Category Archives: chinese culture

Linfen Church Demolition

The Linfen Church Demolition
What We Know and What We Don’t Know
By Joann Pittman ⋅ Jan 15, 2018 ⋅ Topic: Church and State

Security officials demolished the Jindeng Tai Church building in the coal-mining city of Linfen, Shanxi province. It didn’t take long for the news and shocking pictures of the destruction to make its way into the news worldwide.

The Guardian posted a video of the demolition:

Here are some things we know and don’t know about the church and the incident.

What We Know

The name of the church that was demolished is Jindeng Tai (金灯台), which translates “Golden Lampstand.” It is an unregistered church, which means that it is not affiliated with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement or the China Christian Council. Being unregistered means that it has no legal status, even though it claims to have 50,000 members, or followers. It is led by husband/wife pastors Wang Xiaoguang and Yang Rongli, who started the church in 1992.

This is not the first time the church has had a run-in with the authorities. Andrew Kaiser, in his book about the history of Christian missions in China, The Rushing on of the Purposes of God, writes:

“In the post-Olympic years, however, state resistance to the increasingly vocal and confident Christian community became more and more common.  The September 2009 detention and imprisonment of several pastors at Fushan and Golden Lampstand (Jin Dengtai) churches from the unregistered Linfen Church garnered international attention. The violence of the confrontations, with supposedly hundreds of thugs representing the security forces beating worshipers and destroying property at both sites, was particularly egregious. Nevertheless, the buildings had not received construction approval and the fifty-thousand member church was not legally registered, and so with little or no due process the church leaders received long sentences. (p. 251)”

Local authorities claim that demolition is part of a campaign against “illegal buildings,” and that the church never secured the necessary permits to build.

What We Don’t Know

We don’t know what triggered the incident at this time. Campaigns against illegal structures are common in China so it is certainly possible that this church and its building are caught up in that.

It is also possible that, given the tighter religious regulations that are scheduled to go into effect on February 1, officials (illegal structure campaign or not) felt emboldened to go after the church. Or perhaps it’s a combination of both.

While this may not be a popular thing to say, we probably won’t know which of those two contexts and factors is the main driver of this incident. I suspect it is a combination of both.

At “ChinaSource” we will continue to monitor the situation in China as these new regulations begin to take effect, and pray for our brothers and sisters there who face an increasingly tight environment.

Image credit: Screen shot of the video published by The Guardian supplied by ChinaAid.

Joann Pittman
Joann Pittman is Senior Vice President of ChinaSource. She is the editor of ZGBriefs and Chinese Church Voices, as well as a regular contributor to ChinaSource publications. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and most recently,… View Full Bio


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China’s Forced Abortions

Forced Abortions Continue in China Under “Two-Child Policy.”’

The Congressional Executive Commission on China has released its 2017 Report, which contains documentation of continued “forced abortion” under China’s Two-Child Policy.

“Chinese authorities continue to actively promote and implement coercive population planning policies that violate international standards,” the Congressional Report declares in its section titled “Population Control.”

The two-child policy regulations “include provisions that require couples to be married to have children and limit them to bearing two children,” with coercive population control at the heart of enforcement of the new regulations, it states.

“Officials continue to enforce compliance with population planning targets using methods including heavy fines, job termination, arbitrary detention, and coerced abortion,” the report states.

Some provincial-level Chinese population planning rules continue to explicitly instruct officials to carry out abortions, often referred to as “remedial measure” for “out-of-plan” illegal pregnancies, with some provinces urging functionaries to “use all means necessary” in enforcing the regulations.

When China announced that it was “abandoning” its draconian one-child policy in 2015, the claim was met with skepticism among critics, who contended that the move substantially changed nothing, since the communist government still asserts “absolute control” over families and will continue to “enforce” its will with coercion.

Critics such as Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, have said that the new Congressional Report vindicates their warnings at the time. Littlejohn told Breitbart News: “Under the Two-Child Policy, single women are still forcibly aborted, as are third children.”

Back in 2015, Littlejohn remarked that any mention of human rights was “noticeably absent” from the Communist party’s announcement. “Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception, she said.

The news media at the time bought into the story that China had “abandoned” or “scrapped” its One-Child Policy, a depiction that Littlejohn called “demonstrably false.”

