has elected me Chairman of the PRC for another term. I would like to express my sincere thanks for the trust all delegates and all the country’s nationalities have placed in me!
这次大会选举我继续担任中华人民共和国主席,我对各位代表和全国各族人民的信任,表示衷心感谢!
This is my third term at the sublime position as State Chairman. The people’s trust is my main motivation for further progress, and also a heavy responsibility to sholder. I will faithfully fulfill my duties as assigned by the constitution, with the needs of the state as my mission, the people’s interests as the criteria, I will work with devotion, wholeheartedly and respectfully, and never betray the great trust of the delegates and all the country’s nationalities!
这是我第三次担任国家主席这一崇高职务。人民的信任,是我前进的最大动力,也是我肩上沉甸甸的责任。我将忠实履行宪法赋予的职责,以国家需要为使命,以人民利益为准绳,恪尽职守,竭诚奉献,绝不辜负各位代表和全国各族人民的重托!

Delegates!
各位代表!

In it’s 5,000 years of civilizational history, the Chinese nation has created immeasurable splendor, and also been through many tribulations. During modernity1), China, step by step, became a semicolonial and semifeudal society, suffering from the great powers’ bullying and humiliation, being partitioned, undergoing the chaos of war, and the bitterness of the people being in terrible situations. The Communist Party of China has, after its foundation, tightly united and led all nationalities and people of the country, gone through a century of struggle, wiped out the national humiliation, the Chinese people has become master of its own destiny, the Chinese people have welcomed the huge leap2) from standing up to getting rich, from getting rich to becoming strong. The Chinese nation has taken an irreversible historical turn.
具有五千多年文明史的中华民族,在历史上创造了无数辉煌,也经历过许多磨难。近代以后,中国逐步成为半殖民地半封建社会,饱受列强欺凌、四分五裂、战乱频繁、生灵涂炭之苦。中国共产党成立之后,紧紧团结带领全国各族人民,经过百年奋斗,洗雪民族耻辱,中国人民成为自己命运的主人,中华民族迎来了从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃,中华民族伟大复兴进入了不可逆转的历史进程。

From now on to this mid-century, comprehensively building a strong, modern socialist country and promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the entire party’s, the entire country’s and the entire people’s central duty. The relay baton of building a strong country and of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people has been assigned to us by history. In accordance with the party’s 20th National Congress’s srategic arrangements, we will coordinate and promote the general concept of the “Integration of the Five Dimensions”, coordinate the concept of the “Four Comprehensives”, accelerate the construction of Chinese-style modernization, unite and struggle, pioneer and innovate, and make contributions on the new journey that live up to the era, to history, to the people’s achievements, so as to promote the construction of a strong country and to the national rejuvenation!
从现在起到本世纪中叶,全面建成社会主义现代化强国、全面推进中华民族伟大复兴,是全党全国人民的中心任务。强国建设、民族复兴的接力棒,历史地落在我们这一代人身上。我们要按照党的二十大的战略部署,坚持统筹推进“五位一体”总体布局、协调推进“四个全面”战略布局,加快推进中国式现代化建设,团结奋斗,开拓创新,在新征程上作出无负时代、无负历史、无负人民的业绩,为推进强国建设、民族复兴作出我们这一代人的应有贡献!

[…]

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Notes

1) Seems this could be translated as after modernity, but that wouldn’t make sense to me because 近代 – among Chinese, and not among Americans or Taiwanese – usually refers to the times from around 1912 and 1949. Among the latter, it would be from the late Ming dynasty to 1912.
2) not to be confused with the “great leap forward” (see “Gasps of Admiration”, Xi’s “Resisting U.S., aiding Korea” commemorative speech, 2020)

2 Comments to “Xi Jinping: “Immeasurable Splendor, many Tribulations””

  1. I am sure that there are plenty of people who fall for the old nationalist tropes of grandeur and humiliation, inferiority and superiority complex. It’s what the German Kaiser William II, Mussolini, Hitler, Trump and so on used. And it works. At least with a segment of the population.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Probably true. Besides, the only objects people in a totalitarian country can choose for their anger without much risk are foreigners and the world abroad. Uttering hate of their own leadership wouldn’t be sustainable.

    Like

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