The Landmark Congress: China on the Way to Xiaokang

The 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China has come to an end in Beijing. This important political event was generally unnoticed by Kazakhstan people, but politicians and experts around the world followed it closely.

The reason for this interest is quite simple – the party leaders of one of the largest economies of the world were deciding on where the country will be moving in next five years. The editorial board of Today.kz have analyzed the speech of Xi Jinping, Chairman of the People's Republic of China, and come up with a summary.

 

Towards the society of “moderate prosperity”

At 09:00 Beijing time, the Congress of the Communist Party began its work at the Great Hall of the People of the Chinese capital. All 2,338 participants stood up and chorused the anthem of the PRC, and then honored the memory of the deceased partisans with a minute of silence.

The general secretary of the party Xi Jinping came to the speaker’s stand. The meeting began.

The Chinese leader began his report with the announcement of the congress theme: "Remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and work tirelessly to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation."

The speech of Xi, which lasted 3.5 hours, has gone along these lines. Some general conclusions about the future path of China under the leadership of the Communist Party may be drawn from it.

The report consists of 13 parts, including the role of the party in the life of the country, the strengthening of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the construction of a “moderately prosperous society” – “xiaokang,” the creation of a modernized economic system, stimulating the flowering of socialist culture, expediting the reform of the system of ecological civilization and others.

Among the theses and slogans, the speaker also provided figures. For example, over the past five years, more than 60 million Chinese people have been freed from poverty, and China's gross domestic product has grown from 54 to 80 trillion yuan.

By the way, now the authorities will take on the “retrieving” from the “poor” of 43 million more citizens of the PRC, which, according to official statistics, are living below the poverty line. And that with a population of 1.3 billion people.

14 ideas of Xi

Following the results of the congress, delegates voted in favor of the “ideas” proposed by Xi, a document of 14 items that presented his vision of “socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.”

“The key results of the Congress were known long before the event, in particular, as expected, on the last day of the CCP Congress, the delegates voted to include the so-called “Xi Jinping ideas” in the Party's Charter. Thus, the incumbent chairman of the PRC, like “the great helmsman” Mao Zedong, became part of China's national law during his lifetime.

“The ideas of ​​Xi are represented in a document consisting of 14 items, proposing his vision of “socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.” Observers have generally noted that these points do not carry any new content. Nevertheless, the Xi team offers their own recipe for reform,” commented the Head of the Eurasian Studies program of the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Ruslan Izimov to Today.kz.

According to the expert, the congress held in Beijing can be called a “landmark one.” After it was over, it became clear what the future course of China would be, first of all, its domestic policy part.

“It was not known until the very end if Xi would continue the anti-corruption campaign, whether he would include personal theses and ideas in the Charter of the CPC, whether there would be new potential successors introduced to the Supreme Council of China, etc. To most of these questions, the answers were given but the critical one – the personnel – will only come tomorrow, when newly elected representatives of the Politburo Standing Committee come to the stage to participate in the first plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the 19th convocation,” added Izimov.

It should be noted here that in his speech Xi Jinping first outlined the strategy for the formation of a “modernized socialist state.” This work is to begin after the full construction of the “Xiaokang” society in 2020.

This is a “two-step” strategy: it is planned to “carry out the socialist modernization” in 2020-2035, then China should “rise to the level of the countries that are innovation leaders.” Over the next 15 years, that is, until 2050, the Celestial Empire is to be turned “into a rich and powerful, democratic and civilized, harmonious and beautiful modernized socialist state.” The country should come to be among the leading countries.

“This statement does not fit into the style of the former Chinese leaders and clearly contradicts the tenets of the “father of reforms” Deng Xiaoping. Therefore, it can be argued that China under Xi Jinping is moving to a more open form of manifestation of its potential and self-positioning,” commented Ruslan Izimov.

Is the third term of Xi possible?

The current subject of many discussions, especially abroad, is : “Will Xi Jinping leave the leader’s post after the second term?”

There are a lot of talks and discussions on  Xi Jinping’s “third term.” After the congress, one thing is certain – his “third term” will be at least as chairman of the Central Military Council of China – that is, for another few years after 2022, no more than five, he will control the army. And it is hard to say anything about the chairman post after 2022. I would not say “yes” or “no.” Perhaps, some details will be clear on October 25, after the promulgation of the new leadership of the key government bodies of China,” the IWEP expert believes.

Meanwhile, Xi Jinping, following the results of the Congress, was elected to the new composition of the Central Committee of the CCP. Besides him, there were also 201 party members, among whom, for example, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang. The Central Committee at its first plenum of the new convocation will determine the composition of the Politburo and its standing committee.

A few words on external vectors

At the last congress of the Chinese Communist Party, mainly domestic issues were discussed, as was expected. Little attention was paid to external topics. For example, in the part where “according to the combined national power and international influence,” the PRC should be among the leading countries.

Ruslan Izimov believes that significant changes in the foreign policy of the Celestial Empire should not be expected.

“I do not think that there will be any radical changes after the Congress in China's foreign policy, the Congress itself and its decisions mainly concerned the domestic political agenda.” The Chinese authorities will continue to pursue a balanced, far-sighted foreign policy as before, the Central Asian vector of Beijing's foreign policy will be closely connected with the implementation of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative, the expert noted.

This large-scale economic project, according to Izimov, has already become a kind of “foreign policy concept of the PRC in Central Asia and even wider on the Eurasian continent.” The Chinese authorities are expected to continue working to implement the initiative.

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