The new report also states that the sex ratio at birth reported by the Chinese government themselves indicates that the selective abortion of “baby girls” continues unabated under the new policy.

Although Chinese authorities continue to officially frown on sex-selective abortion, “some people reportedly continue the practice in response to government imposed birth limits and in keeping with a traditional cultural preference for sons,” the report declares.

According to a National Bureau of Statistics Report, the sex ratio at birth in 2015 was 113.5 males born for every 100 females born, a disproportion that could only be achieved through “sex-selective” abortion.

Years of such sex-selective “favoring” of boys has resulted in an estimated 33 to 37 million more males living in China than females.

This imbalance is fueling sex trafficking from multiple nations into China “for forced marriage or commercial sexual exploitation” to help fill the gender gap.

“China’s Two-Child Policy continues the human rights abuses and gender-based violence of the One-Child Policy,” Littlejohn stated, while noting that “China remains firmly on the path to demographic disaster” due to its dangerously low birthrate.

China “should be offering incentives for couples to have babies, not forcibly aborting ‘illegal’ pregnancies,” Littlejohn added.

Chinese Mother Forced Into Abortion
Stop Forced Abortion! An Open Letter to Xi and Obama
The Consequences of Forced Abortions
Corpse Brides, Forced Abortions

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Chinese Catholic Church

The Chinese Communist party has proclaimed the independence of the nationalized Catholic church from Rome, insisting that the church adhere to a program of “self-governance.”

In a statement released after this week’s National Congress of Chinese Catholic Representatives in Beijing, participants reasserted the autonomy of the Chinese Catholic Church from Rome.

“Sticking to the principle of independence and self-governance as well as a system of national congresses embodies the self-esteem and confidence of the Catholic Church in China. They are the foundation of the church’s existence,” the statement read.

Under the guise of local church “autonomy,” Beijing has sought greater control over the Catholic Church in China, insisting that bishops be named by the local Chinese Catholic community under the auspices of the Communist party. It has also refused to acknowledge the authority of the Pope in ecclesiastical decisions, claiming that as head of a foreign state, the Pope has no right to interfere in local matters.

The Catholic Church in China has been split into underground and open communities since 1958, with the latter going by the title of the Patriotic Catholic Association under immediate control of the Communist party. A Vatican document of 1988 barred Roman Catholics from participating in the sacraments of the Patriotic Church, since the association “had broken all relationships with the pope” and would be “under the direct control of the government.”

The latest power play follows on a progressive assertion of state control over religious bodies under the regime of President Xi Jinping. As Beijing continues to tighten its grip on religious practice, however, more and more Christians are opting out of the official, state-recognized church and heading underground.

Currently, some six million Catholics have refused to join churches recognized by the Communist party and have chosen to worship in illegal “house churches,” where they can remain loyal to the Vatican.

For many Chinese Catholics faithful to Rome, this meeting of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Chinese Bishops Conference resembles a “a staged theatrical representation” more than a true assembly of a community of faith.

In the meeting, senior Communist party leader Yu Zhengsheng told participants that Catholics should “run their church independently and better integrate it into society.”

“The church should adhere to the principles of self-administration, run religious affairs independently and guide believers to adhere to the Sinicization path of the religion,” he said, referring to a Chinese identity free of western influence.

Yu’s words were echoed by Patriotic Bishop Ma Yinglin, who said in his closing speech that the Chinese Catholic Church will stick to its Sinicization path, adapt to the socialist society and align itself closely with the Communist Party of China with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core.

Bishop Ma, who was excommunicated by the Vatican in 2006, was re-elected as president of the Bishops Conference of Catholic Church of China.

Earlier, Wang Zuoan, head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), said that the Chinese church should “lead Catholic personnel and followers in line with the CPC [Communist Party of China] Central Committee, with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the core.”

Although the Chinese Communist party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now surpassed by an estimated 100 million Christians in China, which helps explain Beijing’s intense crackdown on Christian groups.

Christianity is growing so fast in China that some predict that it will be the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years.

The greatest growth is occurring in unofficial Protestant “house churches” and in the underground Catholic church, outside the official state-sanctioned churches considered subservient to the Communist party.


