Xi hailed as one of China's greatest communist leaders — by party magazine

Analyst says editorial marks new attempt to promote Xi’s status to being on a par with that of Mao Zedong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 4:31pm

President Xi Jinping has been hailed as one of China’s greatest communist leaders by the party’s political theory magazine - as observes say the move marks an attempt to elevate him to the same level as Mao Zedong.

An editorial in the June issue of Qiushi – or “Seek Truth” – said Xi had put forward “new thinking, new views and new conclusions” in a series of important speeches since the 18th National Party Congress in November 2012 addressing the development of the party and the state.

A Hong Kong-based analyst said the editorial may suggest an indoctrination campaign is underway.

The magazine praised Xi’s speeches as the “latest theoretical achievement in the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics as well as the development of Marxism and Leninism, and Mao Zedong thought”.

His thoughts are now considered to be guidelines for the party and nation, the magazine went on.

The speeches were “great guidelines and action codes” for the nation on its way to achieving its “two centennial goals”, including the building of a moderately prosperous society by the time the party celebrated its centenary in 2021.

The second aim is to turn China into a modern socialist country that was prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious when the People’s Republic marked its centennial in 2049.

Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-based political affairs analyst, said the campaign was the latest attempt to promote Xi’s status to being on a par with Mao Zedong.

“To suggest that his speeches are the theoretical guidelines for the whole party and country is to promote his status to the same level as Mao’s in party history,” said Zhang, a party historian formerly with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Li Xigen, an associate professor at the department of media and communication at the City University of Hong Kong, said the editorial might suggest that a new round of an indoctrination campaign was under way to promote socialist values among cadres.

Li said it was also an effort aimed at “promoting Xi’s image and influence”.

Last week, a collection of 274 quotes from Xi since 2012, compiled by the Party Literature Office, was published. Analysts said the publication was aimed at officials.

Qiushi confirmed the party was about to start a new round of an ideological indoctrination campaign to study Xi’s thinking.

“The Party Central has attached great importance to the campaign and taken a series of forceful measures to promote it,” it said, adding that it was a significant political task facing the whole party.

Chinese leaders in the past have often made use of catch phrases and rhetoric to reinforce communist ideology and their own position.

Former president Jiang Zemin advocated “three represents” and his successor Hu Jintao promulgated his “scientific concept of development”. Xi has called for the realisation of the “Chinese dream” to rejuvenate the nation.