Xi Reminds the Chinese People That Their Fealty Is to the CCP Amid Russia-Ukraine War

News Analysis While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to expand and grow more unpredictable, Beijing has taken the opportunity to reaffirm the one true guiding consideration in all of its policy stances, foreign or domestic: the primacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the necessary fealty that is subsequently demanded of its people. It should come as no surprise that the CCP position on the war in Ukraine would appear to be verbally muddled. The confusion caused by its seemingly contradictory stances is intentional. Now commonly being referred to as “pro-Russian neutrality,” Beijing continues to reiterate its support for the state sovereignty of Ukraine while paradoxically refusing to denounce Russian military actions. Instead, Beijing condemns only the United States for forcing Moscow’s hand through its reckless international behavior. This allows the CCP to opportunistically alter its stance as conditions change so as to ensure that China is always in a position to reap the maximum geopolitical benefits. Still, the CCP is watching the unfolding Ukraine crisis intently for other reasons as well. The European war includes issues that are not foreign to Chinese observers, including the following: disputed geographic territories and separatist movements; questions over government legitimacy, Western meddling and illegal power seizures; and the effect of public backlash, both foreign and domestic, on a regime’s geopolitical strategy. As such, CCP leader Xi Jinping and other organs of the Party have taken the opportunity over the past week to remind the Chinese people that they have only one duty, one responsibility, and one consideration in their political lives: to protect and guard the CCP. Replying to a letter from a group of police officers, Xi replied that the armed forces must always serve as the “faithful guardian” of the CCP and “the people.” He extolled the law enforcement groups’ desire and progress in learning the Party’s history and “carrying forward the great founding spirit” of the CCP. One wonders how the topic of the bloody Great Leap Forward or the murderous Cultural Revolution is broached for police officers in China. Chinese refugees queuing for a meal in Hong Kong in May 1962. During the famine caused by “The Great Leap Forward” Chinese policy, between 140,000 and 200,000 people were entered illegally at Hong Kong. (AFP via Getty Images) Was the role of state violence in crushing the Tiananmen Square protests covered? If it was, you can imagine how the Party instructs the armed cadres who may be called upon to do the very same, should their fellow countrymen ever dare to rise up again: “Protesters who embraced bourgeois culture attempted to betray the revolution and overthrow our glorious workers’ state. We can never let the capitalist oppressors return to power.” In another address, this time to students at the CCP Central Committee Party School, Xi told the young officials that they must “carry on the firm faith in Marxism and strive for the ideals of communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics.” He told those present to “rigorously abide by Party discipline and the law,” and encouraged them to “live a healthy and simple life and discipline their relatives.” Ostensibly, that would mean correcting the latter when they fail to properly praise the CCP and live by its authoritarian strictures. Many of those present will continue to rise in CCP leadership, ascending the ranks to staff some of the most important decision-making positions in the country. Xi continually stressed the need to put the interests of the Party and the people first, as the advancement of the former is equivalent to the advancement of the latter. Notably, Xi additionally spoke on the need to “maintain the spirit of struggle” in order to “safeguard China’s national sovereignty and security” as well as ensure the country’s “great rejuvenation.” The terminology of embracing hardship came up on multiple occasions during Xi’s speech, even telling the officials present that they should “avoid only addressing the immediate concerns of the people” if it has a negative long-term impact. This latter point is important. After a brief bounce-back due to rising Western demand as consumers emerged from economic lockdowns due to the CCP virus, consumption is likely to continue its shift from goods to services. This will be a problem for the export-oriented Chinese economy. As the country seeks to divest from the type of large debt-accruing investment projects in real estate and infrastructure, Beijing would also like to see increased investment in innovative sectors such as tech and semiconductor production. Unfortunately for the CCP, increasing regulation and controls on capital flows were recently enacted by Party leadership in order to stem the growing power and influence of privately owned firms. This hostile environment may have increased government control over the private sector,

Xi Reminds the Chinese People That Their Fealty Is to the CCP Amid Russia-Ukraine War

News Analysis

While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to expand and grow more unpredictable, Beijing has taken the opportunity to reaffirm the one true guiding consideration in all of its policy stances, foreign or domestic: the primacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the necessary fealty that is subsequently demanded of its people.

It should come as no surprise that the CCP position on the war in Ukraine would appear to be verbally muddled. The confusion caused by its seemingly contradictory stances is intentional. Now commonly being referred to as “pro-Russian neutrality,” Beijing continues to reiterate its support for the state sovereignty of Ukraine while paradoxically refusing to denounce Russian military actions.

Instead, Beijing condemns only the United States for forcing Moscow’s hand through its reckless international behavior. This allows the CCP to opportunistically alter its stance as conditions change so as to ensure that China is always in a position to reap the maximum geopolitical benefits.