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China increases its crackdown on Catholics
Catholic Church in China
Catholics are deeply disturbed that the Vatican is cozying up to China’s repressive regime
Catholicism in China Today
China’s Catholics

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China’s Day of Shame

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

China’s state newspaper the Global Times reported Wednesday that Communist Party officials in some municipalities have banned members from “celebrating” Christmas in yet another way to fight an alleged “cultural invasion” of China by the West.

The article notes that one chapter of the China Communist Youth League (CCYL) has labeled Christmas “China’s Day of Shame.”

The piece highlights the work of communist officials in Hengyang City in Hunan province, where they have decreed that party members “resist the rampant Western festival.” The order also bans any member of the Communist Party from celebrating Christmas “so as to build a good image of Party officials.”

The CCYL has also generally targeted Christmas as a blight upon the nation, publishing posts on its official social media that state that “Christmas is China’s day of shame”and good communists reject “cultural invasion.”

Youth Leagues at universities — where students may be most open to experiencing different cultures — have also ramped up their “attacks” on Christmas this year.

The UK Telegraph reports that the CCYL of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University posted notices this month around campus banning any activity that could be interpreted as a celebration of Christmas “in order to guide the youth league members in building cultural confidence and resisting the corrosion caused by Western religious culture.”

The group also reportedly hung up banners boasting slogans like “Strive to be outstanding sons and daughters of China, oppose kitsch Western holidays” and “Resist the expansion of Western culture.”

The persecution and attempt to “eliminate” Christianity from China has become a growing campaign under Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who emphasizes “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as the dominant ideology — and, arguably, faith — of his country.

Years ago, Chinese police would target only openly Christian acts during Christmas, such as affirmations of faith. In 2014, for example, Chinese police arrested a woman for holding up a sign in public reading: “God, who loves the world so much, is calling Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan,” referring to the leader and the first lady.

The “Strive to be outstanding sons and daughters of China, oppose kitsch western holidays” banners still went up, and Christmas activities limited.

Christians actively practicing their “faith” are increasingly sought-after police targets. This month, police raided a church and “arrested” thirteen Christians for praying at an “illegal” service on Sunday in Guangdong province.

While no specifics on the charges facing the individuals are yet available, the advocacy group “China Aid” has revealed that police confiscated “illegal” Bibles and Christian materials found in the church.

In addition to “targeting” Christians, the Global Times notes that Hengyang and Beijing have “banned” anyone of any religion from making and selling “artificial snow” to observe the holiday, punishing this behavior with “a heavy fine.”

To “compete” with Christmas this year, China is debuting the world’s largest ice exhibition, the “Harbin Ice and Snow World” park, on Christmas Day.

The more secular aspects of Christmas — the bright holiday lights and scramble to shop for presents — remains an active part of Chinese life in places like Shanghai that depend more heavily on foreigners and host foreign, especially Western, businesses.

While Chinese citizens may not be allowed to decorate, “for many brands Christmas provides an opportunity to position themselves as international, modern and fun – characteristics that typically appeal to China’s much sought-after Millennial’s and provide plenty of branded Selfie-opportunities,” Forbes notes.

In rural China, where the Communist Party may have a less pronounced presence, Beijing has only just begun to “flex its muscles.”

Last month, Communist officials began visiting residents of villages in rural Jiangxi and ordering them to remove images of “Jesus” in their living rooms and replace them with “portraits” of Xi Jinping.

The individuals were “warned” that the government would deny them needed “aid packages” if they did not hide their “Christian” images in their bedrooms or other places where guests would not encounter them.

Chinese Authorities Ban Christmas, Call It ‘Western Spiritual Pollution’
Police Raid Worship Service
China’s Ice and Snow World park to open on Christmas Day
China Urges Rural Christians to Replace Jesus Images with Xi Jinping

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China’s War On Faith

“A narrow-minded soul would view any difference as opposition and diversity as adversary. But to a broad-minded one, difference means richness in colors and postures, and diversity embodies unity and harmony,” Mr. Ye Xiaowen at Chung Chi College of Chinese University of Hong Kong stated in 2001.

