Recently, Foreign Affairs has been exploring different facets of China’s rise to power as well as what the Chinese people want and need to be successful in the future.
One interesting paradox that they have brought up is one which many other scholars have also noticed. Even though on the one hand China seems powerful, and since Mao’s bloody revolution seems to have developed economically, there has been little to no political reform in all those years.
Essentially, what the article is getting at is that Mao’s politics are still being practiced by current leader Xi Jinping today, and what China really needs is a rise of morality which can never be provided by the state.
While China appears to have come so far they haven’t gone anywhere and have actually gone backwards. Xi is trying to take China in a new direction, but how could he do that with the same human rights violations and silence of political opposition (under Xi there has been even stricter internet censorship) that has gotten China so looked down upon by the free world?
Even though China has made some people wealthy most of the elite are leaving the country with their wealth, and want their children to be educated abroad.
Meanwhile Xi is trying to restore moral authority to the Communist Party but how could that be possible though? The Party was founded by destroying thousands of years of Chinese morally upright culture and the killing of an estimated 78 million people. If there was never any morality to begin with what is Xi seeking to restore?
In fact, as the article notes Chinese people are no longer really looking for wealth.
“Although it’s true that China’s economic boom has encouraged levels of materialism and conspicuous consumption that would have been unimaginable in earlier eras, the country’s increased openness to the world has also produced a different set of values. A growing segment of Chinese society now not only yearns to be well clothed and well fed but also feels a keen desire for truth, meaning, and spiritual fulfillment.”
How can the Chinese Communist Party provide what the people want and need then? They are antithetical to anything divine or remotely spiritual and religious.
If what China needs is a moral revolution of sorts, how could the Chinese Communist Party possible provide that? Therefore it must come from somewhere other than the government.
Perhaps it already has.