Still, the CCP is watching the unfolding Ukraine crisis intently for other reasons as well. The European war includes issues that are not foreign to Chinese observers, including the following: disputed geographic territories and separatist movements; questions over government legitimacy, Western meddling and illegal power seizures; and the effect of public backlash, both foreign and domestic, on a regime’s geopolitical strategy.

As such, CCP leader Xi Jinping and other organs of the Party have taken the opportunity over the past week to remind the Chinese people that they have only one duty, one responsibility, and one consideration in their political lives: to protect and guard the CCP.

Replying to a letter from a group of police officers, Xi replied that the armed forces must always serve as the “faithful guardian” of the CCP and “the people.” He extolled the law enforcement groups’ desire and progress in learning the Party’s history and “carrying forward the great founding spirit” of the CCP. One wonders how the topic of the bloody Great Leap Forward or the murderous Cultural Revolution is broached for police officers in China.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese refugees queuing for a meal in Hong Kong in May 1962. During the famine caused by “The Great Leap Forward” Chinese policy, between 140,000 and 200,000 people were entered illegally at Hong Kong. (AFP via Getty Images)

Was the role of state violence in crushing the Tiananmen Square protests covered? If it was, you can imagine how the Party instructs the armed cadres who may be called upon to do the very same, should their fellow countrymen ever dare to rise up again: “Protesters who embraced bourgeois culture attempted to betray the revolution and overthrow our glorious workers’ state. We can never let the capitalist oppressors return to power.”

In another address, this time to students at the CCP Central Committee Party School, Xi told the young officials that they must “carry on the firm faith in Marxism and strive for the ideals of communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

He told those present to “rigorously abide by Party discipline and the law,” and encouraged them to “live a healthy and simple life and discipline their relatives.” Ostensibly, that would mean correcting the latter when they fail to properly praise the CCP and live by its authoritarian strictures.

Many of those present will continue to rise in CCP leadership, ascending the ranks to staff some of the most important decision-making positions in the country. Xi continually stressed the need to put the interests of the Party and the people first, as the advancement of the former is equivalent to the advancement of the latter.

Notably, Xi additionally spoke on the need to “maintain the spirit of struggle” in order to “safeguard China’s national sovereignty and security” as well as ensure the country’s “great rejuvenation.” The terminology of embracing hardship came up on multiple occasions during Xi’s speech, even telling the officials present that they should “avoid only addressing the immediate concerns of the people” if it has a negative long-term impact.

This latter point is important. After a brief bounce-back due to rising Western demand as consumers emerged from economic lockdowns due to the CCP virus, consumption is likely to continue its shift from goods to services. This will be a problem for the export-oriented Chinese economy. As the country seeks to divest from the type of large debt-accruing investment projects in real estate and infrastructure, Beijing would also like to see increased investment in innovative sectors such as tech and semiconductor production.

Unfortunately for the CCP, increasing regulation and controls on capital flows were recently enacted by Party leadership in order to stem the growing power and influence of privately owned firms. This hostile environment may have increased government control over the private sector, but the hostile environment also reduced innovation and productivity.

In another speech, this time at the “24th meeting of the central commission for deepening overall reform,” Xi announced a push to increase “inclusive finance” and “enhancing state-owned enterprises’ (SOE) capabilities of developing original technology.” This includes a commitment to boost the number of students being trained in technology-intensive fields that will ostensibly boost innovation in China, as well as “[encouraging] SOEs to improve their innovation systems and develop sources of original technologies.” The SOEs will “establish cradles for original technologies.”

True innovation almost never results from a mandate by the state (although, one has to admit that the CCP is exceptionally innovative in coming up with new annual committees and commissions at which Party officials get to embellish and fabricate achievements). Part of the reason that the tech sector has been as innovative and revolutionary as it has is that, as a new and relatively unknown field, it was largely incubated from overbearing government regulation and oversight. This was as true for the Chinese tech sector as it was any other country.

As the various speeches by Xi have shown over the past week, the only real consideration in all CCP policy is how best to maintain and promote the health of the Party. Beijing is certainly paying attention to what is unfolding in Ukraine; however, make no mistake, it is measuring responses and weighing potential reactions by the international community in light of only itself.

In this way, it can better prepare for future contingencies in which it may find itself in similarly contentious and unpredictable geopolitical situation.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Dominick Sansone writes on international relations with a focus on comparative politics, U.S. foreign policy, and Russia-China relations. Previously a Fulbright recipient in Bulgaria, he has also lived in North Macedonia and Bologna, Italy. His writing has been published in the National Interest, RealClear Defense, and the American Conservative.