If you go back a few decades, Mao Zedong stated that, “Atheism must take the place of belief in a God,” according to his writings. And, if you go back even further, Karl Marx, the founding theorist of communist ideology, called religion, famously, the “opiate of the masses,” and that, “communism begins where atheism begins.”

What’s the underlying conflict in these many opinions, though? The reality versus the conceptualized world of philosophy and political ideology.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), has long been a threat to the faithful living in the realms of the post-modern communistic state. Recently, Freedom House conducted research on the ability of faith practitioners to exercise their beliefs in the communist led state. As expected, per the track record of the Chinese government’s respect of freedom of faith in the past, the faithful are persecuted and repressed at record levels.

Christian denominations, such as main stream Catholicism and Protestantism, make a major cross-section of the accused, based on the Freedom House analysis. Despite a resurgence of faith within the Chinese state, the government has doubled its efforts to crack down on these religious groups.

Christians aren’t the only ones to be singled out either. Though Christians have been classified of being at “high” risk for persecution, members of the Falun Gong, the Uighur Muslims, and Buddhists from Tibet are considered to be at “very high” risk of persecution. Nevertheless, when all of these groups are lumped together, hundreds of millions of people are being persecuted for differing ideology outside the evident rule of atheistic, statist regime.

In fact, based on other recent analysis on the matters, China has, “increased internet surveillance and heavy sentences handed down to human rights lawyers, micro bloggers, grassroots activists, and religious believers.” Other regulation of thought and faith have put several in these communities, in addition, in compromising scenarios that end in the continued deprivation of personal liberties and human rights.

For the past five years, control and repression policies have become tighter on the religious Chinese. And, sadly, the severity of punishments still remains at gruesome highs. Most notable, the practice of forced organ harvesting, brought to light by the massive disappearance of Falun Gong practitioners, persists.

The faithful in the country, admirably, still feel reserved in their beliefs and want to stand up for it.

We need to account for these risks, as well. China’s human rights record is dismal and only getting worse. As the Heritage Foundation argued on 2010, China must account for its restriction of religious practice with an American China policy holding to country accountable through all possible means for violating the most basic human rights of its citizens.

The Ongoing War Against Religion in China
Spreading the Faith Where Faith Itself Is Suspect
When Will China Become the World’s Largest Christian Country?
Chinese Communist Party’s Futile War Against Religion
Cardinal: Vatican Will ‘Sell Out’ Underground Church

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China Bans Children from Church

In one of its more drastic moves to date, China’s ruling Communist Party has issued notices warning Christian parents not to take their children to church or they “will be dealt with severely.”

In their latest attack on Christianity, authorities have told more than a hundred Christian churches that children are now forbidden from attending church services and joining Christian groups. The latest move may respond in part to a new study from the University of Shanghai, which found that more than 60 percent of students are interested in learning more about Christianity and that young catechumens in official and underground Christian communities have been steadily increasing in number.

In August, communist officials issued notices to over a hundred churches in Wenzhou, within the largely Christian Zhejiang province, informing Christians that children are no longer permitted to enter any church. The notices stated that minors attempting to enter a church would be turned away at the door, even if accompanied by their parents.

Along with students, school teachers have also been banned from attending church. The Yonglin district instructed schools that “the higher authorities strictly forbid all secondary and primary school teachers, students and toddlers to join Catholic or Protestant churches.”

Chinese authorities have justified their action by alleging that church attendance and religious instruction keep young persons from developing “a correct worldview and set of values.”

“Minors receiving religious education and formation too early in churches would seriously affect the normal implementation of the education system,” the Ouhai district’s notice declared.

Authorities further warned church leaders that government inspectors will “launch open and undercover investigations” on Sundays in both state-sanctioned churches and underground communities to enforce the ban.

“There have also been attacks on Sunday school,” a pastor told the Vision Times. “It is very serious… This is very disrespectful to human rights, and we are firmly opposed… We really don’t know why authorities are doing this.”

The new norms not only forbid children from attending church service, but also prohibit minors from joining any Christian group, taking part in any religious activities or listening to sermons. The Communist authorities have also ruled that Christians may no longer run summer camps for children.

The new measures are part and parcel of China’s draconian policy on religion, and against Christianity in particular.

