Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of ideological orthodoxy to ensure the power and legitimacy of Communist Party rule.
“The wavering of idealistic faith is the most dangerous form of wavering,” Mr. Xi told an assembly of party officials and members at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on July 1. “A political party’s decline often starts with the loss or lack of idealistic faith.”
“Turning our backs or abandoning Marxism means that our party would lose its soul and direction,” he said.
Mr. Xi has tried to energize the Communist Party with iron discipline and an appeal to nationalism meant to curb corruption and bureaucratic sluggishness — all with the aim of perpetuating the party’s power.
China’s economic slowdown has intensified the pressure to reinforce the party, including by appealing to national pride as expressed by China’s aggressive expansionism. But that, of course has met with increasing pushback from China’s neighbors.
“Xi’s speech was a celebration and a warning,” said Jude Blanchette, a Beijing-based researcher who is writing a book on Mao Zedong’s legacy, told The Wall Street Journal. It is “a reminder that Xi’s vision for China cannot be divorced from a strong, organized and highly disciplined Communist Party.”
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