As the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Party Congress got here to a detailed final week, Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping consolidated his management cohort for the following 5 years.

While his exact insurance policies are unlikely to be revealed earlier than the Third Plenum of the 19th Party Congress early subsequent yr, his latest speech to the Congress supplies some seemingly indications of the overall route.

Relying on the State, Not Markets

In the speech—which lasted over three hours—Xi emphasised the function of state-owned enterprises in serving to China obtain its purpose of turning into a “reasonably properly off society” by 2021.

These enterprises would be the centerpiece of efforts to broaden China’s finance, telecom, and vitality sectors. China will depend on markets extra as a method of allocating assets than as a driver of development.

While indicating that the market ought to assist set rates of interest, he harassed that Beijing “should develop the general public sector.” To this finish, state-owned enterprises will turn into “stronger, higher, and greater.”

This is available in sharp distinction to the period of General Secretary Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, when Chinese management sought to cut back reliance on state-owned enterprises and embraced the market extra totally.

Xi’s speech additionally put to relaxation any hopes that Chinese financial growth would create a center class which may press for political reform and liberalization. Such hopes will seemingly go unfulfilled within the subsequent 5 years.

Hardening Domestic Politics

Xi’s feedback about Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the web all clarify that he doesn’t countenance a lot in the best way of political openness.

For occasion, he mentioned the purpose of nationwide rejuvenation could be “wishful pondering” if it isn’t spearheaded by the Chinese Communist Party.

Rather than observe the trail of different nations, Xi mentioned China ought to pursue its personal political method, particularly since “nobody political system must be considered the one alternative.”

To assist this, the web might be topic to tighter controls, in order to restrict the injury from “inaccurate viewpoints.” “Patriots” should play the principle function in main Hong Kong and Macau.

His feedback on Taiwan have been met with robust applause:

We will resolutely uphold nationwide sovereignty and territorial integrity and can by no means tolerate a repeat of the historic tragedy of a divided nation. All actions of splitting the motherland might be resolutely opposed by all of the Chinese individuals. We have agency will, full confidence, and ample functionality to defeat any type of Taiwan independence secession plot. We won’t ever permit any particular person, any group, or any political social gathering to separate any a part of the Chinese territory from China at any time or in any type.

These feedback give little prospect for better respect for human rights, transparency, or open change of concepts. They additionally counsel a possible additional hardening of insurance policies towards Taiwan.

Beijing has already suspended all official communication and dialogue with Taipei. Xi’s feedback counsel that not solely is he unlikely to vary his stance, however that he could properly enhance stress in his second yr.

Sustaining Military Modernization

In order to take care of that stress, and to defend China’s ever extra expansive territorial claims within the Western Pacific, Xi additionally made clear that the continuing navy modernization effort wouldn’t be slowing down.

He charged the People’s Liberation Army with with the ability to not solely combat future wars, however to win them. This would require the military to have the ability to have interaction in not solely standard operations on land, sea, and air, however in new theaters, similar to outer house and knowledge/our on-line world.

He additionally made clear that China wouldn’t budge from its territorial claims, similar to within the South China Sea. He flatly declared, “China won’t ever advance itself on the expense of the pursuits of different nations, however we’ll by no means surrender our lawful rights.”

He mentioned China is not going to yield on points that “injury our sovereignty, safety, and developmental pursuits,” which align with Beijing’s idea of “core pursuits.”

To this finish, he reaffirmed China’s dedication to sustaining its outposts and synthetic islands within the South China Sea and the sustained growth of China’s navy to defend its maritime pursuits.

Coupled with the elevation of figures similar to Wang Huning, the Chinese Communist Party’s ideologist, to the Politburo Standing Committee, the 19th Party Congress has offered little purpose to date to suppose that Beijing will soften its stance, both domestically or overseas.

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