According to the International Religious Freedom Report (IRFP) released in August, the Chinese Communist government “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups” throughout 2016.

The abuse of people of faith in their religious practice included members of unregistered Christian churches (also known as “house churches”), the State Department’s annual report added.

The IRPF noted that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to exert absolute control over religious activities in the country. “Only religious groups belonging to one of the five state-sanctioned ‘patriotic religious associations’ (Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant) were permitted to register with the government and officially permitted to hold worship services,” the report stated.

This means that any religious group that does not submit to state control, such as the Roman Catholic Church or Christian “house churches,” has no official status in the country and is subject to regular sanctions and arbitrary harassment.

Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has designated China as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

We mustpray” for those in China who fight against “religious persecution” as the government attempts to erase any knowledge of the “one true God” of the universe.

China bans children from attending church services
Chinese authorities ban children going to churches
China bans children teachers from churches

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Emperor For Life

Five years ago, Xi was basically unknown in Chinese politics. Now he has been lifted to the status of the hallowed Mao Zedong. What does this mean for Beijing and the world?

Walking through the streets and hutongs of China’s vast capital city Beijing, it does not take long to notice that two faces are virtually everywhere. They peer benevolently at shoppers from countless commemorative key chains and plates.

They look out at bustling streets from the covers of books, magazines and newspapers. They gaze with Mona Lisa smiles upon pedestrians from larger-than-life posters.

They are the faces of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping. Mao was the founder of the People’s Republic of China who ruled the nation with an iron fist from 1949 until his death in 1976. Xi is the nation’s current leader.

The fact that Xi’s status is now equal to that of the legendary authoritarian Mao has sobering implications.

From Obscurity to Potency 

Five years ago, Xi Jinping was an obscure figure in Chinese politics. The public knew little about him except that his wife was a celebrity singer, and that his father had been a comrade to Chairman Mao. As Xi assumed the office of General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in November 2012, many experts believed he would lead in the tradition of his most recent predecessors, unobtrusively and unambitiously maintaining the status quo. But Xi’s first five-year term confounded those early forecasts.

Instead of maintaining the “first among equals” style of leadership used by his recent predecessors, he adopted a strongman approach. He bypassed State Council authorities by forming policy making party groups, many of which he chairs himself. He took personal control of writing policy on everything from China’s economy and international relations to its environmental strategies and Internet regulations. He implemented painful military reforms that positioned him as unchallenged commander in chief of the enormous People’s Liberation Army. “He not only controls the military but also does it in an absolute manner,” said Shanghai-based military affairs commentator Ni Lexiong. And Xi has used his military power to assert China’s authority on the global stage.

Xi also waged an anti-corruption campaign resulting in the arrest or imprisonment of many CCP members and others being fired from important government positions and, in many cases, incarcerated.

These moves placed Xi at the center of what Time’s Hannah Beech called “a personality cult not seen in the People’s Republic since the days when frenzied Red Guards cheered Chairman Mao’s launch of the Cultural Revolution” (March 31, 2016).

Here is an important reminder: “Under Mao’s despotic reign, between 65 and 75 million people were starved, tortured, bullied to suicide, or executed as traitors.”

Lifted to Mao’s Level

During his first term, Xi accumulated more power than any Chinese leader since Mao. But that was not the end of his rise. About the time that his first term ended in October, the CCP held its 19th National Congress. And as powerful as Xi was when this once-every-five-years meeting began, he emerged from it considerably more so.

At the Congress, Xi unveiled the new lineup in China’s top decision-making bodies, the 25-member Politburo and seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Both are now heavily stacked with Xi loyalists. These individuals are unlikely to challenge Xi in any meaningful way, thus greatly strengthening his grip on the most important levers of government.

Another momentous outcome from the Congress was Xi’s break from the convention of naming a successor. Precedent stipulates that after a president completes his first term, he and the CCP name his successor during the National Congress. Five years later, after the president finishes his second term, the named successor becomes the new president. Xi’s decision not to name a successor at the 19th Congress strongly indicates that he has no plans to relinquish power at the 20th Congress in 2022. This would give him an unprecedented third term and position him to rule China for the rest of his life.

