President Xi Jinping has been addressing the nation on the 95th anniversary of the Communist Party and the tough Marxist tone has been striking, says political analyst Victor Shih. Where his predecessors followed a more flexible road on economic development, Xi goes for a nationalistic approach, he tells AP.
Despite quoting Deng Xiaoping, China’s market-oriented reformer, in a brief passage about the importance of economic development, the Chinese leader did not delve into the economy. Instead, his lengthy address was larded with nationalism and soaring references to the blood and tears that the party had sacrificed for China through the socialist revolution.
Victor Shih, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, said the speech underscored the dyed-in-the-wool politics of the Xi administration compared to his technocrat predecessors who more often dressed up economic reforms in Marxist language.
“The longer President Xi has ruled, the more he has revealed his orthodox Marxist-Leninist perspective,” Shih said. “There’s nothing like the previous administrations, like Jiang Zemin, with an emphasis on modernizing or reinterpreting Marxism — that was very flexible.”
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