11/18/2021, 13.59
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'Resolution on history' hailing Xi published only after summit with Biden

by Lu Haitao

The document, which was approved by the 6th plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party on 11 November, reveals its ambitious long-term project. The narratives of the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen have not changed. The Party’s mistakes are papered over.


Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rolled out the third “Resolution on History” only on Tuesday, a few hours after the online summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden ended.

The document topped the agenda of the 6th plenary session of the CCP, which ended on 11 November. The meeting laid the ground for the 20th party congress scheduled for the fall of 2022.

In addition of hailing Xi’s power, the resolution reiterates the importance of state security, as well as the regime’s position vis-à-vis Hong Kong and Taiwan, implicitly responding to concerns raised by US President Biden during the summit.

The long document, namely resolution on history, concludes the history of the CCP since its foundation a century ago. State-run CCTV announced the full text of the document for nearly 40 minutes. Half of the text concentrates on the “new era”, namely the period after the 18th Congress in 2012 when Xi took the power as the head of the CCP. The resolution emphasizes Xi as the “core” of the party and Xi Thoughts as the guideline, without mentioning the mechanism of power transition.

The resolution highlights the CCP’s performance in the economy, including GDP growth and poverty elimination. The resolution confirms that the model of economic growth mainly relies on “internal circulation” (domestic market), while it is supplemented by “external circulation”. Though the resolution admits the external risks and challenges, it claims that China’s diplomacy has created a new situation in the changes of the world, and China’s international influence is promoted.

State security is a part of the resolution. The resolution states that the party “will strictly prevent and severely crackdown on the infiltration, sabotage, subversion, and separatist activities of hostile forces, and withstand and counter the extreme external suppression and containment”, in regards to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and disputed waters. The resolution keeps the party’s hard-line on the issues of Hong Kong and Taiwan, including “Patriots ruling Hong Kong” as well as the mission of “unifying Taiwan”, however, the timetable for the latter is not given.

The resolution raised the goal of military modernization in 2035 and completing the construction of the world-class army by 2050. Real-war-orientated training and the party’s absolute leadership are the guidelines for the military.

Tightening the grip on ideology and propaganda is seen as a major achievement since the “new era”, in a comprehensive range of the areas of art, media, internet, and higher education. Leadership and governance on the internet, where is defined as “war field and frontier” in ideology conflicts by the resolution, are paid special attention. “If (the party) cannot go through the challenge of the internet, the long-term rule is impossible”, as the resolution writes.

In the sphere of history, the resolution follows the old suit: it negates the Cultural Revolution which touches lightly on the faults and disastrous outcome of the party’s political movement with a few sentences. The Tiananmen massacre in 1989, is still described as “serious political turmoil”. Former pro-reform leader of the CCP Zhao Ziyang was put under house arrest until death after the democratic movement was cracked down by military force. Zhao’s name is not written in the resolution.

Following the logic of the resolution, only by uniting around the party central committee with Xi as the core can the Chinese dream of rejuvenation be realized. Sarcastically, given that resolution recalls major events under the rule of Xi, the constitution amendment in 2018 that contained Xi Thoughts in the preface and abolished term limits for president, was omitted in the document, although the event is written in the high school history textbook.

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