Also notable was that none of the new Standing Committee members are younger than 60. This is the pool from which the next president is selected. And since committee members serve two five-year terms, and since CCP guidelines say Chinese politicians should retire at age 68, none of these men would be eligible to serve for two terms as Xi’s successor.

Even more astonishing about the 19th Congress was the CCP’s decision to etch Xi Jinping’s name and personal ideology into the Party Constitution.

This is the rarest of honors. Both of Xi’s most recent predecessors, presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, made contributions to the Constitution, but neither was named in the document. Even the contributions of the revered Deng Xiaoping were never named after him while he led China. Only after Deng’s death in 1997 was his name added alongside his contributions.

The only other sitting ruler to have his name and ideology written into the Constitution was Chairman Mao. This essentially equates “Xi Thought” with “Mao Thought,” lifting the president’s status to the level as that of the near-mythical and notoriously despotic Mao.

The message this sends to Xi’s potential rivals is that to defy him at this point would be ideological heresy. It makes any challenge to his power equal to an assault on the CCP itself. “I think it’s intended to give Xi an ideological status that can’t be challenged, like Mao in that sense,” said Beijing-based analyst Wu Qiang.

Asian affairs analyst Chris Buckley said this also means “Xi Thought” will now permeate all aspects of China. “While there may be no ‘Little Red Book’ of quotations for mass consumption like in the bygone Mao era, Mr. Xi’s thinking will now infuse every aspect of party ideology in schools, the media and government agencies” (New York Times, Oct. 24, 2017).

Preparing for a Turbulent Era 

It would be easy to view Xi’s rise as the result of an ambitious individual maneuvering to make himself an authoritarian. But his rapid ascent could not have happened without the full consent and assistance of the upper echelons of the CCP.

The Chinese elite see that the global order is unraveling. They see American power declining and leadership vacuums opening up. They see that the international stage is primed for conflict, that there is a chance for China to take advantage of the volatility and to emerge as a superpower.

There is clear recognition in the highest echelons of Chinese power that, in order to attain superpower status, China’s 1.4 billion people will need a ruler whose hands are not bound by red tape and who is not limited by checks and balances. They need a strongman at the helm who is free of political encumbrances and capable of streamlined decision-making. They need a new Mao.

It was based on these sentiments that the CCP elite created room for Xi’s political star to rise so rapidly and so high. Now he is the man who will guide China into the turbulent new era.

The fact that Xi’s face in China is now as ubiquitous as Mao’s is deeply significant. His ongoing rise and increasing control over China’s military and foreign policy is vital to watch, as it indicates how the Chinese president could fall in line with his fellow strongman in Russia, and how China will be brought onto its collision course with Europe. It also indicates how near this future clash could be.

Vladimir Putin is Russia’s most powerful leader since Joseph Stalin. Some of his countrymen consider him Russia’s 21st-century czar.

Xi Jinping is China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. During the 19th Party Congress in October, Xi formalized his total control over the Communist Party, which controls all of China. He is now poised to rule “China for life.”

The ideology that is now certain to infuse so much of Chinese culture is officially called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics in a New Era.” Unwieldy as it may be, that phrase is saturated with significance.

“Xi Jinping thought” consists of 14 key principles. They include handing “absolute authority” of the military to the CCP; reforming the rule of law; closely following socialism with Chinese characteristics; and pursuing environmental conservation.

Its foundational message is that China must continue its rise to become the primary world power. During Xi’s first five years in office, this ambition had already prompted him to focus his attention on muzzling domestic dissent, boosting China’s military power, and earning Beijing a larger role in international affairs. With Xi’s eponymous ideas enshrined in the Constitution, the president will now be able to push toward these goals with redoubled intensity.

Also included in the constitutional revision were the formalization of several of Xi’s core policy initiatives, including his “One Belt, One Road” plan to build infrastructure linking China to the West, and his desire to boost the government’s role in China’s economy.

The most important phrase of the “Xi Thought” expression is “new era.” Xi breaks China’s modern history down into three main epochs: Chairman Mao “liberated” the nation; Deng Xiaoping made it “wealthier;” now in this “new era,” Xi is making it “strong.”

Has Xi Jinping Become “Emperor for Life”?
Xi Jinping ‘Emperor for Life’. But really?

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