This is the 11th in the South China Morning Post ’s series of explainers about China’s Communist Party in the lead-up to the party’s centenary in July. Here, William Zheng explains some of the political terms popularised by the Xi Jinping administration. Political regimes around the world have long used memorable slogans or catchphrases as a way to propagate ideologies, and China’s Communist Party is no exception. Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, “serve the people”, often used by then-paramount leader Mao Zedong, became the party’s unofficial motto and helped it to gain popular support during the civil war. Subsequent leaders have coined their own slogans, from Deng Xiaoping’s “ reform and opening up ” to Jiang Zemin’s “ theory of the three represents ”. Like his predecessors, President Xi Jinping has popularised his own slogans to sum up his political ideology and policies since he came into power in 2012, from “hunting tigers and swatting flies” to a Chinese version of the American dream. Here’s a quick guide to some of the terms that have been used by Xi’s administration and repeated across top officials’ speeches, in state media and school textbooks. 1. No 1 hands Top leaders of party committees need to be reined in Cadres usually refer to the heads of their party committees as yi ba shou in Mandarin, or “No 1 hands” – a term some Chinese academics speculate was first used by ancient secret societies to indicate that their leader, or “big brother”, had the final say. Since party committees are found at all levels , this could be applied to the party secretary of a town, province or government department. The term came into popular use again after Xi – who as general secretary of the party is the most senior of all No 1 hands – issued guidelines in June to rein in the power of these top officials, at least at the provincial and ministerial levels. 2. Dual circulation Looking inward in an increasingly hostile world The so-called dual circulation strategy was first mentioned at a Politburo meeting in May last year and features prominently in China’s five-year development plan for 2021 to 2025. Amid tense relations with several countries, including the United States – which has blacklisted multiple Chinese companies –, and the global pandemic cutting off supply chains across the world, the plan puts more emphasis on the domestic market. This focus on demand at home is referred to as internal circulation and the dual circulation strategy seeks to give it more priority while reducing reliance on export-oriented development, or external circulation. 3. Xi Jinping Thought The overarching political doctrine In 2017, Xi gave a lengthy speech at the party congress outlining his political blueprint for the next 30 years. Officially called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, the doctrine is now enshrined in both state and party constitutions. The 14-part national blueprint, now studied in schools across China, is extremely complex but its core goal is to restore the country to its past glory, not just as a prosperous economy but also a well-respected world power. To realise this grand vision, Xi Jinping Thought emphasises Xi’s leadership of the party and the importance of strengthening its rule over all aspects of Chinese society. 4. Four comprehensives Drilling deeper into the doctrine Xi’s priorities for China are summed up by his so-called four comprehensives: Comprehensively building a modern socialist country; Comprehensively deepening reform; Comprehensively governing the nation according to law; Comprehensively and strictly governing the party. While many argue that the first three points summarise goals set by previous Chinese leaders, the fourth is a specific reference to Xi’s signature anti-corruption campaign. 5. Hunting tigers and swatting flies Corruption in the cross hairs at all levels One of the first things Xi did after he took office was to launch a high-profile campaign against party, government, military and state-owned enterprise officials suspected of corruption. By 2018, Xi had declared a “crushing victory” in his war on corruption, but warned that the situation ahead was still tough and the fight must go on. The campaign’s catchy slogan refers to the different levels of officials targeted: the “flies” being metaphorically swatted are lower- and middle-ranking cadres, while the “tigers” the party aims to hunt down are corrupt senior party and state leaders. 6. Chinese dream Like the American dream, but not really Xi introduced the concept of the Chinese dream in November 2012, describing it as the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. While the general secretary has compared this to the American dream, the party’s official readout says the Chinese dream is about national prosperity, collective effort, socialism and the country’s return to past glory. They are decidedly more nationalistic ideals than the American dream which emphasises freedom, equality and the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. As part of the dream, Xi has set goals for China to become a “moderately well-off society” by 2021 and to build a united and developed nation by 2049. 7. Profound changes unseen in a century Global trends affecting China’s external environment Xi first referred to China’s external challenges as “profound changes unseen in a century” at a meeting with Beijing’s overseas ambassadors in December 2017. Top diplomat Yang Jiechi elaborated on the term in 2020, saying there were five key trends affecting China’s external environment during the pandemic: Major world powers going through a period of adjustment amid the Covid-19 crisis; Mixed prospects for recovery of the global economy; Further challenges to an already weakened global governance system; Non-traditional security concerns such as climate change , scarcity of resources, infectious diseases and natural disasters; Clashing ideologies such as conservatism and populism gaining momentum and colliding with each other. 8. Building a community with a shared future for mankind A Chinese approach to solving world problems “Building a community with a shared future for mankind” refers to China’s aspirations to propagate its ruling model and political ideology across the world, including through ambitious international infrastructure projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative . While the term was first used by Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao, it gained popularity after Xi’s policy speech at the 2017 party congress, when he declared that “Chinese wisdom and the Chinese approach” offered a unique solution “to the problems facing mankind”. China has insisted it will adhere to a peaceful foreign development policy, but analysts continue to express concern that the vision may represent an ambition to replace the established international order. Since 2017, Chinese diplomats have been trying to get the phrase inserted into UN General Assembly resolutions with only limited success – other countries like the US and India say it is inappropriate to include one nation’s political ideology in a multilateral resolution. 9. Core socialist values Guidance for model citizens Widely seen on television shows, billboards, web pages and textbooks in China, the 12 core socialist values for model Chinese citizens were set out by the party after Xi took the reins in 2012. They include national values of prosperity, democracy, civility and harmony; societal values of freedom, equality, justice and rule of law; and the citizenship values of patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship. Rooted in Chinese traditional culture, the official values represent the ethical, moral and ideological transformation of Chinese society that the party aspires to achieve on top of its economic, military, technological and governance targets. 10. Green is gold China’s war on pollution Xi has used the Chinese proverb “green mountains and clear water are equal to mountains of gold and silver” to describe how valuable the natural environment is to China. The saying is now prominently used by state media reporting on Xi’s policies to prevent environmental abuses, including sending out inspection teams to investigate complaints of environmental degradation and pollution. China’s phenomenal growth over the past 40 years has resulted in severe air, river and soil pollution, and Xi has been focusing more on reversing some of this damage in recent years. The president has doubled down on support for the UN Paris climate accord and pledged last year that China would hit peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.