Xi Jinping era: China now blames foreign politics for Tiananmen massacre

Published on Nov 17, 2021 10:25 AM IST

A rare Communist Party of China document has come down hard on corruption, “money worship” and extreme individualism. It says the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 was caused by “hostile anti-Communist forces”, adding that under President Xi Jinping stronger party discipline is needed.

A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, on November 11, 2021. (REUTERS)
A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping attending the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, on November 11, 2021. (REUTERS)
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

A rare document updating and revising China’s history released by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has come down hard on corruption, “money worship” and extreme individualism, adding that under President Xi Jinping stronger party discipline is needed.

The resolution on the party’s “achievements and historical experiences” reiterates that the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 - in which an unknown number of Chinese citizens demanding political freedom were killed by the armed forces - was caused... by “hostile anti-Communist forces”.

The release of the resolution, and, separately, an explanation of the resolution by President Xi himself, has cemented his position as one of China’s most powerful leaders ever.

The release of the documents - such a resolution published only for the third time in CPC’s 100-year history - strengthens President Xi Jinping’s dominance in the run-up to what is likely to be a precedent-breaking third term to begin late 2022 while enshrining his vision “Xi Jinping Thought” in China’s and CPC’s history.

On the Tiananmen massacre, the resolution said: “In the late spring and early summer of 1989, a severe political disturbance took place in China as a result of the international and domestic climates at the time, and was egged on by hostile anti-communist and anti-socialist forces abroad.”

“With the people’s backing, the party and the government took a clear stand against the turmoil, defending China’s socialist state power and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people,” the resolution said.

It singled out corruption as a major problem.

“The (CPC) central committee has stressed that corruption is the greatest threat to the party’s long-term governance. The fight against corruption is a major political struggle that the party cannot and must not lose. If we let a few hundred corrupt officials slip through the cracks, we would let down all 1.4 billion Chinese people,” the resolution said.

The resolution traces a historical overview of China from the “humiliations” of the late Qing empire to the present day, and hopes of a future “great rejuvenation”, emphasising repeatedly that the Communist party is the driver of progress.

“Deng launched reforms in 1978 that transformed China from an impoverished backwater into the world’s second-largest economy. His own resolution emphasised the importance of “collective leadership” after the Maoist excesses of the cultural revolution,” a Reuters report on the resolution said.

While the new document pledges to continue with “reform and opening” policies, it noted that since their launch, “erroneous trends of thought such as money worship, hedonism and extreme individualism” have emerged.

But it is Xi and his influence on China and the CPC, which cuts through the clutter of some 36,000 words, as per Bloomberg, of the resolution.

The CPC also saw a weakening of its leadership and corrupt practices in the reform era, it said.

Stricter governance, stronger ideological work and more cultural “self-confidence” can help solve these problems, it said, noting that the Xi era had seen many long-term issues resolved.

“Party members and officials should be educated and guided to have firm belief in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and to practice it faithfully, and they should keep in mind that empty talk harms the country while solid work makes it flourish.”

“The central committee calls upon the entire party, the military, and all Chinese people to rally more closely around the central committee with comrade Xi Jinping at its core, to fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and to champion the great founding spirit of the Party,” the resolution said.

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