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  • » 05/21/2015, 00.00

    CHINA – VATICAN

    For Xi Jinping, religions must be "Chinese" and without "foreign influences"

    Wang Zhicheng

    At a meeting of the United Front, the Chinese president reiterated the leadership role of the Communist Party in religious matters, warning against foreign forces. His targets include Xinjiang Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and the Vatican. For a Chinese Catholic, doing so would distort the Catholic religion.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - Religions in China must be "Chinese" and free from any "foreign influence". They must integrate into China’s "socialist society" and, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), they must serve the nation’s development, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a speech he delivered before the United Front, which ended a three-day meeting yesterday.

    The United Front is an organisation that includes all of the country’s small but legally permitted political parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce as well as associations representing various ethnic groups and religions.

    For analysts, the United Front represents the empty shell of China’s democracy, upholding the hegemony of the de facto single-party state. It has no real power and comes under the authority of the Central Committee of the CPC.

    At the meeting held in the capital, Xi stressed the importance of maintaining the party’s leadership. Cooperation with smaller parties and political action should be led by the CPC.

    Authorities must value the influence of people in the religious sphere and guide them to serve better the nation's development, harmony and unification, Xi said.

     “Active efforts should be made to incorporate religions into socialist society," Xi added, noting that religions in China must be Chinese, and the development of religions in China should be independent of foreign influence.

    Xi’ views are nothing new, reflecting what other Chinese leaders have said before on many occasions.

    For example, when he was general secretary of the Party in the 1990s, Jiang Zemin expressed appreciation for the contribution of religions to China’s socialist society, but warned the Party against Western "ideological pollution", which included in Christianity, seen as a western religion.

    A typical Maoist slogan, that still resonates today, underscores the alleged danger represented by religious groups whose action is designed to undermine China (or rather, China’s Communist regime) "under the cloak of religion."

    Even the Vatican, described by Mao as "the running dog ​​of capitalism", is still seen as a foreign power that under the cloak of religion seeks to manipulate China's internal affairs.

    Conspiracy theories tend to focus primarily on Muslims in Xinjiang and Tibetan Buddhists who, according to Beijing, are incited by Islamic fundamentalist preachers and the Dalai Lama.

    However, such theories have not spared Catholics. The papal mandate on episcopal appointments is deemed as "interference in China's internal affairs;" hence, the emphasis on "localisation" and "sinicisation" of every religion.

    However, "In this case, sinicising means changing the nature of our religion, whose spiritual unity is centred on the pope,” a Chinese Catholic said.

    Recently, the Vatican and Pope Francis have signalled a desire for détente and friendship toward China. This has generated hope for diplomatic talks, and created great optimism about a positive response from Beijing and Xi Jinping.

    Yet, based on what the Chinese president said recently, there is little hope for an opening anytime soon.

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    See also

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    Improvements for Church unlikely in wake of CCP Congress. As is a papal trip to Beijing

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    Hong Kong’s 20 years tested by Xi Jinping's visit

    The president and his wife arrive tomorrow for several ceremonies behind two-tonne barriers and heavy security screens. Deng had promised "one country, two systems," but in recent years the people of Hong Kong have had to fight for democracy and against security laws. Many statements coming from Beijing highlight the mainland’s blind supremacy. Dissatisfied, many young people are tempted by "independence".



    31/07/2012 CHINA
    Liu Peng: Chinese have "lost faith" in Party ideals
    The authoritative Liu Peng, Academic of Social Sciences in Beijing, illustrates the fragility interwoven within the Chinese state, whose ideology is not shared by the majority of the population. To avoid the country’s collapse, leaders must pay attention to the beliefs and religions of their subjects. Liu Peng affirms in a masterly way that faith (such as a religious belief, ideology, science) is an essential dimension of each individual, the very foundation that gives us motivation to live . For this reason faith must be free of constraints. Part II of the article "The Achilles heel of Chinese power: religion."

    24/10/2017 08:59:00 CHINA
    Xi Jinping like Mao Zedong: his 'thought' and his name in the Party’s constitution

    Only Mao and Deng Xiaoping have their names included in the PCC charter. According to observers, "Xi's thought" is a mixture of Maoist type slogans, wrapped in a nationalistic pride in which the Party's totalitarian power emerges, with Xi at its "core". Preparations for new Central Committee and the Politburo. Xi will not have absolute power, but shared with other factions, especially those of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Wang Qishan retires.





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